Author Topic: Its a process...I guess.  (Read 47710 times)

PE30

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #225 on: August 10, 2017, 07:55:50 AM »
Gah, just accidentally deleted a post!

But it's really interesting that you posted about self-compassion - I'd posted a similar thing (from a different perspective) on my journal prior to reading yours. It's so important yet so difficult.

For the record, you've been really encouraging to me and I've valued your wise words and counsel. It's clear that you are an encouragement to many others on here. It's a gift; thank you for sharing it.
Porn free since 2 February 2018.

Fighting on.

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #226 on: August 11, 2017, 01:23:19 PM »
PE30, thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate hearing that I am a help. Sometimes I wonder if maybe I am that annoying gong sounding, lol, so it's encouraging when I get positive feedback from others. I also like knowing that others are reading and listening. There are days when I feel like I am typing to myself, lol, so it's comforting to know I am not alone. That is one thing this site has really shown me, I am not alone. No matter where I am at in my hurt and my recovery, no matter how small I feel, I know that I am not alone, and that I matter. I am trying to understand that more and more. I want to make an impact in this world and help spread love and not destruction. That really is what I feel my true heart calling is, to love.

I spent most of the week with my sister and family camping. Every time I see my sister's son I get more and more concerned but not sure what to do. I had talked with her shortly after D-day when my hurt was really raw and at the surface. At the time I wanted to just walk away. She was one of the few people encouraging me to stay, as she just finished a long drawn-out divorce and said it really isn't worth it. We haven't spoken about everything since. She finally brought it up and asked how it was going. I told her about it. I talked about how big of a problem porn addiction is, especially in younger men. How allowing a ton of screen time wasn't helping this situation. She seemed surprised by how big of a problem this is but in no way associated it with her son. I mentioned that this is the main reason we don't allow a lot of screen time for our kiddos. Her son and my son are about the same age. Her son turns 10 this month. He has a tv in his room, a laptop, an iPad, and his own cell phone. He is on them most of the day every day. He surfs youtube watch funny cat videos and Minecraft stuff. Half the time she doesn't even know what he is looking at because he is up in his room. When we visit all the kids just go up there and hang out. I try to politely mention that I am uncomfortable with that but then everyone attacks me for being a stick in the mud. They act like I am freaking out for no reason. I have read countless journals on here when men started watching porn at this very age!!! It bothers me that her son could expose my son to porn without her ever knowing! Not sure how to handle this but I do feel like I need to figure out something. Advice anyone?

3 positives:
I care about my kids and their future
I am empathetic
I totally rock out the workout today. (My time was even better than my husbands, lol!)

malando

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #227 on: August 11, 2017, 06:11:50 PM »
That is indeed very worrying, Aquarius. If your nephew is already using screened devices that much, I would say he already has an addiction to the bright and colourful stimulus of computer screens (dopamine response modulated by visual stimulus and anticipation of new material). After that, it's only a matter of time before that progresses into adult content. It will be when puberty really kicks in and he and his peers start getting curious and talking about sex. If he has unfettered access to these devices, he will be googling everything he hears about in the schoolyard and beyond. The internet has become a place where kids go to confirm everything they hear - they want to see pictorial examples of everything, especially the more salacious stuff.

So no, I don't think your worrying is unfounded. I would classify your nephew as "high risk" in terms of vulnerability to porn addiction. Living with a single parent means there is less supervision and your sister possibly feels like letting these devices do what she can't do is helping (keeping him busy and entertained). But it isn't. The more kids use these things, the less they develop socially and the more they become hooked on the content they watch. In fact, giving a kid a device of every possible configuration and leaving them unattended with them is basically exactly what you would do if you were trying to get them addicted and onto the path of porn discovery. There's no question that sexual material is coming next. Trust me, as somebody who used to be a teenage boy! I am certain my addiction would have started around the age of 11 or 12 if I had been born in the internet age and with the opportunities your nephew has. That's the result of low parental supervision and a lot of isolation and loneliness.

I don't know how you tackle this with your sister. It sounds like she's a bit in denial about what you're saying. But I do think this is emergency level stuff. Your nephew is on the brink of something major that's going to shape his life in a big way. I hope you can find a way to reach her.

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #228 on: August 14, 2017, 10:30:30 AM »
Thanks, Malando, I appreciate that I am not the only one who thinks this is a problem. Sometimes I wonder if it's just me who is having the problem and I am being too sensitive or if it's a real problem. I think good boundaries for our kids is really important.

On a different note, our Pastor has asked me and my husband to pray with a couple who is really suffering due to porn addiction. We both felt really honored that he thought of us and that we could lend support. I am also getting ready to start my partner's support group and I am actually very excited. I have noticed that my confidence in myself builds the more I help others. I think that says a lot about who I am. I definitely have a servants heart. I don't really like constantly saying all of these positive things about myself, it makes me sound full of myself or something but I am trying to slowly be comfortable with acknowledging that I am good at things, I have talents and gifts, and it's ok to say so. It still feels weird but it is slowly getting better.

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #229 on: August 16, 2017, 08:06:53 AM »
My heart feels heavy and I am saddened by how much hate is in our world and country today. (I am in the US) So today my goal is to spread love wherever I can. My hope would be that we band together and have love be infectious. Let it be louder than the hate.

Gracie

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #230 on: August 16, 2017, 12:50:36 PM »
I agree. But as the our culture shifts away from closeness, I sometimes think it is easier for hate to slip in.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=53XyCbIJGKY

The Youngbloods.  Loved this song!  Yes I am that old!
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 12:53:40 PM by Gracie »

PE30

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #231 on: August 17, 2017, 03:11:30 AM »
It's really sad to see the events in the US, but in particular Trump's failure to properly condemn neo-Nazis. I was watching a clip of one of your talk show hosts and he said something like this: "Trump said there were many sides.... there were two sides. And one of them had Nazis on it."

I guess from my point of view as a British guy - I know that Trump is not representative of the USA as a whole. I was in Florida (Gulf coast, not Disneyland!) in February and met dozens of Americans, all of whom were lovely, kind and welcoming. There are more many, many more loving people in the USA than hateful people.
Porn free since 2 February 2018.

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Gracie

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #232 on: August 17, 2017, 06:39:37 AM »
Thank you!  I hope people elsewhere think that this is us. 

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #233 on: August 17, 2017, 07:26:08 AM »
PE30 & Gracie, I completely agree. Yes, there are much more people who don't align with his message but just like life, it seems the squeaky wheel gets the grease. So the loudest one seems to be what opinion is based on. That tells me that the rest of us need to be louder. We need to step up and show the world that this is not us. We are more than this.

I also am a bit saddened and shocked at the entire situation because it reveals a deeper issue. It shows the character (or lack there of) content of our nation. Trump is a narcissist, and frankly quite scary. I really view porn as a symptom of a greater problem. There are many symptoms in our culture, not just in the USA, but around the world. People don't seem to prioritize character and an importance much anymore. There are plenty times in history where it was much the same and honestly those weren't fun times. Your personal belief or religious view can differ and you can still maintain good character and a good moral code. Our lives seem to be so self- centred that we have often lost the ability to relate to others. I talk to teens who actually don't even know what character is...literally!
THe character of porn is the same as many other things in our culture but look at what you display when you are consumed by that lifestyle
self gratification
lying
shame
disconnect from others

In order to leave it you must put yourself aside. You must think of others, go outside and get a life, be your word, have goals that make you want something more than self-gratification. I think that is why single men have a harder time. they are not accountable to anyone but themselves. THe best thing they can do is go make some friend and get a life. We are not meant to be hermits, I really believe, no matter your religious affiliation, that we humans are best in communities and support each other. Those communities can only exist if we create them.

Sorry for the rant, I am passionate about this, lol.

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #234 on: August 22, 2017, 07:18:30 AM »
Things here are good overall. We had a speaker at our church. He is the guy that leads my husband's 12 step group. He gave his testimony and was bringing awareness to this problem and letting men know that this group exists. He also mentioned my group (not my name). He just said that a group is forming and gave an email address for more info. I thought I would be really nervous about this but as it starts to take shape I am just getting really excited. I was able to talk to his wife a bit after, we went to lunch. It was so nice to connect, face to face, with another woman who understood. Sometimes when I am going through difficulties regarding this situation, I feel like I am crazy. Having that affirmation that another woman out there that I can see and hug is going through a similar thing was so amazing. I try to be encouraging most of the time, it nice to know that there is a safe place to just be. Ths forum has been so therapeutic for me and I excited to bring something like this into real life. I have also noticed that I am more confident and less insecure when I am helping others. I really want to do things that build me up. If serving others does that then I welcome it. My husband has mentioned for a while how he would like to speak more about this problem. He thinks shame is such an isolating factor that makes this problem more wide spread. Talking about it and taking that risk shut down shame. I could see how inspired he was. I am still not in a place where I would be comfortable for him to just go around speaking at churches or anything. I wish I was, but I am just not... not yet. I am really impressed though with his courage. He is so confident in who he is and he is very compassionate with me in his willingness to wait until I am ready as well. I can see the man I married, the man I believed him to be, in who he is becoming day by day.


Gracie

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #235 on: August 22, 2017, 02:41:45 PM »
Well, woo to the hoo!  (A mathematical computation  LOL)  This is good to hear.  I understand what you are saying.  It takes a lot to do a team thing.  Sometimes when I have watched a partner and addict the partner appears soooo cheerful.  I do not think they give the bottoming out enough airtime.  Not that I want to revisit that but there are things that cause it to be right under the surface as we walk this walk of partnership.  The PTSD part is so real.  I feel women need to be validated more on the impact it has on them personally.  In Love You, Hate the Porn, there is the analogy that we are pushing a loaded apple cart and when we find out the apple cart spills and all the apples come out and we cannot get them back in the same way they were and there are some apples missing.  (Run on sentence to the max I know) 

You and he have come so far!!!!  Good for you!  And now with the church talking maybe your group will get a good start!

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #236 on: August 23, 2017, 07:21:57 AM »
Thanks, Gracie! Yes, I have read that apple cart story and I thought it described things pretty well. This experience has been quite the roller coaster but I am learning how to roll with the tide and come out stronger. It is a lot like swimming in the ocean. If you fight the waves you will be exhausted and drowned. But if you just relax your body and allow yourself to float you kinda just roll with the waves of emotion and allow yourself to experience them. Then you don't become too exhausted. I feel like I am there. The emotions still come, I allow myself to feel them. But I don't allow them to consume me and take me down. Porn addicts might have urges to watch porn but for us partners, I feel like there is an urge to let the hurt consume you. If we aren't careful that can be almost an addiction for us. My continued theme is to look forward to the future. When I look to where we are headed and what we are working towards I am hopeful. When I look at the past I am filled with sadness and hurt. So I pray daily and look ahead knowing that today is only one day. If it is a bad day, then tomorrow will be better. If it is a good day, make the most of it. Over time, there have slowly been more good days, that is where the memories and healing start to happen.

Gracie

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #237 on: August 23, 2017, 09:28:41 AM »
I know what you mean. In the beginning, I would say, "I will get through this day and not cry."  Sometimes I did it and sometimes not, but I became a big believer in "One day at a time."  And then there is dealing with the cultural view that it hurts no one. So my husband now does not believe that.  We were both incredibly surprised at how deep the wound was.  And how much his view of us, me, him, our kids, our marriage etc. had changed.  He found out that he did not have to go through things alone or in his head.  And he found out that by sharing he actually became a stronger person and more able to face things. 

Two together can always do more and are strengthened to carry more.  (Just my own little saying)

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #238 on: August 25, 2017, 07:58:59 AM »
So true Gracie! Two are stronger than one for sure!

Here things are getting busy. My parents are finishing up a visit with my sister and are coming back to see us and stay for 2 weeks! We are hoping that they will want to help us work on our house as we are wanting to move in sometime next month. There is still a lot to do! Also, our shop is having an open house. We don't really feel ready but the other person in the building is having an open house and making a big event of it so it would n't look good for us to be closed. SO ready or not here it comes. We have been putting so much energy into fixing our house. We have been staying ahead of our orders but haven't put much effort into decorating our shop because we aren't usually open to the public anyway. Now we are scrambling to get it looking nice and set up staging areas. I feel like a crazy amount but I am sure that it will work out. I am learning to have peace about these things and trust that what will be, will be. I can only do my best and that will just have to be enough.

I figured with everything going on that my husband and I would probably be snippy with each other. We are also juggling homeschooling the kids too! However, overall everything has been great. We have been communicating well and really trying to just support each other. He has been helping and encouraging me when I get overwhelmed and I him. He used to never be this attentive and caring under stress. I am very impressed with the person he is becoming. I am excited to get to be his partner. When this process started we were happy but we did have our fair share of problems. After D-day I thought he would never be who I thought he was, I thought all was lost. Today, he isn't there yet, all of life is a growing process for all of us. But he is slowing becoming an even better person than I thought him to be. He is pouring into his character and learning who he is. I am finding myself slowing falling in love with this new person even more. I just keep my eyes focused on tomorrow.

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #239 on: September 05, 2017, 08:08:45 AM »
Well, my parents are still visiting. We have been so crazy busy! I am exhausted. Between working on our house, working on our business (which is slammed), homeschooling, and trying to be hostess to my family....its just nuts. Only a few more days left and they will be gone. We are hoping to move into the house we have been slaving on in a few weeks too. In Oct we will finally go on a family vacation. I am really looking forward to it. I think in those moments I really appreciate all of the work we have done to keep this family together. It feels like when life is busy I get so wrapped up in all the things I need to do that I forget to appreciate what all of the hard work is for. Vacation is a time that we can be together, enjoying each other, and really appreciate this life we share. My husband is still doing well as far as not looking at porn and is really understanding just how much work is needed on his root causes. He is also realizing and really wanting to not recreate those issues in our son. We have been talking a lot about parenting and what a healthy life might look like. Every time we discuss it I can see the frustration he has towards his parents and just how far off base they were. We can't go back and change yesterday but we can decide that tomorrow will not be the same.

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #240 on: September 08, 2017, 08:20:05 AM »
Still pretty busy as tomorrow we have a big opening in our new shop space. We have been working around the clock in so many directions. One thing I have been noticing and really appreciating is just how great we have been working together. We haven't been bickering or anything. Just really focused and on task. Even our kids have been stepping in and helping where they can. They bring their school work places and have been doing a great job and getting their work done without me asking. Our son (9) even helped his little sister (7) with some of her math instead of stopping us. It was really sweet. We took them to dinner with my parents a few times and let them have milkshakes just because I think they are amazing. This family bond wasn't here years ago. I am seeing just how much our family is changing for the better. I am so thankful for this.

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #241 on: September 11, 2017, 03:10:26 PM »
Well, we had our open house at our shop and it went really well. So much work was put into making our space look great, it was amazing to see it come together. The parents left this morning and we are hoping to put in some real hours into working on our project house in hopes of moving into by the end of the month. So looking forward to a vacation at the end of all of the insanity! Glad to be doing all of it with my husband who is my best friend still and now a more present partner. So glad that we do not have porn in our lives anymore.

I have had a few triggers with my parents in town and was glad to realize that I recovered from them a lot faster. I feel like I still have a lot of healing to do but I have come a long way. I am able to over come hurt a little better than I did months ago. That is a positive.

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #242 on: September 14, 2017, 07:18:28 AM »
Just trying to pop on here on a little more regular basis. I have found when I don't come on here as much I am less conscious of my recovery. Then when a trigger comes I feel more blind sighted by it. When I am on here and engaged I find I am more focused on my healing and I tend to feel more prepared for triggers and they are easier to handle. The support this community offers to PA and us partners really is amazing. Thank you.

malando

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #243 on: September 14, 2017, 07:40:03 AM »
Just trying to pop on here on a little more regular basis. I have found when I don't come on here as much I am less conscious of my recovery. Then when a trigger comes I feel more blind sighted by it. When I am on here and engaged I find I am more focused on my healing and I tend to feel more prepared for triggers and they are easier to handle. The support this community offers to PA and us partners really is amazing. Thank you.
We're all here for you, friend! :)

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #244 on: September 18, 2017, 10:03:30 AM »
Thanks, Malando. I so very much love and appreciate your encouragement. Bit of a crazy weekend. I may have had a bit of a breakdown, lol. Kinda blew up. Way too much going on and trying to do way too much at once. I had to ask myself why there is so much on my plate and had a big conversation with my husband. He has done a lot in his recovery, but some of the areas that I have put boundries and asked for support and gone to the wast basket. In addition to his inconsistency, I haven't been consistent with my enforcing the boundries. He has a tendency to over-commit to doing too much. When we took on the project house he agreed to still be able to manage family time and having us still be able to enjoy time together. That hasn't happened this entire summer has been working every spare moment. My parents came to visit and they helped work. THe few times we did go and enjoy the area, he stayed home to work. He agreed to help with the homeschool and hasn't helped at all. I feel like everything has just been piled on my plate. I know he is working crazy hard too, but I just have to wonder, is it necessary? He put this move in date so crazy soon that it just isn't realistic and now we are all exasperating ourself to achieve this stupid goal he has created. I have been trying to be encouraging and positive but this weekend I just broke. Doing a complete gut and rebuild on a 2800 sq ft 150yr old house, while running a growing business, homeschooling two kids, and doing the things needed for our personal recoveries, not the mentions ballet and soccer and scouts for the kids. Well, you can't do it all. Something has to give.

I think my freakout was a real wake-up call for him, I just wish I didn't have to have a mental breakdown for him to see I am struggling. Babysteps, right? Lol.

malando

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #245 on: September 18, 2017, 10:45:00 AM »
Thanks, Malando. I so very much love and appreciate your encouragement. Bit of a crazy weekend. I may have had a bit of a breakdown, lol. Kinda blew up. Way too much going on and trying to do way too much at once. I had to ask myself why there is so much on my plate and had a big conversation with my husband. He has done a lot in his recovery, but some of the areas that I have put boundries and asked for support and gone to the wast basket. In addition to his inconsistency, I haven't been consistent with my enforcing the boundries. He has a tendency to over-commit to doing too much. When we took on the project house he agreed to still be able to manage family time and having us still be able to enjoy time together. That hasn't happened this entire summer has been working every spare moment. My parents came to visit and they helped work. THe few times we did go and enjoy the area, he stayed home to work. He agreed to help with the homeschool and hasn't helped at all. I feel like everything has just been piled on my plate. I know he is working crazy hard too, but I just have to wonder, is it necessary? He put this move in date so crazy soon that it just isn't realistic and now we are all exasperating ourself to achieve this stupid goal he has created. I have been trying to be encouraging and positive but this weekend I just broke. Doing a complete gut and rebuild on a 2800 sq ft 150yr old house, while running a growing business, homeschooling two kids, and doing the things needed for our personal recoveries, not the mentions ballet and soccer and scouts for the kids. Well, you can't do it all. Something has to give.

I think my freakout was a real wake-up call for him, I just wish I didn't have to have a mental breakdown for him to see I am struggling. Babysteps, right? Lol.

I'm sorry to hear that it's been tough for you, A25. It does certainly sound like the project was too ambitious to complete so quickly -  even without a family life to preserve, let alone with one. I think this kind of manic overcommitment to big projects is coming from a not so healthy place. It's what addicts tend to do when they generally feel a certain malaise of low dopamine. There is a certain rush that comes with a huge challenge and a deadline. It becomes one's reason to live, almost. There's also that horizon dream that once this huge mountain has been climbed, everything will be perfect thereafter. It's almost like deferring living in the here and now for a promised future that is somehow better. But the here and now is so precious. It's the heres and nows that builds up to the makeup of our futures. That's why it is very unwise to lose oneself in the future and let the present suffer. Ignoring the needs of the here and now can make that imagined future harder and harder to reach.

So I think it's time for a bit of a reality check. The assumption that you must complete the house at breakneck speed needs to be challenged. Would it really matter if you took an extra 2,3,6 months to complete it? I think learning to moderate one's behaviour is paramount to recovery from addiction. I know this myself. Being extreme never gets you to the promised land. Of that I am sure. It's unsustainable, and the rush wears off. That's what makes people return to their old ways (not necessarily referring to porn there, just general patterns of behaviour that might be problematic.) So I think it's worth looking at this situation as part of the recovery from addiction process and asking some tough questions about what sorts of avoidance and inner lacking might be driving this extreme schedule you're on.

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #246 on: September 18, 2017, 01:18:57 PM »
Yes! That is the exact conversation we had! We are setting new goals and I am putting new boundries into place. I don't want to enable this manic work crazy. I also want to be a model for my kids of what a healthy lifestyle looks like and this is not it! So today I am focusing on school with my kiddos, I will put in a few hrs of computer work on our business, hit the gym and not work at the house tonight! We might even go to the library instead as I want to get a book! LOL

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #247 on: September 20, 2017, 10:42:08 AM »
So I went to a bible study for women this morning and I had an interesting experience. I have been trying to start a group for partners but I really haven't got much response. Apparently, this is an issue that nobody really wants to acknowledge yet. Anyway, I thought, well, I still need to be connecting and growing so I would join a woman's bible study. The first chapter in the book we are reading was about forgiveness. Ugg! As the group was talking and sharing about different things it finally sank in for me just how much I am forever changed by this experience. Not sure if it's for the better or not. I just know that I just can't relate to others like I used to. It is a bit sad. It makes me feel more isolated and alone with this. It feels a lot like grief. I am on the fence about whether I want to go next week or not. THe ladies seem nice but it is clear in their discussion that they either haven't experienced a profound hurt or they are not wanting to deal with it. I am in a place where I don't have time or desire for surface level friendships and conversation. I want something real, authentic, meaningful. Is it just me?

malando

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #248 on: September 20, 2017, 11:31:36 AM »
So I went to a bible study for women this morning and I had an interesting experience. I have been trying to start a group for partners but I really haven't got much response. Apparently, this is an issue that nobody really wants to acknowledge yet. Anyway, I thought, well, I still need to be connecting and growing so I would join a woman's bible study. The first chapter in the book we are reading was about forgiveness. Ugg! As the group was talking and sharing about different things it finally sank in for me just how much I am forever changed by this experience. Not sure if it's for the better or not. I just know that I just can't relate to others like I used to. It is a bit sad. It makes me feel more isolated and alone with this. It feels a lot like grief. I am on the fence about whether I want to go next week or not. THe ladies seem nice but it is clear in their discussion that they either haven't experienced a profound hurt or they are not wanting to deal with it. I am in a place where I don't have time or desire for surface level friendships and conversation. I want something real, authentic, meaningful. Is it just me?
I think you are picking up on a very real phenomenon, Aquarius. With the bible, concepts like forgiveness are very much aligned with high moral values that are inspired by God. That tends to mean that people feel they should practice forgiveness, even if their real emotions are not there yet. They try to adopt the behaviour of one who has forgiven because they know that that is what God wants them to do. But that is a somewhat disingenuous form of forgiveness. It's doing it in name, but not from the heart. It may even be sinful to invoke and project forgiveness in God's name when deep down you don't feel it. I don't know that one can really be taught forgiveness, or be required to forgive out of respect for God or another person. It just doesn't work that way. I'm not meaning to sound anti-God here either - I think it's something people often misinterpret. God doesn't want people to forgive because they are supposed to. Forgiveness is a process that people should work towards because it frees them from the chains of bitterness and pain. But it can't be rushed, and you can't just declare forgiveness because you want to. You have to be ready to move on, you have to have processed the pain and reached a point where you can leave it behind. I think a lot of church folk (but certainly not all) have lived relatively sheltered lives. They may not have experienced a lot of trauma in their lives - and more power to them if they haven't, but if they haven't, it can make them unable to really grasp what a person who has experienced real trauma may have to go through to reach forgiveness. In the absence of that experience, they might trot out lines from the bible which speak of forgiveness as a choice we make - and it is a choice, but it's not a choice that is made quickly or easily depending on what has occurred. I think they might misunderstand what God is asking them to do. It's not that we must forgive, but that forgiveness is a state we should aspire to because it means the end of our pain.

So maybe this sense you got was to do with some of these women truly not having the experience of trauma to really understand how difficult it can be to reach forgiveness. Or maybe they are trying to adopt a forgiving stance because God teaches forgiveness, but they are in denial about the fact that they have not in their hearts really reached that point. Both are problematic because neither can help somebody who it really dealing with trauma, and neither can guide somebody towards forgiveness. It's tough, but they probably just can't do it because they don't understand it. You'll have to forgive them their ignorance! ;) But maybe this isn't the group for you. You are very honest and self-inquiring - that might make it hard for you to gel with them.

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #249 on: September 20, 2017, 01:34:50 PM »
Malando, I agree. I feel like for me forgiveness isn't even for the person I am forgiving but rather it's for myself. It is something I choose daily as a posture, not a one-time act. I position myself in a posture of forgiveness because the reality is that I am no better or worse than them. I am on my own journey just as they are on theirs. We have happened to bump into each other and it hurts. Some hurts are bigger than others. If I don't forgive them then I am the one that ultimately loses. My heart gets clouded by bitterness and that festers into resentment. It keeps me from being able to hear the holy spirit and to love others authentically. Most hurts aren't caused by an attitude of malleus (some are though) and usually, if you peel back enough layers most hurts cause is a product of a hurt they experienced. Knowing and understanding that allows me to have a better understanding that we are all broken and just trying to survive most of the time. It shows me that grace can be given even when you feel you don't have much. It protects my heart from being soured by this world.

I am realizing just how much I am wanting and needing real relationships. Wanting connection. Wanting support and love. I miss having girlfriends I can get together with and talk about our lives over a glass of wine. I have been trying to make friends and we have made a few but none with real meat behind the lighthearted conversation. I am wanting a connection. I am a fairly easy person to open up to and a few of the ladies have opened up to me a bit. But when I realize that the most profound moment in their life was about losing a friend in high school because she moved away...well I just can't relate. I need friends who understand what trauma and real hurt is. I have a hard time being open with someone who I can't really understand. Maybe I am just being too judgemental myself? I am realizing as a result of this experience that making friends is hard, now more than ever and I am also realizing just how important those friendships are.