Anchors Away: Findings New Meanings and Symbols

AnchorI’ve always been one to search for a “sign” to open my eyes to the meaning of a situation or gain better perspective. Sometimes those signs are visible, sometimes they are silent. Other times they are in the form of a symbol that casts new definition in my life. My newest obsession and symbolism is the anchor.

Anchors are heavy and come in various shapes and sizes. An “anchor” in life can keep one stuck – stuck in a rut, stuck in the past – and hold us down. If viewed differently, a solid, carefully chosen anchor will keep you grounded, and therefore less likely to drift. Look closely at the design. An anchor has two flanks – much like a relationship has two partners. Those two have joined together to keep one another from drifting, to be strong for one another, to weather a storm or any turbulent condition, to be there for one another NO MATTER WHAT.

Nothing tethers me to the past. I’m grounded in the present and future. And loving every moment I see an anchor!  anchor 2

 

P.S.  It’s been a while since I posted. Life gets crazy. Life gets good crazy. Soon I will change the name and address of this blog. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

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MOVE!

MoveIt was as though someone gave me bad directions – like REALLY bad. There’s no Google maps, no GPS, not even an old fashion Rand McNally map for life or life lessons. It was as though someone said, “Becky, stay on this path. Follow it through the tunnel. Keep going until you see the light.” THAT’S IT?! Those were the basic directions. How long was this dark tunnel? Who would I encounter along the way? Or better yet, WHAT would I encounter along the way? When would I get to the end of the tunnel? Is there really a light at the end?

There-is-Light-At-the-End-Of-Every-Tunnel.jpg

I haven’t posted for the last few months, because, THANK GOD, I made it to the other side of that dark tunnel. In fact, I am done with any analogy or reference to “tunnels” or “seeing the light”. It’s been a truly wacky, insane, mind-boggling, yet AMAZING year!

Upon going through this wacky, insane, mind-boggling, yet amazing situation, I was given so much advice, read several books & articles, talked to a lot of people, went to counseling, prayed, and had a few intense conversations with myself (no, I’m not losing my mind).

Here are the “words of wisdom” highlights:

  • Don’t make any decisions. Make at least one big decision.
  • Travel. Go some where. Don’t go any where.
  • Relocate. Stay right where you are.
  • Get a new job. Stay in your job. Get an additional job. Take a leave of absence. Work more. Work less.
  • Rest. Rest more.
  • Take care of yourself. Stay strong. Cry.
  • Don’t give up. Take on a new hobby.
  • Go on dates. Sleep around.
  • Stay out of a relationship…for 3 months…5 months…1 year…at least 2 years.
  • Get a dog. Get another cat. (yeah, right.)
  • Get counseling. Lots of counseling. Get in a support group. Go to church. Talk to a Priest.
  • Try yoga. Meditate.
  • Drink wine. Eat chocolate. Have a hamburger.
  • Watch _____ (movie). Read ______ (books).
  • Write a book.

Confusing, right?

Here’s what I know worked for me.

MOVE! (Yes, I moved – as in packed up and relocated.) By MOVE, I literally mean create movement. MOVE!

Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually – MOVE! If you physically can’t bring yourself to get out of bed, at least create a MOVEMENT emotionally or spiritually. For instance, there were times I couldn’t leave my house, but I journaled my thoughts and prayed. Other times, I was a marathon sprinter; cleaning, exercising and shopping. Just move. MOVE through it to get to the other side.

It’s unreal what can change in one year, let alone six months. In fact, now I realize the last 9 years of my life, the span of my marriage and time leading to it, is nothing more than an odd “blip” in time. I almost don’t recognize those years or the key players in that story.

Beyond that metaphorical tunnel I always spoke of was a life waiting to be lived, a man ready to be loved wholly, and happiness that runs deeper than I ever imagined. None of this would have been found if I stayed complacent. If I stayed paralyzed by all the “words of wisdom”, I wouldn’t have moved in the direction my soul needed to go. Don’t get me wrong. I had a ton of support and for that I am beyond thankful. But I had to choose my actions for myself.

It’s easy to get stuck. To be afraid. To hide. But isn’t it so much better to begin living the life you were meant to live? There’s still no GPS or step-by-step directions, but that’s also the beauty of it all. You are given something to create, mold, and shape. You choose what it looks like, feels like, how it shines, how it touches others, how it defines YOU!

MOVE towards that beautiful creation. Make it amazing!

 

With love,

Becky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Letter to My Mom

 

dear momYou taught me to make good decisions and bring good people into my life. I know you don’t blame me for his actions, but I clearly made a mistake. I’m sorry for making that poor decision. I’m sorry for all the money, time, and resources wasted on the gorgeous wedding you helped plan. I’m sorry you sat in that church and watched your oldest daughter promise her life, in front of God, to a man who turned around and lied, to you and our entire family. He was deceiving and I had no idea he was capable of being that kind of person.

I’m sorry for the genuine effort you spent making sure he got just the right Christmas gifts and birthday presents. He never really thanked you. He never really appreciated any of it. And as it turns out, he certainly didn’t deserve it.

I’m terribly sorry for the outrageous number of phone calls and time I took from your life and your marriage throughout this entire ordeal. I’m sorry for the nights you stayed up worrying about me as I was locked out of the house, chased around the house, screamed at, my phone tracked and hacked, and ultimately “stalked” and my privacy violated. With 800 miles between us, there wasn’t much you could do. You begged to come get me, pack me up and take me away. But I thought I needed to stay and be “responsible”.

You came to visit in June, at my lowest point. The protective “mama bear” was fired up and ready to fight for her mother daughterbaby. You saw your daughter fading away – not much more than skin and bones. You forced and bribed me to eat; sometimes demanded it. But it was necessary. You bought me clothes that actually fit since I had lost so much weight. You listened, without flinching, to every terrible moment and obscenity that poured from my mouth. You gave me advice and listened…and listened…and listened. And as unsettling and unnerving as it must have been, for both of us, you were nothing but supportive while I got tested for every STD under the sun. A sick necessity that neither of us expected to face at this point in my life.

For everything I went through, I can’t begin to imagine what you went through as well. I know you never expected an apology from me. I can’t be sorry for him. He needs to do that on his own – but he never will.

What I do know is that I have the most amazing mother, who offered me nothing but strength and courage. You reminded me, on a daily basis, whether through a phone call or a card in the mail, that I would be OK. More than OK. What I realize is that instead of trying to apologize, I should be grateful and honored to have YOU as my mother.

And now I will say the words every mother wants to hear: “YOU WERE RIGHT”. You were. I am ok. I am more than ok. Know that I will never be treated that way again. Know that I am happy! And know that I feel abundantly loved!!  I realize you’ll always worry about your “baby”, but we don’t have to worry. We can relax and look forward to the future.

Thank you. Thank you for everything. Thank you a million times over. As much as I’ll always be your little girl, you’ll always be my mommy.

I love you. Always.

Becky

What’s the Truth?

owlHave you ever noticed how a bird is capable of tilting its head, almost upside down? And then looks inquisitively at you as if it’s doing a full analysis while gazing into your eyes. That’s how I look at everyone now. With my head tilted, questioning what they are saying, doing, even thinking and then wondering if it’s truthful.

I used to be a trusting person; I valued being trusted and therefore openly and easily offered my trust to others.

In May, weeks before I found out 100% about the affair (until this point I was about 90% certain there was another woman), things were beginning to spiral downhill. I told Dick* one night that I thought he had a devil on his shoulder. He admitted that he did (past tense) but that “she” was gone. I asked if he promised. He said he promised that “the little devil was gone”. I asked how did he know. He said he “punched it and told it to go away”. I believed him. But it was a lie. She wasn’t gone! The devil hadn’t gone anywhere.

Later I learned that a few family members and friends had known of the situation for months. But not one had the courage to step forward in my defense. These were people – women, family – whom I helped and stood up for in various instances. It saddens me that they didn’t do the same for me. Instead, they allowed me to continue to live in an unsafe situation of lies and filth. Yet, another reason why I will always look sideways at others determining their motive – ulterior, or otherwise.

Determining your relationship boundaries, must-haves, and deal-breakers: I decided early on in this process that I would establish my boundaries (compromising, priorities), must-haves (empathy, intelligence, good moral compass), and deal-breakers (lying, cheating, addiction, abuse). I had to do this in order to better navigate current and future relationships; relationships of any type. (In reality, this is something that should absolutely be done in the beginning of any relationship. It’s so important to have this conversation, to be open and willing to have this conversation.) Upon establishing these criteria, I actually found that there were certain individuals that no longer deserved space in my life. I would be doing myself an injustice by not adhering to my own needs my keeping them around. It’s sounds harsh but in reality they were dead weight that I just didn’t need. It was time to start building my life back up.

Love-birds-imagesOne attribute that falls into all categories is TRUST. Fortunately I met a man (an amazing man, by the way) who believes the same as me, and we have agreed in a “100% open book policy”. No topic is off-limits. No feeling or thought is “shoved under the carpet”. It is a must-have, and anything less crosses a boundary and therefore is a deal-breaker. Living in a relationship full of lies felt like walking on glass – you were always tip-toeing, wondering if you would get stabbed and hurt.  Whereas establishing a relationship based on genuine truth and honesty is liberating (no lies – white lies, little lies, any lies)! It also allows you to be your authentic self and know that you are accepted and treated appropriately. It’s so much easier to love and accept love when you know it comes from a genuine heart.

For the time being, I feel like a bird. Stepping out of its nest. Walking around, looking at the world through a new perspective, albeit a bit jaded to small degree. But make no mistake, I still value honesty (to an even higher level) and I still believe in love.

In fact, I believe in love in a way I never thought possible.

HONESTLY! 😉

Wishing you truth and love,

Becky

The Narcissistic Lover – Who Cheats and Thinks They Can Get Away with It

fingers crossed

As an undergrad I studied psychology, with an emphasis on abnormal behaviors, and health sciences with the desire to help individuals with eating disorders. (That goal never quite materialized.) But looking back on my psychology classes, we focused on the obvious psychological issues like depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder. How I wish there had been a chapter – or an entire class – devoted to narcissism. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is recognized in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and further described on Mayo Clinic’s website.

[NOTE: I am not a licensed therapist or any sort, nor do I have the ability to diagnose. I am simply writing based on research combined a whole lot of observation and unfortunate personal experience.]

Although women can be diagnosed with NPD, 75% of those with this personality disorder are men (healthyplace.com). Within infidelity, this disorder is marked by:

  • lack of ability to empathize with the betrayed spouse’s feelings
  • lack of healing towards the betrayed spouse
  • inability to show regret or remorse for his actions
  • feeling as though he has been wronged**
  • will twist the rules to fit their needs**(**manhattaninvestigations.com)
  • displays symptom being depressed, stressed, or burned out

narcissismLooking at Dick* and Cru*, it appears as though their actions strongly exhibit those of a narcissist. So when I think of how much things don’t make sense, they actually make perfect sense, in totally messed up way.

Only a narcissist would:

  • Be able to say: “Yeah, I got sloppy with my affair but I don’t really care.” or “By having both of you, I have the best of both worlds.”
  • Suggest his wife work at the same company as he and his mistress.
  • Take his wife to his mistress’s birthday party where he is seated next to the mistress’s husband at dinner.
  • Get caught doing “inappropriate acts at work”.
  • Blatantly state “I have no regrets”.
  • Be able to defend sleeping with both the mistress and the wife without using any protection, stating “She’s fixed and we’re both married. It’s not like we’re messing around with anyone. So you’re fine.”

It takes a truly evil, cruel person to purposely say and do these things. I just may have encountered the devil on Earth – actually multiple devils. I spent a lot of hours questioning where I went wrong. And I am often asked if I am “over him”. YES! The answer is, YES, I am entirely over him. What I struggled with for so long is how Dick*, Cru* and their groupies could think so little of me and treat me so terribly (hence my phrase “gutted like a fish and tossed aside like trash”), when I didn’t do anything wrong (except find out the truth). Now I better understand that when it comes to narcissistic personalities  – and cheaters in general – it’s less about the person being cheated on and more about the cheater. It’s their actions that speak volumes about how they view people and the world.

They think they can get away with almost anything. However, a woman has a strong intuition. My own intuition may have been delayed because I got caught believing his lies. But he got caught in his lies. Once you travel down a path of deeply rooted lies, it’s hard to get back on track. There’s no GPS to get someone out of that kind of mess, except for getting real and honest. They say talk therapy is one way to treat this disorder. I find that ironic because, seemingly, a narcissist won’t think he has a problem and therefore; will most likely never talk about it, much less change his ways. There’s no looking back.

Fortunately, and thankfully, God was looking down and sent some Angels to rescue me and get me on a well-guided path towards honesty and love. No one is perfect. I certainly don’t claim to be perfect. But I know perfectly well what is RIGHT and what is WRONG.  That is something engrained in me and no one will get away with treating me any less than I deserve. That is a promise I have made to myself and I intend to keep.

Wishing you all that you deserve,

Becky

*As always, the names have been changed.

I’m Not the Only One

Not the only oneDo I think I am the only one who has been cheated on? No! I KNOW that I am not the only one, and that absolutely rips me to shreds.

In fact, it’s so common that my lawyer nearly yawned when I told my story. I thought I had a knock-down, fool-proof, take-him-to-the-cleaners case. After all, I followed his job from state to state, supported his career, made a mere fraction of what he made, and to top it off HE CHEATED, HE COMMITTED A SIN, HE LIED and had a relationship with ANOTHER women behind my back! (YUCK!) However, Michigan, like many states, is a no-fault state. Judges are so used to presiding over failed marriages due to cheating that it no longer phases them. It’s just THAT disgustingly common. (Yet, it does NOT make it right.) So, I know I’m not the only one because I was herded into a courtroom with other women in my same situation (not that men are exempt from this by any means).

In the beginning I didn’t even know how to wrap my mind around what was happening, let alone tell anyone. Then one day something in me snapped and I decided not to hold it in any longer. I wasn’t the one doing anything wrong. And it was in the moments of opening up to others that I heard so many terrible, but honest, stories of betrayal – all with their unique twist. Upon hearing each story my heart broke again and again but I realized I certainly wasn’t the only one. Let me preface by saying again: this DOES NOT make it ok!

My heart shattered for the woman whose husband was cheating while she was pregnant.

My heart cried for the woman who found her husband in bed with another woman.

My heart is crushed for the man who went away to fight in a war and came home to find his wife had been living with another man.

My heart doesn’t understand the woman whose husband left her in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner.

My heart cried for the woman who was also cheated on right under her nose at work, and the female was a good friend of hers.

My heart is devastated for the man that got divorced and then found out about his wife’s infidelity.

Imagine my shock when the woman who purchased my old bedroom furniture hugged me and smiled at her husband standing next to her. Then told me, “You will be ok. He doesn’t deserve you anyway. Believe me, that’s how I found this one (looking back at her husband again).”

My heart ached for the man who found his wife in bed with another man – in his own home!

But my heart smiled when I met the multiple men and women who were betrayed in their first marriage and are now happily remarried. EVERY single one of them said, in their own words, that they were now so much happier than ever. And had it not happened, they wouldn’t have met this amazing person.

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(deviantart.com)

And most recently, the woman who sent me a message about she, too, had been in a similar situation and offered prayers and love for me.

What I don’t understand is the type of person that capable of doing such terrible things. What type of person has the desire to lie and cheat to such an extent? Who plans and purposely hurts someone – someone they promised to love and cherish and protect? There is a personality type. I’m still researching it so I’ll save that for next time.

Do you have a story? Maybe you aren’t ready to share it. Maybe it’s still raw and painful. Just remember that you aren’t the only one. That wasn’t comforting to me at first. I actually took offense to someone telling me “I wasn’t the only one” because in my head I was the ONLY one who felt this way and had been treated so badly. Over time I came to realize that we needed to support each other and that was best done by hearing others tell their story. Because we all want to be heard and validated.

If you have a story, I support you. Whether you tell me, or anyone, your story or not, know that there is someone who wants your heart to heal. Your story doesn’t define you. It shapes you. And you can feel happiness again.

Wishing you love and light in your heart,

Becky

 

 

 

 

Everything Happens for a Reason

Everything happensFor a while the only way to describe how I felt is “gutted like a fish and thrown to the side like trash”. It’s so easy to internalize the situation and question “What did I do wrong?” even though I knew deep in my heart that I didn’t do anything wrong. These weren’t my actions or my wrong-doings. And I certainly wasn’t trash.

As I thought back over the months prior, all the bad behaviors started to add up – and I didn’t deserve any them and our marriage didn’t deserve such neglect.

It’s natural to look people in the eyes during a conversation and when doing so while talking to Dick, I didn’t see him. For the most part, “he” was gone. Every now and then I would catch a glimpse of a real man, but then it disappeared behind a cold, ruthless glaze.

Finally it occurred to me that this IS the real him – a cold, cruel, lying, cheating man who just wants what he wants without any regard for consequences and believes he is invincible. (And maybe that’s who he’s been all along but hid it under a façade and just couldn’t hide it any longer.) Now, he was showing me his true self and therefore doing me a HUGE favor! Because I didn’t want THAT man any longer and no part of THAT life. Although I still think things could have been handled in a much kinder way, ultimately it took him being that nasty to make it so easy for me to walk away – without question, doubt, regret, or “what if”. He didn’t deserve any space in my life any longer.

A couple of weeks ago, I had to make my final payment to my divorce lawyer (the equivalent to a nice vacation). As I exited the parking lot, annoyed, frustrated, and disgusted with the amount of money I just spent, I heard a voice (call it what your want – God, my gut, intuition) tell me something very enlightening. (Stay tuned for my future post about intuition and gut instincts.) As clear as day, I heard “Becky, this seems really expensive now. But I promise this is the cheaper route in the long run. I’m actually saving you money.” <insert slight shock and surprise> WELL, OK THEN! I nodded my head in acceptance of what I just heard.

I am now grateful to be out of a bad situation so that I can be fully open to only AMAZING people, situations and happiness. Better things, much better things, are falling into place. I do believe all this had to happen in order for me to gain the strength that I didn’t have before. It also made me open my eyes wider than ever so I can clearly see the path that is taking me to the next chapter of my life. Actually, I think this is more than a new chapter; my future is a brand new book.

Although a work in progress, my life is already so much better – kinder, peaceful, happy, honest, and full of true love. And those are just basic things any decent human being deserves! Do you believe that to be true? You should! Believe with all your heart that good things are surrounding you, even amidst injustice. Watch all the good things fall into place in your life and be grateful for each one! Everything happens for a reason.

With love,

Becky