JUNE: Driving across the country with my kids in the back seat, I had a lot of time to think. On a particularly long stretch of interstate, somewhere on Route 66, a thought came to me: Now you know Him.
Over the years, I’ve learned so much through my healing from abuse and betrayal. One of my favorite resources; The Betrayal Trauma Recovery Podcast has helped me throughout my healing journey. Betrayal Trauma Recovery has helped me deconstruct so many words or concepts that haunted me for years.
One such concept was “forgiveness.”
Growing up in the church, I never fully comprehended the Lord or the Atonement. I remember learning that Christ experienced all things. I always wondered how—how in the Garden of Gethsemane did He feel what I’ve felt? How could He understand what it feels like to be betrayed so completely by a spouse? And how could He feel such pain and still forgive those who betrayed Him? How could I? The thought of it hurt my heart, like a dagger stabbed through it. I had suffered profound abuse and betrayal—trauma that could break a person ten times over. Could I forgive?
Continue reading “Now I Know Him”
READER POST: I have a flag that sits atop a silver flag pole which is mounted on the deck of my home, overlooking a peaceful blue pond, with mountains and a green field where deer come out in the evening to graze. The flag has shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and unfurls pretty in the wind as it flies high.
Continue reading “I Have Words, too, Elder Holland”
TW: Infidelity, adultery
Continue reading “A Betrayed Woman is an Abused Woman”
JUNE: Do you know what it is like to not trust yourself? Everything is upside down and backwards and all you can do is float through your own life like a helpless spectator who forgot to take off her cheap 3-D glasses when the movie was over. If you do, you may have a past like mine. I was the wife of a serial adulterer.
TW: Eating Disorders, weight/numbers
JUNE: Since I was 16, I have purged every single Thanksgiving dinner I’ve consumed. Turkey. Mashed potatoes. Pumpkin pie. Flushed away before it has the chance to leave its mark on my body. I am now 37.
Smaller, smaller. Become less visible. Take up less space. All around me, the notion was reinforced. Just my mere existence was burdensome because it felt so unworthy. Less than. Shameful. Continue reading “Unpeeling the Trauma of Disordered Eating”
JUNE: I did the only thing I could do: defend myself with the tool I had. I was 5′ 5″ and 145 pounds. My husband stood 6′ 6″ and weighed 220 pounds. My physical stature wasn’t that tool. My instinct was. Continue reading “The Risk of Outsider Advice in a Domestic Violence Situation”
JUNE: “Bishop, I’m scared…in my own home.” He sat silently. “My kids shouldn’t hear me called a ‘F***ing bitch’ by their father. I am being…coerced sexually. He kicks me out of the car and leaves me on the side of the road if I upset him. I…I don’t understand what’s going on. We need help…please.”
My plea hung in the air while his eyes raked me over. In ironic foreshadowing, I found myself foolishly and hopelessly wishing my husband, my abuser, was there to protect me. He sat in the foyer. He’d had an hour-long chat with the bishop ahead of me. When he exited the office, I was invited in. I begged for help. Continue reading “A Bishop’s Authority, Sexual Harassment, and Me”
JUNE: I became pregnant while my husband was in the middle of his medical residency and working 80 hours a week. We were living in a place that provided us little support and without family around. I was a full-time, stay-at-home mom to my three children, all under the age of five, one of whom has profound special needs that required my constant attention and advocacy. I had already suffered three prior miscarriages over the course of just a few years, each one devastating, difficult, and painful, both emotionally and physically.
Here my husband and I were, almost 11 weeks along, undergoing an ultrasound, happy and hopeful. Then the technician averted her eyes and I saw it, the heart rate—70 bpm, less than half the rate it should be. The appointment abruptly ended and we obediently followed as she led us to speak with the doctor. Continue reading “Losing a Life: The Trauma of Impending Miscarriage”