Ending your too-long struggle with secrecy and shame: tell your hard story to break the heavy bonds of self-imposed silence and finally begin to heal fully.

Are you like me? Do you also have a secret (or a few) you don’t want to tell anyone? I get it. I do. One reason we choose not to share with others the toxic Twinkies our shame-filled secrets are, is we think we know how people will feel about us if we disclose our darkness. Because of the unsavory way we feel about ourselves over our missteps.

The night my husband confessed his affair to me, I learned volumes about secrets; including why we attempt to keep them and the negative effects of doing so. At 2:00am, too wracked with gut-wrenching guilt over what he knew he needed to tell me, he hadn’t yet been to sleep. The terror of having to tell me what he’d done had wired his brain to static awake. Long before he found the courage to speak, his palpably anxious energy woke me. Upon hearing me stir, he haltingly declared, “Jodie, I have to tell you something.”

Continue reading “Ending your too-long struggle with secrecy and shame: tell your hard story to break the heavy bonds of self-imposed silence and finally begin to heal fully.”

The reason we end our silence and finally disclose our sexual abuse.

I was 10 years old when my ongoing sexual abuse at the hands of a male relative finally ended. I don’t remember how old I was when he began molesting me, only that I was too young to understand what was happening and what it was called. Or that it was criminal and demented and anything but ok.

My abuse ended not because I spoke up and told someone what was happening to me, but because my abuser was caught abusing another little girl. I so wish 6, 7, 8, or 9 years old me had been able to speak up, to put an end to the damage he was doing before he could do it to another.

I don’t recall the specific tactics my molester used to ensure I wouldn’t talk. Only that they worked for years. Had I not been asked point blank if he had touched me or hurt me I’m not sure if I ever would have disclosed the abuse of my own volition.

And here’s why.

Continue reading “The reason we end our silence and finally disclose our sexual abuse.”

Stuck in an endless obsession over the other woman? You may be allowing her more relevance than she is due.

I’m asked one question about surviving a spouse’s infidelity more than all the others combined: “How do you stop obsessing about HER?”

Continue reading “Stuck in an endless obsession over the other woman? You may be allowing her more relevance than she is due.”

What’s the best way to end a friendship? Asking for a friend.

It had become obvious our friendship had suffered a significant setback, but I had no idea why. So I asked my friend. She told me nothing was wrong, if anything, it was her, not me. She said she’d just been so busy and under so much stress and she knew she’d been a terrible friend. She insisted she loved me so much and would try hard to show it better and she was so sorry she’d made me feel this way.

In effect, she gave me the runaround. I know it was the runaround because after that conversation things just got worse.

Continue reading “What’s the best way to end a friendship? Asking for a friend.”

Does this jet ski make my butt look big? And other dumb things I’ve focused on.

I adore looking back through vacation photos, even as soon as we return home from a trip. I smile and nod in cozy remembrance at each one; yep, we did that, yes, that was so much fun, wow, that was way cool! In an instant, I’m wistful and dreamy and in love with the trip all over again. Of course, this is only after I ruthlessly edit and crop, enhance and polish, or put a mob hit on any offending photo. After all, I want the best versions possible of the memories, not the shabby ones.

So when I saw this photo of myself, my immediate inclination was to delete it and then go about my life pretending I’d never seen it. But then I paused.

Continue reading “Does this jet ski make my butt look big? And other dumb things I’ve focused on.”