It just got really real…and unreal…

At Restore ( www.newlife.com, www.rlforwomen.com) I learned that I could request Tim to file a Quit Claim Deed that would release any claim he had on our home while still being legally obligated to the mortgage, as we both are. An addicts behavior can sometimes take a radical u turn that you never saw coming so this adds a bit of security to the situation. Tim has been and still is willing and now even wanting to get that done. He wants me to feel safe.

Things were going so well when I returned from Restore that it became what I thought was a moot point. As various destructive behaviors in this cycle keep re-emerging the need for the quit claim for me to feel safe has become imminent. Tim says he is completely on board and I believe him. He understands that he has a way to provide for himself but I would need to start again at the bottom and JC and Me might never come to fruition in that case. I had been leaving this ball in his court and the first appointment we canceled and then we forgot about the second. He made calls last week and it sounded like it was going to be really complicated so yesterday I called a lawyer to finally get this done.

They said it would be a free consultation to ascertain exactly what we needed and find out how to proceed, they had an opening at 2:00 could I make it? I told them Tim wouldn’t be able to make it by then and I got put on hold. When she came back she said that typically in these situations they don’t meet with both parties because if a separation and divorce follows they wouldn’t be able to represent either of us. Conflict of interest. Now this felt like the rubber hitting the road…is this where we are? Going and getting it done felt like the right thing to do, an empowering thing to do, so I took the appointment and went. I’m driving and thinking, “I’m about to go meet with ‘my’ potential divorce attorney, our marriage could end? The future might really be to go forth without him? I’m meeting with an attorney?!?! To protect myself from the man who is supposed to die for me if necessary?” Reality at times stinketh.

I got done there in time to catch a call from Tim who was headed to Wal-mart but had gotten a bunch of meat on sale and could I take it home so it wouldn’t be sitting in the truck? He meets me in the parking lot of my lawyers office and we kiss in greeting as always and say I love you as always and he hands off the meat and we head our separate ways to meet up at home shortly. This is simply surreal…

“…out of the darkness and into the Light…Part 2”

…or is that darkness…or is that light? In struggling to overcome and accept our present situation I have dived into tv.newlife.com to try to understand all that has been happening and why and how to recover and so on. To have Tim watch and see the places of abuse and have my symptoms listed in front of us for him to understand the damage that has been done over time and be broken over it is the only place we can begin to heal. Any reversal of that puts me back in unsafe territory, which happened last night. This brought a new tool out of the darkness and into the Light so I’m going to stand on God’s promises to me to redeem us both from it. I’d already watched a segment on Gas Lighting yesterday and had taken extensive notes on it and definitely saw where this had been used several different ways in previous interactions with quite a few people actually. “Keep lying until they believe you” is becoming ever more common these days.

We had a conflict last night. I had sensed it coming and stopped Tim and told him and asked him to please not go there because it was kind of distressing, causing some anxiety. He agreed but later went there anyway. My radar is uber sensitive to deception now and when I reminded him about earlier he went into denial. I went over what I had thought happened and he agreed but then a few minutes later changed it to he never acknowledged and said I didn’t know what I was talking about, that he’d never ignored my request and crossed my  boundary. He was very defensive and minimizing. By now my red flags are blurring my vision and bells and whistles are going off in my head and I am horrified to realize that my husband is gas lighting me right there! He’s getting louder and I’m getting louder and having talked about flooding earlier in the day he finally calmed down where we could talk, sort of. The horror of it is this has been going on since before day 1 in one way or another and I’m wondering why I’m depressed?

We watched the Gas Lighting segment by Dr. Sheri Keffer and Tim’s eyes were opened to what he’d been doing to me for so long. The very things he has been displeased with me about are the very symptoms of this kind of abuse. She makes it very clear, it is psychological abuse. I am a textbook model of the result. Get educated in these things, examine these things that your soul is crying out to fix. Our only hope out of this together is Tim’s heart truly recognizing and repenting of what has been happening and that appears to be true. It is often said at New Life that we are to be Fruit Inspectors when it comes to our addicted spouses. Words mean nothing. I am encouraged though by his horror at his manipulation of truth for so long, by what appears to be a truly repentant and broken heart. Pray y’all!

“…out of the darkness and into the Light…” Part 1

I also watched Brene Brown on Shame and a short on Blame. Vulnerability is scary. We’ve made a commitment to ourselves and to our Lord to share our journey so that others may know they are not alone. That means even when it gets really ugly. We believe that somehow Jesus will redeem all this trauma that has gone on in our lives and transform it into something that helps someone somewhere. When I was in the depths of betrayal and rejection I yearned for someone that had walked this road before and somehow come out on the other side. I needed and wanted that but there were few who would even admit they had gone through being betrayed. You could kind of see the look though, the slight tension around the edges and the wariness, assessing any threats… It was interesting that on the way to Restore in Denver I knew which women were also attending as we rode the shuttle. Eyes downcast, a bit hunched as if to protect that place from more pain, composed but barely. We saw into each others souls and were drawn to connect a little, just a little, on the shuttle… That first session I stood near the front of the room and looked at all the hurting souls, moving carefully, unsure of what is coming, not daring to hope. Way too many hurting souls, the pain was palpable, overwhelming. It began in darkness but quickly the darkness was overcome as we began to unpack what had actually happened to us. Light had been let in to our darkest places and we were not alone and there were those who’d walked before there to lead us through to the Light. So if in sharing we prevent one person from anything near what we have experienced it is worth it. We love you and are praying for you. This is for the men, too. Tim is now coming face to face with someone he doesn’t like and it’s hard and it’s worse than we imagined but we are both owning it. For my husband to stand in the truth of what has been our lives up till now and take responsibility and seek help to change, to learn how to never do these things again and admit he is powerless to change without the Lord Jesus Christ walking us through some very dark places we did not want to see, much less believe they were true…that has to be Jesus. Truly it all changed for him with Every Man’s Battle where he began to get some empathy, to see truth…

Back in the beginning of September the Lord led me by various means to John 12 and further on through John 15 or so. I’d been posting about the Holy Spirit and several devos I follow and friends were all speaking about the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  I was focusing on this scripture purely from the desire to explain Who dwells within us and wasn’t looking for a message or a revelation from Him who loves me, Sherry. Yes, brother John, I will claim this title as well! It is truth!

23″And Jesus *answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his [h]life loses it, and he who hates his [i]life in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26 If anyone [j]serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone [k]serves Me, the Father will honor him.”

There are, on occasion, times when while reading scripture something changes as though to really emphasize something and this is what happened as I read. It was as if I was there in that place with Jesus and His beloved disciples. His love for them and His anguish for them was so very evident as He attempted to explain to them what was about to happen. They would interrupt with questions, almost as frightened children would and that showed they were not getting it as He kept trying to tell them it was going to be horrible but that it was the very best way! That the work they had done together in His ministry was going to be multiplied exponentially but He had to die this horrible death to pay the penalty for our sin first. He’d then be able to return to us as the Holy Spirit so that all could receive His gift and join His Loving Family. Jesus knew the pain and doubt and fear that was coming and He was trying to make it better. Oh how He loves us…Oh how He loves me.

As events began to unfold that week and the next, in three separate blowups that have been horrible triggering events, it has become clearly evident to me that Jesus was telling me that He is and was heartbroken about what I was about to go through, am still going through. It was something that had to happen though, it all had to die in order to have the possibility of living and He was showing me that as well. Essentially, two blow ups were almost two weeks apart and they indicated how far we have not come and have triggered me horribly and shown me that I am not in the safe place I’d thought. Smack in the middle there was a family blow up which we were not equipped to deal with and essentially every sacred relationship is extremely damaged, seemingly beyond repair. It has to die to live, right? Our Jesus’ paradoxes are amazing and I will trust Him though the reality of this world has changed yet again. I’d rather fall down now in truth than continue walking in a lie.

First appointment with my therapist after these events was more like an hysterical retelling of three traumas but the next we got to talk about it all more calmly, sort it all out a bit. Near the end of our session I asked the question, “Am I a narcissist?” She asked me why I would ask that and I told her that I’m often accused of being all about me, being jealous, not seeing things right, analyzing too much, etc. She said, “No, you are not a narcissist, you are a victim of ….” What? I’d watched the segments on tv.newlife.com about Narcissistic Victim Syndrome and spotting a narcissist and so on, all in the light that I was the narcissist. I was fully ready to accept that this was who I was and that I’d done all this damage to my family because I could then fix me, who everyone has said is broken. Yes, I am broken and I don’t need anyone else to tell me how broken I am anymore. This was the day of my last post because I just couldn’t talk about it. Tim could be a narcissist? I’m a victim? What? I’m not the bad guy? Throughout our relationship everything that was wrong in our world was my fault, this was slow and subtle and in the beginning I had some fight but after the first big affair I just started taking the responsibility. I wasn’t a good wife so he had to cheat. Over time and much more heartache I began believing that our family would be much happier without me. I need medicine and take up resources and make everyone angry, of course they’re right, it’s all my fault, I’m all that is wrong in the world of those I love most. This has rocked my world, Tim’s world, this horrific truth, which as we learn ever more kind of just gets worse…

Good Monday Morning!

I am currently preparing to attend my very first Sustained Healing Group session. I’m a bit nervous and a bit excited because I am about to sit down with a group of women who have been on this very same broken road with me. We all thought we were alone but we were not. That will be followed up by my individual counseling session with a sex addiction specialist. These things are so very important because you can check yourself to see, am I seeing things correctly? Is the reality I believe real or perceived? So Monday will be my therapy day and I will gladly do it. If money is an issue, trust God. I didn’t for so many years and for so many years I’ve walked around believing lies. Tim will be meeting with his guys from New Life’s Every Man’s Battle tonight and my heart is always lifted during and after. Prayer for truth is coveted and appreciated. May God bless you all!

“Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.” Psalm 12:5b

 

This morning in my bible study God led me to Psalm 12 which I have to admit I wasn’t concentrating on fully, this brain doesn’t stop! I turned the page and verse 5b caught my attention and I back tracked to read the whole verse.

Psalm 12:5
“Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.”

v5.b “Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.”

That caught my attention and my heart. I am a woman who loves a man who has a sex addiction. Living for me hasn’t been safe for a long time. I knew He was speaking to my heart here and making me a promise. I finished the Psalm and then went back to the beginning to read it again. With God using the pronouns “he” and “him”, it had thrown me some in my context, especially having seen “The Heart of a Man” recently. That same look of the son when he walked away I’ve seen on my husband’s face, as I tried to talk sense to him at various times in this journey. “There is a way that seems right to a man but it’s end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12 Once the consequences of the weakness are realized there is horror and a shame so big and black and dark…on both sides, the offender for the trauma of the offense and the offended for not being worthy of better, broken and rejected. I know it is my promise from God to set me in a place of safety but it is Tim’s promise from God, too. It is easy to forget that while I am a daughter of the Living King, Tim is a son of the Living King. He wants the very best for His sons, even more than we do. These sons He has trusted with His daughters and His children to teach them about Him. Our Father in Heaven, Jesus the Christ, who wept for Martha and Mary’s pain weeps for His children in their pain, His sons who do not know His truth, His daughters who do not know His truth. We are all, every single one beautiful in His eyes and He sees us as just as righteous as He is under the blood of Jesus Christ. He will deal with our sin but as a Father to his child, in love, gentle at first yet harder if we do not respond until we finally fall to our knees. We believe the lies of the world, holding a false standard to our own and we will always fall short. No matter how far we fall Jesus is there to pick us up and walk us out of the dark cave of having just been ripped open again. He is so good and He is my Savior and He wants my Tim to be my savior here on earth with skin on, the man He created Tim to be and I’m starting to see that man. A man who can look at me and understand my pain and not condemn it, who does everything he can to make it go away. He is kind of surprising me every day. The best part is that’s not the best part! This whole Psalm not only speaks to the broken wife of a sex addict but to the broken sex addict, too, as well as all kinds of other dysfunction! It is grace and mercy, the grace and mercy we all need. I’m going to take it apart and see what the Lord reveals.

I am not a therapist or counselor, I’m writing from my experience. I believed many wrong things over the years and that has done me great harm along with so many of my sisters and brothers. The messages we are bombarded with on this planet are so many lies yet we base our entire lives trying to achieve what they say we should have and are entitled to. There is a standard set by God for living which is right and true and correct. It is in direct opposition to the standard set by the world. Purity is laughed at and made to seem wrong and defiled at every turn. Up is down and down is up. We’ve been indoctrinated into this thinking and then throw in childhood hurt and pain and we’ve got disaster in every sacred thing. There is an enemy who is dancing every time we look at or do something inappropriate because God built us to save those things on our heart to bind us to one person forever, in marriage alone. When we take that sacred gift and abuse it for selfish pleasure we are doing great harm to our souls and our souls react. Great and horrible shame grows out of trying to do something meant to be only holy that always seems to turn carnal. These things happen in the depths of your being and you don’t even recognize the real harm that is being done, day after day. How can you form this forever attachment to your spouse when you’ve already attached to so many others? Everything in this holy union is already broken and we blame each other for its dysfunction. Striving to resolve this pain of what is missing, we then try to fix it in all kinds of destructive ways that only further divide. Right ways of thinking become distorted in both partners and the result of this unstopped runaway train is destruction. You must get around healthy and safe people in order to get a grip on what real truth is and undo the lies that have hurt you and your spouse to your inner most parts.

v1. “Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, for the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.”

How many men and women of God are spending time alone with things they shouldn’t? Or are isolating themselves in their pain? Modeling for the next generation this cycle of destruction? Shame and hiding and hiding and shame become a way of life and the work of the Lord is not being done. Not effectively because how can we demonstrate freedom in Christ when there is this big dark secret holding power over us? The injured spouses are beat down because it is allegedly their fault they don’t live up to some image or ideal they could never live up to. The children are living in this tension all the time, knowing something is wrong, observing this dance and they are not seeing this beautiful gift from God called marriage modeled before them, as God intended. I see it, Lord, the faithful are disappearing into darkness and it’s got to be stopped. We must begin active rescue.

v2. “They speak falsehood to one another; with flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.”

An honest and real relationship with any addict is extremely difficult because of the shame, the secret. Until they’re in deep, deep recovery there is always something to hide and it might take a long time to dig it all out. The person who manipulates and lies to achieve their desire is dealing deceptively, duplicitously, and damaging those around them. If these emotions aren’t dug out into the light to be examined they can turn into latent hostility for your spouse that looks really good on the outside but can explode out into damaging and destructive treatment of the spouse who is withholding the thing they are demanding. “I’m not angry!”, then everything in the house is being slammed. Or it can manifest in little things that are known to cause pain or irritation and it can also be destroying what that spouse loves, anything to cause them pain in payback. To make the spouse become what they think they are entitled to or to make them pay for withholding whatever it may be. The intimacy God built us to receive from one another is gone, exchanged for a lie. We don’t live up. Our souls cry out for this intimacy, this desire to be known and shame chases us back to our holes to fight for it in wrong ways. In this we deny ourselves what is right and good and correct in exchange for the lie that satisfies for but an instant. We lose ourselves. Everyone is deceived because real truth is not known or being lived and it harms all parties.

v3. “May the LORD cut off flattering lips, the tongue that speaks great things;”

I think here of all the times I heard “I’m so sorry. It will never happen again. I don’t know who that was who did that.” It felt sincere, it seemed sincere, and I would feel safe and trust, sometimes for years, and then there would be some discovery that would literally pull my entire world out from under me. This was because I believed Tim and not the experts. Until I began setting real boundaries in our marriage nothing changed. In his defense, I know he believed it, too, and didn’t want to discuss this horrible event because of the shame but unless you get in there and do the work it’s going to come back and your life will become like smoke and mirrors, not knowing what is real and what isn’t. Do not believe words, believe actions.

Ladies, please do not become something you are not simply to get him to stay. It is not something you can sustain and it reinforces and justifies the betrayal. In one way, it betrays the offending spouse as well, allowing him/her to keep believing they are correct in this broken thinking which doesn’t help at all. There is much work to be done, don’t believe what you hear, believe what you see and experience.

v4. “Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”

This to me is like deceit stepped up. Many years I knew something was terribly wrong in our marriage. Even before the first time he went outside of it. I would try to say this isn’t right, there is something not right and there would be fights. I’d listen to shows and buy books to prove it but there was just flat out denial. There was something wrong with me. This was because the picture of “love” my husband saw first was pornographic and not love at all. He firmly believed that was the way I should act. This was reinforced by pastors and counselors that were not sex addiction specialists. “You aren’t keeping him happy as a wife” and then begin picking your whole world apart to see how you’re not satisfying him, causing him to cheat. You are the injured party and therefore willing to work on you and it ends up destroying your soul believing that you somehow deserved this. It also enables him by justifying his very bad behavior. We see it all the time in politics and business, “Keep lying until they believe you” but it has no place in any healthy relationship. Lies are not truth just because we say they are.

v5. “Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.”

He sees! He SEE’s you! He’s coming to save you! He hears you! He has heard your cry, Man. He has heard your cry, Woman. He is coming to rescue you. Believe it, He’s never failed me yet and I believe He never will!
See also the beginning note.

v6. “The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.

This is the Lord saying trust me, I’ve been tested! Proven! I love you and I see you! I know your pain! Though you are drowning rest in my arms! You can trust! Believe and count on My word! I am not a man that I would lie! Do not fret, rest, I’ve got this. This is amazing because I’ve received that comfort from God but in our recovery my husband is now sometimes giving me that comfort as well and that is miraculous. Praise You, my Jesus.

v7. “You, O LORD, will keep them; You will preserve him from this generation forever.” The Lord does see and He does act to heal and “restore what the locusts have eaten” and somehow make us all better for it. Tearing down the strongholds that have been in our families forever, be it sex, alcohol, drugs, anger, control, violence, abuse…it’s all running from what is real and true, believing lies. Jesus is going to pour His grace and His mercy all over you and your situation and mine and you will know that it was Him. We may not see it now but rescue is coming!

v8. “The wicked strut about on every side when vileness is exalted among the sons of men.”
Vileness in our world is glorified, Purity and Truth are condemned. God said it very well with no need of explanation.

By Sherry Pogar

09/23/2017

What is JC and Me?

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Hello! It has been brought to my heart to define a little better what is meant by JC &Me…About Our Fathers Business. Yes it culminated in JC & Sherry but my heart is that it is JC & EVERYONE! He wants YOU but you have to say Yes! He’s already wooing your heart to Himself, why am I writing this? Why are you reading it? It is the Lord in pursuit of His child. He won’t give up but He will not force you to turn to Him. Our love would hold no value to Him if we did not give it freely. Why go through this world alone wandering and wondering when you can have Jesus, the Savior, the Lover of Our Souls, the Creator of the Universe indwell us to walk with us every step of the way? That’s how Jesus did it, ya know? He became a man, fully dependent and reliant on God through the Holy Spirit, (they are one!) and lived a perfect and sinless life. That was an example to us as to how we are to depend on Our Father every second! We will never be perfect but by His perfection, sacrifice and resurrection we are made holy and equipped for every good work by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself said it was better that He go so that the Helper would come. That we would do greater things than He did! Whoa! Straight from His very own mouth!

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [b]Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17
“He abides with you” is in the present, as in Jesus was physically present with them as He said these words. In the same sentence He said “will be in you”, future. This was an inconceivable concept to them. “Will be in me?” if their brains went there for very long as the conversation progressed because distressing news was being shared with them.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe. 30 I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; 31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, [d]I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.” John 14:25-31

I love the sudden randomness of “Get up, let us go from here.”

JC & Me is… JC & Everyone who wants to be in active living relationship with Jesus! Even when they are broken and can’t, JC & Me wants to gather them in as a hen does her chicks, as Jesus wanted to do, to lead them to the Ultimate Healer, Jesus the Christ. JC & Me is everyone on this planet who turns their heart over to Our Loving Creator who will transform their lives into something they never dreamed was even possible. He will live in us and through us as we learn to yield ourselves to Him. It will be a safe place where people can come and know they are loved and welcomed and WANTED! Where we will learn together and grow together and live life in community with each other, bearing each other’s burdens while learning to bear our own!
As I write this I realize that while the reality of what God is going to do isn’t fully formed, we only get the light in front of us, He is forming it ever more concretely in heart and mind and He even seems to be pulling some hearts together to be on this journey together.
Unless corrected by our CEO, JC, there will be a wee shop with local and mainland art and craft. Workshops and classes! There will be coffee and a donation jar. A library with comfy places to sit and think and read and even have study’s and small groups. A kitchen with a farmhouse table so big there’s room for anyone who wants to share a meal with us. Room for those who need a place to land, to heal. JC & Me will worship God in music and song! We will hold worship events and open mic nights! Marriage retreats! Youth retreats! There is no limit to what God will do and we are so willing to obey Him and cannot wait to get started! Bursting at the seams! He’s not quite done getting us ready I guess but it feels like it could be really close! Hope that helps to understand what JC & Me will be, we are not certain ourselves, pray for patience as He lights the way! Jesus is not a power walker, He likes to take His time on the journey! I’ve found that is the very best way, hard as it is.
Thank you for reading this and we covet your prayer for wisdom and guidance!
Tim and Sherry