Ep. 19 - Hallmark Movie vs. Real Life
Audio only for Podcast Listeners! Do you have a parent struggling with addiction or betrayal trauma? In this episode we answer questions from a listener who is experiencing this in her own family and although we do not have grown children of our own, because ours are still young, we address her difficult yet thoughtful questions. How can you support both the addicted & the betrayed when they are your parents or in-laws? And how do their struggles affect you as their child?
It's been an amazing year of growth and change, thanks for taking this vulnerable, awkward, healing, oversharing roller coaster of a journey with us, we are excited for 2020 we have some great things in store. We pray for you and hope you each have a very Merry Christmas, we know that Christ is the reason for all seasons, and is the reason for our healing and recovery.
- Reading the email.
- Addressing her questions.
- Betrayed's Point of View
- Addicted's Point of View
- Children's Point of View
- Is separation a punishment?
- Example of a Boundary after a lost battle.
Sorry we don't have time codes or show notes, we just wanted to get this episode published ASAP because we know the holidays are hard and didn't want anyone to feel alone because we know this email is not unique to our listener, so time codes will be coming soon! Here are our thoughts separately not in order.
- I have to admit, my first reaction after reading this was not the right one. I wanted to answer a questions she didn't ask and just start spewing advice to the couple. I wanted to talk about the need for forgiveness and maybe question the therapist's advice and a bunch of other stuff that she didn't ask. But her real questions are harder for me because they make me try and take a perspective I haven't thought of a lot. I've thought of things a ton from the addicted perspective. And I've try really hard to think of things from the betrayed perspective because I think that's been really necessary for me to understand what you're going through. I've thought of things from God's perspective and and Christ's but this is a bit of a tough one and I'm going to try and do my best.
- Kids for mom:
- There are great resources out there for addicts and for spouses. There are a lot of resources for parents to teach and help children. Sadly, there aren't a ton of resources for children to help parents...and maybe that's the next thing we'll see. But in the mean time, children, especially mature and adult children, can see to understand what both parents are going through by reading the resources for addicts and for spouses, but read with the intent to understand, NOT to judge and council. If you see something in an article and thing, "My parent isn't doing this. If only they'd do that." It's probably not going to be helpful to point that out to them. Maybe it's ok to prayerfully and lovingly share a resource, but I would be very careful.
- Addiction and Trauma are some of Satan's greatest tools to try and separate us from Christ. Both are extremely difficult to overcome. Both need healing and recovery. Both require our love and ministering. Both require divine help from our Savior.
- Helping her heal...it's not just the husband.
- Perhaps a different perspective would help. I don't want to demonize the husband, but we also shouldn't minimize what has happened to the mother. What if instead of a pornography addiction, her husband had anger management issues. He just couldn't control his temper and had blow ups that lead to physical abuse. If their dad had beat her and felt super terrible and wanted to change. He started the process, talked to his kids about his problem and was seeking help...but then he relapsed and hit her again. Everyone would expect her to want separation. Some might even call her crazy for staying with him and trying to help him in the first place. Of course pornography addiction and physical abuse are different, but BOTH inflict severe trauma on the spouse and just because we can't see the emotional and spiritual trauma from the pornography addiction doesn't make it any less real.
- The children could ask themselves, Am I seeking to understand the perspective of both of my parents? If the separation is hard for them as children imagine how hard it must be for the parents. How difficult is that decision for a mother to make? Knowing that the separation will take not only her spouse out of the home but also the father of her children. The Priesthood Provider. I don't think any wife would come to that decision lightly.
- From Elder Uchtdorf's talk: The Merciful Obtain Mercy
- “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”4
- Of course, these words seem perfectly reasonable—when applied to someone else. We can so clearly and easily see the harmful results that come when others judge and hold grudges. And we certainly don’t like it when people judge us.
- But when it comes to our own prejudices and grievances, we too often justify our anger as righteous and our judgment as reliable and only appropriate. Though we cannot look into another’s heart, we assume that we know a bad motive or even a bad person when we see one. We make exceptions when it comes to our own bitterness because we feel that, in our case, we have all the information we need to hold someone else in contempt.
- For themselves
- Empathy and ministering for both
- Our covenant is to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those in need of comfort.
- How to do it:
- Then during the following weeks and even months, I often needed to talk. I found that those who helped the most were those who let me talk instead of talking to me. They didn’t tell me to feel a certain way, or to be grateful for the blessings I had. I was grateful for the many blessings I had received, but I still struggled with many emotions. I felt so much better when someone would say, “I understand that you feel that way, and that’s OK.” This allowed me to open up and experience my emotions in order to effectively deal with them.
- The best thing they can do is to Learn the Healer's art
- 1. Savior, may I learn to love thee, Walk the path that thou hast shown, Pause to help and lift another, Finding strength beyond my own. Savior, may I learn to love thee Lord, I would follow thee.
- 2. Who am I to judge another When I walk imperfectly? In the quiet heart is hidden, Sorrow that the eye can't see. Who am I to judge another? Lord, I would follow thee
- 3. I would be my brother's keeper; I would learn the healer's art. To the wounded and the weary I would show a gentle heart. I would be my brother's keeper--Lord I would follow thee.
- 4. Savior, may I love my brother As I know thou lovest me, Find in thee my strength, my beacon, For thy servant I would be. Savior, may I love my brother-- Lord I would follow thee.
- From ARP Manual for Spouses and Family, Step3 - Understanding that Change Takes Time:
- We may find ourselves impatient for change to occur because we are anxious to stop hurting. Even though we do all that we can to seek healing and we acknowledge that the Lord is helping us, we still recognize that the healing and recovery process takes time. While continuing to have hope for changes in the near future, we also need to be willing to accept that some changes may take a lifetime or longer. Elder Dallin H. Oaks stated, “Not all problems are overcome and not all needed relationships are fixed in mortality. The work of salvation goes on beyond the veil of death, and we should not be too apprehensive about incompleteness within the limits of mortality”
- Step 5. Accepting That We Cannot Control Our Loved Ones or Heal Them
- Our ensnared loved ones often make poor choices and may suffer significant consequences. It is hard to watch this happen and to feel helpless to prevent it. We might believe that things won’t get better unless we step in and fix it. We may try to persuade, reason, bargain, punish, manipulate, or shame our loved ones into recovery. These attempts may seem effective for a time, but in the end they are not enough. We learn from experience that trying to exercise control only creates a climate of tension, fear, and resentment. Elder Richard G. Scott counseled, “Do not attempt to override agency. The Lord himself would not do that. Forced obedience yields no blessings” (“To Help a Loved One in Need,” Ensign, May 1988, 60).
- It is natural for us to want our loved ones to experience the healing power Jesus Christ, and we strive to help them in any way we can. However, it is important to understand that we cannot save them. If we try to save them from the consequences of their poor choices, we are wrongfully attempting to usurp the role of our Savior and Redeemer. Some of our efforts and intentions in their behalf may actually postpone their turning to the Savior. For the Lord to heal them, they need to exercise faith and be obedient to His commandments. We cannot do that for them. The Savior asks, “Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?” (3 Nephi 9:13). All people must choose for themselves to come unto the Savior. In the case of a person struggling, he or she is the only one who can choose to do what is necessary to find recovery.
- How can we prevent a desire to support a loved one from turning into an attempt to override agency?
So grateful for your comments and feedback about this Clark n Linda Show passion project, we have been through a lot and sharing our story has been so hard yet so healing for us to share so openly. You will never know how much it has meant to us to hear your testimonies of strength and your experiences of healing through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It seems we don’t just have my mom as the only subscriber anymore LOL she is joined by many others, always remember you are not alone in these struggles, satan has tried this on everyone and your struggles are actually more similar than they are different. If you have a minute we’d appreciate any last minute comments and feedback on iTunes to help spread hope during this Christmas season and let others know they are not alone in feeling this way especially during the holidays. Our lives may not be like Hallmark movies now, but oh how they will be infinitely more glorious than our mortal minds can imagine through and because of the Savior. I know He is the reason for this season and every season of our lives, Merry Christmas and Happy New year! Go and light the world!
*A Lost Battle - is described more in the FREE Like Dragons Did They Fight book by Maurice Harker who founded the Men of Moroni Program as well as Life Changing Services. Check them out HERE to learn more and get support. If you are the once betrayed or currently betrayed, you WANT to hear Maurice, he is so validating.
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