Saturday, November 5, 2011


"Psychological abuse makes me feel sad and hopeless. I can’t seem to find my future or joy. It robs me of energy and dampens my passion and excitement about life. I’ve never cried so much on the inside. I’m sorry that abuse puts my friendships under strain and that my ways of coping have caused friends to walk away. I want you to know these ways of coping are an attempt to actively resist abuse—even backing down and putting up with it. I’m not weak, a pushover or a doormat."

From this link:

I am sorry for wanting to end my life earlier today. I have so much to live for. But sometimes it all seems to be too much.


I truly think the world would be a better place without me.

Nothing I do is ever good enough for anyone. Everyone I have ever loved has betrayed me, lied to me, turned on me.

I've tried so hard to be a good person. I worked at my marriage and loved my husband with all my heart. I've remained neutral in arguments with family and done everything in my power to be a decent, good person.

And what I got in return was cheating, lies, backbiting, betrayal.

I don't expect perfection from people.

But I also don't expect to be treated like a piece of trash, and especially not from those who I love the most - my husband, my mother, my friends, my aunt.

I think it would be better if one morning they woke up and I wasn't here anymore. My presence in this world is not beneficial to anyone. Not a single person.

You might say, "What about your children?"

And I tell you this. In all the years I have been a mother, I have been called a bad one literally thousands of times. I have been threatened with CPS because of choices that I made, choices that did not affect my children in any way. I have heard the ranting for so long, what a horrible person and mother I am - from so many people. If one person tells you this you might be hurt or angry but it's been everyone close to me. And when everyone you know says these things, you need to look at your life and take notice. They must have a point.

My children would be better off without me.

I hope they can all understand where I'm coming from. I don't want to poison the world anymore.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


All the years you have waited for them to“make it up to you” and all the energy you expended trying to make them change [or make them pay] kept the old wounds from healing and gave pain from the past free rein to shape and even damage your life.

And still they may not have changed. Nothing you have done has made them change. Indeed, they may never change. Inner peace is found by changing yourself, not the people who hurt you. And you change yourself for yourself, for the joy, serenity, peace of mind, understanding, compassion, laughter, and bright future that you get.
~ Lewis Smedes

Thursday, October 27, 2011


You might not notice it if you saw me. It's subtle. But I'm changing. I'm growing stronger every day, making decisions to do what I have to do.

I got a job. It's a good office job, with a courier company. Great people, potential for growth, and I'm good at it, which makes me really happy.

I got an apartment. It's a small little place, cute, affordable, in a safe neighborhood.

Things are changing inside me, and I'm not sure yet how or why, but one thing I can tell you is that a year ago today, when I was celebrating my son's first birthday, I had no idea that any of this would come about. Now as I celebrate his second birthday, everything is different. And that's okay.

I used to be complacent. I used to let life happen to me.

Now I am making my life happen.

I have finally taken charge of who I am, what I stand for, what I I want out of life. I don't know all the answers - I don't know where I will be a year from now. I don't know what the ultimate goal is. But I am okay with not knowing.

Life is not an easy road for anyone. But it's good, no matter what curves it throws us.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I have spent the last 8 1/2 years being the subject of subtle, yet incredibly destructive, domestic abuse. Most of this abuse has been financial, social, and emotional.

After I discovered my husband's infidelity, I became the abuser. I was horrible to him for a period of around 6 months.

Psychologically, I think this is because I had endured so many years of torment and finally the ball was in my court.

He says he never intended to be abusive. It was the only way he knew how to show he cared.

But what he didn't understand was his jealousy, his control, his rage - it all made me feel like a child, or a caged animal. I could not take it any longer.

The hardest thing for everyone to understand is why I keep going back to him.

He is so sweet, so loving, kind, compassionate in between outbursts. But more importantly, he has brainwashed me to believe that I am worthless and that I cannot survive without him.

I see this sometimes, and I feel strong, and I feel like I can rise above.

But more often than not, these feelings overwhelm me and I get right back in to old patterns, thinking I can't do it. I can't survive. I don't know how. I need him.

Jealousy and control DO NOT equal love.

I don't want to be controlled anymore. I don't want to do this.

I want to be free, independent. I want to do my own thing.

This doesn't mean I want to meet another man. If I do, and he's truly a good guy, then great. But that's not what I want.

I want to have a bank account. I want to pay bills. I want to do my dishes in my kitchen sink and know that this is mine, instead of feeling like I am living in his house (which is how I have felt for many years.)

I don't want to feel guilty for things I can't control. If the car breaks down, that's not my fault. If the dog pees on the floor, that's not my fault. If the kids tear the house up while I'm in the bathroom, that's not my fault.

I don't want to live in fear. He doesn't hit me very frequently, but he often uses threatening gestures and facial expressions, or breaks things to intimidate me. I don't want to live like that anymore.

I don't want to have to check in everywhere I go.

I don't want him to follow my shopping trip in real time anymore. He always tracks where I am during the day by looking at the bank account to see where I used to debit card.

I don't want him to call me his fucking inventory anymore. What kind of nickname is that for someone you love!? He always calls me that - he'll be looking at me admiringly and I ask what he's looking at, and he always says "Just checking out my inventory."

It's not funny anymore. It's not cute. It's fucking disgusting and I don't want to do it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Too Late.

Days and weeks and months go by, and not much changes.

It is not infidelity that ruined our marriage.

Infidelity was a nail in the coffin, but our marriage was shit long before I found out he had been cheating.

Post-infidelity, he was vicious, mean, abusive. He was a better husband while he was screwing her.

But he was never the husband I needed.

I was always forgotten on holidays (Mother's Day, etc.) I was never complimented. It was only in the last year or so that he started complimenting me.

I was controlled like a child - never allowed to do anything or go anywhere.

If I had the nerve to go anywhere without him, he would text and call constantly.

When I worked at a real job, years ago, he called me at work at least twice a day.

I was never allowed to handle the household finances. If I spent money whiel I was away from him, I had to account for every penny.

As soon as I would leave the house or go to bed, he would check my internet history and text messages. This continues even now.

Now, he's all lovey dovey to me. Compliments me, holds me, buys me little gifts.

But it's too late.

It's just too late for us.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Years ago, I kept getting pregnant and having miscarriages. I wanted a baby sooo bad, and it just wasn't happening for me. During that time, pregnant women were EVERYWHERE ... on tv, in the grocery store, at restaurants .... I couldn't go anywhere without being reminded every second that I could not carry a baby.

I feel like that now.

Everywhere I go there are happy couples. They laugh, they joke, they share their "pearls of wisdom." Just like we used to do. I am so unbelievably jealous of these people who have found someone that loves them.

I want a new life. I want to be special to someone. I want to laugh with someone, I want someone to make me their priority. I am so sick of being alone. I have been alone, yet married, for years. He was always caught up in his own life, and he forgot about me. And then, in his perfect narcissist way, he turned it around to make it look like I was the one who forgot. I don't think he sees it even now.

There has to be more than this. This can't be all life is about ... there has to be more than sadness and loneliness. There has to be. Someday I hope I find it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


The man I married came back for a few days, to celebrate our youngest daughter's 4th birthday.

I guess it went well. No one got hit, but Momma did drop a few F-bombs when he was acting like a fool.

Here is the shit I live with every day:

Me: I am SO FRUSTRATED! I have so much to get done! I have to make sandwiches for the party, clean up the--

Him: We'll be back.

Me: But ... what? I was just talking to you, why are you--

Him: We'll be back.

Me: What's going on here? I'm trying to talk to you about how I feel and--

Him: I SAID, we'll be back!!

And then he leaves.

We discuss this later. "I was only trying to help you by getting out from under your feet."

Okay .... but why did you have to "fix" it? Why couldn't you have just LISTENED for once??

Another example.

He acts like he's really into me sexually, but only at night. Fine. I get it, we have a whole bunch of kids.

But for the last few months i have been totally denying him any, and he gets frustrated (but thankfully, does not act like it, or I would probably dot his eyes.)

The other night I decided to share intimacy with him. As we were just barely getting started, one of the children woke up. He went to tend to her, and I laid there and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally after an hour or so I go downstairs to find him, and he's passed out on the couch.

Now why would I want to share that part of myself with you, if it's so meaningless that you just fall asleep, after spending months without getting any?

And then I say stupid things, the first things that pop to my head, and they don't help matters at all.

I said, "You know, there are PLENTY of men out there that would kill to be with me!!"

Is this true? Doubtful. But it wasn't nice to say. It didn't help matters any.

I am so sick of being lonely. I wish I could find a man who truly loves me. But if I'm 100% honest with myself, what I really want is for him to truly love me.

I don't think he knows how. And I don't know how to deal with that.

Friday, July 22, 2011


For a long time now, I have felt utterly and completely alone.

Here is a scenario -- if you cheated on your spouse for lengthy amount of time, but wanted to stay with your spouse and make it work, wouldn't you be extremely remorseful and spend a great deal of time trying to make them feel loved?

That's not how it's been in our house. I have communicated to my husband very clearly the ways I need him to behave to make me feel loved. He has communicated his needs as well. I have been working SO HARD to make him feel loved, doing everything I can think of to show him how I feel.

He, on the other hand, is so wrapped up in his own mental stuff that he cannot do the same for me.

And it hurts.

I have tried hard to explain how I feel to him, to make him see that I need to be a priority to him. He seems to understand when we're talking, but then I see no changes.

I am not the one who cheated. I am the one who was betrayed -- so why am I doing the ass-kissing around here?

A few nights ago, we had yet another conversation about how awful I feel about the behaviors I'm seeing. I was completely calm and rational, but he didn't like what I was saying, and he did something really, hideously awful to me. Worse than the cheating, worse than the beating, worse than the lies and backbiting that he's done to me since we first go married, worse than hiding money or controlling me or snooping into my private business. It was truly, truly terrible.

Not only that, but he told me, over and over, that I deserved to be cheated on.

I made him leave. He is no longer welcome in my home.

I have given it my all, done all I can to make this marriage work despite everything, but I can see now that it's not going anywhere and I can't continue to give my all when he will not.

Now I have been no angel. Don't get me wrong. Since finding out about the affair, I have done more than my fair share of yelling, screaming, crying, lashing out.

But I DID NOT DESERVE TO BE CHEATED ON. Period. Because before I found out that my husband wasn't man enough to be faithful, I was a damn good wife.

He tells everyone that will listen that I was a terrible wife, a horrible mother. But he is a LIAR. I have always given 200%, as much as I was ever capable of, to my husband and family. And I think in his heart, he knows that. But for some reason, he feels that he needs to bring me down in order to elevate himself, and that's kind of messed up and infantile.

I didn't deserve any of this.

But for what he did to me the other day, he absolutely deserves to live separate from me.

Perhaps in a few months we can revisit this. Perhaps if he gets very serious psychiatric care we can look at trying to make things work.

I truly feel that I gave it my best shot. I do not feel bad about making him live away from me. Right now, this is best for all of us, but especially for our children.

I am a good person. Perhaps some day those who mean the most to me will see that.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


"Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule." -- Shakyamuni Buddha

I know this quote is true, and I try. I really, really try. I try to identify my hatred and isolate it, and then eliminate it.

But I can't help how I feel, and what I feel is that I need to get some sort of retribution.
I HATE her, and I HATE my husband for falling into her trap, and I HATE myself for being so gullible and blind, going along living my life and thinking he truly loved me.

I wish it was all over with, I wish I could stop thinking about it, I wish I had a new life.

I wish I could move on.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I hate my thoughts sometimes. They are so intrusive and I try not to fight them - I try to let them go, without judging them as bad or good or intrusive .... but they keep coming and it's hard.

Sometimes I can't make my mind stop "seeing" my husband having sex with a morbidly obese grandmother in my house while I slept, nine months pregnant, curled up with my babies. It just keeps replaying, over and over, and it makes me sick and it makes me want to lash out and smack him. (Or worse, sometimes.)

Klonopin helps. But that's just for emergencies.

I need to find new coping skills.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Today I found, unexpectedly, a card my husband gave me in early 2003 - a few months after we met and a few months before we were married.

It made me cry, because of the words he wrote.

If I had only known.

Perhaps if he had remembered, he wouldn't have had an affair.

Here is what he wrote to me:

I love you cannot even justify the feelings I have grown to have for you. You
mean so much to me & I hope you can see that. I think about you (us) all the time. The life we have & the life we are looking forward to. I know I can be a "slimhead" sometimes & hope you can forgive me for that. I look forward to your touch when we are apart. You are my future and I look forward to it. I am so proud that you are happy. I like when your smiling & not being a turtle. Ha, ha! but to wrap this up all I can say is
From the bottom of my heart,
I love you!

Yours always,

New love. I remember that feeling well. I still had that "new love" feeling for him, even after all these years together. I would get flutters in my heart when it was time for him to come home from work, and I missed him while he was gone. Our intimate life was amazing, always full of love and true soul connection.

I had no idea that he had someone else on the side. I didn't know he preferred the company of another woman over me. (He says he didn't prefer her company, but that's hard to believe. If he had preferred mine, he wouldn't have given those moments to me.)

How did we come to this?

How did we get here?

Pulling apart the tangles of our life together, I can see that there were times when I was not as attentive to him as he would have liked. But during that time, I had a nearly two year old, a nearly one year old, and a baby due any day. I wasn't attentive to him because I was attending to our very young children.

I still don't know where to go from here, as far as my marriage is concerned. I don't know if I'll stay with him or divorce him. I do know that I don't really want to be with anyone else, but for now, all of that is still undecided.

It hurts. His words that he wrote so long ago really, really hurt. Because even though I know it isn't true, it feels like they are lies.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I would like to share with you some of my artwork. I have been very creative lately, and it feels good to get in touch with that side of my brain for once.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I have decided that I am going to choose happiness.

It has been almost four months since I discovered my husband's infidelity, and little has been accomplished. I've held onto my anger, lashing out at him periodically, plotting revenge against him and his mistress, killing myself inside over and over.

No more.

I am choosing to be happy in spite of my situation. When the pain comes - and trust me, it does - I notice it. I look at it, examine its source, and allow it to pass. I am choosing to be happy with all I have instead of mourning what I have lost.

Despite what he has done, I have a man who loves me. I have five incredible children. I have amazing friends and family who have stuck by me even in my darkest moments. I have a home and a car and running water and electricity. I can read, I can write. I am able to pursue my hobbies. I have a little dog who thinks I'm god. There is always enough to eat. I am a person worthy of love. I am physically attractive with a spirit to match. I have been blessed with experiences to share with the world.

I choose happiness, in spite of what life brings. Perhaps I'll get a divorce, or maybe I won't. It's not something I need to worry about in this moment. Right now, I'm going to be happy.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I turn thirty next March.

That astounds me. I swear to you, I was twelve just a few months ago.

There are so many things I need to do before I turn thirty. I am actively planning these things and taking the necessary steps to accomplish them. I don't feel like I need to finish any of these things; mainly I just want to work on them and know that I gave it my best shot.

So here is my list.

1. Become an MMA fighter.
This might surprise you, since I am a pacifist Buddhist by nature and name. But I have always wanted to learn to fight in a ring, and I'm not getting any younger, so why not now?
But before I start training at the gym, I need to get into a little better shape. I'm starting tomorrow with a run and an upper body workout on my punching bag. It looks like this:

I am going to do this if it kills me. And it might. Probably I should get a physical exam to make sure I can even handle this kind of strenuous activity, but I think I can because I spend time chopping trees and moving rocks and digging and things like that. I even found a gym I can train with and it's not too expensive. If I get good maybe I'll participate in some fights, but that's not the current plan.

2. Stop biting my nails.

I have been an avid nail biter since I was three. By avid, I mean compulsive, and for all that time I have bitten my nails to the point of bleeding. I don't even have a nail on my right pinkie because I have bitten it completely off, right down to the cuticle.

I'm sick of it. I want to have pretty nails. Not long or even painted, just normal and healthy. I bought a product called Thum - you paint it on and it's supposed to taste terrible so you don't bite. Unfortunately, I don't think it's terrible. It's very spicy, but I eat lots of spicy foods so I'm used to it. If Thum were a salsa, I'd call it mild.

But so far the psychological aspect of "it might be really hot THIS time..." seems to be working. I'm on day three of not biting my nails, and let me tell you, I am going insane. Everything in me wants to bite bite bite .... but I'm determined not to. I am already seeing lots of growth and that's exciting. I have a self-hypnosis mp3 that I can use too, to help stop biting. I might try that tonight.

3. Find a Sangha.

I have not been able to find a good local sangha and it's all because of my silly insecurities. The ones near me are both run by Vietnamese monks and I have a fear that I won't understand their accents and they will laugh at me. When I type it out like that it seems REALLY stupid.... I am going to try to go to one this week sometime. Or maybe I should wait until I'm truly over the nail biting habit, because when I get nervous I chew my nails off without even thinking about it.

4. Learn forgiveness.

Speaks for itself. Discovering my husband's infidelity has really opened my eyes to how much I need to grow and cultivate my compassionate heart.


Something is happening to me.

I'm calling it recovery.

Of course the pain is still there, and the anger. But it's different.

I feel empowered. I don't feel like the victim anymore. I was wronged, yes, but I'm not a victim.

I'm in a place where I can start to look at our marriage and the years leading up to the affair and try to find the cracks in our relationship that led him to stray.

I do not feel that the affair was in any way my fault. It was 100% his fault, all the way, no question about it.

However, people don't cheat in a perfectly good relationship. (Unless there is an underlying issue with the cheater, such as sexual addiction, which my husband does not have.)

There must have been a communication breakdown somewhere along the way. There was a reason he felt that I didn't love him, and there was a reason he didn't love me enough to be faithful. There had to be something there that led to this.

I don't know what that was. I don't claim to know what led to him straying, or how he was feeling for the months or years leading up to it. But I am finally in a place where I feel like we can work together to discover what the problems were, and maybe work on resolving them.

I don't know that I forgive him, and I certainly don't trust him. I don't think I'll ever trust him like I used to, but maybe I'll learn to trust him little by little as time goes by. I don't think I'll ever love him the way I used to, but maybe I'll learn to love him as we work together to fix our marriage.

Recovery. I never thought I'd be on this path.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I vacillate.

There are days when I am okay.

There are days when I am not okay.

There are days when my anger overwhelms me and I want to injure someone.

Some days I am angry with my husband, other days I am angry with the other woman.

I feel victimized. I feel traumatized.

I have a diagnosis of PTSD from this whole ordeal. He is very remorseful and says he never understood the depth of my love or how greatly this would affect me. He wants me to love him like I used to, but I can't.

I feel like my marriage ended on Feb. 24, 2011.

I don't know if we can work it out. I just don't know. If we do, I do know this: We will not have the same anniversary. If I can forgive and get past this, at some point we will renew our vows and that will be our new anniversary date. He doesn't like that. He says, "Doesn't anything we had before the affair mean anything?"

No, it doesn't. It was all a lie, leading up to him fucking a morbidly obese woman with a mullet and missing teeth. Did I mention she's old enough to be my mother? Did I mention they had a relationship that lasted a year and a half? Did I mention that she was the first woman he kissed, first woman he made love to in our new home? Did I mention that I am overwhelmed with the urge to commit revenge on both of them?

I tell myself - this woman, this situation - it's not going to take up any more of my thought life. I'm not going to give anything more to it. But it doesn't work out as easily as that.

I am praying to Tara for peace.

Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Svāhā

Just keep breathing, keep chanting, keep walking ... one foot in front of the other ...

I'm not dead yet and I thought for sure I would be by now.

I thought the pain would kill me.

I thought my own urges would kill me.

I thought, I thought, I thought ....

and yet

I'm still alive.

Still here.

Still hurting.

Still breathing.

Still thinking.

Still feeling.

Still loving.


Saturday, May 14, 2011


I tell him, over and over and over, what I need in a man.

He refuses to do the simple things I need a partner to do, and is incapable of others.

I have a plan now. The plan is to stick it out until I have enough money. If this means faking it so he thinks everything is fine, so be it. I will stay here and fawn over him, even make love to him if I have to. I will play his game the way he wants me to play it, and then one day, when I have the money, I will file for divorce.

This is not lying, it is self preservation.

It is the only way I can see this going well. I cannot continue to talk to him, begging him to be a man he cannot be.

I cannot just up and leave - I have five kids and no resources.

But in time, I will have resources. The kids will be older and perhaps all the little ones will be in school.

In time, I will be free. Free to be me, free to love and be loved, free to do as I please when I please.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

First day.

I can't do it.

I am not a strong enough woman to forgive something as devastating as an 18 month affair, especially when I am being blamed for that affair.

I am not perfect. I made mistakes in our marriage. But none of those mistake warranted being cheated on, lied to, betrayed. I deserve better. Not because I'm someone special, but because I am a human being with feelings and a heart and I deserve to be cherished, like everyone else.

I cannot love my husband. But he deserves to be loved. I am at a point where I think it would be best for us to divorce and go our separate ways. He will be free of the responsibilities that drove him to fuck her for a year and half, and perhaps he will find someone who can love him despite his faults.

I have no plans of ever having another relationship. I know myself and I know my heart, and I am at a place right now, in this moment, where the thought of a relationship makes me sick. I suppose that could change. But it's not something I plan to ever pursue.

I feel like I need to focus on healing my heart so I can care for my children. I can't care for them very well when I'm grieving something that can't be brought back. I need to take steps to care for myself so I can care for others, and I need to make my own life.

It will be a very different life. It won't be the life I thought I had for nearly eight years. The dreams and goals I had need to be put on hold for now. Someday my children will be raised, and I can focus on those dreams at that time.

New goals need to be made. Here they are. This is just the order I'm thinking of them, not the order in which I plan to accomplish them.

1. Heal.
2. Forgive.
3. Divorce.
4. Get a job.
5. Learn to juggle five kids and a job and a home.
6. Be able to care for my children emotionally as well as physically while all of the above is happening.

I don't know how I'm going to do it. It doesn't matter at this point. I can't worry about what the journey looks like three miles from here; I need to concentrate on this first step.

The problem is, I don't know how to take the first step. What direction do I go? What do I do first?

I guess I need to take a gamble and just jump in where ever. I guess it can't hurt. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, and then I take a different step. Nothing terrible will come from failure. I'm not trying to diffuse a bomb, I'm trying to fix what's been broken.

If you break a vase, you glue it back together. If the glue doesn't work, all you have is a broken vase. You haven't lost anything, you're just back at square one.

I am a broken vase. I need to fix me, and I have to take those steps.

Today is day one.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I remember in the late 90's, my friend Mary and I went to a festival where a couple bands were playing in concert. One was a group called Splender, and they had a song with a lyric that I can't get out of my mind.

"There's a lot of things I understand, and there's a lot of things that I don't want to know."

I'm having trouble today.

It seems like the pain and hurt just engulf me and swallow me up, slowly and insidiously, until all of a sudden I'm lost in an ocean of feelings that are bigger than me.

One time I saw a video of a tsunami, not a big one, where the water just gradually came in, not like a wave - it just crept in and before you knew it the water was everywhere and little beach huts and seashell stands were just floating, and then snapping apart, and you didn't want to see but you couldn't pull your eyes away.

And then, the water slowly crept back out again, out to the open sea, leaving a beach full of crustaceans and fishes and broken pieces of buildings and kelp. Lots and lots of kelp.

Just as it came, so it went.

That's how I am. The hurt - my god, how it hurts - warmly, gently, almost kindly, washes over me, but it's so insidious that I can't tell I'm drowning until the very end.

Sometimes I have to tread water there, in the acrid pain-ocean. It's so big that I lose who I am and what I stand for. I don't know what to do. I lie there on the couch and I can't even cry, I just lie there with a big dry lump in my throat and think strange thoughts that have nothing to do with anything.

Sometimes it takes days and days before that tsunami waves pulls back out into the deep. Sometimes it's just a few hours or on really lucky days, a few minutes.

But when I'm engulfed, I just don't know what to do. I don't know how to go on, and I don't know how to just feel it and observe it and let it go.

There's a lot of things I understand, and there's a lot of things that I don't want to know.

Friday, April 22, 2011


I read about and talk about and teach about pure love and forgiveness all the time, but I guess it never really clicked for me until recently.

The joy in my heart, having reached a place of pure, honest, golden forgiveness, is indescribable. I feel like my soul is bubbling, my heart is singing. I feel like everything is right in my world no matter what happened in the past or what may happen in the future.

Now to work on attachment. I need to meditate and cultivate non-attachment. This is a hard concept to explain, but I'll try my best.

Everything in this world is temporary. It is all fleeting - the good, the bad, everything. If we become too focused on any one thing (in my case, the good feeling I have right now), we remain caught up in the web of samsara. It is essential to become un-attached. We need to recognize all aspects of life as the impermanent illusions that they are, and accept them as such, or we will never find pure happiness. We will forever be grasping for that which cannot be reached and thus never attain a state of openness and understanding.

It feels better to be accepting, open, and receptive rather than struggling, reaching, seeking without finding. Not only that, but when we free ourselves from attachment and seeking, we can better give our love and compassion to the world and it's sentient beings. We begin to see the world as it really is, instead of stuck in our bubble of false ego. We see the connected nature of beings and can propagate unadulterated love.

When we begin to see our enemies as teachers, we have taken a step towards enlightenment. I never considered my husband my enemy, but his actions and my anger and pain were. But what an incredible lesson this pain and hurt has taught me - who would ever have thought I'd be grateful for it?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


There comes a time where you come to a place in your heart of true forgiveness.

That time came for me last night.

For the first time in a long time, I feel true forgiveness and compassion for my husband. I see him for the imperfect, fallible, beautiful man that he is. I cannot continue holding my anger and hurt, and I can't just toss him out like a piece of trash. The fact is, we have a history together, a life that we've created, five amazing children that were conceived in love.

I look back at our relationship, the years we've had together, the struggles, the joys, the arguments, the laughter. And I realize that the good far outweighs the bad. This man that I married in haste - just six months after we met - is truly my soulmate. Is he perfect? Of course not, but neither am I.

I know it will come as a shock to many people when they learn that I've decided to give him another chance. I know my friends and acquaintances will think I've lost my mind, and they will try unsuccessfully to put themselves in my shoes.

They will think, "If my partner ever did that to me, I would be gone! I'd never stand for it!"

This is narrow-minded and prideful. I married him because he is the most amazing person I've ever known. A bad decision cannot and should not define him or our marriage. Love is bigger than that. True, selfless love is bigger than any negativity, no matter the situation.

A teacher that I respect very much, Lama Surya Das, said this, and I feel that it explains everything:

This is how we love, Buddha-style:
impartial to all, free from excessive attachment or false hope and expectation;
accepting, tolerant, and forgiving. Buddhist nonattachment doesn't imply complacence or indifference, or not having committed relationships or being passionately engaged with society, but rather has to do with our effort to defy change and resist the fact of impermanence and our mortality. By holding on to that which in any case is forever slipping through our fingers, we just get rope burn.

[Emphasis mine.]

It doesn't matter that others may not respect the decision I've made. They don't live my life; they don't know my heart. I love my husband. I love him tremendously, more than words could ever say. And I will stand by him and give him all I have to give until the day I die.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Work is therapeutic.

Instead of lying around grumbling and feeling sorry for myself and my situation, I prefer to work. I live in the upper midwest where spring means winter one day, summer the next, and back to winter again. So until yesterday I was doing a lot of busywork inside, sewing, mending, cleaning.

Yesterday was warm, and today too, so I spent all day raking, shoveling, weeding, burning, chopping, building, cleaning. I'm sunburned and tired. It feels good.

But as soon as I stop working, the pain comes back.

I am running out of things to do.

I don't want to live with hatred and pain. I want to feel better. I might feel better in a few minutes, or tomorrow. I do have moments where I feel better. I just wish there were more of the good and fewer of the bad.

It just goes to show the temporary nature of things.

I need a sign.

"Will work for peace of mind."

Friday, April 8, 2011


To me, the swallows represent perseverance. The swallow keeps going until it reaches its destination, sometimes flying for days, never giving up.

So now I am marked forever with swallows. I will never give up. I will never stop fighting, no matter what.

Monday, April 4, 2011


I'm not ready to forgive. I don't know if I'll ever be.

I don't want to be married to someone who would take me for granted, who would have sex with another woman in my home, who would spend his nights making out with a woman in the car instead of at home where he belongs, who would carry on a relationship while his wife was at home caring for their five very young children.

I don't want this. I would rather be single than be with him.

But how can I make the distinction? How do I know I'm not saying this out of anger?

How do I know I'm making a wise decision?

And how can I live as a single mom of five children?

I have not had his emotional support for a long time. Since I was pregnant with our youngest and he began his affair. But it's scary to imagine being alone, when you've spent the last eight years of your life with someone.

I don't know what I want, but it isn't this. If I could have it my way, I'd be financially secure. I'd move with my children to a home in town, not out here in the country, and we'd spend our days the same way we do now - chores, crafts, cooking. I can imagine us sitting around a table in a different house, eating dinner and talking about our day. Just us.

But it isn't possible, financially. It sucks to be trapped and need a man. I don't want to need him. I certainly don't love him. But it still hurts what he did to me because I did love him for so long, blindly believing that he was a decent man.

Did you know that while he was having the affair he was also telling everyone he knew what a bitch I am? If you know me in real life you know this is about as far from the truth as possible. I gave him all I could give, was the best wife I knew how to be. He got plenty of sex, his meals cooked, the house cleaned, his ego massaged, everything. And it wasn't enough. And now he wants a second chance?

I have nothing more to give.

The damage is already done.

I am done.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Resolving things.

It's hard not to blame yourself when things go wrong. Small things, big things, every thing in between. It's so easy to get into a pattern of "If Onlys."

There's a lot of traffic on the way to work. "If only I'd left earlier!"

Your kid gets bad grades on a book report. "If only I'd helped her more!"

Your husband has an affair with a morbidly obese woman who has a mullet and back hair. "If only I'd been a better wife! If only I'd stop biting my nails, start wearing make up, learn how to walk in high heels, been a better cook ..."

I am doing a lot of If Onlys these days. And now that the initial shock of discovering the affair is wearing off, I'm ready to start healing. Part of healing is erasing the If Onlys. The past is gone. It is never coming back. The future may never arrive. You only have THIS one moment, this one breath. I refuse to waste this moment on If Onlys. They don't help. They never help.

And in the case of infidelity, the If Onlys will only serve to hurt you more. No good can come of it. They will haunt you, drive you insane, tease you in your dreams and slap you in your face when you least expect it. You must recognize them for the false thoughts that they are. Don't give them power. Giving power to false thoughts is like giving credence to false words.

I have been taking the time to recognize these false thoughts and tell them, sometimes out loud, "Stop. Go. You are unwelcome." Sometimes I have to visualize the thoughts leaving my head. I imagine a stream of letters dancing out the side of my head and going away out into the hills like on cartoons. Sometimes I snap myself into reality with a pinch on the wrist or a tap on the temple.

It's hard. I think the hardest thing is the pride. I don't like worrying what others think of me, but you can't help it. Even the most devout, skillful practitioner of the Dharma is going to have those feeling occasionally and it's hard. I don't want people to think I am a pushover, simply because it appears that I am doing nothing about the problems I'm facing. I don't want to them to think I am naive simply because I have started the process of forgiving. I don't want people to misunderstand that my feelings of compassion and love for my husband are separate from his actions, that I love him and feel compassion for him simply because he is another human being and all beings deserve our love and compassion, regardless of their actions.

The Husband has a broken arm and continually misunderstands when I bathe him. He can't get his cast wet and therefore can't properly bathe himself, so I have been bathing him, washing his hair and body and rinsing him, shaving him, and drying him off. He thinks these actions mean that everything is going to be okay in our relationship - and I can't guarantee that. I would bathe anyone who needed a bath. If a homeless person showed up at my door needing a bath, I would bathe him. If a dog or cat or any other animal showed up needing a bath, I would bathe it. It's simple human compassion.

I am working my way through this volcano of pain. In this moment, right here, right now, as I drink my coffee and watch my children playing on the floor, everything is okay. And this moment is good enough for me.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My way,

If I could have my way, I'd sit in my room and cry and listen to punk rock as loud as I can for a month or so, and I would come out of the hole (literally and figuratively) a new woman.

If I could have my way, I'd snort vicodin until my nose bleeds and my soul is numb.

If I could have my way, I'd stab myself in the heart with something long and dull, maybe a screwdriver.

If I could have my way, I'd slice my arms with razorblades just to watch the blood flow.

If I could have my way, I'd dance naked in the snow until my skin is red and raw and the pain is gone.

If I could have my way, I'd lie in the bathtub for hours and pretend the world is gone.

But I can't have my way. Life isn't like that. You get what you get and it's rarely what you want, so you have to try to suck it up and push through, make do with what you have. You have to make the situation you're in be the situation you want, or you'll spend you life wishing for something else, and miss what you've got. One day it will all be over and you'll have nothing to show because you'll have wished your whole life away.

I'm cracked but not broken. I'm dying but not dead. I'm sick but I'm healing. I'm alone but not lonely. I'm a work in progress; this is just one misthrow of the potter's wheel.

Monday, February 28, 2011


Everything is temporary, and my current life situation is helping me to learn that deeply. Our lives change minute by minute, not only in big ways but in tiny, subtle ways too.

Often I hear people talk about the divorce process as a roller coaster. I think it's a little more co
mplex than than. Roller coasters don't change second by second, minute by minute.

minute I am calm. I am able to think clearly. The next minute I am blaming myself for his affair. And the minute after that I am using every shred of self control to not rip his throat out.

He wants to reconcile. I want to forget this ever happened, deny deny deny, pretend it's okay. But I will not compromise myself and my values.

On the other hand, I do believe he is truly remorseful.

I hate that I have allowed his bad behavior to alter my thoughts so much. I hate that I allowed myself to be mentally Attached to him. Not attached like you might think, but Attached as a Buddhist philosophy. This describes it better than I can.

I am an angry, scorned woman. And yet I am compassionate. What a horrible mind state my soon-to-be- Ex must have been in all these years. What a terrible place for your heart to be. How awful must it have felt to be him.

I look to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his struggles with China. He is compassionate toward the Chinese and does not fight for Tibet. I think most people can't understand this, but I can. I am trying to apply it to my marriage and life. But I don't understand.

I feel as lost as I've ever been.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Anger Pt. 2

I lost it. I completely lost it. Flipped out, broke things, broke my pinky finger. (I never realized how much you use your pinky while typing ... damn!)

I am trying to tell myself that I am not destroyed. Instead of feeling like this, I should be invoking Chenrezig. I should be pouring out my compassion, forgiving, encircling the wrong-doer with altruistic love.

I am not there yet. Perhaps one day. Now, I am working with my emotions. It's my old friends, hurt, lies, dishonesty, betrayal. It's sickeningly reassuring to know I have felt this before, and I survived. It's disgustingly familiar.

Holy Shakyamuni Buddha said:

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you; depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Buddha said, "You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger."

Think about this for just a moment. This is karma - our actions coming back to haunt us, not by some imaginary divine being or universe, but by the actions themselves.

Think of a situation in which you were really angry. The last time I was really, really mad was at one of my children. I had asked her to pick up the playing cards that had been scattered all over the linoleum, but my request went unanswered. I asked several more times, and each time I heard an excuse.

I walked into the kitchen and slipped on the playing cards, and I was furious! I mean, I was ready to really knock some heads together!

And then I stopped.

What good does being angry do?

Honestly. Think about it for just a second. What good comes from anger?

The last time you were angry - did your anger change the situation? How do you feel when you are angry? If you're like most people, anger makes you feel ugly inside, twisted up, explosive. It's not a nice feeling.

So who suffers for your anger? Sure, the offender may suffer, temporarily. They may suffer the brunt of your actions, which are the result of your inappropriate response to anger. But do they suffer long term? Probably not.

No, the one who really suffers is YOU. You are the one stuck with the negative feelings, the hatred. The offender, be it a fellow motorist or a spouse or even your precious children - they aren't stuck with those feelings. They go on about their lives.

Acting on anger creates bad karma. How? Emotions wear grooves in our minds. Allow an emotion to take hold long enough, or frequently enough, and it will create a groove, a habit. Anger will become your go-to response, hurting you more and more.

The good thing about habits is they can be changed. Oh, I'm not saying it's easy - but it is.

First of all, realize that your emotions do not define you. They are just emotions, and they are temporary. Recognize your anger when it rears its ugly head - "Oh, anger, I know you." Recognize it, name it, see it for what it is - a temporary mind state. Now just as you watched anger boil up, watch it fade away. Don't act on it or feel it - you don't have to. It's just an emotion, just a hair-trigger reaction. It's not you. You are not obligated to act on your impulses.

"You, as much as anyone else in the world, deserve your love and compassion." Buddha wasn't wrong about this, you know. You wouldn't wish your unhappy negative emotions on anyone else, would you? You deserve to be happy. You are made for happiness. Your mind is there to experience peace and bliss. Help yourself. Dissolve your anger.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bowing exercises.

The children and I have been having fun practicing bowing like monks. You can try it yourself, Lama Jigme has a wonderful video available on YouTube on how to bow.

Where Lama uses the words "sky, scalp, lips, and sternum," we say "Sun, Head, Lips, Heart." It's easier for the kids.

Try it in the morning, as soon as you get out of bed. It's fun!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When I was infertile.

A lot of people don't know about my struggles with infertility and recurrent miscarriage. They look at my husband and I and our five kids and think conceiving has always been easy for us. That is not the case.

I had m first child when I was 19. I was in a relationship when she was conceived, but he left shortly after we found out I was pregnant. He doesn't know she exists, and that's the way I want it.

The Hubs and I met when I was 20, and got married when I was 21. I was four months pregnant when we got married, but that's not the reason we wed. It just happened to happen when we were planning our wedding.

I lost that baby a month after our wedding. He was a little boy that we named Jean Kelle. He would be eight years old this June.

We conceived our second daughter right away, and my pregnancy was uneventful. She was born right on her due date.

We wanted kids pretty close in age so we started trying right away. I could not get pregnant. I had ovulation confirmed by ultrasound, charted my temperatures and cervical fluid, took Clomid and Femara ... and no baby.

After awhile, I started to conceive, only to lose the pregnancy a few weeks later. This happened many times, and even though I took progesterone and did all I could to hold on, those babies just wouldn't grow.

I found myself pregnant again in June 2006. I was ecstatic! Everything seemed fine, the weeks went on and there was no sign that anything could be wrong. Then one day I started having brown spotting. I went to the Urgent Care, they checked my cervix and it was closed, and they sent me for an ultrasound.

The ultrasound showed a mass of white stuff with black holes in it, kind of like that bologna with olives in it. No baby, but I thought for sure I saw the flickering of a heartbeat. The doctor said it was a molar pregnancy but I refused to believe it. I wouldn't schedule the D&C but did schedule a repeat ultrasound the following week.

The next ultrasound was exactly the same as the first, except the mass was markedly larger. I then decided to go ahead with the surgery. I was devastated. I felt like my life was a huge joke. No one was supportive. The worst thing anyone has ever said to me was said during this time in my life. I won't dwell on it, but it hurt. It hurt more than any words have ever hurt before.

I had the surgery. The baby I had wanted so badly was gone, literally and figuratively. Later we learned it was a complete molar pregnancy and there had never been a baby, just placental tissue.

I had to have my hcg tested weekly to make sure all aws well -- apparently, molar pregnancies can become cancerous, and this is indicated by rising hcg numbers. That was hell. The receptionist at the lab was pregnant and was always so cheerful when I came in, excited to see my numbers. She never realized why I was really there, that there wasn't a tiny embryo growing but a mass of potentially deadly tissue.

A few months later, my hcg numbers started going up, and the doctor wanted to do a D&C right away. I decided I wanted an ultrasound first, and I will never forget that ... there on the screen was a tiny flashing heartbeat. It wasn't the mole returning, it was my baby girl.

She was born in July 2007, and after her birth we did not use birth control because my past experience had taught me that a healthy pregnancy was not something I had to worry about. I figured I wouldn't get pregnant, or if I did, it wouldn't go to term.

The joke was on me ... when my daughter was four months old I found myself pregnant again. And it stuck. The baby grew and grew and then finally he was born in September 2008, when my daughter was just 13 months old.

Five months later, while using reliable birth control ... it happened again. I got pregnant. I was shocked. How could this happen? I was infertile! I couldn't keep a baby growing! And now not one, not two, but THREE unplanned pregnancies??

That baby became my second son, fifth child, born just 14 months after his brother and 27 months after his sister. Three babies in two years, after two prior years of infertility and repeat miscarriage.

There are days when being a mom of five, three under three, is really, really hard. But mostly, I savor the days and am thankful for the opportunity to be their mother. It really is a miracle.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What happens to the souls of miscarried babies?

This is an edited version of a response I posted on a message board. I thought it might be interesting for those who do not practice Buddhism to read. It is a topic close to my heart, as I have lost nine little babies myself. (Actually, if I am honest, I only lost eight, plus a molar pregnancy where no baby grew. But I loved that imagined child as thought it were real, and I count it.)

Life is eternal. It goes on and on and on, in a cyclical manner. We live our lives, we die, we are reborn. Usually, we don't know that we are being reborn, especially if we don't practice the Dharma, so we have what some people call "visits to heaven," often described as tranquil and peaceful by those who have had near death experiences.

According to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, we are given three chances to move on, called Bardos. You can read more about the Bardos here:

We choose our parents and come to them at the moment of conception.

I believe that miscarried babies are souls who have reached Nibbana (Nirvana) and simply needed a human life form to get there. We know that in our past lives we have already built incredibly good Karma, because only those with very good Karma can be reborn into human form. I believe that these little souls are actually very old souls who needed one last stepping stone to get where they were going, to get out of the wheel of samsara. They have reached the end of their journeys, after thousands, perhaps millions of years in existence. I am honored to have housed many of these souls.

It is a great gift to help another on their path to Nirvana. I don't know what I did in my past lives to grow such good Karma, that I was given so many souls to guide ... maybe I will learn, when I am deeper into my practice.

Om lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu

May all beings in the universe
be peaceful, happy and free

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes.

May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes.

May all sentient beings not be separated from sorrowless bliss.

May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.

Ideas and weaknesses.

I've decided to go ahead and do something that's been on my mind for a long time.

I am going to start giving free childbirth education to all who need it. I can't possibly do this in private classes (which is how I've been teaching), so I'm going to use the big community room at the library and teach expectant parents what they need to know about the basics of childbirth.

It won't be as comprehensive as a normal 12 hour series, but it will be something, which is usually always better than nothing. I plan to teach the stages of labor, hospital procedure, natural coping methods, and circumcision education.

I am hoping that this will spiral into more. I want to do breastfeeding classes, postpartum support groups, babywearing classes, newborn care classes, sibling classes ... and the funny thing is, I don't care one single bit that they will all be free of charge. I really don't care. Hopefully I can pick up a few more doula clients to help pay for my expenses, but if not, I'm sure the funding will come from somewhere. Things always work out they way they're supposed to.

Now, what I need to work on for me. I have a huge distrust of doctors and hospitals. I don't trust the medical community to do anything in patients' best interest because they stand to make so much money from illness. A c-section can easily cost 20 times what a vaginal birth costs, even more if that vaginal birth is unmedicated.

The clients I normally teach also have this distrust, so it hasn't been an issue in the past. However, opening up free classes is going to bring in a whole new element of parents that I don't usually work with. These are moms and dads who DO trust the medical system and plan to have their babies in the hospital, not at home. It is ESSENTIAL that I not bring my own bias into the classes. I absolutely must not do or say anything to create more fear for these new parents. Acting like the hospital and doctors want to kill them is certainly not going to benefit anyone, and will be extremely harmful psychologically.

It is critical that I overcome these mental roadblocks before the classes start. I need to meditate on this, release my anger and resentment, come to terms with my own biases before I can open myself up to others.

Om tare tuttare ture svaha - Essence of awakened body, quickly, with boldness, taking away all fear, distress, and suffering of all beings, complete victory of truth over all negativity, duality, all accomplishments, Hail mother Tara

Om tare tuttare ture svaha
Om tare tuttare ture svaha
Om tare tuttare ture svaha
Om tare tuttare ture svaha
Om tare tuttare ture svaha
Om tare tuttare ture svaha
Om tare tuttare ture svaha

Hear Green Tara's mantra here:

Consider listening and perhaps chanting along.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I am sad that we live in a culture where it is considered normal and acceptable to slice up the genitals of newborn babies.

I am sad that we live in a culture dominated by medicine, that doctors are "God" and incapable of making biased decisions, or decisions based on old studies that are no longer relevant or even safe.

I am sad that we live in a country so blinded by greed that people's health and well being come at a price.

I am determined to change all of this, one momma at a time. I am determined to give good, unbiased information, based on the latest research and old fashioned common sense. I am determined to help parents make the best, healthiest choices for themselves and their families.

I am equally determined not to judge a family if they make a choice that I wouldn't have made. If a momma is given the information, and she chooses to mutilate her child or allow a doctor to needlessly slice her open, that is a choice that cannot be undone. I will not lay a guilt trip on her. I will not get angry. I will not allow my feelings of sadness to ruin the beautiful, delicate postnatal period.

I will simply try harder next time. If I save even one baby, if I help even one mother to avoid unnecessary obstetric interventions, or to find resources for interventions she may need due to health issues - then I have succeeded.

I will not give up. I will not stop until I die.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I don't know why I am the way I am.

Ever since I can remember, I have felt a strong, primal urge to hurt myself. Not kill myself, not cause major injury. I don't want to make a mark, I want to feel the pain.

It's not some sort of weird sexual thing. I don't get any sexual pleasure out of hurting myself.

It's a high, sort of. It makes me feel alive when I'm numb inside. When I'm hurting on the inside, it brings the pain to the surface so I can deal with it.

I'm covered in scars. I'm forever marked by my demons.

I don't hurt myself anymore. Not the way I used to, anyway. Now I hurt myself with destructive behaviors and thoughts, destructive whispers to myself: "You, my dear, are a piece of shit."

I have this strong urge to modify my body in any way possible. I want to tattoo every inch of me, pierce everything I can pierce. I want to cut and carve and change every contour of my body, peel off my old skin and grow new skin. And I want it to hurt.

I wish I could tell you a sad story, about abandonment, abuse, neglect, torture. But I don't have a story. I had a ridiculously normal childhood (with pain, of course, but no more so than anyone else) - every part of my life has been normal.

No one hurt me deep enough to leave these scars, so I have to create them myself.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

First post ....

I've had a number of blogs before, some very successful with over 1000 followers. None of it meant anything though, because I had holed myself into one little niche, and even if I didn't feel like writing about the topic that day, I had to, because the contracts I signed in order to make a little cash mandated it.

Before, there were things I couldn't talk about. I couldn't talk about spirituality, or how my personal journey affects my parenting. I couldn't talk about things that are important to me, like supporting women in the childbearing years, ending routine infant circumcision, and gentle discipline.

This is a fresh new beginning. I'm all brand new, every day, every moment, every second. This blog is like that moment between inhaling and exhaling, the sacred renewal available to us at all times, if we only pause to see it.

Join me on this path, explore with me as we become what we are. I'm very happy to have you here.