I had every good intention to wake up earlier this morning (6:15 a.m.), but didn’t end up getting out of bed until 7:00. I guess it’s better than 8:00.
Mom and Dad left early this morning to get back to Idaho.
It was hard having them here, and I want to make a list of possible “U’s” I have with them that I can surrender:
What are the triggers that cause negative emotions regarding my parents?
- I feel I’m being protective of Becky when I notice them doing or saying things that I feel will hurt her
- My guard is more up and more aware of their subtle criticisms
- I’ve always had the resentment and frustration of being the only kid
- I feel like Mom gets too much into my business: how I discipline the kids, how we do things around the house, etc.
- I feel deep down resentment for the fact that Mom and Dad didn’t ever talk with me about why I was going to the Bishop as a kid and how they could help me
- I feel guilt for never having talked with them about the issues I was having: I feel this is due to the fact that I didn’t want to let them down or have them be disappointed in me
- I don’t really know how to talk to them about feelings and emotions
- I feel resentment for the fact that they often fought when I was a kid; this caused fear in me that they were going to get a divorce and that it would be my fault
- I feel frustration knowing that my dad has watched inappropriate movies on TV too (I remember this specifically when I was a teenager and I was watching a show in one room – not a good one – while I could hear him watching the same show in the other room)
- I feel resentment when I watch my dad check out (lust) other women in public places
- I feel frustrated when my parents are around because of the effect it seems to have on my entire family: ME, Becky, and each of the kids in different ways
- I feel frustrated when Becky detaches from me when my parents are around
- I feel frustrated when I isolate when they’re around too: I’m not really sure how to cope or deal with my feelings when they are around
I think this is a pretty comprehensive list for now.
It was interesting: I looked up site:atonementtoday.com and found a post indexed that I’d written in October 2012 about the Relapse Process. Even though I feel like I was trying to be aware then of where I was at, I feel I had no idea about minimizing, justifying, or any of those symptoms of a bigger problem. This is what I thought had happened:
- I had had resentment toward Becky yesterday because I was trying to be helpful and she seemed to instantly bite my head off without even trying to hear me out. (blame & justification)
- Then, when it all did work out, she didn’t seem to be even appreciative – it became more of a “Well duh, you SHOULD be doing that…” (the poor me, need of recognition issue, negative emotions)
- Because of that resentment, I was short-tempered with the kids when she got home. (again, justification and rationalization)
- I then did a bunch of work on the house to get things in order but again didn’t feel like it was something she really appreciated. (poor me, need of recognition or praise)
- I ended up staying up and reading until 12:45 a.m. (red flag – staying up late is never ok in my “new normal”)
- I was then really tired this morning. (obviously)
- When I got online and went to FB, a friends FB account was open and his brother had liked images that were suggestive… (dealing with my negative emotions through lust and idleness)
- I browsed those images, knowing I shouldn’t go there but without the will power to stop or ask for help. (lust – the “b” in the Addiction Recovery Relationship)
- I ended up asking Heavenly Father for help before I went farther, but I still feel upset about even going there. (trying to repent, but not realizing what the core issue really is at all)
- I’m now trying to write out my feelings so I can work through them and repent. (a fair effort, but still blinded by the cycle of addiction)
It’s also so interesting to see the Addiction Recovery Relationship, as explained in “Sitting in a Rowboat” ebook, as I read through what I thought was happening.
This is what the Addiction Recovery Relationship means:
Pornography and sexual addiction can be described by way of a simple relationship: a=>b, b=>c. We call this the Addiction Recovery Relationship. It?s really that simple: “a causes b, and then b causes c.”
The three elements of the Addiction Recovery Relationship are (a) debilitating negative emotions, (b) lust, and (c) sexually acting out.
I took a few minutes to achieve one of my goals I set at SA the other day: to respond to my sponees’ emails at least once each day. I took the opportunity to share with them the 1-10 cycle I’d written out. Hopefully it will be helpful.
I also took the time to review Adam’s Step 4 inventory, and then review the two of mine to give him additional insight on the types of things I surrendered.
I’m grateful to be in recovery today.
I’m grateful to have a new day to surrender my will over to God.
I feel I’ve done this today already by not overreacting to the kids being crazy this morning right by my office.
I’ve also done this today by getting up and trying to really focus on recovery work and writing.
I’m so grateful for Becky. We had a good talk last night; one that wasn’t easy but one that was necessary. I hope that I can get answers about how I can deal with the negative emotions I feel every time I’m around my parents.
For today, I’ll take things one moment at a time and be willing and aware to surrender my feelings over to Him.