Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Healing for the Afflicted

via theclericalerror.com

I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer. 

They went in and operated on her, removed it, and she's working on recovering now.  Because of the form of cancer she had, she hasn't had to do radiation or chemo.  The cancer was in her thyroid.   And now it's not.
Because she no longer HAS a thyroid.

She wrote about an experience she had soon after her surgery.  A team of two women work in the hospital where my friend had her surgery.  They volunteer their time to give massages and facials to cancer patients.  My friend was the recipient of a free facial, hand massage, foot massage, face massage and make up application.  When she left, she was sent away with a bag of healing gifts: yoga pants, tank top...

And she can go back whenever she feels a need.  for free.

Isn't that amazing?  That was my first thought.  How amazing that there's people out there running facilities like that.  And wonderful. 

And then part of me -the spoiled, pouty child in me -rose up and felt the pang.

What about ME?

Things are my house are a mess right now -a mess in every rotten sense of the word.  There's. STUFF. Everywhere.  I work in the mornings.  He works in the nights.  We pass each other in the driveway as I come home and he heads out.  When we DO have time to talk, it's about addiction and recovery.
We are working through so many emotions, so many old patterns.
Awareness is fairly SEEPING through every nook and cranny of This Old House.

I've become The World's Biggest Flake in forgetting to reply to emails or talk to the Booster Club about serving a luncheon at our class reunion this fall.
I forgot to invite a bunch of people to my son's birthday party last night.
I'm hurting others with my forgetfulness.  I'm offending people.
Because THEY DON'T KNOW... they don't KNOW what's going on over here!

Cleaning my house takes every ounce of energy I have.
Everything feels HEAVY.

Can't someone just remove my thyroid and then let's be done with it?  Can't the cut be in a visible place?  Can't there be a team of two women who call ME and offer to rub my feet and hands and face and give me yoga pants?

This lights a fire under my arse, and has inspired me to start saving my pennies so I can make a difference to other women who need a lift when hard things hit them -hard things that aren't obvious, that don't leave scars or medical records.
But then I realized: what difference will it make if I don't KNOW WHO NEEDS IT?

Will there ever come a day where this is talked about?  When shame will be stifled?  When people will stop saying things like "one's life should be kept to one's self"? (and yes, I said that in my best Mockery Sarcasm voice.  Mockery Sarcasm is my cynical persona).

I wish I had a point in this post.  I wish I didn't sound like a spoiled brat.  I've even started this post a few times and not published it because it made me sound Whiny Brat (my best PMS persona).

After I told my husband I was through investing in our marriage, I went to church and confessed to someone close to me that I'd had a hard week. 
"But at least you don't have a tumor in your head, right?" they responded, referring to a trial someone else in our Stake was experiencing.

At least a tumor is tangible.  At least people TALK about tumors.  There's fund raisers and a congregation of prayers!
Is it because they didn't CHOOSE to have a tumor?  But those who CHOOSE to have an addiction are somehow hushed up and herded out of sight?  What about those of us who live with someone with an addiction?
We didn't CHOOSE it.  And yet we're herded away?  WHY is there even herding going ON?

It's ridiculous that we don't talk about this.
That's all I'm saying.

I'm Angry Pants today.

The best medication will be a donation, best taken with a tall glass of chocolate milk.  You should donate to.  Angry Pants commands:


  1. I keep commenting because you keep hitting home with me. I just feel weird because I'm new to your blog. I've been thinking a lot about this lately...breaking the silence. I'm working within my area to prepare some firesides and Sunday lessons for Relief Societies. It is scary. Do I want my name out there? My face? I'm not brave at all. Am I willing to do it anyway? Agghhh! I'm just done with the shame. I'm done with the silence. I want to shout it from the rooftops so that people can join the fight. This war is so real! It shouldn't be fought behind closed doors. I want to raise my title of liberty. I want to treat the wounded warriors. I want to wield the sword of truth and grasp tightly to the shield of faith. I want to fight with such ferocity that the very powers of hell tremble in fear. I want to claim victory through him that reedemeth!

    But what I want isn't always who I am. But I'm starting by commenting on a blog like this using my real blogger account that links to my real blog that thousands of people read every day. I guess the shouts have to start with a whisper.

  2. Alicia,

    I felt this way. Oh so many times. I remember feeling like a widow, except my husband didn't die. Our marriage died and I had never felt so broken as a women, wife, lover, and human being. Nobody raked my leaves, nobody brought me dinner, nobody offered to help, nobody baked me bread, or offered me blessings, or prayed for me.... nobody knew what to say.... because nobody knew. I didn't tell anyone except a few select friends.... but the rest of the time, I was alone. Totally alone. My heart broke. Alone. A few trusted friends can only do so much....

    There were times I wish I would have been burned in plane crash.... because that seemed easier.... because those scars are visible..... there were times I wished I would have lost a baby..... because people can see the hurt and loss.... and they mourn with you..... and you could grieve openly..... there were times I wished he would have left me because he was in love with another woman.... because people can see that too. But the silent killer of sexual addiction.... the silent throb of a breaking heart.... the humiliation.... the isolation.... the absolute silence.... it can be cut with a knife..... the silence is deafening and after a while, the silence feels like it's robbing your heart and soul.

    And this is why I think a movement is happening now... and why it MUST happen..... because almost ALL women are dealing with this same pain. And I agree with Rachel.... everything starts somewhere... even with a whisper.... a brave and courageous whisper... and the more and more we reach out, the less weird or awkward or taboo it will become.... because almost ALL women and men are dealing with the same issues to some degree.

    I sat at an expo with Addo Recovery this weekend. Just me, Eric, and the crickets. A few brave souls came up and asked questions (maybe 12 in a total of 6 hours or so- which isn't bad actually :)..... 12..... I could see the women walk by... the ones who did a double take.... and I could literally SEE and FEEL that they needed this. I wanted to reach out and hug them, and welcome them into the booth..... and the few I did reach out to, they said "Oh, no, this isn't for me... it's for someone else...."

    There is no way that of the thousands of people who walked by, only 12 really needed the information. That statistic makes zero sense. ZERO. And i don't buy it.

    But we are starting to make a difference. All of us.

    I admire you words and passion so much Alicia because you are the type of person that can push a movement.... and Rachel, I am proud of you too.... that is scary to post as the real you... but is making a difference... and I think it makes you that much more beautiful ;)

  3. I kinda like Angry Pants Alicia ;) I so feel you on the forgetfulness- that was a hard thing for me to realize in myself because it SO WASN'T me. I used to be organized and on the ball with everything- then all of a sudden I couldn't remember anything that needed to be done and everything seemed to be falling apart. No fun!

    I think help needs to be easier to find on the internet. That needs to be our plan. It takes A LOT of healing before women are ready to speak out. It takes a lot of work for women, or men, or whoever is affected, to know that they're not the problem. That shame doesn't have to control their life. That there are SO MANY of us, and there's nothing to be embarrassed about and SO MUCH LOVE waiting for them. I literally looked online for help for over a year before I came across the hope and healing lds website. In hindsight, this was a blessing because I might have otherwise ignored T's bigger addiction with alcohol- that one was more socially acceptable and didn't sting in quite the same way porn did, but is seriously damaging nonetheless. So, I'm grateful for the way things played out in the end, on the Lord's timetable. But still, I was suffering, tormenting myself, for A YEAR! I wouldn't have dared talk to anyone about any of it. Not before I better understood what was really happening. Not before I was reminded that I had worth. That my husband's choices didn't define or control me. I agree with Rachel and Jacy- the movement is starting. The pain is too real and too widespread to be ignored any longer.

  4. Hey, I have angry pants and space cadet days, too! Hugs my friend...it's been too long! I got your CD...thank you soooooo much! I love it :) Just what I needed. You are so inspired!

    I've been taking on something huge these past few weeks and haven't had time to connect. I have been thinking about you and some of the other WOPA's. I so wish I could go to the Togetherness Project, but this huge something is what God needs me to do right now. I feel he has been preparing me for it.

    Anyways, I love you and hope to get in touch soon! HUGS :)

    P.S. If I were there we'd go get foot massages and facials.

  5. It would be nice if people recognized how truly awful this experience is, wouldn't it? Even though I know it makes people around me uncomfortable, I make a point of mentioning that my husband and I are in counseling for his infidelity when I turn down requests for my time because I want the people asking to know that we need help, too, that we are in a vulnerable place and need thoughtfulness, kindness, and ministering ourselves. It seems like all it's done though is make people give us a wider berth, like they think marital issues are contagious.

    Anyhow, I'd totally get a foot massage with you.