Wednesday, April 29, 2015

God Callings

In the LDS church, members are given "callings" -volunteer positions to keep the church functioning in an organized manner.
It's a great system that doesn't always work perfectly -just like life -and it gives members the opportunity to serve in a variety of ways.
I've served as a teacher, a leader, a pianist... I've given talks, treats, time, projects!  I've only ever hated ONE calling.  I was called as the "compassionate service leader" and it made me physically ill to call and ask people to help other people.  I agonized over who to bother LESS with casserole-making.
"Hi, um, this is Alicia... Sister So-and-So just had a baby and I'm wondering if you'd be able to make dinner for her on Thursday?"
Sometimes (most times) I would just make the meals myself because asking people to help was so sickeningly difficult for me.

It still is.  I almost cried with happiness when they released me. 

We are asked to magnify the callings we receive... to prayerfully work at our task and endeavor  to hold and perform the calling in the same way Christ himself might.

I'm currently holding a lot of callings -none of which I am magnifying in the least.
I'm the organist for our Sacrament Meetings, and I don't practice.  I mess up a lot when I play.  As in, I've turned heads, and not in a good way.
I'm a sub scout leader, and yesterday my Lone Cub Scout walked through my door and I went, "Oh!  HI!  So glad YOU remembered about scouts today!" (the "I certainly didn't" was implied.)
I'm a stake missionary for the addiction recovery program, and I've given up on even holding meetings -mostly because parking in the seminary parking lot each week BY MYSELF triggered abandonment and loneliness.  The leaders over me haven't responded to my requests for paperwork, training, or HELP.  I'm going to ask for a release.
I'm a Primary Teacher and I read my lessons the day before I give them.

Clearly, I can improve.
And here's where the big but comes in.


I believe -so strongly, so so deeply -that God has inherently called each of us to God Callings.

Each Child of God is sent to earth endowed with gifts to help them magnify their calling: teacher, athlete, scientist, musician, healer, preacher!

So many callings!
Working recovery has helped me to find and define what my own personal callings are.  God wants me to use my voice: teach, write, laugh, share!  God wants me to tell stories, to find metaphors in BASICALLY EVERYTHING.  He wants me to reach out and share my life with others in order to bring light and connection where there once was darkness and loneliness.
God wants me to be a free spirit -He wants me to keep my feet off the ground, my wild hair around my face... He does NOT want me to be controlled by fear or another person (or fear or another person).
God wants me to give of what I have, no matter how meager it may seem.
God trusts me with children -my own and those scuttling around my ankles in the supermarket. 

Right now, I am magnifying my callings by FINDING THEM OUT through recovery, and God is giving me strength to simply carry on with my church callings.

I complete them well enough for now, and when the time is right and in God's timing, I will find that my NEXT RIGHT THING is reading my church lesson on Friday or Thursday and maybe even on Monday.

But that's not what He wants right now.

I can magnify my God Callings today by doing what I'm doing right now: writing.

It's more important, more vital, more life-giving than anything else. 

I am filled with gratitude at God's perfect plan -the way he seamlessly sews us all together in a puzzle of community perfection.  Where there is a healer needed, a healer is found.  Where there is a nurturer, a nurturer is found.  There's a mechanic and an organizer.  There's someone who is completely fulfilled by bringing beauty to bodies, spaces and faces.  There's someone who knows their way around mechanics and chainsaws... someone who makes desk living look attractive.  There's someone with a lush garden and someone with homemade breads and pies.
When we dive deep into our divine center and give ourselves the respect we'd give any other person we know to have GOD within them, WE FIND OUR CALLING.

A family or any kind of community knit together in mutual love, appreciation and respect for individuality and God Callings is HEAVEN ON EARTH.

Addiction twisted this truth -wrenched it out of control.

I felt I knew what was best for Danny.
In many ways, Danny felt he knew what was best for me.

As we take a step back and try to find ourselves, we stand in awe of each other... we begin to respect the God Callings in each other instead of trying to morph them out of fear.

Danny is a leader -he has a passion for justice that is brought out magnificently in his job.  Danny loves music -it speaks to him, and he uses his own musical voice to speak to others.
So often I've tried to force a love of literature on him. So often, I've tried to get him to STOP GETTING WORKED UP over justice issues beyond his control.

But I'm coming around to just watching Danny dive inside of himself.
I'm an observer on his individual journey to God -not an active participant.  In the end, it's ONLY about Danny and God.
The same is true for myself.

It's bumpy, but the rewards of uncovering and magnifying my God Callings?  WORTH IT.

The best part?  I love my callings.  God attaches passion to each of his God Callings , so that what He calls His children to do is fulfilling and pleasing unto them!

Not as true for ward callings that cause me to face character weaknesses.
There are women who are called by God to be compassionate service leaders, and I'm not one of them.  But in doing that calling, I gained a GIGANTIC appreciation for women who are naturals.

Thank you for them.
Thank you for the engineers, the athletes, the painters.  Thank you for the beautiful voices, the crafters, the brainy business ones.
Your children are brilliantly magnificent.
You must be so proud.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Energy Work

I began researching recovery about 5 years ago.  Two and a half years ago, I began really working it hard.
My recovery work has included reading books, watching clips and movies, writing, journaling, reading scriptures, receiving Priesthood blessings, regular meetings with my Bishop, working the Healing Through Christ 12-step program with a sponsor, and attending meetings via phone or online, reading through the church's 12-steps and attending meetings when possible -leading them in my hometown when anyone showed up, working the s-anon 12-steps with a sponsor, attending Addo recovery's 6-week free program and doing the homework, attending counseling, attending group counseling, working through some of LifeStar (I work the workbooks on my own from time to time), praying, praying, praying, dailies and who knows what else?

I have been BUSY.  I can safely say that my life is worked around recovery.

As Danny is moving back in and we're trying to figure out how this all works again, I quit teaching piano lessons and slowed my life WAY down.

I have NOT been working on my physical body.  Not even a little.  I've been so busy working on my mental, spiritual and emotional health that the physical stuff just fell.
I'm really all right with that because my faulty beliefs about my body were so powerful that I believe had I worked on my physical health, it would have come from a place of loathing rather than a place of love and compassion.

I was excited to notice a few months ago that God was prompting me to start taking care of my BODY.  It somehow marked -in my mind -progress!  If God felt I was ready to work on my body, I must be READY TO WORK ON MY BODY.
I started out slow: detoxing through drinks and baths, switching out my deoderant for a more natural aluminum-free option, buying new razors (when does THAT ever happen?)...

I went to the store with $50 and spent it all on myself and bought 2 new shirts, among other things.
I buy myself fresh flowers to keep on my piano as well.

I began drinking more water, adding in daily walks.  I started emailing my best friend (who works in a health-related field) what I was eating everyday, and she challenged us both to go without sugary treats Monday-Friday.
So I basically went from eating primarily sugary treats to eating FOOD (at least 5 days out of 7, anyway).

Still, the struggles are here.  I work on self-care A LOT, and I work on recovery A LOT and still I find that I struggle.  Does that mean I'm doing it right? or wrong?
I think it simply means that I'M DOING IT, and when you actively put your mind and shoulder to the wheel, it's a struggle.

I've gone from feeling so much love for Danny to feeling like I can't live with him in a matter of minutes.  My anxiety has returned full force and depression is starting to eek it's way back into my life.

It's almost like... Danny got sober -REALLY sober, I mean (he quit actively seeking out lust hits for a year and a half now.  And he's almost 3 years sober from porn, I think.  I'm not totally certain because I don't keep track like he does) -and NOW the hard stuff is happening.

Isn't that bizarre?  You'd think getting sober WAS the hard stuff.  It's not.  This we now know, and this we now hate.

As I lost my mind two weekends ago, I decided I needed to REST.  I figuratively sat down on the mountain climb and just rested.  And then I went to get a massage and my massage therapist does "Body Talk" which is energy work.  I felt God wanted me to have it done, so I signed up and went.

My massage was wonderful -being touched is something I crave.
The Body Talk was fascinating, and I can now see that along with 12-stepping and therapy and spiritual guidance... it's going to be an integral part of my recovery.  My Body need HEALING.

As she worked on me, she uncovered:
*My difficulty with nightmares which is a sign of a greater underlying issue.
*That issue -she found -is death. 
*My body required "switching" which means that I'd had so much stress and stimuli coming IN to my body that it just flipped a breaker and shut down.
*I am not processing stimuli correctly.  Probably because I'm on overload.
*There are elements in our cells (fire, water, metal...) and my cells are on FIRE.  They were begging for more water.  "Fire is intellect and wisdom," she said, "And water is listening... things like that.  That's strange.  Usually this doesn't happen."
"No," I said, "That sounds about right.  I'm guzzling info and not listening to anyone AT ALL."
*There is a thick matrix of betrayal around my heart... it is very deep, and present on many levels.  She said it was from Danny, but as she worked on me she found that it ran deeper than Danny. 
"This has been here all your life.  Things have happened in your life to bring this out, and it is also ancestral.  When you already come with something like this -a betrayal matrix -and then it manifests itself in your life, it is disturbing and so hard to heal from."

Her words were SO VALIDATING. 
I struggle and I work SO HARD to recover, and I was starting to think something was completely wrong with me.  But knowing my ancestral history, I believe I DID already come equipped with betrayal issues.

I've been doing some of the exercises she sent me home with, and it is changing a few things.  I'm excited to see how it helps, and I am certain that it will.

I'm still laying off sugary snacks on weekdays (and I've lost a few inches and A LOT of water retention), trying to drink more water, walking daily.
I'm giving my body sun and fresh air instead of giving myself a thinner body -does that make sense?

I can see that energy work -Body Talk for me -can be a necessary tool in recovery, and I'm grateful to have landed on it.
My body is giving me a lot of information right now, and I'm trying to be still and listen.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

On The Road

Living in a small town means traveling to other towns if you want something like pizza on a Tuesday (the tiny pizza shop in town is only open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays) and bigger parks with slides.  On Monday, I met up with a friend at a bigger park with slides for lunch.  As we drove on the Interstate to get there, my son asked, "Mom, what are we in?"
"What are you talking about?" I asked, a little confused.
"Are we in Joe City?" he asked.
"No, we aren't IN anything.  We're just on the road."
"But what are we IN?" he pressed.
"Nothing, bud," I said, "Just on the road."

On our drive home, the conversation continued.
"What are we in now?" he'd ask.  My patience was wearing thin.  As we neared town, we could see the truck stop on our exit.
"Ah!  Now we are in Joe City!"  He called out.
"No, we are still on the road," I said.
"But I can SEE the truck stop," he insisted, "If I can see it with my eyes, how can it not be true?"

And I had to smile.
He is definitely my son.

I hate being on the road, literally and figuratively.  I'm impatient.

I really, really, REALLY struggle with being WHERE I AM.  I struggle to feel the anger that naturally comes with this.  I struggle to let myself hold my resentments... I want to FORCE myself to give them up even though I am definitely not ready. 
Most of all?  I am not okay hurting.  I am not okay with feeling trauma STILL.

This last weekend I had what any outsider would deem, "The Mother of all Overreactions."

I basically sat down on my way up the mountain and felt the sting in my calves, the thirst in my throat and the exhaustion in my entire being. 

I believe our marriage can be healed just as much as I believe Danny can be healed.  I do doubt a little that I can be fully healed from this broken state.
I just don't know that I have it in me to FIGHT the good fight, to keep going!

I feel safe with Danny away, and each time he rubs my trauma I push him away, away, away.  And anyone who needs THIS much space is really stupid to stay married, right?
The voices inside of me were at war with each other.

Danny didn't know what to do but promise he'd work to understand, he'd work hard to do what I am too tired to...
I hate promises.

I asked for space, took my ring off.  And then I felt nothing.  I was (and am) utterly emotionless.
I prayed and felt good about staying.  I felt better about leaving.

The thing is: above any mortal person, Danny gets me.  More than our therapist, more than my sponsor, more than our truly inspired Bishop... DANNY gets me.  And though his progress was much less on the "pro" side lately and more on the "re" side... he still found the clarity to see what I've been going through.  He took full ownership.  He validated me.
"Good days with you are really good," he said, "and bad days are really bad.  You're a deep feeler and that's okay.  It's something I love about you."
He assured me that if I have this kind of breakdown every six months, once a year, once every two years, THAT WAS OKAY.  And then I went to a fireside -my cousin reported her mission.  I had told my aunt earlier in the week that I'd bring 3 dozen cookies. 
And then trauma.
So Danny stayed home from the fireside and made 3 dozen peanut butter cookies from scratch.

I wanted to stay with him.  I wanted to leave him.  I felt God wanted me to do both as well.
So I ate half a bag of jelly beans to help quell the confusion.

I continued to pray, and the answer remained the same.
Staying is good, leaving is better.

I decided to go to the temple alone and pray.  I wanted to ask specific questions.
Danny gave (is giving) me lots of space: no touching, no loving words, no phone calls, no texts.  He sleeps on the couch.

I reached out to a friend and voiced my frustration.
"How am I STILL HERE?  How am I STILL HURTING?  I have been working on recovery stuff for almost 5 years.  I don't think I can continue to live with someone who rubs my trauma so ON TARGET."
She doesn't know much about addiction, but her understanding of the principles recovery teaches?  Spot on.
"It's not like cancer, Alicia," she said, "It's not like something that comes and is treated and then gone.  This is how it's going to be.  And it will get better on the Lord's timetable, but not yours."

I don't feel triggered when I see fashion magazines anymore.  Progress!
I don't feel triggered when I see ladies in short shorts anymore.  Progress!

I guess I felt like I was DONE with trauma.

And Danny is doing really well.  I started recovery BEFORE him and I'm still struggling MORE than he is!  This is frustrating for me.
He came home from work yesterday and as he prepared to go to the temple himself, I felt like maybe I could go with him.
Crazy, right?  After all of these CRAZY thoughts and feelings?  But again -I'd been kind of on auto-pilot all day, emotionless and functional.
The last session started at 7, and an emergency sitter was procured.  Danny lost his recommend briefly, but we finally walked through the temple doors at 6:50.
"We're here for the session" we said.
"You're too late," the nice man in white said, "The last one started at 6:30."
Apparently the temple schedule online is outdated.
"But you can do sealings," he said.

Did you hear that?  The tension?  The VIABLE TENSION?
Danny's eyes looked like the eyes of a deer in the headlights.  Fear, fear, fear.
All it might take is one sealing, and BAM.  Divorce.

But I felt nothing.  So I said, "Let's try it."
And all through the sealings, I noticed the wall paper and the pretty crystal chandy.  The ladies in the room were so pretty and glowy and their silver hair made me happy.
The words of the sealing ceremony seemed unable to enter my heart.  It was as if God had walled off any and all depth of feeling from my soul.
I felt shallow and incredibly happy about that.

In the Celestial Room, I cracked open a white bible and inhaled the sweet scent of humidified air.
I read the story of Abraham trekking up a mountain with his only son.  Surely he felt conflicted about the whole thing.  Surely God was telling him something that went against his gut. 
The story brought me some peace and a little not (the Old Testament freaks me out sometimes)... but I closed the book and prayed. 
I'm willing to leave if God REALLY wants me to.

But it's so hard, when it comes right down to it, to walk away from a man who bakes from scratch.

I asked God some pointed questions and he communed with me.  He walked with me in the mazes of my broken mind.
"Leave him and cleave unto me," God said, ever the jealous God.

I thought I was.
I've used all of the books, all of the info, the programs, the scriptures, the prayers, the meditations!  I've used the songs and the practices and activities!

With Danny in the home, it is nearly impossible for me to cleave unto God.  I still find myself giving into fear, to making Danny my center... even though I do my daily prayer, my daily scripture study!

A few days before I sat down on my mountain trail, God spoke to me through mind-music (when he puts a song in my head and makes me go, "Aw, GOD!  You KNOW ME SO WELL!") and told me to take His yolk upon me, for it is easy and His burden light.  And I would find rest.
Okay!  I said.  And finished my walk with determination but scratching my head.
Kind of like, "I WILL DO THE THING! (I don't actually know how to do)."

Maybe it's a lack of faith?
Maybe it's an opportunity to grow.
Maybe it's because I don't really believe -STILL -or at least today -that God can truly fix this mess.

So today I'm heading in for a massage.  I took a nap today. 
I am allowing myself to be ON THE ROAD which means having days where the trauma comes up -because it isn't healed yet -and I AM TOO TIRED TO MAKE ONE MORE STEP.

It's part of the process.
It's on the road.

And though I can see what life might look like without having such a guarded heart, it doesn't mean I AM THERE or that I'm bad for NOT being there.

I'm simply on the road in the valley, and when I reach the mountain top, it will all make sense.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Out of Captivity Into Good

I've been reading up a bit on the story of Joseph and his brothers... I want to get into the meat of Moses' story, and Moses' story really begins with Joseph.

I didn't intend to get anything out of Joseph's story, really.  As I cracked open my Old Testament, I really felt like I was just perusing an intro... so I was surprised when I was stopped in my tracks at Joseph's words.  I was surprised to find that I NEEDED Joseph's story more than I needed Moses' story right now.
A few months ago, my mother confessed to me that my Dad had made a remark to her about my light. 
"It's gone out," he said.  His words echoed a blessing he'd given me, "Alicia, you have many people around you who love you and are worried about you.  They can tell something is wrong.  The light you carry with you has been dimmed..."
He went on to promise -through the grace of God -that light would be restored.

Before I met Danny, I didn't give too much thought to what others thought of me.  I wore crazy clothes and I did crazy things.  I didn't get into trouble, but I was comfortable with how unconventional I was.  I made friends with like-minded people, and my last year of high school and first year of college were so precious to me. 
It's safe to say, I think, that during that time my light was burning brighter than ever.

My high school was down the dirt road from the house I grew up in, and we always ate breakfast as a family (though dinner as a family was harder to muster).  I'd often stroll out of the house wearing whatever struck my fancy that day: sarong over capris, a skirt with a tee, a bright orange scarf...
One day I bounded out of the house wearing a sheer (but shiny!) light pink over-sized button-up shirt (over a white shirt) and my hair done up in double buns on my head.
My Mom told me later that day that as I'd walked proudly to school, she'd told my Dad that I looked ridiculous.
"I think she looks classy," he said.
He said the same thing about my pink Superman beanie.
Dad was a pretty classy guy himself.  He has always paid careful attention to his appearance when it mattered -not so much on the pasture, under a car, or standing over a cow he's branding/milking/herding... but at church.  He always dressed so nicely.  His boots were often polished, his shirt pressed.
Basically, this made his closet perfect for raiding because -you guys -he SAVED ALL OF HIS WESTERN CLOTHES FROM THE 70's.
And though he made little attempts to connect with us as teens (he really had no idea what to do with us when we turned 11)... he would always give a loving nod to his flowered-up Wrangler shirts getting a second chance at fashion.
"Nice shirt."

Reading Joseph's story reminded me of my own Father -how proud he'd been of my "classy" taste in fashion, my fearless bird-flipping to Calvin Klein and American Eagle.
When I married Danny, there came into the picture a change... he understood fashion and matching and the whole "belt and shoes must be the same color" thing.  He helped teach me the ways of matching, and I was truly grateful.
Except in the course of learning matching, I lost a piece of my light.
As time went on, I wouldn't get dressed without Danny's approval.  His addiction and my wanting to please became entangled in a dysfunctional lust affair, and it didn't take long for me to feel as if I'd been taken from my father's house, had my flair ripped from my back... I felt like I was in a pit, trapped and scared, and the one who helped me find my way down was someone I had loved dearly and trusted with my life.

I felt as if I'd been bought by the porn industry -it ruled me.  I competed, idealized... It took over my choices, my life.  I dressed according to media expectations.
I listened to Brene Brown's TED talk, "Listening to Shame" and felt a little ill when she said:
" ...some research by Mahalik at Boston College. He asked, what do women need to do to conform to female norms? The top answers in this country: nice, thin, modest and use all available resources for appearance."

That's the industry that bought me: unrealistic expectations for appearances and sexual relations as well as a warped definition of the word "perfect."

As I climb out of the prison and back up the ranks of emotional, spiritual, mental and physically healthy living,  I find the flickering light inside of me beginning to spark.
Each time I go with my gut, the flame burns a little brighter.
Each time I give into fear, the flame dies down.

It's some kind of dance filled with fine lines and grey spaces.

It's hard work, and sometimes I want to give up.  Sometimes I DO give up.  Sometimes I spend a day behind closed blinds numbing out with movies and snacks.  
But the progress is real.

I'll never forget the first time I saw a Cosmo magazine... I mean REALLY SAW IT.  I used to "see" them and feel longing, sadness, "I'll never look like that."
For the first time, I SAW the Cosmo magazine and realized the lies my brain had been believing as truth.
The woman on the cover was unnatural because she'd been altered.  And it was unattractive.

My appetite for reality -for the beauty in God's creations AS IS seems to be insatiable.  Every time I see crow's feet or freckles, moles and thick thighs with pock marks... I breathe in the LIFE and think, "God is truly amazing."

I can see the lies. 
I am returning to truth -to God.
Like Joseph of old, I have my Heavenly Father restored to me.  Recently, my father remarked to my mother, "She's back.  She's come back again."

I had lost my father -what's more: he had lost his daughter.  What a painful, preventable tragedy.

After Joseph's earthly father passed away, his brothers were afraid of Joseph's vengeance.
From Genesis:
 15 ¶And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.
 16 And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying,
 17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.
 I remember a time when Danny asked me to please read, "The Peacegiver."  I'd read it before.  I didn't feel as if I SHOULD read it again, but Danny was insistent.  I finally gave in.  He seemed impatient for me to read, to make it through.
"Did anything stand out to you?" he would ask.
It turns out, he was wanting me to forgive him.  
"Forgive, I pray thee now..."
Joseph's response is insightful:
18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
 19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?

Joseph recognizes his role.  He recognizes that he is not God, and his brothers have need of seeking forgiveness from God more than they have need of seeking the forgiveness of Joseph.
For so long, I felt as if Danny OWED me this apology.  I truly believed Danny had sinned against ME and only me.  It makes sense that I felt this way because I had often put myself into the role of Savior, constantly trying to save Danny from his own addiction... each time Danny acted out it felt more like he was sinning against ME because I exchanged my own progression for saving Danny.

He then goes on to say:

 20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
 21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

That passage hit me hard yesterday... the line, "God meant it unto good."
I look at my life now, my perspective, my relationship with God, my new found friends, my light, my core, my LIFE.
God meant it unto GOOD, and it IS good.

I think of those who have gone before, how they have helped to rescue me and "save much people alive."  So many people have endured so much abuse, hate and horrors and go on to "save much people alive."
It's Step 12.

My Heavenly Father and My Earthly Father have been returned to me, and I feel the sweet nectar of forgiveness.  I see how God is God in all of this -God will take Danny and I can let go of Danny.
I can hand back "The Peacegiver" and say to him, "Fear ye not."


I may not have my crazy clothes back, just as Joseph may not have his coat of many colors... but I have freedom.

And with this freedom, I will live and nourish and comfort and speak kindly.  With this freedom, I will seek to cleave unto God, and though I will fail as mortals do, I will simply keep practicing.

Today I will practice by staying home with my sick child, looking in the eyes of my toddler and pray for forgiveness.  I will take care of my body by treating it a detox bath and some healthy food.  I will pray my latest favorite prayer, "What you do have be do today?  Who would you have me serve?"

And I will embrace my free spirit, even if that means the living room doesn't get vacuumed.  
I will let freedom be the theme of the day -in Christ, I am free.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

One Word in Front of the Other

I need to write for my healing.
I need to.
God WANTS me to.

But I don't know if I have anything worthwhile to write.

This afternoon, I sit in a sort of pit of resentment.  I feel sadness.  I want to feel anger, but I was raised NOT TO and breaking that weird pattern in my brain seems pretty impossible.  I can't seem to let anger out and so it's been wandering around my body and soul for a solid 6 years... starting up street fights now and then but never getting out of town. 
I wish I had the fire of Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley -to pull out my pistols and challenge all of the anger in me to a hot shoot-out.  My backside would end up on the dusty trail and I'd be bloodied, torn, and battered BUT ALIVE.
I'd blow my smoking gun and assert my dominance.  Something like, "this body ain't big enough for the both of us."
Because it isn't.  But we're all still walking around together, passive aggressively giving up our side of the street for one another.

How do I let it out?

I know there's answers.  I know those answers work, but here's the thing: they don't work for ME.  My entire being will not fully let anger out.

I have quietly burned things.  I have written.  I have gone running. I have huffed and puffed.
But the anger is still residing within, and I am still hit with it whenever it decides to come poking up.

I fantasize about letting it go, but I don't know if I can.
I want to WANT to let go of my resentments, but I worry that after the resentment is gone, there won't be anything left to keep me strong.

I remember the hurt and pain, and I hold boundaries because of them.  What if I let go of some of that?
There's a part of me that's afraid of "going back" to the girl I was all those years ago -the starry-eyed 19 year old who trusted and loved unabashedly -who reigned not in her passion for love, romance and life.
I lived ALL IN.

If I have my resentments, I am not ALL IN again and I feel wiser, safer and boarded up.
I can feel myself inching toward letting them go, and it terrifies me.
I know the answers to fixing myself -rather, letting God save me, but when it comes to trauma... rational application of healthy thinking doesn't really make much of an impact.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't want to be fixed.
I don't want links or articles or help because I have access to my gut, and I know what my gut needs and there's a raging war going on between my gut and my broken brain and it's all very exhausting.

And when links get sent my way, I feel inadequate because I'm a prideful person.

I mostly want progress in myself faster than I'm able to give it because I'm impatient.
My pride is very strong, my will is too.

I know my resentments are killing me.  I know because they are there, festering under a myriad of healthy, rational new habits and bright, happy healing... they will bite. 
And when they do, I spend more time in drama, more time hurt, more time obsessing, comparing, fighting, surrendering.

James Allen says that when we are at peace with ourselves, no one can hurt us.
Holding onto resentments is proof that I am not at peace.
Trying to convince the hurt girl inside of me that she needs to pry up the nails and boards around her is excruciating. 

And honestly?  I don't exactly what anger looks like for me. 
Because I've never lost it before.

Can I live life all in again?
Can I let myself?