Tag Archives: addiction

Only heinous people tell lies.

3 Apr

 

For the longest time, I thought I was the worst person in the whole world because I struggled with lying.

Only really terrible people do something so heinous as to make up a lie. It’s unacceptable, inexcusable, and unforgivable.
“What is WRONG with you that you wouldn’t be honest and you’d hide behind made up stories to fit in, or have something to talk about that anyone would want to listen to. You’re a fake and a total disgust of a human” are just a few of the thoughts that paralyzed me for a long time.

My husband has reassured me over and over again that EVERYONE lies. Yes, some people struggle in a more in-depth way than others if it happens to be an addictive behavior that Satan wraps them up in, but that doesn’t mean others have the authority to put themselves in a position of superiority like they are above such ugliness.

The problem is often that they classify “lying” as a definition that only includes what they “don’t do” and then conveniently exclude the ways that they lie.

There are a number of ways that we are tempted to, and even give into lying, that we rarely talk about in-depth. I’m not going to cover them all. I’m going to tackle three and hopefully I’ll start the ball rolling for you to make your own list.

1.) Lying by omission.

This is simply “not” saying all the details. I’m not describing keeping someone’s secrets, secret. It’s ok not to share everything we know about everyone with everyone. That is being a trusted friend.

Lying by omission is when we’re leaving out information, details, words, ANYTHING about ourselves that is giving someone an impression or story that isn’t entirely accurate. We might feel like we didn’t “say” anything that was a lie or that we can’t be responsible for what other people assume, however, if we are willingly painting a picture by NOT painting it, we’re lying.

Telling our spouse that we went to lunch today with a co-worker, while leaving out that it was a male co-worker, is lying by omission.

2.) Lying by repeating something with a different tone, inflection or attitude.

This happens in marriage A LOT! But that statistic in marriage might be beat out by how often this happens between women who have problems with each other.

The story changes, and the likelihood for hurt feelings and offenses greatly increases when tone of voice is misrepresented.
Picture this:
In a soft, calm voice with a smile Gina says to Penny, “Sally looked so pretty today. I bet she spent a lot of money on that dress. It was really worth it. It worked well for her.”

Penny doesn’t like Gina and always reads offenses into everything she says, so….
With a harsh, sarcastic tone she says to Sally, “Penny said you looked SSSOOO pretty today. I BET she spent A LOT of money on that dress. It was REEEAAAALLY worth it. It worked well for HER.” Flips her hair as if Gina was rudely gossiping about Sally and says “you should have seen her face.”

Sally leaves hurt and confused and now has an offense against Gina.

It’s not uncommon for spouses to say the phrase to each other “I didn’t say it like that.  I didn’t use that tone.  You’re making me sound like such a jerk!”

What if a husband says, “I’d rather you not tell me how to handle this situation. I’m struggling with the best decision and your emotions are so high right now that you’re speaking from a place of hurt.”

And the wife repeats it like this, “I’d rather YOU not tell ME how to handle this situation. (Pounds on chest) I’m struggling with the best decision and YOUR emotions are SO HIGH right now that YOU’RE speaking from a place of hurt.” (As if I’m the problem here and am messing up your life.)

In both of those situations, the words were repeated correctly…. but the heart was misrepresented and that constitutes as lying.

3.) We lie through our actions.

As a believer in Christ, this one really stings because if we have Christ, and we walk in sin…. we’re lying with our bodies.

Am I saying we can’t make mistakes?  Of course not.  We all sin.  And will all sin until we die!

But committing a sin and repenting is not the same as walking in sin continually and habitually.

We can’t claim to have Christ and yet walk a constant contradiction without lying with our bodies.

This happens often with couples who have sex before marriage.  They are telling a lie with their bodies that they are indeed one flesh when they have not truly become one flesh through permanent commitment and marriage.

This also happens when we have a habitual gossip, anger, addiction, porn, lust, pride, selfish, idolatry, money, love, forgiveness, bitterness, mercy problem(s).   We’re claiming to be a child of the living God, but constantly maligning His testimony through us.

We praise our Father, but then curse with our bodies by allowing them to follow the ways of Satan.

 

Sometimes we get so judgmental of other who struggle in ways WE never would, all the while, missing how we maybe aren’t that far from them.

That’s why Jesus likens hate to murder and lust to adultery. We may not be letting others see it on the outside, but in our hearts, we’ve already sinned.

 

Practical Application:

Are you trapped right now by Satan because of something you struggle with that you are believing no one else struggles with or is as horrible as you?

(Comment below or shoot me an email… I’ll help you uncover why that’s a lie too!!!)

Are you judging someone else for being so much worse than you are because you’d never do what they do?

Have you ever told a lie in any of these ways? Does this change how you feel?

 

The temptations of Social Media.

19 Sep

For every good thing about Facebook, I’m starting to believe there are at least two bad things as well.  What did we ever do in life before we sat around all day long checking in on what everyone else was doing through out their day? How did we ever spend our time before we wasted it looking at status updates, pictures and playing games?  Who did we choose to tell our big news to before we could just broadcast it to everyone we’ve ever met in life and all their friends too?

I don’t think Facebook is bad.  But I think it’s a huge temptation for people to behave poorly.

I’m SO beyond guilty of neglecting my kids, home, husband and ministries by wasting hours looking at, well honestly, 90% garbage for 10% worth-while updates.

Scripture warns about idle women.  They are always “busy” in others business and become a  busy-body by what they say. ( I Timothy 5:13 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.)

Don’t we do that sometimes (or often times)?  Don’t we judge others by what they post?  But look forward to the next thing they’re going to say? Or somehow think it’s our business to think critically for them? Or judge them?

What really has me concerned is the things we allow to flow from our fingers.

~ Frustrations with our spouse.

This is dangerous, disrespectful and very damaging.  Not only is it humiliating to your spouse to have their mistakes broadcast to the world… the picture you paint of their mistakes becomes the only picture of which people view them.

Scripture tells us we’ll be judged by the measure in which we judge.  And we have all made mistakes – and some pretty nasty ones.  If we’re going to broadcast others, we better be simultaneously broadcasting our own so we can paint the real picture of ourselves too.

Oh wait?  You’re more than your mistakes?  Whew, cause I am too.  And so is everyone else. Especially your spouse.

~ Secrets that would humiliate our kids if they knew they were being shared?

You don’t have to be 18 years old to be old enough to be embarrassed.  Or have a Facebook account to experience humiliation.  We can totally embarrass and belittle someone,  and it’s cruel and dishonoring – even if they don’t have an account to read it themselves.  You just never know what other parent is going to read it and tell their kid and that kid tells your kid.  Or the image you’re painting of your own child.  Again I will say, painting a picture of someone on only their mistakes, questions, funny misunderstandings or life experiences (even if humorous) is discrediting them in all their intelligence and amazing qualities.

~Eye witness events from people in our life that bother us. (Especially in-laws, church members, teachers, neighbors and ex-friends.)

I hate this one.  I believe this one TOTALLY discredits us as believers in Christ.  For one, it’s extremely unloving.  And Scripture says the world will know we are Christians by OUR LOVE. For two, it’s immature and idle talk.  And three, it’s only posted with the intent to humiliate, belittle or cause others to have a negative opinion of someone else.  ALL of these things are unlike Christ’s example for us, unholy, not beneficial, and damaging to our testimonies as believers.  Who would want to be saved if that just means they’ll become cruel and immature in their speech about  others?

We have no right to use Facebook as a platform to allow the world to hear our opinions about people we are judging or don’t like. This just takes our previous struggle with gossip to a few people and makes us guilty of gossiping to hundreds at a time!

And, we’re not fooling anyone when we think we’re “hiding” our true intent by masking it with “I just love when people …..” or “It’s so great when you walk into a person and they pretend …..”  all the while having someone very specific in mind but patting our self on the back by being “sneaking” and “careful” not to directly talk about someone.  Bad news…. it’s still talking directly about someone even if you don’t post their name.

~Assumptions about people based on partial knowledge or facts.

I think this one shows up more in our comments than even our own posts.  Someone else posts something about someone/something – We’re given a few sentences –  Maybe all true, maybe all false, and maybe just opinions –  And somehow, we think we have enough information to offer advice.  “You deserve better”  or “You should quit that job” or “Those people are such jerks.”

Really?  You’re sure that’s wisdom off of one off-handed post from someone in a disgruntled state of mind?

I wish all the Christians were hanging together and never participating in any of this, but it just isn’t so.  Christians or not, we’re tempted to join in, participate, and post inappropriate things. It’s juicy, glamorous, inviting and accepting temptations from Satan.  And it doesn’t seem “obviously” wrong in the moment. Besides, everyone else is doing it.

Satan rarely works in obvious and disturbing ways.  Otherwise, none of us would ever sin.

But I’m calling us out church.

We have no business judging those outside the church.  God tells us that His wrath is coming on unbelievers and it’s not our place to judge them. So – any talk about non-believers should not leave our lips, or fingers.  We know better.  And we should have empathy for the lost.  Not ridicule.

And to those of us in the church — I think it’s about time we start to judge our actions against scripture and hold each other accountable like we’re instructed to do. (Instead of falsely believing the scriptures about not judging each other applies to us.  They don’t.  We ARE suppose to judge amongst believers!)  We need not allow Social Media to trick us into being idle busybodies.

If our actions aren’t honorable before the Lord through our social media accounts – it’s time we clean them up, or delete them.

I’m the first to say – I’ve been idle.  I could do SO much more with my time.  I am wasting opportunities and have nothing to show for it.

How about you?

Practical Application –

Spend some time in prayer.  Ask God to give you new eyes when you sit down at your computer the next time to review your social media accounts.  Review your past updates.  Evaluate the words being typed by others.  Go back and look at friends post that you’ve liked and commented on.

Are you doing well in this area?

Or do you have some changes to make?

Are you checking it minimally for important connections and fun entertainment?

Or are you wasting hours each day being idle and unproductive at your job, in your home, and in your community?

His favorite thing is torture.

14 Sep

The post I wrote yesterday caused someone to comment the phrase “I, like most women, have watched one too many romantic comedies”  and this spurred something in me instantaneously that I don’t think I’ve ever fully tackled here before — so buckle up, this one’s intense.

I’m absolutely confident that I’ve talked a few different times about how over the last 12 years, we’ve had countless talks, arguments, and even hurtful fights over the television in our home.  Both of us heavily had an opinion and even though we were listening to what each other was saying, we almost grew MORE angry because we felt so polar opposite that it didn’t feel like the truth to hear a different dissection of the situation.  For me – and hang with me women because I believe this ONE statement destroys us over and over again in so many areas –

I was incredibly angry about the issue at hand, but I was enraged that he didn’t feel the same as me. And because my feelings were so on target, he couldn’t just have a different opinion, he was DEAD WRONG.

It took me until roughly a year ago to come to grips that he wasn’t wrong.  If he was telling me his “side” of things, I had to believe him instead of hating him.  I saw how I was taking my convictions, struggles, temptations and truths and demanding that he had all the same and was constantly pointing them out to try to break him down into just admitting it.

It never worked.  It pushed us apart.

My husband absolutely loves the television.  This magic black box allows him to escape to thinking nothing, being responsible for nothing, finding rest, enjoyment, contentedness, relaxation, and entertainment.  And practically anything can be on to fulfill these feelings.  With the exception of a few annoying cartoons, reality shows, and intensely derogatory shows, he’ll gladly watch anything.

I’m the opposite.  And the only way I know how to explain this well is to give a few examples.

First and foremost, when the television goes on, I battle jealousy.  Why can’t I be that love in his life?  (Which I addressed in another post about having him as an idol in my life.) How come he isn’t running in the door to be with me? Why isn’t hanging out with me enough, but rather the television has to be on all the time?

Then comes the show options:

Scary/Horror shows or films – If I’m not scared out of my mind watching them (which I always am) I am plagued with intense nightmares for weeks.  Even that have nothing to do with the exact story line, once I’m frightened – Satan has a hay day with my paralyzing fears.  I’ll lie awake at 2:00 in the morning in tears battling thoughts about my kids being kidnapped and sold into the sex trade and I can’t find them and they’re suffering.

Romantic shows/comedies – These are the worst.  You know how most women absolutely LOVE a good chick flick?  NOT ME.  I hate them!! Of course there is the obvious problem that it paints this picture that men are capable of swooning over the love in their life in romantic and creative ways.  It causes anger and jealousy toward my own husband because I have always wanted that kind of romantic marriage.  And when it looks so attainable, ESPECIALLY When he’s watching it too and doesn’t pick up any pointers, I’m furious with him.

But so much worse than that is the women in the film. They have flawless bodies, and flawless skin.  I can get on board that models are airbrushed.  Actress can’t be airbrushed and filmed at the same time.  They’re gorgeous.  And the movies make them appear that they are naturally gorgeous.  Like first thing in the morning with messy hair and seemingly no makeup – that kind of beauty is SO out of reach for me.  And then they always end up naked (or mostly) at some point in the movie.  And I’m staring at the screen thinking “you’re hot.  holy crap, there is no possible way my husband isn’t turned on right now — I mean, I’m even a little turned on for crying out loud.  he’s gonna think about this scene later.  and if he initiates anything with me tonight, it’s not gonna be because of me, it’s gonna be because he’s turned on by this incredibly gorgeous woman.”

Action shows/movies – I don’t find them entertaining at all.  The whole time I’m struggling to understand how destruction, evil forces, death, or make-believe is captivating and enjoyable.  I’m so uncomfortable and often fighting back tears because I can’t take the display of innocent lives being slayed.  I also sit there dumbfounded at the screen wondering how when I ask my husband a question about something that hasn’t happened but I want to know what he’d think/do/feel if we were in that situation, he can’t answer and seems annoyed.  Yet here he is completely engaged and desperately hanging on his seat for the next super-hero movie to come out and I’m like, what in the heck?  It’s seriously make-believe.  It can NEVER happen.  This is so stupid.  Why the double-standard???

I could go on because this type of thing happens with almost every type of entertainment.  But I think this paints a good enough picture to make the point.

I have to stay away from the television because other wise I grow jealous, angry, unfulfilled, dissatisfied, accusatory, bitter, and most of all unsatisfied with my own looks, skills and abilities.

And when my husband’s favorite activity in the whole world in watching television/movies and he loves for me to sit in the chair or on the couch with him and *enjoy* this too and it’s literally one of the most painful activities in the world for me…. it stinks, bad.

I try to do it every so often.  I want to love him in the ways he feels it most.  I want to spend quality time with him doing things HE likes too.  I want him to feel like he married someone who accepts him and appreciates his recreational desires.

But it’s tough.

Practical Application –

I don’t know that I have any real good advice to put in here.  If you don’t struggle in this way, it’s easy to be judgmental (just like I was of him for so many years for NOT struggling in the same ways I do.)  I just pray a lot that God allows this to be something that doesn’t tear us apart.  That we can accept these truths about each other and exercise love for each other to protect each others hearts.

Online Obsession

9 Aug

Last night while laying awake in bed waiting on my hubby to get home, I started feeling the conviction of my online obsession being addressed by the Holy Spirit.

I love my computer.  It’s a glimpse into adult life for this mom who stays home with kids all day long, every day.  It’s my chance to interact with someone, ANYONE who isn’t begging me to do something I’ve already said no to, refill a cup, wipe a butt, or get them something to eat.

Something about looking on Pinterest seems more appealing than that other stuff.

But as I lay there in bed last night and I realized that next week is our last full week of summer before school starts the following week, I was painfully aware of how many times I’ve said “just a minute”, “let me finish reading this real quick”, and “I’m right in the middle of something here” WAY too often.

I can’t even fathom when I honestly think about it what is so great about reading someone who I knew 15 years ago whom I never see anymore and quite possibly never will again, Facebook’s status update that is most of the time a waste of my time, that is better than living life with my kids right in front of me.

Honestly, I think it has little to do with Facebook, Blogs, Email, or Pinterest and a whole lot more to do with my selfishness.

I don’t have to live out patience, gentleness and selflessness while sitting at the computer finding enjoyment and entertainment.

It’s the same reason my kids don’t really have many chores yet. My older kids are quite capable of folding the laundry – but they don’t because it’s easier and much quicker for me to fold it (the right way) by myself and get it put away, than sit there -frustrated- trying to teach them to do it.  I’ll regret that some day.  And so will their future wives!!

I’ve been convicted of this before.  In fact, once, I deactivated my Facebook account for about 6 months.  And guess what, I survived!

I don’t know that I need to that this time.  But it’s time for some self-control and self-discipline again.

How about it?  Want to join me next week?

Practical Application:

Set allotted times to be on the computer for each day, and stick to them!

Make the most of the time you’re not on the computer – whether it’s being with your kids, cleaning your house, catching up on a project, visiting a loved one, or volunteering in the community somewhere.

Let’s live life by face to face interaction instead of always behind a computer screen!

You can run, but you can’t hide…..

31 Jul

Last night, we had company over. Somehow, we got to talking about the 90’s and being in high school which led to singing some old song lyrics and just having a great time.

I grabbed the computer and we played around on YouTube for a good hour laughing and sharing stories.

Through this reminiscing and watching old videos – we started talking about celebrities and how some of the girls that the guys used to think were so pretty actually look ridiculous now or are all strung out on drugs.

This led me to do a google search on different names we were all throwing out there.

I was mortified.

I didn’t recognize many of the names. ((Side confession – I don’t watch or read the news at all. My husband tells me about recent events but other than people blabbing about it on their Facebook feeds, I just don’t see it at all.))

And to my extreme disappointment, I couldn’t initially tell what they were famous for just by googling their name. To the right of the screen immediately pops up a number of images of the person’s name you type in. And sadly, a good handful off these pictures were pornography.

I got really angry. It made me indignant that it was impossible to tell if the person was a singer, actress, news anchor, or professional sports player. I would have guessed they were all famous for being models.

In fact, someone suggested a person who is famous for being a Christian and I’m questioning that truth based on the images I saw of her.

It makes me disgusted that someone can’t be famous because of their accomplishments. That alone isn’t enough. They have to be famous for their naked or half-naked bodies, first.

And then I grew even more filled with rage that if my husband or children google these names, they will see these pictures.

After being appalled by the images popping up, one of our guests said “I can’t believe how surprised you are that there are naked women on the internet.”

And the thing is, I’m not surprised by that — but I’m broken-hearted that you don’t have to be looking for naked images for them to be thrust upon you.

I guess it was just another reminder of how incredibly hard it is for men and women to stay pure. God help us all.

Regret – Practical Application.

20 Jul

I finished my post on Regret the other day saying that I wasn’t quite ready to fill in my practical application…. and I wasn’t.

This morning, I am.

I was reading in Corinthians the other morning and brushed through this section of scripture quickly as I’ve read it so many times before; and yet this morning as I was spending time with the Lord, this came flooding back to the forefront of my mind.

Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  ((2 Corinthians 12:6-9))

Here’s the truth – the memories of my past keep me humble.  I do feel a great deal of shame and regret.  God doesn’t want me to be beat down with these memories as though I should bury myself in a hole, rather – these memories are what gives me the love and … wait for it, real shocker here – MERCY, that I understand so deeply in my own life and have for others.

This “thorn” in my flesh of being tormented by my failures cannot be removed, because I in my pathetic, addictive nature would

1.) Fall back into the same old sins.

2.) Become Conceited.

3.) Lose my ability to witness with mercy.

I often look around and see the people who personally know my mistakes and cannot look at me any differently.  They have labels for me that I will never be free from.  LIAR, SLUT, MANIPULATER, UNTRUSTWORTHY, IMMATURE

And because of that, I feel overwhelmed by the people I can’t change, can’t witness to, and can’t find a new beginning with.

When in reality, it’s such a small handful of people.  More people read this blog and are ministered to (at least 4 times as many) than the number of people I can think of that will never, ever care for me in this life.

So here’s my practical application:

As hard as it is, THANK YOU GOD for the memories.

Thank you for pouring out mercy in a way that I understand that few on this Earth ever come to fully grasp, and giving me a heart to show mercy in a way few will ever be willing to show.

Keep praying for guidance and help to keep this perspective because it teeters so closely to the line where Satan wants me to be – defeated, embarrassed, shamed, regretful and in hiding.

Regret…

18 Jul

The Respect Dare has been awesome –  but OH SO PAINFUL!!

I’ve convinced myself that NO ONE on earth looks back at the first 25 years of their life and regrets ALL of it.  I mean, I know people regret things.  But the key word there being “things.”

They look back and say “I wish I hadn’t done that.” “I wish I hadn’t said that.”  “I wish I wouldn’t have went there.”  “I wish I wouldn’t have dated so & so.”  “I wish I wouldn’t have hung out with him/her.”  “I wish I could re-do that one year.” And so forth.

But I don’t know anyone that looks back and says “I regret EVERYTHING I’ve ever done.”

Except me.

The thing is, even the good things I did /said / accomplished  were all laced in one way or another with the undertones of fake /lying / false realities.

Up until roughly age 21 ish – I struggled felt suffocated with the feelings of

– What I have to offer isn’t good enough — I need to embellish at least some part of myself to fit in, be worthy of listening to, have an input, be found funny, or be accepted.

– I need something that gets me my own attention – otherwise, I’ll just blend in the crowd and be ignored – even if that means faking or exaggerating events.

– The goal of life is to become someone’s whole world — and if I can possess a man’s full attention indefinitely without waver, I’ve succeeded -No matter what it costs me or what consequences lie ahead.

I grew up in a family of 7 siblings.  We were quite spread out.  My oldest sister was 21 and getting married when my youngest sister was 6 weeks old (and I was 3.)

From the time I was three, I had in-laws and from the time I was seven, I had nieces and nephews.  My parents were actively raising kids, while also actively babysitting daily as grandparents.  My dad worked a few hours before the sun came up, until a few hours after the sun went down.  He wasn’t available for “fun” or even to attend all my sporting events.  He was a great dad who always made it to at least one game during each season… but when you pour concrete for a living, 4:00 events just aren’t possible to attend.  I never remember really being bothered – it was normal.  Although I’m still not sure why my mom didn’t come more — except that she was always so busy, even though she was a stay at home mom.

Every year after age three, one of my siblings was getting married, engaged, or having a baby.  We were always talking love, weddings, showers and infants.  And somewhere in there – I became engulfed with one goal…. fall in love, get married and have a baby.

I ended up engaged my Senior year of high school.  To a loser.  Thank GOD He stepped in and changed EVERYTHING the three months after I graduated high school.

*** Before I get the nasty comments and ugly attacks about how “you can’t blame your mistakes on other people – like your parents or siblings” –  I’m not.

I didn’t say I look back and regret my parents choices and my siblings decisions.

I take full responsibility – no matter how misguided and under-identified I felt growing up.  At some point – you become aware of the strongholds that have rooted in your life.  And it becomes an active decision to make bad choices.

But I equate strongholds and habits to addictions – they give you what you want… and yet, when the negative consequences come (because they always do) they are often ineffective at changing your behaviors because your reality as a failure just drives you further to the problem.

Which is why everyone knows that when you tell one lie… should you be caught in that lie, you just have to tell more and more and more lies to keep covering everything up – until what is truth and what is not becomes impossible to define, even to yourself.

I told my husband last night, I have heard plenty of people say “I have made a lot of mistakes, but I wouldn’t change anything because they’ve made me the person I am today and led me to where I am now.”

I don’t feel that way.  Even if I was guaranteed a new future, as much as I LOVE my husband and my kids — I’d still do it ALL over.  Every last thing.  Because I’m ashamed, embarrassed, humiliated, disgusted, and regretful for all of it.

If my whole future was free from the consequences of all those mistakes, I might be able to move past it all much easier.  But, remember I said – I found some healing to those wounds, battles and scars around age 21 — but I met my husband when I was 18.

I can’t begin to tell you what a forgiving man he truly is and how incredible he has made my life now.  I’m so blessed by his complete and total disregard for anything that I’ve ever done or said that wasn’t good for us or our future.

He sees me – redeemed in Christ.

If only I could show everyone in my life that same image of myself through his eyes — maybe then, I wouldn’t walk around with such shame and regret.

Practical Application –

?? I’m just not ready to fill this in.  I’m still working through a lot of this.  And I don’t really know the answers fully.  I know what others would say… but I’ve tried the whole “Forgive yourself, lay it at the cross, you’re a new person” pep-talk and for 9 years, that hasn’t been enough.  Mostly because like I said — I can’t run from everyone, well, less my husband move us to Hawaii and we cut off all communication with the world 🙂