Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Deal Has Been Unsealed - Temple Sealing Cancelation

Photo Attribution here

Today we're going to talk about something that nobody likes to talk about: temple sealing cancellation.

I mentioned a couple posts back that The Mr. has gotten engaged. I received a phone call from his bishop asking me to write a letter addressed to the First Presidency of the church explaining how I felt about the idea of him getting remarried in the temple. The letter went something (a lot more formal than, but in essence) like this:

Dear awesome leaders of the church I love,

I'm supportive of The Mr. taking a second chance on love. While the speed with which he is pursuing marriage is concerning to me personally, I recognize that this is no longer any of my affair. I sincerely wish he and his fiancé happiness in their new life together. The prospect of being in what essentially amounts to a polygamous sealing with my ex-husband and his new wife against my will, however, is a concept that makes me more uncomfortable than I have words to express. May I please have a sealing cancellation? Thanks.



I wasn't really sure why I asked them for a cancellation in that letter... I mean, it's not as if I expected them to write me back saying, "Sure thing, doll. Would you like fries with that?" But The Mr.'s bishop asked for my feelings on the matter and feelings he received.

I was then instructed that the proper channel is to go through my bishop here to start the process of officially requesting a cancellation, which I immediately did. He's a very nice guy, my bishop. He's got that simple, clear cut, straight forward thinking I admire so much. I explained my situation to him and he agreed. Why stay sealed with someone who you aren't married to anymore? Being a singles ward bishop and somewhat unfamiliar with procedure he went to the Stake President to ask what to do next and came back a couple weeks later to let me know that the Stake President had put the kibosh on the whole effort, saying, "That's not what we do."

There seems to be an idea floating around out there that there are blessings afforded a woman for staying sealed to a man in the temple, regardless of the state of their marriage (or non-marriage) and who did what to whom in the divorce. This has always struck me as absurdly illogical. The blessing I wanted was to have any and all ties with that life cut, quick like a band aid, the sooner the better. Being free from any other process I would have to go through to distance myself from him at a later date, knowing I am in absolutely no way connected to him and his damaging influence on my life, that's a blessing I understand. That's something I can sink my teeth into. That was what I wanted, and last week, aforementioned kiboshing of the Stake President notwithstanding, that's what I got. It was a letter in the mail. Unexpected. Maybe that's why it affected me so.

Dear Frowfrow,

The Mr. contacted us asking for a cancellation. Would you like fries with that?


Tommy Monson

Captain Amazing sat across from me, dumbfounded at why I was crying, saying, "But I thought you wanted this...? Why are you upset?"And the truth is, I was a little dumbfounded too. I did want it. I was grateful for it. I was relieved and happy and free and... alone and devastated and sad all over again.

It was supposed to be permanent. It was supposed to be serious. It was supposed to work out alright in the end, but this is the end...again. Yet another element of ending, and it's not alright, not my marriage to the Mr. And it never will be alright.

Today I'm grateful. At least in my mind I'm grateful. Logically grateful. Mind made up to be grateful. Feet set on a grateful path. I do not miss being married to The Mr. That time was so unexplainably painful. However, I do miss the person I thought he was and the husband I thought he would become. I miss our home in Long Beach. I miss being a wife and not having to sleep alone and knowing I would never have to date again and having a permanent buddy all the time. Most of all I think I miss the concept that something in life could ever be completely stable, safe, secure. I miss the feeling that I could be a part of a functional family, and that something and someone in life could be trusted.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Best Worst Day of My Life

Somewhere in the early days when all I could think to myself was, "When will this feel less like a semi just hit my life?" I was consulting the all powerful Google and found this admittedly arbitrary formula. Recovery time from a divorce averages about one half the length of the marriage. 10 years marriage = 5 years recovery and so on, so I planted the seed in the back of my mind that I would give myself the first full year to focus almost entirely on healing myself up, and I have.

This is the year I will always remember as the year I slept just as much as my body asked me to, which sometimes meant going straight to bed at 6pm and waking up 14 hours later. I ate any and every thing I wanted and I let myself talk about my experience endlessly, processing it out of me by virtue of sheer repetition. I bought myself presents --nice dresses and red high heels, jewelry, and a guitar. I took myself on weekend trips, road trips, trips to the theater and movies and beach. I bought myself a reliable car and moved back to the home I'd left in a hope to appease The Mr. Then, I allowed my soul to let go of 9/10 of my earthly possessions to pursue my education (another luxury out of reach to married Frowfrow) in the two things I love most - art and Hawaii, and when a beautiful African man said to me, in his adorable accent, "Come outside, I'm going to kiss you." I said, "Okay."

To some this year may seem overly indulgent or self centered, but it has been exactly what I needed to get my sea legs back.  I had to learn that I can take care of myself. I can meet my needs. There isn't a man alive that can fix the broken parts of me, and I can stop looking, because Jesus and I are enough. My poor little terrified, broken heart and soul have been quieted, soothed, cradled and nurtured back into functionality, and I must say, today, 365 days after the best worst day of my life, I am thankful for what's happened.

I was making up a whiteboard for the students at work the other day and came across these wise words from the mouth of Oprah. "True forgiveness is when you can say, 'Thank you for that experience'." I cannot say I am grateful for every aspect of what the past three years of my life have been like, but last night when I was talking to God about the whole thing, this is some of the list we were able to come up with:

I'm thankful that I learned so much about myself through this experience,  that I now have a much deeper understanding of the importance of my own needs, hopes, dreams and establishing boundaries. I'm thankful that I get another chance at life, and that being in an unhealthy marriage helped me to see more clearly the things that are most important to me in life. I'm thankful that I know how much I love being a wife and how much I love having a husband. I'm thankful that I was married -- that someone, at least at some point, loved me enough to ask me to be his wife and that I had the time I did in Long Beach as a newly wed. I loved that short season in my life so immensely.

I'm thankful that dating again has opened my eyes to the things I did to contribute to the problems in my marriage and that I have all the time I need to work through those issues and becomes a healthier individual. I'm thankful that The Mr. had the courage to put a final stop to everything, and that he has been very respectful of my request that he not contact me again. I'm thankful for the new world that has opened up to me with possibilities that were once completely off the table. I'm thankful for all the long hours those who love me have put in with me--helping me move, inviting me over, flying me out for a visit, taking me out for an adventure, sitting in with me for the night, all the talking, all the prayers, all the hope and all the love. I'm thankful for the incredibly cathartic, healing experience writing this blog has been for me, and ultimately, beyond any other blessing to come from this experience I'm thankful that I have new understanding of exactly what my Savior is willing to go through, just for me.

So thanks for being a part of this first year of recovery. Thanks for reaching out to help me know I am not so alone in this unexpected stage of my life, and thank you, thank you, thank you that the first year is finally over. : )

Monday, November 4, 2013

Skinny Love

Photo attribution here

Oh, hello there blogging world. I've missed you so. : ) Where was I? Ah, yes! Captain Amazing. It's been about two months that we've been dating now. Here's a time lapse recap of the roller coaster we've been on in the form of a short list:

-Intercultural romance and all it's glorious gaps in communication.
-My neurotic fear of being abandoned and the way it manifests in destructive ways, right before my very eyes as I'm watching, thinking, "Stop it, Frowfrow! Stop it! Stop it!"
-His views about how public my divorce should be and why which happen to conflict with my views about how public my divorce should be and why
-Learning to balance time together and time apart, how we act in public and what each other's pet peeves are
-The endless inquiry, almost from day one of our time together, "Are you two getting married?"
-The bliss of a first kiss
-The bliss of many, many more kisses after the first ; ) I did mention how very much I love kissing, yes?
-The hormonal deluge that ensues post many, many kisses, and the havoc it wreaks on the mind and body, plus the added bonus of negotiating how to handle that, having tasted the forbidden fruit in my marital days of yore
-The beautiful, powerful, healing blessing of being with someone who will hold my hand when I'm lonely, kiss me when I'm happy, make me laugh when I'm too serious or sad, listen when he's tired, talk when he's mad, and tell me I'm beautiful, just because

I'd be lying if I told you it's an easy experience. There are so many triggers, so much to wade through. The communication it takes to keep us going is fairly intense. I freak out and tell him we need to break up every couple weeks. Sometimes I tell him I just want to kiss him and punch him at the same time. Once or twice I've cried so hard I think he thought my eyeballs would pop out, but the man is kind, calm, stable and supportive. He's a tender mercy, straight from God to me via Africa, all with a backdrop of Hawaii.

And by the way, Hawaii is every bit as magical, beautiful and lovely as they say, and Art Education is my soul mate in the form of a major. My depression and anxiety are at a very healthy low, my stress is managed, my family is positive and supportive, and my boyfriend is hilarious, hardworking and handsome.  Also, I get to teach Gospel Doctrine every other Sunday, which makes my life complete.

There's not really much of a moral to the story this time, just a basic update. We're coming up on one full year out of divorce now, so the stories are likely to become a lot less epic or dramatic in terms of being directly related to divorce. It is kind of nice to see the way life is evening out emotionally, just like they all said it would. I'll keep posting here, hopefully about once a month. This would be a perfect time for some guest posts as well. How is life as a Devout yet Divorced treating you? What issues have you been facing? What issues would you like to have addressed in a post?