Free books April 18, 2022

BookBub has a FREE collection suggestion. I see we read and enjoyed book 1 in this boxset several years ago.

The Brides of Purple Heart Ranch Boxset Volume 1: Three Sweet Marriage of Convenience Western Romances

ON HIS BENDED KNEE
Sgt. Dylan Banks lost more than just his leg in the war. His fiancée and family turned their backs on him as well. Now, he’s determined to create a safe place where wounded warriors like himself can heal. But a hidden zoning law requires all residents of the Purple Heart Ranch to be married. To save his dream, Dylan and his men will have to tie the knot—but can a man with such deep scars inside and out believe in love again?

Maggie Shaw lost both her job as a veterinary technician and her apartment on the same day. Who knew her unreasonable landlord would kick her out for being four dogs over the one pet limit? Now, she and her gang of special-needs dogs are in trouble. Fate puts her in Dylan’s path with a proposal that seems too good to be true—but can her heart bear a loveless marriage of convenience?

HAND OVER HIS HEART
Francisco DeMonti has always been a man with a plan. Though his last plan led to his entire squad being wounded on a mission in Afghanistan. Now he’s seeking redemption by getting all the men in his unit hitched so they can stay together and heal. But his own heart is under lock and key due to the shrapnel around it that could kill him at any moment.

After years of scraping and saving, Eva Lopez finally steps foot onto a college campus only to be yanked away by the mean streets she came from. A local gang threatens her family’s safety until a wounded veteran offers a reprieve: marry a soldier in exchange for protection and the freedom to attend school.

OFFERING HIS ARM
Reed Cannon may be a numbers guy but being minus one arm due to enemy fire hasn’t slowed him down. Now he’s faced with a new challenge—find a bride so he can stay on the rehabilitation ranch that has given him and his squad back their lives. Reed turns to a dating app to narrow down the selection of potential brides. The woman who matches him nearly 100% is accessible online, but out of reach in reality.

Sarai Austin has done the impossible, she’s found a great guy online. The problem is now he wants to meet in person, and Sarai’s not ready for IRL. Her profile picture was taken three years and thirty pounds ago. To hide her weight issues, she tells Reed she’s out of town on business. All she needs is a couple of months to lose the weight and get back down to model-size. What she doesn’t count on is running into Reed in town.
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There are still other suggestion emails to check out but anything there will fit better in a separate post.

Hopefully I will have reason to be back soon.

Happy Reading

Read and enjoyed. March 05, 2022

This book is right up there on my favorites list. There are aspects of the story that I know will stay with me for a long time. It was well written, well thought out and I would love to read the other five books in this series. This one is still free, grab it quick before that changes.

His Pledge to Honor: a Sweet Marriage of Convenience Romance (The Silver Star Ranch Book 1)

Scout Silver can rehabilitate the most wounded of horses. But when an injured soldier shows up at her ranch, will she follow his lead down a trail of love?


Though she’s the daughter of a general, Scout Silver is used to giving orders, not taking them. That’s why horses thrive on the rehabilitation ranch she runs with her half-sisters. Over the years, her absentee father’s many divorces created a patchwork family, held together by their love of the ranch. But his last will is an order that threatens to rip their lives apart.

As the leader of an elite group of soldiers run by the brilliant tactician General Abraham Silver, Lincoln Rawlings has set out on his final mission—to fulfill the dying wish of his commander by ensuring that the general’s six daughters are taken care of. When Linc arrives on the Silver Star Ranch, he learns that what the Silver sisters need are husbands, else they’ll lose their beloved business. Instead of doing an immediate about-face, Linc’s heart stands at attention under the assessing gaze of Scout, the eldest Silver.

Unwilling to let her father once again interfere in her life, even from the grave, Scout has no plans to give in to the general’s demands. But when she meets the handsome and accommodating Linc, she has a hard time reigning in her heart.

Letting down the general is not an option, but Linc is hiding a secret from Scout. And if she learns of the deep wounds he bears, he might lose everything—the ranch, his honor, and the woman he’s falling for.

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Here is my next read, just started. This is a favorite author and I’m looking forward to another one of her books.

Bookshop by the Sea

Sophie Lawson should be enjoying her sister’s wedding day. But nothing could have prepared her to see the best man again.

After her mother became bedridden and her father bailed on the family, Sophie found herself serving as a second mother to her twin brother, Seth, and younger sister, Jenna. Sophie supported her siblings through their college years, putting aside her own dream of opening a bookshop in Piper’s Cove—the quaint North Carolina beach town they frequented as children.

Now it’s finally time for Sophie to follow her own pursuits. Seth has a new job, and Jenna is set to marry her college beau in Piper’s Cove. But the destination wedding reunites Sophie with best man Aiden Maddox, her high school sweetheart who left her without a backward glance.

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Happy Reading y’all.

PTSD and abuse. How do you know for sure? January 09, 2022

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

If you can’t remember how do you know it happened? You could be wrong.

I can see how, lacking memories, skeptics might question my claims of child abuse.

I’ve been thinking about this more intensely this weekend. It’s not that I haven’t spent time with it before. I have… decades in fact. Just not intensely.

This is the first time I’ve managed to lay it all out in order.

Just because my mind has refused to remember extreme pain, that doesn’t mean I have no memories of the rest of my life.

As a child, I remember poverty, insecurity and instability with a self-employed father full of brilliant ideas that didn’t always pan out. Highly sociable parents who loved to party and run with the fast crowd. An alcoholic father who was not always a nice, or faithful man. Dad was never alone much either.

Once the line has been crossed from inactive to active it can never be uncrossed. My conscious mind may refuse to remember the painful violations but my body remembers. Going forward, my unconscious thought patterns, reactions, and expectations were shaped by childhood experiences. As a teen, looking back, I recognize thought patterns that could only come from experience. With nothing to compare to, how could I know an inexperienced teen wouldn’t know what I knew. My naivete was in thinking I went in to marriage as a novice.

The most compelling indicator of abuse, though, was triggers.

For many decades, involuntarily, I refused to question anything. Thought patterns, reactions, hints, not even consideration of the to-question-or-not-to question dilemma, none of it. Subconsciously I knew I wouldn’t like the answers inspection would bring and my mind steadfastly refused to go there.

It was many decades before I gave triggers much thought. They were just a normal part of life. That is how it often is for the abused. Only when we see how others live do we recognize that what we live with is abnormal.

In the beginning most triggers seemed to be related to men. They range from a quick shut down, to knee-jerk reactions, to panic attacks. After years of examining root causes and then dealing with them, there were changes. Or, maybe it was whatever was next-in-line showing up.

The most recent episodes have taken me by surprise. With dysfunctional family dynamics there were multiple levels of abuse, much of it emotional. These lessor? triggers are taking their turn at gaining attention.

Reactions provide compelling evidence of abuse but the final nail in solidifying the idea was my brother insisting I admit it happened.

If there is any lingering doubt acesaware.org (Adverse Childhood Experiences) has extensive questionnaires offering insight. They name the minimum number of boxes it takes to assess probability. I passed the exam with flying colors. More than the required number of boxes checked off.

One of their areas of discussion is health issues. Aggravated by unaddressed abuse trauma. Two areas show up for me. Digestive and autoimmune. They have become more pronounced with each passing year.

A selfie standing on the kitchen floor.

This has been going on for more than ten years. I have a specialist appointment in a few weeks but it doesn’t look like there is any cure. This doesn’t surprise me. I’ve had skin issues most of my life, if it leaves one area it pops up in another. Why fight it?

There is no room left for doubt about what happened to me.

One more note: the As a child, .. paragraph above provided ample reasons for the checked off boxes on one of the questionnaire pages.

If you suspect you may be a victim check out acesaware.org , it is sponsored by California health and has a wealth of information and helpful tools available to everyone.

I hope this made sense.

C-PTSD conversation December 12, 2021

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

Trigger alert. Don’t read this if you are easily triggered or distressed with abuse stories. For sure don’t read this if my story distresses you. (family, friends.) I do promise there will be no explicit details. Generalities are bad enough.

Why now? you ask… It’s time.

If you are a praying person, I would appreciate your prayers. This is going to cost me, big time. It has to happen sometime and it feels like the time is now so I’ll carry on.

Why even do this?… It will be cathartic.

Advance warning – I do plan to end on a positive note. Something healing happened this week and I will share what that was.

Most of my life has been intentionally lived as if my past never happened. Parts of my adult life have been lived as a public figure, no one connected with me knew my background. It was all a secret.

There are two reasons for not speaking up sooner. One was that I had deeply repressed memories (still do) and wouldn’t admit to my suspicions without proof. My brother made me admit the abuse about 15 years ago when I was no longer a young woman.

The second reason (excuse) was tied up in protecting the reputation of the abuser. My outlook on that aspect has changed and protecting him no longer seems as important. I guess I was reluctant for family reasons too. None of that seems as important now either..

The reason for the abuse and the form it took is complex. I’m fairly certain there was abuse in Dad’s background which would explain why his alcoholism was firmly established by mid teens. It would also explain the sex addiction which probably started in early to mid teens as well.

An unplanned pregnancy (me) with unwanted responsibilities and lifestyle changes added rage to the mix.

Double addictions along with rage brought variety to the abuse. Selfish, immature, vindictive traits, didn’t help either.

So, all of that to say the abuse started early and took different forms depending on mood and availability. As the years went by access became more readily available. Mom had a job and also spent significant time in hospital fighting cancer. The last two years with him were the worst.

Dad was an extrovert and there were always visitors on the property. He was not adverse to sharing with his friends. As the abuse progressed I was groomed and trafficked. Money was a big draw. He was always in need of another bottle of whiskey. He was proud of his grooming.

My brothers and I were rescued as I turned twelve. Mom had to spend another stint in hospital and we were sent to stay with my grandmother. She insisted.

The door in my mind was slammed shut on all of the repressed memories. The experiences endured were unpleasant and as a teen there was not a speck of me wanting to be sexually active with boys. I’m grateful.

There were little clues in some of my irrational responses and thought patterns back then that might have been a tip-off if I had been willing to examine them.

Over the years prayer has been a very important part of my healing journey. I keep asking God to heal the exposed broken places that I have no idea how to fix or move past. He has been healing me incrementally for years, and friends and family are noticing the difference.

The positive note to end this post is about one of those healing times.

One of the aspects of intimacy, the experts say, is the connection formed in that moment. Casual or serious makes no difference.

I know it’s true. The relationship changes once that bridge has been crossed. The connection with your first is probably the strongest. Dad was my first and there were many more after him.

The last while I have been allowing myself to relax and let memories resurface if they want to. Sometimes it’s been emotions, sometimes bits of memories. There has been a heavy sense of connection to Dad.

This week in answer to prayer that connection with him has been broken. It’s gone, for him and all the other men he allowed in my life. I felt the emotion drain out of me and now I feel nothing for him.

I’ve let go of anger, I’ve forgiven him, the connection has been broken, and now the secret has been revealed.

There will still be triggers, more healing needed, and more issues to be faced. In the aftermath there will be a price to pay for sharing this story. It’s part of the deal.

Despite all of that I’m celebrating, in a numb kind of way. The secret is out. Another hurdle in the healing journey has been crossed.

If you made it this far, thank you for listening.

The sun is peeking from behind the dark clouds.

Bargain book November 27, 2021

Bargain books today, Suggested by BookBub. An enjoyable author.

Not Until Christmas Morning: A Christian Romance (Hope Springs Book 5)

She’s a fixer… He’s about as broken as they come… Can they learn to turn to God for healing and hope this Christmas?

Leah has always been a fixer. That’s why she decided to foster a troubled teen. And it’s why she’s determined to give him the perfect Christmas. It might also be why she feels compelled to reach out to her grinchy, reclusive neighbor Austin. But she’ll have to be careful that reaching out doesn’t turn into something more—she’s been hurt by crossing the line from friendship to romance once, and she’s not willing to let it happen again.

After losing his leg, his friend, and his faith in Afghanistan, Austin figures he’s about as broken as they come. Hope Springs is simply a stopping point—a place to rehabilitate his leg, get over the burden of his PTSD, and get back into shape to redeploy. He has no desire to get to know anyone while he’s here, least of all the meddlesome—if sweet—woman next door. But when she calls on him to help her make Christmas special for her foster son, something compels him to relent. Soon, his heart belongs to both of them.

But what if Austin is too broken for even Leah to fix? Can the two of them learn to turn to God for hope and healing—and maybe even a chance at love—this Christmas?

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The second book is one I have but have not read. I must change this.

Not Until Forever: A Christian Romance (Hope Springs Book 1)

Sophie thinks she knows what she wants. Until she returns to the one place she said she’d never go again. And finds the one man she thought she’d left behind forever.

As she focuses on her career, Sophie doesn’t let herself think about what she gave up when she declined Spencer’s proposal five years ago. So when she’s called home to say goodbye to her dying grandmother, she goes out of her way to avoid seeing him. Of course, that means he’s the first person she runs into. Much as she fights against it, being near him stirs up old feelings and makes her question old decisions.

Leaving college to help on the family orchard cost Spencer the woman he loved. But he couldn’t turn his back on his family. Now that Sophie’s back in town, Spencer’s determined to protect his heart. Only he senses something new in Sophie—something that makes him think maybe they could have a second chance. But when his family needs him again, he feels like he’s repeating the past. Only this time, he’s not sure what choice he should make.

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I’m looking forward to reading these two, more than most others. I love that.

I’m currently reading a collection but may change gears and read one of these instead. It’s very tempting.

Family is visiting right now so reading is taking a back seat to visiting but I’m good with it. More than good with it. I love having them here.

It’s a beautiful day and life is good.

Happy Reading.

I’m wishing a good day for you as well

Read and enjoyed November 24, 2021

This book from yesterday met my expectations. This is an author I’ve enjoyed before.

One of the things I appreciate most in a story is: it doesn’t sound a bit like any of the others I’ve read.

This book almost accomplished it. There were a few spots with a familiar feel but that would be explained by the earlier books in the series. Same town, same people, mostly, with the focus on a different couple.

A reviewer commented the other day on an author he enjoyed but stopped reading because of the sameness in her work. I agree with him; different is better.

This was my favorite book so far this week.

Hangin’ by a Moment (Deep Haven Collection Book 5) 

He just wants to erase his past.

The day Jack—formerly Winston Stewart—walked out of jail, he vowed to keep his conviction a secret. After all, it wasn’t like he’d committed a murder. Just a terrible mistake, and he did his time. Now he wants a new life in a sleepy town where no one knows his name. Deep Haven is the perfect place to start over as a chef. The last thing the former pararescue jumper wants is to get involved. But when Boone Buckam—his friend and the one guy he owes for getting him out of the slammer—asks for help, how can Jack refuse?

She can’t seem to escape hers.

Colleen Decker has already escaped evil once—as a teenager, she was kidnapped by a murderer. But she’s put all that behind her as a trauma nurse in Minneapolis. Or maybe not, because a freak mistake in the ER sends her past crashing down on her. She needs a timeout in her hometown of Deep Haven. She doesn’t plan to stay—even when she’s roped into the job of flight nurse for the town’s Crisis Response Team chopper. Colleen’s not sure why she’s drawn to danger, but she’ll be safe enough. After all, she’ll need training, and her teacher is a handsome former pararescue jumper. What could go wrong?

But facing the past might put their future together in jeopardy.

When Jack said he didn’t want to get involved, he especially meant his heart—but being with Colleen feels like a fresh start. He’ll even climb aboard a chopper again, despite his vows. They’re headed for a happy ending… But secrets never stay buried in a small town. And when disaster strikes one snowy night, they’ll both have to decide if the past will destroy them…or if it just might lead them home.

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This is my current read, second attempt. I haven’t made it very far yet. Might be skipping to the end?

Running With The Wind: A tale of courage, love and survival aboard the Mayflower

(The Mayflower Collection Book 1) 

Jedediah Trelawney has a secret. Revealing it could cost him his life.

Jedediah Trelawney joins a small, overcrowded ship bound for America. A young man from a privileged background, he struggles to adapt to life at sea. Determined to earn the respect of his fellow passengers, he undertakes arduous tasks alongside the crew, but Jed is not cut out for the life of a sailor.

Sickness is rife aboard the Mayflower. Inspired by Samuel Fuller, a self-taught physician, Jed develops a fascination with the healing arts. He thrives as Doctor Fuller’s apprentice and challenges traditional ideas, seeking kinder methods for treating the sick.

Smitten by Desire Minter, Jed dreams of a future as a respected colony physician with Desire as his wife. Hostile passenger, John Billington, has other ideas. When Billington threatens to reveal Jed’s past, Jed becomes the victim of bullying and bribery. Somehow, Jed must silence Billington for good, or risk losing everything — including his life.

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Check these out, to see if you like them better than I do.

Happy Reading

Bargain book November 23, 2021

This book looks interesting. It’s a suggestion from BookBub this morning.

Hangin’ by a Moment (Deep Haven Collection Book 5) 

He just wants to erase his past.

The day Jack—formerly Winston Stewart—walked out of jail, he vowed to keep his conviction a secret. After all, it wasn’t like he’d committed a murder. Just a terrible mistake, and he did his time. Now he wants a new life in a sleepy town where no one knows his name. Deep Haven is the perfect place to start over as a chef. The last thing the former pararescue jumper wants is to get involved. But when Boone Buckam—his friend and the one guy he owes for getting him out of the slammer—asks for help, how can Jack refuse?

She can’t seem to escape hers.

Colleen Decker has already escaped evil once—as a teenager, she was kidnapped by a murderer. But she’s put all that behind her as a trauma nurse in Minneapolis. Or maybe not, because a freak mistake in the ER sends her past crashing down on her. She needs a timeout in her hometown of Deep Haven. She doesn’t plan to stay—even when she’s roped into the job of flight nurse for the town’s Crisis Response Team chopper. Colleen’s not sure why she’s drawn to danger, but she’ll be safe enough. After all, she’ll need training, and her teacher is a handsome former pararescue jumper. What could go wrong?

But facing the past might put their future together in jeopardy.

When Jack said he didn’t want to get involved, he especially meant his heart—but being with Colleen feels like a fresh start. He’ll even climb aboard a chopper again, despite his vows. They’re headed for a happy ending… But secrets never stay buried in a small town. And when disaster strikes one snowy night, they’ll both have to decide if the past will destroy them…or if it just might lead them home.

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If anything else shows up I’ll share it later.

I have enjoyed this author, I hope you do too.

Happy Reading!

Bargain books November 19, 2021

Two suggestions today, from BookBub and 1531 Entertainment.

The first one is mystery and the second historical romance.

Collision of Lies 

Three years ago, a collision between a fast-moving freight train and a school bus full of kids led to devastation and grief on an unimaginable scale. But a fresh clue leads San Antonio police detective Amara Alvarez to the unlikely conclusion that one of the children may still be alive. If she’s correct, everything law enforcement believes about the accident is a lie.

With time running out, Amara must convince others–and herself–that despite all evidence to the contrary, the boy lives. And she will do everything in her power to bring him home.

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To Discover Her Heart’s Longing: A Historical Western Romance Book 

Amy Richardson never imagined that staying at the orphanage she called home would put her at such risk. When she realizes that someone from her past isn’t ready to let her go, her future suddenly becomes uncertain. Forced to flee west in hopes of starting over, little does she know that things are about to get even more complicated. Arriving in a new town to meet her husband-to-be, she is shocked to find that he has no idea of her existence…

Will Amy ever find the safety she longs for in this new place?

After his father’s death, Peter McKelvey never intended to get married. So when his mother shows up with Amy as a mail-order bride arranged on his behalf, he is stunned. Seeing Amy’s dismay at his reaction though, he can’t bring himself to turn her away and hires her as a cook on his ranch. Yet as he begins to realize that she could be in very real danger, keeping his distance from Amy may not be possible if he wants to keep her safe…

Will Peter allow himself to care for Amy and even open up his heart to love?

With an unexpected bond between Peter and Amy growing, so do the challenges that face them. As they try to deal with the threats coming their way, Amy is still keeping secrets… Will Peter and Amy manage to trust each other and their budding feelings? Or will they lose everything to ghosts from the past?

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It has been a bit of a mixed up day. In many ways upsetting.

It seems like difficult situations stir things up in a way that we are forced to see elements of our life in a new light.

It’s easy to think I’ve made a lot of progress in my abusive healing journey and it’s a major shock when unexpected triggers happen.

I don’t pretend to be rational when that happens. I know I am a pro at knee jerk reactions.

It’s hard to know for sure what is reflex and what is me standing up for myself.

The trouble is it’s likely some of both.

The beauty of living alone in isolation is the absence of triggers. Social situations are a minefield especially when the interaction is between badly wounded souls. We understand better than most but we also trigger each other.

The desire to walk away is very real.

I’m sure you can guess my choice.

Now I’m thinking through the event trying to see how I can learn from it and do better in the future.

I would say other than that it’s been a good day but I can’t. It hasn’t been the worst day of my life but…

I’m gonna go finish my book. Drown my sorrows.

It’s the weekend, that’s encouraging.

C-PTSD – The hardest part of socializing. November 08, 2021

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

I need to talk to figure some things out before I explode.

The thing I hate the most about socializing? The aftermath. There is always a price to pay.

At the moment I am feeling needy, insecure, weak and codependent. Maybe not codependent so much as the first three.

I don’t like it.

I didn’t want to go to the social event in the first place but I caved. The carrot waved in front of my nose was a reason to be there.

I said yes, as I often do. It turned out better than expected and I enjoyed being there with everyone but…

I wish I had control over triggers and the resulting reactions, but I don’t.

*****

With the over use of the word “I” you can tell this is all about me.

The thing is, it is but it isn’t.

It was easy to pick up on the awkwardness and the hurt feelings on why I haven’t been going to the monthly meetings.

I’ve tried to explain it is because of the emotional/mental space I am in this year.

I’ve tried to explain about this and the whole PTSD struggle influencing these decisions.

The trouble is it isn’t met with a real understanding of the issue, and why would there be when they have not experienced it personally.

And then there is the “you don’t look sick” assessment adding doubt of my reasons.

I feel bad I am making them feel uncomfortable and hurt. I’ve tried to say things in a way to leave as little hurt as possible. I feel like I’m not very good at achieving this goal. Maybe it’s an impossible goal.

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I’ve thought about telling them my story, more than the bits and pieces already shared. I can’t do that though. They don’t deserve to be saddled with hearing the devastating details of my life.

The worst thing about all of this is the domino effect. Suddenly I am feeling needy, insecure, weak and maybe even codependent in other relationships.

It all has me wanting to ….

I’m not going to name what I’m wanting to do …

Saying these things out loud could lead me to making decisions I would later regret.

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This too shall pass, it always does.

Will life look the same afterward.

Probably not, maybe not.

I don’t know.

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It’s impossible to walk through the fires of life and not win-some lose-some.

C-PTSD conversation October 22, 2021

FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness, or the lack of it, is a roadblock to a peaceful life, unforgiveness impacts the victim’s life more than it does the abuser’s. The abuser does not deserve to be forgiven and probably doesn’t even care about having it one way or the other.

There is a full spectrum of emotions to be had as a result of holding on to hurt. At one end – I hate him and will never forgive him (or her,) at the other end – I know I need to forgive and I want to but I keep taking it back. The level of peace or distress we have depends on which end of the spectrum we fall on.

Unforgiveness can act like a cancer. The harder we hang on to it the more it takes over our life. Bitterness and a host of other emotions can take root and grow to gigantic proportions. There is no peace to be had if that happens.

I guess if we have been severely abused and feel dispassionate about everything we don’t have raging emotions to deal with and we can live what appears to be a normal happy life. But sooner or later something will trigger a reaction, maybe even something gigantic. That’s me and my life.

It has taken many decades but I have forgiven my dad.

His abuse took on many forms. It started a few weeks after conception, rage at imminent and unwanted fatherhood. All of the years long abuse was fueled by rage, addictions, and immaturity. He wasn’t my only abuser, he allowed others access when it suited him. I can figure out about 6 of them, including a pedophile, but there is a knowing that I can’t escape, even though I want to, there were more, maybe even many more. You can see why all my memories have been repressed. There are a few vague memories, puzzling thought patterns, and many triggers, all leaving clues. And then a brother who insisted I admit I was abused.

You can also understand why, when I was 18 and he was found dead, I was glad, relieved.

After many decades I have forgiven my dad and the changes in my emotional well being have been dramatic. I’m grateful.

There were other significant abusers though and the forgiveness process for them is still ongoing, with no end in sight. I haven’t been able to forgive yet but at the same time I choose not to hate. That in itself has made life a better place for me.

They say that the abused often choose a spouse similar to their abuser. In my case he was nothing like my dad and I thought I had done well.

Dad’s abuse loomed large and took over the whole conversation. It took decades to figure out what was going on with these other two relationships. Emotional abuse is difficult to identify even though the damage is greater.

Emotionally unavailable was the problem. It manifests itself in a number of different ways, all of them hurtful. Physical abuse, I could have said I’m done. But in this case I couldn’t see any workable way to deal with the problem.

Inability to name the issues responsible added a whole new layer of hurt, in both relationships.

Eventually I knew I had to take the bull by the horns and force some sort of decision. We’ve been living apart for nearly two decades. The most distressing and ongoing issue was I still couldn’t figure out why. I needed to understand.

I’ve been praying about forgiveness toward him for years and gotten nowhere.

The other morning was a breakthrough moment for me. In a moment of clarity I suddenly recognized that the parent I patterned a spouse after was not my dad but my mother.

I married a man like my mother.

That thought made so much sense, it was like chains falling off. It’s that simple and I don’t need to figure anything else out.

There is still a long way to go but I don’t think it will take decades now. There is freedom in forgiveness and that will be enough when it comes.

I’m still praying though, because I still need help.

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Photo by Ashithosh U on Pexels.com

What I wish I could have had.