Episode 1: I thought my Life was a Lie
Episode 1: I thought my Life was a Lie
In this podcast, we're going to be discussing so many things in regards to finding our true selves in healing, traumatic events that have happened in our lives, and how we let go of resentments and turn them into strengths. We are going to be covering real truth vulnerable things, I'm going to be sharing with you my life experiences of being married to someone who's struggled with addiction for over 20 years, and how I made it through that, the tools I was given, and how those tools can be of help to you, regardless of what you're going through.
I really want to reach those of you who are having a hard time, who may feel broken, yet you are strong and bold, and you're a fighter, you want to better yourself, you feel that you've been abused, but you also want to regain yourself back. That's who I'm talking to. That's who I want to help. And the reason I want to do that is because at one point, I felt so alone, I felt like I was the only person that this was happening to, that I must be the only person that has a spouse that is viewing pornography and is manipulating and lying and cheating.
I remember feeling so alone. And I remember when I walked into my first group meeting, it was a 12 step meeting for spouses of addicts. And I walked in so nervous and scared. And oh, gosh, really like, I can't even believe this is my life. And I walked in and the facilitator, there was amazing. And she was sharing some real hard truth. She was sharing what was happening in her relationship, but also how she was thriving, how she was healing. So she was happy. And she was sad. And at that point, for me, I was just in a fog. I was not feeling happy whatsoever. And I felt like I was kind of in a shocked state. And so when I heard her talking, I was just looking at her and going, I want to be her. I could see the hope. And I could see that I am going to be okay. I just didn't know how to do it yet.
And so now that happened to be back in February of 2012. And from that point on, I worked on myself and I learned everything that I needed to do to save me, to choose me, to learn how to make decisions that would better my life, and how I could learn to understand what addiction is, and what my role is in my own healing. And over the years as I have met with women, and talked with them, so many of them have some of the same kinds of questions.
How do you do it? How do you ever become okay? And how do you not feel broken anymore? Because there's just something so devastating about going through hard things abusive things that are in marriage by the person that is supposed to be your caregiver, and the person who's supposed to love you so much. That's why I'm doing this podcast, I was coming to figure out how to go about reaching more people. This is what my answer was to share what I've learned with all of you.
What I've learned took a lot of work. And as I had people sharing with me how to do it, I want to do that for you. That's what God wants me to do. So with Him all things are possible. And I know that as we learn together, we will be able to show each other that we're not the only ones. You are not the only one. You are absolutely not the only one going through the heartache and the trauma that you've experienced. And it is not just you.
For right now, let me just tell you a little bit about my story and introduce myself to you. I wrote the book Cutting Ties, it's under my name, Roxanne Kennedy. I am recently married so I've added on Granata to that. But Cutting Ties came out in October of 2018. So it's been out for over a year. Cutting ties is my story of betrayal, trauma and how I navigated through that. It's basically my spiritual relationship with God and how he showed me what to do, how to do it and when to do it. With that book, that's kind of where people started really reaching out to me and even more so than they had in the past.
It's kind of become something that everybody seems to be having the same question. Whether it's about themselves or about their children, how do you do this when you have kids? If I want to stay in the marriage how do I do that? And if I want to divorce in the marriage, how do I do that? And so this way, I can help so many people.
My story starts when I had been married just six months, and I came home from work and I found the TV stuff between stations. We had one of those old TVs with the knob where you turn it. And so it was kind of stuck in between on a fuzzy picture of pornography. And at that time, I had gotten married when I was 22. So I was 22 years old. And I had never experienced anything like that I had seen pornography before when I was younger when I was about 12 I think, but other than that I had no real exposure to anything like that. We didn't have it in our home. My dad did not struggle with that. So that's not something that I'm familiar with.
So when that happened in my marriage, I was completely shocked. I felt completely overwhelmed. And I was just in awe that this would be happening. And my mind was kind of swirling with. I don't understand this because we're married, we're intimate. Why does he look at this? Why does he even need to? It was completely something I had no education about. So I just didn't even know where to go with it. But we ended up going to see our church leader. And what I have found, now looking back is that that was a boundary I had, which I didn't even know. But I felt like I wasn't going to just let this wash away. I wasn't just going to let him tell me it was no big deal.
I knew it was not a good thing that he was doing this. And I knew how I felt about it. And so just saying, hey, I want us to go see our church leader felt pretty like a strong empowering thing. Now that I look back on it. I didn't know that then. But I know it now. But we did. We went to visit our church leader, and he gave us some helpful suggestions. And we just kind of went on our way. But as the years went by, I kept finding things, you know, year would pass and I'd find something and then another year would pass and I'd find something else. And and it was just this constant source of fear that I had, that I knew at any time I could catch him in the act, or I could find something.
What that did for me was set this tone in my mind and in my heart that I couldn't really trust him. And I actually never did. Over the 21 years, I never did regain any trust back for him even from that first beginning of marriage. So that's pretty strong and pretty crazy. And at the time, I have no idea why I felt like marriage, like I needed to stay in the marriage. I did have people tell me, Hey, you don't have to stay in the marriage for this. What he's doing is not okay. But it was like I was going to fight to the death for this marriage.
There was no way I was going to go through divorce. It was not what I signed up for. And so I just kept going, even though I didn't trust him. Now, during all those years, there were some really good things. We had really a great life in so many ways. And we had four kids, and that's awesome. But during that I would try to rationalize or justify why the marriage was good. something bad would happen. But then something good would and so then it would kind of make me feel a little bit like well see there are such good things. We love each other so much. So maybe that's enough?
What I realized later with all the trauma that ended up happening and and basically the relationship ending in divorce anyway, was that I was basically working from a place of fear. And from a place of perfectionism. I did not want divorce. What did that say about me? What does that say about the fact that I could not keep the family together? There was so many false beliefs that I had, that I didn't realize until later as I worked through everything and had a counselor.
Over the years as things kept coming out, it got worse and worse. And until the point where one day, God just said, you know what this is this is not just a choice, this is an actual problem. And with that inspiration from God, that's where I ended up finding the 12 step program through my church and they had a program specifically for people struggling with sex addiction or pornography addiction. Our church leader suggested we go to that.
In that group I found so many helpful tips, and books to read, ways to think about things, and I could realize for the first time that this addiction had nothing to do with me. And that was so awesome to realize that and to know that I'm okay and I'm okay the way I am and I don't need to be smarter or cuter or skinnier or have different shaped body or anything that I was okay the way I was and that this was a problem that my husband had, and that I did not need to take any blame for it that this is something he needed to work through.
It was there that I found kind of my, my first support team, which was so great. And over the time, I noticed how, even though I felt so alone in the sense that here I am, I go to my house, and I'm in this fog, and I'm thinking, all the things on my life that I thought were good, aren't. Like, my life is a lie, all of those things. And then as I would feel so alone, something would happen, either I would see a quote, that was amazing, or some person would offer some sort of assistance in some way. And as I started recognizing God's hand in my life,
I could see that even though I might not be able to feel him exactly helping me or saving me from this, he was giving me things or people to help me along the journey, so that I could start learning a new way of living and a new way of seeing clear and recognizing truth. And one of those experiences that I had was just so just so profound, I was struggling so much nobody knew about this. I had been going to 12 step, but that was it. So none of my friends or family knew about what I was actually going through.
I was just a mess. I, was having a hard time getting out of bed. I was just really struggling. And I thought, Okay, you know what, I just got to get up, I'm going to go to the home improvement store and get some bins or something. Because if I can't fix my life here, I'm going to at least maybe clean up something or organize something. So I left. I wasn't ready for the day. I had sweats on I put a hat on, I had no makeup on.
I'm in the aisle with the bins, and I get this text from a friend. And she says, Hey, you know, let's meet for lunch in 30 minutes. And I'm thinking, Oh my gosh, no way my anxiety was running through the roof. I could barely even handle being in the bin aisle. And I wasn't even ready for the day. I text her back. Oh, thanks so much. That's so nice. But I don't you know, not today, another day. She texted me right back and said, No, we're going, I will see you there in 30 minutes.
Right at that moment, it was as if God took me by the shoulders and gave me a squeeze. And my body kind of relaxed. And I was like, Okay, okay, I, I need this. And he's sending me someone. It was really inspiring that he was basically showing me I wasn't alone. And so I drive over there. And in the meantime, my friend who had texted me, she texts our other friend and said, Come on and picking you up in a few minutes. And we're meeting Roxanne for lunch. And that friend was in the bathtub relaxing. And she's like, Oh my gosh, okay, so she gets out. And they're sitting there. I walk into the restaurant. And my friend says, The minute you walked in, I knew.
I knew exactly what you were going through. Because years before that she had been going through the same thing. So she knew what it looked like. And she knew what betrayal looked like and trauma. And she, she was sent to me from God to help me. And it was interesting, because the three of us sat there that day. And none of us had known that all three of us were in the same situation. And we wouldn't have known if she wouldn't have listened.
What's so cool about that story is my friend who texted me she was walking out of her daughter's class. She's looking at her phone, and she starts texting me to go to lunch. And she says to herself, no, no, no, I don't want to go to lunch. I don't even want to go to lunch today. And so when I responded with Oh, no thanks, not today. She was like, Okay, good, because I don't even want to go. She goes and then I found myself texting again anyway, that we were going.
That just shows me how much God is in the detail of our lives, how much he wants to help us how much he wants to show both of us really, that he is guiding us and leading us and that he's going to use us to help other people. He knew that she had already been through this. He knew she had already been through programs and counseling and she knew a lot of the stuff that I didn't know yet. And he knew that I needed somebody terribly, because I was not functioning at this point. And that's what's so cool.
My whole journey through this has shown me time and time again, How even if I can't feel him, he shows up in ways usually by using other people. And as long as they're listening to and they respond, then it benefits both of us and we feel better. I left that lunch that day, not like my problems were solved, but like, I wasn't alone, and I felt this burden lifted, like, okay, okay, I can do this. And it was another piece of resolve, like, I'm not doing this by myself and I am going to get through it.
Now of course, as you listen to the episodes as they come along, and you'll hear more of my story, you will hear how we ended up coming through to divorce and what my life looks like now. But I can tell you, for those of you at the beginning, or in the middle of this, or maybe you've been doing this for years, and you just haven't quite found the right tools, I'm telling you that there absolutely is hope and healing, there is peace on the other side of working through all the trauma.
It's painful, it is so hard to walk through it. But your only alternative is either to stay stuck with all the pain surrounding you, or walk through it and find freedom on the other side. And there really is so much goodness, once we make it through all the pain and the heartache. Walk with me through this as we work on this together.
I'm excited to share with you, I would love your feedback. I would love to know what kind of things and what kind of topics you want to cover. And I want to be able to help you in any way that I can. So please reach out, please read the materials, grab a copy of my book on Amazon. It's called Cutting Ties. It has my entire journey and how I did what I did and how I was able to make it through to the other side and find that healing and that peace.
I'm going to challenge you to choose in this week, choose in to doing something that betters yourself. Choose into doing some sort of hard work into your healing or learning to let go. Choose into loving yourself more or those around you more and choose into doing whatever work it takes for you to have joy and happiness again. See you next time.