My First Panic Attack and the Day My Husband Left

My First Panic Attack and the Day My Husband Left

Everything was getting blurry. 

This wasn’t supposed to happen. 

My chest was so heavy. it felt like someone was crushing my chest. It was as if the hand of the enemy was pushing me down. 

I remembered once I had read that if you put your arms up over your head it will help you breath better. I put my arms up as high as I could and went down on my knees. No, it wasn’t helping. I stood up, arms reaching high, maybe I was supposed to be standing? No, that didn’t work either. I sat down, maybe I was supposed to be sitting? It seemed to be getting worse. 

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He's Just Not That Into You[r Marriage]

He's Just Not That Into You[r Marriage]

“So I read this thing the other day…”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah. It was about marriage and it sounded like ours.”

“Mm-hmm.” (eye roll)

“Don’t roll your eyes. It said there are men who avoid intimacy. Intimate conversations, intimate moments, everything to do with intimacy.”

“What? I don’t avoid intimacy, you sexy thing.”

“Sex is a surface thing, that doesn’t count.”

“Hm. Well, I think so. Yes, it’s a surface thing, I guess…” (not listening)

“Gah. Never mind.”

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The Day the Lord Set Me Free from My Marriage

The Day the Lord Set Me Free from My Marriage

Some might think that title is scandalous.  I know that my own fear of divorce kept me from escaping a narcissistic abuser for fourteen years.  Now, seventeen years out from that disaster, my regrets center around not leaving far earlier.  I lived in a lot of denial for years.  One has to cultivate denial in order to survive, much less stay, in a marriage that was as abusive as mine.  And just how abusive it was, did not fully dawn on me until I disclosed, ten years later, details of the torment to my counselor.  The look of horror and grief on her face showed me just how far from normal my first marriage had strayed.

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Dear Diary: Sail Away With Me

Dear Diary: Sail Away With Me

I am so up and down emotionally. Sometimes, I feel bad for my husband because he has been broken. It's like he's a sinking ship of a human being. It isn’t his fault the ship hit a storm. It's also not his fault he doesn't have the know-how to repair his sinking vessel. On the other hand, he took the children and me onboard as passengers without first disclosing there was a giant hole in the ship. He painted a beautiful, sunny, blissful, dream-like picture of what our cruise would be like. We board the boat and BOOM! The storm hits.

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Mama, Are You Lonely this Mother's Day?

Mama, Are You Lonely this Mother's Day?

Dear Mama,

This is for you. I know this Mother’s Day isn’t the one you hoped for. I know that you feel forgotten and alone. Unappreciated. Possibly even, invisible. Which is why I want you to know that I see you. I see how hard you work behind the scenes to keep that well-oiled machine of a family running (some days, simply squeaking by). I know how much thought, time and effort you put into caring for the ones you love the most. How you think about them, and their well-being all the time, even though it seems that they don’t notice. 

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Dear Diary: It's Better than Prison

Dear Diary: It's Better than Prison

When I was younger, I used to love the book, "The Diary of Anne Frank". I have always felt that I talked to myself much in the same way. I have introspectively narrated my life story and to be very honest, I wonder what would have been said about it if it were someone else looking in, instead of my own perspective. I am not perfect. I have made many mistakes. However, I do believe I've been a good wife. A traumatized one, but a good one. 

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Does Your Spouse Have a Porn Addiction or Just a Bad Habit? The Difference Matters!

Does Your Spouse Have a Porn Addiction or Just a Bad Habit? The Difference Matters!

Before anyone gets upset with me for being insensitive, let me preempt this post by saying I know how much it hurts to have your spouse “cheat on you” with porn. It’s beyond awful. It makes us feel like dirt. We can’t stop thinking about it. We unwillingly compare ourselves to their internet history, “Large chest and big butt?! But I have a TINY chest and NO derriere… He must not like me” or, if you’re a man it may go more like, “I don’t have abs! Obviously, she thinks I’m fat too. No wonder she’s looking at porn. She’s probably having an affair too”.

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Dear Freckles: I Miss the Simple Things

Dear Freckles: I Miss the Simple Things

As you know, once a month I've been posting an excerpt from my personal journals in The Grey Diaries to show you my journey from where I was to where I am today. Though the story I've been sharing with you is mine, it is largely also my husband's. I've tried to be respectful of his story as it's not my place to tell it but in order to give you a true picture of how God's love can change a life, he has graciously allowed me to share his letters to me, with you.

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My Loved One Has an Addiction, What Can I Do?

My Loved One Has an Addiction, What Can I Do?

This is a question I hear often but has a very complicated answer. While the definition of addiction is the same across the board and the behaviours for each type of addiction come out, in the same manner, the actual addiction itself does need to be treated differently. So I’m going to say, it depends on what your loved one is addicted to. 

I’m going to split this into the “big four” addictions. Some of these, I have up-close and personal experience with while others I do not, so if you’re the spouse of said addiction and you’re like, “Ummm, Leah, that’s whack advice!” I'm so sorry, that’s totally okay by me.

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No Need to be a Scaredy Cat! Faith Guide for Crisis Situations

No Need to be a Scaredy Cat! Faith Guide for Crisis Situations

I know I’m, “Preaching to the choir” when I say this but there’s nothing like addiction to bring a spirit of fear into your life. Whatever anxieties or insecurities may have been present before, that you were able to disguise, push through, convince yourself weren’t there, they all come back with addiction. They say addiction is a “family disease” and while I don’t believe in the disease aspect of it, I do believe it’s a family affair! 

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When We're Abandoned by Adam: A Story of Strength

When We're Abandoned by Adam: A Story of Strength

One of the things I admire most about women is our natural ability to nurture. When a friend is in need, we’re there to help. When someone is struggling we have an innate ability to encourage and build them up with our God-given intuition; Women are graceful, beautiful, loving creatures.

God lovingly created Eve to be Adam’s perfect helper. God presented Eve to Adam like a gift and in every way, she complimented his strengths and weaknesses. He was proud of what He had made for His son.

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Get the Fairytale Ending You Need to Succeed

Get the Fairytale Ending You Need to Succeed

Every young girl dreams her own fairytale. Though each story is different we do all want the same thing. It isn’t that we all dream of being saved by princes, that’s not the case at all. What we really dream of is being the confident heroine of our story, admired for our inner strength, beauty and wisdom. We want to love and be loved. 

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How to Stay Confident in a Difficult Marriage

How to Stay Confident in a Difficult Marriage

The time on the stove said, “11:13pm”. The lights were off in my parents living room, I was visiting them at the time. I was sitting in my father’s yellow easy-chair talking on the phone to my husband.

I swiveled around in circles in the yellow chair while my conversation with my husband spiraled out of control. He was back in New York, allegedly working. The problem was that every time I left him alone he seemed to forget he was a husband. While I was having family time in rural Ontario, Canada, he spent his days doing God only knows. I didn’t know where he was. That was the whole problem.

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Five Ways to Support a Loved One with an Addiction Without Losing Yourself

Five Ways to Support a Loved One with an Addiction Without Losing Yourself

I grew up in a family with eight kids, all younger than myself, and although I never thought life would be perfect, I never dreamed that one of us would battle addiction. So when my little brother became addicted to opiates after the sudden death of one of our siblings, it was devastating to our family.

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