I Let My Guard Down

I blog for my business and today I wrote a post more in the style of posts like these. I was more open, let myself be in the post more and within twenty minutes got a comment from someone who said they could relate.

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I guess a lesson learned…. maybe I should let people in, let them see the flaws, the struggles, the accomplishments more. On here I share, deeply, rawly, and honestly. I don’t hold back, and some of the posts on here I could call “venting.” Yet people have liked the posts on here, I gain followers with each post I publish and get comments.

I should have learned from this blog that the person I am is “likable”… and people enjoy hearing the truth. The honesty, the ups, and downs of life, in such a filtered and edited world sharing “perfection.” Who knew the raw/real me was… good enough.

XOXO Anna

No-Show Client…Over a Printer…

I am currently working with a couple, and the male didn’t show up for session (which was going to be addressing porn in relationships) because he had a fit over the printer two minutes before session.

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I honestly was shocked. His homework indicated he felt that this session was going to be easy. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But he felt pretty confident about it. In my opinion, with the details revealed from the female partner, it seemed like a temper tantrum to get out of the session once he realized some of her feelings on the topic.

Our next session will be sometime next week, and I am honestly doing my best to try to figure out how to be gracious about this. Because next session we are going to be talking about the same topic, so unless he plans to not show up for every session, this topic will get addressed.

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Men… just realize not all women want porn in their relationship. Some are okay with it, but when your woman is not, feels like it’s cheating, or hell porn is linked to past abuse, just be gracious about it and realize you have THE woman you want right in front of you. Be respectful and realize what you have. If she isn’t enough, definitely don’t lead her on to think she is the one and you have a perfect future ahead. It’s cruel.

Relationships take compromise and mutual sacrifice at times. And truly, is not using porn really a sacrifice? Because honestly, I don’t know about you guys, but I would much rather have sex than watch it.

XOXO Anna

Life is a Balancing Act

Between being a wife, a mom, a student, a relationship coach, and a victim advocacy intern, life is a bit crazy right now.

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When I am home, I am with Baby A or working, and if I am not home, I am at school or my internship learning and working. I also, with my relationship coaching, have to run the blog side, which entails of accepting and reading guest posts, making sure my regular contributors are meeting deadlines, making sure the content calendar is solid. I feel like I don’t get a moments rest most days. Oh, and don’t forget reformer pilates and couples therapy somewhere in all there!

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Last night was different, Cody and I were able to have an amazing date night at home. My mom got him a wok and a cookbook for Asian foods since that’s our favorite. He ended up making an amazing meal and we watched “Life As We Know It.” The funny thing is, we watched that movie when we were first dating and I was thinking I am not having kids, and Cody figured kids were far off in the future. Little did we know that Baby A would be arriving only two years later! But we loved the movie, even more, this time around. We appreciated those new parenting moments and laughed at how accurate some of those scenes were.

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Given that I’ve realized how busy we are, I decided to make my coaching hours between two days instead of three, that way we have one weekend day to ourselves. Cody, once school starts wants to work Saturdays from 5am-1pm. Which means I coach on Saturdays from 2:30pm to 8:00pm if I am 100% booked that day. I love the scene with Holly and Messer and the scheduling board because honestly, with how busy we are, I can’t keep track of Cody’s schedule as well. I used to be able to know both our schedules, but with a kid, it’s been more challenging to remember.

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My goal, though, is to make sure Cody and I get “us” time every week. Last nights date was amazing and honestly, with the holidays and finals, we were just running around constantly. It was so nice to just sit down with him and relax. Plus…the amazing sex afterward didn’t hurt as well! Seriously, making sure your sex life is stable while having a baby is a HUGE challenge. It takes planning. Yes, planning. Cody fought that concept for so long, but because we did cave to it, it’s been so helpful for us to stay connected.

What are some ways you make sure to make “you” or “couple” time when your life is busy?

XOXO Anna

Christmas with a Baby is… Challenging

Cody and I love Baby A but we definitely struggled this year with getting around to all the family. Christmas Eve, we left Baby A home because he is teething with back molars coming in.

Christmas day we all opened presents as quickly as possible for Baby A’s sake. Cody totally outdid me for Christmas! He got me a cappuccino/latte Keurig machine! I was totally shocked. He also got me a typewriter, and a huge whiteboard with a section for a yearly calendar, goals, priorities, notes, etc to help me with my business. I got Cody tons of car tools and stuff which he loved! We got Baby A some really fun developmental toys.

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We later went to one of his aunt’s house with Baby A but once everyone was arriving it was too loud, so Cody took Baby A home and my parents watched him and Cody came back. It was a great evening with family.

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Today I will help my mom with making a post-Christmas dinner, and then have a weekly business meeting with my mastermind where we push each other to meet our goals and keep one another accountable.

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I have a couple beta testing my relationship coaching program and they have their first session on Friday! That means making sure someone is home to watch Baby A. I am so excited to work with them because their issues are exactly what my program tackles – communication, trust/fears, and sex. I also have my singles client on Friday and it’s his last session before graduating! He went from coming into the program dead set on winning his ex-wife back to coming to the realization that he doesn’t actually want her romantically anymore and is focusing on rebuilding his life. I am so proud of him and the work he has done. I absolutely love seeing the transformation of my clients and knowing my programs work.

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To me, part of my Christmas was knowing that my clients are in a better place, accomplishing their romantic and personal goals. I really look forward to working with the other couples that are interested, but wanted to wait until the holidays were over. I am so excited for 2019! So many plans and goals.

I hope you all had an amazing holiday season and I hope you all have an amazing 2019!

XOXO Anna

This Time Of Year

I know I went MIA for a while. I’ve mentioned I needed time to process Cody’s addiction and heal. Well, one of the DDays (Discovery days) was Christmas Eve… which is tomorrow. This time of year can be sad because of the discovery, but we have really fun plans tomorrow and I hope it takes away from the old painful memory.

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Cody has been 2.5 years PMO free and that is huge. I am so proud of him. He is currently going through the Intimacy Anorexia program and I’ll be doing Married and Alone when the books arrive and I can say that these books are really helpful. We have been feeling closer than ever (with the normal ups and downs). It’s nice to feel so connected to Cody before Christmas.

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I am a bit anxious because my throat is sore and I really don’t want to be sick for Christmas Eve or Christmas because we will be going ALL over. All the Christmas presents are wrapped. Cody and I spent last night wrapping them. In 3.5 years, I have been the one to dominate during any gift giving holiday. I’ve always outdone Cody. This year though, Cody kicked my ass. I’ve gotten him some amazing things (5 in total). The reason I only got him 5 things was that as a BMW technician his tools and parts are expensive and so I could only afford so much, but I know that he really will enjoy the tools I got him. Cody got me a lot though… like eleven gifts and he couldn’t stop being so giddy because he found some amazing last minute Christmas gifts yesterday.

I am in awe of the effort and dedication he put in this year. Usually, he half-asses it, but this year, I think partly due to the IA book and us healing more, he actually went all out. And no matter what he got me, I am just so happy that we’ve been connecting and healing lately so we could be emotionally close over the holidays.

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Since I found out about Cody’s addiction, each year I’ve literally asked for one thing: Cody. I just wanted Cody back. Not the mean, gaslighting addict, but the sweet loving man I fell in love with. And this year (fingers crossed), I feel like I have the Cody I fell in love with back. I know that sounds cheesy, but I’ve seen the sweet man I fell in love with so much more since we started the IA books. I feel like we are going to have a really awesome Christmas this year.

I hope you all are having an amazing holiday season!

XOXO Anna

The Business Owns You

I have weekly business mastermind calls. We were originally a group of four, but one stopped coming to the meetings. We talked tonight because she suddenly reappeared and is interested. We were talking about priorities and commitment. My dad once told me that when you make a business it owns you.

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It’s so true! My relationship coaching business and blog owns me. I am running the business 24/7, anything from websites updates, to consultation calls, to billing, to blog posts, to full-on coaching sessions. The other two in the mastermind also work hard on their businesses. We are all committed to helping each other grow and stay accountable and we basically took 20 or so minutes to figure out how to let this person know that if they are back they need to be committed.

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I love my business, truly I do. This morning I woke up to the best thing. My google voice number for my business I linked to my phone. I woke up to see a text from someone who found my post on Nextdoor about beta testing one of my coaching programs. She was interested and we had a consultation call today. Her boyfriend didn’t know she was reaching out for help but she said she would talk to him about it tonight and get back to me. I loved that someone found my services and reached out for help. It was an amazing feeling.

It didn’t just happen, it came from hard work and dedication. I have worked since October and creating the coaching side of my business and it’s paying off. Why? Because I am committed to my business and clients. Our group set up a call for next week and we agreed we would let the other person know the time we have set and see if they are able to commit.

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I have a client tomorrow evening and they are about to graduate from the program! They have come so far, I am truly impressed. Same with my other client, she also has impressed me. I never expected clients to be coming to me and reaching out. Clearly, my programs must resonate with them. I am just glad I’ve created programs that people enjoy and can really improve their life and relationship with.

XOXO Anna

Christmas, Finances, and Marriage

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I don’t know about any of you, but honestly, this Christmas has pretty much hit us hard. We are going to have to recover from our spending. I know that we want to get everyone things they really love, but sometimes those things are out of our price range. I know that we still haven’t gotten my parents or his parents and siblings gifts. I hope that us bringing something like food or maybe a homemade gift will be okay because we just don’t have the money to spend.

I got Cody some stuff, we both got Baby A some stuff, Cody got me something, and yeah. The holidays are really hard, not only because of potential family stress but financially they are really hard on families with low income. Or, well, in our situation our families are financially comfortable, whereas we are financially scraping by. I guess it just sucks that there is a huge gap between where we are and where our parents are financially. It’s to be expected with this economy and having a kid so young, but it still really sucks.

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I hope that our presence and maybe us bringing food or stockings will be sufficient. I’ve never been in a situation like this where our finances were so tight that it was suffocatingly tight. I am really good and smart with money and Cody … isn’t. But I think he is trying to get better with money. Money has been one of those contention points for us. I am all about Delayed Gratification and Cody is very Instant Gratification. Cody wants his coffee, now. I am fine to just use a Keurig cup and not go out to get The Best coffee. That is just one example, but we have tried to come to compromises. So far we are still trying to figure it out…

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Sadly Cody doesn’t always have the best attitude about the money stuff. And I get it, it’s VERY stressful. But we are parents, which means money goes to Baby A first and foremost, and then survival needs, and anything extra we can put away into savings or something. I think Cody is finally getting on board that he will have to give up some little luxuries so we can save and get by. Plus we want to save to get our own place… that isn’t going to happen if we never put money into savings.

I am hoping after the holidays/New Year that we can actually start saving more, and we can really come up with a solid game plan about finances that makes both of us happy.

Anyone got any great financial/budgeting advice?

XOXO Anna

 

Soccer, in the Basement, with a Tennis Ball

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So Cody had a brilliant idea of playing soccer in the basement with a tennis ball and empty diaper boxes as goals last week. Tonight we ended up playing again. Baby A absolutely loves it when we play. He gets so excited and follows whoever is running. Parenting can be really fun. Family moments like these are the best. We don’t always get time to just relax and have fun.

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Mainly we are living “real life” with real-life responsibilities and such. We don’t make enough time for fun. Honestly, I hope we do this at least once a week. With how competitive Cody and I are with each other it really does make for a great night together. Cody ended up winning, which was a shock. He couldn’t aim at all, and his shots were way off base at least 70% of the time. I was on the floor dying of laughter at points. It’s been a while since I’ve laughed like that.

What are some fun things you do with your significant other?

XOXO Anna

Finals, Holidays, and Work… It Never Ends

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Finals are this week. I have two classes, and one of them ended last week because we, as a class, agreed to turn in the final early. My other class, I have a presentation tomorrow. A bit nervous and hoping it goes well. Cody’s presentation for his class is tomorrow. So tonight, after couples therapy, we have work to do!

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Holidays are… up and down. First, we haven’t even decorated the house for Christmas at all this year. It’s been crazy busy. Second, we are so behind on getting people gifts, and three, we don’t have much money to get people gifts…. so it’s going to be interesting this year. We got Baby A two gifts so far and that’s it. We still need to get my mom and dad gifts, his dad and siblings gifts, and each other gifts. Then we are going to Cody’s aunt’s house for Christmas eve… and that hopefully will be a fun night!

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My business is going well in my opinion. I am having a lot of fun with it. My clients love my coaching programs and are seeing results. The one thing I just hate about business is the advertising and marketing. That’s my struggle. I’ve always struggled to put myself out there, so it’s been challenging to “promote” my business. I am all about honesty and I want to make sure that readers and clients can see the genuineness. I just am always working. If I am not at my internship or doing school work, I am running my business. There are so many things I’ve learned in this journey of creating a business… and one thing that I learned is I need to make some money so I can get a freelancer to do some of the work that I am not a fan of doing and not as skilled at doing.

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Cody and I have been doing really well for the past month. For those who have been reading my blog for a while, you may think, “Wait, didn’t they get married over a year ago and she is saying only for the past month they’ve been good?” Yeah. Well, there have been the ups and downs, but if Cody wasn’t facing his addiction and damage, we weren’t moving forward. Cody and I have been doing the Intimacy Anorexia books. I am not an IA though closed off because Cody seemed to not care, and so we are doing them together, and I can’t even tell you how amazing we have been doing.

Cody actually talks to me, has been less angry and facing his past, and it’s been nice. I even told him it feels like we have “us” back. So, fingers crossed, we are going to keep this upward trend.

Another thing, Cody has been inspired by me creating a business that he wants to create his own business too. I want to support him in it, but also, given that I am trying to run a new business, I personally feel adding on another new business at this very moment wouldn’t be ideal. I think it’s great he wants to do it, and I want to help him, create his website for him and more, but I think we need to be more strategic about it. So I’ll be mentioning that over the holidays as we continue to talk business.

How is everyone else doing with Holidays and family this year? Hope you’re all doing well!

XOXO Anna

What is the Disconnect???

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Obviously Undiscovered and Exposed has been around for a while, since 2014 actually, which to me, is crazy to think about! My other company/site has been around technically since August 2017 but I moved it to my own domain in Jan 2018.

On here I have 4x the amount of people following me, and I get more responses, likes, comments, etc. on here… so I wonder, what is the disconnect?

Am I just better at being anonymous? haha …Or, is it that because it’s anonymous I don’t hold back on here and I am less professional with my writing? Is it because it’s journal-style rather than educational? Or, is it because this entire blog here is a story, and it’s fun to follow a story and see where the story goes?

I guess I am just wondering how I can bring a little Anonymous Anna to my company… Maybe I’ll write a post from the perspective of Anonymous Anna and see how that goes.

I am not sure what to think though about that…but I’ll try it!

But I have to say, it’s nice to be back, here. I think I needed space to think, to get clarity without sharing everyone in an online blog. I definitely have clarity and a direction now. I know where I am going, my goals, and have learned so much in just one year.

I definitely want to write about what I’ve learned from being the partner of a porn addict, about porn addiction, betrayal trauma, and obviously about the first year of marriage with a kid as well. Those will be separate posts.

Anyways, I hope you all are doing well, and I appreciate the likes yesterday. I didn’t actually know if anyone would even remember this blog or me.

XOXO Anna

Been MIA… Might Be Back.

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That’s Us…Now.

Hey guys, so it’s been a hell of a long time since I’ve posted. Lots has happened, changed, and progressed. I checked back in here a couple weeks ago, shocked to find that people still come to this site and are reading.

I stepped away from this for various reasons. I have a kid, Baby A. I am finishing school (only classes away from graduation!!). I have an internship. I also started a business. Plus, marriage and all the ups and downs. It’s been crazy, to be honest.

After getting married and having Baby A, I honestly… was overwhelmed. Let’s just say childbirth was extremely traumatic for me. I still can’t watch those hospital shows with women giving birth I get nauseous at the thought of ever becoming pregnant again.

I love Baby A, but it’s a challenge. Being 24 with a baby is a balancing act. Also being married to a recovering porn addict has been a challenge. I can say that Cody is 2.5 years clean today! It’s been a long and amazing journey.

If anyone is interested in knowing more, given the whole anonymity here… you can email me at anonymousannaxo@gmail.com. My business is Relationship Coaching and I have another site. I am super excited. I have some beta clients right now, and they’ve already mentioned how much they like my programs and the benefit they’ve gotten (and they’re only halfway through the program!).

I have to say that it feels strange being back here. I have come so far. I’ve read some of my old content and I am thinking, “No, that was me?!” It’s funny. I have changed so much. More stable, mature, serious. I still can be fun, but with a one-year-old, responsibilities first, am I right?

Anyways, just am back to check-in…maybe I’ll post more. Not sure. But I hope all of you guys are doing well.

XOXO Anna

 

We’re Married!!!

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I am so happy! We got married yesterday and the wedding was so wonderful! It was small, and at our house, but the energy was amazing. So many people showed up, and everyone got along. It was such a beautiful evening.

Cody’s vows blew me away! I think mine blew him away too. I’ll post them below. I know a lot of people after the ceremony came up to me and said they were so touched by both of our vows, and said we both were such great writers! I thought that was cute.

Cody’s Vows:

Who am I? It should be a simple question. Not for me. I can always Answer that question. But the answers about a year or two ago, wouldn’t be very in-depth. It would be quite vague an idea of me the things I would have said as little as a year ago. I was pretty lost in life, not knowing what I was doing, with grades to back that up. I could be exceedingly selfish sometimes, albeit inadvertently. I was overall particularly disingenuous. I was absolutely not ready for a relationship when you found me. I was struggling with things that I didn’t even know about. You transformed me for the better and accelerated me mentally 10 years in about a year. I have never had so much confidence in myself and so much self-awareness. I definitely have never felt so confident in being a good father and husband.

            I know I have not always been trustworthy, but I hope you can trust me when I say that I will always love you. I will always be there for you, even if we are upset, down frustrated or whatever, I will still be there for you the second you need me. We have been and always will be the best of friends and a fantastic team. A team that is so strong together that we can get through anything and have an invincible resolve as we always have.

            This is such an important moment, there is still a little off about it. We’ve only been together for just over two years. Which arguably isn’t very long. Well, for people these days around our age it’s practically unheard of. It really is a short time but it has felt like the longest time being with you and I wouldn’t trade a single minute of it. It sure as hell hasn’t felt like two yours though. It’s felt a lot longer than that. I feel as if we already have been married this whole time. The way we are together and the way we get through the great times and the worst times. Neither of us have ever quit on each other. We have gotten considerably good at resolving with a mutually beneficial ending of any conflictions. I don’t think we could be readier to be married and I also think that we are ready to be parents. Maybe not prepared as much as we could be, but I do believe we are more than ready for the responsibility together.

My vows:

Cody, I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to be standing here today, marrying you. The past two years have been such an adventure, and I can’t wait to see what our future holds. You are my best friend. I have never been able to spend as much time together with someone without getting annoyed with them, but with you, I keep wishing we had more time in the day to spend together. I never tire of your company, and always love being with you whether we are doing something together, or we’re in the same room doing our own thing. Your presence is not only calming but safe. You’re the first man to make me feel safe and loved unconditionally. You are my teacher. I never was interested in cars until I met you. Now I know some car talk, and have watched you work on cars and can kind of follow what you’re doing or talking about. I know that within a couple years you will probably teach me how to do some of those things myself. You are my partner. Meeting you has been an amazing experience. I have learned so much from you, I have grown with you over the past two years, and I love you more with every day that passes. 

I know we have made it through a lot. Most couples our age wouldn’t make it through half the things we’ve encountered. I want you to know that no matter what challenges may lay ahead, I am here. I am by your side, now and always. I will always love you, support you, encourage you, and protect you. I am your best friend, a shoulder to cry on, your cheerleader, your partner. I will always push you to achieve your dreams. I will always protect you and be on your side defending you when needed. I hope you see that from today forward, you won’t ever be alone. You always have a friend, a lover, a teacher, and a partner by your side. You’ll always be safe with me. Together I know we can face anything. We balance each other out, with each of us having opposite strengths and weaknesses. I love our differences, and I love our similarities. I will always be yours. Even when I am gone, I’ll still always be with you. I honestly couldn’t imagine my life without you, Cody. I love you unconditionally, and can’t wait to start our life together as a family. 

So there they are. I absolutely love reading Cody’s vows, they make me tear up and feel so loved. I am so happy to be able to say I am his wife.

XOXO Anna

Getting Married on Saturday!

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I am so excited! Only 2 days until I get married, I can’t believe it. Thinking back to when I met Cody, and all of what we have been through, to know that we made it through all of it is such an amazing feeling. We still have work to do, and no couple is perfect, but I love him, imperfections and all.

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There are still little things that need to get done, but I know that everything will fall into place.  I just am so happy thinking about standing there in front of Cody, saying my vows. Cody and I sent our vows to the officiant last night. I am so proud of my vows, and I’ll post them after the wedding in case Cody reads this post! 😛

XOXO Anna

Triggers During Pregnancy

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I was extremely worried when I found out I was pregnant. I was scared that my anorexia (ED) would take over. If you’ve read my posts, you know I refer to my anorexia as ED. I still get ED attacks every so often. Not as often as I used to when I was really sick, but still when they happen they can be extreme. I had hot chocolate for the first time in…. maybe a year the other day. I absolutely had an ED attack. ED was telling me that because I drank hot chocolate I was going to be fat, so I had to eat salads for the rest of pregnancy. I know, it sounds crazy, even as I typed it. But when ED attacked, the scary thing is it seemed logical, rational. Luckily, Cody was there and calmed me down and grounded me and we talked through the irrational thought. I challenged myself by making sure I had hot chocolate again the next day, and also today, to de-stigmatize it. I still feel guilty that I drank it, but not horrible about myself.

Another trigger has been getting the classic pregnancy round stomach. There are days where I am happy about it, and I’ll  rub my stomach and talk to our unborn son, but there are days, when I feel so crappy about my body I don’t want Cody to see me. For the most part, I think I’ve been doing an amazing job with eating when I am hungry and doing my best to stay healthy. On the other hand, I feel guilty whenever I don’t eat a balanced meal.

I am nervous about post pregnancy and dealing with my body. I know that will be a challenge, but I am hoping that I can overcome it. I am taking one day at a time, and reminding myself that I have to nourish myself so our son can be healthy.

XOXO Anna

Vows

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So I have been mentally writing my vows for two months, and finally sat down to write them. I honestly wrote the most beautiful vows in my head last night and when I sat down this morning to write them I kinda went blank or maybe got anxious. I did another attempt and I really like the second draft. I still feel that I will re-write them or tweak them later today, but writing my vows made me so excited to be marrying my fiance, not that I wasn’t already excited, but I am excited to see his face when I read them to him. I can’t wait to see his reaction. I made sure to put something in my vows that I know he struggles with accepting, and I hope my vows show him he has nothing to be worried about. He is at therapy right now, and I just can’t wait until he gets home. I just want to hug him and tell him how much I love him and shower him in affection haha. I just hope that he gets his vows done this weekend so we can send them to our officiant.

After we get our vows done and send in the story of how we met, all we need to do now is get our wedding bands. I think everything else is done planning wise. Oh I need to get nude colored underwear, but aside from that I think everything is pretty set. I can’t wait until the 29th!

XOXO Anna

We Are Having A….

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Boy! We found out yesterday, and we couldn’t be more excited! I can tell you that  I was honestly terrified about if we were having a boy or girl. There are different fears that come with each sex. Honestly, my reasons for being scared of having a daughter are because of the things I, and many other women have been through. The over-sexualization of women, the rapes, the body- image issues, and so on. I know men get raped too, and that there are objectification’s of men, but as a woman, I can say that because of my gender it automatically means that it’s dangerous to be me. Just being a woman is scary these days. Growing up, I didn’t know the realities of the world. Once high school hit, I saw them more, and college was a full on wake up call.

I am excited to have a boy for many reasons but one reason is that I want to do my very best to teach him about the issues of today’s societies with gender. There are issues on both sides, and I just want to teach my son to be a gentleman. I know that our culture is one of hook-ups and one-night stands, but I feel society has lost the art of romance. Where is the courtship?

These days it seems our society is sex obsessed. There is so much more to life than sex. What about careers, education, and building a relationship with another person?

I can say that learning about Cody’s porn addiction has been eye opening to me. I never knew that kids as young as 9 could get their hands on porn. Honestly, before Cody, I barely even thought about porn. I honestly thought most guys grew out of watching porn after middle school experimentation and curiosity and would rather have a relationship with a real woman.

I just hope I can instill good morals in our son. I want to teach him respect, kindness, love, courage, honesty, etc. I know all parents want to have their kid be the best and have access to the best. I know that we may not have the best financial situation, so we can’t buy our son endless amounts of toys, or go out every week to a museum, or the movies, but I know between Cody and me we can give our son a loving and safe environment, with lots of knowledge (both street smarts and book smarts). We want to teach our son about science, both the hard science and soft science. Given that I study psychology I hope that our son can be very psychologically intelligent. I know that a lot of people grow up not being fully aware of themselves, their desires, wants, behaviors, but I hope that we can teach our son to be aware.

Society teaches men to repress their feelings and not to cry, but I want to teach my son that crying is okay and more importantly that feelings are okay and welcomed. I want him to be able to say, “I feel X, Y, Z.” I want him to have the best and I hope that Cody and I can give him the very best.

November 17th… I am almost half way through the pregnancy (18.5 weeks) and I just want November to be here. I never knew how excited I would be when becoming a parent, especially at 23 when it wasn’t expected. I know our son isn’t here yet, but I already feel such excitement, and love, and joy at the anticipation of his arrival. I guess it’s true when they say becoming a parent changes things, lots of things and that sometimes you just can’t understand until you’re a parent. I know my parents told me that one day when I was a parent I would understand.

I now understand a lot of their decisions and their intentions. They always wanted the best for me. Always tried to give me the best. For that I am thankful. I hope that I can emulate the things that I think my parents did well with, and hope to improve on the aspects I think they faltered with.

I know I haven’t been on as much as I used to, and I think it’s partly due to how busy my schedule has gotten, but also because these past couple months, I’ve been processing my feelings. I wasn’t sure of my feelings and thoughts about being a parent. But last night, during the ultrasound when I saw our son’s arms moving around inside me, something changed. Maybe it became more real? But something changed and suddenly I am aware of how I feel about this pregnancy, about parenting, about having a son. I feel so blessed to have Cody and to be having our son. Besides my career, I feel like my life is amazing. I am going to have a husband and a son. Both of us will be finishing school and starting our careers, but aside from that things are amazing.

Life is very unexpected and throws so many curve balls. I have to say, I think I’ve managed a lot of the curve balls well -the anorexia, the rapes, transferring school, dealing with a partner with addiction, and this pregnancy. Through all those issues I never gave up and kept persevering. I know being 23 and having a baby is going to be tough, but I know I will persevere.

XOXO Anna

Engaged!

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This weekend Cody proposed! We went out to dinner and after dinner, we went to the beach we met at, and we went out on the rocks, to the end, like we did when we met. We hugged because it was cold out and he gave a wonderful speech about how sorry he was for hurting me, and how having me in his life has made him a better person. I said that I didn’t deserve him at his best if I couldn’t handle him at his worst, and he smiled. He said his shoe lace came out and I laughed because I was wondering if he was going to propose or just trick me, and he was down on one knee, and said will you marry me, and he opened the box, which was upside down so I started laughing, and told him the box was upside down and sais yes! We kissed and hugged and he put the ring on my finger, and then he was like, “Wait, I don’t want you to lose it out here,” so he put the ring back in the box to keep it safe.

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The wedding is July 29th, and we already have a guest list. It’s going to be a small wedding, and honestly, I am just so happy and so excited!

XOXO Anna

Recovery

Cody and I have been doing very well for the past month. We started couples therapy, EFT specifically and it has been one of the best decisions we’ve made in our recovery as a couple together!

In a couple days, it will be a year of Cody being clean and in recovery. It’s crazy to think a year has gone by since I found out about his addiction, but we have made so much progress, both as individuals and as a couple. Cody even got an A- in Statistics! He hasn’t gotten an A in almost four years! He really has made so many improvements to his work and educational life. I still have plenty of triggers, but some triggers aren’t as bad anymore, and 95% of the time I realize his addiction has nothing to do with me. Only if it’s a day full of triggers do I get those thoughts of not being good enough.

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Cody asked me out on a date for Saturday, which was cute! I can’t wait to go on a date, we haven’t been on a date in about a month or so. So, it will be very nice to just go out, have dinner, talk, and go to the beach where we met almost 2 years ago.

Also, everything is good with the baby. We have an appointment in a week and a half and then near the end of June, we are going to find out the gender!! We can’t wait!

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Overall, it seems like things are going much better these past couple months. I am very happy about the progress and honestly, lately, it seems like we are finding “our love” again. It’s been very nice to hang out with him and just have fun. Back in the first couple months after I found out I couldn’t have fun with him, let alone be alone with him without being in pain. These days I enjoy his company much more. I think it’s because we have been talking a lot with each other, about a variety of subjects, but we’ve talked about the addiction a bit more and I think it’s been helping me process, and be able to move forward more.

XOXO Anna

Please Take Responsibility

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On rebootnation, there are some addicts that simply don’t take responsibility for their actions. It’s been very sad to read. Some addicts have been amazing in their efforts to recover, and actually be honest with their partners, but some encourage addicts to not tell their partners.

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As a partner who was lied to and deceived, I’m saying that lying hurts more than the porn. I understand there are shame and embarrassment around this topic, but a partner has a right to know who they are with and a right to decide what they want based on an honest representation of yourself.

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I know that it can take some time to really reflect on your actions and see them for what they are. Isn’t it unfair to lie to someone you claim to love, though? I understand some addicts fear their partner will leave, or not accept them. That can be a reality, but not giving your partner the chance to show you what they would decide isn’t fair.

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I guess, I just hope that addicts, no matter what their addiction is, can be honest with the people around them, and take responsibility for their actions. I know of addicts who do and I commend them. I just hate knowing how many partners out there who don’t know that they are living with an addict, and I hate hearing addicts say, “I’m addicted I can’t control myself” as a way to excuse using. Self-control is possible, there are ways, you just have to learn what works for you.

XOXO Anna

Becoming a Parent

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I never thought I would be becoming a parent before I turn 24. My mom always had this vision for me. She knocked into my head, school, career, marriage, kids. I am currently close to getting my bachelors, only 9 classes left after I take 2 summer classes. I also want to possibly do volunteer work at a rape crisis center or the center for family justice in my county. Of course, I would have to wait a year or so to do that. Hopefully, I’d be able to do that while getting my Masters in Counseling, though I really have no idea what my life is going to be like at that point.

I am 14 weeks pregnant, and though the changes in my body make me squirm with discomfort on those days I feel insecure, the days I feel excited I see my body as something that protects my unborn child. I can’t wait until I have that ever so popularly known baby belly and can feel the baby kick. I think that will make it “more real” in my head. Not that I don’t think it’s not happening, it’s just there’s no obvious sign I’m pregnant. I’ve been lucky with minimal nausea and no vomiting, and some light cramping that probably is due to the uterus growing. Other than those discomforts and no period, my life hasn’t changed that dramatically.

We did pick out names! Cody and I liked Xander for a boy and Violet for a girl. I can definitely say that I didn’t expect to have a kid so young, mainly because I wanted to be financially secure and in my career beforehand. I am coming to the acceptance that I have to be flexible and rework the plan I had in my head for myself.

I cannot tell you how ridiculously excited I am to actually be a mother. I honestly wasn’t sure when I would feel the excitement but over the past week or so I’ve been having more exciting moments than anxious moments. The thought of seeing my baby and bonding with the baby just makes me smile. I plan to love this kid with all my heart. I only want the best for my kid, and for my kid to have good values, and be a kind person. I know that my kid won’t have all the newest and nicest toys or electronics, but I would hope that the love that Cody and I provide will outweigh the desire for the new things.

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The one thing I am struggling with is giving all the love I can to this child and balancing school. Also if I want to volunteer at a center (it’s only 2 shifts per month) I would have to make sure that Cody, my parents, or a babysitter could look after the child. Is it possible to do it all? Finish a bachelors, start a masters, be a mom, and possibly volunteer, and be a wife? And yes, I caught Cody buying the ring, and also know that he has the ring somewhere hidden in his car.

I know that being a parent means sacrifice and that it means putting your child first. I also know that I want to help people, hence being a counselor and wanting to be a volunteer at a crisis center. I just don’t know how to balance those two things. I also know that I want Cody to not feel like I’m giving the baby all of the attention, I’ve read that some husbands feel neglected when a baby is first in the house because the baby does need a lot of attention. I know Cody and I will work something out.

I guess it’s the perfectionist in me worrying about doing or being it all. I don’t want to let anyone down – Cody, the baby, my parents, or myself- and that’s what I am struggling with.

Any moms want to comment and share how they handled juggling the many demands of life?

XOXO Anna