Anne of Green Gables…

Anne: Marrila don’t you ever imagine things different from the way they are?
Marrila: No, never.

-Anne of Green Gables

Oh Anne, Anne, Anne- I have always, and will always identify with you.

 I have spent the last 2 days watching Ann with an E on Netflix and now I am watching the PBS movie that came out in December that I DVRd but never had time for.
Watching Anne reminds me of my childhood, I loved reading her books, watching the mini-series, everything about Anne of Green Gables was intoxicating. And I find now, I still feel that pang of imagination in my heart, that innocence and wonder.
I felt a lot like Anne growing up.  A child mistreated and forced to grow up too soon, but hanging on to dear life to the imaginary childhood she had.  An outcast among her peers except for one “bosom friend”.  I had one friend most all of my childhood.  And you know, looking back she was all I needed,  I didn’t need a gaggle of girls surrounding me, I had Q.  She and I met in the bus line one day when I was in 3rd grade and she was in 2nd.  We were inseparable.  I spent many many nights at her house.  So many that I used to pretend it was my house.  Other than her pesky and sometimes downright mean older brother her house was perfect.  Her mom was home when she got home from school – while mine was not.  Her father looked at her with eyes of a man who had won the lottery of daughters. While mine called me fool, numb, zero.  Her house was where I learned about things like Anne of Green Gables, Saturday Night Live, Shirley Valentine, and the meaning of home.
I remember one day after I got my license her father thought we had been off “joy riding” and he gave us both a stern talking to. I treasured that talking to my whole life. It was full of love and concern, not screaming and profanity.  And while at the time I thought he was wrong, after all I don’t think we were out joy-riding though maybe we were, I treasure that memory above all of my memories of him.  Of her mother watching her hand quilt.  Adoring and running my fingers over the quilts she had made, feeling each stitch, I can still remember the feeling of the taught threads beneath my fingers.
I still have never had a handmade quilt, but someday I will learn.  And I will remember the nights sleeping over there, watching J quilt with fondness.
I think the whole point of this post goes back to the first part I posted, which was also my Facebook status. Like Anne, I have always and may always wish things were different than they are.  I was contacted today by Q out of the blue, and it brought up a lot of good memories, which is a good thing, it’s been a hard day emotionally.
I have been crying a lot.  Hubby is outside building a shed to put all the contents of his shop in.  I don’t know if that’s why I am crying or something else, or nothing in particular, you never can tell with depression.  But I do know, that next Friday is move out day, and I will probably be crying a lot.  I am actually thankful I am unable to help, I am not sure I can handle the thought of packing up all his stuff from the business. Even now, the tears run so full from my eyes I can barely see to type.  My heart is so broken for him.  It was his dream, and it’s ripped away.
It’s why I am trying so hard to lose the Anne in me.  I don’t want to dream anymore.  Not when it seems every dream you have is either ripped away, doesn’t come true, or doesn’t come without a price. Maybe I will explain that last line another day, it’s a longer, more selfish story, and I am not ready to talk about it today.
Until next time.

Still in recovery….

Its Saturday morning, and I still don’t feel like the anesthesia has worn off and I can’t focus my eyes on the screen to type.  So it will be another day or two, at the least, before an update.  I just have so much to tell you all about the surgery.  What was wrong and even post some pics. But until this anesthesia has worn off, and I can see, it’ll have to wait.

Talk to you all soon.

 

I’m Strong?

I was chatting with someone today who has struggles of her own, and she told me how strong I am.  What? Strong? Me? I think she must have mixed me up with someone else.  I don’t feel strong.  I feel like a big ole ball of mess 99% of the time.   I feel weak.  Like I should be able to chin up and get over it. But can’t.

Does strong mean something else? Does she see something I can’t, or won’t? I have only ever felt strong one time in my life and it was when I was at the top of my physical journey- and it was physical strength.  I could run 5K in 30 minutes. I had leg muscles that made my husband ogle. I did arm work outs and had muscle definition.

But I have never felt emotionally strong.  I have always felt like a faker. I smile through the tears.  I laugh through the pain. When in reality I want to be rocking in a corner.

BUT I am good at being there for other people. No matter how bad off I am, anyone- and I mean ANYONE can come to me, I will listen, I will take their pain on as if it were my own, I want to spare everyone pain.  I would take all the pain from everyone in the world if I could, but I settle for my little corner of it.  But that doesn’t make me strong, it makes me sadistic- or is it masochistic? It makes me Christian.  It makes me reflect Christ’s love.  And it makes me crazy.

To me the picture of an emotionally strong person, is someone who can shoulder their own pain without breaking down, someone who can shoulder the pain of others without breaking down.  But I breakdown, daily. I stuff and avoid. Hell, I avoid parenting by sleeping.  How is that strong? Maybe I put up a good front.  Maybe, I have gotten so good at pretending all these years it looks real.

I don’t know.  All I know is that I can’t stand to see anyone suffering, and I would do just about anything to stop it.

So now back to me….

Why can’t I stop my own pain? Why can’t I get out of my own head? I know that I am causing some of the pain that those around me are feeling…. my kids when I am frustrated.  My husband who has to take on extra.  My friends who I pull away from. My siblings who see me suffer and there’s nothing they can do.

Im not strong.  If I were strong I could leap tall buildings in a single bound, I could take away the tears of those I love, and I could pull myself out of this pit with ease.  No Im not strong, Im weak.

Should I? Or Shouldn’t I?

I have been thinking about going public, public in that I share this blog with people in my life.  But I’m just not sure how ready I am for those closest to me to know exactly what’s going on with me, exactly how bad things can get. 

But sometimes I feel like a fraud.  I feel like I share all of this messy life with all of you – people I don’t know – with many of the people who love me the most in the dark…. do they even WANT to know??

I just don’t know.  

Not sure what I want to talk about…

I have so many things running through my mind today.  I am still running on a “high” from hubby being saved. That will be with me for a long time.  I am having a hard time being “sad” knowing that he will be in eternity with me. And I know that he would never had been saved had we not started going to the church we are at.

But I am still very irritable today.  I ended up sending my little one to respite.  I was an idiot last night and accidentally gave her her ADHD meds before bed instead of her nighttime meds. She was up ALL NIGHT.  She woke me up a couple times. And so I am irritable.

I am so mad at myself for making the mistake.  How could I do such a thing, so mad.  Sometimes I am such an idiot! I am just so tired and “out of it” lately and now I am making mistakes.  I don’t like that. Thankfully she missed 2 doses of ADHD pills yesterday so she didn’t OD on ADHD meds.

But I can’t stand making mistakes.  As we discussed earlier it makes me feel like a “fool” a “zero”.

Hubby is picking up big one from his long weekend so I guess I will nap…. or maybe not sounds like he’s home….

 

This Story begins in October 2013

Back in October of 2013 I had decided to pull Big One from public school and homeschool.  He just wasn’t fitting their mold.  I was sitting in the kitchen of a good friend with 2 other mom’s who homeschool who were there giving me advice and encouragement. I was not a Christian, but all these women were.  And Big One was.  He had been saved at a Good News Club when he was 7.

I grew up Catholic and was very active in my church after about the 5th grade. Before that we were Easter Catholics. But around 5th grade I asked my parents if we could start going to church, they couldn’t think of a reason why not and so we did.  They became Eucharistic ministers, my sister and I went to CCD (like Sunday school).  I had been baptized as a baby, my sister hadn’t so she got baptized.  We made our first communion.  Eventually our confirmation- incidentally that’s how I met my husband, but that’s another story for another day, but suffice to say God has been working in our lives through our entire time together. When I was in college I taught CCD. Hubby was an alter server, went to Catholic School for 11 years. We were active Catholics.

Then we went to college, and we got married, and we had infertility, and we couldn’t have kids. We went through infertility treatments, finally after 3 IVFs we had Big One. He was born with seizures, he had developmental delays. We were angry.  We drifted from the church.  Things didn’t make sense. We stopped going to church.  We put all our effort and energy into raising Big One.  Going to EEGs, early intervention, PT, OT, speech. Hubby called himself an Athiest for a while, but then was more just nothing. I was angry with God, I questioned how a God who was loving and grace filled could take two people who loved each other so much, wanted children so much, make them infertile, and then finally when their dream is realized they get a sick child. I didn’t NOT believe in God, but I had no idea who God was, or why He did what He did.

In my defense, in our church we weren’t taught to have a relationship with God, not a personal one.  At least that’s how hubby and I recall it.  We weren’t encouraged to read the Bible, we had misselets we read during mass. Excerpts from different parts of the Bible. We weren’t taught to just have a conversation with Him we were taught, to recite prayers- The Our Father, The Hail Mary, The Nicene Creed. We were told when to stand, when the sit, when to kneel. We were told we must confess to a priest, we must be good to get to Heaven.  It all just didn’t make sense.  How did that reconcile with a loving God?

When my son started kindergarten he started asking to go to Good News Club, I did some research, it was a Bible based Baptist club.  I said no. He persisted and I dug in my heels.  I had been indoctrinated that Catholicism was all there was. (In fact I had been told had I married a non-Catholic I would be disowned).  The following year he asked again.  This time my heart softened.  If he wanted to go this bad who was I to stop him. I mean really, what bad could come of it. Within his first class he was “Saved”.  I didn’t get it. I didn’t want to get it. I was still mad. At this point we hadn’t been able to have any more children. But a couple months after Big one Was saved I became pregnant with Little one (now I am not saying the two events are related at all, because I don’t believe that).  But what I do believe is that it opened my eyes to the fact that miracles happen in our sights every day but we miss them.

For all intents and purposes little one should not be here. I have a severe case of PCOS. According to my doctor looking at my ovaries there is no way I have ever ovulated. And my husband has so few sperm that together they had to inject his sperm into my eggs, and in order to do that they had to use an acidic solution to soften the shell on my egg (this was to get Big One).  Little one, she came about naturally, like all babies do- by the stork ;).  She was a miracle. At 5 weeks I started bleeding, and they said I miscarried.  I think that was the first time I prayed, but I wasn’t sure what/who I was praying to. I just needed another miracle. And I had her.

But back to October 2013, the reason I knew these ladies is they all belonged to the church that put on the Good News Club and also the youth group that Big One managed to get me to send him to. As I was sitting in her kitchen she was talking about an incident with her grandchild that caused her to have to turn to the verse they were studying in Bible study.  I asked her what verse that was-

Philippians 4:8New International Version (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Something came over me when she said that, a warmth.  A tingling feeling that what I heard was truth.  And over the next couple months I too became saved.  Many people who knew be before and after said they had never seen such a transformation in someone as they had me  going from an non-believer to a believer.  They had heard of such things but never seen it themselves.

I became immersed in my faith.  I eventually left the church that we had been attending with these wonderful women, mostly because I wasn’t a fan of the preaching style of the Pastor, and because we had visited a church as a family with some friends and I fell in love.

So I started going, just me and the kids every Sunday. I started going to Bible study, I started reading my Bible and I was walking as obediently as any sinner can I think. But my husband resisted.  Sometimes he made snide comments.  But after a while I think he realized they hurt and he made the decision he wanted his children to be raised with faith so he played his part. He even started coming to church with us every week in April of 2015.

But he wasn’t a believer. He walked like a Christian, talked like a Christian, and hung out in a Christian circle but wasn’t a believer.  But my friends and I prayed every day, fervently from April of 2014, for the Lord to Soften his heart to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. To allow him to allow Jesus into his heart as Lord and Savior.  Eventually hubby said he wanted faith but he just didn’t have it.

He felt like it was something that he would wake up and have all the answers.  I explained that’s not how it worked, that he had to make the choice to jump off the dock and then God would help him swim.

And I continued to pray.  Through my breakdown I prayed even harder. I wanted to know that when I died he would be in eternity with me.

Which leads me to last night. We had some friends over for dinner who are struggling, and thought we are too, there is always something you can do, even if it’s just dinner and an ear. After they left I was changing the couch sheet because of my OCD and the wife had sat on the couch, when he pulls me into the kitchen and informs he has decided to believe there is a God. I grabbed him and hugged him so tight.  He told me to loosen up it was hurting his back, I couldn’t. I was too happy. I pulled away, I asked him does this mean you have accepted Jesus into your heart as your Lord? And he said Yes.

In the past 7.5 months of this deep depression and anxiety. I can honestly tell you I have not felt such joy and happiness.  I was so excited I had to tell my ladies who pray for him daily. We are all overjoyed.  We could see the Lord working in his life, and how close he was, but still, God is so good.

On my Facebook last night I said:

Sometimes God answers prayers on the most ordinary days, in the most ordinary of ways. But He never fails to answer them, in his timing.

““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God in His perfect timing brought my husband to him.  He didn’t wait till our life was in order, in fact our life is in shambles, we are at our darkest point. He said he still has questions- and I said we all do. Then hubby said “why did He have to bring us to such a furnace”, and my answer to that was And I said, and who was in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego? God. And He is here with us.

Thank you God, for answering my biggest prayer. And for those of you waiting for someone you love to come to God, in my experience, your walk is the best testimony.  I walked as obediently and as patiently as I could, and I never once stopped praying for his salvation.

Thank you God. Thank you, thank you, thank you.  All the praise and glory to Him.

Today deserves Two Distinct Posts and it will get it.

First- I am saving the best for last.

Today was a mixed bag of emotions.  I woke up feeling lighter today, and having slept better than I had in a very very long time.  And I have felt a weight lifted off my chest that has been sitting there for years, that I didn’t even realize (but more on that for post 2)

We went to a birthday party today.  And I actually didn’t mind socializing.  I think it was again the weight that was lifted. I am in no way shape or form better, but today, today was a better day.  And today was special.

After the birthday party we ran errands, one of them to target. I almost never get to go to target so I am like a kid in the candy store.  I didn’t get a ton but I did have a little retail therapy. After that big lots, we are on the hunt for a sleeper sofa/futon for when my inlaws are here, but I think I will wind up getting that at Ikea in a couple weeks. I then went to dollar tree to get a birthday card for my sister, and father’s day cards for my dad and step dad and my husband since I will be laid up, and away for father’s day. I bought one for my dad, and then it occurred to me that he may not live to see father’s day. And as much as a huge part of me wants him to just go now (I know it sounds terrible but he’s still so abusive, and he really is suffering). I got sad to think that he may not live to see another father’s day.

My father is not very old- only 57.  But his doctor says he has the body of an 85 year old man. Years of abuse to yourself will do that. He’s a man who doesn’t feel worthy of love, and therefore struggles with how to love others. And because of his brokenness I know I can forgive him, and have. I am still hurt, I am still angry, I still have a lot of healing to do.  But just as Christ forgave us, despite us continuing to sin, today I choose to forgive him.

Whatever God’s plan is for my dad, I know it’s good.  My dad does believe in God, and Jesus, he is a Catholic through and through, it’s in his blood- literally.  And despite the abuse, the cruelty, the pain he put me through he was, is and always will be my father.

My sister send me this today, it was before she was born.  It reminded me of when we would ride in the car- I would sit on the hump in the back seat, put an arm around each of them and say “ahhh my family”.  It wasn’t all bad memories.  I think sometimes the black clouds of the pain black out the sunshine days we had.

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