09 November 2009
23 October 2009
09 October 2009
19 July 2009
I am learning that it is alright to love someone that you might not be able to live with, however permanent or temporary that may be. The question has come up more than once recently whether or not I'm single - and I answer emphatically no. I really don't know what I am, but for now I am content to just take life day by day and embrace the healing that has been extended to me. Every healthy thought, every sane action and reaction is a gift from God.
The landlords where I have been renting have decided to put their house on the market which means the kids and I will be moving again. Everyone talks about how the house won't sell -but I am the one left carrying the fear that my children and I will be given a 30 day notice and have nowhere to go. It was a good opportunity for me to practice clarifying boundaries, when a realtor was brought through my living quarters without forewarning.
My children have been learning autonomy in many areas. I was amazed this week when Kendra made "the best" peach pie I have ever tasted with no instruction whatsoever other than a note left on the table that said "MAKE PEACH PIE". I didn't expect she would actually do it. She also started a new job that she really wanted last week. Kaitlyn has been working part-time all summer at a local day care and arranging her own transportation, has an interview this coming week for an internship at the museum in the local library so she can get her feet wet, and is generally my right arm. Kullen was my hero last night when I heard a mouse in the kitchen. I have no idea how to set a mousetrap. He spent a few minutes researching it on YouTube, and had us all set up. Sometimes I wonder if the kids will look back on this time in life as one of the best or one of the most difficult. It seems that there isn't always a big difference in the two. Often the trials are the times when we're forced to dig in, and the best of us shows up. It seems that this is giving them the opportunity to shine. We all need each other and we are learning how to share our strengths and forgive each other our weaknesses.
I'm learning to love life in a different frame, I just needed time for my eyes to adjust.
09 July 2009
It is interesting as I think over the different aspects of how his music impacted my life - as someone else said he was sort of the "fabric of our lives", singing in the background at our school dances, entertaining us on MTV, his life ever being consumed for our amusement. and it makes me so sad. To hear people recount how he would be giddy with excitement when he could be disguised well enough to walk down the street like a normal person. I know a lot of people think that being rich was enough of a reward to compensate for all he gave up as a celebrity, but I disagree. Other than his family, did he ever know that anyone truly loved him without ulterior motives? I think that this drove his interest in children and eventually becoming a father.
I've heard people say he was a "freak" and a "pervert". If he was, then I suggest that he was one of our making. Was he ever given a chance to be normal? Did he ever get to live any semblance of a regular life? If he were not a celebrity, would he be gone today? I think he was here and is gone because we used him up.
Maya Angelou's summed it up beautifully in her tribute "We Had Him"
Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.
Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace. Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon.
In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing. No clocks can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.
Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.
Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.
He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.
Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that.
He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.
We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.
His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.
And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.
We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing. He gave us all he had been given.
Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana's Black Star Square.
In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, England
We are missing Michael.
But we do know we had him, and we are the world.
08 July 2009
I have decided that working moms are my heroes. Having been a "stay at home mom" for many, many years, I KNOW that all moms are working moms. However, there is a great juggling act that goes on for moms that work full-time outside the home, one that I am only beginning to understand. Every day I am proud of myself for all that I do - the sense of accomplishment and the spirit of doing whatever is necessary - and simultaneously I feel guilt for all that I cannot do and the abbreviated amount of time that I spend with my kids. But day by day we are making it, one day at a time.
04 July 2009
Suddenly I feel more alone than ever. Even when I'm in the company of friends, that sense of being significant, the half of the whole that being pulled apart leaves the other diminished. Two are left where one used to be, both with broken hearts.
The anger of all that was stolen has carried me, but now it seems be giving way to grief. The joy of being "home" also lifted me above the heaviness for a time, but real life has to resume. All holidays present opportunities for grief to surface, even Independence Day. Family gatherings, cook-outs, barbecues - just sitting on the outer rim uninvited. And yet being invited is equally as painful. Seeing so many people - even the friends who you know have had similar marital struggles as your own - all basking in the contentment of their relationships is a gnawing feeling in the hollow pit of your stomach.
Tonight the kids want me to take them to see fireworks so they can meet up with a group of their friends. We might do that. We were also invited to a church picnic that today I just can't bring myself to do. Sometimes it is less lonely alone.
I'm wishing for an ordinary Saturday.
03 July 2009
This is me in the natural - the insecurities that I wrestle with - the fear, abandonment and rejection that are palpable at times. God is reminding me of His love, but today I am having trouble accessing it, feeling it, knowing it in my heart of hearts. I don't need any answers - just wanted to share this in case one day you are feeling this way too - so you know you are not alone.
Papa, pour your love on me today.
02 July 2009
I have to say that I.love.my.job. Seriously. I actually get up in the morning looking forward to going to work. I feel productive, purposeful, accomplished. I work in an environment that supports me in my efforts to keep my kids at home - and recognizes this as my choice as a parent. I get to talk to other homeschooling parents and support them in their choices, and offer some tangible help. My co-workers are some of the most amazing people with a wide variety of personalities. They each make the day better in their own unique ways. We also have opportunities twice a week to pray together. I couldn't ask for a better place to work.
This transition in our lives has led to a lot of changes. The kids are taking on a lot of the household responsibilities, including the cooking. I love to cook. It has been hard for me to let go of this, but it has been really nice to see what the kids can do. I can put a meal in the crock pot in the mornings, but I only do that occasionally.
These life changes have dictated a lot of standard reconciliation. I have had to reevaluate what meant the most to me, what I actually had control of, and what I did and did not have the time to do. One of the things I noticed recently that had changed in our lives was cheese. About ten years ago, during the Pampered Chef era in my life, I stopped buying shredded cheese because it was covered in cellulose - a flour like substance that kept it from sticking together. Freshly shredded cheese is also more flavorful. It is just one of the things I had to let go of - and it indicates to me a healthy response to all of the changes I have encountered. Most of them go way deeper than cheese. I had all these plans and dreams for my life, that haven't necessarily died but taken on a different shape. I have learned to let go of the cheese.
01 July 2009
29 June 2009
Since I am no longer in "Texas" I will probably be relocating my blog to a "JulsnWV" address or something on those lines. Stay tuned.
06 May 2009
I am reminded that I have gone through one of the hardest transformations of my life. This ability to sit here alone in the quiet symphony of raindrops unafraid is a part of a new me. I am being molded and re-shapen - the broken clay in the Potter's hands. I have hope that He is making something beautiful among the ruins. I don't know how I ever took that first step off of that cliff, but I can testify to the Everlasting Arms that caught me.
I am surrounded by His all-encompassing love. There are things I am starting to hope for my future, and my soul asks of Him, "Could You really be that good?"
I am not sure how the journey was made from utter hopelessness to one of such promise and peace, but let my life be a testimony. Yes, He really is that good.
25 April 2009
I get anxious when I think beyond this current time period. If I try to let my mind wander even six months down the road, I become preoccupied with where I want to be - physically, emotionally, in life, in the healing process. It overwhelms me, and so like the "take action" kind of girl that I am, I start trying to develop a plan on how to get there. This is never productive, specifically because I don't know how to get there. All I know is that this day, and this moment are a gift from God, and He is helping me through it.
I don't want anyone to get the impression that I'm falling apart. I have my moments. Certain things still have the ability to bring me to my knees. I am still quite capable of tears, but I know there will come a day when I'll be stronger. God is daily teaching me that His grace is sufficient for me this day. If I can stay focused on that, it is a good day.
I heard about a divorce care group at a local church, and I am thinking about joining. I haven't decided yet. I think it could be pretty toxic, and have no desire to sit around and listen to a bunch of ex-bashing. So, if I check it out it will be by sticking my toe in and testing the waters. I also want to be extremely careful - the circumstances of my situation have the opportunity to paint me the victim. I have no desire to be such.
There is this learning curve. I know that I never had a partner in life before, and that instead of carrying part of the load, I had an extra burden and a force beating me down, literally and figuratively that handicapped me. There is a peace amidst the chaos. I know we're going to be alright. I'm just trying to take it one day at a time, hand in hand with my Papa.
21 April 2009
I was talking to a friend last night and I decided that I still believe in love. It has become crystal clear to me that no person can fully know another person. Within each of us is the secret life of our thoughts, the private hopes and dreams. That is what makes it so beautiful when two people decide to open their hearts to one another, sharing those intimacies that lay embedded in the human soul and make it work somehow.
That was not the case for me. Maybe it never will be. I wouldn't have to go back to 17 again to know how to keep from mucking things up. I have been working faithfully all along, but found that my partner had abandoned me in a burning building. My life lay in ruins around me with my footprints in the ashes, awaiting the beauty.
16 April 2009
The one where I wore my underwear upside down to the interview. Yes, I did. It is a fantastic job that is not too far from home. The pay is great, the benefits are great, it is homeschooling friendly. When I say great benefits I mean you get 13 paid holidays, 2 weeks paid vacation every year, health coverage including dental and vision, paid sick leave, paid doctor's visits, and you even get your birthday off and paid. The job is also at a very lovely college campus and I will be working with some really awesome people that I can't wait to get to know better.
I am so thankful as I see doors open and God's provision for me and the kids. It overwhelms me to see His concern for all the littlest details.
On another note, I am going to be putting in my two weeks notice at Walmart very soon. I don't start the new job until May 18th, but I am trying to plan a week off to do a few things with the kids before I am working full-time. I would like to leave on good terms so that I can possibly pick up some part-time work for the holidays, or if anything should ever happen in the future where I needed employment. However, although I have enjoyed my time as a cashier for various reasons, some hard realities have become apparent.
Nobody working at Walmart makes enough to live on. This is called a "living wage". Over the last several months I have worked alongside attorneys and realtors and other professionals and educated people who are there because there is not enough to keep them working. It is a huge blow to get that first paycheck. When you realize how hard you are working - on your feet for 8 hours a day doing often back-breaking labor and still not taking home enough money to meet your basic needs, it is hard.
I think it is time with all the economic change going on in our country to get a grip and realize that minimum wage may be suitable for teenagers who are living at home with their parents, but it is in no way a fair wage for an employer to pay people who are trying to support families. Walmart pays more than minimum wage, and it still is not enough. They also keep most of their employees at part-time status and work them at 33-34 hours and don't have to give them any benefits.
In the hiring process, Walmart asks whether or not you are on public assistance. Is that the plan? Does this huge corporation think that their employees, though they work hard, must provide for their family straddling the line of their wages and qualifications for welfare? It is terrific if they are providing jobs for people so that they can get off of welfare, but why should a person that works need to be on the dole?
These are just some frustrated and discouraged thoughts. I am hopeful because I have a better job waiting for me in a month, but I am sad for all the people who I leave behind who have no prospects for a better situation.
12 April 2009
Wednesday night I was doing my thing, ringing up customers and trying to send them away with a smile when I looked up and saw him. Yes, him. Travis. He stood back smiling like he expected me to be happy to see him, and I felt my blood turn to ice water in my veins. I started to shake, not so much with fear, but boiling anger. He said he wasn't there to bother me. It was alright. He only came to see the kids. (Interestingly enough, he must've expected to see the kids at work with me....)
One problem. The kids don't want to see him.
I asked all three of them if they wanted to see him, and encouraged them to do so.
I guess that seeing someone rant and rage and kick and scream and throw and shout and stomp and run and slam and curse every day of your life makes you pull back. I told them all that I would take them to him and that it would not offend or hurt me whatsoever. I did not want them in any way refuse him out of some sort of obligation or loyalty to me.
Not one of them wants to see him right now.
It breaks my heart. Not for Travis. I know that he is laying in the bed that he made for himself. He was told for years, more years than anyone deserved of the damage he was doing to all of us and he persisted. It is very difficult to allow someone to live with the consequences of their own actions. But live with it he must, because it can no longer be at the expense of me or my children. Kendra wrote it so eloquently:
Now I feel free. I feel like a weight has been lifted. I am far away from that situation...from that house...from that state of mind. And I am so happy! When you're living in it, you don't even realize how oppressive it is. I felt like everything was closed off and I was destined to lead one kind of life. Now I feel as if the whole world is opened up to me...
Some days I feel it, like a dirt I can't wash off - the scummy film of abuse. The names you were called like stickers pasted around, swaddling you like a mummy with torn and filthy bandages. The real you is under there but you feel that all you or anyone else can see are these labels, the things that he said you were.
Since he got here, Travis has pretty much left me alone. But there is that feeling of knowing he is here and that I might encounter him around every corner that stalks me. It is the reason that after being separated for months, I knew I had to leave Texas. Even that state wasn't big enough for the both of us. His deciding that he needed to be here, and that his needs mattered more than the space the rest of us needed for healing to take place is just confirmation that this is right.
I am stronger every day.
08 April 2009
The night before the interview, I pulled out what I thought might be workable and started trying things on. It was hopeless. I bought a new bra - I guess I thought my boobs should look more professional, but when I proceeded to try clothes on with my newly shaped parts, nothing fit correctly. I went to bed with my best choice being a pink top and some brown slacks. Pink? If you know me - you know how out of character it would be for me to wear pastel pink. Oi vay!
I woke up the next morning, the day of the interview and knew I could not wear the pink. I decided it might be the bra and with that quick change, I found that everything fit me much better. Black slacks, and olive green top with a black camisole underneath and I was good to go. I even had knee highs, and nice shoes. When I left for the interview I felt pretty confident, until I noticed I was getting a wedgie. At first I was thinking it was from the slippery dress pants that I'm not accustomed to wearing. As soon as I got to the office, I checked in with the receptionist and excused myself for a moment to the restroom to check my windblown hair, and the wedgie. I was mortified to find that I had left the big folding tag on the back of the new slacks. I ripped it off and stuck it in my purse, deep enough so that should I be asked to pull out my wallet for any reason - I would not also produce the tag. And as always after using the restroom, I pulled my underwear back up. The act of pulling them down and back up is usually resolves any wedgie issues.
Then the interview. More on that later - but at one point, sitting in a very nice office in an upright chair, I felt something pricking me in the back. Prick, prick! So I moved a little, and more pricks. I knew almost instantly that it was the tag, still inside my blouse. In my nervousness to get ready - I had failed to remove any tags whatsoever. I sat there answering questions, attempting to ignore the seeming sword that was trying to run me through from behind.
I rushed home once the interview concluded to change into my Walmart uniform and head off to the job that I already have. When my shift was over, I came home and went to the bathroom and found that I must've put my underwear on wrong. I noticed a seam where it should not have been. The reason for the wedgie? The crotch of my underpants had been on my left hip all day long, and I never noticed.
So, never be fooled by how put together I might be on the outside. I really should not be allowed out of the house in real clothes.
05 April 2009
While you keep that inner circle guarded, don't forget to open your heart to love when the time is right. Remember that people are imperfect, each with their own inadequacies. Please don't be afraid to risk your heart for a person who is deserving. Don't be afraid that every man will be the one you have known. If you panic or hide or run from love, you will miss out on the best moments life has to offer.
Never settle for mediocrity, in any area of your life. Henry David Thoreau said "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams; live the life you have imagined." I can't think of better advice on your 18th birthday than that. Don't allow your life to be derailed by someone who puts those dreams down, or refuses to be a companion on that path, be it friend or lover. Take responsibility for your own life, because it is yours alone.
Thank you for moving back to West Virginia with me. I know it meant sacrifices on your part, and I will never forget them. You are an amazing young woman, and I am so blessed to be your mom. You have always given me courage to try to be better than I am, because you deserved the best mom I could give you. Always remember that I love you. Happy Birthday baby.
01 April 2009
As I struggle back to the surface, trying to find some grounding, and allowing my eyes to adjust to light and my heart to surrender to the love that surrounds me, I see a flaw in how I have viewed God. So much of what we're taught about God makes us think of our relationships to him as "cause and effect". Do good things and be rewarded. Do bad things and be punished. It leaves a person in a bad situation to believe that they have deserved what they got, they were the map that led to this destination, the magnet drawing in the negative consequences. This line of thinking leaves a person in despair, hopeless, drowning without a life raft.
I have come to understand that good things often happen to people who do not deserve them. David knew this (Psalm 73) when he lost his footing at the sight of the prosperity of the wicked.
I have also seen good people suffer through ungodly circumstances. If this were not so, how would we account for babies born addicted to crack before even living one day on this earth? How would we account for the atrocities of war, the holocaust, the elderly rotting in nursing homes day after day with little more than having their basic needs met?
Our culture tells us that we are rewarded or punished for our deeds, and somehow this concept has been applied to God and spiritual things. I know it is not true. Moment by moment, in my pain and suffering, He has not abandoned me. I have suffered things I know that I do not deserve, but I know that through it all He has not abandoned me. He has been beside me all the way. My pain is His pain. It was for the hurts of humanity that Christ went to the cross. The next time I am tempted to close my eyes in despair and let the darkness swallow me, I will remember I am not alone.
30 March 2009
It is a lonely road that I am on. People encourage you and love you and tell you you're brave, and what a great job that you're doing, but in the end you are the one that must wake up every morning to the reality of your situation. In general, the kids and I are very happy. There is a peace that has settled - this feeling that we're going to be alright and I am so thankful for that. But in the meantime there is still a lot of hurt, a lot of unresolved issues, and memories of terrible things that happened that I had long since buried deep inside myself that keep coming up like vomit. I have to deal with them, but to tell you the truth I really don't know how. These are ugly, awful things - and even though I was the victim and not the perpetrator, I feel hideous inside for the remembering. I can't really explain this fully - but yesterday morning when Porky (the pastor of our old church The Chapel) said "The One who knows you best, loves you the most" just overwhelmed me with emotion.
I am still trying to reconcile all of it. Abuse makes you feel filthy, dirty, worthless, small, powerless.... The touching - all the touching, and the anger, the things flying around in your head, and the names you're dodging, trying to hold your breath until you're allowed up for air, and hope it isn't too late. You try to rationalize that you aren't the things you are called but you were taught so long ago not to trust yourself because you are nothing. You become convinced that even God regrets having created you.
I am having a particularly hard day. There seems to be nobody in particular to share it with. For the most part, though I have some amazing friends, I feel like I have to keep a lid on all this intensity for their sake. I need them, and I don't want to scare them away. If I start to really allow myself to cry this out, I fear I may never stop. This song that I heard the other day keeps running through my brain...
....please don't fight these hands that are holding you.....
What isn't making things any easier right now is that I injured my back. I am hoping it is muscular strain from all the moving and unpacking, but I am literally waking up every couple of hours and finding that it hurts so badly I can barely roll over. Once I do get rolled over, I can't get comfortable, and then I'm awake very early. Just what I needed.
29 March 2009
After they left, and it was just Kullen and I home alone, the house was so big, and so quiet, and nestled so deeply in the woods. I couldn't help but think of that damn movie "The Strangers" that my girls thought would be fun to see. The only truly scary movies are things that could really happen, and that movie was about an home invasion of the most evil kind. I kept freaking out with images of people standing around the house just staring at it - and even looked a few times to see if anyone was out there.
I don't undertand it - having had a mom who was a "party-girl" and left me alone all night long from the time I was very young. I never had the luxury of being afraid to be alone. I think it is the knowing - the choice to be on my own and not knowing how permanent this is, combined with the scary movie. No more scary movies for me for a while. I also asked the girls to have sleepovers here until I get a little more used to this house!
26 March 2009
The crazy part is that the biggest threat to me and my family has lived inside the four walls with us for the last 20 years. I have protected and defended myself and my children, but in a far different fashion that anyone might have imagined. I know I can do this, but sometimes I feel tremendous fear. There is nothing to do but what is before me. So I went to bed afraid last night, and today I make it through another day.
If you were interested in seeing pictures inside they house they are available here. You can click on them and make them larger if you look.
24 March 2009
This morning the kids and I went for our first counseling session. It was tremendous. We walked away with a lot of insight and the lady who is counseling us is amazing. She validated that we were living in an abusive environment - and asked me to admit it to myself. It isn't easy. It is easier to think what I was always told, that other people had it much worse, and that it wasn't "that bad". The counselor wants to see us individually starting with me. She helped me see that some of the things Travis is doing even now are manipulative. He tries to put all the responsibility for the way the kids interact with him on me - she called it triangulating. She also helped me know that it is okay for the kids to tell their dad that they don't want to talk to him right now, and that he needs to respect that boundary. She gave us language to use when people ask questions we aren't ready to answer. She also made it very clear that the one year I was asking for was of the utmost importance. It was all very helpful and even Kullen - who went into the appointment saying, "I'm not talking to anyone about my problems!" warmed up to her by the end of our session.
So, we breathe, eat, sleep, live, and move. Life goes on. I have this sadness deep inside still - but it isn't consuming me anymore.
19 March 2009
******Emails can be left here in the comments, or sent to me via email.
And whoever the person is that felt it necessary to run directly to my husband and fuel the already difficult situation between us by telling him my blog was going underground -
I started a new job at Walmart today and have some promising prospects for an even better administrative assistant position with a reputable organization that is extremely homeschool friendly. Please pray that I would have favor here. The position is right up my alley, and has "generous benefits". The kids and I have also found a house to rent from a family we used to go to church with years ago. The rent is perfect, as is the location. A house in my Blue Ridge Moutains. My favorite part.... a washer and dryer! Ha.
Life goes on. I realized today for the first time in many weeks that I felt "happy". Even though we aren't moved in or settled anywhere yet, I feel like life is finally going in a positive direction. I am so utterly thankful. I feel sad for Travis and we still have a lot of conflict to iron out. I don't know what will become of it. I am trying to let my behavior honor the person that I want to be and my Papa. It is a work in progress.
(If you read this blog as a "note" on Facebook, I don't think that anything will change! We'll have to see.)
17 March 2009
Part 2 - Jesus' Teaching on Marriage and Divorce
Part 3 - The Pharisees Teaching on Marriage
I share this in the hope that it will be as liberating for someone else.
15 March 2009
There are so many highlights from our trip. The kids and I were crammed for the better part of four days in the front cab of a diesel truck that had only 3 seatbelts. Nobody could recline to doze off, and nobody had any elbow room. All things considered, it went fairly well and no blood was shed. The diesel engine was horribly loud and there was a slight smell of exhaust and ashtray. It took them 3 1/2 hours to get the truck - valuable moving time - so by the time I finally got it, there was no time to complain about the cleanliness or lack thereof to the Budget rental company. By day two my head hurt so bad that if I had a gun....... Kendra had a terrible headache as well. Kullen spent most of his drive time singing.. "Almost heaven, West Virginia....." and occasionally inspired us to sing along. Kaitlyn has been emotionally overwhelmed, hoping that people understand that though we are happy to see them, and happy to be back "home", it is not a party for us - not just yet. It is indeed one of the most difficult times of our lives.
I think we will make it through one step at a time. Yesterday I found a way to articulate how I feel - that I am standing my ground with wobbly knees. I am so thankful to have the support of my family who made sacrifices to financially support me, my friends who are holding me up, both those in real life that hold me up by offering to give up their beds, fill their pantries with food, let us do laundry, and all manners of physical support and for those of you in the realm of cyber friendships who pray, send love, financial support that I know you didn't even have, and constant encouragement. I don't know how I would've made it through without you, all of you. Thank you for helping me see that I did not deserve the way I was being treated, and helping me gain the courage to seek something better for myself and my kids.
03 March 2009
01 March 2009
Hysterical is the new calm!
26 February 2009
I got an email this morning from a friend that strengthened me. It helped me know that I won't be lost forever in the muck that I feel is drowning me right now.
So we shall allot the first month for misery & mourning. Then when it is over.... it will be Spring. You will be home. There will be walks at the river, hikes on the trail, lunches & coffee out with friends. Then comes Fall, the time I start missing you the most. This year you get leaves & pumpkin flavored everything, Halloween party & Oktoberfest & bonfires at the river. Then Thanksgiving, Planes Trains & Automobiles & finally Christmastime with you, the way I like it best. You have done this for years "with" him.... now you can do it alone without him. Only you won't be alone. You will be free.
Validation of my pain. Permission to mourn. A future to look forward to.
I'm taking the next step....
22 February 2009
I need a friend. Not a phone call or an email, but flesh and blood to just sit with me in this pain - the way Dwayne reminded me Job's friends did after they ran out of answers.
There is a deep ache. I have this sense of wanting everything to go "back to normal" and yet I can't find a marker in time where that ever existed for us. It was always me, trudging along, trying to appear as if we were like everyone else. Now I find I wasn't even able to fool myself. I have reached the end of my strength, my resolve. Boxes are everywhere - tidy packages of the pieces of my life - a life I no longer know how to go on with.
The desperation threatens to overtake me. I never wanted this. I don't want it now. I want him to be the hero, to come crashing in to save us from this worst moment in our lives together.
16 February 2009
15 February 2009
I am the one leaving, yes. I am walking away. While he talks of miracles and things that might be, I have heard it all before. I am not a stone. I feel it. I want it. It was supposed to be him in the framed pictures of all that I see for the future. Not cracked glass and an image torn in two.
I got boxes today - tidy and neat containers in which to put the pieces of my life if I had the strength to pick them up.
A heavy need to wail overcame me when I started this post and I stopped to indulge awhile. There is no comfort for my pain. I mourn as one with no hope. My prayers for the miracle of his softened heart turned to me fell on deaf ears for far too long to endure. The vow to love hanging over me unfulfilled.
How do you start to see the world again through cracked glass, with only half of what you thought you were? This is a pain that feels too deep to bare alone, and I am left here, crying like a baby for her mother. No mother will come. No miracle.
14 February 2009
It all hurts, and confuses and muddles. At work I see elderly couples shop together, moving seamlessly as if they were one. Communicating without words. I wanted that for us, the golden years. Then there are the young couples, and I remember us, a newborn between us in that early morning light when all the edges are blurred and all the sounds are softened.
I don't know how to separate it. When my parents got divorced, all the memories of us as a family seemed to have to die with their new relationships. The ones that managed to survive were the bad ones. How do I preserve the dignity of our lives for the last 21 years and not let anyone else define it based on their limited knowledge? Yes, the bad has overwhelmed the good - but there is still good there to find. I want those memories - they are mine.
Yesterday a friend eloquently explained marriage to me in a way she heard it when going through her own painful divorce - and it was so very helpful. (Thank you Becky) A marriage is like a child. It needs physical and emotional care. If you had a child that was sick, you would do everything you could to take care of it and nourish it back to health. On the other hand, if the child were to die, you would not hold onto it and keep it with you. You would bury it and mourn the loss and day by day learn to live without it again.
This is so hard. It is so painful. It isn't what I ever wanted. Who would ever choose this?
11 February 2009
I have been told throughout the years by well-meaning (and much loved) Christian friends that they couldn't condone divorce. They would support me through a separation - hold my hand, help me financially, even give the kids and I a place to live - but that divorce was never going to be an option. I have been in circles before where women who were divorced were whispered about when they left the room, tongue in cheek as one person would lean over and say, "this is her second marriage". Like I needed to know, be warned.
I am in a crisis so perhaps I will look back on this years later and come down on a completely different side of the issue - but for right now I am really struggling. Please filter whatever you read here through that fact. Right now I am angry. The "church" as an institution that would hold to this belief that I am less of a woman if I divorce my husband, that even through all of the hell I've lived and how I've tried to love in spite of it, I have failed. That I am a failure.
God hates divorce. It is true - but I know He sees what my kids and I have endured, and hates it as well.
25 January 2009
Some observations - most of the women there are divorced. Some boldly admit they would rather be there than home. It makes me sad. I don't want to be bitter or resentful or consumed. I am going to choose grace the best that I can, one moment at a time, lest I forget and one of you remind me that I love the Lord, I want to love like Jesus and I don't want anybody to ever take that pursuit of His heart away from me. No.matter.what.
I still like smiling and interacting with my customers, even on my worst days. One day I was even challenged by a customer when asked in return how I was and I responded weakly that I was "fine". He didn't believe me, as well he shouldn't. But just that moment of compassion from another human being has the power to lift you up - seems it works from both sides of the checkout line.
One night last week, I had a man push his way between me and my cash drawer. That was interesting and it helped me remember how dangerous it can be to work around so much money. It also reminded me how desperate people can be who need or want money. Then yesterday I had a lady try to write a very obviously HOT check. Smokin'! She gave me a fake driver's license number that ended in 5678, tried to run out of the store with a $50 gift card, and told me at least 3 different stories about who she was buying the food for - a rescue mission, an elderly person and then a man in prison. (I thought taxpayers fed those who are incarcerated?) Anyway, it is always interesting at Walmart. I have been glad to have an out of the house job right now - it is a reason to get dressed on days when my emotions are so heavy I have been barely functioning.
Thanks for all your prayers, love and precious sentiments. They mean so much.
24 January 2009
It is all frightening - like being on the edge of a cliff and having others tell you that they know there are arms that will catch you. But YOU know that the free fall you do on your way down, starting with that first step off the edge must be done alone. I keep hearing the words of Elisabeth Eliot, who used to start her radio show with “…..you are loved with an everlasting love, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
I can go on. I will step off this cliff. I have been on my own for so long anyway. I just need to continue to remember.
21 January 2009
I feel like I can't listen to the radio or watch TV. Everything stirs up feelings inside of me. I don't really know what to do but put one foot in front of another. I would love nothing more than to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head and pretend this all is not happening and is not necessary.
Please continue your prayers dear bloggers. I know there is something supernatural that keeps me moving forward when I want to stop and sit right here in this pain and die.
17 January 2009
This is a little bit of a difficult thing - one that cramped my heart with fear when we first decided to move to Texas. I would wake up with a cold chill of panic about just this thing. I may have to miss my daughter. Kendra has said that she may stay here in this area and go to college. I know that doesn't sound too horrible, but if she is unable to leave here now, I can't imagine that time and more roots and deeper friendships established that she will ever want to leave. I can't think about it too much just yet. There is a timing factor involved with the start of college and her 18th birthday and her getting her drivers' license - but I am trying to come to terms with the fact that she has a life to live and it is my job at this time to transition myself out of her way. But she by far would be the thing I would miss most desperately.
I would miss that spring starts in mid-February, right when you mentally think you cannot take one more day of winter. Wildflowers start to bloom, and the air gets full of that energy of new life bursting forth in all the trees and fields. There are some really nice trails to walk this time of year and I will miss them as well - especially the Sundew Trail which is where we most often traverse.
There are a few ladies that I have started to get to know better as well, now that we've decided to move, and my friend Melody who has been my companion in homesickness. It is difficult to share our lives together though because we live about 40 minutes away from them. We will always have the internet, email and Facebook. It will also be nice to know that they are nearby in case Kendra should need them if she has any trouble.
I will absolutely miss my house. I just love this 100 year old beauty and all of the charm. It really suits me. But without friends to fill the rooms, it is still lacking in spite of being my dream house.
I am sure there are other things I will miss, but these are the ones that stand out the most. Texas is not a bad place - and if I've given that impression at all in my blogging, please know that there is beauty to be found here and good people. West Virginia is my home, and nothing can compete with her place in my heart.
15 January 2009
11 January 2009
The picture here was snagged from my friend and very talented photographer, Alexandra Beaulieu who gave me permission to use it. She took the picture from a spot perched above St. Peter's Catholic Church located on the hillside in historic Harpers Ferry, WV. Thanks so much Alex.
09 January 2009
01 January 2009
What do you eat on New Year's Day?