I am having a bad day. It started out okay, even promising, but didn't take long for everything planned in the day to come unraveled.
I don't know if I am even going to post this. I guess if you are reading it, I did.
Why is it that some people can take the punches and keep on their feet, and others crumble? I don't feel like I crumble easily, at least I know I have taken a lot of punches, I have felt the black and blue of the bruises. But to others, who haven't known what I have been through, I think I appear to crumble easily. I used to take more, I was covered in bruises, but I seem to have very little reserves now. Maybe I do crumble a lot easier now.
I have a friend who weathers life's storms awfully well. I've talked to her about it. She says she doesn't know why she is able to take the punches in stride, when others would falter, and believe me, others would falter with what has been handed her. She does say she thinks it is a blessing from God... and is very grateful for it.
Another friend posted this in Facebook: "Things are not always perfect. The measure of a person is how they deal with adversity." - Jeff Zucker, President and CEO NBC Universal.
I've been thinking about that quote all day. What kind of measure do I show? I haven't weathered my storms well... I've crumbled... I've fallen... I sometimes want out... Can a person at some point say "enough"? How much adversity do I have to endure before I just can't walk anymore? Does that mean I don't measure up to much?
My life has been a hard one. My father was a dictator pedophile monster. He had out of control rages at the drop of a hat. Out of his four children, three have P.T.S.D., and the fourth has Borderline Personality Disorder. We have all spent a lot of time relearning life. That's a nice way to say counseling. I'm not blaming now, just explaining. I know it is up to me to become a better person. I know I must be 100% responsible for myself, and my life, if I am ever going to make it a worthwhile one.
Because my foundation was so faulty though, my life has been full of bad decisions. Decisions that I honestly thought were good decisions at the time. I married two men who did not have the ability to keep their vows. I trusted them. They abandoned me, physically, emotionally, spiritually... I did not know how devastating the consequences of those choices would turn out to be... I'm still not sure if I completely understand how deeply it goes. I just know I feel it and I don't know how to get away from it.
I have fears. I don't want these fears. I try hard to trust God and believe He will take care of me. I have had so many blessings. A day does not go by that I don't feel His hand in my life. But He does not abide a slothful servant, and I don't know if I am being slothful or just worn out. I am weary...
I don't think I am supposed to shoulder all this alone. Just to have someone to talk to helps. I feel so alone. I try to reach out, but being a new person all the time has it's disadvantages. They don't know me. Maybe they think I am just using them, a lazy person out to take and not give back. I was once accused of just that. It was never in my heart to be that way. But it makes me afraid to ask for help now. I know they don't know how hard I've worked. How could they? They didn't know me before. I have overcome a lot. With God I overcame a lot. But I still feel so weak, so vulnerable, so much a child inside.
It's all inside. The work I've done. I had to take this little girl who had so many fears and help her to grow up. She had a lot to be afraid of. A lot to overcome. Have I grown up? I think I have some.
I had to be strong for my kids. All those years raising them alone. Their dad abandoned us all. He did so long before I filed papers, long before he physically left. I called myself a married single... No power but all the responsibility... I had more strength then. I made decisions, I moved forward. I made sure my kids had shelter, food, warmth, clothes. We may not have had a lot, but their needs were always met. I found a way, sometimes it took a while, but I found a way.
Somewhere along the way I became tired... I think I realized it about the time I collapsed at school. I went back to school to study business after I filed papers the first time. I was doing well, passing my classes with "A's" and "B's". I was also working close to full time, with my kids, doing newspaper inserting. Then one day I collapsed while working in the student government at school. I went to the doctor and that was when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I couldn't get out of bed for three weeks. I dropped out of school, I just couldn't think clearly enough to go on.
There have been pockets of time since that moment that I haven't felt tired. Those were times I felt I could trust. I had someone to shoulder the burdens with me, I didn't have to face them all alone. I wonder if that is why these last four years have been so hard. To trust someone so completely only to find out it was all a lie, it turns your world inside out. The tired changed to weary.
I feel like I've lost so much. My home, my security, my sense of belonging somewhere. I finally started feeling like I belonged somewhere when he shattered my world and it all came crumbling down around me... I spent two years trying to save an unsaveable marriage. Then another two years drifting, floating, moving...
I did spend the first year after I moved out of my home with my oldest son in Arizona, but shortly after I moved in I injured my sciatic nerve and became bedridden. I was in a new place, new people, and unable to go to church, to be social. It is hard to make friends when you are stuck in bed. Near the end of that ordeal, I moved to Oregon. As I was preparing to move I made friends with several women. They came over to help me. One woman looked at me once and said how much she was going to miss me. That she was finally getting to know me and now I was leaving... I'm not sure anyone has ever said anything like that to me before.
I do not know why I was required to go through all this. I do not know why it was important for my growth. Have I grown through it? Or have I crumbled? God promises He won't allow more burden than we are able to handle, but I think I am right on the edge. Being on the edge causes the fibromyalgia to flare up, then I really do crumble.
Tiffany called and talked to me for a while. It helped. It always helps when I can talk to someone. I tried calling several people, but no one was home today.
I ask myself... Why am I afraid of the things I am afraid of? I hate driving, without my GPS I doubt I would go anywhere. I get lost so easily. Those who are familiar with the Portland area would laugh to learn that once I went from Aloha to St. Vincent's Hospital only to get lost on the way home and ended up over the Fremont Bridge. For those not familiar, that was really the wrong direction and pretty far away. I have no sense of direction. I do not know which way is North, South, East or West. I have to move my hands to know which is my right side (I eat with my right hand). I have tried really hard to learn it, it just is not in me. I used to pull over and cry on the side of the road because I was lost again. That was before cell phones and GPS's.
Later, when I had a cell phone, David would get frantic calls from me, I was lost... again... in Phoenix. He had sense of direction, he always knew where he was. I envy those who can do that.
My GPS does not make me lazy, it gives me confidence I can arrive where and when I am supposed to without having taken the scenic route along the way and missing half or more of the appointment. And I can arrive without having to wash the tears off my face.
What sparked all this you ask? Why have I felt I couldn't handle anything else?
My car did something weird today. When I started the engine I smelled gas, a lot of gas. It scared me. You are not supposed to smell gas. So I canceled my day. It was supposed to be a day without the girls, just me. I didn't get them to the sitter's house. I did not make it to the dentist this morning. I did not make it to the temple this afternoon. It was very disappointing. I really wanted to go to the temple. I needed the peace, the solace, the time of service. I love going to the temple. I cherish the privilege of being able to attend and serve there.
The car actually belongs to Danny. He is paying for it, but he is letting me drive it. But lately it hasn't been working right. The dash goes on and off, the fuel gauge doesn't work at all, I have to estimate when I need to fill up again. But the worst one is that it looses power sometimes. We think a circuit board is faulty, but don't know where to locate it. Neither of us has money to spare, to get it looked at at a shop. It needs to be looked at.
Through my life I have had cars break down on me, been ticketed because of breakdowns, and towed and impounded because it took me more than 2 hours to get arrangements to move the car. All was very expensive. Having an unreliable car is near the top of my list of scary things, probably pretty close to getting lost with an empty gas tank...
Does it make sense now what I said in my first posting? My ideal world would be to have a husband who made sure my car always worked (among many other things). To just be there for me when things aren't going so good. Together we could figure it out.
I know I'm not ready yet, but I really do want a "together" again. Actually, I've only had "pockets of together". I would like it for real and for always. I don't think that is asking too much. I am certainly willing to do my part.
I'm not sure how I would measure up if someone judged me by my ability to take adversity. I think I have a lot of room for improvement. Maybe that's why my weather is still so stormy.
Thanks for listening, I do feel better now.
Start With the End in Mind
6 years ago