Miracle? Nah, just unwilling to give up on this thing called marriage. It’s far from perfect but I’m not willing to let go of fifteen years of living, regardless of how difficult it has been.
Still struggling with the whole church attendance thing. I woke up in time this morning. I could have gotten up but I instead chose to stay in bed despite not feeling tired. I even made sure my clothes were laid out the night before (nothin’ fancy…I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal for the most part).
I wish I could figure this out! I wish I was still hungry for that place. I used to not feel right if I missed a Sunday. I needed to start my week out “right.” I used to be able to raise my arms up high during worship, too, but lately it’s as if they’re glued to my sides. I’m still hungry for God but the thought of having to go to the actual church building full of people leaves a lot to be desired for me these days. Is that sin? Am I to go regardless of how I feel? I tend to think so but I’m torn and I’m still asking God to set me straight on all this weekly church going business.
Maybe I’ve done all the growing I can possibly do there (despite their new home “grow groups”). Or maybe because my life’s circumstances haven’t changed I’m growing weary? I admit it would be nice if I didn’t have to go alone. It would be nice if I had a husband who loved the Lord and was an encouragement in my walk with God. But whatever the reason, I just don’t have that need, that yearning, to be there every single week like I once had. It’s been five years and I’ve changed a lot and I’ve learned a lot in that time. Now I’m at a place where I can’t seem to look past certain teachings and views among the pastoral staff and fellow brethren.
Yet it seems there are certain themes I can’t look past and I wonder why these things don’t bother them the way they do me. I don’t want to feel divided. I love a lot of the people there but I can’t have the kind of discussions that I’m looking to have. I need more and it seems we are on different pages of different books at times. I sometimes wonder if we’re reading from the same bible! I’m not into “faking it till I make it.” I’m not into “forcing the gift of tongues” until it becomes an actual real gift. That kind of defeats the idea of what a gift is…doesn’t it?
Were we ever really a family? I guess. Technically they are my brothers and sisters in Christ, but it’s as if I was never even there. It kind of feels as though my absence means nothing. I haven’t left any kind of a dent there in my absence. The wheels will still keep turning whether I’m there or not. And that’s fine. I don’t expect the place to cave in on itself because Amazing Mindy isn’t there to keep it structurally sound. All I’m saying is people are funny. People come and go and the world keeps ah-turnin’.
Upon attending, I tend to feel more annoyed (or perhaps frustrated is a better choice of word) these days than I do nourished and encouraged. And isn’t that the point of going to church? To be lifted up and encouraged by fellow believers? Yet I still feel bad for not forcing myself to go today. I’ve been averaging about once or twice a month at this point. I just want to please God and be right with Him but am still confused on what He wants from me…meaning, does He want my heart completely in it or just my body in physical attendance? I suspect the latter? Shouldn’t obedience override feelings?
There was a time when I did force myself to go despite not “feeling” like it and usually I would be glad that I ended up going. But that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Even when I didn’t really want to go my heart was still in it to make myself go, if that makes any sense whatsoever. But lately, when I make myself go regardless of how I feel, I end up wishing that I had stayed home after all.
Well, regardless of whether going by feelings is right or wrong, I’m not the type to do something if it’s not genuine. Perhaps God wired me that way and so I should just keep plugging away at trying to figure this thing out. I’m still seeking the Lord. That hasn’t stopped. And I have great conversations about God at work with my two new believing friends. So I guess I’ll just accept His forgiveness today if indeed I did sin by not going, and I’ll try to go next week. In the mean time I hope to receive an answer directly from Him on this whole mess in which I seem to find myself swirling.
So it turns out our tenants downstairs are moving out next month. They bought a house. So I can finally move back downstairs which means I’ll finally have a decent kitchen, a bath tub and my laundry room back…no more having to go to the laundromat. But we still have to rent out the upstairs (where we currently reside) in order to help pay for the mortgage. I was hoping we would have the entire house back to ourselves in order to have some space from each other, but that’s just not possible.
I tried handwriting (journal style) but am finding it hard to read back, so I’m typing out what I wrote on April 2, 2018. So the last three post entries are sort of out of order…
April 2, 2018
What do you want of me? What kind of marriage are You OK with me having? What do You want for me, for us, for my life? I’m so confused and hurt and sad and I don’t want to live this way anymore…but I’m so used to and conditioned to living this way that I don’t know how else to be. I’m so lost. I don’t know who I am or what I want. I don’t know how to stand on my own. I need Your help. Please help me. I love You, Lord. I want to be dependent on You, Lord, like You told me so long ago. Please help me and show me how to do that. You know what I need in exactly the way I need it. Please help. I feel so lost.
—-Trying to remember everything that came out on Friday (Good Friday)…….it started with me asking him why I was even included in a deal he made with someone because I don’t airbrush anymore. It was making me angry because I still don’t feel up to it. His reaction made me react. I became a hysterical, sobbing mess as I paced from room to room. Even hyperventilated a bit.
I told him things like…
This was all said in a crazy, hysterical, panicky way. I felt almost outside of myself. His response was disappointing. Yes. He held me a bit at the end as I sobbed. It was nice but I knew he wouldn’t do it again so I didn’t want to like it too much. I have to have an emotional breakdown in order to be held by him.
He threw out different options such as…
Then he left for the Rod as usual…
I honestly don’t know where that leaves us. We haven’t talked about anything since. And on Easter he went to the Rod again while I sat at home and cried all night BECAUSE I didn’t think he’d actually go there on EASTER. That really hurt my feelings deeply. I don’t think he wants to be in this marriage anymore. I’m a burden…someone he just supports.
(April 1, 2018… 1 pm) It’s Easter Sunday and I’m home alone. Didn’t want to go to Todd’s. Can’t deal with family right now. Everything I’ve been avoiding saying to Rick all came out in a hysterical display on Good Friday. Didn’t want it to come out the way it did but I guess that’s the only way it could. Afterwards he actually held me for a bit as I sobbed. It felt so nice to have him hold me but I was afraid to give in to it because I knew he wouldn’t hug me again after that. It takes a complete melt down to get him to respond to me that way. Hugs don’t exist in his world.
I don’t know what’s going to happen now. I’m afraid my marriage is going to end. I don’t know how he feels about me anymore. I love him or I wouldn’t feel so sad right now, but I don’t know how to continue on. I don’t think the things that I need changed will ever actually change. I’m sad and scared about my future.
(7:47 pm) Wow. He actually went to the Rod and Gun Club on Easter. Thought maybe he’d actually stay home since it was Easter and I had cried about how he’s always over there, but I was wrong. He did make a pork roast and some squash before he left, though. How long do I wait for him to get back or should I just eat alone? I guess this marriage really is all it will ever be. I guess it really is over and it hurts my heart.
Just trying to figure out when it was that he stopped loving me. And I’m not blaming him…well, not entirely. I’m sure I play a part. But his lack of affection and communication has left me hardened. Too many years of this inability to give me what I need emotionally has left me unable to push through it anymore. I can no longer live this way. So what do I do now?
I discovered a few weeks ago that he’s been keeping things from me for who knows how long? I finally asked him about it the other night. He admitted to some stuff but it took a lot of prodding and it never felt like he was being completely honest. I have a feeling there’s more but I can’t prove it. I used to trust him wholeheartedly. My heart feels betrayed. I thought he was the most honest and trustworthy man on the planet. Now that’s gone. If I can’t trust him I feel as though I can’t trust anyone. If he of all people can become someone I never knew then that is true for the rest of humanity.
So when did he stop loving me? Was it when he went from spending a couple nights a week at the Rod to three or four? Or was it when he started going just about every night of the week? He says to me yesterday that he’s invited me to go with him a few times but I never do, as if that would have fixed everything. He knows I hate it there. Just the thought of the anxiety caused by walking into a dark, smokey room full of people I don’t know is enough to keep me home. He knows I hate bars and smoke and drinking and drama. He loves all of that. Those people have become his family and I’ve become something that he supports financially. Our home isn’t a home. It’s just a dwelling where we eat and sleep. It’s filthy now but it wasn’t always so. As the years went on the frustration and continuous disappointment grew and all hope of the future we had dreamed of together eventually faded and died.
We had fun in the beginning. We used to ride our motorcycles together. We went to the Vineyard and, after moving up here, we had the same friends we hung out with. But that fell apart. The friends moved away and he started going to the Rod and Gun Club. Lots of things happened in between. I eventually found a church I love. I’ve been going there for four years now. They are my family and support. So as you can see my husband and I have separate interests and separate lives.
I feel like it’s over. Yesterday on the phone (a continued discussion from the night before) when I said I was screwed because I have nothing…no money, no job, no place to go, he said (right after asking me if I wanted a separation), “I’ll always make sure you’re taken care of.” That tells me he doesn’t want to try anymore. He said to me that he’s not good enough for me. That was a ridiculous statement. That’s something you say when you want to make yourself feel better. That’s something you say when you don’t have the courage to admit the truth. He said a lot of other things that were equally insulting. I feel lost. I feel sad and panicked. I have nothing to show for my almost forty-three years on this planet. I wasted my life. I gave up and I don’t know how I will ever make it at this point. I’m afraid.
I thought we’d be in the new house by now but the capped foundation still sits there and inside sits stuff that will never fill this pipe dream of a home.
In 2008 I received my inheritance of $44,000, most of which went into putting up this atrocity of a garage. It was so massive that people often thought it was the house. The garage serves its purpose for him but the upstairs has been unfinished since the garage went up…no walls…no wiring…it just sits there.
I stopped listening a long time ago when he would say we’d be in the upstairs of the garage by summer. It gets old after ten years of hearing something that never comes to fruition. So much for my dream art studio. I thought we were going to live our dream but instead it all went to shit. I even buried my beloved cat, Whiskers, under one of the trees on that land. He was so special to me. He lived nineteen years and I wanted him buried where I knew I would be living for the rest of my life. So his decayed body lies there, all alone, waiting for me to look out over his final resting place from my balcony some day that will never come. Breaks my heart.
Whatever joy I used to have has been long gone. I’m used to this miserable world I’ve grown accustom to. I know it’s slowly killing me but I’m used to it. Sound insane? I’ve become paralyzed to any sort of action which requires putting myself out there in the world. I’m safe in my bubble, at home with my cats. But it’s not satisfying…just comfortable. I need to change it but I don’t know where or how to start. Maybe going to the gym could be a start I suppose. Start taking care of my body and maybe I’ll start to feel more confident which would help me take other steps. I guess that’s where I should start. Sounds easy enough…so why isn’t it?
Oh Lord God…Heavenly Father….I need YOU. Please help me. My eyes hurt from crying.
That is what I heard God say to me in my most desperate and sincere state. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was about 25 years of age, kneeling on my living room floor as I hysterically cried out to God,
You know, I often hear it said that we should never ask God why. They say that’s the wrong question and that He won’t answer you, but He sure did when I asked the so-called taboo. And His voice wasn’t some thunderous, audible sound that pierced the heavenlies. It was my own familiar voice inside my head.
Because His answer was instant and most unexpected. Because I knew it wasn’t me saying it. Because the peace I felt was immediate. Because I knew that I knew that I knew. My tears ceased and I felt a calm. My Heavenly Father had just spoken to me in my time of need…out of desperation. That was enough to relax my body and soul. And I wasn’t asking Him in expectation of an answer. It hadn’t occurred to me that I would or could receive one. But when I heard those words,
I knew without a doubt that I would be OK…that God would take care of all my needs. And why wouldn’t I? There’s no assurance like the one that comes from a direct response from God Almighty! And what a God thing to say, right?!?! His response made me realize that I had been putting all of my hopes and needs in everyone else BUT Him. And you know what happened after that night? My needs were met the very next day.
Those were the first and only words I ever heard my Heavenly Father speak to me. I know He speaks to me in other ways but I’ve never experienced His response in such a direct manner since I was a broken heap on my living room floor, devastated and lost and panicked about what was to become of me. I think He responded to me then in such a personal way BECAUSE I was just desperate enough. I think my level of desperation and sincerity broke through a realm I can’t see or feel. I don’t know how else to explain it. I would love to hear Him again like I did that night. I’m pretty sure I’m hindering His ability to move in my life due to bitterness, anger, and resentment. I heard it said once that there are laws that govern the way the power of God flows and I believe this to be so true. I think many times we can block ourselves from receiving all that God has for us due to our own stubbornness.
CAN God do anything? Sure He can! (Except in making a square circle or a one-ended stick…we’re talking about logic right now so work with me.) After all, our God is full of mercy and grace and He deals with each one of us uniquely because we are all different. But, for me, I know I need to let go of certain attitudes despite my current environment. UGH! Why does it have to be so damn hard?!?! Oh how I want to tap into that direct line I managed to unintentionally hack almost twenty years ago. I want to feel that assurance and calm because my Creator plainly and directly just spoke to me. (Oh, God, please have mercy on me for I am trying. I may keep falling but I keep getting back up to try again. And sometimes I may stay down for a little too long out of stubbornness but I always get up again…eventually.)
So, if there is a “secret” to hearing God, that might be it…You have to be desperate enough…raw and sincere enough in your pursuit. The scriptures do say to seek Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Maybe that’s the key. We have to yield to Him but more often than not we try to figure out how to fix things ourselves instead of relying on Him, the One Who knows all and sees all.
Apparently I posted this about 5 years ago on Facebook. Funny how I seem to be experiencing the very thing Derek Prince spoke of here. My heart needs a good cleaning. Thankful for the Lord’s grace and patience. Sanctification is truly a process.
It’s been a long time since I had a fit of rage, that is until around 6:40 pm on March 5, right before Rick left for darts. Couldn’t stand the irritability and anger between us anymore. We just don’t communicate well. Apparently I thought it a good idea to scream really loud as I stood in the kitchen. Was trying to let out the frustration but when that didn’t work I punched at the door of the refrigerator a couple times. Hurt my hand pretty bad, too. After that I screamed at him that I was sick of our relationship. Finally told him to just go already. We never spoke about what happened…not even when he got back home. Although, I did mention last night during another flip out and chucking of the remote across the room that I get so frustrated with him that I end up physically hurting myself, whether it be punching refrigerator doors or splitting door panels with my head (yes, that happened once)…but he once again had no response. And he’ll never bring it up, either. Why would he?
It’ll be two weeks tomorrow that I attacked the fridge and my hand still hurts a lot. It’s painful washing dishes, scooping litter boxes, washing my hair, getting dressed…you get the idea. And the anger is still very present. I’m having trouble “pushing through it” this time. I’m so over what’s become normal in this marriage. I don’t want it anymore. The thing is, if we separate, I have absolutely no way of supporting myself. I am completely dependent on him. Have been since I met him…pretty much. I keep thinking of that movie ‘Shawshank Redemption’ when they’re talking about being institutionalized. That’s kind of how I’ve always felt in life. This crippling fear comes over me when I think of having to go out in the real world and interact with people and “sell” myself to a potential client or employer (I have done it but it never gets easier). I can’t even deal with the phone…serious phone anxiety. I still think I could be something but being with Rick enables me to stay at home and hide from the world. I’m slowly dying inside by living this way. And it doesn’t help that I just don’t even care about anything anymore. I have no drive to strive. It’s pathetic.
It wasn’t like this for the first few years of our marriage. We were working on building our business, Phantom Phenders. Rick got me painting jobs for custom airbrushing. I painted motorcycles (a few cars and a boat, too) and sometimes he built custom motorcycles. We promoted ourselves and we did things together. But it’s all since fallen apart and I’ve given up trying. I don’t have the energy to explain it all today. I’ve written about it in the past…go fish if you want to.
I don’t feel like writing anymore…Just want to watch a movie on this sunny afternoon as I sit on this futon in my pajamas. My sixth (but not least) cat, Ruby, is keeping me company.
12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. -Matthew 18
I don’t want to admit it. Jesus healed me after all…right? I don’t want to say that I’m depressed again, but I choose to sleep for as long as I can manage. Didn’t get out of my bed all day yesterday and slept for most of it. Told my husband I didn’t feel well because of a head ache. I did have one earlier but it’s probably because I slept too long.
There’s things I want to do for myself but I just haven’t been able to get the ball rolling. Like going to the gym…cleaning my disgusting house…
I have no drive. I don’t want to be this way.
I can still talk to people when I’m out so I know I’m not in a bad way. I know what it’s like to be down so deep that I can’t open my mouth to speak or even get dressed…although getting dressed is starting to become a challenge again. I’m not in the pit and I don’t plan to fall back into it. I’m aware of my patterns and I know I need to take charge and do something before it gets out of hand. I’m thankful for my church. It gives me a reason to get out of the house. But other than that I have no purpose…no job…no responsibilities other than taking care of my cats.
I hate the way my life is going. Sure, I could fix SOME things…like working out to lose that extra twenty pounds I loathe…or start cleaning my crammed living space one room at a time (so I don’t overwhelm myself). But I just haven’t taken those steps yet and now spring is just around the corner, then summer which requires fewer clothes which brings more misery because I hate my body.
I hate that I’m even saying any of this. It’s so negative and I don’t want to be THAT person. I know these struggles are due to my life’s current circumstances. I don’t need medication, just a motivational kick in the ass. A kick-start.
Can we talk? I need to discuss with You how wretched I truly am. I know You know what I’m referring to. You were there after all. You saw him fall backwards, too. You watched me run towards him, yelling his name as he fell into the hamper. You were there as he lay confused, not knowing what had just happened. In that moment I didn’t know what to do…what to think. “Was he having a stroke? A seizure?” He looked so old and helpless and frail to me at that very moment. For a second I thought he pissed himself but it turned out to be spilled milk which was now all over the front of his underwear and all over the now drenched, filthy carpet. He just sat there within the bedroom doorway as I tried to assess what was happening and, as usual, I couldn’t get much feedback from him which, in turn, made me frustrated. I just wanted to know what was going on with him but he wasn’t able to tell me. He just wanted me to give him a minute. His face was so cold and clammy and ashen. “Do I need to call an ambulance?” I then looked around at my cluttered and dirty dwelling and began to think of what sort of apology I would give to the medics as they tried to maneuver through our mess. What would they think of me, of us, when they saw how dirty I had let my place become? But that’s not even the worst of it. In the midst of all this I did think to pray over him but chose not to. It did occur to me to seek God first and pray but I wasn’t sure of how to word it or if it would even make a difference or if it was even necessary. That is the worst. I chose not to pray. Shameful.
He had passed out a couple of times but I only witnessed the second episode. As I sat on the couch watching TV I heard some commotion coming from the kitchen but didn’t think much of it. I figured he had just dropped something or that a bunch of stuff fell out of the fridge. That’s not unheard of for us and has become an accustomed noise (typically followed up with cursing) in this crammed living space we call home, so I didn’t get up to check. I didn’t even call out a simple “You okay?” Then a couple minutes later I thought I heard him shut the bathroom door quite abruptly? Maybe? I decided to get up and check only to find him standing in the doorway of the bedroom. From across the room I asked if he was okay and as he was telling me that he had just fallen he proceeded to fall again. “RICKY!!!” I yelled as I ran towards him. “What’s wrong?!?”
A LOT of thoughts were going through my head at exactly the same time. I don’t think I felt emotion…only concern for what plan of action needed to be taken as I simultaneously processed internal questions such as, “Was he going to die?!?!” and “Is this really happening right now? …What would happen to me if he dies? … What would I do?” Angry, accusatory thoughts took over as I recalled the fact that he overworks himself EVERY SINGLE DAY never to get ahead and if he would just take better care of himself he wouldn’t be sitting on this disgusting carpet in a half naked daze right now…”I need him to be strong for me. How am I going to be strong for him?!?!” I’m completely dependent on this man and I would lose everything if he suddenly left this world, including my six beloved cats which he also adores” (well, he has his three favorites). The semi-subconscious thoughts continued…. “I can’t believe this is my life’s situation. It was never supposed to be this way. I’m mad at myself and I’m mad at him and I shouldn’t be feeling resentment as my husband sits helpless on the floor. I’m a wretch.”
My perturbation increased the longer Rick sat. I started to worry about how much money it was going to cost to go to the hospital with no insurance. We JUST finalized the bankruptcy and are FINALLY debt free. So much for that. “Should I go?” he asked. “Well, how do you feel?” He thought he was okay but we both felt it probably wasn’t a good idea to risk not getting checked out. So I gave him clean underwear to put on and we both got dressed at 2 am this morning and set out for yet another ER visit, braving the cold February air.
I tried to help Rick tell the doctor what had happened and filled in any gaps he had missed, like mentioning his MS just in case it was needed information. They hooked him up to machines and gave him an IV. Doc wanted to do an EKG, a chest x-ray, and a CT scan. I cringed at the thought of the size of THAT bill. When they had all left the room I reminded Rick of how he mentioned in the car not wanting all sorts of tests. After relaying to a nurse the fact that we have no health insurance the CT was put on hold and by the end of the stay it was determined that it wasn’t needed after all. He was going to be okay. His blood pressure was really low and labs showed his kidneys weren’t up to par which was most likely due to dehydration. Both issues were resolved with an IV of fluids.
There were a couple of moments when I felt tears trying to surface but I fought them off. I wasn’t interested in showing weakness. I wanted to hold on to the anger I had been feeling for days. I fumed as I sat in a chair across from the foot of his bed. I know it must have shown on my face and I was sure to express it at one point. “I’m mad at you. You scared me,” I said. The anger could not be hidden. Anger due to the fact that our marriage is far from what I had hoped it would be. Anger due to the fact that I have had to numb myself to the emotional needs that are never met…for fourteen years. Anger due to the fact that He has been at the Rod and Gun Club every night this week and was in fact there this night, binge smoking and drinking beer which has become a normalcy in our life. Anger due to the fact that I’ve become someone I never wanted to be and I can’t blame it all on him. Anger due to the fact that I feel stuck and helpless and hopeless. Anger due to the fact that this has become my life and the only thing that has changed, despite Rick’s repeated promises that change is just around the corner, are my weight gain and age which is slowly creeping up on my forty-two year old face. Anger due to the fact that he doesn’t even have a clue of how upset I have been or how much I struggle on a daily basis no matter how many times I try to tell him. Then again, maybe he does know. He just doesn’t talk.
I could go on but what’s the point? I’m not going anywhere. I do love him and I made a covenant with him and You. I just wish I could have some hope back that things will improve. I just wish that I could be the wife I know You want me to be, Lord. I fall so short. I wish this felt like a marriage instead of an arrangement. Despite the tension that seems to regularly occur between us, we are friends and know each other rather well…but don’t friends even hug once in a while? I hate that this is where we are and I don’t want this to be the extent of all it will ever be on this earth; I want the more abundant life You speak of. But, yes, I’m glad he is okay. Thank You, Jesus, that Rick is okay.
Please Lord Jesus, help me persevere and get through the trial, refined and triumphant.
After reading this back to myself today I came to the realization that I have to forgive my husband. It seems obvious to me now after reading all the resentments I have towards him…not sure why I couldn’t see it before. I guess when we hold on to anger it’s hard to see anything else. So now I have to learn how to forgive in the midst of the pain. I understand that I may not “feel” like I have forgiven him but speaking the words out loud carry a lot of weight with my Heavenly Father. The willingness and the action of speaking out the words are important first steps. And I’m sure forgiveness towards Rick may be something I have to practice on a regular basis as I persevere, but I’m convinced the feelings of freedom will be sure to follow in my intentionality.
Heavenly Father, I forgive my husband, Rick, for all that he can’t give me. I forgive him for all the things he does that anger me. I don’t want this anger anymore. Please forgive me for holding onto this anger, these resentments, and bitterness. I give it all up to you. Please release me from these strongholds in my life and set me free. Help me to keep a pure heart. Please set Rick free from his strongholds as well. I lift him up to You and ask that You do an amazing work in him and I thank You for him. In Jesus name, Amen.
I actually do feel a bit of a release after doing this. Like a burden I’ve been carrying is no longer there…Who knows what happens in the spiritual realm when we forgive!
Still angry. Still sleeping as long as I can. Skipped church service two weeks in a row so people wouldn’t have to see how miserable I am feeling. This forgiveness thing is a struggle…or maybe the forgiveness and the anger have nothing to do with each other? The frustration is real.
(I don’t REALLY take offense to glittery cards…it’s a joke…but, yeah, not a fan of glitter)