Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Seeking Serenity, again

UPDATE: This has been edited because those involved want to be censored/anonymous.

I am a fully functional person, full of emotions, who's a procrastinator but performs wonderfully under pressure. Today and yesterday was simply that - a "functional" day. I got up, I talked/wrote a bit, I ate, I made sure the kids stayed alive and fed. Other than that, I was a zombie.

Some of it stems from the fact that just a few weeks ago on facebook, my husband and I posted a simple comment. A "friend" had posted that she had joined the Barack Obama fan club, this was about a day before the inauguration. My hubby's words didn't come out right, but still clearly emphasizing that we could not support a president who's high ranked priority is to make murder via abortion easier. I was so proud of him, and this was very unlike him. Before she even read our brief comments, her 2 brothers chimed in with some vicious and hurtful comments. While responding after much prayer, she began to delete all comments and remove us from her friends/viewing list. I don't even know how much of my response she read. I do know her brothers didn't see my replies at all.

This is a "friend" I grew up with, played with, considered to be like a sister. The older of the brothers, I had looked up to him as if he was my own. I looked past their occasional teasing over the years. She meant so much to me, that when she began talking lightly about drug and alcohol use as a teen, I was concerned and had my mom and her mother intervene. I wasn't sure how serious she was about what she said. So as taught at school I informed my parents OUT OF LOVE I TELL YOU! Of course she lied her way out of it, or she had lied to me and others present. But did she see that, heck no. Years passed, we seemed to let it go, and soon we were involved in each others weddings. I planned her Bridal Shower, and helped with her Baby Shower. Because she meant that much to me. While visiting me recently, she told me she had decided to switch from Catholicism to Lutheran, as her husband is. I stayed polite, since she was my guest, and made strong efforts to pray for her instead of confronting her as I wanted to. But a part of me regreted not discussing it with her in depth. In recent adoration, I had felt called to watch out for her, pray for her, and discuss her new lifestyle with her.

After the "facebook incident" I knew that it would be months or years before she'd move on, as before. And despite my sorrow and fear, last Sunday I attended a gathering at her mom's house. I knew Tom and I were in for either a debate or the silent treatment. I'll be honest, I was hoping for a debate, I was prepared for a debate - but we got the silent treatment instead. I tried light conversation, with little success. Contrary to my usual self, I barely said a word the whole day. I tried not to let it crush my spirits. Yet, it did.

Without going into much detail... At the same time someone very close to me has had a hard time hearing my honest opinions. Last night's chat made it clear that it is best that I just stay out of it all together, even though it affects me deeply.

I am also having friend issues. The same idea that my opinions and self-giving love aren't worthy of respect. That if I don't follow along, than I'm out of the game all together. I hate that - I should be able to enjoy my life, and if I don't want to join in on someone else's idea of fun - I should not have to make excuses, and I should not feel bad about it. I love to be social, but I have social anxieties that many just do not respect. You just might have to drag me kicking and screaming, otherwise say "That's okay, maybe next time you'll feel up to it."

I have had the "just get over it" look or talk given to me one too many times. For those who don't realize - I CAN'T! If I do, it will eat away at me, until I leak everything else out at once. Believe me, my husband doesn't enjoy that at all - because he gets the brunt of it.

So last night, when the heartache got too much to bear, I crawled in bed around 5pm and didn't get out until 11am this morning. I asked Tom if I should go back to my old self, when people liked me a lot. You know, the person who is a good listener, a great friend, but doesn't express her own opinion and focuses on everyone but herself. I remember how many friends I had, but I also remember how used I felt. My weight gain is the best visual of how it hurt.

I decided it would be easier to just go numb to myself, be a functioning person, live my life for God and my family in a more quiet way. It's hard, because I always thought of myself as an evangelist who would someday help others through the armageddon turmoil. But evangelization IS knowledge displayed through positive emotion. It's being a loud example. I just can't get to that positive state of mind with all this heartache and many dead ends.

  • What do you do when you want to help others, but they won't let you help them?
  • How do you soften that rocky soil, or can't you?
  • How can you be an example to others, when no one wants to look at you?
  • What parts of myself am I willing to sacrifice to be seen by others?
  • When will my wisdom show merit?

I try not to have any regrets, and pull the positive out of any situation. I am hoping that God can fill the voids in my heart, and pull me out of this misery. I know people out there generally care about me as a person, just not in the depth that I need. However, I am lucky that my husband genuinely cares enough to help me through it the best he can.

God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

and the Wisdom to know the difference.


  1. You just have to be you. I like you just the way you are. Yes, I'd like it if you'd go certain places with me, just because I want to share things with you and it's not the same without you there.

    I'm so sorry about your cousin. It's hard. I've got family and cousins with many different beliefs and it just makes things so hard.

    Just be your wonderful self. Pray like you've done.

    To be honest, I've been too sick to be much of a friend to anyone.

  2. I'm echoing Jamie's comment -- just be you. We love you just the way you are. Yes, I wish I saw you and Jamie more often. But that's my issue, not yours! I am sorry about your cousin. My SIL voted the same way, and we talked about it after the election. He's only been in office a few weeks, and she told me TODAY she wishes she could change her vote!

  3. Thanks for your kind words. It's been hard to be myself when there is so much rejection. I don't believe I am stepping over any lines, I think I'm just stepping on toes that want to be left alone.

    Paula - My hubby says that his 95% democratic work place went from pre-election nagging, to post-election grunting, to recent quietness out of frustration with the stimulus plan. All he can joyfully say is, "I told you so!" And to some, he talks about how that's not the end of it. This election has made my husband such a defender of the truth, improving his speaking and debate skills. It's so wonderful to see him this way. I guess I rubbed off on him!

  4. You asked how you can help those who don't want our help . . . you can't help them. You just have to pray for people. Also, learned the hard way, you have to let people love you, like, or hate you the way they want - it stinks sometimes, but at least it's authentic. I do not mean to marginalize your very sincere feelings of rejection. In the same way, you live authentically your Catholic family life - live out loud. Many times the Lord blinds us to the good we are doing for others - it puts our pride where it needs to be - in a very vacant bygone place. So - keep on keeping on; do what is right and so what if you don't ever see or taste any fruits of your labors. You have to trust that He is tilling the fields for you. And, He is. God bless you!

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. ((HUGS))

    It would be wrong to suggest to agree to disagree. That's avoidance. Our beliefs should be strongly and loyally held, otherwise why have them?!

    I pray that instead you can find where you both DO find agreement and both continue to pray for The Truth. There IS only ONE Truth. There is black, there is white. Sadly, there is moral relativism.

    This quote was on my calendar for today and as Christians I know you both subscribe to living this way....

    "Let us will what God wills, as God wills and as far as He wills it."

    Thy will be done...


  7. I have removed a comment because I have since edited this post to be less specific on whom I am writing about. I however will not apologize for my post nor delete it. This is my place to be true to myself and my faith. This is where I share MY story, not theirs, so that others who are soul searching as I am, can see they are not alone.

    Even though there are hard feelings[as usual], I can understand that there are more people reading my blog that I thought, and anonymity for those close to me is the respectful way to go.

    Thanks a bunch to Sarah and JMJ who commented in a way that helped me keep things in perspective of what I was originally aiming for. I will write in more detail on my next post.

  8. Melissa, I feel for you and have been there recently myself with my own family:) If I were you, I think I may just consider these confrontations you are having with your family and friends as a wonderful sign from God that you are on the right path! Now, I know these situations are extremely painful, confusing and involve a lot of suffering, but God only sends this suffering to those who can handle it and those he trusts can use it to its full advantage! What I did after my big family confrontation that helped me (well, after I cried about it for a few daysLOL) was first, pray to the Holy Spirit A LOT to guide me in my words especially during those awkward phone calls and visits with the upset family members. Have you ever heard of the Novena to the Holy Spirit? It is quite unique but it is powerful. It really has helped me understand and comprehend the power in just being silent and letting God guide me. Also, I would spend the next few months with a primary focus on your little domestic church at home! I know you said that you always thought you would be a great evangelist….well don’t forget that you are and can be right there at home…and isn’t this the most important thing anyway? I know that when my own personal pray life is in order, as well as my family’s prayer life…I am more successful in situations like these. And by successful, I don’t mean that I come up with fancy comebacks to friends that like to bash the church around me, but rather I mean that I am settled and have PEACE with what I did manage to say, and I don’t have that sinking depressing feeling afterwards. So, when all this confrontation was happening to me, I figured this was a nudge from the Lord to deepen MY own relationship with him. Well just my thoughts, I hope this wasn’t too long but I just know how you feel as I went through a bunch of this type of thing over the holidays and I have actually learned a lot from it. I will pray for you and your family and friends.
    Oh yeah, and the comments about your husband…when the election was getting closer and closer I started noticing the SAME thing from my husband. Here is this non confrontational man who was coming home with stories of speaking up and defending the Church’s position on pro-life issues to his co-workers. (Who were EXTREME church bashers and obama supporters) I was so proud!

  9. Melissa you are a wonderful person just the way you are and like it was said before, continue being you. You are on the right path and maybe this is one of the ways that(as painful as it is) you can suffer with Christ. I know how you feel and it is hard. I know that its hard and as much as we pray, without seeing results it can be discouraging but we know that God is using us and that alone is a blessing, as much as it may not seem like it at the time. Keep on keeping on. God will continue to bless you~ From those who love you as the true friend that you are:) Amanda

  10. Hang in there Melissa. Time will only tell. Just stand firm in your faith and be loving to those around you. God is good.

  11. I just found your blog for the first time tonight...

    Three years ago, I had been in a similar situation with an old friend of mine. Looking back on it now, it certainly helped my relationship with God. I learned that I would much rather please God than tell others on this earth what they want to hear. It isn't always easy, but just continue to pray for God's guidance.

    Losing a close friend is not easy. I had to go through a grieving process to heal. In hindsight, I am able to realize that God's hands behind my ordeal. I can now say that plenty of positive things have come from my friendship ending.

  12. I think sometimes things are meant to be kept to yourself. One would think that you would learn to keep things to yourself as it gets you in trouble and has many times in the past with your family and friends. I think you spend too much time blogging on how sad you feel, your obesity and family issues. Some of those issues, like being poor, etc. should be kept to yourself. You can speak your mind, but don't like hearing what people have to say about you and that is a big part is giving your opinion. You say manything things that I don't believe in. I think if you can't afford to have another child, then you should avoid pregnancy, if you issues with your weight...start exercising and go on a diet. You have GD because of our weight...IVF helps couples have their own child when they cannot have one the natural way, Obama is trying his hardest to get us out of this mess. After finding your blog, I can't believe half the stuff you blog about. You need to find something better to do with your time and spend it with your children.

  13. You can't expect to always speak your mind without getting critized for it. People are entitled to their opinions, but sometimes those opinions are meant to be kept to yourself, even on a blog. You seen very unhappy with yourself and you need to do somethng about it. Your comments are pushing you away from you family and friends. I see a lot of pictures of what looks to be your family, but do you not hang out with your husband's family? You have lost friends for a reason, so if you want them back, bite your lip and keep those comments to yourself.


Thanks so much if you have some thoughts to share here! Please keep them kind - think, would you say this to your friend?