Feelings of Loneliness

About three and a half years ago I experienced the worst kind of heartache I have ever known. It was one of ultimate betrayal and deception, it was as if my whole reality was completely shattered and turned upside down. I wouldn’t wish this kind of heartache on anyone, and anyone that has felt this know you are not alone. Now is not the time I will write about what happened, I am still working through it myself, but I am closer to feeling healed from it each day.

I know now that this kind of heartache is one that has not been felt by many. I know this because more times that not I heard from others, “I’m sorry I don’t know what you’re going through”, or “I wish I knew how to help”, or “I can’t believe you’re having to go through all of this, I can’t imagine”. The response I remember most is when I was told, “You could write a book about all of these things, because they are almost unbelievable that one person is going through all of this”. I frequently found it baffling that I was having to go through one knockdown, knockout punch after another. It felt like a never ending trial, and also the worst year of my life (yes it was for a little over whole year).

Over Easter weekend I was reflecting on some of these things I went through as I thought of our Savior and His suffering as He went through the Atoning sacrifice. When I was going through some of the hardest times I have ever known I frequently felt like no one else in the whole world knew how I was feeling. I felt so alone, and like such a burden on so many that had no idea how to help because they had never experienced what I was going through. It was a time of loneliness and despair, as I felt I was being asked to walk through these trials. I had never felt like such a solitary being before.

After a while of feeling this way, and realizing I wasn’t going to be able to find anyone that was going/or had gone through the same things as I was, I had to look somewhere else. It would have been easy to find other things to distract me from the hurt I was feeling, but I didn’t. Instead I focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He suffered so much, and did so all alone, so I would never have to feel alone. I came to understand the Atonement wasn’t just for washing away our sins (which it is that too of course), but rather it is also there for us so we have someone there for us who knows exactly how we feel. As I studied more about the Atonement and how alone and utterly forsaken our Savior felt on that cross I was able to realize I wasn’t alone, not really. He felt those feelings I was having and He did so for me, as He did for each and everyone of us.

This is so very humbling to know and to feel that comfort and that peace. I am so thankful for His sacrifice, as much as I wish it didn’t need to be. I am thankful that I don’t have to walk alone, especially when no other human knows how I feel. This life would be a lot more lonely if I didn’t have this knowledge. I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter weekend, and I hope you know you are never alone.

Loss and Love

This time of year is always bittersweet for me. While I get excited to celebrate another year of life (my birthday!!) I am also always reminded of this time 5 years ago.

I remember I was in Ohio visiting family with my 6 little ones in tow. My husband at the time was in a mental hospital (that’s a story for another day). I didn’t sleep well the night before, and I was awoken fairly early with a call from my aunt. She was calling to let me know that my other aunt had passed away in the middle of the night. I was totally in shock. How could this be? I had just talked to her a few days earlier. She was just fine and healthy, she had just celebrated her birthday too.

My aunt wasn’t just an aunt to me, she was more like a mom to me. We talked regularly and she helped me get through some pretty difficult times. She was a lady filled with love, kindness, and wisdom. I always felt better after talking to her, or better yet spending time with her. As I got older I was able to grow closer to her, she always knew the right things to say and how to help me in various situations.

When she passed away I had no idea I would be facing some of the most heartbreaking trials in my entire life. Just when I needed her she all of a sudden wasn’t there anymore. When I felt more alone than I had ever felt the person I would turn too was gone.

It’s been 5 years since she was taken home to Heaven, and I still miss her so much. I am grateful for the relationship I was able to have with her. I’m grateful for the wonderful person she was and the great example of love and strength she was throughout her life.

Life’s Hard Lessons

While I am not sure why I had to deal with all the trials and hardships I have been asked to endure, I know I have learned a lot. I have learned things I might not have learned in any other way had I not gone through those things. That is kind of sad that I had to endure such hardships to learn these things, I do wish there was an easier way, I am grateful for all I know however.

I have learned empathy and compassion for others. I have learned endurance and how to deal with difficult times. I have learned fortitude and acceptance of others. I have learned to not judge others because we all go through things. I have learned to have faith and trust in a Higher Being. I have learned about unconditional love from Heavenly Father. I have learned who to trust and who to not trust, and still not become cynical. Life can be a hard teacher.

When I was a kid I had times when I had respite from the difficulties of living with an addict. I had times I went to visit my grandparents and I spent weekends with my dad and stepmom. I was able to go on some vacations and get away from it all for a short period of time. Those times were great, and I felt like I lived a “normal” life, but then reality would kick in again and I had to go back to my house with my mom. It was a let down each and every time! It’s like when you are having a great dream and then you are awakened suddenly to something unpleasant.

I am thankful for those hard lessons life has taught me, I just wish I could have been taught them in a little bit of a nicer way!

Picking Up the Pieces

Living with a parent that is a drug addict is incredibly hard. I don’t think others can fully understand how trying it is unless you have lived through it. Trying to balance between self-preservation and caring for your parents can be quite taxing.

My mother is a recovering drug addict, and there are still so many challenges. Right now I at least don’t worry about her having a sudden drug overdose because of drugs. However, she is almost like a young adult or teenager at times. She hasn’t learned to cope with anything because she didn’t have to when she was taking drugs. Another side effect is she has become somewhat of a hypochondriac due to the fact that every ailment she has use to be covered up by drugs.

As her daughter it is hard to see her struggling so much to cope with life. It’s hard to see her flounder but yet SHE thinks she can do all things. Do you know how challenging it is to see your parents behave like a teenager, but have the freedom of a grown adult?! I wish I could giver her a crash course in life so she can learn the things she doesn’t know right now.

I feel like it’s almost like when someone gets out of prison after years of being on the inside. Which she kind of was in a prison of drugs. The world she is in now is different than the one she remembers years ago before drugs locked her up. I do wish I could do more to help her, but some things she has to learn for herself. Even if it means she could fail miserably.

Think of the Blessings

Recently my kids and I decided to go exploring, and one of our tires went flat. It was more worrisome because we were in a place without any cell service. I started to panic a bit because I had 7 kids with me and no way to call for help. I took a couple deep breaths and we all stopped, folded our arms, and I said a prayer. I prayed help would come and we could get to a place to get a new tire put on our car. Not two minutes later a state highway patrol car pulls over and offers us the help we needed. He was able to call AAA and he called around to get some quotes from a few tire places to find the cheapest one! 

Shortly after we had called for a tow truck it showed up and he loaded our van onto the bed of his truck. He drove us down to a tire shop and instead of charging us for the full tow price he cut the fee in half! He also made sure we went to a decent auto repair place and they had a tire in our size! 

This whole situation could have turned out much worse; I am no stranger to difficult situations I have had my fair share of them. I took the time however to see the Lords hand during this whole ordeal.  As we were driving down to the tire shop I took the time to appreciate the beauty that was surrounding us. I was ever so grateful that a state highway patrol man showed up just when we needed him. I also hope that kind tow truck man is blessed for the help and kindness he offered me and my family by lowering his rates. 

This whole situation reminded me, once again, how Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. Ether 12:12 says, “For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them’ wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.” It also reminded me to look for the good in even the most difficult of situations. It would have been quite easy to fall into a downward spiral of despair. I could have justifiably been so upset and angry because of the situation my children and I were in. I had prayed before we left that we would be safe. I had asked God before we left if this was right to do. I didn’t get any indication that we shouldn’t go on this trip. I didn’t get any indications or promptings that we shouldn’t go.

This is not to say tears weren’t shed on my part, it was a much longer day than I had anticipated. However, I know I saw the hand of God so many times. This is how life is more often than not, we deal with the ups and downs that come our way. If we take the time to recognize the good things and all the ways in which God is looking out for us, discouraging situations can be made bearable. President Thomas S. Monson said “If we… consider the blessings in our lives, including seemingly small, sometimes overlooked blessings, we can find greater happiness.”

I am grateful to have such a loving Heavenly Father that allows situations like this to happen, to bring me back to the path of remembrance. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be put in places where others are allowed to serve me and my family and receive blessings as well. I am still thankful for that officer and the tow truck man that helped my family. I pray they are still being blessed for their help and service. 

In this world of turmoil and strife it can be all to easy to get down because of that which surrounds us, but if we can learn to see his hand in all things we can learn to have hope. We can have our faith and testimonies magnified. We can grow closer to Heavenly Father and figure out how difficult situations can help strengthen us, and help us to become the people he sees in us. 

It can be hard to look to those challenging times as something that are good for us, but they are in the sense that they help us to draw near unto Him. As we draw near unto Him, He will draw near unto us. I never doubted when my children and I were on that road that we were ever alone. He was watching out the whole time. He is always watching out for us. 

There have been many times recently when I make plans and think I know how my days are going to go… more often than not though things don’t go according to plan! It can be quite frustrating actually! I have been working on learning to rely on His timing more than my own. Asking more of what He wants me to do, and learning to accept things that aren’t according to plan. These tend to turn out to be  things that I or those in my family may have need at the time. Maybe sometimes He needs me to just slow down a bit, or offer time or service to someone I might have overlooked in my busyness. 

As we learn to accept His will and plans for us we can find greater peace and comfort in our day to day lives. As we learn to find comfort in our trials or hardships we can recognize more of His hand in all things. I know this to be true because I have seen it so many times in my own life. 

A Story to Tell

Everyone has a story to share, and when we share our stories we can learn to see others in a different light. It can help us develop a sort of love and understanding of where others are coming from.

It is my greatest desire , and it has been for a few years now, to share my story to others. It hasn’t been easy, and I have received some negative feedback from some. However I have had much more love and support from others.

I heard once that when you can talk about hardships from your past that you are healing. I do accept those things that have happened to me, and I want to help others that are going through difficulties as well. I want to help other know they are not alone, and that others are there for them.

When I was younger I went through a really tough time. Then as an adult things weren’t much easier. I still get overwhelmed with emotion at times working through the things that happened. Four years ago I started down what would be a long and arduous journey. I never thought things would ever get better. I am so thankful I was wrong! I am thankful I have a place to share my struggles and triumphs.

Feeling Let Down

I have recently been thinking about being let down. It occurred to me that I am so very use to being let down by others, it’s almost like second nature to me. When I think about it I get kind of sad because I wish it wasn’t so, but due to life experiences I have just grown accustomed to people letting me down. I have also developed a wonderful skill of not having too high of expectations.

My mom was really upset about something that happened a few weeks ago, and I tried really hard to understand where she was coming from. I kept asking her why she let herself get so worked up about this incident because it just let her down in the end. She of course could not understand why I wasn’t more upset and it dawned on me– I have just grown so use to certain people doing things the exact opposite of what they say.

I tried to figure out how I became somewhat cynical, and I know exactly how this happened. Every time my mom would be drunk or would go to a bar and I would cry, beg and plead for her to not do it again. She would make would be false promises and tell me it was the last time she would drink or go to a bar. Every time she went back on those promises my heart would break a little more, until I just stopped believing her. I know that this is a common problem people with addictions face, or the people that love them. Not only did I stop believing her I began to believe that others would let me down in the same way as well. I don’t know if I was creating that which I feared or if I was just being realistic about situations.

This trait is not conducive to developing healthy relationships with others, and my saint of a husband is very patient with me as I try to work through this. I am also thankful for a loving Heavenly Father that loves me and is there for me time and time again. He allows me to feel like I can trust, and He has put people in my life that have shown me a different way. I am grateful for this, and I hope that as I get older it gets a littler easier for me to trust others. I also hope that my heart can be protected from experiencing that sort of pain again.

Learning a Lesson

Lately I have been pondering the trials I have had to endure over the last few years, which thankfully things are a little better right now. I have wondered for a long time why I was asked to go through such awful experiences, and I think I am understanding a little more now. Although getting to this point was treacherous!

Recently I was traveling with all the kiddos and we were going to go on a mini road trip. As we were traveling I kept saying a silent prayer that our vehicle would be able to withstand the trip, and then the tire blew out! I am so thankful where we were was the best place this could have happened, we were close to a turn off on the side of the road. However we had no cell phone reception (seriously how did we live without cell phones?!) I prayed for something to happen that wold allow us to get some help from someone because we had no spare tire (that’s another long and boring story).

While I was dealing with a bunch of hot and tired kids that needed to go to the bathroom (all of them had to go at the EXACT same time), a police officer pulled up! I was never so happy to see those red and blue lights! The officer had a way to call AAA and he was able to get a tow truck sent out for us. We were relatively close to a tire shop and they had a tire in my big ole vans size! We had to wait for a couple hours as they fixed the tire and put it back on the van, at this point I was becoming a little discouraged.

I began to think and wonder why Heavenly Father didn’t tell me or warn me of this happening. I would have most likely stayed home if I would have known! Then this thought came to my mind… what if that kind tow truck driver needed the blessings he received for helping me. That wonderful man charged me less than half the price he was suppose to charge me to tow my van as far as he did. I am so thankful for his kindness, and that he took pity on a mom traveling with 7 kids alone. Then the tire guys charged me about $40 less than they originally said they would. Perhaps seeing a mom that was overwhelmed softened their hearts.Whatever the reasons for the tender mercies I received that day I am very thankful.

This brings me back to the beginning of my post. All of the things that happened that day would have most likely crushed me; I would have cried and broken down had this happened pre-2013. However, because of the trials I have had to endure during the last few years I wasn’t crushed. I was able to have a strong resolve and trust in my Father in Heaven that things would work out. I didn’t even worry about the how because I was sure things would work out. I couldn’t say I would have been able to handle it so well a few years ago. Knowing this brings me a little comfort and peace that all those hardships DID in fact have a purpose.

Long Hiatus

It has been quite a few weeks/months since I have posted anything on my blog! Having a baby will do that to a lady! We welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our family recently and I have been busy caring for and getting to know our little angel! I am so thankful for my family and the chance I have to have children. I know this is a gift that is not afforded to some unfortunately. I hope you will forgive my hiatus, but I will be making an effort to get back into the swing of things!

Is Everything OK?

If someone were to ask me right now if everything was OK, and I was being honest, I would tell them no. Everything is not OK right now. That isn’t how we answer though is it? It’s hard to be vulnerable and honest when things aren’t OK in our lives.

My life is the kind of life that make others grateful for their trials… Seriously I have been told that more times than I care to admit. I’m glad that all the trials I have make others grateful for the ones they have, how did I get so lucky? It is a little discouraging when people say that to me, it makes me feel like I won some really crappy lottery or something.

I won’t go into it all here because I don’t like to share things that are happening right in the moment. A lot of what I am feeling/going through are ongoing issues or things from the past that are haunting me. I wish I could run away at times, get a breath before having to be thrown back into all the trials. Life does not work like that though, when we need a break the most is when we are the least likely to get one.

I suppose all we can do when heavy challenges, trials, hardships, disappointments, and heartaches come knocking on our door is to endure them as best as possible. Maybe try to find someone that is going through even worse times so we can be grateful for our own hardships…. Or be grateful that our life can be a help to others as they are able to appreciate that things aren’t worse for them currently. I’m choosing to keep my head up, cry when I need to, and find things to be grateful for during my current difficulties. I know this storm shall pass eventually, but for now everything is not OK.