I may rattle, sorry...
First off, just so everyone knows, I LOVE MY FAMILY! Yes, I have my moments when having 4 teenagers and their dramas and issues are too much, but I wouldn't trade them for anything. I have to learn to stop calling them kids. Kyler will be 20 on his next birthday and Megan will be 18 in less than 2 months. They are basically young adults and that is something very hard for this parent to adjust to. However, I'm pretty proud of myself/us, they have all shown us things lately that show great responsibility and maturity which helps us, or at least me, to know we are doing something right. Our family has been through the ringer over the past several years and we still hold together. Just to clarify, NONE of our kids or ourselves are doing or have ever done drugs. None of them are promiscuous, and all that are able, hold jobs, and are there for anyone that needs them. Sometimes to a fault and for people who come back and stab them in the back. All of these are good things that are pushed aside by most because some of them, nor Dan or I attend church. This entire situation has been more than I can take with regard to church. We have been so shunned and out casted by so many in the church that it is heartbreaking at least to me. Dan and I especially have been so persecuted, even by members of our families, that it begs the question of how these 2 things can reside together. The church/gospel, and complete intolerance and judgment. We were told by a family member that we had knowingly made the decision to leave God and become Satan's helpers. This was all because we allow our family and friends who happen to be gay their own decisions and defended them. Assumption on the parts of many of who Dan is and what he does and thinks has come close to ruining us. I am tired of being seen as the woman who's husband doesn't care about me and who should either be pitied because I don't know any better, or reprimanded for allowing it. I know what's going on, I love my husband, and neither of those things are real, nor any one's business. Oh yes, and there are those that believe and have let me know that they think I either faked the last 7 years to take time off, or that I am mentally unstable because I actually think I have a sickness or any health problems. All of this came about because I came to a point where I felt I needed to try and go back to work. I went back to work because I needed to for many reasons. Helping take care of my family, my sanity, etc. Just so it's not misunderstood, I DID NOT NOR AM I NOW FAKING IT! What I did was take myself out of a bad place and try to move forward. What's more honest? Staying home and collecting $$ and making my husband work himself sick, or pushing myself to work and at least try to help, knowing that any moment I could collapse? Now before you get offended and feel you need to tell me not to say how I feel about the church, realize that I am not now, nor have I ever said you shouldn't do what you feel is best, just that I expect the same respect back that I feel how I do. For the most part, our close family(siblings, etc) have been pretty good to us, and we really appreciate that, but there are many others that have been so horrible that it makes it uncomfortable for those who still care about us. We haven't done anything to anyone, so it hurts to be us and know that simply our presence makes people feel uncomfortable. All we did was change OUR lives, no one elses. There is so much more, but I will leave it at that for now.
Since going back to work I have made several new friends. I have also met an unbelievably high amount of people who have done exactly what Dan and I have done. It does help to know that we aren't the only ones who feel the way we do about the church and the overall attitudes in this area. It is very reassuring to have friends who care about me for who I am today and not what I used to be or have the "potential" to be if I do what is "right". I am by far one of the oldest people who works there, but it is nice to have friends that aren't "forced" to be my friend because I live in their ward.
For most of my life I have been a person who went like 90% on faith and the rest on logic. I was sure that no matter what happened, God would carry me/us through. This is after all, what I have been taught my entire life, that if I/we was doing my best that all would be OK. Well, the last several years has been a major eye opening for me. Living by/on faith has at some times put me/us in such a terrible position that we have suffered in very bad ways. My faith in God and his love and care has gone from almost the sole thing I counted on to basically non existent. Not from just living, but from trying so hard for so long and things either staying the same or getting worse. I have spent a good part of the last decade on my knees begging for help, or at least comfort and ability to get through things and I will be honest, there have been some things that were very much a clear answer to prayer, but that has been a very long time ago and I have pretty much been on my own and alone. Dan and I have done everything in our power to make things nice and good for our family, our friends, our community, and basically anyone. In return, after doing everything we could for the greater good and after much prayer and faith end up struggling and wondering how we are going to get to the next place. BTW, God is God in all religions and for all people, so the argument that we no longer have his love because we left the church isn't valid. In fact, is a complete contradiction to what the church teaches. Aren't all people children of God? At least on my part, it has become very hard to believe in a "Loving God" when I have seen and felt so much suffering for trying to be a good person. Yes, I am that person who is going through life with no or very little faith, and it's not because I just decided I felt that way, it's because I have pushed and tried it and tested it. There comes a point when we just have to stop trying to make something work and walk away and find a different way. I know this will be something that many will be very upset about, but Dan and I have thought long and hard about what to do next, and have come to the conclusion that we will most likely have our records removed from the church. This is a good thing, at least in my view, it means that I/we have been responsible in making a decision based on what I feel is best and that there leaves no question as to where I/we stand in the church. No one can think we are hiding things or going against what we have promised, because we will no longer be tied to it. Please remember that what has been taught and what is claimed to be what the church teaches is that everyone has the right to come back if they feel they should, that applies to everyone and means that the door is not closed. Another huge issue that has been warped to make people feel there is no chance or choice. I'm not saying we will be back, but that please keep in mind and realize that the option is there.
I posted on another page before that living here is killing my soul. I honestly believe this. I cannot find a place to feel like I can just be me. Or a place where my family can just be. I know that many don't understand why I feel or think this way and probably don't even realize they are doing or saying things that are hurtful and probably have the best of intentions, but there is a culture here that is different than any other place and is sometimes toxic. There is a difference between loving someone and wanting to help them be the best they can be, and then deciding what that is and making them become it. When I speak of leaving here, understand it's not running away, there are problems everywhere, but that there is a very big and wonderful world outside of here and getting out of the bubble is a good thing sometimes. I feel suffocated here. I just want to be in a place where I can be me. Where my husband and our kids can be themselves. Reality is that there will always be things that happen and issues no matter where we are, but maybe just a change in scenery would be a good thing.
OK, this is enough for today. I keep hoping that I will have something promising and hopeful to post about soon. Trust me, when it happens, I will...