“Which to bury, us or the hatchet?” ~Relient K

     My family situation is ugly. A lot of drama. My mom and I are getting the blame for a lot of it. Everyone seems to be afraid of pissing off my uncle. Dad is always saying he will take care of it and he’s not scared of his brother, but his actions show otherwise. I feel done with that whole side of the family. I have tried to be nice and respectful, but also speaking the truth. This is a difficult situation and I know they don’t necessarily have bad intentions, it’s just how it comes out. They are all grieving in different ways and that’s that. The only problem is that it has hurt my feelings too. They take no responsibility for that nor care. I can let it go, but it’s not like we have much of a relationship to begin with so I don’t see why I should tolerate being walked on because of it. I have rights too as a human being. Enough is enough. This is a pretty big deal, it’s not a minor issue and should be addressed. So here’s what I’ve decided in the words of Relient K:

 “You all laugh at me like I’m not happy
With anything, anytime, anywhere
And the half of me is all about apathy
And the other half just doesn’t care

I’m well aware that everything is a far cry from alright
I’m well aware that all of us can at times be too uptight
And possibly the remedy is a dose of apathy
You point your finger at you
I’ll point mine right back at me”

I’m not scared of my uncle, I don’t care how he acts, I’m going to keep loving my grandma and doing my best to keep her happy and comfortable. I’m going to speak up the truth and let the pieces fall as they may. That goes for my dad too. I’m sick of this. I feel stressed all the time, it’s stressing grandma out. It’s not necessary. I care too much about pleasing everyone. I’m not pleased about this situation either so there we all lose. I’m letting the burden go of caring so much for everybody. As a friend once said I need to quit being so nice because then I get walked on. I have a big heart, I take on a lot, I”m releasing it and giving myself a dose of apathy.

Another song also describes my struggle with my family:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZJBejiIHSo

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Say something I’m giving up on you

This describes how I’ve been feeling about my relationship with God lately

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“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future” – Paul Boese

“Sometimes there are no words, no clever quotes to neatly sum up what’s happened that day. Sometimes you do everything right, everything exactly right, and still you feel like you failed…Sometimes the day just ends.” -Hotch, Criminal Minds

This describes me, how I feel. I feel like words cannot express my feelings. My life has been forever altered. Experiences have brought me here. I feel shattered. Broken. Cause and effect. There is an effect to everything. This is mine. Only God knows the agony, pain, sadness, disappointment that I feel on the inside. This cannot be undone, but it doesn’t have to define me. I feel as though I just witnessed the most awful thing you could think of. It’s a culmination of everything. My dad drinking and doing drugs growing up. My mom and her OCD/neurotic behaviors, coping through church, becoming brainwashed, my best friend (19) having an affair with a married man (63) from church, scandals, judgment, hate, confusion, the pastor and secretary having an affair, disappointment in everyone I looked up to, failing college, debt, unhealthy and loss of all friendships, estranged family members, grandma and grandpa Stowers and grandpa Tom passing away, Zach and Matt passing away (young souls), not knowing who I am and what I want out of life, being a follower, shy, unmerciful on myself, unlovable to myself, quitting everything, always feeling abandoned, shutting people out, noncommittal, feeling through other people, carrying their burdens, dwelling on heartbreak for years, harboring bitterness, ignorant and naive, thinking I don’t deserve good things, settling, having a headache for 24 days then told I have a tumor, but it’s not a big deal, coming back to work at a job I love so much (friends/family) only to be told that the whole floor is being fired while at the same time a woman I met when I first started working there and considered a second grandma passes away, sickness, stress, the first guy that I ever really liked asked me out then told me he is gay, living with people who get on your nerves, sick family members, one of my last grandparent having Alzheimer’s and getting to watch her deteriorate, going from a job you absolutely love to one I absolutely hate and consider it your hell, dad’s still an alcoholic, mom is codependent (she doesn’t know it), learning I am codependent and I don’t deal with feelings very good, but put them on the back burner, starting to deal with those feelings, but finding every time I make a little progress I have only just scratched the surface, a former best friend getting engaged and it only cost her our friendship, hurt feelings, remembering several years ago a best friend telling me things always go my way, how happy she would be now to know that’s not true, depression, feeling like I am well past the “I can’t go on anymore” feeling, seeing people out in public that remind me of the hurt and saying stupid things in their ignorance and oblivion, salting the wound, having a guilt feeling for years thinking everything is my fault, always feeling like I have to dig myself out of a pit that I put myself in, having insanely overprotective parents who have clipped my wings and not allowed my fly or sink or swim in life, hearing that two people I know committed suicide in a two week period in such a violent way, having a crisis of belief because I just cannot fathom that they went to hell, one such a tormented soul I believe he found peace the moment life was over, I don’t know what I believe anymore, struggle with my morals and right and wrong, seeing more gray areas, finally putting effort into things, but effort hurts, knowing that I have to move away, but having to wait, feeling stuck.

These are my burdens. Imagine what it used to be when I carried everyone else’s too.

All these things overwhelm me daily, thinking of the past and trying to sort through things I have and haven’t dealt with. It’s overload. I should make a bet, a pool on which state or city I burst out in tears in when I finally make it to my car and get to leave this place where all my hardships of tried to drown me. I am going to break. Will it be soon as I get out of Muncie, out of Indiana,or will it not hit me til I make it closer to my destination of freedom? I can’t wait. Six months is all I got left. It’s easy to get stuck in wondering will this all end, but it is and it will continue. I just have to keep making decisions for me and trusting God. I know He has worked in my life and I believe He is working on bigger things now. Jeremiah 29:10-14 (MSG)

“10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

12 “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.

13-14 “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.

“Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree.

“I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you”—God’s Decree—“bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.”

Today I am working on taking care of me. I’m dealing with my stuff. I am holding tight on my motivation and attitudes. I’m pressing onward, learning the process of letting go and forgiveness, not just to others, but to myself also. I’m breaking the chains, the burdens that hold me, capture me, drown me, overwhelm me. I’m learning new things again. I know there will be troubles wherever I go. I am taking the steps to keep me healthy. It appears I must be broken completely in order to be healed so I’m embracing everything head on. Letting it all just fall down and let things simply be instead of trying to control them.

I know I’m not alone and cannot do it all alone.

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Grief

Dear God,

I have this uneasy, unsettling feeling inside, an emptiness. Tragedies take your breath away. Such an intense emotion follows, utter grief and sadness. I’m thankful for my blessings, but I must confess I don’t understand why the worst just keeps happening. It’s not even all to me, but I hate that I must bear all this. Watching other people’s lives come to a shatter. I am torn between the intense emotion and numbness. This sucks. Nothing good seems to happen anymore. What’s the point? How do I keep getting through? I’m not sure. Heartache after heartbreak. What do I do? What can I do? I am angry, lost, and confused. How much must we keep suffering? I want to see love and healing. I want my breath to be taken away because I’m awe struck. I don’t understand.

These moments change your life forever. They change your thinking, your take on the world. It takes life out of your bones. I want life. I choose life. But how? I’m so terribly depressed. My heart aches for those around me. I feel my faith fading. On one hand I cling to You, but on the other I just feel done, give out. I feel like words do not give justice to my true feelings inside, but rather “ In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26. I feel as though the words have ran out, all I got left are groans.I’m having trouble seeing the “bigger picture.”

I don’t have a lot of much left in my life. I feel like everything has been stripped from me. And then I see others go through things, tragedies and I would give anything to take their place in the misery. What do you have in store for us Lord? I feel the time running out and no big things happening. I doubt.On the other hand You’re all I got. You’re the only hope I have to cling to during these challenging times, during this hell. I feel like I’ve seen way too much for only 27 years here on Earth.

I have a hard time deciphering my feelings and the feelings of others. I have a lot of empathy. I just want to use it for good, whatever that may look like. But I do not want it to destroy me either. I want to be healthy myself also. Why is it so hard for me to say I’m thankful for my blessings. It’s like it’s empty words. I know there are things without question have happened for good and I should be thankful and do feel thankful, but it’s so hard.

I just don’t know. I don’t want to become numb again. It’s such a scary place to be. In trying to balance out my feelings it’s hard. It’s like I’m either all in or all out.

Please be with the people I care so dearly about through their hard times.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

(R.I.P. Amber O’dell and Nathan Morris)

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The Bible and God

I’ve been reading the Bible this year. Specifically the New Testament. Throughout the past ten years I’ve spent a lot of time in the Word and this time it’s different. Not that I have learned everything there is to learn. I believe there is always something new to learn. But it’s more like I have soaked up all that I can from it just by simply reading it. It’s no longer me trying to find strength, faith, hope in these precious words. In fact, a lot of it I don’t understand and even somewhat disagree with. For example, women. I have a friend whose mother got a divorce from her husband because he cheated on her and yet won’t date or marry again because in the Bible it says she would be committing adultery. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her marrying someone else! You cannot convince me that is adultery. I think it is sad that this lady thinks that. I just can’t wrap my head around that. I don’t particularly think God wants her to think that way either. I mean it’s one thing if she just doesn’t want to get married and just want to be alone, but doing it because she thinks she has to because the Bible says so is just crazy. The Bible also talks a lot about grace. I feel like so many Christians have lost that. It’s not all about a bunch of rules of does and don’ts. God knows we are not perfect. I just feel like a lot of things are taken way out of proportion and we have lost some of the other simple teachings and just stick to the complex ones.

I guess I don’t feel challenged from it. I used to read it and hear that one shouldn’t over indulge in alcohol, should only say good words, etc and I tried to live according to all that. Well, growing up I never drank, stopped cussing and guess what?! I still wasn’t perfect. I think the Bible is more than what most people take from it. It’s about a relationship with God. It was intended for our growth as people. I think it should challenge us and encourage us. It is not simply a rulebook. I think it was created so we can get to know God better. There are so many stories about how He works and moves. I think it’s deeper than simply do or don’t do this. I think there is a lot of stuff that we may not ever understand until we see Jesus either, but I think that’s okay. It works our minds more by leaving it a mystery. We can interpret it differently. We all don’t have to think the same. That’s okay.

The Bible isn’t the same for me right now. To be quite honest I’ve seen God more in other books lately. For example, my anatomy book. I didn’t read it and study it quite like I should have, but the little I did take from it is God. I mean when you start talking detailed information about how our body works it is completely amazing, breathtaking, nobody could make a human, only someone powerful like God could. I watch tv shows and read books about people, personalities, body language. It’s all over my head how it all works. Only God could do that. I used to think Christianity was it, but when I think about other religions I think that there just may be some truth in all of them and if you put it all together it would clearly show God. I’m not saying this to say there should be one religion or whatnot, but just that I think God is all about differences and diversity. He challenges us to step out of our comfort zone, take a leap of faith, do our part, everyone has different gifts. Life is different.

God has revealed himself to me and He is not what I expected. It’s a struggle for me because I feel like no one else understands it, but that’s not it. Everyone grows and learns on their own. We’re all in different places in our lives. There is nothing wrong with that. I’m well aware I don’t have it all figured out. I’m sure there are people who could read what I’m writing now and look at me and say she’s learned a lot, but if only she understood this she would feel even better about things.

My struggle right now is believing that my God and the God I see other Christians are the same.  I think we have to make faith our own, we have to dig deep and find out what we truly believe, what are values and morals, what does doing good look like for me?! Simply deciding not to get drunk isn’t it for me. I think doing and being good is about your heart, it’s more about taking care of yourself and how you treat other people. I always tell myself when it comes to making decisions about something I am really passionate about that I got to do what I can live with. It’s not about trying to please others, doing what will get you ahead the quickest, etc. Sometimes it’s about principles. I may not have a problem lying about this or that, but when it comes to something I don’t think I should have to lie about I’m not gonna even though it would be easier to do. And it may be very well wrong, but this is my life and I decide my own fate with my decisions. I’m in no way saying I’m in control. I’m very aware that I am not. But God does not want us to sit around doing nothing either. It’s okay to make mistakes to try new things because that’s the only way you are going to get to the path where you are meant to be, to your destiny of great things.

I feel like I’m always trying to prove myself. I’ve felt that way for years and well I am 27 years old and I am like why am I doing this? Why am I trying to prove myself? Not only that, but I have and even if I haven’t it’s not your (other people) problem. What a burden lifted?! If I could of only learned that one sooner. I wouldn’t be trying to please people, indecisive, unreliable, hard on myself, stuck in a pit, caught up in futile thoughts, but I would be simply concerned about me and I deserve that.

I went to church last Sunday. Haven’t been in a long time. I didn’t really expect to get anything out of it. These feelings I have on the inside about church and Christians and God are complicated. I couldn’t quite put them to words. And then I heard it. The pastor there began talking about the United States (North America) and how over the past 50 years things have changed. Christianity was a big movement here, but we are on the decline. Where we have tried to go out and witness to other countries now other countries (with not a lot I might add) have found Christ and really living it out and they are coming here to witness to us. Mind blowing! It makes sense though. It’s sad, but it was comforting to know that others see it too. What I haven’t been able to express in words, they understand, there is a bigger picture, bigger than just Muncie. I tell you I want to get on board with people of other countries who have found Christ because they see it fresh and clearly, whereas we have lost sight. They get it, most of which have nothing and yet experience joy and peace and love. I want that. I wonder who is harder to witness to, the unbeliever or those who have been believers and told they are doing it wrong?! We’re going down! I want to get back to simplicity of things.

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“The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them.” ~Frank Clark

Amen.

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“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~Albert Einstein

I’m temporary living back at home with my parents and it’s getting on my nerves. When I moved back in my dad’s exact words were, “It will be different.” He went on to say he didn’t care what I did. I could come and go as I please, he wouldn’t bug me, I didn’t have to tell him where I was going. Mom said she didn’t care if I stayed out late, it wouldn’t bother her sleeping. Dad said if I came home late from work I wouldn’t disturb him sleeping if I needed to shower. To get to the shower you have to walk through his room. And here we are. Every time I leave the house both parents are where are you going? What are you doing today? When he leaves and he rarely leaves (usually just to go to the pantry or something quick) he insists on telling me that he is leaving and will be back. Like we have to check in with each other all the time. It drives me insane. I’m never alone. I have no where to go to spend time alone. It’s frustrating. My mom comes in my room without even knocking. I was up coughing last night and she told me I have to go to the doctor because it bothered her sleeping. She’s such a light sleeper. The cat meows real loud in the middle of the night and it wakes her up. She’s upset at the cat. She asks me every single day did you hear the cat last night. Every single day I say no I was asleep and she’s like I don’t know how you can sleep through all that. I need a break. I feel like secretly they don’t want me to leave too. They never encourage my independence and I feel like sometimes they try to sabotage things that are good for my growth. I can’t prove it and it is probably not intentional, but nonetheless they do. I feel smothered. I can’t stand being around dad when he drinks. Last weekend he got drunk, but of course he said he wasn’t and just goes on about stupid stuff and mom just kind of kept arguing with him. It’s like you can’t argue with a drunk. They are drunk and stupid. Don’t make them manipulate you.

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