Am I 'normal'?


#1

Not sure if this is the right forum, but here it goes…

I’m 38 and still single. I have had a lot of psychological issues to deal with from my childhood (grew up in an abusive home) and have had a lot of baggage that I’ve had to let go–thru a long process of counseling and prayer–and there’s still some more to go. I know because of my past, I have difficulty with trust and intimacy issues. I know that God has me on a path of healing/recovery from my past and am moving forward with my life.

I know logically that the abuse I had as a child is affecting me still–especially when it comes to social situations and relating to others. I also know that healing has occurred/still occuring as time progresses, and it’s just a matter of time. My heart/feelings though don’t always coincide with my ‘logic’. I hope this makes sense!

I still don’t know if it is God’s plan for me to get married someday…I sometimes feel that I am “doomed” to a life of loneliness. I KNOW that I am NOT alone…I know that Jesus is walking right beside me and I KNOW that I do have a circle (albeit small) of friends, but I just can’t help but feeling the doom and gloom.

I do go to church a bit–Sunday Mass, some daily Mass, and adoration. I am somewhat involved with church activities. My friends, especially my ‘secular’ ones, are telling me this is a detriment to my ‘romantic’ life–because I’m the “church lady” and no guy wants to date “the church lady”. I maintain that if my choice is to stay home and watch t.v. or go to Mass/Adoration, my choice would be to go to Mass/Adoration than to stay home.

I’m also getting the message that being in my late 30’s and still “pure” is a bad/negative thing–that there must be something wrong with me. I feel like it’s important to wait until my wedding night for that, and I would rather die an old maid with 40 cats then to lower my morals/standards for that. (BTW, I do NOT have 40 cats!)

I’m being told that I am too ‘old fashioned’…that I’m not being open-minded enough, that I’m not ‘with the times’.

I do feel like I’m the lone ranger most of the time, but I don’t want to feel that it’s a bad or negative thing. If it’s God’s will for me to get married–I’m sure He’ll bring the right person to me–I do want my future spouse to be a strong Catholic. I tell my friends that what better place to find a strong, Catholic man than at church? And if it’s God’s will that I remain single/celibate, then the church would also be a good hangout too.

Do I sound like a ‘normal’ person or do I need to check myself into the psychiatric ward? Is there anyone else out there who’s been (or is) down a similar path/road to this?

God Bless,

Barbara


#2

You’re NOT normal! You’re the example of how all of us should be! God bless you and I’ll include you in my prayers. :thumbsup:


#3

Absolutely!

Don’t worry barbfromtucson; you sound like a good person;

I still don’t know if it is God’s plan for me to get married someday…I sometimes feel that I am “doomed” to a life of loneliness.

You are only thirty eight. Of course; you should not take this as a sign to do nothing; however it certainly is not the end of the world. I have known people who got married and had four children when they were in their late forties.

I do go to church a bit–Sunday Mass, some daily Mass, and adoration. I am somewhat involved with church activities. My friends, especially my ‘secular’ ones, are telling me this is a detriment to my ‘romantic’ life–because I’m the “church lady” and no guy wants to date “the church lady”. I maintain that if my choice is to stay home and watch t.v. or go to Mass/Adoration, my choice would be to go to Mass/Adoration than to stay home.

I know how this feels; particularily since everyone in my family bar-myself is an agnostic or an atheist; and only 15% of people in my country attend any type of Church. However; I can certainly say that the calibre of people who would regard a Church goer negatively would probably be incompatible with you. If someone regards Church with such distate and ridicule that they would mock you for attending; they would hardly make a good match for a husband - and this would cause problems further down the line.

I’m also getting the message that being in my late 30’s and still “pure” is a bad/negative thing–that there must be something wrong with me. I feel like it’s important to wait until my wedding night for that, and I would rather die an old maid with 40 cats then to lower my morals/standards for that. (BTW, I do NOT have 40 cats!)

It certainly is not a negative thing. Of course; people who are more “secular” would regard it as a bad thing – but it is good for you to stand up for morals which have quite frankly withstood two thousand years (or more) of social changes.

I do feel like I’m the lone ranger most of the time, but I don’t want to feel that it’s a bad or negative thing. If it’s God’s will for me to get married–I’m sure He’ll bring the right person to me–I do want my future spouse to be a strong Catholic. I tell my friends that what better place to find a strong, Catholic man than at church?

Certainly! The first and prime characteristic for beggining a secure relationship would tend to be that the other person was a Catholic; what better way to find Catholics than in a Church? – That said; not every non-Catholic is a bad person; and I don’t want to imply that; it just seems that inter-faith relationships can be more prone to problems.

And if it’s God’s will that I remain single/celibate, then the church would also be a good hangout too.

The Church is a family itself; you are absolutely right! When you are at mass or adoration; there are millions of people doing it with you. Talk about an extended family 1/6 of the World’s population are Catholics.

Do I sound like a ‘normal’ person or do I need to check myself into the psychiatric ward? Is there anyone else out there who’s been (or is) down a similar path/road to this?

Like Tietjen said; the best of us are not the most “normal”; the best of us truly stand up for what we believe in; regardless of ridicule or what others think. Being faithful is not a psychological problem; it is a psychological strength.

The biggest problem for you seems to be;

I know because of my past, I have difficulty with trust and intimacy issues. I know that God has me on a path of healing/recovery from my past and am moving forward with my life.

In all seriousness; we all have problems and minor issues in our lives; do not fret so much as to let them scupper any opportunities you might have to foster a relationship. Everyone is flawed to some extent; even the Saint’s - so don’t be too critical of yourself; embrace your strengths alongside your weaknesses and try to move forward in meeting likeminded people.

:thumbsup:


#4

Hello ALL,
Much love to the opening thread,

they did a survey a few years ago (say 2years ago) and found out that certainly in England and Wales Mr Normal was 40 years old and should have been driving a certain type of car, He had the car but did not fit say (guessing 40% of the details [if ever unsure about a statistic be conservative]) (dont quote me on this) ), my point being he existed on paper but not in reality.. There is no such thing at the moment, you are indiviual. identifiable.. and unique..praise GOD.

Amen.

Yours In Christ
ATOUR Mark


#5

[quote="barbfromtucson, post:1, topic:206916"]
Do I sound like a 'normal' person or do I need to check myself into the psychiatric ward?

[/quote]

You sound like someone who hasn't sold out to the world, i.e. abiding by His norms, which are the only ones to pay any heed to. Sure, it's hard going against the grain of the world, but always remind yourself you're on the winning team (the worldlings are ultimately the losers, even if in this dimension, they so often seem to be the winners, tho even that is sham, bec. look @ how many of them are addicts to booze, drugs, cigarettes, immorality, power, consumerism, etc.---all that bespeaks deficits & deficiencies, moral, spiritual and psychological: "Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel." Proverbs 20:17).

That said, remember that you're not guaranteed a mate (don't mean to be a party-pooper), but a mate doesn't guarantee happiness anyway (on the contrary: recall even Paul saying, you're better off single). About how many marriages can you yourself say, "Wow! That's the type of union I'd want!" But life is so full of fascinating things (books to read, things to make, languages & instruments to master, people to know and/or analyze, ideas to think about and research, kids to babysit [if you're a woman], and, and, and).

A mate doth not a full life make.;)


#6

You sound like a person who has their morals, their faith, and their priorities completely in check. If only there were more who thought like you....the wouldn't be as many broken marriages, single parents, etc.

My sister was 40 when she got married. For a number of years, she felt like you....is there someone out there for me.....will it ever happen? She left it in God's hands and things worked out. She met a great guy through a friend, he treats her like gold, they married three years ago, and she's happier than I've ever seen her. I don't think she regrets for a second not jumping into a relationship...just to have a relationship.

Be patient and trust God's will for your life. I hope that when my kids are older, they have the same priorities and moral compass that you do....you're a real inspiration.


#7

"(BTW, I do NOT have 40 cats!)"

Oh yea you do!
I was a late bloomer too and I have three!

I felt the same way and questioned if maybe there was something not quite right. :rolleyes:
All my friend were out there doing whatever and I felt out of it, like something was wrong with me. I was told "I needed to get with it." and was made to feel embarrassed because I was not out doing the same.

Since then I know more late 20, 30 and 40 somethings that are celibate and have been throughout their lives. It's not just a Catholic thing. It's amazing, There are a lot more like you out there then you might think and never feel embarrassed or that there is something wrong with you because you are celibate.

You have received some excellent posts by the way. I hope and pray that my son will find a girl like you and NOT some hoochie mama. ;)


#8

[quote="barbfromtucson, post:1, topic:206916"]
Not sure if this is the right forum, but here it goes...
I'm 38 and still single.

[/quote]

Don't worry, 38 is pretty young and when you finally meet the right guy, it will make all the years of waiting and being single worth it.

[quote="barbfromtucson, post:1, topic:206916"]

I do go to church a bit--Sunday Mass, some daily Mass, and adoration. I am somewhat involved with church activities. My friends, especially my 'secular' ones, are telling me this is a detriment to my 'romantic' life--because I'm the "church lady" and no guy wants to date "the church lady". I maintain that if my choice is to stay home and watch t.v. or go to Mass/Adoration, my choice would be to go to Mass/Adoration than to stay home.

I'm also getting the message that being in my late 30's and still "pure" is a bad/negative thing--that there must be something wrong with me. I feel like it's important to wait until my wedding night for that, and I would rather die an old maid with 40 cats then to lower my morals/standards for that. (BTW, I do NOT have 40 cats!)

[/quote]

I disagree with your friends. I hope to find a girl that exhibits strong morals, values, and character. I am a 28 year old male and I plan to wait until my wedding night as well...so don't feel like you are alone. I would rather be single my entire life than compromise my values. You sound like a wonderful person and I'm sure you would make a great wife one day and there is a guy out there who will be very lucky when he meets you.

[quote="barbfromtucson, post:1, topic:206916"]

I'm being told that I am too 'old fashioned'...that I'm not being open-minded enough, that I'm not 'with the times'.

[/quote]

I get told that as well. But I also get told things that reinforce that behavior such as girls saying I'm such a gentleman, respectful, etc...but at the same time they say I'm too old fashioned. So I get mixed messages....

[quote="barbfromtucson, post:1, topic:206916"]

I do feel like I'm the lone ranger most of the time, but I don't want to feel that it's a bad or negative thing. If it's God's will for me to get married--I'm sure He'll bring the right person to me--I do want my future spouse to be a strong Catholic. I tell my friends that what better place to find a strong, Catholic man than at church? And if it's God's will that I remain single/celibate, then the church would also be a good hangout too.

Do I sound like a 'normal' person or do I need to check myself into the psychiatric ward? Is there anyone else out there who's been (or is) down a similar path/road to this?

God Bless,

Barbara

[/quote]

I wouldn't limit yourself to meeting guys just at church...you would be surprised there are a lot of upstanding guys who participate in other activities outside of church related ones. For instance, I get up early and attend an early mass. I'm usually like 1-3 people who are single there who are over the age of 20 and under the age of 50. I go to mass and go home afterwards....girls within 10 years of my age would not get a chance to meet me there or even know I go unless I tell them because they are probably still sleeping by the time I get home from mass. As a result, I look to meet girls in other activities.

You sound like you are on the right track in life....I admire your resolve and strong values. I'm sure whatever happens in your life going forward will work out well for you.


#9

Hi, BarbfromTuscon!
I agree completely with the other posters - you are not normal, you are an inspiration! You likely have much more self-awareness due to your counseling that will prepare you for your future spouse, should God call you to the vocation of marriage; and any spouse God chooses for you will definitely appreciate your faith and commitment to maintaining such high moral standards. Those friends who tell you to "get with the times" will much be much more likely to be divorced in 5-10 years. Peace!


#10

Hi Barb,

I wish I were with you to give you a hug! :hug1:

I’ll just give you my two cents…

I know logically that the abuse I had as a child is affecting me still–especially when it comes to social situations and relating to others. I also know that healing has occurred/still occurring as time progresses, and it’s just a matter of time. My heart/feelings though don’t always coincide with my ‘logic’. I hope this makes sense!

Of course this makes sense. I pray and hope that your process of healing continues for you. Whether single or married, that sounds like a lifelong journey.

I do go to church a bit–Sunday Mass, some daily Mass, and adoration. I am somewhat involved with church activities. My friends, especially my ‘secular’ ones, are telling me this is a detriment to my ‘romantic’ life–because I’m the “church lady” and no guy wants to date “the church lady”. I maintain that if my choice is to stay home and watch t.v. or go to Mass/Adoration, my choice would be to go to Mass/Adoration than to stay home.

It sounds like your secular friends believe that your romantic life should somehow be separate from your faith. I think we can all agree that the Catholic faith is a very challenging yet beautiful and ultimately redemptive part of our lives. Why would we ever want to compartmentalize it? If marriage is a Sacrament in our Church, why would we hide or minimize our faith when dating?

Also, I love your comment about choosing between t.v. and Mass/Adoration. More of us should make that choice regularly! :thumbsup:

I’m also getting the message that being in my late 30’s and still “pure” is a bad/negative thing–that there must be something wrong with me. I feel like it’s important to wait until my wedding night for that, and I would rather die an old maid with 40 cats then to lower my morals/standards for that. (BTW, I do NOT have 40 cats!)

I agree that there is a set of pernicious beliefs in secular culture about single women. Lies, lies, lies. St. Paul called us all to be chaste if not married. I’m 23 and still suffer from the fact that I did not hear that call until recently. Without forgiveness in Christ, my soul would have no hope.

Does your parish have a Catholic singles group?


#11

I second this!!! :thumbsup:

btw, your friends are whacked for saying that you are “the church lady”.


#12

[quote="catherine126, post:10, topic:206916"]
Hi Barb,

I wish I were with you to give you a hug! :hug1:

I'll just give you my two cents...

Does your parish have a Catholic singles group?

[/quote]

I like hugs! :D And I appreciate your two cents...

Yes, our local churches here have Catholic singles groups--but they have "young adult" attached to them--when I go to their activities...everyone there is in their early/mid 20's. I feel "old" and am definitely not a 'cougar'! There are also groups here for widows/seniors--but I am not of that age group yet...most church activities I do go to mostly senior citizen--and I just don't go for men that are that much older than I...hope that make s sense.

God Bless,

Barbara


#13

Thanks everyone for all the advice/support that you've given! :D I guess not being 'normal' is a good thing! :D

I am certainly feeling better and feeling a lot more re-affirmed in my walk.

Thank you for your prayers!!!

--Barbara


#14

Right now I only have 4 cats! :slight_smile: You know what they say…cats are just like potato chips…you can’t just have one (something like that)! :smiley:

–Barbara


#15

I don’t think it’s true that “no one would want to date ‘a church lady’”. Maybe secular men wouldn’t want to, but devout Catholic men, would :thumbsup:


#16

[quote="Monica4316, post:15, topic:206916"]
I don't think it's true that "no one would want to date 'a church lady'". Maybe secular men wouldn't want to, but devout Catholic men, would :thumbsup:

[/quote]

I think it depends on what you mean "church lady".

1)If all the woman wants to do is go to church all the time (like never want to do anything outside of it, believe me, I go to a woman's bible study with some). I got shot down when I offered to bring a Wii for the "social" night they were having. The social night ended up being praying the whole time (I like praying, but don't bill something as a party if you are going to pray). And they whine that they can't find a Catholic man. By the way, I'm not implying that the OP is this way, she seems cool (and loves cats). :thumbsup:

Or

2) A woman whose faith is important to her, but also loves to do things other than spending all her spare time in church. I'm Catholic, but I also love to play rugby, get coffee, read, volunteer at a homeless shelter, play with my cats, travel, play the Wii, sing karaoke. I'm definitely a "church lady", but the kind with a sarcastic sense of humor. Who has the rosary on her ipod. :blush:

As my boyfriend (who is a devout Catholic) says, "it's nice to date someone I can pray with, then get a drink with afterward (or laugh at a stupid joke)".


#17

[quote="CountrySinger, post:16, topic:206916"]
I think it depends on what you mean "church lady".

1)If all the woman wants to do is go to church all the time (like never want to do anything outside of it, believe me, I go to a woman's bible study with some). I got shot down when I offered to bring a Wii for the "social" night they were having. The social night ended up being praying the whole time (I like praying, but don't bill something as a party if you are going to pray). And they whine that they can't find a Catholic man. By the way, I'm not implying that the OP is this way, she seems cool (and loves cats). :thumbsup:

Or

2) A woman whose faith is important to her, but also loves to do things other than spending all her spare time in church. I'm Catholic, but I also love to play rugby, get coffee, read, volunteer at a homeless shelter, play with my cats, travel, play the Wii, sing karaoke. I'm definitely a "church lady", but the kind with a sarcastic sense of humor. Who has the rosary on her ipod. :blush:

As my boyfriend (who is a devout Catholic) says, "it's nice to date someone I can pray with, then get a drink with afterward (or laugh at a stupid joke)".

[/quote]

My 'secular' friends who call me the church lady think that going to church more than once a week is "too religious".

I do have a life outside of church--I do go to movies, concerts, travel, and other activities outside of the church. I don't have my mail forwarded to me at church! :D

--Barbara


#18

Barb,

 Listen to me, forget about the guys and what they are telling you about the" Lady of the Church", thats counter-productive to start with.

Now the real issues have nothing to do with the fact that your 38, single, etc. Thats a result of the problem and yes a part of it. But not the main issue. And while its admirable that you have arrived at the point your at, and a testament to GOD. You have to deal with real issues untill they are not an issue anymore?.

How do you do this? You need support and therapy. Find a counselor, therapist, anyone you can use as a soundingboard and TRUST to openly speak to.

I’ll tell you exactly where to look to get the correct help you need. Look in your area for those in the professions I mentioned above. But more importantly, don’t look for those working in out-patient. Look for those working in-patient and in long term facilitys. You yourself don’t need in-patient. You’ll get what you need out-patient, But you need to not waste any more time with this. This is baggage you’ve been carrying around for years. And even if you were to involve yourself in a relationship today with a perfect Catholic gentleman, more than likey your issues will create strain on the relationship. Don’t waste time with that. Get the help first and put the work in.

Your verbal, so I suspect once the proper individual gets you talking “about the real issues” then the flood gates will open. You want do this in two ways. First with a Professional as I mentioned in one on one sessions. Then in a open forum support group situation of 4-5 people,where you can learn to openly deal with this. But one step at a time. Do the one on one work “first”.

All these issues are common in the Substance Abuse area. I would look there immediatly. Long term Theraputic Communitys like Daytop, Phoenix House, look for a Professional in this area. And you have to think first, if you can talk to a male, or if you need a female counselor? Or if it even makes a difference? In your heart, only you know that. But if your not totally comfortable with the individual, than you have a problem before you start? But look at this area I’m talking about. Find out who there Senior Staff is. Then speak to them honestly, about exactly what your issues are, and that you want to treat this out-patient. They will either refer to someone who will be “right” to work with you, or they will take the case.

Listen, when I said comfortable above, there is no comfortability in confrontational therapy. These guys are gonna ask the though questions, and won’t let you drift from the area of concern. So in that sense you won’t be comfortable. But as each and every day elapse’s, that you suffer through this with them, you will begin to seriously come to terms with the problems. When you can talk about you life, as it is an open book. And open to any single page of that book and talk about it “as a matter of factly” then, and only then, have you honestly come to terms with these issues.

Now, could you get help in the Yellow Page’s etc. Yes most definatly. But there are tons of therapists and counselors who are worthless, and have great referrence’s. And they all work out-patient. Because this is where the easy work is for them. Its a little different when they choose to work in-patient, They like what they are doing, they choose to work with the most difficult case’s, and in the most difficult situation. There performance is constantly judged by there peers. And, in a small enviroment, where there performance is obvious to all. Follow what I’m saying?

Listen, nothing comes to a sleeper but a dream. Church is fantastic, and it will be your support line for life. But you have some work to do. If you want to reach these goals your putting in front of yourself? Then just from the first post you typed, I believe you should get help. And I worked in this field for 20-years.

Our issues are what hold us back in life. Its whats holding you back now, its that easy to see. But you’ll need one on one private sessions to start with. A small group of 4-5 others with similiar issues as yourself and a professional is also great. You gain confidence and understanding from each other. You also realize you not the only one with this problem and when this dawns on you? Then automatically the issue becomes smaller in your mind. More managable if you will.

Hang in there, start looking at the glass as half full not half empty. You have much to be gratefull for, if nothing else in your life happens but Heaven and God. that is way more than many will ever have.

God Bless, GT


#19

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