I'm afraid...

I posted a thread here a while back about marital problems I was having and I’m afraid things have spiraled out of control. I could use some advice. I was raised as an Atheist, my mother and father are good hardworking blue collar people, but God has never been a part of their life. In spite being baptized Lutheran I think, God was not spoken in my household unless making sleight of his existence. I was a scrappy little bugger growing up, but it wasn’t until I had something worth fighting for that I herd God calling to me. I joined the military and somehow along the way accidentally ended up with a family of my own. It wasn’t until I said goodbye to them for the first time that I found a rosary and Catholic prayer book sitting in a transient tent in Kuwait, that was almost 6 years ago. His voice has grown silent again, and I know not where to seek counsel. I do not feel like I belong in the church, yet I feel drawn to it. So much so that my children are all in Catholic School, because I do not want them to be denied easy access to a relationship the way I was.

My family has suffered greatly the last few months and I am barely holding them together. My youngest daughter suffered a stroke at birth and was diagnosed with hemiplegic cerebral palsy, my wife was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder after an attempted suicide, my middle daughter suffered a traumatic brain injury after a fall from her bunk bed, and I suffered a back injury that has already taken me through one surgery and may put me out of my profession permanently.

I am a Firefighter and had to perform as First Responder to both my wife’s overdose and my daughter’s fall. Most firefighters won’t have to work on their family once in a lifetime, I have had to do it twice in just as many months. I am afraid, more so, I am exhausted from being afraid for so long. I do not know where to seek counsel so I come here looking for a bread crumb.

Hey there,

I am a firefighter too and I can sympathize with you. I am divorced from someone with bpd. Things disintegrated rapidly. I was not Catholic and it wasn’t on the radar at the time. I found the church though through my hard times. I am now in RCIA and finding God’s grace at every corner. The odd thing is, despite the horrors of my marriage, I believe that if my wife and I had had a Catholic understanding of marriage we would still be together.

It sounds like God has been knocking on your heart. Don’t expect an overnight fix, and he may guide you down a path you least expect but he will guide you and you will grow stronger through it. If encourage you to talk to a good priest. Do you have a department chaplain? Even if you don’t jump in it will do a lot of good to talk to someone about this.

I will pray the Rosary for you tonight and add you to our Parish book of prayer petitions this weekend.

Private message me ANYTIME.

We both know the brotherhood of being firefighters. The church is a brotherhood for souls, and can bring a ton of healing. You can’t hold your family together on your own. I tried too. We are firefighters it’s in our nature to fix and save everything. Truth is though we need help. We need community and leadership. Both are found in the church.

God Bless,

And seriously send me a message anytime.

I am so sorry you are going through this. I not able to give you any advice. I just prayed for the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph to ask our Lord to help you. And then I remembered what I was doing when I felt compelled to open this post. I was writing about something from my past and looking for this scripture which helped me to hang in there when I was in a dark situation, which took a very long time to turn around:

Isaiah 30: 18-19 - The Lord is waiting to show you favor, and he rises to pity you; For the Lord is a God of justice: blessed are all who wait for him!

Please keep reaching out to the Lord. He is with you even though you can’t feel it right now. Be patient and offer your sufferings to him. May he bless you and shine his light on you.

I used to be a firefighter and at the moment I work as a Paramedic. My greatest fear when I was at the station was to make a call to my own house, whether it was for a fire or medical emergency. Every time we would go on a run I would either do the sign of the cross or say a prayer for myself and my family.

It is tough but you have to have faith that it will all go well. Im sorry for what has happened to your family.

You are writing on a Catholic forum. You have your children in Catholic school. You had the experience with the Catholic prayer book and rosary. You say you feel drawn to God.

If you have never been around church, I suppose it could be quite different, even scary. Plus, your situations are scary, but I find that having a close relationship with God, and yes, the Church, can be a tremendous comfort!

The beauty of the Church is that you might be able to find strength, and support from other parishioners if you were to go to Church, not be quite so alone with all this. Secondly, there is nothing, when one is suffering, quite like hearing the word of God and receiving the Eucharist and sacraments.

My father just passed away, and we have sacraments for everything! He had the anointing of the sick, previously called the “Last Rites”, and I know I found it REALLY comforting! People can tell you when my father was dying, I was on the forum asking people for prayers, and people came through. When he died, I asked for more prayers, and again, people helped me. Do you know how nice that is not to have to suffer alone all the time?

Once you experience the Eucharist, you will probably not want to ever be without it!

Confession can also be extremely liberating. I’ve heard of people, like in AA, non-Catholics who have used confession from a priest to meet one of their 12 steps!
So, some non-Catholics have even benefitted from them!

There are all kinds of churches WITHIN the Catholic Church. There are ones which are more traditional, more informal. There’s everything!

Why not take a step…do something…go to mass just to watch…pray, read scripture, check out RCIA (which just started!).

God bless you and your family. I offer up this prayer for you and your family…

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.


O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who have most need of Thy mercy.



my wife’s over dose i thought i delt with O.K., maybe a little worse then I thought looking back, but my daughter was gruesome. There was a lot of blood and bodily fluids, and I kept bouncing back and forth from being an EMT and being a Dad. I know I did a lot of things wrong and broke protocol, I tried to do the best job I could. But it’s when she started throwing up blood during the MRI and I was the only one in the room and had to blind finger sweep the blood out to clear her airway because of the c-collar and lead vest she was in, that I knew there was no composure or EMT left in me and I was just a petrified father. Something died in me after that moment. I just haven’t been the same man, and I can’t even talk to anyone at the station about it. Since my back injury I feel like I’ve been treated like the “light duty warrior” who can’t keep his mind together. I’m feeling kind of lost right now.

I’ve been to Mass twice at the Parish where my kids go to school. One service I really felt like it was catered to me. However, I feel very uncomfortable while I’m there. It’s never been a part of my life, and I feel like an outcast.


I am so sorry to hear about your troubles. I too will pray for you. At first, I also felt a strong draw to the Church but I wasn’t sure that I would fit in or could attend Mass by myself. Now I cannot tell you how much my life has changed by my experience so far in the Church.

Like Jon said, I really, really encourage you to contact a Priest. The Priesthood is a calling to be the earthly ministers of Jesus Christ. They want to help. When I met with a Priest for the first time, I was blown away at how great he was at guiding me with the problems of life and how caring he was. No Priest will care that you aren’t Catholic. Just look up the number to any Catholic Parish and ask to make an appointment or make an appointment with a Priest at your children’s school. Making the appointment will most likely be one of the best decisions you ever make.

God Bless.

You did what every dad would do. I am not a dad, I have a sister who has Down syndrome, trust me if I was at work and god forbid had I ever ran on her, trust me, all the protocols, standing orders would be out the window. At the moment I would no longer be a firefighter but a brother. Keep your head up. Go to church, pray, pray, pray. Be the best person you can for your wife and daughter. Right now their first, being a firefighter emt is last, do what you can for them.

Wow, I am so sorry you are going through this.:frowning: That is a lot on your plate. I will keep you in my prayers. How is your daughter doing?

I don’t even know you, but my heart is literally aching for you. Please know that you have a community of people on here that will be praying for your family, especially your precious daughter. How is she doing now???

May I suggest a few powerful novenas? Please google Mary Undoer of Knots, and also read the story of Divine Mercy.
I’m convinced that God doesn’t want your family to suffer. I’m praying for you right now.

God Bless!

I was raised in a protestant church, and the Catholic church at first felt very strange and alien to me; it scared me to go and I also felt like I didn’t belong. But I had to go for a few months because our foreign exchange student said he had to attend Catholic church, so we went with him.
One thing led to another and now I go every Sunday. Wouldn’t miss a mass. I’d go during the week but time is short. You could find a book about it, to understand what’s going on a little better. Or just keep going, follow the mass and the weekly readings if they have a book with those.
You are not an outcast, you are welcome at mass, just know that Catholics are not terribly social. Often no one will speak to you. You will find your footing eventually. We focus on Christ and His presence in the Eucharist, not so much on each other.
Praying for healing for you and your family.

The fractured skull is healing well, but she damaged her optic nerve in her left eye. The doctors say she can see well enough not to completely throw off her depth perception, but the vision loss she does have won’t be able to be corrected by glasses due to the fact it’s the actual nerve that’s damaged. Considering what happened, she broke her eye socket and fractured her skull completely around the left side and broke her occipital bone, I’d say she is doing amazing. She is starting to have problems concentrating in school and is starting to become the “trouble maker” because of it.

Last year she was the star pupil with behavior. They have a color rating system green is good, yellow is bad, red is worse, black is the worst, and purple means you did something above and beyond green that deserves a special reward. Last year she was on “double purple” almost every day she came home, if not just 1 purple mark. This year we have been told she doesn’t listen to directions, talks when she’s suppose to be working, and I noticed when she does her homework she struggles with it, has trouble concentrating, and gets headaches.

She is seeing a speech therapist now because of the injury which seems to be going well, but we’re kind of scared of the neuro-psychiatrist. He’s got a whole panel of tests she needs to go through. One is a 24hr EEG that’s inpatient. She was my shining little star when all the bad things first started to happen. I wouldn’t have been able to make it through if it weren’t for her. I use to tell everyone that my sanity balanced on the will of a 4 year old. I just want my little angel to get better. There wasn’t a mean streak in her before this, now she is turning into a bully and a trouble maker. She is so much better than that.


your posts have literally brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry for all the hardships that your family has been suffering. You sound like a strong man who loves them so much.

Praying for you all.

I am so sorry for all you are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless!

Thank you all for the prayers I have faith they are heard and if it’s his will my family stays together through all of this. I have lived by a code of ethics my whole life and it was this code that led me to God for answers. I wish I could make sense of what’s in my head.

Saint Florian, powerful protector for those in danger from fire and water, please pray for Florian here on CA., and also St. Michael patron saint of Firefighters pray for him and his family.

Amen Amen

I am so, so sorry for what you’re going through :frowning: I will be praying a novena for you and your family. Please know that you’re not alone, we’re with you in prayer.

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