Lonely road


#1

I'm good at solving other people's problems but not so good at solving my own. Maybe someone who reads this could tell me whats going on and what i should do.

Basically i've made a lot of big changes in my life this last year and its all been about my faith deepening,because something very bad happened to me and i ended up nearly at death's door. I turned to God and he has showered me with blessings. The thing is, not everyone has been so supportive of me turning to the Church. I go to Mass nearly every day, pray the Rosary, follow the Commandments fairly well, go to Confession etc. But its more than that. I actually find great love for God and great joy in following him. My life has changed forever.Its lovely. But not quite that simple. I have been criticized for "taking things too seriously"; "being over-the-top"; "being too hard on yourself". I've had ridicule from my family: "Oh you don't believe in hell and all that **** do you?" "The Vatican's behind the times" ; "You'll go to Heaven anyway"; "Don't be silly,you won't get punished for that"...etc....

I've patiently not preached, not lectured, and tried my best to avoid conflict. Virtually every family member has found fault in how i am living. But whats really hurting aswell is that the man from whom i separated due to differing religious beliefs is trying to make my life as hard as possible. He has been harrassing me for months and spreading lies about me; saying i'm brain-washed and that i'm "not the girl i fell in love with" etc....He's been doing every possible thing short of physical violence, to hurt me and get my attention. I've had to change my numbers and keep the door locked. I still havent retaliated. I have only told 2 close friends about this. They both said go to the cops but part of me inside is saying would Jesus want me to go to the cops? Also, i dont have much evidence anyway for a barring order or whatever.

I feel very lonely. I dont wanna drag family&friends into a side-taking soap opera n i just wanna be left alone. I dont want to get angry and mean and vengeful but i feel afraid and its like no-one seems to get how i'm trying to handle this in a Christian way.

I feel too tired to pray and just dont know when this will all end. :(


#2

Bethany,

I'm truly sorry to hear that your conversion has been such a lonely road. Jesus gave His disciples (us included) a difficult mission in the 10th chapter of Matthew:

Matt 10:7 "As you go, make this proclamation: 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"

Matt 10:16 "Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves."

Matt 10:21-22 "Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved."

Take heart, you are following in the footsteps of our Lord! Pray to Jesus, the Blessed Virgin and the Saints who suffered martyrdom. They all know the pain of betrayal and persecution and will help you get through this.

As for the negative responses from family and friends:

Matt 10:11-15 "Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words--go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town."

Jesus tells us to try our best to convert those around us to His Truth, but in the end the decision is up to them whether to believe. However, you must not allow them to discourage you from your faith! If they will not respect your choice to follow Jesus through the teachings of His Catholic Church - the very Church He founded - then you must shake them off like "dust from your feet".

This is painful, but again it is evidence that you are following in the Savior's path:

Matt 10:24-25 "No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master."

Matt 10:32-33 "Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father."

Matt 10:34-39 "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man 'against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's enemies will be those of his household.' Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

I promise you everyone who chooses the Catholic faith has or will experience the same thing you're going through - persecution. It's a sign of our faith, and will be a badge of honor in heaven!

I will pray for you.


#3

would Jesus want me to go to the cops?

yes. charity toward self is an obligation. go to the cops with a list of previous incidents and make a report every single incident that occcurs subsequently.

as for insulting family-- ***Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. *** (Luke 6:22) so… Blessed are you!!!


#4

I’m sorry you are going through such a struggle. :frowning: I would encourage you to talk to your priest about these things. He will be able to help you in ways that we anonymous internet posters cannot.


#5

It could be well that things might get worse before getting better. It's not uncommon that when someone in your situation newly takes up the faith, believes it and sticks with it, friends and family after initially giving you the grief they are giving might even eventually become somewhat estranged from you. You could even find yourself with a new circle of friends down the line. However, in a few years time you might find that, by staying strong and faithful, God will have used you, by the example of your life, to implant the seeds of true faith in your family.

Whatever is going on right now you can chalk up to Satan trying to pull you back from the Faith and from God's tremendous love. He's also wanting to try and provoke you into arguments or bad feelings against your family. It doesn't seem easy going through this but, if you stay strong, after a course of time (whether it's weeks, months or years) you will look back on this as a time of strengthening.

But what's going to make you strong? It's not going to be your efforts to get you through this. It's all going to have to come down to TRUST. Trust that the Lord will carry you through this.

Finally, constantly pray. Pray for all others, those that persecute you, those that understand, and, importantly, for yourself. I suggest praying daily: 1) to the Holy Spirit for His gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, fear of the Lord; 2) the Rosary for Mary's motherly love and protection, and; 3) to St. Gemma Galgani to hold your hand on your journey.


#6

[quote="bethanysamuel, post:1, topic:248099"]
the man from whom i separated due to differing religious beliefs is trying to make my life as hard as possible. He has been harrassing me for months and spreading lies about me; saying i'm brain-washed and that i'm "not the girl i fell in love with" etc....He's been doing every possible thing short of physical violence, to hurt me and get my attention. I've had to change my numbers and keep the door locked. I still havent retaliated. I have only told 2 close friends about this. They both said go to the cops but part of me inside is saying would Jesus want me to go to the cops? Also, i dont have much evidence anyway for a barring order or whatever.

[/quote]

Jesus doesn't want you to be stalked, Bethany, and this is exactly what your ex-boyfriend is doing to you.

  1. Begin a journal TODAY detailing each instance of your ex-boyfriend's harrassment. Log dates, times, and what happened or what was said. Go back as far as you can remember and be as specific as you can re: what exactly he said, who else may have heard him, etc. It would be preferable if you could do this electronically and forward a copy of it to a trusted friend or relative.

  2. If he's posting things about you online, do screen prints and save those, too. This includes blog enteries, Facebook postings, emails and tweets. If he's sent your friends and relatives messages, politely ask that they be forwarded to you so you can add them to your file.

  3. Do not delete his texts if he is texting you. Download them and save them on your computer. Forward them to a trusted friend or relative. Contact your service provider ask for any texts from him from your old numbers.

  4. Contact a domestic violence shelter in your community, explain that you're being stalked/harrassed, and enquire about what your next steps should be to protect yourself physically and emotionally.

  5. Save all of your receipts and work orders from each time you change your locks, get a new phone number, or otherwise have to take action because of your ex-boyfriend's behavior.

  6. CONTACT LAW ENFORCEMENT TODAY. Explain everything that's been going on as calmly and as rationally as you can. It would help if you had even a nacent journal so that the police have something to work from. Please don't let shame, embarrassment, or guilt keep you from telling them everything that your ex-boyfriend has been saying or doing. Trust me, like priests, cops have heard it all. Let law enforcement decide if there's enough information to get an order of protection against your ex-boyfriend.

  7. Enroll in a self-defence class. The YMCA/YWCA and many domestic violence shelters offer free or very low-cost self-defence classes to people who are being victimized by a stalker/harrasser/abuser.

Nothing in the entirity of the Catholic Church's teachings says that you have to be subjected to this kind of behavior. There is no shame in getting help for this. None. So get help today. And if you're still hesitant, please keep this in mind: if he's doing this to get your attention, he's not going to stop, and very likely it will escalate to the point where it will get violent. I'm not telling you this to frighten you, Bethany, but to impress upon you that what you're ex is doing is disturbed, and you have to do everything you can to protect yourself.

God bless.


#7

I think that you should seek help regarding your ex-boyfriend rather than waiting to see if things escalate. He sounds obsessive. For your sake and his, this threatening behaviour needs to stop. If necessary, do call the police. Please don’t suffer in silence. I will pray for you and your ex.


#8

"and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. " (MT 10:22)

m


#9

Bethany,

I agree with the others that you should talk to the police. I meant to include that in my first response…hopefully you do so to keep yourself as safe as possible. When I spoke of others persecuting you as a badge of honor, I meant it sincerely, but it doesn’t mean you should refuse to take reasonable steps to protect yourself. Your life is sacred and God expects you to do what you can to protect it.

In other words, Jesus wants you to be safe and happy if possible, but He warns us that it may not always be possible to do so without denying Him. This is not one of those circumstances though…please rest assured that going to the cops for physical protection from a stalker is in no way denying your faith.

May the peace of the Lord be with you!


#10

This. All of this. You cannot guarantee that he will stop harassing you or that his next step might not be violence. He is acting as if he is jealous of your relationship with Jesus, which he probably is. It shows what sort of person he really is. Be very cautious. Do what Karow says to do, she is 100% right. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE someone who is trying to hurt you. Don’t worry about your family right now, they are just annoying and that can be dealt with as time goes by. But this guy, needs dealing with now.


#11

Thank you all so much for your replies, I feel strong enough to pray now. You have all given me a wonderful supportive boost that I needed.

I deleted all the texts as I never thought things would escalate this far. I don’t have much evidence, although several people have commented that they think he seems very derranged. Its been going on so long i would have trouble remembering dates etc. I never thought it would come to this.

I love Jesus so much and when i make decisions, he’s the first person i consult. I guess its true he would want me to be safe. I just have a feeling that Satan is licking his lips waiting for me to get angry and hateful, but i cant let that happen because Jesus is with me and he’s right beside me, but he’s also letting me make my own decisions. So I have to be careful. Discerning. Jesus is the Light and the closest i can come to describing this feeling when i feel him is like a very bright light,a glow,a really bright warm comforting light.

I can pray now. Thank you all.


#12

[quote="bethanysamuel, post:11, topic:248099"]
Thank you all so much for your replies, I feel strong enough to pray now. You have all given me a wonderful supportive boost that I needed.

I deleted all the texts as I never thought things would escalate this far. I don't have much evidence, although several people have commented that they think he seems very derranged. Its been going on so long i would have trouble remembering dates etc. I never thought it would come to this.

I love Jesus so much and when i make decisions, he's the first person i consult. I guess its true he would want me to be safe. I just have a feeling that Satan is licking his lips waiting for me to get angry and hateful, but i cant let that happen because Jesus is with me and he's right beside me, but he's also letting me make my own decisions. So I have to be careful. Discerning. Jesus is the Light and the closest i can come to describing this feeling when i feel him is like a very bright light,a glow,a really bright warm comforting light.

I can pray now. Thank you all.

[/quote]

You don't need to guess that Jesus would want you to be safe. You are His precious child! He loves you, of course he wants you to be safe. You do not have to be angry and hateful, you just have to believe you are in enough danger to need to protect yourself.

Please start writing things down TODAY, and do not delete texts. Send them on to a friend who will keep them for you, in case he gets ahold of your phone and deletes them. Please, PLEASE do not underestimate your situation! He could stop, in which case, that would be great, but he might also keep escalating, especially if you have done little to stand in his way to this point.

Do you have any strong male relatives who can visit his residence on your behalf? If you told a male in your family that this guy was harassing you, would he go and confront your stalker? That can work in many cases. Helps a lot if the relative or friend works out and has BIG biceps! ;)

But please, take extra precautions and take this seriously. A lot of us know exactly what we're talking about when it comes to abusers.


#13

#14

Um, er, that post came out a bit muddled up with yours,julianne, sorry, my bad computer skills...


#15

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