Need lots of advice

I’m new to this forum and don’t know how wordy/brief to be, so I won’t go into a ton of detail. I’ll just say I’m a 32-year-old single mother. Single as in I’ve never been married and my son’s father has very little to do with him, unless it’s convenient for him. I have hit a new low of unhappiness in my life. It seems no matter how much I pray or how hard I try, nothing good every happens. And even when I think something good is going to happen, those hopes get dashed to bits before they ever have a chance to fully get started. I had another issue last night. This morning I couldn’t sleep, so I got my child ready for school and took him early so I could stop by the church to light a candle and say a few prayers (my son goes to Catholic school), and the church was locked. I’m sure I should have just checked the hours before I went, but it was 7:45 on a Tuesday. I honestly felt like God didn’t care. And I can’t even type that without tearing up, and I’m at work. So I don’t know what to do. All my friends and family are married and have families and are very happy with where they are, and I’ve come to learn that happy people don’t like to be reminded that there are unhappy people in the world, so whenever I have a problem it either gets ignored or I just hear “Oh, that sucks, I’m sure things will get better.” But, guess what? They’re not getting better. In fact, I haven’t tracked them or anything, but it just seems things are getting progressively worse. Any advice? I can give details if needed. Thank you for your time.

Not necessarily. We don’t know what burdens others are carrying. A lot of people want everyone to think their lives are perfect, and never let on otherwise. Please don’t think you are alone; it’s not true.

I know it sounds trite, but when I get to feeling like that, I really do count my blessings. You said that “nothing good ever happens,” but I’ll bet good things do happen, you’re just too sad right now to see them.

It’s so easy, when we’re down, to only see the bad that happens. Some days all I can start with is “I have a roof over my head, and there are people living under highway overpasses.” But it’s something. And then my car starts. And then I go to my job, when so many don’t have one. Etc., etc., etc.

And you’re able to send your son to Catholic school! That’s wonderful, I couldn’t send my daughter. I really wish I could have.

Please don’t think I’m making light of your sadness. I’m not – I know it all too well. All I’m doing is sharing what works for me.

I can feel the heart ache and pain in your post. As long as we’re alive we are in a spiritual battle, and you’ve been wounded. What I did when things were very dark in my life, I practiced praising and thanking God. When I woke up in the morning and opened my eyes, I said Thank you God that I have my vision, so many people live with blindness today. Help them, be their strength. When I swung my feet and put them on the floor, I said Thank you Jesus that I have my mobility today, so many have to get into a wheel chair for their day. Help them and be their strength today. Practice that discipline today and it will change the darkness around you because it allows the Light of Christ to chase away the dark clouds. When dark thoughts come back during the day, tell yourself, No, no more of that, and turn your thoughts to things that are beautiful, for example, God sends out angels to help us, God gave us his blessed Mother to help us and watch over us. God gave us the Eucharist, the Prisoner of Love, to wait for us in churches throughout the world.

…your thoughts should be wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise. Phil 4:8

We are all in a spiritual battle. Say God is with me! I can’t wait to see what he does for me this week. He is a loving father, always close to the broken hearted. Bless God.

God be your strength today and the blessed Mother assist you in your struggles.

Welcome to CAF! :wave: I am sorry your first post couldn’t have been under better circumstances. :frowning:

Life can be very hard, to be sure. It certainly is tough for those not going through such hardships to offer words of encouragement that don’t sound patronizing.

I know it can sound trite, but God really does love you and He wants a relationship with you more than anything. I know what it’s like to go through periods where it feels like prayer isn’t “working”. Prayer is fundamentally about building that relationship with the Lord rather than simply removing all our daily crosses. It’s a hard lesson to learn. Or maybe that’s just me (and I’ll let you know if I ever learn it!). :o It is tempting to only want to pray when we are asking God for help. But it’s a good practice to try praying in other ways.

If you want a bit of a practical suggestion, I would suggest trying to pray in these other ways. Try offering prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving throughout the day – even for the smallest of things (“Thank you, Lord, for this great parking space”; “Thank you, Lord, that it only took one hour to put my son to bed”; “Thank you, Lord, for the gift of chocolate,” etc.). We all have our crosses, but we can always find the good things, too. Focus on those and acknowledge your gratitude to God – the Giver of all good things. This practice helps me to recognize that things aren’t always as bad as I make them out to be. Or even if things are as bad as I think they are, I can at least see them in a better perspective.

Another form of prayer to try is simply praising God for being God. It’s very “other” centered. It helps us to take our minds off of ourselves as the reference point for prayer and put it back to God.

Have you tried talking to a priest? They are good people to talk to when going through the hard times. I would encourage you to give it a try.

You are a very strong woman, hearing how difficult every. little. thing. is from another person is a little comforting since this is how my life has been for such a long time. However, I do not have a child to raise along with everything else being so hard. One day I found a prayer card at church. It is a prayer card for morning offering to Jesus, being a new Catholic, I did not know about this prayer:

O Jesus , through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and also for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.

Also, what Agnes, Penny and Joe advise helps overtime. It’s hard for me to even do this much sometimes, but taking the day minute by minute ends up helping me to remember Jesus in my life and no matter how hard life is, He is with me because I (like you) are His.

You may want to meet with a doctor and therapist just to rule out physical problems or be evaluated for depression. I need to go through physical exams/testings to rule out any factors attributing to fatigue, as well as meeting with a therapist for an evaluation for depression.

God Bless and you and little boy will be in my prayers tonight.

Honey, I’ve been in your shoes for YEARS. It doesn’t necessarily get better, sorry. But you get stronger and that’s virtually guaranteed.

Love that boy of yours with the heart of Christ, consecrate him to Our Lady and tell her YOU cannot raise him and she’s going to have to do it.

You’ve been invited to share, in a very small measure, the abandonment of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. His cross has been thrust upon your shoulders. You have been given a glimpse of what Jesus might have felt as He gazed from the Cross at all those people who did not understand, did not care, or wished Him dead.

You are blessed!

Mother Teresa said. “God always gives the most hardship to those He trusts the most. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much!”

One of my favorite Bible quotes: Be still and know that I Am God.

He has you and your son in His hand and He is ready to bless you with more than you even want. Let Him, and try not to focus on what you think would help, but on what God is telling you.

You and your son are in my prayers.

In addition to all the wonderful suggestions above, I read today that meditation is very helpful to us and keeps vocal prayers from becoming too routine. It reminded me to do what i used to do but lately have neglected: meditation on the run. I wasn’t able to sit and meditate because I had 4 small children, bit I listened a lot to Catholic radio and would mentally turn over what I heard as I did things like the dishes.

I can see the difference between then and now when I have been neglecting that :o so I am very grateful to have been reminded.

It can be hard on us when things go badly, esp when we can see the good in our plan! What could be better than to stop in and visit Christ in the Tabernacle! To me, there events seem a little scary because how could it be God’s will that I *not *stop into the church? But He wants what is good for us, and sometimes it is *even more *important that we learn acceptance than even going for a visit to the Tabernacle! (And I want you to know that I substituted your frustration with the problem(s) I had today which caused me to pretty much lose it…)

HTH

Annie

Keep us posted on how you’re doing. That’s what were here for!~

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

PATER NOSTER,
qui es in caelis,
sanctificetur nomen tuum.
Adveniat regnum tuum.
Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra.
Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie,
et dimitte nobis debita nostra
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
Et ne nos inducas in tentationem,
sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

I am so sorry for what you are going through.It is very difficult being a single parent.You are a wonderful mother and your son is blessed to have you.The father will one day wake up and realise what he has missed.In the meantime I shall keep you and your son in my prayers.Thankyou for all the sacrifices you are making,you are an inspiration to us all.I hope and pray you get some support.
(((hugs))).
God bless you

Lord please help this mother and son.Please bring them the help they need and answer their intentions known to You.Thankyou Lord for heaing our prayers Amen

Eternal God , in whom mercy is endless,
and the treasury of compassion inexhastible ,
look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us ,
that in difficult moments we might not despair
nor become despondent , but with great confidence ,
submit ourselves to Your Holy Will ,
which is love and mercy itself . Amen

Memorare (Prayer to Our Lady)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen

Since I’ve had all day to think and reflect on all this, I want to throw out a few details.

  1. I know not everyone who wears a happy face is happy. I know this because I’m one of those people. I talk about “all the happy people” because the ones I’m closest with are happy. They tell me they can’t imagine what I’m going through because they wouldn’t trade anything in their life for something different.
  2. When I say everything always turns out wrong, I don’t mean to be ungrateful because I have a child and a home and a job. I’m always made to feel incredibly guilty because people think I don’t appreciate what I have. What I mean when I say that is I’m the on who worked two jobs during an entire pregnancy because my son’s father decided he wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility and just disappeared. I worked two jobs, did all of it alone, have made every sacrifice possible for my child. I’m the only one of my friends who did good in school, graduated from college, and got a decent steady job. Yet my son’s father is the one who is married with stepkids and new kids and a job that pays more than twice what I make, even though he doesn’t have a degree. And it’s not manual labor either! And my friends… there were five of us who got pregnant outside of marriage. I’m the only one not married. I’m the only one who did it alone. I’m just tired of working so hard and trying so hard and doing everything right and still being miserable.
  3. As for seeing a doctor … I have seen doctors. The antidepressants they give me just make me tired. One literally made me sleep 20 hours a day. I can’t really be a good mom and hold down a full-time job if I’m a zombie. And I’ve checked into therapy, but I don’t have an extra $200 a month to afford it, and that’s with my insurance. There are no support groups around here. The churches have youth groups and family groups, but nothing for single parents or even just singles.
  4. Every time I think I have something good, it gets taken away. Six months ago I met my absolute dream man. He was smart, hard working, good looking, a great father, Catholic (I live in the Southern Bible belt, so finding a Catholic isn’t so easy to come by). This guy even owned a kilt, and I am absolutely insane for anything that celebrates my Celtic heritage. And he was just as enamored with me as I was with him … for about a week. Then he decided I wasn’t it. And it tore me up. Because that’s what always happens. And I don’t understand why. And I guess now I’m just venting and rambling, and I’m really sorry. But I just don’t know what to do. I had to visit my sister in the hospital today because she had a new baby. And I felt awful the whole time because I knew I was supposed to be happy, but inside I’m thinking that she’s got everything I ever wanted and have always worked so hard for, and she never had to try. Yeah, she had to try to get pregnant with this one, but she had her first no problem. And her son’s dad married her when she got pregnant, and six years later they’re still together and happy and have a new baby, and if it’s anything like last time she’ll drop all the baby weight in about three weeks while I’m still carrying around mine five years later, despite a 1200 calorie diet and working out four days a week. It’s just all so stressful and depressing and I’m tired of being alone with no one to help and no one to even talk to about it all who can offer me anything constructive. And I guess maybe I am praying wrong. I don’t know. All I know is that if God really wants me to be happy, won’t He make me happy with what I have? Or do I have to pretend to be happy with what I have because that’s what He’s chosen to give me? I don’t get it.

Sorry for the rant. Thanks for reading.

***Hail Mary,
full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among 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.

Amen.

:crossrc:***

Dear ChachaJ, when I feel like you do, it’s hard to believe that something good will happen. And it’s hard to think that your problems are not that bad and that they won’t get worse. It hurts when people can’t recognize your hurts, especially when they are people that are supposed to love you. I was going to tell you about the utter lack of empathy that my family members have for me and my issues, but it would take too long. I know you’re of Celtic origin but my motto these days is from the Brits during WWII “Keep Calm and Carry On”. Really, what else can we do? We just continue saying our prayers and “hope for the best”. :shrug:

There is only one thing that I think that you should re-visit and that is professional help and medication. The best case would be to have a psychiatrist and a talk therapist. You mentioned that you had poor results with anti-depressants, but a good psychiatrist will work with you until s/he finds something that works. An appt for med evaluation by a psych should be mostly covered by your insurance. It’s the talk therapy that’s costly, but there are places that will work with you as far as fees go. My first couple of years in therapy were at a clinic where you paid what you could afford.

We will be praying for you but remember to give us updates as we go along, ok? :slight_smile:

Most holy apostle St. Jude Thaddeus, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor who delivered your beloved Master into the hands of the enemies has caused you to be forgotten by many, but the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hopeless cases and of things despaired of. Pray for ChaChaJ who is so needy; make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege accorded to you to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired. Come to her assistance in this great need that she may receive the consolations and succor of heaven in all her necessities, tribulations and sufferings and that she may bless God with you and all the elect throughout eternity. I promise you, O blessed Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor you as my special and powerful patron and to do all in my power to encourage devotion to you. Amen.

Chacha,
You sound very stressed out… you are working, raising your son, and working out several days a week. It doesn’t sound like you have a lot of time dor just enjoying life, or any time for your self, time when you don’t have to do anything and you can relax.Is there any chance for you and your son to do simple things like flying kites? Are you getting enough time outdoors, like taking a bike ride instead of working out in a gym? And if you’re trying to lose weight on a 1200/cal diet and working out and not seeing results… may be a good time to see a doctor and do something different, because that is discouraging!

I think if you can get some things for both of you and some things just for you (maybe ask your sister to watch your son for a couple of hours?), things that just make you happy, that that might help. It can be very easy to get caught up in doing nothing but what you must do.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

– St. Teresa of Avila

I really appreciate all the advice. I do. I just have difficulty seeing anything positive when I feel this way. No, I don’t have a lot of time to myself. I have a hard time “just enjoying life” because I have horrible social anxiety, so I can’t go anywhere alone, and literally all my friends are married and don’t have a lot of time to do things outside of their families, or they only do things with other couples, which is depressing in itself, being the 13th wheel all the time. Every time I try to do something special with my son it gets ruined. He is very stubborn and willful and argumentative and I am (obviously!) high-stress and like things orderly. So like the last time I took him to the zoo he refused to listen to me or hold my hand, ran off without watching where he was going, tripped on some stairs, and almost broke his nose. Or the last time I just took him to the park, when it was time to leave he screamed and cried and tried to run away from me and threw such a fit I literally had to physically drag him to the parking lot. That’s embarrassing and makes me feel like a horrible mother. I never know what to do when it comes to that kid.

And for those of you who wanted an update … I don’t know what to tell you so far! I thought I was feeling better, but today I’m right back where I was Tuesday. I know three days isn’t much time, but patience really isn’t my strong point either. I’ve been praying every night, trying to be thankful instead of just asking for everything. A rosary every night when I go to bed. I’m probably not doing it right, but I’ve always believed it doesn’t matter how you pray as long as you try. And I know I’m allowing someone else to make me feel bad, but I’m also starting to realize a lot of things about myself that I don’t like. Such as how insecure I am and how few things I’m actually good at. I’m just starting to feel like I don’t have anything to offer anyone. And I’m confirming my previous notions that I am just absolutely horrible at all things related to relationships. I just don’t understand them, and nothing ever happens the way I want it to. Nothing ever happens the way it seems to happen for other people. I just don’t get it. I don’t get any of it. And I don’t have any idea what to do about any of it to change anything for the better. I’m just tired and stressed and lonely and … stuck.

We’re still praying for you. :gopray:

You have gotten alot of good advice here from people who care. My heart goes out to you too for what you are goin through and you will be in my daily prayers. Glory be to the Father,and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen :console:

Eternal God , in whom mercy is endless,
and the treasury of compassion inexhastible ,
look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us ,
that in difficult moments we might not despair
nor become despondent , but with great confidence ,
submit ourselves to Your Holy Will ,
which is love and mercy itself . Amen

Memorare (Prayer to Our Lady)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen

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