So discouraged


#1

Hello,

I’m wondering if you can offer advice. DH and I have a wonderful, loving relationship. However, that seems to be the only thing that is consistent and positive in our lives. For the past 8 years we have been dealing with chronic health issues, financial issues, a child with special needs then a sibling born only seventeen months later. The child with special needs is extreme and the needs are in the area of psychosis and borderline schizophrenia.

Throughout all of this, I feel DH and I have turned more and more to God to get through it. However, it doesn’t seem to be working. I feel that we are constantly being bombarded by something new and the new thing is always MAJOR. Like DHs father being diagnosed with and then passing away from brain cancer.

Can someone help me figure out how to turn this burden over to God? I’m fine with having all these challenges in our life. But I want to have some peace about it and be able to live our daily lives with some sense of happiness and not dread.

thanks so much


#2

Try spending time in adoration. I find it easier to listen for God during the peace of adoration when I am alone with the Lord


#3

[quote="abedog13, post:1, topic:230098"]
The child with special needs is extreme and the needs are in the area of psychosis and borderline schizophrenia.

[/quote]

On another thread I have seen you describe your child as having narcissistic personality disorder and autism spectrum disorder. What gives?


#4

The issues with our daughter are so extreme that they are hard to put a label on. She is receiving services for an autistic diagnosis because it is the closest thing we can get a doctor to diagnose her with. However, DH and I don't feel that autism is really an accurate diagnosis.

Really, though, her diagnosis is not the issue. THe issue is that I am a mom of an extremely complicated child. I feel I am at a dead end with the obstacles that have been piled on my plate and I am asking for help in how to find a way to get back to the surface.


#5

[quote="abedog13, post:1, topic:230098"]

Can someone help me figure out how to turn this burden over to God? I'm fine with having all these challenges in our life. But I want to have some peace about it and be able to live our daily lives with some sense of happiness and not dread.

[/quote]

I have no direct advice on your situation... but just want to offer my thoughts and prayers for your family.
I do understand where you're coming from... I often struggle with very similar feelings. Years and years of prayer that appear to be landing on deaf ears. I rely mostly on faith and trust that God won't abandon us - and isn't abandoning us even now. I often think that Satan works hardest to break down those who are following God... for some reason that thought gives me a little peace. I won't break, but it's certainly not an easy path to follow.


#6

My situation is not exactly like yours, but I would say that I'm carrying a lot of burdens. My father passed away more than 50 years ago. My mother's attitude and my older sister's attitude has been to pass all their ultimatums over to me. They're the inflexible ones and I'm supposed to be the flexible one and solve all the problems.

If there's any financial burden or social burden, you guessed it, I'm the one who has to pay.

My head has been in the clouds most of my life, and it takes me years, even decades to figure out what people have been doing to me. Along the way, I'm the one who is reading scripture and meditating, while my family members play the role of the prodigal son, squandering their time and talents and resources.

If there's any point to this, I'd say look around for help, take it, and stay away from self pity. Find whatever resources there are to help in your situation and utilize them.

Due to the snow storm two days ago, my mom refused to go out to a doctor's visit for a very serious condition. So, there you go, that's MY problem. Well, in the first place, I reject the part of that where I'm supposed to worry about anything. If she's not worried, why should I worry? I learned to just do things, and not worry about them, at least not all the time. I deserve a good night's sleep and I try to get it.

She also decided she doesn't want to go to a nursing home, so she hands me that and says, deal with it. So, I'm taking care of her 24 hours a day. Oh, and my sister? She told my mother and me to live our own lives and she'll live hers.

Jesus not only said very important things, he said them in very particular ways.

He said that we should live one day at a time. That's not only a divine command, it's good advice. Take up your cross and follow him.


#7

I am sure that I like so many here can heartily sympathize and have our own stories to tell. Whether prayer and the like "work" is not measured by the degree to which the sufferings of yourself or your loved ones diminish, but by the degree you yourself, the one who prays, grows closer to Our Lord, identifies more nearly with him in his suffering, rejoices more heartily in his resurrection, and hopes more fervently to share in his Glory. The goal of all prayer is union with Him, because only in, with and through can we bear and make sense of the evils of this world.

The only thing I can see with certainty is that the afflictions of my son in particular, and those we are enduring ourselves, and have helped our parents endure, is that these are the very means of grace God has allowed they, and us, to use as the means of our salvation. I was helped in one of the darkest periods with my son (when he finally as an adult rejected all medical and psychiatric intervention whatever) is an extended meditation on the passage in Genesis where Abraham is ready to sacrifice his son Isaac on God's word alone, in absolute faith that God would still keep his promise, and that no matter what happened, even the death of his only child, God would act in supreme justice and mercy for the best good.

Jesus I trust in you, Jesus I trust in you, Jesus I trust in you.


#8

I must add that I believe there is something important about suffering. In the Bible, God is described as having so many human attributes, although we hardly conceive of God in those exact terms.

I've come to realize that one of those human-like features of God is suffering. I believe that God suffers -- in the first place, because of our sins. Certainly Jesus suffered during his lifetime, and during his passion and death on the cross.

As such, I think we are very closely united with God, when we find him amidst our suffering.

A lot of folks may disagree with me or reject this for whatever reason. That's OK. Perhaps they haven't suffered enough to realize it. In our faith, we have the revelation that life has meaning, and suffering is a part of life, so it has meaning.


#9

Thank you very much for your words. I appreciate them so much.

I will certainly try adoration; I think that is a good idea. I also do feel thankful for this suffering because it has changed me as a person. I have gained a lot from these hardships and I am thankful for that.

Puzzleannie:can you explain more about your meditation on Genesis?


#10

At times life can be absolutely overwhelming. What we are called to do as Christians is to offer up our sufferings to God, sometimes even for specific intentions ("Lord, you know how depressed I feel right now. I offer this suffering up to You."). I can assure you that you will come out on the other side having grown in some way pleasing to God.
Years ago, we very nearly lost our precious family. I was having a nervous breakdown and had to hospitalized for psychosis, my husband was trying to take care of our teenagers, we were bankrupt, and to top it all off, we were arrested in front of our children for charges later dropped. Naturally, my husband lost his job. Things just kept getting better and better!;)
Believe it or not, my DH managed to get us relocated in OK where my family is; took a year off from work to nurse me back to health; my dear father installed us on a little farm he owned at the time; the children saw that we weren't falling apart - we kept attending Mass and Confession, kept on plugging away at maintaining their routines and having birthday parties and going to school choir concerts as though everything was normal.
And everything turned out okay. My children are now grown and married and having grandbabies for me ;). My DH is back at work again; we own our own home; and I get to have a very fulfilling job as a church musician. Our family is very, very close.
I have a feeling that because my DH (and I, to a lesser degree) was faithful in his duties even while everything was seemingly falling apart, we were later blessed beyond measure. I know it sounds weird, but I wouldn't really trade the experience of getting close to the Lord now for anything. I think my children learned a valuable lesson on marriage: they saw what we went through and how we maintained our marriage and our faith.
Anyway, don't mean to hijack the thread but keep your chin up: your life is a beautiful tapestry, incredibly unique, and our suffering only adds to the design if we let it.
I will pray for you to be lifted up.


#11

[quote="abedog13, post:4, topic:230098"]
The issues with our daughter are so extreme that they are hard to put a label on. She is receiving services for an autistic diagnosis because it is the closest thing we can get a doctor to diagnose her with. However, DH and I don't feel that autism is really an accurate diagnosis.

Really, though, her diagnosis is not the issue. THe issue is that I am a mom of an extremely complicated child. I feel I am at a dead end with the obstacles that have been piled on my plate and I am asking for help in how to find a way to get back to the surface.

[/quote]

maybe you need some respite care? We all run out of steam from time to time. Maybe you and your DH could get away for a weekend. See if social services have something that can help you.

My brother and his wife are foster parents and one of the teenage boys has mental problems. So my brother can't leave him with just anyone. So from time to time the boy comes to my house. It gives my brother and his wife a few hours break or a chance to attend an event without kids.


#12

I can truly feel your pain. We have two great kids. Our 10 year old son was born with a physical birth defect and has had 20 surgeries and will continue to have more. Probably because of who we are, my wife and I prayed and prayed some more but quickly went to work doing God's work. I am on the children's hospital's parent advisory council and have met many families all facing what seems like insurmountable tasks. They all get through it. God want's them to get through it.

Keep your chin up and remain close to God. You will manage and maybe someday be replying to a mother's plea for help and be a beacon of hope for her.

Prayers and blessing for your family...


#13

I don't have advice, really. Just prayers. :hug1:

KG


#14

[quote="abedog13, post:9, topic:230098"]

Puzzleannie:can you explain more about your meditation on Genesis?

[/quote]

it was during Lent and we were RCIA sponsors, and that was the reading. Genesis chapter 22.
We were simply in despair about our son (mental, psychosocial and physical challenges to numerous to detail, and never an adequate diagnosis or treatment). The story hit me with such force, that Isaac, Abraham's child of promise, his only legitimate son, the child of their old age, belonged not to he and Sarah, but to God, and God was reminding him of this fact. Through reading and meditating and praying this passage almost daily for a year I learned to let go of my son and relinquish his ability,or the ability of any of the "failed" doctors, teachers, therapists, the "system" to hurt me or threaten my own faith and well-being. I learned forgiveness, forebearance and moreover underwent a fundamental change in my spiritual orientation (as a life-long relatively faithful Catholic) that has really revolutionized my life ever since, a true conversion or turning around. That conversion is summed up simply as Trust in God, trust in Divine Providence. Before that I had tried to control every aspect of my life, my family's my children's, my son's, to protect them against all harm and to provide for all good. Once I acknowledged God as the source of all good and thanked him for it, I acknowledged the true root of all evil, sin and disobedience, and recognized in Christ, especially in his suffereng, the remedy and antidote to all evil

There is much more to it than this I am only saying a fraction of what I learned, but hope it helps.

God is in charge
you are not
you cannot change the circumstances of your child' situation that are not your fault and that are beyond your control
doctors are not God and their power and knowledge is finite

ultimately those of us with special needs children, like those of us who carry all other burdens, are called every day to take up our cross and follow Christ, who bears it with us. That is all we need to know.


#15

Hello all,
I have no words of advise, nor can I relate to the incredible suffering several of you are going through. But I just wanted to say thank you for your witness and sharing how you have allowed the suffering in your lives to bring you closer to God. I am young, and know that like most, my life will involve all sorts of trials. And it is so beautiful for me to see people responding to their trials like you have. Thank you for inspiring others.
God Bless (and He will!!),
M


#16

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