Trying to get my heart in order, long post


#1

Most of you on these forums have been so helpful, if not by giving advice, just by listening and offering prayers. Having a strong community of catholic families who share and can understand the motivations and beliefs of my own family has been an invaluable experience, and stronghold for my own struggles in faith, and I can’t extend my gratitude enough.

 I ussually avoid very personal posts, but sometimes the anonimity of the internet helps to sort out and understand things about my own life that I might otherwise be too embarrassed to share with people who are close to me.

I just spoke with my husband during his lunch break over the phone (I'm a stay at home mommy) and he was concerned about our finances. Normally, we live modestly, humbly, below our means and give as much as we can to our church. We have three children, (4, 2 and 5 months), a small home that we are still paying for, one car, and we avoid eating out more than once every month, or two months.  We have a strict budget, being on one income, and we live as frugally as possible.

Enter in my new "hobby."
I went wayyyy overboard recently when we had our tax return. We spent some of it repairing our roof as we had planned…and thought we’d save the rest or just keep it in our bank account for a rainy day. I ended up spending almost all of it on cloth diapers>< There I said it…I’ve been embarrassed, because I told myself starting out that I would only buy what we needed to make it through one or two days without washing… But then I decided I loved having the nicest, prettiest, hardest to get diapers I could find.
I now have more diapers and wool longies than my children could ever need (we hope to have lots more children down the road, so they’ll certainly get lots of use) and my husband doesn’t mind this at all…It’s that I didn’t talk to him about it. I started making purchases behind his back…feeling empowered that I was deciding where and how to spend money, that I was justified because “I worked so hard as a mom I deserve to splurge a little” and believing it didn’t effect my husband so why would it matter if I "bought just one more…"
These are all attitudes and behaviors that I didn’t know I could exhibit and scare me to death!
I feel sometimes like I’m living a lie. I know where this behavior sprouted from and other than lots of prayer and lots of grace, I will never overcome it.
On the surface, we are a loving, catholic family, and we try our best to live our faith to its fullest, teaching our children about the richness of the faith. (we were converts 2 years ago from protestantism.) I am amazed every day at the blessings around me! A real family with a husband who loves me, supports me, shares my faith! God has always provided us with exactly what we needed even when it didnt’ seem possible!
On the inside…there’s a whole side of me nobody except my DH sees, and I don’t know HOW to begin to resolve. I normally keep it tucked away, ignored, avoided. But as I’ve realized from my underhanded spending spree…it’s far from being gone.
My husband grew up in a loving family with a mom, dad, five children…his parents are amazing!
I grew up in a splintered family full of emotional abuse, emotional and spiritual neglect, anger, and vindictiveness. By God’s grace He protected me from giving into the situations I was surrounded by…always sent somebody in my life who pointed to Him and kept me on track…but I was always “seperate” from every other person in my family, isolated. They viewd my desire to know God as self riteousness, indignation, and selfishness. If I ever wanted anything, it was because I was such a terrible person and didn’t appreciate anything I was given. (so I was told…). I learned that if I wanted to accomplish anything, achieve or obtain anything in my life, I had to do it alone and without telling anybody or they would break my heart.
I learned that people will love you until the one time you let them down they abandon you forever.
I learned that I was not good enough to want anything for myself. And most of all, I learned that I was only an inconvenience for everybody around me.

Now that I’m an adult, obviously I know these things aren’t true. I know that I am a beloved child of God, that my husband is faithful, loving, and would never abandon me. But all of the old emotions of my past manage to creep to the surface and scare the heck out of me when they do! I KNOW they aren’t true…I know that I am not like my family, that I Am a good mother, wife, catholic…So WHY do my old fears and feelings still impact my decisions?
I am estranged from my mother and almost my entire family. She hasn’t spoken to me since I was 15 years old, because I moved in with my father. She was newly married and the man she married had me scared to death that he would sexually abuse me. He drank…a lot…cursed…said innapropriate things to me. But she insisted it was just because he wanted to be like a father to me and I needed to treat him better! I pray almost every day that my mother has found happiness, because she was always so sad about the choices she’d made in her life. But she’s never wanted to contact me. The last time I tried to visit her, she threatened to call the police if I didn’t leave. I don’t know if our relationship can ever be resolved.
My dad still loves me, but he’s so busy in his own life I never see him. He’s living with a woman, after his second divorce, and living his life like a teenage kid.
The only family I have left are my dear grandparents, who are strong Baptists. (They don’t approve of my family being catholic, but they love us all VERY much and never cease to show us how much they care). They’ve been married almost 60 years, and they pray for us every day! But I see them aging, and I don’t know what I’ll do when one day soon they aren’t there for us anymore:(
My in-laws are also great…but they don’t know my history, nor do I think they would ever understand.
I feel alone sometimes…I don’t know how to get over all these old feelings that I carry around from the past, even though my present is so much better. I am terrified that no matter how hard I try to be a faithful wife, a faithful catholic, that I am doomed to become the unhappy, uncaring woman my mother was. I still feel like I don’t deserve any of the love my husband lavishes on me, and I am so scared that I will do something like spend tons of money we can’t afford again, and loose his trust…his love.
So many times in my life I was cast aside the moment somebody decided it wasn’t worth it to love me.

Sorry that was so long…I don’t know what I expect anybody to say, really…I just needed to actually write out how I feel. Thanks for taking the time.


#2

I know you didn’t write this for a response, but … know that someone read this, that I’m praying for you, and that you are a beloved child of God who deserves all the love and the kindness He can bestow on you.


#3

All of us deal with the hurts, disappointments, abuse, and neglect inflicted upon us as children. It is a rare and lucky few who have no baggage from their past (maybe Jesus and Mary are the only ones!)

That is not to discount your very real pain, but to hopefully help you see you aren’t the only one who has these thoughts, fears, and regrets.

If they overwhelm you to the point that you are fearful of doing something that will cause your husband to withdraw his love from you, it’s time to get some professional counseling. See if there is a Catholic therapist in your area who will help you.

Your DH sounds like a loving man who is not going to stop loving you because you overspent on cloth diapers or anything else. We’ve all blown it at some point in our marriage-- or we will-- and I guess the only way you’re ever going to really believe he won’t leave you or stop loving you is through messing up and then seeing that he STAYS.

Stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. Your DH is a good man.


#4

Thank you for your prayers and response:)

It really did help to just type out what I was feeling and have something concrete to pray about. I called my priest and he said we could sit down and talk tomorrow evening about everything on my heart! He’s such a wonderful advisor! He even goes around with the ladies from our rosary society whenever a new baby is born, and visits with the new mother, and prays for her. I had the pleasure of one such visit a few months ago when our little Anna was born:)

I talked some more with my husband…I am so blessed to have a man who trusts me and loves me despite my failings! I knew going into marriage that we made the whole “for better or for worse” vow…I guess I just never thought about myself being on the side where I was the one doing something that needed my husband’s forgiveness. Forgive him? In a heartbeat! But myself…and expect HIM to forgive me…is just something I have a hard time expecting, for many reasons I posted above.
My parents divorced when I was young…because my mother was unfaithful. Not in the area of finances, but in the area of fidelity. Not only did my father never forgive her…but she never changed, and they both became angry, bitter. I was afraid that with the money I irresponsibly squandered, I would loose my husband’s trust…and that even if I didn’t, I certainly wouldn’t deserve to still be trusted.
The more I talk to my husband, the more I know he could never feel that way. Why on earth the Lord felt I deserved such a loving man sometimes baffles me, but I have been greatly blessed! He is a wonderful father, a supportive husband, and he sincerely tries with all his heart to live out his vocation and his faith to their fullest. I am SO blessed and overwhelmed at times with the joy that surrounds my life.
God brought me out of a very dark place, and now I stand daily surrounded in love. I made a mistake, and yet nobody loves me any less. I can’t explain how much of a miracle that is to me…and what it means to feel like somebody truly would love me no matter what.


#5

It sounds like you and your husband are working hard to be financially responsible, and you BOTH should be commended for this. Keep up the good work.

Can it be that because you have been sacrificing a lot, that when you had the chance, you did take a spending spree, but that you avoided some kind of guilt because you spent it on supplies for your children? I think that’s how I want to word it. Sometimes we spend so little that when we have an opportunity, we go overboard. Just like giving up chocolate, and splurging on it because you denied cravings for it. :smiley:

Don’t beat yourself up over this. Talk more to your husband about the budget and spending, and pledge to clear large and impulse purchases with each other. I give myself three days to make a purchase, and most times the impulse goes away before I make a purchase. Again, keep up the good work.


#6

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