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.