Browsing History

If you looked at my computer’s browsing history right now, you would see a myriad of things. From destinations for the perfect get-away wedding, to bridal sets and dresses, to thanksgiving food recipes, to miscarriages.

That’s right, even with all of the wonderful things I am planning (like the food) and hoping to plan (the wedding), there is something not so wonderful but just as common in my search history. Miscarriage.

Now, I know I shouldn’t be searching for anything related to children and pregnancy since the wedding hasn’t happened yet, but life is funny that way because it doesn’t care.

Now, let me clarify a few things about why I was searching for information relating to miscarriages..

See, I am on a birth control pill. I am not supposed to be getting pregnant, mainly because I am not ready for children yet and I am not married. So why was I searching for information about miscarriages? Because despite being on an oral contraceptive, and taking precautions with my sex life. I had a miscarriage. At least, according to my doctor I did. Now, did I feel pregnant? Nope. In fact I had just had a period a week or so before. The doctor said it looked like I had had a light period, or some spotting, that was actually a result of implantation taking place. In other words, it wasn’t an actual period, but was the fertilized egg trying to make a home in my uterine wall. But either that failed, or my birth control kicked in and I lost the egg along with my uterine lining in a VERY heavy, week or so late period.

Talk about scary. Even taking excess precautions and an oral contraceptive, I still had a VERY real possibility of a child in my immediate future.

Now, this information was upsetting to me for a variety of reasons.

Number one being that I DO NOT want children right now. I am, in fact, taking every step necessary to prevent a child from being born right now.

Number two being.. My sister, who suffers from PCOS, has been trying to conceive for years now. She’s married and all they want is to start a family. They’re being intentional about things and she can’t keep a baby. She has had multiple miscarriages and with every one she gets closer and closer to a hysterectomy or just losing all basic hope of having a child naturally. For me to ACCIDENTALLY get pregnant before her feels like a betrayal. And that is definitely NOT on my to-do list.

I bet you’re probably reading this and thinking, goodness gracious, she has really lost her mind. Airing all of her personal business on this blog. I’ve talked about sexual assault, mental health, my family, all our business, now this which is EXTREMELY personal. But you know what? I feel better talking about things like this. I am trying to avoid going back to a therapist by essentially airing my feelings and thoughts on here instead. So, thank you all for reading. Even if you do think I am crazy.

I know this probably seems like I am over sharing, but I just want to bring a little bit of attention to the fact that, even though on the outside, where I am happily showing off dresses and bouncing ideas off of my family about whether or not a destination wedding would be fun, inside, there is some severe turmoil. And I know I am not the only one who has felt like this. Like they’re hiding behind the fact that no one knows what’s REALLY going on.

Now, I don’t plan to discuss my miscarriage with Bobby, I think it would upset him, and I don’t plan to discuss my miscarriage with my family. But I do want to put it out there so someone knows. Someone other than my computer.

I want to prove to myself that I am not ashamed of my internal struggles. It’s okay to share the things that are difficult to talk or think about. It’s okay to not have all the right words and to want to wait until you find them before you open up about things that hurt you. Or scare you. Or just make you or the people around you uncomfortable.

I don’t want to hide anymore behind my browsing history. I don’t want to be the only one who knows I am struggling.

So, my final thoughts regarding this particular subject would be, to just find a way to open up. In your own time, in your own way, in your own words. But don’t be ashamed. You may not want to shout it from the rooftops but I know from personal experience that just trying to bottle it all up is harmful.

And with that, I am going to end this post.

Thanks for reading guys.

Bring it up or Bury it?

So, I kind of wanted to go a little different direction with this post.

Let me start off with some background on my mom.

My mother and her family (4 kids) grew up DIRT FLOOR POOR. We’re talking about maybe getting cold beans and a hot dog all day for food. Her mother was never married and only one of her children knows who their dad is (not my mom).

My granny, I loved her, more than life, but she liked older men. Not that that’s a bad thing, but the older man she was involved with for all of my mother’s childhood and adulthood until he died was abusive.

She has never gone into all of the details and I wouldn’t dream of asking because I can see it upsets her and she would rather forget it all. She has hinted at sexual abuse and I KNOW there was physical abuse. She has told me stories about when she would try to sneak extra food at night, or if she got home late from school (she walked most of the time and it was several miles), or sometimes if she told them she was going to the library and didn’t get back when they thought she should have been.. he would beat her. Hands, fists, extension cords, sticks..

Now my mother is a STRONG woman. But that has definitely affected her. It hurt her then and it hurts her now.

So, I want to get into the deeper things now. My mom suffered with depression before she ever left that place. She married my dad at the age of 18 and never looked back. Before that comes across wrong, she didn’t abandon her family or her mother. In fact, she was the only one who was there when my grandmother died after being eaten alive by cancer. She was there for the heart attack, the triple bypass, the stroke, the diabetes and the dementia.

None of those things made depression any easier for my mom to deal with. She suffered from postpartum after each of her children were born, me and my sister, my younger sister, and my younger brother. My dad is also.. difficult.

I love my dad, but he isn’t and has probably never been nurturing. They had a few rough years of marriage at the beginning, and even now they have patches where I worry they won’t make it.

Throughout all of this, she has fought depression. And had to deal with my dad’s attitudes and moods. Which as someone who has suffered from depression, is not easy to do. You can barely handle your own emotions and moods, let alone try to navigate and be responsible for someone else’s.

You’re probably wondering why I am bringing this up. Why I am airing out my mom’s struggles like this. I promise I have a point.

My mom never mentioned any of that until I was struck with my own severe bout of depression at the age of 16/17.

I was sent to see a therapist in high school when my teachers found out I was self harming and had been extremely confrontational all year.

I can’t tell you what triggered my depression. I don’t have an answer. I do know at that same time I was diagnosed with Panic Anxiety Disorder as well. I get overwhelmed and I panic. That panic then leads to a complete shut down where I essentially cease to function.

So, at the tender age of 17 (I am pretty sure it was during my senior year when mom disclosed everything to me after she cried and asked what she had done wrong as a parent..) I learned that depression, mental illness, runs in my family.

My mom had watched me get worse and worse. She said she didn’t recognize that I was spiraling downwards, and looking back now, I believe her. But at the time, I felt like I was begging for attention. I was having panic attacks a lot, I was angry. So angry. At everyone and everything. But mostly at myself. Then at her.

I felt like she should have noticed I was sick. That she had been there and should have realized I was hurting like she had for so many years. Then I realized, she had hidden that she was sick herself for SO long.. Why would she even think that it was happening to me when she was denying it had happened to her?

She wanted all of us to be normal. To be healthy. To be strong. But each of us have our own unique struggles. They change and evolve with us. My twin, Brittany, she struggled in high school with an eating disorder. She just.. didn’t eat. She was a killer 120 pounds and she always looked so much better than I did. Just ask all the boys. But she maybe ate 500 calories a day and was struggling to maintain her health.

Why? Because she was convinced she had to be thin to be successful. Now, my sister is BRILLIANT. She excels at absolutely everything she does in academics. But she didn’t care about her mind, a point she made clear as her mental health took a turn for the worst with her eating disorder.

She was better for a long time, then she got married and was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). She gained A LOT of weight and isn’t sure she’ll ever be able to have children even though she literally aches for it. She has also been diagnosed with anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She feels the need to be loved and adored by everyone and when someone is on the fence or just doesn’t like her personality, it cuts to her core and she spirals out of control. But she’s working on it with a therapist. Progress. Mental health and mental illness.

Now, when I was forced into therapy, it was the first time anyone in my family had outwardly struggled. My dad is a firefighter so he was gone so much he had never seen my mother struggle and she had been on antidepressants after she gave birth so it wasn’t noticeable. She needed to be able to function for her new children. Therefore, I was made out to be the trouble child.

I was the weak one.

The one that had problems.

The one struggling.

I felt like an outcast. Like an embarrassment. My family was ashamed of me. And let me just tell you right now, that did not help me feel any better. My self harm got worse. My mental health got worse. And that made me feel even worse.

So why am I going through all of this?

Why am I bothering to open all of this up?

Because mental health and mental illness and mental struggles shouldn’t be hidden. My mom tried to bury her mental health problems and they almost killed me (literally, I attempted suicide during my senior year in high school due to my shame and conflicting thoughts).

So my title is Bring it up or Bury it?

My vote, as someone who was blindsided by mental illness, BRING IT UP.

Make it less stigmatized. Your brain is a muscle. All muscles get tired sometimes. All muscles need to see a doctor sometimes. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you, and if there is, that it can’t be fixed. The hate, both from society and internally, needs to stop. It’s debilitating enough to struggle without the world telling you that it needs to be hidden.

And with that.. I am going to be done.

New Beginnings?

So, I have posted recently about my struggles with my (former?) church.

Short recap, I was told I could no longer hold a position on the worship team because I was living a secular lifestyle. I do understand their reasoning. I live with my boyfriend. We are not married. It makes the church “look bad” to have someone who is obviously sinning in a leadership position.

Recently I tried a new church. It’s a HUGE church. Especially compared to my other church where there is maybe 100 consistent members. This new church has at least several hundred people if not a thousand.. I didn’t feel like I fit in. Mostly because I wasn’t acknowledged in any way shape or form.

Now, at first I thought I wanted to be ignored. To just go to a church where no one knew me and no one was judging my lifestyle or my living arrangements.

But after going, I realized I was lonely. I miss feeling connected. I miss the people I went to church with. Even though I feel absolutely beyond embarrassed that my living arrangements were discussed at length by all of the elders and deacons in the church…

Yesterday I got a message from one of the ladies from my old church. She was telling me how much she missed me and I broke down and cried.. Because I miss her too. I miss the people, even if I don’t think the place was the right one for me.

So, today I am struggling. I am struggling with the idea that I need a new church. I am struggling with the embarrassment I feel regarding my old church. I am ashamed of what has happened with all of this.. My grandparents quit that church, my siblings all quit that church.. Now the only people left from my family that are there are my parents. And I hate that they have to handle all of this for me. I’ve only been back one time on a Wednesday and it took me several weeks before I was willing to do that.

Has anyone ever had to handle something like this before? What do I do?

I don’t feel like my old church is the right environment for me. I am scared to go back. I am nervous. I don’t feel like I broadcast my lifestyle. I wasn’t trying to make it seem like that was a good option, it was just the option Bobby and I could afford. I always thought that I could do more good for the church than my lifestyle choice would bring bad.. I tried to organize events. I tried to get the church out there and make it a better place. I tried my best to live my life right with God. And in my heart I know he is disappointed with my choices as well, but he doesn’t love me any less because of them.

I feel like my relationship with God has been called into question and found wanting. I was scared to go to a new church. I don’t think that anyone should be afraid to go to church. But I was. I still am. I am scared to go back to my old church due to judgment and scared to go to a new church in case someone finds out and they decide they don’t want me there either.

So, where do I go from here? Back to what’s familiar? Even though it’s embarrassing and upsetting to even think about? Do I go somewhere new? Even though I am afraid to make friends or risk judgment there as well?

I don’t want to just.. NOT go anywhere.. But this is slowly killing me inside. Especially when I get messages from the people I miss so much telling me they miss me too. I don’t know what to do.

I don’t know if this is a false ending. Or a new beginning.

I don’t know which one I want it to be.

I don’t know..

Hello October

Hello October.

Hello Fall.

Hello cooler weather, sweaters, bonfires and hot chocolate.

Hello beautiful scenery.

Hello cuddle weather.

Hello football season.

What is there to not like about October? What is there to not like about fall? Crisp weather, changing leaves, weather that makes it completely acceptable to cuddle all day, every day.

Fall is a beautiful time of year. Old things fall away and it leaves room for new things to take their place.

Fall is where I always take some time to reflect on who I am. Where I am in my life. Where I want to be. I feel like fall is where I get to really grow as a person.

This fall has been a little bit different.

I have been reflecting on myself, where I am, where I want to go, but this year, I am not happy.

I have been facing some internal questions that are causing me confusion, and disappointment. This isn’t quite where I thought I would be.

And that makes me sad. I have so many wonderful things happening and in my life right now, but I am disappointed with where I am.

I think a lot of this stems from the recent conversations I have had with my former pastor. I am no longer completely satisfied with my “secular” life. I know how Bobby feels about me. I know how much he loves me. I just.. I want more than what we have. I want to be married.

Which is silly. It’s not something that’s ever been a “must-have” for me. Not many people know this about me, but after my first serious boyfriend abused me and left me as a shell of my former self, I told myself that by the time I was 27 if I didn’t have a serious boyfriend, or any remote possibilities of becoming engaged or married or entering into a committed relationship, I was going to undertake the task of becoming a mother on my own.

Now, if any of you have read even some of the things I have posted you know that (now) I am completely terrified of having children in general. But at that point in my life, I was planning on doing it all myself since he mentally berated me to the point I thought I was worthless and no one would want me in the first place.

Now that I have a serious relationship, now that we have all of these “married” things together, like a house, cars, animals.. I have discovered I want it all.. I want to actually be married. I don’t want to do everything alone anymore.

I will be 27 in just a couple of years. I haven’t even reached my personal deadline yet and already I feel like I have fallen behind.

I stay in contact with most of my high school class via social media. The last one of the women I graduated with is now engaged to be married. The rest are all married and most have children.

This weekend I am actually going to a wedding. For one of my younger sister’s friends. She is 20.

There has been so much happening lately. Pregnancy announcements, engagements, wedding anniversaries.. It just makes me wonder where mine is.

I don’t mean to be impatient. I don’t want to rush God’s timing. I trust that he has thought all of this out and brought me to this place in life for a reason. Like I said, I have literally everything I have ever prayed for right now. Marriage wasn’t even on the radar until recently.

However, even my intentions of not being impatient can’t make it easier for me to wait.

I am trying to trust in God. I am trying to trust in his timing. I am trying to see the plan here. I know there must be a reason to make me wait. Whether it’s to prepare me for what marriage will bring, or to prepare me for another challenge that will come instead, I am trying to remain objective. But I want it. And I think wanting it this much is making things worse. Wanting it this much makes patience almost nonexistent.

I wonder sometimes if maybe God isn’t just preparing me. But also preparing him. Bobby is the man I want to spend forever with. But I will be the first to admit, we don’t always see eye-to-eye. We have different personalities. Different wants and needs. It’s taken a lot of time to realize that, for both of us.

One thing he has had to compromise with me on is my need to feel included. He comes from a large family where his parents divorced and remarried and new families emerged with that. Up until just  year or so ago, I had only met his mother and step-father. So he has had to go a little outside his comfort zone and socialize with the rest of his family, like his father and step-mother so that I feel comfortable being around them all. It’s hard to be comfortable around someone you have only ever met once…

One thing I have had to compromise on is his need to stay home sometimes. I am a social butterfly. I love to be busy. I love to travel. I love to visit family. His, mine, extended and immediate. He is a homebody. He enjoys being home with just me and the animals. So I have had to work on not making plans when he will be home and letting him manage how he spends his time at home.

We have also had to work together to compromise on who makes plans. I have always been incredibly independent. I make plans, I pay for my own things. I don’t ask for anything if I think I can do it myself. He likes to be involved in plans. He likes to spontaneously take me out, which can’t happen when I have already booked up our time. He enjoys paying for me (he’s very traditional) and when things are expensive that makes me uncomfortable sometimes.

We have both had to learn things. And I know we will probably spend years learning things about the other that we didn’t know going into things despite living together for a year or more now.

So, maybe it’s not just me that needs to get ready. Maybe God is preparing him too.

Hello October.

Hello personal reflection.

Hello to being found lacking this year.

Hello to new chances to be and do better this next year.

Hello to hope.

Hello to patience.

Hello God.

Hello October.