journeytostand

My journey to stand up for myself in life


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Putting words into action

In the big picture, so much doesn’t matter. The earthly things that cause us pain and anguish are only for a short time… If you think about eternity and the length that it is then you begin to realize that our goals would be different. It is important to have your life here be honest and always learning and bills paid on time ect. But the relationships we build beginning with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are so important. Important in the realization that as we build them, they must bring us joy and happiness. If you have a family member or friend that treats you bad and doesn’t have your best interest in mind, then that is not who you need to have in your life. My mother who has been in my life for 61 years never had my interest in mind, only hers. So what do you do? Well what I have come to understand is that Heavenly Father only wants what is good for me so in my relationships they also should want what is good for me. It also works that way in that I should only want what’s good for them. That is Christ like love. It is hard to put into effect because we are human beings who have selfish thoughts and actions. I have always anguished over the fact that for my mother, it was always about her. It was always my fault that things weren’t right. It was always someone else who made her do the things she did. She never took responsibility for her actions. So how does anyone have a relationship with her? They don’t but as a family member I was caught up in the should do’s. I was under the influence of her demands and needs. I didn’t know I was under no obligation to do anything for her unless I wanted to. I felt trapped because she told me that if I bucked her or didn’t help take care of her then she would be gone out of my life. Up unto 6 months ago, I couldn’t live without her. Then in one moment I knew I could. That relationship bent my views on relationships and how they should be. This relationship took my free agency to pick my friends and family. To be in control of my choices. I didn’t know I had a choice. You would think that I should know that earlier but I did not. It never entered my mind I could say no. I could say no to any relationship I had. They could say no to me also and not have me in their lives. So now I have to figure out the relationships in my life and ask myself “Does this relationship work both ways. Do I have their best interest in mind and do they have my best interest in mind.” It doesn’t mean I just chuck all these people but it does mean I need to figure out what I believe and who in my life is important for the right reasons. It means living what I believe. It means trying to change myself in order to have good healthy relationships. It means putting the earthly things in the right perspective and the eternal things in the proper order. It means understanding that my life here on earth is a learning and testing place. A place to try and learn the things we already knew on the other side but now because of the veil that separates us from God, we must relearn or rediscover and work our way back to Heaven. We will have obstacles thrown at us at every turn and as we progress we will learn to turn to Heavenly Father more and more and build our relationships in the right way. We have a road map if we will only use them. The scriptures will bring us closer to everyone in our lives but also help us weed out the people in our lives that haven’t got our best interest in mind. Satan has his grip on this earth right now and he is trying to destroy our families and our lives. God is in control of my life and everyone else’s and if we listen and learn we will understand and make our way back to him. He is in control of my relationship with my mother and he will guide us either here or the other side in whether we will remain in a relationship. I pray that we will remain a family but only God know when or if.


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Learning

I am starting this knowing that God is in charge and in control. I am starting this knowing that no matter what my response to bad news in the end, God has it. So now I must make some decisions on how to handle some issues that have come up for me. I have told you about the things that have happened to me as I have grown up and the lessons I am learning along the way as I still stand and am quiet with my mother. All the issues we have gone through and the guilt I am still feeling because my nature is to want to help when people need help. Now my mother is really ill. Not just pain from arthritis or aftermath of another surgery but really ill. My instinct is to run and help but my gut understands I can’t do that. My whole being wants to go apologize even though I had to do what I did to survive and stay in her life for as long as she may have but I know I can’t. God has it under control. He has taken care of her these last 4 months without me and he will continue to take care of her. I have offered to help but it was declined for now. So that is all I can do. Unfortunately my processing skills haven’t caught up and so inside I feel panic and fear. How much time do I have before she is gone? How long do I go without talking to her? Will I ever get what I need from her? I know I won’t but boy do I wish it were different.

The one thing I know more than anything is that God has it.

It took a while for me to get there but even though I know that, there is a part of me that wishes things were different and that I didn’t have to wonder what it might have been like to have a loving mother.
So now a new chapter begins. To be an outsider to my mother’s illness. I have felt like an outsider for 4 months but this is different. When I feel this way is the time that I know that God has her. She has lived for almost 82 years and he has kept her safe. He has a plan for her. No matter what she has done or how she has treated people, it is part of his plan. So my not talking to her must also be in his plan. Is it not incredible how God has worked everyone’s life, intersecting each other’s lives and still having a plan for everyone’s life? It is beyond my comprehension that he can keep all that straight but I know he does. In all the learning I have done in the last 4 months the one thing I have done is continue to follow God’s still small voice. He has told me to stand and be quiet. So until I am asked to help, I will stand and be quiet and be the outsider in this and know God is in control and he will take care of her or take her home. Sad but never the less TRUE


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Learning lessons from other’s adversity

This is for God, to thank him for all the wonderful things in my life. To thank him for the struggles I have because they strengthen me and keep me thankful. I have been following the story of Ben Saurer who died a few days ago from a brain tumor. I have followed his journey to Heaven and his parent’s journey as they watched their young 5 year old die in a matter of 5 months and the journey of Ben’s twin brother Jack. They have all gone through so much and yet they love Heavenly Father and understand his plan for them. They praise him even in such horror. It has helped me realize that even though I have struggled with this separation from my mother and have cried over it and been angry over it, I still need to trust God in the journey. I still need to understand that this journey is a process and this journey is a way for God to help me be strong and happy. My life has been one of pain and being under attack almost every day of my life. So now that I am no longer in that situation, I can see that God IS in control and I was supposed to go through this. I have become who I am today because of this struggle. I have more understanding of child abuse and I can understand what people are talking about when they talk about the terror they feel even if the abuse stopped years ago. Mine went on and I am now out from under it. The terror has subsided and I am thinking straighter. I can understand now why I couldn’t get away from it. I was conditioned to be too afraid to stop it. So finally I got brave and put an end to this abuse and I choose with God’s help to stay out of the situation. I am following Heavenly Father’s lead and it is stand and be quiet. What does that mean? For me it means to not respond at all or as little as possible to anything to do with my mother. I don’t know for how long but until I at least set up boundaries for myself, it will not happen. It is very unusual for me to completely follow God’s command but it is a strong one and it needs to be upheld. As I read Ben’s mom writing about their journey, I realize that even though all of this is minor compared to losing a child, it is just as important to my life, and to completely trust God as she does is a strong lesson for me and it is important to give my thanks to my father in Heaven for my family as they stick by me in this journey. I am so thankful for them because they believe in me and they give me strength to keep trying to live this journey. To Ben’s family: I am sorry for your lose and I am sorry for the pain you feel for losing your little boy but I am thankful for your faithfulness and the lessons you are teaching all of us. Thank you for reminding us that Heavenly Father lives and he has a plan for all of us and if we listen and truly follow him, we will happy, even in the face of sorrow or adversity.


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Let it go

Snow goes wide on the mountain tonight
not a footprint to receive,
A Kingdom of isolation and it looks like I’m the Queen.
The wind is howling like this whirling storm inside,
couldn’t keep it in, Heaven knows I tried.

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see,
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well now they know!

Let it go Let it go
can’t hold back anymore
Let it go Let it go
turn away and slam the door
I don’t care what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on
The cold doesn’t bother me anyway.

It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small,
and the fear that once controlled me, can’t get to me at all.
It’s time to see what I can do, to test the limits and make new,
No line, no rope, no rules for me, I am free.

Let it go Let it go
I am one with the wind an sky.
Let it go Let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand and here I stay
Let the storm rage on

My power flurries thru the air into the ground,
My soul is spiralling in frozen fractals all around
and one thought crystalizes like a mighty blast
I’m never going back, the past is in the past

Let it go Let it go
when a rise like a break of dawn,
Let it go Let it go
that perfect girl is gone
Here I stand in the light of day
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me any way.

This the song Let it go from the movie Frozen and the words of it have helped me through this whole situation with my mother. I have been that good little girl who never complained about anything because if you did, you were hurt. So I have lived my life trying to be a good girl so my mom would approve of me. i have spent 61 years being that good girl and I am done doing that. As time has gone on now without any contact with my mother , I am feeling much more calm and free. I didn’t know that I was not planning or living my life with my husband and family because everytime I did, my mother would call and need something and as the good little girl I ran to help. It was expected of me and so I did. I can’t begin to explain why I let that happen except that I guess I was conditioned because if I didn’t do what I was told, I was hurt. This song helped me see that I didn’t have to be that little girl anymore and that I could declare myself free. That day when I told my mother she would never abuse me again was my statement of freedom and I honestly can say let the storm rage on because I had the strength to do it. I am no ones slave and I will not be ever again. It is someone elses turn. Surprisingly I love my mother and wish her no ill will but I will never do her bidding again. Let her live her life and hopefully on the other side she will see how wrong she was. In this life she doesn’t see it. It has been a rocky road and I know I still have more to go through but I am free to do as I wish and I intend to plan a life with my wonderful husband and enjoy it.


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Today is a sad day for me. I am sad for the years that were lost trying to make am impression on my mother. Trying to get her to realize I wasn’t the bad person she always told me I was. Sad because despite everything, I love her and miss her. I miss the routine even though it was killing me. Sad because I don’t know who to talk to about all these churning emotions. Sad because I feel like I want to cry all the time. I have been going to a painting class and talking to my friend about the feelings and it does help. She tells me I can never go back to having my mother in my life and that I will feel like crying (and I need to cry at those times she says), I will feel like screaming and have times of quiet and a need to look inside and see the real Karen. I will have times of feeling fine. I have had many years of abuse to work through. Some people may not believe what I have endured but I know and my mother knows. I know it is time to move forward and go on and live a happy life but there will still be moments of sadness and anger and even understanding before I get to true happiness. I have a wonderful life with a great husband and children and I am very aware that I must work through all this in order to keep this great life. I needed to stop the source of abuse and stress and now I need to work through the emotions that have built up over the years, the sense of unworthiness, and the sense that if the person that is supposed to love you (your own mother) doesn’t, how do you love yourself or except that other people love you and also the feeling of always being wrong. These are hard emotions to get through and no matter how many times you are told that you are loved or needed, in your mind is a little voice that says they can’t really feel that because the lesson you learned as a child was that you are unlovable. I have come far over the years to stop this little voice and except love from my husband and children and a few close friends but when your mother continues to make you feel bad day after day, it wears you down because you are always battling the little voice for your sanity. So today I feel sad for all those days of struggle and I feel sad because I miss my mother and it hurts to not see her or talk to her. Maybe someday if she lives long enough, we will come back together. Only God knows what the future holds and I stand here feeling the emotions and keeping God close as I stand and stay quiet to her.


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moving on

As time goes on I am finding that life throws things at you but for the first time in my life I am feeling excited about life. The stress seems to be letting up some. It has always been that everyone depended on me no matter how I felt. Karen was the dependable one. I could try to plan things but it felt like every time I did, someone needed something from me. Now I can continue to go over and over all the things I feel but how is that helping me. I love my mother no matter what happened or what she asked of me, I will always know that she did the best she could with what she had available to her. I miss her and I know she gave me good lessons in her own way. I don’t like how she did it but I learned good things from her. Manners and loyalty. Many other things as well. So now I have to decide if the way she treated me is going to negate the life I have left. Leaving the source of abuse is a good thing. At first I couldn’t say that. I was devastated and thought I would never feel good again. Now time has passed and I see some light. The source of stress has let up and I can breathe again. I can see that the possibilities are open to me. I wonder if this is what people feel after they lose a loved one that they helped take care of. I still have guilt because I really wish I could be available for my mother and aunt. I really wish I could be the best daughter and just suck it up and help. I can’t… I am used up and I can’t. So now as I move forward I need to temper my guilt because to do what I wish would lead me to a more total burnout. So I have started to look forward and not back. What will I be when I grow up. What kind of trouble can I get myself in to. Will I begin to smile again?? Will I find the Joy that Heavenly Father has told me to find for myself. I am new at all this but today I feel like maybe I can do this.


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As time goes on I am finding that life throws things at you but for the first time in my life I am feeling excited about life. The stress seems to be letting up some. It has always been that everyone depended on me no matter how I felt. Karen was the dependable one. I could try to plan things but it felt like every time I did, someone needed something from me. Now I can continue to go over and over all the things I feel but how is that helping me. I love my mother no matter what happened or what she asked of me, I will always know that she did the best she could with what she had available to her. I miss her and I know she gave me good lessons in her own way. I don’t like how she did it but I learned good things from her. Manners and loyalty. Many other things as well. So now I have to decide if the way she treated me is going to negate the life I have left. Leaving the source of abuse is a good thing. At first I couldn’t say that. I was devastated and thought I would never feel good again. Now time has passed and I see some light. The source of stress has let up and I can breathe again. I can see that the possibilities are open to me. I wonder if this is what people feel after they lose a loved one that they helped take care of. I still have guilt because I really wish I could be available for my mother and aunt. I really wish I could be the best daughter and just suck it up and help. I can’t… I am used up and I can’t. So now as I move forward I need to temper my guilt because to do what I wish would lead me to a more total burnout. So I have started to look forward and not back. What will I be when I grow up. What kind of trouble can I get myself in to. Will I begin to smile again?? Will I find the Joy that Heavenly Father has told me to find for myself. I am new at all this but today I feel like maybe I can do this


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I recently read this— “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey-They don’t need to.  It’s not for them.”  I don’t know the author but I appreciate the thought.  It IS difficult to understand anyone else’s journey when in your head you are living your own.  Tonight in my head I am in my sister’s house wondering how things are without me.  I have been the one who has gotten my mother where she needed to go medically all these years.  I have been her advocate in all the surgeries and hospitalizations and between my husband, daughter, nephew and 1 brother, we have taken her to every doctor’s appointments or groceries or the many other things she might need. Taking care of her medicine and making sure her prescriptions were filled on time.  These things are still in my brain and continue to roll around in there because in the human part of me, how will she survive without me.  I know she will be fine because if it kills her she will prove that she is.  Maybe this will make her so angry, she will get up and really take care of herself.  These are the thoughts in my head.

The fight that mom and I had was a really bad one.  I don’t understand the dynamics of the mind or why it was this time and this place that little Karen came out but thinking back I think I know now.  My mother moved to my sister’s house in September 2013 and up to that point I had thought I had thought I had put little Karen in a place where we were all happy.  I would find out that she was just biding her time.  She just buried enough to have me think she was settled and okay.  When mom moved, she went into a house that had with her dog, 4 dogs and 3 birds.  She started to yell at them.  The same yell I remember hearing as a kid.  I tried to ignore it.  I tried to get her to stop by saying things like, you are abusing these animals by yelling at them.  My daughter asked her to stop but all she said is this is the way she is and can’t change.  I would go and do her medicine and cringe every time she yelled.  I got to the point where my family would come with me to entertain her so she would put the dogs downstairs out of her way.  Over time it just got to be too much and one day my daughter went to pick her up for an appointment. When my daughter tried to put the dogs downstairs because she had a migraine headache and knew grandma was going to yell again,  grandma yelled in her ear and my daughter turned around and said “I’ve got it grandma”.  Well grandma started yelling about how ungrateful she was and disrespectful to her.  My daughter turned around and said “I am done” and left.  My husband who was outside shoveling snow to make sure that they could get out of the driveway heard yelling over everything including the dogs. Her yell was piecing. He saw my daughter come out in tears and sit down in the driveway.  When he went into the house to find out what happened my mother started yelling at him about how disrespectful his daughter was to her.  So my wonderful husband who has bent over backwards for her said “find your own way to the doctors from now on “and also left. When I heard about this, I didn’t know what to think about any of this.  I remember thinking that this is between all of them and it had nothing to do with me.  I believe this was the beginning of little Karen coming to the surface.  I tried so hard to let it be between my daughter, husband and mother but this fight was inevitable.  The derailing had already started and I was unaware of the extent.  When I went to her house to do her medicine a few days later, it was apparent that she was ready for me.   Me I was still thinking it wasn’t my problem, that it could still be worked out…  I could tell by her face that this wasn’t going to go well.  I tried so hard to keep it simple and it just went from bad to worse.  The details aren’t important anymore.  The things that were said can’t be taken back.  All these years of convincing myself that everything was fine and I could deal with her went up in smoke pretty quickly.  Even after this happened I tried to tell myself it was still okay.  But it wasn’t.


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My Journey to Stand 2

As I continue to go through this journey I hope to work through the feelings I am left with and eventually I can be just me and share with you the projects I work on each day.  I am retired now and have my days free to choose what I want or need to do.  I am a painter and I work in a Family History Center.  I work on family emergency preparedness and I also am starting a journey through the scriptures.  I know a little of all the scriptures but I want to journey to see why I feel so strongly that Heavenly Father’s plan in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is so true.  It stabilizes me in this journey with my mother.  Today I am feeling stronger.  Yesterday not so much.  Last night I was on facebook and I was reading something that was family related and the thought popped into my head, “What if I never see her again?”  It literally took my breath away because I am afraid of that. She is 81 years old and it could happen.  So I sat here with this feeling of my having done something wrong again and feeling like I was going to cry because it hurts to not see her or talk to her.  It hurts to know that part of me is missing.  As I sat there I wondered if anyone had ever been in my position and was feeling that.  At that moment my cousin who has lived this journey with me sent me a text message.  She asked me how I was and this is what I wrote..”  I have been doing really well up to today.  Today I am a little sad and anxious because again the thought is one of-“will I ever see her again.”  I have had my moments over the last few weeks but feeling relieved that I don’t have to figure out all the problems for them. (my  aunt also needs help and lives with my mother and sister)Aunt ____  was fine with whatever you could do but my mother not so much. It feels like I can’t talk to anyone here (my immediate famliy) because they have moved on.  I know it is probably not true but it feels that way.  I am not a fan of waiting.  So even though I know it’s for the best, I just want to move forward and find out how it ends.  Maybe I am not ready.  I dreamt the other night that mom called and apologized and I listened and then said, thank you and I appreciate it but I will call you when I am ready to accept it.  It felt good to hang up.  So I am moving forward and know it is MY choice not hers.”  Her answer (my cousin”s) to me was  ”Good,  it isn’t ever going to be easy.  You know that in your brain but your heart is softer.  Just keep going on and stay strong.  She has already done enough damage.  You can make a life full without pain and drama of them.  Keep Happy.  Love you.”   My answer to her was “ I feel so much better not being around them. I am so exhausted when I come home from there.  I didn’t realize how toxic she is to me.  I am smiling more so it must be good.”

I wrote this out because as part of this journey it is important to me to build a support system and my cousin understands the pain and broken bones I have endured.  She has been with me in the times I thought I was going to lose my mind.  She has helped pick up the pieces during breakdowns and she has held me in bed when I thought I would never again be able to function in this world.  It is validating when someone says yes that your memories are real.

I know this journey will never fully be over because people have different ideas of how they want life to be.  My mother’s life journey is hers to live but boy she has made my life journey so hard sometimes.  She has told me I have made her life hard as well so we are 2 people whose lives have intersected and exploded recently.


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My Journey to Stand

 

My Journey to stand has been a long and painful one. Now that I have arrived to this point I know it was a learning journey.  It was a journey of intense learning.  I am writing about my journey because I feel that many people do not know that life is a journey.  I am a Morman and my belief in Heavenly Father’s plan has helped me know about our journey down here on earth. My journey to Stand starts in 1952 when I was born in a family of what will eventually be 4 birth children and a foster daughter.  It begins with a young woman who at the age of 17 marries her handsome man.  She comes from a family that contains 6 live children and one born dead.  She being the baby, was well loved by her brothers and sisters.  The only bad thing in her life was a father who drank badly and caused much damage in her life journey.  It possibly caused mental issues for her.  When she married, it was a time in the world where women were still expected to stay in the home and raise kids whether you wanted to or not.  So it opened my life journey with a mother who had 3 kids in 2 years with no one to help.  Add being sick from the moment you are pregnant to the time of delivery and you add more stress to the journey of all of them.  Being sick for 2 solid years had to be such a challenge on top of having 3 babies to take care of.  So my journey starts out with many pitfalls.

I grew up knowing I wasn’t wanted or loved.  I grew up feeling pain from a very young age.  I never knew it wasn’t normal to feel pain or have bruises.  So I grew up with just a feeling of being unwanted.  Being told that as well.  I am now 61 years old and have just now learned that no matter what I do now or could have done then, I would never have my mother’s love, respect or best interest at heart.  Her journey has brought her to this place of old age and bitterness.  The reason I am writing about my journey to stand is because of a split I have finally made with my mother.  It is a painful decision and I am living it right now and I want to be able to talk about the feelings I have not talking to her.  She has been in my life in some capacity for every day of my life whether it be physical or in my thoughts.  I have held on tight to her because I now know that abused children need their abusers approval. I have tried my whole life to get her approval and to no avail.  We have danced this dance for so long it seems so strange not to have this partner with me.

I have spent so much time trying to win her over that for the first time in my life I am free with time on my hands.  I have spent the last 23 years since my dad died trying to help my mother in whatever way I could.  This journey has led up to this moment when I sit here trying to put my thoughts down here.  How could I have wasted so much time waiting for her to say yes you did it right.  How could I have allowed her to dictate the terms of our relationship.  To learn to take a stand and mean what I say took an explosion that I still can’t quite grasp.  It took me and little Karen all these years to finally be brave enough to say enough, to say no I am no longer taking your abuse.  My mother’s answer was that she wanted nothing to do with me.  So my stand is that she will have nothing to do with me.  My stand is that I will listen to the small voice inside me (The Holy Ghost) that says I need to be quiet and stand.  My stand is knowing that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are with me standing and realizing that it is my choice now whether I have my mother back in my life again.  NOT HERS