My counselor explained it to me this way, “You’re experiencing life right now as you would swimming in a turbulent ocean. You’re being thrashed this way and that, forced in a direction you’re not sure is towards the depths or the surface. Your body is tumbling and your bearings are lost. You might catch the sun’s rays and feel like you have some small sense of which way to go…only to be hit face on by yet another wave. Every time you feel you have a grasp on life, you find that again…you don’t”
I haven’t blogged in months. And a big reason is just that. I’m not sure what I have a grasp on. If anything at all.
But regardless of my bearings …. one thing feels constant. And that is a need to share. To connect and grow with you. I have hesitated voicing my life situation because it is personal. And it is my husband’s life, and my children’s lives. Not just mine.
But I will do my best to leave out the details that have no place here…and only allow room for connection and love.
Many of my friends, all of my family, and probably none of you- know that I am separated.
There it is guys. The big dirty word. The label. The failure.
It’s amazing given the statistics of our population that go through marital separation or divorce- they’re STAGGERING. Yet, in my life… I feel so removed. SO alone. And so humiliated. Especially in the culture of the LDS faith, and with a temple marriage…there is an expectation that I have given to myself, and have been floundering to accept that I have not measured up.
Six months ago my family planned to move from the San Francisco Bay area to San Diego. Change in my husband’s employment and housing pushed us to pack our boxes and uproot life as we knew it. Unfortunately (or by God’s tender mercy) everything that seemed wrong in our marriage hit a climax at that exact time…and with trucks already loaded…we changed course to come home to Utah. To be by family, gain support, and figure out some long hidden demons.
That is what brought me here to this home in Utah. A place I never expected to return to.
I have spent these last six months in a fog, in a sea of tears, and in a rotating cycle of grief, denial, anger, and despair. YET, I continue to seek for learning. (I am not perfect at this.) I continue to spend countless hours on my knees begging for direction. Trying to visit the temple often, think of others instead of myself, and above all TRUST God more than myself. (I am more often than not…pretty terrible at these things.)
Some days I am stronger than others. Some weeks are darker than others. Often times I feel the weight of my little world and three precious innocent daughters depending on me. I find it crushing my soul to a point I don’t think I can continue on.
I have been a terrible friend to those I hold so dear in my life. People I left behind in California who I KNOW have my name on their lips with each prayer they give. To friends here who have reached out time and time again since I moved back…that I have pushed away without so much as an explanation.
Social media is a place where women struggle with comparison and envy. I used to think that meant coveting other’s waistline’s or wardrobes. I now know it can mean so much more. I can hardly sift through my feed without feeling resentment for every family I see that is whole. That “appears” to be healthy and united.
That is a dark emotion that I want lifted.
No part of me wants others to suffer the brokenness that I have felt. The loss of human connection and safety that comes from knowing you’re half of the bigger picture. That you have a teammate to hold you both physically and emotionally. A partner to laugh with at your children, or weep with during trials.
We’ve had birthdays. holidays, anniversaries, and vacations. Learning how to navigate these uncharted waters of doing things separately. Of our daughters using the verbiage “mom’s house/ dad’s house” And now those terms are becoming commonplace on my girls tongues, and my daughters are melting right into the statistic. Fading into the masses of all the other children who balance the consequences of their “adult” parents poor choices.
I never wanted to be that.
I grew up in a broken home.
I promised to never create the same for my children.
I served a mission.
so did he.
We went to BYU.
We were married in the temple.
Didn’t we check off all the “right” boxes?
How did we get here?!
I open up today not for pity. Not for judgment. But for understanding.
And to stop the stigma of feeling ashamed. I do not need to feel like a failure. To feel embarrassed or to feel less than. In fact..I have never done anything I am more proud of. Or accomplished an act that took more courage and bravery. I stand here with my head held high.
I want to be understood. And I want you to feel understood also. Anyone who is in similar shoes, knows someone in similar shoes, or wants to avoid ever being in these shoes.
There is no foolproof road map to find happiness. There is no way to control the actions and choices of others. There is no vaccine to provide immunity from the pains of this mortal world. You cannot know what life will give you.
BUT there IS a foolproof road map to find JOY, and there is One willing to take the pains of this mortal world. And He who does know all will guide you along as this life gives you what it will.
I’m not sure what will happen from here. My life is truly a sea of waves, and each time I finally feel an answer…I’m catapulted back into a mess of confusion.
But for now, I leave you with this…
Whatever faith you may be part of. Whatever stage in life you find yourself. Whatever hardship you cling to with tears in your eyes when you lay down each night. KNOW this… YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I AM NOT ALONE. YOU ARE ENOUGH. I AM ENOUGH. “I AM ENOUGH”!!! And I will shout that till I mean it, and I will cling to it till I trust it. And I will Believe it because I believe Him. I believe our Father in Heaven who knows I AM ENOUGH.
This will not break me.
Because I am of divine worth. I am the daughter of a King. And my heritage demands that I find that Love for myself. And that I trust it, until i KNOW It.