Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dear Anonymous

A comment left here from my last post:

Anonymous said...

They should teach that being a mother is a blessing and that some people won't be able to procreate so if you are blessed with children, you should be grateful and not complain. I know a ton of women who would love to be in your shoes so next time you are listing off the "challenges" you face as a parent, you might want to count your blessings instead.


My first reaction to this comment was to hit delete. This is my blog and I have the freedom to say whatever I feel and think. The more I thought about the situation I realized Anonymous has the right to speak their mind. While the comment was uncalled for I do not know their situation and the struggles they may have gone through or are going through. After thinking hard and praying about this I have decided to respond the only way I know how, with honesty. I strive to be real in life and on this blog. I like to think "what you see is what you get," that is what I am trying to do here.



Dear Anonymous,

I am aware that children are a blessing, I have never claimed otherwise. No one ever told me I would be spending hours every week in the laundry room scrubbing out stains. I was not informed that waking up out of a dead sleep I would have SteveSongs running through my head instead of Green Day's latest hit. I wish someone had been more honest about the day to day happenings in the life of a mom. I wish someone would be that open with teenagers who are tempting fate. Had someone been this blunt with me I still would have had children, but I would have been a little more prepared.

I watched my parents lose four babies and have had dear friends suffer the same loss. I hurt with my friends who can not conceive. And I rejoice when after months or years of trying God blesses them with a miracle. Even those blessed with children are only human and do not have a smile all day. Parenthood is not all lollipops and roses.

Dealing with Postpartum Depression for the second time is no picnic. Every day I battle with myself over the thoughts and feelings I have. No one told me this was a possibility. I never imagined I would have to force myself to hold my baby. Having a third baby was not supposed to emotionally detach me from my other children. A new baby shouldn't pull me further away from my friends. I never dreamed having another child would bring loneliness.

There hasn't been a day in Monster's life that I haven't shed tears at least once. Daily I struggle with my ability as a wife, mother and friend. The strain this mental illness is putting on my relationships with my husband, children, family and friends weighs on my heart every day. Every morning I force myself to get out of bed because my husband and children need me. Each moment of doubt, loneliness, anger, sadness and fear I push forward because one day I will be better. This is a war I will win.

My friend Ruth from church posted about a series that just finished on Sunday mornings.
Our church recently did a series on Habakkuk. We talked about how we all experience "dips" in our lives in one way or another, where we encounter something that either causes us to take pause or sometimes even causes us to complete stop in our tracks of life. Habakkuk shows us how that even in those dips, God is wanting us to press in closer to Him (not just turning to Him during the good times). It's in those moments where we can really learn to trust Him. Of course, there's not always an easy answer to our situations. There won't always seem to be a way out. Sometimes it's something we have to continue to live with. God knows that. He understands that we don't always understand, that we ask why, that we even get upset with Him at times. And that's okay. Our Father loves us deeply, and wants to help us grow, just like us parents want for our children.

The last week of the series, we showed a video of some other people at Paradox who have gone through various dips in life. The stories share their dip, some of their heartache, and where they are at now. Some are past those moments, and some are still in the thick of it, trying their best to cling to Christ.


video

Making the decision to be a part of this video was a big step for me. Through the whole series I felt God whisper to me, "I will use your hurt, pain and healing to help others." I felt this was the first part of God using me to help others. I'm still waiting to see how this will help others. It was not easy to be that vulnerable in front of the whole church. It isn't easy being this open and honest on this blog, but I think this is one more step. One more step to helping someone and one more step toward my healing.

Every day I am reminded of God's blessings. He gives me strength to keep fighting and not give in to the lies. Anonymous, you may have been trying to remind me that my children are to be cherished, but maybe next time you will take a step back and think from the another's point of view.

Andi and Brad have been married since 2002. They have five squishers who keep them on their toes. She is a second generation home educator. In her spare time Andi creates and sells handmade goodies in her shop, Andi Gould Designs.

6 comments:

  1. Love you, Andi. I guess we never know what someone else is going through or has gone through. Sharing helps remind people of that. We all have hurts and struggles.

    The summer I graduated from college I was very depressed. My 19 cousin was in a car accident on that Memorial Day. It left him a quadrapelegic and barely hanging on to life. Someone ended a relationship with me. And all my college friends were gone. I didn't think I was depressed because I was a happy person, but all I could do was cry all the time. I felt disconnected from everyone and God.

    One Sunday night during "college night" I was asked to speak about what God was doing in my life. Because of course I would always have something wonderful to share. I didn't know how to say no. They also asked my sister to sing that night.

    She couldn't sing her song without crying and ended up just sitting back down. I got up there, intending to make up something good. But in the moment all I could say was: You know what, I'm having a really hard time right now. And so is my sister. And a lot of other people too. Maybe you could just pray for us. I felt like a complete idiot. Like we ruined the service. The pastor ended up changing his message because it was too awkward to move on. I really think that night was the beginning of the end of my funk.

    A few weeks later, I was up north with friends and hit my absolute lowest point. I had never felt so alone, in a house with friends who had no idea what to do with me. So they didn't. The second night we were there, my sister handed me an envelope, saying This came in the mail after you left yesterday. It was a letter from an aquaintance who had been in the service that Sunday. It said that, even if I couldn't pray, they were praying for me. In that moment, for the first time in months, I felt like God was there -- personally handing that note to me. Saying, don't worry, you feeling better doesn't depend on your strength. It felt like a relief and a felt a sense of hope. Somehow I knew that I was going to be okay.

    I don't know when exactly it happened, but a few months later I was ALIVE again. Mountaintop kind of alive. And it wasn't because of anything I did or decided. I just kept plugging along.

    Praying for you, Andi. God will be faithful to you. Thanks for exposing yourself and sharing.

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  2. Andi...We are also doing the Habbakuk series...Last night we learned that we must 1.remember what God has done 2.accept what God is doing and 3.trust what God WILL do. God uses real people, in a real world, with real struggles...thank you for being honest.

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  3. God WILL be faithful..that's the one consistant thing we can always trust. It's hard to be open and honest about feelings & share them. I think your doing your part, God will be faithful to do the rest.

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  4. So nicely put, so well organized, anonymous comments make me nuts and I think you did a wonderful job of explaining the other side!!

    Your faith in God: his vision, hopes, dreams, and future for you for all of us for that matter may seem blurry at times but I hold strong that faith will pull us through anything. Hang in there kiddo!!

    Love ya!!

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear that you are suffering from Post-Partum Depression. I have struggled with Depression in my life as well and it is such a struggle. Dealing with post-partum depression would be sooo hard and I'm glad you are working through it. As an on-again off again reader of your blog who just stumbled across it, until this post, it always seemed like you were a mom who "had it all together" and life was perfect. Not knowing you in "real life" though, who's to know? I did think parts of the "what should really be taught in sex ed" post were funny. Of course you are right that we are all human and won't always view children as a blessing every moment of every day...but reading the part about Mom being a four letter word when so many people I know struggle to have children, really sent a dagger through my mind. I thought it was a little too negative although I certainly knew you were trying to be funny in the entire post. Freedom of speech on both sides. Maybe your post was focusing more on the neg. aspects b/c you are struggling. Or maybe it was just pure humor from your perspective. Either way, I commend you for being honest in your life, church and on your blog and I hope and pray God delivers you from the depression soon. Like your other readers said, we all struggle and sharing our struggles helps us get through them and helps others not feel so alone. "Anonymous"

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  6. I just found your blog this morning. Your last post about what should really be taught made me laugh! The anonymous comment did not.

    My children are definitely a blessing---no doubt about it. I've suffered a miscarriage. My mom suffered a stillborn delivery. I truly understand how lucky I am to have my 3 boys.

    But... No one ever told me I'd wind up on a first name basis with the window repairman. No one ever told me I'd be kicked out of tours on vacations. No one ever told me boys will tear holes in the knees of their jeans at least once a week. And no one ever told me I'd lock myself in my bedroom for just 2 minutes of peace some days.

    Does that make my children less of a blessing? Nope. But it sure does give me a reason for coffee in the morning and long, hot, relaxing baths once they're all asleep at night!

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~Andi