Sunday, July 26, 2009

Life Support System

I have to first say, I have the best friends a girl could ever ask for. They are not all pictured here, but these ladies have been my life raft. I love you girls and the incredible fellowship we are able to share every week. You bless me more than you could ever know.

During the time that my marriage was falling apart, I had some high notes and some low notes. Most of the time, it was the latter. I had a really hard time adjusting to my new life with twins, let alone my new life as a single mother of three children. It caused some serious re-organization, not to mention some pretty desperate moments of paralyzing fear. This process took nearly two years to complete, so it was a long ride to the bottom.

Some people in my life understood my hurt. Others didn't.

I learned that when we are going through difficult times, we need to have a secure and loving "life support" system in place. Life has some dark moments, and heaven help the person who has to go through those valleys alone. Thankfully, God had people in my life that I could count on, even if not those I would have expected to be there for me.

I moved back to my hometown when I was eight months pregnant with my twins. It was the worst and most painful decision I ever had to make. I never knew that I would be *that girl*. I had been proud of my achievements in my life, comfortable, happy and full of joy - even when life dished out it's worst. But, that all changed when I left. I melted.

I got back "home" and felt out of place. It was as if I was floating on a movie set that looked familiar, but it lacked a sense of permanence. My life as a former Army spouse was anything but, and we moved around from place to place at Uncle Sam's whims. I don't think I even realized I was here to stay until a year after the move. It didn't sink in until the divorce papers were finalized. And, it took another half year to fully realize that I was divorced. In-between the beginning and the end, I was searching for myself while trying to raise my newborn twins and my toddler son with only child syndrome. I lived with my parents for four months, and after that, in my former sister in law's parent's basement. I was just grateful for a place for me and my children to be that was rent free, even though the relationship would be potentially strained from all that was going on in my life. Thankfully, they were very gracious even with my children screaming from time to time, and with me crying most of the time.

I let myself be emotionally used and abused during this time more than I ever have before. The reason for this is because I was so uncertain of every aspect of who I was, what I had done, reasons why I was alone and what I should do. My mind was like a whirling vortex of questions and what if's. I really hated where I was at, and that was the only thing I was sure about. I reached out to people who I thought were closest to me, only to be disappointed every time. I needed so much, but no one could fill the gaping hole that was my heart. All they could do was shovel, and it would never fill up.

For the times I wanted to get out and relax, I'd go out with my friends. Unfortunately, because of how I was feeling, it was hard for them to be around me. No one likes a Debbie Downer, but that was the only way I could heal - to get out and have time to re-charge. There were friends I thought were true blue, but instead of being there, they were critical. Unfortunately, I fed off of this, because I was already hyper-critical of myself... and it was at least pushing me into a direction. A downward spiral. I was teetering on the edge of sanity anyway, and I was either going to be pulled up or pushed off. Guess what these so-called friends did?

Friendship isn't about having people who do exactly as you would or to tell others how to live, it is simply to be a part of another person's journey. God calls us to love one another. The passage on love in Romans is one of my favorites:

"Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited." Romans 12:14-16

Throughout this passage, God explains how we are to love one another. It isn't simply the feeling of affection, but our actions that matter the most. I am now able to pick and choose my relationships with no regrets based on this blueprint of how we should treat each other. When I notice a recurring pattern with these relationships that is causing me undue heartache, I have learned to simply and graciously walk away, to preserve peace for myself and for the other person. The only person you can change is yourself. People are naturally who they are, and if they aren't that way when you are around, they will be even more like their true self when you're not.

For those of you who have never experienced tragedy, know that when a friend is in their worst state, just BE THERE. Listen... don't give advice unless asked or life, limb or eyesight is at risk. Simply let them be whatever brand of crazy they are at the moment. Emotions do strange things to the human mind. Eventually, when whatever whacked out hormones (especially if they're pregnant or a sleep-deprived new mother! lol) stop making them do the insane things they are doing, things will become more clear and they will thank you for being their shoulder to cry on... and eventually they will do the same for you. Life was never promised to be fair, or perfect or even pleasant, only eventful. The surest thing is that we will experience heartache at some point in time.

When you're re-built from the bottom up, you have a lot less tolerance for foolishness, because you know how much hard work it takes to successfully get through a day, and how much energy it wastes to be negative. Now that some significant time has passed since the divorce, I am truly happy again. I have learned to form clear boundaries with friends, and to remember to love them no matter what choices they make. After all, you never know when you'll need them as much as they needed you.


  1. Ok now your finished being a sappy twat go have some FB time ;) yeah yeah you know you love me!LOL!!

  2. the same things have happened to me this year. I'm sorry you had to go thru that! but, you'll be better off in the long run not having the stress of a friend who treats you wrong.

  3. How true! Wow I am SO glad and THANKFUL that I have you as a friend, and I feel PROUD to call you one of my 3 very bestest closest friends in the whole wiiiiiide worrrrrrld! I love you bunches and I am so proud of you for everything you've overcome, and I look to you for inspiration since I am so far behind you on my journey. You give me hope that I can get there as well. Huggggs!!!!!!!!!!

  4. AnonymousJuly 29, 2009

    Not everyone understands that each person has to heal at their own pace. I'm glad to see you stand up for yourself and make sure that you take your time with it all.

  5. Hopefully I fall into the friend category... I certainly consider you a dear friend! You really have been through the depths of hell and come back to tell about it. You're awesome and I am amazed as I sit back and watch you acomplish your life's dreams. XOXO ~Kelli

  6. Kelli - you absolutely are. I am so blessed by you still. You had the courage to tell me the truth at your own peril, and stood up for me when few others in my life were at the time. I treasure your friendship... and am equally proud of you! <3