Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Keeping it real . . .


This is a photograph of my oldest son and daughter, Anthony and Eileen. I think Anthony was about four here and Eileen almost two. I look at this and my heart melts and tears come to my eyes.  I love all my children so very, very much. Poor Anthony with his bowl haircut. I didn't have money to take him to a Barber, so I used to cut his hair myself.  Same with Eileen.  We were as poor as church mice . . . .

Eileen is developmentally disabled, but has achieved far more in her life than I could ever have hoped her to.  When they first told us she had developmental problems,  I had no idea how this would impact her life in the long term. You always fear the worst scenario, but with strength and determination, she has forged a life in this world that is remarkable and she has done remarkable things. I am so proud of her. We talk every day on the Messenger.  Every day.  I am so grateful that she takes this time for me and that we are so close.  It means the world to me that she makes the effort. I know she doesn't have a family to care for, or full time work, so it is perhaps easier for her to do so than the others, but I am really pleased that she wants to talk to me and to share with me.

Yesterday when we were talking, her MIL came into Tim Hortons where she was.  Before I knew it I could tell Eileen was upset.  Eileen had said to her MIL that she was talking to me and her MIL had said to her . . . "Don't listen to the Mormon stuff."   Like she was warning her about me, suggesting that I would say or do something to harm my daughter, to make her uncomfortable, to cause a disruption in her life.

People have been warning my children against me for about 18 years now, and I can tell you this . . . it hurts as much now as it did at the beginning.  My crime?  Daring to worship God according to the dictates of my heart and my conscience.  Over these years I have been told things like  . . . "You can go to hell if you want to, but you are not taking my children with you."  (As if they were not my children also.)  "The children are none of your business."  (???)   When my oldest daughter was getting married, someone dictated a letter to her to send to me, warning me that I was not to cause any problems at the wedding, that the only people who were allowed to help her get ready were the Step Mother, her sister and her step sister. (I almost did not go to the wedding at all because of that one.  I felt that there would be too much stress put on my daughter and I didn't want that to happen.  I did let myself finally be talked into going, but I was manipulated out of the wedding photos, treated like I didn't belong, etc.)  These are only a few things in a huge list of things over these past years that have happened, been said, broken my heart and that I feel are wrong on every level.  As a result, I have two children who have nothing to do with me at all.  And I would like to say that that is okay, or that I am reconciled to that, but that would be lying. It will never be okay.  At best I have learned to live with it.

My four older children were all adults when their father and I split up, although two of them were still living at home.  My youngest son was 12. Out of all the children, the divorce probably had the largest impact on him. It was all very complicated . . . divorce always is.  I won't go into the why's and wherefore's. They don't really matter. It happened and everyone got hurt. My own parents got divorced when I was 34 and it was a really difficult time for my brother, sister and I as well. I don't think it matters how old you are if your parents split up, it just hurts, and that's not the way things are supposed to be.  We all got through it though, and my parents are the best of friends today. My brother, sister and I love them both dearly, and have a good relationship with each of them.  My parents are the "Poster Children" for good divorce.  I cannot speak for my siblings, but I know that I never felt that I had to have divided loyalties, or that I should love one parent more than the other.  They were my mom and my dad, end of, and that is the way it should always be.

I do not understand and cannot comprehend
the need for divorced and divorcing
people to vilify one parent
or ostracise 
anyone
...


I was a good mother. I was always there for my children, and I was often the only one who was there for them. This is a fact. My ex-husband was in the Military and his career was very important to him, so much so that it came first. You don't get to be a Chief Warrant Officer without putting your career very high on the totem pole of things that matter in your life. He was away A LOT.  He was away more than he was home. He volunteered for everything and was sent to do everything. He never said no to anything work related. I supported him in all his endeavors and I kept a good home. I went along with everything he wanted to do, to accomplish, etc.  I loved my family dearly and I took good care of them and of the home when he was away. I was mom and dad and everything during those times. I have always loved my children and I always put them and our home first, and then PTSD happened and things went all pear shaped. It was very, very complicated.  Things got really bad for about a year . . .  a year that he spent in trying to stay away from me and our home as much as he could.  Things broke. We broke.  Everything came tumbling down. We split up.  I left the family home, and the family, because I mistakingly believed that I was doing the best thing for them.  I didn't want them to lose their home or for anything to dramatically change for them. I thought that by me moving out the only thing that would change for them would be that I would be living a little bit further down the road.  I did not know I had alternatives, or other choices. To put it kindly, we were all manipulated into doing things we otherwise might not have done were we in our right minds.

And ever since I have been fighting 
to prove that I am a good person
and that I love my 
children
...

The truth is (and I learned this the hard way) that you can be a good person and do all the right things for all of your life, but if you make one mistake, that is what you will be remembered for, and vilified for . . . for the remainder of your life. This is enough to make people who are supposed to have loved you, turn against you. Forever. 


I have never said anything against their father to the children. This didn't mean that he didn't or hadn't made mistakes or done anything wrong. It only meant that it wasn't anything to do with them.  I have always maintained that all my children ever needed to know was that they had two parents who loved them dearly. End of story.  

I am a Mormon, 
that doesn't make me a bad person.
I live my faith every day of my life.
I will not apologise for
that.
...
Nor, should I have to.

I love my children, all of them. I would never do anything to harm them. I respect their right to believe or not to believe.  To worship God according to what they choose to believe, or not to worship God. It is their choice and up to them what they do, and I would never try to influence them either way.  If they believe at all, it is because I brought them up prayerfully. Took them to church and Sunday school, tried to teach them as children to love God and Jesus Christ.  They are adults now. It is their choice.  Believing, not believing, however they want to believe . . . it has always been their choice.

I hate that I am vilified to them because of my life choices, or that anyone, ANYONE . . .  tries to demean me, or my beliefs to them, or to use my status as a Latter Day Saint to somehow make me worth LESS in their eyes.

I am their mother.  I gave them life.
I cared for them when 
they were small
and
I care for them now.
I will always care for them
and have their best interests at heart.

To suggest anything different is just  . . .  wrong.  And it breaks my heart.

Thanks for listening.  I try always to keep it real on here.  I am sad today, but I will get over this as I get over everything.  To some this might seem a small insignificant thing . . . but to me it is another arrow driven in an already deeply wounded relationship, and it hurts.  My daughter stands up for me and that makes me happy . . .  but like the good Shepherd who always worries about and mourns the sheep that have strayed away from the fold, I am a  mother who will always mourn the children who have shut their hearts to me . . . I cannot help it . . .  but I will not  spend the rest of my life apologising for who I am and for what I have chosen to believe.  Or being made to feel like I am a bad person, or less of a human being simply because I choose to walk a different path.


In The English Kitchen today  . . . Garden Tomb Cookies.


Have a lovely Wednesday.  Don't forget  . . .


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And I do too.


15 comments:

Tracy said...

Oh, Marie... I know how much this has hurt your heart for many, many years--too man years. I pray that you will have a stronger relationship with ALL your children some day. You seems to have pretty strong relationships with Anthony and Eileen though, and that is a blessing. You are, and have been, the best mother you could be. God comes first. A lot of people don't understand that. And they don't understand it especially when they don't really "get" what your religion is about. Or that FAITH is the courage to want what God wants for us... and that is to love and follow Him. I'm so sorry you are sad today...and that there may be other sad days like this one. Be strong in your heart, in your faith, in Him, and all will be possible. :) And Thumper is right, if we don't have nuffin' nice to say, we shouldn't say nuffin'! Nice gold rule kind of thing there for all of us to work with. ;) LOVE YOU LOTS, my friend ((BIG HUGS)) OXOXOX

Marie Rayner said...

Tracy, I am prepared for it to never happen on this side of the veil between life and death. I, quite rightly, trust in God and His plan for me and for my children. I just think that we all need to be kinder to each other. Life is tough, but we can get through it. It is my faith that helps me and carries me through all the tough times. Love you too! xoxo

Suze said...

Oh Marie my heart bleeds for you. I know of your hurts and they are are so deep. One day our sweet Lord will wipe your tears and hold you close. I pray that then you will reunite as you long to.

God bless you today.

I am so upset lately I am finding it difficult to find the kinder words that are necessary and helpful.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

So sorry that people are so prejudiced when it coms to religion. Everyone seems to think there way is the only way and that is not true. We need more unity I think when it comes to our faith. All Christians have the same basic beliefs and most don't know this. I'm not Morman but I am Christian. Praying one day your children will come to realize this. Divorce is always messy and mostly hurt the children. Life is just too short to hold a grudge.

Marie Rayner said...

I believe that God is kind, just, loving fair. Even this has a purpose, although at the moment I cannot see it Suzan. One day I will. We are all on a journey and there are many bumps along the way. It makes me very annoyed however when people who should know better say and do things like this. It is as they are saying that my daughter is not smart enough or discerning enough to make up her own mind about things, and that I don't love my daughter enough to have faith in her own abilities to make right choices. I have never tried to influence her one way or the other. This is just hurtful to her and to me. And quite disrespectful I believe. It will probably never change, but being able to talk about it helps sometimes. God bless you. xoxo

You are right Pam, it is the children who lose the most in these types of situations. People can be so very narrow minded and judgemental when it comes to religion. I don't think our Heavenly Father cares how we come so long as we come. End of story. I like to think of us as all being on a bus, heading towards the same destination. We are just choosing to sit on different seats! I hate the pettiness of people when it comes to things like this. God has children. End of story. You are right, life is far too short to hold or bear a grudge. xoxo

Marie Rayner said...

PS - I can be a bit of a bear when someone hurts my child! Can't we all! ♥♥♥

La Table De Nana said...

Thinking of you Marie:(

x

Marie Rayner said...

I hate that my daughter has to be hurt by the small mindedness of others Monique. I have broad shoulders, but she is tender. It's not right! xoxo

La Table De Nana said...

What that MIL did is of the poorest cruelest taste possible:(
I still can't believe it.

Marie Rayner said...

I would have to agree with you there Monique. I felt very bad for my daughter. Xo

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Ah Marie! My heart breaks for you. I too have issues with my family but not around my faith. My issues are more around the open way I try to live my life, confronting concerns before they become problems, talking things through. In NS, my children and my friends were used to this way of life, and we had close relationships because we worked through issues. However, my family here in NL do not appreciate it; they would prefer that you ignore your feelings and wait for the "clouds to pass" so to speak. Anyway, there's always at least one member of my family who currently hates me. Right now, it's 2 ... which is better than the 3 that it was 2 weeks ago.

Remember that old song: "We always hurt, the ones we love". Thank goodness God gives us the capacity to forgive and to accept and to love and then bathes us in His love so we can attempt to heal. Blessings to you today.

Marie Rayner said...

Family are just family Sandy, complicated and beautiful and what would we do without them! I love each one dearly, and without conditions. I do remember that song, and it is really quite true, but when you think about it, it is really only the people you love that have the power to hurt you. The rest simply don't matter all that much in the same way. I am so very grateful for the Saviour and His example and His strength in my life. xoxo PS - I am waiting to hear from you re the mail exchange!

J said...

Oh Marie! My heart hurts deeply for u! All I can do is give u a big vertual hug bc I live too far away from u! Nobody is perfect, everybody makes mistakes! Please don't beat yourself up for it! Just continue to be the great person u are! U have a cookbook that's going to be out soon! U have artwork that u have sold! U have 2 blogs that u keep up with daily! Ur a great cook and baker! U have accomplished alot more than other people have done in their lifetime! So many people regret what they haven't done in their life! U know that saying " should of, would of, could of" done this or that. There's always going to be someone that always wants what u have. They will try everything to make u miserable bc of their jealousy! Hugs and Prayers to u and ur Todd.

Noelle Earle said...

This makes my heart bleed. As a motherless daughter I can tell you that I would do anything to have my mother back, for just one hour. You are a wonderful, good woman and mother. You are also a woman of God. I am praying for a change of attitude and softening of hearts. Believe me Marie. You are loved. Xx

Marie Rayner said...

Thanks Jan! What a boost! What upset me more about this was that her MIL had upset my daughter. She felt that her MIL did not have enough faith in her ability to be discerning. The reality is that I come from the Bible Belt of Canada and it is very Evangelical and fundamentalist and they hate Mormons. They really do. And mostly that is because their Pastors teach them to. None have read the Book of Mormon (Too afraid to) or been to one of our services, or to truly investigate any of our beliefs for themselves. I know because I was once one of them! I think one of the Saviour's greatest lessons was forgiveness. They need to bone up on that one! haha Love you! xoxo

I am so sorry Noelle that this has hurt you on my behalf. ((((hugs)))) Your prayers mean so much to me. Love you! xoxo