Tuesday, February 7, 2012Gratitude List
Today, I woke up feeling shame that I always dread Easter. This year that dread seems to be at a higher level than usual. It will be fourteen years since my father’s suicide, the Friday after Easter, and I still feel weighted down. And even that feels shameful.
I don’t talk much to my church friends or pastor about the reason I tend to disappear during Easter. In a nutshell, I’ve got Daddy, Jesus, and death rolled up in a pretty tightly knitted ball. I feel pain, so I retreat.
This morning I thought maybe a gratitude list of what is going on in my life right now might help me out of my funk. Here it is:
· I am grateful that my Higher Power loves me and allows me moments of doubt as well as moments of clarity.
· I am grateful for my marriage.
· I am grateful that my mother is still alive and seems to be doing so well.
· I am grateful for my decision to write even though I struggle for ideas and scenes.
· I am grateful for the Spring season coming. I saw buttercups sprouting this morning.
· I am grateful for my Codependence Anonymous support groups that I attend on a regular basis.
· I am grateful for the friendship of my dog.
· I am grateful for grocery stores.
· I am grateful for new friendships.
· I am grateful for the realization that I grieve today.
I still don't go to church because of it -- and Christmas we don't listen to music because it's so hard. This year, we put a few Burl Ives tunes on the week beforehand but that was all I could tolerate.
Slowly but surely. We've been looking into maybe changing denominations so I don't have to face this music, so to speak.
Take care -- your list sounds GREAT!!
I guess I could add mine?
1. Grateful for family that is here, healthy and loving
2. Grateful for my little dog
3. Grateful for grocery stores, too!!
I really like what you said about your Higher Power allowing you moments of doubt. Sometimes it's hard for me to be grateful for seemingly negative things that are actually part of growth.
Love and hugs, Marigold
I appreciated your comment so much. My pastor has had a habit of making jokes about something he doesn't like and then putting a pretend gun to his head. I've endured that for years, keeping quiet because I knew I'd just end up in tears if I told him how much it hurts to watch what he and other's think is funny.
Several years ago, he had a sermon on suicide; I think that was about the time Kevorkian was in the news about getting out of prison. I can't even remember what he said about all that because I had a flashback and felt stuck in the pew. I went to him and asked him to please let me know when he was going to have a sermon like that again and told him about my father.
So he knew about my dad's suicide; he was just terribly thoughtless in trying to be funny for the sake of being funny, I guess. This year I've been working my way through the 12 steps in Codependants Anonyomous. And realized what an injustice I've done myself in keeping quiet. I went in and talked to him about it. This pastor has a quick temper and the first things out of his mouth was that he thought I needed to "get past" all that because that motion is so common, I was going to be hurt all the time. Then he said that I was making everything about my father's suicide. I was floored. I told him that I felt like he was about as rude as he could be. And sat there looking at him--and crying. I hate crying. ... Well, thank goodness that I didn't just jump up and run out of there and tell him to go fuck himself. That's what my first impluse was. He appologized for saying that I needed to "get past" my grief. He said he just didn't realize.
I've really been struggling with this ever since. I felt like that whole conversation turned into something about him. I know that my pastor is a good guy. That crap above doesn't describe him, just a negative part of him. There's a lot of things about him that I care for and I've been a member of this church for years. I love the people that go there although not many of them know about my father. Well maybe they do now because I've put that suicide/meditation blog on FB when I finally got the nerve enough to post my writings. And I know that I don't have to stay right with this church. It just hurts to think that I don't want to go there anymore and I can't seem to give myself permission to just stop. I feel like I might be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
So, anyway, Marigold, that's what prompted my writing. I appreciate hearing your thoughts about church and the music and how it affects you.
I've had the same kind of thing.
FIL told my H that I need to learn to be happy. After I started crying on Christmas morning. H set him straight, though, but I've just never forgot. Another time, FIL asked how I was doing when I was crying, I said having a hard day and he just kept walking to the other room?! Sigh. Last time I talked about it with him.
Really the only who have not run and have treated me with compassion are those that have gone through pain themselves.
And, just to ramble a bit -- that is NOT a common gesture.
We left our church. People were not supportive of me and didn't understand. Sometimes that is just too much to bear. However, I don't know if that was really the healthiest choice and I do applaud you trying to hang in there and seeing everyone in the best light. We are all growing and getting better. I bet your pastor really thought about what you said.
But, you could church shop - maybe just give yourself permission to visit another church over the summer or something. You might be really surprised and wish that you had done it sooner!!
Actually, this Co-dependents sounds like something I would like to look into -- because it gave you such courage to speak out! It's hard, sometimes I feel so isolated. My mom died 6 years ago and I really never tell anyone about it anymore. I've lost all the new friends I had that I told. I wonder if it was the way I told them or if they didn't know what to do or say.
Thank you for sharing this, it's a lot to think about. I think you have great writing and would like to encourage you and any writers, really. It can help so much. I've been thinking of writing children's books with kind of hidden characters of my mom, grandma, dad, etc and all they taught me.
Much love and hugs, Marigold
Yes, Co-dependent Anonymous or CoDA has been a great help to me. My dad had been gone for five years when I started going to CoDA, and cried the first two years I was in there. There was such safety in the group that I attended that it allowed me to heal. When I shared in that group, I was listened to and just the fact that I spoke up helped more than anything. I had gotten to the point that I barely told a person my name much less reveal my pain and grief. I can relate to that isolating thing; Coda seemed to help with that. I found a few good friends in there that I feel very comfortable calling when I just need to talk--about most anything and especially about grief.
I truly do appreciate what you have said, too, about my writing. I had backed away from writing, too, until just last year. I started taking a creative writing certificate program here in Middle TN. Just today I had coffee with a friend discussing how writing helps with the release of feelings. I think the idea that you want to write is wonderful!
I doubt that I would have the same sort of attitude as I received in CoDA from my church, but there are a lot of down-to-earth good caring people in my church. Still, I do think you are right that there may be another church around I'd feel better with. That's a great option.
I agree about writing - it's so awesome, but hard too! My H writes so well, but it's hard to start. Keep us posted -- I'll let you know if I start working on ideas ofr the little books. A certificate program sounds really wonderful. I'm grateful they have that for you and all the writers there!!
Good luck with whatever you decide with the church. It sounds like it is in your heart to stay for now, and that's a good thing in many ways. Maybe you can help them realize about surviving or some other reason your are supposed to be there. Good friends are hard to find, too.
Right now, I can't really get out. I have fibro or RA that started 2 years ago and about every hour I need to lay flat for a bit or I get really tired beyond belief. I am grateful that it cleared up a bit this weekend, though!!
Another thing I'm grateful for: today was beautiful and I was able to push the kids on the swings and we took a little walk around the block. I'm also grateful that it was calmed down this weeked, too, and we made valentines. I'm grateful for my sister helping me decide I need to apply for disability even though it's the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
I'm grateful for this thead and for the posters, here. And, I'm grateful I might get chocolate tomorrow.
Much love and hugs, Marigold
I still go back and forth on my decision to go or not to go back to church. I feel freedom in the decision, as if my Higher Power is good with whatever decision I make. Helps take me out of that victim-mode of thinking and puts me back into reality that everything is not about me.
I am glad that you can find something to be grateful about when your health bothers you so.
Love and hugs right back at you,
karenup- I was floored reading the post about your pastor, him doing that gesture time and time again in his church and around his followers! I was also floored about how he acted during y'alls conversation. This guy could really use some compassion classes! Sheessshhh!
I hope today brings moments to be grateful for, for all of you!