There’s been several things that have happened over the last few weeks that have made it super clear that I needed to start writing the book that I’ve felt I need to do for a very long time. I got excited about it, but then. . .there was this block. I just felt that there was no way I could share anything of value. I started doubting myself. Of course, that’s not hard to do, I’ve doubted myself my whole life. Yesterday I tried to write, but it just didn’t come.
One of the things that is a point of massive frustration in our home is cleaning. I’ve worked at doing better in our home with many things and things have gotten so much better, but cleaning, ya, it’s a super hot point for me. It’s something deep in me and honestly I’m not sure why I can’t bring myself down on the cliff with this one. Someday I’ll share more about this, but yesterday I asked Rick to work with the boys and get things cleaned up - it worked overall, but just that feeling of frustration was still deep inside of me.
I’m one that is terrified to try new hobbies or develop new talents. I’m so scared of failing. There are things I’m good at and I feel confident to do, but developing or trying new things is something that I’ve been really good at holding myself back on. I’m super good at reminding myself that I’m not capable of doing many things. Those words are deeply planted in me. I’ve decided I want to do a garden this year. My dad always had a garden and he brought us up gardening and for some reason this year I’m wanting to do a garden so bad - maybe a connection with my dad? A good friend of mine who is super good at gardening had said he would come over and help us figure out how to get started. He came over last night. It was a great visit, got a plan in place and I was feeling excited. . .until he went to leave and I thought to myself I’m going to fail. I’ve always killed plants. This is a lot and I don’t know if my family will support me on this. If it’s just me then I don’t feel capable. And honestly in our home if it’s not tied to baseball then it doesn’t really get the attention. I started thinking this is just not possible.
As a family things have been slower for quite awhile and it’s been super nice, but with Ultimate Frisbee, baseball, end of school year, work, work, household stuff and the list goes on life has gotten super busy. It has felt very overwhelming in a way. Love it all, but when life gets busy communication goes downhill and I don’t do well with poor communication. Last night there were some things that Rick and I miscommunicated about and with all of my other thoughts going on things didn’t really go well with us trying to talk through things. Really, there wasn’t much of an effort - he was busy and I was busy and we were both tired. This was a trigger for me of do I know how to really have close, healthy relationships. I’ve often thought I’d be so much better off living on my own and keeping to myself. The programming I’ve had in my life from abuse and belief’s about myself are super deep and I just feel a burden, too much and I just don’t know how to stay in healthy, safe, happy, trusting places.
With all of these thoughts swirling in my mind, plus many others, by the time I got in bed I was super depressed. I felt that I was a failure in life. I can’t make anything of myself. I don’t know how to have healthy relationships. The swirling of thoughts was super powerful. In the dark of my room, Rick sleeping and me laying there thinking about all of my failures and how I just don’t know how to get better I thought to myself is this a time to give up. I’m not finding ways to make more of myself. I’m turning 50 in just a few months and I’ve not accomplished any of the goals I set for myself. I’m fighting with all my might and so many amazing things have happened through counseling and healing, but the patterns of my life and the beliefs I’ve had are super hard to overcome. SUPER HARD!!!! Gratefully I had taken my medications and I fell asleep and didn’t continue to feed the thoughts of giving up.
I really hoped that I could wake up this morning and feel better, but. . .I’m super good at being destructive to myself and last night I chose to not put on my oxygen. I didn’t want oxygen. I’m tired of it!!! I’ve had it for 3 months now and I didn’t want it last night. So, I woke up groggy and with a nice headache. Without my oxygen my brain doesn’t do well. I laid there in bed and thought I just can’t! I don’t want to press through today! I was sure I could mind read everyone and knew exactly how many people that I care about feel about me and that helped my mood a lot. I found myself wanting to mute my phone for the day and just disconnect. I don’t want any additional reminders of my failures or things that I need to or should be doing. I don’t want to work at relationships today. Honestly, I could stay in a hole today and be very content.
Then I thought alright the power of the mind. I don’t want more negative today. I need to pray. I need to count my blessings. I need to remind myself of the tools that I’ve been taught over the last couple of years. I need to stop mind reading. I need to get up and get ready for the day. I need to look at the good. I need to look at how far I’ve come. I need to have the conversations so that I feel better and just clear the air. The list went on of the things I NEED to do to have a better day, but I didn’t WANT to do any of those things. Well, that’s a winner!!! Way to go Cheri! Not willing to apply all of these things to turn your day around and find happiness, peace, hope, opportunities and overall the possibility of making it a good day. That sounds like a great plan???
That just helps feed the failure and destruction. The thing is, there’s just days I CAN’T!!! There are days that I can’t fight the fight!!! There are days I’m just super tired! There are days I just want to hide in a hole and allow myself to feel the feelings. In reality the feelings come down to sadness, scared, am I enough, I don’t want to be a burden to anyone - the abuse feelings - the feelings that I should be under the table and if I’m lucky fed some crumbs. That’s all I’m worth at times. It’s super hard to reprogram these belief’s after so many years. . .like 40 years.
Of course, I was told positive things over those years, but the negative words and actions and how I was treated far outweigh and stick with me every single day!!! Abuse is AWFUL!!!! Over the last few weeks I’ve finally felt some anger about what I went through. Until then I felt sorry for those that harmed me. I could see their life story and felt bad for them. They didn’t know better at the time. I could justify why they did what they did to me. BUT, not anymore. I’m fighting a battle that is super painful, has taken a toll on my life every single day, has caused me to almost take my life several times, to give up, to destroy friendships that have sincerely mattered to me, to turn away love and peace, have had to work at rebuilding relationships with my boys. . .the list goes on. I’m grateful that the buck stops with me and that there has been so much healing and love rebuilt, but somedays I JUST CAN’T!
So, it’s 11:30 a.m. and I muted everything! I turned off Facebook, turned off messenger, muted my phone and have complete silence in my home. I’m ready for the day - that’s a rule, I can’t leave my room until I’m ready for the day - something engrained deep inside of me from my abuse - I’m ugly until I have my makeup and hair done and then maybe there’s some beauty in me somewhere. Instead of working first thing this morning I decided I would write this blog. I decided that I would be open and honest and hopefully help someone else with their journey. If I can bless and help others through this ugly journey of healing from abuse then I will feel like I’ve done something good.
I’m a smiler and I laugh a lot. I appear to have so much together in my life. For most people I look like the world is in my hands and I can do everything and anything. Over the years I’ve had so many people say they wished they could be like me. They want to learn from me on how I do it all and have it all together. Well, I’m good at pretending. I’m good at putting on a face. I’m good at hiding all of my emotions and feelings and the black that fills the inside of me often. I don’t have it all together, in fact, very often I don’t feel like I have anything together and I just take life one step at at time. One minute at a time. I pray a lot. I have to face anxiety to leave my home and be with people. I’m terrified to put myself out there. BUT, I’m working on myself little by little and I’m working at counting my wins. There are wins every single day. . .sometimes I don’t even recognize them all, but they are there. Even that I’m still here and got up and got ready for the day - those are wins!!!
I took my medications this morning. . .beats not doing my oxygen last night - that’s a win! I’m choosing to eat and work at getting rid of the headache - that’s a win! I chose to write this blog and share - that’s a win! I’m not sure how today will go, but what I do know is I’d rather press forward and keep fighting this battle, allowing myself to have bad moments, be tired, accept that some days I just can’t for the WINS!!! There are a lot of them and I love my WINS!!!
Two days ago, April 22nd, marked 8 months since my dad passed away. I hadn’t thought about it until one of my siblings sent a message on our family thread and as I read it I cried. . .the feelings were right there, close to the surface, just like when I lost him. It didn’t take but a second for tears to come and then the reflection of how things have been over the last 8 months and how much I miss him.
Then yesterday, April 23rd, was the groundbreaking for the Lindon Temple. The church shared a link so we could watch and listen to the talks and see the groundbreaking. As we were getting it pulled up I started crying and honestly the tears didn’t stop for probably 2 hours. As I listened to the talks and prayers I thought about my dad. When the Lindon Temple was announced he was so excited. He had the opportunity to be involved with the Mt. Timpanogos Temple construction and the cornerstone and because of his involvement we as a family were super blessed with opportunities.
My dad has a great love of temples - a love that was unique. He inspired us to have a great love for the temple. Yesterday I shared this on my Facebook wall as tears streamed down my cheeks:
I'm sitting here watching the Lindon Temple Groundbreaking - listening to the talks. The spirit is so strong and my tears are flowing.
As I've been listening I'm finding myself thinking about my dad and his sincere, childlike excitement for the Lindon Temple. My dad always had such a great love for the temple - amazing, deep love.
My dad and mom served at the Bishop Storehouse for years. My dad ALWAYS had a list of things he wanted to do at the storehouse - he always accomplished what was on his list even when it seemed impossible. His faith and love was strong.
At my dad's funeral I visited with the manager of the Lindon Storehouse and I jokingly asked what projects my dad was in the middle of or what things he had on his list, that he didn't get done and the manager shared with me, "Your dad's list was complete. He didn't have anything left on his list. A few weeks ago he was really focused on getting a framed picture of the rendition of the Lindon Temple hung at the storehouse. It was really important to your dad and he accomplished that - its the last project he did before getting sick." This was the last thing on his list and he completed it before passing.
I can't help but think that my dad is here in spirit celebrating this groundbreaking. I wish he was here in person, but take comfort through the temples that Families are Forever.
That’s the end of my facebook post, but following that post I felt so many different emotions. Quite honestly whenever I think about him being gone I think no he’s not, he’s coming back. This isn’t real. It can’t be real. Why did he have to go? He was so careful and didn’t fear Covid. Things shouldn’t have gone this way. I find myself feeling anger - anger that I can’t really describe. It just doesn’t make sense. And then I think how strong is my testimony of eternal families and life after death and the resurrection and that I will see him again. I’ve always thought I had a strong testimony of these things, but dang, losing my dad has challenged me. I honestly don’t think there’s anything more that I want than to be with him again, to see him, to have those conversations that we didn’t get, to embrace, to hear his voice and laughter again. Why do we have to experience death? Why do we have to lose loved ones?
And then I think, it’s been 8 months, I should feel better about this. I should be able to accept that he’s gone by now. The tears shouldn’t be so close to the surface at this point. I’m being too sensitive and should just move on and things shouldn’t trigger me so easily and quickly. I look at others that have lost loved ones and they’ve got it together, seem to be managing so much better. They seem to be happy and understand a bigger picture and have found their peace with the loss. Why can’t I find peace with this? Why can’t I feel that this is the Lord’s plan? Why can’t I think to myself and know that my dad is happier and healthier?
He never feared death. I have always feared death. Why can’t I feel my dad’s peace? I’ve had the spiritual experiences. I’ve felt peace. I’ve felt my dad. In priesthood blessings I’ve heard very tender words and truth spoken about my dad and I know the things that have been spoken in blessings are truth - I’ve felt them in my heart. I’ve had prayers answered. My testimony has been strengthened. I’ve felt the understanding of what my dad went through and what took his life. I know that the veil is thin and he’s with us and watching over us. I know he’s aware of each of us and we’ve not been forgotten by him.
I know in time we will be with him again. . .but it’s just not fair! I know dad, life’s not fair. You’ve always told me that. I get it and in most things I can accept that life’s not fair, but this isn’t one that I was ready for. Well, you know, we’re not ready for most of what life throws at us. Dangit! Life! I wish I could learn quicker. This pain in my heart is so real and I miss you dad.
So, I go through all of this and then the tears stop and I get moving through life again. Living my life. Thinking how would dad have done things? What did dad teach me? I have to keep going. Doing good. Serving. Loving. Drawing closer to my Heavenly Father and Savior. Seeking to live a righteous life so that I can be with my dad again.
Then yesterday afternoon as I was pondering the groundbreaking of the Lindon Temple and my dad and knowing that he was there yesterday in spirit and I’m sure super excited to be a part of the work I thought my dad can do all he wants now. He doesn’t have his health ailments. He doesn’t have to hope that he’s in a position or given an opportunity to help with the temple. He doesn’t have any earthly restrictions. He’s ready! He has all of his construction knowledge and he can use all of that knowledge to help. We know that the veil is thin and the spirits on the other side help with the temples. They are just as important as those of us here on earth in the Lord’s work. As I felt these feelings yesterday I thought alright I know, I know this is a part of the plan. I picture my dad being sooooo happy and rejoicing and feeling so good and ready to go. Nothing holding him back. What a blessing. He lived his life loving the Lord. He wanted to serve even more, but his health was definitely a challenge.
Writing this blog I’ve cried through it. These are my feelings. My heart aches. I’ve never experienced so much of a broken heart. I miss him more than any word could explain. I long for him and his embrace and to hear the words “I love you sweetheart.” Even as I typed those words I could hear him saying these words to me - I know he’s whispering these words to me. Death is a very interesting thing. Losing a loved one brings so many different feelings and I’m learning that there is no right or wrong way to heal, to mourn, to process the feelings of losing a loved one. Grief is a powerful thing and it’s real. You never know when you’re going to laugh, cry, long for, ache, find peace, happiness, feel the spirit, be angry, think life is just unfair, want more answers, long for that conversation, to hear their voice again, feel their touch and the list goes on.
So, in answer to my blog title - When Does It Get Easier? Well, that is for each of us individually to answer and there is no right or wrong answer. What I do know is that the Lord is aware of us and relates to all of our different feelings and is there for us. We are never alone in this journey. We can be blessed with loved ones, friendships and the gospel to help us get through one minute by minute, step by step to get through life and make the most of it. Healing is a journey with no time frame.
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 2 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity