Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Perfection, failing, and happiness

Lately I've been needing just to write down some thoughts.  This will probably be a lot of rambling and it won't really have a point, but I need to get it all out.

I have always cared what everyone thought about me.  I always did my hair and makeup and strived for perfection.  If I couldn't meet perfection, I didn't even try.  I would close myself off thinking that if I didn't try, I wouldn't technically fail.  The first day of 9th grade honors biology, our teacher told us that no one would be getting an A in her class.  Coming from a person who has had straight A's prior to that, I didn't even try and got a C in her class.  It was my first C.  But why try and only get a B?

I still have this problem.  Any time I feel like I'm failing as a mom, I want to crawl in a hole and just cry.  Grace has been very tough lately, as she moves from toddler to preschooler.  Every time she defies me, I feel like I'm failing as a mom.  I feel so far from perfect all the time and it's been really hard on me as a perfectionist.  I think this is a big cause of all the anxiety and depression I've been dealing with.  I know intellectually there are no perfect moms.  It's impossible to be perfect.  But then the comparing game comes in to play.  I look at other moms who manage to take care of their kids, work out and stay fit, do their hair and makeup daily, keep their houses spotless, and still manage to do amazing activities with their kids all the time.  My house always has dishes, has at least 2 rooms that are a disaster, laundry needing to be washed or put away, and a "junk spot" in every room that continues to pile up until it literally falls over and needs to be put away.  I can count on one hand how many times I've exercised this year.  Most days my only accomplishment is that the kids were fed and alive.  The TV is on way more than recommended, I lose my temper too often, and I spend way too much time on social network sites like Facebook and Babycenter.

I also have a control problem.  I want to control my life and everything in it.  If I can't, I feel like I'm a failure.  You would think that I would have learned this lesson through infertility.  I can't control everything in my life.  I can't control other people's actions, as much as I wish I could.

In October, Robby told me that he no longer believed the church was true and did not believe in God.  Coming from my return missionary, married in the temple husband, that was a big shock.  I now have to figure out our "new normal".  We no longer have a priesthood holder in our family.  I will be going to the temple by myself from now on.  We don't pray together.  I am the one taking 2 kids to church every Sunday by myself.  I worry about whether our kids will feel dichotomy of two parents with two very different sets of beliefs.  I worry about whether I have enough faith to keep going like this.  I wonder if it's my fault that he left.  I feel like I'm being judged by other members, because I know I've done the same thing.  We've told very few people so it's not something I can just talk about.  I feel like I failed as a Mormon wife.  I was always told growing up that you make good choices, get married in the temple to a returned missionary, and then have children and that is your happily ever after.  That just isn't how it always happens.

I feel like I have few choices.  Go to church by myself with the kids.  Hope that I am strong enough to teach them everything they need to know.  Hope that they have faith and make good choices.  But then this makes it seem like my husband didn't.  Robby still makes the best choices for our family.  He may not believe in God, but he believes in family and love.  He adores me and I love him more than I could ever love another man.  He is my best friend.  So I'm left with hoping that everything will work out in the next life and he will be able to be with me for eternity.

I could leave Robby and be a single mom, and still have to deal with all of that, on top of not having Robby's support.  That's just not an option to me.

I could stop going to church.  Focus on our family and being good people.  But then I face the scrutiny of all my friends and family.  I lose out on the amazing community of the church.  I lose out on the peace I feel about after this life.  I don't even know how to think without a filter from the church.

I feel like I'm walking a fine line between the first and third choice wondering which way I'll fall, because it really doesn't feel like I have a choice in any of this.  I struggle going to church because I think about all the things that caused Robby to leave.  I think about how hard it is going when sometimes the church makes me feel like a failure.  It brings up pain from not being able to bear children and now not having a priesthood holder.  Both things that the church holds above almost everything else.  Church isn't supposed to cause pain.  Even my Bishop told me that we are supposed to be happy and feel peace in this life.  So if church isn't doing that, am I supposed to stop going?  Because most weeks I feel anything but happy and peaceful at church.

And then I'm left caring with what everyone else thinks.  I know it would devastate my family if I left.  I've watched Robby's family deal with this and watched his mom leave in tears after we told her.  I've never seen her cry, until that moment.  I know my friends would look at me differently.  I know people really wouldn't understand this until they've been through it.  But I know people would judge.  I wouldn't know where I would fit in.  Because I still hope that the church is true.  I still hope that I will be with my family for eternity.  I have had so many prayers answered, that I can't even doubt there is a God.

And since I'm rambling, we also stopped being vegan.  It was not an easy decision, but we both felt like we needed to make a change in our diet.  I was hoping it would help with all my anxiety, and it has lessened it, as long as I make good choices and avoid sugar and caffeine.  It's been 2 months, and I've only told a handful of people.

I wish I could just stop caring what people think.  I wish I could just live my life how I want to and not worry about what friends, family, or even strangers will think.  I just want to be happy.

And if you made it this far, you deserve a gold star.  I didn't even go back and read all of it.  Sorry for the ramble, I just really needed to get this all out along with the tears that came with it.