Monday, September 5, 2011

Can I be honest?

Funny question because when am I not honest?  However, recently there have been some things that I have failed to "mention" or avoided in conversations.  Some I've poked at but haven't really scratched the surface of my real feelings.  So here's a list of some things that have been on my mind a lot lately: 1. Church 2. Men, thus consequently women too 3. Children 4. An overall disappointment in life and myself. Just a fair warning, but this blog post could be upsetting for some. Read with caution.

1. Church. I've come to really resent/dislike going to church.  I wouldn't be surprised that one aspect of that has to be with going to church at 2 o'clock in the freaking afternoon. Another aspect is that I'm pretty anti-social when it comes to making friends in my ward. Nate and I are one of the only couples that does not have children and if there is another couple its because of infertility. I hate the pressures I feel from church--to look nice, to have the latest fashionable church clothes, to be a scripture master, to be happy, to smile, to have children, to compliment people on their "cute" kids or to be enthralled with them, to pray, to pay attention, to be perfect.  I've seriously been considering not going anymore.  It has nothing to do with my testimony of Jesus Christ that He is indeed the Savior of the world. Or my testimony of the restoration and that there is a God who is our Heavenly Father.  But I have been questioning some things and it always leads to that next concern on my list: men. I don't like learning about the history of different men in the church particularly some prophets. It makes me doubt and question that God would place in authority a man prone to faults and mistakes. But then again, who else would He have to work with? Some may now want to ask me if I've been doing the basics like reading my scriptures, praying and fasting etc. The answer is no. I can't seem to find the desire to do so.

2. Men. I've always struggled with men--trusting them, liking them, listening to them, respecting them.  Most of it surrounds their sexual drive and the hurt that that has caused me in my life. This creates a lot of problems for me. For example, I'm married to a man. A wonderful, brilliant, funny, charismatic, loving, patient and handsome man. But a man. He knows how I feel towards men and when I say that I hate men, I don't ever intend to place him in that category but I fail to avoid doing so because he is a man. It hurts his feelings and then I feel bad, wishing that I didn't have the feelings of mistrust that I do...and then I begin to resent experiences that have made me who I am today. But it isn't my fault that men in my life have chosen to hurt and betray me. In consequence, I struggle to trust God because He is a man; a man that I'm to look to for answers and direction--how can I desire to do so if He has the power to hurt and betray me too? Recently I've become to hate women too because of the things they do that encourage men to be the men that I hate.

3. Children. I've only said this to those closest to me...but now I'm certainly making it publicly known.  I don't want children.  I'm happy for those that have children, want them and love them. I also find many people's kids to be utterly adorable.  But I just don't want any. And that makes me feel guilty, for so many reasons.  I want to be selfish and not have to sacrifice for a child that might just turn around and throw it in my face.  You can't control children or make choices for them. You can give them everything and they don't even have to be grateful. What is the appeal of having kids? Everyone says you'll never know till you have them, but like I said before, I don't want to have any.  Who knows, maybe one day I'll change my mind and want to be a mother.  But right now, I struggle with the overwhelming pressure and guilt that I haven't had any and have no desire to. I know though that its better for all involved to not have them when they're not wanted...thus I'm waiting till I have the desire. Which makes me ache for Nathan who already has the desire. Its unfair to him and unfair for any "spirit children" possibly waiting.

4. An overall disappointment in life and myself. Do you ever go through lists in your mind of what you should be doing to improve or just what needs to be done? But then not accomplish one single thing off that list? I don't only think of lists in my head, I write them out and become frustrated that I achieve next to nothing.  I hate knowing all the things I need to be doing and should be doing, but don't actually put that knowledge into action.  I also feel overwhelmed to be having others pointing out what they think I should be doing or how I should be.  I feel terribly overwhelmed with responsibilities.  It makes it worse that most of the responsibilities I place on myself. I'm tired...I'd rather be sleeping most of the time and the rest of time doing nothing.  Well, I take that back, when I literally have nothing to do, I go crazy. I want things to do, I just don't want the responsibility to do them. But that's life. And life is unfair as my mother always told me.

I lot of me wants to cry out for help but doesn't because I know it all eventually relies and depends on me.  No one has the power to change my opinions or things in my life greater than I do.  Thank heaven for the animals that love and accept me regardless. And thank heaven for a husband that endures it all with loving patience...for the most part :)


  1. Julia.

    I admit that for the first year in my new ward I didn't like the feeling that people were judging me and having to dress myself up and stuff. I loved the mission, where I could just put my wet hair in a knot on the back of my head and never wear any make up. It was actually against the rules to blow dry or curl your hair on my mission. (It was awesome!)

    I know it is different for everyone, but for me it helped when I got called into Primary. I've felt primary kids are... I guess they are just so forgiving and I've felt I can be myself in Primary. One time a kid said that he didn't like my poster I made, and that the people that I cut out looked weird. But I can handle that better than I can with having a peer tell me that my child has a hot temper and that he'll be a difficult teenager. (true story.. it happened to me, I didn't even know her at all.. total stranger) I do singing time, and just try to ignore those thoughts I get sometimes that others might be judging me. Cause most the time they really aren't, even though I think it every time I am there.

    Here is an idea about to do lists:

    I make two lists, the first list is the real one with the stuff I don't want to do, but need to get done, like laundry, cleaning, etc... and the second list is the stuff I want to do, like blog, Facebook, purchase something, scrapbook, play with I-Moive on my new mac, or bake something really unhealthy for me to eat. So I align all the things up like so: when I finish the dishes and get the kitchen semi clean then I can Facebook, and when I get the boys bathed and ready for bed, then I can put a movie on for them and I can go sew on a project that I want to do. Also, Keep it short, maybe you'll only have 2 things on your list for that day, 1. Homework, 2. Bubble Bath with chocolate!!

    That sounds like a good list to me!

    I have kind of a funny story... one day I made a list for the day, so far the morning had been a good one, I didn't sleep in and I felt ambitious so I made a long list of all the stuff I was going to do that day. after reviewing the list when it was done, I was very confident that I could accomplish everything on the list, I even remember saying to myself, "you better get this done, you have all day" then a new idea popped in my head, that I should estimate how long each task should take, I was very realistic and put the times in a column next to each task and added them all up, it was 12 hours of stuff to do! This was even more ridiculous on account of the fact that I only had 6 hours till my husband got home and I was supposed to have dinner on the table by then! so I realized that I had been making myself impossible lists and then getting depressed that I never finished them... then somedays I hated lists so much I never would even start them cause I was setting myself up for failure every time.

    Also, I've felt the feeling of not wanting to do anything, even things I used to once love to do... and then I'd just get even sadder that I didn't want to do them. For me... what has helped the most was simple prayer, yeah I know that is the answer that everyone says, but for me, it has brought me the most peace in my life, just talking to my Heavenly Father. Just letting him know exactly how I feel and Letting him now that my desires are still pure, but letting him know that I'm having a hard time and asking him what I need to learn before He can lift this burden.

    Well, Julia, I don't know if that helped or not, but at least I'm letting you know that you aren't alone in feeling the way you do on those matters. By the way I love the fact that you comment on my blog. You are always the first one to do so and it makes me feel like someone cares about my life too! Thanks.

  2. Dear Julia,

    I just wrote you a comment that I spent the last hour and a half on. Literally, it was so sincere and thought out. When I went to post, yeah, it asked me to sign in and yeah, it got erased.
    I am so stupid for not copying it! Anyways, it must have been the wrong thing to say I guess. At least you know that I care though.

    I love you so much and I am sorry for my part in your problems with men.

    I will have to tell you about what I wrote later because unfortunately, I have to get back to work.

    I just want you to know that I love you and care about you. I hope that I can be part of the help and support that you need to get through these hard times.



  3. Julie we love you, I hope you got my texts. I totally love Holly's comment, so thoughtful and so true (I do exactly what she does!! haha). Anyway, we all love you!!

  4. Hi Julia,
    Thank you for being very brave in being honest. That takes guts! I have to say I identify with you in this post in many ways. I wonder if it's that we share the same name and we are both the youngest children in our families... Anyway, when I think about you and how I've watched you grow up over the years I see much of myself in you and I want you to know you aren't alone in many of these feelings. I also want you to know that I have often thought and talked about your mission homecoming talk. It really struck me in such a positive way I will never forget and I think it has some merit here. Remember how all you could think about at one time was just going home? and then your mission president finally said something to the effect of, "ok, I'll make the arrangements for you to go." and suddenly you were questioning if that was what you really wanted. It all came down to agency. You were suddenly free to go and realized that what you really wanted most was to stay. But now that you had the permission to go it gave you the freedom to stay. That really explained my life to me the day you gave that talk. I honestly think about that very often. I think by writing this post you have just given yourself the freedom you need in those areas of your life to truly be you ~ on your terms. I don't know if this is making a lick of sense, but I hope somehow it is helpful. You helped me in that talk, probably more than either of us know and I really hope you find some joy in knowing that.
    Just one more thing... the whole church thing is a challenge. I struggle with those same feelings almost weekly. Jeff and I have commented many times that if it we went to church for social reasons or for the people we would have stopped going a long, long time ago. I go because of "my testimony of Jesus Christ that He is indeed the Savior of the world." And "my testimony of the restoration and that there is a God who is our Heavenly Father." (as you so eloquently put it) I also go because I can take the sacrament every week and repent of these feelings and be forgiven, only by Him. He is in charge! He loves you more than is comprehensible!

    I love too!

  5. Hey Julia

    I felt the same way about men my first year(s) of marriage. I felt a little stuck. Every thing was about them and I had to turn to them to get help... No, I can do it on my own, thank you!
    I think what really helped me was that I was drawn to another family where you could tell the husband just loved his wife. Testimonies or through lessons. He also had great respect for Women in general. I hung out with them and loved the company. Then I started to notice other men within the church that were like that. I could just feel that is the same way our Heavenly Father feels about me. With total respect for me and my position as a women.
    I realized that all people have agency and could choose to do wrong things and hurt women or men. I have chosen to forgive those who have hurt me (although hard to do)and leave it up to Heavenly Father because I can trust that he knows exactly how I feel about everything that I think about. My angst against men is not gone but I feel like understanding agency for some reason has helped me to not hate them.

    Church-You have always said it is about the Gospel and not about the Church. We go to church not for others but our self. We go to learn more and to take the sacrament. That really should be the focus. What others do and think I just had to ignore.

    Kids- I have felt that it takes an extra kind of love and unselfishness to have them.(I am not perfect in this in any way) but if you are not ready for that then it is a good thing you have noticed. There are far too many moms that have kids that were not ready for it. Having kids can be really tough at times and rewarding at others. I think it is awesome that you can just be with your husband and enjoy the time you have together.

    Everything you are feeling I believe is normal especially at the same time, they are all linked together. Of course you feel guilty about it because not many people talk about their true feelings. This can be too overwhelming causing one to be depressed and not want to even do a dang thing about anything. Obviously that does not help the way you feel, so just pick one thing or two things on that list and celebrate that you got them done and try to do better the next day. That is what I did... still doing.

    I don't know if any of this helps or if you really wanted "help" but thanks for sharing your true feelings. Love ya!


  6. I've had your page open for two days now and I have read what you wrote multiple times. I certainly do not have the magic words to resolve these issues, but I will share the thoughts I've had anyway. They're a bit disjointed, but I'll do my best.

    You are not the only one that has a hard time finding time to study the scriptures...and I stay home all day! A lot of times I try to at least read a short article in the Ensign or I'll listen to a conference talk. I don't know why it's such a struggle, because I notice that my feelings like what you talk about in number 4 are calmed a lot when I do that.

    All good things require effort. Succumbing to the natural man is easy, taking the high road is challenging. Temptations find us but we have to seek the good things in life.

    As far as the children thing goes, the thought that came to my mind is that you can pray for the desire to have children. Doing so might be scary, but I firmly believe that we are not given more challenges than we can handle. I could write a whole novel about how having Elisa has changed my life, but I'm hardly one to speak to your concerns about when kids grow up and exercise their agency...haven't made it there yet. I am terrified to think of the world she's growing up in, increasingly evil! The only consolation I have is knowing that I'm not doing this alone, I have the Holy Ghost to help me.

    I listened to this talk by Elder Maxwell and it is my new theme for my life, being grounded, rooted, and established. The time to stand strong is now. I could only find the audio file for it, so that is the link I posted.

    And finally (how long are comments allowed to be, anyway?) the thought I had the strongest was to suggest that you take some time to write down specific questions/concerns/doubts you have and say a prayer that you can get some answers at General Conference. I love you and have you in my thoughts and prayers!

  7. Julia I have not been as good of a blogger lately in looking at others blogs and I just noticed yours. Let's talk. I love you. The Lord loves you so much and wants you to be happy. I'm not suggesting that just knowing that one fact it going to solve all your problems, but I do know that when you allow yourself to feel His love and to start seeing yourself in the way He sees you, all of these things that you are facing will seem smaller and you can not only handle them but overcome them. Let yourself feel the love that God has for you. I suggest prayer, prayer and more sincere honest prayer. You know the drill haha. Be open and honest with God and pour your heart out to Him everyday. He will help as you open yourself up to Him. Love you so much and wish we were closer so that we could talk face to face. I miss you and want you to be happy. You are such a great friend and have so much compassion for people. There are hard things you have faced in the past, but it makes you the very caring and loving person that you are. I see the good in you Julia, sometimes it's just a matter of seeing it in yourself. As for Church...GO! Who cares what others think? I never thought of you as the girl who cared what others thought and I admired that about you. Don't let yourself start worrying about that stuff. If people want to be vain or selfish...let them be that way. Try to see them as God would see them and I'm not saying you have to make them your best friend, but don't let that stuff get to you. Go to Church because you love Heavenly Father and He wants you to go. You are strong, stronger than you think! You are amazing and wonderful and a great example to me. Don't sell yourself short. I know you can do this Julia! When things got rough on the mission, you stuck with it and grew stronger. You were so awesome to work with because you relate so well to others and really care for them. You are real and wear it all on your sleeve. Not many have that kind of courage. You have a sincere desire to what's right. Really though let's talk and I hope this helps you know just a little of how truly good you are.

    ps no one's perfect, despite what they may seem. we all have our issues and trials we have to face. we have to lean on each other and especially the Lord for help through them. Love you so much! I will pray for you daily.

  8. Julia-I just got caught up on your blog for the first time in like 6 months at least. It's interesting that I've been thinking about you lots the last few months, and I read this post, and it reaffirms that you were in my thoughts for a reason! I can really identify with you and think we need to have our annual telephone chat. I'm not going to give you suggestions on how to "help", because that was not your intention when posting this, you just needed to be honest about some of your thoughts...I appreciate that! I wish I would've gone on here sooner. Graduate school has made me a terrible friend. I'll try calling you after Dec 5th, when I turn in my biggest paper. Anyhow, know that I love you, and you seriously are someone I have made a lifelong connection to, on a very deep level. We don't need to talk all the time to feel that. I'm so grateful for you.