I don't want this entry to be taken as negative. No one outside of my family or sometimes even within my family can understand the depths of what is going on. But right now I'm hitting a wall.
My family is literally falling apart. The feuding and tension is at a point that there will be no moving forward until certain individuals learn how to move forward in a different manner...aka my parents. And there's really nothing I can do. They need to learn themselves.
My parents and I have always had a weird relationship. They are my parents, I love them, and they can be my best friends. But at the same time they have never really known ME, the me that's on the inside. They have never taken the time to get to know me as a person, rather than just know me as their daughter. They have hurt me and said unforgiveable things....but I forgive because they are family. I try to forget because all it does is perpetuate the pain.
Now the fighting is getting to a standstill. My parents won't talk to my aunt/uncle. They in all actuality need to apologize for hurtful words. They need to realize that they can't lash out at people that way. They need to learn to say when things are wrong.
I think a lot of the tension is brought on by financial troubles. I know my parents are under SO much stress and have been for a couple years in that area. They have more than laid the burden of those problems on my shoulders. I personally think if the troubles are so bad, that changes should be made. Christmas should not have included gifts this year, time should be spent doing free activities, eating out should come to a standstill, and energy of all manners should be conserved. I've done it and still do it myself. However, financial strains are no reason to ever feel that you can't live your life! You can, it's possible, I do it all the time!! Financial strains are also never a reason to ever tell your daughter that decisions should be based on money, not on what's best for them spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, etc as I was told.
I have decided to not engage in any sort of debatical conversation with my parents. How can I when the two people who are supposed to do what's best for your body, mind, and soul think decisions should be based on money. If I lived my life on their decisions, I would not be happy, I would not be who I am, I would not be me.
I've come to realize that who I am is not good enough for my parents. I'm not living up to and never have lived up to some twisted ideal of who they think I should be. I don't think I ever will. The part that hurts the worst is my parents never have and won't get to know ME.....though now they should more than ever. In conversations with my aunt, I have confessed that I have become very happy with who I am, that for once I am comfortable and confidant in my own skin. Am I perfect? No. Am I free of sin? No. Will I always make the right choice? No. But I am a beautiful, responsible, smart, intelligent, loving, caring woman of God.
I have stopped going to my home church, the church my parents go to, because I honestly don't feel comfortable there. I feel judged. I feel that if I don't fit into a mold, or am at my walk with God at a place that is not where they think I should be, that I'm not good enough.
My parents have shown that same reflection upon me. They have made remarks that I am slipping away, that I don't have real faith, that my relationship with God is basically not good enough. When I happened to mention about two months ago that I hadn't been to church in three weeks due to a certain set of circumstances, they tried to lay a guilt trip on me that I will have to "confess my sins before God on judgment day" and I will have to answer as to why I wasn't in church. First I don't think that you have to go to church to have a relationship and communion with God. I used to love church, before I started to feel as though I was judged at that church. I love spending time with my God, whether it be in worship or hearing a sermon that my God feels I need to hear. However, I don't think the only place that needs to happen is church. That can happen in the middle of a barren field at lunch time on Wednesday if needs be. It can be any hour of any day in any circumstance. It's my time with God. My mom keeps mentioning that my brothers and I don't have faith. That is such a hurtful judgment of my relationship with God, it's actually undescribable to tell how it makes me feel. Everyone's faith is different.
I have faith; I have faith in my God, and in His plan for my life. It's the centerpoint of my life! Yes I'm not living my life how my parents think I should (aka I wouldn't drink at all, I wouldn't be dating or hanging out with guys, I would have stayed at UCCS and already graduated despite the fact I wasn't happy, I would be a virgin, I would be by their side at church every Sunday, I wouldn't question a word they said, I would follow every command of theirs, I would be like the Cavanaugh kids, etc.). But no matter what they think, God is the center of my life, the reason for my life, and my Saviour. Nothing will ever take that away from me. All of my decisions, I take to God, I talk with Him, I consult, I pray. Right now yes I am not involved with a particular church. I love Summitview but don't have the time to be in a disciple team, but I also won't be here very much longer so why get connected when I'm moving in a few months. I'm currently working my way through school and getting ready to graduate all the while trying to figure out the next couple years of my life, all of which gets in my way of having a set church home. All of this my parents don't care to know or understand. They don't even ask, they just assume. Assume that my relationship with God is not important to me.
My mom handed this verse to me today and I actually take offense at it's meaning indicated towards me. "The seed that fell among the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing, they fall away." [Luke 8:13] For my mom to think that I don't have faith and have fallen away is remarkable to me. Just because my life isn't what she thinks it should be is not a reason to judge where I'm at in my life and my relationship with God.
They are so quick to tell me how I should be living but don't reflect upon themselves, upon their own actions and their own words. I am being judged by my own parents. And it hurts. I don't know how to handle this.
I can't have a conversation with them. I am wrong, they are right. That's how they see it. No matter what. And if I have a different viewpoint or opinion, I am not "honoring" my mother and father as the bible commands me. My mom even told me that I will always be wrong because they have "more experience" in life. So what?! It's not the experience of my generation, my trials/tribulations, my joys, etc.
Right now, I am on the verge of giving up. I haven't but I'm close. The only thing keeping me from giving up is the faith that God is working in their lives and their hearts to make amends in our family possible. It's possible from my end. But I don't feel that it's mine and my brothers responsibilities to meet them 100% of the way and them 0% of the way, that's not how these work. We all need to meet in the middle, have forgiveness, have understanding, and compromise.
My parents have a lot of lessons that need to be learned. They need to learn to have faith; I don't think they really have faith that God is taking care of them. To them, being taken care of is no financial worries and keeping their life as they know it. I learned last year that God is providing no matter what. I still know that. I don't have much money, many posessions. I am on one hand spoiled but in terms of most college students, I'm very much the opposite. But you know what, God is providing. I have enough money each month to pay my bills, to buy food (though it's not what I know is most healthy for my body a lot of times as healthy food is more expensive), enough for gas, and enough to live. There is some above and beyond but not excessive but I have food, shelter, water, family, friends, and good health. I am taken care of!!! And blessed. My parents need to learn humility. They believe they are always right and can't admit being wrong. They don't even know how to ask for help or recognize that they need help. I think God is greatly trying to teach them this lesson. I also think God is trying to teach them compromise and openness. If there is one thing, my mom is not open to anything. I can't explain this, more than saying her ways and her thoughts are her truth and nothing will ever change that. To her I am an alcoholic because I enjoy going out with friends to have a drink. I got called an alcoholic on Christmas Eve when I had a rum and coke that lasted me all night. I got called an alcoholic when I told her on New Years I had a glass of wine at home to toast the new year and celebrate. I get told I have no faith when I don't go to church. I get told I'm a bad daughter when I make a decision she feels is wrong. I get looked at with disgrace when I mention I love hugging and kissing. She is judgmental and is not open to others.
My parents don't know who I am and what they think they know they dislike. They believe I have no faith, no relationship with God. I am a disgrace.
My parents don't know what my favorite color is, what my passions are in life, what my goals are for the future. They don't take the time to ask me what I enjoy in my hours off of school, they don't take the time to sit down with me and have a discussion about diversity or traveling or what makes life so beautiful. They don't take the time to understand that I am a loving and optimistic person. They don't know how much I love others, love life, how wonderful my laugh is to hear because it's genuine. They don't know what sorts of songs move me to my core and what songs I blast on the stereo because it simply has a great beat. They don't know how much I adore hugging everyone because I'm a creature who adores touch. They don't know that I love kissing because I think it's the most passionate thing you can do with another person. They don't know that despite how much I talk about kissing that I've only kissed six people in my entire life. They don't know my insecurities other than the obvious "no boobs". They don't know that I spend every morning in the shower talking to God. They don't know that every night I ask for forgiveness for my sins and blessings on my family. They don't know that I continually pray for strength for them. They don't know that I secretly would love to write a book and photograph my entire life. They don't know how much it hurts for me to look through our pictures albums and to realize that only a few pictures of me exist from high school forward and those that do are usually due to my insistence they be taken. The funny thing is that any person in my life at this moment would know all of this in just a few short times of talking with me and most people do know these things. My parents just don't know because they don't care, they don't take the time to care or try to get to know me.
Just yesterday I put together four photo frame collages I found in the storage closet of our family. No thanks, no admiration. Rather just another frame on the wall. Those pictures are my family!!! My history!!! My pictures mean the world to me. Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my family and my pictures and the two together!!! Just look at my room. And to have them blown off, my whole afternoon of work blown off, my history as a person blown off, hurt me so bad. Also in the storage closet, I found small meaningful gifts I had given my parents over the years shoved in boxes, out of view. The jewelry box I gave my mom because of the meaningful verse on it was haphazardly thrown in a box. Photo frames I had put together shoved to the side. All of it, just forgotten. But history sits in my room. My mom's jewelry box from high school, my mom's ring from her childhood I wear all the time, historic photos of family, the cards they have given me over the years, my greatgrandmother's sitting stool, etc.
I feel like my parents just throw me continually to the side, haphazardly. And I don't know how to deal anymore. I'm told I'm constantly hurting them by just being me. But they have hurt me my whole life, by telling me that who I am is not good enough, that who I am is a failure, and not caring enough to get to know who I am. And that's only the beginning of the hurt they have caused. We aren't even getting into the conversations I've been told I was a mistake, a burden.
If my parents would get to know me, get to know the Nicole on the inside, they might understand. Understand my decisions and understand that they didn't fail in me, that they succeeded. That they raised an incredible woman, a woman of faith and strength, of humility and character, one who isn't afraid to take risks and have fun, who laughs, who takes life by the hands and embraces each day's gifts, who makes good decisions, who is fun to be around, who can be a great friend, who makes mistakes, who is lovable, who is smart, who is Godly. But they don't know, and I don't think they ever will.
That makes me sad.
I think I've rambled enough.....I'm starting to go on tangents and am getting a little worked up in my heart. I need to go calm myself down. Need to go talk to God who knows me and loves me, who made me into the incredible woman I am. I may not be perfect, but He created me how I am for a reason. A beautiful reason that is still unknown but there is a reason to me being who I am, even in this moment.