Friday, November 14, 2008

Parenting Seminar and feeling alone.....

Last night I attended a parenting seminar for "Single Moms". I was grateful that after all these years (nearly 9) of doing it alone there would be some kind of help or support. But, most of the gals were younger with toddlers and without an education. Several scholarships were awarded (drawn from a hat) to the total amt. of thousands of dollars. Others won gift certificates to stores for 40 and 50.00. A speaker talked of being single for 2 1/2 yrs. before she met her current husband and love of her life.

I often wonder what is wrong with me. Why am I still single after all these years?
I've tried my best to do what is right, to raise my children well, to work hard and try to take care of all the things that are needing to be done. If that was all it took then I'd not be in my still-single state. But, it's not. I know many women who are wonderful, hard-working, educated, spirtual, loving, want to be married and mothers more than anything in this world -- who still don't have that deepest blessing or longing of their heart.

I've been faithful and true, attend church and serve in callings, serve and care for others, overcome obstacles, live frugally and sacrifice much to be home with my children and to help them through their struggles and challenges.

I've done the on-line thing over the years and have attended a few firesides and even a dance (ick) and dated a bit over the years. But, there seem to be few men available. And, those that are (this is really true) often state that they want someone 'drop dead gorgeous', thin and physically fit, to travel, hunt, fish and camp with, who is financially independant, who has already raised her children, who is cheerful and easy-going etc. Few of them are looking for a nurturing spouse, one who keeps a neat home -or at least strives to, one spiritual or educated etc. I'm sure that people would have a lot of advice for me as to how to get into better shape (though I am continually working on that one), how to reduce the size of my nose or redo my hair as to be more attractive, how to dress better (though I can't afford much) etc. :) So, I do often feel very alone though I may be surrounded by people and in the midst of families and married couples. What is a person to do? The only thing I know is to try to be true and faithful and overcome personal struggles and to serve others. I do all those things (sometimes more than I can really handle) as I know we're to do all we can do. And, to do what the Lord would have ME do; it being different than those on the outside may think I should do.

If life's meaning is in love -- then surely those of you with it would ponder on what it might mean to not have it, not have a companion, do it alone year after year and would have any kind of empathy or compassion for those of us who don't. But, my experience has been that most don't either care or don't think about it or fault those of us who are in the situation. We do it alone most of the time with little support, caring, encouragement or understanding. And, for many of us, it's not because we are bad people or are single because of our 'unrighteousness' or lack of effort. It's often to the contrary. My Mom once told me 'you worked harder in your marriage than anyone I know'. I loved, served, sacrificed, forgave and worked very hard to make my marriage work but he didn't love me and didn't want to be married. Because of his 'alternative' lifestyle choices he didn't have the ability or desire to love me or the children and has caused us all a tremendous amount of pain and suffering because of his anger and abuse added to his addictions and attractions. It's been the most painful thing I've ever suffered and it hasn't been because of my unrighteousness or selfishness. But, it's the situation and I've tried to deal with it with the few resources that we have.

I guess I'm sending this blog out to the 'universe' knowing that not many will ever read it -- but, feeling that it's sometimes therapeutic to express oneself and ones heartache and grief. And, hoping that someone out there will take a moment to think about those less well-off than themselves family-wise and stability-wise. Children suffer much because of a divorce --- and it may take a lifetime to heal from the pain and suffering and lonliness of it.

My youngest daughter often cries about being the only one without a Dad- often after church or school. She also is pained at not having new clothes like all the other children or the cute and skinny girls in the ward. All of my children have suffered much because of the lack of a caring or kind father. We pray for him and pray to forgive yet we continue forward and try to do what we can for stability, courage, faith, patience and kindness towards others in need. We do what we can and try everyday to press forward and work through the challenges.


Christina said...

Thanks for sharing a little piece of your life. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to manage a family alone. Yesterday I sat in Church in front of a single gal in her thirties. She's beautiful, smart, and would make a wonderful wife. Here I was in my row with a flawed-but-still-pretty-great husband and seven children, and there she was alone. We're about the same age, and I just wanted to cry. I didn't say anything like that to her, because it seems so awkward ("Hi, I feel sorry for you"? "I'm sorry I have a family and you're still single?"). I do admire what she's doing with her life without the benefit of husband and children, but I don't know how to express it.

I guess I'm saying that those of us married with children are most likely not looking down on you or thinking you brought it on yourself, we're just feeling a little lost to know what to say.

Camille said...

Hi, I know this is an outdated post and I don't even know if you'll receive my comment, but I found your blog through MMB, and linked to this post because it was categorized under "abusive father".
I am a recent divorcee (of a year now), with two little girls. I left an abusive husband, and am in your same situation. Personally, I know I made the right decision for leaving. And honestly, I am "happier" with myself as a person and a mom now than I ever was while under his "control". However, it's still hard to be a single mom, not only for the fact that I'm raising children alone, but in the LDS culture, it's hard to be "accepted". Not a lot of people know how to respond to, or even involve a single mom with activities that may involve spouses or entire families.
So, usually what follows is the pity party of "what's wrong with me"?
I guess if anything, it's nice to learn when someone else is in the same situation or experiencing the same feelings/thoughts.
Over all, I just have to remember how merciful and loving our Heavenly Father is, because honestly, He was the one who helped me physically leave my house that day my (then) husband left for work. And I know that He hasn't left me alone, although at times it seems like it.
Hang in there. I have a huge respect for single moms, because I know what you have to deal with!