Archive for March 12th, 2007

Wednesday November 29, 2006

Monday, March 12th, 2007

It was a regular night. The kids were in bed and we were settled on the couch. The TV was turned on to a show that we were only halfway interested in. I worked on a study sheet for my Journalism class. I had a test coming up in about ten days.
Jon turned to me at some point and asked “When does your birth control run out?”
“I have enough till the end of the week.”
He then nonchalantly asked “Can you go on it for another month?”
I thought this is strange. Just a few months earlier he had wanted me to quit so we could have our next child about two years after we had Eden, but I wasn’t ready for a third so I continued birth control and figured I would stop December or January.
I asked “Why do you want me to be on birth control? I thought you wanted to have another baby?”
He just replied “No reason. I just thought you might want to be on birth control longer.”
I knew their was a reason so I continued to prod him and ask him why.
Jon: “I don’t want to burden you now. Lets wait until finals are over then I’ll tell you.”
At this time finals were just over a week away.
Me: “I’m gonna go crazy if you don’t tell me. Now you have me interested and I must know what you’re talking about.”
After a little more coercion he gave in. He asked me to go to the bedroom so he could prepare something. I agreed and I took my study sheet and book with me.
I’m not sure how long it took him to compose the paper he wrote. He mostly was cutting and pasting material he had already written. I was actually able to distract myself and study while he did this.

I heard his fingers on the key board and I wondered what was up. He came to check on me a couple of times. I asked him what it was about. I tried to guess and I listed off several scenarios. I don’t remember what they were but my last one was, “You’re leaving the church.” He was already leaving the room and his reply was just “You ask to many questions.” The moment I said ‘you’re leaving the church’ I had a gut instinct and I knew that guess was correct.

I already knew that some of Jon’s idea’s on how to cope with sin and guilt were different from the churches. I already knew that he looked at the Mormon religion differently than others. I already knew that he believed if the Mormon church wasn’t true none others were.

He came in shortly after this. I believe the paper was just printing when in came in the last time so he just closed up what he had and brought it into me. It was short, just five pages. It’s title was ‘Reverse Conversion’. As I read it my hopes slipped form me. My foundation shook and broke to where I hardly had anything left to stand on. I cried as I read his words. I felt deserted. So much of what he had written coincided with my own doubts. I felt no one was there when I prayed. I felt that I gained little understanding from the scriptures.

As I read I felt that the one person I could look to for guidance was deserting me. That all his knowledge was false and that he didn’t believe as I did. It hurt to see someone I thought I could look to fall away. It hurt that I could understand and see why he didn’t believe. It worried me that I might become a nonbeliever.

The church gives me hope and I didn’t want to lose that hope. The thought of losing my family hurt me physically. I cried when I cuddled with Lilah at her nap times. I felt the sorrow deep within my body. The thought that I might stop believing knotted my stomach. I took that as a sign that it was true.Maybe I did just want to believe because I found it glorious, but I wanted to believe because to lose that meant darkness for me.

I cried until early that morning and we talked. Jon stayed home the next day and we talked or didn’t talk all day. I contemplated leaving him. If he couldn’t give me the eternal family I wanted then I would find someone who would. But what guarantee would I have that this wouldn’t happen again? What real knowledge in the gospel did I have that I knew this is what I wanted for the rest of my life? That I should split my family up over it? I wished I didn’t have children. That if life could be more simple so as to make this decision easier. I felt alone. I felt my prayers were in vain. I forgot my faith.

Time went on. I finished school and eventually I told my eldest sister, Andrea. I cried and I was barely audible at times as I spoke to her on the phone. It had been two weeks at least and I thought I had gotten past the shock. We were suppose to wait to tell people. We wanted to figure out and see if Jon received any revelation that there was a God.
As time past it seemed forever. A month was an eternity. I felt that we were lying and that we should just come out and tell someone. (More than just my sister who was in Ely.) At tithing settlement when the bishop asked if their was anything we needed to discuss we both shook our heads and said everything was fine. I felt torn up inside. Jon said that he’d felt that way for a long time and just telling me helped him.

Rather than wait and test out a few months we decided to just come out in January. Jon had been asked to help with a blessing and he felt nothing while doing it. He just tried to say the words he thought the woman needed to hear. That occurrence made him want to be free of the lie that he was living as a believer.

I suppose my faith was not strong enough to say, “lets give it four more months. Heavenly Father will show you what you want if we are both earnestly trying.”
He had already tried and been trying. He had been praying and reading the scriptures but felt nothing. What could I do to change that? Some might say I should have vigorously turned to the scriptures and gone to the temple and prayed. In some ways I felt that my husband had tried hard and long enough and it would only be in time, a long time, that he would come back, if ever.

My faith had been lost. I felt alone and I felt “Why would God not give my husband an answer if he was trying so hard?” I decided that it wasn’t up to me to help my husband’s faith. It was up to me to help my own. He had made the decision of not believing. In some ways I wanted to stop also. In some ways I fear. I fear that I will come to the same conclusion as Jon. I fear that I will gain a stronger faith and know that he is lost from me.

Getting along.

Monday, March 12th, 2007

If you’ve read my blog in past months or the past year, you know that I sometimes have a hard time with Lilah. We just don’t always get along and I get annoyed, frustrated and mostly overbearing towards her.
Well I’ve been working on it but there are still times that really frustrate me.
Jon doesn’t see her crying as her trying to manipulate and get her own way, he’s able to brush it off and ignore it.
I don’t do so well. I like to stop the manipulative crying and it bothers me to let her cry it out when it is her just trying to get her way, even though we’ve explained things to her.
Luckily we’ve had fewer moments where this has happened. For the most part Lilah and I’ve gotten along well enough or I’ve been able to keep her form crying when she just wants her way so we avoid the frustrating scene. I think I’m being more clear in the rules and I think she’s understanding that I demand more respect from her and I’m trying to give her more.

We went through a period where she would always say no or back talk a little. It didn’t bother me that much but then I decided it was enough because it usually lead to a fight of some sort between us or a battle of wills. So I started putting her in timeout the first time she was rude to me rather then the third of fourth time or ignoring it. It was tough and I’m still not following through incredibly but after two days of going into timeout several times she got the just and we’re doing much better. With trying to get Lilah to show respect for me and not be rude I’m also trying to show her more respect. I try to compromise and give her plenty of warning for different things or changing of task, like turning off a movie in the middle to eat lunch or take a nap.

Second change: I’m being more firm on having Lilah think about what she says and using her first response.  (She use to flip flop and the warning of timeout would get her to do what she needed to do. I sometimes would not put her in timeout when she changed her mind, even after I said it was time for time out. Though it didn’t happen often.)
It’s just hard. I’m trying to teach her to respect her choices and understand them. I’m also trying to get her to understand me and that I respect her as long as she follows the rules and listens.
With crying I don’t mind if it for a valid reason like falling down, but I’m not good at letting her cry it out like Jon does. Like she cries if she doesn’t get enough kisses before bed time. That bothers me. We let her cry it out yesterday at nap time because of it. I actually went in and got Eden out of the room so she wouldn’t have to listen to it.
I give her the option that if she’s going to cry she can go to her room or not cry and stay out. Jon doesn’t like this option because it banishes her, but it’s the only way I can deal with her if she’s crying to get her way.

Eden’s crying more now for every disappointment or time I say no. She also says no a lot. I see my new battle arises with her.
It’s hard.

Jon even sees that Lilah and my relationship is a little better.My relationship is better with Lilah. There are still times, but it’s not everyday that I get frustrated with her. I also try to let it go if I get frustrated, which can be hard for me. I feel better about it and I feel that it is working more often than not. I still have control issues, but hey you can’t be perfect all at once.

I’m happy that we’re working together and that it is working more often. I’m trying to give her more independence, like helping with lunch and making decisions about how we should spend our time.  I am giving her a lot more attention, which is hard and easy at  the same time. Since I get along with her more I have more fun playing with her and I think she with me.
I’m starting to like my daughter more now, not just love her because I have too, which makes me happier too.
I hope we can continue to get better at our relationship. I hope I can apply the things I’ve learned with Lilah to Eden.