Monday, June 8, 2009

Checking In

There are days I feel like talking and days I don't feel like talking. It doesn't necessarily mean that things have changed, improved, worsened, or anything. Just that I do not feel like talking. not sure what to say.

I had a meeting with my team leader while he was in town and our here pastor. I also had a phone conversation with my home pastor. I am feeling right now like a piece of rope used in a three way tug-a-war.

In brief:

My team leader feels that
1. My husband's anger is in large part my fault because I have a "contrary spirit". (Hey, he's moved on from the psychological disorder at least!)
2. We should get a real counselor to work with us.

My here pastor feels that:
1. My husband's anger is his own fault, while we do have relationship issues.
2. We should not get a counselor but keep working with him because "the Bible is all we need"

My home pastor feels that:
1. My husband's anger is his own fault, and needs to be addressed separately.
2. We should get a real counselor to work with us.

And I feel like a rope being tugged three ways.
I feel that:
1. My husband's anger is his own responsibility, and while we do have relationship problems which likely exacerbate his anger, his anger also exacerbate the relationship problems.
2. We should see a real counselor, while I do respect and like my here pastor.

I do believe that the Bible has all we need in it for counseling. I feel that way in the same way that I feel that a scalpel is likely all that is needed to remove my gallbladder (ok, in a simplified way), but if I was to have my gallbladder removed, I'd prefer someone who had experience wielding that scalpel in that specific situation! I don't go to a GP for surgery, not even a GP I really like.

But I am tired. Really tired today. I told my husband last night about the counselor which the teacher recommended, and asked if he was willing to go. His response? Anger. There is no reason to go see someone. He only has one problem and that is me, so why should he go to get help?

He went on and on last night on his regular speil of angry words... not yelling this time, but a calm laughing at me, sarcastic. I asked him to stop, saying I only wanted to ask that question, but he would not. So I am tired today.

But today, he is fairly calm. Happy that the kids and I cleaned out the storage room. Happy that I came with him to see a potential house for his friends. Happy that I appeared happy and fine during the time with people. Happy that I made one of his favorite meals.

But all this happiness doesn't take away the anger of the night before for me. For him, he thinks it does. If we pretend to be happy, then obviously we are happy. This is what he told me last night, "Just decide to be happy and stop being tense and enjoy life. I'm tired of you being sad."

Yeah. Hard to do. I've tried smiling when he yells before - pretending to be happy. It is painful.

Anyway, he has a meeting tomorrow with our here pastor. I suspect that will not go too well. Can you all pray for that? Also pray for the rest of the day then - likely he will come home angry from that meeting, and likely I'll be up all night again being told how horrible I am to dare tell people bad things about him.

I'm just tired right now. Wishing God would just step in and give him a good kick in the ... umm... well the whatever at this point!

I'm reading one of John White's books to the children. It is a good thing to be reading right now.
I'm struggling to emotionally survive right now. I can't listen to music - it makes me cry. But I am memorizing again. It is a discipline which helps me, calms me, and gets scripture into me so I have it to remember later. Over several years (not that it took that long, but because I gave up and was lazy about it), I memorized Hebrews. Last week, I memorized Philemon - that was a nice, short, fun one. I'm going to work on Titus next. Just randomly curious if it is possible to memorize the Epistles.... But memorizing is good for me, calming, repetitive. Forces me to slow down my mind and my restless thoughts and questions and focus on what the passage is saying. Then when I go for walks, I take my Bible with me in my head and "read" it.


Angela said...

Praying for you, Ellie!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear. But glad to realize that we have not heard from you because of something normal, and nothing bad eg somebody taking away your computer.
I am weary of people who do counseling with "only the Bible" - they can actually do a lot of damage. I have experienced the difference. I often feel that newer scientific insights often reveal things that are already there in the Bible but we have not noticed them.

Karis said...

Praise the Lord for your ability to memorize and the work you are willing to put into it. I loved the line about taking the Bible with you in your head when you go for walks.

And I got a smile out of "wishing God would step in and give him a good kick in well the whatever at this point!" Glad to hear you still got your sense of humor and your way with words despite the emotional exhaustion.

Becky Aguirre said...

Hmmm...yes, sounds like some very different kinds of advice...will pray that God will be working in both of your hearts for a better marriage and family life. I know one reason that my husband resisted 'real' counseling (or counseling of any kind, for that matter) was the fear of being named as the "bad guy" and being shown as inadequate. When we did go, he really struggled with that even though there were obviously things that I had to work on, too.

Hang in there, God is working. If nothing else, He's working on you in the meantime...

Becky Aguirre said...

I've been thinking about what your husband said about being tired of you being sad...and I wonder if we couldn't pray that God would help you get to the point of being independently "happy" regardless of what is going on with your husband? Not the "oh, I'm happy all the, la, la", but an honest contentment and joy that shows in your face regardless of whether you and your husband are on good terms. I don't think that you have to show 'happiness' during a conflict, but I've learned to give it over to God much more quickly and I find that over time, God has given me the ability to feel great joy and peace so quickly and the devastation of whatever hurt I've received just fades away.

At times, I 'rebel' and say exactly what you said...if we act happy, then we are just denying that anything is wrong!!! And maybe on some level that is true, but I am finding that God is working in many areas of our marriage, on many levels without me having to do much about it at all. I'm finding that it's a true need for my husband to see me "happy"...I think that he believes that my demeanor is a way that I try to manipulate him. That is not true, I'm just a person who tends to show my emotions easily, but I am learning that for me, at least, sometimes I need to set aside those emotions. And when I can do that, I find him much more receptive to hearing me out and accepting what I have to say. I am not saying that that is 'right', but God is helping me in this area to do what I can to promote healing. You can't really change anyone else, but I believe that God can lead us to ways we can change ourselves (in a healthy way, of course) so that we can better handle our relationships.

And in the meantime, I've been able to pour myself into my kids in a way I couldn't do before, which has been a blessing to them, because I am choosing to not be manipulated by that emotional rollercoaster any more (not that I'm saying that you are choosing to be manipulated...that's just my experience). And it really is painful sometimes, it hasn't been an easy road, but I am thanking God for the work He's done in me in spite of myself.