Every so often I reach a place where I can’t keep all that is going on inside any longer. All I want to do is scream… out loud.
Those are the moments my readers get to see a rare glimpse of what happens in between the Shiny Happy People, Unicorns, and Fairy Dust. Only those invested in my day-to-day life know exactly what I’ve been going through.
In June I had one of those moments. I wrote a blog post about knowing when to walk away from all the drama. It came on the heels of the perfect storm going on in my life. You know, that proverbial straw which breaks the camel’s back… little did I know it would create a storm all of its own.
My sister’s ex-husband and one of his sisters had been threatening me for standing up for her, her ex threatened to beat up my dad (there’s a police report), and they threatened to bring down my parent’s business. They also left bizarre, hateful anonymous comments on a guest post my dad wrote for me. It was a nasty time in our lives and unfortunately, I let it get the best of me, I went from sassy to scrappy…
We celebrated 20 years at our church this past Easter. My husband was 26 years old when turned down a regular paycheque and benefits to plant a church, on his own, from scratch. It’s been quite the journey, with plenty of highs and a few lows here and there. This year has been one of those low times for me. You know what they say about “little foxes spoiling the vine”… in the spring we endured a few grunts, groans, and gossip. I get a little hot under the collar when people get all religious about how a Pastor’s Wife should behave. To top it off, my husband took the largest pay cut to date in June…
All spring I was waist-deep with BlissDom Canada preparations, helping negotiate the license and taking over management. Although I was super excited to be able to keep the bliss alive, whispers of criticism and disparaging comments could be heard from the bleachers. All the while, each day was mixed with the feeling like I was drowning; I was struggling with depression (which is a huge faux pas and never talked about when you’re married to the preacher-man). It took every ounce of the strength I had to get out of bed and push on with a smile.
Back story: After my mother-in-law passed away in 2005, my father-in-law remarried in 2007 to someone we thought was a nice companion for him. Dad’s health took a turn for the worse in 2011. She started acting strangely, accusing us of taking advantage of him, disappearing for days on end, and ultimately abandoning him a month and a half before he died. On and off for the last 2.5 years, we’ve been embroiled in a nasty legal battle over his non-existent estate. p.s. they lived with us…
Current: Just when we thought it was over, she reappeared with her 3rd lawyer, and thanks to Dad co-signing on our house in 2005, we lost a big battle with her in June. The whole thing has cost us about $45,000.
As I was prepping to head out west for 2 weeks in June to host 2 work-related tweet-ups and to see my family (which was awesome), someone I know told me there were people (not named) online making fun of their child’s appearance.
In looking around the internet, I was made aware of the high levels of snark; distance and anonymity were giving people license to be cruel. Surely people wouldn’t say such things to someone’s face…
Final Straw (Again in June. Man, this month really tried to suck the life out of me):
My oldest son’s bike was stolen from our yard. My son who always thinks of others first, who turned his 13th birthday party into a fundraiser for homeless teens, who spent a summer on a mission trip to Peru, who’d go to the moon and back for you… My faith in humanity had been shaken all year long. Seeing his face as he wheeled to the curb the broken bike they’d left behind in its place, I snapped.
I couldn’t hold it all in any longer.
I’d had it with the crap the world was dishing out. At the same time, I’d had it with my own shortcomings of not being about to focus on the good around me.
On June 13th, this picture and quote from Zig Ziglar’s Facebook page came across my screen, “There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of life, getting back up is living.”
Zig’s timing was impeccable!
Two days later, “There comes a time when you walk away from the drama…” was born.
I felt a load leave my shoulders. I headed out west, lighter. It’s amazing what happens when you write something down. It’s kinda like those New Year’s Resolutions… not the ones you never intend to keep but ones you write down in big bold letters so that when you read them, you use them as a witness of what’s to come.
Unfortunately, that was short-lived. A few months went by when I heard there was some buzz and speculation about which side I sat on in a disagreement taking place online which coincided with my post. Conspiracy theories circled like buzzards over a dying corpse.
Unbeknownst to me, my words were taken out of context and used to pit people against each other, in a “discussion” I was completely oblivious to. As soon as I was made aware of the situation I took it down (I’ve reactivated it so you can read it in its full context). The last thing I want is for my blog to be misused. I was in a giant swirly and I didn’t even know it.
I escaped to our vintage trailer in Muskoka for the summer to clear my head but more importantly, to heal my heart. I was determined to focus on the good, surround myself with those who made me laugh and love those who had my best interest in mind.
By the time our last court date in September with Dad’s ex came about, I could look her in the eye
and not have a panic attack (I have PTSD because of everything that went on) she may have received a final cash settlement but she didn’t destroy us. I got knocked down but I got up again! I am still standing!
Standing on the stage at BlissDom Canada, welcoming everyone in October, I have never felt more alive! I was in the right place at the right time. My cheeks hurt so badly from smiling all weekend long. I was sure they were pumping liquid Joy into the air… It was easy to “focus on the good” because I was surrounded by those who make me laugh! I forgot all about the bad, the spring from hell, and of course, June, the worst month EVER.
At the unexpected funeral of one of our best friends last month, I was reminded again, that “Life is too short to be anything but happy.”
2013… you may have knocked me down but I get up again each and every time!
My next ‘year in review’ post will focus on all the awesome of 2013; like meeting Oprah, and Pink, traveling across Canada for Bliss tweet-ups, yoga in Jamaica, and meeting my family in Mexico. Stay tuned.
**UPDATE: here’s my year in review post where I talk about the overwhelming AWESOME which took place in 2013.
Getting back up is living!
Wow, it's unbelievable how people even the ones that are close to you can turn on an instant. I battle every day with anxiety and depression in which my wife suffers as well. So I do have a little knowledge of what your going through and to push through it is possibly the hardest thing to do as people don't realize your ill. Mine comes from having other health issues that cause me to miss work so much that it then becomes stressful but uncontrollable. I am a strong headed person in trying to succeed but my body doesn't want me too.
Thanks Tullyman for letting me know about your struggles as well. I'm a very strong headed person as well, I went back and forth whether or not I should press publish.
I just wanted to write a comment in support of focusing on the good things and "walking away from the drama" (I'm struggling with this right now, but am also focused on the good things).
Meeting Oprah and Pink and your family in Mexico are awesome moments to remember! I hope 2014 brings you many, many more amazing moments.
Thank you Kat. There are far more good things than bad, focusing on the good makes life a whole lot better. That's my next "year in review" post.
Well I had a few doozies last year (which you know about) that knocked me sideways and it was a friend who reminded me to have NO expectations of others….apparently common decency is often too high. I'm glad to have had the blessing of your friendship in my 2013, you know I love ya
I would like to think the best of all people, but as I do I am learning to roll with the punches 🙂 xxoo
I remember all too well, all that stuff going on in the spring/early summer. I know how hard it was for you to deal with church issues, family stuff and Q's health scare and all the go go go with trying to get Bliss and your company off the ground, all at the same. not feeling like you could take a breath. But I'm glad I got almost 2 weeks with you in June, so June wasn't a total loss… 🙂 Love you
you're right, not a total bust!!
I hate that some people suck. And sometimes it takes a while to figure out which ones 🙁 You are such an open. giving, smart and kind person. You deserve so much better than the crap that you faced in 2013. Keep on keeping on, darling! I love your strength!
Thanks Deb. I heard the phrase, "Hurting people – hurt people" a long time ago. I never want to stay hurt so that I slip into acting like those who hurt me (and others). Know what I mean? I still want to believe the best of people, I think it would be worse if I stopped believing in the kindness of people.
Well a person always thinks they are alone in turmoil and it seems when you talk to open genuine people we all have so much going on, I never heard a bad word about you anywhere so guess I am in the dark, but I only have had rare times on twitter and your blog when we have communicated and I know your one of the good ones just by your posts and anyone who can't see that is not worth your time. I think this past year has been the worst in a lot of peoples lives, my dad was diagnosed with incurable cancer, then my mom fell and broke her shoulder and leg a week later, I am immobile right now so my husband was taking care of all of us and then when walking the dog 5 days after my moms fall he was found unconscious over on the next block and had a severe concussion so everyone was down and no one to help us, then we had a death of a grandma and a best friend so as I spend my last Christmas with my father I will cherish it but can't wait for this year to end. People are only there to help it seems when there is something in it for them, very sad. How the world has changed. Let's hope we all have a better 2014, thank you for your post!
2013 seems to have kicked a lot of people in the teeth. I'm so sorry to hear about all that you've been going through as well. The world has changed, I think Social Media is to blame in part for that. People get complacent and think connecting with a thumbs up or an emoticon is connecting but it's not. I heard someone say that we're in a "post-human era" where people are more comfortable with machines than each other.
Hugs to you this holiday season.
Here's to a better 2014!!
Your June sounds like my December 🙁 You are one of my faves! I have noticed a lot of drama online lately and it really has gotten to me. As a person who sticks up for the little guy it is hard to ignore. Here is hoping 2014 is a great year for us all
Cheers to a better 2014!!!
You are an inspiration to me – I love even just reading your ordinary every day FB status updates because I can always feel the love and warmth and goodness and strength shining through in every little bit of it of anything you say and do. Happy New Year!
Thanks so much Cyn for the kind words, I really appreciate it. xoxo Happy New Year!