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 preacherman). It took every ounce of
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 internets, 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 fund raiser for homeless teens, who spent a summer on a mission's 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 it, you use it 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 my blog being 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 on 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. We're 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 tried to knock me down but I got up again!
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!