Last night I went and watched a movie with a girlfriend of mine. As usual, there were 2 hours of previews before it started. Most of them were previews for romantic comedies, and it got me thinking. Why is it that in this day and age when so many people think that “marriage is a dying institution” that there are so many movies about love? They all looked like cute and funny movies, and they all got some things about love right, but they all also had alot of things wrong about love. Including the movie we watched. I for one am very pissed that I fell for the lies that all these movies have in common. That true love is dead, that being a wife and mother is boring and that the “good guys” who will treat you good are not as hot as the “bad boys”. Well I’m living proof that all that is a crock. I have true love, I love being a mom, my life is anything but boring, and my husband is a hot cowboy who makes every girl he talks to melt, even when I’m standing right next to him. To top it off he’s kind, honest, romantic, and funny. I think too many people watch these movies and think that they are examples of how real life goes, because there are not enough people telling their real life stories. So many people feel alone in their struggles. I hope sharing some of my story will help if you are one of those people. There are many, many pieces of my story; I won’t get into all of them right now.
My life about 5 years ago was the complete opposite of what it is now. My typical day was me at whatever bar had the best drink specials that day, staying out until 2 am or later, unless some guy called me (or found me at the bar) for a booty call, then who knows when I’d get some sleep. I’d get up and take my kids to school half asleep and sometimes still drunk. Almost always in the same clothes I was wearing the day before and smelling like a pack of cigarettes. It wasn’t cute. At the time I thought that it was what having “fun” was all about. The drinking had a lot to do with my idea of what fun was, but that’s a whole other story; I won’t go there today.
For two years I went from relationship to relationship. During that two years I was steady toy for one guy the whole time, no matter who I was “dating” or what I was doing, if he called I was there. I lied to everyone. My life was a lie. Every single guy who paid me a compliment had a chance to be “the one” for me. It was very sad, and it’s hard for me to think about. Men treated me like a piece of trash and a toy they could do whatever they wanted to with and I let them. People I thought cared about me were just watching me self destruct like I was a walking reality show. Those who cared enough about me to not watch were fed up with me and not a part of my life. Everything I did was out of the desperation to be loved; all the while I had 4 awesome kids who loved me no matter what that I was ignoring. I had lost my dignity. How does someone end up losing their dignity? I fell for the lies, and there are many of them. The two that I fell for the hardest are: there is no such thing as true love for me, and fairy tales are overrated. See, I went from one extreme to the other. I went from wanting a fairy tale so badly I sacrificed myself for it, to hating them and wanting no part of one. I went from being married to a man that I loved, without understanding what love really is, to dating two of the most dangerous men in the town I lived in. (Dating is not the word for it, but I have no idea what is. I never got taken to dinner, or a movie. I was never even acknowledged in public unless it was when I needed a drink or money to get one. And both of them had girlfriends, one actually lived with his, that had they had a child with. ) They were both dangerous and toxic. In the middle of both those relationships was a lil man with commitment issues; who was toxic in his own little way.
In the search for love and acceptance I had ended up in the most loveless and lonely place in my life. In hindsight it was a taste of what Hell must be like. Thank God for Candie Flores. If it wasn’t for her, who knows what I would’ve done to myself, granted her solution was giving me enough vicodin to knock out a horse, but after my 2 day nap I woke up ready to conquer the world. Who wouldn’t after sleeping for that long??! All this happened right after Homer’s death. I had hit rock bottom. I lost my house, the window in my car was jacked up (thanks Prissy HAHA!!), I lost my job, and everyone I had made friends with there thought I was the biggest slut to ever live. Funny thing about that is, of all the things I had done in my past and was doing up until this point the one thing that made them think that about me was not true. So there I was with nothing and nobody, except Candie. I had given everything I had to so many people that I had nothing left to give. I was broken, as broken as a human can be, and I was exhausted. That’s when God stepped in. At the time I wouldn’t have ever said, “oh God is gonna help me”. When I prayed it was not a prayer it was an accusation. I was angry at God. IF there was a God, he sucked. (Yeah, because I had NOTHING to do with the mess I was in. Riiiight.) Now looking back I can see that it was Him who helped me and picked me up. He had pity on me and saved me. It wasn’t the first time He had stepped in, He’s done it a lot of times since, and He will do it until the day I die when I go off of the path He has set for me. He’s awesome like that.
I packed the trunk of my car with anything that would fit, put the rest of my stuff in storage and moved to Austin. Most of you know the story of Stacey and me from there. So I will skip that part. For those of you who don’t know our story, stayed tuned, I’ll tell it later. So here I am with this awesome man who did anything he could to show me he loved me. We lived together for a year, and I was still not able to trust that he loved me. I hacked his email, his facebook, myspace and any other thing I could hack. I watched his every move and told him about how I had done this or that to men before him who cheated on me. It started getting dysfunctional real fast and I was helping things fall apart. I didn’t see it then, I just figured it was too good to be true so it wasn’t. It was bound to fall apart anyway. I never realized that it was falling apart because I was still broken, and because God can only do so much when you are living a disordered life. What is a disordered life? When other things are more important than God, when you are making all the choices in your life based on what YOU want, and what feels good. It’s like using a toaster for a hammer, it will eventually break. We are created by God, for a certain purpose. Living outside of that purpose will eventually break us. It takes longer for some than others, but in the end we will all find ourselves lost without God
. After all the fights and drama Stacey and I finally came to a place where we were ready to get married. It was a long and hard journey full of tears and crosses to carry, but it’s been worth it every step of the way. By this time our life and approach to everything had changed. God was the center of both our lives, so a Catholic wedding it was. We didn’t get married in the Catholic Church just because we are Catholic and that’s what Catholics do, to have a beautiful wedding, or just so I could wear a white dress. I got my dress at Goodwill for $50 bucks. If you don’t believe me ask Candie, she was with me when I found it. We got married in the Catholic Church because we wanted a covenant with God. I heard someone say “The only way that two people can live a lifetime together without strangling each other is by the Grace of God”. Yep, THAT’S why we got married in the Catholic Church, for the Grace of God to pour out over our marriage. I haved loved Stacey as far as I can remember, but never did I love him enough to give him all of myself. I always held some part of me back waiting for the bottom to fall out. With my past, I had no idea how to react to being treated with dignity, respect and love. While I was learning how to respond to being treated that way, Stacey was learning how to treat me like his wife. Who was teaching us? God was and still is; Plain and simple. I can’t explain that in words to anyone. There wasn’t a burning bush in our back yard, or a pillar of fire in our front yard. God was just in our hearts and he was and is working on softening both of them. Everything that I have is Stacey’s, my heart, soul, body and my past. There’s nothing that he doesn’t know about me, and nothing that I’m scared of him finding out. Not one single thing. That’s true love. You can only have that kind of love with another human being if your love is first rooted in the God who IS love. Anything short of that is only human love, and that love wears off when life happens. When the bills start piling up, when the other person no longer makes you *feel* happy, when the butterflies are gone, when the diapers start stinking, when the baby won’t quit crying, when nobody sleeps, when sex is a chore because everyone is exhausted and all the other stresses of ordinary life happen. A love rooted in God will never die, because God is constant and faithful. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The one thing that I feel was the biggest lie that I was fed and that I fell for is that Catholics don’t like sex. WRONG. True Catholics see sex as a sacrament when shared between a husband and wife in a sacramental marriage. I’ve had sex since I was 14 years old. I’ve done it all; I will spare you details, but just trust me on that. I’ve had the best, holiest, loving, toe curling sex in my whole life in the last 8 months, since Stacey and I celebrated the Sacrament of Marriage. And it’s probably more often than most non- Catholic marriages. There are a few guidelines given by the Church, but for the most part everything else goes. The best part, I don’t feel ashamed in saying that. I no longer walk around with a cloud of shame, guilt and self loathing surrounding me. I walk with my head high, because I’m a child of God.
There is nothing God won’t do for you, if it’s good for you. He wants you to enjoy every part of your life. I know, because I’ve been the lowest kind of person. I’ve done the worst things to myself and to others. I’ve been a terrible mother and daughter. I’ve taken God’s name in vain in my words and actions. I’ve been the worst of all sinners. I’m still a sinner. Yet here I am a devout Catholic wife and mother. How is that possible? It’s possible because God is merciful, not because I’ve worked for it, but because He loves me. Everything I do isn’t to earn His love; it’s OUT of love for Him that I do them. I’m still me, but now I have JOY. I have confidence, and I have Truth and Love. Nobody can ever take that away from me. I have been struggling with trust since I was a small child and for once in my life I can say that I trust in God and in my Husband. I only hope to share my story so others who feel lonely, unloved, and to far from God can see that if I can find my way Home to Him, if He loves me, accepts me, and has Mercy on me, He will do that for anyone no matter how far away you’ve gone.