Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Moving Onward and Upward...

Disclaimer: This is a long post.  It has to do with a personal issue that has arisen in my life.  I will not allow hating comments to appear on this post.  Remember...if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.  Thanks, Ruth

I know that I haven't been on here much lately, I have had so many things going on in my life, and so many changes that I have been adjusting to.

I have held back on sharing here because I have struggled with how much to share.  I also want to make sure what I do share is honest and real, and not hurtful or spiteful in any way.  My time off has been great at letting me digest things and get past some of those stronger emotions that have come from this situation.

I bet you are all wondering what I am about to share!! 

Well, this year was my 17th wedding anniversary.  It sounds like a great accomplishment and something to be celebrated, but last month, after a year of counselling, and trying to work through some issues, I decided that we needed to take a break.  From each other. 

Yes, that means we have separated for now. 

There were many issues involved, on both our parts.  I accept just as much fault and responsibility as the other and I am ok with that.

In the past month I have done a lot of "soul searching".  I have started to learn some things about myself, and I feel that my eyes have been opened more to things that are happening around me.  It feels like it is a blessing and a curse, all at the same time.

We went away for a few days, to Quebec, with the 4 older kids and dad.  It was kind of weird, and a little awkward at times, but the kids had been looking forward to spending time with him and they had a blast at the aerial course on the last day.

I enjoyed chatting with my aunt and my cousin and just having the opportunity to dig a little deeper, in the quietness, to learn about myself.  I finally accepted the fact that for my whole life, not just my marriage, but my whole life, I have defined myself based on others around me, or by my responsibilities. 

Being a teenager was difficult for me.  I became like the people I hung out with.  I really wasn't an individual.  I wanted people to like me.  Then, I got pregnant at 18, married at 19 and had a baby.  I jumped into my role as a mother and a wife.  Those were roles that started to define me.  And at that point I was ok with that.  I started to volunteer at church, and that was a new role, then I started to homeschool, and that became another great role.  So many things defined me.

I struggled through quite a bit of depression, and I could never figure out why.  I had the "seemingly" perfect life.  House, husband, kids (good ones at that) and great friends.  What more could I want?

This past month I finally figured some things out.  I was always so smart in school.  I LOVED school...for me it was not the social aspect at all, but the assignments, the work, the projects.  I may sound crazy right now, but I was really smart and had plans for my future.  I was going to go to college for ECE (which I am glad I didn't now) and all that fun stuff. 

I just seemed to get sidetracked.  And not in a bad way, just not what I had planned right away.

In these roles that have defined me, I have not really had to use my intellect...now, you may disagree with me, and you need to be smart to survive through everything I have...but I don't think I was being challenged in a way that I would have liked to be.  I love having conversations with people, where I feel like I have to think outside the box, to figure out how to respond. 

I have a few friends now that I enjoy spending time with that do that for me.  But this is something that I was missing before.  I really believe a lot of my depression issues stemmed from not being able to express myself in those ways. 

Now, it was not my husband who did that to me, and it wasn't my kids.  It was me.  My self esteem has always been something that I have struggled with, and I would always overthink things, and not get involved in conversations with people who I considered "smarter" then me.  Because, in my brain, I was not smart. 

I now see that that was a big problem.  I was not able to view myself as a strong, independent, smart woman.  And that is a big deal.  We, as women, need to know that we are more then just our role or responsibility.  I know I may get some flack for saying that, but oh well...it is how I feel right now.

I have started to walk, I have cut down a lot of my fast food eating, I have put my computer down more often and gotten off the couch.  I am realizing that I have this confidence, that has been gone for some time now, but it is coming back to me. 

I am strong!!

I am smart!!

I am confident!!

I am a mother!!

I am a woman!!

And I am becoming who I really want to be.  It is my time to define myself as a woman.  As a smart, strong and confident woman.  I am a role model to 4 young ladies and I want them to know who they are.  I want to empower them to become who they are meant to be.  I don't want them to feel that they are not capable of accomplishing even the biggest of dreams.

I have not felt depressed in the last month.  I have lost over 5lbs.  I have plans to go to university.  I have plans to start running with my oldest daughter.  Things are moving onward and upward, and I am happy that I had the courage to take a stand and do this for myself...

So, that is my long winded post about what has been happening lately.  Who knows when I will be back to write more, but stay tuned!!



24 comments:

  1. Christine HallmanMay 09, 2012 12:01 pm

    You are a beautiful woman Ruth, inside and out. I do hope great things for you. May God be your rock in times of trouble.
    you are :
    strong!!
    smart!!
    confident!!
    a mother!!
    a woman!!
    I'm here if you need anything!

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    1. Thanks Christine:-) I miss seeing you!!!

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  2. Ruth, I really respect you for waiting for the right time to post about this. It was what is happening in your life and not a rant about who did what and 'he said/she said'. Thanks!
    I feel sad for you and all the marital stuff you have had and are going through. BUT I am so happy that you are finding out how God thinks of you. Highly!

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    1. Thanks for your words Sarah:-) I don't think its fair to make any of this a rant, because it really isn't like that...

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement Carrie:-)

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  4. My dear Ruth, do you know how proud I am of you and. Yuor family. I have. Waited along time to hear thiss post. I am excited to watch as you begin to flourish in the revelations of this part of your life. I'm waiting in anticipation. Much lOve as a friendd and family.

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    1. I love your encouragement:-) I hate not knowing who this is, abd if you want to contact me privately feel free... ruthcpatton@gmail.com I would love to chat more:-)

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  5. Ruth I am sending you my love and prayers. You're an amazingly strong woman and I am proud of you for looking deep and figuring out what you need to do in order for YOU to be happy. You ROCK!!

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    1. Alex, I <3 you :-) I am so glad that we are friends...and you rock too btw!!

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  6. Hi,Ruth,thankyou for being real;I love that about you.I know this life has its' valleys and by Gods Grace,we come through.We are keeping all of you in our prayers.
    You may remember,I was an adult student,returning to school.It was a scary yet exciting time in our lives.I know you will enjoy it and do well.You and Peter have a wonderfully awesome bunch of kiddies,you have done very well there too.God bless you as you continue on......much love and prayers from Florence

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    1. Thanks Florence:-) I am taking all the prayers I can get right now. And yes, returning to school is a little nerve wracking...I know I did the PSW course, but what I want to do is so much bigger...But, I will get through it:-)

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  7. Not allowing hating comments seems closed minded to me. Could it be because you don't want to hear opinions that you don't agree with. You started life at 19, big deal. Lots of people I know started then and they are still going strong after 40 years, some of them are hitting 50 years married. You honestly think they didn't have troubles in their marriages, they worked through them together because separation and divorce were not acceptable solutions to changing their lives. You say you figured out that you have defined yourself by the people around you. Some of those people are your children, what is wrong with that? I am a parent first and foremost, I am also lots of other things with the other people in my life. You can define who you are as an individual while being defined by your children too. You mention being a role model for your four daughters, are you showing them that when the going gets tough bail out? Decisions like this that we as adults make has a big affect on our lives, but an even bigger affect on the lives of our children however you decide to candy coat it to them. You have five children, what about the son you forgot to mention, how is this decision helping him. It appears you have already made your mind up on the outcome of your separation based on the banner photo minus one.

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    1. Actually, I wonder if you really read my post, or if you just scanned it and decided to make up lines between the lines. I am not opposed to others opinions, however, I have chosen to share some of the positive that is coming out of something that has been extremely difficult.

      See, no one else has been in my shoes. No one else has been in my marriage. And I believe that no one else has the right to judge me, or have a set opinion when they do not know the ins and outs of this situation.

      I don't mind looking at the big picture, if you have been a reader of my blog over the past years, you will know that I always think about all sides. That I always try to look outside the box. That I am the first person to admit to being wrong, and I am always open to change.

      I have chosen not to share what was involved in my marriage splitting at this point, or ever...because some things are still private and my kids dad is a great dad. I would never do or say anything to hurt him or to have anyone hate him.

      What you failed to see in this post, is that I was posting specifically about women. Hence not mentioning my son, that would be a whole other post. I have spoken to and learned that I am not the only woman who has felt this way, and I am glad that I know this is going to help someone out.

      And my banner, you have me confused...because it is called "Mom's Musings" and I have my kids in the banner...and only them...not sure how that makes the outcome of my separation...

      Thanks for making me think about the topics you posted, and I am sure that you will see a blog post about this comment in the near future...so keep your eyes peeled!!

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    2. hating comments are different than hearing an opinion from someone you know that cares and knows both sides to the situation, each marriage is different. how can you compare a bunch of marriages, of course marriages have trouble, did you read that it has been 17 years. If your a parent 1st and not a man or woman you will have no idea what to do when your kids are gone... the son was not meantioned in my opinion because this post is more about being a woman and ruths meantion about 4 daughters in my opinion she is wanting to teach them how to become women who are not insecure and are able to achieve goals and dreams. her banner only has the kids not her or pete. I think you missunderstood why ruth listed things she has been defined by and she never said anything negative about being defined as a mom, the point is if you are defined by what you do then when its done you will feel lost
      and hiding behind your screen commenting as anonymous tells me that you have an opinion about divorce and seperation

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  8. I have always seen you as smart and told you as much. There's no way a non-smart person could have saved how you did for your first home, taught your kids all the fantastic hands-on things you taught them while you home-schooled them (and a bit of mine), came up with Sunday school material and crafts on the fly, planned out weekly meals and found various ways to make some extra money. Not to mention the schooling you've done for yourself to this point.

    Some people just get to do most of that before they have a kid almost ready to graduate high school. You've done more incredible things than you give yourself credit for.

    I don't think there's been a couple in the entire history of our church that Dave hasn't bragged on more than you guys. Who both of you are is reflected in your offspring. Non-smart people do not have the kind of amazing children you two have!

    I know your self-confidence needs help, how we see you isn't how you've seen yourself. As you seek to find answers and direction in all of this, first seek His wisdom - His wisdom will bring beauty to it all.

    Proverbs 4:1-10

    1-2 Listen, friends, to some fatherly advice; sit up and take notice so you'll know how to live.
    I'm giving you good counsel;
    don't let it go in one ear and out the other.

    3-9 When I was a boy at my father's knee,
    the pride and joy of my mother,
    He would sit me down and drill me:

    "Take this to heart. Do what I tell you—live!
    Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding!
    Don't forget one word! Don't deviate an inch!
    Never walk away from Wisdom—she guards your life;
    love her—she keeps her eye on you.
    Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom!
    Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!
    Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won't regret it;
    never let her go—she'll make your life glorious.
    She'll garland your life with grace,
    she'll festoon your days with beauty."

    Dear friend, take my advice;
    it will add years to your life.
    I'm writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way,
    I'm drawing a map to Righteous Road.
    I don't want you ending up in blind alleys,
    or wasting time making wrong turns.
    Hold tight to good advice; don't relax your grip.
    Guard it well—your life is at stake!

    xoxoxox

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    1. Thinking about how to respond to this...because I am almost in tears:s It is like I know, that I know these things about myself, but I can't seem to grasp it and have it stay. I am getting there. I am growing, little by little, and my eyes are opening up to more and more. Thank you for your words, for your encouragement and for being my friend:-)

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    2. Shash awesome words of encouragement my sister, glad we have you in our lives

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  9. Ruth you are an amazing woman and I admire you so much. I honestly don't know how you do everything. You make me tired just listening to all the things you have done/ are doing/ plan on doingLol . All 5 of your kids are amazing little lights. You and Peter have done such an amazing job raising them. My prayers are with you and your family daily. Lots of love... Rachel. P.s I'm too lazy to figure out how to 'sign in as' so my apologies that it says anonymous

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  10. I've always thought you were brilliant.
    And now I would add 'courageous'. Good for you. I pray God's will and peace for you and your family during this time. Please ignore the 'haters' and someone who posts as 'anonymous' should be deleted before being read. Also, you are an awesome writer. This might be frivolous but have you thought of writing fiction? Like blogging, it can also be cathartic. You don't need to reply.

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  11. It sounds like you are what I call "in the weeds of life" feeling your way back to your true self which can be tough but rewarding when you come out. Good for you for sharing and being so strong!

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  12. My dear Ruth, I had a feeling before I read your post that something was up with you and your husband... but I wanted to respect you and well mind myself.
    I hope that you guys can figure things out and get back together but also if its better for the TWO of you not to be well then I will still be happy for you.
    I see you as a very strong woman and don't know how you do it sometimes!!!
    Never mind the haters!!! I wanted to smack one of them ;)
    Stay strong!!

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