Friday, September 4, 2009

Things I Do Not Understand

1. While heading out for a walk with a friend, I found a kitten. Happily, the kitten was still there when we returned from our walk. Piano students were on the way, so I couldn't keep the kitten in that moment. But I have longed for a cat ever since I had to have Celestine euthanized almost six years ago. So, before my friend left for home, I made a request of him. I said, "I love this kitty. I want to keep him forever. But right now I have no supplies, and I have to work. So please take him home with you so that I can buy kitten chow/a litter box/figure out how to manage Casey's allergies. But make sure your children (BIG kids--ages 17, 15, and 12) understand that this is MY kitten. I will pay for everything. And *I* get to name him. I just need some time." The part I do not understand: Now, I am ready to bring the kitten home. But his children are not willing to part with him--a mere week later. My friend supports them in this. And they all take issue with the name I have chosen for him.

2. I took in three children. I gave up my student waiting room and bathroom for two of them; Nathan shared his tiny room with the other. I bought towels and dishes and flatware and tablecloths and made things as comfortable as I could in preparation for their arrival. Then I fed them, clothed them, sheltered them, taught them how to knit, and introduced them to my hairdresser. I gave them allowance and piano lessons and birthday dinners in nice restaurants and concert tickets and a trip to Six Flags. I gave them everything they needed and most of what they wanted. I gave them everything I had. I did the very best I could. The part I do not understand: They hate me. But they cannot explain why.

3. I loved a man. I provided a home for him and his children and his dog; I shared my closet and my bathroom and my bed with him. I took his dog to the vet and got her shots and a rabies tag and treatment for Lyme disease; I had my tuner take care of his piano. I shopped for glasses and clothes for him, introduced him to my friends, and bought him concert tickets for his birthday. I loved him and supported him in looking for a job and encouraged him in pursuing his passion for stand-up comedy. I gave him everything he needed and most of what he wanted. I gave him everything I had. I did the very best I could. The part I do not understand: He is gone. He refuses to take my side with his children--even when they are clearly wrong. Disrespectful and unfair. And now he wonders if we can be just friends.

He is gone and they are gone (and my boys are gone for the holiday week-end). For the most part, I enjoy my own company. But, like most of you, my preference is not to be alone. But here I find myself. Alone.

I do not understand.


Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

Ugh. Pam, I'm so sorry. I wish things had turned out better for all of you.

Now I really want to try to get together. Let's try soon.

Praying for you.

Arthur said...

Well I generally do not read the blogs but was compelled this time.

I must say that the issue is a simple 1 letter word. Where is the "I" in everything you mentioned. Maybe all of the things you have done was because you wanted to do those things but you did not mentioned what you got out of it. This is not atypical of a lot of people; unfortunatly especially females. You were everything to everybody but you forgot one simple letter...I.

saidfraz said...

if its a true friend she will give you your kitten. YOU need that kitten right now - it is time to take care of Pam. Hugs.

eric said...

You gave a lot more than you got, and you deserve a lot better. I'm holding back what I _really_ think about certain things, instead I will just reiterate that you deserve better. A LOT better. And deep down I think you know that, too. I love you!

Janet said...

I am in tears as I read this. You are such a wonderful and loving person. I don't understand it, except to say that I know first-hand how hard it is to be in the position of being the "wicked witch". I met Lindsay when she was 6 years old and had many conflicts with her as a teenager. It made it harder when I felt that her dad didn't support me and took sides with his daughter. You were put in an even more difficult position because of the girls already being in their teens.
I am heart-broken for you.
I so admire you for the way you are carrying on with things and sticking to your daily schedule to accomplish your personal goals.
We really need to get together soon.
Love you,

Anonymous said...

* My first thought was that you are dealing here with three 'letting go' issues.

Remember this Chinese proverb:

If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it's yours. If it doesn't, it never was. We do not possess anything in this world, least of all other people. We only imagine that we do. Our friends, our lovers, our spouses, even our children are not ours; they belong only to themselves. Possessive and controlling friendships and relationships can be as harmful as neglect.

Alison Willcocks adds: This ancient Chinese proverb articulates a powerful truth about the importance of letting go. It had a profound effect on me when I first heard it, and it has guided me in both my private and professional life ever since. I have often quoted it as an excellent model for parenthood, which is a gradual, wonderful - and sometimes painful - process of letting go. It begins with the cutting of the umbilical cord and ends when you hand over the keys of your car. They will fly the nest, but if you freely and willingly let them go then they will always come back.

* I know these events are very painful to you right now, but try to find the lesson here for you.

* Meanwhile, focus intently on all the good things you do have in your life right this minute. Use your writing talents here.

* I like this one too:

Everything Happens For A Reason

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there... to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be but when you look
eyes with them, you know that every
moment that you are with them, they
will affect your life in some profound way. And sometimes things happen to you at the time that may seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, will power or heart.

Everything happens for a reason!
Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly
paved, straight, flat road to nowhere, safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet affect your life. The successes and downfalls that you experience can create who you are, and the bad experiences can be learned from.... In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones.
If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them because they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart. If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally
not only because they love you, but
also because they are teaching you to love and open your heart and eyes to little things.

MAKE EVERYDAY COUNT! Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people who you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, even if it doesn't seem right because you are too young or too far, just follow your heart. Surround yourself with those who make you smile, laugh, and make you happy.

Break free and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you. Create your own life then LET GO and LIVE IT!

* See, you did everything right... perfectly, in fact. So, if you don't happen to like where you currently are, don't waste your time dwelling on what you did 'wrong' ... just get busy creating a new reality. The way through your pain is simply forward.

Carley said...

I don't dare say what I really feel in my heart at this moment as I am a very biased mother when I know one of my young are being taken advantage of. It brings back real recent memories of how Greg was treated. He was all "give & do for others with a heart of gold" and was treated in much the same way. No one looked out for what they could do for him just in what he could do for them. So many people, unfortunately, are selfish and are "takers" rather than "givers" and people that try to do the right thing are taken advantage of and come out on the short end. Fortunately, our God we serve is not like this--right the opposite in fact--He is the giver! When you have done all you can do I feel the ones that have mistreated you will eventually have to settle up somewhere someway. I feel so sorry about how unfairly you have been treated I should not offer advice, but I can ditto everything that Eric said in his post. Consider this a "red flag" and realize what you may have been saved from. You deserve a person that is deserving of you, your talents, ambition, and all the good qualities that you possess. I am praying for you that God will cause the right person to cross your path that is deserving of you. I love you with all my heart and even though I have never met the people you are talking about I have had bad "vibes" all along that he being of a mature age should have been planning and more settled with his future in Atlanta before just sponging off of you when I know how hard you have worked to create security for yourself and your children. I feel he was just using you as a stepping stone to make his transition to Atlanta. Never give him the chance to do it to you again. "A leopard never changes it's spots."

Jim said...

Dear Olde Dadd wishes to comment, too. I will keep it polite and refrain from using terms like SOB and the like. It angers me to see my little girl (Even at 50) took advantage of and hurt. I just hope that somebody will cross your path that will be right for you. I will keep this short, since I contributed part of Mom's comments. Just know that Dear Olde Dadd loves you and is proud to call you my daughter. May God be with you and comfort you through this bad time.

Donna said...

DITTO what Eric said. And go mom and dad! We love you!!!!!!!

David Nevue said...

Wow, Pam. I am really sorry. I will be praying for you. For peace of mind and for friends and loved ones to gather around you and help lift you out of the deeply distraught place you are no doubt in right now.

Julie said...

Dear Pam,
You made a tremendous, lasting, wonderful impression on the lives of my children. You continue to bless all those who know you. Know that you are loved, needed, prayed for and appreciated by countless numbers of people. I am a good example of that. Almost 20 years since I last saw you and I still care for your happiness and well-being. There are still wonderful things ahead in life for you and many, many more lives that you will bless.
Love, Julie

Theresa said...

It's hard to get it into your head right now, but this is not the person for you, this is not the family for you. And, believe it, no matter how many wonderful qualities this guy may have, he's not your prince, or even a frog with potential. As much as you'd like it to be different, this is not going to work. Why it's like that is a mystery you'll probably never solve, so be kind to yourself--speculating is a game with no winner. He's just the wrong one. That's all.

To continue with animal cliches, the sooner you can accept that silk purses don't come from sow's ears, the sooner you'll get back your equalibrium and move on. Take a bit of time to grieve, but understand that you are grieving for something that wasn't real.

As for the cat, there are many, many animals in need of homes that you can love. Or get a really big guy named Guido to go with you and get the kitten. No drama. Who needs it?

You have so much passion and love, find someplace worthwhile to put it, someplace that will return it to you multi-fold. Meantime, remember what a dynamite person you are and put on your big girl pants. You can do it.

Jeff said...

We just went through a series at church about suffering. In this world, we are going to suffer, that's a promise. The question is, will we suffer well. In Peter's letters he deals with suffering very thoroughly. He teaches us to suffer well through a deeper understanding of the Gospel. You've expressed deep pain from an unfair world. In the end there will be justice for these situations, that you can be assured. In the gap of time between now and then your hope needs to be on something greater. God's quickest path to our hearts is through our wounds. Further, he uses our felt needs (companionship of people or cats, a need for love and kindesses expressed to be returned) to get to our real needs. Some of us (this would be me) cry out for financial security while what we really need is a dependence on God. Some cry for physical healing while their soul rebuffs the Lord. I have no idea what God is doing with you, but I will pray that, as all things work together for good, He will build in your heart a deeper joy and confidence. You are a tender and gentle spirit and God deeply treasures these traits He has gifted you with.

My prayers go before you, Pam. You've got some pretty amazing friends, and awesome parents who are obviously prayer warriors.

I say again, give some thought to this: What would it look like if you totally gave yourself to God? Draw pictures of it.

For me, fear, anger and insecurity would go away. I'd quit missing blessings by habitually choosing sin (mine is to turn to alcohol for comfort), my appetites would adjust to a healthier lifestyle, I'd ruthlessly battle hurry in my life and I'd have a clearer view of Christ. Those are just a few for me. I wonder what yours would be.

Regardless, let us cling to the notion that if God is for us (and He is) who can be against us?

Let us all have a deeper understanding of suffering, and then suffer well.

You, Pam, are just this side of a miracle. For every pain you endure, the other side is reward beyond imagination.

In Christ,


Jeff said...

P. S. I just wanted you to know that my word verification, that squiggly thing to prevent automated messages, spelled out to be "numbnutt". Did you have a hand in that? Oh, well, I deserve it. Cheers!

Cindy said...

Pam, my heart is with you -- just wish that I could be with you. I'm so sorry that all of these things have fallen on you, and all at the same time.

You are an amazing, loving, warm, interesting person -- and don't you forget it. I know that you have a large community of friends and family who love and support you.

I'm sorry that your friend betrayed your trust as did John, who seemed like a prince and has turned into a frog. You deserve so much better.

What goes around comes around. The people who have betrayed you will have to, eventually, deal with themselves and their actions.

The best thing you can do is to be true to yourself and to believe in yourself. I believe in you, Pam.

Take care of yourself. You're in my thoughts and prayers.
Love you, Cindy