Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pathetic as we live, strong as we will be

It's the days that you are just surviving. The days that you are literally just putting one foot in front of the other, too consumed with moving at all to be ashamed for being behind. The days you can barely get through and can barely remember afterward because they were such a blur.

Do you ever wonder if anyone can tell? I personally (this is not a joke although it is comical) can almost hear epic movie music playing in the background as I move throughout the day.. which is really just in my head of course. It's funny to me that in my most pathetic times, I play bad A background music for myself in my head haha.

But are they so pathetic? I mean, let's look at this for a minute. This could just be me, but I feel all sorts of uber alone when going through a trial. Even when people reach out to me, I'm afraid to take their hand cuz I'm afraid of burdening them, so often times I just don't. And really, most of the things I've been through, my parents don't even know how to help me with so I have a hard time expecting most people to know where I'm coming from. Make no mistake, sincere comments and acts of kindness or even just checking up on me may not support me, but they keep me moving forward. Even being married to someone who walks every step of the way with me, I've come to realize that I still can't rely on someone else to carry me.

So throw in the obvious shame for "being alone" and "pathetic" cuz my life consists or more stress, crying,  and surviving than anything, factor in the mountains that have been climbed, and the word pathetic just does not compute.

To answer my earlier question, I do believe people can tell what you've been through. People tell me its in my eyes. They may not know a single trial I'm going through, meet me when I'm being a happy go lucky smiley weirdo, and still, they say they can see it in my eyes that I've seen and been through a lot. A lot of them say they can see my strength in there.

At first, I must admit, this freaked me out.

Uhm, hello, naked eyeballs that reveal my soul to the world! How do I go about clothing thee?

I mean, come on. Awkward! Now I wasn't only pathetic, but naked as well. Cue the violin.

As time went on, I realized this was vulnerability.. and that it was the biggest tool I had in helping others. And I realized that it made me strong.

Now there's a weird concept for you to think about. Bearing your scars to the world, having naked eyeballs that are windows to your soul, making the lonely tear-filled climb up a mountain of doom makes you strong? If you're waiting for the just kidding, it's not coming.

Heroes seem so glamorous. But do we ever stop to think about how it looked from their side? Sometimes that is shown but more often than not, we get stuck in celebrating their triumph, not thinking about their journey. I'm sure they all had doubts and fears, feelings of loneliness and hopelessness that you couldn't believe. The thing that makes them heroes above all else is that when they thought their feet couldn't carry them, they moved on. When they were faced with a trial they didn't think they could conquer, they just.. did.

I mean, when people ask you, how did you go through that?? (Which is usually followed by a, 'i could never do that') my first thought is to respond with a, anyone could do it.. you have no choice BUT to survive. If you let the trial defeat you, it will. Don't ever mistake slowing down or being discouraged as defeat though. Just because you're not glowing with rainbows and butterflies surrounding you like some weird hippie aura doesn't mean you're defeated. It is usually the people that I see with storm clouds above their heads that I admire the most. Umbrella or not, they don't let it defeat them, because they keep moving forward, rain or shine.

You find out a lot about yourself during time of trial. Don't ever be fooled by those hopeless thoughts or feelings of being the only one in the world. You have proved otherwise and must give yourself credit for it. Your dark spots have made you strong. Don't be ashamed of them. It's not your thoughts but your actions, not your mistakes but what you do with them that define you.

Do I still feel pathetic? Most obviously, yes. Most people I tell this too think I'm crazy if they know all of what I've overcome. I have a hard time seeing myself as any more then the girl that constantly struggles, either from my own mistake, or just plain ole circumstance. It's only recently that I've taken the time, mostly in this blog, to turn things around and give myself a small credit here and there for things that I've learned- and to share them with others so they can learn them as well.

Most times, I think of the people in the scriptures, so humble in their struggles, so faithful till the end. Who doesn't wanna be like them? It's sometimes hard to remember they were only human. Some people may think that their human-ness makes them less of a person to look up to. But riddle me this.. what person do you look up to? Have they been through a lot, or lived a priveledged life? Have they made mistakes and fixed them? Do you think that makes them stronger? Do we look down on recovering alcoholics and addicts or commend them for their strength? Do we look down upon the kid who used to sell drugs but now makes an honest living as a businessman? No. At least, we shouldn't. We look up to those who have courage when we think we could not. Those who keep climbing there way from a place at the bottom that we would never understand. These people I speak of steal our hearts, and we aspire to be like them, though most of us dont know what that even means. Simply put, it means pressing on when you feel no fight left in you. Moving one foot, then the other. It is usually hopeless, alone, and even devastating; scarring so deeply that you can't bear to look back. It feels like defeat. It feels like you've given up, but don't be fooled, you haven't. And that's the whole key right there. You haven't.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sixteen minus three

So I'm posting this a little bit late.. Cuz I'm something like 21 weeks pregnant now but that's okay. A bunch of things came up and I ended up having to wait to post this but decided to keep the title. Enjoy.




Sixteen weeks pregnant. You don't need to ask how that happened when I've only been married for three weeks- one, because that is exceedingly awkward, and two, because I am just going to tell you.

Believe me; it is not easy for me to share these things. I have been dreading it since I found out that I was pregnant.

So why am I sharing it? That is a really difficult question for me to answer, so bear with me while I try my very best.

I believe in honesty. True blue, transparent honesty. I believe it not only leaves room to show my real character despite my decisions, but helps people trust me because they know they'll always get the raw truth. I also believe very strongly that my story shows that you can be at the bottom of the bottom and STILL make your way to the top. And that it's not about what you've done, what mistakes you've made, etc., it's about what you decide to do to move forward with your life that matters.

And on an LDS note, repentance is a process. Read the continuous atonement if you're not sure as to what I'm referring to. In short, it means that repentance is expected to be a process with bumps that continue as you continue to climb the ladder, rung by rung, of where you need to be. A person rarely just decides to repent and then never has the temptation again. Most people have to struggle to be able to learn to control that temptation, which doesn't come without the occasional mess up along the way.

I also chose to write a blog post instead of calling everyone because one.. that'd take FOREVER, and two, I'm already crying just writing this. It is extremely hard for me to pour my heart and soul out to one person, let alone millions. With all of the other extremely painful and stressful things going on in my life right now surrounding custody issues, health problems in my extended family, etc., I do not feel like I have the capacity to stretch myself any farther than this. Oh and three, I believe it's easier on you and less awkward for us both for you to have the space to read this and process it on your own time before you respond.

That being said, be patient with me, as I feel like I need to start from the beginning and work my way up. I promise I'll try not to ramble and consume too much of your time.




I met Taylor in September of 2011. He was perfect and I really wanted to date him. His good nature and spirit immediately drew me to him. I also was aware that he had just recently returned to practicing his faith in the LDS church after a messy marriage and divorce that led him eventually to drinking in alcoholic proportions. I myself having before drowned my sorrows with alcohol, could relate to him almost immediately. I also recognized how incredibly hard it is to go back to church after being gone for such a long time.

I was, at the time, just starting the repentance process with my new bishop at my family ward. Though I had found my lost faith through my pregnancy a long time before, I found it harder to practice with a big red A on my chest. I was very ashamed of my situation and let it get the best of me and keep me away from where I had needed to be. I had some not so great experiences with past ward members, bishops, with their comments and disapproving looks. I felt like I was a second class person who wasn't worthy of being in the church with them. I felt judged. I got sick of people not taking me seriously as a young, single, LDS mother, and I just gave up for a while. Seeing Taylor trying so hard to just jump back into things gave me hope and strength.

He read the entire Book of Mormon during that time which completely inspired me to step up my game and get into the scriptures myself. It showed me that there was no excuse for sitting back and not doing what every other member was expected to do. Was God judging me? No. Was every member of the church going to judge me? No. There were lots that supported me. I also realized that I could be the one that could change the minds of the members who were judging me and who didn't support me. I started diligently reading my scriptures for the first time in my life, and I fell in love. I started to go to church, alone, with a screaming baby, embarrassed or not, and stay the entire three hours. Taylor tells me that I pushed him to keep going as well. I helped him stay sober and helped him keep on in his journey to regain his faith. We quickly became each others support.

And our relationship progressed quickly- through trials, bumps, first birthday parties, extreme honestly, and letting each other in to the darkest parts of our lives. I knew very early on that I wanted to marry Taylor. I was so in love with him, it was crazy. I have the tendency to not get very attached to guys, and if I do, it takes months and months, so it was very odd to me. Rowan, my son, also adored Taylor from the beginning. He almost instantly liked him as much as he liked any of my brothers or my dad, which instantly melted my heart. I wanted so badly for Rowan to have a father in his life who was there for him every day.

Taylor later decided he loved me too and could see himself marrying me. We both were scared from the relationship moving so quickly but we both prayed about it and knew it was right. We then consulted our parents and got their blessing on our plans as well. We went ring shopping shortly after and found just the one that I wanted. We quickly started to plan our future together.

To be clear, we did not decide to get married because we got pregnant. We did not know that I was pregnant at the time that we decided to get married or went ring shopping.

Soon after we had gotten the ring back from sizing it at the jeweler, I had suspicion I was pregnant. We decided that, pregnant or not, we needed to move the wedding up because we needed to start over with the repentance process together so that we could be sealed in the temple to each other, my son Rowan, and the new baby.

We had known from the beginning of our relationship that it was going to be very hard for us not to take things too far since I had a child and he had been married previously. We were very open, honest, and proactive about it. After about a week of suspecting I was pregnant, we found out that I was. We actually found out really early on which was a blessing. We prayed to make sure that this baby was ours to keep and we both got a very strong answer that this baby was ours and chose to come to us at this time for a reason. We immediately told our families about the pregnancy and got engaged.

Although the circumstances were devastating, our families were so happy that we had found each other. My parents told me that with Taylor in my life, I was the Melissa they had always hoped and prayed I would become. They told Taylor that he was exactly what they had prayed for their little girl who they had watched struggle so much through single parenthood. Taylor's family told us to be excited for this new life. They welcomed me into their family with open arms, excited that Taylor had finally found the one. They told me that they had seen him grow so much from our relationship and also from his relationship with my little boy, Rowan.

We knew we were blessed to find each other. We knew we were meant to be a family. We knew that we had both struggled so much in our search for each other- through marriages and unexpected pregnancies- and here we had finally found each other.

I tried to hold onto that. I tried to be happy. While Taylor was excited for a new baby, I was devastated. I felt unclean and disgusting. I felt undeserving of this new little life, when so many families can't have children, I have had two unexpectedly. I dreaded the mean things people would say. I was so afraid of disappointing everyone in my life. I knew my family was behind me but I needed to find the strength within myself to be able to cope with this. My last experience being pregnant was traumatic in a lot of ways so I was terrified that this pregnancy would be the same. I had to remind myself that it wasn't. I had an amazing man by myself who has truly held me up through every step of being pregnant. He seriously knows more about my pregnancy sometimes than I do, remembers appointments better, is more aware of what week I am at and what fruit size my baby is.

About a week or so into our engagement, I got sick. It was morning sickness so severe that in seven weeks, I lost 15 lbs, was in and out of the hospital, had to go to the doctors office weekly to make sure the baby was surviving, and was basically on bed rest. Sound, movement, stimulus of any kind would instantly make me throw up. I couldn't even swallow pills or food for myself to throw it back up. I looked as disgusting as I felt. Every rib stuck out. I watched my body deteriorate along with my mind. I became really depressed about the situation. My mom had to take over every wedding plan. I was barely able to take my pictures, and was afraid I would be too sick to even get married. I finally found a medicine that kept my nausea in check an alright amount and slowly started to get better. The day of my wedding, you might remember me sitting down- at the point in time, I was only able to stand a few hours each day without passing out or starting to vomit uncontrollably.

I had to try very hard to not let all of the circumstances get to me. Taylor and I looked to the Lord as a couple for our strength. It was a huge test of our faith but with every blessing and every prayer, we got through it. I was so humbled from all the help from the Carter and Tomlinson families. I was amazed at how Taylor really was there for me and Rowan 110%, no matter what.

I don't know why we got pregnant when we did. I know that Rowan literally saved my life for coming the way he did at the time he did. Sometimes I guess it isn't about knowing all the answers. Sometimes it's just about getting back up on the horse and moving on. Now, after all of the plans have been made, and we are married, I feel like I am now allowed to be excited. I have started to let go of the "mistakes" that we made in the past and move onto our future. We are planning to be sealed a year or so from now, depending on how long Taylor's temple divorce ends up taking. Rowan is going to be a big brother. Taylor is going to have his first baby.

Yes, by the time the baby comes, I'll be 22 with two kids- a two year old and a newborn.
Yes, Taylor got an insta-family of a wife and two children.
Yes, we are going to struggle financially.
Yes, it is going to be HARD to be newly married and have stresses of children on top of that.

We know.


What you need to know is that God would not give us a challenge we couldn't handle.

He is giving us this challenge for us to learn something. Rowan and baby#2 agreed to come this way. Taylor and I agreed to all of this as well. I had a blessing given to me shortly after Rowan was born that said that Rowan chose to come at the time that he did and was excited for me to be his mother. It also said that I had other children waiting to be in my family that had chosen me and were also excited to have me as a mother.


And for the non-religious: Look how far I've come in the last two years and tell me that I can't do this. Look at how far Taylor has come in the last year and tell me he can't do this either. Spend a few minutes in the same room with Taylor, Rowan and I to see how strong our family bond is. Taylor and I have a love for each other that is fairytale status. Rowan and I have a special bond from me being a single mother to him for so long. Taylor loves Rowan like he is his own son. Rowan absolutely adores Taylor more than anyone else on this planet. I can't even get mad when Rowan is constantly more excited to see his daddy than he is to see me. Even when we got back from our honeymoon, Rowan only wanted to be held by his daddy. Anyone that knows Rowan knows that he is a happy, healthy, well behaved little boy who has never had to go without. We are good parents and we pride ourselves in that.

We are going to finish school.
We are going to get careers.
We are going to get sealed in the temple.
We are going to have a happy and successful marriage and family.
We are going to provide for our kids with everything they need.



When it comes to mean comments, I've heard them all. I believe that you are not to condemn the sinner, but are to condemn the sin. We see ourselves as an example of taking our mistakes and problems and ultimately making them into a positive thing by doing the best with what we have to make the right decisions moving forward. We are also actively working on the repentance process and couldn't be happier with how much it is changing and enriching our lives. We are so grateful to have this opportunity to improve and strengthen our faith with some extra motivation to do so.

We need your support and love. Awkwardness and silence concerning the situation doesn't help. You are more than welcome to ask any questions you would like. I am always just a phone call away. Your openness and honesty is very important to us. We would prefer that you ask us rather than ask others or wonder what the answer is. It is an awkward situation in itself in its entirety but it doesn't have to continue to be that way moving forward if it is handled correctly by all parties involved.

We love you guys.


We are happy and we are moving forward which is all that matters.




It is not where you've been, but where you're going that matters.
We're living proof of that.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Court is awaiting

I'm sick to my stomach. I want to cry. I want to be strong and pretend like it's going to be okay but there are so many unknowns.

Don't get me wrong. I have so much faith concerning the matter.
But Rowan's path is His and I have no control over that.

And that terrifies me.

I've been trying so hard since day one of my pregnancy to do everything right
Not just for myself
But for Allen and Rowan

Most importantly Rowan. His best interest always weighs out.

It makes me wanna cry. It's so hard trying to be the bigger person. Biting my tongue. Constantly being around people who are Rowan's relatives, not because I like them one way or another, but because it's better for them and for Rowan.

Dropping everything to rearrange my day to accommidate grandparents who want to see their grandson... the same one who argue, yell at, and belittle me more than their own son.

Don't get me wrong, I mean.. hundreds of anxiety attacks and sob fests later, I can look anyone in the eye and proudly state that I've done all I can to the best ability that I have in me to possibly do for my son and his wellbeing, as for his relatives on his other side.

Most importantly when he's older, ill be able to look Rowan in the eye and say that I did all that I could for him. No matter how much of a sacrifice, I did all I could to do what is right and that is something I can be proud about.. something I don't have guilt about. And hopefully its a good example to my son.

No matter what happens, or how others treat you, you need to do your best to act within the law and your morals and values. Love your enemies until you can understand them. Service them. Do favors for them. Speak kind words about them. As time goes by, they may not change, but you will.. and you will no longer see them or anyone else for that matter as anything closely described as an "enemy". And most importantly, you'll learn that being the best you can only really be realized and achieved under the hardest circumstances.. like diamonds and coal.