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Proverbs31:28
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I am a mess right now and can't talk to anyone IRL so I hope it is okay to "talk" about this here.

I have a friend from church who has 2 adorable children- a boy and girl, like me. Our kids go to the same school and are involved in some of the same actitivies so we kinda became friends that way. I knew her husband had passed away before I met her but I never knew the circumstances and did not want to pry. I also know her children have had a very very difficult time coping with his death.

The oldest child, a girl, is extremely scared to have her mother out of her sight, as she is terrified she will lose her mother, also. The younger child, a boy, has a lot of anger and frustration that comes out in fits and bursts. They are both extremely pleasant, loveable children and it breaks my heart to see how much they suffer.

So, today at church, I saw my friend's sister and asked how she was doing as she had not been around in a while. She said she and the kids are having a very difficult time right now as the 2nd anniversary of the husband's death is coming up this week. Another member nearby asked exactly what had happened to the husband, who I had always assumed died in some tragic accident, and I was shocked to hear he had committed suicide. I did not know this man or anything about him but it still shocked me.

Here's where I am struggling. I look at those 2 beautiful children and know how broken they are over their father's death and know that it could have been my own children. TWICE, I tried to take my own life and TWICE, God intervened. And, yet, I still fight suicidal thoughts on an ongoing basis. I know deep in my heart, if it weren't for my children, I would try again and probably be "successful" (if you can call it that) as I have learned from past mistakes. There are days when it takes every ounce of energy I have to find the will to live. There are days when I truly want to give up on life and spend hours thinking and planning how, when and where I'd do it. It scares me to think what would happen if, just once, I couldn't find the willpower to fight back, for my kids' sake. I now have a glimpse of the lives my children would live and it scares me for them. At least these 2 children have a wonderful, caring and doting mother who is providing for them both physically and emotionally. My kids would be left with a "father" who thinks of himself above all others and has already said he would never tend to their medical needs the way I do. So, they would have no chance in this world. They amy as well be left alone.

There are many more thoughts that go through my mind, but none that I could ever voice. But, all of this has me in knots. Knowing that I truly hate the life I live but seeing what happens to the children left behind makes it even more clear that I have to plug along for my own children's sake.

Edited by Proverbs31:28
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There are many more thoughts that go through my mind, but none that I could ever voice. But, all of this has me in knots. Knowing that I truly hate the life I live but seeing what happens to the children left behind makes it even more clear that I have to plug along for my own children's sake.

You have made your choice to devote yourself to family. Certainly, people are capable of devoting themselves to many things, but new perspective of self is gained when one reviews the choices made to see what exactly they are committed to. Your committment to family narrows your focus, but in a counter-intuitive way, allows you to expand your options from that focus.

Despite the bad times and suicidal thoughts you shared with us, your children always held top priority. By choosing family you removed suicide as an option. Now there is another option...perhaps the only option left: change your life. What do you want to change in your life now?

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Now there is another option...perhaps the only option left: change your life. What do you want to change in your life now?

In a nutshell, everything. Literally, everything. Where I live, how I live, our minimal existence, my appearance, my fear of the world around me, my distrust of others, my feelings of abandonment, my feelings of inadquacy, my obsessive thought patterns, panic attacks, mood swings, inability to handle the smallest amount of stress, the list goes on.

The ONLY thing I would not change is my children. I HATE the marriage I was in and HATE that I was stupid enough to fall for the tangle of lies that man told and lived, BUT, without that horrendous relationship, I would not have my kids.

As for putting my kids first, I can't imagine any other way. They did not ask to be born. They certainly did not ask to be born to a selfish (sociopathic) father and depressed mother prone to anxiety attacks, so they should not have to suffer because of it. My parents always put their needs ahead of their kids and I know what that does to a child. I can't imagine being blessed with the joy of children and then not pouring everything into them to ensure they feel loved, valued, honored, cherished, appreciated and WANTED.

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As a suggestion, you can try some goal setting activities to begin working your list. The general consensus for goal setting is to reduce the larger goals into smaller ones, and to express goals in a specific and measurable manner. So, instead of a general goal of losing 10 pounds, one may rephrase the goal as losing 10 pounds by completing a walk around the neighbourhood three times a week.

David Allen's way to look at goal setting is to ask two questions: “What am I really trying to accomplish here?” The answer should be specific enough such that you can take note of what it looks like once you achieve the goal. Once you have the answer to the first question, then ask yourself what the next physical, visible action is to complete the goal. In other words, if there was nothing left in the world to do but this one goal, what would you do? After answering the second question, you should have an action which you will just commit to doing at your earliest convenience.

You mention difficulties that involve distrust, anger, and fear, and I appreciate where these feelings are coming from. However, if these thoughts are not helping you do whatever it is you want to do at any given moment, and there is nothing you can think of to do about them, then they are just like heavy weights that you carry with you. So, when you do think of these negative thoughts, try to let them go by focusing on the actions you set for yourself.

Pretend that you are a woman who gets things done. That all you think about is setting the goals that mean something to you, and the actions to make those goals real. To create such a woman in your mind is to see what you can be. This creation encourages you to use your imagination to create a world you want.

In short:

Make it up.

Make it happen.

I know some of the difficulties you share in your post are serious, and that they will not change overnight. For instance, raising children - not a problem all the time :D - is a life-long experience. But, goal setting is like a muscle that needs to be trained. I am sure that if you work on it, you will reap rewards that everyone around you can enjoy.

Please think about giving goal/action setting a shot as part of your core thinking. If you have already tried before, I strongly suggest that you consider trying once more.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Proverbs,

I fully agree with Kaudio. Goal setting is enormously important and provides a way to strive for things.

I also suggest that you begin replacing some of those dark thoughts of yours with healthier kinds of thought. For example, turn something like this into a mantra: "I am important, I do matter, I count for a lot. Go away bad thoughts and get lost."

Anyway, you get the idea. If we have one set of thoughts that come easily we can train ourselves to have other, better thoughts. It is not enough to try to chase away thoughts unless we have something to replace them with. If you do not believe these better thoughts, just keep at it until you do.

What do you think???

Allan

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