I'll quote Penny from her facebook post to give an idea as to what the past 2 days have been like (she posted the below yesterday morning):
Good morning my FB friends and family!!! I hope today is a blessed day for everyone. Today is a good day, I feel wonderful!! I'm so proud of my hubby, I went with him yesterday to his appointment at the Health Clinic, and he has committed to going to some therapy classes for his depression. A step towards some healing and moving forward for him, and I couldn't be more proud! Steinar is a very proud man who's used to being the strong hold in our family so this is HUGE for him to decide to finally do it. I so look forward to seeing my man in a place where he can start engaging with his extended family and just "live" life again. God bless him.
It was a Godsend that Steinar was able to get into the clinic right away yesterday, there was a cancelation right when we got there to make an appointment, so he got to see the counselor yesterday instead of waiting a month! He was given prescriptions for his depression as well and started on them last night. That was ALL GOD's hands baby!!!
It was also a learning and humbling experience for me, one would think that I live with him, he's my husband so I should be expected to realize what he's going through. But yesterday sitting there listening to him talk to the counselor, made me realize I wasn't being fair to him at all. To be honest I thought he was just feeling sorry for himself a lot, but I was so wrong!!! Steinar is really affected by his depression much worse then I thought. I know God will heal him and get him through his struggles, and it will take some time, but I am grateful that God opened my eyes so that I can be here for him 100% and with compassion and understanding. Praise God.So, Penny saw me "raw" for the first time in a very long time (as there isn't anything I didn't share with the Psychiatrist - I shared the good, the bad, and the ugly). The below isn't a pity party, it is me in the raw explaining just how difficult it is to live life nowadays.
I have found that many hold me to a standard that they themselves do not meet (and instead of just tolerating those people, I have learned over time to keep them at arms length). For certain, I am no longer interacting with certain people for various reasons, but mainly when they hurt me in such a way that I choose to step away from them (and I have found that type of action is pretty much a result of my childhood experiences). The last person who told me how much they hated me due to actions I have allegedly done in the past (actions interpreted by them as unforgivable) are themselves no better than whom they judge (that person for example being an alcoholic plus enabler of others and while still choosing to interact with others who are far worse than I allegedly am only they ignore the issue with the other person as there are children involved) - essentially a Hypocrite in my eyes and a person unwilling to accept people for who they are at face value.
As a matter of fact, she tends to expect one to hear what she has to say, but she refuses to listen / read what the accused respond with ("do as I say, not as I do"). After claiming to "forgive me" and yet asking me to let her know when I am coming an hour ahead of time so she won't have to be there, this person's last words to me last month were: "So, the truth is finally starting to emerge and people that you think you have fooled are starting to see through your act. Karma is a real bitch and from what I can see that you are going through, it is biting you in the ass and maybe sometimes you get what you deserve. I know you will delete this or not allow it to post so that your 'church family' doesn't see it and know what the 'real' Steinar is like...but that's okay. So long as you and I are perfectly clear on this situation". Simply astounding (and to be honest, one wonders how she would react if people knew her for who she really was). Also, her definition of "people" is quite curious since I only know a couple of people who thinks like she does.
The thing is, I don't have an agenda to show people who she really is as that is not what is important in life to a Christian (so what is her goal for doing so regarding me?). Considering she also doesn't go to Church, just what does she think people do regarding sharing with others at one's church? And to state "I know you will delete this or not allow it to post" as if my actions are dependent on her goading me is certainly evidence of an agenda. For a Christian, not a very Christian viewpoint and one whom I feel I should no longer associate with (as this person certainly has their own agenda instead of just accepting a person for who they are). The fact that she never wants anyone in my family to acknowledge her birthday, their anniversary, visit her in the hospital, or interact with this family for any period of time (but opens her household to her own family) speaks volumes.
Regarding my issues as of late, one has to know what transpired in order to understand why I put up barriers (and why Penny wrote what she did). The older children in my family grew up in an abusive household and are the children of an alcoholic. If you haven't dealt with that, you can only imagine what it was like regarding seeing one's mother hit time and time again (and also that male role model seeing women on the side and exposing one's children to that). When I hear the song "My father was a rolling stone, wherever he lay his hat, was his home"..... I think of my father (and they are not happy thoughts). He stopped drinking after my sister was born, but the abuser never left (as he got older, he was unable to hit us anymore so the abuse became more mental over time). Either way, I learned over time that if I kept chaos at arms length.... I was able to survive the episode (and that my loved ones would not have to witness the chaos like I had to when I was growing up). Over time, these became "boundaries". My definition of boundaries are that which I hyperlinked to.
Considering how much has happened to both myself, my wife, my children, and my extended family..... and the fact that ever since my mother passed - I have no real "close" family anymore (the only family I have are either in NY and they have a lot to deal with themselves or are still are over 5,000 miles away in a different country) - it is no wonder that my coping skills have withered during the past 4 years. It has been my church friends who have kept me from going over the edge (that and my growing relationship with God). I have a lot of growing to do in that regard but I cannot imagine just where we'd be without our Church and God.
For over 20 years - having a disabled step-son is difficulty enough, a child being molested and with having no real justice for her, fighting an ex-wife who's single goal is excluding the father and his family and using every means to make things difficult (with her wanting to be subsidized the entire time for her decisions), plus having a disabled wife who was shot and subsequently injured on the job while the government denies benefits, and then having worked myself hard with no real backup for my duties for many years while still being responsible for everything (and ensuring everyone I am responsible for is taken care of at the same time).... and then when I face unemployment, I make too much money to get help from almost all governmental entities and I have to fight with every ounce of ability to get something that I have earned while working for over 35 years while paying taxes and paying child support (and doing everything I am supposed to do). And then some people questioning my reaching out for help (and the methods in which I have done so)......
Essentially, Penny got a glimpse of the stress / responsibility that I am under...... and 2 days ago, I feel I was finally acknowledged that I am a human being and I was allowed to be "broken" and in need of fixing (and that it will take her help and others to help me mend). It is an absolutely incredible feeling to have someone in your corner and when she sat down with me and said "I understand", my heart melted. Absolutely, I need to be there for her, but it is nice to know she is there for me also. =) I am a very proud man and we have worked very hard for what we have. In order to survive the past 18 months, I have used all of my knowledge at horse trading to keep our heads above water and I am almost out of solutions. To see what we built falling apart is not an easy thing to deal with.... and to see my wife almost die and there was nothing I could do but pray.... and now my wife is undergoing multiple surgeries to stay ahead of the cancer (and watching chemo eat away at her).... all I can do now is seek help spiritually and via medical professionals. It has always been on my shoulders (and a lot of that is my fault), now we will see if I can change my coping skills in order for things to get better all around me. Penny and Travis need me now more than ever.......