Tag Archives: divorce

Caitlyn Jenner and My Chemical Dependency

Before you begin, please take a moment to read this entry.  I need to remind you that I am writing about varied topics; controversial subjects in the church is my poison of choice today.

Yep, I’m one of the 17 million people who watched the Diane Sawyer/Bruce Jenner interview and all 8 episodes of “I Am Caitlyn”.  Out of curiosity?  Intrigue?  Boredom?  Nope.BRUCE-CAITLYN-JENNER-SPLIT-618Concerning Bruce Jenner, I’m of the ‘in-between’ generation.  Too young to have my own memories of his Olympic days and too old to know him as a Kardashian.  While I can’t attest to knowing of him through watching the ’76 Olympics (I was a one-year old), I do remember him from the Wheaties box and television commercials (those two might actually be one and the same, as I have no idea if I actually consumed Wheaties in 1977 as a two-year old J).  As a child, I knew Bruce Jenner as “The World’s Greatest Athlete”.

As an adult, I’m aware of his marriage to Kris (Kardashian) Jenner, his role on the TV show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and his adoration of his children, both real and step.  My knowledge stems solely from binge-watching at my BFF’s.  About once a year I visit her home and we spend a day chilling on the couch – snacking, surfing and selling our souls to the Reality TV gods.  She’s a DVR whiz and we can watch days’ of shows in just hours, all while our children enjoy their own binge-watching and freedom from us, upstairs.  Cuz what respectable mothers would allow their children to watch crap TV?  Certainly not us – we will watch crap in privacy, thank you.  I have seen enough of the show that I recognize him as Former Olympian and Gold Medalist, Former American Hero, Former Husband x2, Former Celebrity and Current Kardashian.  Whatever that means.

To teenage girls, twenty-somethings and even some in their thirties, it means he is relevant.  To my parent’s generation his relevance once was, and his American legacy still is.  The rest of us don’t have any real affection for or familiarity of Bruce Jenner’s life journey, yet the media and our news feeds believe we want to, we need to.  To know his story.  To feel his pain.  To listen to that journey.  To know why this man who had (has) it all needs to get more out of life, to be something different than what he has been – what he was born as.  Different than who was createdI, too, want to be something different than how I was created. 

I have Clinical Depression.  It is likely I was born with this condition as my mother, her mother, my grandma’s mother and even my father dealt with debilitating depression.  In addition to being genetically influenced, I was sexually, physically and mentally abused as a young teen.  In addition to being abused, my father died suddenly when I was 17.  My teenage son went through a difficult time that involved cutting.    My husband was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and we spent 47 days in the hospital while he had round-the-clock chemo treatments.  We were basically separated from our children during this time, as we were an hour and a half away from home.  The first night we came home his mother told us she was diagnosed with Melanoma of the liver – it had spread throughout her entire body, and she passed away 6 weeks later.  We buried her, then moved to Denver for my husband’s bone marrow transplant, again being separated from our son and daughter.  He was sick and hospitalized for weeks at a time, then finally came home on hospice.  We then decided to shut down our successful business that we had run for 8 years, using his disability insurance as income as well as paying latent business debt.  My sister’s family moved far far away to California after living only an hour and a half from us.  A close ‘friend’ of ours (albeit she disappeared when Jeremy got sick) accused us of being lying, cheating assholes; that we have used other people’s money to remodel our home (my brother and sister-in-law put in a new floor for us after tearing out the nasty, old and worn 13 year old carpet ruined by pets, greasy muddy drivers and mechanics and regular ol’ wear and tear while Jeremy was on hospice.  Word got out and I guess she assumed we used our vendors’ money to completely gut our house to ‘fit our lifestyle’).  Most recently, Jeremy passed away in May, so I am now a widowed mom to our 17 and 11 year old kids.

I have plenty of reasons to be depressed, on top of being born with skewed circuitry, low serotonin levels and a small hippocampus (not a college for hippos, but the base of the brain).  However, being clinically depressed with depressive situations does not necessitate suffering.  Being born with jacked up wiring and sluggish neurons does not mean I just accept it as is.  Who wants to live every single day feeling worthless, useless, burdened (and burdening), lost, sad, lonely and out of place?  And even further, who would ever insist that I must – just because I was born that way?  That I shouldn’t be treated and medicated?  Counseled?  Maybe even changed?  Who would suggest that I cope with my mental illness without these things?  That I power through, learn to deal, accept myself because that’s how I was born?

No one.

But Bruce Jenner?  He must power through, learn to play with the cards he’s been dealt, accept himself for who he was born as.  After all, that’s who he was created as.  A human being who identifies as feeling like a woman and having a male body.  Suck it up, Buttercup.  It’s who you are.  Too bad.  Don’t change who God created.  You have no business doing such a thing, you fame-whore.  And at 65 years of age?  Why even bother?  You’ll be dead soon anyway.  You’ve suffered most of your life already, why can’t you just continue?  God doesn’t make mistakes.  If He wanted you to be a woman, obviously you’d have a vagina instead of a penis.  Just like if God wanted me to be sane and stable, able to raise my children and give to my marriage, I would have the proper and intended brain chemistry, giving me the mental and emotional capacity for love, patience and selflessness.  Wait, what?

Here’s the thing – I don’t have the brain chemistry that God intended, I have the brain chemistry that sin has ruined.  Just like you have the male pattern baldness that sin created.  God gave you healthy hair follicles, yet somehow in your early 20s they stopped functioning.  God created us in His image, yet we all know someone plagued by cancer.  Or mental illness.  Or Down Syndrome.  Childhood disease, being born with two genitals, cleft pallet, blindness, SIDS, juvenile diabetes, heart failure.  All of these are a direct result of sin.  Not the choices we make when we know we shouldn’t, but the sin that is in us and part of us.  The sin that separated Adam & Eve from God; making child bearing hard and working the ground even harder.  The sin that has interrupted and attacked our DNA.  We were created in God’s image, but sin has completely altered that creation.  It has permeated every generation and will continue until Christ returns and the New Earth is reinstated.  Nothing is as it was originally intended.  As it was created.

I depend on my counseling, my EMDR therapy, and my man-made medications and I don’t think any one of you would shame me for doing so.  My chemical dependency is what makes me function ‘normally’.  Concerning Caitlyn Jenner I truly believe God loves her just as he loves you (You think she’s fake?  Are you genuine in all circumstances?  She’s disgusting?  So are some of your habits, and at times, your character.  Caitlyn is confused and messed up.  You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.)  He created her.  In His image.  I don’t think He cares if she is male or female.  I don’t believe our souls are male or female.  They are souls.  Spirits which belong to Christ, not vaginas or penises wearing dresses or pants.  This world is so screwed up and painful due to indwelling sin – why are we adding to it by making people believe that God hates them?

He doesn’t, btw.  God. Loves. YOU.

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To Have and To Hold

 there was a woman… 

 

She was married to a wonderful man and had a handsome son and two beautiful daughters.  The man was a hard worker and an even harder working full-time college student.  The 3 children were all in elementary school and loved their parents very much.  The woman kept diligent watch over her children and took  marvelous care of her husband, supporting him in his work, his schooling and his dream;  his dream to become a minister.

One day, the woman and the man engaged in a heated argument.  An argument that, 15 years later, they no longer recall.  This argument lead to hurt feelings, broken hearts and foolish choices.  Choices that devoured the rest of their lives.  Apparently, the man was not always kind and was prone to angry fits – fits that left the woman feeling tiny and worthless.  His frustration,although justified, was out of control and violently expressed.  Over the course of marriage she had forgotten that her worth was in Christ, not in her husband’s treatment of her.  The man had forgotten his first love, Christ, and in defense of his family responsibility, loved himself more.  He made himself feel big by making his wife feel small.  The woman had enough.

Other men made her feel appreciated, important, attractive and one-of-a-kind.  A job made her feel worthy, necessary and valued.  Spending less time with her children gave her a sense of freedom – freedom she had never experienced before.  She liked feeling free.  She enjoyed doing whatever she pleased.  Earning her own money gave her satisfaction.

Eventually, she found the real love of her life.  She had a child with her love – glorying in the stark difference between him and her previous children.  The woman lost weight, colored her hair and let her ex-husband move their children across the country.  Now THIS was the life God intended for her!  Finally!  After so many years of wasted time, wasted love and wasted energy, she was finally where she belonged…

Until she wasn’t.  Again, she had married the wrong man.  She had lost so many more years to someone who treated her like crap – just different crap than before.  Surely if she moved on to this other guy…oh, that wasn’t it either.  Three marriages and three divorces later, she still has no idea of who she is or who she’s supposed to be.  But each time she moved on, she was certain it was God’s plan.

Or was it her plan, wrapped in god wrapping paper?

How many times do we use God’s written word to justify the means to an end?  Looking up verses that “speak” to us, “calm” us or even “prove” His will for us?  How can God be telling us we’re on the right track if we’re blatantly moving against His guidance?  How can we be sure it’s God telling us to divorce our husband when we’re already involved in another relationship with another man?  (Oh yes, this the woman did also.)  How can we know?  Where are we getting our advice?  From friends who have made the same stupid choices, or from those who have suffered through and come out on the other side?  Does God give us permission to right a wrong by doing another wrong ourselves?  Or does He expect us to keep our promise

To have and to hold,
From this day forward,
For better, for worse,
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish,
‘Till death do us part.

 What do you think?  Leave me your comments below.

My response to Eugene Cho’s prop 8 topic…see Beauty and Depravity on right

Michelle Says:
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at

Here’s my thoughts – as scattered and quick as they might be at the moment.

Changing the definition of ‘marriage’ would be like changing the definition of ‘cow’. Calling a cow a horse doesn’t make it a horse…calling a marriage that is not created by God doesn’t make it a marriage, either. BUT, neither does calling a marriage that is flooded in pornography, adultery, hate, spite, anger, agendas and sin. I don’t know if this makes sense or not, but I don’t really think it matters if Gay Marriage is legalized or not.

Because it’s legal under our judicial system does not make it okay under God. Why don’t we hunt down premarital sex, shacking up, multiple marriages and divorces and teenage pregnancy with the same venengance? What about excessive alcohol consumption, beating our wife in our living rooms, using our children as pawns in our game of life instead of human beings due the same respect as adults? Because those are such commonplace sins that bringing attention to those would bring attention to our own little ‘hidden’ sins we commit behind our personal closet doors. The sins no one knows about. The hateful thoughts we harbor, the way we eat our chocolate only after the kids go to bed, the purchase of shoes and purses that we hide from our husbands, the internet sites we visit, making sure we clear the history so no one knows where we’ve been.

My point is, it really doesn’t matter. Sin is sin is sin, and until the return of Christ, every single one of us is due for redemption – gay or straight.

rEAD iT, yOU mIGHT bE iN iT!


1. Sometimes, I like to be depressed. I feel most like myself when I am in the depths of those dark places my mind has created and my childhood has survived. I haven’t had a major bout of depression for almost 2 years now, for which I am very thankful…but when I’m far enough in, I don’t want to come out.

2. I am easily hurt by those I love. Not because those I love intend to do harm, but because the way I feel loved is to spend time with those I love. In today’s world, we all have seven places to be at once, and only one of us to do it. So when I don’t hear from someone in a long time, or don’t see them for longer than usual, I quickly build a wall, protecting myself from rejection.

3. Someone told me once that a very dear friend of mine called me her “diamond in the rough”. That is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me, and even though she has no idea I know she said it, I cherish those words with my very soul, and love her even more.

4. My husband is the epitomy of understanding and compassion. He threatened to take our son and leave, if I didn’t get help for my depression NOW. That was 9 years ago, and I love him so much for loving me enough to want to help me get better – not just for me, but for he and Jonathan. He married into a situation we had no idea was coming, and when I faced some very chilling memories of my childhood, my sanity hit the fan. He stood by me, sometimes pushed me, through it all. We sometimes wonder if anyone is as happy as we are in our marriage…

5. I love to read and write. Once upon a time, it was my life. I even went to college to major in English, so I could teach HS. Since 5th grade, I knew English was my passion. Now, 2 kids and 10 years later, I hardly crack open a book. I have about 7 books I’ve started, but I’ve not finished one in a long time. I recently read “The Golden Compass”, but only because I was asked to write an article on it. I got so sucked into the wonderful fantasy land, and wanted to rush out and check out the sequel. But life continued, and I haven’t gotten to it. Blogging is the closest I come to writing anymore. When did the passion die?

6. One of my greatest fears is losing Jeremy. I often pray that we will die together, so I never have to be without him. Even though we’ve only been married 11 years, it’s so hard to imagine what life was like without him. He cares for me, loves me, protects me, laughs with me, sasses me, and spends time with me. I don’t deserve any of it, yet he constantly gives himself to me. We found out a long time ago that marriage wasn’t 50/50 give and take – it’s 100/100 give give. The more we give of ourselves and give up ourselves for the sake of our relationship and lifelong commitment to each other and God, the more we are given in return.

7. I love my kids with a heart I never knew I had. From the time I was a young girl, I knew I didn’t want children. I think a lot of it had to do with my parent’s divorce, and the butterfly effect it had on the rest of my childhood. I didn’t like kids, felt very uncomfortable around them, and avoided them at all cost. Until I went to college, and met a wonderful woman with a wonderful family. I fell head over heels in love with her children, and I really think my relationship with those kids prepared my heart for my own. I no longer have a relationship with them or their mother, but I firmly believe God placed Tamara, Josh, Madi and Hannah in my life to show me how to love and how to parent.

8. I love myspace. Not for the typical teenage atmosphere, but for the openness of it. I have gotten to know 2 of my cousins, who I had not seen since the youngest was a baby (he’s a freshman at University of Texas at Austin now). I literally got to know Troy and A.J. via myspace, and I have stayed committed to it for that reason. Patty, the young girl I mentioned in the intro? She was Troy’s high school girlfriend, who I met once in real life, and have gotten to know since with myspace. Looooove it!!

9. I miss my best friend Shell. A lot. A lot, a lot. That’s all I’m gonna say about that…

10. My sister is the wisest (is that a word?) person I know. God has blessed (cursed) her with the gift of discernment, and she uses it so well, and so very effectively. I’m sure she gets tired of being the constant “go-to” person, but so many of her friends count her words as truth, as God-given. I am grateful that we have stayed so close, and grown in our friendship over the years. She crashed my new car when she was 14, and I still love her! There’s something special…wow, that was almost 15 years ago…I am getting so old.