Thursday, July 4, 2013

Not Pefect, But Maybe Good Enough?

When I think of a Mormon wife (basically the IDEAL MOLLY), I think of a size 2 blonde, who spits out children annually.  All her kids are well behaved; she sews, cleans, cooks (and enjoys doing it). She is industrious and kind.  She is subservient and deferential to her PETER PRIESTHOOD husband in all things.  She never starts fights, husband and wife never argue, and he treats her with nothing but respect and love all the time.
I don't know how I came up with this ideal.  My family growing up was nothing like this.  Single mom, abusive but distant dad.  A remarriage that didn't work for anyone, and absentee parents.  But somewhere between there and here, I came to suspect that all Mormon men wanted a Barbie Doll.  This scared me.
I was never pretty, never popular, and a bit...odd.  I know now it's because I suffer from severe Bipolar/Borderline Disorder and ADHD.  But back then, I was just a ball of emotions and weird behaviours that scared a lot of the kids my age.
Fast forward to now. I've been married for 3 years to a great guy.  And every day I struggle with who I am versus the ideals in my head.  Unlike Molly up there, I'm 325 lbs, currently have black and pink hair, and infertile.  We've been trying to get foster kids, but the agency is giving us the runner.  I can barely sew a straight line, and though I'm a terrific cook, I hate cleaning.  Sometimes I consider it a good day if all I accomplish is reheating leftovers for dinner.  I'm sarcastic, rude, and very un-PC. I have no filter, and little to no sympathy.  I pick fights just to make sure my husband still loves me.  He does.
I'm not giving the whole paragraph to be self-deprecating, or because I hope the comments will be filled with "Oh, you're beautiful in God's eyes". I am using my characteristics to show the dichotomy between what I see as ideal and what I have.  
Throughout the years of our marriage, I have read numerous relationship books to figure out what I'm doing wrong. I tell myself that I am a horrid wife because I turn down my husband for sex.  I'm a terrible Mormon because I go for weeks without praying.  (I'm sure a psychologist would say my self-talk is self-destructive or something equally scientific)  While I'm reading these books, I would ask my poor husband if "things would be better between us if I did XYZ."  Every time, he looks confused, and says something to the effect of "you are good, and don't need to change." 
And to be completely honest, this reaction scares the tar out of me.  I don't think I'm good enough to love, let alone be loved for who I am for eternity.  Blame childhood sexual abuse and neglect, if you will.  But every day I struggle with the fact that my guy loves me as I am right now.  He loved me before I was diagnosed and properly medicated.  He's been to hell and back with me through these past 3 years.  And still loves me.  
If I have a hard time accepting the love of a mortal man, the notion of a loving, perfect God is almost beyond my grasp.  We tend to base how we think of God on our Earthly father.  Intellectually, I know that God is nothing like my dad.  God is perfect, his love his perfect, and he loves each of us exactly as we are.  But I don't understand that very well.  Because I hate myself so much a lot of the time, I can't imagine a God that loves me despite my flaws.  Every day, that gets a little bit easier to get.  My hope is that one day I'll be healed enough to realize that while I'm not the perfect ideal, I'm good enough for husband.  And good enough for God.

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