I'd like to take a quick moment to express my sincerest gratitude for those of you sent prayers and messages upon reading My Darkest Secret (either through Facebook threads, this blog or e-mail). I've been humbled and deeply touched by your thoughtfulness, love and generosity. Considering how difficult posting that entry was, you each made it worthwhile with the support, gentleness and understanding you showed. Please know I'll be keeping you all in my prayers.
I have to admit I was not expecting the sort of response that was received. Apparently this was picked up by a page called "Guggie Daily" on Facebook. From there, it was shared (a woman named Mattie apparently posted this to every group known to man), Twittered, and e-mailed all over the place. Wow!
Considering this is an unknown little blog in the corner of nowhere, I was really surprised to see the flood of comments and e-mails. Most have been very kind and supportive. As I said above, I am so grateful for that. Some comments have been slightly confusing, and others have been outright mean. I felt I needed to respond to those latter comments in a general way in the hopes that folks see this as they're scrolling down to troll.
The majority of the "mean" comments can be broken into a few categories. They are:
1. Divorce John. He's a horrible, evil minion of Satan.
2. You should be ashamed of yourself for setting the feminist movement back [insert number] years.
3. You obviously don't understand what the Church's teaching on annulment is, because if you did, you'd totally do it.
4. You are writing this entry to be a spiteful, manipulative jerk in an effort to guilt your husband into giving you children.
5. You're both going to hell. Him for using birth control, and you for allowing him to do it.
6. You don't really care about your son because if you did, you'd be fighting a lot harder to make sure he gets siblings.
And my favorite:
7. You just ruined Santa Claus for me. I wonder if it was MY neighbor all along, too.
Ha ha - okay, obviously that last one was sent by a reader, George, who understands the power of a good joke. Thank you, George! Those others, however, were recurring themes in many of the responses I got. In fact, several messages had combinations of most included!
So instead of answering each one individually (or deleting them en masse again), here is my response.
Divorce John. He's a horrible, evil minion of Satan.
There's this thing called hyperbole. You're totally doing it right, but maybe it'd be best to leave such literary devices to poetry.
You're setting "the movement" back a bazillion years.
One of the Facebook users who commented on my situation had a profile photo of herself in a bathroom wearing her underwear. I'm serious. I wish I was kidding.
Anyway, she said something along the lines of me being the type of woman who endures years of being barefoot and pregnant, scrubbing mountains of dishes and piles of laundry, never able to find satisfaction in anything not related to serving my man.
Sheesh. Really? Is that how my entry REALLY came across?
Let me assure you that, though I do like being barefoot (and would certainly like to be pregnant again), I don't make it a point to spend all my free time washing dishes for
"my man." Granted, I also don't spend my time in bathrooms taking half-naked photos of myself in order to generate "OMG, you're so hot!" comments from him, either.
John and I have discussed this repeated times. This isn't an area one can compromise on, and thus, I willingly make this sacrifice for the good of my family because I love and respect them, myself, and any potential children enough to do it.
If this is considered weakness, I'd be curious to know what you consider strength to be.
Also, judging me for my desire to be a good wife and mother goes directly against that whole feminist idea of women being enabled to do that which they believe is right for them. Or do you not note the hypocrisy of your own words?
You don't know what annulment is, 'cause if you did...
When John and I married one another, we did it with the full knowledge of what it was we were signing on for. We had discussed children and we were pretty much on the same page for everything. We loved (and continue to love) one another, and we strive to think of the other person in all we do. With the exception of the openness to children, nothing has changed. To request that the Church deem our marriage invalid because he changed his mind AFTER the fact is fallacious. Also, it's pointless as this particular issue is something we have reached an agreement on for the good of our family as a whole. To go through a pointless process when we still wish to remain as a family is so beyond the realm of common sense that I really do kinda shake my head in wonder at these folks who are so quick to "give up" the second something difficult comes up.
No wonder divorce rates are so high (and cheap) in this country. Folks are so busy thinking about themselves that the second a sacrifice is necessary, they head for the hills.
You are a spiteful, manipulative jerk!
Also, John will likely never read this. He doesn't have to, because he already knows my feelings. I set this off into cyberspace because writing is therapeutic for me. It also helps me better understand my own thought-process and feelings. This had nothing to do with guilting John. How could it when there's really very little chance of it ever effecting him? That's just silly.
You're both going to hell.
In all seriousness though, since John doesn't believe in Catholicism, the idea of birth control being sinful is foreign to him. So though it'd still be a sin, it can't be a mortal one because he doesn't have the proper knowledge necessary for it to be a mortal, hell-inducing sin. Also, I cannot be held responsible for John's decision to use birth control (he's the one who uses it, not me). In as plain a way as possible, take this illustration:
Mike hits Jane.
Jane feels pain.
Mike sinned, but Jane did not.
When they die in a fiery explosion later that afternoon, Mike will be punished for his sin. Jane, being blameless (unless she's the one who caused the fiery explosion of doom), will not be judged.
Kinda straightforward, right?
You don't care about Vince 'cause if you did, you'd fight...
So I apologize that this is a little more negative than my entries tend to be. But in light of recent developments, I thought it prudent to dispel these things from the gate. Blessings to all of you, and thank you for your continued prayers!