Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reasons and Decisions

            My wedding day was gorgeous. I felt like Cinderella. I had the dress, the castle and my prince charming. It was funny how much work went into that one day. One day that changed my life. A day I would look back on with sadness. I didn't know on that cold December day in 2009 there would come a time I wouldn't want to look at the pictures anymore. 

       Marriage is something I take really seriously. There are a two big reasons for that. Of course there are many reasons these are just the two that impacted me the most. First is that my parents divorced when I was 6. My two younger sisters were 4 and 2. They don't remember the divorce like I do. I can still recall coming home from a family vacation and being happy. We were all sunburned and trying to find the Aloe Vera. Gentry wanted some orange juice. Then sitting on our parents bed I remember them explaining to us what was going on. 

       McKay was two. She just sat there. Gentry cried. She didn't know what was going on except that Daddy wasn't going to be living with us anymore. I understood enough. I remember looking back and forth at my parents and trying to figure out why this was happening. They both had that smile on their face like they were trying to stay positive so we wouldn't be more upset. I don't remember the words that were said but I remember the feelings I felt. 

       I was crushed. Even though they told me it wasn't my fault I still thought it was something I did. My dad moved out shortly after. I took a collage picture frame which contained 4 photos from my parents wedding and hid it under my pillow. I thought I was being sneaky and that my mom didn't know it was there. She knew though. 

      She would watch me in bed and I would take it out from under that pillow and go to my window. For weeks I did this. I was wishing on stars that everything would be okay. That my dad would come home.

       "Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight. Wish I may, wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight. I wish Dad and Mom still loved each other and that they would stay married. I also wish that a Princess Castle will show up in the back yard and that I can live in it."

      This is what I asked for most nights. First thing in the morning I would wake and run out of my room and go to the back door and check on my castle. I knew if my castle was there then everything was going to be okay. My castle never showed up. But things got better.

     My mom remarried. So did my dad. I got lots of new brothers and sisters. But my parents divorce still hurt. It hurt when I felt like I had to choose one parent over the other. I was hard not seeing my dad everyday anymore. Being a teenager was the worse. I was trying to balance seeing my mom, dad, friends, school and work.  When I would get in trouble with my mom I would run to my dad hoping he would be on my side. And vice versa.  

      My parents divorce was hard but I received so many blessing from it also. I look at my family today and I couldn't imagine it any other way then with my 4 parents, 9 siblings and lots of extend family. Dealing with the divorce is still hard. On holidays I have to try and divide my time so no one feels like they got the short end of the stick. 

       I have learned a lot though. I knew I never wanted a divorce. I knew that marriage was a beautiful thing. I never wanted to experience the pain that divorce brought in my life again or have a child of mine feel the things I felt. Divorce was never on the table for me. Ever. 

     When I told people about my divorce sometimes they would tell me that divorce was in my genetics. My mom, dad, stepmom and stepdad were all divorced. I was told that I was raised by people who took the easy way out and I learned from them and did the same thing. This is just not true. It did the opposite. It taught me how precious marriage is. All four taught me daily about that. 

     The other be reason is my beliefs. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. That beautiful castle I was married in the is Salt Lake Temple. It is a sacred and holy place and I didn't take getting married there lightly. Being LDS I was taught the value of  marriage. When you are married in the temple you make covenants and are sealed to your spouse for eternity. 

       Temple marriages are all about Eternal Families. It always makes me sad when I go to weddings and the preacher says the line "Til death do you part". I always wanted to me married for "Time and all eternity." And let me tell you eternity is a long time to be sealed to someone. So when I got married I took my covenants very seriously. 

       Divorce wasn't an option. I was saying yes to forever. I knew that if I was faithful to my covenants that I made on my wedding day, my family would continue on into the eternities. I would be sealed my husband and children in life and in death. 

      I can't put into words how much the Gospel plays a role in my life. It influences my every decision. I love the peace it brings in my life and the person I am because of the Church. It of course played a major factor when the topic of divorce came up between me and my ex. 

    For me making decisions is hard. I have to analyze the situation. Look at the pros and cons. Pray for help. Make lists. Look and see if the grass is greener on the other side. And repeat all this a few thousands times. 

     We met with our Bishop and talked about what we were feeling. I prayed some of my most heart felt prayers during this time asking for guidance.  We met with a LDS Family Services marriage counselor. We also went to classes to help us deal with the issues we had going on. I worked really hard to protect the sacred covenants I made that day in temple. After months of this I met with my Bishop one day alone. I was crying and confused and not sure what else I could do. 

      I told him that I really wanted a divorce but I wouldn't break my covenants and get a divorce so I had to figure something out. He looked at me and told me "Taylor, your covenants and promises are already broken. Just because you haven't filed for divorce doesn't mean they are still intact." (There are reasons these covenants were already broken but those reasons will not be discussed here. They are private and out of respect for my ex and myself they will stay that way.) When I heard that I knew it was time.
      This didn't make things any easier. I still found myself in my closet which is where I go to when I need to "escape from the world" and just cry for a bit. I spent many nights in my closet, laying on the floor crying until I fell asleep. This "decision process" took many months. It didn't just wake up one day and decide this. There was a lot of tears, hard work, prayer and stress involved. 

        I feel like a can't really do it justice in explaining what really took place over those few months. Unless you have been in that situation or another similar one I don't think you would.  Luckily for me I have a amazing family. They helped me through so much. I swear whenever I was in a dark place I would get a call from my sister asking how I was and telling me how much she loved me or my mom inviting me to lunch. Little things kept me going. 

       Now more then a year later I look back and hurt sometimes still. That one decisions changed my life. It was a very hard decision to make but I made it. Every now and then I go to my closet and shed a tear or two but it is much let frequent. Overall I am grateful for the pain I felt. I took that pain and made myself stronger. My mom would always tell me "Fake it til you make it." There was a lot of days I had to "Fake" being okay or happy. 

      But guess what! One day I made it. I woke up and realized I was going to be okay. I realized I hadn't thought about the pain for a while and I was happy. It took a long time but I made it eventually.    I made it to happy. 

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  1. Taylor! I love all of your posts on here. Divorce is such a painful and life changing thing, having gone through my parents divorce but you are so strong! You haven't let the struggles decide who you are going to be. You are amazing!

  2. Taylor, I love you so much! Your strength inspires me :)