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Am I making a Mistake?

06/24/2012 new

Probably many people have not read my profile. In it, I include that I have an illness. For awhile I have considered myself as barely suffering from this. Now I am not so sure. In fact, I have begun to doubt if, for me, marriage is even an option. I like to think it is an option. Frankly, I'm petrified of the opposite being true, but I'm going to ask the question anyway.

My illness is schizoaffective disorder. Which has symptoms of schizophrenia and depression(so yes, if you think you have trouble attracting the opposite sex, just wait until you say THAT on a date wide eyed ) However, it has been a very long time, over a year and a half since I have had schizophrenia symptoms). I thought I could tell what was a symptom and what was "me". but now I'm not so sure what I'm fighting....sometimes I'm not even sure how to fight things. Last night....I couldn't sleep. I was exhausted but didn't sleep. My medication is soooo strong that usually it knocks me out an hour after I take it....so clearly this is not something that happens. But for me to stay on top of my disorder, I have to ask the question..."Is this me simply not able to go to sleep?" "Am I starting to exhibit symptoms of something else?" "Am I experiencing anxiety?". If I eat and I feel sick, the answer isn't always either you "Ate to much" or "you have food poisoning".....it could be...."Are my levels of potassium to low? Did I accidently overdose?" I keep potassium and magnesium EVERYWHERE. I can't be in the sun for a long time. My life is sooo tightly regulated. If it gets over 90 and I'm outside I'm prone to fainting(being a farm person and a horse person you can imagine how careful I am). Of course, I'm really pretty good at regulating it, but really, all it takes is for me to mess up once, and I can end up in the hospital. I keep improving, but I keep thinking....will I really ever improve enough to be able to have a family depend on me?

I experienced a very difficult week. I struggle through it. But I finally have to ask....can your life be this regulated when you have a family? Will my problems be to much for a spouse to handle? I don't want my children to be those kids who were really the parent....of course, that's pretty extreme....I'm a mature person....but sometimes....I feel soooooo weak. I know that for ME to be married would be healthy. I improved so much in my parents house, and frankly, they almost never know when I am struggling. But children require extra time, extra attention. I do believe in families where one spouse stays home with the children. If it's a full time job, then one parent should try to be home at least PART time. And it's economically easier if that person is talented at domestics and cutting the budget. But I don't want to turn into a second child that my spouse has to take care of. I am very good at taking some criticism as long as it is on my ideas and not my person. And please remember that for me, this is a very difficult issue because I'm already confused as to where my illness ends and I begin. Even if you don't know the answer....I would appreciate some advice on how perhaps you have come through difficult periods. It seems all the things I learned growing up....such as who I am and understanding myself and how to regulate my own life have been drastically altered. Things which used to be "old hat"....such as finding a job.....now require me to do deep self-analysis and prepare as though I was a teen going in for their first job interview.

My doctors do not understand me....they say, "Well, marriage is fine, and if you are scared to have kids, then use contraception"....something I don't believe in.....I have actually been advised to live with a guy to "test it out".....so clearly, I cannot go to them for advice. I'm sorry if I sound a little depressive, but I've always wanted at some point to get married and so trying to work these things out is difficult for me.

Any information on what it "requires" to be married would be of help also....frankly anything would be of help since I'm pretty confused.

06/24/2012 new

Marissa you are very courageous for writing this. Consulting with your doctors would probably be best. You could also speak with your priest or someone at church you feel comfortable with. Each situation is different and it would hard to say what it is required. When you do meet someone I hope and pray that are understanding of your illness. You are on the right path with your illness & keeping yourself healthy. God Bless

06/24/2012 new

Marissa,

I believe you can be married and have children if that is what God has planned for you.

I have a second cousin that suffers from depression and other illnesses. The family is not completely open about it so I don't know what the other illnesses are. Two years ago she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Her family makes sure that she has all of the help necessary. Her and the father of the baby have not married. The father is by my cousin's side and supports her and the baby and will wed when my cousin feels she is ready. Through them I see that someone with issues can parent. I must admit she has a lot of help. It is rare that she is left alone with the baby. So you can do this as long as you recognize what you need and set yourself up to obtain the necessary help that you need.

Best wishes for you.

06/24/2012 new

Thanks Barbara, I don't think I would be serious enough that I couldn't be left alone with anyone. It would be more of an ability to handle stress and not end up hospitalized all the time. But your story is amazing. I don't really know anyone like that. My nurse keeps telling me to do things that are somewhat uncatholic, and when I have told her I can't, she's been somewhat rude so that I'm almost scared to bring the subject up. I don't want her giving me those looks and commenting on my religion.

I have a pact with God rather concerning it. But he really hasn't given me any answers.....yet :) But truthfully, the past week I've been a little lax in my prayer and devotion to him, so maybe he's waiting for me to show I care about him, before he decides to show he cares about me :)

06/24/2012 new

(Quote) Marissa-529206 said: Probably many people have not read my profile. In it, I include that I have an illness. For awh...
(Quote) Marissa-529206 said:

Probably many people have not read my profile. In it, I include that I have an illness. For awhile I have considered myself as barely suffering from this. Now I am not so sure. In fact, I have begun to doubt if, for me, marriage is even an option. I like to think it is an option. Frankly, I'm petrified of the opposite being true, but I'm going to ask the question anyway.

My illness is schizoaffective disorder. Which has symptoms of schizophrenia and depression(so yes, if you think you have trouble attracting the opposite sex, just wait until you say THAT on a date ) However, it has been a very long time, over a year and a half since I have had schizophrenia symptoms). I thought I could tell what was a symptom and what was "me". but now I'm not so sure what I'm fighting....sometimes I'm not even sure how to fight things. Last night....I couldn't sleep. I was exhausted but didn't sleep. My medication is soooo strong that usually it knocks me out an hour after I take it....so clearly this is not something that happens. But for me to stay on top of my disorder, I have to ask the question..."Is this me simply not able to go to sleep?" "Am I starting to exhibit symptoms of something else?" "Am I experiencing anxiety?". If I eat and I feel sick, the answer isn't always either you "Ate to much" or "you have food poisoning".....it could be...."Are my levels of potassium to low? Did I accidently overdose?" I keep potassium and magnesium EVERYWHERE. I can't be in the sun for a long time. My life is sooo tightly regulated. If it gets over 90 and I'm outside I'm prone to fainting(being a farm person and a horse person you can imagine how careful I am). Of course, I'm really pretty good at regulating it, but really, all it takes is for me to mess up once, and I can end up in the hospital. I keep improving, but I keep thinking....will I really ever improve enough to be able to have a family depend on me?

I experienced a very difficult week. I struggle through it. But I finally have to ask....can your life be this regulated when you have a family? Will my problems be to much for a spouse to handle? I don't want my children to be those kids who were really the parent....of course, that's pretty extreme....I'm a mature person....but sometimes....I feel soooooo weak. I know that for ME to be married would be healthy. I improved so much in my parents house, and frankly, they almost never know when I am struggling. But children require extra time, extra attention. I do believe in families where one spouse stays home with the children. If it's a full time job, then one parent should try to be home at least PART time. And it's economically easier if that person is talented at domestics and cutting the budget. But I don't want to turn into a second child that my spouse has to take care of. I am very good at taking some criticism as long as it is on my ideas and not my person. And please remember that for me, this is a very difficult issue because I'm already confused as to where my illness ends and I begin. Even if you don't know the answer....I would appreciate some advice on how perhaps you have come through difficult periods. It seems all the things I learned growing up....such as who I am and understanding myself and how to regulate my own life have been drastically altered. Things which used to be "old hat"....such as finding a job.....now require me to do deep self-analysis and prepare as though I was a teen going in for their first job interview.

My doctors do not understand me....they say, "Well, marriage is fine, and if you are scared to have kids, then use contraception"....something I don't believe in.....I have actually been advised to live with a guy to "test it out".....so clearly, I cannot go to them for advice. I'm sorry if I sound a little depressive, but I've always wanted at some point to get married and so trying to work these things out is difficult for me.

Any information on what it "requires" to be married would be of help also....frankly anything would be of help since I'm pretty confused.

--hide--


First, I don't think it is a mistake, nor do I think it's selfish. Whether it is your path and/or calling in life is between you and God. No one can make that decision for you. I know a woman who successfully married and had a beautiful daughter while suffering from the same disorder. There were times that she needed to be hospitalized, but the is going back more than 30 years. Her daughter was one of my classmates. Pscyhotherapy and medication have improved immeasurably since then.


I have dealt with depression for a number of years, and an entire section of my family suffers from depression and or Bipolar disorder II. I discussed it in more detail a couple of weeks ago. If you search mental illness, you should be able to find it. There was negative commentary, but there was also quite a bit of positive in support of those who suffer. Because I have suffered, I understand only too well watching different symptoms and second-guessing everything; not only for myself, for my daughter and now my grandson. It can be exhausting when we just want to live. I love the sun, but it has extremely detrimental effects on me. You again have my sympathy.


As for the rest of the 'medical' advice you are being given, I suggest you get a second opinion. First, speak with your priest and tell him your concerns all the way through. Most will admit if they are not adequately knowledgeable in mental illness to advise you fully. If he isn't, or you're not comfortable with him, contact your diocese. They can give you information on catholic psychotherapists. They can advise you on any risks you face AND do so without any violations of canon law.


For yourself, and thinking about children, a good movie to consider is "All She Ever Wanted" with Marcia Cross. I want to say it was based on a true case, but it's been a long time since I've seen it. That is an extreme case and what a woman was willing to do to become a mother. It does address some of the questions you've posed here. It also answers the lengths a husband who loves a woman is willing to go to for her and their marriage.



06/25/2012 new

(Quote) Marissa-529206 said: Thanks Barbara, I don't think I would be serious enough that I couldn't be left alone w...
(Quote) Marissa-529206 said:

Thanks Barbara, I don't think I would be serious enough that I couldn't be left alone with anyone. It would be more of an ability to handle stress and not end up hospitalized all the time. But your story is amazing. I don't really know anyone like that. My nurse keeps telling me to do things that are somewhat uncatholic, and when I have told her I can't, she's been somewhat rude so that I'm almost scared to bring the subject up. I don't want her giving me those looks and commenting on my religion.

I have a pact with God rather concerning it. But he really hasn't given me any answers.....yet :) But truthfully, the past week I've been a little lax in my prayer and devotion to him, so maybe he's waiting for me to show I care about him, before he decides to show he cares about me :)

--hide--

Marissa, I get "those" looks, too. I think most Catholic women who follow the teachings of the Church in regards to birth control, have issues with their medical providers not understanding... and thinking we're all a little crazy. I'm a guardian for a Catholic relative with schizophrenia, and when I accompany her to the doctor, you should see the looks she gets, and then the looks I get when we refuse to discuss her being on birth control. It's clear they think the patients are running the asylum rolling eyes . It gets a little nerve-racking. I'm sure they'd report me for neglect if they could - maybe they've even tried. The fact is, she is entitled to follow her religious beliefs, but it would be nice if medical personnel would be respectful.

As for whether you're making a mistake - no, you're not. Don't limit yourself! It's too easy to have a bad week and foresee every possible thing that could go wrong. If you meet a man and decide to marry, take it one decision, one day at a time. I'm sure the two of you can work out some safeguards to help you. Yes, you might fail, and be unable to raise your children (worst-case scenario), but would you ever be sorry to have brought two little blessings into this world? (Don't ask me why 2? I don't know!) Just take it one day at a time, one decision at a time and don't get overwhelmed!

06/25/2012 new

Thanks for the replies. I am in a small town so I don't really get alot of advise from others who know people with mental illness. I know of one girl with depression and she's a teen, so obviously she hasn't faced an adult existance. I will definitely check out the movie. Yes, it's hard to discuss with a doctor "other options' for preparing myself for being a spouse or being a mother when they refuse to look at anything OTHER than birthcontrol as an answer. I have a little doggie. I like to try to pretend it's my child and I have that responsibility.

This week when I was having trouble, I pretended I had a baby and made myself get out of bed at midnight and do some sewing, for about half-and hour...just to see if I could handle it. I was quite proud of myself. I kind of wanted to tell someone about my success :) It's really hard to do when you don't REALLY have a child and you are tired and not in a good mood :) So I consider it a double success.

Thanks for the encouragement. I will definitely take you up on your suggestions.

06/25/2012 new

It's funny how God works in mysterious ways. I wasn't able to go to the regular Mass I attend for lack of sleep. I went instead to a Mass in a different town. Mother came home and said Father Pat had given a good homily. It was about being Christian and following God's teaching and trusting that as long as you do what he says....you can't go wrong. At the end of a the homily, he described a woman who had 7 kids, could no longer take care of them, most of her children had some sort of disease(3 were deaf, one was blind), she contracted syphillis, and became pregnant. Everyone told her to have an abortion. She didn't. The child she had was Ludwig Van Beethoven.

I checked this on the internet. Some people claim it is pro-life people changing facts for their cause. Which is stupid, because pro-life people don't have to change facts, it is not based on WHO the baby is, but rather that it is a child. If that child had turned out deaf....the pro-life people would have still said to have it born. Anyway, I found out already that much of it is true, I haven't found out if ALL of it is true though.


But it definitely made me realize that I really do have to trust in God.

06/25/2012 new

(Quote) AnneMarie-641597 said: First, I don't think it is a mistake, nor do I think it's selfish. Wheth...
(Quote) AnneMarie-641597 said:


First, I don't think it is a mistake, nor do I think it's selfish. Whether it is your path and/or calling in life is between you and God. No one can make that decision for you. I know a woman who successfully married and had a beautiful daughter while suffering from the same disorder. There were times that she needed to be hospitalized, but the is going back more than 30 years. Her daughter was one of my classmates. Pscyhotherapy and medication have improved immeasurably since then.


I have dealt with depression for a number of years, and an entire section of my family suffers from depression and or Bipolar disorder II. I discussed it in more detail a couple of weeks ago. If you search mental illness, you should be able to find it. There was negative commentary, but there was also quite a bit of positive in support of those who suffer. Because I have suffered, I understand only too well watching different symptoms and second-guessing everything; not only for myself, for my daughter and now my grandson. It can be exhausting when we just want to live. I love the sun, but it has extremely detrimental effects on me. You again have my sympathy.


As for the rest of the 'medical' advice you are being given, I suggest you get a second opinion. First, speak with your priest and tell him your concerns all the way through. Most will admit if they are not adequately knowledgeable in mental illness to advise you fully. If he isn't, or you're not comfortable with him, contact your diocese. They can give you information on catholic psychotherapists. They can advise you on any risks you face AND do so without any violations of canon law.


For yourself, and thinking about children, a good movie to consider is "All She Ever Wanted" with Marcia Cross. I want to say it was based on a true case, but it's been a long time since I've seen it. That is an extreme case and what a woman was willing to do to become a mother. It does address some of the questions you've posed here. It also answers the lengths a husband who loves a woman is willing to go to for her and their marriage.



--hide--


Further, I think you're doing the right thing being up front. It may cause some to shy away, but the one who doesn't will be the one who will stand through thick and thin. It's hard contemplating a life with someone. It's harder yet to do it when you face a lifelong illness. My daughter is facing a similar situation with a physical disease. She's up front because she acknowledges the very real possibility she will be in a wheelchair before too many years pass. She's not willing to let someone be taken by surprise later.

You are both extremely brave women!

06/25/2012 new

(Quote) Marissa-529206 said: It's funny how God works in mysterious ways. I wasn't able to go to the regular Mass I ...
(Quote) Marissa-529206 said:

It's funny how God works in mysterious ways. I wasn't able to go to the regular Mass I attend for lack of sleep. I went instead to a Mass in a different town. Mother came home and said Father Pat had given a good homily. It was about being Christian and following God's teaching and trusting that as long as you do what he says....you can't go wrong. At the end of a the homily, he described a woman who had 7 kids, could no longer take care of them, most of her children had some sort of disease(3 were deaf, one was blind), she contracted syphillis, and became pregnant. Everyone told her to have an abortion. She didn't. The child she had was Ludwig Van Beethoven.

I checked this on the internet. Some people claim it is pro-life people changing facts for their cause. Which is stupid, because pro-life people don't have to change facts, it is not based on WHO the baby is, but rather that it is a child. If that child had turned out deaf....the pro-life people would have still said to have it born. Anyway, I found out already that much of it is true, I haven't found out if ALL of it is true though.


But it definitely made me realize that I really do have to trust in God.

--hide--

I had heard of Beethoven's mother's story as well. Rumor has it that Beethoven had high functioning autism, which makes alot of sense since his mother also suffered from a mental illness. Marissa, I can tell from your posts that you are a highly intelligent woman. You have a lot to offer someone in a relationship. As far as whether or not to have children; wait til the time comes. No one knows for sure that they will even be able to conceive and/or carry a child to term so speculating now is putting the cart before the horse. You are not making a mistake; there are highly nurturing, empathetic men in this world (there are even a few on CM) that would make a great husband for you. The important aspect of your condition is that you are as upfront and honest with your future spouse as possible. Blessings to you.

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