The highest, holiest calling in the world
I always knew growing up that I would be a mother, and I was determined that I would be the BEST mother I could be. I learned more than most from my own mother who was raising 8 children and doing it rather successfully I might add. On top of this, I was raised in a Faith (LDS Church) that greatly valued motherhood and taught me eternal traits and characteristics of mothering and how this could help me reach my highest potential.
Growing up in the very 'family oriented' State of Utah, where Motherhood was praised and esteemed, this too gave me the advantages to take many courses (or schooling) throughout my life, which prepared me for this calling of motherhood.
I always knew (instinctively) that I was (somehow) going to have 6 children. My soul told me this. I had told my boyfriend, Bernd Holler, while dating that if we were to marry, I would like to have 6 children. He said that he preferred only 2. I said, "Would you compromise with 3?" He said he would think about it. This told me that he was willing to go with the flow of things and that somehow God would decide. I was fine with this.
I dated a few young men who would make fine fathers and showed potential in mirroring my main goals of finding a husband or father who would compliment my desires to be the best mother I could be for having a family and being supportive by someone who agreed with my same goals. At the time, this seemed to be Mr. Holler, who convinced me that his goals were to make ME happy, support me and my lofty and righteous desires and goals of creating and raising a righteous offspring and achieving my important and highest place of Honor. I believed him.
Thus, I agreed to marry him and make him my companion for life and even possibly for Eternity, if we would hold true to our 'commitments', 'covenants' and then endure doing this, until God or Eternal laws made it so. We were given every opportunity. Sadly I did not understand at the time that it was about 'winning' in Mr. Hollers mind and heart, more than the duty to God.
So, then began our journey of bringing life or souls into this little family and fulfilling our potentials. I, specifically, being able to be a mother of great love, happiness, divine guidance in each child, and fulfilling my desires to make God pleased with me and my special calling.
I always held the calling of Motherhood in GREAT esteem! (did I already mention this?) AND, I always knew that this process was to involve God, or the Spirit world (or Universal energy of Love if you will).
As I grew into adulthood, I took courses of skills and development that would help in this calling. I took cooking classes, sewing classes, and child development courses, just to name a few. I also took careful mental notes of how my own mother and grandmothers 'mothered'... and made mental notes of what I would do different or the same. My mother and grandmothers were clean, thrifty, honest, religious, strong, faithful, Spiritual, kind, handy, clever, moral and very giving, just to name a few.
I had excellent role models!
I just knew that because I had thought I had chosen a husband who would support this same cause or outcome, that I was in for a life of honorable mothering, no matter what came my way! I was excited about it too!
Sadly, I had forgotten to involve God in letting Him pick an 'eternal companion' FOR ME, and instead had made this decision based on what I THOUGHT would make a good husband and was naive or bullied a bit into this decision. I told God who I was going to marry...instead of the other way around. This would later unfold to teach me a lesson or two. (or more). I was spoiled and somehow thought that this would somehow extend to my children and that this would somehow make a good father for my children. He had many good qualities so how could we go wrong?
As I began motherhood with my first child, Austin, and I was thrilled beyond belief. Sure there were 'red flags' with my marital relationship, but WHY focus on those, when you have a precious bundle of pure JOY in your arms and it was easier to focus on this then on the reality that I was living with someone who was now starting so show that in reality he did NOT have the same spiritual or lofty goals as I did, he was not who he had portrayed himself to be, and now it (in my mind) was too late to back out.
So, I focused on this honorable calling of mother instead, and tried my best to involve God in every decision I made with this little innocent human being and also with all the others who would follow or be added over the years. I encouraged my husband to do the same. Now looking back, I see that most of his involvement was to keep me happy and in the failing marriage.
I DELIGHTED in Motherhood, and my husband KNEW it! He could use this JOY to subtly 'threaten' as a way to make me conform to his goals and his worldliness. Those things that I did not know were a part of him before we got married. Those goals that he had hide from me, that deep down were NOT a part of me and my eternal goals.
So, I buried these red flags, and decided it was easier to go with the flow then to cause pain for my self and my excitement of Motherhood. I didn't realize that if I did not correct this in my life that sadly it would ONLY GET WORSE, the more children that would be involved in the situation. Still, I was a pacifist. I didn't rock the boat easily. I was comfortable and I did NOT like contention!
Over the many years of ignoring my failing marriage, I instead dove myself into being an excellent mother, hoping that this would save my marriage. I focused on the wonderful qualities my husband did have trying to cover up his faults. He was very good in so many ways, it was easy to do. My husband didn't want a failed marriage either.
So, my unhappy marital heart was being filled with the happiness of Motherhood instead, and my husband knew that IF he could keep this part of me happy, I would stay in the marriage, and all things on the outside appeared wonderful, even if my heart was not happy with the lack of eternal bond that was not between us and growing distant more and more. I used to blame a lot of it on him, since he KNEW better and hid a lot of the real him from me. I was too naive to understand.
However, today, I can see my role in the relationship and its pitfalls and do blame myself just as much, of course. For not being stronger, more Godly, and for not standing up for my heart.
I still carry a weight of guilt and am learning to let go of it and find happiness living in my current life. (more on that later)
Over the many years of giving birth to children, having one die, and going through the ups and downs of Motherhood, I would have to admit that I mostly LOVED almost every minute of it. The good, the bad and the ugly. Some mothers really struggle but I found even joy in the struggle because I somehow knew that this precious calling of motherhood was a blessing, GIFT, and of GREAT Value!!
( I need to explain something here. Please bear with me.
Have you ever heard of the story, "How to boil a frog in cool water"? Well, that was me in my marriage with Mr. Holler.
It goes like this:
If you put a frog in hot water, it will just jump out. If you put it in cool water, it will sit there and enjoy the water. Then, if you put a small flame under the pot of water and sloooowly turn up the heat, the frog will not know that the water is getting warmer and warmer, until the water is boiling and the frog is dead! Looking back on my life, I can compare this analogy with my own marriage to Mr. Holler. You see, I was convinced that my husband was a person who wanted to please God and that he and I could do this relationship of same goals together and raise a righteous family and Godly relationship. I did not know that he had hidden flaws or other hidden desires, that would prove otherwise. I understand 'Why' he would hide this, since the possibility of a 'good life' with a good wife who would make an excellent Mother for his offspring, or for the two of us, was too tempting to take, instead of earn or deserve. I had my faults too, so I don't ignore those.
So, I jumped into the cool comfortable waters of marriage with Mr. Holler thinking that it was rather 'pleasant' and pretty Great, if you asked me. Then, as time went by, slowly the heat of our marriage, or the truth of 'who' Mr. Holler really was, began to surface. I had a choice to either deal with it or continue to sit in the now 'warm water' of our relationship. I chose to stay in the warm water, thinking that it would go (somehow) back to being the cool water we began this journey in. Trust me, I am just as much at fault as he is and I do not blame him entirely. As the years went by, my husband and I grew apart and the water got hotter and hotter. He began to choose worldly fun, and I could either bail out (which I had been taught was the wrong thing to do) or I could participate in his life and world. Being to comfortable like the frog.... I chose to stay.
Soon, in the year 2000, God was kind enough to show me that my choices and my husband choices were leading us to sure Spiritual death. I saw my light of Christ which resides in my soul, beginning to die (just like the frog about to die) and I knew that if I were to save my soul, I would have to JUMP SHIP (or get out of the pot of almost boiling water!) I saw this vision in my mind. It was real.
I did tell my husband that I needed to separate myself from him, and after a few years of fighting me, he finally understood that it was not worth lying to me or trying to convince me of what was NOT real, and we finally separated in Summer of 2001, with his continued lies that he would still be my friend and that he would at least keep his promises in doing what was right by me and by our offspring. We had many conversations of this, over many months, and I wholeheartedly believed him, even then. And this is how I can compare it to this story or analogy of How to Boil a Frog in cool water.)
As much as I desired a righteous father for my children, I desired it to be Mr. Holler, I really did, but God was showing me that it was not going to be him and that I needed to free myself from him. I did not know what was in store. I just knew I had to jump ship, or out of the hot water before I spiritually DIED. I know many of you reading this can not understand. However, it was as real as you and I.
I did not know what was in my future. I really did not. I just knew that I needed to be away from the deter-mental influences of Bernd Holler. Maybe his influences would be fine for a different person, but for me, it was leading me away from God, from my eternal Christ-like inner compass, and I could not have that any longer. I really believed that he would allow me to continue to mother our offspring in peace and co-operation. This sadly would prove to be untrue just shortly after he convinced me to file for divorce based on his new girlfriend, Terry's, advice.
The years after our separation, I desired, hoped for, prayed for, believed in, and voiced my need for him to be friends and stay benevolent to each other. Maybe I was unreasonable to him in his eyes, now that I had a voice, and that my opinion and heartfelt decisions were equal to his, now that I was not longer his wife, but only the mother to his children. He began to frustrate me and our co-parenting and this in turn made me very upset and as much as I tried to communicate to him, he would NOT listen. His mind and heart was for his new girlfriend and AGAINST me. I was floored!!!
I was no longer the quiet mouse who did as she was told. I was my own person again, and I noticed that he could not control me and/or ALL the parenting decisions and this angered him.
It was either his way or the high way. I felt that he wanted to have me back, submissive, doing all he told me to do, and to continue to turn me into the person he had always wanted, which was a worldly woman who allow him to have his worldly pleasures and a family too, without ANY consequences, AND keep his girlfriends or wild life style! This was against my entire soul and God had other plans. I was headed back to my original self and being a pure woman again, and Mr. Holler was NOT going to help if he could.
I had a responsibility to Mother my children righteously and needed his help to continue to do this, but with both of our opinions MATTERING! We needed to be a team!! I felt this did NOT sit well with him. WHY?? Surprisingly, to me, he became extremely uncooperative and outright spiteful and full of malice toward me. I noticed that he began to thwart my every move, to be a successful mother without him. Everywhere I turned he was there to hurt us rather than help us. He even called everyone I knew and bad mouthed and lied to them about who I was. Many did not believe him and rather told me what he was saying about me. I saw that for him, it was about Winning... and by Hell he was going to Win even if it ruined my goals of Mothering righteously. I may not have appeared to be doing some things right...but I was following my heart the best I could. At that time, I agree, I wasn't the best ME, I could be. I was far from being perfect. There was too much on my plate and I was confused and alone. I was just then starting my way back to Trusting God.
To me, the children were the MOST important goals and to me I could not understand why he did not agree. Why would he punish his own children? Was his hurt too much to handle. I'll never know. However, I did want both of us to win, for the sake of our children. I wanted God to Win.... That was my goal.
Over many years of having to come to terms that Mr. Holler was NOT the loving man I had always believe him to be, I slowly learned this truth and had to make choices based on this fact.
This made mothering more difficult for the years after divorce, but through it all, I often was complimented by those around me of what an exceptional, loving mother they all witnessed me to be. I appreciated these compliments, but I was not after compliments. I meant business and to me that was to raise righteous, successful, caring young men who would, or could, go on in their own lives to pass down successful parenting traits, even if their biological father decided to not be a part of that. I was determined to be a good mother no matter what.
I soon discovered that my then ex-husband's best way to 'get even' with me for him not winning, was to destroy (best as he could) my greatest love and my love of Motherhood goals in my life. What was my greatest desires and happiness that he knew of? Where did my heart live?
With my children....Which was my Mothering!! I KNOW he knew I was a good mother. I've made a few dumb choices, but overall, I have always been one of the very caring and exceptional mothers around. At least this is what my family and others have always told me.
When I finally turned my heart to God and told him that I needed his help, he sent me a partner that was willing to have the same goals as I did, and help me be a successful mother. He sent me a wonderful Step-father (Rudy) for my boys and a Godly husband for me. This in turn quickly showed my ex that his plans to destroy my greatest love of successful Mothering and/or me personally...was not going to work so well, now that I had Godly help.
So all Hell broke loose.
When I was threatened custody of my precious children to be taken away, especially now that my ex had learned of a 'LIE' of false accusation, he could use against us to weld his threats, and do this harm to us, he took advantage of this lie to attack me through my Motherhood. I did not believe that he could be so heartless to do this to the mother of his children. The person he had once loved?
Soon after his choices and after it was too late....He finally admitted that he did not want custody....but it was too late....he had already done the damage. So he took my children, my loves, away (telling everyone that it was MY idea, when really it had been ALL him) I wanted to respectfully get along. Many witnesses KNOW this. It is not JUST my word.
After being told by my ex's lawyer (with a witness) that Mr. Holler would only take my precious children for the most one year, before we would go over the whole process again and decide what was best for the kids, I believed this LIE also.
Deep down I believed that he would want to discuss this at even an earlier date, then after one whole year, and having a Stepfather who believed also that Bernd would be a good father and allow us respectful to co-parent at the time, we then decided we would allow him to have custody of my precious cargo for what was believed to be a short period of time before he would come to his senses and Co-parent. Kids need BOTH parents!! (and all extended family)
I was feeling OK about the two oldest sons being ready to live with their father, regardless the outcome, but I was against the 3 youngest going to live with him, especially KNOWING that he had never wanted these three born in the first place. It broke my heart to hand them over, but knew in my heart that they would be back very soon and I trusted that Bernd would do the right thing by giving us back half custody, to me, to raise with a man that he KNEW was a good person and that he KNEW would love these boys MORE than what he (the bio dad) was (I feel) willing to do.
Regardless, they WERE Mr. Holler's flesh and blood and I was hoping that this would make him do what was right for them...and not do what was wrong ONLY to punish or get even with me, the source of his Hatred, as he told others.
I knew, that he knew, that the man I was about to marry, was from God himself. A good person. A godsend.
I knew that Bernds request that I have no contact with my own flesh and blood, which he had demanded, at the time of bluffing that he wanted Custody... was done only out of his need to CONTROL his home. That within a month, or two, of parenting himself, he would see the error of his ways and that he would fall back onto the KNOWLEDGE he had (from taking Child development courses in College and other righteous classes), that the right thing to do would be to have the children have their loving and REAL biological mother in their lives. That BOTH of us would be beneficial to OUR children!! That soon he would respectfully allow us respectful contact. I believed this!
Especially since Mr. Holler knew that the man I was currently with believed in 'RESPECT', and being fair, more than any other man or culture Mr. Holler had ever witnessed or found on Earth. I was sure of this. They even had had respectful conversations before the kids went to live with their bio dad. Unfortunately, Bernd refused to co-operate.
Sadly, The one year went by and Mr. Holler and my children were no where to be found. They had moved, stayed hidden...and were not letting others know where they were. He was hiding them, and when I began to reach out to outside help within months of my children being taken, (so that I could be in MY children's lives respectfully), he retaliated by threatening those who were willing to help me.
I tried to regain contact many times... only to be severely threatened by Mr. Holler.
This proved to myself and others that he was not interested in protecting his children, as much as he was MORE interested (out of Spite) in getting even, or in hurting ME, the mother of his Children. Why did he want to destroy me personally?
Even at the cost of his children's future, hearts, and SOULS!!! ??
This was extremely deceitful and wrong. Something I could NOT even fathom a ex husband would do, let alone any human being do.
Especially to their own flesh and blood. ????
I would understand if he had NO knowledge of the pain he was to cause or was causing to these innocent children, but he knew what he was doing, and his plan was to use this pain to cement into their hearts and minds that it was their Mothers, ME, fault and who had been the only CAUSE of it ALL. I had gone to Child Development classes WITH him in college. I KNEW he knew better!
ALL of it.
How unfair is this?
To top that off, I had heard of and witnessed that he even then went on to convince (feed them lies) all people around him, and his offspring, that the biological mother had purposely LEFT these 5 young boys, leaving a horrible social stigma, and hatred, in the hearts of his children and others who believed in this lie.
They are MY children. MY flesh and blood. My everything!!
I know the knowledge and cunningness my children's father has this day, and I knew that he knew how to avoid this pain he was inflicting onto our offspring. WHY was he doing it? It took reading books about his dysfunctional personality, to finally understand (kinda) how these kinds of heartless people work. I could hardly believe it myself. I had to have it pounded into my mind!!
I feel and now know, it was because it was allowing him to have the revenge he had always wanted. By hurting them...he was hurting me.
Enough about that subject, I'd like to get back to the loving mothering or Motherhood I have always striven for.
I do not want to play God and decide to know, or want to know, Mr. Hollers heart or lack of heart, and let his consequences of his choices be his own. I just know that I could not do such torture to another human being who truly loves their offspring. This is WHY I question his ability to LOVE from even the begining. And if he ever was able to?
Sadly, many mothers, in this day and age, are more and more living apart from their children and this continues to rise. No matter what the cause or circumstances, whether by choice or by the choices of others, it leaves only one way to have to go...which is to learn to live with what we have been dealt.
Having my children physically taken from me, by a more controlling, domineering , and threatening hostile person, still took me many years to believe that this was who I had married and had had children with. This took me many years and education (reading books) to come to terms with.
These are commonly known as the Five (5) stages of Grief.
The first one being Denial.
It helped me survive the loss, even through days I wished I could die and not have to endure the pain that was MORE dreadful than any physical pain I had ever endured. I denied that I had been married to someone who did not have feelings and would not allow a loving mother to love her children. Someone who did not know right from wrong or rather chose to do ONLY what would help him WIN. I ached for the pain my children surely were going through.
It wasn't until I read the book The Sociopath Next Door, that I learned that these people exist and that I had dated, married, AND had had children with one of these people. I was shocked!! This helped me to slowly be over the denial. I began to understand WHY he had made the choices he had made which were very unusual and uncommon as a loving parent.
The next one is Anger or depression.
Over the years I was in denial, I also experienced anger but more depression and deep sense of loss and crying, than anger. My deep despair of crying fits was just another indication of the deep intensity of my love for my children. It went on for years and years!
One stage is bargaining. I plead with others all around me to help me get into contact with my children, to which my ex would threaten them if they would help me. These stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another.
One such book that I finally picked up, after all the depression, was called "A Mother Apart". It helped me let go of the excessive guilt and find happiness living apart from my children. It taught me to manage my emotions or other difficult feelings. I learned that I could still Mother my children, but from a far. Using PRAYER as one powerful tool. I was so grateful to remember this tool of prayer, and I begin using it again.
I learned that Mothering from Afar can make me one of the most extraordinary mothers in the world.
It taught me how to reach a deeper healing through understanding and Forgiveness!
Although I have a particularly painful path to walk, I have had to learn to be big-hearted ....and broaden and deepen my capacity to love, face my pain, and guilt, instead of blocking it or running from it.
Over the years I have found hope and inspirations in meeting other mothers who are going through similar things and have found them to be the MOST compassionate people I have ever met on this Earth!
Strong women, with many scars, are living proof that in strength and ability to absorb pressure, our scars are stronger than skin and we become that strength to those who are needing to lean on us.
Clarissa Estes says it like this;
"We can grieve and grieve hard, and come out of it tear-stained, rather than shame-stained. We can come out deepened, fully acknowledged, and filled with new life... Although there will be scars and plenty of them, it is good to remember that in tensile strength and ability to absorb pressure, as scar is stronger than skin."
My life may not be going as planned, but because God is in charge, so my life is good.
My children are young adults now. I've missed them EVERY day they have been out of my home. They are beginning lives of their own. Hopefully away from the negative influences of others who are selfish. I am not promised a relationship with my alienated children, which I have sincerely hope for.
What I do pray for, regardless, is that while they are growing up, in their maturing, they will start to think autonomously and question the status quo. That my children become curious about their absent mother, me. That they will have open minds and hearts and listen to both sides, and make their own conclusions.
Sometimes, especially when parental alienation has been so severe, children have a lot of distortion and confusion that can take years to work through. I am not a fool, I don't think a happy reunion is just around the corner.
However, children often hold on to and remember the loving relationship they once had, and often they do come back home and reconnect.
For this reason, I keep my heart and door open to Austin, Jordan, Michael, Jacob, Andrew and Alexander.
Anything can happen and usually it does.
"Eve was given the identity of “the mother of all living”—years, decades, perhaps centuries before she ever bore a child. It would appear that her motherhood preceded her maternity. … I believe mother is one of those very carefully chosen words, one of those rich words—with meaning after meaning after meaning. … I believe with all my heart that it is first and foremost a statement about our nature, not a headcount of our children.
Some women give birth and raise children but never “mother” them. Others, whom I love with all my heart, “mother” all their lives but have never given birth. And all of us are Eve’s daughters, whether we are married or single, maternal or barren. … And we can provide something of that divine pattern, that maternal prototype, for each other and for those who come after us. Whatever our circumstance, we can reach out, touch, hold, lift, and nurture."
--Patricia T. Holland
May all of you, who are mothers in any form, have a heartfelt, and wonderful Mothers Day this Sunday of this 2018 year.
I know I will, simply because ONE of my precious angels, my youngest son, Alexander, will 'Skype' (video chat) with me and fill my heart with happiness and pride. I will be able to tell him I LOVE him, and he will KNOW that it is true.
I'm mostly excited for him to feel my love and to know that he is thought of and missed eternally every moment that he is not physically near!!
My heart is full ♥
It is through Forgiveness, that I am able to endure my heartaches through life, have been able to come through my unique and rarely understood trauma, and continue to LOVE being a mother, and motherhood, no matter its limited roles or responsibilities.