Joel got a message a couple of days ago. And while I know that the sender had nothing but noble intentions, on the other hand, it was also a little disturbing in the big scheme of things for several reasons. In this message it proved that 1) some people aren't actually listening to what is written here and/or 2) some people aren't actually believing what is written here. So, a little time out here to explain things again.
This is part of the message that Joel received:
I apologize for being so nosy here, but once in a while I read some of the stuff Michawn posts on FB and blog about your relationship; however, since I never hear any word from you, I always wonder if you like that at all.I'm sure there are others of you who wonder about these blog posts. Who might think some of the same things. Who might cringe when you see me post on Facebook that I've posted here again.
I remember one time that things weren't going so well here that I had posted something related to that on FB, and my husband got very aggravated, and he was right. We were blessed to have found a great counselor that pointed that our relationship shouldn't be posted on social media like that. I believe it only damages our private lives and opens up the gate to judgment by strangers.
So I'm not sure how aware you are of all the details that are posted about your lives.
We wish you the best, from the bottom of our hearts. But I know many who read those posts are just enjoying the soap opera.
If you'd like to talk, please call us!
God bless you!
Believe me when I say that I myself cringe writing them. As I've said all along, this isn't a 'fun' part of our story. This isn't what I wish I was writing about. I wish I was writing about our cute little triplets who just turned 4 years old. I wish I was writing about being in Brazil, and all the new developments in our lives in the past 2 years...and probably preparing to come back for furlough next year for everyone to meet the triplets. I wish I was writing about all that's happened with Asas de Socorro, and missions, and the orphanage that we still volunteer at. As you can see, I wish life had continued as 'normal.' But, it didn't. God will do something with this. But, it still makes me cringe to know...
Those things are not our reality. The 'big stories' of our lives these days are not fun stories. But, I'm a HUGE believer in telling our important stories...all of them...even the ones that are no fun to tell (and definitely no fun to live). And in doing so, someone else can learn from them.
I'm sure there were people who thought it was inappropriate for me to put all I did on the blog about the miscarriage. But, more than once, every single day, someone googles something about miscarriage and they are brought to my blog posts about my miscarriage...to read about my experience. In their time of need...in their time of needing to know and hear from someone who has been through it herself (three times actually)...they can see and read for themselves the story of someone else who 'gets' what they are going through.
I myself have learned so much from others who have opened up about the unfun things in their lives. Hard, excruciating times...that I've gained so much strength and courage and encouragement by just reading and knowing someone else has passed through something so hard...and not only lived to tell about it, but thrived afterward.
I have already heard from many people about how certain things that I've experienced during these past 3 years, written out here on this blog within the 'Joel. Michawn.' blog posts so far, have touched them, have helped them, have confirmed in them some of the thoughts and beliefs they were having, have helped them to see that they are not alone. And these are the reasons that we do what we do.
About Joel specifically...I feel like I've said these things a lot. But apparently they still need to be said. I'll just make a list here:
1. Joel reads and approves of everything that is written here.
2. As he himself said in his own blog post, this is not fun. He hates that this all happened in the first place, he hates that there's something to even write about. But, there is...and if it can be used for good, then it needs to be used for good. Even though the truth really sucks sometimes.
3. Joel hates to write. Joel also hates to be on any kind of social media. If you are friends with him on Facebook, you'll see that he averages less than one post per month. He hardly ever gets on at all...him popping on probably averages a whopping twice per month. He never ever blogs (except that time I asked him to)...he hates to write...and hates to write even if what he is writing about is something fun (so, it's not even about subject matter here). He's just not present on the world wide web, people. That doesn't mean that what I'm doing and saying here is behind his back...or untrue...or 'slander' to him (because it's true for one thing...and he sees and approves it all beforehand anyway). He's reading this post AND agreeing with it before I post it. Is that really shocking? I'm baffled...
Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know how your marriages work, but I don't talk about Joel behind his back, or post things about him without him knowing and approving of it. That's not healthy...and I don't do it (and never have; I also have never posted anything about him or our situation as a Facebook status except to point to these blog posts). It's interesting to me that people would actually think that I have typed out 11 blog posts (this makes 12) about our marriage without Joel even knowing or seeing or him being unaware of all of these details. How distant are husbands and wives these days that they would even think that was a possibility? Did our marriage really stink for the past 3 years? Yes. But it wasn't because I went behind his back and talked about him or accused him of things that he didn't do. Let that sink in real good, k? :)
Also, and this is another subject...but, I think that this line of questioning (as Joel got in the message above) really points to some double standards in our society (and the world basically). I heard a quote in a TV show the other day that I actually rewound to hear again. It said, "A man always calls a woman 'crazy' when he gets caught with his pants down." It literally made me laugh...because of how true it is.
While I am one who always gives the benefit of the doubt...who has always tried to prove cliches and stereotypes untrue...who has always gone against those and said, no...it can't be that ---> unfortunately, I've lived too long and had too many experiences to be able to explain this away...
As so often happens in our society, a woman is seen as 'emotional' or 'irrational' or 'unreasonable' instead of just 'truthful.' It doesn't matter what her track record is with being truthful in the past. It doesn't matter how logical she's always been. It doesn't matter if she's a woman of few words or not. It doesn't matter how very practical and grounded she's always been. She is so often, very simply put, not believed. And she gets those labels from the first sentence in this paragraph. A man who blogs about being neglected in his marriage and abuse against him sneaking its way in is so often heralded as 'brave' in telling his story. Why would anyone question him, after all? Men are so 'logical' and not 'overcome by their emotions.' Not so for a woman...and she is seen as 'stirring up trouble' and 'slandering her husband' and not 'standing by her man.' Therefore, being victimized all over again.
And, as we've seen here, when she is trying to tell her story truthfully about how her husband (who has admitted to this in his very own post) has messed up majorly...when that husband himself has even admitted to it all himself in his own blog post...and they are trying to tell the story so that others who can relate (and there are many) can learn from them and not feel alone ---> who is it that gets the support and concern and messages saying, 'are you ok?' Oh, just the one who did the damage in the first place.
That is a problem. Within our society. Within our churches. Within our theology. Within our marriages.
One of the things that has happened through all of this is this: I resolve to fight until my dying day against this ideology. For myself. For my daughters. For my son. It is not right. And I will fight it until my very last breath.
Hopefully this blog post will clear up any questions you all still might have...as far as Joel...as far as why we're telling our story here.
Next time we'll keep going with the timeline of what happened...we'll talk about our time apart. We'll talk about how it is that we came back together. And then get into some other things that happened at the hands of others. Marital problems are hard enough...but when others start contributing to the problems, it makes it that much harder. But, we'll save that all for later.