Early Dating Hurdle and Mass
#31
Introvert,

No worries about your posts.  We become fiery when discussing matters of faith as our heart knows the truth and wants to set it in the right place.

No, I am not exactly sure that marriage is in my life plan.  I very much want it to be but it is something I still pray about continuously.  My vocation is a much simpler matter and I know God has aided me in this respect.  For a long time I retained the belief that a vocation could only come in the form of marriage, a single life or religious life.  Some years back I struggled with this question but my spiritual adviser assured me that a secular profession is yet another way God uses us for good.  I am an academic in a field dominated by extreme liberal views so I have prayerfully reached the conclusion that I am to offer a counter balance to their work. (Very microscopically!) Though I am awaiting word on graduation, I am in an excellent place in my professional endeavors.  Further, I can apply my Catholic values to study and this has touched some people. 

As you mentioned, my parents are extremely concerned that I have not been married off yet.  To add insult to injury, my brother married a non-religious woman (some kind of non-denominational thing we figure?) who has not baptized their children either.  It is devilish of me but there are times I laugh at the irony.  So much importance was placed on the male child, lots of praise lavished at his involvement as an altar boy and happiness at his strong belief but he is the one who burned his bridges with the Catholic Church.  All we can do is pray he sees the light and tuck in a green scapular with their things.  Yet, I am the lost cause and momentous sinner.

As for the she-devil comment, yes, it was expressed to my parents as I am ‘bad news’ and a ‘bad influence.’  There are a variety of reasons for this supposition, I think, but I have never blasphemed, acted sexually immodest around these people or uncharitable.  Perhaps the most impudent comment I ever heard was that I give off too much sexual energy.  I’m dressed modestly and I never ever bring up that topic, nor make jokes nor flirted.  My parents have come to the conclusion this is a case of nature overcoming nurture.  This poor man at the center of this thread asked me if my parents kept me locked up because he was quite stunned at my single status.  No, but they laid down the law because I gave them enough trouble.  I am at the liberty to do what I want but it is much easier to submit to their rules as I still live with them.

So, yes, I have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and when it is diagnosed in juvenile cases (as it was) it is usually more serious than other adult cases.  It’s taken its toll over the last decade and now I am undergoing the process for organ transplant.  I have been told under no circumstances to have children and I can understand why.  While I believe God is in control of all things and miracles happen, I believe we shouldn’t be reckless and knowingly flippant with life of the unborn like that either.  Most men run the other way when they hear this, secular and Catholic, and I cannot blame them.  I am not resentful of it either.  They have their life plans too and they must do as they must to achieve what they are spiritually asked to do.  The man in question here was quite understanding.

As for the original topic of this thread, and its subsequent development, the tense atmosphere has lifted a bit.  There is a truce of sorts as I’ve stated our status as friends.  My father is going to investigate ways to help this man (if the parish priest is willing to have a chat) that have nothing to do with me.  If he feels it is appropriate, he will take the boy to Mass himself.  The man is going on a vacation soon so maybe he'll forget about all of this too.  :LOL:
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#32
Zubr, have you ever considered going to a House of Formation? I recently spoke to someone who was telling some younger unmarried individuals about this as the next course of action. They were discerning their vocation and weren't sure if they wanted to be married. This man had credibility as he once considered the priesthood and felt his calling to marriage after visiting a House of Formation.

Ugh, I can't stand how academia is flooded with liberalism. How the early fathers of western civ must be rolling in their graves. It's hard to maintain one's composure in those settings. I too, have worked in a very liberal setting and there are times where I almost bit my tongue in order to shut up.

As much as I'd like to partake in Schandenfreudeish thoughts-- in regards to your brother I can say my in laws experienced a similar situation with my husband's brother being the golden child, and then he too, married a non-Catholic and left the Church. We have no idea if he will ever join the Church again because he's liberal and his wife much more so. With that said, I think with those situations all you can do is focus your energy into your own spiritual development and build your character. I too, have experienced similar things with my own family but as I got older I decided I can only think about what God wants and not want others do. I know this is REALLY hard.

Have you ever considered mentioning discernment to your parents? Would they be open to the idea of you going to a House of Formation? I can't possibly see how spending a week or two of intense study and prayer with nuns could be a bad idea, but if your parents are anything like mine, well...you know how it is.

I cannot believe people took issue with you for having "sexual energy"?? Like, what does that even mean?? A single woman was attractive to men, oooh nooo  :doh: This sounds like nonsense bordering on false witness. To me, at least. Why would anyone want to defraud a young unmarried woman living with her parents who has a sense of propriety? That seems very strange to me. My parents are immigrants too, and they might have come up with the same conclusion, hmph.

I am truly sorry to hear about your health. I had no idea Lupus could be so serious you'd require an organ transplant-- and I do hope it comes soon and leaves you well. It is also heart-wrenching to hear you can't ever have children. Are doctors certain of this? Is there no way to safely have a pregnancy? Yes, it's serious and I can see how and why young men would not be interested but it does not mean ALL are uninterested. There are men who marry women with Crohn's disease and bouts of Leukemia. I once knew someone with cystic fibrosis and she was able to marry. It might take a little more time and a special man. It is heart breaking to know the full story. I will keep you in my prayers.

At any rate, I'm glad to hear the tension in your household has lessened.
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#33
Hi again, introvert.  I’ve never said this before but you should be thanked for offering such thoughtful advice in a variety of posts.  So, thank you.

Yes, I have considered going to a House of Formation and there is one in which I am especially interested.  I’m sure if I finally rose the question with my parents they would be supportive of this decision but with them, sometimes bringing up any general topic is the most frightening.  :crazy:

As I may have stated before on FE, I am deeply concerned for the future of public policy because of the dominant voices that provide the background information and analysis.  Just one example this past week because it seems all of society was concerned over the passing of Prince.  A colleague of mine said ‘traditional forms of masculinity’ were ‘toxic’.  Many of the sociological students with very far out ideologies are moving into public policy and advocacy.  For the most part, their positions are slowly becoming the norm and many educated voices go silent because they fear being labelled in unsavory terms and thus losing their positions.  As you pointed out, many times you bit your tongue in your liberal workplace.  So, I shall do what I can to place seeds of doubt in favor of more traditional approaches to studying society. 

I have no idea what the sexual energy comment was meant to portray.  To be honest, I understand people being concerned over vices or perceived vices especially after I had that ‘relationship fiasco’ referenced in another thread on this forum.  Then, I asked myself if my make-up was too loud.  However, always at my parish or in my youth group, I was respectful and would never even think of acting immodestly in such a situation.  I am the only one accountable for my actions and I have to answer to Our Lord so if I am at ease with my behavior, I simply have to accept that others see something I do not.

Lupus flare ups do a lot of damage to many organ systems in the body.  For many people, it is primarily the kidneys.  In my case, it is kidney and liver.  The doctors have told me to avoid pregnancy because the medications would negatively influence the development of the baby.  I asked if there were possible substitutes that could be prescribed that were friendlier for fetal development and they gave a resounding no.  However, that being said, a girl in a similar case did manage to have a healthy baby boy although she almost died giving birth.  The really sad thing is that she passed away three years later.  It’s funny that you mention someone with cystic fibrosis who married.  That is one disease that breaks my heart and I pray, pray, pray for anyone afflicted.  A good friend of mine passed from it as a teenager.

My health situation needs to be linked to my ethnicity as well.  Slavic culture does not take too kindly to disability especially to those conditions that limit women.  The traditional belief that a woman’s role is marriage and motherhood is still strong and if a woman does not achieve this, she pretty much has no use value.  My parents insist on someone of similar ethnicity because they subscribe to pan-Slavism which is hypocritical because they left that realm.  Political and demographic changes in that part of the world has further entrenched traditional beliefs (some not for good reasons..) so those with strong ties to the 'old country' mirror a lot of the same thought pattern.  From a religious perspective, we are Catholic and my mother is a traditionalist.  However, as head of the household, my father's 'social' viewpoints are more along the lines of strict traditionalist and Red Army discipline.  :eyeroll:  I simply have to hope that someone has a more developed sense of love and the role of women.  That is not to say I subscribe to feminism though.

So, as you can understand why I was so excited that there was a Slav that accepted my ‘impediments’ and open to learning about faith. 
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#34
Zubr,

I know your latest comment was a reply to introvert, but I can't help myself from typing.  My heart just goes out to you! 

I was worried about suggesting visiting a house of formation because I know that serious ailments can be an impediment to a vocation.  You may want to make inquiries along those lines as you are working through this idea.

I made some poor choices as a teenager and my family couldn't get past them for the longest time.  They saw everything else I did through the lens of those prior very poor decisions.  I think that's changed only in the last 3 years and I'm 40!  The best you can do is focus on making sound decisions and being able to defend them if you are called to account for your behavior. 

Hispanic culture is pretty hard on women too and half my family is from South America.  My grandfather was particularly hard on my sister who is 38 and unmarried.    He passed away 3 years ago (God rest his soul) and we still hear his voice in our heads.  I'd like to share something it took me years to figure out: as hard as my grandfather was on me, he did it out of love and a desire to see me happy in life.  The unfortunate thing is that he had a predetermined view of what form that happiness should take.  I spent much of my life frustrated with him and his attitude toward me and my sister.  For years, I was convinced that he didn't even like or love me at all.  I think I was the only one of the 16 grandchildren to really stand up to him.  It didn't necessarily make things better but at least I felt like I'd had a chance to express myself. 

Anyway, my point is that your father may have some serious cultural blinders and a rigidity that makes him intimidating, but I would guess that underneath it all is a deep desire to see you settled and happy in life.  No doubt, he feels helpless in the face of your illness too.  That doesn't make the communication any easier.  But, I would also guess that if you could crack through that exterior, you'd find a chance at communicating.  Part of the problem is that we fall into behavior patterns that enable the usual forms of interaction.  You almost have to break your perceived role to throw things off balance enough to communicate more deeply.  It may be worth a try.  Then again, I could be wrong. 

With your illness and the need for organ transplants, I very much doubt you would handle pregnancy well.  As someone who is pregnant right now and can't keep anything down at all, I imagine that taking medication would be a problem at least in the first trimester.  I'm not so lucky; I have morning sickness straight through the whole 9 months. During my last pregnancy, I lost weight.  Weird, I know.  Then I need injections of blood thinners daily and sometimes hormone supplements.  While it is nothing compared with what you have to wrestle with on a daily basis, just imagine adding all that into the mix of what you have to cope with now. 

But that doesn't mean there aren't other options.  A non-traditional Slavic male might be just what you need because I would think he might consider things your father wouldn't (like adoption).  I'll be praying for you both.

Incidentally, I don't mean to assume anything about Slavic culture but, as I recall from the adoption of our 3 little ones from Russia, adoption is not really considered a positive thing there.  I'm going off of the rather negative reactions we got along the way.

Fontevrault
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#35
Fontevrault,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.  Your considered thoughts are always welcome.

You are on point that adoption is not perceived in a positive light.  There are good hearted families that would like to adopt but there are economic barriers since wages/pensions are so low.  For the families that could afford to adopt, they are not interested in raising ‘other people’s children’ especially the children of ‘society’s garbage.’  Through your research, I am sure you are aware that the children in orphanages are those from situations of poverty, young motherhood and addictions.  My heart simply breaks for these children.  I could go on a rant all day about it.  Anyhow, I believe adoption is a very positive thing and has changed many lives for the better.  It’s something I would definitely do under the proper circumstances.

Your post was quite insightful and I believe you have a good read on the situation here.  It’s quite understandable why my father is so frustrated with me but I know it is not “me” that it is the source of the frustration but rather just the developments that surround me.  He has to come to terms and grieve that a lot of the life he envisioned for me will just not happen.  I respect that he is blunt with me concerning the male psyche in ways to protect me.  :Hmm: Part of it is that he’s just a crabby old Russian and I just haven’t figured out how to talk to those yet.  :LOL: After he has time to think things through, he does come up with warm and understanding approaches to problems. 

For instance, we had a conversation about his conversion to Catholicism.  Now, for all intents and purposes, he has strong belief and takes pride in his Catholic faith.  Nevertheless, he finally admitted that he did it mainly for my mother and acknowledges that maybe he overreacted a few days ago.  There are times when we can discuss serious things but the end result is usually depression!  :P All we can do is pray and ask for guidance and strength. 
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#36
Oh, I missed the detail about this non-traditional guy also being a Slav. My parents were insistent on me finding another Indian but that was happening when hell froze over. Heh. Immigrant parents tend to be super strict about it and I don't think they realize how their expectations are unrealistic.

I'm sorry to hear about the severity of your health. Fontevrault is right, adoption is a way to have a family and there's nothing wrong with it. For highly pro-natalistic cultures, it's not regarded highly and I can relate. My family was incredibly hard on me and my in laws around my age comment to me about how I did nothing to warrant it. It's just how it is.

The best course of action would be to seek counsel from your spiritual advisor and continue prayerfully.
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#37
Zubr,

I'm glad your father is coming around a bit!  Crabby Russian fathers are about as much fun as crabby Ecuadorian grandfathers.  :) 

My experience in Russia was certainly an eye opener.  We originally petitioned a court to adopt just 1 child but were offered 3 (a sibling group).  When we saw the pictures, we just couldn't say no.  Most people in Russia freaked out a bit when we explained that we were adopting 3.  "Why would you want so many children?" was a frequent question.  I have a feeling that our kids would not have been offered a home in Russia had we not taken them.  It's not like there was something wrong with them: they are intelligent, delightful, beautiful children.  It's truly quite sad. 

The judge and the workers at the orphanage, on the other hand, were compassionate and seemed to really care about the children.  The orphanage, while not the Ritz, was certainly better than what I had been led to believe orphanages were like.  The women who worked there were really very nice and passionate about helping the kids.  Does that mean it was perfect?  No.  But in some respects, I wonder if it might be a better system than the foster-care system which is so very inconsistent. 

Before you get too down on Russians viewing kids in orphanages negatively, I will tell you that the biggest argument I ever had with my grandfather stemmed from him saying something like: "Why would you want them?  Their mother could be some kind of prostitute.  Do you even know who she is?"  As you can imagine, I went through the roof, called my mother crying, she called all of her siblings, and everyone came down on him.  :)  I usually try to fight my own battles but this one really set me off.  We made up but not before I made it clear that he did know my children's mother: me. 

Now, I'll never get back the $2000 I spent to have their file evaluated by a doctor at Johns Hopkins in order to stop the family from talking about fetal alcohol syndrome.  This was after spending money to have a specialist in FAS evaluate them at another university.  But Hopkins or the Mayo Clinic were the only names my grandfather and grandmother were willing to hear associated with medical opinions.  My aunt and uncle (another feisty Hispanic pair) told them horror stories of adoption particularly from Russia and the problems of FAS (which I don't mean to minimize - there just aren't issues in this case).  They were so worked up that it was ridiculous.  Everyone assumed I hadn't done my homework and knew "nothing about parenting."  What we do for family . . .  (Never mind that Pilgrim and I are both veteran teachers who spend a heck of a lot more time with our students than most parents do with their children these days!)  When my uncle met the kids and saw what we had accomplished during the first year they were home, he hugged me and told me he was wrong.  It was almost worth all the crap to hear him say that.  :)

Take heart: every family has its quirks!  Every father (or autocratic grandfather) wants what's best for his children (grandchildren).  They just struggle to express it sometimes. 

HUGS!
Fontevrault
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#38
Now, for your edification and delight (and to make you laugh a bit): a very weird cultural pairing.  http://mariachime.eltorito.com/play/?id=17579

Let's play a game: which one has Hispanic blood?  I bet you'll never guess!

Fontevrault

PS - My mother made this thing today and emailed it to me just minutes ago!  :LOL:
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#39
(04-28-2016, 02:30 PM)introvert Wrote: Heh. Immigrant parents tend to be super strict about it and I don't think they realize how their expectations are unrealistic.

Right on.  I fully understand that they do this for us to have a better life and more opportunities but sometimes I think colonizing Mars wouldn't be good enough.  But really, now that I know you are of Indian heritage, you have my deep respect for your conversion story.  As well, I know there is similar pressure to marry according to culture and heritage in that ethnicity.  It's difficult. 

Fontevrault, your adoption story is similar to what I've heard from others who had the opportunity to adopt children from Russia.  Many of the orphanage workers cared for the children to the best of their abilities but state funding is severely lacking.  As well, any of the children that require additional care do not receive it and then they are so maladjusted for life after the orphanage.  And, life after the orphanage can occur at quite a young age.  To me, it is really sad that the majority of children in orphanages in the FSU are social orphans.  :(  So, your story and selfless love is quite warming.  These are stories that I wish those that support the ban on foreign adoptions (a few bad apples) would hear. 

Now, as for that video, it's hilarious but equally adorable! 
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#40
Zubr, I can assure you that it was not selfless.  They are the best thing in my life.  I thank God every day for them - even when I want to pull my hair out. :)
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