Feeling Lonely and Forgotten and Stressed!
Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:42 AM
I've struggled in the church socially because I have anxiety and because of the age I joined. At 17, all my friends before I converted weren't the best crowd, not people you'd hang out with once converting. And so, I lost all my friends. I also graduated half a semester early and after doing that, no one talked to me anymore. Also, no one in my ward was my age. At 18, everyone in young womens already had their friends, and everyone in Relief Society was in their late 20s and older, and I was married, so no singles ward (not that I would have known what that was because no one really taught me about the workings of the church). We never had home teachers of visiting teachers and anyone try to visit us. When we started coming back it was because we had a baby and we knew it was time to grow up and really show our commitment to God.
When we moved and bought a house our new ward made me uncomfortable, because of my anxiety and because even though I'd been a member for a couple years, not being active I felt like a new member and no one was there to help us. I eventually started going to Relief Society, trying to put myself out there and get more comfortable. I started feeling like I had sort of friends, well at least friends who were my friends at church. No one has ever called me outside of church really to hang out. I think there's been maybe 2 times..in 2 1/2 years in our ward.
I think I'm a pretty likeable person. I always make people laugh when I am around others, I think people like me, but I think my ward is a bad egg. It's sad. No one does their home teaching, My husband is the Elder's Quorum Secretary and our home teaching rate is like 20%. No one does their visiting teaching either. I don't hardly even know how to visit teach! My companion, who is amazing at everything else, doesn't have a testimony of it and won't visit teach with me. And the people I've been assigned are 3 women who are inactive. Not the best confidence booster, though I try...on my own. In fact today I'm going with the sister missionaries to one of my visiting teachees, so hopefully that goes well.
Anyway, we actually now do have home teachers who visit, but they don't help. They bring lessons that are irrelevant to us and give advice..no..lectures, and no help at all. My visiting teachers are much older than me and prefer to talk about their problems and talk with each other than to me. Honestly, I just want someone to bring me a cupcake randomly and cheer me up with some company, but I get scheduled visits (I guess better than none) and complaints about things that I don't want to listen to for an hour. I feel like no one cares about me.
In April I was called the Primary Chorister. It's hard. I don't know the songs, I don't even know anything about primary, and I hardly know how to read music. But I feel like I'm doing a good job. I'm really creative and it's helping me step out of my comfort zone with anxiety. But now, I don't ever talk to adults! Relief Society in our ward has forgotten me. I only talk to little kids on Sundays and then just my daughter all week. My husband's great, but he has two jobs and school, and we also only have one car. So I'm at home, all day, every day. And my anxiety makes it hard to ride in other people's cars, though I've really tried and done it a lot to go to missionary lessons with investigators and new members, and even went to the zoo with someone and our daughters. But I'm tired now! I can't keep doing all the work emotionally and socially. I have a serious anxiety disorder and doing these things makes it very hard for me and it's worn me down. I've volunteered numerous times to have people over to my house, or to do things in the evenings, but not only does no one do that, but they don't even respond! I feel like they don't even care enough about me to say no and that they're busy.
I know not everyone can adjust to my schedule, but why can't playgroup be at my house one time? Why can't someone just call me and see how I'm doing? I don't know why no one cares about me. I don't know why my ward is like this. I've been in other wards, and while they weren't the best and helping new members, they were really a close family that would include everyone on everything. And I hate that my ward isn't one of those.
So, now I don't see adults anymore, Relief Society does such a bad job of even getting us the monthly calendars, let alone including us on activities.
I have NO friends besides my husband, and I think everyone can agree that is not enough. I've made the effort, way more effort than I think I should have to, but no one bites. No one wants to be friends with me. And I'm lonely.
I've even tried institute, but I just feel weird being in a room of people all my age, none of which are married, none of which have kids, all of which already have made their friends.
Also, now my husband and I have become power of attorneys for his mom. I'm stressed to the max. I know it's his mom that is having problems, but I'm the one calling all the bill collectors and making the budgets and comparing new cell phone plans for her. He's only had to send faxes at work. This is why I can't unload on him though because it is his mom and I have compassion for him, but I need someone to have compassion for me. I need someone to send a "how are you" text and talk to me when I text back!
And I'm on the Enrichment Committee (my other calling) and they've been completely ignoring me! The past 2 enrichments I've found out about the Enrichment night like every other RS member, and had to ask if there was something I was suppose to be doing. This time, I directly asked the Relief Society President if they remembered that I hadn't been released or if I'd been forgotten, and she said that basically my job is sending out the Relief Society birthday emails and that's all. I don't feel like I'm able to magnify my calling because that isn't my calling! The RS bday emails have nothing to do with the Enrichment nights and I'm upset that they aren't even telling me before planning the meetings. They're just pretending like I'm not a part of the Relief Society anymore.
I'm sad, I'm depressed, and I feel forgotten. I've tried to express this to people in my ward and I go unheard. I even try to be specific. I even told my visiting teacher that I need some brownies when she asked me if there's anything she can do for me (you know, that normal line...is there anything we can do for you...well apparently in my ward that translates to "is there anything you wish we'd do but we won't). I'm desperate for some acknowledgment.
I have faith, I know that the church is true and I know that we're just people. But how to I make this more clear to others. What am I suppose to do now? I think I've done everything. We even went to the Bishop for advice on helping Dan's mom and he gave us none. Although he has called us in this Sunday, so maybe he's gotten more inspiration.
I know this is bad, but to be honest I just feel like God has forgotten me. I know he hasn't, but my prayers have been going unanswered.
Oh, we've also been trying to get pregnant for over a year and a half, so that's really weighing on me. And in the last month, Dan's brother and someone from church both asked me if I was pregnant. No..I'm not, but thanks for reminding me.
Sorry, just really need to tell someone and I don't have any friends to tell.
Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:13 AM
But, yeah, I am super loving Primary. My favorite part of Church is singing in the nursery!!! I mean, it's super fun and easy and the little kids just love whatever it is I decide to do. I mean, it could be a simple blowing bubbles while singing When I Am Baptized or something and they lap it up. It's a super awesome confidence booster and pick-me-upper.
Oh yeah, Vort - we did that baking soda activity in my ward not too long ago!
My ward's favorite thing is the "Magic Throat Soother". Basically just flavored water put in a spray bottle and I squirt them in kids' mouths when they sing with awesomeness...
So yeah Britty, you can bug us here anytime you feel lonely. And here's your cupcakes plus a bonus of eggrolls.
Edited by anatess, 21 September 2012 - 11:17 AM.
Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:34 AM
I don't know the answers to your problems. I know how hard it is to have only one car. I'm in the same boat. I very seldom get the chance to go anywhere. My husband's job very often goes into the evenings, because that's when he can schedule appointments with clients. If your husband wasn't so busy, I'd suggest signing up for a community class, and maybe you could meet friends that way.
I'm a Primary teacher, so I understand about feeling left out of the RS loop. I'm on the RS committee too, but the program seems to be functioning in my Ward. So, I do feel involved somewhat with RS. It sounds like you've talked to the RS President about your assignment within the committee. Is it possible to tell her you would like more involvement? Also, it's okay to ask for a change of Visiting Teachers. But, then again, you never know what you'll get. You may get a set that don't do their visiting.
Hang in there. Maybe someone new will move into the Ward and you can befriend them. When you do attend any of your meetings, look to see if anyone else might be lonely. Try befriending them. I've found that age doesn't particularly matter.
Posted 21 September 2012 - 12:01 PM
Even though I am pretty social, there were times I struggled too. When we moved into our ward, I was going through a pretty bad, long term trial. It's hard to meet new people when you feel awful and not like yourself.
You would be surprised how many women feel lonely and wish someone would call them. I was just talking to a friend about this recently. I thought she had a very full social calendar and she thought the same about me, but the truth is, we both wanted to spend more time with friends. If we sit around waiting for something to happen, often it won't happen. Give your VT sisters a call and see if they would like to go out to lunch or something! You might make someone's day.
Posted 21 September 2012 - 12:12 PM
Within the last couple of years, my 2 very best friends moved away. I was so sad, and so lonely, and felt like I didn't have anybody. With time, I've found friends in my ward who I never thought I'd click with. And yet in some ways, I am more at ease with them than I was with my friends who moved away. I think maybe it's because when you're just with yourself, you get to know and love yourself better. I'm probably more comfortable with them because I'm more comfortable with me. There's something about going through a trial, especially a long, lonely one, that shows us how strong and capable we can be.
I don't know if that helps, but I an empathize. Loneliness and isolation can really mess with your head and happiness. I hope that soon there will be ways for you to get out more and get to know people. In the meantime, maybe get to know yourself.
Posted 21 September 2012 - 04:16 PM
Why not pick a couple near your age and invite them over for a meal, or just for desert or cookies/muffins if finances are tight. Look for new people in your ward and try to make friends with them, they're probably in the same situation.
In one ward I had to call our home teachers and ask them when they would be over that month. this always got them over.
Christmas is coming in a few months, get a group together to go out Caroling, bring a plate of cookies over to a few members homes, not only people you'd like to have as friends, but don't forget the old folks - they are many times in the same situation as you are.
Its an old saying but to have a friend, be a friend.
Worship without sacrifice is just words
Posted 21 September 2012 - 04:39 PM
The one time I had visiting teachers was on a day when my husband and I didn't have to work. Heaven forbid they come in the evening to a sister who works. The problem was we were home with no children doing what newly married people do and even though we opened the door as soon as possible and invited them in, they were uncomfortable and so were we. They never came back. We never had home teachers until we moved to a different ward.
It was hard! I didn't teach the RS lessons long. I told the Bishop what was happening and he released me. Shortly after that we moved.
Every ward is different. You're doing everything you should to put yourself out there. So my advice it so pray about it. Tell Heavenly Father what the problem is and what you need. He'll hear you and while it might not happen immediately there will be change and down the road you'll recognize the changes and be grateful for them.
I wish you all the best....with a cupcake to go with it.
Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:24 PM
I've lived in the same ward for 20 years and there have been times when I've felt alone and times when I feel like I'm really involved. It comes in waves. Someday, you may have an amazing friendship with someone that you barely talk to now.
I know that doesn't help how you feel now. But hold on. Heavenly Father loves you.
I would talk to the RS president, though. Tell her that you need a different VT companion because you have a hard time going on your own.
Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:01 PM
This earth life can be really hard sometimes. And being in the church....well, sometimes we have to learn how to be tough! Because the social culture is sometimes very hard to break into. I live in a neighborhood that has been very hard to socialize with. They are the kind that say "OH we're so happy to see you" when at church, but who turn away when they see you on the street or when you go get your mail. The whole thing has been rather discouraging especially during this season of my life when I could have really used a friend. But....I've learned to say SO WHAT! People are people and they do what they do.
You just anchor to your Father in Heaven and His way of loving. And try to see this lonely period of your life as an opportunity. Life brings us seasons....there is a time to laugh and a time to mourn, and apparently there are lonely seasons where we are required to really dig deep. If we have to pass through this times, I say find ways to grow. Maybe this is a chance for you to work through some of your social anxiety by challenging yourself to reach out. Or maybe this is a chance to learn how to forgive blind overachiever RS sisters. Or maybe you'll find unexpected friends like people from a different demographic than yourself. I've developed this special relationship with an 86 yr old woman in my ward. I sometimes sit with her in RS.
Whatever you do.....don't isolate yourself. If you can't find good social connection in the ward, go find it elsewhere in other circles.
Best wishes, dear. Remember that these seasons pass. Sorry it's been so hard.
OH! One more thing.....I was struck by your first statement about not being able to talk to your husband because he is busy. This just breaks my heart! You've got to reach for him. Don't you let that guilt protection thing you are doing to stop you from seeking his support. That marriage relationship should be your safe haven...your soft place to fall. I hope you'll decide to reevaluate how you approach this part of your life too. Satan might succeed in keeping your neighborhood cold but don't let him wedge in between you are your sweetheart.
Posted 22 September 2012 - 02:04 PM
Call your visiting teacher, tell her you need a visit and set up a time. Take responsibility, it is a two way relationship. I was also in the primary, as a teacher. After a year it was necessary for me to go to my bishop and tell him that I needed adult LDS conversation. I have no family, and no one at work is LDS. He Released me from my calling within a few weeks. I am now the single adult representative, a much more appropriate calling for me.
Also make use of online resources, such as this one. I know I am not the only one who would be glad for another regular contributor to this forum. This form currently is as close thing I have to a social life with other Latter Day Saints.
So in short, the advice from the old man is;
Tell your home teachers what you need to hear them teach, and how they can be of service to you.
Call your visiting teacher, set up a time with her and tell her how you're feeling.
Talk to your bishop, tell him you are feeling isolated in the primary.
And lastly, and I apologize in advance if I am talking out of turn, but talk to your husband. He has a right to know how his wife is feeling.
BTW If you ever need someone to talk to, please know with certainty that you are free to contact me by private message at any time. Not only would I be glad to be there for you, it would be a very big blessing in my life to have someone to talk to also.
Edited by JosephP, 22 September 2012 - 02:05 PM.
Posted 23 September 2012 - 12:32 PM
Worship without sacrifice is just words
Posted 23 September 2012 - 01:12 PM
Posted 23 September 2012 - 08:24 PM
I was listening to some of my music tonight and I thought some of the songs might lift up your heart.
Can Anybody Hear Me - Meredith Andrews - As Long As It Takes
Show Me What it Means - Meredith Andrews - The Invitation
The River - Meredith Andrews - The Invitation
Draw Me Nearer - Meredith Andrews - The Invitation
You're Not Alone - Meredith Andrews - The Invitation
Loneliest Walk - David Osmond - Road Less Traveled
He Hears Me - David Osmond - Road Less Traveled
Stronger - Mandisa - What If We Were Real
Peace, Be Still - Kenneth Cope - A Prayer Unto Thee
Let the Waters Rise - MIKESCHAIR
Alive - Natalie Grant - Music Inspired By The Story
Sister of mine, I have a couple of questions for you.
Other than the Lord our God, as your best friend, shouldn't your husband be the first person you run to?
Would you want him to keep the troubles of his heart from you?
Don't you want him to come to you before anyone else?
Don't you want to be his strength and support?
If you answered yes to these questions then why deny him the same?
Though I am not yet married, I put myself in you're husband's shoes and here were my thoughts:
"How can the two of us become one if the burden's of your tender heart are so far from me as to be unknown? How can I comfort you of what I am ignorant of?"
D&C 42:22 Thou shalt love thy [husband] with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto [him] and none else.
Abraham 5:18 Therefore shall a [woman] leave [her] father and [her] mother, and shall cleave unto [her husband], and they shall be one flesh.
I also found this talk:
"A Man ... Shall Cleave unto His Wife": Marriage and Family Advice from the Old Testament (Ensign, Jan 1990)
Continue to turn your heart to the Lord, pour it out to him in prayer. He really is real and he loves you oh so very much. Know indeed that you're not alone and that you're prayers are indeed being heard.
Didn't you say you were seeking a friend and feeling lonely? That you have no one to talk to? Have you considered that perhaps God has already answered your prayers by placing beside you the precise person you need?
While we know that Eve was created to be Adam's help meet we sometimes forget this simple truth. Adam was created to be Eve's help meet as well.
Signed with a Prayer,
Posted 24 September 2012 - 08:00 AM
In the same way, you could ask to visit teach someone, or to be a companion with someone specific if you feel that would help foster a meaningful friendship.
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