Sharing Burdens

working through life’s struggles together

Experiencing the journey…

Posted by sharingburdens on July 10, 2008

I want to thank all of you who have written, commented on, or read this blog. I started it as an outlet for anyone to express the things they were struggling with in a safe and supportive atmosphere. I have “met” many of you through this blog and it is wonderful! I also know that some have said how this site has helped. That is awesome!!

The last post was in December. I have been working as part of the leadership of a new church and will soon be moving from western NY to the Cincinnati area to help start the church. Over the past 10 months, we’ve been working on systems, developing programs, working on budget stuff, etc and I’ve been traveling, learning, studying and doing all I can!! What’s awesome is as I move into full time ministry, I get to spend the rest of my life helping people who are where I once was get to where I am now! No more shame, no embarrassment, and no more hiding anything.

Today I can stand free from all the coping skills that I had learned, free from suicidal thoughts, free from struggling to make it through each and every day, all while acting like I had it all together. Instead, I can be honest, open, and transparent, willing to talk about it all and reach out to anyone who is going through anything I’ve been through.

I’ve been through tons of abuse, both growing up and in my marriage, rejection, depression, anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks and you name it. My coping skills included alcohol, drugs (illegal when younger, prescription as older), self-injury, eating disorders, suicidal “stuff”, and probably a handful more! Today I am healed. Today I no longer have to rely on my own strength. Today I want others to experience what I am now living. It’s awesome!

So I thank you for participating on this blog. I invite you, if you haven’t already, check out and join in at my blog at Jump in and comment and you can make it easy by subscribing by email to follow the journey. See ya over there!! 🙂


Posted in Abuse, Alcoholism, Anorexia, Anxiety, Brokenness, Bulimia, Christian life, Christianity, Cutting, Depression, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Drugs, Eating Disorders, Emotional Abuse, Emotions, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Health, Insecurity, Kindness, Marriage, Mental Health, Online ministry, Optimism, Panic Attack, Parenting, Pornography, Pregnancy, Secrets, Self-esteem, Self-harm, Self-injury, Sexual Abuse, Suicide, Vulnerability | Leave a Comment »

Forgive and forget??

Posted by sharingburdens on December 11, 2007

Post written by: Anonymous

I am an abuse survivor.  At church, we have been doing a series on prayer and specifically, the Lord’s prayer. Tonight was on the verse about “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”   My pastor said that the “AS” means that we are forgiven AS we forgive others. He talked about forgiving seven times seventy and that our sins are as “far as the east is from the west”.  He said that we needed to forgive others – everyone – whether they have physically, emotionally or otherwise wronged us. And that forgiveness meant wiping it clean and forgetting about it – put it as far away as the east is from the west — that it doesn’t exist any longer – to “forgive and forget.”  The pastor said that our sins are forgiven AS we forgive others that have wronged us. He said that God hears the prayers of the righteous and that we should not (can not?) pray until we have forgiven others – that God will not hear us until we are cleansed of unforgiveness.
Is that right?  Is our forgiveness conditional? Our ability to have our prayers heard conditional?
I need help on this one.  Is “forgive and forget” mandated?  Where is that in the Bible?

Posted in Abuse, Christian life, Christianity, Emotions, Forgiveness | 6 Comments »


Posted by sharingburdens on October 15, 2007

Post written by: Anonymous

    I am a Christian 48 yr old woman who struggles with self loathing, and negative self talk.  I am currently on anti-depressants.  This morning my husband and I were talking about why I feel the way I do. I am a perfectionist, and this type of thinking carries over into every area of life and I am tired of it! 

      We have 4 older children, and to this day, when I see them struggling, I feel responsible.  I think to myself, I have failed as their mom, they wouldn’t be having this or that  problem if I’d done a better job as their parent. 

        My prayer has been “teach me your way O Lord,  help me to walk in Truth”.  I would like to ask for prayer, that God would help me to understand  how God’s Grace applies to my life….. that he would expose the “stink’n think’n” in my mind, because 99% of the time, it’s automatic, it’s subconscious, and I suspect I am not the only one who wrestles with this. I teach a class at a local women’s shelter, and when I shared the other day I am on medicine for my depression, two of the new women present said they were too.

    If you were to meet me in person, you would never suspect I battle with these things.  Anyone have any insight?  Thanks for listening

Posted in Christian life, Depression, Emotions, Health, Self-esteem | 4 Comments »

What’s it going to take?

Posted by sharingburdens on August 15, 2007

Post written by: Anonymous 

I had a physical examination with my nurse practitioner this morning. I’d been dreading going for weeks; I abhor visits to the doctor’s office, and the only reason I was there this morning was because a physical examination is required for the college I attend. The visit killed my mood for three-quarters of today, as I knew it would. The purpose of this post, I suppose, is for me to vent my anger and frustration. And my guilt and confusion. There might be some other emotions that need to come out as well, but I can’t label them just yet.

As much as I hate trips to the doctor’s office, I love my NP. She is smart and funny; this morning she was making me laugh, telling me stories about how she nearly got kicked out of nursing school, three or four different times. She is genuinely compassionate and makes me feel like a real human being… not a number; today she was chastising me for being slightly sunburned, calling me her ‘fair-skinned beauty’ and making me smile.

However, my NP also has no problem whatsoever with giving me the ‘what for’ and laying down the law, which is exactly what she did today. I did not enjoy sitting and listening to her tell me, very kindly and lovingly, that I need to stop.  That I cannot continue making myself sick. That there might, potentially, be something wrong with my kidneys. That I might not be able to have children, someday, if I keep this up. That she wants me to see someone again. That she’s calling someone, as soon as I leave the office, who will recommend a good therapist for me with an office near my college. Fabulous.

But the thing that killed me, the thing that made me want to scream and cry and plead with her, was when my NP said that she might have to recommend that I go back to the Clinic.

No. I won’t go.

I cannot go.

She said that I cannot let this thing that is controlling me interfere with my schooling. Doesn’t she see, though, that I will have to leave school in order to go to the eating disorder clinic? Isn’t that interfering with my education and my future? I already left school once, for an entire semester last year, to go to the Clinic. I cannot go again. I need to finish school and graduate with my degree.

I do not like that she was so nice to me about the whole thing.  I do not like that there was compassion in her voice and that my NP looked pained as she pleaded with me to consider getting help again.  I feel guilty as a result of her kindness and concern.

Because, as hard as I try, I cannot make myself want to change.  And I do not want help.

What is wrong with me?  I know what this eating disorder is doing to me.  I know how bad it is for my body.  I know that God does not want me to be in this place.  I know how much I’m worrying the people who love me.  I know that I should be fighting harder than I am to get better, but I cannot seem to want it.  Why can’t I want it?  

And am I going to have to hit rock-bottom before I do? 

Posted in Anger, Anorexia, Anxiety, Bulimia, Eating Disorders, Health | 10 Comments »

Is unhappiness a “good enough” reason for divorce?

Posted by sharingburdens on August 14, 2007

 Post written by: Anonymous

Christians aren’t “supposed” to get divorced.  Except in rare cases, like adultery.  At least that is what I have been taught.  It is what I believed when I got married.  I have seen the statistics that children are better in divorced, happy homes than in homes where parents stay together just for the children.  I’ve known couples that stay together and maintain a friendship of sorts.  I’ve known couples that have stayed together miserable just because they thought they were supposed to do that.

My spouse is not abusive, mean, a bad person, an adulterer or any of those other labels.  My spouse refuses to grow up. Wants to be a child. Resents working all day, coming home, cooking dinner, cleaning up, dealing with children and the other such things that come along with being an adult.  My spouse would rather visit their childhood home.  Where meals appear on plates, all cut up and fixed. Where sleeping in is expected and there are no adult responsibilities.  My spouse promises to grow up.  And does better for a little while. Then falls back into the same pattern. Counseling has not helped except to prolong the cycle just a little while.

My spouse is not a bad person – just immature.  Childish.  Never had to grow up.  Doesn’t know how to take responsibility.  Doesn’t want to learn how to take responsibility. Has a “what is in it for me” attitude.  Very selfish.

It’s not a horrible, huge problem in the scheme of things.  But I’m not happy.  At what point does my happiness come into play?  Are Christians supposed to sacrifice their own happiness for the sake of staying married?  Is there ever a “good enough” reason to get divorced because you are unhappy?

Posted in Christian life, Divorce, Family, Marriage | 8 Comments »

A friend in trouble

Posted by sharingburdens on August 2, 2007

Posted by: a teenager 

Being a teenager isn’t easy….I learn that everyday. See I have this very close friend that I talk to almost everyday. He recently moved, but before that I had went to school with him and was in his classes. Even though my friends tried telling me he wasn’t the kind of kid I should get involved with, we still talked all the time because he needed me. I’m always there to listen to him and help him. He has a very good family life from which he tells me, he just can’t seem to get his life in order. He started drinking, smoking cigarettes and doing marijuana. I did everything in my will power to try and help him, but nothing worked. I prayed for him every night that a miracle would happen and he could makes things work. My friend has a very low self esteem, so I give him encouragement with everything. That’s just the little story of what’s been going on so far.

Now last weekend he decided to tell me something that he says no one else knows. Since he tells me everything and anything and he “trusts” me he needed to let it out. He confessed to me that he had been doing cocaine for about a few months now…..Iwas in shock. I know his personality and about the other things he does but this one hit me hard. After all this time of me helping him….this is what I get?? I don’t know what to do anymore. I have told him to get some help. I even offered to go with him if he wanted me too. I understand once you start its NOT easy to quit. I have heard that so many times. I have tried to get him to go to God for help but all he does it shoot negative comments back at me about Him. I am just so lost right now. If I told his parents they’d be devastated and I would lose a friend. Not only the friendship but him as a whole…if you know what I mean. I need help deciding what to do..what to say to him..and how to handle this. At this point I’m so involved with him and his problems that whatever happens to him I will feel responsible for in some way because I know everything.

Can someone please help me??

Posted in Drugs, Friendship, Health, Teens | 3 Comments »

Beautiful Disaster

Posted by sharingburdens on August 1, 2007

Post written by: Rindy

I love music. So many times the lyrics put thoughts into the right words and emotions. “Beautiful disaster” is such a contradictory description, yet when you think about it, it fits so many people. Check it out (just click on it, then on the message and it will start):

Beautiful Disaster–Jon McLaughlin


Posted in Brokenness, Emotions, Faith, Insecurity, Music, Self-esteem | 3 Comments »

What’s a father to do??

Posted by sharingburdens on July 30, 2007

Post written by: DM 

Is there a place for a Christian dad to get physical in addressing sexual harrassment in the life of his daughter?

I know from reading the blog that several of your readers still are working through various types of abuse and it is such a relevant topic given the state of our culture today.  I have a slightly different perspective on the whole thing and wrote about it yesterday after coming home for lunch and hearing about something that happened w/ one of my daughters.  I am a Christian dad. (I’m 49) ..when I was 21  the lights came on for me spiritually…I am not just a religious person but had a genuine conversion  experience…in my case, there was a “before” and “after”… I say all of that to preface what I wanted to say next.         

Nothing prepared me as a  Christian dad for the times my daughters have been sexually harassed (and in one case physically assaulted)… takes ALOT to get me angry….I mean alot, and this is one of those things that will set me off.  I know it says in Romans  to not return evil for evil…rather  leave it to God who will in the ultimate sense repay the wrong doer…. but as a father of 3 beautiful young ladies,(27,25,21)  there is still a part of me that would get in someone’s face and even hurt them if it came to that, if things got testy.  I know that doesn’ sound very mature as a Christian.    And yet,  Sometimes I think there is just a little too much doormat in our understanding of the Christian’s response to evil….could we open it up to further discussion. ? 

Here is my story:

 I am a dad to 3 beautiful daughers.  They have all grown up  and moved out,  the oldest is home this week visiting with our granddaughter.   Today for the 7th time in my life I got wind that someone had sexually harassed one of them.   It takes a lot to get me angry, and this is one of those situations.  As she was coming to our house , a semi driver driving a fuel tanker began to honk and attempt to get her attention.  At first she (my daugher) thought  there was something wrong w/ her car and he was trying to get her attention. She tried to pass and he sped up the truck so she decided to get behind him  at which point, he started to slow down….this went on for several minutes until she finally got to her exit….he was still honking and making gestures as he continued on.     I asked her if she knew the name of the trucking company..yep, it is _ _ _ _ _..the name was on the mudflaps. …so, armed with that information, I got onto the internet, typed in the name of the company, found their website and e-mailed them this note:

To Whom it may concern, Today is July 19 2007. I just got home for lunch to the news that my 27 yr old daughter was “propositioned” by one of your fuel truck drivers as he was driving North on Hwy *** between A.  and B . she said that as she was passing him (it is a divided highway) he honked at her and continued to indicate something was up. She thought maybe there was something wrong w/ her car and he was signing her to pull over….This went on for several minutes. She slowed down but eventually decided just to pass him. As she did, he made a gesture which she took to mean he wanted sex. she had out of state plates so it probably looked like she was traveling across country. I’m not sure how easy it would be to identify who the driver was, but she said it was a semi fuel truck w/**** mudflaps. Needless to say, as her dad I would like to give the trucker a piece of my mind. My daughter also was carrying my grandchiid in the car with her and the whole thing shook her (my daugher up) Any thing you can do to address this situation would be appreciated. DM     

The other 6 situations all make my bloodpressure rise if I allow myself to dwell on them.  In 4 of the other situations where the girls were harassed I took the bull by the horns and confronted someone.  A 5th situation resulted in a trip to an emergency room and a call to the police.  In the 6th case,  we didn’t do anything because of various circumstances….but nothing prepares you as a dad for this sort of thing….nothing….Anyway, this is not one of those “upbeat” positive thinking posts as much as me needing to vent………..I’m HOPING the trucking company will in fact track down the driver and he and I get to have an eyeball to eyeball visit before it’s all done.    

What do you think? What should a father do?

Link to the original writing:

Posted in Anger, Christian life, Parenting, Sexual Harrassment | 6 Comments »

What the *#@*^!?!

Posted by sharingburdens on July 20, 2007

Post written by: Anonymous

I have a secret that doesn’t sound like a big deal but I hate it!! When I get upset or really frustrated, I have a “mouth like a trucker”. I swear too much. I don’t do it in regular conversations but when something happens, words just come out. I feel terrible because it is usually directed toward the ones I love the most, especially my kids. I always apologize and tell them I really don’t mean to use those words, but I know it still hurts them. I hate it! I absolutely do not mean what I say. Now my teenager has started doing it to me. I know he really doesn’t mean it, but it hurts.

I am a good mom. I love my kids and I do everything with my kids. They are the most important people to me and I would lay down my life for them. They know that I would. We have great talks, we love being together, and we thoroughly enjoy each other. So why do I have to curse? The words blurt out before I can stop them. What can I do? Am I the only mother who does this? Any ideas how I can stop?

Posted in Anger, Christian life, Emotions, Secrets | 5 Comments »

Pandora’s Pinata

Posted by sharingburdens on July 4, 2007

Post written by: Anonymous 

 Pandora’s Piñata

      I never used to be angry. At least, I never used to know that I was angry. Growing up, I never felt that I had the right to be angry at anyone, or about anything, and so I became very good at stuffing my anger and hiding it from everyone. I got so good at it that I think I actually hid my anger from myself. In situations where I normally should have been upset with others, I manipulated the situation around in my head so that I’d end up angry with myself instead of someone else. Everything was always my fault, I believed, and so I had no right to be angry with anyone other than myself. 

      I don’t yell. I can’t. I rarely raise my voice. In the past, I actually prided myself on my ability to hold things in and remain in control. People would comment on how calm and collected I always seemed, and I felt good when I heard things like that. But comments like that also reinforced my belief that it was wrong for me to be angry…

      This all changed a few months ago, when I started seeing a new therapist who was determined to make me feel things.  She wanted me to get angry, and had me go about doing so in a really unusual way.  We went shopping together, and bought a piñata.  It was supposed to represent my anger, and we stuffed it with popsicle sticks labeled with all the things I would gain once I let go of the anger stuck inside of me; freedom, happiness, growth, etc.  The idea was that I would take a baseball bat to the piñata, smashing the living daylights out of it while naming all the things that had made me angry over the last 9 years. 

      I couldn’t do it.  I was terrified; I was the girl who couldn’t yell, so how on earth could I tear into a piñata like that and rant about the things I was angry over?  What I could do, however, was sit on the floor with the piñata in my lap and slowly rip it into tiny little pieces with my hands, all the while whispering all the things I was angry about.  Once I started, I couldn’t stop.  I sat there and cried and choked out my hurts and ripped up that piñata until the whole thing was nothing but shreds of papier mache in my lap.  And since that afternoon, I’ve known that I am angry.

      I’ve known that I am angry, but not known what to do with it.  I still don’t feel comfortable showing it to others, and I don’t know how to feel my anger in ways that are appropriate.  For the last few months, I’ve felt like I am angry all the time.  The emotion that I’ve not felt for so long is now one that I feel almost constantly, and I don’t like that.  In my life, I’ve known plenty of angry people, and have always promised myself that I’d never end up as one.  I don’t like being angry; I don’t like the way I feel about myself and about others.  I don’t like feeling ugly and black and hateful. 

      Lately I’ve been thinking that it was almost better to lie to myself like I had for so long, telling myself that I wasn’t really angry, than it is to feel this ugly inside.  But I know that’s not true.  My anger is there for a reason, and needs to be dealt with appropriately.  It needs to be dealt with appropriately or I will end up as one of those angry people whom I so dread turning into.  The problem is that I’m at a loss for what to do.  I’m afraid of my anger.  I’m afraid of my emotions.  So if anyone’s got any advice, it would be greatly appreciated…

Posted in Anger, Brokenness, Emotions, Health, Self-esteem | 9 Comments »