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Sierra 3: Paddle Faster I Hear Banjos


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SweetLaurel
On 11/12/2019 at 1:15 PM, freshlemonade said:

It looks like from IG, that Sierra's mom stepped up to help out.  Sierra actually thanked her which was nice.  I wonder what the relationship is like between Sierra and her mom.  I feel like the Mom probably has a lot of just bite your tongue and/or I told you so moments.  

That's the thing about having a litter of kids.  I gladly step up and take my sister's 2 or my brother's 3, and have, often, for a few days, if wanted or needed.  If you dump 7 or 8  stair steps on me,  on top of mine, I'd be crazy in a day.   That is just a lot of kids to feed and water and change.   It is easy to say help out, but man, with that many kids - it is just hard.   Not to mention expensive if you have a food budget - and most of us who are not Lori Alexander do.   I have a friend whose son has 9 kids at last count, might be ten by now, and she had to finally put her foot down and tell him she could only do two at a time, and not have the entire group dumped on her anymore.   It just wore her out too much and made her miserable and not enjoy them at all.   That's reality.   

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My husband is a recovering alcoholic. We are expecting our 2nd child together- he had three years sobriety, relapsed, and now has about 6 months sobriety under his belt (and I'm 7 months pregnant). Ha

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allthegoodnamesrgone

@JesSky03I totally get where you are coming from. Not every relationship where one of the partners has an addiction means you must leave that person in the dust. As you know, addiction recovery is one day at a time, for the rest of your life. Most fall of the wagon and get back on it again a couple times before they finally get to the place where they are just done with it. Does he do AA, have you gone to any Al-anon, meetings? I know not everyone needs this, but a lot of people get a lot out of it.  

 I think it is great that you two were able to work things out and work on this together. 

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LacyMay

Thank you @JesSky03 I was uncomfortable with the comment that seemed to assume that alcoholism should equal divorce. 

Someone please jump in if I'm wrong but do we even know if he was treated for alcoholism pre or post marriage? I can't really find much about him. 

In any case I would be hesitant to speculate about addiction the same way we would be hesitant to speculate about mental illness. 

Even trying to establish a link between a past struggle with addiction and a current health issue seems to have some shades of blaming him for his current medical emergency (I don't think that was the intent but still something to be aware of)

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JesSky03
13 minutes ago, allthegoodnamesrgone said:

@JesSky03I totally get where you are coming from. Not every relationship where one of the partners has an addiction means you must leave that person in the dust. As you know, addiction recovery is one day at a time, for the rest of your life. Most fall of the wagon and get back on it again a couple times before they finally get to the place where they are just done with it. Does he do AA, have you gone to any Al-anon, meetings? I know not everyone needs this, but a lot of people get a lot out of it.  

 I think it is great that you two were able to work things out and work on this together. 

Thank you! He tried AA a few years ago and I even went with him to a few meetings but it wasn't a good fit for him. He does really well with having a one-on-one counselor. It's tough because there is such a shortage of mental health professionals and its so expensive but its well worth it. He was going weekly, sometimes twice a week but he's been able to drop down to bi-weekly as he's gotten back to a good place. They do offer group counseling where is going now so maybe he will try that once he feels ready to move on from the one on one counseling. He's always been a very high functioning alcoholic so that does help significantly. He doesn't go to bars, he doesn't drink and drive, and he would never drink at work or anywhere else that would impact our livelihoods. He just finished up an AA with high honors and has started working towards his bachelors degree in engineering. If he wasn't willing to put in the hard work to overcome his addiction or stay committed to the well-being of our family then I would seriously consider leaving but I don't see that ever happening. 

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FluffySnowball

I didn’t mean to imply that an alcohol addiction necessitates divorce although I see why my comment might be perceived as arguing in favor of exactly that. I’m really sorry, @JesSky03, it wasn’t my intention to come across as unduly judgmental or to be hurtful! 

While I understand why relationships can at times end due to an addiction, I find it great when couples decide to stick together and work through problems as a team. Thus, I would never criticize your decision to stay with your husband and grow your family with him because I’m sure you two have thought about the decision carefully and that’s what you both want to do, @JesSky03To successfully overcome such struggles (that essentially are health issues) takes a lot of strength and dedication and is absolutely admirable.

Now that I think about it, I guess I subconsciously thought about my cousin who is married to a chronically ill man while writing the comment. Though addiction isn’t the issue in her husband’s case, she chose to stay and dedicate her life to supporting him although she’s aware it doesn’t fulfill her and she could live an easier, more joyful life as a divorcée. Still, she feels obliged not to leave him and doesn’t enjoy her life as much because his options are a lot more limited. 

What I abbreviated in my previous comment is that yes, Kristen and Justin seem forced. From her social media, I frequently get the impression Kirsten’s trying to appear happy but isn’t really. Her whole focus seems to be on finding meaning and coping mechanisms despite lots of hardship. Her husband’s alcohol addiction might be one factor, but I don’t think it’s the only one. So I really wonder if they’d still be together without the firm belief divorce isn’t allowed and they need to remain married all their lives. 

Now, please correct me if I’m wrong, but from my understanding, alcoholism can be a result of emotional issues, and by that I mean unhappiness, anxiety and so on. So I did wonder whether settling down young and starting a family might have become a burden on both Kristen and her husband and the reason Justin struggled with his addiction. Mind you, that’s really just speculation and maybe I project my own feelings on them because I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. 

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indianabones
On 11/15/2019 at 10:51 AM, LacyMay said:

Someone please jump in if I'm wrong but do we even know if he was treated for alcoholism pre or post marriage? I can't really find much about him. 

He recently made his Instagram public. Here's a post he wrote about it. So, we don't know if he received professional treatment or "Christian counseling" or stopped cold turkey at home.

As someone who lives with an alcoholic who is deep in denial about their substance abuse, I'm kind of envious of Kristen (keeping in mind that I don't know what she's been through.) Justin recognized he had a problem and was able to stop drinking. I wish the person in my life would do the same.

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HereticHick

I have such mixed emotions every time Sierra posts an "encouragement" from her kids or her husband--and she posts a whole bushel of them. Encouragement  & appreciation is great, and telling people how you feel about then is great.

But I also think of my mother, who has anxiety and depression & refuses* to get treatment. All my life, my dad tells me (and now texts or phones me) to "give your mom a hug, she's feeling down;" "please call your mom & get her to calm down"; "please call your mom; she always perks up when you call."  *Yes, she has the financial and logistical means to get treatment.

This may sound selfish, but its really draining to feel responsible for an adult's mental health, and its no fun walking on eggshells around a volatile mother when you know the next crying jag is always around the corner.

I feel for Sierra's kids. Sierra, if you are reading this, I've had to deal with this for 50+ years, and it makes it hard to truly **love** my mother.  And its why I get professional help myself.

 

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Eternalbluepearl

This is how her facebook reads to me: Please think I'm pretty! Do you like this outfit? Coffee mugs with sayings are neat! Did I color that Bible verse cutely? Do you think my kid obsession is cool? Isn't my hubby hot? I'm so carefree! Except when I'm not and hot hubby has to comfort me. Do you like my hair? I love babies! Doesn't "Keep marching, mama" sound so deep? I say it to myself all day. TLC??? Where are you?! TLC???!.... UP???

Edited by Eternalbluepearl
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Coconut Flan

One step away from Jill Rodrigues in the mommy neediness campaign.

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HideousGreenShirt

I find it mildly disturbing (and perhaps a little unlikely if unprompted) that her son and a week ago her 5 year old daughter are writing her notes of encouragement and making her paper swords for her bravery. 

How many times is she going to write a caption about feeling like a failure and crying constantly? How many of these experiences of her CHILDREN desperately trying to lift her up does she need to see that maybe she is not "living out her dream" and "speaking life"?*

Every post of hers is followed by hundreds of leg humper comments about how inspiring she is. I noticed recently that she's been getting more "you sound overwhelmed" comments that she angrily responds to and then deletes totally. She is so frustrating and defensive. 

And as @HereticHick stated, her mental health is going to become an increasing burden on her children. If they're already writing her notes like that one, then they're noticing what's going one. 

*Side note: what is "speak life" even supposed to mean? 

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FluffySnowball
13 minutes ago, HideousGreenShirt said:

*Side note: what is "speak life" even supposed to mean? 

I always understand it as a vage reference to being in favor of large families and against abortion. (ETA: I don’t know if my interpretation is correct, I’ve just always guessed that that’s what she means.) 

 

40 minutes ago, HereticHick said:

This may sound selfish, but its really draining to feel responsible for an adult's mental health, and its no fun walking on eggshells around a volatile mother [...]

That’s not selfish at all!!! You are so right, and it’s not healthy for family members or friends to be burdened with the responsibility to essentially treat a mental illness! Sure, spouses, kids, and friends can be very helpful in times of (emotional) need, they ideally form a crucial support system. BUT they can’t cure someone of an illness. That’s what professionals are for.

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Tatar-tot
On 11/15/2019 at 12:54 PM, JesSky03 said:

My husband is a recovering alcoholic. We are expecting our 2nd child together- he had three years sobriety, relapsed, and now has about 6 months sobriety under his belt (and I'm 7 months pregnant). Has divorce ever crossed my mind? Yes, in the early days of discovering his addiction it certainly crossed my mind and we fought and argued and came close a dozen times but eventually we arrived at a place where we have accepted his disease as a disease that affects us both and decided to conquer the problem together. We communicate, he doesn't hide his drinking from me anymore, he is seeing a counselor on a bi-weekly basis, and it is very much "our problem", not "his problem". I have mentioned it on here before and I'm sure there are people who judge me and my decision to stay, to continue to have children with this man, and do not understand why or how I could tolerate it but that's fine. They don't have to understand. They are not here, inside my relationship on a daily basis. They haven't seen how we have grown and changed and overcome multiple difficulties over the past 12 years. They have not seen how hard my husband works to maintain his sobriety and not let it affect his work, school, kids, or me. It so easy to judge from the outside. I'm sure we have looked miserable together at times, and we probably were, but we have never stopped loving each other and we continue come out the other side of whatever life throws at us. My husband mainly keeps his addiction a secret from people in real life because he fears this kind of judgement and unsolicited opinions. He finally told his mom after reaching 3 years of sobriety but still couldn't bring himself to tell anyone else in the family. I sometimes think the secrecy hinders his recovery process but I also understand how the judgement and change in demeanor from people who know could hinder it as well. 

Sorry to come down so hard, I know I wasn't being personally attacked but your comment struck a nerve. Anyway, I hope Kristen's husband is okay, that must have been really scary. 

 

Check out Alanon.  Excellent program for the family. 

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clueliss

I bristle every time she posts keep marching.  No!   just no!  it is okay to practice self care.  To stop marching and take care of yourself.  (and I say this as someone with depression)

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Eternalbluepearl

I see "speak life" as kind of a Christian-ese "positive vibes only." Like no negativity, ever. Things. Are. Great.

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theotherelise

"Speak Life" is about sharing "gospel truth" and spiritual encouragements. "You don't have to worry because God is in control" "You are enough because your identity is in Jesus and He is always enough" etc etc

I see Sierra and people like M-is-for-Mama-Abbie as a huge overcorrection swing. They are always saying that they are being honest about the struggles of parenthood and motherhood and homemaking. They are telling followers that this is an honest look behind the curtain into the real daily difficulties. And that it's important to share these things because they could not get through all the hard moments without Jesus. And that's why motherhood is so holy because it reminds them they need Jesus and they are now doing a ministry by showing followers that life is unglamorous but Jesus makes it holy/possible. And that's what all the women following need to hear because it is encouraging or something.

So if I squint, I can agree with a basic premise that being fake and pretending to be perfect and have a perfect little family on social media can be a bad thing. It makes people feel like their real life doesn't measure up and they aren't good enough. And I can agree that women, whether in the workplace or the home, benefit from having communities that encourage them and give them a place to not have life 100% figured out. 

I just don't think the method, medium, or amount of sharing these types do is healthy or helpful. Instead of coming off as honest and relatable, their focus on sharing these truth bombs on social media seems to make them hunt out lessons in their lives. Instead of putting things in perspective and looking for things to be grateful for, they are putting themselves on a pedestal of false self-flagellation by magnifying every time a child doesn't want to brush their teeth into a lesson on obedience to God.

They have communities of women around them. Those are the people they should be saying "today I questioned why I ever had kids" to. Instead you're putting your children on blast and sharing with absolute strangers every whim of a thought about how tired/lonely/anxious you are. 

It really feels like sometimes they are immature children talking about who has it the hardest and why that makes the lessons they learn bigger and better. They have replaced performing perfection with performing holiness and then they wonder why they still feel lacking. 

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JesSky03
On 11/26/2019 at 1:25 PM, Tatar-tot said:

Check out Alanon.  Excellent program for the family. 

Thank you- I did consider it at one point but it was not a good time logistically to get to any meetings. We are now thankfully in a really good place and he's been 100% sober for 6 or 7 months. 

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OyToTheVey
On 11/26/2019 at 1:40 PM, HereticHick said:

I have such mixed emotions every time Sierra posts an "encouragement" from her kids or her husband--and she posts a whole bushel of them. Encouragement  & appreciation is great, and telling people how you feel about then is great.

But I also think of my mother, who has anxiety and depression & refuses* to get treatment. All my life, my dad tells me (and now texts or phones me) to "give your mom a hug, she's feeling down;" "please call your mom & get her to calm down"; "please call your mom; she always perks up when you call."  *Yes, she has the financial and logistical means to get treatment.

This may sound selfish, but its really draining to feel responsible for an adult's mental health, and its no fun walking on eggshells around a volatile mother when you know the next crying jag is always around the corner.

I feel for Sierra's kids. Sierra, if you are reading this, I've had to deal with this for 50+ years, and it makes it hard to truly **love** my mother.  And its why I get professional help myself.

 

I know exactly how you feel! Sometimes, it's such a burden that you don't even want to get out of bed yourself. 

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3splenty
On 11/26/2019 at 1:47 PM, clueliss said:

I bristle every time she posts keep marching.  No!   just no!  it is okay to practice self care.  To stop marching and take care of yourself.  (and I say this as someone with depression)

Not only that, but you can't take care of someone else if you haven't taken care of yourself first.  It's not selfish to take care of YOU.  Its vital, and you can't give what you don't have.  Kids deserve a parent who cares for themselves, too.

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scarlettphoenix

The more time goes by, the more unhappy Sierra seems. She seems like she’s trying really hard to survive her life, while continuing to make things worse by having more kids. 
Does anyone else think she’s spiraling? 

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snickerz

FYI you wrote this in the archives. You may want to post again in the current Sierra thread: 

 

Edited by Coconut Flan
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HeartsAFundie

I thought "speak life" was short for speaking about one's life experiences in a brutal, honest manner and "owning it".  Maybe that's too secular of a definition for what Sierra has in mind, but then again, what do I know?

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clueliss

Potentially stupid question.  If Sierra is avoiding fairy, why is she using a protein powder that has whey in it?  Noticed it in Instagram (probably in her stories).  (Allegedly avoiding due to thrush)

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apandaaries
4 minutes ago, clueliss said:

Potentially stupid question.  If Sierra is avoiding fairy, why is she using a protein powder that has whey in it?  Noticed it in Instagram (probably in her stories).  (Allegedly avoiding due to thrush)

Not a stupid question when you’re just pointing out the ignorant ways of fundies. Despite her elaborate and colorful list about what she can and can’t eat, Sierra seems to have no deeper understanding of nutrition. 

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ifosterkittens

Confession I watch Sierra's stories on instagram. She did a demonstration of meal prep, and used regular butter on the broccoli and said she knew it wasn't dairy free, but it was a small amount, and she wasn't going to buy a dairy free option just for her. Maybe she already had that protein powder, and wasn't interested in wasting it, or realized it contained dairy too late (after opening and using it) and couldn't return it.

I have done different diets over the years for migraines, and it can be an expense buying gluten free (GF) and dairy free (DF) products just for yourself, when the rest of the family eats those things. Making separate meals for yourself, or a GF DF option can be time consuming.

For anyone who is dairy free I highly recommend Earth Balance "butter" it is GF, DF, vegan and you can get a soy free option. For reasonably priced GF products I love Aldi's their brand Live G Free is delicious. 

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