Part H: The Battle Rages

Part 15

With teeth removed, my health improved. It was another step in the process and I was excited. My goal as of now was to improve as much as possible before getting married and living life with my man.

Marriage. We were having difficulties in our relationship. He was battling with his commitment, I with feeling unloved. He had chosen to step in and now was feeling the force of it. Engagement was horrid, truly horrid. Life was bleak for us and twice, we almost called it off.

And the conversation came. He was feeling as if it was all on his shoulders. From his point of view he was giving 80% to the relationship, while I appeared to giving a measly 20%. How difficult it was to hear!

How was it possible that everything I invested appeared as a simple 20%?! It was a conversation we needed to have, but it broke something in me. Suddenly, I realized how limited I was as a person.

Suddenly, I realized the extremity of my limitations. I was a living, breathing 1/4 of a person. That was all. Even my best attempts at our relationship were not enough; I would always be stuck, giving everything in myself to have it appear as a measly 20%.

Something crumbled in my spirit. That’s who I was?! It’s one thing to be humbled and yet have the ability to rise and change. It’s another to be humbled and have to sit in that humility, weakened and unable to give more.

All my efforts, counted as null. What had I done?

I had given up my church, home & few friends to move in with his family so I could improve, taking great risks in doing so. I quit my job, sold my car and was completely dependent on his family & mine. I had no one (in body) to talk to about our struggles, as we agreed that kind of thing is usually best shared with an outsider. I pushed, always pushed myself to join him in the active life he loved (the way he best connected), often having extreme exhaustion and nasty headaches up to 3 days after. I had been rigidly disciplined on my own day-in-and-day-out in diet, sleep and very difficult treatments in hope of gaining control over this disease. I felt I had given up everything I had for a chance at this relationship and it all counted as…20%.

I broke down. It just couldn’t be! I had nothing more to give. Some open talk was had and we realized our relationship wasn’t going to work out. It hurt like everything. And together, we went to our Heavenly Father, broken, confused and questioning. It was then that we witnessed a powerful break-through in my fella’s soul. And we did continue to move forward, though not without hardship.

Another time I told him I wanted out. It was too much, the stress of things was too overwhelming. He asked me to wait a bit longer before I made that decision. And I chose to stay. I can honestly say I don’t know how we are married today. Against all odds and by the hand of God, we made it.

And I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally life would ease up!

Part 16

Jokes. I make sad jokes!

Life didn’t ease up. Our first living situation (a summer camper) had serious decay/mold issues. We had to come up with second plan…fast! A small home on an uncle’s property was our next place. My man had lived there before we were married, and though I knew there was something “funky” about the place and told my man so, it was better than our previous situation…we thought.

An acreage with a greenhouse and barn, a 800 sq foot home with un-drinkable water (I got Giardia), a water system that froze often and mice problems…it was doable. So we settled in. In many ways it was a lovely little home. We got ducks and chickens, started some plants in the greenhouse.

But I was having issues…real issues in the form of constant headaches. It got to the point where I didn’t just have them 3 days a week: it was all week, every day. Pulsing headaches. And over time I was growing weaker and weaker. My man scooted under the house and found mold climbing up the back walls. And we pulled up carpets, only to find mold underneath and in the closets. We tackled the home, trying to make it work.

Mold and good health don't mix!
Note dark mold along bottom of shower exposed in our attempt to clear out the place

It didn’t. We looked into other homes/apartments and decided that area was too expensive a place for us to live on one person’s wage. We needed a healthy change as I wanted to feel normal again. If we were ever to start a family, we needed a different environment. My husband had 8 weeks of carpentry school lined up and after that, we were leaving the north.

It was liberating to move from that old place. We moved in with some friends for the 3+ weeks remaining and then moved to the town where he would do his schooling. In that time we decided to move to a farming community in the south, one we had been through on our honeymoon. It was an warmer valley and produce grew well. Living expenses and properties were also cheaper than where we were living. I also had a close friend who grew up and resided in the town.

We agreed to try it for one year, after which we would decide if we should stay or move on.