Tell Ruth the Truth

This is a moderated blog is a project of the Ruth Institute. Have a story to share? We're listening.


The truth about tubal ligation

I was 35 years old, happily married and pregnant with my 5th child in 11 years. It was not a smooth pregnancy. I was sick with nausea, dehydration, weight loss and exhaustion for months. My doctor urged me repeatedly, due to my medical history, to consider having a permanent solution to any more pregnancies. The idea of birth control was assumed and for years we relied on the pill and condoms. Thinking about a “permanent solution” for me was: get a tubal. I could get it done while I was already at the hospital. It doesn’t inconvenience my husband in any way. It ‘solves’ our problems. However a tubal ligation did not.


My periods returned fairly quickly post-partum. But they were unlike any previous periods. The twice a month headaches were exponentially more painful. My doctor prescribed migraine medication. That didn't work. The uterine discomfort I felt every ovulation cycle caused me to double over in pain like labor. I was stunned. All this for ovulation? The doctor told me to take Advil. That didn't work. My periods were longer and more painful. I tried Alleve. That didn't work. What was going on physically was also mirrored in my emotional/sexual world. Those 14 or so days every month between ovulation times and menstruation meant almost ½ the month I was irritable, short on patience, and not in the least interested in romance, nor being touched by my loving husband, let alone sexual relations. I told my husband, “Ever since this tubal I feel like I was born on earth, but woke up on Mars. I am most definitely NOT the same person. I don’t understand this. I know it is connected to the tubal since it is involved with my cycles. But how can a little snipping of tubes inside my abdomen produce such a dramatic difference in me as a woman?”

Then I began to notice that at every period, as the months passed, I began to grieve. Grieve that I would never have another child, that I had permanently changed my body, that I no longer was a fertile woman in control of my body. The regret I felt I pushed deep inside – afraid to face it – but the sorrow remained. Then my brother confided in me. They had their 3rd child just a year after our last – and his wife opted for a tubal. He shared that he doesn’t understand what happened but for the past two years his wife is completely different. “It’s like she’s from another universe” he said (mirroring my exact experiences). My mouth opened wide in shock. I had my tubal one year before my sister in law – but our reactions were identical. I told my brother he wasn’t crazy. We drew comfort from the fact that at least there was a possible ‘cause’ for this radically changed behavior from both of us.

Fast forward 25 years. My husband and I became Catholic. I made an appointment with a priest for Confession. I began to cry as I recalled as many sins as I could, and then my mind and heart turned to the tubal. The decades of sadness I had pushed as deeply as I could, poured out in a wailing keen as I told the priest about the tubal. "I am so sorry I did this. I wanted more children. But the doctor told me it was for my health. I wanted more children…I wanted more children…I am so sorry.” Even as I spoke those words I had no idea I would verbalize the cry from my heart that so desperately needed to be spoken where heaven and earth meet in God’s grace. And the speaking of them opened my heart to hear the next words from this precious man of God: “You are forgiven. You are a mother. God made you a mother. You will always be a mother to others.”

I share this story knowing my sister-in-law and I simply can NOT be the only women who experienced this kind of reaction from a tubal ligation – one that clearly isn’t ‘medical’ but emotional/spiritual/psychological.

Submitted by D. P.


The 'sexual revolution' is about selfishness.

I get angry at the lies I was told by my culture. The 'sexual revolution' is about selfishness. It promotes selfishness. It denies the truth of what love is. Love is more than a feeling. Real love, for a lifetime, is a choice, a commitment, and not one to be frivolously played with.

When my parents' marriage dissolved, it was then that subliminal messages were received. Those little deceits, the subtle nuance that sex outside of marriage was permissible given certain circumstances. It was the yeast that worked through the dough in my case, the little lies that came from the culture of the times (it was the 60's and 70's). The first lie that I believed was that we could be alone together but would not 'do anything wrong'. And when we did cross that boundary (losing my virginity at 19), the little lies we tell ourselves, that God will forgive because we love one another and we plan to be married one day.


Somehow I missed the part that the act of intimacy we engaged in was the marital union, the commitment to one another before God. I bought the world's lie that I had other choices, and that I should explore my other options before committing. I entirely missed the fact that I had already committed with my body to this person. Anything outside of that in God's eyes (and, as I would not understand until later, also in my own heart) was adultery. So of course when one day did not happen, and there was a new relationship, and then another, I ended up with less and less of my heart to give. The little lies that lead us one small step at a time down a wrong path.

I found the turning in my path when I did marry, and this was due to God in my heart and remembrance of Him and the things I had been taught. I found my strength in God from that point onward.

I'd known that with each successive partner I'd felt less of a connection and the bond was not as strong, but it wasn't until I began reading my Bible in earnest that I came to really understand the meaning of the one woman/one man union and bond of God. I came to understand the adulterer that I had been. I came to understand what I had lost. The only true marriage was that first intimate commitment I had made. 'No man may put asunder what God has joined'. That first bond is a lasting bond for life.

The beginning of the lies, the subtle deceptions that the devil uses--I came to believe that it was safe to be alone in intimate situations without committing acts that are meant for the sanctity of marriage. When it finally did happen I told myself that God would understand because we loved each other and I knew that marriage was what was in the back of both our minds.

But when the subject of engagement finally did come up, I realized I wasn't sure I felt secure in the thought of being married to this person for the rest of my life, and the thinking of the world, the 'culture', supported this notion of free dating with no consequences. This is the devil's lie, because you don't become aware of the consequences to your life, until too late.

When I began to read the Bible I became amazingly aware of how all the answers were written right there, if only anyone had ever bothered to read to me, and teach me, the scriptures. The stumbling blocks in my life became very clear--The people who tripped me up by allowing my mind to believe that what they did was acceptable and doable. I also came to see the people to whom I had unintentionally, but never the less, also been a stumbling block. I understood God's words to 'avoid even the appearance of evil'.

Yes, I get angry at the lies my culture fed us, mostly through media, that removed God's standards and made the world's lies look desirable, and I get angry at what those lies cost me. 

Submitted by C. L.


Blackmail Threat Leads to life-giving Testimony

Leave it to pro-choice political operatives to make a blackmail threat against a pro-life politician and his family. And leave it to the King of Kings to bring light out of darkness and to write straight with crooked lines. 

It seems that "an unnamed source" told Michigan State Rep. Lee Chatfield, a pro-life Republican, that they planned to make public information about his wife's abortion years ago. I suppose this was supposed to embarrass Rep Chatfield and his wife Stephanie that they would, do what, exactly? That he would stop calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood? That he would withdraw his sponsorship of a bill to ban abortions that dismember the child? 

In any case, Mrs. Chatfield made her own decision to not allow herself and her husband to be manipulated by her past. She beat them to the punch and told her own story of her high school abortion. She told the story on her own terms: a story of rape, abortion, regret, forgiveness and healing.


When I read her story, I could not help but think how clueless the person who threatened must really be. Or maybe she/he/ze did not know the full story. The young Stephanie, a high school student, was obviously a victim of rape, the very sort of person the Sexual Revolutionary feminist claims to be trying to help. Stephanie did just what the feminist/sexual revolutionary playbook called for: she had an abortion. But the abortion did not solve her problem, as advertised.

I made a decision that I’ve thought about and regretted nearly every day since. It’s haunted me. It’s made me weep. It’s made it difficult to look in the mirror at times. I knew that what I did was wrong at the time, but I never imagined the weight and guilt that I would carry as a consequence.

I give Stephanie Chatfield a lot of credit for how she is handling herself. This is exactly what the Ruth Institute hopes more people will do: tell the truth about what happened to you. Reveal the lies of the Sexual Revolution. You will take the sting out of them. You will heal yourself, and heal others. As Mrs. Chatfield said:

 

No matter the intentions of anybody wishing to see this story go public, this I am certain of: God meant it for good and will glorify Himself through this....And to everybody reading this, remember what I had forgotten – that God is greater than our sin. I am confident that God can continue to use an imperfect person like me to bring Himself glory. And while the life vs. choice debate will continue to wage on, this I know for certain: I made the wrong choice. Yet, I plan to use my story to help girls, love others and serve as a living testimony of God’s grace and forgiveness.

This is the real, Christ-like solution to the problems of the Sexual Revolution. As I have said many times in my talks, if it is not Christ-like, I'm not the slightest bit interested in it. And if it is not Christ-like, it won't last anyway.

 

Share your story with us. We may include it on the Tell Ruth the Truth blog. You have no idea who may benefit from your experience. 


 

 

 


The St. Photina Solution

“…the one that you have now is not your husband...” John 4:18

I’m ashamed to contribute to this blog. Other contributors are genuine innocent victims of the Sexual Revolution. I was one of the destroyers of the family.

I was a good Catholic girl. The Church and the truth mattered, and I was fortunate to have teachers who taught what the Church taught. In eighth grade I learned that Truth is immutable, and that if the Church ever changes her fundamental teaching, she was never a teacher of the Truth. Then came the hipsters of the post Vatican II era, of whom one priest told us that theologians now say that Catholics don’t have to believe in Papal Infallibility, even on matters of faith and morals. I drew the conclusion that the Church was a fraud, and that life was ultimately meaningless. Many theologians were liars in backward collars, but I didn’t know that.

When undergraduate school was nearly ended, and I was very serious about a man who was married, had a child, and wanted me, I chose the path of unbelief, of despair, and of unLove. I married him, bore his child, and battled depression for over twenty years. Then, as if by accident, while satellite surfing with my family we lit momentarily on the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. I started going back to EWTN at every opportunity. This was 1993, and Mother Angelica was already handing it to the Liars in Backward Collars.

O My God. Now what?


I had a family to raise, but a husband who wasn’t mine. I chose to marry him when I believed that morality was an illusion and there was no Truth. There is Truth.How would I face Him as my judge? How could I say that I did what I thought was true? Victim or perpetrator, I had the responsibility to get right.

My solution came in Confession. I learned that to return to the Sacraments, I had two choices: I could leave my husband, or I could live with him like brother and sister. I ultimately chose the second, and I made that choice alone. I made it clear that I could not do what I knew was a sin, but I understood if he wanted to leave. He stayed with me on God’s terms, even though he didn’t believe in God and had no intention of seeking a nullity proclamation. Sixteen years it took that man to go to Confession and receive Communion. It was worth the world to me because, even though our marriage was invalid, our love for each other is real.

This has not been a holy walk in the park. My stepchild died after years of drug and alcohol abuse. My child has fought depression and health problems. I blame myself for a lot of that.

Twenty-two years I had been away from God, and I’ve had twenty-two to be back. Every day I feel like the stray cat God let in. I really don’t belong here, but I don’t want to be anywhere else.

Now we have a Year of Mercy, and bless Pope Francis for wanting to bring everyone home. Now, more Liars in Backward Collars want to paper over the damage of divorce and remarriage and admit us to Communion. No one wants to say this, but I have nothing to lose:

THERE IS A WAY BACK. IT’S HARD, IT’S NOT WHAT YOU HAD IN MIND, BUT IT IS POSSIBLE. MANY PEOPLE WHO TOOK THIS ROAD OF OBEDIENCE AND TRUST HAVE BEEN GREATLY REWARDED, EVEN IN MANY CASES, BY A CONVALIDATED UNION.

Jesus didn’t guarantee that last part. I’m not asking for it. Sometimes He surprises me. My child married, and after five years of trying to conceive, they nearly gave up. The Bible says that the child of an unfaithful bed shall die without issue, so that seemed one more thing to endure. But Good St. Anne has a way with her Grandson. We have a beautiful grandchild who is an unmerited mercy to us.

Who is St. Photina, and why is she in the title? Remember the Woman at the Well who was married five times, and the one she had then was not hers? That is St. Photina. She was a missionary in the Eastern Mediterranean, and she and her five sons were martyred under Nero. The “St.” in front of her name says that she has a place in the Church, and no one can take it from her.

 

Submitted by R. W. April 2016

 



Mommy come back!

 

by Meredith H. (South Jordan)

It started when I was 5. I remember hearing them fight scream while I cried trying to go to sleep. One night as I was asleep I heard some yelling outside my door. Then I heard my mom singing though my dad was still trying to argue with her. As weeks passed the police came to my house so often it scared me. When I turned 6 I went to my aunts house with my sister and three brothers. Only to cry even more finding out they were at court. When we returned home I had found out that my mom had been sent to jail. She got out but shes not doing well. 2 years later we moved. It was the worst I was depressed. But I just smiled hoping everything will be alright. But it never was. I missed my mom so much it hurt to know I didn't have anyone to do my hair. I bubbles my feelings so much that I suddenly burst. I CUT. Voices in my head told it would help but it didn't. My dad started yelling more it was bad. I cried for my mom for help for anyone to save me! I went to a counselor for help she helped me so much she understood me her parents too got in a divorce. It helped but sometimes at night when everyone is asleep i cried and wished for a mommy. I even drew my own mommy. To this day I hate that we moved. I am still depressed and still have feelings i want to spill. My family could have worked. Its been 7 years and I still cry is there anyone out there who just wishes they could have one phone call to heaven.

 


The grass isn't always greener

When I was 13, my mom began an affair with an old boyfriend, who she ran into at a reunion. She eventually divorced my dad, and married him. My father was devastated. My mom justified her actions by telling everyone their marriage had been miserable and my dad treated her poorly. This was a huge source of gossip in the mid 80's in our small town, and I felt like everyone was talking about my family behind my back. Both my parents were too busy trashing each other to notice what their divorce had done to me. My mom felt she was entitled to be happy with her new husband, and people get divorced all the time, and so it was all really no big deal and I would get over it. Karma did get her though--her amazing old boyfriend turned out to have a big drinking problem, and her new marriage spiraled downhill fast. She eventually divorced him too. Like so many people, she discovered the grass really wasn't greener with someone else. If only more people understood this.

I was, and remain, 100% committed to never putting my children through anything like what I went through. I married a wonderful man and we recently celebrated our 15th anniversary. It shocks me when I realize that we are approaching the length of time my parents were married when my mom's affair began. We have two children who are our entire world, and when I look at them I can't fathom for one minute putting them through anything like that. To this day, I still feel pain over the fact that my mom didn't feel the same way. It's been over 25 years and that pain is still there.


I moved in with my girlfriend at 16.

My family were not Christian when I was a child, and my mum was never warm towards me or my sister because we reminded her of her aging and mortality, which she resented. The sexual revolution had made her fixate on being a young woman and gave her no preparation to function as a mum. She eventually committed adultery against my dad with his best friend when I was about 15. My mum left, and my older sister already lived away (with her boyfriend), so it was just my dad and me at home, but he was very depressed. I moved out at 16 and moved in with a girlfriend.

My parents' divorce took four years through costly solicitors and was full of bitter hurt. My girlfriend at the time and I introduced my dad to my girlfriend's mum, who had also been hurt by her adulterous ex-husband. We had meant for them to be friends, but they got together and my girlfriend's mum moved in with my dad and eventually became my step-mum. So I was engaged to my step-sister.
 
We moved to university together, but I was struggling to function and I started receiving humanistic counseling when I was 19 or 20 for about two years. Then my fiancée and I went to couple's therapy on and off for about a year, but we finally broke up when I was 21, after years of difficulty and perseverance in a really unnatural situation. We'd been together since we were 15, lived together since 16, broke up after 6 formative and tumultuous years.
 
Since we broke up, she's been diagnosed as bi-polar: she was physically and emotionally abusive, coercive, and controlling towards me during our relationship, but because of my dad's marriage to her mum, my dad never helped me. He and my step-mum took my abusive partner's side and colluded in her abuse of me, and made me feel responsible for her treatment of me.

Then one day I met an evangelist and after being amazed by the love present in the Christian community I became a Christian and met my now wife, also a Christian, when I was 22. We had a godly courtship for two years and on the advice of my evangelist and pastor we got married when I was 24 after a short marriage course provided by some lovely Christian mentors. My wife is incredibly loving and not at all like my mother or my ex-partner were. However, because of my formative traumatic experiences, I do unconsciously project onto her and so I experience her behavior as rejecting or neglecting me, even when she is not.
 
She knows this about my psychology and is patient and supportive. We talk about these things articulately. I have been in psychotherapy for the last five years and really am healing, with therapy, a Christian marriage, church community, and especially the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God.

Submitted by A.L.P. in February 2016.



I watched as the officers took my dad into the car in handcuffs.

While I was growing up my parents would argue a lot. I thought their fighting was just a normal thing that grown-ups did. As I got older I would try to intervene and stop them from fighting.

One night when I was 12 years old I woke up at about 3AM and heard my father yelling. I came downstairs to see my mom on the phone with 911. I sat down on the couch with my dad. I found out eventually that my parents were getting a divorce and this was the last night that they were spending together before moving out. I remember my Dad yelling that he didn’t understand how you can be in love with someone and be married to them for over 20 years and just stop being in love with them.

The police eventually came to our house to try to get my dad to agree to leave for the night. He did not want to because he worked for our house and so they told him he either had to leave or they would take him. He was mad at the officers and asked for a moment to say goodbye to me, saying you would want that chance too if you weren’t going to see your son again for several months. The police officers told him to stand up and place his hands against the window because he was under arrest. I immediately ran upstairs and went to the bedroom that overlooked our driveway. I watched as the officers took my dad into the car in handcuffs and drove away. This was the last time that I saw my dad for several months.


I immediately fell into a deep sadness, having a very hard time ever wanting to go to school or do anything else. I suddenly could only see my dad every other weekend and had to walk far away from my house for him to be able to pick me up. My parents tried to have me see counselors, but they were not ever any help. No one ever told me why my parents would no longer be together other than that they did not love each other anymore. I could not understand how they could stop loving each other after being married for so long. It was not until I was 22 years old and heard Dr. Morse speak that I ever heard anyone talk about how much divorce impacts children. I grew up very lonely, only ever having one or two friends while at school and never having a social life outside of school or sports.

I still do not feel like I have a family that I can go home to. I rarely visit my family because it doesn’t feel like home, and I have a hard time feeling like they love me. We did not go to Church after my parents' divorce, and I eventually became an agnostic. I only ever knew of God and never saw him as being three persons who loved me.

I was gifted the grace of faith at the beginning of this year and since coming back to the Church have found an incredible amount of love and support for the suffering that I have gone through and still carry with me today. I am so thankful for the Church’s teachings on the indissolubility of marriage. I still carry a lot of pain with me but I have found immense relief in knowing that I am a victim, my parents separation was wrong, and that I was not wrong for being hurt by it. It helps knowing that my parents are still married in His eyes and that God still very much so loves our entire family.

Looking to the future, I am happy that God has gifted me with the incredible grace of a vocation to religious life with a Fransiscan Order. I am happy that I am finally home-sick when I am away from the brothers as they truly feel like family. I am also able to finally fulfill the deep desire that I have always had within me to spend my life serving those in need.

Submitted by S. R. December 2015.



I never thought to question the morality of abortion.

My mother left when I was six. My sister and I went to a beautiful old house we called “the home” - a group home for girls whose families were under stress. We were fed and dressed well, had lots of play time but, even with my sister there, I was scared. I saw Matron rub a twelve year old girl’s nose into her urine-soaked sheets, and I had seen her pull down underpants in public, in order to spank other girls. That was when I began to live on the margins and keep watch. Like the kid in the movie 'The Blind Side’, I became "99% self-protective”.

At age eight I went back to live with Daddy. I hardly can recall my mother but Dad remains my hero. He and I shared long evenings reading or listening to the radio and talking about plays, music and politics. With him, I participated in anti-apartheid marches. My love of history came from trips we took to ancient places like the Roman ruins at St. Albans and, every year, we went by ferry to his Irish homeland. I loved sitting on deck at night, singing old Irish songs.

By my early teens I began getting in trouble and ended up in boarding school. The school was in a 19th Century mansion, its grounds filled with exotic plants, lakes, a swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts. A tolerant staff kept watch over us. We danced to juke-box music every weekend. Boys and girls found all kinds of secret places to meet - in fireplaces, by laundry baskets, in the woods and at the trout stream. And we knew not to go “all the way”.


By 1965, the naive little boarding school girl, heavily influenced by an atheist/socialist Dad, went to nursing school and became a bleeding heart. Assisting with abortions was part of the surgical rotation. I never thought to question the morality of it and none of my peers did either. There was no public discussion about it, no talk about women’s rights. It was a scandal for a young woman to be pregnant outside of marriage. They were my peers, and I wanted to shield them.

When Evangelical friends put a Bible in my hands, my life changed radically. By the time I read the Gospels the third time, I was sensing a protective and tolerant Presence, yet I struggled with accepting Christianity. Then came terrible nightmares about dead babies. I felt prompted to read my Bible and start writing. I realized I was dreaming about the abortions I’d participated in and which, for fifteen years, I never had a second thought about. In nursing school, I had believed as I was taught, that the baby was a “blob of tissue”.

The words of Deuteronomy 30:19 jumped out - “I put before you Life and Death, choose…” I saw two armies, one standing behind Jesus and one behind Satan, and my inner ears heard, “there is no gray area”. It was a mandate. My choice had to be an eternal one. After 29 years I went back to the Church, and I was (flinchingly) in the pro-life camp.

However, I continued, as a Public Health nurse, thinking that birth control was a lesser evil than abortion and that the Church’s teachings were wrong, until I learned about the beautiful spirituality of natural family planning. I began to remember women who had strokes as a result of birth control - and malignant hypertension and pancreatitis. Could my sister’s death, from pancreatic cancer have been avoided if she had not taken birth control for thirty years?

Following a hunch, I discovered many horrid complications of artificial contraception besides abortifacient properties - cardiovascular disease, cancers of breast, liver and cervix, egg-producing male fish, personality changes, sterility, miscarriages and STDs.

I know now, as my 69th birthday approaches, that the Church had wisdom about the terrible consequences the sexual revolution would bring - long before science began to identify them.

Submitted by L. P. February 2016.



"It was torture for all of us."

I am a child of divorce. I am a 52 year old father of three children. I am married but in a mixed marriage. We do not share the same faith background. I am the third child of four. I have two older sisters and a younger brother. My mom was 15 when she got pregnant with my oldest sister. My dad was 19. They were married 6 months before my sister was born. They had four kids in five years. My sisters are actually 11 months apart (Irish Twins).

My mom was raised Catholic and actually had the notion of being a nun. My father did not have a strong faith background and was nominally Christian. He converted to Catholicism before they were married. My sisters, brother and I were very close given our proximity in age. We were all baptized and received Holy Communion. My sisters were both confirmed but neither my brother nor I were confirmed.

About the time I was in seventh grade my parents began to fight. They would spend hours every night screaming at each other in the laundry room in the basement with the washer and dryer running, but it did little to muffle their yelling. My dad never inflicted any physical harm on my mother nor did she to him. They verbally abused each other for about a year. Then when I was in 8th grade they announced their divorce. The four of us were completely devastated. We huddled together to protect each other.


My Dad moved out. Over the next several years he would drive by the house and find ways to taunt her or try to reconcile with her. It was torture for all of us.

He remarried around the time I turned 16. From the very first day and up to this day I did not get along with his wife. She has always been emotionally unstable, and at one point attempted suicide. I hated my dad for the divorce, for marrying her, and I had little respect for him. I still have not completely reconciled with him. Our relationship is tense, and I see him almost every day.

My Mom stayed in the house and lives there still today. She remarried to a man I have not liked from the beginning. He has had health problems and has been on disability for the last 25 years. He only briefly worked when they were married. He did not own anything substantial at the time of their marriage. His medical bills are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars but are all taken care of through the VA. He is barely mobile and can hardly get around the house. He has driven us all away from our mother. When she calls us to help her with something, we are all reluctant because of the drama we have to deal with. I rarely talk to my mother on the phone because he is in the background interjecting comments.

I left the church as a teenager and did not return until my oldest daughter was born 18 years ago. My wife was raised in an Evangelical church, and she and I have gone to separate churches every Sunday for the past 18 years. She raised our daughters in her church, and I go to mass alone.

Yay, divorce!

Submitted February 10, 2016 by D.B.