I won’t ever matter.

me & C

I’ve been having a rough week. I am feeling things extremely deep. I can’t make it stop. So many things keep penetrating my heart and are pushing me over the edge toward a blinding dark. I am not depressed – thank you wellbutrin. I am just in a bubble of over-emotion that I can’t escape. I will escape eventually, but I’ve learned to just ride it out. Try to stay calm. Don’t over-burden others by dumping on them (unless they read my blog of course.) They don’t understand anyways.

I don’t know why God gave me this excess of emotion. I dare say it makes me a more compassionate person, but I don’t always appreciate it. I especially don’t appreciate the passion that comes along with my package…the opinions I cannot keep contained, no matter how hard I try. I don’t like suffering via proxy. I don’t like feeling a deep emptiness because of a child lost as if he is my own, when he wasn’t. I don’t want to feel the extreme frustration accompanying a whole lot of friends dealing with medical nightmares. I don’t even know how this sympathetic state always happens to me. I don’t know how I can lose sleep for other people, but it happens all of the time. I cry into my pillow because the pains of this harsh world get to be way too much and I can’t figure out how to hide away. An alternative solution would be to find a superhero costume maker that could repel such empathy from entering my heart and mind – too bad none exist – It would make my life so much easier. But, life wasn’t meant to be easy. We each have our own cross to carry. My cross just seems to consist of everyone else’s on some days. It hurts me so much. I have physical pain and emotional burden because of others’ pains. I feel it for those I love most, but I also feel it for complete strangers.

Now that I sound like a complete lunatic, I will get on with the intended post. I’ve been following Our Scared Sacred from one of my favorite bloggers over at Momastery. The intention of the series was to get people to think about their biggest fears and to make the courageous decision to show up WITH the fear instead of waiting for it to subside.  So, I took a really crazy scary journey of thought this morning and delved into my overly excessive emotional well. I sifted through all the other peoples’ pains to find my own. I had to explore the deepest darkest part, but I think I came up with an honest answer: I am afraid I will never matter.

I am afraid that when I die, no one will show up at my funeral. I am afraid that I won’t be remembered. I am afraid that my beautiful amazing daughters would be a million times better off with another mother, ANY other mother. I am afraid that my middle-child syndrome is not a syndrome at all, but that I really am invisible to everyone around me. I am afraid my husband will replace me like he does his cell phone every couple years: upgrade to the latest and greatest, only to leave the old one discarded with it’s broken screen, slow processor, and crowded memory stick. I am convinced that no-one sees anything in me worth honoring or admiring. I am afraid that no-one on this earth will care when I am gone. No-one will even mourn.  In fact, I am sure everyone will be relieved that my obnoxiousness is no more cumbersome to them. Good riddance. I am afraid not only that I will never matter in the future but that I have also never mattered in the past, and that I don’t really matter in the present.

I guess this very real fear explains my love for blogging. Here is where I go to leave my stamp, my DNA, my thought. I throw out my opinions,  my emotions, myself and leave it with a hope and prayer that, perhaps if I am very lucky, someday someone will stumble upon it and decide that I matter. They will be touched by one sentence or one word and be changed and then in that moment between my words and them I will have succeeded at conquering my fear: I will have made myself matter.

It’s a daily struggle for me to believe I matter. Perhaps I try to make myself matter by mourning with others. Perhaps I make myself matter by over-feeling. Perhaps I just wish that someone would really care for me, so I try to overcompensate by caring too much for everyone but myself.

Someday I will  believe that I matter.

Someday.

Here is where I find my spark of mattering. I write and hope that the spark will ignite to its full potential before I die. I want to believe that if not a single soul shows up at my bedside when I take my last breath, I will die knowing that I mattered.

And perhaps the only reason I will have mattered is because you mattered to me.

Maybe others matter to me so very much because the more I care for them, the more I can believe that they actually care for me.

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28 comments

  1. You matter to me a great deal! You are a piece of my heart that will never go away! You sum it up best when you say, “perhaps the only reason I will have mattered is because you mattered to me.” That’s the ticket! That’s what the Savior feels. He gave everything to us. He hopes he matters to us, but he has done everything to show us that we matter to him. We are saved in that! Your love is necessary part of my life and I believe that I could spend a day listing names of the people you have made a difference for. I had an aha moment many years ago when I had a dear friend that found out her husband was being deployed to Iraq. She told me quietly before church start and that is the instant I burst out in tears with her. As I sat down in my pew, I racked my brain trying to think of things I could do to help her and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I already did it. I cried her. The savior asks us to mourn with those that mourn. Sometimes that’s all that is needed. YOU DO MATTER! NEVER FORGET THAT! You do matter. I would love to speak for everyone else…especially LeGrande…because I know he agrees with me. I can only speak for the Perkins. Just know that in the Perkins family you truly live up to your name, YOU ARE GOLD! I’m glad that we got to know the family at the “end” of Rainbow Street!
    I love you Alice!

  2. Alice,
    I love you! ! understand completely because this is also my fear. I have done nothing that will leave a mark on the world when I’m gone. While I can totally see this for me, I can’t see it for you. You have made a huge difference in my life! You are a GREAT mother. I see you as an incredible person and feel lucky to be able to call you my friend.

    1. Bobbi you are the best friend a girl could ever ask for and have given me so much free therapy this fact alone making you matter. Perhaps our feelings of fear of not mattering are what make us kindred spirits. Love you!

  3. It’s interesting that you would write this article now because just today I was thinking about a show I once saw where one of the main characters was “cursed” to feel the emotional pains of everyone around her. It was quite the trial for her. When I saw that show I couldn’t help but think about the Savior and how it must have been for him when he took all our pains upon himself. I felt a little sorry that I had to feel that emotion through a TV show I was watching but it became very real for me. So when I read your blog I couldn’t help but think how Christ-like you are because you do feel the pain of others. I wish I could help you not feel so much sadness. I would take it for you if I could.

    I also hope that I can express to you how much YOU matter to our family. I can’t imagine us being without you. You are a wonderful mom, wife, daughter-in-law…and much more. I have been blessed with the best nine children a mother could ever ask for. Yes, nine children. Five by birth, four by marriage. We have had tears, sadness, joy, pain, and, thank goodness, we have had laughter. You touch lives wherever you go. Thank you for being part of it all and especially for the joy you bring by being part of my family. Much, much love to you.

    1. Thanks Faye. Funny, as I was writing I was thinking that what I was saying might sound sacrilegious given that Jesus Christ literally suffered for all of us. The emotions I feel are nothing compared to his atoning sacrifice but when we do mourn with others, I think it helps us understand how we are never alone. Thanks for your kind words too. I love being in the Gold family.

    2. Faye – at first i thought you were going to count ten children.

      And really it would just be 11.

      As our kids get older and we move into the next chapter of our journey I feel like life is being put into more perspective.

      Personally – I feel like Missy and I are living in Never Never Land. I feel like me and her are children raising children. If I look at it from an Eternal Perspective – being 25 years older than my child is nothing.

      I’m a child raising my child.

      We’re just children enjoying our time on earth together as a family. It’s like Never Never Land for our family.

  4. Alice – I love how you take the irrational emotions (crazy) and turn them into rational words. Some might even call that genius. “History is rarely made by rational people.” I think that we’d find that many of the most influential people on humanity struggled with similar emotional struggles that you describe. They’d likely be pretty grateful for someone putting those struggles into words. It seems God is able to shape the world with the creative genius of “crazy” people. I simply speak from my own experiences.

    Sometimes humanity is keen to enjoy the fruits of the creative genius, but are quick to judge and disparage something that can be so misunderstood and so frightening to the masses. Things that so many struggle to understand. Nikola Tesla is one of those under-appreciated geniuses like that.

    The mind of a genius it seems has to be a bit bi-polar to reach the extreme visions that can change the world.

    Think of all the things that we have today that just a few years in the past would have seemed far fetched, ridiculous and down right crazy! A rational thinking person could never create such things….just by definition.d Again – Nikola Tesla. I have no idea what mental health issues he may have had or not had, but I’d be willing to bet he had some issues. I haven’t read a book on him yet, but there’s enough on youtube etc. to see what level of genius he was.

    I don’t think that every influential person of human history struggled with being bi-polar. But I would definitely throw out a theory that a high percentage of them struggled with some degree of mental health issues.

    Keep writing and leaving your mark.

    I pray daily to be an instrument in God’s hands. Call me crazy, but I’d say that as we accomplish the impossible, it can really frustrate the practical minds of the un-diagnosed, and drive them crazy!

    Welcome to Crazy-ville!

    Love you.

    1. Jarrett. Crazy is a great place to be when surrounded with good crazy company. Did you really just call me genius? I’m never letting that one go. lol It’s so nice to know people “get me”….even when they know how absolutely insane I really am.

      1. The answer to your question is NO. I didn’t call you a genius. It’s very clearly written. So you can go ahead and let that go.

        Insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. I don’t know that people actually “get” you, rather they just feel sorry for you.

        It’s kind of like building that room with padded walls for you. They’re just being nice.

        I do hope you know I’m joking and you’re laughing and not in a fragile state. If only we were in the same place talking, then I would be more selective in my words……and if I saw that you were being weak and vulnerable I would continue to destroy you!!!!!!!

  5. One more comment about your post.

    Fear and Hesitation – One of my favorite topics to discuss. When Oliver Cowdery attempted to translate the B.O.M. and for just a moment he was able to but then he couldn’t….this is what the Lord explained to him.

    DyC 9:11 – 11 Behold, it was expedient when you commenced; but you feared, and the time is past, and it is not expedient now;

    So the lesson I take from this is that the Lord has very little patience with Fear and Hesitation. Often times I push the comfort levels of those around me because of the speed at which I will make a decision and leap forward.

    In a fast paced world, time is of the essence. I take calculated risks and when that involves the lives of many people that challenges the comfort levels of those people. It’s often a test of leadership, patience and love……..on everyone’s part. In essence – it’s a test of faith. FEAR is the absence of FAITH.

    Imagine being one of the family members of Nephi. He says: “We’re going to build a boat!”

    “Nephi – you’ve never built a boat before. Are you CRAZY?”

    “I will go and do.”

    “Nephi – you’re crazy! You don’t know how to build boat.”

    Months or years pass and Nephi finishes the boat.

    Nephi says: “Hey everybody – come over here and help me push this boat in the water!”

    Next thing Nephi says: “OH MY GOSH IT FLOATS! EVERYBODY LOAD UP! WE’RE GOING TO GO ON A TEST DRIVE.”

    After many Hours of floating on the boat…..soaking up the rays….pulling the tube behind the new boat…some dancing and good times…..Nephi says:

    “LET’S FLOAT AWAY UNTIL WE CAN’T SEE LAND! I BET WE CAN SEE LAND ON THE OTHER SIDE!!! I PROMISE!”

    After many more hours, days, even months…….

    “HEY MOM- DO YOU GUYS THINK WE BROUGHT ENOUGH FOOD???”

    Everyone: “NEPHIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    His brothers: “Get a rope! We’re tying this joker up!”

    Nephi: “Come’on guys…we’ll be fine….we can figure this out. Fish, birds? Seaweed? Positive thinking here guys! We can do this!”

    Yup – Nephi was the crazy brother. Lehi was the crazy father.

    Christopher Columbus – Crazy too. They almost killed him and threw him overboard. He begged his crew for one more day and he probably prayed his guts out for that day….low and behold, LAND HO!

    Yup – History is rarely made by rational men.

    1. Fear is a crazy emotion…one that LG and I have been learning a lot about in therapy lately. It’s something I would like to learn to completely overcome and I do believe faith is the key. Loved your historical rendering of how fear becomes obsolete when one is driven by faith. Thanks.

      1. Fear is the absence of Faith. AS you read the scriptures pay attention to how often it says: “FEAR NOT” – at one point I was so obsessed with it I took it as a commandment and if you said you feared anything you were non-compliant with one of God’s commandments.

        Yes – that’s a bit extreme, but it carries some weight.

        As you read the scriptures, if you simply substitute the words “Have Faith” in for the words “Fear Not” you will have a better expression of the point.

        I find that many of us struggle to face our fears in life and that’s a large part of what prevents us from achieving the huge potential that God has given us.

      2. PART II of reply:

        I wanted to edit my earlier reply or leave a second part, so read the below post to get a chronological rendering of my comments if you want.

        THE TITLE OF YOUR BLOG POST IS AN EXPRESSION OF YOUR FEAR

        “I won’t ever matter”

        I interpret that as an expression of your fear. Your title could be said in many different ways: “I’m afraid that I won’t ever matter”
        “I fear that I will never accomplish anything that really matters”
        “I’m afraid that noone will remember me.”
        “I fear that I will never accomplish something that people remember me by.”
        “I fear that I will not have any legacy.”

        That might just be my interpretation of it from my own view. It could be my own self-projection into your words.

        Either way – my expressions are true statements and your expression is a false statement.

        YOUR STATEMENT – “I won’t ever matter” – It’s a false statement. Simply by the fact that you have 4 children.

        Add to your role as a mother, your role as a spouse, a daughter, a friend, a sister, a cousin, a cousin’s wife, or any other aspect…your life matters.

        NOW – use one of my expressions:

        “I FEAR I WON’t EVER MATTER.” This now becomes a true statement.

        An expression of your emotion is never a false statement. It’s simply an expression of your opinion, or your feelings.

        This is why some people will react to your words in a negative way. Your statement “I won’t ever matter” is a stupid thing to say. It’s illogical, a false statement, it devalues every person whose life you have affected….especially those closest to you. It also comes off as a cry for attention. It’s a childish thing to say.

        But the best part of expressing your feelings is that you are seeing a lot of great, very supportive friends that are expressing their love and support for you.

        So – I suggest choose your words wisely. Be honest with what’s really going on inside. Often times that’s the hardest thing to do. It seems you are learning all of this and you’re very vocal about it and NOT AFRAID to share it with as many people as you can. Which is a lot more than most others are willing to do.

        Anyways –

        Always remember that your family and especially your children are a manifestation of your life’s legacy. It’s a creation that YOU and GOD created in a partnership…..oh and of course LG gets credit for his 90 second contribution! 😉

      3. PART IV –

        I wish I could go in and edit my comment. There are better words in some places that would better express the thoughts.

        I hope people don’t take what I wrote the wrong way and can take something positive away. Otherwise I will have violated the wise advice from the wise man who said:

        “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

        Peace and love.

      4. Jarrett, Just to remind you, the point of the post was to be honest about my fear. What I sounded like to other people is irrelevant. The exercise was in put in place by a very respected blogger to help people learn to overcome their fear. Admittance of the fear being the first step.This post was about “coming out” not for you, or for anyone else, but for me. By being honest with myself through my writing, I can hopefully learn to fight the fear as it slyly creeps up in my subconscious. It is always there, I am just not always conscious enough of it to fight it. I believe we are really on the same page and I really like your take on faith being then nemesis of fear.

  6. Very thought provoking. It may take me a while to unpack this one. Sounds too familiar.

    I love you Ali. I appreciate how you make us think. You do matter!

  7. Alice, You most definitely matter! I don’t know why we never hung out when you lived here, but I always look forward to reading what you write. In fact, I find myself telling my husband “Oh Alice Gold said……” quite often. Totally in a non-creepy non-stalker kind of way. When you write you always make me think, or feel like I’m not alone, or give me a little laugh. I think a lot of people feel invisible sometimes or a lot of times. In fact, I have a game going on with myself at church to see if how many times people actually notice me. I have a pretty invisible calling and sit in the back of each meeting with my little ones so I feel pretty invisible. I always smile and say hello to people in the hallway and don’t really get much response back. I feel like I make so much effort for not much return. If you have ever watched the show “The MIddle” I am pretty sure I am the Sue Heck of the ward. ha ha. Atleast, being invisible, I don’t get hard callings so that is always good. 🙂

    1. Laura, I’ve never seen that show, but it makes me kind of sad to think you feel that way at church…watch out, you’ll be the Relief Society President in no time and then you’ll be wishing for invisible again. LOL It makes my day to know I was ever quoted even ONE time. 🙂

  8. This Blog left me dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe that you felt this way. Alice, you are one of the most memorable people I have ever met. and I mean memorable in a very good way. I will always remember your funny anecdotes, your great personality, Your spiritual insights, and most of all how you made me feel like I mattered. Tennessee lost a lot of love, personality and spunk when you left. You left a profound mark on everyone here. Love you dearly

    1. Aw thanks Katina. I miss you for a lot of the same reasons you say I am missed…your sense of humor and honesty at the top of the list. I’ve really freaked people out with this post. I think two things: if people are being honest they probably have a similar fear of some sort (its just that most people won’t be that vulnerable to share it) and it goes to show that everyone is fighting their own battle…no matter how capable, happy, or loved they seem to be.

  9. I am still mourning the fact that you moved all the way across the country and I never got to have Alice Gold as a room mom! Heck, I am still mourning our cancelled meet up back in the fall. You are amazing–as a mom, a wife, a woman. You more than matter. There are little snippets of memories I have of you at ABES that are etched in a happy place in my heart. Laughing til we about peed our pants over crazy coupons in the office one day, learning of your pregnancy with Caroline, how you would bring popsicles to Coach Lewis during car duty. You are an inspiration to others, and your light shines bright!! You is kind, you is smart, you is important. Big Tennessee hugs to you!

    1. Awww thanks so much Susan. If you could see me crying on my couch right now you’d have that somewhat ugly image in your head forever….I’m trying to cry pretty. Lol Leaving my ABES family was so painful. Wish you could have taught at least one of my kids you fulfill Gods mission for you so fantastically.

  10. Kyle is very similar in how he feels emotions very deeply, and how he suffers for the pains of other people. It’s both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it makes him empathetic and people come to him with their problems (sometimes people he barely knows! People never come to me with their problems; I never say the right things). He has an incredible ability to salve hurt feelings or just provide comfort because people know that he cares. It’s truly incredible. But it’s also a challenge because he feels so very deeply about every interaction that he has, about other people’s sick children, about tragedies that touch other people’s lives. When my Grandpa Wright died a couple years ago, I think he might have been more troubled about it than I was even though Kyle barely knew him. He’s got a heart as big as the ocean, but with that big heart can come big hurts.

    But I’m grateful that he’s there with his big heart, because it touches me every day. And it touches other people’s lives as well. When we were engaged, Kyle’s sister suffered from some pretty serious health issues, and he was always there for his sister when she needed him, even sometimes sacrificing our time together. It’s wonderful to see the love that he’s got for people. I’m sure it’s similar with you.

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