Our Branch President is a good man with a busy active family - 6 kids ranging from 12 to 2. If I had to guess, I would tentatively think he is ESTP as a type. They are very social, he talks as if he goes off of senses rather than intuitive thinking, thinks about stuff/is a professional family history specialist while in his late 30's/likes documentaries, and is pretty laid back in planning.
I had thought about meeting with him over the last year, but realized that a) leadership roulette was real and I did not want to be blindsided, b) Church School Endorsement roulette, c) I did not view him as a practical source of help, and d) I did not want to burden him with my stuff..
This is important to DH though - so I agreed to it. Mostly because I think that I can stack the cards in my favor, and because my husband needs to talk to someone to work through his grief. The worst thing that could happen is that the situation goes nova, I walk out without my temple recommend and hard feelings to the point where I don't want to go back to church, - and my husband feels like he is on the edge of divorce again - and then we talk through it and I insist on marital counseling. The best thing that could happen is that I feel validated, receive meaningful insights that help me, and my husband feels sustained through the grief process (that he is not having because he doesn't believe in pop psychology)
So, I am going to go in prepared with my perspective, and how I feel the branch president can help me. Roy's "Faithful Believer Doing Their Best" is going to be my attitude.
Can you guys help me tell him what he needs to know to be of most help for me please? I don't want to give the guy a lecture on my life, but I do want to include what he needs to know.
A) I came to understand that my biological brain wiring was not set up to receive communication(s) - especially non-verbal communication(s) the way that everyone else does. That I had been missing up to 40% of any conversation because I could not perceive correctly what was being said. This brought every decision I can remember in my life up for review to see what I had missed because I "assumed" I was getting all the information available, and that I "assumed" that I was translating the information I had properly.
- NOTE: I know this is not a traditional trigger - but realizing that you potentially got EVERYTHING wrong does wake you up in the morning.... and this is where I was.
- Taking the Pathways classes as seriously as I can as a place where I can get answers.
- Relying on General Conference talks - specifically "Concern for the One" from President Wirthlin, "Lord I Believe, Help Thou My Unbelief" by President Holland, and "It Works Wonderfully" by President Utchdorf.
- Praying and Keeping an Open Mind For Answers
- Trying to identify with my new perception what an answer from God looks like.
- Not telling people who don't need to know. I work hard to check my actions so that I don't send mixed messages to Rachel.
- Handling my grief from unusual circumstances with dignity and respect.
- Avoiding making hasty unilateral decisions out of fear or anger.
- Trading Up - if I am looking at an alternate action, is it a better action for me personally?
DH bears the brunt of it - because as my narrative shifts, our collective narrative undergoes adjustment. I mourn for him, but believe that this circumstance can be used for our greater good.
In the last month I have opened up to him so that he could be with me in my experiences as part of being married. He made it clear on several occasions that he would rather be with me in my problems/experiences/challenges then let me handle them alone. That is his right to request as my husband. I did not want to burden him before this, and I did not have the words to tell him what I was experiencing. How can you say, "I came to myself one day and realized that I don't know what I used to know - and I don't know what is going to change in my life as I move forward." without them sputtering and rightfully demanding answers. Please help him....
D) What I need from the branch (and branch president) (as far as I know):
- I need reassurance that there is a place for me in the Branch tent - even in (or perhaps because of) my unconventional-ness.
- I want to feel safe to share without being judged or “fixed.” I am not a "project".If you want to double-check that my family has the best ministers available for us personally in light of my current circumstances, more power to you
- I don't need to be told to be "more faithful" - I am painfully aware as to how limited my faith currently is - but it is mighty so far.