Thursday, October 30, 2008
everyone should check out my latest post at modern molly mormon. it's the lastest installment in my feature "surviving life's experiences." it's called our wounds and scars can heal.
In the April General Conference of 1985, President Gordon B. Hinckley said,
"There appears to be a plague of abuse spreading across the world. Perhaps it has always been with us but has not received the attention it presently receives. I am glad there is a hue and cry going up against this terrible evil, too much of which is found among our own."
Anytime abuse occurs it is an awful tragedy. For the victims, the devastating wounds and scars may be long lasting, which can impact all areas of our lives. Our relationships with our families, leaders, and even our Heavenly Father may suffer as a result of this evil.
The good news is that those wounds and scars can heal. It can take years, upon years, for the wounds to turn to scars. and even years beyond that for the scars to fade. It has been nearly 15 years since the abuse I endured ended. 15 years, and I am still struggling. Every day I encounter a trial that is a direct result of the horror I endured. But in looking over the past 15 years, I am amazed at how far I have come. And I was unable to make so much progress alone.
Elder RichardG. Scott said,
"I solemnly testify that when another's acts of violence, perversion, or incest hurt you terribly, against your will, you are not responsible and you must not feel guilty. You may be left scarred by abuse, but those scars need not be permanent. in the eternal plan, in the Lord's timetable, those injuries can be made right as you do your part."
Some of the things common for abuse survivors to feel is anger and guilt. I have felt, and continue to feel, both of these. Anger that this person hurt me, has changed me and my life forever. Anger that I am left dealing with this on a daily basis. Anger that very little was done in the realm of justice. Anger that I have been invalidated and pushed aside, treated as if i am overreacting. I am not overreacting. And neither is anyone who has been abused. I have felt an incredible amount of guilt. Guilt in thinking I should have been able to stop it. Sometimes that I must have done something to deserve it. Guilt in the fact that had I done something, I could have spared my perpetrator's other victims from going through what I had. This guilt has been the hardest for me to overcome, because his other victims include people that I love, that I hold dear, other members of my family. And the whole time I knew what was happening to at least one of them.
But here is the thing. I was a child. I was 6, 7 years old. I was scared, I felt threatened, I felt alone. There is no way that I could have cognitively been able to understand what was going on. I am not to blame. As victims, we did not have control over the abuse perpetrated on us. however, as survivors, we can now take the necessary actions to put our lives in order, and move forward making our homes a safe haven for those who reside there.
This is so hard. It is so hard to move on, to heal. By far the hardest thing I have ever been through, as I am sure it is for many who have been abused. Why should we have to work so hard for something that wasn't our fault in the first place? Why should we be forced to put forth so much effort, and go through so much pain, because of the actions of another person?
The answer is this: it is not fair. It is not right. But it is necessary. If we don't work hard, and put forth the effort, not only do we suffer, but those who love us will suffer. Our families, our friends, will hurt as they watch us. And we can, and probably will, hurt them by lashing out. I know that throughout my life I took my anger and my pain out on my family. My parents, my siblings, and even now my husband. They have all dealt with so much because of my actions. That is why I am working on recognizing my behavioral issues that stem from the abuse. That is why I am working to correct this. I know where my hurt comes from, and I can change it.
The other thing that we can do to further our healing is to do our best to protect those around us. This is part of the reason why I am choosing to share my experiences with others. Not only to help those who have been abused to heal, but to help everyone recognize that there are some things we can do to help protect our loved ones. Of course it is impossible to eliminate all abuse. Of course it is impossible to completely protect our loved ones. My parents have endured an incredible amount of guilt for believing they should have known, they could have prevented it. The truth is that they did their best. And the abuse I endured is not their fault.
President Monson said in the November 1991 Ensign that, "There is an alarming increase of reported physical, psychological, and sexual abuse of children. Our courts are becoming inundated with this repulsive behavior. The church does not condone such heinous and vile conduct. Rather, we condemn in the harshest terms such treatment of God's precious children. Let the child be rescued, nurtured, loved, and healed. Let the offender be brought to justice, to accountability for his (or her) actions, and receive professional treatment to curtail such wicked and devilish conduct. When you and I know of such conduct and fail to take action to eradicate it, we become part of the problem. We share part of the guilt. we experience part of the punishment."
It is possible to move on. It is possible to heal. it is possible to help others who have been abused. We can, and we should, love and support survivors of abuse. If we ourselves are survivors, we can and should turn to the Lord, to our families (if possible) for help.
Throughout this feature, "Surviving Life's Experiences,"I will talk about how we can heal from abuse. I will discuss my own experiences as well as scriptures and things from leaders of our Church. These lessons don't need to apply just to abuse--they can apply to any struggle we experience. Much of my information will come from the "Survivors of Life's Experiences" (or SOLE) manual published by LDS Social Services. (For more information on this class, look at my previous post in this series.) If you would like to participate, I would suggest studying the scriptures and talks I refer to. Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. Doing this can be very therapeutic, and open your eyes to ideas and inspiration you may have not considered before. This can help immensely in the healing process.
I know that Heavenly Father loves each of us. We are His children. I believe that He weeps for our pain. He wants to help us. He will support us in our healing process.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
How can we spare children this terrible ordeal [of abuse]? Parents, friends, Church leaders—all of us—share a sacred responsibility to protect our children. It is not enough to warn them not to take candy from strangers or not to walk alone in dark places. They need to learn other lessons to protect themselves.
1. Cultivate open communication from the time children are very young. Both you and they should feel comfortable talking about their bodies. Children need to learn not only about anatomy, but also about the feelings associated with various parts of the body. When teaching children about their bodies, make sure they do not feel that their bodies are shameful or that bathing and appropriate physical examinations by a doctor are wrong. Teach that there are special parts of the body to be protected in special ways, just as we protect our eyes and ears in special ways.
2. Teach children that no one—not even Daddy or Mother or brothers or sisters or other relatives—should touch us in certain ways on certain parts of the body. When the child goes to a doctor, tell the child in advance what will take place, and always go with the child.
3. Teach children that it is all right to say no—even to an adult. When we teach our children to obey without question, we may be teaching them to become victims. Abusers can be policemen, physicians, baby-sitters, teachers, or any other person in authority. Children need to learn that they can firmly say no to inappropriate touching. Teach them to say, “Don’t touch me,” or “I’ll scream if you don’t leave me alone.” Then have them report any such incident to a trusted adult.
4. Trust your feelings as a parent, and encourage your children to trust their feelings. Any time you feel uneasy about the activity between a child and another person, intervene. (“It’s time to go home,” or “Let’s eat now.”) You need not explain when you feel a situation is questionable. If a child is uncomfortable with hugs or kisses from an adult, do not encourage her to put up with them for the sake of avoiding a fuss. You might say, “If you don’t feel like hugging Uncle John, you don’t need to. A friendly hand-shake will be just fine.” Then observe the situation carefully in the future. If a child is uneasy about staying with a certain baby-sitter or relative, find an alternative and explore with the child the reasons for her reluctance.
5. Use the word secret carefully. Secrecy is one of the abuser’s most effective tools. You might want to use the word surprise when you speak of happy secrets. (“Don’t tell Mother. It’s a birthday surprise.”)
Helping the Victim
If abuse has occurred, parents and other concerned adults can take steps to help the child deal with the trauma.
1. Face the problem when you first suspect it. In an attempt to keep the family together or to avoid embarrassment, a nonabusive parent may deny or minimize the seriousness of the abuse. Facing the problem can be especially difficult when a spouse has been the abuser. But without intervention by someone, an abuser will likely continue, even intensify the abuse. He may even abuse other children not already involved. Requiring the abuser to face the problem is the first step toward offering help and hope.
2. Report abuse immediately. Look in your telephone directory under Child Protection Services, Department of Social Services, Department of Children and Family Services, or Rape Crisis Center. Or you may call the local police or hospital. The situation will be investigated. Church members who suspect a spouse of abuse should discuss it immediately with the victim and, if suspicions are confirmed, immediately seek counsel from the bishop and a trusted professional.
3. Keep the child’s best interest uppermost in mind. This may be particularly difficult because perpetrators tend to be highly manipulative and deny the abuse or blame the victim for having caused it. Unfortunately, victims usually lack the power, understanding, or skills to stand up for themselves. They often readily accept blame, even though it is totally unjustified. The bishop, police authorities, and professional therapists who become involved are necessary to represent and protect the child adequately and to place blame on the perpetrator, where it rightfully belongs. Keeping the interests of the child foremost in mind and seeking the guidance of the Spirit, Church leaders, and professional counselors can help parents make wise decisions.
4. Stay calm. Discovering sexual abuse may be a shock, or it may be simply a confirmation of nagging suspicions. The parent may also feel guilt for not having prevented the problem. In any case, the child has already been traumatized and will likely misinterpret an adult’s outrage and revulsion as being directed against her. Seeking the Lord’s help and talking the problem through with the bishop, a professional counselor, or another supportive person can help bring the needed calm in this time of great stress.
5. Offer emotional support to the child. Often the child will fear punishment for divulging the “secret” of sexual abuse. In the case of incest, she may also fear damage to the family or hurting the abuser even more than she fears the actual abuse.
6. Help the victim understand her feelings. Although a very young victim may not understand what has happened, an older child may feel great fear and shame. Let the child know that the problem was not her fault and that she is not unclean. Stress that she is innocent of any wrongdoing. The anxiety she is feeling and any regressive behaviors she is exhibiting are normal and can be helped.
7. Don’t blame the child because she did not resist. Child sexual abuse almost always involves some sort of coercion—either emotional or physical. Often the victim has been threatened, bribed, or intimidated. (“You don’t want me to go to jail, do you?” or “Your mother won’t love you and everyone will think you are bad if you tell.”) Trust and dependence on adults makes children vulnerable to abuse. For a child to cooperate with an adult does not imply consent. The responsibility clearly lies with the abusing adult. “One of my biggest fears about reporting the incest,” says one victim, “was that whoever I confided in would think I had asked for the abuse.”
We may be tempted to advise victims who still suffer years later to simply get on with their lives. But most of us do not realize how long-lasting the effects of abuse may be, particularly when the child did not receive professional counseling at the time of the abuse. Certainly, victims can learn to place the trauma in perspective and refuse to let it dominate their lives. They can feel free from guilt and can also learn to forgive. But this may take years of patient work.
8. Seek counseling. Both victim and offender need individual help. In fact, in aberrant behavior of the magnitude of incest, it is extremely critical that professional counseling occur, that neither time nor resources be spared to help resolve the matter. Treatment for the victim will vary with the child’s age, the length of time and severity of the abuse, and the extent to which the child was traumatized. Therapy can help resolve feelings of guilt, stigmatization, and low self-esteem. The resolution will be much easier if the victim feels love and support from family and friends as well as from Church members and leaders.
Family therapy may also be helpful later on, but only after individual therapy has successfully helped the family uncover and resolve the manipulative and exploitive behavior of the abuser. If family therapy is attempted prematurely, the perpetrator may use the opportunity to manipulate other family members into maintaining the victim’s role. Family therapy is always the last stage—never the first—in the treatment process.
i should be more mature. no more of this stupid teenage angst crap. but i still get that...way too often. mood swings...immature emotions...over reacting to stupid stuff...egh.
i should be uber-intelligent. i mean, i know i'm smart. i've never lacked in the brain area. but i should be even smarter, and able to quote the dictionary or something, right? instead i'm LOSING brain cells. that shouldn't happen until i'm about 75 or so.
i should still have a social life. you know, go out with friends and such. i got married and my single friends basically fell off the map. since now that i'm married i'm boring and all....and my married friends are busy. okay, i'm busy. but i should still have a social life, darn it. (we do go out with our married friends...like every couple of months or so. i just mean MORE.)
i should be making like fifty grand a year now that i'm older and wiser (haha). but i don't think that will happen.
i should be debt free. nope!
i should be incredi-mom. you know, super-wife. still lacking there, too...i guess i have years to improve...but my poor hubby deserves more.
so now that i'm done with the "shoulds"....
i love that i'm a mommy now. and i have a super duper hubby. it is awesome to know that i have my own family--the cornnut and hubby and little buddy family. just us! when i say "my family" now i don't mean my parents and siblings. (not that they're not awesome too, but, you know.)
i love that i can make decisions with my hubby and on my own. no more asking for permission and being told no, unless i clean my room, do the dishes, etc.
i love that even though we have a lot of financial struggles, we both have good jobs. steady jobs. jobs that we WON'T GET FIRED FROM. :) (praises to hubby who got a freaking awesome review at work this week! and they want him to train newbies! yay!)
i love that i get to live with my best friend. no more saying goodbye at the end of a date. it's just us, together, forever. better than roommates!
so what are the pros/cons of getting older for you? it's not like i'm that old or anything...but it sure seems like i'm ancient some days.
Monday, October 27, 2008
my creative blocks gave me a lot of trouble in high school. i had some teachers that were none-too-happy by the fact that half of the time i either doodled, wrote notes, did other homework, or slept in class. with the exception of my ap art teacher. he was totally cool with it, because he knew the next week i'd think up, create, and finish 12 new pieces. more than the rest of the class combined.
this teacher was one of my favorites. he was a little odd, as most art teachers (ahem, artists...just look at me) are. his art was odd, too. very interesting--but odd. with a lot of his work, after he would finish, he'd take it out to the desert and shoot at it. therefore most of his large canvas paintings were full of bullet holes. aesthetically interesting, for sure--i always wondered if he tried to put the bullet in a certain place or if it was all random. i probably should have asked, but never did.
mr. w. was also convinced i could see auras. as in a colored cloud surrounding a person. i can't. i tell you, i can't. i fully believe that people have auras, and that it is possible (but very rare) to see them. i do not see them. no matter how much i denied it, he didn't believe me. i used auras a lot in my artwork. he thought i denied it because i was embarrassed or didn't want people to think i was weird or make fun of me. so the entire year, he talked about how i could see auras. (i can't!)
it is an interesting concept, though. that was really the first time i had experimented with auras in my artwork. the reason is this: color is emotion. emotion is color. in my head, they are the same thing. i see the color blue and it means one thing, a slightly darker shade, a totally different thing. i can see why he would think that i saw auras. i used color surrounding a figure in my art as a means of conveying emotion.
this is part of the reason why art speaks to my soul. i am visual. i express myself better visually than i do verbally. i learn better visually. i "hear" things better visually. if someone were to make me a card, write me a letter, draw me a picture, even get me flowers--all physical objects--that i can see visually, it conveys something stronger to me than just telling me something. that doesn't mean that words mean nothing, not at all. i need the words, too. it's just that the meaning is stronger to me, somehow.
color surrounds us. in everything we see. and every color, every combination of colors, is symbolic. much of the time it is not meant to be. and to a lot of people, it is what it is--a color. to me, every combination of colors, the amount of a single color, the way they are arranged and displayed, all speaks of a different emotion. this is a lot of the reason why i love mark rothko. his art is simple, often with only two or three colors, but it speaks VOLUMES to me. each painting of his is an experience. each painting is an emotion, a series of emotions. i love that.
i wish everyone could see color, see art, the ultimate representation of color, the way i do. it fills me up to the brim. i stand and look at a painting, a drawing, a sculpture, and my entire soul is filled with emotion. and i can't verbalize it very well. i had the opportunity to see an actual van gogh, an actual picasso, a few months ago. and i cried. (that occurs frequently in art museums. well, frequently outside of them, but who's keeping track?) i was so overcome with emotion i could not contain it. the colors were so vivid, the brushstrokes so defined, so perfect, the painting as a whole amazing.
one of the things that bothers me the most is when someone buys a painting to match their couch. or their carpet. or that color of paint on the wall. we should NEVER buy a painting just to fill wall space. just to match the house decor. we should start with the painting. we should go looking for something that will speak to us. that makes us feel something. that contains a piece of our souls. so every time we look at it, we are reminded of the way we were immersed in the painting, the way we became a part of it, the first time we saw it. then buy your couch. then pick out your carpet. then paint your wall. everything else should center around that piece of art. that is my opinion. and if i had the financial means of doing so, you better believe i would.
as it is, my living room is centered around a piece of art that does that. that fills me with emotion. that makes me cry tears of joy, of pride, of humility. we picked our paint to match it. it is a piece of art that has been used for good and evil, that has a history, that will for many years continue to inspire and incite emotion in millions. that piece of art? a representation of the american flag. we actually have a few of them.
color is an amazing thing. it is a beautiful thing. sometimes an ugly thing. but it is always inspiring. and it is always emotional.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
i will be posting on thursdays. the first article i have already published here, but all subsequent posts will be new material.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
yes. i am watching "kirby: right back at ya!" by myself. can i just say that i don't like japanese animation. i never have. ever. it really really really bugs me the way the movement of their mouths does not match the sound. the hokey action bothers me. and yet, kirby is the best thing on tv right now. and i am not feeling well. and i am bored. and i am being lazy because i should be doing dishes. and folding laundry. and it's true, we don't have cable.
so that's my saturday morning for you. the sad thing is that i really like watching cartoons. even before little buddy was born, i chose to watch little kids shows. all of those old mgm cartoons, and the flintstones, and the jetsons, and tom and jerry, and looney toons, and animaniacs, and rocko's modern life, and all other manner of cartoony goodness. i even watched teenage mutant ninja turtles (which was, in fact, my favorite cartoon when i was little) and x-men. i'm sure that dates me but those were the shows that were on saturday morning when i was a kid. i also watched sesame street and mr. roger's neighborhood. as an adult. by myself. for entertainment.
so, as you can see, i am still a child at heart. (here's a confession for you. periodically i will pull out my old spice girls cds-circa sixth grade-and listen to them. and sing. really loud. at the top of my lungs. but only when i'm alone, mind you.)
so. anyone else still watch cartoons? and enjoy them? and hate the fact that saturday morning cartoons in 2008 consist of really lame japanese animation?
so head over to her blog, become a follower, and tell her i sent you. if you become a follower, she will do a free header or button for your blog layout. she designed my entire layout, and as you can see it's awesome. she has some other examples of her work up on her page.
so now go! look! follow!
while you're at it, follow mine too!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
i've had a long day. a very long day. didn't sleep well last night (oh! surprise!), had a hard day at work, my back hurts, been kind of stressed, was accused of being deceptive (when i wasn't!) and just all around had, you know, one of those days. and now that it is at the end of the day, i'm annoyed. i'm on edge. i'm antsy. i'm exhausted but wide awake. i'm fed up with things that are seemingly unchanging. i feel attacked by people around me. i'm bored. i want to yell. i want to cry. i want to laugh.
i think i'm PMSing.
i need a coke.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
You Are a Pundit Blogger!
Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
You're up on the latest news, and you have an interesting spin on things.
Of all the blogging types, you put the most thought and effort into your blog.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few
he picked me up from work, gave me a big hug and a kiss. then we went to go early vote. (i like that he understands how important being involved in this is.)
on the way to the grocery store, we saw a man who had been in a bicycle crash. there were a few people standing around him. hubby immediately turned around, pulled over and ran out to help. my intelligent and hard working spouse is a certified emergency technician intermediate. (yeah, awesome, isn't it!) and although he isn't working as one anymore, he stays up on his certifications and reviews the info he needs to be able to keep up with it. so he knew exactly what to ask, exactly what to do to help this guy. it seemed like forever until the fire dept arrived. and when they did, my hubby was able to tell them exactly what they needed to know. one of them even thanked him and said, "well looks like our work has been done for us!" (btw, the guy who crashed will be okay. he had a diabetic seizure.) i'm so proud of him for being willing and capable of helping in situations like that. this has happened a few times since we've met and i love watching him at work. and i know he really enjoys helping other people.
then on to the grocery store. where he slipped a 2-liter bottle of coke in the cart without me knowing. because he knows i love coke. and he let me get a thing of peppermint ice cream, even though he doesn't like it. and he let me wander through the halloween and christmas decorations, even though he didn't want to. and we had a good time together. we got a 6" sub at subway before we left to share, but he gave me the last few bites of his.
after we got home, he carried all of the groceries in for me so i could put the baby in his jammies.
we relaxed and watched tv, and cuddled, and had a great night together.
he's such a sweetheart. so go ahead, it's okay for you to be jealous. :)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
oh yeah. i watched judge alex/christina's court/judge judy/divorce court. and played with the baby. and layed in bed wishing i could sleep. and emailed my hubby while he was at work. and blogged. and read other people's blogs.
but then some days i actually do stuff and i get a lot done. like today, i changed two loads of laundry, did the dishes, made cookies, picked up the downstairs, took out the garbage, got myself and my son dressed and ready to go, printed off some coupons, figured out the menu for the next few weeks, made a list to go grocery shopping, decided where we're going to pick out our pumpkins, and felt pretty darn good about myself for doing so much.
i guess today is a manic day. just kidding. okay not really.
Monday, October 20, 2008
and then i read this.
"this weekend, i spent some time branching out and reading and commenting on blogs who i have never gone to .. i just followed comments from my blog to other blogs and who they commented on and continued an endless chain. in doing that, i accidentally stumbled upon one blog that i was instantly mesmerized by and i included it in my list of awardees here. rarely does a blog/writer get to me in the very first or second post i read but if i hadn’t decided to branch out of my comfort zone of mostly just who i am used to reading, i wouldn’t have found this new gem that i immediately added to my google reader list of favorites this weekend so i can continue to be wowed by her amazing heart that she writes with.
cornnut, of “Picture of Experience,” is the one above who i was saying i happened to stumble upon this weekend when i was just hopping from blog to blog from comment chains. i read a couple of her posts and my heart was so touched, i immediately added her to my google reader of favorites so i will be able to see her new posts when she puts them out there. rarely do i love a blog when i first start to read it. i usually have to spend a good bit of time there before i sometimes decide to add it to my favorites list. but she got to me. the pain and path she talked of recently going through made me want to reach out to her right now and i had never even read her before. i was overcome with the way she shared so openly and honestly and i felt like offering any encouragement i could think of to share and ultimately, i knew i was hooked and that i would be back."
i was bawling. i mean, not only is she incredibly sweet, but i could not believe that my writing would touch someone so much. that is my goal, of course, in sharing my thoughts and experiences. and like i told her: i cannot express how thrilled i am. so thank you, kathleen, for touching me by giving me this beautiful award!
and on to the fun stuff i get to do now! give it away to some of my favorite bloggy bloggers!
so here are the rules.
•Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
•Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
•Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
•Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.•Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
and now for what you're all waiting for: the bloggers i choose for this award.
1- cheryl, who blogs at happy meets crazy. i love cheryl's blog. she also writes about her experience dealing with depression. she has been an inspiration to me! i love reading about how she handles her struggles. she has a great perspective on life. plus she rocks.
2- kymburlee (teehee) who blogs at temporary? insanity. she says she's not extraordinary, but she is. i adore her writing style, and her descriptions of what she sees and thinks crack me up.
3- jane, who blogs at what about mom? is my next recipient. (we share the dream of a one dishtowel day.) she's way entertaining and i have loved her blog since the second i happened upon it.
4- april, who blogs at april showers. i think she and i are from a similar mold. she adores bubblegum pop just like me! and she squeals when it comes on the radio! plus she's smart and candid and i love that.
5- mother goose, whose writing i found just a few days ago. she blogs at solomon surprises. her post titled "leap of faith" really touched me. then she had me laughing out loud when i read "dragged through the dirt." she does serious and funny equally well.
6- i also bestow this award upon one more blogger. this blogger and i have serious history. she is, in fact, the one who got be blogging to begin with. so kaitlyn, my dear friend, this award is for you. thanks for all you have done for me. thank you for getting me involved in this wonderful blogging world. you're the best! readers, you can check out kaitlyn's blog at a melody softly soaring.
and the final award goes to--a non-blogger. but my greatest support. he is the best thing in my life. my darling husband. every woman should be so lucky to have a man like him in her life. thank you for supporting me, for understanding how important this is to me. thank you for being there through the ups and downs, no matter what.
so. they started playing the music to get me off the stage about an hour ago. and the next six presenters are going to have their bit cut. (just like at this years emmy's...haha! so sorry!)
less than two weeks! me=freak out i'm so excited.
bought hubby's costume yesterday. yep, it's a banana. and yep, he looks freaking hilarious. i'm so excited. how endearing that the man will wear a bright yellow banana suit because the baby is a monkey.
me? nope, still no costume. i'm sure i can come up with something. right?
two upcoming halloween themed festivals. one for scarecrows and one for witches. whoo hoo! family fun with a spooky theme. my favorite.
hubby is currently on his way to a job interview. prayers would be very appreciated. if he gets this job we're on our way to not-so-hard-we-feel-like-we're-going-to-fall-over-the-edge-at-any-moment street. (not quite easy street. but a step in that direction.)
poor little buddy is cranky today, again. he's cut two teeth in the last month, yesterday fell while pulling himself up on the coffee table and busted his head pretty good. lovely welt. then he didn't sleep so hot last night. poor kid. he's asleep right now, thank heaven. he needs like twenty naps today.
started re-reading crime and punishment last night. yeah, it's like one of my all-time favorite books ever. if you haven't read it, you totally should. the human psyche is so interesting.
well. i'm going to reeeee-laxxxx for a bit while little buddy snoozes. maybe i'll take a snooze myself before i have to get ready for work.
happy monday everyone!
- be a friend. many people who have been abused feel distant from others. don't feel that you have to solve their problems; just be willing to listen empathetically.
- be trustworthy and dependable. many abusers held a position of trust and then violated that trust. it can help survivors immeasurably when they are able to consistently count on others.
- be sensitive to the possibility that survivors of abuse may feel unworthy and uncomfortable in church settings. let them know that the scriptures which describe god's love for his children apply to them.
- withhold judgment. some people who have been abused may turn to questionable activities to dull their pain. without condoning their behavior, realize that as they work through their pain they will be better able to keep their bodies and minds free of things that are harmful to them.
- don't expect them to quickly (or possibly ever, for that matter) "forgive and forget" or "just get over it." until the issues have been worked through, the effects of the abuse may still be an ongoing and painful part of the person's everyday life. genuine forgiveness will take time, and it does not happen merely by denying one's feelings and avoiding issues. if they never forgive their abuser, do not judge them for this. you most likely do not comprehend what they have been through. forgiveness may come long after we leave this earth.
- be sensitive to the needs and feelings of the abused when teaching, speaking in sacrament meeting, or giving comments in church classes. for example, when talking about families, be aware that not every person has a family he or she wants to be with. holidays may be especially difficult for those who have been abused, particularly mother's day and father's day.
- when talking about enduring trials, recognize that the lord never intended anyone to experience abuse so that they could learn lessons from it. abuse is ALWAYS wrong and is condemned in the strongest terms by the lord's prophets and by the savior.
- help survivors of abuse understand that they are not bad because bad things were done to them. appropriately place responsibility on the perpetrator. don't imply that being abused was the victim's fault. people do not have to repent of evil that was done to them; in fact, they cannot do so.
- it can be painful for abused children to hear about divine intervention for the righteous. although daniel was saved from the lions, does that occur all the time for all of us? clarify that any who have been abused and and not rescued will understand that they are still worthy individuals.
- teach the importance of respecting others' bodies. emphasize that all have the right to keep their bodies private, regardless of another person's status or authority.
- never give up in bearing testimony of the power of the Savior. lovingly testify that we can access His marvelous power and love again and again.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
i love this painting. it has always been one of my favorites. i first came across this painting when i was in jr high, one of the darkest times of my life.
last night when i wrote that post on depression, i was in a deep pit of despair and frustration. today i woke up feeling much the same way. but i decided i'm not going to allow that to continue. i'm going to do what i can to pull myself out of this rut. i know i cannot do this by myself. i have my wonderful husband who is there for me. who is taking me out to dinner to get me out of the house, spending money we don't really have, to help me feel better.
i also have the lord. i was going through my SOLE manual (read more about SOLE here) and came across this story.
The Rock (Author Unknown)
There is a story told by a Father Mary about a man who was asleep one night in his cabin, when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told him he had a work for him to do, and showed him a large rock explaining that he was to push against that rock with all his might.
This the man did, and for many days he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulder set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the rock pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.
Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture, placing thoughts in the man's mind such as, "Why kill yourself over this; you're never going to move it," or "Boy, you've been at it here a long time and you haven't even scratched the surface," etc. giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was an unworthy and unprofitable servant because he wasn't moving the massive stone. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man and he started to ease up in his efforts. "Why kill myself," he thought, "I'll just put in my time putting forth just the minimum and that will be good enough." And that he did, or at least planned on doing until one day he decided to take his troubles to the Lord. "Lord," he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting forth all of my strength to do that which you have asked me. Yet after all this time I haven't even budged that rock half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am i failing?"
To this the Lord responded compassionately, "My friend...when long ago I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you to push against the rock with all of your strength, and that you have done. But never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it! At least not all by yourself. Your task was to push! And now you come to me, your strength spent, thinking that you had failed and ready to quit. But is that really so? Look at yourself, your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewed and brown. Your hands are calloused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your ability now far surpasses that which you used to have. Yet you still haven't succedded in moving the rock, and you come to me now with a heavy heart and your strength spent. I, my friend, will move the rock. Your calling was to be obedient and push, and to exercise your faith and trust in my wisdom." (emphasis added)
how true that is in life. the lord has allowed me this burden, this depression, these traumas. he has given me the opportunity to grow and change for the better. it is so difficult. so hard. so unbearably HARD. but just like the man in the story, i know that after i give everything i have, when my strength is spent, the Lord will move my rock. i only have to put my trust in Him and do what He has asked me to do. i have to have faith that He will help me. this is, perhaps, the most difficult thing. i want to be in control of my life. i have such difficulty giving up my will to the Lord. but when i have in the past, the Lord has helped me. i just need to get to that point once again.
"[Cast] all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (1 Peter 5:7)
from this morning. beck from frog and toad are still friends shared an experience her child had at school.
i read this one last night and i was in tears. so beautifully written, and a wonderful reminder. it is from mother goose, posted at modern molly mormon. she also posted it on her personal blog, solomon surprises.
third, also read this one last night. and reread it this morning. it's from kathleen, who writes at so grateful to be mormon.
this post is from a few days ago. but i found it to be thought-provoking. i love controversy! april posted it on modern molly mormon originally, but after some rude and disrespectful comments (those people should be ashamed of themselves) comments were closed and she reposted it on her blog normal mormons. (if you disagree with her, please be nice!)
those of you way involved in the whole prop 8 thing may find this one interesting. it's at feminist mormon housewives today.
ah, i just love this blog. almost always makes me laugh. thanks to azucar at her blog, the jet set.
anyone have anything fun, interesting, thought-provoking, or spiritual that you just loved? let me know!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
i hate this. i really, really, really hate this. i hate the fact that i don't remember what life is like without it. i hate the fact that my depression affects the ones i love so negatively. but most of all, i hate that fact that i feel so helpless about changing it. i have spent at least half of my life trying to figure out how to make it better. there are some things that give me a temporary fix. my art, for one. blogging, for another, also writing in a journal. i reread some of the things i wrote in my journals when i was 12, 13, 14, even 18 and 19, and i am scared. scared for myself, for what i was dealing with, for those around me who had to put up with my volatility.
i am scared for my husband. for my son. for my future children. for myself.
about every two months or so, i lose it. seriously lose it. i battle the depression in some form or another on a daily basis. mostly in the form of self-loathing, self-defeating thoughts and actions. but these "episodes" are much more than being weepy, and down on myself, and losing interest in things i love. they involve screaming, yelling, sobbing hysterically, slamming doors, saying things i don't mean, running away from myself and everyone around me. hiding under my covers from reality. making threats i don't mean and i don't want to follow through with. damaging the most important thing in my life: my relationship with my husband. suicidal thoughts. anxiety. mood swings. all within the space of an hour or two. zero to sixty in about thirty seconds.
and after the episode, i am miserable. i am embarrassed. i am completely ashamed of myself and my actions. and my husband, emotionally battered, bruised, and hurt beyond anything i can comprehend, cries. hugs me. pushes his feelings aside. and goes on with the hurt and fear of my leaving him. and i want to crawl under a rock and die every time i think of it.
i have been in and out of counseling since i was 13 years old. i saw my very first counselor at the ripe old age of 10. put on anti-depressants at 11. i have been on and off medication. many, many, many kinds of it. sometimes there will be a temporary fix. sometimes things get worse. but always it ends up cycling back to the beginning. all progress i have made is lost in the space of two minutes.
i am tired. tired, frustrated, fearful. my life has been riddled with psychological trauma. but my life has also been full of blessings. of loving and supportive family and friends. of every opportunity for medical help. so why, oh why, in spite of all the good i have had, in spite of all of the hard work i have done, does this continue to happen?
the saddest thing? all of the innocent people who have to deal with my insanity. my husband. and my son. oh, my poor son, who has a mother who loves him more than life itself. my son who has a mother that routinely loses every ounce of dignity and sanity she possesses. my beautiful child who will be scarred for life because his mother has a mental illness she cannot deal with.
my greatest fear. the fear i have lived with my entire life, every time i thought about having children, from the age i was old enough to comprehend the responsibility of being a parent. the fear that my child will resent me. that my child will hurt because of me, because of my actions. that my child will suffer psychologically and emotionally because of me. every parent makes mistakes, every parent screws up their kid in one way or another. it's part of life. i get that. but i will never, never forgive myself if my child hurts due to negative parental relationships. due to the mental illness of a parent.
god bless my son. and my husband. and my future children. god bless them for loving me in spite of my many failures. and god bless me with the knowledge to change.
these images are from my high school portfolio. some of them may be darker in content. at the time i was really struggling with severe depression, the after-effects of my childhood abuse, negative personal relationships, and the regular normal teenage angst. please, please, please, remember that (most of) these images are my inner turmoil put on paper. this is how i dealt with my demons. if you are disturbed, i'm sorry, really i am, but please do not be disrespectful. (i didn't scan any of the more graphic and disturbing images on purpose.) if i did not have my art to turn to there is a very real possibility i would not be here today to show them to you.
i apologize for the poor quality of these images. they are low-resolution scans from copies made from slides of the originals. the original artwork is MUCH too large to scan. i thought about taking digital pictures of some of them but the battery is dead in my camera. which is why the only images i have at this time are from my junior and senior years of high school; they came from my AP portfolio.
Friday, October 17, 2008
1. leftover santa fe chicken and rice. the beans were not cooked correctly (duh to me) so i had to choke it down. but i was too lazy to make anything.
2. a fudge with chocolate chip cookie from the vending machine at work.
3. leftover frozen taco soup that was defrosted and reheated.
4. a bite of baby's oatmeal so i could clean off the spoon to put it back in the diaper bag. ooh, yum.
things i have procrastinated today:
2. laundry (although i did actually fold it)
4. did i mention dishes? i did? well i hate dishes. so i doubly put them off.
things i wished i could do today:
1. sleep in
2. take a long bath
3. take a nap
4. wiggle my nose and have the dishes done
shows i have watched today:
1. the simpsons
3. what about jim
4. super nanny
places i've gone today:
2. the post office
3. a scrapbooking store to see me mum
songs i listened to today:
1. the song little buddy's learning lion sings
2. the song little buddy's learning lion sings
3. the song little buddy's learning lion sings
4. the song little buddy's learning lion sings
things i have stressed over today:
1. cleaning my house (which i didn't do)
2. selling my house (which will never happen)
3. the fact that i'm so tired i can't stand it anymore
4. i'm feeling kind of sick and what am i going to do if i really get full-blown sick????
things i am thankful for today:
1. a husband who works so hard for our family
2. my perfect child and his perfect smile
3. watching little buddy pull himself up in a standing position for the first time
4. getting to see my mom
isn't this costume adorable? he is going to be the cutest monkey ever!
we're also going to a ward halloween party on the 25th, and since we also have this costume, i'm thinking maybe he can wear this one. (it's also pretty fitting for him.) it was a gift from grandma when he was still a-bakin in my belly last year.
as for daddy, he is going to be a banana. not only because little buddy is going to be a monkey, but because then he can get some maracas and do the "peanut butter jelly time" dance. that is his ringtone and our baby just loves it when his daddy sings that song.
i, on the other hand, have NO IDEA what i'm going to be. which is sad and weird considering i typically have my costume planned out two months ahead of time. i hate repeating costumes. halloween is my favorite day of the year. i look forward to it. i have an internal countdown that looks like the one in nightmare before christmas, and it starts ticking on november 1. i have a coworker that offered to let me borrow one of her old costumes, so hopefully i'll be able to find something! money is tight so i can't buy one and normally i'm uber creative but i've head a creative block when it comes to costuming myself.
i've had some really awesome costumes in the past. my senior year of high school i sewed my own dress and made my own wig from yarn and was sally from the nightmare before christmas. it was sweet, i tell you. in 5th grade i wore a really old dress that my mom converted to look colonial era, used cornstarch and food coloring to create a yucky goop, smeared it all over my face, and was a zombie. my sophomore year of college my roomies and i came up with this awesome idea to be a chess set--becca was a bishop (our bishop, in a suit with a nametag), katie was a pawn (a pawn shop owner, complete with green visor and miscellaneous wares), michelle was a knight ("night," in black clothing with felt stars and a moon pinned to her clothing), i was the queen (a rodeo queen) and hubby who was then boyfriend was the king (wore a burger king crown). since we didn't have someone to be a rook, we all pinned rook cards (from the card game) to our costumes. i've been a witch (last year a pregger witch), a vampire, a butterfly, a prom queen, a leopard, a devil, a greek goddess, and a princess.
i wonder what i will end up being this year....
sidenote: i think i use the phrase "freaking awesome" a lot.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
this is the whole calendar, finished. i kept the background sheets black instead of adding orange paper on the top the way they did in the original. it saved paper and i think it looks better. but i like black better than orange anyway.
the individual panels for the days are below. instead of using stick-on lettering like the pattern says to, i used my printer and printed the numbers (and also the title, HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN) onto orange cardstock. i made it so that when they printed out i could cut them in a way that the numbers would be in a different place on each square, the way they are in the original pattern. as far as the little designs on each one goes, i drew my own and cut out my own embellishments. i didn't buy any of them. (i used the newest stampin' up catalogue as a reference for some of the drawings. i also used the original pattern as a reference.) i had three or four sheets of 12x12 patterned scrapbook paper that i cut pieces of to use as well. i darkened the edges of each square (and the cardboard sections) with a plain black ink pad. the pattern suggested doing this with the cardboard, but i thought it looked awesome on the little squares and gave it a more finished feel.
i used their print-out of the haunted house and drew my own monsters for the windows. to connect the cardboard pieces i just poked holes in them with my scissors and used pipe cleaners. i think the pattern has you use ribbon and eyelets. i stink at those eyelets because i don't have the right equipment for them. this was much easier, much faster, and i think it looks just fine.
the only thing i had to buy was velcro. the pattern says to use 1/2" pieces of the strip velcro, but i got the little round ones. there were 20 in a package and i think it ended up being about $4.50 for two packages at wal-mart.
after you pull off a panel for each day, they are stored in an envelope on the fourth section. the pattern called for an office supply envelope for this part. i didn't have one and didn't want to buy one so i made one, really easy.
then this is the test for you!
diagnose your very own personality disorder(s) by answering about 20 simple questions!
just to make you all feel better about your results, here are mine:
if you don't know what any of these are, this great little quiz explains them to you.
(by the way, i don't really suffer from histrionic or borderline personality disorder.) (usually.) (okay sometimes but don't tell.)
i especially loved this having studied psych in college. thanks to my hubby for sending it to me. he's just as crazy as i am, but luckily we have different disorders so we kind of balance each other out.
so what personality disorders do you have? share the crazy, people!
p.s. i am in no way mocking or making fun of those who suffer from these disorders, or any disorders. i am only mocking and making fun of the fact that there is a stupid internet quiz that thinks it can tell you that you are "likely" to have one of these disorders. they are serious disorders that can only be diagnosed by a professional. if you really, actually, in fact, think you may suffer from one of these, seek professional help immediately. so don't fry me for this post. i'm being satirical here.
Mission advice to calm the nerves
Some friends came down from Washington this week to attend LDS General Conference and to drop their only son at the LDS missionary training center. I've known Mac since the day he was born. In the blink of 19 years he went from a diapered pudge to a 6-foot-plus veteran kayaker. He's a great kid - helpful, conscientious, hardworking, and goofier than a lab puppy. He's also honest. When I asked if he was nervous, his answer stemmed partly from the fact that he's leaving home and partly from the fact that he's going to Colorado, where the dust is just now settling from the desecration of a Catholic shrine by Mormon elders. "Real nervous," Mac said. To calm his nerves and prepare himself, Mac was keeping a list of one-liner mission advice from those close to him who had served missions - his father, uncles, friends, etc. He even asked me. "Do you have any words of advice, Uncle Robert?" For the life of me, I couldn't think of any. A mission is a huge deal for a kid. I didn't want to screw it up by telling Mac something that was wrong, or, worse, dangerous. I asked him what sorts of advice he'd already received. It was stuff like, "Stay close to the Lord," and "Love your companion" and "Pray and obey the rules." I don't recall much of the advice I received before leaving on my mission decades
ago. I do remember my father putting his arm around me and saying, "Screw this up and the Lord will be the least of your worries." Grim as it sounds, it was inspired. I have a very short attention span. What might happen to me after I die isn't nearly as inspirational as what will happen in the next two minutes. As I vaguely recall, the rest of the advice from friends and relatives was divided between the generic "go forward with faith" stuff, and morose reminders of all the partying I would miss. But I went and I'm glad I did, even though parts of it were perfectly horrible - like getting deathly sick, badly hurt, totally depressed, and the 19 rage-filled days I spent with Elder Barkus. I tried remembering the important things I learned from other missionaries, who although better prepared than I, were still just kids convinced of their own correctness and indestructibility. When I was about to give up, something written on the inside of my mission scriptures came back to me. I wrote it following a shouting match Elder Barkus had provoked with a local pastor over - get this - what kind of beard Jesus wore. That night I wrote down one of the most valuable things my mission would teach me. Thirty-four years later, I passed it on to Mac. "Being called of God doesn't fix stupid."
Monday, October 13, 2008
i am: obsessed with all things art.
i think: that snow should be warm.
i know: my husband loves me, even if i am crazy. or mean.
i want: to finish college someday.
i dislike: onions. motorcycles. raisins. scary movies. peppers. peanut butter sandwiches. spiders.
i fear: being resented by my children.
i feel: inadequate with most things
i hear: the incredible sound of my sleeping baby breathing
i smell: pretty bad, probably. haven't showered yet today.
i crave: chinese food....really bad....and coke. always crave coke.
i cry: a lot. all the time. at everything. every time i hear the song "sara beth." when i watch law and order. when i get upset. when i'm really happy. when i'm so proud of my hubby or my son.
i usually: try to stay in bed as long as humanly possible.
i search: for never-ending happiness
i wonder: what my life will be like a year from now
i regret: the way i treated my younger siblings growing up--my relationships with them suffers even now from it
i love: it when my hubby gets all dressed up. he hates it but he is just so freaking sexy. :)
i care: about people i don't know, have never met and never will meet
i always: forget things. lots of things. changing batteries. turning off lights.
i try: to be a better wife and mother. every day.
i worry: i'll never be good enough
i am not: a logical person (most times)
i remember: staying up until 5 am with my hubby because we just couldn't stand to say goodbye when we were dating
i believe: everyone deserves love and understanding, safety and comfort, joy and success
i dance: to make my baby laugh
i sing: really loud, in my car. but only when i'm by myself.
i don’t always: wear my own clothes. dh's are so much more comfy.
i argue: way too much.
i write: about how i feel, what i think, what i see, what i want to see
i lose: perspective when i get angry
i wish: i could protect my family from every kind of fear and unhappiness
i listen: to the same songs over and over again
i don't understand: how people can be so evil
i can usually be found: at work or with my family
i am scared: of losing my husband's love
i need: a coke. always.
i forget: how much fun it was to play sports
i am happy: to have so many family members and friends that care about me and my happiness.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
please don't disappoint me.
follow my blog. i will be so sad and feel even more lame and insecure if you don't. in fact, i might even stop blogging all together. sigh.
is that manipulative?
oh well. follow my blog. you don't even have to really read it, you could just click the button and make me think you are. :)
i hate doing laundry.
like seriously hate it. it is the worst household chore. it takes forever. and since having a baby our laundry has quadrupled, i swear. onesies, and bibs, and burp cloths, and baby blankets, and crib sheets, and on and on...
i hate laundry.
did i say that already? yep, i did. but i can say it again. i HATE it.
usually laundry in our house consists of this:
1. piles of it all over the floor, usually on the floor next to the basket. (but not really in the basket. maybe half hanging out.)
2. one of us (usually me) runs out of clean underwear. or my dh needs his work clothes cleaned. or the baby is running low on pjs. so i moan, i complain, i whine, i gather up the piles of laundry spread all over the floor in baskets.
3. i haul the large two overflowing baskets down the stairs to the laundry room, muttering the whole way.
4. i divide the laundry into loads by color. i curse at the number of loads to be done.
5. i change the loads, usually having to run the dryer twice for each load because they don't get all the way dry.
6. clean clothes get piled on the couch because i hate folding it one load at a time. i'd rather do it all at once.
7. clean clothes sit on the couch for a few days.
8. clean clothes get shoved back in the baskets for another day or so.
9. we pull clean clothes out of the baskets looking for something.
10. i finally get around to folding them, clean, folded clothes get put in basket to be taken upstairs to get put away.
11. baskets are taken upstairs, put in bedroom, clothes not put away.
12. we mess up all of the folded clothes because we are digging to the bottom of the basket to find something to wear.
13. around the time the floor is covered in dirty clothes again and i need the basket to haul them downstairs, i put the clean clothes away. and refold half of them.
14. i refold and reorganize half of the closet because when my hubby wants something to wear (like a t-shirt) and he pulls one out he doesn't want to wear, he just shoves it back in.
15. i curse at all of the clothing we have.
16. i curse at having to hang clothing up.
17. i curse because our clothing is wrinkled from being left on the couch/shoved in a basket/folded and shoved in a basket.
18. i repeat the entire process all over again.
you'd think i would have learned by now...but no.
i still hate laundry.
and i still put it off as much as possible.
sigh. i have three baskets of laundry to be folded now. the stress!
maybe someday i'll be rich enough to have the laundry sent out. or maybe even rich enough that i can wear something once then go buy something new to replace it.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
well here it is. proof you made it through high school. i know you thought the end would NEVER come, but it actually came much faster than you expected.
and here it is, a few years later, and high school feels like forever ago. last night you and your hubby (yes, you actually do get married. to a wonderful man who actually loves you for who you really are, flaws and all) were going through some of your old stuff. and he read parts of your journals. and you were embarrassed. but most of all, you were shocked at how a few years changes your perspective on life.
so try to remember this, okay?
1. don't waste your time worrying about guys. i know there are 2o cute boys in your high school. but they are NOT worth it. not worth the tears, the worry, the stress, the way you beat yourself up. they're jerks. idiots. blind. you really are worth so much more. boys don't matter right now. someday you will meet a wonderful man who is a great provider, caring, loving, and a wonderful daddy to your children. it will happen. don't rush it. you will regret wasting your life on these stupid, immature boys, who mean nothing. and in a few years, you won't even remember who half of them are. or why you thought they were so important. (they're not. i promise.)
2. don't try to do everything. it's great that you're an athlete, that you love art, that you work hard in school. but don't join 2o clubs and get a job and be involved in church and try to have a social life and volunteer for the play and take on extra work all at once. just have fun. work hard, but have fun. and don't push your limits.
3. realize that just because you get a C in one class, it doesn't mean you're not going to college.
4. mom? yeah, she's hard to get along with most of the time. you fight a lot. you wish you could tell her how you really feel. but you know what? you'll realize as you grow up that some things aren't worth fighting over. and you will actually have a pretty good relationship with her someday.
5. forgive yourself. you screw up. everyone screws up. you're still trying to figure out how to forgive yourself. but it's important. move on, don't dwell on your mistakes.
6. spend more time with your siblings. please, please, please, spend lots more time with them. BE NICE TO THEM! they love you. especially your little sister, who looks up to you. don't push them away. you will regret it every day, that you are not close to them. realize how much they mean to you. tell them you love them. be friends with them. they matter so much.
7. don't kick your dog. he loves you too even if he is a dumb dog and always in the way.
8. lying to your parents? not cool. and so not worth it. you end up getting in more trouble than you should because you lie to them. (and they know it. they're not as dumb as you think.)
9. be nice to everyone. you're okay at this, you get along with pretty much everyone. but those few people that really drive you nuts? you don't know what's going on with them. be nice to them. everyone deserves respect.
10. stay close to God. pray. pray a lot. realize that He loves you. remember that He is always there for you. He will not forsake you.
11. things are hard. you get depressed. you feel alone. but i promise you this--when you are older, when you look back on how miserable you were, you will realize that you weren't alone. you have so many good friends who love you, who would do anything for you. so good that you still talk to a lot of them frequently. friends like kitkat and c duk and rerun. and most of all, your family. they love you and support you. (even when they want to kill you.)
12. don't bother with putting on your makeup every day. in a few years you'll wonder why in the heck you couldn't take the garbage out without your foundation and mascara on.
13. work hard in school. (okay, duh, you know that. you work your butt off already.) but remember to work hard in college, too. finish school. GO TO CLASS! turn your homework in. trust me, it's important.
14. be thankful every day for what you are blessed with.
15. write in your journals a lot. someday you will be very grateful you did, you will remember what it was like to be 13, 14, 15. it's worth it. and besides, you'll smile when you hear your hubby laughing so hard you can hear him all the way downstairs. because really, you are normal. (haha!)
so, 16-year-old self, don't try to grow up too fast. it will come sooner than you think. but when it does, you'll be happy.
don't take your husband for granted. he and your baby are the best things ever to happen to you. and being a mom is the greatest.
so relax. everything will work out.
it always does.
your older and maturing self
some things you probably don't know about me: politics and finances confuse me. like this whole economy thing. i'm totally at a loss. i don't really understand it. after about ten minutes my head hurts when i try to understand it. but what i do understand is this. it sucks. it's crappy. and everything is based on speculation. like, who cares if the bigwigs think that there's going to be some big storm/war/bailout/stock market drop. what does that have to do with anything? (you're not required to explain it to me. i promise i still won't get it.)
the other thing i understand is that things are going downhill. money is really tight. it always has been, my whole life. but it is getting tighter. and who knows, in a year, a month, a week, maybe even tomorrow, there could be a natural disaster. a fire. a flood. the government could crash. doom and gloom, doom and gloom, yadda yadda. but even though i don't like to be pessimistic, it is a very real possibility. and we have been told to prepare for the worst. so today after stocks dropped huge points (again) my hubby called me at work. and we made a decision. a decision that was put on a credit card, that we are trying to pay off. but an important decision.
a $400 decision.
flour, powdered milk, canned food, water, flashlights, emergency kits, and ammunition later we had two carts full of stuff at wal-mart. 72-hour and first-aid kits. and the reassurance that we at least have something to fall back on. tomorrow i'm going to make sure we have clothes and other staples to go with our food etc.
those of you who have prepared yourself for disasters: what do you think is the most important thing to have? what food items do you keep on hand? any suggestions on how to store it and rotate it? what is the shelf life on stuff like that? any helpful hints are appreciated!