Tuesday, June 30, 2009

we're finally moved in

so the move is over.

it went rather smoothly, with the exception of my mom being a pain in the butt for the hour that she was there. after a long and exhausting day....i've had more long and exhausting days trying to put everything together. it's been kind of a challenge to figure out where to put all of our stuff so far. hubby and i have taken a few trips to wal-mart to pick up things to set up the apartment, baby-proof the tvs, and generally get things in order. there is still some work to be done, mostly finish work like moldings, mirror/towel rack/etc. to be put up in bathroom, hang doors, blinds on the windows, and the entry way is still just sheetrock. half of the cabinets need to be put in. the kitchen has been the biggest challenge because we have a lot less space. we are going to get a new table that has storage under it to help. mostly i have to figure out where to put our ginormous microwave and toaster oven since we don't have an actual stove or oven.

it's kind of weird how quiet it is up here. very nice.....no thumping music, screaming neighbor kids, people yelling, cars revving engines, doors slamming, freeway noise, train whistles, construction noise......just silence. the only noise we get is the noise my in-laws make upstairs which is really minimal.

moving day, i didn't get a chance to "say goodbye" to our house. yesterday we went back to pick up four or five things that were left behind. i'm not going to lie....it was hard. i cried. i sat in my son's room and sobbed. two and a half years in that house, and we worked hard to make it a home. it's the only home my son has ever known, and it was obvious how much happier he was in the twenty minutes we were there yesterday than he has been in a few days. that was hard. it's going to take time for him to adjust to a new home, and eventually he won't even remember that house. but i will. i'll remember all of the memories we had there. everything we learned and experienced there, both good and bad. it is a relief to be out of that neighborhood. i know we made the right decision in leaving, but it was a hard decision.

unpacking has been going slowly, it seems. i did finally get our pantry put together, so at least our food is unpacked. i've got piles of boxes that i still need to go through and figure out where to put them. i've got a huge stack of boxes full of baby clothes. i think that sometime soon we are going to need to get a dresser (or two) for the kids. little buddy's clothes are shoved in a three-drawer rubbermaid thing right now. and as he gets bigger, his clothes get bigger, and the drawers don't get bigger. with another baby there will be nowhere to put her clothes. we're also trying to figure out what to do with little buddy's crib, and eventually a second crib, and then toddler bed, and then two toddler beds......hopefully we will be out of this apartment by the time our second is in a toddler bed, but the future is always uncertain. it will be interesting to see what happens with our one-bedroom situation here.

well. i'm off to take a nap. i've been sick today, on top of the exhaustion i've been feeling. luckily hubby will be coming home within the next half hour and little buddy is going down for a nap, too. hooray for nap time.

Friday, June 26, 2009

moving on

so tomorrow is moving day. it's weird. i'm not quite sure how to feel about it, i have so many mixed emotions sorting through them is difficult. it will be nice to have this whole move thing OVER....i'm tired of packing, of the piles of boxes everywhere, and of the huge mess that comes with a move.

it will be sad to leave this house that we have made a home for the last two and a half years. we have put time, money, and effort into making this house look nice. somehow it seems kind of a waste since we're leaving it behind. but while living here it was worth it. it will be sad to leave the place where we have learned so much about ourselves and our marriage, where we have found out we're expecting two children, where we brought the first home.

it will be hard to move from our own home into an apartment. and harder still to move into an apartment that is in the basement of my in-law's, and much smaller than our house. it will be interesting trying to figure out what to do with two kids in a one-bedroom apartment. we don't know how long we will be there at this point. i'm concerned about keeping family relations intact.

but it will be nice knowing that if i ever need help, people i know, love, and trust are just upstairs.

it will be a huge relief knowing we are in a safe place. leaving the fear of crime behind, leaving the annoyance of loud music, obnoxious parties, and stupid neighbors here with our house. having a lot more space for little buddy, our new baby, and even the dog to run around in. the sanity and peace of mind of my husband, who stresses beyond belief over our safety in this neighborhood.

ultimately the most important thing here is doing what is best for my family. this move is the best thing. being able to take my son for a walk, to go outside, and not having to worry about what may happen will be nice. where we're moving we will be in a quiet place, removed from neighbors, on two and a half acres of land. with this move will come many new challenges. but also with it we will be leaving some challenges behind.

so off to finish the last of the packing. off to getting the last few things in order. tomorrow morning, bright and early, we will be loading up the truck and saying goodbye.

Monday, June 22, 2009

the weekend is over....another busy one ahead

i officially have five packing days left until the big move. and i am really pretty stressed about it, although i don't think i have all that much to do. moving is just stressful. my house is a mess, and i'm slightly worried about our apartment being finished by the time we move in. then i get to unpack. ugh.

for those of you wondering, my sister's shower went rather well. of course my mom spent pretty much the entire ride home complaining about ten different things, but overall it was pretty good. i got to see my grandma and my great-grandma, as well as my aunts and a few cousins. my sister C did a great job with some additional games.

father's day was a great day too. i think my husband had a good day. little buddy and i made him french toast for breakfast in bed, and he got some cool gifts. a new shirt and tie, and some flag cases for some collector flags we have had for a long time. now we can properly display them. he also got a hat with little buddy's hand on it that says "#1 Dad." we went to the park, and had a delicious dinner of grilled skewers. we also watched the movie gran torino. (if you want to know what my hubby will be like in 50 years, watch that movie......a crotchety, stubborn, foul-mouthed old man with a strong sense of right and wrong, who would do anything and give anything for the people he cares about.)

so now i'm off to make a list of everything i have to do to get ready for the move. then when little buddy goes down for a nap, i'm taking advantage of it and sleeping too!

Friday, June 19, 2009

june edition of the blog carnival against child abuse: fathers and parents

it is time for the june edition of the blog carnival against child abuse. i have really enjoyed hosting this month's edition and reading all of the submissions.

father's day is in a few short days, and for many survivors it is a day full of reflection--both painful and joyful. i think it is very appropriate that the theme for this month is about fathers and parents in general.

trigger warning: please read with caution, as many posts may be triggering to survivors of abuse.

our first post, Father's Day, comes from Colleen at Surviving by Grace. Colleen shares her decision to stop sending her father cards on father's day. i applaud her for her strength in choosing to do what is best for her!

next up is my post (cornnut), titled the fathers in my life, posted here at picture of experience. in my post i talk about the other side of father's day for survivors--my father and my father in heaven, who have been loving and supportive through my healing journey.

good for Jumping In Puddles for posting Fathers Day at Lifes Spacings. (warning: this may be especially triggering.) this post shows guts. way to stand up for yourself!

Colleen from Surviving by Grace is back again, presenting The Papa I Never Had. i have to admit that this post brought tears to my eyes. thank you for sharing your new found view on God as a Father, not just a Creator!

just after the death of her father, Enola shares The Land of Numb. this post is something i think we can all relate with--that place that we go when we're trying to deal with so many difficult feelings. posted at ~Enola~.

over at her blog ~Perfect~, Kim discusses " A sort of complication of Father work done and Father work remaining to be done." her post Fathers, Fathers, Fathers covers the progress she has made with overcoming her issues with her own father, and her daughter's father, and also the work she has yet to do.

in the form of a letter to her father, Vicki Johnson presents Father's Day posted at Here In My World. vicki shares how she is looking forward to being able to talk to her father about her childhood pain.

advocacy and awareness
Jaynie discusses the appropriateness of rompers for adult women in Rompers: I Interviewed A Designer, And I Liked It! posted at Here's Looking Like You, Kid. this post really got me thinking about childlike clothing on adult women: is it really objectifying? does it really show that our society views child-like women as being more desirable?

Mommy vs. The Monsters » Being “Nice” = Acquiescence posted at Mommy vs. The Monsters is written by Heather M. this is a post all parents should read. Heather discusses the term "acquiesence" and how we should teach our children that "‘Being nice’ is NEVER required when it means allowing someone to hurt or scare them."

Marcella Chester presents RESPECT! Campaign Provides Tools Related To Respectful Relationships, posted at abyss2hope: A rape survivor's zigzag journey into the open. this campaign is an initiative to advance a national movement to promote healthy relationships and stop relationship violence through positive role modeling and respect education.

i love reading survivor poetry, and this post from Rick Belden is no different. gift (iron man dream #3) posted at poetry, dreams, and the body is a poignant poem discussing a dream gift from his father.

in the news
abuse comes from many sources. Hall Monitor presents Parents Say Cell Phone Video Shows Teacher Choking Student posted at DetentionSlip.org. two wrongs do not make a right!

i especially enjoyed reading Of Abuse & Avatars — And Outrage posted by Alessia at Relationship Underarm Stick. she discusses an article titled Childhood Abuse, Avatar Choices, and Other Risk Factors Associated With Internet-Initiated Victimization of Adolescent Girls published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The article discusses a study showing a correlation between teen girls who receive sexual advances, their avatar choices, and past childhood abuse.

i love this post from Eva Marie Woywod, called The Bond in Being a Survivor; it can be a gift posted at Thankfully Chewed Up and Spat Back Out. here eva talks about her reaction to the news story of 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan. i especially love this quote from eva: "We have insurance to repair our cars when they are dented in an accident...a child..a victim of domestic violence doesn't have insurance to repair the dent left in their soul when they are harmed...they need the love, care, and concern of society...strangers...to help to heal."

survivor stories
Surbhi Bhatia presents a child's story of abuse titled Our Little Secret posted at The Viewspaper. what an eye-opening account of childhood abuse!

i cannot describe this post, Begin Again Each Day: Be The Light! by Marj aka Thriver posted at Survivors Can Thrive! better than she did: "I didn't get a chance to write up a post about fathers or parents, but this old post--which has a story in it I was prompted to write as an assignment for one of my old therapists--is about the light I believe every child is born with. I also believe that my parents--my father especially--could not tolerate my light and systematically went about trying to snuff it out. As survivors learning to thrive and break the cycle of child abuse, we can all be a light in the darkness."

Sarah writes about her journey of faith in overcoming the damaging effects of child abuse and rape in her post Braver than you Think on her blog Writing.

healing and therapy
contributor Nancy Richards discusses the importance of Remembering to Mourn, posted at Heal and Forgive. just as many survivors struggle with mourning through the healing process, Nancy does. she shares her mourning "rituals" that have really helped her process this difficult part of healing.

thank you so much to all of our contributors. it can be a difficult thing to share such personal experiences with the world. i admire all of you for sharing your thoughts and histories so that we can all try to make this world a better, safer place for our children. i feel so blessed to be among such an amazing group of survivors!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Keeping Mentally Well

The atoning love of the Savior includes His willingness to bear not only the burden of our sins--which would separate us forever from our Father--but also our day-to-day burdens of fear and anxiety--which would deprive us of peace and joy.

As Sister Patricia Holland explains, giving our burdens to the Lord sometimes requires us "to make that leap of faith toward His embrace when we are least certain of His presence...When we hand our fears and frustrations to Him in absolute confidence that He will help us resolve them, when in this way we free our heart and mind and soul of all anxiety, we find in a rather miraculous way that He can instill within us a whole new perspective--He can fill us with 'that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory' (see Helaman 5:44)."
Cornnut is an art lover and an advocate for child abuse prevention.
She loves being a wife and a mother. Check out her personal blog, Picture of Experience .

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

figures, doesn't it?

i find it somewhat ironic (but completely typical) that on the very day i sing praises to my parents the universe sees fit to have my mother pull another stunt and make me cry. she's really good at that. lucky for me no one in my family cares enough to read my blog no matter how much i ask so i can bitch about it all i want.

as you know, my sister is getting married in a few weeks. and i am not a bridesmaid, because i am "older and married." well her bridal shower is coming up on saturday, and my youngest sister and i were supposed to be doing games for the shower. my youngest sister (we'll call her C) didn't want to help, she was also doing invitations, so i was going to do it myself. well yesterday afternoon i called my mom to make sure i could get a ride with her. and got attacked because C had been crying because she felt left out. and apparently C was the one supposed to be doing the whole shower because she's a bridesmaid. well i told my mom that i understood because i've been feeling left out too. her response? "well there's a difference between being an older and married sister and being a bridesmaid." oh, okay, i see. i got married so my feelings don't matter as much? i'm two years older so i shouldn't be a bridesmaid? it doesn't matter that i got a new dress, because i could have just worn anything i had since i'm not in the wedding party? it's a big deal that i wanted my husband to have a matching tie as all of the other men in the family since we're not included in the wedding party? i really shouldn't be doing anything for the damn shower because i'm not one of the bridesmaids?

then the real kicker. my mother being the lovely woman that she is made a snide comment about how much my sister C cried over being left out of my wedding and she didn't want that to happen this time. excuse me? first of all, they lived out of state. second of all, i did everything i could to include them. last of all, i spent nearly every day of my entire engagement in tears because of my parents. i didn't even know if my family was going to show up to my wedding until the week before. the day before my wedding i went through the temple for the first time, and my mother couldn't bother to be there. oh wait, until it was about four hours before we were supposed to be there and my dad called to tell me she had in fact decided to show up and they were on the way to the airport. my bridal shower? my mom was in the state visiting a friend and didn't show up. and whose fault is all of this? that's right--it's mine. it's my fault my family wasn't going to come. it's my fault my sister felt left out (when my parents are the ones that created the barrier). it's my own damn fault that my hubby's family paid for pretty much the entire wedding.

but can i tell my mom how i really feel? of course not. because it would end up being turned back around on me and i would end up feeling worse about myself than i already do. because i would end up sobbing hysterically and be depressed for a month. so instead i get to hold all of the hurt, the anger, the pain, the resentment, the frustration inside of me. i get to talk to my hubby and vent on the internet until i just let it go. because for the past 23 years every time i try to talk to her about it, things only get worse. so i'm going to just be the bigger person here and deal with it.

besides....it is my sister's wedding. i remember what it was like to want things to go my way for my wedding. i remember being so upset when my family tried to tell me what to do and how to do it. i remember how frustrating it was to have stupid family issues get in the way. so i'm not going to get in the way. after all, the day really is about her and her fiance. she will probably never know how badly it hurts me that i've been disincluded from this wedding. she will probably never know how painful it is that i haven't been invited into the wedding party just because i'm married. i love her though, and that's why i'm just keeping my mouth shut.

sometimes i wish i could just smack my mother across the face and make her wake up and see the way she treats people. especially me....and how she treats me so differently from my siblings.

Monday, June 15, 2009

the fathers in my life

as a child i endured horrific and prolonged sexual abuse. far too often abuse is at the hands of a parent, especially a father. in my case my abuser was my uncle, my dad's youngest brother. how easy it would have been for my parents, like so many others, to refuse to believe my uncle was capable of such behavior. how convenient it would have been for them to turn their heads and push it under the rug, for the sake of "keeping the family together." for many survivors this is part of their story. my parents did none of those things.

the day my sister and i approached my parents with the details of our abuse is one that stands out in my mind. the unbelievable love and support i received from my parents after the initial shock can not be described. they never questioned us--from the very beginning the trusted and believed us completely. action was taken immediately. my sister and i were put into counseling, my parents approached my grandparents and my uncle, and legal action was taken. as an adult i am aware of how unique a situation this is, and i am in awe of my parents for being able to put their own feelings on the backburner in order to make sure my sister and i got the help we needed.

throughout my teenage years as i painfully and slowly began the healing process, my parents were there for me. in nearly every other aspect of my growing up i struggled with the way my parents dealt with things. with my abuse, i have very few complaints. instead i am filled with gratitude for the understanding and support they gave me, and continue to give me. my father especially has struggled as his relationships with his family have suffered.

i'd like to thank my parents for their unwavering love and the way they pushed me to get the help i needed, especially when i thought i didn't need it.

besides my father, i had another father looking after me and helping me. my father in heaven. over and over again, when i was in the depths of despair, on the brink of suicide, feeling hopeless and the pain was too great to bear, my God was there to bolster me up. had i not had a father here on earth to love and support me i still would have had a literal father to give me the help i needed.

you have all heard this rhyme:

humpty dumpty sat on a wall,
humpty dumpty had a great fall;
all the king's horses
and all the king's men
couldn't put humpty together again.

but the beautiful things is that the king can, and the king will, put me back together again.

father's day is a wonderful holiday for me. it is a celebration of the wonderful father i had growing up, who sacrificed so much for me and my siblings. it is a celebration of the fantastic husband i have, of what an amazing father he is to our son (and soon to be daughter). it is a celebration of my father in heaven, of his unconditional love and understanding.

i hope that all of you, whether you enjoy father's day or not, will always remember that no matter what happens, no matter what has happened, i believe that you always have a father there to love you and be your rock.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

busy busy busy

holy crap, i haven't posted since june 1? i'm such a slacker.

actually i'm stressed beyond belief. we finally have a moving date---june 27th. we haven't sold our house yet (boo) but we do get to leave our very scary neighborhood (yay). i have been trying to pack and my house is a perma-mess. plus i've been sick for a few days, so there is a mountain of laundry staring me down, and dishes that need to be done (in spite of the fact dear hubby did them two days ago....i swear dirty dishes breed).

plus it's june, which means there are a million things going on. i have a baby shower this saturday which i am really looking forward to. this weekend is also a local scottish festival that we love to go to. and hubby has a barbecue with some work friends. next week i have a dr appt, a party with one of hubby's coworkers, my sister's bridal shower, and tons more packing to do. week after that we're moving. then it's the fourth of july, and the next week my sister gets married. i want to pull out my hair just thinking about it.

for my sister's bridal shower i'm in charge of the games. i have no money to buy things for games so i'm trying to find stuff i can do with what i have. any ideas? they're doing something really fun for her. she's already got all the dishes and things she needs so they're having a "deck the halls" shower where everyone brings a gift related to a different holiday. lucky me i got the fourth of july. awesome considering everyone has their fourth decor up for sale! i spent $20 and got the cutest glass hurricane vase with a white pillar candle in it. then i got these cute blue stars and some clear glass stones to go in it. then tie a pretty red bow around it and you've got a nice centerpiece for your table or something to put on a shelf. plus she can change out the stars and put something different in it for every holiday. i was pretty proud of myself. i just hope she likes it.

i got a cute new dress for her wedding, too. after looking everywhere i found an adorable one at old navy, and a cute little sweater thing to go over it on sale at wal-mart. and new shoes! my hubby rocks for letting me spend so much money. it makes me feel better since i've felt really left out of the whole thing. i'm the only sister not included in the wedding party. ok....take that back. the groom's older sister who is also married isn't included. something about how we're married so tough luck. it's been hard for me, but it's her wedding, not mine, so i'm not going to make a fuss.

well now that i've droned on....here's a nice reminder for all of you to get your submissions in for the blog carnival!

Monday, June 1, 2009

upcoming june edition of the blog carnival against child abuse

i can't tell you all how excited i am to be hosting june's edition of the blog against child abuse. for those of you who don't know what it is, a blog carnival is a type of blog event. it is similar to an online magazine, in that it is dedicated to a particular topic (in this case child abuse prevention and awareness). the blog carnival against child abuse is published monthly. each edition of the blog carnival is in the form of a blog article that contains permalinks to other blog articles on the topic. each edition is hosted on a different blog every month, and in june it is my turn to host it.

the theme for june's carnival coincides with father's day. many child abuse survivors have strong emotions tied to their parents. often times fathers and parents are the perpetrators in abusive situations. for a lot of survivors, father's day is a difficult day--sometimes worse than mother's day. on the other hand, sometimes in the case of children who have been abused parents can be a huge support. i look forward to reading submissions that are along this theme of fathers and parents in general.

in addition to the monthly theme there are several categories that are standard that we love to get submissions from. these are:
Advocacy & Awareness
Healing & Therapy
In the News
Survivor Stories

you are more than welcome to submit a new post that goes along with the monthly theme or any of the categories. you are also more than welcome to submit an older post that you would like to share. the more submissions, the better!

to submit a post, go to the submission form. the blog carnival will post on friday, june 19th. the deadline for submissions is wednesday, june 17th. this gives you a few weeks to be thinking about what you would like to share.

i'd like to thank marj over at survivors can thrive for giving me the opportunity to participate by hosting this edition. if you'd like to see some of the past carnivals for some great reading and ideas, you can check out may's edition on her blog.

thank you in advance for your participation!