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Magical World

Wouldn't it be lovely if, with just a twitch of the nose, life, or any aspect of it could be changed. Instead, positive changes always seem to involve tremendously hard work, determination, and endless setbacks. How lovely it would be to have the powers of Samantha Stephens.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Counseling Day


I woke at 6:30 and decided to scrap running today. I'm not sure why. I went through my morning routine, then sat at the computer and pondered doing my counseling homework. I don't want to do it. I'm supposed to free-write about my feelings about control-food-stress-coping. I sat for about 30 minutes, thinking (which you're not supposed to do in a free-write). Then I decided to do e-mail instead. I guess the thing is that I'm not ready to do this yet.

I've already written by feelings about control. And when I get under too much stress, I usually run to relieve it. But I have been under more stress in the last few months than I have experienced for years. And I'm being told that I need to:
1. Allow myself to feel my feelings, and to work through them in positive ways. A very good idea--but I don't know how to do it yet.
2. Experience spontenaeity--which I've been doing. And while it's certainly a positive thing, it also is a stressful thing because it increases the feeling that I'm out of control.
3. Allow myself to have meaningful friendships and relationships outside of my husband and children. Again, a positive thing, I'm sure, but also very risky. This involves NOT constructing defensive walls. This involves extending the relationship beyond a few months. This involves actual caring, sharing feelings and confidences, allowing the other person to have some say in the ownership of the relationship. This is very scary.

Honestly, I really don't feel that I have any say anymore in the feelings that come. I feel compelled to acknowledge them, analyze them, and try to resolve them, but I'm largely unsuccessful in that resolution department. Which is why, I think, everything has become so extreme for me.
1. Wanting to have Darrin linked to me. This hasn't always been so, but has developed since I started counseling. I just feel really insecure sometimes. I need his reassurance that he still loves me in spite of all the changes I'm going through. And I hate feeling that need.
2. Vacillating between wanting to encourage and support David as he works through the feelings and struggles he's experiencing, and just wanting him to go away--I think this is happening because even though I love him dearly, I really hate the thought that I might have an emotional responsibility to him, that I can't just cut and run. This is the LONGEST (with the exception of my husband) that I've stayed in a close friendship with anyone, and I'm finding it very stressful. Not to mention the fact that I understand too much of what he's going through, and while that may be comforting to him, it puts me in the position of reliving some pretty painful memories. Everything here is too complicated.
3. Okay, here's the real problem: not eating. Why don't I want to eat? Why am I repulsed by food? What am I getting out of this? The truth is that when I don't eat I feel very strong. My mind feels clear. My emotions feel weaker. And the longer I go without food, the better I feel. I feel incredibly powerful. This is something that I can do, that most people cannot (never mind the fact that it's incredibly weird and stupid, and no one in their right mind would even WANT to enter this competition). Also, there is a weird "high" that comes as the body sends those endorphins out to help deal with the pain of intense hunger. I can't explain this very well, but it's like a very addictive, powerful drug. I find it nearly irresistible. There is an additional side-effect of all this: as I become obsessed with this, it's easier to push everything else into the background. I can stop worrying about whether or not Darrin still loves me, because I'm concentrating on the physical feelings inside of me. I can avoid the things my counselor tells me to do, because I'm consumed with the not eating thing, and I don't have time or room for anything else. I'm realizing that I've allowed this obsession to really slow my healing process.

Everything I've written thus far, has been pretty random, so maybe, in a way, I'm doing that homework here.

I left for my counseling appointment at 10:00. I have a family party that I'm supposed to be back for at 1:00, but I have a feeling I'll be late. Part of me doesn't want to go. I spent about 1.5 hours talking with my counselor. She keeps saying that there's more...that I'm not telling her everything. So today I said, "You're right, I'm not telling you everything. You don't need to know everything. In September, I'll have lived 40 years, and a lot can happen in that time. I don't feel a need to lay my life out to you. Some things are mine, and mine alone." She said she just felt that I kept dropping bombshells out of the blue on her--she says I never told her I had a past eating disorder, but that's not true. I even put it on my initial paperwork, and I have mentioned repeatedly that I was feeling some helplessness when it came to eating. I started mentioning it at our first meeting. I can't help it if she chooses not to listen. She wants to keep meeting. I don't. She said it was my decision, I can discontinue counseling at any time, but she would feel more comfortable if I would continue to come until the eating was a little bit more stable. I said I'd come back in a month. She tried to talk me into weekly visits again. I repeated that I'd come back in a month. She suggested a two-week visit. I was firm--back in a month. So I have an appointment a month from now. She didn't assign any homework, just told me to make sure I ate every day.

I left her, knowing I was already late for the family party thing. I went to Sam's club and got some fruit for a salad, and some other stuff we need, then headed for home. I arrived around 2:15, threw the fruit salad together, and got to the party at 2:30. We stayed for about 45 mintues, then left.

We went home, and relaxed for a couple of hours. Darrin and I had a church meeting at 7:00, so we left the kids and went to that. It was a great meeting. I accompanied a musical number, and that went much better than our rehearsal yesterday. We got home around 9:30, and put everyone to bed. Darrin and I stayed up talking till around 11:00, then slept.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


I woke up to a cloudy, cold morning. I was NOT feeling brave enought to face the cold for a morning run, so I postponed it till after the kids were at school. Our morning went smoothly--everyone got where they needed to go on time. I took my mom's graded/edited papers to her and went for my run. NO ONE WAS OUT AT THIS TIME!!! And while that normally wouldn't bother me, I found myself feeling a little exposed and lonely. We morning runners always exchange smiles and waves. It's a nice feeling--we're all different shapes and sizes, and at different fitness levels, but we respect the fact that we're OUT THERE, challenging ourselves, improving ourselves, doing what we love. However, I paced myself beautifully and ran nearly 6 miles before I had to get back for a rehearsal.

I showered quickly and made it to my rehearsal (late). It didn't go well. I'm accompanying a singer who's insecure about her voice. I hate that. They always ask me for advice--like I know anything about singing!!! She actually sings quite well, but just lacks confidence. We finished after about an hour.

I went to work for a couple of hours. Usually my dad is around, cracking the whip, finding more for me to do, watching over my shoulder. I'm always telling him to get a life and let me work. We crack each other up. He wasn't there today--lonely AGAIN!!! I'm not liking this feeling. Six months ago I wouldn't have cared if I was alone--today, it's bothering me. My dad arrived just as I was leaving. We chatted for a few minutes, and then I left.

I called Darrin at work and asked him to go on a date with me tonight. I really MUST be lonely!! He was pleased that I did that--which is good because if he had said no, or that he was too busy, or that he had Bishop meetings, I WOULD have divorced him on the spot.

I took Tabitha to a nearby historical site to do some quick research for a school project. It was weird--I'm feeling a disconnect from her lately. Usually we talk non-stop, but I'm not feeling talkative around her. I forced myself to bring up a topic she'd be interested in. We need to stay close to each other. After a minute or two, my reluctance to talk left and we had a wonderful conversation. We stopped at Walmart and got some necessities. I bought myself another pair of jeans (Note to self: I am now at the smallest size Walmart carries. I HAVE to stop losing weight because I can't/won't afford shopping at specialty stores that carry smaller sizes. Also, I refuse to wear anything smaller than a 4. It makes me feel small, insignificant, weak--how weird is that????), and got Tabitha a t-shirt and some nail polish--she's happy!

Darrin and I left the kids at home to fend for themselves for dinner, and we went to see Firewall at the $3 theater. We like to go to movies there, more because the theater is historic, and the seats and aisles are larger. And we always see families and couples that we know, which is fun. The ticket price doesn't hurt either. My opinion of Firewall: Harrison Ford is getting too old to play this type of character. If he wants to play that role, he needs to be more buff. He looked elderly and desperate--not heroic. Also, this movie had the potential for some really cerebral plot twists, but the makers concentrated all their efforts on the VERY LONG ending fight scene, which was barely endurable. A poor execution of a fairly good story. This movie can't hold a candle to Clear and Present Danger or The Fugitive. I give it 2.5 stars :) .

Darrin and I got home around 9:30. We sat with the kids and chatted for a few minutes, then they went to bed. I mentioned to Darrin that David's computer had a virus which wiped his hard drive. Because one of Darrin's degrees is in the computer field, he gave me some good advice, and suggested I call David to get more information--maybe he could still recover some of his files. I called him. At 10:00 I told David I had to go to bed. He laughed at me because for him, 10:00 on a Friday means the night is still young. I promised to read and respond to his e-mail and said good-by.

I woke Darrin, and we went to bed. We were both so tired. It felt good to sleep.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


I got up late (5:45), but went quickly through my morning routine, guzzled a protein shake, and ran my new course that I charted yesterday. It has a HUGE hill I have to run up, which I did, and then was too tired to maintain my pace for the next few miles. I walked/ran the rest of the course. This will be a challenge.

I got home, showered, and drove the kids to school, then came home and taught piano lessons. At noon I went to the office to work. I found my dad there, struggling with some problem clients, so I worked on HIS taxes (which are late because he keeps forgetting to get all his paperwork together), until 3:00, when I went home to get ready for my last group lesson of the semester. I've been telling all my students that I'll be taking a sabbatical for summer, so with a couple of exceptions, no lessons until the end of August. It is really a relief to know I get some time off.

I have a contract job accompanying the Junior High band students for District Music Festival, so I spent about 35 minutes reading through their accompaniments and earmarking the ones I'll need to spend some time on.

My students arrived at 4:00. I awarded trophies and ribbons to the students who participated in the piano festival last Saturday. A one is the highest rating. I had seven students participate--4 got ones, 2 got twos, and 1 got a three (and I'm cutting her some slack since it was her first time and she was pretty scared). I was proud of them for participating even though I couldn't be there. They did well!!

I was finished teaching at 5:00, and decided to go for a walk. I got my across-the-street-carpool-mom friend to go with me, and we walked for about an hour. Her parents are in poor health and she needed to vent.

Darrin, Jr. had dinner ready when I got home ( I LOVE that boy!!)--ravioli and spinach salad. I tried to eat, but only managed a bit of salad and one ravioli. Oh well, I'll try again tomorrow. Darrin, Jr. had a concert tonight, and Darrin had meetings (AGAIN!!), so I left Tabitha and Adam home to finish homework and read, and went to Darrin, Jr's concert with him. It was really good. I sat with some old friends, which was fun.

We got home at 8:30. I put the kids to bed as my mom called me wanting me to do some editing on some papers for her students. I finished two of the ten, then got bored and stopped. I'll do the rest in the morning. Darrin got home and did e-mail while I wrote in my blog. We went to bed around 10:00--sleep came quickly and easily.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I woke up today, for the first time in months, feeling absolutely whole and like myself again. I feel like my life belongs to me. I think it's because my mother-in-law is gone. No more stress over having her too close to me. She bought me a Rachael Ray cookbook while she was here, insisting that I would love it. I dislike Rachael Ray. She smiles too much. She's WAY too happy. I put the cookbook where it can no longer be seen. I think the second reason is that I've been eating small amounts regularly, and that's good for me, even if I don't like it. I'll keep doing that, and maybe someday I won't dislike it (food) anymore.

I ran sprints on the treadmill this morning--which is really not fun for me, but increases my stamina. Then I took Darrin, Jr. to school. I raced home to take a shower before I had to drive the carpool to their school.

I went to work and finished up some extended tax returns. These always seem to be the most complicated--and have the least adequate record keeping. Around 12:30 I left to go home and eat lunch. While I was thinking about how I needed to eat, a friend called and asked me to go out to lunch with her. I jumped at the chance, knowing I WOULD eat if someone was with me. We had a really lovely lunch, caught up on family news, friends, gossiped was fun, and I DID eat.

I got home at 2:30, and prepared for my teen group lesson. I made cinnamon rolls and got the stuff together that I needed for our Mozart lesson. This is a fun group, but about half of them will leave early today because they have district music festival this afternoon. They all arrived at 3:30 and our lesson ended at 5:00. With the exception of one student, I will not be teaching during the months of June-August (except I will teach some seminars at the university during the summer--music history, private lessons, ensembles--all seminars will take place during the same week, then I'm finished till the last week of August). I REALLY need the break. I might go nuts with all the time on my hands, but that's alright.

I ran to get pizza--the Wednesday meal of choice--so Tabitha could eat before her activity tonight. The boys don't have activities this week, so they were relaxing a bit. I ate a spinach salad and half a slice of pizza. It was enough. Darrin has MORE meetings tonight, so he dropped Tabitha and the carpool girls off at their activity. I borrowed my dad's pick-up and mapped out a running course in an off-road area for tomorrow. Then I went to Walmart and bought some running clothes that are smaller and will fit. I'm not spending money on expensive stuff till I get back to normal and know what my size will be.

I got home around 8:00, sent Tabitha to the shower, and checked on the boys' homework. The kids were in bed by 8:30, and asleep around 9:00. I sent out some e-mail, then got ready for bed, waiting for Darrin. He arrived home around 10:00. We went to bed and I was asleep almost immediately.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Departure


Everyone was up early today. Darrin, Jr. had music festival and the bus left at 6:30, so he was getting ready around 5:00. Mary will be leaving around 7:30. Darrin is taking her this time. I was helping everyone get ready to go when she insisted on taking pictures. Naturally. I'm still wearing my pajama pants, no shower, bedhead to the max, I'm beautiful--so, of course, she wants to preserve the moment. SHE, however, is immaculate, nicely dressed, clean. I ran down to my bedroom and quickly donned some clothes and a weird smile for the picture. Then Darrin and Darrin, Jr. left for work and school trip, respectively.

I was feeling tired and cranky today, and a little ill from all the food I ate yesterday. I helped Tabitha and Adam get ready for school. At 7:25 my dad arrived to pick up my MIL. He is going with them and stopping at the eye surgery place to have his other cateract surgery, while Darrin takes his mom to the airport--what a carpool!! My dad chatted for a moment with me. He said my counselor had called him to report on me. He said she's worried. I don't want to hear about it. He left with Mary, who wept crocodile tears as she hugged me and told me she loved me.

I took the carpool kids to school, then went home to get ME ready for the day. I was going to run, but ended up playing games on the computer and pondering whether or not to go to work today. I wasted more than two hours playing, e-mailing, visiting blogs and sites I should stay away from... around 1:00 I decided to go for a run. I was still frustrated with the past week and ran the first mile in fewer than 7 minutes--a record for me, I think, because I'm so slow. Then I wanted to puke because I pushed so hard for a better speed. I barely was able to complete 2.5 miles before I had to stop. I walked another mile, then showered and went to work.

I worked for about 2 hours, then went home. I realized around 4:30 that I hadn't had anything to eat since my protein shake this morning. Frustrated, I ate an energy bar that I didn't want. I decided we were going to have left-overs for dinner--we have a TON!! I started reheating food and called the kids to eat around 6:00, and we all ate something. Darrin made it home a little before 7:00, and joined us in our left-overs.

We put the kids to bed at 8:00, for reading time, and Darrin left for church meetings (this will probably become a regular thing now). I have a computer virus, so I ran some scans, wrote in my blog, e-mailed, and made a training schedule for an upcoming 5K. I got very tired a little after 10:00 and went to bed. Darrin joined me later--I don't know what time it was.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Something that ticks me off

Okay, I 've already established that, although I love my mother-in-law, she makes me nuts. She enters my kitchen while I'm cleaning and explains that she can't figure out where anything goes (intimating that she doesn't like my organization skills) or she would be glad to help. She tells me repeatedly not to put anything plastic or wood (handles of knives) into the dishwasher--my philosophy is that if it can't go into the dishwasher, it BETTER go into the trash!! She turns the blades of the knives in my knife block upward to "preserve the sharp edge better." Nevermind that it's a safety hazard. Nevermind that it looks STUPID. Nevermind that I like it the other way!!!

But THIS visit she committed a rather awful mistake. I must preface this with a story. About a year ago I was making lentil soup. I was letting it simmer, but forgot to turn the heat down. After about an hour, I checked on it. The soup was sticking to the bottom of the pot and starting to burn. I hurriedly turned it into a clean pot and ran the other one full of water. When I turned back to the soup, a carrot had floated to the top. A smiling face had been scorched into it's surface. Laughing to myself, I rescued it from the soup and showed my kids. They LOVED it. We saved the carrot, and even when it had dried out, the smiley face was still visible. It has sat on the back of my stove ever since that day.

My mother-in-law threw it out on Saturday.

The kids are devastated. Tabitha went through two large trashbags, trying to find it--no luck. They told David about the loss--even HE feels it. Even Darrin is a little unhappy at the loss. I'm trying to decide if I'm sad that the carrot is gone, or just mad that my MIL feels she can take over my kitchen and do whatever she wants in it.

We miss our carrot. It's time for the mother-in-law to go home.

Day Four


We awoke to thickly falling snow. I hurried through my usual morning routine and ran a few miles on the treadmill. I took Darrin, Jr. to school, then hurried past all the other crazy parents to go home to pick up Adam, Tabitha, and my carpool girls. Mary was up when I arrived, staring in horror at our beautiful spring snow. In the last few days she's seen high winds, beautiful warm days, and a return to winter. I suppose it's not unusual to experience shock at that.

I rushed the kids to school, noticed that the roads were icing over, and decided I didn't want to drive more than necessary today. So I went to Walmart to get some groceries and other items we need. I went home and did some cleaning. I put some beef/barley stew into the crock pot for dinner. I called the trust department at the bank to arrange for our roof to have an inspection, and get permission to order more blinds for the front and dining room, since ours are currently broken. I SO want to buy my own house. Renting sucks sometimes.

I called Darrin and made arrangements to pick him up for lunch so we can take Mary out to lunch before she leaves, then Mary and I went to my parents' house to clean up the mess we left last night. My dad had already done most of the work, so I unloaded the dishwasher and did some small stuff. We left to get Darrin and 12:15, and went to one of our favorite restaurants. We had a really nice lunch, and I was hungry--I wanted to eat. I ate too much and was in a bit of discomfort for the rest of the day.

We left Darrin at work and I went home to prepare for group lesson. I made cinnamon rolls, and set everything up while I chatted with my mother-in-law. Then I told her was really tired, and we both took naps--I needed one desperately.

My students arrived at 4:00, and I taught till 5:00. Music history today--we discussed the life of, and listened to the music of, Mozart (250th anniversary of his birth this year). It was fun.

Darrin arrived home at 6:00. We ate dinner (I was still too full, but ate a little anyway). Then, because we're all still a little fried from the weekend, we vegged out around the television. I fell asleep again. I think I must be sleep deprived.

The kids went to bed at 8:30, and we followed shortly afterward at 9:00. I was drifting off to sleep when felt a sudden, overwhelming desire to connect with my husband. I knew he was tired. I tried to go to sleep--no luck. Frustrated, I reached over to touch his hand. "Still awake?" he asked. I snuggled up and kissed his shoulder. I love Darrin. I drifted off to sleep feeling loved right back.

Day Three--the Sunday of Insanity

I slept till 7:30 today. No run--I won't have time before church. Today is the day Darrin will become a Bishop--an important day for him, so an important day for all of us. I did my morning routine and went to put in my contacts. When I put in my right one, there was something in my eye between the lens and my eyeball. The pain was intense. My eye immediately started swelling--all red and puffy. I COULD NOT get the lens out. I was in agony for nearly an hour. I told Darrin I was going to have to go to the emergency room. I didn't know what else to do. I went to my room to get dressed and decided to try once more to remove the lens, this time successfully. I was SOOO relieved.

I finished getting ready for church, but put on a SpongeBob T-shirt with my skirt, just to bug my husband. He just rolled his eyes at me, then said I'd look good in anything. He always wins when it comes to who is the least juvenile--I am definitely still an adolescent at heart. I changed my shirt and we left.

Our church meetings were really good, but I was tired. It has been a long week. We attended church in the student ward, where Darrin is now Bishop, then went to our own family ward. That is a lot of church!! I was glad to go home.

We had planned a family birthday dinner for April (Darrin, Jr. is one of those birthdays) this afternoon at 5:00. Darrin, Jr had invited two friends--David and Tom. I invited Annie to come, as well. My parents' home was full by 5:15 with my family, my sister and niece, and two brothers, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, parents, and my nephews--18 people. We had a really wonderful dinner. I had to force the food down, which was aggravating.

The cakes that Annie, Tabitha and I made yesterday turned out to be really delicious. Annie was thrilled. She's too much fun--I love having her around.

We all went home. It was a long day. A good day. I fell asleep before Darrin joined me, woke up for a kiss, and went back to sleep again.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Day Two


I awoke as the sun rose--and I think it is obscene to be awake at 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning. I got up and did some e-mail I'd been putting off, then went back to bed to pretend to sleep till 6:00. Then I did my morning devotional, got up and ran on the treadmill today. I'm not sure why I didn't go outside--weird. My mother-in-law came in the room when I'd been running about 15 minutes. We said good-morning to each other, then she stayed and watched me run for another 5 minutes. It was a little bizarre. I was glad when she left.

I showered and skimmed blogs for about an hour. Then I made a protein smoothie, and got the kids up. Annie arrived around 9:30. She wanted to make cakes. Darrin, Jr. wanted Molten Lava cakes for his birthday. They're chocolate and have a melted chocolate center. They take quite awhile to prepare, which is why we're working on them today. I wasn't ready to go yet, so Annie and Tabitha pulled out a board game. I came upstairs after painting my toenails with a new color, and painted Annie's and Tabitha's nails, as well. They're very cute girls.

We were making the cakes at my parents' home, so we left Darrin, Jr. and Mary in my kitchen making sauce for tomorrow's lasagne. Mary makes everything from scratch. It tastes incredible, but makes me nuts. I just don't have time to spend 4 hours on pasta sauce. Darrin and Adam went to the store, and dropped us off at my parents' house on the way. We had a wonderful time, the girls ate more chocolate than they should have--and so did my mom. We had the cakes half finished, but the chocolate centers weren't firm enough to work with, so we took a break for lunch. Annie's father wanted to come get her at 1:00. I called and left a message that we wouldn't be finished and that we wanted to go to the store, so we'd drop her by later.

We finished the cakes and left for the store. Annie's older sister is having a baby shower tonight, so I bought a gift for that. Tabitha has a birthday party tonight, so I bought a gift for that. I need clothes that fit, so I bought some of those. Then, since we all have the same size feet (size 3), we all bought matching flip-flops, just for fun. Tabitha and Annie bought black, and I bought blue, so Tabitha can't steal mine when she loses hers. I changed into my new clothes (that fit), and we went to Annie's house.

Tabitha and I left in time to get her to the birthday party, and I fixed taco salad for dinner. Mary had bought me some flowers-- I love flowers, and she knows it. They are beautiful. I'm feeling less stress about her today, because I haven't had to entertain her. We had a wonderful time at dinner, eating and talking. Then I left for the baby shower. It was really fun. I love spending time with David/Annie/Janie's family.

I got home around 9:00. We put the kids and the mother-in-law to bed. Darrin ironed a shirt while I wrote in my blog. Then we went to bed and immediately to sleep. I realized something today--for the first time in many months, I felt completely happy. I don't know if it's because I love spending time with Tabitha and Annie. I don't know if it's because I'm eating regularly again (even though it's not a lot), and my system is getting back to normal. I don't know what triggered that feeling--but it's wonderful.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Day One

I awoke at 4:30, arose at 5:00. I knew my mother-in-law would sleep longer than the rest of us (on Pacific time), so I wanted to get my morning routine, including my run, finished before she got up. I am getting so much stronger!! Today I exended my run by a mile and ran the first mile in a record time for me. It feels wonderful. Note: I am eating 3 meals daily now--not big meals, but at least I'm eating. Meals for a typical day includes a protein shake for breakfast, a salad with nuts or cheese, and fruit for lunch, and then I eat dinner with my family. My servings are still very small, and I have to talk to myself to get through each meal, but I'm doing it and I'm proud of myself.

Mary joined me as I finished my run. We chatted for a moment, then I showered and took the kids to school. When I got back, I finished up the paperwork for tomorrow's piano festival, then Mary and I delivered the paperwork and went to the store. My mother-in-law moves so s-l-o-w-l-y!!! I nearly went nuts. We were at the store for an hour and a half. I swear she has to do every aisle and we were in a Super Walmart!!! I thought we'd never get out of there. She got in a very long check-out line. I did the self-check-out because I'd had it with waiting for her.

Mary wanted to stop at get salads at Wendy's. I told her the lines would be forever, but she insisted, so I went to the drive-through. We sat in line for 10 minutes, barely moving, and she said maybe we should go home to eat instead. GOOD IDEA!!!! By the time we got home, she had a headache and wouldn't eat what I prepared for lunch. She snacked on junk food instead, and complained that she couldn't lose the extra pounds she has put on recently. I'm the WRONG person to talk to about losing weight right now. I ignored her.

Darrin called with some questions about our insurance. We talked for a few minutes, and then I went to work. My dad visited with Mary for about an hour while I typed forms. I took them to the copy room, and somehow lost one of the originals for the Social Security Administration between my office and that room. I looked for it for about 30 minutes, then gave up and went home to teach piano lessons.

I taught from 3:30 till 5:00, and then made dinner. We ate and then I left to go to a church women's conference. I wasn't planning to go, but REALLY needed a break from my MIL. I'm so glad I went. It was so much fun--a good break. And it gave Mary a chance to visit with Darrin and the kids without me.

Darrin and I went to bed. I was out of sorts because I didn't feel like I got anything done today. And I was tired because I was up so early. Darrin started to cuddle. I turned my back to him and pretended to sleep. He stroked my back and whispered, "Only four more days till she leaves..." "I hate you," I told him. He laughed again and pulled me close. He said he was sorry I'd had a frustrating day and kissed my neck. "Okay, I really love you," I said, kissing him back. Somehow, after that, everything seemed much better.

The Arrival


I woke up around 4:00, and lay in bed for an hour, wishing I could sleep. I got up at 5:00, got e-mail, and surfed a bit (no porn!! good for me!!), and added to my blog. Darrin arose at 5:30, so I did my usual morning routine at that time, and we discussed my "responsibility" to go pick up his mother today. I've decided to take Adam with me. He needs shoes, and we can stop at a Reebok outlet that's kind of in between our town and the airport. Darrin told me he's decided to see if he can arrange to take a half day and come with us. I'm just hoping that my lack of sleep doesn't hinder my ability to drive safely, so it would be good if he can do that.

The kids had to be at school early today for a choir practice, so I skipped my run in order to make it in time--and I was feeling a little tired, as well.

My first student arrived at 8:30, and I taught till noon. My phone didn't stop ringing all morning long. I don't answer when I teach, but the interruptions are annoying, to say the least. Darrin, Jr. came home for lunch around 11:30, and we sat and chatted for a moment. Darrin arrived at noon and we picked up Adam from school, and left for the airport. I drove as Darrin and Adam ate lunch and took naps. After about 2 hours, Darrin and I switched and I napped for the final half hour--I was TIRED.

We waited for about an hour at the airport--couldn't find my mother-in-law. It turns out that the printout Darrin had made of her flight schedule, didn't include the name of the airline she was flying in on. This is NOT a good start to her visit. Finally, Darrin's cell phone rang. It was his stepfather (Darrin's mom, for some reason, doesn't have Darrin's number, but his stepfather does--weird), and we were able to find my MIL, Mary.

We got back on the road, drove to the outlet store and bought six pairs of shoes--one each for Mary, Adam, Tabitha, and me (I've run off the tread of my current running shoes), and two for Darrin. I was surprised when Mary insisted on purchasing her pair, and also Adam's and mine. Interesting, and a little unusual for her. We thanked her, got back in the car, and drove home. Darrin was trying to convince us to stop for dinner, but I just want to go home. I had made some soup this morning, and Tabitha and Darrin, Jr. were heating it up for us and setting the table.

We arrived home at 7:00, and ate a late supper. It was nice. Darrin dashed off to ANOTHER meeting at 7:30. We cleaned up, and Mary chatted with the kids while I changed the sheet on Adam's bed (which doubles as our guest bed--poor Adam) and put our air mattress in Darrin, Jr's room for Adam. Then I cleaned Adam's floor and vacuumed it, just to make sure the room would be perfect for my MIL. Which is kind of funny, because she's an absolute slob, and probably wouldn't have minded if I hadn't even changed the sheets. Oh well, maybe I did it for me.

We put the kids to bed at 9:00, then Mary and I chatted till Darrin got home around 10:00. I had forgotten to type a paper for Tabitha, so I did that quickly, and we went to bed. I was asleep immediately.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I got up at 5 a.m. with Darrin, did my devotional, drank a protein shake and RAN. What a wonderful feeling. I love running. It clears my head, works out any stress or frustration, and makes me feel strong. I came home in time to grab a quick shower and take the kids to school. I did some quick shopping, then met my first student around 9:00. I taught lessons till noon.

I'm still trying to keep things on an even keel--low stress. There will be plenty to stress me out when my mother-in-law gets here tomorrow. I have to go to the airport to pick her up as soon as I'm done with my morning students--it's a 5-hour round trip drive to the airport and I'm really not looking forward to it. Actually, I really love my mother-in-law, but she is SO opinionated, and since I am, too, we often butt heads. I told Darrin I'd try to keep a low profile this visit.

I checked in at work for a few hours, then came home to teach again. I taught from 3:30 to 5:30, ran to get pizza, then took Tabitha to her church activity and Darrin, Jr. to a rehearsal. I got home in time to take Adam and I to our church activities. Tonight was VERY cold and windy, and we were having workshops on car maintenance. I FROZE MY BUTT OFF--but it was really fun. I enjoy working with the 16-17 year old girls.

Darrin was gone to a meeting when we all got home around 8:30. I stayed up waiting for him, did some laundry and other housework, wrote in my blog, and went for a short run. Darrin got home while I was showering (around 9:30). He came into the bathroom and got ready for bed as I finished my shower, then he stayed and watched me towel off. Darrin followed me as I walked into the bedroom to get dressed and we talked for awhile. Sleep came easily and quickly.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I woke up at 5:30, feeling well and ready to run again. I did my morning routine, drank a protein shake and ran a few miles, and got ready for the day. We're supposed to have snow today. I drove the kids to school, then came home and worked some more on our area piano festival paperwork. Then I called all the local teachers to let them know what time their students will play on Saturday. I have decided not to help out that day. I'm trying to eliminate things from my life so I can concentrate on getting better. This will really help cut some stress. I also pulled my kids from the festival (the first time in 7 years that I have not had them participate). They actually were fine with that. It seems they've been feeling stress over me, as well, and are glad to do a little less.

We had a blizzard going by 9:30, and it continued to snow throughout the day. I decided to take things easy, so I took the day off and did some housecleaning. Then I balanced our books and did my own tax return--one day late. I really got bogged down this year. Too many clients.

My students began arriving at 3:30, and I was finished teaching by 5:30. I made chili and cornbread for dinner--and I ate some. My stomach is unhappy that I keep feeding it--it makes lots of noise and feels uneasy, but so far, everything is staying down. I don't like eating yet, but I don't hate eating anymore, and I think that's a step in the right direction.

Instead of joining my family as they did laundry tonight, I relaxed, as they suggested, surfed the internet (no porn--yay!!!), and chatted with them. It was really nice. I'm experiencing a feeling of relief and well-being for the first time in many months.

Darrin has to work tomorrow before 6:00 a.m., so we went to bed around 9:00. We talked for a few minutes, and I fell asleep quickly.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Another good morning--I'm feeling better every day. The kids had another day off today, and we have our recital this evening. I drank a protein shake and skipped my run for one more day. Tomorrow I'll start again. I did my usual morning routine, visited blogs and answered e-mail. We all (except Darrin, who has to work today) relaxed till around 10:00, when my piano students arrived.

I taught lessons till 11:00. My sister called from Germany and we talked for about an hour. I miss her. I went to the store and got refreshments and stuff for recital. Then I picked up Tabitha and Annie around 2:00. We ran off programs, then came home and relaxed some more.

Darrin came home around 5:00, we ate dinner, and went to the recital. My students played well. We cleaned up, took Annie home, and went home ourselves. The kids went to bed, and I worked on the schedule for our area piano festival.

Around 10:30 Darrin and I went to bed. An easy, relaxing, wonderful day. I need more of these.
Sunday--Happy Easter!

I awoke for the first time in about a week, without a feeling of dread. I spent the night dreaming confusing, disjointed dreams, but one was extremely clear--and Freud would have a field day with it! I dreamed I was riding in the back seat of David's car (which, by the way, my children have ridden in frequently, but I never have). He was taking me home from somewhere. In the front passenger seat was another person. That person kept changing--my husband, my father, my oldest son, and others. David passed the street where I lived and kept driving. I touched his shoulder and reminded him that he should have made a turn on that street. He became confused and turned off on the nearest side road to make his way back. The road became a dirt road with many small hills--the kind that make your stomach tickle if you go over them fast. I sat in the back seat and enjoyed the bumpy ride.

I told Darrin about my dream and he laughed. He said there was no question that David had been taking me on a ride full of ups and downs over the past few months. Then he said he was glad David had finally brought me back home.

I had to accompany a special number in church today (a different ward from my own), so I got ready and left around 9:30. Our number wasn't until the end of the service, so I sat with a friend and enjoyed the program. It was really wonderful. The service ended about an hour before our ward meets, so I went home and spent some down time with my family before we left for church. Our service wasn't as good. I wasn't very attentive as I was pondering yesterday's events. I was really feeling so much better emotionally. What a weird phenomenon.

Darrin had to stay after church for some meetings, so the kids and I made salads and went to my parents' home. My brothers and one sister were there, as well, with their children. Darrin and my father joined us and we had a really nice dinner (I ATE) and visit.

Around 7:00, my sister and I took Tabitha to Annie's house to spend the night. Because of my past, I am adamant about our "NO SLEEPOVERS" rule, but I know Annie's family, and I actually think it will be good for Tabitha and Annie to spend time together. Also, I'm trying to be more relaxed about some of the rules that I made when in my overprotective mode, so this is a good step for me. Annie's parents are aware of the abuse in my past, and realized that this is something I would not usually allow. They both told me they appreciated me trusting them with my daughter, acknowledging that this was a difficult thing for me to do. I went home reassured.

The boys wanted to watch "National Treasure", and since they have no school tomorrow, I let them stay up and watch it, while I posted entries in my blog. I haven't had the time or the inclination to do so in the past couple of days, so I got caught up. They went to bed around 10:00. Darrin and I stayed up and chatted for awhile. I am really feeling so much better. I really feel like my life has been returned to me. It's strange how my feelings that I HAD to be available to David, that I was somehow responsible for him, were making me stressed to the point of being ill. I'm certain that's just the last of many things that were causing me distress, but I am still very surprised at the relief that has come since yesterday. I really had no idea how tied I had become, how responsible I felt, how much frustration and distress I was allowing myself to feel in that relationship, and I am so grateful that David was able to say the words that would allow me to release myself from those things. I honestly don't think I could have done so effectively, without hearing him tell me he doesn't need me now. The psyche is very complicated and strange sometimes.

Darrin and I went to bed around 11:00. We were asleep almost immediately.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


I awoke today feeling too tired to move. I know the lack of food is starting to kick in. I HAVE to figure this out. I called my dad and told him I'd be in to work--late. Then I did my morning routine, thinking. A run is out of the question. I can barely function as it is. I made a protein shake, took a vitamin, and decided to forget the English muffin.

While my family slept, enjoying their vacation, I sat and thought. I decided to use one of the counseling tools given me, so I did a free write in the form of an e-mail to my young friend. In it I outlined the stresses my relationship with David is causing me. I really felt that if we could talk, if David was willing to tell me he no longer needed me, many of these stresses would abate. During the writing I came to a few realizations, and everything suddenly became clear to me. I sent the e-mail, knowing that David was at a track meet and wouldn't get it till tonight. I asked him to contact me, and told him why, but I don't think he will.

Darrin woke up as I got ready to leave. I told him what I had done. He looked at the e-mail and expressed concern that David would be spooked by it, and wouldn't respond. I feel the same way, but am getting too desperate to care. In the e-mail I outlined two ways that I could cope with the problems I am experiencing. One way is healthy, but requires David's involvement. The other way involves reverting to the self-protection of my past and will require that David be absent in my life for a time. Either way, I HAVE to have resolution of the issues causing me stress so I can eat again.

I left for work around 10:30. I finished up some more returns and met with a couple of clients. My parents went to the grocery store around noon to shop for food for tomorrow's family Easter dinner. I'm supposed to furnish a salad. I was working after they left when their personal phone rang. We have a seperate line in the office which is in my parents' home. I NEVER answer their personal line, because I hate taking messages. But today, for some weird reason, I just did. It was David. He wanted to talk. I told him I was working--I was too surprised that he called, I thought he was at a track meet. I questioned him about that. He told me the track meet was for the top three in each event, so he didn't qualify. I told him I was a little swamped--tax deadline on Monday. He apologized for interrupting me (Tabitha had given him my number), but asked when I could take a break to talk. I gave in. After all, my time is my own, and I had finished everything pressing. I told him to come. Then I called Darrin and asked him to keep the boys busy for awhile. Tabitha was due to come to help my mom with housework, so I had him tell her to get ready to come over as soon as my parents got back from the store. My dad called as I was leaving to remind me of some things I needed to do. I told him I'd be back in a little while, but needed to go home. He was fine with that.

David was at my house when I got there. He was visiting with my sons and Tabitha. I let them chat for a few minutes, then sent Tabitha to my parents' house, and the boys and Darrin went to the garage to work on bicycles. David and I talked. It was very positive. He left after a couple of hours, taking Tabitha with him to play with Annie, and I went back to work.

We had leftovers for dinner (I ate a piece of pizza), then went to my parents' house to color Easter eggs, and make ice cream. Tabitha and Annie met us there and we had a fun family gathering with my brothers and my little nephews (they are all age 3 or younger). Annie's dad came to get her at 9:30, and we discussed letting the girls have a sleepover tomorrow (no school on Monday). We went home and put the kids to bed. I crashed on the couch again. Darrin woke me at 1:30 to go to bed--we both had fallen asleep. We crawled into our much more comfy beds and went to sleep.

I arose early, leaving my family asleep. No school for them and Darrin has the day off. I do not as the tax filing deadline looms on Monday's horizon. I didn't run this morning. As I hadn't eaten for a few days, it seemed unwise. I did my morning routine, then went to the kitchen and made a protein shake. I had promised I would eat this weekend, and so I threw in some strawberries, blended it, drank it down and ate half an English muffin. I took a vitamin for good measure. I thought I was going to lose everything, but was able to keep it down.

As I got ready for work, I spent lots of time thinking. Why can't I eat? Correction: Why don't I WANT to eat. Why is food repugnant to me? What is happening? I went over the last three months in my head. I thought about my family relationships--these are good, and getting better. I thought about the past abuse in my life. I feel at peace about this, I am no longer afraid of men, especially young men, I hold no more malice toward my cousin. I have some residual side effects of the abuse, but all are recognizable and manageable. So what is left?

David. It has to be David. When I first decided that I needed him to tell me that he no longer needs me, I wrote him an e-mail asking him to do so. He has never acknowledged this request. Initially I thought there was plenty of time to get to that point where we could talk about this. I realize now that I need this to happen sooner, rather than later. I talked with Darrin about this. He doesn't understand, and I'm not sure I completely understand either. I need to think about this some more.

I left for work around 10:00. I finished up a couple of returns and began my last corporate one. This one is an extension (corporates have to be done by March 15), so there's no rush on it. However, it is very complicated because the owner keeps sloppy books (sole proprietor) and I'll have to meet with him a couple of times to make certain everything is correct. I went home at 3:00, and ate a pear. Not a great lunch, I know, but all I could stomach.

I taught piano lessons from 3:30-6:00. Darrin and I went to get fast food for dinner (Mexican), around 6:30. We had a lovely family dinner, at which I ate two spoonfuls of refried beans and rice. I'm not having much success with the eating thing, but at least I'm making the attempt.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Counseling Day


I think Darrin and I were exhausted after our highly emotional night. He forgot to set the alarm, and I didn't wake up at my usual "earlier than alarm" time. As the morning began to lighten, around 6:00, we both awoke and realized how late it was. I rushed upstairs and woke the kids (obviously they didn't set their alarms either), then did my usual morning routine (devotional, blogs, email)--minus my run--leaving the bathroom free for Darrin to rush through getting ready. Then I showered, got ready for the day (thank goodness it doesn't take me long), and took the kids to school.

My first student arrived at 9:30, and I taught lessons till noon. I went to work and finished up another corporate return and some 1040's. At 3:15 I had to go get the kids from school because my carpool mom and her family left today to go on a short vacation (there's no school tomorrow or Monday). We got home and I visited with the kids briefly. Darrin, Jr. left to play tennis with some buddies, and Tabitha and Adam just relaxed. Tabitha wants to arrange a play date with Annie again this weekend. I told her she'd have to discuss it with her dad, my weekend in shot.

I returned to work, printed off some returns and worked on a few more until 6:00, when I left for my counseling session. On the hour drive, I tried to think about what I would discuss with my counselor, how I wanted to tell her I was finished with counseling. In the back of my mind, however, I know I'm in trouble with my eating, and I'm unsure if ending my counseling is a good move today.

When we started the session, my counselor had made a list of everything she wanted to review. It seems that SHE is ready to let me stop coming or to come just for a check in about six months. I was all for that!! Then she started her review list. Most of the review was positive.

1. I've made it past the abuse, and I've even been able to forgive my cousin, which is a great relief. I've realized that I'm not the only one in the world who cares that I was hurt, that there are many people who love me, who also care. That feels wonderful.

2. I've discussed and worked on my relationship with my mom. She still makes me nuts, but she loves me, and she told me so. She has also tried very hard to make sure she shows love to me, I have to give her credit. And I'm not trying so desperately to make sure we only talk about "safe" things. I think our relationship is better, more relaxed. And I've been able to feel genuine concern for her recovery from her seizure, which is good.

3. My relationship with my dad is flourishing. He's been in counseling, as well, because my telling him about my past really devastated him. He was so sad that he didn't know what was going on in his own home, that he INVITED my abuser to live with us, that he didn't protect or help me. He told me that I MUST allow him to pay for all the necessary therapy because it was healing for him to be able to do something to help me now. We are working together to form a partnership in his business. We are doing well.

Then my counselor asked me about eating. From that point on, the session got ugly. I told her I'm still having trouble with that. We talked about how I'm probably substituting the starvation for cutting--another form of self-harm. She doesn't believe that there's something in my past that I'm not dealing with. She just thinks I'm compensating for losing the emotional control I've had for over 20 years. She asked when I ate last. I have not been able to eat a meal since Saturday. That's five days. In that time period, I've been able to grab something occasionally (a grapefruit one day, a protein bar or shake on another, etc), but mostly, I just don't want to eat. I lost another eight pounds in the last five days. My counselor turned monstrous. She told me I have to see a doctor on Friday. I DON'T HAVE TIME!!! Saturday is the tax deadline and I still have five major returns to prepare. Monday is my piano recital for my studio, and I have to make the schedule for our area piano festival and get it to all the local teachers before Sunday. WHEN am I going to see a doctor--and who will get me in on a moment's notice? She kept saying I'm going to collapse, I'm going to end up in a psyche ward, I'm going to have to go to an eating disorders facility... I stopped listening. It's too much. I can't cope with one more thing. After two hours I told her that I would make sure to eat over the weekend, then I would try to see a doctor next week. She told me I had to promise to at least call the clinic tomorrow and talk to a nurse about my eating problem. I said I would. But I'm not going to. I DO NOT have time.

I got home around 10:45. Darrin wanted to talk, but I couldn't. I just spent 2 hours talking. We both waited up for Darrin, Jr. I surfed the internet while we waited (no porn--good for me!), and commented on a few blogs. My son arrived around 11:45. We all went to bed. I was in bed and asleep before Darrin joined me--didn't even stay awake for a good-night kiss. I was very tired.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I awoke around 4:30, and got up at 5:00. I did my usual morning routine. I'm feeling a little stressed because I'm getting behind with my tax clients. There have been too many distractions lately, interrupting my normal schedule. I ran a few miles, then came home and helped get everyone off to work and school.

I put in about an hour at the office, then came home and taught piano lessons till 11:00. My mother-in-law kept calling and interrupting lessons. I told her I'd have to call back tonight. I went back to the office and worked till 3:00, came home and taught more lessons till 5:30. Darrin made taco salad for dinner. I asked him to take care of calling his mom. She wants to come visit next week.

I ran Tabitha to her activity at 6:00, then went back to work. At 8:00 my brain was fried. I came home, helped get the kids in bed, then went to the store with Darrin. We got stuff for Easter baskets, and groceries.

We came home around 9:30. The kids were all asleep. Darrin started talking about how I needed to figure out the problems in my life and "put them behind me." He just kept saying that, like I wasn't trying hard enough. He made it sound like going to the library and checking out a book--no problem, just do it. I was getting so FRUSTRATED!! I told him I didn't want to talk to him about this anymore. He knew I was very upset. He apologized, but then said he didn't understand why I wouldn't take care of this "problem." So I crossed the line. I lost it. I never yell, but I'm pretty verbal. I told him it probably DID seem easy to him. What was HE doing at night when he was 11? I'm certain no one was trying to force sex with him. I told him he COULDN'T understand, because he had NEVER hurt so badly on the inside that he had to cut himself on the outside to relieve the pain. I told him he had no idea what it was like to go through what I've been through once, and then to have to do it all again in order to heal. I told him I would rather die than to remember the next forgotten memory. I told him I was afraid, and that he wasn't helping. It was horrible.

I wasn't looking at Darrin the whole time I spoke. I couldn't. When I looked over at him, he was crying. I'm a beast. I never know when to stop. Sometimes I hate myself so much. Then Darrin made me feel even worse. He just pulled me close and held me. He whispered that he loves me, and he doesn't want me to keep hurting either. But he's afraid that he's going to lose me, and he wants me to get well. He held me most of the night--which didn't seem to disturb HIS sleep, but kept me from sleeping well. But I stayed in his arms, because I'm a coward and I don't want to be alone. I waited till he was asleep, and then I cried.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I hurried through my morning routine this morning--left a few comments in blogs, answered email, and got ready to take my dad to surgery. My mom took the day off work and went with us. My dad was very nervous about the surgery--he's having a lens replacement for cateracts. While he was being worked on, my mom and I went shopping at Sam's Club. The surgery center was supposed to call us when Dad's done. My brother kept calling though, and tying up the phone--and my mom LET him!! I still get so frustrated at her, and my brother is disgusting. I told him not to call because we needed to hear from the doctor when the surgery was finished, and he just called MORE. I walked off and left her talking to him because they were making me NUTS!!! I finally told her I was leaving, so she hung up and came with me.

Naturally, when we got to the eyecare center, they'd been trying to call us. I didn't say anything, but I was ticked off at my mom and brother. We waited about an hour, and then saw the doctor. He took off my Dad's patch and for the first time since high school, my dad can see without glasses. He'll have the other eye done in a couple of weeks. It's pretty amazing. We ate a late lunch and I got home around 4:30. I had canceled my piano students for today, which was good.

When Darrin got home we called the kids together. Something I haven't mentioned (maybe because it just seems SO MUCH is happening at once right now) is that Darrin has been called to be a Bishop in our church for a student ward (we have a lay ministry--callings are issued through the Stake and General Presidency). That means he'll be "in charge", for want of a better description, of a ward consisting of single students who go to the university here. He'll be their Bishop, their clergyman, for about three years. We let the kids know about this, and then we went out to dinner.

We got home around 7:00. Darrin, Jr. and I had appointments to see OUR Bishop at 7:30. We changed clothes and went to see him. Darrin, Jr. will be 16 a week from Sunday, so he had a birthday interview with the Bishop. I had a follow-up interview. Our Bishop has been keeping close tabs on me as I go through counseling, but I've been dodging him the past few weeks. I just didn't want to talk to one more person about the things I'm going through. So I met with him tonight and let him know of the progress I'm making.

We got home around 8:45, and put the kids to bed. I talked to Darrin for awhile, then fell asleep on the couch. He woke me at 10:30 and we went to bed.

Monday, April 10, 2006


I got up hating this day. I actually awoke at 4:00, thinking about my friend's daughter. I finally rolled out of bed and showered. I'm not running today--too tired. I took my kids to school, went home and checked messages/read blogs. It seems a fellow blogger is closing down his blog. Right now, I have too much on my mind. I'll care next week.

I went to work and finished up some returns, then I called a friend and asked her to go to lunch with me. She's my across-the-street neighbor and we carpool each other's kids to and from school. She's an occupational therapist, a wonderful friend, and a beautiful person. Her daughters are 11 and 9, but she's about ten years older than I am. Sometimes I thrive on the wisdom and understanding she lends to me.

She's concerned about my rapid weight-loss. I told her I was probably going to be referred to an eating-disorders specialist in the next couple of weeks. My dad's been pushing me a bit to do that. She wanted to talk about her ailing parents, her girls, her husband. It was a lovely visit, and helped give my mind a break from thinking about Jana's death.

I went back to work and tried to concentrate. I couldn't. I thought about taking a nap, because I'm SO tired, but kept seeing Ward's comment about "NO NAPS!" and I knew I'd sleep better tonight if I didn't.

My first student arrived at 3:30. I taught till 5:00. Darrin, Jr. had a choir concert tonight, and was singing in a small ensemble and also a solo. Darrin and I left Tabitha and Adam at home, and went to the concert. We left after Darrin, Jr. was finished with his performances and went to visit my friend. They are so sad. We are so sad. Sometimes life is just SAD!

I am taking my dad to have eye surgery tomorrow. He called to tell me we need to leave before 8:00 in the morning. Darrin and I had a late supper, I wrote in my blog, and we went to bed at 10:00.

I have had a difficult time writing about this day. I found out this morning that a good friend of mine lost his 8-year-old daughter to pneumonia yesterday. She was being life-flighted to a nearby city and died in transit. I have known her since she was a baby. The loss is gut-wrenching and horrifying. I wept for most of the day, then tried to pull myself together in time to get ready for the performance I and my piano ensemble have been practicing for over the past few months.

We met at 5:00, ate together and discussed our program. Our page-turners hadn't practiced with us in the chapel with the two piano set-up, so at 6:00 we had a program run-through for their benefit. They're so nervous that they'll mess us up. I was able to relax and turn my mind to the performance, but it was really difficult. Our ensemble works well together, and we LOVE playing with each other!

At 7:00 the audience was packed and we began. I forget EVERYTHING else when I perform. It's a time when I feel true joy because I'm sharing something I love with my whole heart. David tells me he could turn off the sound and just WATCH me perform, because he thinks it's the only time I look happy and at peace. He's funny. I told him he couldn't watch ME--he needed to watch the music and do his job! I never get nervous--I just have a wonderful time.

The performance went SO WELL! We finished and took our bows--happy and sad. I will miss our rehearsal times, but it's good to be done with this performance. There was a reception following, so we got to meet, greet, and talk to many people. That's not really my thing, but it's a necessary component of performing. So I put on my smile and my gracious manner, and pretended to be at ease as I talked with people I don't know.

I finally got home around 9:30. The kids went to bed after Tabitha pitched a fit about not being able to brush her teeth when she wanted to. I HATE it when she gets overtired. She's impossible. But I just wanted to hug her, hold her. I'm so sad about the death of my friend's sweet daughter.

Darrin and I went to bed around midnight. We stayed up to talk and cry.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


I slept badly last night. During our rehearsal yesterday I hit my knee on the edge of a pew, effectively moving the kneecap off to the side and back again. It was swollen and bruised and kept waking me up. Also, I have overworked my right wrist, so my hand kept falling asleep, and I didn't want to get up to put on my splint. Finally, around 4:30 I got up, found the splint, and got some sleep for a couple of hours.

I got up, posted my blog, visited some others, answered e-mail... usual stuff. I went for a nice LONG run, then came home to find everyone still asleep. I let them sleep, did my morning devotional, and showered. At 10:30 I woke everyone. They didn't want to stir. Darrin finally got up and showered. Tabitha and Adam rolled out of bed slowly, and Darrin, Jr. moaned at me. I left them to their morning woes.

My rehearsal went well. The whole group did not come--it was just me and one other. We actually spent about an hour working on our new pieces, then sat and chatted for another one. We've had so little down time lately. This particular piano buddy is a high school friend. We've been friends for years, but it seems that only in the last three years have we REALLY gotten to know each other. Maybe that's my fault--too many emotional walls... Anyway, she's an amazing friend, musician, person--I love being with her.

Tabitha had arranged for Annie to come for dinner at 5:00. Darrin and I went shopping to get some stuff for dinner and to look at some clothes for him for work--I've never understood why he likes to clothing shop, or why he likes me to be there when he does. However, I love to be with him, so I go anyway. He ended up with a few pairs of dress pants and a couple of nice button down shirts. He's a clothes horse and will probably want more next week.

We came home and made dinner--sloppy joes this time, to atone for the shrimp fiasco the last time Annie came. Tabitha and Adam folded laundry while Darrin and I made dinner. Darrin, Jr. was at a friend's house, so Darrin went to get him. We ate together. I am such a proponent of the family dinner thing. I LOVE having everyone together, talking, laughing, eating good food. What could be better?

Tabitha and Annie cleared the table, and I cleaned the kitchen and did dishes while everyone scuttled away do ANYTHING but that. That's okay, I needed some alone time. I made some double chocolate biscotti to keep me busy, because I'm starting to feel that pre-performance adrenalin. David called while I was working. He skipped his track meet today because his favorite sister is home for the OTHER sister's wedding (he has six siblings, two brothers and four sisters, as do I), and he said he wanted to spend some time with her. We talked about his role in tomorrow's concert (page-turner) and discussed our rehearsal schedule for Sunday. I told him if he turns too slowly, I push him off his chair. But if he turns too quickly, I push him off TWICE. He laughed.

At 8:30 I took, Tabitha, Annie, and Darrin, Jr. to the store with me, because I had forgotten to buy some paper plates and I need a new splint for my wrist. We shopped a bit. The girls went to the clothing department to look at clothes, and Darrin, Jr. went to electronics. Around 9:00 we left to take Annie home.

The kids went to bed around 9:30, and Darrin and I stayed up a little longer, then went to bed around midnight.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I woke up feeling a little blue today. I've been told I should ackowledge my feelings, and allow myself to feel even the negative ones. Then I can deal with those feelings deal instead of burying them. But I don't have time to deal with them today. The kids have dentist appointments beginning at 8:00, and last night it SNOWED. It's still snowing, and that means the roads will be a mess, and the drivers will be insane.

I did my morning routine, visited blogs, and skipped my run. At 7:30 I took Darrin, Jr. to school. Every other parent in town was driving a student to the high school, as well, I'm sure of it. The line of cars waiting to drop off kids stretched for blocks. I finally got back to pick up Tabitha, Adam, and my carpool kids at about 7:50. I told the carpool kids we were going to have to drop Tabitha off at the dentist before taking them to school. We started on the way, and encountered a detour. Again, cars were lined up for blocks to go through the detour. I took a LONG way around and got to the dentist just as they were opening--apparently I'm not the only one running late this morning. I dropped off Tabitha and zipped to the school to deliver the carpool kids. Adam and I went back to the dentist to wait. Tabitha was finished in about 20 minutes--which is very quick for our dentist. The hygienist told me to go get Darrin, Jr., because they would be able to get him in an hour ahead of his appointment. Tabitha and I went back to the high school, this time in lighter traffic.

One of the office workers at the high school turned out to be the mom of one of my students when I was teaching elementary music in school. Her son was one of my favorite students. We talked for a few minutes, then she asked me why I was at the high school. I told her I needed to pick up my son for a dentist appointment. Her eyes got wide, and she said, "YOU have a son in high school? You don't look old enough! You must have been VERY young when he was born!!", not really. I was almost 24. But the compliment was nice. Every "almost 40" woman wants to hear that she looks young.

We went back to the dentist and all the kids were finished more than an hour ahead of schedule--and NO CAVITIES!! I taxied them back to their respective schools, and went home. I was supposed to practice, but I'm getting tired of continuous practice, so I didn't. I blogged instead. I wrote lots of VERY LONG comments on all the blogs I visited. Some I visit regularly, some were new. When I visit a new blog, and I'm not sure I want the blogger to visit me, I won't give them my link. There are things in my life I don't want just anyone to share. I've already had some pretty negative comments that I've deleted, and some interesting e-mail--also deleted. Then I paid some bills online and balanced our books. I have to do our taxes SOON, and we're going to owe because both Darrin and I were self-employed last year. Self-employment tax sucks!

I went to work around 11:00, finished some personal 1040's, and went to rehearsal at 1:00. Because one of my piano buddies and I decided to cut our solos from the program, we're substituting a couple of shorter ensemble pieces (AT THE LAST MINUTE!! WHAT ARE WE THINKING!!), which means we'll be rehearsing again tonight. A photographer showed up to take our pictures for the newspaper and for our programs. We all look EXTREMELY casual. I'm the only one wearing make-up (because I went in to work), and no one is dressed up. It's typical of my life. Always expect the unexpected...

I raced home at 3:30, met my first student there, and taught lessons till 5:30. Then I ran to get pizza for dinner (Papa Murphy's--you bake it at home), put it in the oven, and went to my second rehearsal. I was home around 7:30--and BRAIN FRIED.

I e-mailed our program to the publicity guy, sent an e-mail to the piano buddies and our page turners about Sunday's schedule (dinner together at 5:00, program run-through at 5:30, dress and wait at 6:30, performance at 7:00). Darrin snoozed on the couch (he had to work 10 hours today), while I e-mailed and killed time. We were waiting for Darrin, Jr. to call for a ride home from a youth dance. He actually got home near midnight--he caught a ride with a friend, so we all went to bed.

I was too tired for words. I don't even remember falling asleep.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I awoke at 4:30 and wished for more sleep. I lay in bed for another hour, listening to Darrin snore contentedly-- I was envious. I got up when the alarm went off an hour later, did my morning routine and went for a run. I came home an hour later, just in time to see a city road crew, complete with backhoe and dumptruck, pull up in front of my house. It seems a water pipe had sprung a leak. We all took very hasty showers before the water was shut off.

I took the kids to school, came home and canceled my morning piano lessons. The noise was too loud to teach. I added to my blog, checked email, and practiced. Darrin, Jr. came home for lunch, but couldn't find anything he wanted to eat. I called Darrin and told him about the water being shut off and suggested he take Darrin, Jr. to lunch. He wanted me to go, too, but I had a noon appointment with a client, and a rehearsal from 1:00-3:00, so they went without me.

I realized that I haven't ever mentioned that my boss is my dad. That's why I get away with calling my own hours, etc. As long as the work gets done on time and with exceptional quality, I can pretty much work when I want. Also, I'm in the process of becoming a partner, so my role in the company will become larger in the next few months. My dad has wanted me to do this for a few years, but I've never been ready till now. I think finally working through a lot of the emotional baggage and dealing with the past abuse in my life, over the past few months has really helped me be more ready to take risks, so I've finally accepted the partnership offer.

My dad and I met with our client--who happens to be Larry--at noon. We are all very good friends, and I had to keep saying, "STAY ON TASK--I have a rehearsal in an hour!" I left Larry and my dad chatting, and I was still about 5 minutes late to rehearsal. We had a WONDERFUL practice. Things are coming together nicely. I'm going to cut one of my longer solos. It's just too long, and I'm tired when it's finished--but still have more pieces to play. I've been much less stressed since making that decision. This will be a fun concert. THREE MORE DAYS!!

I came home and relaxed with my kids. We talked for awhile, then Adam decided he needed to call Grandpa (Darrin's dad) because he needed some information about a Spanish holiday (Darrin's family is from Spain). Grandpa talked with all the kids, then I spoke with my father-in-law for a few minutes. He's still recovering from a stroke he had in October. Sometimes his speech is a little difficult to understand. He'd like to come visit this summer. I told him he's welcome anytime--and he is! My father-in-law is one of the good people of the world. Darrin is very much like him.

I called Darrin's aunt in New York, to see if she wants to take the kids for a week in July, while Darrin and I are in Las Vegas. She was ecstatic. She's been trying to get the kids out there (without me!) for over a year. That will give Darrin and I some alone time, even though for him, it's a business trip.

We had dinner in front of the TV (which I NEVER allow on school nights), so we could watch our overdue copy of "Flight of the Phoenix". It was alright, but had a rather corny ending. I never could figure out why the bad guys were attacking, or what they wanted. Strange movie. The kids went to bed at 8:45. I wrote in my blog, and Darrin and I retired at 10:00.

To sleep! perchance to dream...

I have developed what I would consider to be a "friendship" with a fellow blogger who also experiences the SSA phenomenon--which is kind of odd, but no more so than if I had a pen pal. Granted, I only know what he tells me about himself/his life, but the same is true for him; he only knows what I reveal about myself. And I don't suppose that's any different from realtime friends, either. We usually only show ourselves at our best. However in a blog, because we can't immediately gauge the reaction of the reader to our words, we feel safer in revealing parts of ourselves that perhaps, in realtime, we WOULD NEVER reveal. Add to that the fact that a blog isn't necessarily written to gain readership or friendship. Oftentimes it's just a place to express that which is bursting within us--that which, socially, might not be acceptable to express. I'm straying far from what I was going to say, so I'll backtrack.

My fellow blogger told of an experience that he found a little horrifying, in which he dreamed of having an affair with a woman. I'm supposing that the horrifying part of it was the infidelity to his wife which the dream implied. While I understand that (I would feel a little guilty if I were to experience that kind of dream, as well), I find myself wondering why I've never had a dream about any man. As time has past, I've felt small attractions to other men, but nothing strong enought to be remarkable. I've been able to look at men and find them handsome, well-built, etc. But truthfully, I cannot imagine having sex with anyone except Darrin. And this would never bother me, except I know, because I've asked several of my heterosexual girlfriends, that it's not the norm. Most of them fantasize/dream about other men and consider it healthy. Some of them discuss their fantasies with their husbands (who must really have open minds).

I will admit that in the past, I've had dreams about other women. Those have become increasingly less sexual in the past 20 years, and I can't remember having any recently. But no man has visited me in dream world. Now I have to say, Darrin is the love of my life--I adore him!! But I also have eyes. He is not the world's most amazingly gorgeous guy. So why is he my dream guy??? I just can't imagine myself with anyone else. My friends tell me I'm way too weird, uptight, a freak, which is probably true. I would LOVE to have a heterosexual dream just to prove that I'm becoming more normal, regardless of any guilt it might spawn. I find myself wondering if my friend is experiencing more heterosexual desires, because HE is finding the path toward heterosexuality in his subconscious. Thank goodness he still harbors a penchant for gay porn, or I might feel there was no one else on earth as odd as I am. Okay, maybe it's not fair of me to bring him down to my level, but it makes me feel better.

On some level, I don't believe that I'll be able to say I'm free of SSA until I can find myself attracted to other men, regardless of the fidelity issues. Would I act on those attractions? Of course not!! I'd just like to FEEL them. I'd like to have the opportunity to deny myself of the desires that are NORMAL to my friends. I'd like to view the ENTIRE MALE POPULATION as the opposite sex. As it is, there is only one person of that gender I hold in that regard--Darrin. I suppose I should count my blessings. I have a beautiful marriage to a man who loves me and treats me like I'm the most important person in his life. He still tells me that after 20 years of marriage, I'm as beautiful as the first night day we met (and I don't care if it's true or not, I choose to believe it!!). He's my best friend. There is no one else whose touch I crave.

All that aside, I still find myself extremely envious of my friend's dream--and I want one of my own! The other man's grass is always greener...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


I woke up feeling great!! I went through my morning devotional, published my blog, visited the Cleavers, and went for a very LONG run. I've decided to run our local 5K this year. I've walked it with my kids, but this time, I think I'll run it. So I've been trying to run on the rugged trails around town in preparation. I know I'm too slow to place--that's not the point. I just want to finish the race.

I came home, took the kids to school and did some grocery shopping. I met my first student at 9:30 and taught lessons till 11:30. Darrin, Jr. came home for lunch today, so we visited for a few minutes before I left for work. I finished up a few more personal returns, did more work on a rather complicated corporate one, told my boss I wouldn't work on a return for a corporation that wants to pay me extra to cook the books for them (no bonus is worth a jail sentence), and went home to practice for a couple of hours. I put dinner in the oven and taught more lessons while it baked. We ate and I shuttled the kids to their various activities while Darrin did laundry.

FOUR DAYS TILL RECITAL!!! I'm not nervous yet, but I will be. The two pianos were put in place in the chapel today for our recital on Sunday. One of my piano buddies met me and we discussed some last minute details for the recital and played the instruments to be sure they were well-matched and in tune. I ran through some of my music before taking the kids home from their activities.

Darrin and I ran some errands after the kids were in bed. And I have to say, for the last 20 years I have lived with my very best friend--and I still do. He just makes me happy. We never seem to run out of conversation, and holding his hand still makes me tingle (among other things). When I'm old--really OLD--I want him beside me, being old with me.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I slept soundly, and had a difficult time dragging myself out of bed this morning. It takes me a couple of weeks to adjust to Daylight Savings Time. I lay in bed too long, wishing I didn't have to get up. I finally put on some sweats and took the kids to school, posted my blog and practiced for a couple of hours.

I went for a run, showered, relaxed with Darrin when he came home for lunch, and showed up at work around 1:00. Good thing my boss loves me--and that I'm contracted, so he only has a little bit of say in when I put in my hours. I had to go to a business to pull down their fiscal report because the office worker there is new and hasn't yet figured out the bookkeeping program. I hate doing this because they always want to watch and ask questions and I'm really not wanting to answer questions and train office staff right now. It took me about 30 minutes longer than it should have because my client ( the business owner) is also a personal friend, and he wanted to chat for awhile. Hmmmm, I should go to work earlier tomorrow. Oh yeah, I can't--I have piano students all morning. I'll just have to not leave the office once I get there.

I left work at 3:15, met my first student at 3:30, and taught lessons till 5:30. Darrin, Jr. made waffles for supper, and we ate early. We had a wonderful supper, just talking and laughing. I love our evenings together. Darrin, Jr's birthday is this month (sweet 16). I can't stand it--he's growing up!!! We're insisting that he take Driver's Education before he gets his license (he has his learner permit), so we can stomach the hit on our insurance premiums a little better.

The kids and Darrin had to watch American Idol (they're addicted), so I practiced some more, and wrote in my blog. Darrin and I went to bed around 10:00. He wanted to talk, but I was so tired, I fell asleep in the middle of our conversation. He woke me for a kiss and I fell asleep in his arms.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Darrin got home last night around midnight--then stayed up for another hour unpacking and doing other stuff. It is WONDERFUL to have him home. Morning came too soon, and I was exhausted from my sleepless weekend. I got up and helped the kids get ready for school, taxied them there, then came home and practiced.

Around 9:00 I took my dad to his pre-op appointment in a city a couple of hours away. He's getting cataract surgery next week on one eye, then he'll have the second eye done two weeks later. With the travel and appointment time, I didn't get home till 2:30. I was going to practice some more, but was too tired. I crashed on the couch till my first student arrived around 3:30.

I finished teaching by 6:00, and Darrin and I went to the grocery store to get necessities and something for dinner. We had our weekly traditional family meeting (at which we go over all planned activities for the week and calendar anything that was forgotten--this helps us keep track of each other) at 7:30, and all kids were in bed, reading, by 8:00. I practiced till 9:00, then wrote in my blog and went to bed.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


I DID NOT SLEEP LAST NIGHT!!! Either I'm really missing Darrin, or my internal clock is rebelling against daylight-savings time. I finally fell asleep around 4:30 a.m., and Darrin, Jr. woke me up around 9:30. Five hours is better than none. Tabitha and Darrin, Jr. had breakfast and relaxed. I got up and ran for an hour. Then I showered and got ready for the day.

David called around 11:00. He wanted to check on the piano rehearsal time (he and another young man are turning pages for us), and wanted to tell me about his first track meet. I asked him how he did. "Not bad, for me," he said. He came in 3rd to the last--which was better than he had anticipated--and he didn't get lapped. He said he's trying to stay focused on why he joined the team, and to not compare himself to others. Good for him!! He actually has a great build for a distance runner, and will do a lot better when his stamina is built up.

I met with my piano buddies a little after noon. We rehearsed for about an hour and a half. My lack of sleep turned into a lack of concentration. I didn't play well. I came home around 2:00 and crashed on the couch. I don't remember anything till the phone rang around 6:30. It was Adam, telling me that he and Darrin will be home around midnight.

I got up and spent and hour cleaning. Darrin, Jr. and Tabitha ate leftovers for dinner. Then I practiced till 9:30. I fell asleep again for about an hour, then got up to post this. I'm not sure how much time I'll have in the morning, and I'm really tired, so I'll post it tonight and go to bed. I can't wait till my boys get home.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


No one should get up at 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday. I think it's immoral. However, since I needed to be on the road before 6:00, I got up anyway. It was good that I left when I did, because I had misjudged the driving time (3 hours instead of 2.5), so as it was, there were times when I was seriously speeding (which I RARELY do--why would you need to if the speed limit is 75 mph?). Fortunately, no tickets--I didn't even see a highway patrolman, so maybe they were asleep like every other sane person.

I started judging at 9:00, and was finished by 1:00 (four rounds). Most of the pieces played were not as well prepared as they should have been. I only gave one high rating. It was disappointing to hear them. Out of all the students, only about 10 will be allowed to go to the State level (all students have the opportunity to advance if they play well enough). I went to lunch with a colleague, which was kind of fun. She's an interesting person, about the same age as my mom. We talked about her grandchildren, her trip to the Bahamas, her mother with dementia, and her diet of only natural foods. I'm afraid I couldn't contribute much. My early morning was kicking in, and I had another 3-hour drive ahead of me.

I started the trip home, and realized that I had packed a change of clothes so I wouldn't have to wear heels, stockings, and a skirt all day. By that time I was on the freeway, travelling 75 mph (not speeding this time), and I didn't want to stop--I wanted to GET HOME. So I did the totally irresponsible thing and changed while I drove. I have to say, the greatest challenges were putting on my socks, and tying my shoelaces. Thank goodness traffic was sparse and I was only changing the bottom half. I can't imaging how complicated a total wardrobe change would be. I got home around 5:00. I WAS TIRED.

Darrin, Jr. had a church meeting at 6:00, so I took him to that, then came home and practiced for a couple of hours. My house is getting messy. I'm going to have to really clean tomorrow. So much for resting on the Sabbath...

I picked up Darrin, Jr. at 8:00, then we went to the store to get groceries and other necessities. Then, home and to bed. I'm still missing Darrin and Adam. I'm glad they'll be home tomorrow night.
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