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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.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Wow!! Tired this morning!! I fell asleep as I read my scriptures. Darrin woke me before he left for work. I finished my morning routine, but I had waited too long to go for my run. By the time I hit the top of the ridge, the sun was getting hot. I ran about six miles before the heat started bothering me, then turned around and walked home.

I got home around 11:00. I had forgotten that I was supposed to go Visiting Teaching at 11:30. I have three women that I'm supposed to see monthly. Only one goes to church actively. I had been able to make appointments with two of the three. I zipped into the shower, and hurried to get ready before my first appointment. When I got to the street address, there was construction going on in a four-block area. I parked my car, then walked to the apartment. It was sprinkling rain, lightly. My partner was nowhere to be seen. I knocked on the door a couple of times. No one was home. As I walked back to my car, rain started coming down heavily. I got soaked.

I made it to my 12:00 appointment with time to spare, feeling damp and frustrated. My partner was there waiting for me. She had come to our first appointment a little after I had left. She was completely dry. How did that happen?? Also, it had only rained on the other side of town--no rain where we currently were. Weird. We visited with our noon appointment till 12:30. Then I left to go to a meeting for seminary teachers. We met for lunch at a sandwich shop. Our school district is talking about changing the class schedule format for next year. That would eliminate our daytime seminary class. So far the district hasn't made a final decision. We decided that in order to get things ready on time for the fall, we'll just have all the classes meet in the morning before school. We finalized our class assignments (I'll still have Juniors and Seniors), got our classrooms, and scheduled our next meeting.

I hurried home. It was almost 2:00. I'm supposed to present a workshop at Youth Conference tomorrow, and I haven't had time to do any work on it yet today. I found the kids waiting for me. They were bored. DJ has a birthday party tonight (they're going to see a minor league baseball game) and needed to buy a gift, and Tabitha wanted to have Annie come spend the afternoon and evening with us. Adam was just bored. I worked on my workshop for about an hour, then loaded the kids in the car and went to get Annie. We went to the store, and I picked up some stuff while the kids scattered to shop for other stuff. DJ helped me pick out treats for the workshop, then left to shop for a birthday gift. He didn't find one. We decided to get a gift card from a local music/bookstore. We drove there, and I left DJ to purchase the card while I picked up pizza. I left the kids with Darrin, eating dinner, and drove DJ to the party.

I came home and started working on the printouts for my workshop--I'm starting to get stressed. Time is slipping away from me. My print cartridge is low on ink--I forgot that when I went to the store. Darrin walked by and reminded me that he works in an office supply store and gets a major discount, and suggested I not buy paper and other supplies at Walmart anymore. I made a comment about one-stop shopping, lack of time, and ignored him. Annie's mom came to pick her up at 8:00. I was still working.

Sure enough, I ran out of ink. I'll have to buy some more tomorrow and finish the printouts then. I hate leaving things until the last minute. I went upstairs and made packets for the workshop participants. The kids helped me until 11:00. Darrin told them they HAD to go to bed. They'll help me tomorrow. Then Darrin and I sorted through a box of HUNDREDS of Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars, to find the junk ones. I'll use them in my workshop tomorrow.

We hit the bed around 11:30. I fell asleep almost at once.

Thursday's Eyes

"He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye." ~ Buddha

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." ~ Albert Einstein

These eyes belong to TV's all-American Dad: Ward Cleaver.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I found this moth on my run yesterday. Moths in our town are generally shorter than 2 inches, and a general nuisance. It's odd to find one this large. It was obviously dying, lying on it's side in a driveway. I brought it home, put it on a paper plate and let the kids admire it. The moth would move if disturbed, but showed no desire to let go of the stick or fly. Adam wanted to feed it. I told him that the life-cycle of a moth ended after it had laid its eggs, and that this one was most likely dying. He sat by the moth most of the day, reading a book, eating his lunch, watching it. When he awoke this morning, the moth was dead, still in the same position, still clutching the twig. Adam was in tears. He said the moth was too beautiful to die. He was sad.

All this took place around 5:30 a.m. I hugged Adam and sent him back to bed, thinking sleep would help him be a little more rational. Then I did my morning devotional, took a short run, and came home to find Adam eating breakfast with the dead moth. Darrin looked at me helplessly, then went to work. I decided to let Adam be, and went to take a shower.

Eventually, Adam left the insect corpse to play computer games. I taught piano lessons until 2:00, worked on my workshop for Youth Conference, then took the kids to the Dollar Store where I bought some fun things for the workshop.

We came home to make dinner. Adam folded laundry, DJ set the table, and Tabitha and I made fresh tomato sauce for pasta. Darrin got home in time to help with dinner, which is rare lately. We ate together, then Darrin and I left for our class--which was really great tonight. We got home around 9:30, put the kids to bed, then had our weekly "accounting", which is when we talk about everything that's going on inside and outside of us. Darrin's doing fine--that was his account...but spent some time talking about some difficulties he's having as bishop--especially when it comes to delegation. That doesn't surprise me. He's always had a problem with that. Work is going well, but he's still putting in more hours than he should be. He thinks that will get better in the next couple of weeks.

Then it was my turn. Most of the time I don't have lots to say--just more of the same old stuff...emotional wreck, confusion, anxiety...Tonight, however, I reported a major change. Somehow, when I told David all that was causing me stress in our friendship, all the anxiety left. There is peace now. It took about a week for everything to resolve itself, and I think it was helpful to meet with David on Friday, as well. But amazingly, I've had the experience of cleansing tears, and acceptance of love. In my life, I don't ever remember crying leaving me with a feeling of peace. That has happened more than once in the last two days. And there have only been three people in my life whose love I trusted--my grandmother, my youngest sister, and my husband. After meeting with David on Friday, I realized that all my fears about people saying they loved me, but me not accepting that or believing that, were fallacious. It's possible for me to be loved. Somehow, this week I came to believe that two more people love me--my father, and David. Why those two? I have no idea. But the belief in their love brings more peace--unfortunately for me, it also brings more tears. I can't seem to stop weeping about it. But Darrin assures me that in this case, it's good for me to cry.

A long time ago, in December 2005, I finished reading the Book of Mormon, as challenged by our prophet. I have finished that book so many times that I stopped counting long ago. But everytime I finish, just as Moroni suggests, I ask God for a confirmation that it's true. This time, I asked for that confirmation in a prayer in which I had confessed to the Lord that I was afraid to help my young friend, David. I was afraid, in order to be of support to him, I might have to look at who I really was. I was afraid I would have to love him. I was just plain afraid. I sat on my bed after kneeling in prayer and the most amazing feeling came over me. I KNEW that I was loved by my Heavenly Father. I KNEW He would help me in whatever was asked of me. I KNEW I was going to have to love David--unconditionally--no strings attached...for me, that would be very difficult. As I was thinking about all this, I saw my young friend's face in my mind's eye, and I truly did feel love for him. But then that love seemed to grow larger, so huge that I couldn't contain the feelings inside me. Tears came unbidden, and still the feelings of love grew. I didn't know I was capable of feeling such amazing love for anyone--and then I realized--it wasn't my love I was feeling. It was God's love for a sweet, struggling, confused teen-aged boy. In that moment, I felt the absolute infinite worth of his soul, I knew how very much God loves David, and I knew I HAD to do what I could to help him through the despair and loneliness he was experiencing. I have no words to describe the feelings that accompanied that experience, but it WAS this experience that compelled me to do everything in my power to serve the Lord and my brother.

So now, six months later, I have never once questioned the fact that I love this young man. Two weeks ago, he sent me an email, in which he said: "You single-handedly helped me come across a desert of emotional distress. The tears you shed with me, the laughter we enjoyed together, and the constant, unwavering love are gifts that are priceless to me. I love you more than I could ever tell you." David has told me repeatedly, over the past six months, that he loves me. I have never been able to accept or believe that, until last Friday. I'm not sure what happened during our visit. Maybe the fact that after I sent him all that "stuff" explaining/confessing why I struggle to maintain our friendship, he still wanted to come see me, to talk with me, to befriend me, finally made me understand that it's possible to love me? I don't know... but somehow, I finally believed it. And since that belief has started to grow, I no longer feel compelled to run, to hide. I just feel peace. How is this possible? Am I healing? How did I get to the point where I could finally believe, and why was that so important in my emotional healing? I just don't understand.

Darrin says he understands. And he says he hopes I always know that he loves me. That is something I've never questioned. Anyone who would live with me for 20 years, didn't marry me for my money.

Wednesday's Eyes

"What the eye does not admire, the heart does not desire." --Proverb

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." --Mark Twain

These eyes were stolen from Elbow. He did not give me permission to use them. But I thought it was high time we saw some blue here.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


The sun woke me a little after 5:00. I lay in bed thinking about all that's been happening inside me. I thought about a dream I had again last night. In December, I dreamed that I was going to church. I went inside and was ushered into a room in which there was a casket. I realized I was at a funeral. Everyone was waiting for me to take my turn viewing the deceased. I walked to the coffin, emotionless, unafraid. As I got closer, I realized that the person inside was David. He was dressed in a black tuxedo. I looked at him carefully, took his hand, whispered that I loved him, and kissed his cheek. Then I walked out of the room. End of dream.

The dream recurred last night. It was exactly the same, but when I took his hand, tears dropped onto that tuxedo, and I realized they were my own. I whispered, "I love you--no matter what!" I kissed his cheek, wet with my tears, and walked out the room. End of dream. I awoke, crying. I wish I understood what all this crying was about, lately.

I did my morning devotional, checked blogs/email, posted, ran. Because I didn't sleep well last night, I was tired. I couldn't seem to find my rhythm as I ran. Five strenuous miles later, I gave up and walked the last three. I can't stop thinking.

I was studying for my exam when the phone rang. It was my dad. He wanted us to go with him to a nearby city for shopping and dinner. I told him I was working. He said my boss was giving me the day off. We would have a business meeting in the car. He and I took the truck (Dad wanted to buy some yard appliances--weed eater/lawn mower/etc.) and my mom took the kids in the car. Dad and I discussed some more licensing requirements for me. His goal is for me to take the place of his current Registered Investment Advisor, which is fine. Darrin thinks it's funny that I'm finally doing all this. We (Dad and I) have talked about it for almost ten years now.

We shopped for the garden stuff. Then Mom and I took the kids to the mall, while Dad went to other Home Depot-type stores. Mom wanted to buy a new dress. My sister met us at the mall, and we "helped" our mom find stuff to try on. The sales lady watched us laughing and just shook her head. She was the same one that was there when Mom and I came to shop about three months ago, and she remembered us. She said to my mom, "You have TWO daughters?" "No," Mom answered, "I have FIVE. Aren't you glad I only brought two??" In spite of all our help, Mom found a nice dress, and insisted I buy a formal one that was on sale for $20 for my recital wardrobe. My current formal-wear has become too large. Mom said I couldn't pass up the price--so I didn't.

We met Dad for dinner at a local nice restaurant. The kids ate too much appetizer and bread before their entrees came, so they weren't very hungry. My dad sat next to me and insisted I eat. I actually was okay with that, because I was planning to. I told him he didn't need to worry about me, I was doing well. Restaurants, however, always serve way too much food, so when my dad wasn't looking, I gave half my pasta to Adam. He's 12. He's growing. He's always hungry. I ate the rest.

After dinner, I left Mom and Dad shopping, and took the kids home. We arrived at 9:30. Adam was asleep. We went inside, the kids got ready for bed and finally got to sleep around 10:30 (what takes them so long???). Darrin and I went to bed shortly afterward. I told him about my dream and cried AGAIN!! He held me, and asked me why I hadn't told me about it this morning. Honestly, I don't know. I just didn't. Darrin kissed me and said there was so much happening inside me, it was understandable that I would experience some unsettling dreams. He's right. I fell asleep in his arms, still thinking about it.

Tuesday's All-Seeing Eye

"I have looked into your eyes with my eyes. I have put my heart near your heart." --Pope John XXIII

This beautiful eye belongs to A...Path. Do you think it's blue?

Monday, June 26, 2006


What happened to Saturday??? I'm not sure myself. I think a combination of having to give a lesson today, studying for an upcoming exam, and two movie nights for adolescents and teens took their toll...I studied in the morning and slept the afternoon and evening away.

This morning I slept till 6:30--that's really late for me. I did my morning routine, went for my run, and got home in time for family prayer and to kiss Darrin good-by as he left to be with his ward for church. I nudged the kids into motion, then went to get myself ready. Some weird whim caused me to straighten my hair today. DJ suggested we take pictures of it, since it happens only about 4-5 times annually. I knew he just wanted to play with the camera, but let him do it anyway.

We went to church--more talks about forgiveness. As important as it is, I think our bishop forgot that was the High Counsel topic two months ago, and our ward topic four months ago. Still, the speakers were well-prepared, that's always good.

I went out into the foyer to finish getting things ready for my lesson. My girls are so AMAZING. I'll be honest--I mostly throw out the lesson book, and teach from current conference talks. I've found that many of the stories and illustrations in the lesson seem to play on emotions, rather than invoking the spirit. And while that may make the girls FEEL something, it doesn't strengthen them or build their testimonies and relationships with God and Christ--which is my purpose when I teach them. We talked about prayer today, about really talking with God. We discussed building a relationship with our Heavenly Father based on gratitude and love. They had much to ask, and much to say. I really believe we learn best when we can ask questions, and express what's in our hearts. And, of course, the chocolate I brought was a big hit.

After church I told the kids that today was a left-overs day. We need to finish what's in our fridge before we put more into it. They all found something to eat. Darrin wasn't home yet. The Single Students had a combined Sacrament Meeting in the mountains today, so he was still with them.

My brother invited Adam and Tabitha to make churros at his house this evening. I took them over, and stayed to visit and play with my very cute nephews for a little while. Then I went home. DJ and Darrin were watching a video, so I started preparing for my workshop for Youth Conference on Thursday. I'm also going as a chaperone on Friday for the physical challenge day. I think it sounds fun.

The churro crew showed up around 8:30 with goodies. We tried the churros--not bad, even though I don't eat deep-fried foods, as a rule. I might be the only person in the world who doesn't love donuts. We visited for about an hour, then my brother and his family went home. We put the kids to bed around 10:00--they were asleep by 10:30. I played with photos and my blog, then Darrin and I went to bed.

Monday Eyes

"He that hath eyes to see, let him see..."

These belong to Adam.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sometimes I'm Tired Of Being Invisible

Picture deleted by the author (7-2-06).

I never thought I'd have the courage to post ANY pictures on my blog. I desperately don't want anyone close to me, anyone I know, to see what I am inside. I don't want them to see the turmoil, the hurt, the confusion. I don't want them to know that I struggle with ANYTHING. I like the life I've created for myself.

In my truly irresolute, contradictory tradition, I'm simultaneously tired of being invisible. I want to shout to everyone that my life is not what it seems. I want them to see my face. I want to share that everyday, normal people struggle with things that many might deem "queer", things that some homophiles will call cowardly, and some homophobes will call lack of self-control. I want them to know that the respected piano teacher/tax preparer/online editor/securities investor is not what she seems--that just as my life's occupations are varied and complex, so are my emotions and feelings--and they're MINE.

I can't do that, of course. I have three beautiful children and a husband who really don't need to deal with the kind of opposition that will raise for them. And truthfully, I see no lasting benefit.

This week I'm celebrating eyes--seeing--being seen. So for one week I will post my picture. This is who I am. I'm hoping it will help me stop feeling invisible. Maybe it will.

And in the meantime, I'm praying that no one I know accidentally finds my blog.

Confused? I know I am!

The Eyes Have It

In honor of the "Eyes" survey, I will be posting a different eye or set of eyes daily. Maybe a few times daily, depending on my whim. Today's set belongs to me. You can see they are not blue.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

What Is Happening To Me?

I was ready to stay where I was, content and numb.
I'm so tired of feelings.
I really thought I could just relax a bit, and stop caring for awhile.
I can't. WHY?

I see my husband and my heart leaps. I love him. He holds my hand and protects my defenseless soul.
My oldest son is tall and strong. His smile makes joy surge through me. He is pure sunshine.
My youngest son is sensitive, inquisitive, and growing taller every second. He looks me in the eye and hugs me.
My daughter is capricious, impulsive, beautiful...She meets me each morning for a kiss and a cuddle.
I am surrounded by people who force me to love.

I thought I wanted to stop feeling--just for a day or two. The problem is that now I have a basis of comparison. It's like watching a really gorgeous sunset from behind a smudged car window. And the REAL problem is, I don't have a reason, anymore, to retreat, but every reason to stay in the open.

What am I afraid of? Am I afraid that I might actually live? Am I afraid that if I stretch my wings I'll find I know how to fly--that I always knew, I just never did it? Am I afraid that I've spent the last 20 years of my life fighting for a prize I had already won?

I can't stay in the comfort of numbness anymore. And it's not because I need to be available to my husband and children. It's not because I know I need to be a better friend. It's not because it's the right thing to do.

I think it's because I don't want to stay there anymore. I know what I'm missing.

I awoke this morning to the familiar feeling of numbness that I haven't felt in months. I recognized it immediately--me, unable to cope with whatever emotional problems I'm having in my life. I ignored it, did my morning devotional (largely unspiritual and ineffective), got up and vented in my blog. Then I checked e-mail. I had a message from one of David's e-mail buddies. In it he let me know that he'd given David access to HIS blog. There were strings attached, of course--don't look at the comments, trust issues, etc. I left and went for a run. This is too much to think about.

On my run, which felt wonderful, I thought about what to do next. The e-mail buddy trusts David. Honestly, it's not that I don't, but I KNOW that boy. He would never try to breach trust on purpose, but he's highly curious, loves to explore and experiment, and he knows me well enough that if he ever encountered a comment by Samantha, he'd know it was me. And I'm not sure he could resist the temptation to visit my blog. I decided I was going to have to talk to him. That's not going to be easy, in light of the facts that 1. I really don't want to. 2. I just turned him over to God, and I'm happy with that arrangement. I ran about four miles, turned around and ran home. The butterflies are everywhere. It's beautiful.

It was much later than I had realized. I had told Janie I'd call about picking up Tabitha around 10:00. It was now 10:45. I called and talked to L who is staying with her siblings today, since her parents left early this morning. I arranged to pick up Tabitha at 11:30, after I'd showered. She seemed anxious for Tabitha to leave, so I hurried.

I got to Amy's house with a few minutes to spare. L was gone to the doctor for her post-partum check-up (hence, her reasoning for wanting me to come get Tabitha). She took the baby with her. Amy wanted me to stay so I could see the baby when L got back, but I told Tabitha to gather her things and get ready to go. I started talking with Gary. He was drawing pictures. I told him I couldn't draw well. He said he couldn't either. We decided to have an ugly picture contest. It morphed into a weirdest picture contest. We were laughing at our drawings. Gary showed me how to "shadow write" while writing with two crayons held in one hand. He's going into first grade next year, and writes really well. I asked him if he liked to write. He grinned at me, then started writing something, sheilding it so I couldn't see. I asked if it was a secret. He nodded. I asked if he was writing a secret note to me. He nodded again. I asked if he was going to give it to me when it was finished. He smiled and said yes. He finished the note, tore it from the paper and handed it to me. Four words: "I dont to right". Translation, he doesn't like to write. I was pretty impressed that even though the word was used out of context, he still spelled "right" correctly.

L arrived with the baby--I had stayed too long. We took Tabitha's stuff to the car then went back in to peek at the baby and say good-by. I called down the staircase, "David, you didn't say hello, but you could come say good-by!!" L asked if he was down there. I nodded. There was silence for a moment, then David said, "I would have come up if I was showered." "Like that matters!!" I said. David came upstairs. L gave me a look, then said, "YOU wouldn't even come to get Tabitha till you showered." We laughed. Then I told David I wanted him to come see me. He said he'd come in about an hour--after lunch and a shower. I took Tabitha and went home. David came an hour later, and we talked. It was a good thing to do.

David left around 3:00, taking DJ with him. Tabitha was outside playing with friends. Adam was watching TV. I did some housework, then studied for about an hour. I have to take my exam in a week. DJ came home around 5:30, and we all went to Walmart to shop for Adam's movie night. We picked up burgers and potatoes for dinner.

Adam's friends arrived at 7:00. They watched "Sandlot", then "Napoleon Dynamite". They were really fun boys. There were three twelve-year-olds (including Adam), and a young man who just turned fourteen this week. They ate tons of junk food, and milled around, talking, while they watched the movies. One of them had the "Napoleon" dialogue memorized. Everyone told him to shut up, then they all laughed. Darrin took everyone home at 10:00. This is SO good for Adam. He's been struggling, trying to connect with the boys his age. It was a really positive experience for him to host them tonight.

We put the kids to bed, then Darrin wanted to talk. He's been concerned as I've shut down, emotionally, but noticed I seem better tonight. I am. We chatted for about an hour, then went to bed. I was asleep before he joined me--he takes FOREVER to get ready for bed.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Okay, I wish I had written this before anyone started visiting me. But this is my blog, and I started it so I would have a place to leave all the crap that's inside me, and hopefully it would make me a better person. Obviously, it's not going to change who I am, inherently. But at least it gives me a chance to be honest with myself, even if I don't know how to deal with that truth.

Today I woke up and realized I've made NO progress dealing with all the emotional immaturity in my life. I realized that because, in spite of how hard I thought I was trying--I'm back. I don't care anymore. I've managed to isolate myself again. I think, on some level, I knew I was doing it. I also think I didn't care. Darrin knows. It's one of the things we talked about on our late night/early morning chat. He knows that I'm not feeling anything anymore. He knows I'm not reaching out to people anymore. He's watched my interactions with others and he says I'm putting on the "act"!!!!!????

Darrin suggested that I needed to let David know what I was struggling with, hand him off to God for a while, let him be independent--try his wings, so that I could concentrate on the problems inside me. So I did. What Darrin doesn't understand was that my link with David was the only thing that was keeping me from finishing what I'd started, emotionally. And now that I took Darrin's advice, and set the kiddo free, there's nothing left. I woke up today and realized, I'm back. Right where I started from. The only progress I've made is that I sifted through the nastiness of the abuse, resolved it, and don't feel anymore pain from that area in my life--but, come to think of it, I'm really not feeling much of anything right now, so maybe that's not valid.

So the walls are up. I'm finally accepting that this has been happening for at least a month. And since my illustrious counselor has trained me so well, I must analyze how this feels. IT FEELS WONDERFUL!!!! For the first time in six months, I feel safe, protected, and strong. It feels normal, natural. It feels beautiful. I finally feel that I can function again in my life without worrying about how other people feel about me. It doesn't matter if they love me or hate me. It doesn't matter if I answer my phone when they call. It doesn't matter if I don't make contact for days, weeks, months. I don't feel that I have to go out of my way to maintain relationships. Those that really matter will be the ones with my immediate family and we interact daily. We'll be fine. I don't feel that I have to put myself "out there" anymore. I can just be me.

My bishop told me that I would have so much more joy if I would let myself be vulnerable--if I would open up to other people. I just have to say HE WAS SOOOOO WRONG!!! Being in that position SUCKS!!!! I HATE it!!!! No joy there. None. Just insecurity, stress, misery. My way is much better.

I'm not telling Darrin. I'm not talking about this to anyone. I'm only honest about this here, because I don't want to hear what they have to say. I'm tired of all that TRYING crap. I just want to live again.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I got up and went through my morning routine. I left for my run. I'm stir crazy this morning. I ran about 8 miles--and wanted to go further. But I had a doctor appointment, so I went home, showered and got ready to go. I'm seeing a dermatologist at my mom's insistence. She's had skin cancer, and noticed that I have a spot on my left cheek that she thinks is cancerous. We have VERY different complexions--hers is fair and freckled, mine is quite dark--no freckles. But I made the appointment to make her stop bothering me.

As I suspected, the doctor said it was just a discoloration due to not wearing sunscreen. He gave me some topical cream, told me to start wearing sunscreen, and to come back in three months The cream was three times as expensive as the office visit.

I went home and worked on my spring cleaning, and studied for my exam. I took the boys to a greenhouse to buy flowers, tomatoes, and herbs for my front garden. Tabitha called Annie and she came over to help us plant everything. While we planted, DJ made dinner and Adam did laundry.

I took Tabitha and Annie to Annie's house, where they will have a sleep-over tonight. I chatted with Janie for a few minutes, then went home. I realized as I walked in that I had forgotten to eat today. DJ reminded me. I ate some of the dinner he'd made, feeling frustrated and guilty. The day just slipped away, and I forgot. DJ gave me a hug and said I'd do better tomorrow. I will.

At 7:30 DJ's friends arrived for a movie night. We showed them "Arsenic and Old Lace", an old Carey Grant classic. It's one of my favorite movies. The teens loved it, but David told me I should think twice before claiming it as my favorite--because it's so bizarre. I let the comment pass.

By 10:30 the teens had all gone home. DJ and Adam went to bed. Darrin and I stayed up briefly to clean up. Then we went to bed, too.

The sun woke me, but I lay in bed waiting for Darrin's alarm to go off at 5:30. He got up and started getting ready for work. I read/prayed, and went to the computer. I browsed blogs, read archives, sent messages, commented. I left for my run. It wasn't warm this morning, and the wind was cold. We've had some local brush/forest fires, so the air quality wasn't as pure as normal. Result--asthma. I hate that I have it. Unfortunately, it's not something I can ignore. I cut my run short and went home.

I let the kids sleep till 8:00, then roused everyone. DJ got up and started his chores. He wants to have a movie night with friends tomorrow, so he's putting on the "perfect child" face. That's alright--I can't be unhappy about getting help with the housework. Adam ate breakfast and went to clean his room. I knew he was going back to bed. Tabitha started cleaning her room--it will take her a couple of hours. She is the only one I know who can totally trash a bedroom in five minutes. Her room is perpetually filthy. I cleaned closets and vacuumed.

Around 11:30 my dad called. He wanted to take the kids to the park for lunch. Tabitha and Adam wanted to go. DJ had already made arrangements to meet some friends, so he didn't join them. I went to a local vegetarian restaurant to meet my piano buddies (from my April concert) for lunch. One of them is moving to New Mexico next week. We had a really nice lunch.

I got home around 1:45. DJ was still there. I asked what was up? Why wasn't he with his friends. Apparently he'd been distracted by a computer game and missed them. He got on his bike and went to the library. He worries me sometimes--very much a loner who prefers to listen to music and read books, even though he enjoys being with friends. I'm glad we're hosting the movie night for him tomorrow. I worked for a couple of hours, set up some appointments with some late tax filers, and practiced.

I took Tabitha and Adam to the store to shop for some groceries. It's a cool night, so I'm making chicken soup. Darrin is still battling whatever stomach bug got to him last week, so maybe this will help. We made the soup together. DJ set the table. Darrin arrived home on time tonight--that's rare. We ate, and DJ, Adam and I left for youth activities; Darrin went to do Bishop interviews; Tabitha stayed home with the remote.

I spent an hour with the Laurels of our stake (16-17 year-old girls). We did some weird craft for girls' camp which will happen next month. I love talking with them. I'll be their seminary teacher next year, so we're making plans to keep things exciting. Also, Youth Conference is next week and I'm presenting a workshop, so I was trying to bribe them all to choose my class over the other two choices. They're very cute--I really love working with them. There was watermelon for refreshments. I don't like watermelon, so I didn't join them. I went to look for Adam, to give him a ride home.

I located Adam and we went home. I let him watch some TV with Tabitha until Darrin and DJ got home around 9:00. We did our nightly routine and sent the kids to bed for reading time. I had them turn out their lights at 9:30. I went to bed 30 minutes later. I'm not sure when Darrin joined me, but I woke for a kiss, and went back to sleep.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Men Smile, Women Don't

I've been conducting an experiment for the past three months. Darrin and I were talking one day, and he said that men just don't smile. "They smile at me," I said. "Everyone smiles at you," he answered. Actually that's not true, but many people do--and some of them are men. So I told Darrin I was going to keep track of the genders of the smiley people and then I'd report back to him.

So the question is: Which gender smiles more--male or female. Darrin says the more accurate question is: Which gender smiles at ME--male or female. Either way, I decided to keep track.

I armed myself with a notebook, disguised as a shopping list, and hit the place most likely to have the greatest heterogeneity of people--Walmart. One is certain to find crying babies, precocious toddlers, slow-moving geriatrics, people in their near-dotage (ages 30-50), and teens/college students who have the enviable capacity to link the four-letter obsenity describing the sex act, to any unrelated object or person. I'm amazed at their ability to make the following phrases sound viable: "f....g good chocolate!!", "F....g amazing!!!", "That was f....g hilarious!!", "Look at that f....g hot guy!!!" When I heard the young lady responsible for that last phrase speak, I actually looked for the "f.....g hot guy", because I wanted to see if he'd get thrown out of the store for doing that in public. She was wrong--he wasn't doing what she had described.

I decided that my first subjects would be couples. I got ready and made sure that I passed inspection. DJ pronounced me "pretty hot, for a Mom," so I figured that was good enough. I went to Walmart, secured a cart, threw in some miscellaneous stuff, and got out my "shopping list." I approached a nearby couple. I looked the woman in the eye and smiled. She became absorbed in the pricing listed on the shelves. So I looked at the man and smiled. He looked surprised, then smiled back. The woman looked annoyed, so I smiled at her again. She looked away, but the man smiled bigger. The woman started walking away, quickly. Her partner followed, but as he passed me, he not only smiled again, he winked. Hmmmm....maybe I was overdoing it. I recorded the data, putting a smiley face in the "Male" column, and a frowny face in the "Female" column. I didn't have a column for winks.

Next I approached a family. There were two gorgeous boys scuffling in the aisle. Dad was annoyed, and Mom was ignoring everyone. I decided to try the sympathetic approach. I neared the fray, made eye contact with mom, and gave what I thought was an understanding smile. She ignored me, as well. Dad caught the smile, and returned it tinged with exasperation. He made some comment about shopping too long, I nodded, turned the corner and recorded the data. One more man smiley, woman frowney, no wink.

I decided to abandon the personal approach and just randomly smile at people. I walked down the aisle where people were finishing their checkouts. I made eye contact with eleven men and twelve women. Results: eight man smiles, two woman smiles. Notes: I had to smile at the two women three times, to get one back. The three men who didn't smile did nod at me. No column for nods.

I decided I had enough data, so I checked out and went home. Unfortunately, I wasn't paying attention to the assortment I threw into my basket at the beginning of the experiment. I paid $89.56 for some ace bandages, blonde highlighting kit, four tubes of assorted toothpaste, two baby outfits, a cd of the All American Rejects, some jeans (wrong size), and four cheap bath towels. I paid for everything, because I was trying to get the man behind me to smile. He didn't. I figured I could continue my experiment when I returned the highlighting kit, bandages, jeans and bath towels. DJ was happy with the cd, and I gave away the baby outfits. Next time I'll be more careful.

I returned to Walmart sixteen times over the next three months. The data never seemed to vary--more men smile than women. Some men follow you if you smile at them--no column for that data. No women follow you if smile at them. Some women get upset if you smile at a man they are with. No men get upset if you smile at a woman they are with. Darrin suggested that my experiment was gender flawed, because I am a woman, and I had no data showing what happens if the subjects are approached by a man. So I took him with me. We wandered the store smiling at people. At this jucture I must pause to state that both of us really do have lives, jobs, and families. We just have a good time being sidetracked from those things. Plus, Darrin has always been a willing participant in any trivial, inane activity I propose--definitely a reason why I love him. So now, back to the experiment. Darrin's presence DID make a difference. More men smiled. Fewer women. My ratio average had previously been about 10:3 in favor of the men. On our first store trek, the ratio changed to 15:1. Darrin suggested it was just an off day. We went to Alberstons and repeated the experiment. Ratio = 9:0. We went to Kmart. Ratio = 12:2. You do the math. Guys like to smile at my husband. Women just don't smile.

I repeated the experiment one last time. I brought Tabitha and Annie with me. We encountered 15 men and 20 women. Ratio = 15:20.

I have no idea how to interpret all this data.

Wind, wind, and more wind. It kept me up most of the night. I was still sleepy when Darrin got up, but I got up with him anyway. I spent extra time on my scriptures and prayer. I've noticed when I start to become fatigued, emotionally, I don't eat like I should and I don't want the progress I've had lately to stop. I need all the help I can get. I drank my usual protein shake and went for a run. I struggle with my asthma when it's windy. I'm not sure if the wind stirs up more irritants, or if I just can't get as much breath as I need. I could only run about 3.5 miles. I walked the rest of the way. I left later than usual to avoid my jogging buddies. I got home to find a message from them on my machine. I ignored it.

My neighbor called and wanted me to join her at the school to finish up our library job. I roused the kids, showered, and left them doing their daily chores. I spent about 3 hours at the library--and finished spending the remainder of the $15,000.00. I got home around 2:00 to find my house in total disarray. The kids had been cleaning out their drawers, so the aftermath of that project seemed to be everywhere, and somehow, a food mess created at lunchtime had made its way throughout several rooms. DJ looked at my face, called Tabitha and Adam, and they hurried around, cleaning up. They apologized for the mess. I thanked them for cleaning up, sent them on an errand on their bikes, then finished clearing out the mess and putting the house in order. Then I took a nap.

Adam awoke me around 6:00. He wanted to make dinner. I had a mix for a pasta taco salad, so he got the box and started cooking. Darrin and I have to meet some people from work for dinner at 7:00. I got up, changed, and made myself look presentable. Darrin arrived home around 6:40, changed for dinner, and we left.

The business dinner was fine. Nice boring people. They talked about work for 2 hours. On the way home Darrin wanted to make some stops--one back at work!! I said no, we needed to go home and put our kids to bed. He reluctantly agreed, and we went home. I sent the kids to bed, and gave them 45 minutes of reading time. Then I forgot that I was supposed to tuck them in. Around 10:00, Tabitha came downstairs to remind me. I tucked them in and went to bed. Darrin joined me a short time later. He wondered what was going on inside me. I told him, FINALLY, about the pregnancy scare, and about the turmoil I've been experiencing about many things. Sometimes, there's just so much going on that's uncertain. Plus, he's been ill for the last few days. Things have just been a little off kilter lately. I wonder if I'm regressing...

Darrin said I'm probably just tired. Something inside me wants to cling to the new "awakening" I've experienced, over the past few months, but another part of me just doesn't want to be bothered.

Monday, June 19, 2006

I Work Alone

Okay--I think I'm almost ready to say "Uncle". I've been working so hard to resolve the issues that keep cropping up in my life, and I'm so tired. I feel that I opened that proverbial can of worms six months ago, and HOLY COW!! There were a lot of worms in that can. So I did what I always do when there's a task before me. I started working.

I have to say, it was a lot harder than I expected it to be. But I did everything my counselor asked me to do, and I prayed, and I kept trying, and I've actually had quite a bit of success. I kept thinking of that song, "...the worms crawl in and the worms crawl out..." Many of my "worms" have crawled out. But the ones that remain are the largest. And they don't want to crawl anywhere.

I've been trying to understand my impulse to sabotage friendships with people who REALLY know me. I think part of the problem is that I still, on some level, view myself as "unwholesome". It's interesting to me that I can forgive myself of past transgressions, but I can't forgive myself for being abused. Maybe because there's really nothing to forgive, but inside me, I feel that there must be something. Maybe "forgive" is semantically wrong. I'm not sure. But I DO know that something inside me still blames me for being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person--and for staying there.

So I try this scenario: Would I blame my daughter if she were caught in a similar trap? Of course not!! I would cry with her, hold her, assure her of her importance to me and my love for her. I would do everything in my power to restore her sense of safety--to protect her. Can I do this for myself??? What can I do?? How do I make it stop hurting? I just don't understand...

I think the bottom line is that I feel I let myself down.

Maybe that's the key. Maybe that's why I so desperately want to run from any friendship in which someone really knows me. I think I'm having an epiphany. This "running" thing only happens in situations where I perceive myself as a support. I can act in the supportive role as long as my own life is unknown. As soon as that changes, as soon as the friend knows about my personal past, I assume he/she will feel the same feelings about it that I do. I assume that the feelings of blame will occur, that the friend will feel that I'm unreliable--I couldn't even protect myself!! And I think that I'm afraid, deep inside, that I can't measure up, as a friend. I allowed myself to stay in a destructive, abusive situation--how can I be relied upon if my friend needs help. Will I also let him/her down?

Okay, I know that nothing in that paragraph really makes sense. Except, in a weird, twisted way, to me it makes all the sense in the world. If I put it into my current situation with David, suddenly I understand why I keep trying to run away from him. I entered this friendship as a "strong" person--one who had felt feelings similar to his, but had managed to make a pretty wonderful life for myself while staying true to my belief system. As time went on, my strength deteriorated while I dealt with my past, and coped with things that I'd buried. At this point, David knows about most of my weaknesses--and I think I'm waiting for him to realize that just as I let myself down, it's only a matter of time before somehow, someway, I'll let him down. And I have to get away from him before that happens.

So those are my FEELINGS. But the reality is that I DON'T let people down, but I'm afraid I will, and that fear has started consuming me. So I'm fighting that fear, fighting the impulse to run away from my friendships, and fighting to maintain the level of closeness and intimacy I've achieved with Darrin, and I'm getting really tired. I think it's time to stop fighting. And I need some guidance as to how I'm going to make all those big "worms" inside me crawl out.

Christ says: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." That sounds good. I certainly feel that I've been laboring, and that my load is heavy. I'd love some rest. He continues: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Well, I've spent much of my life learning about Christ. I love him with all my heart and soul. So maybe I need to take all that I've learned and apply it.

Christ surrounded himself with friends. He was helpful, sociable, compassionate. He loved children. He threw huge dinner parties at a moment's notice, and no one went away hungry. He told stories that taught lessons. He loved his mother. He treated women with equality and respect in spite of a society that considered them second-rate citizens. He gave service to others. In spite of the fact, or maybe because of the fact that his Father was God, his last act of service to the friends he loved, was to wash their feet. He atoned for my sins. There is nothing that I have felt or will feel that he does not understand. He can help me heal. He loves me.

"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." I think I'm ready to trade my burden in. I think I'm ready to stop agonizing over things I cannot change without Christ's help. I think I'm ready to let my soul rest, because I'm really, really tired.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


I'm skipping Saturday, since all I did was attend concerts and sleep through them. I stayed awake through DJ's solo and the rest of the choir groups, but then I just fell asleep. It has been a VERY long week.

The morning was beautiful--so, of course, I spent too long running outside and had to scramble to get ready for church. The kids had on their noble "We're ready on time, what's wrong with you" faces. DJ and Adam kindly refrained from reminding me that they were supposed to be at church early to prepare the sacrament. I hurried, and miraculously, got to church with 10 minutes to spare. I'm still so tired. It's difficult to concentrate. I THINK the service was very nice, but my mind was wandering. I was distracted by so many things. And I wanted to sleep.

My mom had invited us to dinner after church--Father's Day. I made a big salad, and we joined my family. The evening passed in a blur. I couldn't wait to get home. I cleaned up the kitchen for my mom, and we left.

I put the kids to bed and went to sleep myself. I'm tired.

Happy Father's Day

I love my Dad. Our relationship hasn't always been the best, but for the most part, especially in the last 15 years, we've been able to build a wonderful friendship. Much of the strain and conflict we've had in our relationship stems from the feelings that I felt when I was abused by my cousin, and I didn't believe my father would protect me. I know now that's not true. But maybe it's good that I didn't tell, because I think my dad would now be in jail for murder if I had. As it is, he still wants to beat the #&**!! out of my cousin. My father asked me to allow him to pay for all my counseling. He knows I can afford to do it myself, but he said it would help him feel better if I'd let him do that--so I did. He realized after about two weeks that the knowledge of what had happened to his daughter in his own home, was too much for him to cope with. He started counseling, himself, and is still continuing that course.

The point of this post is not to belabor an unfortunate event of my past. It's just that my dad has really been on my mind this week. He's a wonderful guy. There have been many events in my life that have shown me how much he loves me. Some are simple--he used to play piano duets with me; he taught me how to play softball (but I'm NOT good at it); he taught me to drive--cars, trucks, tractors--when I was 10; he instilled in me my love of riding motorcycles... which is what I've been thinking about the most.

Motorcycles are dangerous. There's no question about it. And I LOVE to ride them. I don't own one, at Darrin's request. I started riding them when I was about 12. We had a small Honda 90, that I learned to ride on. It could only top out at 45 mph, but you could ride it on any terrain. It was SOOO fun. As I got older, but not particularly bigger, I graduated to larger, more powerful motorcycles. They were fun, as well, but I was small (5'2", and between 95-110 pounds), so it was harder to control them, especially in the fields and on poorly maintained dirt roads. So I often rode the Honda, and allowed my taller sisters (they're all over 5'7", and my youngest sister is six feet tall), to take the larger cycles. We would always race--I would always lose. My little motorcycle just wasn't that fast! Every once in a while, just for a joke, they would allow me to win. Then we'd just laugh.

One day, when I was about 16-years-old, my dad, younger sister, and I, were working in some fields above our house. We had finished our task, and were riding back on our motor cycles. I, of course was on my Honda, and my dad was on a much larger bike. My sister was doubling with me. We'd had a little fight about who should drive. I said I should, because I was older. She said she should, because she was taller and could actually touch the ground while seated on the motorbike. I won. I have to mention here, that I have very poor vision--I have since I was nine. And I didn't always wear my contact lenses or glasses. This was a "no contacts" day.

We started back home. My dad was riding next to me, revving his motor, indicating it was time for a race. I opened the throttle and was zipping over the bumpy road. Dad passed me easily, laughing his head off. I gave chase. I could see my dad at the fence gate. He turned away from it and started toward the edge of the field. I thought he was going to let me win the race. I let the bike go as fast as it could. I could hear my sister behind me, screaming--with fun and excitement, I thought. My dad stopped, turned toward us then started yelling. About 10 seconds before I hit it, I realized why my dad had turned off, why my sister was screaming. The barbed-wire fence gate was closed. Of course I couldn't see it--no contacts. I tried unsuccessfully, to lay the bike down before we hit the barbed-wire at 45 mph. One strand caught me in the neck, another hit me full in the chest. Miraculously, whoever had previously secured the gate had done a rotton job, and it gave way as we slammed into it. We fell onto our sides, legs trapped under the bike. I could hear my dad yelling, "OH NO!!! OH NOOOO!!!"

I was too dazed to move. The motorbike was still running. My dad reached us, just as my sister was able to get up. She turned off the motor and lifted the bike up. Dad yelled, "NO!! Don't move!!" So she dropped the bike back on top of me (ouch!) and laid down. I think she might have been experiencing a little shock. She said to me, as she lay beside me, "Wow--you've got blood on your shirt." I started laughing. Then she started laughing. We couldn't stop. I looked down at my chest. It was bright red. I wondered what it looked like under that shirt. My dad lifted the motorcycle off me (again), asked my sister if she felt okay to walk. She did. As I got to my feet, my dad picked me up and carried me all the way to the house. I noticed through my giggles that he was crying. He said he thought I'd know the gate was closed when he turned away from it. I admitted to being blind, still laughing. I watched him struggle with anger at my stupidity, and concern at all that blood on my chest. I didn't know it, but my face and neck were all bloody, as well. He told me to stop laughing. So I did.

My mom kind of freaked when she saw us. My sister was all scratched up from the barbs, and I looked like something out of a bad horror movie. My shirt was torn in ribbons, and I was very upset that my bra was, as well. Don't know WHY that upset me, but it did. Still, my sister mentioned that I'd have some interesting scars--which started us both laughing again. My dad cleaned the cuts on my neck and chest (amazingly, my face was not cut). Normally, that would have made me VERY uncomfortable--but I actually have the knowledge it happened, but no memory of it. All things considered, I was bruised all over, and I was pretty cut up, but mostly, nothing looked too deep, and nothing was broken. My mom called the doctor, because there was a cut on the side of one of my breasts that WAS quite deep. My sister and I started giggling again, as my mom explained to the doctor that her daughters had just ridden a FENCE through a MOTORCYCLE. By this time, we were laughing so hard we were crying. My sister started crying, for real, and couldn't stop--delayed reaction. I just kept laughing.

The doctor told my mom to clean and butterfly the cuts, and to bring me in for a tetanus shot--my sister had had one recently. He looked me over, said the butterfly bandages would be better than stitches, pronounced me "one HELL of a lucky little heifer" (he was a rancher after hours), and administered the shot himself--it hurt more than hitting the barbed-wire fence.

Only six of the cuts left visable scars, and three of those are in places that only Darrin sees. The other three are faint, and fairly small--hardly noticable. I really am a "HELL of a lucky" person (sorry, don't like the cow comparison).

So why post this on Father's Day? The thing I remember the most, the memory that is the clearest, is the one I have of being carried by my father. He held me close. I felt his tears as they fell. I knew he loved me. I was 16, trying to sort out feelings of no self-worth, SSA, bitterness and hatred caused by abuse. Somehow, even though I'd just been ripped up on the outside, inside there was a whole bunch of healing going on. My dad was protecting me. He was holding me. He loved me. And I realized how much I loved him, too. I wanted to stay there, in his arms, for a very long time. That was when I stopped laughing.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. You're amazing. You're wonderful. I love you. Thank you for loving me, too.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Some People Never Learn--Part II

After my painful adventure this morning, I had to go to Hastings to get a gift card for one of my classes (it's a prize for our scale/arpeggio competition today). I was in a hurry, because my soreness slowed me down when I was getting ready. So DJ and I were hurrying through the parking lot. I stepped up onto the curb but my very exclusive and expensive ($1.98) flip-flops caught the edge of the sidewalk and I started to fall--AGAIN. DJ caught me, lost me, I stumbled again, and fell on my OTHER shoulder, scraped both hands and arms again...and of course, the audience was most appreciative of my beauty and grace. I'm loving this day--especially in light of the fact that I have to perform tonight--and my entire being aches!!!

Okay, done whining.

Some People Never Learn

So I know, you shouldn't go running on the edge of a rocky embankment after a night of rain. That would be stupid, RIGHT??? Okay, so I'm just inviting comments on the level of my stupidity...I couldn't resist. It's kind of like when you have to walk along the edge of the sidewalk curb on a busy I the only one who does this??

I decided to throw caution to the wind, and run wherever I pleased, when the embankment became soft mud and I tumbled over the edge. Of course, there were THOUSANDS of other joggers, running on the correct pathway, who witnessed my graceful passage into the great beyond. I skinned both elbows and knees, my hands and slammed my shoulder into a big rock. I thought I'd just lie there a minute, and think up a plausible "I MEANT to do that!" story, when I noticed a very concerned young man next to me. Of course, he asked me if I was alright. I insisted I was. I struggled to stand and found myself being carried back UP the embankment (apparently chivalry is NOT dead). When we got to the top, he did not set me down, but handed me off to his nearby buddy, who told me to sit still, and began to check me for broken bones. I suggested that their concern was going a bit far--especially in light of the crowd that had now gathered to watch. They both pronounced me battered, but whole.

I started to continue my run, on the correct path, and found both my arms grasped by the interfering youths (okay they were probably about 28), and turned bodily around. They informed me that I was going home to rest. I told them that they WERE going too far this time, and protested all the way home--and HOW DID THEY KNOW WHERE I LIVE????? Apparently, they follow me on my morning runs, frequently. They left after suggesting we run together in a couple of days, when I've healed. I just told them they wouldn't be able to keep up, but they were welcome to try. They'd need to practice their "falling over the cliff" skills. I'm definitely the champ, and I intend to keep it as part of my daily exercise routine.

They left me with their names and phone numbers.

After they left I moaned and examined my bruises. OUCH!!! I'm thinking I'll give their numbers and names to David. He can appreciate them better than I can.
"In this life we can do no great things: only small things with great love" - Mother Teresa

This morning it was NOT warm. I checked blogs, read e-mail, did my devotional--waited for it to get warmer outside. Finally, I decided to run anyway. The temperature was 39 degrees, and it was windy. I didn't see anyone else running. Maybe because it was cool outside, I was able to put in an extra mile before turning around to come home. I did a bunch of thinking while I ran.

Even though I've come a long way, emotionally, from where I was before December, there are still some things I need to work on. I no longer hate/fear young men--at all. That's a HUGE relief. I can think about the abuse in my life--something I would never allow myself to do before. I don't hate my abuser. I actually feel at peace about what happened to me. Sort of. I say sort of because there are still some behaviors and thoughts that hang on. I can't seem to rid myself of them. The thoughts that I can't get rid of are these: I wonder what it was about ME that caused my cousin to think he could, or want to, abuse me. I wonder why he chose me--I have four sisters. I wonder how he knew that I would allow the abuse to take place, and allow it to continue. I still wonder WHY I let that happen--even though I sort of know. I still wish I had told someone, even a sibling. I still want to make it go away. I know I can't, but I want to.

The behaviors are something else. I think they've become habitual. I'm not sure that I can stop them by myself, but I desperately don't want to go back into counseling, especially not with my recent counselor. One behavior of which I can't seem to rid myself, is the need to complicate my life with projects, instead of sorting through the feelings and emotions that make me sad/frustrated/miserable. I don't necessarily think it's bad to keep busy, to not dwell on things...but there's a difference between "not dwelling" and "running/hiding". I do the latter.

Another behavior is one that occurs in interpersonal relationships. My friendships are interesting. I have many friends. I believe most of them would call themselves "close" friends. I think they are close friends, in that they can call me at pretty much any time to talk, they discuss their problems with me, we go to lunch, we enjoy each other's company. HOWEVER, I do not discuss MY problems with them, I do not call them to talk, and it seems I have some weird friendship rules. Rule 1: We don't talk about me, personally. We can discuss my husband and kids, my job, the church, good movies we've seen or books we've read. But we don't discuss Samantha--especially not her past, her feelings, her thoughts or dreams. You must never know anything personal about me. Rule 2: If Rule 1 is broken, the friendship must end.

Okay, I know that's just stupid. Unfortunately, that's how my friendships have worked. And I'm really good at discontinuing relationships. I just get busier and busier, until my "friend" realizes I just don't have time for her anymore. We'll see each other, and she'll mention that it would be fun to get together. I'll agree, but make sure there's no time for that to happen. Eventually, even if we run into each other, she won't mention it anymore. I thought I'd finished cycling through that, in my friendships, but my relationship with David has proven me wrong. Of course, he knows more personal stuff about me than anyone except my husband. But as long as he needed me, as long and there was no one else to turn to, I allowed our friendship to continue. However, as soon as I could see that he was more independent, and as the number of people in his support system began to grow, I started to look for ways to bail out. I think the only reason it didn't happen, is because, somehow, I've really come to love him, and I'm hoping that on a sub-conscious level, something human inside of me wants the friendship to continue.

There's a great deal of turmoil and agony being created inside of me because of this. Right now, I'm not sure how to deal with it. Darrin and I talked about it today. He's really concerned that I'll do something to end the relationship that will hurt David. I won't. Darrin thinks I'm becoming irrational. I'm not. I'm just frustrated because, for the first time in many years, I have to stop a pattern that has (I thought) brought me peace. I have to deal with emotions I don't want to. I have to learn how to continue a relationship that is a little unusual in the first place--but maybe it's good to start with something like this. It will make the "normal" friendships easier to deal with. Over the past few weeks, I've starting to feel urges to "end" my relationship with Janie. So far, I've suppressed them. I'm hoping that if I have success in my friendship with David, it will trickle down to others. I can't believe I'm writing this--it's too weird for words. I need to think about this some more. I need to come up with some sort of plan, if possible. I need to stop running away from people, just because I can't cope with the fact that they actually know me. I'm SO WEIRD!!

Classes were awesome today. Rehearsals went well. We have our concert tomorrow, and are mostly ready for the performance. I got home at 3:30--my house was empty. Adam is camping with Grandpa. DJ is still at the university. Darrin is at work--and will be there till about midnight doing inventory tonight. I can't find Tabitha. I assume she's with my mom. I called the house and left a message, then did the same on my mom's cell phone. I told her if Tabitha was with her, to please have her come home.

The phone rang as I hung it up. It was Janie. We were supposed to go out tonight (I forgot), and she was calling to cancel. I told her that was fine. We discussed rescheduling, decided to wait until we were both finished teaching our classes, and left it at that. Janie asked if Tabitha was available to talk to Annie--I said I was still trying to locate my daughter, and I'd have her call as soon as she came home. Tabitha got home a few minutes later, called Annie and arranged for her to spend the evening with us. I picked up both DJ and Annie around 5:00, we went to dinner, then went home. DJ got ready and left for his evening activity. Tabitha, Annie and I made a cake. The girls were very cute, made a horrible mess, and giggled non-stop. I took Annie home at 9:30, and picked up DJ en route. I sent DJ and Tabitha to bed, and did laundry while I waited for Darrin to get home.

Darrin arrived at midnight. He was exhausted. He'd been working since 7 AM, and he was sick most of the day--something intestinal, poor guy. He didn't get to sleep right away, because his stomach was still bothering him. We finally both fell asleep around 2 AM.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


We had a windstorm this morning--no outdoor run for me. I ran on the boring treadmill for as long as I could stand it, then went through my morning routine. I'm feeling a little better today--less angry, less frustrated, less sad. Life is interesting.

Tabitha and Adam got up early today, and we spent the morning chatting and laughing. I was almost late for my first class, as a result. The day went very well--the classes were fun, and my ensemble groups have really practiced, so they sound great. We'll perform on Friday evening.

I got home around 3:00. Tabitha had gone swimming with my sister-in-law. Adam was vegging in front of the TV. He told me my dad was taking him camping tomorrow night. Hmmmm... that's the first I'd heard of that. Adam said my dad had discussed it with Darrin earlier today. So I guess Adam's going camping with grandpa tomorrow. Interesting--my dad doesn't really like to camp. He has Post-Polio Syndrome, and camping causes all kinds of pain for days afterward. I'm wondering why he's doing this.

DJ called to get a ride home from the University. I decided to take this opportunity to go to Walmart and grab some groceries, etc. DJ picked out some frozen pizzas while I got necessary groceries. We got home, made dinner, then took him to his concert. I was supposed to go to tonight's youth activities, but called another leader and asked her to take my place. I needed time to sort through all the crap that's inside me. I'm starting to feel a desperate need for relief.

I took another very long walk, then picked up DJ from the concert. We got home around 9:30, and Darrin and I put everyone to bed. Darrin had some computer work to do. I fell asleep on the couch, awoke at 11:30, and went to bed. Darrin joined me. He asked if I was feeling any better. Actually, I am, finally. I need to stop questioning the WHY's of everything, and just be grateful for all the blessings in my life. I need to get over myself, stop agonizing over the fact that I had the humbling experience of being helped by a teenager, and just thank the Lord that David has been willing to support me when I needed it most. I need to be a better friend--which is really the hard part for me.

Darrin was smiling at me when I finished telling him all that. He asked me if I really believed what I just said. I'm not sure. But I think I believe it tonight. Darrin laughed and kissed me. He told me he loved me. But just now, when I think things are getting back to "normal", I had another bad moment. I was resting on Darrin's chest, and he was holding me, and I had those horrible "I'm going to cry" feelings return. I just wanted to sob uncontrollably. I felt incredibly sad, and I knew I was going to cry. I kissed Darrin, hugged him, and moved away. I waited until I knew he was asleep, and then I cried. I don't know why. I'm finding all this very upsetting, and horribly confusing.
"How happy is the blameless Vestals lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot;
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned."
--Alexander Pope

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I awoke just before the alarm went off. Darrin got up, and I read/prayed/studied--usual morning stuff. I had no time to run today. That's not good, considering that I use running to help me cope with emotional turmoil. Even though I'm not necessarily experiencing turmoil--but I should be, considering what's happening inside me. Regardless, no run today.

Darrin left for work, DJ and I left for the university, Tabitha and Adam stayed in bed.

Even though this is only the second day of the seminar, everything already seems to be routine. I have a great bunch of students this year. Usually there are a few "problem" students--ones I wish would stay home. This year I have only one, and he's actually not so bad. So teaching the classes and ensembles is really fun this year.

I went home at lunch time. Tabitha and Adam were up today, and showered. The house is an absolute disaster. I got them started cleaning, visited blogs/answered e-mail, grabbed a snack, and went back to school. After rehearsing with my ensembles, I taught private lessons, and arrived home at 5:30. Darrin and I are supposed to attend our class tonight at 6:30, and I'm very tired.

Tabitha and I ran to the store to get dinner, and arrived home at 6:15. Darrin said he was too tired to go to class tonight, so we stayed home. Probably not a good decision, considering my state of mind right now, but we were just too tired. DJ has concerts he has to attend every night this week, so Darrin took him to that around 7:00. I went for a walk.

My walk became quite long. I'm not sure what the distance was, but I didn't get back home till 10:00. The kids were still up, and Darrin was asleep on the couch. I roused Darrin, sent the kids to bed, and got ready myself. I went to bed and fell asleep almost immediately. Darrin finally joined me around 11:30. I woke up, kissed him good-night, and went back to sleep.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pride, Fear, and Reality

Elbow left a comment today. He said, "I was going to comment on the fact that you are so strict about distancing yourself from David, and that the reason might be...pride. I hate saying that, but I could be totally off base. But it seems like you don't want to have "problems" anymore, and that David reminds you that you are human, so you naturally want to feel above that." His words are true. I've never had a problem recognizing the truth--even when it diminishes me. To take things a little further, it's not just that David reminds me that I'm human, but he reminds me of a time when I was vulnerable, a time when I needed him. And I hate that.

The Lord has always placed key people in my life to help me. I think HE thought it was a grand joke that when I needed to heal from extensive sexual abuse caused by a young man, He placed another young man with the same name in my life. There have never been two people more different from each other, than those two David's. But just as I felt I had to submit to the first David who harmed me, I almost felt a need to submit to the Lord and allow the second David to help me heal. That's where the pride comes in. I had to accept help from a young man, and because of it, I am better--but I didn't get to do it by myself (I sound like a 3-year-old).

I'll also admit that I never present my problems to the world (except in my blog). David once accused me of being "too perfect". Basically, if there's something I'm not good at, or something at which I've completely failed, I just don't talk about it. My mom does--she tells anyone who will listen how lousy she is at everything. I think she does it so they'll respond by building her up, which many listeners do. I guess I just feel that I know if I'm bad at something, I'm aware of my failures, there's no need to broadcast the fact that I can't do something. On the flip side, I don't tell people what I'm good at either. Let's just say that I don't find myself a fun topic of conversation (even on my blog, it's not very fun).

So is there a pride problem here? Yeah, definitely, no question about it. I hate being reminded that I have a severe deficit when it comes to building relationships, that I had the humbling experience of needing to accept help from a 16-17 year old, that I don't know how to be a "real" person who just knows how to respond to others in any circumstance. I hate knowing that when I'm put in a position I perceive as vulnerable, I want to retreat--self-protect--build walls. I hate the fact that I can't be everything for myself, do everything for myself, and that I might actually need others in my life. Is that pride??? You betcha!!!

I think the fear thing is directly linked to the pride thing. I've done some soul searching today. What am I afraid of in my life?
1. I'm afraid that someday Darrin will realize who the person is that he actually married, and he'll stop loving me.
2. I'm afraid that someone might hurt one of my children.
3. I'm afraid that someday I'll figure out I'm really not that important in the grand scheme of things--so why am I here in the first place?
4. I'm afraid to cry, to let myself be sad, especially about the things that were painful in my past. I'm afraid, if I start, I won't be able to stop.
5. I'm afraid to love. Because that means someone can hurt me, and I'm really afraid of being hurt. Deep inside, I think that's the thing that scares me the most.

So all this brings me to the reality of everything. The reality is that, yes, I'm prideful, but not because I think I'm better than others, but because I'm afraid to look at the person I really am. I don't particularly like her. I think she is weak and overemotional, and she makes WAY too many mistakes. The reality is that I really don't believe Darrin will ever stop loving me, but there's NO WAY I will ever deserve his love. Someday, most certainly, someone will hurt each of my children, that's part of life. Someday, I'm going to have to decide if my life has importance or not, and make a decision about why I'm here right now. Someday I need to let myself cry and feel badly that there was so much hurt in my past, and I need to let myself cry about the things that hurt now. I just hope there are lots of tissues around, because I still feel like, if I start, I might never stop. Someday, I need to acknowledge that I really do know how to love, I do it on a regular basis, and if I get hurt, the Lord will send someone (it might be a teenager) to help me heal.

Someday. Maybe.

I rushed through my morning routine to get to the university early today. I had a bunch of stuff to photocopy for classes, and knew the line would be forever long. Darrin left for work early, and DJ biked to the university. I left Tabitha and Adam in bed. They're supposed to get up at their leisure, eat, do their chores, then go to my parents' house. They won't.

I got to my office and got my photocopying done--I was right, it took forever. I had about fifteen students in my first class--only six were registered. I was kind of surprised, since Piano Technique is typically not a popular class. One of my students is a gifted jazz improvisationalist. I only have him in this class. I wish he was in more of the piano classes, but he's immersed in all the jazz ensembles/classes. I'd love to work more with him.

I taught my morning classes, did some prep for the afternoon and went home. As I passed a classroom, I could hear a men's vocal jazz ensemble rehearsing. I could hear DJ singing. He blends very well, but I can always pick out my son's voice in small groups. I think he'd hate it if he knew that.

When I got home, Tabitha and Adam were fixing breakfast, still in their pajamas (noon). I suggested they get their chores done, shower, and see if their grandparents had some jobs for them to earn some money. They enthusiastically agreed. But I know, they won't go.

I went back and taught my ensemble groups. I have one very advanced student. She competes internationally, but always attends my classes in the summer. Usually we have another student advanced enough to work with her, but not this year. I'll have to be her ensemble partner--which means I'll have more to practice. But I love her, and we have a ball together--we laugh WAY too much when we're rehearsing. I'm trying to get her to do a Copeland arrangement, but he's difficult to read, and she wants something that won't make her work. Too bad. I told her to GO PRACTICE. She made a face, laughed and went to her practice room. I heard her going through the music a few minutes later. I have two other ensembles. They are made up of quite talented, hard-working kids. They'll be ready for performance before Friday, which means we can get lots of detail work done.

I left for home at 4:00. Adam was still at home, but dressed, and his chores were done. Tabitha was at my parents'. When Darrin, Tabitha, and DJ got home, we went out to dinner at a small Mexican restaurant we like, and got home around 8:30.

We relaxed a bit, then the kids went to bed. Darrin wanted to talk, of course. So I quit being horrible, and sat down with him. The truth is, I get frustrated when I know something's going on inside, but I can't figure out what. I think I finally understand what's happening, at least enough to express it.

About six weeks ago, I knew something was up with David. He just wasn't responding the way he used to, and he seemed to be stagnated in his growth. I asked him to come talk to me--he was reluctant, for the first time, and said he was too busy. I finally called him one day, asked if he was busy, and when he admitted he wasn't, suggested that would be a good time to talk. This was the time when he told me he was struggling because he was tired of trying to change. I realized, as I was reading his e-mail today, that I was sort of in the same spot.

And WHY did I go through all those months of counseling? I found myself reiterating the words David had said. I've worked hard to resolve past problems and abuse, I think I've made great progress, and I'm experiencing wonderful relief. But I think that's as far as I want to go. And I'm tired. Just as David didn't want to continue to confront his problems, I don't want to learn how to continue relationships. I don't want to stop building walls. I don't want to make myself emotionally available to more than my spouse and children--and that, only on a limited basis.

I admitted all this to Darrin. He was very quiet. I thought maybe he'd fallen asleep (which was alright with me). Then he said that this wasn't fair. Then he said, "For the past six months, you've been very immersed with David. You've been available to him when he needed you. You've shared problems and joy. You've built a beautiful friendship. You've expressed love. But the thing I'VE loved, is that you've become more availble to ME. For the first time, you've allowed ME to be a part of your problems and joys. I'VE felt like OUR friendship has become stronger. And you've expressed your love to me verbally and physically in ways you never have before. I don't want to let go of that."

I was crying before he finished. I hate crying. I REALLY hate it. I promised I'd keep trying to overcome the impulses that I'm feeling. I said I wouldn't isolate myself--but I want to. I told him I wouldn't retreat in to self-protection--but I WANT TO!!! My brain is telling me how stupid I am to want this. My heart is telling me how tired I am of trying to change. And in order to change, I have to keep trusting people, making myself vulnerable, and I have to keep loving them. I don't know if anyone can understand how hard this is for me. I REALLY don't want to care anymore.

Darrin asked me what I'm afraid of. I wish I knew. Something is making me afraid. I guess I have to figure it out. But I don't want to.

Monday, June 12, 2006


I got up quietly and went for a run. Today I watched the sunrise while I ran. I didn't want to go home. The sky was an incredible blue--everything was beautiful. I finished my five miles, but decided to do a couple more. I just needed to stay outside.

I came home, did my morning devotional, answered e-mail, visited blog--usual stuff. I helped the kids get ready for church, and arranged for them to ride with my mom. DJ and I got ready to go to the university. Today all the students will be auditioning and registering for classes. I took DJ to the lobby where registration was taking place. He wanted me to stay, but I told him I had to go audition the pianists. He gave me SUCH a face. I asked him how I was supposed to be in two places at once, then told him he knew where my office was, if I was needed.

I went up to my room, met the graduate students who will be helping me teach the piano curriculum, and began to audition the students who were waiting. We auditioned students from 1:00-5:00, then spent some time going over stuff for tomorrow's classes. I gave the grad assistants my phone number and said to give me a call if they had questions. I don't expect to hear from them. Everything seems well-planned.

I went home around 7:00. Darrin had made dinner, and he, Adam, and Tabitha had eaten. Darrin was taking a nap, Tabitha and Adam were squabbling. I broke up the fight and ate a little. I haven't been as careful lately, about eating. I have to be more on top of that--have to keep getting better.

I was really feeling out of sorts--I think I'm just doing a lot right now and am a little overwhelmed. The kids went to bed at 8:30. Darrin wanted to talk again. The timing is just bad right now. We didn't necessarily start arguing, but I told him I just couldn't discuss the things he wanted to talk about right now. He was upset--with reason. He has ALWAYS made time for me when I wanted to talk. But I'm afraid if we talk I'll say something stupid, something I'll regret. Darrin wants us to make more "alone" time--do more date nights without the kids. I asked him if we could talk about this next week, when the seminar was over. He reluctantly agreed. He had some things he had to prepare for work tomorrow, so I vented to the computer, then we went to bed, still a little frustrated, but feeling somewhat better.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

So after that little expression of my frustration, I feel the need to post this: Peaceful and Beautiful Scene. Make sure your sound is on, because the music is lovely, as well. It makes me feel better. Enjoy!

I got up at sunrise, did my morning routine and went for a run. It was breezy and beautiful. I ran about six miles on the backroads. When I got home, I helped Darrin get ready to leave. He's going with his ward to the temple today.

I spent the morning finishing my lesson plans for the piano technique and piano literature classes I'll be teaching next week. Then I went through some potential music for my two ensemble classes to work on. The ensembles will perform on Friday, so they only have about five days to learn their pieces. I really enjoy teaching these seminars at the university. They're intense, long class hours, but really only last a week. Plus, I love working with the students.

The kids got up and wanted to lay around watching TV. I said they were welcome to do so when they were dressed, breakfasted, teeth cleaned, rooms cleaned, and Saturday chores done. They looked at me in disbelief. Don't I know they're on VACATION???? I smiled and told them to get busy. They looked at each other and went back to their beds.

Annie called around 10:30. Tabitha wanted to play. I told her the conditions I'd stated earlier were still in force. She could play when she'd done all that I'd asked. DJ finished his chores, ate breakfast and headed for a rehearsal. He's attending the music seminar this year. He won't be in any of my classes, because he's in the vocal ensembles/classes. Adam was still AWOL. Tabitha unhappily started her jobs.

At 1:30, everyone had finished what I'd asked them to do. Tabitha had made arrangements for me to pick up Annie, then the two of them and Adam wanted to take their bikes out to the greenbelt and ride around. I looked at the weather and said no, but compromised by taking them up to ride on the ridge, where I run. It was a lot harder to ride up there than they had thought it would be. Adam got tired and wanted to go back home--I said he could, but he didn't. Then it started to rain. They wanted to keep riding. We all got soaked. Adam got more upset and went home alone. Annie, Tabitha and I ended up at a small park (which is where I usually turn around on my morning runs), then cut across to Annie's house to pick up some dry clothes. I chatted with Janie while the girls took their time getting "stuff", and got permission for Annie to accompany us to the movie tonight. Janie mentioned that David isn't spending as much time with me lately. I said that was a good thing, but she said she was worried. I suggested we give him his space. He knows where I live, he knows he's welcome, but he's 17. Janie looked unhappy, but agreed.

The girls and I rode home and they played until 4:00. I took Annie home and told her I'd be back around 6:40 to pick her up for the movie. We went home and had dinner.

DJ decided he'd rather not go to the movie. It was at our cut-rate theater and was a Disney flick--The Shaggy Dog. We left him home, and picked up Annie. The movie was cute but kind of stupid. The kids liked it. I actually fell asleep, and Adam woke me up, laughing at me.

After the movie I took Annie home, took us home, and arrived just as Darrin did. We put the kids to bed and talked for a few minutes. Darrin wanted to talk about all the things that are happening right now--me teaching next week--him having to work late next week--us not spending enough time together--my unwillingness to talk about David (nothing to talk about!!)--what's going on in his student ward. I got frustrated, because I'm really tired, and suggested we talk another time. Darrin agreed, so we went to bed. I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


I didn't sleep last night. Too much on my mind. Last month, as I held a beautiful new baby, I felt for the first time in my life, the longing to have a baby. But that doesn't mean I wanted that to come true. I just viewed it as one more step in my emotional healing. I think it's normal for people, male and female, to have the desire to procreate. I think women often feel the tug to have babies--it's part of their physical make-up. I just never have, because I've never allowed myself to feel things. So when I finally DID experience those feelings, it was rather overwhelming, to say the least. But, again, that doesn't mean I REALLY want another baby.

I dozed off and on throughout the night, having those dreams that are so realistic you think you're awake, but then you find yourself back in bed, slightly confused and wondering what's going on. I finally got up around 5:00. I wanted to do the pregnancy test, but Darrin got up with me, and I didn't want to tell him about the need to do one. This is the first time since December that I haven't shared something with him. It's not that I don't want him to know, I just can't deal with any speculations or what if's. When I have the test result, if it's positive, we'll talk. If it's negative, we'll be more careful. So I had to wait.

I did my usual morning routine, scriptures, prayer, blogs, e-mail. Then I did laundry and cleaned. Darrin mentioned I seemed a little more energetic this morning--which is funny, because I was actually exhausted. After he left I tried to continue working, but was too tired. I fell asleep on the couch for an hour, then showered and got ready to meet my friend at the school library to finish working on a book order list. Tabitha called Annie to see if she wanted to go with us and help process some new books. I talked to Janie. She's trying to arrange a double date with she and her husband, and Darrin and I, but we're not having any luck coordinating our schedules. We were planning on going tonight, but Janie's husband, Jim, told her they really needed to talk. That sounds ominous, considering the state of their marriage, but I told her that was DEFINITELY more important. Anyway, the logistics of the date are becoming too complicated for this week. I made arrangements to pick up Annie and keep her till after lunch.

We met my carpool friend and her daughters at the school. I set the girls up covering paperbacks, stamping, and labeling books. My friend and I worked on the list. We were able to spend about $5000.00 more, and have almost finished ordering the obligatory books. We worked for about 2.5 hours. The girls got tired after two hours (they worked REALLY hard, and made a huge mess), so we sent them to the playground to play. We finished and cleaned up, made tentative arrangements to meet again tomorrow to finish the list, then took the girls to Wendy's to eat lunch. I ran home, first, to pick up Adam and DJ to eat with us. The four girls sat at their own table and giggled. The rest of us sat apart from them and actually ate. By the way, the chicken spinach salad is covered in crumbled bacon and hard-boiled eggs--bleh!! Not my favorite, but I scraped out as much as I could, and ate some anyway.

We said good-bye to my friend and her daughters. Tabitha wanted Annie to stay with us indefinitely, DJ wanted to go renew his driver permit, Adam just wanted to do SOMETHING. I had a headache. We drove to Annie's home and made arrangements for her to stay the afternoon with us. Linda was there with the new baby--that was not helpful. I held him--no feelings of wanting a baby this time. We went home, I dropped off Annie, Tabitha, and Adam and took DJ to renew his licence. Then we picked up Adam and I drove them to the library, which is having a teen party this afternoon, at which they will show "King Kong" and serve pizza. I got home in time to intercept a phone call from my nine-year-old niece, Megan. She's in town and wants to play with Annie. This day keeps getting more and more complicated. Annie and Tabitah were outside riding bikes. I needed a break. So I arranged to pick up Megan around 4:30 (it was 4:00), and, finally, did my pregnancy test.

It was negative. I breathed a sigh of relief and started to cry. I think it was a combination of being tired and having a million different feelings all at once. I let myself cry for about five minutes, then shut down the feelings, gathered Tabitha and Annie, and went to pick up Megan. Since I had three very giggly girls with me, I decided the best thing to do would be to go to Walmart--larger space, lots to look at, and I could pick up some food for dinner. We got frozen strawberries and pineapple for smoothies, blueberries for waffles, and Canadian Bacon. We shopped for toothpaste--which takes much longer than normal when three adolescents are trying to make a decision together. Megan had to use the bathroom, which then made the toothpaste decision go 33.3% faster, but when she got back, she informed me that her underwear had ripped. So we went to the girls department for panties. Megan picked out the ones she wanted, then I got them matching yellow t-shirts from the clearance rack which had "cutie" across the chest. Then I checked out and herded them out of the store.

Of course, they had to change their shirts on the way home--more giggling. We got home to messages from Annie's sister, wondering what time to have David come pick her up, and from my sister, letting me know she was coming to pick up Megan. We got to work on dinner, as I called David and told him not to come at all. I was keeping Annie. He said his parents left money for him to take the kids out to fast food tonight, so I needed to ask Annie if she wanted to go out with them. I said, "You know she'd rather stay with me. I'm her "favorite aunt", and you're just the mean old big brother." He laughed and said I needed to ask her. So I said, "Annie, do you want to go out to dinner with the meanest big brother in the world or stay here and eat with your sweet favorite aunt?" Of course, she wanted to stay with me. David asked me when I became their aunt. I told him his mom had given me permission to do so. He said, "Okay, you're my favorite aunt, too." I asked him if he was angling for an invitation to dinner. He said, yes. So I told him to bring Scott and Gary and come. He asked the boys, though, and my blueberry waffles couldn't compete with Taco Bell, from their standpoint, so they declined. We made arrangements for him to pick up Annie around 7:00. That gave us half an hour to eat, which is not enough time. We forgot to allow for giggling.

David arrived as we were finishing our four-course chocolate dessert sampler. I firmly believe that if I'm not allowed to keep my visitors as long as I wish, and they are other people's children, I should send them home as hopped-up on sugar as possible. Annie made a bee-line for Tabitha's room and hid in the closet. Megan and Tabitha joined her. I shrugged at David, and told him he'd just have to let Annie stay. He gave me a look, then walked up to Tabitha's bedroom and told Annie they needed to go. He said they still had time for a short bike-ride if she hurried. He told Annie that Scott and Gary wanted to go ride on the ridge. She said she'd think about it. I told David to come downstairs and have some chocolate.

We went down to the dining room and talked for a minute. The girls, of course, couldn't stand not being able to hear what we were saying, and finally joined us. Twenty minutes later, after promising she could come back tomorrow, David was able to get Annie to leave. I sent Megan and Tabitha outside to play while they waited for Megan's mom to come, so I could have some quiet. It was not to be. Darrin arrived with DJ and Adam, who wanted to talk (LOUDLY) about the movie, and in spite of all the pizza they'd eaten, they ate more waffles and Canadian bacon. I left to go to the office to get some peace. I did some inventory, and worked on some customer files, then went home around 9:30.

Megan had gone. Darrin and I put the kids to bed. We chatted for about an hour. I didn't mention the pregnancy near miss. Not ready to talk about that yet. Then we went to bed. I'm tired.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Today is Friday, June 9, 2006.

Today in his blog, Elbow said: "This life is a test right? I mean even people who aren't LDS feel that this is the time to prove to see where we belong in the afterlife. The sole purpose for coming to earth was to 1) obtain a physical body and 2) to be tried and tested. So, with the purpose laid out, we can see that there is a clear vision of what earth life is all about. Now, "to be tested" is such a loaded statement. There are school test and drivers tests, test to measure skill, and other tests to measure aptitude. Some tests, are simply to prepare us for future tests, and other tests are merely for fun or enjoyment. My favorite tests are those that teach."

Today I took a test. It was negative.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Today is Thursday, June 8, 2006.

In September I will be 40 years old.

My youngest child is eleven.

Today my period is one week late.

I woke up to Darrin's alarm and nudged him. He groaned and rolled out of bed and onto his knees. He cracks me up, because when we first got married, the hardest thing in the world for him to remember was personal morning prayer. He'd lie in bed until he ABSOLUTELY must get up, or be late for work/school/whatever, then he'd jump and run and totally forget about talking to the Lord. One day he told me he'd decided he was never going to miss another day. I suggested that maybe he should ease into it, and allow for occasional failure. No, he was firm. He'd decided not to let the soles of his feet touch the ground until after the prayer was said. I laughed at him, not really believing it. But it was true. He rolls out of bed every morning, directly onto his knees, says his prayers, then allows himself to stand and get ready for the day. And he hasn't missed a morning for the last 10 years. I did my morning routine, but skipped my run today--I ate something yesterday that was STILL not agreeing with me by morning.

I checked blogs and e-mail. Then I sent an e-mail to David with two addresses of potential cyber-friends. Okay, I'm going to say something now. The traffic to my site has increased in the past couple of weeks. I never started my blog because I wanted to make connections with people, or because I was hoping they'd visit. I started it because there were things inside me that were aching to come out. I would do free-writing for my counseling sessions, and that was fine, but then I'd come home and wonder, what was the point of all that? I'd written a hidden aspect or emotion in my life, I'd shared it with my counselor, but it was still a secret, it wasn't real. So I put it on my blog, knowing that if it was "out there", it had the potential to be found, to become known, to become REAL. It didn't really matter if no one ever found it. The fact that it could be found was all that I needed. For some reason that lent value and truth to the things I was expressing, and I felt relief.

But now that those things have actually been discovered, I'm feeling a bit of reticence when it comes to expressing feelings. Part of that is that I know some of those visiting my blog know who I am, which is a little uncomfortable. However, all that aside, I have realy experienced some marvelous healing through being able to talk in this cyber-world, and I don't want it to stop. So I'm hoping that everyone visiting is just as messed up and slightly insane as I am, and that they understand that by expressing those miseries and insanities here, I am allowed to continue acting "normal" in the real world. Although, I suppose that no one who really knows me would ever say I'm normal. So I'll modify that and say, "normal" in the Samantha Stevens capacity.

I know it's silly for me to have all these emotions right now. Life was easier when I didn't have emotions.

Tonight I worked on lesson plans for the music institute classes I'll be teaching next week. I have to audition all the piano students on Sunday. Usually I team teach with former professor of mine, but she's in Greece with some friends, so I have the entire piano curriculum to present, as well as coaching the top ensembles. It will be fun, but lots of work. Before bed I ordered plane tickets for my kids. Darrin is going to Las Vegas in July, for a work seminar, and I'm going along for the ride. So we're sending the kids to New York to stay with family there. They love visiting and touring the City, and Darrin's family loves to have them come. This is the first time we've vacationed apart--it's weird.

I have so much going on inside right now--I thought I'd never be able to sleep. But I actually fell asleep before Darrin came to bed. I'm more tired than I thought.
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