Click here to play music

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.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


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.


  • At Tuesday, June 13, 2006 9:41:00 AM, Blogger Elbow said…

    That's a lot of truth coming at you all at once.

    I respect your husband for being insightful enough to come to those realizations. You are very lucky to have him.

    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.

    But you yourself said the important thing which is that it is based in fear. And fear is proabably the hardest feeling to overcome, but the most rewarding when it becomes realized.

    You are an amazing woman, open, honest, and very giving. You'll be amazingly fine!

  • At Tuesday, June 13, 2006 12:34:00 PM, Blogger Ward Cleaver said…

    Like we have explored and discussed before, David could be (feel like) a manifestation of yourself. If you distance yourself from don't have to confront your own demons....nor help him with his.

    When you were helping him/ were helping yourself. You came out of a dark place...where Darrin "understood" you.

    Are you tired of fighting/facing your demons?

    I TOTALLY understand your exhaustion. I am SO tired, too.

    We're both tired because we try to "control" our lives. Shouldn't we both admit we're powerless? If we wouldn't dig in our heels and resist nature/God's plan for us...wouldn't we rest?

    Have YOU worked the recovery program you gave me?

    I encourage you to investigate "Celebrate Recovery."

  • At Tuesday, June 13, 2006 1:45:00 PM, Blogger Kim Mack said…

    I am not sure the purposes and motivations of shutting down are the same for you as they were for me, but I went through a space of time where I didn't want to care anymore, and actually prayed to stop loving certain people. I was tired of the pain and disappointment going on all around me.

    My husband and I were Young Adult Advisors in Iowa and the YA group was quite large for such a small place. The people were incredible, their testimonies strong, and we had so much fun together. How amazing it was to see them grow in the gospel. Soon, though, little by little, they each, one by one, started first doubting the church and then leaving the church (as in asking to have their names removed). I was amazed, I was scrambling to do my part to help them stay true, I was helpless. Less than a year after we had 15 wonderful, vibrant, active YA members, we had none. Literally none. My heart broke and I couldn't put that much into people who were just going to turn anyway. I couldn't invest in people who were struggling because they might make a different choice than what we were working for. So I shut down. Told the Lord to take my feelings of love away for them. And He did.

    It took a very, very long time to get that love back, beause I realized I didn't want to be in that place of building walls after all. It was so much safer, so much more comfortable, but it kept me from acting, kept me from doing and serving, which I ultimately wanted to do.

    Anyway, not sure this relates to you at all, but your words reminded me of that time in my life and I felt compelled to share.

    Oh, and the YA program dissolved because, we found out later, the Family Home Evening couple was actually anti-mormon, pretending not to be, and during FHE when my husband and I weren't there would teach anti-mormon doctrine to the group. I am still frustrated that the underhanded, diabolical side won 15 souls, and my unconditional, Christ-like love didn't mean a thing after all.

  • At Wednesday, June 14, 2006 5:52:00 AM, Blogger Samantha said…

    Kim-what a horrifying experience for you! Thank you for sharing it with me.

    Elbow-I know, I'm MORE than lucky to have Darrin. I hope I always have him. I addressed more of your comments in a subsequent blog entry. Thanks for your encouraging words.

    Ward-You know me too well. Sometimes the fight becomes fatiguing, and that which is familiar is very compelling.

    Actually, I'm in the process of working through the program I introduced you to--which could be part of the reason I'm questioning everything right now--which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    I looked into "Celebrate Recovery" a little while ago. They have no classes in my state (yes, I live in the sticks), and the nearest group is a 2-hour drive, one way. I'm not sure I have the time to do a weekly 4-hour round trip right now, so that will have to wait.

    One thing's for certain, you always make me think. Thanks!

  • At Wednesday, June 14, 2006 6:25:00 AM, Blogger Ward Cleaver said…

    So, if one isn't Mormon then one is diabolical?

  • At Wednesday, June 14, 2006 7:13:00 AM, Blogger Samantha said…

    Ah, Ward, I'm so sorry. Please don't be offended. That comment wasn't aimed at you. I'm sure Kim was just expressing frustration--a poor choice of words, maybe?

    Keep visiting me, please. I need your insights, your comments, your friendship. If I must, I'll start moderating comments, because I want you to feel welcome here--always.

    To forgive is divine?

  • At Wednesday, June 14, 2006 3:08:00 PM, Blogger Kim Mack said…

    I don't recall saying anyone was diabolical ... sorry it came across that way. Not what I meant at all.


    I do think there's a difference between a non-mormon and an anti-mormon ...

    I have a friend who's a Catholic missionary and she's blogging her work. Some post to her blog saying she's evil and try to persuade others to leave the Catholic religion. I don't think those anti's are very cool, either ...

    Anyway, I sure apologize for sending the wrong message.

  • At Wednesday, June 14, 2006 6:20:00 PM, Blogger -L- said…

    People who volunteer to teach a group of young people in an FHE setting and then load them full of anti crap while you are out of the room are both diabolical and underhanded. Unbelievable!

  • At Wednesday, June 14, 2006 8:57:00 PM, Blogger Ward Cleaver said…

    No worries!
    I'm glad we cleared that up.

    I re-read Kim's post with a better perspective.

    I understand her justified bitterness. But again, isn't forgiveness divine?
    Wasn't Christ rejected......deceived? What did he do about it? Was/is his love in vain? Didn't/doesn't his love mean yours, Kim?

    Frienship is never having to say you're sorry. I appreciate that you did anyway. Again, no worries!


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker