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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.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Square Peg

I'm still thinking. I had many reasons for starting this blog. And since I've been honest with most of the parties involved at this point, I see no reason, anymore, not to share those reasons.

1. My stupid therapist was making me write a BOOK about all the miserable details of my life. So I would do the assignments, take them to my appointments, share them with her, listen as she told me everything she thought and asked me "searching" questions, and then I would go home. At that point, I would think--why did I do that???? So now my counselor knows, but it's still secret. Nothing has changed. And part of me wanted to shout from the rooftops that I'd been horribly hurt, while the other part of me wanted to keep hiding. So decided that if I wrote everything anonymously, people would have the opportunity to know WHAT happened, without knowing WHO it happened to. And, amazingly, it helped. I'm not sure why...

2. Writing about my life made me look very carefully at myself. As a general statement, I rarely like what I see--but it IS who I am. I found different facets of myself emerging. Sometimes I caught a glimpse of something delicate and beautiful, and then it would go away, and I would wonder what it was. But if I went back and read what I wrote when that aspect of me was made manifest, sometimes I could bring it back, even if only momentarily. I wonder, sometimes, if beneath all the cynicism, there's a real person--hopeful, sweet, kind, maybe even a little bit romantic...I wonder who I might have become if my life had been different. It's a little confusing, but somehow wondrous to think about.

3. My interaction with youth has been difficult for me. Blogging introspection has helped me get past much that I fear, and actually develop friendships with these young men and women. I'm not sure how that works, I only know it does. But the bottom line is that I really haven't changed. I still yearn for solitude...and after about an hour with my new friends, I'm ready for a break. I'm exhausted after spending time with them. I'm filled with second-guessing, self-doubt, and questions. I spend some blog time exploring many of those things, but honestly, I'm not sure that it's always helpful.

4. I kind of hoped that somehow, I'd find someone like me out in bloggerland. I didn't. I joined a support group with the same hope, and I found some married female SSA members, but don't really know what to say to them. And this was kind of a stupid hope anyway, because on some levels, I still have difficulty relating to other women. No one who knows me would ever guess this, because I've grown adept at hiding my social discomfort, but there are few women I enjoy being around. So this was a stupid reason for starting this blog.

5. I also hoped I had something to share about being homosexual, overcoming abuse, living the Lord's way, and being married. But I think all that requires some sort of heroism--of which I have none. I'm the world's worst coward, especially when it comes to coping with things that stress me out or overwhelm me. And since I haven't really found anyone like me, I'm not sure that I have anything to say that would be of worth. Let's face it, there just aren't that many ardent (to borrow L's word) LDS homosexual wives/mothers--and how bizarre that must seem to anyone who reads it.

So in the midst of all this, somehow Elbow found me, introduced me around, and I found myself surrounded by some really amazing people, highly interesting to me. I found myself visiting and searching out more and more people with similarities to me--and yet, knowing all the time that we really aren't similar in the least. As time passes, the differences seem glaringly large, and I wonder what I'm doing here. I'm female. As has been pointed out to me more than once, there really is no similarity between female SSA and male SSA. They are absolutely different. We can't even relate on the same wavelength, and I really don't have any idea what I'm talking about when I comment on a man's blog. Kim is present, too, and naturally I have much to learn from her, but our backgrounds are different, as well. She understands female SSA from an adult's view--my experience is limited to a young teen viewpoint. Again, I really don't have any idea what I'm talking about if I comment on her blog.

I find myself falling in love with people I've never met, based on the words they say about themselves. Surely there's some Freudian complex related to what I've just said. I worry when they're sad, rejoice when good things happen to them, wonder if they're having a good day/week/month...I think there's something terribly odd about all this. I've discussed this with Janie, and she nods understandingly, but I know she has no idea what I'm talking about--and I'm quite certain she believes I'm losing my mind.

I had the opportunity this week to make personal contact with one of the men who visit my blog. This has thrown me into a bit of turmoil. I got off the phone with that person, and realized he was REAL. And I also realized that no matter how much I care about the people whose blogs I frequent--just as I care for the young men and women I work with--I can't seem to make myself fit. I'm a square peg in a round hole in bloggerland, in the church, in my family, in every aspect of my life. I always have been...and it didn't bother me until recently. David says I attract attention because I am absolutely unique--well, yeah!! isn't everyone??? I understand that he was nicely saying that I'm just a freak of nature, and people notice that I march to the beat of a different drummer wherever I go.

So I'm re-evaluating the usefulness of my blog in my life. I'm not sure that even the best reasons for it can justify it. I think I'm getting tired of telling the world, "Hey, I'm a homosexual, but not a REAL one. I'm a Mormon, but not a REAL one. I'm a wife and mother, but not a REAL one. I'm a woman, but I'll never be a REAL one. I don't fit in anywhere, I'm not sure I want to, and I'm tired of fighting my past, my eating disorder, my natural inclinations, and I think I need a break."

Actually, I am tired. Really tired. I feel like I've been trying to be Pollyanna, and it's a lot of work. I feel that the only reason I'm still alive and kicking is because Darrin is my guardian angel--I'm not strong enough to be that for myself. I feel that I'm a HUGE hypocrite telling anyone ANYTHING, when my life is anything but certain, and I have no wisdom to impart. All I can give them that is real and honest, is my love, and I often question the value of that.

I think I need a rest. L said that he'd know how I was doing because I can't resist telling the world. But I think it's time for some reticence. My life has been an open book for long enough, and I'm not sure that blogging is helping me anymore. So for all of you amazing people who have touched my life, offered help when I was sad--everyone I have fallen in love with--I leave this for you--do with it whatever you will:

"The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart. " ~ by Helen Keller ~


Synonym: Faithful
Definition: Steadfast in affection or allegiance

I've been reading Beck's musings about basis of comparision. It has engendered some interesting emotional and analytical responses within me. I lean more to the analytical side, spending a great deal of time there, and I realized this morning, that I do so because the emotional responses (and memories linked to them) are painful. So in the interest of introspection, I am searching through my emotions today, and all that is linked to them.

For some reason I still do not understand, the Lord loves me. I know this for several reasons, but chief among them is that I was able to meet and marry my husband--and he will be the main focus of my musings.

There have been numerous miracles in my life. I think Darrin is definitely one of them. In twenty years of marriage there has never been a HINT of infidelity from him. Quite the opposite. He has always made it very clear that he's in love with me--every day. That's roughly, about 7450 days. The only thing I've had to compete with for his attention is good, European chocolate, and since that's a passion we both share, it doesn't seem to get in the way. Honestly, I don't understand why he's still in love with me after all this time. It's not like we've had a life of amazing marital bliss. Our marriage has had MANY up/downs, twists/turns, conficts/resolutions--and most of those have been centered around me and my deficits.

I've talked to my female friends who have been married about as long as I have. Most of them can't say that there has never been a time when their husbands' eyes have strayed. Most have had at least one episodic crisis when love had to be reaffirmed, apologies made, repentance initiated. The actual incidents usually involved things like porn addiction, inappropriate behavior with a co-worker, or just simply desiring another woman, but a few involved adultery--sometimes over an extended period of time and with numerous partners. My friends discuss these things as if it's all part of life, and very normal--after all, they'll say, we're talking about MEN... I'm always confused by that comment. I feel that it's their way of saying the behavior is expected and excusable.

On the other hand, I've had similar discussions with male friends with lengthy marriages. Many of them have had infidelity issues from their wives. They don't talk about those things easily. There is an element of deep betrayal in their voices as they discuss the feelings they experienced during those times. Regardless of how much time has past, they're still hurting, suspicious, and vulnerable. Most of the incidents were actually more innocent than the ones I've discussed with my female friends, and involved flirting, perhaps a stolen kiss, or online/email correspondence. Those that involved adultery have, without exception, ended in divorce--which is not the case with my female friends whose spouses were caught in adultery. Again, I find this confusing.

My own feeling is that if Darrin ever chose to stray, I'd cut him loose without hesitation. I'm not sure why I feel that way--maybe because I expect the same standard from him that I demand of myself. I've never been able to make concessions for bad behavior based on gender. Darrin and I have both been clear about our expectations of what constitutes full fidelity within our marriage. I wonder if my female friends forgot to explore that option within their marriages. I wonder if there was always some tacit understanding that some degree of male infidelity was expected and excusable, but there were limits on the venial transgressions allowed to the female spouses.

I married Darrin and committed the rest of my life to him. That was pretty scary. But I haven't regretted that decision, even though I haven't exactly sailed easily through the last 20 years. And I've never been tempted to stray--ever. So I've been wondering what makes me different from my friends--my marriage different from theirs--and the following things come to mind:
1. I'm not attracted to men (that's an obvious difference). That makes it easy to resist any flirting that may come my way. It also helps Darrin to never feel territorial or jealous, which I've been told are major male emotions when it comes to their girlfriends and spouses. It also helps me interact easily with men, because I feel no sexual tension--however, Darrin always points out that feeling is one-sided. Men ALWAYS feel sexual tension with other women. "Fat women?" I ask. "Sometimes," he answers. "Ugly women?" I ask. "Sometimes," he answers. "Loud, scary women?" I ask. "Not usually, but sometimes," he answers. I obviously don't catch any of those signals when I'm with men. So Darrin has been trying to let me know what men do to subtly let women know they find them attractive. I am not a quick study. My little brother was present during one of these "educational" sessions. He does not know I am attracted to women. He listened as Darrin gave me a list of behaviors that I could identify. Then my brother said, "Sam, you've always been oblivious to guys." Then he named four men in our ward that he said had "it" for me (what does that MEAN????). And since all those men were married, it was really kind of disgusting, and even though I didn't believe him, I haven't been able to shake their hands since--THANKS A LOT, LITTLE BROTHER!!
2. Darrin is the ONLY man with whom I've felt safe. That probably makes me less likely to fantisize about being with anyone else--male or female. Safety is something I've craved for most of my life. Darrin makes me feel safe without feeling smothered. I feel protected when I'm with him--and I'm not talking about physical protection. I just know he'll be on my side no matter what, that he'll hold my hand if I'm feeling insecure, and that I'm more important to him than his work, a favorite sport or television program, or any hobby/interest. Even when he was REALLY angry at the situation surrounding my relapse last week--even though he was frustrated with me for being weak--when I was at my lowest point, he pulled me onto his lap, kissed me, and rocked me like a child while I wept. And he still loved me. I find that incredible.
3. Darrin encourages me to try new things, to excel at those I'm good at. I notice many of my friends' husbands put them down or compete with them. Also, some of them make comments like: "Yeah, she's pretty good at her job--wish she was as good at being a mom/wife/homemaker/lover..." Wow...I think if Darrin said anything like that about me there would be hell to pay--but he never would. He comes to every one of my performances--he records them, and watched them again when we get home. He listens to me talk about preparing taxes and investing opportunities with my clients. He tells me he thinks I'm very smart, incredibly beautiful, and he is blessed and lucky to be with me. And even if he's not sincere, how many people can resist hearing nice things about themselves??? I can't... :)
4. Darrin lets me be me--he has NEVER tried to change anything about me. He doesn't understand how I can listen endlessly to 20th century music, switch to Mozart or Beethoven, and end with Fall Out Boy (compliments of DJ needing me to screen just one more song). He hates running and tennis, but indulges my need to do/play both. He takes me to eat at vegetarian restaurants--and occasionally eats the fake meat there. He understands that I don't care for ice cream and watermelon--and that's okay. He doesn't always like the way I dress, but never makes suggestions for how to improve. He never tells me what to do with my hair. He doesn't insist that I wear my wedding rings (it's nearly impossible to practice without being distracted by them, so I only wear them occasionally). He allows me to make low-fat, low-cholesterol food for him, so he won't get heart disease like his parents had at age 40. He lets me laugh at things that really aren't funny. He takes walks with me, even though he'd rather go to a movie. In short--I am never more ME than when I'm with Darrin.

Sometimes I'm glad I don't understand the ins and outs of heterosexuality. It sometimes seems to me that they deal with more infidelity of the mind than I have to. Although, Darrin promises me that not everyone feels the same levels of attraction, and for some (indicating himself) it's easier than for others. I'm not sure if I believe him...but I don't intend to spend much time worrying about it either.

Will my marriage survive another 20 years? With all my heart, I hope so. If, for whatever reason, it doesn't, I know I'll remain single. There's no one else like Darrin. And I'm back to that "basis of comparison" thing. I've tasted what it's like to have a real, positive relationship with someone who knows all the bad stuff about me, who's suffered through some pretty trying times, and who still likes me as a friend, and loves me as a lover. I don't think anything or anyone else can stand up to my basis of comparison. I hope I never have to find out.

Friday, July 28, 2006

I'm thinking. I realized last week that one of the biggest obstacles I face as I try to heal emotionally, is that I can't seem to stop feeling guilt, or blaming myself for the things that have happened in my past. Now some of that blame is deserved. No one forced me to seek out sex with a woman. I'll take total responsibility for that. Actually, I HAVE taken responsibility for that, talked with the necessary "church" people, discussed it with God and Christ ("Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18), and truthfully, my guilt concerning this has passed, and it is no more than a memory I rarely visit.

No, the guilt I have been consumed with comes from feeling that I should have done something to stop the sexual abuse I have experienced. Many doctors, therapists, clergy and friends have told me that there is no need for the guilt I feel--that I MUST stop blaming myself. But I still can't seem to get past that. And each time I feel undue stress in my life, that guilt and blaming thing kicks into high gear, my self-worth drops out from under me, and life and living lose their appeal. I know my family needs me--but how can one such as I be of help to them? I know there are others who depend on me for various things--but if they knew the TRUTH about me--that I'm dirty, used, broken--they would leave me behind and find someone else. All these thoughts flood my head. It's difficult to see reason, to logic through them, to find peace.

Every once in awhile someone says something that cuts through the misery and gives me hope. A friend once saw me when I was REALLY having a hard time. I must have looked incredibly bad. He approached me to talk to me, and I let him know I really didn't want to be around him--I know, rude. However, this person has been blessed with a forgiving heart. I went home and found this message from him in my e-mail: "I am worried about you, but who ever wants to hear that? I love you, and I want to help you... I believe God can inspire the optimist in you. He can restore the peace that you have worked so hard to gain. He can fill your soul with strength to replace the exhaustion that cripples you... I know He can do these things because He's done them for me. I believe in a God who loves and is so grateful for children who fight against the most (seemingly) natural feelings within them because they believe in something better. I believe in a God who is ready to bless those that fight against popular opinions, or against deep feelings, or against any of the demons that we face. I believe in a God who loves me and who loves you, Sam." That was helpful. It lifted my spririts for a time--but it didn't solve the problem.

Support and love are wonderful things. Many, many times I have depended on those things to get me through darkness. I have felt love and support from friends and family both in person and in cyberspace--which is a pretty strange but very amazing phenomenon. But last week Ward told me something which finally made it through all the STUFF I've been holding onto for years. It's something I should have known, and maybe I did, but just couldn't accept it. Regardless, I was finally in a place where I could both hear and accept it, and I'm truly grateful. He said, in reference to the abuse, "It's not your fault." He said it three times. Let's see, I was about twelve when the abuse happened. My daughter is close to that age. Would I blame her if one of her older cousins abused her? Of course not!! It wouldn't be her fault. So I thought about those words. Is it possible that it's true? I kept going back and reading..."It's not your fault."

Then he added, "You didn't "let" it didn't know how to make it stop. There's a difference." What's the difference??? Because I didn't know how to make it stop, I let it happen...wait...I think I understand. I truly did NOT know how to make it stop. I remember thinking through my options at that time:
1. Tell my parents. But when I had done so in the past, nothing had happened. Simply the fact that my cousin was back abusing me, after I had spoken to my parents about him, proved that. No this was not an option.
2. Tell my cousin to stop. But what if he didn't? And I had already spoken to him about the past incidents, so he was aware that I didn't want him to hurt me or touch me anymore. And he was so much bigger than I was. And I was afraid...
3. Tell one of my sisters. But what if they didn't believe me. How could I prove what was happening? And what if he denied would be my word against his. Also, I really didn't have the words to describe what was going on. I didn't understand, myself, so how could I tell anyone else?
4. Wait. My cousin would leave when the summer was over. He was going far away. He couldn't hurt me anymore. This seemed the most logical course of action. This is what I chose.

"You didn't "let" it didn't know how to make it stop. There's a difference." There IS a difference. It's subtle, yet HUGE at the same time. I didn't know how to make it stop--I really didn't! I was innocent--is that a possibility? Is it possible for me to let the guilt go? to stop taking the blame for something over which I really had no control? Can I do this?? I want to do this...but...I DON'T KNOW HOW!!!!!!

I think, someday soon, I have to stop punishing myself for acts beyond my control. At some point I have to stop punishing myself for having a body that could be abused. I have to stop punishing my body.

"You didn't "let" it didn't know how to make it stop. There's a difference."
"It's not your fault."
"I believe in a God who is ready to bless those that fight against...any of the demons that we face. I believe in a God who loves me and who loves you, Sam."
"sam i love you *hug* "
"You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God..."
"To me alone there came a thought of grief: A timely utterance gave that thought relief, And I again am strong..."
"It's not your fault..."
"It's not your fault..."

"...There's a difference..."
Today is Friday

This has been a rather awful week--and good, as well. The awful stuff I've sort of already detailed, and that's enough of that. But the good stuff...I need to talk about that.

1. Yes, I relapsed. It was yucky and horrible. But one of my healthcare providers pointed out that this is the first time I bounced back so quickly. Usually it takes a month or two before I can eat normally, I have to wade through bunches of exercises to cope with anything I've decided to allow myself to remember, and there's usually some side-effect that requires my extended attention. THIS time I was able to eat normally by Thursday, the side-effects are still evident, but not pressing, and I seem to be finished with the aftermath of remembering with very little emotional trauma. In short--this episode was SHORT!!! YAY!!! I'm making progress!!! And that is a very good thing.

2. I went to girls camp. That was VERY fun. There is a young woman who will be in my seminary class in the fall, who also came to camp for the evening. She brought her girlfriend (yes, that would be a romantic/sexual girlfriend) with her. I had the opportunity to talk with her and invite her to come to my class. We talked for a little while. I introduced myself to the girlfriend and invited her to come, as well (she is not LDS). She said she didn't think she could get up that early. I just smiled and said she was welcome anytime.

It was good that I went to camp, and she went to camp and we were able to talk.

So today is Friday. I will run this morning. I am on day two of healthy eating habits. I am coping in the right way with the stresses in my life. I am okay. That is a good thing, too. Definitely, a very good thing.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


I have never abused drugs, alcohol or any other substance in order to get high. In fact, I have always maintained a prideful sense of superiority as I've listened to some of my friends talk about the quest to get plastered/blotto/loaded/smashed, and known that I had no propensity to join them.

Ironic, yes?

There have been times in my life when I would do anything necessary to achieve the euphoria which comes after four or five days (sometimes only three when running comes in tandem) of starvation. It's a craving which only certain athletes and fellow sufferers of eating disorders can comprehend. But perhaps drug addicts can understand, as well. And while I know that I am harming my body when I seek it, I also understand the absolute relief I feel when that euphoria comes. And because I have experienced it more than once, when I begin to feel overwhelmed, emotionally, I really want that feeling in the worst way.

For nearly 20 years I have been, in addict terminology, "clean". But now, once again, as I sort through memories and feelings which have been carefully hidden during all that time, I find myself turning back to ANY coping mechanism which will help. But while in the past, I was able to use those mechanisms without worry or recognizable guilt, now, as an adult, I find the relief fleeting and the guilt overwhelming. I realize what I should have known before I ever put the negative coping skills into action--I'm not coping at all. I'm exacerbating an already desperate situation. And when the relief subsides, I am left with even more STUFF with which to cope.

So I crawl slowly out of the hole I've dug for myself. I start the food diary for the millionth time. I cut down on my running for a couple of days--replacing it with reading or slow walks. I talk to friends who have time for me--and then I spend a bit of time on my knees, thanking God for sending people into my life who are willing to care about the derelict (me) even when she acts really, really stupid. I remember that I'm an integral part of a family in which I am loved by each member. I remember that I have the strength to overcome. I talk to my therapist and my doctor. And I pray that this won't happen again, even though I know it's probable that it will.

Addiction (noun):
1. Being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming
2. An abnormally strong craving
3. A surrender to a master
4. Spiritual definition: "Addiction is any compulsive, pleasure-seeking, life dominating behavior which displaces our relationship with God, and is habitual despite moral, relational, and physical reasons which should rationally preclude its practice." (Definitions 1-3, Wordweb, definition 4, Gary's blog)

Am I an addict? Probably. Some would say, definitely. When I look at the list of all that is "wrong" with me, all that is weak, all that is broken, I am overwhelmed. It's very easy to turn to self-blame, to examine all the "if only's", "if I hadn't", "if I could have" believe that if I'd just been stronger one time when abuse happened, or when making a wrong choice, or when I allowed myself to go where I knew I should not be, that everything would be better now.

But the truth is this: Life on earth is not meant to be a vacation on a cruise ship. If the things I battle today were gone, they would simply be replaced by other, equally challenging trials, uniquely tailored to turn my weaknesses into strengths, and help me turn to gold in that excruciatingly painful refiner's fire. And when I look at who I have become, and compare her to the person I was many years ago, I know that God's way is working. I AM stronger. And although I'm not golden--yet--there are still times when I get a glimpse of sparkle and glitter inside of me--the potential is there.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight
To me did seem
Apparell’d in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.

It is not now as it has been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more!
The rainbow comes and goes,

And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;

The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath pass’d away a glory from the earth.
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound

As to the tabor’s sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong.


I grew up in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I had but to walk a half mile to end up on a mountainside shrouded in pines and aspens, and riddled with tiny streams leading to larger creeks, white crested with the swiftness of the water's current. I spent nearly every day outside, in my paradise, during spring, summer, and autumn. It was my place of peace.

About one and a half miles from my home, there were some sheer rock ledges which stretched nearly 100 feet high. By using a circuitous route up the adjoining mountainside, one could get within 25 feet from the top. Then the climb tilted to a steeper angle. Only the most fit climbers could get to the top. I was there often--because I was usually alone. From the top one could see a view of the most amazing green valley hedged by low mountains, topped, always by a deep blue sky. Occasionally cloud formation obscurred that sky--but the view was still spectacular.

Empty white snail shells, approximately 1.5 inches in diameter, littered the ridge. There were so many that a crunchy carpet was formed. My goal, when I started running, was to be able to run to the top of the ledges as fast as possible, and I did it--one time only. When I got to the top I could hardly breathe, and I spent a little time doing the runner's puke. I laid down on top of all those snail shells, and actually fell asleep (okay, it's possible I lost consciousness briefly), got up and puked some more, and vowed I'd never do that again.

I never met anyone on my ledges--and the only one to ever accompany me there was my cousin, Jeff. Others started the climb, but were unable to make it to the top. All in all, it was very private. I spent much time there.

I remember one time, feeling so much pain, so much helplessness, so incredibly sad. I went to my place of solace. I stood at the top of the cliff. I looked out over the beautiful valley. I wanted to take that incredible flying leap, to connect solidly with the earth, to never feel anything ever again. And I knew, there was no question in my mind, I was going to do it.

I stood on the edge a very long time. And then I turned away and went down the path that would take me back home. Part of me deeply regretted not jumping, but today, I'm really glad I didn't.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Whining, Sniveling, and Feeling Sorry For Myself

Okay, I just have to say that today was being REALLY HAPPY for me, because my kids got home from New York, and we've been talking and playing and hugging--and then my bishop called.

So I told him, no, I can't be the RS President. So, of course, he asked why. So I said Darrin doesn't want me to. So he asked why. So I said because I was irresponsible, derelict and unstable. So he asked me to elaborate. So I had to tell him that this is day four of not eating, and Darrin made me promise not to run this morning because I have this uncontrollable shaking thing going on, and I just think taking a major calling when I'm falling apart is a bad idea. So he said he agreed, and that I should thank my husband and look on this as a wake-up call that I'm not "better", and I should get some help. So, thank you, bishop, for stating the obvious.

And I just have to say--THIS ISN'T SOMETHING I'M CHOOSING TO DO!!!!!!! I don't know why looking at food makes me want to gag. I don't know why I want so badly to feel that feeling that has come--I feel strong, in control, capable of anything--and the whole time my hands shake and there's this instability about the firmament beneath my feet. I don't know why, suddenly, death seems a viable option. I don't know why...anything...

I'm going to bed. Darrin insists that things will be better in the morning. I hope so. Right now I really hate myself.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Note: Yeah, more sexually explicit stuff--please don't email me about it.

Friday Night and Saturday

My cousin, Brad, and his family are moving to Tennessee. They stopped here on their way through. Darrin and I went to my parents' house to visit them around 11:00 p.m. What a beautiful family. We visited for about 30 minutes, then went home.

Darrin wanted to talk again. I just wanted to sleep. We got ready for bed. I expected that Darrin would insist on talking, as he had at lunchtime, but he didn't. When he came to bed (by the way, the man prays for nearly an hour--I swear, he does! I told him once that if he prayed more often his prayers would be shorter, and God wouldn't go to sleep listening to Darrin drone on forever...that was VERY well received!), he just hugged me, kissed me, and told me good-night. I was relieved.


I got up and did my morning devotional around 6:00. Then I ran. Darrin asked me to try to keep my running to fewer than two hours, so I did. I also did some really great thinking as I ran. Lots of weird things fell into place--things I hadn't thought about before. Things that made tons of sense in a very bizarre way. I ran my normal route twice (about 13 miles), then went home.

Darrin and I joined my parents and cousin's family for a short visit before my cousins had to leave. Darrin stayed to help my dad with some computer setup stuff for his business, and I went home to study. Around 2:30, Darrin got home. He wanted to know if I'd eaten yet today. I hadn't. He said, "Sam, it's been almost 2 days now. When do you plan to eat again?" I told him I'd eat as soon as I felt able. He snorted at me, and left the room. Why do people snort--it's so disgusting.

Darrin returned and told me he wanted to buy DJ a new bed. DJ has needed one for about 6 months now, we just haven't gotten around to buying one. We left to go to a nearby city to shop. We hit Sam's Club, but didn't find the bed we wanted. Darrin bought me a canteloupe and two dozen roses, instead. I think there's a message for me somewhere in that purchase.

We went to Denver Mattress Company, and found exactly what we wanted for DJ. Then we went home. Darrin said, "Okay, Sam, we have a one-hour drive--talk to me." Surprisingly, I was ready to talk, finally. So I told Darrin about my newest discoveries.
1. I only cry after sex when we are in "missionary position" (okay, I hate that term). That's the position I was always forced into when Cousin David molested me. I think it makes total sense that, now that I'm acknowledging my feelings, instead of stuffing them, I might have some sadness/fear/grief when in a similar physical setting.
2. When Darrin and I were first married, I adamantly refused to allow him to use a condom. Birth control wasn't actually an issue, because I wasn't able to get pregnant for nearly four years, but we didn't know that. We started out using the pill--not a good move. It killed any libido I might have had--bad for an SSA woman. We tried spermacidals--not good for Darrin. I guess those foams, etc., are a bit on the stinging side. Bad for HIS libido. Anyway, about five years ago, I finally decided I could try sex with a condom. The first time, it was horrifying for me, but I had no idea why. Now that I've allowed myself to remember, I understand. My cousin introduced sex to me by showing me a condom, then showing me how it worked--which I suppose would be fine in a marriage, but not with an eleven-year-old girl. It makes sense that I might have some aversion to condom use.
3. I have a horrifying fear of internal exams (and I haven't had one for nearly eight years). I also have never been able to wear tampons. I realized that having anything in my vagina has caused me intense stress for many years. I have no idea how I was able to spend 20 years of marriage in a semi-normal sexual relationship with my husband. I think I was somehow able to separate our intimacy from any feelings, thus isolating it from the fears and phobias I've been experiencing with other "things".
4. I have a feeling that the abuse I went through with my cousin may have involved more than I actually remember. There are a few reasons for this: (a) One time, shortly after our marriage, Darrin caught me getting out of the shower. He picked me up and kissed me on the stomach. I reacted in a rather unusual way--I screamed, twisted out of his arms and vomited. I told Darrin later that I must have had a touch of the flu. In reality, I don't remember ever being more frightened in my life. (b) Once I had relaxed enough to pretend I was okay with sex, Darrin decided we should do a little exploration, "have some fun." Again the unreasonable fear manifested itself. He was giving me a foot massage (innocent), but then he kissed my knee and inner thigh (less innocent). I started shaking and sweating. Once again, I ran to the bathroom and threw up. We never experimented again.

For the first time, Darrin and I discussed these things. Of course, because it's my new hobby, I wept the whole time. Darrin suggested that I really needed to see a counselor again, to see if I could get some help and resolution. Then he said that if I was okay with it, he ought to go with me. Perhaps the counselor could give us suggestions to help us maintain our current intimacy, while working through the things that were bothering me now, and it might also help Darrin understand better why I react the way I do to many things. He said, "You know, Sam, I just want things to be better for you. And I don't want you to equate our lovemaking with what your cousin did to you anymore. I want you to take care of yourself, get a physical, and not be afraid. I want you to be able to use any kind of birth control, and any kind of "girl stuff", you want--without thinking about past abuse. And I want the freedom to express physical love to you, in any way that feels natural and loving, without inciting fear or making you feel ill. I guess, after 20 years, I don't feel like that's too much to ask."

Have I mentioned lately that I love my husband? He's amazing. Really amazing. And I adore him.

Mother Teresa is Amazing

“People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered; forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true friends; succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway.

Give the world your best anyway.

You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.”

Mother Teresa

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Public Answers to Private Email

I've had some interesting email lately. I haven't answered it, because, quite frankly, I didn't want to. However, I have been thinking about what was said to me, and I've decided to respond to some of those comments and opinions. I'm doing it here because there might be others with the same questions or comments posed to me in the emails, and I can perhaps nip similar correspondence in the bud by posting the following email excerpts and my responses to them:

1. I'm concerned at your lack of propriety as you discuss your sex-life on your blog. You say you're LDS, but I can't imagine a person in good standing in the church publishing whether or not they have sex each night. What would your husband think if he had access to your blog? How about your children or parents? Sex is sacred and private and should only be discussed with your bishop, husband, or counselor, if you're having problems.

Response: First of all, as I keep quoting my good friend Ward (who, by the way is much better at being sexually explicit than I am--I learned from the very best!!), THIS IS MY BLOG!! And if you're here asking that question, please remember that I didn't invite you to come. Secondly, if you really ARE concerned, you need to read my archives (which should only take you a few days--well worth the investment, considering your closed-mindedness). In them you will find the information necessary to understand why I need to discuss sex, my sex-life, homosexuality, heterosexuality, emotions connected to sex, sexual deviance, and any other thing I see fit to put in the sexuality category. My religion is only peripherally connected to my sex discussions. However, I've never seen a church handbook that says, "Don't tell people whether or not you're having sex." In fact, given the large family sizes commonly found in the church, it should be widely accepted that a good number of LDS people are actually indulging in sexual practices, and no one should be shocked about that. I think I'll get a bumper sticker that says, "I'm LDS and I have sex frequently." I'll put my blog address at the bottom of the sticker. By the way, your pronoun agreement sucks!! If you use "a person", the following pronoun agreement should be the singular "he/she", not the plural "they." Just thought you'd like to know. Thirdly, my husband is not only aware of the content of my blog, he encourages me to write often. It improves his sex-life. Obviously I won't share my blog with my children. They need to think about their own sexuality, not mine. The same is true for my parents. Honestly, I don't view sex as a taboo subject. If you do, you came to the wrong place. Next time you come, if you have similar comments, I invite you to state them publicly. It will allow others to voice their opinions, as well.

2. You mentioned that you felt "weird" about the sexual nature of the things you discussed with your young friend. I don't think it was necessary or appropriate for you to talk to him about the subjects you raised. He is only a teen. I believe your "talks" will incite undue curiosity, and he'll feel entitled to experiment with the information you've given him. The fact that he thinks he's homosexual lends an even greater seriousness to the fact that you've introduced him to topics he probably wouldn't encounter for another couple of years. I read the article you cited. It has brief reference to anal sex. Your friend will now probably wonder about, and want to experiment with, that. You have, indeed, opened a can of worms. I hope you're ready to accept the consequences of your actions and words.

Response: Again, I believe I'm talking to someone who has not taken the time to read all the information available on my blog. But if you have, well, I just have to resolutely disagree with your stated views. It is ABSOLUTELY necessary for my friend to talk about the subjects we discussed. There is no need for me to incite curiosity--that happened when he was about fifteen. As for his experimentation entitlement, well, that came in the pre-earth life when he was granted agency. He's perfectly free to any experimentation he chooses. I would much prefer he DISCUSS the topics with me, than EXPERIENCE the real thing before he's ready, just to satisfy his curiosity. Two sides to the same coin. The article I gave him DOES have reference to anal sex, but does not promote or glorify it in any way. And because my friend IS (no "thinks he is" about it) homosexual, this is a part of sexuality that he will definitely think about. As for that proverbial can of worms--well, I'm used to worms in my life, and I never run from any consequence for which I am responsible. And by the way, in case you missed it, I asked permission from his mother before I ever approached the boy about our sex talk.

3. I'm not sure why you feel qualified to talk to your friend about anything. After reading through your blog, it is obvious that you're unstable, emotionally, and that you need to spend time dealing with your own issues. I think you use him as a crutch. You enjoy the fact that he needs you, and you like the emotional support he gives you as he expresses love to you. By the way, doesn't it seem a little bizarre that a seventeen-year-old boy e-mails you and says, "I love you more than words describe...", and "I love you so much..." I have a son who is near that age, and I'd be pretty concerned if he was saying similar things to an unrelated female friend.

Response: Hmmmm.... this is an interesting comment. There's no question about my emotional instability. It's one of the reasons this blog exists. And at one point in the last seven months, I would have to admit that I DID need my friend (perhaps I used him as a crutch--can't rule that out). I certainly don't hate it when he tells me he loves me--which he does OFTEN, both in person and in email--and I express love to him, as well. As to whether or not I'm qualified to talk to him, well, that's water under the bridge, and I don't believe I've done more harm than good. I wish you well as you monitor your own son's interactions with others. However, if he ever starts cutting, or falling in love with other boys, and you want him to discuss that with an unqualified, emotionally unstable, older woman--well, you know where to find me.

My purpose in making your email comments public, is not to offend or embarrass you (although I really don't care if that is the result), but to answer globally, a series of emails that I don't wish to address individually. If you don't ever visit again, your email won't be answered, and I don't care about that either. I can't apologize for my rudeness--it is intentional.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Out of Control

I woke up this morning feeling out of sorts. That quickly changed to a feeling of intense dread as I remembered the visit from last night. Then I realized--I'm home--I need to run. I left for my run as Darrin left for work around 7:00.

It was beautiful this morning. We had a cloud cover left over from last night's thunderstorms, and everything smelled incredible. I love the smells of freshly washed grass, flowers, rocks, even mud. The air at 7800 feet might have less oxygen than Las Vegas has, but it's incredibly clean--no asthma problems today. I ran my usual circuit. It takes about an hour to run a nice slow six miles. When I was finished, I found the dread returning. I did the circuit again. That felt better. I was really tired, but I ran to the golf course and circled it twice. Finally, exhausted, I jogged home.

Darrin was just pulling up for lunch as I reached the house. He asked me if I'd gone running twice. "Sort of," I said. "Sam, have you been running the whole time I've been gone?" I admitted I had--four hours. I did take small breaks, sort of. I saw tension building in Darrin. He knows that when I start running like this, it's because I can't cope with the things in my life that are stressful. Darrin is already a little upset that I was asked to fill a major calling while he's a Bishop. This just added to that. Then he asked me, "When did you eat last?" "Last night, with you," I told him. He got even more angry that I hadn't eaten before I ran.

I walked away to take a shower. Darrin followed me. I sat on the bed and removed my shoes and socks. Darrin caught my foot and turned it over to show me that the bruising was worse--spread over the entire sole of my foot. "Didn't you feel this happening?" he asked me. I shook my head. Then I did something I have never done in our entire marriage. I started to cry, stormed into the bathroom, locked the door and told Darrin to go away and leave me alone.

I showered and dressed and found Darrin waiting for me, calm, but still angry. "I don't want to talk about it," I said. "We have to. Right now." I tried to walk away, but Darrin caught my arm and added, "Please." We sat on the bed and I couldn't stop crying. I've never just sat and cried in front of him, but I couldn't even talk. Finally I was calm enough to discuss things with him. Darrin said, "Why didn't you eat this morning." I confessed that I just couldn't. I didn't want to. The problem is that after not eating for four or five days, endorphins kick in that bring a wonderful sense of control and relief. It's an amazing sensation, and I wanted it badly. If one runs a lot during the first couple of days of starvation, the sensation occurs sooner. Darrin knows this. He knows exactly what I'm doing.

"You can't do this, Sam. It's been almost a month since you've done this to yourself. Last week I saw you eat regular meals for the first time in almost seven months. You can't start this again."

I listened to Darrin, but the truth is I CAN do this. It's one of the things I do well. I'm VERY good at it. I knew that wasn't what he meant by his words, but it's what was going through my head anyway. Darrin said he was extremely angry at our bishop for laying at my feet the very thing that would stop my progress and add stress and complications to my life. I told Darrin that I was sure that wasn't the bishop's intention. Then Darrin dropped a bombshell on me. "When were you planning on talking to me about the times you've been crying after we have sex?" I tried to dodge him, "That's a little off the subject, isn't it?" "It's all related, Sam, and we both know it." Nope, the dodge didn't work.

I gave in. We talked about the stupid sex thing. We talked about all my idiotic hang-ups with running and eating. I felt worthless and miserable. I wanted to die. And for the first time in our married life, I wept the entire time. I couldn't stop. So I was embarrassed on top of everything else.

I don't think we solved anything. But at least we had full disclosure. I can't hide anything anymore. I still don't want to eat. Darrin made me promise not to go run again today. But I'll probably take a walk later this evening. I am totally out of control again. I don't know what to do, and honestly, I don't think I WANT to do anything about it. I just want to run and keep running, and I never want to eat again.
My bishop came to see me last night. I knew he was going to come. I've known for a couple of months now. He extended a calling to me--RS President. Of course, I'm going to pray about it--as I've been doing for the past couple of months. Of course, I'll do whatever I feel the Lord wants me to do. I've promised Him I'd do that...

But here are the things I'm pondering:
1. Darrin is a Bishop. RS President is a very demanding calling, even with the best of counselors. That will be both parents in our home in rather involved church service, which doesn't leave much time for parenting, and other important "home" issues.
2. I'm still pretty fragile, emotionally. My eating disorder, while manageable at this time, is still ever present, and it doesn't take much stress to push me toward that place where I feel absolute control. And I have intimacy issues with my husband that I've got to resolve soon. I'm not certain it's wise to add more stress to all this.
3. My kids just got their mom back after about five months of me being gone, emotionally. This calling will definitely take time from them. And while they're great kids and they'll absolutely support me, I'm not sure that this is the best thing for them.
4. If I accept this calling I won't be able to keep up the support I've been giving my friend. And something I've not talked about in my blog is that he's not the only one. There's a young lady with SSA whom I've been trying to lend support to as she ends a relationship. And there are a few other men and women with whom I correspond, both in e-mail and in person, trying to help ease their burdens as they travel a challenging path in dealing with their attractions and longings for members of their own genders. Let's face it, there's not a lot of understanding, love, or acceptance for people in the church who share my affinity--and while it's been difficult and demanding to give so much time to those I find, and to those who find me--I have to do it. I was SO lonely, as I tried to discover the pathway that was right for me. Some of those I talk to choose a path different from the one I chose--but they still need love and support as they walk forward. And I love them. With all my heart. I just can't help it. And truthfully, I've felt that the Lord approves of my interaction with these choice brothers and sisters. But I don't know if I can keep supporting and loving in the same way if I accept this new calling. No, the truth is that I DO know that I CAN'T keep up the communication, love and support for them and still fulfill all that will be required of me with my new responsibilities--and that knowledge is agonizing.
5. I'm not sure I can even feel the Spirit if it speaks to me, at this point. I'm too confused, and sort of miserable.
6. I'm VERY concerned that I need to keep healing, emotionally. I really want to continue exploring what's inside me, to face my past. I'm finally strong enough, I think, and the support that's currently available to me is amazing. But I have a horrible habit of concentrating on other things to avoid what is bothering me, personally. Especially if those personal issues are painful. I have to concentrate on only ME, in order to work through those issues. And while that may seem self-centered or selfish, it is the only way I have found that I can actually address and resolve the emotional stresses caused by past abuse and other events. Being RS Pres. will give me ample opportunities to avoid taking care of myself. I'm very afraid that once I get into the calling, I will shelve all my issues, and possibly even regress a bit in order to cope with the responsibilities.

Okay--I have written down all, or at least the majority, of my concerns. Now I have to decide what to do.

My bishop thinks I can make a decision this weekend. He may be in for a surprise.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Up at 5:00. Normal for me--not for my kids. They went back to sleep. I did my scripture study and prayer while Darrin showered and ironed all his shirts. There are few things that Darrin does that get on my nerves, but this is one of them. We pack for a trip and he has to iron all his clothes before we go. There is ALWAYS an iron wherever we go--and then he irons the clothes AGAIN. It's been this way for 20 years. However, I can't complain about infidelity, abuse, or any other mistreatment, so I know this is extremely petty. It won't cause a divorce. I showered, finished packing, and woke the kids again.

We loaded the car and left arount 7:00. We have to hit the airport around 10:00. I forgot the paperwork with the kids' e-ticket info. We decided to just keep going and hope we can get everything sorted out at the airport. Adam started feeling ill before we left. That continued on the trip to the airport. I gave him my mp3 player and headphones, and told him to try to go back to sleep.

We got to the airport in plenty of time, checked the kids in (no problem with the tickets) and got Darrin and I gate passes to see them off. Adam walked next to me as we went to the gate. He asked if there was any way to change his ticket and come with Darrin and I. He's nervous. I called my aunt to let her know of his worry. She promised to give him a little extra attention. He'll be fine.

The airline assigned an attendant to be with the kids the whole time they were in the air, and to escort them to the baggage claim to meet my aunt. DJ raised his eyebrows (feeling that he probably didn't need a baby-sitter). I told him that it was probably because of Tabitha and Adam. DJ still looked skeptical, but just put on his headphones and listened to music until the plane left.

Darrin and I wandered the airport for an hour, then boarded our plane. Darrin slept almost immediately. I listened to my mp3 player--all the music that DJ loaded on it. Darrin asked me one time why I listen to DJ's music. I said, "Well, do YOU know what he's listening to?" Darrin admitted he didn't--he doesn't like DJ's music. I said, "One of us needs to keep track of him..." I'm the natural choice since I don't "bond" with music. I listen to the lyrics, analyze it harmonically, decide if it seems harmful, overtly sexual, or obscene, then I give DJ the thumbs up or down. Because I don't get emotional about music, it's easy for me to be objective--not something most people do, since music is used as an emotional escape or expression. Just an occupational hazard for me--I'm too critical to get emotionally attached.

Darrin woke up and asked what I was listening to. I told him I'd finished the All American Rejects, a little bit of Fall Out Boy, and was midway through Dashboard Confessional, at which point we'd be on to Shinedown. Darrin grinned at me and said, "You're a good mom." I laughed and said, "This is pretty mellow compared to DJ's last download." I have to admit that some of the stuff is actually well-written, musically, and, if you're into emo, the lyrics aren't all awful, either. Darrin asked me if I got into music when I was a teen. Honestly, there was so much going on in my life then, that I don't really remember. I think I must have--is there a teen that doesn't? But after I started suppressing all my feelings, well, lyrics all seemed trite, and totally disconnected from what I was doing. Honestly, though, I really want my kids to have normal, healthy growing up years--not like mine. So DJ and I continue to work on making good choices in mainstream music, and I'm just glad he'll let me be a part of that.

We landed in Las Vegas. 110 degrees. Need I say more? No swimming for me--all the pools are outdoor, and I'm staying in the air conditioning!

I just have to say--I don't love Las Vegas. Too many people with whom I have nothing in common. I am a HICK!! And I kind of like being that way. Smoking is allowed in the casinos and lobbies of our hotel (MGM Grand), so I'm living on my asthma inhaler--which I absolutely HATE. And I find it totally ironic that you can put quarters in any of 150 cheesy slot machines
but walk fifty feet and be in a classy, immorally expensive restaurant in which the least expensive steak costs $98.00. I'm not kidding. Lobster is less expensive ($65.00), and you can order sides (grilled vegetables) starting at $10.00. AMAZING!! I ashamed to admit that I kind of want to go order one of those steaks, just to see if it's worth the cost. And I don't eat meat!!

Darrin and I checked in, registered for his convention, then went up to our room and found our friends who are also attending. They just moved to another city, so we spent some time catching up. They're pregnant (after 6 years of trying) with twins. How fun!!! We dressed and went to the opening reception which had LOADS of alcohol (the bar tenders hate the soft drink orders, but love me because I drink lime and tonic water. I always got fun extras put in my drink--cherries, parasols, other stuff. Darrin says I always get the fun stuff--but you just have to know what to order), great food, and no place to sit. We watched Cirque de Soleil, which is amazing and weird. We ate the great food and sat on the floor. Then when everyone else was very drunk, we went to our room, said good night to our friends, and got ready for bed.
Friday and Saturday

I still can't run. The bruising on my feet is extensive, and I have no one to blame but myself. Anyone knows that running barefoot on decorative white landscaping rock is a bad idea. No game of tag is worth it. How frustrating!!

I did my morning devotional, got the kids up and we started cleaning. Their bedrooms are beyond acceptable and I want them clean before they leave for New York. DJ mentioned that he thought his room had "character". I just looked at him, and he wandered upstairs to change the "character" of his room. I let them go play after about an hour. The mess was better.

The day passed quickly, as I got things ready for our trips. DJ had a movie night planned at David's house, with a bunch of guys. When I dropped him off, I picked up Annie to come spend an evening with us. I took them to my parents' house, leaving Darrin and Adam alone. The girls made a chocolate pie and watched a movie. I slept.

Annie's dad picked her up at 9:30 (caught me sleeping). Tabitha and I got home just as David dropped off DJ. We got everyone into bed around 10:00.

Saturday morning we rushed through laundry and went to the store. The boys need clothes. Darrin took Tabitha to shop for a birthday gift (another party today), and I took the boys to get clothes. I gave them a budget and told them to shop wisely--they did. They went to look at electronics and other more interesting items as I shopped for the last things we'll need for our trip. Darrin dropped off Tabitha at the birthday party and met us at the store. We bought food for dinner and went home.

The boys got packed as I finished up our laundry. DJ loaded the dishwasher for me without being asked (sometimes I really love that boy!!). Tabitha got home and began packing. It takes her DAYS just to choose a pair of underwear. I set the timer and made her keep packing. She started getting upset that we were pushing her to get done, so I told her if she was able to be packed by dinnertime, we'd eat quickly and go to a movie. She was motivated--she got finished.

We saw RV. That is a VERY stupid movie, and I laughed all the way through it. It's just light and funny--a little preachy and certainly unrealistic/unbelievable, but not in a bad way. And I was in the mood to just be entertained, so I really enjoyed it.

We put the kids to bed, knowing they wouldn't sleep. To our surprise, they were all sleeping by 10:30. Darrin and I packed for ourselves and went to bed.

Friday, July 14, 2006


I didn't sleep last night. I kept finding bruises in places I'd not noticed before. On top of that, I popped some sort of blood vessel in my foot and it turned blackish purple on my arch and instep, and swelled up. I woke up feeling miserable and very stupid. My arm scrapes are lovely. Needless to say, no run for me. I read scriptures, prayed, and felt sorry for myself.

I went to work and dealt with tardy tax filers, IRS problem resolution customers, and found that I had made a BIG mistake on a return last year that neither I, nor the client in question, saw before submitting the return. My day was getting better and better. I went home at noon.

Darrin was home for lunch and wanted to discuss our trip to Vegas. He'll be in workshops the whole time, and signed me up for some, as well. I don't want to talk about it. I've been in the process of moving my business computer data from one machine to another, and I was concentrating on that. Darrin kept trying to talk, then made some snide comment about "even a MAN talks more than you do lately..." and went back to work. Wow, that came out of nowhere--and it's really not like Darrin at all. And what does that comment even MEAN??? Men talk all the time--I've seen them do it.

I worked all afternoon on my business computer move. Darrin got home around 6:30, and we went to the store to get stuff for dinner--it's too hot to cook--which is actually a pretty funny thing to say, because it's only 89 degrees--just pleasantly warm when you don't sit at 8000 feet. Here, that's pretty hot. Darrin and I TALKED while we shopped. I brought him up to date about work, the kids, my business, my blog communications, and David. He talked about the convention, travel plans, and work, and asked how the car was running (it's running well, and I thanked him profusely). He wanted to talk about my friends death. I told him, not yet.

We ate a very late supper (7:45), finished around 8:30, and put the kids to bed--still working on getting them acclimated to the earlier New York time zone, so it won't be such a shock when they get there. I worked some more on the computer updates and wrote in my blog. We went to bed around 10:00.

I lay quietly for a long time after Darrin slept. I realized how broken I am. What a coward I am. I have someone who would listen, who would try to help me, who will love me in any circumstance. I have a wonderful support system, a beautiful family. And I'm too afraid to take advantage of any of it. And for just a few minutes, with all my heart, with my whole being, I hated my cousin for hurting me, for robbing me of my innocence. Then with an even greater intensity, I hated myself for allowing him to do so.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Some People Never Learn--Part III

One would think, given the physical pain I went through last month, that I would swear off falling down. It makes sense that I would avoid situations where such a thing could happen, and that I'd be a little more careful. However, as I am a person who nearly always gets caught up in the moment, this was not only predictable, but inevitable.

As part of our activity tonight, we decided to play tunnel tag. That's the game where if you're tagged, you stand with your legs apart, and can be "unfrozen" when another person crawls between your legs. Actually, it's a pretty stupid game, but very fun when played with young women, ranging in age from 12-17.

There were certain things contributing to the problematic nature of my participation (not including my age).
1. My footgear was inappropriate (flip-flops--what else could it be?).
2. I decided to go barefoot.
3. I love to run.
4. I'm smaller and faster than most of the others.
5. I love to play.
6. I'm an idiot.

At one point, when I was "it", I was chasing a 12-year-old. She left the grass area and ran onto the pavement and sidewalk. My feet were already slightly bloody (okay, more than slightly) because I'd been running on the decorative and very sharp landscaping rocks, chasing and tagging young women. That 12-year-old was the only one left. My foot hit a stray pebble on the sidewalk in just the right place--the pebble rolled, and I biffed it in spectacular fashion. I got lovely scrapes on my hands and arms. Thank goodness my chest cushioned the fall (yes--that WAS sarcasm)!!

Of course, I HAD to do this with an audience. One should never fall unless there are others present to appreciate the fact that "some people never learn". One sedate grown-up suggested I should act less like the girls, more like their leader. I ignored him as I inspected the 6-inch long, 4-inch wide sidewalk scrape on my arm. I don't have a Band-aid that large.

The worst pain, other than my pride (which I think will never recover), is in my feet. Running barefoot over sharp rocks, pavement, and concrete has them bruised and bleeding. I'm not sure I'll be able to run tomorrow. I should have thought this through a little more carefully. Perhaps that erudite adult was right--I need to grow up.

I awoke feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally fatigued--but for the first time since December, I didn't feel stressed about it. David and I spent a VERY long time together yesterday, but it was calm, productive, and no one cried.

I did my morning devotional, but felt it would be good to rest this morning, so I skipped my morning run and relaxed with my kids. It felt good. I needed this.

I took Tabitha to a nearby city for shopping and a haircut at 11:00. We had a nice chat on the hour-long drive. Her hair is nearly to her waist, and she hates caring for it. She chose a cut that was just above her shoulders and very layered--the first time she's had a "real" cut. Usually I just have it trimmed. Tabitha looks more grown up--and at the same time, younger. Weird. Her hair is starting to get curly. Not like mine, which is very intense, but larger, looser curls and waves. The beautician had fun playing with Tabitha's hair. Tabitha enjoyed the attention and compliments. I left a nice tip.

We bought some more summer pants for Tabitha to take with her to New York. She wanted a new skirt, but I told her that was something she could purchase on her own. She has plenty of money, and she'll make a better choice if she has to pay for it herself. In the end, she decided there was nothing she wanted to spend HER money on, in that particular store. We kept shopping.

We bought luggage. Since the kids are going in a different direction than Darrin and I, we can't combine our packing. I hope we can get all our suitcases in the car with us. The airport is two hours away. It could be a problem.

Tabitha and I finally arrived home around 5:30. We sent the guys out for fast food, since we had eaten on the way home. I got ready for my activity with the young women (I had to find a baby picture, favorite childhood book and toy--good thing I live close to my parents!!). DJ, Adam and I went to the church and separated into our respective groups.

We were home around 8:30, and the kids were in bed an hour later. Darrin and I did some quick planning for the rest of the week, then chatted about some of the things that have been bothering me. Unfortunately, not the most important thing. I'm not ready to discuss that yet. I have to figure it out first. Otherwise, Darrin will try to figure it out FOR me (that male "fix-it" thing), and I don't find that helpful. I took some pain killer (see "Some People Never Learn--Part III), and went to sleep.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Grief is interesting. I know what they say about all the steps. Knowing doesn't make it easier. I know the comfort the "Plan" is supposed to bring--sorry, today the "Plan" doesn't make it easier.

When a wife longs for the tangible embrace of her lover, when a teen longs for advice or even chastisment, when a child just needs his dad...

Nothing makes this easier.

I still can't cry.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Today was my friend's funeral. He had a brain tumor. He left his beautiful wife, an 18-year-old daughter, a 16-year-old son, and a 7-year old son. His daughter sang "Amazing Grace" at the funeral. I can't cry.

It's still raining today. I did my devotional, and decided to go run in the rain. I made it to the end of the block when I realized I was being followed. Lancelot and Sir Galahad, my saviors from my falling-off-the-cliff experience, were behind me. They caught up and suggested we run together. I told them I was going home to run on my treadmill--too slick for me this morning. They laughed at me, and escorted me home. I actually DID my treadmill run, while listening to Mo-Tab, and a BYU-Idaho devotional. I'm not sure WHY I chose that particular entertainment, but there it is.

The kids got up while I ran and messed around. I told them to get ready for church, and got into the shower. We left for church early so that DJ could prepare the sacrament. Tabitha is developing allergies. When she doesn't drink enough water, she REEKS. I think her tonsils are draining overtime. Mid-way through Sacrament Meeting, I took her home. I gave her some of Darrin's Claritin and made her drink "a gallon (her words)" of water. Then I armed her with mints and gum, and we went back to church to finish our meetings.

We got home to find Darrin fixing dinner--that's always nice!! We all pitched in and made a nice meal, sat and chatted while we ate. Then we cleaned up and played some games. I put in a movie, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," a Monroe/Russell favorite of mine (for obvious reasons)--I think it's okay to admire dead actresses. Then I promptly fell asleep.

I woke up around 8:00. Darrin had called a family meeting. The kids are going to New York to spend time with his family, while we go to Las Vegas next week. He was indoctrinating them as to the customs they would need to endure ("You have to let them kiss you on both cheeks." "You have to help cook and clean up." "Whatever happens, Nana is in charge."). His family is SO European. I got kissed more in one day with them, than in my whole life with my family. The kids are VERY excited to get to go visit alone. They went to bed early to get acclimated to the two-hour time difference before they arrive.

I told Darrin I needed to write in my blog. He said he wished I'd talk to him instead. I'm not ready yet. I promised I would talk tomorrow. He left me writing and went to bed. I joined him an hour later.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


A soft rain fell all night. It continued throughout the morning. I waited for it to stop. I really wanted to get outside and run. It didn't. I did my devotional, browsed blogs and waited. Finally, I realized I needed to do something with my day.

The kids and Darrin got up around 8:30. We did our chores. I called Janie to see what time they wanted to go to "Pirates." She said she really wanted to wait until David and Scott got back from EFY. I suggested the 6:30 showing; she agreed.

Tabitha and Adam went shopping with me. We picked up groceries and I bought some clothes. I'm having trouble eating again. I know I'm going to have to go back into counseling. I REALLY don't want to. Everytime my clothes get too big I feel like crying. I'm really trying to eat. I feel like I'm eating. I don't understand why I continue to lose weight? To me, I look fine. But I was looking at our family photo on our website today, and I realized that I'm much smaller today. The photo was taken in May. Why can't I make this stop???

Darrin made dinner while I cleaned the kitchen. We've stopped talking as much. I don't want to talk to him about why I can't eat. I feel like I'm failing--like I'm letting him down--letting EVERYONE down. Especially me.

Janie called at 6:00. She said that they were having a wonderful time just talking with David and Scott about their EFY experiences, and could we do the movie Monday night? Adam and DJ still wanted to go to the movie tonight, so we went to the theater. The line was incredibly long. Darrin wouldn't even stop the car. He said we'd go Monday.

We went home and watched "That Touch of Mink (Doris Day and Carey Grant)" which Darrin had picked up from the video store earlier this week. He loves chick-flicks--I don't. DJ made cookies and popcorn. We watched the movie and went to bed around 10:30.

Darrin wanted to talk. I have nothing to say. We both went to bed a little upset. I didn't think I'd sleep, but, amazingly, I did.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


I slept in this morning--which means I stayed in bed and read till 8:00. I SHOULD have slept, but couldn't. I got up and did some chores, checked blogs and email, and studied for my exams. I have to take them in about a week.

My sister, Lila, called from Germany. We talked for nearly three hours. Her husband is stationed in Afganistan until the end of December--her baby is due two weeks after that. She's a little down, understandably. She bought herself a new digital piano (Clavinova) to cheer herself up. I asked if that worked, and she said, "DEFINITELY!!" She makes me laugh.

Tabitha reminded me at noon that she had a party to attend (Annie's eleventh birthday), and we hadn't even purchased a gift yet. I got off the phone, and we left to go shopping. We headed downtown, where we could buy a gift and have it giftwrapped--no time for me to do it myself. We bought a flower press and two "Sisters Grimm" books for Annie. As we were walking across the street, a car beeped at us. Thinking it must be somone I knew, I waved. Two guys in their mid-twenties passed us--a wolf whistle came from one of them. Tabitha looked at me when we reached the other side of the street and said, "Mom, I don't think they were whistling at ME." I assured her they were--old ladies don't get whistles. She said, "Mom, guys don't whistle at little girls with no boobs." My eyes must have gotten as big as my head. I asked her where she'd heard that. She said one of her friends at school had told her. I suggested she investigate other friends. She said, very seriously, "Well, I'm still telling Dad that those guys whistled at you. I think he needs to know." I didn't laugh, but I REALLY wanted to. I took Tabitha to Annie's house and went home.

Darrin took a few hours off for lunch and finished fixing the transmission on our car. I have to say, he never says anything when I do really stupid things. When I ran over the rock, one of the adult leaders asked me if my husband would be upset with me. I said, "Of course not!" That thought hadn't even crossed my mind. She said, "Mine would never shut up about what a bad driver I'd been, or he'd tell me how stupid it was to not be able to miss a rock that large." Wow, I could never live with a husband like that. We all do stupid things--we don't need the ones we love the most to make us feel miserable about it. When I told the leader that, not only would Darrin NOT say anything mean to me, but he would also fix my mistake for me, she said sadly, "You have no idea how lucky you are." Yeah, actually, I do. My husband is more amazing than I deserve.

Tabitha got home from her party around 4:00. She wanted to get some flowers for Annie. She pointed out that I always give birthday flowers to the people I love. I sent some to David on his birthday, and it was Annie's turn. We bought her a dozen multicolored roses and some Peruvian lilies and delivered them to her house. Annie and her parents were outside when we arrived. Janie wanted to arrange a time tomorrow for our families to go see "Pirates". We had originally planned to go tonight, but then my boys found out there's a new Monk episode on--they don't want to miss it. So they'll be happy to go tomorrow.

When Tabitha and I got home, DJ had made supper. Some sort of chicken, rice, beans, corn Mexican dish. It was actually really good. He's not a bad cook for a 16-year-old. We ate together, then went downstairs to watch Monk. There was another show following it that they wanted to watch, as well. We put the kids to bed at 10:00. Darrin and I went shortly after that.

Friday, July 07, 2006


I skipped the last two days, because I'm caught up in emotional weirdness in my life, and I don't want to write about anything else. Suffice it to say, they were good days with my family, bad days with myself.

I woke feeling NOT tired, and ready to run. I did my morning devotional and left. The mornings here are SO beautiful. The skies are incredibly blue and cloudless, and I nearly broke my ankle when I slipped on a rock, because I was looking UP instead of paying attention to my stride and terrain. Sometimes when I run, I feel that I could continue forever. I get tired, but I still feel like my legs will take me onward--that I'll never have to stop. This morning was one of those times. I added a couple of miles to my normal circuit, then I finally turned around and went home.

My mom called and asked me if I'd accompany her to take my nephew back to his mom. That will be a 8-hour round trip drive. I'm not sure I want to do that, but my mom shouldn't go alone. We wouldn't be able to leave until 3:00, which will put us home around midnight. I REALLY don't want to go with her.

The kids and I relaxed and did some chores, then DJ and I went to the dentist--wisdom teeth issues. I tossed Dj the keys and told him he was driving. We got into the car, and DJ asked, "Okay, the clutch is the pedal on the left??" I realized he'd only driven our automatic car--which is broken down. He's never driven a stick shift. Darrin REALLY doesn't want him to drive our current standard trans. vehicle. I decided I didn't care and let DJ drive to the dentist's office. He killed the car several times. We did the whiplash jerking thing. I was laughing SO hard. When we finally arrived at our destination, he said proudly, "That was pretty good for my first time!!" I didn't argue, just laughed. He didn't drive the vehicle home.

We discussed extraction options with the dentist. DJ is VERY nervous. He wants to have the teeth taken out under general anesthesia. I told him we'd have to see what the insurance will cover before we decide.

Tabitha and I went with my mom. I drove, my mom slept. It was a LONG, uneventful trip. We got home around midnight, as I predicted. Adam and DJ were still up. So was Darrin. I sent everyone to bed, including myself.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Investment Tip of the Day...Week...Month...

The floodgates are open. I started crying last week and now I can't stop. My preferred brand of tissues is regular Puffs. I suggest to anyone who happens onto this post, that they rush to the company site and invest in the stock. Unless something changes drastically in the near future, I will personally be responsible for a sizable profit margin in their company this year.

There are two types of tears I'm experiencing. The first, as mentioned in a former post, is triggered by the incredible feelings of sadness that overwhelm me in a setting with which those feelings are incongruous. I don't know what more to say about that, except that I'm embarrassed, frustrated, and confused by the event of those feelings and subsequent, uncontrollable weeping. However, an aside to stock purchasers, just so you know, I usually cry in the bathroom when this happens, so an investment in Charmin Ultra Bath Tissue might also be advisable.

The second type of tears occurs much more frequently and unpredictably. Sometimes, when I'm with people who are close to me, I've actually felt that they love me. Acts of kindness are no longer suspect. When love is expressed to me, I don't wonder what the person wants from me, and I've stopped making excuses to myself as to why it can't be possible for that person to love me. I think these are positive steps, but, unfortunately, the side effect is a little unexpected and embarrassing. "I'm having trouble with my contacts," are words heard frequently from my lips, as tears roll down my cheeks, and I make use of my investment worthy Puffs tissue.

The amazing thing to me now, is that I'm starting to be okay with that second type of crying. When the tears subside I don't feel confused or frustrated. I feel peaceful, and very blessed. Someone loves me!! What an incredible discovery!! And that person doesn't seem to care that I couldn't protect myself from the disrespect and contempt shown me by my cousin--it doesn't matter to him/her that I'm unclean, broken, not perfect. I thought Darrin was the only one in the world who could feel that way about me. I suppose the most astonishing thing about this particular aspect of accepting love from others, is that I think I'm finally starting to understand that I can love who I am, who I have become...I can stop wondering if I'll ever be clean again, whole again, and just live with the person who is presently "me". The feelings of gratitude this inspires are overwhelming, and the tears that accompany those feelings are abundant and unpredictable.

When I realize how much I love those whose love I am finally accepting, the circle is complete. More tears, of course (and more tissues). Why has it taken me so long to figure this out? I've missed out on so much...

For anyone reading this who might actually love me (I'm entertaining the possibility), don't worry, I'm drinking lots of water. Dehydration won't become an issue. But speaking of water, I've been drinking tons of the Sam's Choice bottled water--just another investment tip.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Click on the red letters to hear the song:

"The Ghosts", Money Can't Buy Music

We all have our ghosts, and they're with us all the time, everywhere we go, enduring everything that we do. Some of them are people. Some of them are feelings or memories of past things, and some of them are just things.

Some of them are the people that we were born instead of the ones who've missed out because of chance meetings at random times, between the parents and the grandparents that we know. The ones who had lives before us that we forget to ask about. They're the ones who were left behind by last-minute decisions, missed trains or one-more drinks or one-last drinks. They're the ones who are so close that we can feel them even now, everywhere we go.

But there are other ghosts too. The people that we loved but we didn't really know, or we knew them too late. The people that we loved that didn't love us back, or who loved us back too late. And then there's the other ones. The ones who loved us even beyond the point where we failed them. Even beyond the point where we gave them no reason to love us.

And the other loves. The secret ones. The ones that never took hold because of wrong places or wrong times, or just wrong somethings. They spawn a whole new generation of ghosts. And they are ghosts too. They’re never quite alive and they’re never quite dead. But they are real. They last and they endure. They live in the tiny moments. Accidental touches and the joys of looking, the joys of being close.

And they live in our eyes, and the hoping and the wishing. And they die in our hearts with the knowing and the hurting. But they're real loves. They last and they endure. And who's to say that secret loves are not the deepest loves of all? And though they live in our eyes and they die in our hearts, who's to say that secret loves are not the deepest loves of all?

I awoke feeling as if something was wrong. It was very light in my room, instead of the usual dimness that I see as the sun rises. I looked over to Darrin's side. It was empty. I grabbed my glasses to look at the clock--8:25. What happened???? I never sleep this late. Darrin was obviously at work, and had decided not to wake anyone for family prayer this morning. I did my morning devotional, knowing that it would be too hot to run this morning--I usually get out there before 7:00. I was trying to decide if I was grateful for the extra sleep, or confused as to how I was able to STAY asleep this morning.

My dad showed up about an hour after I awoke. I had gotten a prescription for my mom on Saturday, so he wanted to reimburse me for it. My parents are leaving today to go visit my grandmother in Idaho. Dad invited Tabitha to join them. She ran to pack. They left around 10:00.

DJ, Adam, and I folded laundry and did some other chores together. We made plans for the next couple of days and talked about some activities DJ wants to do. Darrin joined us for lunch and worked a bit on the car. After he left, DJ, Adam and I walked to my parents' house to borrow my dad's truck. We'll keep it for a couple of days while they're gone, and hopefully, Darrin will get to the car shortly after that.

We shopped for dinner, groceries, and other necessities. Then we went to the video store and chose a couple of videos. We went home and did more chores (Saturday we didn't do much of anything, so there's still lots to do), and watched one of the videos. Darrin arrived at 6:30. Adam and I went for a walk, leaving DJ and Darrin to make dinner. I need to talk with my 12-year-old.
Adam and I went up on the ridge where I usually run. We talked about some of the problems we're having with communication. Today, when we got back from the store, he argued with me over whether or not he was carrying a bag with cheese in it, adamantly insisting he was not. I didn't argue, just followed him into the house waited for him to set the bag down, then had him reach inside and take out the cheese. This happens all the time. Adam says no one listens to him. I thought maybe more people would listen if he thought a little more carefully before he spoke. We talked about the cheese. I said, "Adam, all you had to do was look in the bag--but you were too busy telling me I was wrong. How did you feel when you found out I wasn't?" He admitted to feeling pretty stupid. He said he feels like DJ and David can talk to me anytime, but I won't let him talk, and he doesn't understand why David comes to see me all the time.

In the most basic of terms, I told Adam that David was having some sadness in his life, and he needed some help outside his family. I asked him how he felt about David. Adam said David was the "coolest" and he liked having him around. He just thought it was weird that David was friends with ME. Well, I can understand that...I didn't say anything. Then Adam said, "But David's not the only one that wants to be friends with you. Lots of kids are." I pointed out to Adam that I really do spend most of my time with grown-ups, and that many of the kids I'm "friends" with, are my piano students. He agreed--but then pointed out that when I'm at youth activities for the church I'm always talking and playing with the kids. I asked if that bothered him. He said no, he just noticed.

Adam asked what David and I discuss when he comes. I told him we talk about school, but usually we just talk about whatever David wants to. Adam asked if he and I could talk like that, too. I said, "Adam, we ARE." He said, "You mean you two just talk like we're talking now?" "Just like that," I said. We went home and had a late supper.

Darrin and I put the boys to bed at 10:00, after watching the second video--and THAT'S enough TV for a week!! Darrin read through the recent e-mail sent to me by David, and made some suggestions and comments. We went to bed around midnight. Once again, I felt an overwhelming desire to cry. This time that feeling was more powerful than it has ever been before. I felt terribly sad, filled with grief. I couldn't stop the tears from coming, but stayed still and quiet until Darrin slept. Then I went into the bathroom and sobbed. Why is this happening??

I went back to bed and fell asleep.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I'm still tired. I realized this morning that the fatigue is as much emotional as physical. I did my devotional and went back to sleep. Darrin woke me around 7:30. He wanted to talk to me. He's concerned that I've not been talking much lately. I told him I don't really have anything to say yet. Things are happening inside me, but I'm not sure what it all means--and I'm too tired to try to figure it out right now.

I took Darrin to church (only one car) at 10:30, then went home, and got everyone going, so we'd be ready to leave in about an hour. We got to church--testimony meeting today. I was so sleepy. I zoned out during the meeting. My bishop grabbed me afterward and wanted to meet with me. Just checking in on all my "stuff". He asked how I was emotionally. I put on my biggest smile and lied. I'm not sure why I did that. Maybe, since I don't know what's going on, the pressure to talk about it with others is too great. He asked about my eating--making sure he doesn't need to intervene. I said I was fine. He started asking about other stuff, but I'd had enough, so I told him I needed to renew my temple recommend. We took care of that instead. One hour later, I met with the youth for our meeting--I was late because of the bishop.

We got home around 3:30. Adam grabbed a snack and went to my parents' house to play with my nephew. Tabitha joined him an hour later. I checked e-mail and thought about writing in my blog.

I fell asleep around 8:00. The kids got home shortly after that. Darrin woke me at 10:00 and we went to bed.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


I awoke this morning feeling angry and frustrated. And tired. This has been brewing for about a week now, but I put my feelings on hold for Youth Conference. I thought about running. I thought about praying. I thought about reading my scriptures. Then I went back to sleep. I finally got up around 8:00, checked blogs, wrote about some stuff, and took down my pictures. I'm still feeling unhappy. I did my morning devotional, and started cleaning my house. My mom called and asked if I would accompany her to pick up my 3-year-old nephew (custody share) in a town 3 hours distant. I declined.

By 10:30, everyone was up. Darrin wanted to look at the transmission leak I'd caused by running over a rock last night, but people in his ward kept calling. I'm tired of reminding him he has counselors and Elder's quorum/R.S. presidents that can help. I ignored him. Adam and I got into a big fight because he keeps arguing with me. He'll argue over the color of the sky. Usually I take it in stride--not today.

Adam and DJ did laundry and watched t.v. Tabitha pretended to clean her room. Everyone was avoiding me. Darrin came in and out, trying to deal with student problems and never did get to the car. At 2:30 I checked my e-mail--there was a long one from David which I refused to read.

I realized I was really being nasty--so I found Darrin (sleeping on the bed) and suggested we take the kids out to an early dinner. He agreed. We gathered the kids and went to our favorite restaurant. I started to calm down. I LOVE being with my family. The service was REALLY slow. In this case, that was good. It gave us some time to regroup, to talk. It gave me time to focus on important things--my kids and husband. The food was great, the company was better.

We got home around 6:30, and finished working on some household chores. Around 8:00 the kids wanted to watch a video, and I finally read David's e-mail. Ironically, he was feeling angry and frustrated today, and needed to let off some steam.

I wrote back, addressing all his woes with sympathy. I told him I loved him. I wept all through the writing of the e-mail--that seems to be happening to me a lot lately. I'm not sure why I was crying.

I sent the e-mail, the movie ended, we all went to bed. I've come full circle with David. We're right back where we started from.

The Results Are In

I know I said I'd run this poll for two weeks--unless I changed my mind, which I just did. So, based on the data gathered, I would have to say that of all the homosexual/gay/SSA/SGA men who visit my blog and were kind enough to comment--well, most of you are blue-eyed. Granted, there were only 13 respondants who fit the specified criteria, but for me, that's plenty. Here's the data:

Hazel eyes: 2
Green eyes: 2
Brown eyes: 2
Blue eyes: 7

Other respondants included:
1. Two men who consider themselves heterosexual: 1 blue, 1 hazel.
2. One non-caucasian hetersexual woman: brown.
3. One caucasian woman with SSA (no, it wasn't me--I have brown eyes): blue.

Thank you to all who participated. I found this highly interesting in more ways than one.
Thursday and Friday

I find it interesting that one of my counseling assignments was that I needed to be more spontaneous. Truthfully, most of what I do in my life is decided on the spur of the moment. I have had to really work to build structure into my life. Writing in my blog daily is one of those structural practices I've recently worked into my life. I find it helpful, emotionally, but I don't like doing it. For awhile I had a purpose, a story to tell, progress to chart. Recently, I've noticed that more and more random thoughts and ideas are making their way into my writing. It lacks clarity. Many times I have issues to discuss, and I avoid them, because right now those issues themselves, are unclear. I've been distracting myself with more entertaining thoughts, to avoid talking about all the changes that are happening so rapidly inside me. It's time to face what's happening and talk to myself about it, and perhaps it will make more sense to me when I'm finished. The only problem is that I can't seem to identify any of it. I'm just a mass of feelings that change from minute to minute. I have no control. That really bugs me. I'm going to outline my past couple of days while I think about all this "stuff".

I went to Youth Conference. I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it. We have great youth. I was told to expect 5-7 participants at my workshop. As I was preparing, I decided on a whim, to make 16 packets. I thought I could save the extras, in case I wanted to repeat the activity. I had 26 kids show up for the workshop. I had to ask some of them to leave. As it was, 18 stayed--two buddied up with others. The time flew by. Because the number of participants was so much higher than expected, I didn't get to do many of the activities I had planned. I hope the kids had fun anyway.

I stayed for dinner and chaperoned the dance. At 11:00, the dance ended. I went grocery shopping with a friend because we were supposed to bring a lunch the next day, and I had no supplies. My friend and I stayed up talking until 1:30 A.M. I got to bed at 2:00.

Darrin's alarm rang three hours after I went to bed. I got up, did my devotional, woke DJ, made lunches (I made a couple of extras, because I know someone will forget his/her lunch), got ready to go and drove to the church. We all (5 adults and 58 kids) boarded a bus and headed for the CSU challenge course. It's a course that has all sorts of activities designed to build teamwork and trust. I HAD to participate. It looked like so much fun. For four hours we had an intense, challenging, absolutely wonderful time. I got to walk a tightrope HIGH above the ground. I got to climb a tall pole, stand on top, and JUMP off it to grab and swing on a trapeze. I got to climb a rock wall. Then on the ground were balancing challenges, teamwork games, and other fun activities. Of course, we were all harnessed in. If we fell, our team members would belay us to the ground. Never mind that my teammates were all 14-17 year old kids (lends new meaning to the words "For the Strength of Youth")...

We went home (I slept all the way), and met some city workers at a park for a service project in which we mulched about 10,000 trees (well, it felt like there were that many), then headed out of town for a barbeque and fireside/testimony meeting. The burgers were overdone (I abstained), and all my most UN-favorite foods were served (potato and macaroni salads swimming in mayo or some other sauce, watermelon...). I put some lettuce and tomatoes on a bun and ate some baked beans--good dinner. I think at this point we were all too tired to care anymore about much of anything. The fireside was mediocre, and the testimony meeting had some bizarre twists and turns. I hit a rock coming into the canyon and my car leaked a little tranmission fluid, so I was worrying about that, of course. Anyway, I was VERY happy to get home at 11:00 and go to bed.
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