Click here to play music

Magical World

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Prehistoric Wisdom

Junior High

Today I accompanied a junior high school choir which had a substitute director. Naturally the students were all immature and obnoxious. I remembered all the reasons I avoid seventh through ninth graders in a substitute teaching situation. There were a couple of personal things that drove this avoidance compulsion home with great force:
1. One delightful young man placed his bottle of water, now empty except for an inch of backwash in the bottom, on top of the piano, then clumsily knocked it over and it spilled all over my hands and legs. He tried to help clean it up which was a little awkward considering that the spill was on my person. When he had finished trying to make amends I ran to the bathroom to wash my hands...ick...backwash...ick...ick...
2. One very tall, lovely young woman walked over to me during a song. Her comment: "I'm just going to stand here and watch you play. I can't sing today. I'm sick." SICK???? Why are you here? Please don't stand by me! I asked her to move slightly behind me so I could see the director. She complied and punctuated the rhythm of the piece with a very juicy cough. ACK!! Don't cough on me!! Cover your mouth!! EEEWWWWW!!!!!

I believe I have gotten a better cardiovascular work-out from shuddering and flinching than I did from my run this morning. I'm still shuddering. Nasty. Note to self: Avoid accompanying choirs.

I'm finished pouting about opinions of stupid people. I have reinstated the NOT-blasphemous, NOT-sacrilegious post. I am not reinstating the stupid comments (only the one from The Great -L- remains, because he is a superhero, and it's bad luck to offend people who can overpower you) --IT'S MY BLOG! I'LL DO WHAT I WANT!! I never removed this one in the first place because I think it's a very good idea, and I'm wishing it were true. Life would be better if I had, indeed, made everything up.

So, I took the advice of Ken Gobiddles to heart--letting go of my knee-jerk reaction so that I don't mirror the behavior of the lovely junior high students I spent time with this morning. I suppose that being as short (or shorter) than they are doesn't mean I must be equally as reactionary or obnoxious. And so, dear e-mail people, I've allowed you your say and now I'll continue to have mine.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


My apologies for yesterday's "sacreligious" post. Normally I would reply with the "IT'S MY BLOG!!" mantra, but today I just don't care. Three closed-minded, uninformed individuals have made known to me that:
1. No matter what happened in my life, I have no right to put it on the level of what Christ suffered (which was never my intention, but I bow to the masses).
2. I'm simply one of those individuals who complains a lot and never does anything to move forward or let go of the past. Apparently, it's not as difficult as I make it seem.
3. I'm just a number in society. Many people are abused. Many people are gay. I'm just the only one who whines about it.
4. I have nothing to be upset about when people make comments like this. After all, I'm airing my dirty laundry in public.
5. At least one of this number believes I've made everything up, because stuff like this never really happens (which sort of negates what was said in number 3, but there it is). However, this particular anonymous commentor also believes I'm a great storyteller, and spent nearly 2 hours reading my blog to his/her hearts content, and returned a few times during the next couple of days. How could I avoid feeling flattered after receiving that kind of attention?

So the post has been removed. Come to think of it, many posts have now been removed. Disappearance seems like a prudent option.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Don't Patronize Me

I am not an angry person. Some might say that I'm an intense person. This is not by design--I just think about things--a lot. I'm also very well-versed in typical listening idioms designed to indicate that a person is paying attention, when, in fact, he or she is thinking about what wonderful comment to make next, where to vacation during the summer, or what particular snack sounds good right now. When I hear those things parroted to me during a conversation, I generally decide whether to end the conversation or to take advantage of that person's misguided attempts to validate me, and vent a little. If I feel the need to talk, I will.

There are times, though, when I'm so overwhelmed with all that's inside me that I cannot even speak about it. Those are the times when I become overly buoyant about life in general, when I make sarcastic jokes (usually at someone's expense), when I will avoid talking about anything serious. And when I am finished talking I feel worse. I have verified that I'm incapable of dealing with problems in a rational way, and I'm fairly certain that whomever bore the brunt of my giggling tirade will avoid me for the rest of our lives.

That's not the real problem. The real problem is that I'm finally starting to feel some resentment about the things I've experienced in my life.

...know thou...that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

That's the promise. The simplistic approach is to give it all to Christ. But please excuse me when I say that I sometimes have difficulty reconciling this. Christ, after all, is a man. And while I cannot in any way, shape, or form, discount the infinite atonement, I sometimes wonder how he can possibly identify with what I have gone through. He suffered pain unlike any I can understand. It caused him to bleed at every pore. I can't equate what I have suffered to that kind of pain. I only know that it did cause me to bleed. He was abandoned by his friends, beaten by those whose sins he had recently atoned for, mocked and spit upon. I can't compare my lonely abandonment and despair with that. But sometimes I wonder, as a pre-teen, surely this was more than a person, a child, should have to bear?

The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

No. I'm not. Not even close. And I'm not trying to make myself more than I am. I suppose I'm just saying--I hate having to deal with the aftermath of things I did not ask for. And the thing that really stinks is that my cousin David, was just one. There were others who felt that I was something available for their taking. David was the third, and not the last. Still today there are men who think it a compliment to say something about my body or to touch me inappropriately. I am old enough and strong enough to keep anything from going further than their ugly approaches, but the fact that they see me in that light robs me of dignity and makes me feel that same emptiness. Why? What is it in the things I do, say, or in my appearance that sends the message that I can be demeaned? I will never understand this, and in truth, I would just like to be treated as an equal and with a little bit of respect.

Give it all to Christ. Sounds easy enough. Tell me how.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Boy Stuff and Girl Stuff

The theme for Girl's Camp this year is "Be all that you can be," and activities are loosely based on basic training and general Army stuff. Today Tabitha and I received invitations for an upcoming activity. The creative invites were made from imitation dogtags and attached to plastic army guys. Adam said, "Whose are those?" I told him they were for Tabitha and I and what they were for. His response: "No fair!! You get boy stuff for your activities. How come we never get girl stuff for our activities?"

There are no sexual stereotypes in my home.

Chocolate is a good idea

Hmmm...a bad day. I'm entitled to one occasionally, I think.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Christmas All Year Round

You Are a Christmas Sweater!

Over the top, colorful, and totally flashy.
You're not afraid to be a little tacky.
What Crappy Christmas Gift Are You?

You should all take this quiz. Everyone knows things like this are important and completely accurate.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sort of Random Thoughts

I've been thinking again. AtP says I'm always doing that, and he's right. However, there are times when the items of thought are a little overwhelming. I've mentioned that I found an old friend after many years. He and I first met when we were nine, and were friends until I got married, which is when I lost track of him. It's been wonderful to talk with him again, but it also raises some memories of a difficult time in my life, and makes me a little uncomfortable in many ways.

In the last year I've been asked by some people about my thoughts on being gay, married, "Mormon"... This is not something on which I spend a lot of time. There was a period in my life when I thought things through, read everything I could read, studied different religions, and made a decision. It sounds simplistic, but it's pretty much how I've lived my life: look at the options, weigh the pros and cons, look at my strengths and weaknesses, decide what will be. Most of the time this has worked for me.

I've never been one to be swayed by sentiment or passion. Which isn't to say I don't have strong feelings and ideas--it's just that those belong solely to me, and I probably won't be swayed by those belonging to others. Contrived humor, in general, doesn't make me laugh. Touching, tragic, or sentimental stories, however, do--I think they're hilarious. And I don't have AtP's, Sully's, or Tolkien Boy's ability to lend validation and sympathy without laughing at the afflicted person first. The chat venue is good for me, because no one can see me doubled over in laughter as people tell me the tragedies of their lives. Perhaps that's why I've been able to keep some online friendships longer than many in-person ones.

Given the above personality traits, I have a fairly open-minded opinion about my orientation, past experiences, and current marital bliss. However, I'm finally at a point where I can verbalize some of my feelings along with my ideas--so, I'm going to.

My orientation, I have to admit, has never been something that troubled me deeply. I found it shocking in the beginning, and then it became rather interesting. Because I discovered my sexuality at a time when I adamantly believed deity did not exist, I felt little guilt or shame. I read all that I could find (which was lamentably little) on the subject, and associated myself with friends who were gay-friendly. I listened to their ideas and experiences and thought about my own situation. I knew this was something I would never share with family members--and I had extensive plans to distance myself from my family at the earliest possible opportunity. However, along with the gender/sexuality study, I was also reading everything I could find about God and religion.

Without going into details, I eventually came to the conclusion that God did, indeed, exist, and that he loved me. Deeper study found me somehow believing that the LDS church might not be true, but it's gospel and tenets might be. This led to some soul-searching, some new ideas, and some incredibly intense meditation. I read everything negative about the church that I could find. I questioned each premise and teaching. I scoffed at eternity and families. And in the end it became clear to me that in spite of my skepticism, there were certain things I could not doubt. For me, my path had been circular--I ended up with a knowledge I now prize beyond all else.

With this new knowledge I made the decision that, regardless of what I might feel or think in my emotional and physical desires, I would follow what I believed to be true, and if my God was real, he would help me. I have not been disappointed by the Big Guy.

I suppose I dedicate most of my agonizing time toward the sexual abuse of my past because it's the one area in which I had no control, and I can't change any part of that. For me, that's frustrating beyond belief. It's also the area in which my self-worth feels most challenged. I still have days when I feel that I should not be with anyone for fear of tainting or ruining them in some way. I perceive myself as a black stain on all humanity. It feels sickening and dark and helpless. In the past, when those feelings would surface I buried myself in many hours of practice, or I read books, but regardless of what I chose to distract myself, I did it alone. Nowadays, I sometimes tell a trusted friend. He never fails to assure me that I am not disgusting, that he loves me, that it does not abase him to spend time with me. That's a new experience, one I'm still trying to understand. I'm hoping he doesn't get tired of my insecurity and go away, because to my amazement, I'm beginning to believe that he might be right. If he can be with me when I'm vile, and still care about me, perhaps there is salvation for one such as I. I have known with my head that this is true. He is helping me to convince my heart.

Last night Tolkien Boy asked me what Darrin and I are like when we're together. He's actually been with both of us, but truthfully, when Darrin and I are with friends, we don't spend that time with each other--we want to spend time with those who will be leaving shortly. When we first got married, Darrin and I loved spending time together. When I was away from him I experienced an intense longing to be near him. We were working and going to school. When we finally came together, we would spend hours talking about the trivia in our lives. Darrin knows more about music history, theory, pedagogy, performance, and composition than anyone outside of the field should know. He loves to listen to the music (but believes everything he enjoys was written by Mozart--which is inaccurate, but hilarious). I, in turn, made an attempt to learn French, which I can read and write, but will never be able to speak with any degree of fluency (a fact that I think makes Darrin secretly feel superior to me). I feigned interest in politics and business, which served me well, as I now own my own business and am a registered financial advisor and tax preparer.

I suppose the thing that makes us unique is that when we are alone, one on one, we communicate with joy and intensity. But when in a group, we mostly mingle with others, coming together briefly, then finding someone else with whom to speak. There is a comfort in knowing that Darrin is always there for me. I don't have to remain at his side, and am completely free to form friendships with others and share those with him--and he does the same for me. I know if I'm gone, there will always be a place for me to return to, and he will be waiting--and I do the same for him.

Darrin taught me to play Backgammon. I taught him to cheat at Monopoly. He taught me to trust him. I taught him to have patience with me. He taught me to enjoy certain television programs (on occasion) and to sit through a movie (on occasion). I'm still trying to teach him the joy of constant movement--I don't think this one's going to take. There is no one I love more, or in as many ways. I love the fact that he feels no rivalry or possessiveness--those are two traits that would push me away very quickly. If there is one thing I don't like--it's that he's gone so much. I would live, work, and play with him 24-7, if possible.

Interesting. There seems to be no way to end this particular post. Perhaps, considering the subject matter, that's appropriate.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Every once in a while there are really good days.

I love Sundays. Darrin gets up, and I get to sleep in (for a change). I usually don't, because I want to spend time with him, but this morning I was too tired to wake. I slept until 10:00 a.m., because I'd been up until 3:30 a.m. trying to decide if I wanted to sleep or not. I got up and ran, then decided to go back to bed and read. I haven't done that for a long time. My kids came in to kiss me, wish me a good morning, then went off to eat breakfast and relax, themselves.

We all got ready for church around 1:00. I knew we were having a particular high council speaker who makes me nuts (the assigned topic is immaterial to him--he uses the pulpit to preach his own personal agenda), and usually after listening to him, I'm ready to run from the church and throw myself off the nearest cliff (which would actually be about 25 miles away--so quite a long run for me, especially in a dress and heels). With that knowledge in my head, I armed myself with a book to read (thanks TB), and left for church. My kids kept tapping me on the shoulder and quietly pointing to the speaker. One actually suggested that I put the book away and listen. I gave them permission to play tic-tac-toe and draw ugly cartoons, so we were all fairly content throughout the rest of the meeting.

In the foyer I met my wonderful friend. She told me I looked "absolutely beautiful today!!" I returned the compliment. Her husband said he doesn't like it when I talk to his wife. I looked at him and asked why? He said she gets all giggly when we're together. My friend and I looked at each other and started giggling. Then she grabbed me, hugged and kissed me and said, "I LOVE you!!" Then her husband, laughing, gave me a hug (but no kiss, *sigh*) and said the same thing. Probably a funny place for our loud, loving exchange, but still, it gave me a very big smile.

Women and girls are funny. There seem to be no taboos for physical touch, within reason. My young women snuggle with each other (and with me) spontaneously, and sit with arms about each other often. Even the current leaders are very physically demonstrative. It's not unusual to see the girls playing with each other's hair, or caressing an arm or hand. Darrin and I were discussing this one day, and he wondered if it made me uncomfortable. Honestly, I know them all well enough now, that it doesn't. There is a distinct difference between being touched and caressed by someone you love, but are not "in love" with and/or attracted to, and having that same experience with someone for whom there are physical feelings. So far, I've felt no attractions toward anyone at church, so it feels safe and loving--and that's a very good feeling.

We went home, and I whined about not wanting to fix dinner. Everyone pitched in and we made it together. Then we went downstairs and relaxed together. Tabitha is making us watch the collection of church history dvd's that my mom gave us for Christmas (translation: she watches while everyone else sleeps, reads, or plays games). A very wonderful friend called me and we talked long enough that he suggested we might not have anything more to say to each other (silly! like that could ever happen to me!).

Darrin and I talked for about half an hour after we put the kids to bed. Then he had some prep to do for work tomorrow, so I chatted online for awhile and went to bed a little after midnight.

I developed a philosophy when I was in the midst of my summer of abuse, which served me well then, and still seems to serve me today. If you wait long enough, things will change for the better. This could be a fallacy, but has always seemed to work for me. After three bad days, I've had an incredibly peaceful, beautiful one, filled with love and rest. I'm not questioning whether or not I deserve it, because I need it. So...I'll take it and be extremely grateful.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

It's my blog

Every once in awhile I just need to say this:

I'm tired.
I don't want to be an abuse survivor.
I don't want to have an eating disorder.
I don't want to be a compulsive runner.

I want to go to bed like millions of other people in the world and sleep.
I want to sit down to dinner with my family and eat with them.
I want to stop feeling afraid.

I'm a little bit angry.
I'm getting very frustrated.
I'm really sad.

Okay, I said it. Tomorrow will be better.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


There is a possibility that I've been wrong. I don't like it but I'm entertaining the thought. I have in my head a friendship blueprint. I'm not sure exactly when it became a certainty to me, but I have aways believed all friendships follow the plan in my head. The basic outline says that we meet, enjoy each other, get busy, leave and forget each other. It's fairly simple and uncomplicated--until now.

Recently I was discussing one of my very best friends, C, with Tolkien Boy. I've known this friend since I was nine, and we were very close throughout my growing up years. After I got married, I lost contact with him. I saw him once, about six years later, at our ten year class reunion. We sat together, reminisced, enjoyed each other's company, then parted again for a very long time. TB asked if I knew where C was. I said no, but thought I could find him. I did, and sent C an email. I didn't think he would respond.

He did respond. C said this:
"You can imagine how I might be a little stunned to get this email after 10 years, but what sends chills up my spine, is the amount of time I spent thinking about you this afternoon before I saw this e-mail. And it wasn't even, "Oh, I remember getting beer bottles thrown at us for creative hair styles in R on a Speech Tournament," (the beginning of my activist career). I remembered further back to the fourth or fifth grade (You were the cutest thing I had ever seen in my 10 year old life.) when you noted that you could tell if someone paused for spelling insecurity while writing in cursive. Of course that lead to wondering how your career in classical music was going. Now you have quenched my curiosity, and reinforced that ESP theory explored in Mr. I's Psychology class."

So now I've contacted two people from my past. Both welcomed me back, both still remembered me--even thought of me once in awhile. So I'm wondering if my theories about friendship are flawed, and if my friends went away because I wanted them to, or because I left them. It's an interesting thought, one I've never considered. I don't know.

I'm trying to figure all this out. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the communications I'm having with both my friends from the past, and am so excited to connect with them again. Advice? Thoughts? Ideas? At this point I'm rewriting my blueprint and will accept pretty much any offered help.

I may have been wrong, but, in TB's words: "This is a good wrong." That makes no sense, but I know what he means. The payoff has been kind of amazing.

P.S. I took a vacation from blogging this week. For the first time since I began blogging, I went more than one day between posts. Five days later, I might be ready to write again. I sort of miss the daily blog-grind. :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Distracting Atp during class is bad

AtP: i can leave class... please tell me it's important enough...
Sam: Yeah...I don't think need to stay and find out about cones...deafness...weird speaking...rods...brain epicenters...hemispheres...
AtP: last week he said hemispheres were different lobes
Sam: Yes, not to be confused with earlobes because if you pierce the brain's bad...
Sam: I just got this in my email:
Deal of the Day--The thong song
3-PK of THONG UNDERWEAR Get a 3-pack of these for less than you would pay for one pair.. it's outrageous. Normal Price: $29.99 DEAL PRICE: $5.99 Stylish & Sexy... Made of a luxurious blend of nylon and spandex, these thong underwear are designed to move with you and feel great. The high-cut leg allows for easy movement without binding. The elastic satin trim stretches gently to fit comfortably. Low shrinkage. Perfect for day-to-day wear, or a "special occasion" this panty is comfy, cool and cute.. :::: Size information: S (0-4) :::: To get 3 pair of these for just $5.99, visit...
Sam: Low shrinkage--very important.
AtP: I should get some for Sully.
Sam: NO! He will want to model them for me.
AtP: what do I care, I mean... I live an entire state away.
Sam: He already threatened to lick my eye.
AtP: see...that just freaks me out...i don't like the word vestibular, sacs. and worse...the vestibular sacs
Sam: If you get them for Sully, make sure you send a nice card, as well--and you have to send them on Valentine's Day.
AtP: HAHAHAHAHAHA... I need to go underclothing shopping...mine are falling apart.
Sam: Thank you for the visual. That's because vestibular rhymes with testicular.
AtP: anything else?
Sam: About your underwear? or vestibular sacs?
AtP: the latter
Sam: Well...if something happens to your vestibular whatever, you lose your balance and fall over. And if something happens to your testicular whatever, you lose your balance and fall over.
AtP: It took everything in my power not to laugh out loud
Sam: Sorry, sort of. It's so good that we never went to school together.
AtP: we'd be dreadful
Sam: And we'd learn nothing.
AtP: i already know everything. come on
Sam: Right. However could I forget that?

A little bit pissed...

Okay, this shouldn't make me so upset, but it does. About a year ago, as part of my therapy, I was told that I needed to stop isolating myself, take down the "walls" I've built to protect me, make more close friends, be more spontaneous, love more deeply, blah, blah, blah, blah...

I just have to say that I did everything I was told that would make me have "a more joyful life." There was certainly a good side, I admit that:
1. I met some really amazing people and fell in love with them.
2. I had lots of fun with them.
3. I'm more relaxed about allowing myself to make mistakes.
4. My house doesn't have to be "eat off the floor" clean.
5. I'm working with the youth again, after a hiatus of about 15 years.

However, there is also a definite downside (read: not joyful):
1. I see no point in meeting really amazing people, falling in love with them, and knowing that ten years from now none of us will remember each other's names--unless we send Chritmas cards, and then we'll only know because it's on a list. The truth is that no one really belongs to anyone, life happens, people get busy, and then they go away. This is not joyful.
2. Having close friendships is complicated. It seems that other people have lots of feelings, and they aren't as reticent as I am about having and expressing them. This can be uncomfortable. I don't like the fact that I often have emotional responses to their feelings (like empathy or frustration). It's much nicer to not be close, to be able to listen, offer understanding phrases, and go away from that person thankful that you don't have their problems, and immerse yourself in your own life. I'm finding no joy in this complicated friendship thing.
3. I don't like making mistakes. I don't like not having a completely clean house (although my husband and kids are loving it). I was much better at my jobs when I was more obsessive and structured. There is no joy here.
4. Working with the youth is fun and exhausting. There have been times when I've been so tired (no sleep/bad dreams), but I've given seminary lessons anyway. No doubt I'm preaching false doctrine, but they say that parents have more influence on their children's lives (mine didn't) than seminary teachers and youth leaders. That's a good thing. I detest most of the lessons in the Young Women's lesson books (sappy poems, emotional stories, not enough gospel and scriptures), so no doubt I will soon be released. I actually do have great joy working with these beautiful kids. I'm just really, really tired.

Darrin and I talked yesterday because he feels I'm withdrawing again. I've done this periodically throughout the past year, especially when I get tired. It's difficult not to use coping mechanisms that are accessible and comfortable. And I do want to retreat and stop trying to figure out all this friendship/relationship crap. But Darrin keeps pointing out how much closer we have become in the past year, and he wants that to continue. But, again, this is hard work and I'm tired. Also, when I get tired, I'll confess that it's more difficult to maintain my focus in my marriage and I'm distracted in ways I'd rather avoid (no, I'm not going to run away with the first cute girl that I find, but distraction is frustrating). I'm not surfing the internet or watching tv lately because it seems that the partially clad female body is everywhere, and I don't need that right now. And yeah, it sucks that I'm even talking about this because I usually don't.

Okay, I'm finished.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Tabitha and I went to the store today. I've been staying up for the past few nights because I'm tired of trying to control my dreams and sleep is difficult. I've been really grateful for friends who have been willing to stay up with me chatting or talking on the phone. Tabitha has been awakened a couple of times, hearing me talking or laughing. She wanted to know why I was up so late.

I explained that I've been having recurring nightmares since November and that it's difficult for me to sleep. She asked if my dreams were scary. I said yes. She wanted to know what they were about. I told her they showed me things about the abuse that happened when I was her age. She looked at me very seriously and said, "That sounds much worse than my nightmares. Maybe you should call your mom when they happen. That's what I always do."

Funny, I've never talked to my mom when I was afraid. I'm glad Tabitha still feels she can talk to me. I hope that is always so. In the meantime, I'm glad there are other people to whom I can turn. Surrogate mothers???? Sorry guys, I just couldn't resist...

Friday, February 09, 2007


Darrin's business trip that was supposed to happen next week has been postponed, which means he will be home on our anniversary!!

Now, if I can just convince him that he doesn't need to be a bishop that night... I'm thinking I may have to use some heterosexual guile (of which I have none)...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Counseling Session #1,000,072

Have I mentioned in previous posts that I'm madly in love with Therapist? If not, it was a tremendous oversight on my part. I adore him.

I saw him last during the second week of November, right about the time my nightmares were beginning to jaunt nightly through my head. I brought to this session a very bizarre account of how I had managed to control the dreams. Since part of that involved me spending the night with someone who wasn't my husband (only in my dreams), I was a little worried about how my counselor would receive my irregular methods. I have a blog dedicated to my dream dilemma, in which I was very careful to keep track of everything I did--what worked, what didn't--and how I felt about most of it. I made a hard copy and took it with me today.

I have seriously underestimated Therapist. Not only was he supportive of the things I had done, he explained some parts that I had missed, and helped me analyze some of the more confusing stuff. Oh, and he made fun of me for saying I don't believe in something that obviously works for me. He also said he was amazed that I was able to find someone who would spend the time necessary to work with me (believe me, it has taken incredible amounts of time), check in to make sure things were running smoothly, and ask what he could do to keep helping.

Therapist and I spent some time discussing why I didn't use Darrin as my dream person. Therapist told me that if I had suggested it to him prior to finding the person I used, he would have advised me against it. He said that it's obvious that I've spent most of my life trying to make a definitive separation between my intimacy with Darrin and my sexual abuse experiences, and that's as it should be. I have not disclosed to Darrin the details of the abuse for a couple of reasons: 1. There's a possibility that we will meet Cousin Bob at a wedding or funeral, and I want Darrin's information to be limited, as he has an unfortunate desire to kill my cousin already. 2. Although intimacy and abuse are not related, the acts themselves are similar. Both Darrin and I believe that his having extensive knowledge of the acts I endured as a preteen would be distracting and inhibit his ability to navigate in our intimate moments. Therapist agrees wholeheartedly. He says it's important for Darrin and I to keep the two parts of my life completely separate and as long as Darrin doesn't ask to know, it's fine for him not to.

Therapist suggested that I take breaks occasionally, when I don't go to sleep if I don't want to--if I'm concerned about the nightmare's repetition. I laughed, because last night I did just that. Therapist told me I should try not to be alone the whole time when I did that. Again I laughed because I had company the whole time. We talked about napping in the daytime, in sunlight (another thing I had discovered that is helpful--the nightmares do not come in the day).

Therapist asked me if I've tried to substitute Christ for my dream person. Actually, I have. Christ is the logical one to have in a time of need. But I've realized a few things about coming unto Christ, as it has to do with my abuse. Last spring I worked through numerous issues and ended up with the conclusion that I needed to hand my hurts over to the Lord. Over and over I tried to let go. But for many different reasons, I couldn't do it. Something was missing--I didn't understand what. As I've spent time in dreamland, I've remembered/realized many things. One of the most profound things was that when the abuse finally stopped, I was left with a strong belief that there could not possibly be a God. No loving Father would allow me to endure what I had gone through without intervening in some way. God and Christ and everything related were myths of the most cruel sort. It was a long time before I found any sort of faith or hope. Now I'm trying to juxtapose my current belief system with a time when I adamantly disbelieved all that I know now to be true. It's complicated, but the part of me that is still a child is unconvinced that Christ can be of help. I don't know how to explain it, but Therapist is certain that if I continue my current trend of self-discovery, and use the newest tool I've found in dream direction, I'll eventually be able to make it to the point where I'm able to merge the two belief systems and find complete healing. Sounds like a bunch of crap to Young Samantha, but the older, wiser Sam believes it's possible.

I've done some backsliding in the personal responsibility area. Therapist spent about 10 minutes reminding me that none of the abuse was my fault, and that it was the direct responsibility of my cousin and his choices. I'm not certain why he felt it necessary to lecture me about that. No doubt Therapist is picking up on some turns of phrase that let him know I'm struggling with that area again, and that there are times when guilt and self-doubt are at all-time highs. He reminded me that my self-worth is not connected in any way to events that were forced on me. It's been difficult to remember this in the past couple of months.

Therapist also, for the first time since we've been meeting, said it was time for us to discuss my eating disorder. One of the reasons I've been so in love with him is because he's never made me talk about this before. I was a little upset, but he simply said he was concerned that I've not been able to find a solution in the past year, and he wants to be certain I'm getting proper nutrition, especially since the dreams are interfering with my sleep patterns, and I have low blood sugar. When I have the abuse nightmares, I wake up with severe pain in my body. It's not real, and nothing has happened to cause it, but it is intense enough to cause nausea and vomiting--again, not helpful to the eating thing. I'm frustrated and depressed that I can't seem to deal with this aspect of my life. Therapist suggested that we just watch carefully this month and see if things improve at all, and if not, I may need additional help. He also said that given the way I've dealt with most of the problems that crop up, he's confident that I'll be able to resolve this issue as well, but it's not one we can afford to ignore any more.

Therapist then told me that I was unique in my ability to concentrate and control the dream sequences. He believes there's a link between the way I use those same mental tools when Darrin and I are intimate, and the way I was able to use them in my directed dreams. He says most people cannot maintain directed dreaming for very long. I've been using it for about three months--every night. He's thrilled with the progress I've made. I told him that anyone who was seeing what I was seeing each night would do whatever was necessary to make it stop. Therapist asked if I'd had more than usual depression in the past couple of months. I have, but it's not constant and I think it's better right now. He suggested that we meet weekly for the next little while. I suggested every other month. He laughed and said, "I'll see you next month then?" I agreed.

So, I'm making progress. Therapist thinks I'm amazing, and I'm in love with him. Everything is back to normal.

Carl Jung says:

"We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses."


One reason I adore watching the sun rise is that my mind seems clear and I can truly think. This morning I watched the clouds turn from pink to orange, then fade to yellow. I was supposed to be meditating on the lesson I would present to my class in a moment. Instead I was realizing that I've been completely absorbed by myself lately--never a positive state of being for me.

Sometimes things happen that I would not choose. Sometimes it takes awhile to get used to those things and carry on. I realized that I'm finally getting used to things, and in spite of it all, I really am living. As my eyes took in the beauty in the sky, my soul felt stronger--strong enough to stop dwelling on what-if's, and to begin the inevitable task of dealing with what is real.

Monday, February 05, 2007


It's late and I should be sleeping. My brain won't stop thinking. Today I was chatting with a friend who brought up a subject that normally doesn't bother me. For me, it has direct reference to my experience with sexual abuse, but in the past I've been able to navigate it clinically. Today, I was overwhelmed with sadness, sudden and intense, and I felt as though that friend was knowingly and blithely rubbing salt into my open wound. He wasn't. I felt betrayed and hurt anyway.

I am angry that my past continues to insinuate itself into my everyday life. I want it gone.

Someday I will sleep without schooling my thoughts or avoiding nightmares.
Someday I will talk about anything, without associating any subject with my past.
Someday I will trust even if it means I might get hurt, because that's what human beings do, and I am human.
Someday I will eat normally.
Someday I will run because I enjoy it, not because it keeps me from thinking.
Someday I will no longer resent the things I will never experience because my innocence was taken from me.
Someday I will love without reservation.
Someday I will no longer be afraid to live.

But tonight, I just wish I could get over the feeling that I was used today. I wish I could stop thinking. I wish I could just sleep.

Enough said...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

"Yea, come unto me, thy Savior."

"...he was afraid...and...he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him..."

From the story of Peter walking on, then sinking in the water, of course. How many times we are taught about this story, and told about Peter's lack of faith...but we miss the first reaction of Christ. Peter calls to the Lord to save him, and immediately Jesus reaches out and catches him. As soon as Peter asks--not after he flounders in the water and begs, not after Jesus lectures him about having faith, not after asking the notable "seventy times seven"--immediately.

I think about my life. There have been many times when I've felt that I was sinking. Christ has never solved my problems for me. He has not taken my trials from me. He has simply reached out to hold me up, to keep my head above water and allow me to breathe while I learned the lesson necessary to make me stronger, to help me progress, to temper my pride, to humble me and force me to rely on my faith. Every time I've asked. Immediately.

Sometimes I jump to and focus on the chastening. I hear him chiding me for not praying with enough fervor, or letting the words of my scriptures slide past my eyes without finding meaning, or not seeking him with fullness of heart. Or, as I seek to find answers and to live my life with all that burdens me, I hear those words, "Oh ye of little faith..." I want to have the faith necessary to find the miracle of healing to my soul...but it seems I must go through small steps to develop it. I need to learn to rely on the help of others, as I train myself to recognize and find help in the hand of the Lord--the one that reaches out all the day long--the one that stretches forth, and catches me--immediately--all I have to do is ask.

Lately I've felt more lonely than I have felt in a very long time. The feeling comes upon me suddenly, overwhelming me with horrifying insistence. I am alone. There is no place for me, no love for me, no hope for me. A few days ago, I found myself on my knees in a simple prayer, "Please...don't let me be alone today...I need you...please, I can't be alone anymore." To my surprise, the overwhelming loneliness was replaced with a sweet, loving sense of peace. I stayed on my knees, allowing it to wash over me, trusting that whatever was amiss in my life, no matter what my state of worthiness was, my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me. They won't leave me alone. They will reach out and lift me up...I just have to ask.

My problems are the same. They haven't changed. They weren't taken away. But I can keep trying because I'm not alone. No matter what is asked of me, I can endure it--not always well, but that comes with time and practice, and I've never been very graceful when it comes to having to face the bad stuff--and I whine--a lot. Still, I love this verse in 2 Corinthians, because it's how I feel as I continue to work through the things that have caused me pain, "[I am] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [I am] perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed..." Perhaps it's a bit melodramatic, but there are times, especially lately, when I've certainly felt these things, and I'm learning that feelings are valid and need to be expressed and addressed, even if that makes me feel vulnerable.

Elder Richard G. Scott once said the following, "If you feel there is only a thin thread of hope, believe me, it is not a thread. It can be the unbreakable connecting link to the Lord which puts a life preserver around you. He will heal you as you cease to fear and place your trust in him by striving to live his teachings." Someday, that is what I will do. I will no longer fear, and I will place my trust in the Lord. Right now I'm learning how that works as I strive to live his teachings, and as I look to God, and live.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Rules of Attraction

I have always been aware that I have one very sensitive Achilles Heel, when it comes to feelings of attraction. I love it when someone smells nice. When I encounter one with this attribute, it makes no difference what the person looks like, gender and political inclination are immaterial, and I lose all common sense and lapse irretrievably into a romantic fantasy of my own making. It's embarrassing--and ridiculous--and completely irresistible. The truth is, if you smell good to me, I'll follow you anywhere... indefinitely....repressing the desire to moan, "Ooooooohhh, you smell so goooood......"

The reverse is also true. If you smell less than beautiful to me, I'll avoid your presence at all cost. And I'm talking about truly smelling awful--not just devoid of attractive scent. For instance, recently, I had the opportunity to share the backseat of a car with my good friend, Sully, who had not only missed his daily shower, but was wearing the same clothes he had worn the day seems he'd spent the night with a friend and missed the opportunity for cleanliness. Normally, I would have been huddled as far away from him as possible, praying that the car trip would end quickly. Fortunately for me (and for him, too, I suppose), Sully is one of those rare people who retains that clean smell for more than 24 hours, even if wearing the same clothes, so I sat by him without discomfort and even hugged him a couple of times. So the aversion only happens with the occurrance of authentic bad smelliness--and I'm unforgiving even of those I truly love.

When I first met Darrin, I was aware of my weakness and had it somewhat under control. He, however, had the most incredibly wonderful smell about him. I've mentioned before that I had no interest in him, and he was feeling somewhat inclined toward a more blonde roommate, however, I will admit that I sat next to him as frequently as possible, inhaling deeply. I blame that first initial attraction for my subsequent marriage and three children.

Any time I've been paired off with a person it has been the responsibility of a delicious smelling soap, perfume, cologne, lotion, shampoo, after shave, or drier sheet. I can't help it. If you smell good, I'm in love--at least for as long as I can be in your presence. Unfortunately, my devotion fades with proximity, leaving me feeling confused and very fickle.

Fortunately for me, I'm selective about what smells good...otherwise my life would be completely out of control. I've also learned that if I smell really nice, I can stay enamoured with myself and ignore the distracting scents of others--a good avoidance tactic, even if it sounds a bit narcissistic.

I've been told that olfactory perception fades with age. However, mine seems to be intensifying with the years. My father-in-law (thank goodness he doesn't wear an attractive scent) assures me that if I start smoking, my sense of smell will dull in the next 35 years. It's an option, I suppose, if I find myself helplessly stalking those around me who smell divine.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Today is over. Tomorrow will be better.


Last night Darrin and I were lying in bed, talking about nothing much. Darrin decided it was time for sleep and turned to kiss me just as I said something that caught his attention. Mid-kiss, he made a, HMMMM??? sound. I started laughing, broke away, and said half-aggravatedly, "Don't DO that!!"

Darrin: What did you just say--before I kissed you?
Me: I don't even remember! But don't do that anymore!!
Darrin: Don't do what?
Me: Don't say "HMMMM???" in the middle of a kiss. It's distracting.

We looked at each other and I started to giggle again, Darrin started laughing and we lay there, enjoying the irony of my having to concentrate in order to kiss my own husband.

This is why I married him. He doesn't care if I don't go weak at the knees when we make out. It's no big deal that I don't always feel like kissing. He thinks it's funny that I have to concentrate completely on him when we do--actually I think he likes the fact that I have to work a little, and that he's my sole focus for our intimate times--and I think he enjoys being the center of attention in those times, as well.

But now that it's morning, I sort of wonder what I said that started the whole thing in the first place.
eXTReMe Tracker