Friday, February 3, 2017

the tough stuff, and why i'm not a wimp after all

"Rape: unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim."

I decided quite a few weeks ago that it was time to tell my story. I went to see a V-Day production, and after curtain call they asked any survivors of abuse to stand up. For the first time, I had the guts to stand. The whole show I had managed to hold in my tears, but when I stood, I cried. Another participant of the show said it is part of the healing process to share your story, or at least to write your story down. I knew it was time for me to record what happened, to put it into writing if I couldn't say it out loud. I have felt so much guilt over the years, and also downplayed what happened because it didn't happen to me the way it happened to other people, but that doesn't make it any less horrible. Which is why I began this blog with the definition, in case the reader forgets exactly what it means to be raped.

Strong, independent woman. This is what I wanted to be. This is what I still would like to be. I also felt, at a younger age, that women were always made to feel ashamed for enjoying sex. Women were called sluts if they were promiscuous, but men could run around all they wanted and nobody thought twice about it. This is unfair, to me. I wanted to be a strong, independent woman with an healthy sex drive, and so I was trying to live a life I thought would lead me in that direction, but the inner shell of who I was did not create a good foundation for what I was facing, and I didn't have the strength I needed to continue with the independence or the healthy sex life. 

I was abused as a child. Physically and emotionally. I was disciplined for reasons I never understood (there was never a real reason), and roughly spanked many times for no reason at all. I can remember walking into the abuser's kitchen when I was little enough to still wear a diaper and being yanked up and spanked and being so confused, because I had no idea what I did wrong: I just walked into the room! I trusted this adult- and as a child you always trusted that the adults knew better and knew what was best for you, so if you got spanked, then you must have done something bad. I have a very foggy memory of being yanked up so roughly by one arm that my arm actually popped out of it's socket. My abuser got in my face and informed me that I was nothing, and that I would always be nothing, so I might as well not even try. Well, I was just a child, and this adult was telling me I was nothing, and adults know more than children, so why would I believe otherwise? Why would I ever think, at such a young age, that an adult could be wrong? That was unimaginable at that age. So I grew up thinking I was stupid, and unwanted, and nothing. What a great foundation to build a strong, independent woman.

Something in my head also told me that if a man wanted to have sex with me, then it must mean I was beautiful, and desirable. I desperately needed to feel wanted, to be accepted. I knew sex could be just sex, and I wanted to be that woman with a healthy sex drive, but I also had this other side of me that thought if I gave a man what he wanted, and if he wanted to have sex with me, then I was not as worthless as I had thought my whole life, and that in turn would help me become a stronger, independent woman. Never mind that I was also meeting men who were not interested in assisting in the creation of a strong, independent woman. The sex drive they were interested in, though. And then I met Blake.

Blake was fifteen years older than me. He was my neighbor, and I really only started hanging out with him because I was bored. What a beautiful beginning. Blake was unemployed when I first met him, and he spent a lot of time wearing sweatpants and drinking beer. I had moved back to Utah from Florida, and was missing my social life (and sexual life) and Blake was.... present. He was a perfect gentleman, when he was sober.

He wasn't sober very often.

We didn't spend time together like a normal couple. Blake really only ever called me when he wanted sex. I was just happy to have a man interested in me, so I didn't think about it. We would drink beer and watch a movie, then roll around and he would let me stay the night. I started to learn that Blake liked sex a little more rough than I did. He liked to bite. I didn't like the way the bites felt, but he assured me that I would learn to like it, after some time. So he kept on biting and when I tried to push him away, he was stronger than me. He kept biting. I would end up with huge bruises on my stomach, breasts, and neck. He bragged that he once bit a woman so hard he drew blood, and I hoped that wouldn't happen to me. I had to go to work and face my roommates with these horrible "love bites" that looked more like domestic violence remains and assured them that it was all in good fun. I really did think I would start to enjoy rough sex over time; kinky was part of being a strong women with a healthy sex drive, right? I thought so, somehow. I was conflicted, though: I thought if somebody cared for another person, they treated them with kindness, not roughness. Yet, some people liked it rough in bed, and that was considered caring... I was pretty conflicted and didn't know what I was supposed to like or not. I did know I was playing with fire, since we weren't using protection, and I wasn't on birth control, but I didn't know how to approach the topic of condoms. I bought a pack and put them in my purse, thinking one day I would bring one out and suggest we use it. I was always too nervous to speak up to him, so that opportunity never presented itself.

I remember one night Blake had purchased a bottle of vodka, and he encouraged me to take a shot. I did, straight out of the bottle, but then he held the bottle up and made me drink more and more until I was dribbling vodka down my chin. I think this was the same night he took a good look at me and said, "If you lost 25 pounds, you would be perfect."

There was another time he was drunk as a skunk and playing with his machete that he kept in his bedroom. He kept waving it around in front of his roommate, but somehow he allowed me to take it away from him. There was also the time he told me I knew nothing about the Beatles because I wasn't alive when they were still a band. I am still a bit confused by this statement. 

He talked me into coming over one night when my cousin was visiting. I told him I couldn't fool around because my cousin was with me and I respected her, and he agreed. We were all watching a movie in his room, he and I were cuddling, and he started to fondle me, with my cousin sitting on the bed with us! I tried to push his hand away and he was stronger than me and wouldn't stop. This was so uncomfortable for me and no doubt was for my cousin as well. I felt horrible for putting her in that position, and that he would disrespect her and me that way.

I still hadn't learned to enjoy the biting. He still bit me. I still tried to push him off when the biting began, and I still didn't have the strength to do so. There were some nights it would hurt so bad that I didn't want him to do anything at all. There was one night in particular where he was really forceful and rough and I told him to stop and get off of me, but he started doing all the movements, and as much as I tried to push him off me, I couldn't. I wasn't strong enough. I finally decided I would just lay there and let him do his thing, and hopefully he would be quick about it so it would be over quickly. It wasn't until years later that I even realized this was considered rape. There were at least two times I can remember where this scenario played out. Why did I keep coming back? I just don't know. I had no self-esteem, and I thought he wanted me, and that meant I was desirable, and maybe a little pretty, and not nothing.

Valentine's Day, 2004. A customer at work said something to the effect of me "being a pretty girl, surely I had plans for Valentine's Day." I had never had a boyfriend for Valentine's Day, and I had always wanted one. So I thought for once I would call Blake and see if we could hang out, instead of waiting for him to call me. He let me come over. We did the usual, drank beer, had sex, only this time was a little different. Usually when we had sex, Blake used the "pull-out method." Not reliable in any way, but I still hadn't had the nerve to ask him to use the condoms I had in my purse. This night, I couldn't tell if he had pulled out or not. Even more strange, he never called me after Valentine's Day.

Fast forward about a month later, and I am having some weird things going on. My nose is so sensitive to smells, especially the cleaning chemicals at work. One morning I ate an apple for breakfast and instantly threw it back up. Yet, I didn't feel sick, at all. I was so confused. I am not even sure what finally made my brain click, but I ended up buying a pregnancy test, and it was positive. I knew right away I was having a baby boy. I just knew. I was also scared out of my mind.

A lot happened. I planned to go to Las Vegas for an abortion, but my friend was being a flake at the time, causing anxiety and doubt in my mind. Then my friend's amazing boyfriend (now her husband) took me to lunch and said all the right things I needed to hear, offering great advice, love, and support. Somewhere deep inside of me I found some courage and went through with the pregnancy. I had to decide if I was going to keep the baby or place the baby for adoption, and I didn't allow any opinions or input from anybody. This was my decision and mine alone. In the end I knew without a single doubt that the best course for this child's life was to place him for adoption. So I did. I still consider him the best decision of my entire life, and the most amazing product of a bad, bad, bad situation. (Yes, I was right about the boy thing.) :) 

I still have many issues I am dealing with due to the abuse I received as a child, and the abuse I received from Stupid Head. He wasn't the only big mistake of a man I allowed into my life, but he was by far the worst. I hope someday I will be able to overcome the emotional damages, perhaps find and afford a really good therapist, but until then, I hope writing my story down will do me some good. Maybe it will help somebody else in the process.

*Note: I believe I began writing this in 2014... now it is 2017 and I am finally having the guts to post the blog. A march for women's rights has happened recently and I feel even more strongly about sharing my story. People think these things happen to only a small number of women, but the shocking truth is rape, domestic violence, and abuse happen to the majority of women in the United States, and I'm sure all over the world. I wasn't a drug addict, I wasn't drug at a college party, I wasn't walking home alone in a rough neighborhood. This happened with somebody I had a relationship with, albeit a rocky and unhealthy relationship. No means no, in any scenario. Even if you think the person saying no is being ridiculous or is teasing or doesn't really mean it. No means STOP. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

guess i should explain myself...

My divorce just went through about a month ago. Not the shortest marriage that's ever been, but considering the seeming tightness of our relationship, it might come to a surprise to those that don't know the full story. I have not fully processed everything that happened, myself- not to mention the disappointment, feelings of inadequacy, loss, pain, anger, grief, and other emotions I haven't been able to label, yet.

Now, I certainly wasn't perfect in this relationship, but we were both trying to work through our issues and differences. However, I had two lines that could never be crossed:

One: Do not lie to me. I have been abused in the past. I have been lied to by those closest to me. I don't trust easily, and I don't deal well when the people closest to me decide to tell lies. You just cannot do it. This was laid out in the very beginning, and agreed to. This issue was also discussed many, many times.

Two: Do not use drugs. I knew drugs had been a part of my husband's past, or I thought it was his past (now I'm not sure he had ever been clean), and I did not want it a part of our life together. I told him if he started using again, I was gone. He agreed.

He crossed both of these lines. The details behind him using and how I found out are extremely painful, and make him look really bad. I'm not even sure I should mention them, but I should apologize in his behalf that he spent all our wedding money on drugs. He took the money when I was in Utah helping my momma recovering from a hip replacement. He also stole many things to pawn for drug money. I know people on drugs do crazy things; now I have living proof. 

I am also positive he was high on our wedding night. He didn't sleep ALL NIGHT. Wedding days are majorly LONG days, not to mention how emotionally draining they are. I stayed up with him until 4am until I passed out from exhaustion. He woke me up at 7am to get breakfast and go get the decorations we left at the reception location. He accused me of "falling asleep on him." Putting two and two together, I don't think he slept at all that night. Yet he still stands by the statement that he didn't start using until three months after that. 

He was also super crafty when he was high. He started making purses with vinyl records. He made me one when I landed a job in February of the same year he claims he didn't start using until July. When he got clean he never touched those damn purses. Ever. No interest. Hmmm... the facts don't match the statement.

I couldn't get over what he had done to me. I tried. I put a year and a half- the majority of our marriage- into coping and dealing and trying to move on and act normal. He made loads of promises to improve our relationship, gain my trust back, and make amends. He did none of them. He told me he would set us up for marriage counseling. He didn't do that. Not only was he not keeping his word, he was continuing to show me through his life actions that he wasn't fully committed to being an adult in an adult relationship. He was already on parole for a stupid fight he was involved in. Then he got two DUI's, one that landed him in the hospital with a broken jaw. That didn't heal correctly. That he still hasn't gone to have fixed like he said he would. I didn't want a husband who kept going to jail because he couldn't say no to a drink before driving home. This is what he was showing me for our future, and I wasn't taking it well. This was not the man I believed I had married. We both did our fair share of drinking in the past, but I felt like we were smart about it. Maybe I was wrong? I don't know. I felt so blind-sided, and I was losing myself. I never left the house, I had no self-esteem, I didn't want people to look at me, I was getting drunk on the weekends out of sheer boredom, pretending everything was fine to the outside world, and then I couldn't do it, anymore. I knew I had to leave if I was going to save myself from turning into a mechanical robot wife with a perma-grin.

I started talking to an exboyfriend, again. He contacted me first, but then I told him my marriage wasn't going well and I thought it was over. That opened a window for him to suggest we might still have feelings for each other. I was sad, lonely, disappointed, and felt VERY disrespected, not to mention vulnerable. I thought maybe I did have feelings for this ex, and pursued an email and chat relationship with my ex behind Chris' back. This was not the right thing to do, but at this point I knew my marriage was over and I think doing this gave me an easier out than just saying, "You make me feel like a piece of shit, and I don't see proof you want this marriage to succeed; I want a divorce." Now I could just say I had feelings for someone else and wanted to pursue those feelings. That seemed easier to say, for some reason.

Chris found out in the worst way possible. I wanted one last happy memory for us, so I waited until after our wedding anniversary (horrible idea, I know now!) and we got a room in a hotel downtown, had a fancy and expensive dinner, and I might have gotten drunk enough to pretend to enjoy the hotel room with him one last time. My flaw was in sending a picture of myself, all dressed up, to the other guy I was chatting up. Chris found the texts the next day. 

I can't imagine the pain I caused him, and I was stupid to chat up another guy while still married to my husband; even if I knew the marriage was over, Chris didn't, and that wasn't right. Although I was grateful it opened up the dialogue to discuss what I wanted, or didn't want, for the future. 

Then my momma died. I spent that summer cleaning out her house and trying to cope with losing the only person I feel actually gives a real, genuine damn about me. Now there is nobody, and I left a husband who had given me his family to share freely. I thought about hanging on because I love his parents so much. I knew that wasn't fair to Chris, or healthy for the person I was becoming in this marriage: a zombie. 

I think Chris thought maybe that time away would make me change my mind about splitting up, but it didn't. I went back to Colorado in July, packed up and left. I felt free and incredibly sad, but I knew I had made the right decision. 

That was one year ago, although it feels much longer. I still feel that I made the right decision, but as I try to process everything that happened, sometimes I just get really mad. I know Chris loved me like I loved him, but why couldn't he man up and do the work he needed to do to prove he wanted the marriage to work? I know I wasn't perfect, either, but dammit I feel like I was trying, at least up until the end, when I decided I had had enough. I don't feel like he tried at all. He was so sweet to me, bought me flowers and cards, but what about all the broken promises? What about the lies? The continuous lies, even when I knew the truth was a different story and told him so? Am I so disposable that it's okay to treat me this way? 

I still love Chris more than life. He is a kindred spirit and that pisses me off. I had waited a long, long time to meet someone like him, and I don't know that I will ever meet anybody who made me feel as beautiful and smart and sexy as he did. However, I could not stay with him knowing he felt it was acceptable to lie and sneak around behind his wife's back, as long as she didn't find out. I was willing to forgive, but it was going to take a lot of work to earn my trust again, and he just didn't show he was willing to put the work in. It was such a hard decision to make, but I still know it was the right decision. I'm sorry if I've hurt anybody in this process; I'm sorry for hurting Chris with my own lies and deceit. I am hoping for understanding, and offer clarity for those who are or were mutual friends of ours. Say no to drugs. Don't drink and drive. Keep your promises. Marriage is hard work and it only takes one person to make a marriage fail. 

I'm sorry for everybody I hurt. I hope I can heal from my own hurt, which is deep. I hope this blog offers some clarity for the people who are curious and wondering, but not wanting to ask. I hope you will forgive me for my mistakes, and Chris as well. He needs friends around him. He needs love and support just as much as I do. What happened happened. It's not okay, but it's history. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

why i believe i am an empath

As I learn more about my emotions, and begin to embrace them rather than just loathe them and attempt to bury them under a pile of bricks, I have also started to discover that there are more people like me out there.
I often get told that I am "too nice." I understand that I should not allow people to push me around or walk all over me, and that I need to set boundaries and put my foot down. Where my job is concerned, I have to confront kids on things they do that are wrong, which is a struggle for me. I would rather not have to do that, though I understand it's part of the job. It causes a lot more knots in my stomach than it might the normal person, though. I think this is because of my empathic nature. I prefer there to be harmony around me. I know this is unrealistic, but harmony is still my preference. 

Something else I have noticed about myself is when I do actually stand up for myself or speak up about something I feel is wrong, I instantly feel guilt or overly upset about causing a ripple in the water. Even if my opinion is not incorrect, I still feel guilty. I feel that maybe I overreacted, and I run the scenario through my head over and over again to consider what I could have done differently, to the point that I think I would have been better off to have just kept my mouth shut. 
Naturally, I Googled "empath." This paragraph seems to describe what I feel exactly:

"Empaths have a tendency to openly feel what is outside of them more so than what is inside of them. This can cause empaths to ignore their own needs. In general an empath is non-violent, non-aggressive and leans more towards being the peacemaker. Any area filled with disharmony creates an uncomfortable feeling in an empath. If they find themselves in the middle of a confrontation, they will endeavor to settle the situation as quickly as possible, if not avoid it all together. If any harsh words are expressed in defending themselves, they will likely resent their lack of self-control, and have a preference to peacefully resolve the problem quickly."

I am very sensitive to the emotions around me. I can pick up on somebody's mood just by body language, or the way they say hello. I have a very hard time opening up about the way I'm feeling, and when I finally do open up, if I get interrupted... I'm done talking. If the body language of the other person comes off in a negative way, I'm done talking. Sometimes expressing myself is too draining when I won't be taken seriously. It is much easier to put my feelings into writing, then if somebody wants to read, they can, and I won't have to struggle with being interrupted or mocked.

"Even complete strangers find it easy to talk to empaths about the most personal things, and before they know it, they have poured out their hearts and souls without intending to do so consciously. It is as though on a sub-conscious level that person knows instinctively that empaths would listen with compassionate understanding. Then again, for empaths, it is always nice to actually be heard themselves!"

The above paragraph is so true. People tend to talk to me about anything and everything, even people I barely know. 
The 30 most common traits in empaths are:

1. Knowing: Empaths just know stuff, without being told. It’s a knowing that goes way beyond intuition or gut feelings, even though that is how many would describe the knowing. The more attuned they are the stronger this gift becomes. (Sometimes this applies to me, but not usually)
2. Being in public places can be overwhelming: Places like shopping malls, supermarkets or stadiums where there are lots of people around can fill the empath with turbulently vexed emotions that are coming from others. (Very much me; even a trip to Walmart can put me over the edge)
3. Feeling other's emotions and taking them on as your own: This is a huge one for empaths. To some they will feel emotions off those near by and with others they will feel emotions from those a vast distance away, or both. The more adept empath will know if someone is having bad thoughts about them, even from great distance. (I had a close friend about 10 years ago where I felt her emotions, no matter the distance; also, I had a niece I did the same for a while up through high school... that sort of faded; now it's just the near by)
4. Watching violence, cruelty or tragedy on the TV is unbearable: The more attuned an empath becomes the worse it is and may make it so they eventually have to stop watching TV and reading newspapers altogether. (Depends for me; it used to be worse but I think I built up a tolerance)
5. You know when someone is not being honest: If a friend or a loved one is telling you lies you know it (although many empaths try not to focus on this because knowing a loved one is lying can be painful). Or if someone is saying one thing but feeling/thinking another, you know. (Not me; even if I know better, I block it out)
6. Picking up physical symptoms off another: An empath will almost always develop the ailments off another (colds, eye infections, body aches and pains) especially those they’re closest to, somewhat like sympathy pains. (I TOTALLY do this!!! So weird!)
7. Digestive disorders and lower back problems: The solar plexus chakra is based in the centre of the abdomen and it’s known as the seat of emotions. This is where empaths feel the incoming emotion of another, which can weaken the area and eventually lead to anything from stomach ulcers to IBS (too many other conditions to list here). Lower back problems can develop from being ungrounded (amongst other things) and one, who has no knowledge of them being an empath, will almost always be ungrounded. (Without being TMI, yes.)
8. Always looking out for the underdog: Anyone whose suffering, in emotional pain or being bullied draws an empath’s attention and compassion. (Absolutely)
9. Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers: An empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they’re not careful can end up as their own. (If I open up to more people, this does happen... which might explain why I avoid a lot of eye contact. lol)
10. Constant fatigue: Empaths often get drained of energy, either from energy vampires or just taking on too much from others, which even sleep will not cure. Many get diagnosed with ME. (Hard to say, because I do struggle with low vitamin D... but I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't part of my issue)
11. Addictive personality: Alcohol, drugs, sex, are to name but a few addictions that empaths turn to, to block out the emotions of others. It is a form of self protection in order to hide from someone or something. (I do have an addictive personality)
12. Drawn to healing, holistic therapies and all things metaphysical: Although many empaths would love to heal others they can end up turning away from being healers (even though they have a natural ability for it), after they’ve studied and qualified, because they take on too much from the one they are trying to heal. Especially if they are unaware of their empathy. Anything of a supernatural nature is of interest to empaths and they don’t surprise or get shocked easily. Even at the revelation of what many others would consider unthinkable, for example, empaths would have known the world was round when others believed it was flat. (It sounds weird, but if I put my hands on somebody and think about it, I can feel heat in my hands... I think this counts as energy transfer. Weird.)
13. Creative: From singing, dancing, acting, drawing or writing an empath will have a strong creative streak and a vivid imagination. (Yes.)
14. Love of nature and animals: Being outdoors in nature is a must for empaths and pets are an essential part of their life. (Yes.)
15. Need for solitude: An empath will go stir-crazy if they don’t get quiet time. This is even obvious in empathic children. (Yes, especially as a kid; I loved being alone)
16. Gets bored or distracted easily if not stimulated: Work, school and home life has to be kept interesting for an empath or they switch off from it and end up daydreaming or doodling. (Not so much; I can switch off and just veg out fairly easily)
17. Finds it impossible to do things they don’t enjoy: As above. Feels like they are living a lie by doing so. To force an empath to do something they dislike through guilt or labelling them as idle will only serve in making them unhappy. It’s for this reason many empaths get labelled as being lazy. (This one makes me go "hmmm")
18. Strives for the truth: This becomes more prevalent when an empath discovers his/her gifts and birthright. Anything untruthful feels plain wrong. (BIG YES!)
19. Always looking for the answers and knowledge: To have unanswered questions can be frustrating for an empath and they will endeavour to find an explanation. If they have a knowing about something they will look for confirmation. The downside to this is an information overload. (I love Google because it helps me find answers)
20. Likes adventure, freedom and travel: Empaths are free spirits. (Yes.)
21. Abhors clutter: It makes an empath feel weighed down and blocks the flow of energy. (So much yes)
22. Loves to daydream: An empath can stare into space for hours, in a world of their own and blissfully happy. (Pretty much!)
23. Finds routine, rules or control, imprisoning: Anything that takes away their freedom is debilitating to an empath even poisoning. (I actually kind of need routine)
24. Prone to carry weight without necessarily overeating: The excess weight is a form of protection to stop the negative incoming energies having as much impact. (I used to overeat but I don't now... and this weight is still here.)
25. Excellent listener: An empath won’t talk about themselves much unless it’s to someone they really trust. They love to learn and know about others and genuinely care. (Yes, yes, yes.)
26. Intolerance to narcissism: Although kind and often very tolerant of others, empaths do not like to be around overly egotistical people, who put themselves first and refuse to consider another’s feelings or points of view other than their own. (Grrrrr!)
27. The ability to feel the days of the week: An empath will get the ‘Friday Feeling’ if they work Fridays or not. They pick up on how the collective are feeling. The first couple of days of a long, bank holiday weekend (Easter for example) can feel, to them, like the world is smiling, calm and relaxed. Sunday evenings, Mondays and Tuesdays, of a working week, have a very heavy feeling. (So weird)
28. Will not choose to buy antiques, vintage or second-hand: Anything that’s been pre-owned carries the energy of the previous owner. An empath will even prefer to have a brand new car or house (if they are in the financial situation to do so) with no residual energy. (Kind of yes, kind of no: I actually like second-hand BECAUSE of the residual energy of the previous owner, excepting houses.... I love the older houses, but not so much the ghosties that might still be in them. No thank you.)
29. Sense the energy of food: Many empaths don’t like to eat meat or poultry because they can feel the vibrations of the animal (especially if the animal suffered), even if they like the taste. (Uh, no. I do like to eat meat!)
30. Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnected: Depending on how an empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can be prone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone. (I had a lot of negative today, which is probably why I snapped. Interesting.)
So who knows? Maybe I am a total loony cuckoo bird and deserve to be locked up. Maybe I need to grow a pair and just speak up about things and not get so upset about confrontation. However, I don't think it's bad to be nice. I don't think it's good to be a pushover, but I think life is hard, and I think the people of this world need to stop hating on each other so much and need to start loving each other more. People at work need to work as a team and stop bitching about each other. People at the store and on the road should try practicing a little common courtesy. Maybe I'm just delusional, or a lost cause. I feel like Paul Rudd's character on "Our Idiot Brother." I guess I am "too nice."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

my little pony

When I was a child and had nightmares, my momma would tell me to sing a song to try to get back to sleep. I was very much into "My Little Pony" as a kid, so she suggested I sing the theme song from that show. For some reason, this idea has always stuck with me, and even now when I am scared at night or have nightmares, I will sing "My Little Pony" to keep the scary images out of my head.

Now, this idea has taken on a new image to smudge: my momma's death. Many times, when trying to fall to sleep, I have the image of my momma's last moments stuck in my head: her illness, pain and suffering, her being alone and in pain when she realized how ill she actually was, and finally, watching her die and having to be strong and tell her it was okay: that she could go and we would all be all right without her... Watching the color of her skin change, and how frighteningly quick she grew cold to the touch after she passed. When I close my eyes at night, these are the images stuck inside my head. So I sing "My Little Pony" to try and make the nightmare leave my brain so I can sleep. My sister and I added to this, and along with singing the theme song, we try to name all the ponies we can remember. It is a good brain distraction, and I hope it helps her like it helps me. So far we have:

Sundance (and Megan)
Cotton Candy

If you ever hear me start singing "My Little Pony," please don't laugh, just let me be.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

challenging challenge

My brother Adam challenged me to list my top ten favorite books. I figured I would blog it since I could type the list more easily this way than if I typed it as a status update on Facebook. Number one is easy; the rest, not so much. Here goes:

1. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

2. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
3. Beautiful Cracked Eyes by Pat Ingoldsby
4. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
5. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
6. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
7. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
9. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
10. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

I was trying to determine by favorites by the books I could read over and over again; the books that never get old for me. "True Confessions" is a young adult book, but it is SO GOOD! I can very much read all of these over and over again. I have not, however, read Atlas Shrugged but once. If you have even tried to read Ayn Rand, you will understand why the book has received only one read by me. I just haven't built up the stamina to attempt to read it again, but it was an amazing book. I feel like I could put a couple children's stories on that list, such as "There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom" by Louis Sachar, because I can still read that one and it makes me bawl like a baby, or "The Paperbag Princess" by Robert Munsch because the princess rocks!! Or, of course, the classic "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. I do have a fondness for children's stories. Anyway, here is the list for now! I'm sure it will change over time, except maybe for the top 6, but you never know.

Friday, June 27, 2014

medical terminology

Artery:    The study of paintings
Bacteria:    Back door to a cafeteria
Barium: What doctors do when treatment fails
Bowels:    A letter like A, E, I, O, or U
Cesarean Section:    A district in Rome
CAT Scan:    Searching for kitty
Cauterize:    Make eye contact with her
Colic:    A sheep dog
Coma:    A punctuation mark
Congenital:    Friendly
D&C:    Where Washington is
Dilate:    To live long
Enema:    Not a friend
GI Series:    Soldier ball game
Grippe:    Suitcase
Hangnail:    Coat hook
Labor Pain:    Getting hurt at work
Morbid:    Higher offer
Nitrate:    Cheaper than a day rate
Outpatient:    Person who has fainted
Pelvis:    Cousin of Elvis
Prostate:    Flat on your back
Recovery Room:    Place to do upholstery
Seizure:    Roman Emperor
Tablet:    A small table
Terminal Illness: Getting sick at the airport
Tumor:    More than one
Urine:    Opposite of you're out
Varicose:    Near by
Vein:    Conceited

Thursday, June 26, 2014


My sister, her kids, and I went to visit my daddy on Monday. He is in the memory unit at the Southern Utah Veteran's Home. He has Alzheimer's. I try to get some time in with him while I'm in the area, because he's my daddy and it has to be so lonely and boring hanging out in a facility all day. I also have selfish reasons; those being that he is so much more loving and outspoken about his love for me. He never told me he loved me or hugged me or anything before he got sick. I don't know why, he just didn't do it. Now that he is sick, even if he doesn't know my name, he always says "Hi, sweetheart," and tells me that he just loves me so much. I can never get enough of that.

He doesn't have too much to say most days. I'm a pretty quiet person myself, so our visits can be pretty silent. He does ALWAYS ask me where I'm living these days. Sometimes he asks me where I live about ten times in one visit, but I don't care. I'll answer him every time he asks. It is nice to bring my sister and her kids with me to the visit, because she is chatty and the kids always have something to say.

We chatted for a little while, brought him some more shirts and some decorations for his room. He remembered exactly the cowboy boot and hat that belonged to his father, my grandpa. My name? Not so much.
Then we ventured out into the commons area, where I played a very out of tune piano. He loves to listen, and I love to play: we are the perfect pair. The only music of my own I had were solo arrangements of songs. Not so fun for anyone to sing along to. Then I found gold: a book in the piano bench that contained old time songs. It also included a couple soldier songs. Any time I could hear daddy singing, I would play the song at least one more time, if not more. I'm a sucker for making people happy. 

When I played the Marine's Hymn, my daddy sang along, and at the end of the song I heard this loud "WAHOOOOO!" Good ol' Daddy. I played that song a couple more times, just to see if he would do it again. (He did, once)

There were a couple others he liked such as: Tie a Yellow Ribbon, Jimmy Crack Corn, Battle Hymn of the Republic, I've Been Working on the Railroad... There were even a couple of the other tenants (inmates?) who danced and clapped for me. 

I played the piano for two hours straight, without stopping. I have never loved playing for an audience so much in my life. I love my daddy.