Wednesday, November 28, 2012

overly obedient

Today a memory randomly flew into my mind while I was teaching.
Years ago I worked at the MTC Copy Center (which tons of people heard as "Coffee Center" and ended up well confused). One day an elder brought in a project but had forgotten his cash. Normally we'd tell the missionary to bring it back once he had his money. This time I jokingly told the elder that he needed to do twenty push-ups to rectify his blunder. I turned away to do his job fast and looked back to tell him that it'd be done in a sec, but he was gone. His companion was still there, so I was really confused. Then I looked outside the copy center and the elder had dropped to do the push-ups.

Sometimes jokes get swallowed up in the missionary flare for obedience.

And I chuckled in class for no reason apparent to my students.

Monday, November 26, 2012

sit and be fit at my 70 years

As Kim pointed out in her comment on my last post, maybe I think of myself as a 70 year old.
If that's the case, then really I should probably focus on these exercises as I sit thru my long seminar classes:

Also, on the suggestion videos on the right on the youtube page, the 2nd Presidential Town Hall is listed. Hah!

prune pruner prunest

I love prunes. Like a lot.
I wonder what this says about how I perceive myself age-wise.
But whatever, prunes are delicious, especially when they're chopped up into bits.

Just a random FYI for your day.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

11 years

I realized yesterday that I landed back in the US and was released as a missionary eleven years ago. Well, it's now eleven years and a day. So eleven years ago today I was shivering no matter the thermal top, long-sleeved shirt, sweater and coat. Utah is way too cold. The 70ish degree temperature change was simply cruel.

A lot of hell went down on my mission. A lot that I'm still sifting thru and figuring out and stuff. But here's the picture from my last proselyting day in the mission that shows just how much the good can overcome the bad. The more that this year has dragged on, the more I like this picture.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I've got enough at this moment, why worry about tomorrow morning?

There's a verse of scripture that I've finally started to understand, Matthew 6:34

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

I can't tell you how absolutely confused this scripture made me for years and years and more years. Wasn't I supposed to think about the next day? Like plan for the future?

As I've been working thru the panic attacks (not stopping myself from having them, mind, but allowing myself to have them), I've come to understand the wisdom of these words. My mind would run (well runs still, let's just be honest) thru scenarios, past and present. What would I do in all of these situations? What if I freak out, have a panic attack? So I was panicking about panicking. Not useful.

As I've started to see and feel more clearly, this verse has grown more clear. If I'm worrying about the next morning, how can I focus on being healthy or simply living thru the present? Yeah, exactly. I can't.

This has been a hard thing for me, getting rid of years of this and that. I always feared when the next attack or molestation would be b/c I was stuck, I had no way out. So even planning for (trying to protect myself from) that horrible future moment, whenever it was, was useless. I mean what could I plan for anyway? Who knows, honestly.

But I can't be fussed about tomorrow or next month, I can only focus on the present and feel how I feel right now. Tomorrow and next month will take care of themselves.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Love More

Today I was chatting with my professor, the same one that jaywalked with me (as per my facebook post) and she told me a quote that she once heard.
If you don't tell the people you love that you're hurting, you deny them the opportunity to love you more.

I liked it a lot and thought I'd share as my 5th post in 5 days.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Caveat To My Last Post

I've realized something in the last two days since writing my last post. I ended the post with this:

" path to healing, a path that Heavenly Father laid out for me. What I’ve learned from this is that everything happens in its due time."

I realized that it's not just a path that Heavenly Father laid out for me. I have say in this whole thing, too. In fact, I have all the say because it's my life and he won't forcibly interfere. I've had access to Heavenly Father's words and promptings, which is a huge relief. I really feel that it's a mutual game plan, me and Heavenly Father, well, and Therapist. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Church in its own due time

Church has been this kinda weird thing for me over the last however long. A few years back it began to feel like an uncomfortable place, physically and emotionally. It wasn’t overwhelming or anything at the beginning, it was more like it was emotionally confusing. Since I’m such a huge fan of emotions anyway, I had NO IDEA what was going on. I think the confusion had been there for much longer than I was aware, probably years before.
Eventually I couldn’t get myself to go to church meetings. I would think every week, OK, this Sunday I’ll start going back. Then Sunday would hit and it’d be like an anvil dragging my heart down. This is what I’ve understood in retrospect. At the time I thought that I was just lazy and had a lagging testimony. I tried to convince friends that I was lazy. I just couldn’t figure out why church was so hard.
You’d think that once I realized last November what had happened to me, that the abuse had happened repeatedly at a stake center and in other church settings, that I would’ve realized that I wasn’t lazy and weak of testimony.
Yeah, no.
I still struggle with thinking that I have a strong testimony. A friend commented a while back on my blog, “And just in case you ever question, you have a strong, strong testimony.” It actually made me cry, because I just don’t feel it all the time like other people tell me they can see it.

So what has coming back to church been like? 
Last January I got a blessing from someone I care as much about as anyone on this planet. One small snippet that I’ll share is that I was told that I would feel safe at church. So did I immediately go right back to church? No. I couldn’t. Like, physically and emotionally I wasn’t there yet.
Doubts about myself creeped in, of course, since I’d been told this in a blessing and I knew that it was true. But then it was like my mind was opened and I realized that not everything in that blessing that I was given was intended to be an immediate fix-all. The blessing was much more of a path that Heavenly Father was laying out for me. It was like pressure just rippled off my shoulders.
It might seem weird for me to say that Heavenly Father was chill with the fact that I wasn’t going to church. But really, that’s what it was. I know now, looking back, that if I had tried to force the issue, I wouldn’t have healed. Healing from abuse isn’t something you push. Abuse is something that is pushed onto you, you feel so out of control. Pushing back isn’t healing. Healing happens the way that it needs to if you want it to happen in your life.
I know that there were people that sometimes thought, if only she would go to church, she’d heal so much more quickly. I know this b/c of not only the vibes that were sent my way, but sometimes the words that were used.
Sometimes I felt like I was healing wrong.
I’m grateful that Heavenly Father has been so open with me, that he has never given me the feeling that he’s displeased with the way that I’m doing this healing stuff. To be honest, when I was in dark places, I wanted him to be angry at me. But I never, ever felt his disappointment or condemnation.
I’m pretty sure that it’s this support that helped me continue on doing what I needed to do, including not forcing the issue about church. When the bishop called me at the beginning of September, that was when my heart was ready for that part of my healing.
It’s my healing, meaning that the path of my healing will be unique. It’s taken me a while to realize this. I think it started to sink in over the summer. I’ve had to push back a few times against others’ ideas of what to do. For so long I kinda did whatever. I’m independent and stuff, but on certain things I acquiesced where it wasn’t healthy.

Going to church can still be really hard. Today was terribly hard for some reason. I feel like the biggest victory of today was the simple fact that I was there. I had to fight for it the whole time that I was there and I have no idea what was discussed. Today’s lesson from church seems to be that I can be there. But finally I’m going because I know that it’s helping me instead of hurting me. I’m not going because other people think it’s important for me.

Frankly, I couldn’t care less if other people want me to be there, if other people think it’s important for me. Right now I need to listen to my heart and let it drown out the outside noise and let in what helps. Maybe that sounds harsh, but it’s only when I do that that I have been able to heal.

Church is now mine, it’s part of my path to healing, a path that Heavenly Father laid out for me. What I’ve learned from this is that everything happens in its due time.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


There's this website that I found last January. Someone had linked to it on my tumblr dashboard, which is mainly stuffed with baseball pictures and news blogs. I didn't return to until last weekend when I was ready and able to look at it.  The blog, Project Unbreakable, is a collection of pictures of survivors of sexual abuse and assault and of rape. The survivors hold signs with words of their attackers. It's pretty powerful. What a way to break out from under their grasp, exposing them for what they are.
It's understandably a very heavy site and should only be viewed when you're in a "safe place," as it were. It'll be more difficult for some than it will be for others. It to me to months to be ready for it.

One page shows the pictures that the blog's creator has taken in her trips to cities and campuses. Another section of the site shows submitted pictures. The lag is about three months from submission to posting because of the number of people that have sent in their pictures.

On Saturday last I looked thru the blog. By that night I knew that I wanted--needed--to submit a picture. On Sunday I wrote the words of my abuser on cardstock, took a picture and promptly submitted it. I'd gone back and forth about if and then when I'd share it here. In my last post I talked about feeling exposed. Well, it's time that I expose {dirtbag} for the terrible person that she is.

The next night I went outside and burned the words.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pain is Good; Pain Heals

I’ve had three posts running thru my head this week. It’s taken me a while to be comfortable with each one to even be able to start writing them. Chatting with a friend earlier this week, she asked whether I needed to write for me or for others. Frankly, I still don’t know. I really did start posting about what happened to me b/c I didn’t want others to be alone. But I also knew that it would help me, too.

With that unknown out in the open (and still up in the air), I’m going to give a warning about this post. I’m not going to be graphic or anything, I’m not even going to be very detailed. But I am also not going to be shy about a few things that happened to me and the fallout because I think that it’s important, important that others know that these feelings are normal and ok, even good.

From my past experience, I know that these types of things can be hard to read. So the (trigger) warning stands.

A couple of weeks back, Therapist said that I would get to a point where I was grateful for the pain and that I'd also be grateful that I felt sorrow about what happened to me, when I would be fine with it. I looked at her like she was nuts, because, seriously, that was nuts. So it floated thru my mind for a while and I didn’t know how that could all play out. Therapist has the unfortunate habit of being pretty much right about everything, so I knew that eventually I’d get there. Eventually. Because seriously, that’s nuts.

So I thought about what she said, how eventually the pain wouldn’t be the prohibitive weight on my heart, how it’d remind me that I was good and had worth.

A bunch of memories of what {dirtbag} did to me have come back into my mind over the last couple of weeks, or at least memories came back more clearly. I remembered how physically uncomfortable for me most of what {dirtbag} did was. Not a few times it was simply painful.

What I realized is that this physical pain showed to me at the time and it shows to me now that I knew something was wrong. Even in my demoralized state, I knew that something was very wrong. In an odd twist, this showed/shows me my worth, that I knew that I wasn’t for hurting, even though I didn’t know a way out at the time. And frankly due to the circumstances, there wasn’t much of a way out, anyway.

(Much stronger trigger warning for the next paragraph)

One horrible thing that {dirtbag} required was exposing a part of myself normally clothed before anything else would happen. It’s hard to describe how this worked, and perhaps it’s best that I don’t divulge details, but it was so that {dirtbag} could let me know that I was nothing, merely an object for {dirtbag} to get off on. I can’t really describe how miserably horrible this was, how much it hurt. I felt like a sex toy.

Then on Tuesday I realized that I use the word exposed and that felt exposed every time it happened. The word expose insinuates showing something that shouldn’t be. It was like knowledge settled into place for me.

I felt pain. I felt exposed. I was grateful for this knowledge. I was grateful that I felt pain when it happened because then I knew at my very deepest that everything was wrong. I knew that I was worth so very, very much more than what was being done to me.

{dirtbag} didn’t get at my core, didn’t destroy who I am. For this {dirtbag} will forever lose.

I am worth feeling the pain. I am worth feeling the sorrow. I feel pain because I am good and I am kind. What {dirtbag} did hurt me so much because I am pure and I am clean.

If I were to see {dirtbag} today, right now, I would be able to stand tall and look at {dirtbag} with all the disgust that is due. {dirtbag} is repugnant and I am strong. I can feel pain and {dirtbag} didn’t take that from me.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Paring down the FB

In the last couple of weeks I've gotten rid of over 100 FB friends, tons from HS. It's not that I don't like my classmates, I just quit caring anymore, I think. After 15 years of not being a student at Spanish Fork HS, and probably almost as many years of not seeing some of them, meh. I realized that in both the short run and long run, mostly (most of the) FB "friendships" don't really matter. I like FB, but I like the idea of paring down its scope in my life.

I've been all about trimming things down lately, getting rid of things I don't need. It's about being unencumbered by stuff that I've surrounded myself with.
I guess I'm just searching now for a simpler essence. Maybe the path of least resistance, too?
Whatever the root of this all is, I'm enjoying feeling lighter.