child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

talking to my kids about Sandy Hook

Being a parent is hard.  Here's the link to how we talked to our kids about the recent shooting

Monday, December 17, 2012

What I learned from helping my son

My baby has been struggling.  For several months he has randomly started crying and telling me he is sad. Recently it is becoming more and more frequent.  He never knows why he is sad or what is causing him to go from laughing to crying in a matter of minutes.  As the girl who did deal with childhood depression, I worry.  The other day he climbed in my lap, stroked my hair and said, "Mamma, I'm just sad."

I have no answers or cures for him.  But I happen to be struggling with the same thing currently so I hugged him tightly and told him that I get sad for no reason sometimes too.  I grabbed my Bible that I had been reading before he came in and read Philippians 4:4-8 to him.

Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!
We can choose to have joy.
Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.
God is near us, Baby.
Do not be anxious about anything, 
That means we aren't supposed to worry.
but in everything, by prayer and petition, 
with thanksgiving, present your request to God.
And the peace of God which transcends all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
That means that God gives us peace in our hearts that is bigger than our brains can understand.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely
 whatever is admirable
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
think on these things.
Baby, that means that God wants us to spend our time thinking about the things 
in our lives that we are thankful for, for the blessings He gives us, and every good thing.

Tell me something you are thankful for, something that makes you smile.  "I don't know, Mamma.  I can't think of anything."  Well, I can tell you something  that makes me smile.  You make me smile.  I'm thankful for you.  Now it is your turn.
Coffee in my Christmas mug.
My monkeys.
That our heater works.
Playing with my friends at recess.
Hugs and kisses.

The conversation continued for several minutes.  And then his sweet voice says, "Mamma, I still feel sad."  I know, Baby.  We will still get sad sometimes.  What we need to do is hold on to those things we are thankful for, those things that make us smile, until  the sadness passes.  And at some point the sadness will pass.  Hold on to those good things until the sadness passes. 

I don't know how long it will be until my sadness passes, but I will continue to greet the day with intentional thankfulness until the sadness passes.  I will continue to hold on to the things that are true, noble, worthy of praise and trust that God is indeed near and that He will indeed guard my heart and mind with His peace. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

a broken heart that must keep going

There is a difference between corporate grief and personal grief.  Though I am burdened and grieved one thing is different right now.  Though suicidal thoughts are swirling in my brain, and have been for a while now, in the midst of corporate grief and huge tragedy, I don't want my family to hurt the way that the families of these precious slaughtered children hurt.  My baby has been regularly breaking into tears telling me he is sad but doesn't know why.  I don't want to give him a reason to be sad.  My sweet, sweet family.  They need me, though I don't exactly always understand why. 

I'm emotionally exhausted.  News of another shooting didn't help that exhaustion.  My sweet boys.  I went into my youngest son's class at school yesterday, even though he was home sick.  I hugged his little friends and his teacher.  I thanked God that they were all safe.  I cried.  I won't watch the news.  I have taken a break from Facebook.  My heart was already full and about to burst.  Now I want nothing more than to hide under my blankets and never ever come out.

For the record, I've had more wine than usual tonight.  It was completely intentional.  I'm feeling tipsy.  I don't even care that I am.  I'm hoping the wine will kill the dreams of terror that have been haunting me.  I'm hoping the wine will mean I can sleep through the night tonight.  I'm hoping for a few short hours that the wine will erase the hurt I feel.  I'm heading to bed now.  Sorry if I've been spastic, I don't usually write when I'm feeling unsure of my brain.  I just tonight needed a safe place to say my broken heart is really heavy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

to share or not to share, that is the question

Today someone I work with said this,
"I understand you have a blog also, I'd love to read it."

And now I wonder, do I share or do I keep my little area of the world private?  I don't talk about my blog or even that I do blog.  Do I let her join me on my journey, on this journey that is often ugly?  Or do I let her see the cleaned up version? 

Why did I just think of starting yet another blog simply with the for everyone's eyes posts?  I could give her my other link but then if she looks at my profile she will see that I am here also. 

Oh anxiety, how I loathe thee.  Anxiety of how much of my heart is ok to share.  Anxiety that I want to share my thoughts just not sure if I want to share my journey.  How far do I let people in? 

Monday, November 26, 2012

God in the ordinary

Yesterday at church, Pastor passed the microphone around for anyone to say what they are thankful for.  Person after person stood up and told tales of how God had moved mightily.  I never talk when they pass the microphone, but yesterday the tug at my soul was far too great.  I still wasn't going to speak but the microphone got handed right next to my head and I suddenly was reaching for it.

"I have nothing profound to say." I heard the strange echo of my own voice being broadcast to each person in the sanctuary.  "I am just thankful that I am at church with my whole family.  We've been battling the crud and missed the last five weeks of church while we each passed sickness to the next. I'm thankful today that my family is healthy enough, finally, that we could come to church today!"

I sat with the sick feeling in my stomach that comes when I talk in front of large groups.  But I didn't regret standing.  On the way home, I told Hubby I don't usually talk when they give the opportunity.  He said he was glad that I did this time.  And as I talked to him I knew exactly why I felt so drawn to share.

I was thankful for something small.  I was thankful for the fact that God showed up in an ordinary way in my life.  In comparison to the stories of miracles upon miracles, it was not worth celebrating.  But see that is the reason that I needed to celebrate.  Is it possible that we often miss God because we are looking for the wonderous not the ordinary?  Do we too often look over the ways that God says "I love you, Child" because we haven't seen glory surrounding it? 

I'm thankful for stories of brain surgeries that were successful against the odds.  I'm thankful for stories of job transfers that brought the person to a place where the owner had been praying for a godly man to fill the position and God directed both parties to each other.  I'm thankful for the prodigals who renewed relationships with their families and for the family finally able to adopt their special needs child after a long and hard road.  Those are amazing stories and well worth celebrating. 

But so are the little stories.  The stories that say my family is finally over thier colds, that someone who feels overwhelmed was able to wake up with a smile for the first time in weeks, that the rolls you made on Thanksgiving turned out well, that your favorite song came on the radio.  You get it.  There are a million ways God says He loves us and if we only wait to hear the big ones, we will miss out on so much of God.

Oddly enough, I was just sitting at my desk reading a book my dear friend gave me.  And I read these words,
"Isn't it here? The wonder?  Why do I spend so much of my living hours struggling to see it?  Do we truly stumble so blind that we must be afronted with blinding magnificence for our blurry soul-sight to recognize grandeur?  The very same surging magificence that cascades over our every day here.  Who has time or eyes to notice?"
That paragraph came from One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  If you haven't read it, you should.  It is a beautiful book.  I just loved that the day after I told Hubby that we miss God in the day to day because we look for Him only in the extrodinary would be the day that I read in such poetic form the exact sentiment.
What are you thankful for today?  In the midst of pain there is still something beautiful.  In the midst of suffering God still says I love you.  How will you hear it today?  A song that soothes the soul, an email from an old friend, the falling of snowflakes on a quiet day, a cup of coffee in a favorite mug or shared with a friend.  Whatever it is, know that God is saying He loves us today, and we need only to hear it in our own languages. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

much better

I took my anxiety meds yesterday at work.  They helped.  I was able to breathe and make it through the rest of the staff meeting.  Unfortunately it made me pretty spacey for the rest of the day which is abnormal. 

Anyhoo, just wanted to tell you that I'm ok, that I survived yesterday and that today looks much brighter. 

I love you all and wish you a beautiful Thanksgiving filled with love, courage and not one single orange thought!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

group meals

take a deep breath, wipe the tears from my eyes, put on a big huge smile and then go back to staff meeting and pretend that i'm not dying inside. 

sigh..... i HATE group meals.  wonder if i'm being missed yet.  need to head back before they come to find me........

pray for grace and strength

Sunday, November 18, 2012

attack of the voices

not feeling well.  two of three kids are sick, like fevers and wicked cough kind of sick. struggling today.  my voices informed me that Hubby is a better mom than I have ever been.  he cleans and keeps up with the housework that I have never ever been able to.  there is no searching through piles of laundry to find school clothes anymore.  the longest the dishes have been behind was one day and that was due to sickness.  somehow he can do everything that I couldn't when I was the one home all day.  that was the last and most devastating of a string of attacking thoughts.  and now I'm going to go cry to bed and hope tomorrow sounds less painful in my head.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

bread, sex and other random thoughts

Random weekend thoughts......

I must bake bread.  My current emotional survival depends on rising dough, punching it down, kneading it and the smell of fresh baked bread filling my house!  I have flour and yeast.  I need the comfort that bread making brings.  Not really sure why, but I do.  Life has been going great and I have also felt the tug of depression.  I can't even begin to figure it out.  I'm on top of the world with tears hiding behind my eyes.  I wonder once it is made if I will eat the bread or gift it away like I usually do.  Maybe both? 

I had a moment of progress.  I was goofing around and made a sucked in face pose (how does one actually describe the face you make?????) and when I did my collar bone stuck out big time.  I instantly longed for that body again and just as quickly as I longed for it I thought how much fun sex is with a healthy body.  I actually ENJOY when my husband touches me now.  I actually desire and look forward to his touch again.  I can reach the peak of fulfillment again which I couldn't when I was sick. 

When I was sick, I dreaded his amorous attentions.  It hurt my bones to have his hands touching my body.  It didn't feel good at all.  It was a chore and made me understand why some refer to it as a wifely duty.  So while I was wanting that body again, I didn't want the pain again.  I really like sex and I really want to keep liking sex and I can't do that with an unhealthy body. 

Does that realization mean that I don't ever struggle?  No, unfortunately it doesn't take away the argument in my brain or the voices that demand that I be punished.  But it does put one more thing in the pro-healthy body category to help fight those voices. 

Happy weekend friends and here is a beautiful thought to end on....

Photo: Make your life a beautiful mosaic

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

politically incorrect

I'm going to say something that not everyone will like.  I wanted to say this on Facebook the other day but then realized that it would create a firestorm and I didn't want to deal with a firestorm.  So I'm going to say it here because this is MY space and I can say how I truly feel.  It isn't ed related.  And though some may take this as a political statement, it isn't.

I've been intentional sharing good things, things I'm thankful for, bright spots on Facebook.  On my dad's birthday I wanted to say this:  I'm grateful that 70 years ago abortion was illegal.  Because of that fact my dad is here and I'm grateful for him.

Realizing that it sounded really political and especially in an election year when nearly everyone on Facebook is up in a tizzy about their candidate, or better said attacking the opposing candidate and their supporters, I knew that Facebook was not the forum to share that thought.  It isn't political.  It is my reality.  I would not be here if abortion had been legal then.  My grandmother told my father when abortion was legalized that if it had been legal when she was pregnant with him she absolutely would have aborted.  She didn't  want to have a baby.  Her marriage was rocky, she had another child from a prior marriage already.  This was in the 40's when remarriage was not a popular thought and babies from different fathers was a sign of disgrace.

For me, the statement is simply that I am grateful and yet always amazed at how many people are affected by our lives.  I'm amazed that butterfly wings can set waves in motion.  I'm amazed that no matter how insignificant we may feel, our lives really do touch so many others.  And I'm grateful that my life exists because my grandmother didn't have the choice over her son's life.  I'm grateful for the thousands of people his life has touched.  And I'm grateful that I get to call him Daddy.

*** I know this won't be a popular post.  You don't have to agree with me, I know MANY don't.  Just no attackin please!***

Monday, November 12, 2012

balancing the f-bomb

FAT.  Yep, I said it, the f word. It has been a long time since I have really exercised.  I have long felt that my body deserves to be punished and usually when I exercise it is with the intention of punishing myself for something.  I listened to my doctor and to my husband and even to my body and reserved the exercise.  Unfortunately I haven't felt stable enough to trust myself to exercise alone so my exercise has been limited to using the eliptical occasionally while watching football with Hubby. 

I think I'm starting to come into a place where I want to work with my body.  I am starting to see a difference in my motivation to exercise, to be healthy not to punish myself.  This is a good thing and a nice shift.  I'm also a little afraid of the exercise program that Hubby and I are about to begin because though I genuinely desire health this time around, I'm also genuinely very discontent with my body.

Here are the steps I'm putting in place to help guard myself.  I am NOT weighing, measuring or taking before and after photos.  I'm only exercising with Hubby, no sneaking it in after he goes to bed.  That way I can stay accountable to him and he won't have to forbid me from exercise again because I was burning far more than I was consuming. 

I feel fat.  But more importantly, right now I don't feel healthy.  I feel like I have gone the other extreme of hurting myself by not fully taking care of myself.  Instead of hurting my body, I'm just ignoring it.  That's not healthy either.  There has to be a healthy balance, a balance that neither abuses my body nor neglects it.  And someday, I'm going to find that balance. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

live free or die trying

My day started yesterday with scripture going through my head.  Thank God that it did because I needed that to carry me through the rest of the day. (I'm just writing right now, not looking up the reference because I'm on a limited amount of time.)

"It is for freedom that Christ has set you free."

Hmmmmm, freedom.  What does it really mean to live free?  I pondered the question through the morning.  I looked up the definition of free in my lovely Webster's Dictionary on my desk. 
free: adj  1.not imprisioned or constrained 2. not under necessity or obligation .....
4a.not affected by a specified circumstance or condition......7a. not being occupied or used
freeing set at liberty 2. to release or rid 3. to untangle or clear
Free.  I'm not feeling very free right now.  How do I live in the freedom that Christ has given me?  How do I live not imprisioned to eating disorders?  What exactly does that look like?
Ok, now fast forward to later in the day.  I'm surrounded by people who have decided that mexican is the fare for the day.  Already struggling, this was a bit of a freaky choice for me but I was bound and determined to get over myself and enjoy the time together.  But then they talked about weight, hunger cues, body image, NUMBERS, and everyone had an opinion about eating disorders that they felt the need to share.  It isn't what you think it is.  It isn't about what you think it is about. 
Is it about weight and size?  Yes, but not in a vain sort of way, because it isn't actually about weight and size at all.  I don't care what the measurements say, what society says, what friends say, I am convinced that my hips are huge.  What I see when I look in the mirror, though not truth, is still what I see! It isn't really about society saying skinny is good, but it is about the fact that I feel like the less physical space I take up then the less people will see me.  I sometimes really do long to be invisible and let no one see the hurts inside of me.
I texted Hubby, I told him that I wanted to run and hide.  I told him that I wanted to curl up under the covers.  I told him that I just wanted to get drunk.  Yes, go ahead and hold that shocked face and wag your finger at me.  Good Christian girls sometimes just want to get drunk to escape their reality too!  I wanted to escape but there was no where to escape to. 
Did they know that the voices in my head were already loud?  Did they know that the conversation made the voices turn to screaming and demeaning?  The orange inside of my head hates that I still ate with them.  The orange inside of my head is telling me that I'm not worth taking care of.  The orange inside of my head is angry, really really angry.  And she is letting me know it.
And somehow in the midst of it all, I still find a little part of me that really wants freedom.  There is a little part that wants to not live affected by a specified condition.  There is a part of me that wants to live not under necessity or obligation.  That voice needs to start talking louder than the voice of slavery and quickly.  That seed of longing needs to produee something bigger than the seed of hatred that demands that I am not good enough and that I need to be punished.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

yeah, I'm crazy

Would you think I was crazy if I told you there is a area at my work that scares me?  No, not the lunchroom, though that scares me for totally unrelated reasons that I have already covered here!  There is a place that I walk by and it brings back memories of attack. 

When I walk by it the anxiety feels visible.  If I'm playing it as well as I hope I am, no one can see the anxiety that I feel drips off of me like wax off a candle.  But I feel it.  I feel trapped when I'm near that area.  I feel scared when I'm near that area.  I feel not in control when I'm near that area.  I want to run, hard and fast.

Remember when I said something was on the edge of my consciousness that would have to be dealt with?  It started with a friend tagging her friend in a Facebook post.  There was his name right in front of my face.  The name I haven't heard in many years.  It wasn't him, someone by the same name with a slightly different spelling.  But it was enough. 

A few days later I walked past this area at work and my palms got sweaty, my heart started racing and the tears threatened behind my eyes.  Suddenly I was there again, being held down, clothes being ripped, my body being groped.  My mind tried to tell my body that I wasn't really back there but it was too late, my body was already reacting.

 Logic wasn't enough to convince my heart rate to come back to normal.  Knowing he wasn't there, that I wasn't in danger, that I wasn't about to be hurt wasn't enough.  And in my head right now I hear the article I read recently written by a counselor about PTSD, about how the body reacts no matter what the logic says. 

I just walked by the "scary spot" when I was getting my lunch.  I wanted to sprint again.  I wanted to hide.  I wanted to get away.  So I sit here eating my lunch and blogging so that my heart rate will return to normal, my voice won't shake and my palms won't sweat so that I can get back to doing my job in a few minutes. 

Silly really, that I react to something so simple.  How I wish I were normal enough to not freak out at work over things that in reality don't still have the power to hurt me. 

troubled heart

Yesterday was an uneasy kind of day.  You know, the kind of day where your soul feels like something is wrong in the world even though you don't know exactly WHAT is wrong in the world at that moment. 

My son fell while visiting the zoo with his friend.  It was a nasty cut, really deep.  The zoo staff wanted to call the paramedics but my friend was wise enough to know it was a big owie but not a hospital owie.  His knee bled for over 2 hours.  My kids have had some big ouches, like when my oldest cracked open his head and had to have it glued shut.  I'm a boy mamma, I can handle blood and bumps and grossness.  This one, however, threatened to turn my stomach in its grossness. 

Last night we heard yelling on our street.  I tried to ignore it but when the sound of the fighting escalated and I heard someone yell, "You're dead"  I decided to call police dispatch for my own peace of mind.  We weren't the first call they had had and the cops were on my street before I even got off the phone with the dispatcher.  Soon the voices died down but the police had called for EMS since the men were fighting so there was fire engines and ambulances, lights blaring, across the street.  I decided that was a good time to call my mom-in-law to let her know that the ambulance, though in front of our elderly neighbor's house, was not there because of our elderly neighbor.  I didn't want her to worry that he or his wife were ill, especially since he just recently had surgery.

I was grateful for the police.  Like I said, I was already uneasy before the fight broke out.  When the street was quiet again, Hubby flipping channels stopped on the news for a few minutes.  Good news, there are new leads in the case of the missing, killed and mutilated little girl.  Bad news that psycho is still out there.  Two more reported attempted abductions this week, both closer to my home.  I want to let my children live and I also want to smother them with severe over protection right now.  I don't want them to leave my house AT ALL.   I find myself hesitant to let my oldest sleepover at his friends house.  Silly reasoning, actually.  See he stayed over there the night the theater was shot up.  And he stayed over there the night the news broke that the body had been found.  I find myself almost superstitious, feeling that if he doesn't stay over there that bad things won't happen.

Of course I know that bad things happen and that my son's sleeping patterns have nothing to do with those bad things.  I also find myself hesitant.  At parent teacher conferences, they handed out flyers about student safety.  All stuff both my kids and I know, still gut wrenching that we have to reiterate it.

I went to bed off, still uneasy.  My mind raced a mile a minute while I laid next to my sleeping husband.  And I fell asleep thinking of the many times the Bible says to not let your heart be troubled.  I fell asleep hearing the words, "Let not your heart be troubled" on a replay track in my head.  Those words were my lullaby last night. 

God, help keep my troubled heart at peace.  Bring peace and comfort to my heart.  Help me to rest in the knowledge that you are in control.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

mind-maker-upper wanted

My house is quiet.  Hubby isn't feeling well and dozed off a couple of hours ago.  My kids are finally all in bed for the night.  And now I'm torn on what to do with myself.  Two of my very dear girlfriends are hanging out all night watching Twilight movies and just chilling.  They called and asked me to join.  I could.  Hubby even said I could stay the night and hang out if I would so like.

I would like to.  But I also have a quiet house and I kinda want to curl up in my sweatpants and grab a good book.  I've been a pretty lousy friend lately.  I haven't reached out much.  I want to go hang out and it would be good for my friendships for me to hang out.  I also don't want to leave the house.  I don't want to make the 20 minute drive in the dark.  I don't think I really want to stay the night over there which means I need to take the drive home into consideration as well. 

Am I making excuses?  I know I'll have fun if I get off my bum and go.  I'm also freakin exhausted and don't want to work up the energy to get off my bum.  And now is the time that I wish I had a commitment one way or the other.  I suck at making decisions, even more so when both options sound wonderful.  If my family needed me to be here it would be a no brainer.  If I had already planned this and my friends were 100% expecting me, it would be a no brainer.  But neither NEEDS me and I want both.  I need a mind-maker-upper.  Anyone know where they sell such a thing? 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

me too people

The people I connect with the most are part of the "me too club".  I think that is who most people connect with on a deeper level.  I read blogs of people who say what they are feeling and are honest about it.  I get bored and stop reading when it is simply to instruct me in all the ways I fall short.  I connect with so many of you because you say, I had a great day as well as saying wow, today really sucked the life out of me.  I connect with you because you read my stuff and you say, "Hey, me too.  I know what that is like."

I want to be a me too person.  I don't want to be someone who has it all figured out.  I want to experience it with others.  My pain, their pain, my joy, their joy, to walk side by side and experience life together.  And yet at the same time, I'm a little afraid to say what's on my heart because I feel certain that no one will say to me, "yeah, me too".

I can lay it out here on my blog.  I can say, hey world this is who I am.  I've made some very dear friends through my blog.  I just have a hard time taking that into real life.  I love to hear others stories.  I love to know what makes them tick.  I love to see their lives in action, especially in the nitty gritty.  But then when it comes to me, I don't want to show them the nitty gritty.  I am afraid that in the real world that I won't find the kind of me too people that I have found here on my blog.

I love to hear the stories behind others tattoos.  And yet I find myself at work being cautious about asking the significance because then I open myself up to someone asking the significance of my tattoo.  I want to know why one woman at work picks her food apart and doesn't eat as much as the anyone else.  But then I have to admit that I have noticed it and open myself up for her questions.  Most people wouldn't notice that she does it.  It is very subtle.  But I notice, and if I notice that, why when no one else does? 

I heard Lisa Terkheurst speak yesterday and she said something that I know and yet struggle with.  God gave us emotions so that we can experience life not so we can run from it.  I feel like I experience it here, where it is safe, where few actually know me.  But I'm still afraid to experience life and emotions out there in the real world.  I really do like the safety of my blog.  What happens if I take the safety here and become a me too person out there?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

being intentional and finding grace

With Hubby currently not working, it seems that in the morning when he takes the kids to school is the best time to blog.  I'm trying to be intentional.  Mostly, I am trying to show up for myself and to get over whatever this "hump" is.

Hubby mentioned to me a few nights ago that this month I've had food issues.  Then he corrected it to say that issues makes it sound like it is a problem again and he doesn't feel like it has gone so far as to say I'm in trouble.  We agreed to say that issues can mean struggles not problems.  He's right.  He is far too observant.  I have not been over the top.  I have not been intentionally indulging in my eating disorder. 

But I also haven't offered much grace to myself.  I didn't eat one of the cookies brought in yesterday for "Bosses Day" week (yes, we celebrate it all week long at my work.  I love my bosses so I don't mind celebrating them every day at 2pm, I just mind having a cookie.).  I haven't been taking seconds on dinner, even if I'm still hungry. 

Last week one of my bosses read a verse at staff prayer.  It has ministered to me over and over this entire week.  This is what I am trying to dwell on for today;

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. 
 He will take great delight in you,
 He will quiet you with His love,
 He will rejoice over you with singing." 
 Zephaniah 3:17

This is what I am meditating on.  I am resting in the knowledge that God takes great delight in me.  I am bringing my turmoil-filled heart to Him that he may quiet me with His love.  I am trying to feel rejoiced over.  And when the feelings don't come, I remember that I believe in spite of what I feel.

Monday, October 15, 2012

7 almonds a.k.a. screw the new health class

I swear that if I hear one more person tell me that you can only eat 7 almonds for your liver to function properly, that I will scream!  If I hear one more conversation in the lunch room about sugar grams, fat grams, appropriate forms of protien, I may pull out all of my hair! But hey, at least I could make bald a new fashion statement, right? 

I think that for the next 6 weeks of this stupid health class I will be enjoying lunch anywhere but the lunchroom!  Sitting at my desk with my oatmeal and facebook suddenly seems like the best option EVER.  I want to scream at the top of my lungs.  I want to tell people that sometimes there is such a thing as "too healthy".  I want them to know that sometimes people like me take knowledge of health and distort it and use it as a weapon against my body instead of a tool to help my body.

I still read labels.  I still refuse certain ingrediants.  And I also am trying really hard to balance that with moderation.  You know, the kind of moderation that says it is ok if someone brings in cookies to work to have one in spite of the fact that there is no label for me to read.  The kind of moderation that that knows that homemade veggie lasagna is still a healthy option, even though it has noodles in it.  The kind of moderation that has lacked in my life for a while now.

For the record, work is very orange enabling right now.  I could count my almonds like they recommend, or I could trust that my nutritionist knows what she is talking about when she tells me that 1/4 cup is a serving and to not measure or count but instead trust my intuition.  My health depends on trusting my nutritionist right now and not letting other voices interfere with the plan that she has laid out for me.  That is so much easier to say than to do.

walking throught the muck with my kids

Friday the news broke that the body they found was indeed the body of the missing little girl.  Friday my son spent the night at a friends house.  Friday the friend's mom told my son that the girl had been found.  Friday she told him that the body had been dismembered.  Saturday I had to pick up the pieces of a very broken little boy.

Wouldn't you think that maybe it isn't ok to tell other people's kids big news like that?  Or maybe send me a text if he was asking questions to ask if I minded if she talked to him about it?  Or at minimum, TELL ME that she talked to him so that I know what he knows so I have a starting point when he breaks down in my arms? 

We believe that our kids should hear from us whenever possible the things they need to know.  We tell our kids hard things because we want to be able to help them process their emotions in a safe place.  We would have talked about this with him.   We talked to our kids about the theater shooting.  We talked about the little girl being missing and the reasons we have certain outside rules in place.  We talk about sex and answer uncomfortable questions.  We answer all of their questions when we are asked, even if the answer, like this time, is "I don't know.  I don't understand either." 

Maybe that is why it made me angry that someone else handled it.  I know it will get talked about at school.  My son is in the same age range as the little girl was.  He and his friends have been talking about it.  I just wanted him to hear the big part from me and dad.  I wanted him to be in a safe place that he could completely loose his temper and punch his pillow and scream and cry and do all of the things that he did when he got home to the safety of his room.  I wanted to be there to hold him when he asked through his sobs why someone would do that.

This morning  I asked his little brother what they talk about at school.  He told me at lunch that they talk about the bad guy who broke into the theater.  He told me they talk about the missing girl.  I told him the missing girl was found, that someone had hurt her, that someone had killed her.  He asked me why that person would steal her if they were just going to kill her.  I told him I don't know.  He doesn't have the same details that his big brother has.  He doesn't need the same details that his big brother has.  But he knows that he can ask us questions if he has them.  He knows home is a safe place to feel what you need to feel.  But it isn't affecting him in the same way as it is affecting his brother.

This parenting stuff is hard.  Helping my kids to feel the emotions that they need to feel and to walk alongside of them as they process is important.  It is also hard.  I understand why some parents choose to not talk to their kids about issues.  It is painful.  It hurts to see pieces of your child's innocence taken away.  It is a very helpless kind of feeling to have your son break down into gut wrenching sobs in your arms and know that you can't make it better.  It is very humbling to have no words of comfort and to only be able to pray that the Lord will bring us His comfort.

Monday, October 8, 2012

sleepless nights

I didn't sleep well last night, I was really restless.  Maybe it was because I didn't want to fall asleep because the night before I didn't sleep well either.  The night before, I had a nightmare.

In this nightmare, I was in a house that apparently I was familiar with and I heard someone yelling.  After a minute or so of hearing it, I realized that I didn't know where my youngest son was.  I started looking around the house and realized finally that the yelling was someone yelling AT him.  The yelling escalated to screaming at him.  I was trying to get to him but suddenly there were boxes and piles of papers and clothes blocking the hallway and I couldn't get to him.  The screaming escalated to hitting.  The person was beating my son while he whimpered and cried and I couldn't get to him.  I needed to protect my child and I couldn't get through the hallway to the room because more and more things were blocking my path.  Finally I screamed, "NOOOOO!" and lunged but the stuff still held me back.

There is no worse feeling in the world than feeling like your kids need you and you can't help them.  There is no worse feeling in the world than the one I had in my dream of listening to my son being hurt and not being able to stop it.  Thankfully, Hubby was awake for some unknown reason.  Apparently I whimpered and he woke me up.  My son was safe.  It was a dream.  No one was hurting my family.

Now I will tell you the real reason it bothered me so much.  The person hurting my son was someone who loves him.  It was someone who he loves.  It was someone who should never hurt him (and who in real life would NOT beat him).  It was my mother who was attacking my son.

I know all of the psychological reasons that I had the dream.  I was hurt and angry with my mom over something else that had happened in the day which is why she was the aggressor in my dream.  And I feared for a few minutes for my sons safety at a pool party when he went into the restroom with another little boy who has before made a point of repeatedly showing his "man junk" to my son.  The combination of wanting to protect my son and being hurt with my mother created this dream.  I know that.  It doesn't make it any less disturbing though.

My head hurts this morning.  Probably from lack of sleep this weekend.  I should be getting ready for work, instead I sit drinking coffee and typing.  I wish to insulate my heart from the world, but mostly from my mom.  I've been trying not to cry since yesterday morning.  My heart is very troubled today.  Pray for me today, friends.  Pray for God to wrap His arms around me today and for Him to bring healing balm to my wounded heart.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

as not instead

This is the comment I made on a friend's Facebook status:

The 2 greatest commandments are about love, love God, love others. That's pretty much what Christianity boils down to, love. We love them, God is the one who changes hearts.

Thinking of that verse, you know "Love your neighbor as yourself" I thought of something I once read or heard somewhere.  The source fails me but the message remains, it says to love my neighbor AS myself not love my neighbor INSTEAD of myself.

I am not certain I fully understand that concept so I'm going to continue to mull on it.  Just some thoughts to ponder.  There are many more but I'm on my lunch break at work and don't have time to write the other thoughts I am pondering. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

memories on the verge of darkness

It's there.  It's on the verge of my consciousness.  It wants to be dealt with.  I have no idea what aspect of it still lingers to be dealt with so I keep stuffing it.  I don't want to deal with it.  I don't want to feel it.  I don't want to think that those little things that have been randomly triggering it could be the Lord's gentle leading to let Him heal that part of my life.

It is so much easier to just keep it compartmentalized.  Well, not really in the long run, but for the part of me that knows the huge sopping puddle I become when these things surface, it is easier.  It is easier to set it to the side than engage in the feelings that have been threatening to surface.

So there you have it friends.  I know that when small things start triggering, and when my dreams contain multiple re-tellings of things I want to forget, that at some point I will either choose to face the feelings or I will run and hide until the feelings overcome me.  It will happen.  I've never actually chosen to face the feelings.  I usually let them hunt me out and destroy me for whatever their time frame for healing is.

So maybe this time will be different.  Maybe because I see it on the horizon, I will not need to hurt to the extent that I have in the past to heal.  I say that with a laugh.  The pain isn't in if I allow my feelings now, it is in allowing feelings I haven't ever allowed myself to fully feel.  I don't look forward to healing.  I don't look forward to rebreaking a bone to allow it to heal properly.  I don't look forward to the pain on the horizon.

Right now, I'm still running from it, hoping that this time I can outrun it.  Right now I will continue to stuff it all down and go about my day to day.  I still have to go to work.  I am still a wife and mother.  Those things don't get to be put on hold when I feel, though God knows I wish they could.  And when the day that I know is coming does indeed come, could you still love me and hold me up and encourage me that the pain won't last forever?  Would you remind me that God will carry me through the darkness, that He won't leave me, and that this will bring about healing? 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Even If....

My new favorite song Even If by Kutless......

Last week was hard.  Really, REALLY hard.  I've decided that suicidal thoughts come in many forms.  I've had days of actively wanting to kill myself.  Last week I didn't want to actually kill myself but I just wanted to die.  My friend had a time similar this week.  She didn't want to kill herself but wished that someone else would kill her.  And it is all suicidal ideations whether it is wanting to kill myself, wanting to die or wanting someone else to take your life.  And it is scary. 

It is scary to fantasize about dying.  Even when I am in a good place I still wonder what it would be like to die.  Even when I am loving my life and not overwhelmed with depression, I still wonder what would happen if I took the entire bottle of pills.  I still think about it, maybe not all the time, but regularly. 

Last week I heard this song for the first time.  It is truly what I believe.  This song has moved my heart.  If my healing never comes, if I struggle with depression, suicidal ideation, and eating disorders for the rest of my life, it won't change WHO  God is.  He is still good, even if my healing never comes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

sometimes ignorance IS bliss

Thank you my dear friend for helping me fight today by feeding my family.  We are all grateful, me beyond words. 

Words fail me in trying to describe the battle inside of me.  I want to explain but it doesn't make sense.  Maybe it is better to stop trying to explain.  My thoughts are scary, vocalized they become terrifying. 

encouragement to live to fight another day

This morning I woke with the same sluggish, less than hopeful, depressed view that I went to bed with.  While taking my boys to school this morning though, the Lord brought to mind a verse.

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it, but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Today I know I have a battle raging inside of me and today I will press on.  I will fight and I will lean on the strength of the Lord to carry me through.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

HR confessions and more

I've had so many thoughts attacking my brain that I haven't even known where to start or the words to say to debrief.  Sunday was a beautiful day of worship at church.  For a while I was able to bask in the presence of the Almighty.  I was able to worship without reservation.  For a few moments and for a few hours later, I felt at peace.  I felt that my life really mattered.  I knew that my sole purpose in life is to bring glory and honor to the Lord, to reflect Him and the work He is doing in my life.  For a few moments, the size of my body didn't matter and didn't even cross my mind.

Today was a rough day.  Nothing specific, just felt like going through the motions was like waking through mud today.  I am so grateful for those moments in time, like Sunday, when I feel the Lord's presence so profoundly.  Those moments carry me through the rest of the days when I struggle desperately.  Today I didn't feel God, not even once but times like Sunday remind me that He is there even though I don't feel His presence.

Is it completely wrong for the girl who loves God, who believes He is good even when life isn't, who works for a Christian ministry, to say things like I didn't feel God today?  Does that mean, as was so often told to me growing up, that I don't really trust Him because I don't always feel Him?  Does it make my faith less if I share my doubts and fears?  I don't know the answer.  I do know though that on days like today, I have to hold on to what I know to be true not what I feel to be true.

Today brought the opportunity to talk to the HR person at my work.  I really like her and I trust her.  I went into her office and told her about my concerns with the health class that our work is sponsoring being either triggering or enabling to me.  She is the only person at my work who I have told that I struggle to eat, that I have major depressive disorder, and that some days going though the motions is overwhelming.

I told her I don't want to make this public knowledge at the moment.  I don't want my plate analyzed by every person in the office.  I don't want the calorie police hovering over me and worrying even when I'm doing ok.  (I told Hubby that calories are the little bastards that hide in your closet and sew your clothes smaller while you sleep.  He laughed.  And that is completely off subject and random. :)  )

On a food note, I'm both struggling and doing well.  I'm maintaining but at the moment the thoughts are pretty aggressive.  Like for instance, I had my physical recently.  My weight was satisfactory.  My ideal however, I realized in reading through my journal, is 5 lbs lighter than what my ideal was this time last year.  I feel the viciousness of the cycle that insists that no matter how much you lose, it isn't good enough for Orange.

My doctor allowed me to opt out of the metabolism screening which is good, that is always very triggering to me.  So I didn't have the extent of numbers to contend with that I usually have but I still had the scale numbers to contend with.  I still had questions from the new nurse wondering if I'm eating enough calories.  I told her yes.  And then I told her that I'm not counting them so I suppose I'm getting enough.  When I'm counting them I know I'm not getting enough.

For the TMI part but it does show how distorted Orange can be.... Before my physical I had a severe kidney infection.  The medicine I had to take for it backed up my bowels a LOT.  The doctor recommended some different products to help cleanse my colon without being laxatives.  It took several days to get back to being able to go.  Then for a day it turned into diarrhea and I stopped taking the supplements.  Today I contemplated starting them again.  The conversation in my head went something like this:
You should finish the full 14 days
No, I don't want to deal with cramping stomach and emergency trips to the bathroom
Yes, but think of the weight you are losing in cleansing
But the goal of cleansing is to be healthy and get my system jump started a little to get back in the swing of things, it isn't supposed to be about the weight
Keep taking it.  A little diarrhea shouldn't be enough to stop you.  You can still be in control but really, isn't the diarrhea worth it for what it will do to flatten out your stomach?

And just that quickly the battle is raging again.  In my actions I am still pursuing recovery.  I am still striving to beat the voice in my head.  Sadly though, that voice isn't little and it torments me day and night right now.  I covet your prayers right now as the voices are really loud.  Please pray for strength for the battle and peace for my heart. 

There is still so much more  but I've already made this really long and also it is getting very late and I need to attempt to sleep.  I need rest so I can be productive at work tomorrow.

Friday, August 31, 2012

What if?

Lots going on in my head today.  Lots of what if's.  Like what if tomorrow the second screening my doctor ordered confirms what he suspects to be early glaucoma?  What if Hubby can't find a job and is unemployed?  What if we get sick during the interim time before new insurance?  What if the program my work is sponsoring soon has the affect that it did last time and becomes triggering?  What if I have nightmares again tonight?  What if? 

I can't control the things that might happen.  I need to stop worrying about the things that might happen.  Tonight it is hard though.  Today was an emotionally raw day and the what if's just seem really loud right now.  I need some sleep.  Hopefully sleep that doesn't involve dreams of violence and darkness.  I'm really tired of not sleeping well.  Maybe I need to reverse my what if thinking.

What if I sleep peacefully with sweet dreams?  What if sleeping brings me a new and better perspective?  What if I'm stronger now than I was last time and this program doesn't trigger me?  What if it isn't glaucoma?  What if the perfect fit job is waiting for him to start immediately after he finishes where he is?  What if it is all so much better than the doubt in my mind right now? 

And in the end, God is still good.  He is still sovereign.  He is still in control and no amount of what if's will ever change that.  Now if I could internalize that a little more right now.......

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

old verse, new perspective

As you know I have Psalm 45:11 tattooed on my shoulder, "The King is enthralled with your beauty".  It is a verse that has meant a lot to me in recovery.  Yesterday I read that same verse in a different version.  It said, "Let the King be enthralled with your beauty."

It went from a statement about how I am seen to a command of how I respond.  Let.  Three simple letters and yet I wonder how often I sabotage my own beauty.  How often do I let anyone, even the Lord, just enjoy my beauty without backhanded remarks about myself?

When others admire my beauty, I turn their words of compliment away.  Maybe I credit a good hair day or a cute outfit.  I never credit myself for being beautiful, but rather an accessory that has illusioned beauty for me. 

When my husband admires my beauty, I bow my head, my cheeks flush, and though I am most often convinced he sees me through Hubby colored glasses not the real me, I try to not knock down his compliments.  Even though I try, I still end up shaking my head, telling him he's wonderfully crazy.  Crazy to see the things he does, but wonderful that he does see them.

And yet here, in one of my favorite verses, I am asked to LET my beloved be enthralled with my beauty.  I don't really know how to do that, at least not yet.  I do though know that He is trying to break through to reach my heart and I need to let Him be enthralled with the beauty that He created.  The second part of the verse says "Honor him for he is your Lord."  I can't help but wonder if letting Jesus be enthralled with my beauty is the first step to honoring Him.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

truth and humor

There is far too much going on in my brain.  Hubby often tells me that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.  So I guess tonight the elephant in my brain will be tackled one subject at a time. 

I read an interesting statement on my daily calendar earlier this month that has stuck with me. 
"When we are lost, when we are homeless, 
when we've spent years separated from who we are,
threats of failed hearts or joint pressure don't move us.
Dying does not frighten those who are already half dead."
Ganeen Roth

And there it is, the words I have been trying to verbalize for ages of why knowing that an ed is killing you doesn't make the behaviors stop.  It is because you are already half dead.  We know heart attacks happen, kidneys fail, bodies shut down and yet it isn't enough.  Why?  Because dying isn't enough to scare someone who is half dead.  To be quite honest, living is way scarier than dying when you are already half dead.

And now for a funny picture to deliver a truth that I am trying desperately to internalize.  You can thank one of my Facebook friends for this......

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Please define "real"

I am torn to shreds hearing comments about "real" rape, "legitimate" rape and "forceable" rape.  Is there any other type of rape?  Is there a polite way to violate someone so viciously?  If there is, I am certainly unaware of it. 

How is it possible that once again it is all the woman's fault?  SHE got pregnant (never mind that it was because HE forced his deviant way upon her).  It must be her fault.  Wasn't it her fault that he couldn't control himself in the first place? 

I'm sorry, but this time I call bullshit.  Ask the friend of my friend who recently birthed the baby of her rapist.  Ask her if his assault was welcome.  Ask her if her body could have shut down his sperm.  Ask any victim of unwanted sexual touch if their experience was "legitimate". 

Although I know the controversy is a launching pad for an abortion debate, I can't even get that far right now.  All I can hear is that women are responsible for having bodies that men want.  All I can hear is that women are responsible for getting pregnant when attacked.  All I can hear is that women don't really matter, that their voices aren't heard, that their bodies aren't worth protecting.  All I can hear is a man saying what far too many women have been through isn't significant.

Guess what?  ALL rape, assault, harassment, unwanted touch is evil.  Every last bit of it.  If they didn't say yes, then it was forceable.  Every single time that someone is raped, whether by a stranger with a knife or a "nice guy" on a date who forgets his boundaries, it is a crime against her body and soul and is a legitimate rape.  No matter what, she walks away broken.  Physically, emotionally and spiritually broken. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

she's only 8

We had an interesting conversation today in the lunchroom and I want to throw it out there to you guys to get some thoughts.  My friend and co-worker has an eight year old daughter who has been using the f word.  FAT.  "I'm fat" with her hands on her stomach. 

They have tried to affirm her with some healthy thoughts but she still doesn't see her beauty, she sees her weight.  Of course these conversations terrify me because I was the eight year old who thought I was fat too.  All of these years later my inner eight year old still points at my thighs and moans, "So fat."  I never want another girl to hear those words.

I want her view herself with truth.  I want her to see the beauty she possesses.  She is a darling girl with a fabulous smile.  She is perfect.  But she can't see that.  She is seeing through distorted eyes.  And I have to wonder, do all girls see through distorted eyes?  Maybe, but not all girls go as far as eating disorders to fix the perception of distorted vision.

How can my friend help her daughter?  Can she avoid the road I've walked or is it as some have said genetic and cannot be stopped?  What do you say to an eight year old who thinks she is fat?  I seriously want to cry and I want to hold her and I want to protect her from this. 

Or do all girls say they are fat at eight and I'm just hyper sensitive to their negative body image?  Aren't eight year olds supposed to be more concerned with puppies and dolls than weight?  Or is that just the ideal image in my head that doesn't really exist?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

on the road again

I'm enjoying a glass of red wine and chilling out in front of the computer.  I'd like to be listening to only the sounds of my typing and the fan gently blowing but instead I'm listening to the sound of my kids kicking their walls and playing instead of sleeping.  Usually that pisses me off, tonight it just annoys me.  I know that someday I'm going to miss the days when they were supposed to be sleeping in the next room over. 

I gave a teaser in my last post so I thought I'd fill you all in.  Hubby is on the job hunt.  It is a little scary and exciting all at the same time.  The short version of the story is that the company he has worked for for nearly nine years is going in a different direction.  It has become clear to us that it is time to move on.  He is leaving on mutually good terms, he's not angry with the company and three of the managers are writing him letters of reference.

With the new direction the company is taking, Hubby can either change to change with the company and be miserable at his job or he can move on.  He and I and his managers agree that it is time to move on.  He gave his notice yesterday.  His last day will be September 12.  He's not being fired but he is being forced out. 

I almost feel like I should be mad but I'm not.  I'm ready.  For eight years he loved his job.  For this past year he has not enjoyed it at all and it has taken a toll on him physically and emotionally.  And when he has a toll taken, it naturally takes a toll on me as well. 

I'm excited to see him move on.  I'm terrified to see him move on.  I'm excited for a new season.  I'm scared that it may be a difficult transition.  I'm at peace because I know it is the right move for him and for us as a family.  I'm at peace because I believe God has His hand over us and that this is part of His plan.  I'm scared because I don't know what is next.

My fight is going well.  I still have the thoughts, the voices that beg me to go back.  Right now though I want this healthy(er) life more than I want that sick and disordered life.  Right now I can fight.  Right now I can lean into the arms of my Savior and trust He has me in His hands.  Right now though it is still a fight, it is a smaller battle.  For that I am so grateful.  I'm so glad that me eating isn't a worry on Hubby's plate while he looks for work.  I'm praying for continued strength for my journey.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

getting back to normal

I spent quite a while in a constant state of depression and anxiety.  It has only been within the last week that I have felt more alive, more like myself, and less overwhelmed.  I had called my doctor to refill my anti anxiety prescription back when we were getting our new roof.  Having had a couple of pretty bad panic attacks up to that point I decided that having my medication on hand again might be a good idea.  My doctor never called back though which is extremely unlike her.  She has never missed returning a phone call.

When the theater shooting happened I found myself having panic attacks again.  I panicked when I was driving home one evening and saw police lights.  I hyperventilated when I heard sirens or saw emergency vehicles speeding by.  For where I live, that is a lot of fear to be living in.  I live less than a mile from the police station.  I live next to a highway, near a military base, and smack in between three major hospitals.  I hear sirens and helicopters all the time.  I see military and Flight for Life helicopters every day.  To have fear and anxiety with every helicopter and every siren was not good!

I decided that it was time to go visit my doctor.  She never got my message about my medication.  The former medical assistant who I called my message in to, well she is the former MA, that should say it all right there.  My doc did refill my medication and also recommended a supplement.  The main ingredient is GABA.

I happened to have already done a lot of research on GABA and had some in my house, though I wasn't taking it regularly.  I started taking it daily upon my doctor's recommendation.  It is helping me so much.  I've only had overwhelming anxiety once but that was when we took our kids to a theater to see Men In Black 3.  I'm thinking movie theater and action movie with the entire family so soon after a movie theater shooting  maybe gives reason to feel panicky.  I spent the entire movie watching the exits, judging the best way out if there was an emergency and thinking how Hubby and I would be able to protect all three of our kids and get everyone out safely if a madman came barging in shooting everywhere.  That was cause for the medicine!

There have been some big things happen.  I have more to share but not tonight.  Tonight I'm tired and really only wanted to write because I miss you guys!  Hope everyone is well and I'll try to not stay away so long.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

can't we just get along?

Friends that I have:
Catholic, Protestant, Pentacostal, Every Christian denomination in between
Praying folks, wishing folks, Light and Love folks, good juju folks
Pro-lifers, Pro-choicers
Gay, straight and unsure of their sexuality
Democrat, Republican, Independent, Tea Party, Green Party, Big government, Small government
Friends who have been drug addicted, friends who have abortions, friends with eating disorders, friends who are alcoholics

You get it, I have friends from every walk of life.  And if you want to read my thoughts about why can't we all just get along click here

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How does she do that??????

I planned on skipping lunch today.  Yes, I am flat out admitting that I had every intention of having a low intake day.  I have been once again fighting the voice in my head (or maybe indulging the voice in my head) that swears that I can both live and restrict.  That voice is trying so hard to tell me that I can still be me, that I can still be a great mom, wife, friend and employee without the assistance of food. 

Let's be honest for a moment, I know the voice is lying and yet I still feel the need to listen when it speaks.  I still feel like I could be the different one, that my disease wouldn't steal from me.  I still feel like if I could be down x pounds before my doctor's appointment that I would be "happy" with myself. 

And then my work friend happens along on the days that I have no intention of eating and she just seems to KNOW.  Once it was a friendly, "Hey, have you taken your lunch yet?"  Last time it was the one I blogged about with a touch on my knee and a "You ok?"  Today it was the offer of splitting the cost of Chipotle.  How did she know?  How did she know that today was the day that I needed to eat, that today was the day I had not one intention of indulging in lunch, that Chipotle was probably the only thing that could have tempted me?

I don't know, but I'm grateful that she brought me out of my head.  I'm grateful that she gave me perspective enough to see the faultiness of the voice in my head.  And I'm grateful that she went and got the food.  God must have known that I needed someone here who could pull me out of my head once in a while.  There is no other reason that I can think of that the only times she has mentioned food to me have been the days that I have really been struggling!

Monday, July 23, 2012

life continues

I'm ok.  I'm hanging in there.  I didn't eat much or sleep much this past weekend.  The helicoptors were flying right over my house while they were providing 24 hr live arial coverage of the crime scene.  It was hard to sleep.  I had been struggling to eat anyway.

I realized that for several days I hadn't eaten or had barely eaten.  Yesterday I realized my head hurt and I was just so hungry.  It was hard to eat.  Eating felt so trivial, so normal.  And in the face of the evil that has happened, normal every day things didn't seem to matter.

My kids have been asking me questions.  They need me to help them process their feelings.  My oldest is angry.  REALLY. REALLY. ANGRY.  My middle doesn't realize that he is both relieved and scared.  He keeps mentioning that he was there just a few hours before the shooting. 

Yesterday I just didn't want to go home after church.  Home felt stifling at that moment.  My oldest suggested Toys R Us and I thought it sounded like a great idea.  It was refreshing to see some innocence.  It was healing to see my children playing with toys and making birthday and Christmas wish lists.  It was wonderful to see them with their innocence in tact even though I know the weekend stole some of their innocence.  It was a joy to watch them being little.

And today we get up, dust ourselves off and keep going.  Today I, like everyone else here in Aurora, put one foot in front of the other and continue doing the normal every day things.  It is hard.  For some of them, their worlds are completely shattered and it is devestating to think of life continuing when their lives have stopped.

But if we all let life stop, then the shooter will have won.  He will have done what he came to, he will have broken us.  I'm not going to be broken.  I'm going to come alongside of those who I love and we are going to grow stronger.  Once again, we are not going to let the evil of one man, the darkness of one put out the light of many. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

a picture is worth a thousand words

 From across the street from the theater, last night.

doesn't even begin to do justice to seeing the crowd, hundreds gathered to pray and sing

blurry, but those are the cops sitting at the corner of the building.  moments earlier they had been looking at something on the ground with 3 other cops

media station on the other side of the theater

"Our Theater" deserted, damaged, bloodied and taped off.  So devastating

surreal, until it is real

Yesterday was about keeping it all together.  People I love needed me.  I didn't have time to fall apart.  And honestly I wasn't ready to fall apart.  I was shaken but I think I was in shock still.  The shock was too great to allow the emotion through.  I chatted online with my friend.  I told her I felt guilty for feeling so shaken because there are so many people who have more right to be shaken up than I do.  She responded with, "When it happens in your backyard, you have the right to be shaken."

My backyard.  Almost.  If I walk to the corner I can see the mall.  The theater is in the mall parking lot.  My Girl called last night (she needs a name, I talk about her far too often to keep calling her my friend.  For now she will be S until I decide on something better).  She asked if my boys were asleep.  When I said yes she asked if she could come over.  She wasn't hysterical anymore but I could hear the tears in her voice.

She walked in and I pulled her into my arms and held her while she sobbed.  And then I heard the words I hoped I'd never hear.  "Micayla is no longer with us."  I didn't know Micayla but S did.  Micayla was part of the group of friends that S was supposed to be with to see the movie.  Seven of her friends went, she was supposed to go.  Only one was physically injured, the one who died. 

When she heard of the shooting, S called her good friend.  He described the horror of a 6 year old girl screaming hysterically and the frantic rush to try to get out.  On the way out the 7 friends were separated.  He thought everyone was fine.  Then later he told her that Micayla was missing.  And then later she was confirmed dead.  My sweet S was supposed to be there.  It could have been her.

As I walked her to her car I was thinking how much I love her.  I introduced her to my dear friend and now neighbor. S tried to shake hands but my friend shook her head and said, "No, Honey.  You get a hug!"  As they embraced the emotion finally came.  I pulled S away and held her tightly.

We both sobbed.  I told her how much I love her.  I told her how relieved I am that she is safe.  I told her that I have never in my life been so glad that she was too tired to hang out with friends.  I told her that I can't imagine a world that doesn't have My S in it and that I'm so glad that I don't have to.  I didn't want to ever let her go.  Suddenly the reality and depth of my emotions hit me full force.

I slept poorly.  Guns and blood and bombs and screams filled my dreams.  I woke this morning to the sound of helicopters.  They have been flying over non-stop providing live aerial news coverage.  Helicopters and sirens and ambulances seeped into my sleep.  I was grateful this afternoon for a reprieve from the sound of helicopters.  The sound is disconcerting.

We had to tell our kids last night.  It was hard.  We had to tell them though.   The mall was closed.  Streets that we travel regularly were closed with police tape.  People in our church have lost loved ones.  They will hear about this, we wanted it to be from us.  Parenting is hard.  Telling your kids about bad people who make evil decisions is hard.  Reminding them that there are far more good people than bad people in this world is hard.  I have squeezed them extra hard today.  I've hugged them every chance I've had.  Tomorrow is not a guarantee.  Do the people you love know how much you love them in case tomorrow never comes for you to tell them?

Friday, July 20, 2012

we're safe

I was awakened by a phone call around 4:30.  My dear sweet friend.  The friend that a few weeks ago I told you was being evacuated from the fire area.  It's 4:30, of course something is wrong.  No one calls at that time when things are ok.  She was hysterical.  I couldn't understand a word she said.  After several minutes I finally was able to gather the story.


Yeah, I said it.  The shooting at the Aurora theater that you are waking up to hearing about, it happened near my house.  She was supposed to be there.  Her friends invited her.  She contemplated it and then decided tonight that she was too tired to make the hour drive tonight to come up to hang out with her friends.  After all, she would have to make the hour drive home as well because she has to work this morning.

My husband and younger boys were at this theater just hours before.  Logically my mind says that my family was fine.  The shooting happened during the premier of the new Batman.  That in a sick and twisted way can make sense.  No one is going to start shooting in Madagascar 3, that doesn't make sense in any way.  But I still feel stunned and shocked.  What if it had been my family?  What if it had been 4 hours earlier when my family was there?

I feel sick.  My oldest son saw the new Spiderman movie a couple of weeks ago at this theater, late at night with a friend and his family.  What if it had happened then?  12 dead.  10 died at the scene.  2 died in hospitals.  50+ wounded.  They are reporting that the youngest patient is 3 months old but people are spread out in hospitals across the city.  That may not be an accurate statement.  But several eye witnesses said they saw a baby get shot.

A baby.  My friend's friend who was there said the worst part was a little girl, maybe 6 years old, screaming and crying hysterically.  What is wrong with people???????  The suspect is in custody. I'm glad he is custody.  I live far too close to feel ok with a roaming suspect.  My family is safe.  My friends are safe.  And I am not ok right now.

I'm praying right now for the families who had to say goodbye far too soon.  I'm praying for the people who were injured.  I'm praying for the people who were there who were in different theaters.  I'm praying for my friend who was supposed to be there.  I'm praying for peace.  I'm praying for the words to say when my kids ask me about this.  I'm praying with a very broken heart.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

are they really watching my plate or is it all in my head?

Yesterday was a working lunch.  In other words, my work provides lunch and we eat while we continue our meeting.  I hate working lunches.  I despise them.  Yesterday had me desiring to run away, to cry, to swear.  Thankfully I was at a table of people I'm fairly comfortable with which eased my tension a little.  I always feel like people are watching me eat and it makes me really uncomfortable.  Which really, especially here where no one knows about my past, probably isn't happening.

At least this meal was Panera so it was sandwiches and salad rather than pizza or bbq.  Having healthy options should have made it easier but for some reason yesterday's lunch was still harder than usual.  My friend now works with me.  She sits in the cubicle next to me.  I really like having her there.  I was scared at first to have her there because having her there crosses the line of keeping work and personal separate. 

It means that someone in my office knows that some days I don't eat.  It means that someone in my office not only knows about it but was the one to get the text saying that I was in the hospital under 72 hour watch nearly two years ago.  It means that someone at work knows about things I don't want to share at work about my past. 

It also means yesterday when I was staring at my food contemplating for a few moments running away, that I got a quick touch on the knee and a concerned, "You ok?"  Wow.  That was a life giving moment.  I still excused myself to my cubicle to cry for a minute or two but I came back to my meeting and was able to eat the lunch.  That simple gesture helped me bring my head back in the game.

Maybe I still feel like everyone noticed my plate because I noticed someone else's.  I noticed the woman who ate only half of her sandwich (which they were half sandwiches to begin with) and gave her salad away and never ate dessert.  Maybe I feel it because I couldn't stop my leg from shaking violently once the food time arrived.  That was probably more of a tell than my plate.

I feel vulnerable.  Not necessarily in a bad way but still vulnerable.  I feel like there will come a point that my story is going to be asked about and as I've said before, if you ask, I don't lie. I am a little afraid of that but I'm learning that I trust majority of the people in my office.  I want to be known and at the same time I want to be invisible.  It is a scary spot.

I also yesterday realized that I think God brought me here to prepare me for what is next in my life.  I hope to work with this organization for a very long time.  I love it, I'm passionate about it, I feel called to be where I am.  I also feel like the stretching and growing that will happen here is to prepare me for the next step.  I don't know if that step will be within this organization or outside of it but I feel fairly convinced that this is training ground.  That is exciting and terrifying all in one breath.

And today I can eat lunch alone if I wish, with no one watching me.  Even if I do eat with others, knowing I don't have to eases the anxiety a hundred times over.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

depression and recent observations

I'm really struggling right now. Depression has creeped into every inch of my soul. I want to be ok, but I'm not.  I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other but right now it is incredibly hard.  I don't want to get out of bed in the morning. I find myself praying on the way to the work that the chit chat is minimal and the phones are quiet just so that I don't have to talk to anyone.

On another note, I've been observing people a lot lately.  I've had questions. My friend and I have been discussing what is beautiful.  Like for instance the photo below.....

Once being curvy was a sign of wealth, it meant you could afford food.  Now being curvy is seen as a disgrace.  Why?  When did being a walking skeleton become better than looking like a woman?

I'm not any different.  I think those skinny gals look amazing.  I envy them.  Until I see Keira next to Marilyn.  And then I wonder where we went wrong as a society.  Marilyn Monroe must be the sexiest woman in history and by today's standards she would be a plus sized model and second class to the likes of Heidi Klum, Kate Hudson, Keira Knightly.  Why?

My friend posted this old advertisement.....

My friend made the comment that the skinny girl in the ad, looks miserable and hungry.  How true. My lament was that now we are trying to lose those same 10-25 pounds that women 50 years ago were trying to gain.  It isn't about being healthy, it's about being skinny.  If it were about being healthy, we wouldn't be afraid of carbs or every single calorie.  We would be balanced and sometimes chocolate cake would be ok.  We would eat real food and we would look like women not sticks.

And another thought.  Why are we as women so obsessed with getting the pre-pregnancy body back?  Nothing about our lives is the same as before pregnancy, why do we expect our bodies to be the same?  Why do we expect the body of a 12 year old instead of the body of a woman?  Why are we so damn afraid of curves?

Better question, why am I so damn afraid?  I see the walking skeletons, I don't think they are gorgeous.  But I still end up envying them.  I struggle to eat because I'm depressed and food seems so trivial right now.  I have found myself not even getting hungry and eating simply because oh yeah, it's 2 o'clock and I haven't eaten anything yet.  I just don't care.

I'm trying to care.  I'm trying to hang in there.  But really I want to crawl under a big rock and not come out.  I want to hide.  And I just want to sleep for a million bajillion years.  I'll be ok, I always am.  I've noticed a pattern, it is always worse in summer and near Christmas.  It will get better.  I'm ready for it to get better now.

Sorry if I rambled.  I'm tired and over it.  That is usually the best time to write to clear my head but also the worst because I verbally vomit all over the place. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Be The Change You Wish to See

It isn't ok.  Assault is never ok.  Bullying, whether it be in the form of words, physical actions or sexual assault is not acceptable.

So I've told the story before, as least I think I have.  When I was in high school I was attacked by someone who had been a friend of mine.  We were alone in the chapel (private school, remember?), it was fairly dark with worship music playing.  He called me over to where he was and asked me a question.  We talked for a few minutes.

He told me he liked me and wanted to know if I would go on a date with him.  I told him no, I was seeing someone else.  Before I knew it he was kissing me.  "Well now how do you feel about me?"  I wanted to scream,  "I HATE YOU!  I SAID NO!" but instead I just froze.  I tried to tell him again that I wasn't interested.  And in moments that happened so quickly I am not entirely sure how it happened, I found myself on the ground pinned down. 

I didn't know it was possible for anyone to have that many hands, they were everywhere.  I couldn't move.  He was still kissing me, I couldn't pull away and I couldn't even scream.  As he tore the buttons off of my shirt and broke my bra strap, I knew he was going to rape me and in my head I said, "God, help."  Suddenly my attacker was against the wall as if he was being held there, staring at me with a blank "What just happened?" kind of a look. 

I seized the opportunity and ran, clutching my shirt closed.  I wore my coat for the rest of classes.  I didn't tell anyone at first.  I was so scared and so ashamed.  A couple of days later, I told a youth group leader and she gave me the courage and even went with me to tell the school administration. 

Here is the surprising part.  The school did nothing.  First they said I must have been mistaken.  Then they finally called him in and he admitted to it.  They gave him a one day in school suspension, which basically meant he did homework in the office instead of going to classes.  I felt really devalued.  My parents were pissed.

Now I know I don't always have great things to say about my mom and that I struggle with her a lot, but this time she did right by me.  She went in to the principal's office for two months until that boy was kicked out of school.  He said he couldn't help it, that was just how he was.  They tried to tell us that.  My parents would hear none of it.  My mom finally went over the principal's head to the director.  Finally they acted.

A year or so ago I read an article in my husband's Sports Illustrated about a girl who had been sexually assaulted at school and the school refused to protect her.  Her dad stood up for her.  I remember reading it and being pissed that once again the school protected the attacker not the victim.

And folks, it is happening again.  Read this blog.  Ok, so Lillian wasn't sexually assaulted but she was still assaulted.  She was hurt at school from bullying, hurt enough to need medical intervention and the school is protecting the wrong person.  Her mamma and auntie are tough cookies though and they are advocating for her.  Her story has moved like wildfire across the country. 

I can't make every bully stop bullying.  I can't throw every starfish back in the ocean.  But I can make a difference for one.  WE can make a difference for Lilly.  I know first hand what it feels like for the school to say it wasn't a big deal, that I was exaggerating, that I was lying, and that he couldn't help himself.  I know what it feels like when the people who should be there to protect you end up protecting the person who hurt you AND IT SUCKS. 

I've written to the principal Nick Johnson ( as well as to the superintendent Dr. Johnny Scott (  I also wrote a note to Lillian to let her know that I stand with her and that she is worth fighting for.  I'm tired of hearing about bullies being protected or rewarded.  It isn't right.  Tonight I decided to do something about it.  It may only be one, but I'm going to stand up for this one.  And if I hear of another who needs support, I'll stand up for them as well.  Someone needs to change the world.  Why not us?