Saturday, February 28, 2009

My patriarchal blessing

There is one paragraph in my blessing that has meant a lot to me. It is the only paragraph that I really feel is talking to me. The rest has felt like it was for someone else... Or just for any random person that gets a blessing. This one paragraph came at the end... almost as an afterthought when he was giving it:
Before you came to this earth you knew that you would experience sorrow, distress, pain and suffering. Yet, you understood the reasons for coming here and you had a great desire to come here. And, yes you will feel these periods and times of opposition where you will experience sorrow and sadness. I promise the Holy Spirit will lift and help you in those times of need and you will overcome them. Also your spirit will be refined through some of these experiences. I bless you that you will experience great joy and happiness. Also you will truly savor and appreciate your joy and happiness since you will have tasted their opposites.
Tonight, as the pain is so close, so great, and it feels like I may not survive feeling it, I remember this paragraph. I will overcome. I will experience great joy and happiness, and I will savor it. I can't see it - I can't see past the pain of tonight, but it is still waiting for me. It is right there. I am so close. I feel it, and yet it frightens me.

It hurts. I don't want to go through this... and I don't even know what "this" is. I want to go home. I want to run away. I want a magic pill that will take it all away. I want a blessing that will offer immediate healing. I want someone to come and rescue me - save me from the pain that I feel.

I won't run. I won't hide. I will stand and face it. I am not alone. I can't see them or even feel them right now, but they are there: my grandparents, other friends that I don't even remember that I know, my future children - they are all there waiting for me to make the choice and to overcome.

I am so afraid. I don't know what lies ahead. I don't know, but I want to be faithful. I want to be strong. I want to be the woman I was made to be.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Life After??

I know I have been working for a life after this. I know I have been fighting for it, praying for it, giving everything I have for it. I have known deep inside that there has to be something more to life than what I have experienced, and yet at the same time, I have wondered.

I still can't see past the pain, the fear, the anxiety, the depression, the tears, etc.

So, as I face the things that have happened to me, one of the biggest fears is of the unknown. What comes after this? How will it feel? What will it be like? Will it be everything I have imagined? Will it hurt? Will I be happy? Will others like the new me that emerges? Will I like the new me? Who will I be?

I feel sad. I feel confused. I want all that life can offer, and yet I don't want to have to face it.

If I am not hurting, what will I feel? If I am not fighting off constant sadness, depression, and anxiety, what will I do? If I don't feel guilty all of the time, how will I know what I am supposed to do?

Then, I remember... I am a daughter of God - destined to do great things. I don't know what it will be like - I can't even imagine. No one can. We are mortals destined to do divine and great things, and we can't understand our divine destiny.... yet. I am no different than anyone else living on this planet.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A quote from church that meant a lot to me

The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way.

While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.

Come What May and Love it

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

When I was young I loved playing sports, and I have many fond memories of those days. But not all of them are pleasant. I remember one day after my football team lost a tough game, I came home feeling discouraged. My mother was there. She listened to my sad story. She taught her children to trust in themselves and each other, not blame others for their misfortunes, and give their best effort in everything they attempted.

When we fell down, she expected us to pick ourselves up and get going again. So the advice my mother gave to me then wasn’t altogether unexpected. It has stayed with me all my life.

“Joseph,” she said, “come what may, and love it.”

I have often reflected on that counsel.

I think she may have meant that every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don’t sing and bells don’t ring. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result.

There may be some who think that General Authorities rarely experience pain, suffering, or distress. If only that were true. While every man and woman on this stand today has experienced an abundant measure of joy, each also has drunk deeply from the cup of disappointment, sorrow, and loss. The Lord in His wisdom does not shield anyone from grief or sadness.

For me, the Lord has opened the windows of heaven and showered blessings upon my family beyond my ability to express. Yet like everyone else, I have had times in my life when it seemed that the heaviness of my heart might be greater than I could bear. During those times I think back to those tender days of my youth when great sorrows came at the losing end of a football game.

How little I knew then of what awaited me in later years. But whenever my steps led through seasons of sadness and sorrow, my mother’s words often came back to me: “Come what may, and love it.”

How can we love days that are filled with sorrow? We can’t—at least not in the moment. I don’t think my mother was suggesting that we suppress discouragement or deny the reality of pain. I don’t think she was suggesting that we smother unpleasant truths beneath a cloak of pretended happiness. But I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life.

If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness.

Over the years I have learned a few things that have helped me through times of testing and trial. I would like to share them with you.


Learn to Laugh

The first thing we can do is learn to laugh. Have you ever seen an angry driver who, when someone else makes a mistake, reacts as though that person has insulted his honor, his family, his dog, and his ancestors all the way back to Adam? Or have you had an encounter with an overhanging cupboard door left open at the wrong place and the wrong time which has been cursed, condemned, and avenged by a sore-headed victim?

There is an antidote for times such as these: learn to laugh.

I remember loading up our children in a station wagon and driving to Los Angeles. There were at least nine of us in the car, and we would invariably get lost. Instead of getting angry, we laughed. Every time we made a wrong turn, we laughed harder.

Getting lost was not an unusual occurrence for us. Once while heading south to Cedar City, Utah, we took a wrong turn and didn’t realize it until two hours later when we saw the “Welcome to Nevada” signs. We didn’t get angry. We laughed, and as a result, anger and resentment rarely resulted. Our laughter created cherished memories for us.

I remember when one of our daughters went on a blind date. She was all dressed up and waiting for her date to arrive when the doorbell rang. In walked a man who seemed a little old, but she tried to be polite. She introduced him to me and my wife and the other children; then she put on her coat and went out the door. We watched as she got into the car, but the car didn’t move. Eventually our daughter got out of the car and, red faced, ran back into the house. The man that she thought was her blind date had actually come to pick up another of our daughters who had agreed to be a babysitter for him and his wife.

We all had a good laugh over that. In fact, we couldn’t stop laughing. Later, when our daughter’s real blind date showed up, I couldn’t come out to meet him because I was still in the kitchen laughing. Now I realize that our daughter could have felt humiliated and embarrassed. But she laughed with us, and as a result, we still laugh about it today.

The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable.


Seek for the Eternal

The second thing we can do is seek for the eternal. You may feel singled out when adversity enters your life. You shake your head and wonder, “Why me?”

But the dial on the wheel of sorrow eventually points to each of us. At one time or another, everyone must experience sorrow. No one is exempt.

I love the scriptures because they show examples of great and noble men and women such as Abraham, Sarah, Enoch, Moses, Joseph, Emma, and Brigham. Each of them experienced adversity and sorrow that tried, fortified, and refined their characters.

Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others.

Because Jesus Christ suffered greatly, He understands our suffering. He understands our grief. We experience hard things so that we too may have increased compassion and understanding for others.

I have experienced the increase of compassion as I have face the hard things I have been through. I would not be who I am today - and I would never be who I truly want to be if I didn't go through all that I am going through now.
Remember the sublime words of the Savior to the Prophet Joseph Smith when he suffered with his companions in the smothering darkness of Liberty Jail: “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

“And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."

With that eternal perspective, Joseph took comfort from these words, and so can we. Sometimes the very moments that seem to overcome us with suffering are those that will ultimately suffer us to overcome.


The Principle of Compensation

The third thing we can do is understand the principle of compensation. The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.

Well, then I better get crying! :)
One of the blessings of the gospel is the knowledge that when the curtain of death signals the end of our mortal lives, life will continue on the other side of the veil. There we will be given new opportunities. Not even death can take from us the eternal blessings promised by a loving Heavenly Father.

Because Heavenly Father is merciful, a principle of compensation prevails. I have seen this in my own life. My grandson Joseph has autism. It has been heartbreaking for his mother and father to come to grips with the implications of this affliction.

They knew that Joseph would probably never be like other children. They understood what that would mean not only for Joseph but for the family as well. But what a joy he has been to us. Autistic children often have a difficult time showing emotion, but every time I’m with him, Joseph gives me a big hug. While there have been challenges, he has filled our lives with joy.

His parents have encouraged him to participate in sports. When he first started playing baseball, he was in the outfield. But I don’t think he grasped the need to run after loose balls. He thought of a much more efficient way to play the game. When a ball was hit in his direction, Joseph watched it go by and then pulled another baseball out of his pocket and threw that one to the pitcher.

Any reservations that his family may have had in raising Joseph, any sacrifices they have made have been compensated tenfold. Because of this choice spirit, his mother and father have learned much about children with disabilities. They have witnessed firsthand the generosity and compassion of family, neighbors, and friends. They have rejoiced together as Joseph has progressed. They have marveled at his goodness.


Trust in the Father and the Son

The fourth thing we can do is put our trust in our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.”2 The Lord Jesus Christ is our partner, helper, and advocate. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be successful. If we do our part, He will step in.

He who descended below all things will come to our aid. He will comfort and uphold us. He will strengthen us in our weakness and fortify us in our distress. He will make weak things become strong.

One of our daughters, after giving birth to a baby, became seriously ill. We prayed for her, administered to her, and supported her as best we could. We hoped she would receive a blessing of healing, but days turned into months, and months turned into years. At one point I told her that this affliction might be something she would have to struggle with the rest of her life.

One morning I remember pulling out a small card and threading it through my typewriter. Among the words that I typed for her were these: “The simple secret is this: put your trust in the Lord, do your best, then leave the rest to Him.”

She did put her trust in God. But her affliction did not disappear. For years she suffered, but in due course, the Lord blessed her, and eventually she returned to health.

Knowing this daughter, I believe that even if she had never found relief, yet she would have trusted in her Heavenly Father and “[left] the rest to Him.”


Conclusion

Although my mother has long since passed to her eternal reward, her words are always with me. I still remember her advice to me given on that day long ago when my team lost a football game: “Come what may, and love it.”

I know why there must be opposition in all things. Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it.

As we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial. We can say, as did my mother, “Come what may, and love it.” Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

You'll feel this way again

I called my husband. He was still at work, and couldn't really talk. I got off the phone with him and just sat down and started to pray. All of a sudden, there was a feeling inside.

HOPE!

The pain didn't go away, but instead it was similar to the feeling that comes in January-February. It is still bitter cold outside, it is still snowing, and you can't see any signs of spring. Yet, I can feel it in the air, and I just know its coming.

That is how I felt. It hurts, and I am not ready to be at home yet, but I will be very soon. It is coming! The rest of the night, that hope got me through. I had a great time playing rock band with friends. I had an awesome time driving with my husband, and the play was a ton of fun. I laughed. It still hurt horribly, but I really didn't care. I knew that the day was coming when it wouldn't hurt.

I felt like ME again. I was just happy. I joked. I held his hand, and we laughed and talked about goals, the future, business, everything that came to our heads.

We got home, and he was tired. He said he wanted to go to bed and started getting ready for bed. I started to feel really panicked. I knew I wasn't ready to try and sleep there. At the same time, I didn't want to go to bed. I didn't want to try to sleep. I didn't want that feeling to end.

He read my mind, hugged me, and said, "You'll feel this way again."

Its true - I will feel that way again. I will better than that. The time is coming when it won't hurt at all. The time is coming when I will be able to relax, sleep, hang out, laugh, cuddle, all of it, and it won't hurt!

In the meantime, I will cling to the hope. Although the great feeling from yesterday is fading, I cling to the promise there will be a spring at the end of winter.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wonderful Things People Say

Since I had the stupid list, I figure its only fair to put the wonderful list too:
  • I don't understand what you are going through, but I am sure trying, help me to understand.
  • I love you.
  • I trust you. You know the way out of this hell.
  • I know what I am asking of you, but please take care of yourself.
  • I am not sure I can handle facing what you have been through - its too hard and I am afraid I will be too angry, or I will lose my testimony, or... (Although you would think this would be on the stupid list, it shows me that you know what I am going through. It shows me you are capable of understanding, you are humble, and one day the Lord can strengthen you to face it just like He has strengthened me.)
  • It wasn't your fault. NONE of it was your fault.
  • Crying when I told them my story. It helped me see that it was ok for me to be sad and upset about the things that have happened.
  • I won't force you to do anything, but I want you to...
  • I am just thinking of you...
  • Its ok to cry. Its ok to be angry. Its ok to feel all of this.
  • You are amazing, courageous, strong, brave, and you'll get through this.
  • I am praying for you.
  • You'll feel this way again. (I was feeling really happy - I was afraid if I went to bed, the feeling would change. I didn't want to let it go.)
  • Its ok if you just want to stay in bed. I would want to stay in bed too.
  • You are not crazy - you are sorting things out.
  • Look at all of the progress you have made. (I really like it when they shared the progress they had seen.)
  • What can I do to help you get through this?
  • They held me.
  • You are beautiful - you are not disgusting, gross, weird, crazy, selfish, etc.
  • Thank you. You helped me.
  • If you don't feel like it, you don't have to do it.
  • I know you are trying and fighting hard. I can't imagine what you are going through.
  • This sucks. Its not fair.
  • You deserve joy in your life, and you will have it.
  • I am so glad you are alive today. You touch my life.
And so to each of you who have said wonderful things - and the truth is there are many, MANY more:

THANK YOU!!

Stupid Things People Say

My friend, Katie, and I have talked about writing this list down for a long time, but I never have. I am afraid I have forgotten some of the best ones... If you don't understand why something is on the list, then we need to talk. Comment, or email me, or call me. Please!
  • How could it be rape, you were married?
  • If you just had more faith, you wouldn't be going through all of these hard things.
  • Fast and pray, and you will be cured. (From an eating disorder?? Are you kidding me??)
  • You don't look too sick. Are you sure you have an eating disorder?
  • Feeling depressed? You just need to give more service. Give more to others, and you will feel better.
  • Just eat.
  • Are you sure you want to eat THAT? It has a lot of... (fill in the blanks: fat, calories, sugars, whatever.)
  • You are such a good person - taking the stairs.
  • (and closely related) Why are YOU on the elevator? You look healthy enough.
  • One flight! You took the elevator for one flight!?! (yes. I was dizzy. I didn't feel like taking the stairs. Get over it!)
  • You sure spend a lot of money on food. Really, your food budget should be next to nothing.
  • To Amanda: If you just lose weight, then you will feel better about yourself, and then no more eating disorder! (From a dr!!)
  • To Katie: Just take out your earrings, and you will be cured!
  • If you're in pain, just take pain killers.
  • You just need to pray and read the scriptures.
  • If you were more righteous, you wouldn't be struggling with all of this... (Right, have YOU read the scriptures EVER?)
  • If you just.... (Fill in the blank with anything. Anyone who says you need to just do ANY one thing doesn't have a clue, turn and run!)
  • You have no physical scarring - this is all emotional. If you wanted to get over it, you would have done it by now.
  • Its not that hard...
  • You just need to forgive them.
  • You think food will make you feel better? (I was dizzy... YES!)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's not my fault

I want to say it. I think it would be a good idea. It might be helpful, but I just can't bring myself to do it. It FEELS like it is my fault.

Maybe... someday... I will be able to say the abuse, the things that have happened to me... they weren't my fault.

Grateful... and sad...

BJ shared some of the things he has been working on over the past week. He shared with me how I have helped bring him perspective on his marriage and his family.

He seemed so much more peaceful - and his eyes seemed more clear. I know his journey is not over, and he has work to do to bring him the peace and happiness he really wants, but he is getting there.

The feeling in my heart was that my journey with him is changing again. I felt so sad and so grateful at the same time.

I am grateful that I could help, that my journey blessed someone else's life, and I am especially grateful he shared with me that I have helped. I am sad, because I want to feel peace and to feel clarity. I want to know and to feel what I see others feel, and although I have made so much progress, it is not anywhere near what I want.

When will I be able to feel that? When will I know what he seemed to know? When will it be less of a battle? And if I am done here, and its time to move on, what will I do? Will I ever find peace and happiness, or will it always be about everyone else? I am sorry I am so selfish, I don't want to be. I wish it was enough that I could help others...

And at the same time, I am so grateful, because I pray all of the time to know how to help others, how to bless others' lives, and to be an instrument in His hands. I am grateful that He is using my struggles to bless the lives of the people I care about most.

How is it possible to feel so grateful and to feel so sad at the same moment???

Friday, February 13, 2009

Things I love about my husband

He is trying very hard to support me. He has allowed me to go stay at the Johnson's home, go to therapy, and do whatever I feel is best for myself.
He goes to work everyday. I know its hard, and he doesn't like it, but he goes.
He doesn't push me to do things I am not ready for: going to church, sex, work, etc.
He doesn't try to control what I do, or who I spend time with. He likes me to have my friends, my hobbies, and doesn't get jealous of the things I love away from him.
He makes me laugh!
He tells me he loves me many times everyday.
He doesn't complain that he currently has a sex-less marriage.
He wants to do the right thing. He has so much good in him.
He is a huge help around the house. He does dishes, laundry, cleans, and never thinks of the house as "my" responsibility. It is ours.
He prays and reads the scriptures with me everyday.
He cares about my friends. He cares about my family.
He tells me I am beautiful and amazing all the time.
He is a good friend to others. He serves people around him.
He is a good teacher.
He wants to be a dad. He wants to raise a family. He wants his future family to be better than his past family.
He has big dreams.

A letter to my husband

This morning, my heart hurts as I think about us. My heart hurts as I think about you. I feel confused. I don't know what to do. I don't like being with you. I don't like the way it feels, only I want to be with you more than anything.
I want to laugh with you. I want to talk about things with you. I want to share my heart with you. I want to hold you, and I want to be held. Yet, I am beginning to think its not ever going to happen.

But then, I keep hoping. This morning when I woke up, there was a song going through my head:
Keep holdin' on-'Cause you know we'll make it through
We'll make it through
Just, stay strong 'Cause you know I'm here for you
I'm here for you
There's nothing you can say - Nothing you can do
there's no other way when it comes to the truth
So, keep holding on - 'Cause you know we'll make it through
We'll make it through
That gave me hope to think maybe we could make it through. I want it!!!

Paul talks about how we are controlled by the thing we want the most. I believe that to be true. I keep trying different approaches. I keep pushing hard, because I want you in my life more than almost anything else. And I want healing more than anything else.

Sometimes, it feels like the two things are contradictory. I can't choose which I want more. You tell me over and over that you want healing for me, but you don't always act that way. I can't decide how much is ok to accept from you. You tell me that you don't intend to hurt me, and I believe that, but it doesn't change the fact that you do things that really hurt.

Dr. B. told me that there was no way to heal from past abuse if you are continuing to be abused. I don't know if I would call the way you talk to me "abuse", but I do know it hurts like hell. And when I try to talk to you about it, you tell me its all in my head, its all my fault, etc. THAT is not helpful at all. It leaves me feeling confused and broken inside.

I can't heal as long as you still blame me for feeling hurt. I don't know how to free myself from pain when I have to face the things you say to me everyday. I have to ignore the pain I feel from you, which just makes the old wounds fester and grow. And I go slowly crazy.

Lord knows I want to do the right thing. I want to do the best thing for me, for you, for us. I want a family. I want to see you as a dad. I want you to have a family. I want to be happy. I want you to be happy. I just don't know its possible for both of us to be happy in this relationship, which means it would be impossible for either of us to be happy.

I love you. I am praying for us both.

I never knew

This is one of my first ever attempts at poetry. It has been hard for me to find creativity - I think it has been because of my inability to connect with my own emotions. As I am healing and progressing, I feel more creative. I want to be more creative.

I never knew how strong I was, until I could stand no longer.
I never knew compassion, until I knew suffering.
I never knew how cold it was, until I felt the warmth.
I never knew how deep it hurt, until it began to heal.
I never knew how alone I was, until I was with you.
I never knew.

Today, I know what love feels like.
Today, I know what hope feels like.
Today, I know how to be courageous.
Today, I know.

One day I will know joy
One day, I will know peace.
One day, I will forgive.
One day, I will be the woman I long to be.

One day, I will!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Things I am grateful for today

  • Horseback riding - I found something I love to do that I can do with Mellen, or by myself, or with friends.
  • I've made so much progress... I am not even near the same person that I was a year ago.
  • Bishop Campbell is trying to help and support me.
  • Ginger was very kind to me last night. That was a nice change.
  • Dann is very understanding even when he doesn't understand.
  • Dann is trying so hard to make my life happier.
  • I was able to talk to him when I was having a hard time yesterday.
  • BJ is always very kind to me.
  • Working at JB I feel like I am being productive, even though I am not doing anything hard.
  • I slept for eight hours last night!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A letter to the new Bishop

I am so frustrated today. I know I need to have patience, and I am trying... I should be incredibly grateful that you are willing to try as much as you are. I know that dealing with me and my crap isn't easy, and many people would run from the thought.

There are very few people who know what you know about me. It hurts that you know so much, and yet know so little at the same time. Maybe I gave you too much all at once. Actually, I know I did. I wanted so bad to have someone that could understand my world that I threw you into it by letting you read my blog.

That's like giving a baby steak as their first whole food. You handled it much better than you should have.

It hurts a lot sharing those things with you, and knowing you are reading them, and you really, REALLY don't understand. You could. I know you are capable. Its going to take a lot of work for both of us.

I am not writing what I am really feeling - I am censoring it... a lot! I am giving you the kind, non-offensive, understanding of your point of view crap that I always do. It is a talent and a skill that has come in handy in my life, but sometimes, it just sucks!

Sometimes, I just want to feel angry. Sometimes, I don't want to think about why you are doing what you are doing. Sometimes, I just want to think about me and no one else.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

List of (not so) gratitudes

So, I realized today that I haven't been keeping my daily list of blessings, or things I am grateful for. I used to do that every night. It helped me to see how much the Lord loved me, and I was able to see answers to prayers that I wouldn't have seen otherwise.

Blessings:
Horseback riding - I felt free for a few moments. I didn't have to worry about anything except the horse.
Amanda's calls and texts to let me know she is thinking of me.
Katie being here has been a lot of fun. She makes me laugh.

Actually, so as I am trying to write this list of blessings, all I feel is sadness. Amanda is worried sick, so she is calling me. I feel guilty for making her worry. She can hear the stress in my voice, so its my fault she is worried... Horseback riding was fun, but after riding and feeling so free, my body quit on me. I didn't feel good the rest of the day. Even though I several snacks, a good dinner, etc, I just felt sick and dizzy all night. It took everything I had to not pass out in the store last night. I also feel like at any moment horseback riding will be taken away from me. I am scared to love it or look forward to it too much... Katie being here has been fun, but there is so much sadness and pain being with her too. She is so stuck in her eating disorder, its hard to talk to her. Dann's love and support just makes me feel horribly guilty, because I don't deserve it. I am still angry at him - I don't deserve for him to love me and be kind to me when I feel so angry. Lauren is a good friend, and I am so grateful for her, but she's also telling everyone that I am not doing well. I am grateful for Rebecca's friendship - she helped me through a lot, but I don't want her friendship right now. It hurts too much, and I feel pressured to take care of her.

I am sorry that I didn't write the list of gratitudes like I wanted to... Its hard to feel grateful when it hurts so much at the same time... When I feel so guilty for it all too...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A reminder

Paul said something yesterday that really touched me. I told him that I have been feeling suicidal, but its been different than I used to feel.

It used to be that I longed for relief. I longed to get away from the pain and the heartache, and death seemed like the only answer. Then I would think about Mellen, or Dann, or even Bishop Johnons. I knew it would hurt them if I died - especially from suicide. I know that devestates people.

Lately, its been that I should do the world a favor, and die. I just make life difficult for everyone. No one wants me around. I am just a burden. If I die, they might be sad for a little while, but then they will be able to get over it much quicker than if I stick around.

Paul pointed out that those thoughts were placed there by an evil spirit. That evil does not want me to survive, because the truth is, The world needs to hear what I have to say. I need to do the world a favor and survive this crap, and then share with others how to overcome.

That meant a lot to me. I was reminded of the day 12 years ago in the ER. I just knew I was meant for great things, and I couldn't let ED run my life anymore. I knew the Lord had a grand plan for me in this life. So, I got over all of the ED behaviors.

And I believe that everything that has happened in the past two years has been part of His plan too. I look forward to overcoming, so I can share my story... Maybe write a book like Paul suggests.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Do you know what its like...

... to know exactly what you need to do to feel better, and yet you just can't do it?

I know if I just eat, I will feel better. At this moment, I feel weak, shaky, dizzy, nauseous. I know that if I just drink some of this drink sitting next to me, I will feel better. It will come almost immediately... But I don't want to feel better. I don't deserve to feel better. I just want to give up.

The thought of Moses and the people looking up to the serpent came to mind. So many of them didn't look. We don't know why they didn't look. Maybe they didn't feel like they deserved it. Maybe they wanted someone to do it for them. Maybe they didn't really believe it would work, and didn't want to make the effort if it wasn't going to work. Maybe they were so tired, they didn't really want to get better.

I know it probably doesn't matter why they didn't look. They died because they wouldn't do it. I guess Satan won. I want to be better than that, stronger than that, and I don't want him to win.

Please, just don't make me do this. Let me give up. Let my body collapse to the ground. Let me rest, and don't make me fight anymore.

I know that so many people would think that this is simple... not hard... like looking to a serpent on a staff. I want to agree with them. I know it should be so simple, and yet it is so difficult.

Please, if I have to keep going, give me strength. I don't have any strength of my own left.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Effects of abuse

This is some of the crap that I wasn't sure if I should share. However, since I have met so many people who suffer many of these same effects, I thought it might help them to know they are not alone. Also, maybe it will help those who have never been through sexual abuse understand how it can affect the lives of its victims. It has invaded every area of my entire life.
  • I feel like I can't get clean - I feel dirty all the time.
  • I can't sleep without a blanket, but I can't have it covering me completely. I have to stick my feet out, so I don't feel trapped. I can't handle another person under the blanket with me.
  • I have night terrors and nightmares almost every night.
  • I am hyper alert. Especially with men - I am aware of where they are, and what they are doing even if I can't see them.
  • I hate closing my eyes when I am around other people. I feel panicked when I do.
  • I can't sleep next to my husband. I feel panicked and afraid.
  • I hate to be hugged - I feel trapped.
  • It is painful to be touched. It feels like electric shocks running through my whole body.
  • All touch is a sexual experience. My body reacts as if I am having sex even if someone just shakes my hand.
  • I hate people to touch my bare arms!! or my neck! But at the same time, I want to be touched there. I just feel panicked and guilty when they do.
  • I am afraid of the dark.
  • I have chronically low blood pressure, and I am dizzy all the time.
  • I have headaches, sore muscles, and migraines all the time.
  • I clench my jaw in my sleep, so that is constantly sore.
  • It hurts "down there" all the time. It is a constant pain that sometimes grows so intense and spreads through my whole body - I would rather die than endure it a second longer.
  • I feel like others will think I am dirty if I spread my legs even the slightest bit. I sit with my legs crossed all the time. When I'm with any man, I instinctively clench my legs together tightly. I can never clench them tight enough though.
  • I still can't lay flat without sending me into a panic attack.
  • I never had an orgasm. At least - not that I know of.
  • I have never enjoyed sex, yet I think about it and want it most of the time.
  • I feel like I don't deserve anything: money, food, love, help, comfort, peace, nothing good.
  • Sometimes when my husband is nice to me - it is harder to accept than if he was beating or raping me. I feel like I don't deserve him to treat me nicely.
  • I have been unaware of any physical needs. I didn't feel hungry, I didn't feel pain. Even when I was really sick, I didn't know it, because I had to ignore all physical sensations just to get through the day.
  • I am really good at reading other people. I can tell when they are hiding things or holding back from me. I usually think they hate me, think I am disgusting, or they want to hurt me if they hide things from me.
  • I hate the penis! I think it is the most disgusting thing on the planet.
  • I have fantasies of being raped. The closest I have come to enjoying sex is when my husband takes total control and I feel like I am being raped. At the same time, that freaks me out, and makes me hate him... poor guy can't win!
  • I shut down when other people get the slightest bit upset. Even if they don't say or do anything - if I think they might be upset, I withdraw into my own head. I can't even think.
  • I hate going home!
  • I like to push my body to extremes. I like to see how long I can go without food, water, sleep, and I like to see how long I can handle extreme cold, over-exercising, or taking too many meds.
  • I hate wearing skirts - I feel too vulnerable in them.
  • I feel like I can't say no to anyone for any reason.
  • I feel guilty for EVERYTHING!!! I blame myself for every problem that everyone experiences.
  • I struggle to trust other people.
  • I hate being around other women.
  • I have lesbian fantasies, and I feel drawn to porn.
  • I feel angry, anxious and depressed more often than I feel any other emotions.
  • I don't know what it feels like to be relaxed and calm.
  • I am very good at hiding my emotions, I can smile and laugh while in intense pain. Most people never know that I am hurting, angry or anxious. I am grateful for that, and I hate it at the same time.
  • I am aware of other people's pain.
  • I am more compassionate and empathetic.
  • I have a very close relationship to my Father in Heaven that many people can't begin to understand.
  • I can feel angels and demons around me. I feel things that other people don't feel.
  • I am afraid to cry. I am afraid to feel angry. I am afraid to feel any feelings. I am even more afraid to express feelings, but not expressing them is also hell.
  • I hate church. Many of the teachings sound just like things I heard from Larry and Johnny to justify what they were doing.
  • I feel like I have to fight so hard to do the simplest, smallest tasks. I wonder if it is just as hard for other people, or if its just me.
  • I hear the word, "Relax" and I want to scream.
  • I get anxious having a blanket over me. I won't sit under the same blanket with anyone else.
  • I have to be able to see other people's hands, or I feel very anxious.
  • I am always assessing the risk of every situation I find myself in and I plan out in my head within the first few minutes how I would get out of the situation if need be.
  • I find myself crying and panicking with no known reason.
  • There is a constant ache in my chest. It feels like if I could just cry hard enough or scream loud enough - it would stop hurting me.
  • I have flashbacks of horrible things whenever I close my eyes.
  • I can't stand watching sex, kissing, affection on TV, but yet I am drawn to it at the same time. I want to see and read about other people's abuse. It makes what I went through seem more normal, and I can dismiss it.
  • I hate violence on tv and movies, and feel panicked watching it.
  • I hate sitting still - I feel like something is going to get me if I am just sitting there.
  • I hate sitting still - I feel like I don't deserve it.
  • I feel like I should hide myself from the world - no one should see me or know me - they would be disgusted.
  • I constantly feel like I have to repent, but I don't know what I have to repent for.
  • I have always believed life was pain and suffering. I can't imagine anything else.
  • I think about death and suicide constantly.
  • I have cut, bruised, and hurt myself many times, and I feel the urge to do so almost all the time.
  • The smell of saliva makes me nauseous.
  • I can't sleep unless I have my bra on, and I prefer extra-padded bras... partially because of the looks, but more I feel protected.
  • I don't look at people in public... as though if I can't see them they can't see me.
  • I HATE people walking behind me. I feel uncomfortable and anxious. I fear I am walking wrong, and they will criticize me, but more I just hate not being able to see them.
  • I have a hard time concentrating.
  • I don't like talking to people on the phone, because I can't see their face to know what they are thinking. I feel the same about email, chat, text, etc.
  • Have to be in the "know" about things, cannot stand secrets being kept from me. I HATE surprises.
  • I can't stand it when my mom talks in a serious tone with me. I also hate it when she cries, not because it makes me sad, but it makes me intensely uncomfortable.
  • When women cry or are upset - I shut down. I have no emotions, and sometimes feel no empathy. I feel like I should make them feel better. I usually also feel angry at them.
  • When men get angry - I shut down. I try to do everything I can to disappear, so they won't get angry at me.
  • I have always believed I would die young. Even if I wasn't suicidal... I just have always thought I wouldn't live until next year. (Whenever "next year" is.)