Wednesday, June 30, 2010

a confession....

Ok, I'm going to finally admit it. I've been stuck for a while.

I'm struggling with depression again. I've had this problem all my life. Depression has come and gone. I've taken anti-depressants before, and I feel they mess with my ability to make rational, proper decisions. I've gotten in some trouble while taking anti-depressants. I don't want to take the risk of going down that road again. I am taking St. Johns Wort and it is helping when I remember to actually take it.

I don't like being alone all the time, and I'm finding myself alone alot again. Every once in a while is okay, but not day and night. Especially nighttime.

Tiffany has graduated, has a serious boyfriend, and is presently helping a friend who has a new baby. She is actually staying with the friend right now, so are the girls. So, I am alone in our new apartment. Day and night.

I used to think I would love to be alone. Funny, how when you get what you think you want, it doesn't pan out to be what you expected.

I do have moments when I am not alone. I spent the evening into the wee morning hours with Bridgette watching the midnight show of Eclipse at the theater. It was great. I am a Twilight fan, I love how faithful Edward is, even though he did make some dumb decisions. He didn't leave her for someone else, he just mistakenly thought if he left she would be safe.

I wonder if it is possible to find a faithful man this late in life...

If she can find a babysitter, Bridgette and I are going to the temple tomorrow. That would be great. I love going to the temple and serving. There are plans for next week as well.

So I do have pockets of time when I am not alone.

At some point Danny will be moving in with me, then I will have company at night again.

See, I told you I'm struggling with depression again. I don't like writing when I am depressed. I don't like putting a downer in print. So, instead I've been pretty quiet.

Just thought I would let you know, if you have been looking for a new posting, why I've been away for so long.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Pretending To Be Normal"

I just finished watching the movie "Adam". It is about a man with Asperger's Syndrome. Asperger's Syndrome is in the Autism spectrum, on the mild side. In some ways people with Asperger's are very high functioning... just not in the social skills department. The character Adam in the story reminded me a lot of my Bobby.

The female character in the story is Beth, an elementary school teacher. The school psychologist gives her a book called "Pretending To Be Normal". That is a very good description of Bobby. He has become very good at pretending to know things he does not understand. People think he understands more than he does. He has learned to hide it very well.

When Bobby gets going on a subject, it is hard to get him to stop. He is especially interested in video games, movie production, and Japanese animation. Those are things he knows about, to the tiniest little detail. He can quote dates of movie releases, birthdates of producers, the cast list. He knows that kind of stuff really well. He just can't understand why it is not right to say rude things or to lie. He thinks it is only bad if you get caught. If you don't get caught, then you weren't bad.

Unlike Adam, my Bobby will probably never hold down a meaningful job. That makes me sad. My heart's wish is for all my children to be able to feel they are capable and productive. Unfortunately there are some aspects of Bobby's autism that prevent him from being able to interact with the public, so finding a job he could do is greatly limited.

My heart is feeling kinda heavy right now. I do not know what the future holds for Bobby.

I am grateful to know that someday, when this world is made anew, that my Bobby will be too. His mind will not always be clouded with immature emotions. Someday he will be able to shine forth to his full capacity.

For Bobby's sake... for all our sakes... I hope that time comes soon.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

We All Have Value...

I really don't like writing when I'm feeling down. I think I come across as being more depressed than I really am.

I got an email from my brother this morning. He read my post from a few days ago and wanted to make sure I knew I wasn't worthless.

Let me assure you I do not believe I am worthless, I just feel that way sometimes. There is a difference, at least to me, between feeling and knowing. I know I have value, it just feels less sometimes. Especially when I am unable to be productive.

Does that make any sense?

No one is worthless. Our value is beyond measure. I matter... you matter...

Bridgette wrote in her blog about how sometimes depression can be lifted through service to others. I wholeheartedly agree. It isn't always the solution, especially if there is a chemical imbalance. My depressions over the years have been chemical issues more than service issues. But even when I am down, if I am able to set myself aside and help someone else, it lifts me up a little. At least I am better off than I was before.

I think my brother wrote that to me because he remembers how bad I was in the past. I felt very little of myself for many years. In fact, I spent a great deal of time and energy trying to destroy myself. I knew I could not destroy my existence, so without realizing what I was doing, I tried to destroy my relationship with Heavenly Father. That if I worked hard enough at it I could convince Him that He was wrong and I wasn't worth His effort.

I even, in my stupidity, told Him that once. I told Him He should just throw me away. His response to that you ask?

He showed me what it would feel like to be thrown away. For a split second I felt His Spirit withdraw entirely from me. I was, for that tiny moment, in outer darkness. The air was thick and dark, I couldn't breath, fear exploded inside me. I was alone more than anyone could possible imagine. The aloneness was deep and penetrating. It was a void beyond description. All this happened in a fraction of a second, yet it had a lasting effect on me.

Immediately I apologized, I was wrong. And immediately His Spirit returned. I felt myself wrapped in His love, in His presence, in His light. I would never recommend to anyone to do that, it was the among most frightening experiences of my life.

I do not picture Him as being angry at me for what I said. But rather, I picture Him as a loving parent who, behind a knowing smile, allowed me to suffer a consequence in order to learn a lesson. How many times do we, as parents, stifle a smile in order to not ruin the teaching moment? As young children, we all can do the dumbest things sometimes.

Today I am not that same person. I know I have value. I do not doubt it. Heavenly Father has been good to me, even when I haven't be good to myself. He has worked hard to plant deep in my heart that I matter. And I do matter. So do you.

I didn't mean for this blog to become so much about me, but somehow that is what it has become. I have been told by others who have read my writings, here and in other places, that I am able to express in words the feelings they have inside, and it helps them. For this reason I will continue to write. It is my heart felt desire, not to make it all about me, but to reach out to others and help in any way I can.

The world isn't about me, and it isn't about you. It is about us, and how we, together, can return to our loving Father in Heaven.

The Forever Journey

The Journey of a Thousand Miles,
It is said, begins with a single step.
So go our lives, each day that we live,
Be it smiles or tears that are wept.

For under the facade of the games that we play,
Behind all the bustle and stress,
Lives a soul that is simple, a child that is pure,
A desire for Eternal progress.

This is the journey that forever holds,
Take each day, each moment in time.
Build upon principles of Faith, Love, and Hope.
And follow Christ's example sublime.

Then forever will be full of beauty and grace,
The wonders of Heaven opened wide.
Forever with Father is worth what it takes,
It is worth traveling this path side by side.

Travel we will, though the way may seem hard,
At times on our knees we must crawl.
But Father is there, His presence is sure,
And He welcomes us home one and all.

Please come with me as my journey begins,
And I will go with you on yours.
Together we will travel and discover ourselves,
And find peace and joy evermore.

c Sandy Smith 1992

Friday, June 18, 2010

Coming Out Of Being A Battered Wife....

I just got off the phone with a friend who is struggling with the same struggles I had two years ago... An unfaithful husband addicted to filth and being caught in the snare those snakes seem to be able to tie us up into.

It is called "Battered Wife Syndrome" and you don't have to be hit to suffer from it. The first time my counselor told me I had Battered Wife Syndrome I was shocked. He never hit me, but upon looking at the way he treated me, talked to me, or didn't talk to me, I was able to see that what my counselor was telling me was the truth. He was manipulative and controlling. He wove his words in such a way as to make me appear to be responsible for his bad behavior. He battered me with his words, with his lies and with his secrets. He showered me with guilt, that somehow I had failed as a wife and if I had of been a better wife, he wouldn't be behaving badly. And... that if I did better at my job he would be able to do better at his. This lie kept me hanging onto him, that somehow I held the key to him being a good husband.

As I spoke with my friend, who was reaching out to me for help, I kept a prayer in my heart to be able to say the right thing. After nearly half an hour it came to me... I asked her "Are you reading your scriptures every day?".

During my ordeal with my second husband I struggled so much. I loved him, I couldn't see my life without him. Yet he was clearly living his life without me. I went to my bishop over and over seeking help, strength, and answers. One day he asked me that question "Are you reading your scriptures every day?"

My answer was "no", I found it so hard to want to. In fact, the scriptures had no life to me. I couldn't relate. They were just words in a book that bored me to sleep. I had been praying to be able to have the desire to read them, but I did not feel the desire was there yet.

My bishop challenged me to read every day, without fail. He promised me that if I did, the strength and the answers I was seeking would be there. He also promised me that the Lord would change my heart towards the scriptures if I put forth the effort and did my part.

I started reading that night. I actually started putting my scriptures on my bed and leaving them there, so I would see them in the morning when I woke up and at night when I laid back down.

Seeing my scriptures as often as I did helped. I didn't have to remember because they were right there to remind me. As I made reading a part of my daily routine, my heart changed. I started enjoying my reading, then I began to love the scriptures. I found it hard to close them and start my day.

I also found the strength to leave, to trust God would take care of me. I may have had to move an awful lot, but all along the way I know the Lord was with me. I always had a home.

Since that day I have read almost every day. I really feel it when I don't, and after today I was reminded of this. This is probably the single most important fact as to those days I find myself depressed... I have to ask myself "Have you read your Scriptures today?"

The answer is always "no".

As I spoke with my friend today I realized something. The answer to overcoming Battered Wife Syndrome, at least for me, was and is, to read my scriptures every day. In the scriptures comes strength to say "no" to him. Strength to walk away, strength to trust in God. The answers come, the fear subsides. In the scriptures is a peace that cannot be duplicated by anything any man may have to offer.

This promise my bishop gave to me will apply no only to Battered Wife Syndrome, but also to any problem life may throw at us or any heartache we are struggling to overcome.

So I present this question to you... "Have you read your scriptures today?"

I promise, it makes a difference.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where Can I Find The Faith I Need?


I need more faith...

Whenever I have a flair-up and find myself in pain and fatigue for several days, depression starts to set in and I start to feel like giving up. This is such a cycle, over and over, I want there to be an end to it all, and I cannot see it. I haven't been writing because I don't want to sound so down, be so down. I am trying to find some positive in my situation.

I received two blessings before I left Arizona. The first told me I can have the health I desire according to my faith. The second, weeks later, told me it was time to become healthy again. I believe in these blessings... I have seen evidence of them being fulfilled... I am being impatient... my impatience eats at my faith...

I really want to be healthy. I want to be able to play with my grand children without danger of hurting myself. I would like to be able to have a job, or a business, and support myself. I watch other people in their active, normal lives. I read the update posts on Facebook from my friends about their days. Put me in a few of those days strung together and I end up like I did at the beginning of this week.

Right now I can't even sit on the couch and watch a movie with my daughter, and the couch isn't an uncomfortable couch. But my back hurts after just a few minutes on it. Every week I go to my chiropractor to be told how badly out my spine is. Since I do my best to ignore the pain, I'm not that aware of how badly out it is anymore, unless I cannot walk. That's a dead give-away. The problem is, if I don't keep on top of it, I won't be able to walk again. And I am not fond of using my walker or cane.

I am better than I was a year ago. Last June I was still unable to sit at all, and I spent the majority of my day laying down... Pretty much all of it. That is why I have so many DVD's now, there wasn't much of anything else I could do. I felt worthless. I used my walker daily just to help me get out of bed or get to the bathroom.

When I finally went to church again I either laid down on one of the pews inside the chapel, or on the couch in the foyer. I didn't make it every Sunday. I could not sit down for even a few minutes. Once my bishop told me he was watching me on the pew, and told me I should be staying home. He said it with concern, not condemnation. He saw the pain on my face, as much as I tried to hide it. But I was so isolated, so lonely, I wanted to be with others, but he was right. I really wanted to be a part of the "ward family" but in the year I lived there, I was only able to go a few weeks before the injury. I had no social life at all.

I can sit now, on an exercise ball at my computer. That is my chair. Looks kinda weird, but it works for me. When we play a game I take my big ball to the table and sit on that so I can participate.

I still wake up sore. It takes a few hours to get the joints greased up again. This is why I walk. It helps.

These last several years have been really hard. The loneliness at times has been crushing... But I know I need to go on. I need to push past the depression and find some joy. Today is one of those days, in a string of days.

I read Bridgette's blog today. ( She is also having a hard time I think. She wrote about the experience of her last pregnancy. I could not imagine going through what she went through. To have to carry a dead baby, in order to preserve the life of the living one. Knowing, at the birth, there was also going to be a funeral...

I remember that time. I flew from Arizona to Oregon to help her. We knew it was going to be a cesarean section so I came the day before the scheduled surgery. On that day, instead of excitedly preparing for the birth of a new family member, Bridgette and I spent the day making burial clothes for Elliott. We went to the store and bought a pattern for a 10" doll. We also got white fabric and lace. That was hardest thing I have ever made. With all my heart I didn't want to do it... But I did, for Bridgette.

We knew it was likely he would not be able to be put in the clothes, but Bridgette wanted it anyway. I did my best to give Bridgette what she wanted. Then we made a burial wrap, with satin ribbon and lace. Bridgette felt it was necessary to alter the pattern for the wrap, so I followed her instructions. As it turned out, her inspiration was correct, had we not altered the pattern for the wrap, it would not have worked. I am grateful to Heavenly Father, in His compassion and love, that He saw fit to guide us as we worked on this small but heartfelt token of our love and grief. Elliott would not be placed in his tiny coffin with nothing. He would be clothed as best as we could provide.

I went to the hospital with Bridgette and Adam, expecting to be waiting for her in her room while she was in surgery. At the last minute, the doctors gave permission for me to enter the delivery room with them and witness the c-section and births. My heart was heavy, but hopeful all would go well with the living baby, a new grandson.

They delivered him first, and he appeared healthy and strong. They did the normal cleaning, weighing, measuring of him, while the doctors delivered the second baby. I did not know what to expect to see, and the doctors quickly set his tiny body aside as they worked to complete the surgery.

After the surgery was complete, the nurse brought her baby over to Bridgette to see and hold him for a moment before he was taken to the nursery. He looked so perfect and we rejoiced in this new life. Then the doctor asked Bridgette if she wanted to see the other baby. Yes, she most certainly wanted to see him.

I realized it was deep in my heart that maybe, somehow, if I was able to see him, I would be able to let go of the grief, get some closure to this experience that was tearing out my heart.

With care and tenderness, the doctor brought over the basin his tiny body was in. He gently lifted him out and explained what we were seeing. Because it was a twin pregnancy, the body of the living twin flattened the body of the dead one, so he was flat, not round. But we could make out features. He was so tiny. At that moment, when I expected my heart to fully break, a peace come over me, and I felt the words as if they were spoken to me audibly, "It is sufficient". Later I talked to Bridgette and she said she felt the exact same message. With that we knew that Elliott completed all he needed to, and that tiny, fragile body was enough for him to be able to rise in the resurrection. I cannot express the depth of comfort I have received with this.

Unfortunately, this was not the end of the trial. Soon it became apparent the living baby was not so healthy. He had meconium ileus, which meant the meconium was blocked in the intestines. This was an indicator of Cystic Fibrosis. It required surgery to save his life. He spent the first three months of his life in the NICU, having 4 surgeries and 3 blood transfusions.

He is today an active 2-1/2-year-old. We don't know how long we will be allowed to enjoy his presence with us, and treasure the days we have. It appears that the four areas of the body that can be affected by CF, are with him. His health care is routine now, routine that is for a CF child. And if ever a child were a mischievous two-year-old, he is.

This child, and my Bobby, were born into this world with imperfect, unhealthy bodies. Although Bobby's body works well, his mind does not. Yet, I look at him and see the perfection of our Heavenly Father. Bobby is protected from the evil of this world because of his lack of understanding of it. The adversary cannot have him. For that I am grateful.

I think I need to be patient with me. My struggle with my faith is linked with my impatience to be well. I keep questioning whether or not I am doing all I can. I struggle with thinking I am lazy, because I do not accomplish very much in a day. I look around me and I see the pain and heartache of others. I would do well to lend compassion and understanding to them, and not spend my energy feeling sorry for myself.

There are blessings in adversity...

I have had a wort on my left hand, middle finger. I spent a year using products to get rid of it, but nothing worked. Then the flesh started splitting. Very painful, and each time it healed, the wort was a little bigger. In my frustration, I actually went to an MD. I avoid MD's now, preferring natural methods as much as possible. The MD froze the wort. Four times I went in and he froze it. The finger continued to split, heal, split, heal. And the wort was now doubled in size. It was growing on the tip, partially under the nail. Uncomfortable and a nuisance.

Two weeks I was cooking in the kitchen. I was using a knife and cutting board to cut some meat and I sliced into the wort, deeply. For three days my finger throbbed. It woke me up at night. I applied antibiotic ointment and bandaids and really babied the finger. Today I look at the finger, and it appears the wort is gone. The trauma of the injury seems to have been enough to finally kill it. I hope so, I will know for sure in the next week or so.

Adversity can be like that. What appears to be a hard thing ends up providing a blessing for something else. My sciatic injury was like that too. My "wiring" was all messed up, my reflexes didn't work right, it was that way for over 20 years. But after the injury they are normal again. I need to be patient with me, and allow the healing to take place in God's time and not mine.

If we let Him, God will turn any adversity into a blessing. And because of the adversity, the blessing is more appreciated I think. I don't ever want Heavenly Father to think I do not appreciate His blessings.

I think I have found a little more of my faith. :-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Peeking Out Of My Hole For A Moment....

Wow, it has been almost a week since I last wrote. Maybe I did fall off the edge of the earth!!

Or something....

Actually, I've been dragging myself around the place for a few days. This last weekend was busy with Tiffany's graduation and visitors and all. I was just wiped out. And I don't bounce back quickly.

I would sit down at my computer to write, but all I really wanted to do was go back to bed... So I did.

Of course, NCIS kept me company, so I wasn't completely bored. I'm up to season 4, still haven't opened the box with season 6. I ordered it weeks ago, but decided not to watch the season I haven't seen yet until I reviewed all the seasons up to that point. It is starting to get very interesting. Have I ever mentioned that I don't have cable or satellite tv? I don't catch the latest shows, but it is great for having no commercials. The only thing I really miss from cable is Glenn Beck, and I can't justify spending a small fortune every month for just one show.

I'm still feeling like my head is in a fog... not thinking all that clearly.

Fibromyalgia is such a drag. You think you are getting on top of it all, and start to feel human again, then WHAM!! You do too much and it knocks you back to the floor. Now too much is a relative word. Too much actually means you behaved like a normal person with a normal day and normal activities. Fibromyalgia won't let you be normal.

I got a call from a friend this afternoon inviting me to a Relief Society activity tonight. Relief Society is the oldest woman's organization in the USA. It is the woman's organization in my church. They are making bread and strawberry jam tonight. It is women visiting and helping each other. I had to pass. My goal is to make it to church on Sunday so I have to build my energy back up. But she will give me a ride to church on Sunday so I won't have to walk.

I took my walk today. I am starting to really hate the walks. I hurt when I take them, but I hurt more when I don't. I think it is because the air is so wet. The cold didn't seem to bother me, but the wet is. I love the rain too, so this is a frustrating thing for me. I used to take walks in the rain, now my bones creak more and my muscles complain more when the water falls from the sky. While in Arizona the heat had that effect on me. I guess I can't win... The better thing would be to beat the fibromyalgia. Any suggestions?

I went to the dentist yesterday. I was tired when I went in and exhausted when I left. He checked the wound left from the extraction. It looks good. Then he cleaned my teeth. OUCH!! That is what happens when you wait years between cleanings. I don't plan to neglect my teeth again, the cleanings WILL take place on time. On the bright side, my teeth look good again.

The dentist gave me a kit for cavity prevention. In it are some mints. They are made with Xylitol. Xylitol actually kills the bacteria that causes cavities. It is good for the teeth. It also is sweet, so it tastes good. Danny has been looking for gum and mints that contain Xylitol without also containing artificial sweeteners for a long time. This one fits the bill. check it out, I ordered a sample pack. I am looking forward to chewing gum again, I had to stop because of that pesky tooth. With it gone, I can also eat popcorn again!! YEA!! I really missed popcorn.

We had a family dinner on Monday night. We met at my favorite restaurant, Chang's Mongolian Grill. We were celebrating Tiffany's accomplishment. She is graduated!!! Almost the whole family was there and then some. The only ones missing were Chris and his family. We missed him.

But also in attendance were the kid's dad, my first husband. And his mom. There could have been some stressful moments, not everyone likes each other, but it didn't happen that way. We were there for Tiffany, so everyone set aside their differences and enjoyed the evening. Even got a group picture which I'm not allowed to post unfortunately because there are little kids in the pictures and the parents are very protective.

So... this is my update. I hope my head starts working again soon.... I miss my writing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I am really suffering from writer's block right now. I sit down at my computer and my mind goes BLANK...

I will try to make some sense tonight as I write.

There have been several things in the past week of significance in my life. First and formost...


And throughout the whole Graduation proceeding he didn't make a spectacle of himself... at least not much of one. He has a tendency to raise both arms above his head... kinda hard to miss him when he does that. I kept watching him, waiting for him to do it, and he didn't. He behaved himself.

But he didn't behave during the Commencement. As you can see in the picture, taken with Bridgette's cell phone, you can't miss who Bobby is... I didn't get to go to this, he neglected to tell us about it. In fact, he told Bridgette that night that he had to go to a party at school and he was supposed to wear his cap and gown. He told her this at the time he was supposed to be there. She told him she would take him, but he would get his cap and gown dirty at a party so he had to leave it at home. When they got to the school, she noticed families and students wearing their caps and gowns. That was when she realized it was the Commencement Ceremony and she had to rush back home to get his cap and gown. Dinner was very late that night since she did not know to plan for a 3 hour block at dinner time.

Living with an autistic person certainly has it's frustrations. Trying to get him to understand the need for proper communication is not an easy task. The really frustrating part of this is that Bridgette was constantly asking him for the schedule. She knew graduation was coming and wanted to keep on top of it. Bobby has the emotional understanding of a young child, at most 7 years old, but I see some things in him that remind me of 4-year-old Alison. He will never really grow up. Physically he doesn't look 20, he looks more like 16 or 17.

Another thing in the past week was that I finally got that troublesome tooth pulled. I was nervous, really nervous. The dental student did a great job, and now I feel so much better. My mouth is sore a bit still, but that is healing up nicely too. The really great part is that about 2 hours after the tooth was out I started feeling the fog lift from my brain. It is a slow process, but I am feeling better, a little more healthy. I think that tooth was contributing a good amount to the health problems I have dealt with over the last decade or so. Yes, that tooth has been a problem for a very long time.

I drank a tea, called ESSIAC tea, to maintain myself. Without it I was ready to grab a pair of pliers and yank that tooth out myself. But because of the tea's ability to keep the pain away, I continued to put off getting it pulled. So it was great that I could keep the pain away, but not so great that the tooth continued to be a problem. Now that the tooth is out, I will continue to drink the tea to help clean out the infection. The tea works as a blood cleanser. Made from sheep sorrel, burdock root, slippery elm and turkey rhubarb. I originally tried it from a health food store, and it wasn't any good. The herbs have to be fresh and health food stores are not a good source for fresh herbs. I get my herbs from a reliable source and have never been disappointed with this company. On this website she calls it "4 Herb Tea".

Tiffany is graduating this Sunday. It has been a long, hard ordeal for her. I am glad for her that it is coming to a close. Congratulations Tiffany and Bobby!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Alison is at that questioning and impatient stage...

When she comes at me with her "I want it NOW" attitude, I am trying to teach her the value of patience.

"Hold your horses", I will say to her. My dad used to say that to me. It is an old fashioned saying, but I tend to like old fashioned. I used it with my children, along with other old fashioned phrases.

"I don't have any horses", is her reply. She thinks I am very silly to be talking about horses.

"It means be patient, wait for me to be able to ....." (fill in the blank). This is a very hard lesson for her. Patience is so difficult a concept at four.

This scenario happens on a daily basis.

Today Alison got in trouble with her mom. She was being demanding and impertinent. She was put in "time out" and told to sit there for a few minutes. I stayed out of it, this was between her and her mom. Through her tears I heard her sob...

"I can't hold my horses".

It was very hard not to burst out laughing.

...I wonder if someday Alison will use that phrase in teaching her children about patience...

Internet problems...

No, I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth... my internet did though.

We have CLEAR service here and are having a hard time keeping the connection. The tech won't be able to get here till June 15th, so it will be touch and go. They even sent us a new, multi-directional modem, but the connection is still poor and often gone completely. Right now my window is open to get the connection, and since it is cold and raining outside, I'm going to have to shut the window soon.

I will do my best to be back on soon.