Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If I Could Change One Thing...

They say that youth is wasted on the young.... I used to wonder what that meant, you know, when I was young...

Now that I am not so young, I wish I could steal some of it back. I'm not old yet, but definitely on the downward side of the hill. I'm in the in-between time. It is a time to look backwards, hope forwards, and really learn to trust my Heavenly Father.

So I ask myself... If I could travel back in time, what kind of advice would I give myself?

It might surprise you to learn it would not be the obvious. I would not warn the younger me about the two disastrous marriages. I learned too much about me during those trials to risk missing the lessons. I also wouldn't risk the possibility of not having any of my 6 children.

I may warn me to not mention to my doctor when I'm pregnant with Bobby that I cut myself while digging in my garden. I was bullied into getting a tetanus shot at 5 months pregnant and I believe that is why he has autism. That is a hard one though, because of Bobby's autism, he has brought great blessings to his family. This is probably his own trial and nothing I did or didn't do would change the path that was set for him. Maybe it is just presumptuous of me to think I could have power to change his path.

So what would I say to me?

I would stress the need to take better care of me. Regular dental visits I'm sure would have saved some of my present dental grief. Not to mention several thousand dollars.

I would have a long talk with myself around age 30, and explain in minute detail how self-destructive behavior acted out then will manifest it's consequences in a decade or two. I would tell me how I no longer loathed myself and I would very much appreciate having my body cared for in a more respectful manner.

You see, when I was 30 and freshly diagnosed with P.T.S.D., I slipped into a period of time, about 6 months, where I became a head banger. I actually did it since my youth, but never to the point of concussions. During this aprox. 6 month period of time I had back-to-back concussions. I hated myself so intensely and felt such a need for punishment, that I was determined to give it to me as fully as I was able. Yes, I was suicidal as well, but I knew I couldn't destroy my existence, so instead I tried hard to destroy my body.... and more interestingly, I tried to get God to stop wanting me. I didn't want me, so why should He?

True to His nature, I did not succeed in getting God to turn His back on me. In fact, He was finally successful in getting me to stop banging my head against brick walls. Yes, literally, brick walls.

But damage was done, and now I must live with the consequences. My spine is somewhat fragile, it does not withstand impacts very well at all. I cannot jump or run, I must be careful how I walk and sit. It simply does not respond very well to any kind of compression trauma, and pretty much any kind of jarring is a compression trauma now-a-days.

God can heal all traumas, so I am now praying He will reverse the damage I so ungratefully inflicted on myself. If it is His will to remove the consequences from me, then I will again have a strong spine. Whatever He chooses to do for me, I am grateful for all the lessons I have learned.

God is good, and He chooses for me what will be of most benefit to me in my progression back towards Him. Of this, I am sure.

But if I had the ability to change one thing from my past, it would be to take better care of my body.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Getting Organized...

Today was another busy day. I spent yesterday and today getting things to help with organizing my little apartment and then bringing them home and organizing.

I have added to my collection of Ikea "Billy" bookshelves. I am now the proud owner of three 15" wide units. One for the dining area to hold cookbooks, canisters, and small appliances. One just off the dining area in the livingroom. This one has a door on it and will be used for glass bakeware & casseroles. The third is in my bedroom. I think I will take a novel approach to that one and put books on it.

I stubbed my toe while trying to help Danny figure out what to do with the 10' length of shelving on his floor. It will get cut down eventually, but it needed to be put out of danger of someone stubbing their toe on it. Yea, right!! Like I'm not going to walk right into that one! Now my poor little toe is purple, extending several inches into the body of my foot. It hurts too. I will probably have to wear my sandles with socks tomorrow just to get a shoe on the foot. I will have to ignor how dorky that looks.

Still, even with my throbbing toe I managed to empty a few boxes. Danny and I brought about a dozen more boxes out of storage. I felt a bit overwhelmed for a time, but I'm better now.

Slow and steady wins the race...

I like the way things are coming together.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...

Happy Thanksgiving...

Today was a quiet, peaceful day... not what is normal for a Thanksgiving Day. It was just Danny and me. We still made a full Thanksgiving Dinner, and it was very good. I even baked some rice bread and turned it into a sage dressing. Sage dressing is one of my favorite dishes of the day. That and pumpkin pie... still waiting for Danny to finish the pies.

In the meantime, my tummy is full.

Happy Thanksgiving...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Crashes.... Bears... & Flirts...

It's cold outside... winter has definitely arrived.

Yes, I am finally back. My computer crashed, meaning Windows wouldn't even open, and my other computers were still useless. Somehow Avast got shut off (I think Bobby did it) and a virus got in.

It does help to have a computer geek in house though. First he worked on my notebook and got it going. Now he's working on my desktop, which involves cloning the hard drive and then wiping it clean. A lot of work, he is so good to his mama.

I do admit I have had the notebook working for about a week already, without coming back on here. Have you ever typed on a little notebook? Either my fingers are too big or the keyboard is too small, but either way, typing class goes out the window and I'm forced to type with two fingers. So I put this off. Today I decided I could procrastinate no longer, single finger typing or not, I'm back.

There is a perk though, in using a notebook computer. It is so small and lightweight that I can lay on my bed all cozy warm under my quilt and finger-type away. Oh, life can get so lazy!

Danny and I are still working on organizing our apartment. Last night Danny worked on the pantry closet. It had two particle board shelves that were terribly bowed and pretty far apart, and only 12 inches deep... not all that useful. He removed those shelves and installed three 1" pine wood shelves, two are 20 inches deep & closer together, the third is the full 30" deep of the closet. That makes it possible to put boxes in the back and canned goods in the front. There was room for a fourth shelf, but we opted to use the floor to store small food buckets that will stack three high if we left out the last shelf. This pantry will now hold a lot of food storage. He used anchors and 16" brackets, so those shelves are sturdy!

I have jokingly said that by the time we have this apartment as we like it, it will be time to move again. Bobby will be moving back in with us in May, so we will need to get a 3 bedroom place. Even though we know we will have to move the end of May, we have decided to make this apartment as nice for us as possible for the time we are here.

And it also makes me feel like I am making progress in my life and not still waiting in limbo for me to be able to organize myself. Getting order in my life is feeling really good.

Other things in my life are coming together for me too... I'm not as afraid of men anymore.

I met a guy in Montana, a friend of my parents. (It seems silly to keep referring to my mom and step-dad separately, just know that when I say parents from now on it is them and not my biological father, who was abusive and is dead.)

Anyway, being in Montana, create this picture in your head.... Mountain man... hunter, especially bears.... lots of facial hair.... kinda says it like it is, worts and all.... He is a nice guy and I liked him, but I decided I'm just not the totally roughing it, mountain gal kind of girl. I don't think I would be happy living so far away from everything, even without the extreme cold.

But it was fun making friends with him. And I learned something about myself... I had to get over my fear of men and I didn't even know I had that fear! He flirted with me and I think I turned sheet white! I know I froze and he reacted to the look on my face by backing off... geeze, kinda hard to ever get a date if I freeze with a little flirt.

We talked a second time... he flirted again... and again I froze... I really needed to get over this.

Near the end of my visit in Montana my parents invited him to dinner. We talked again... he flirted again (gotta give him credit for persistence) and I didn't freeze!... I was able to even flirt back a little!!

Wow, I can't believe being able to take and give a flirt is progress in my life!

I've also started going back to the Church sponsored support group for women affected by relationships with sex addicts. It is a modified 12-step program and very useful. I went for the first time in this area last week. I used to go in Mesa, until it got too hard to afford the gas and the marriage was clearly a bust anyway.

Now my focus is not on how to survive in a sex-addict affected marriage, it is on me. If I am ever going to be able to have a relationship again, I need to get past my blanket wall of distrust. Not all men are unfaithful jerks, I know that in my head, but my heart is still screaming otherwise. I know with prayer and work on my part I will not only be able to get past this, I will be able to exercise discernment to know who I can trust and who to steer clear of. I have been praying on this for several months and have some progress, and going to the group feels to be an answer to my prayers.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day... It will be just Danny and me, and he has to work til 2:00. We got a small turkey and are planning a modest but delicious meal. I have so much to be thankful for..... there is goodness in my life.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Taking Care of Burdens...

I have returned...

Oh how I have missed being able to sit down to my computer and just be me.

The good news is I have finally been able to complete a much dreaded task that has loomed over my head and placed weight on my shoulders for a year.

When I moved from Mesa a year ago, there wasn't enough room in my step-dad's truck and the rented 12 foot trailer to bring all my belongings back with me. I had to leave some things behind. All my power tools for a few, including a fantastically terrific table saw that folds and rolls for storage. It was a birthday present a few years ago. Also some bookshelves, some food storage, a fair sized plastic outdoor storage shed, my file cabinet and some odds and ends. I really stressed out having to leave them behind, not because I am materialistic and morbidly attached to my "stuff", but because it meant I would have to make another trip back there and get them.

Chris agreed to store them for me until I could return. I told him he could use whatever he was able until then, and I am glad he took me up on my offer. It made me feel less guilty for continuing to occupy space at his house.

I suppose it shouldn't have weighed so heavy on me, but it did. At the time I didn't know HOW I was going to go back and get it. Driving those 3 days by myself would have been a bigger task than I think I am able to do. I figured I would fly out and rent a small u-haul truck, both with money I really didn't have. Then drive as far as I could each night and hope it only took me 3 days.

But my step-dad (Clay) again came to my rescue. He offered to make the drive again and despite a delay, we were able to begin the trip a little over a week ago. I had flown back to Montana on the 12th and spent a few weeks visiting, then we headed for Arizona.

We stopped and visited with family along the way. Clay's cousin and my brother in Utah, and my grandmother in California. All in all, the trip turned out ok. It did get shortened by several days because my step-sister became very ill and became hospitalized, and Clay really wanted to be able to be there for her. We are relieved that she is feeling much better now and is back home.

I really didn't relax until the truck was loaded and we realized there was no need to rent another trailer. Relieved is an understatement. In fact, there was room to spare. All that fretting for no reason.

Why can't we know before the fact what the outcome will be afterwards??? Life would be so much easier. Or would it? How would our lives be different if we could see the future 5... 10.... 20 years down the road? Would we make the same mistakes or create a whole new batch of different mistakes?

I suppose I am human enough that I would just choose a different, but equally as stupid, set of mistakes. Isn't that as life is?

Anyway, I am glad to be home and to have my stuff tucked away in my storage garage and my apartment. I left just one week after Tiffany moved out, so I still haven't been able to get settled. Even though I didn't move, it feels like it, as I am now able to slowly get my belongings out of storage. Danny and I made 3 trips to the garage right before I left, and loaded the car with his things. There are still boxes in the living room.

I wonder if by the time we are finally settled, will it be time to move again?? Oh how I miss having my own home, settled, and roots planted....