Sunday, January 24, 2010

"No, I Can't Do That Anymore"

It was December of 1979, my senior year. J and I were both 17. We were in her living room; I was crying. My family was driving to Indiana for Christmas, and I didn't want to go with them. Not only because I wanted to be with J, but that day I told her that my grandfather had been sexually abusing me for years and I was afraid that he would try again.

I remember J told me to simply tell him to "Stop!" Such a simple thing, really, but something I had never done before for fear that he would hurt me or tell my parents and they would get a divorce. He always carried a gun; I think that is why I am still afraid of them. And he had always held a divorce over my head. "If your parents find out, your mom will believe me. They will argue about it and get a divorce."

I went on that trip at Christmas and, of course, things had not changed. In the middle of the night the first night, he stood outside my door and snapped his fingers. That was his signal. Today I still cannot stand to hear someone snapping their fingers. I stayed in my bed.

The next day he pulled me aside and told me how upset and disappointed he was in me, and I could tell he was angry at me. He tried twice more after that. I said something like, "No, I can't do that anymore." And he never had another chance until I was 25.

I felt so strong after that. J had given me the confidence to say, "No." And God was with me so that nothing bad happened after I said, "No." There were two reasons I said "no." One reason was because I understandably had never wanted it in the first place." The second reason was that J and I had now found each other and I felt that she was the only person I wanted near me in that way, ever.

It was so good to finally tell someone and have them believe me or help me do something about it. I had told a few adults along the way, but back then they really didn't say any more than, "You need to tell your parents."

Once we got to college, my sophomore year I was having a lot of trouble sleeping and functioning. I was having flashbacks and body memories. J couldn't stand it, so one weekend when we came home, she got my mother alone and told her about what my grandfather had done. My mother said that she would take to me about it.

Fast forward one year later: she had not talked to me about it. So J and I invited her and my grandmother to San Marcos for the weekend. While J took my grandmother somewhere, I confronted my mom in our living room. After that, my mom has not wanted to talk about it; she says it's in the past and I should move on. The problem is, my mom and I have never been able to "move on" in our relationship and she has always held a grudge against J for telling her about the abuse.

Fast forward to this week: Following my therapist's advice, I invited my parents (by e-mail) to come see the condo, play on the Wii and go to a restaurant. Neither one of them replied, I am assuming because my mother does not want to see J. The issue between them will always be there, and my dad will probably always side with my mom. I am so angry. As long as they don't have to see J, it is like she doesn't exist; and, therefore, I am not in this relationship. It sucks.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Just Checking In or "What Would You Say to Your 13-Year Old Self?

Hi. Just wanted to stop and check in. We're still alive and kickin. J's knee has been giving her fits. Pre-menopause has been giving me mine. I am on some new OCD meds which I don't think are doing a darn bit of good.
As most of you know, I started the South Beach Diet around New Year's Day. I have lost 7 lbs. It's very frustrating to be so bloated awaiting your time of the month (which never seems to arrive) and try to lose weight at the same time. I am hoping once the fake period symptoms subside, the bloating and weight will magically be shed.
We started back to church. Our pastor has been in critical condition since before Christmas. I have seen my girls a couple of times since Christmas and started back with the high school homeschool classes with the younger one this week. The drive is horrible - about 2 hrs there and 1 hour back. But it is worth it just to see her.
My oldest and I are going to Florida during spring break to see my grandmother who is turning 90. Now I have a 90-yr-old grandmother and a 93-yr-old grandmother. Great genes!
No one has said anything about my wedding band yet. I am going to my grandmother's and my parents' house tomorrow. Wonder if they will say anything?
My brother and I are planning a 50th anniversary party for my parents this year. Should be fun. My car is in the shop tonight. Hope it is nothing serious.
Oh, and I am LOVING, Netflix, and Facebook!
I am so blessed to have J to spend the rest of my life with. Every night, I look over at her, her head resting on her pillow, me in her arms. She kisses me over and over again, and talks to me while I drift off to sleep, telling me how we met, what she used to think about me, how nervous she was, how beautiful she thought I was. I never get tired of hearing the story again and again. There is nothing better.
Someone once asked me, "If you knew then what you know now, what would you say to your 13-yr-old self?" Wow. 13 years old. I was so dorky but trying to change my image. I had braces, acne; I was so ugly. I was being sexually abused by more than one person at the time. I was afraid of my father's strictness, and I knew I was different."
I wasn't crushing over any girls or anything, but I wasn't crushing over boys, either. My OCD was in full swing, although I never said anything to anybody about it.
So what would I tell myself? Probably the following:
1. Look toward your heart.
2. God has a special person in mind for you. Don't settle.
3. It's okay to be different.
4. You don't have to go out with guys just because they ask you and everyone else is going on dates. (I started dating at 14. I was petrified to turn any boy down.)
5. You can tell your parents what is happening to you, especially your dad; he WILL BELIEVE YOU! And he will make it stop!
6. You don't have to be like everyone else.
7. God loves you no matter who you are and that is not going to change!
8. You can have children without getting married to a man.
9. Take some time off before going to college.
10. Don't ever let anyone verbally or physically abuse you as an adult.
Oh, I could go on and on. What would you tell your 13-yr-old self?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

More OCD Cartoons. Gotta love'em!

The bird on the zebra is me big time! And I think my therapist has probably wanted to smack me one several times; I know J has!

End of the Holidays

Yesterday, we went to Office Depot and bought a desk for our computer. Now we won't have to put it on top of boxes while we type. Then we went to the lesbian Target. J only spotted one lesbian couple, and I missed them! My gaydar is soooo bad. After that, we went to IKEA, and it was a nightmare! Had to park close to Antoine. It was wall-to-wall people in there. Found a whisk. J said, "We are not going through all of this just to buy a whisk", so we ended up with a chest of drawers (that we had to load ourselves onto a dolly), some hot pads, and a trash can for the master bathroom. But then we had to go to Home Depot to buy a dolly so that we could get the furniture upstairs. Wow, what a day! And that all took place between 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

As you can see, I found a weight loss ticker. Not very original, huh? Today the Texans play their last game. I am going to take the Christmas tree and decorations down while watching the game. J has to do some work and pay bills. I am also going to be cooking up food for the week to snack on (meatballs, for sure!) so that my blood sugar doesn't drop and start cravings.

I finally decided what my New Year's resolution is going to be. It is going to be to pray more often. I have been extremely lacking in that area for a long time now. Praying is simply a personal relationship with God to me. I don't usually ask for anything, really, just his will and that I can make it through whatever comes up. He has never failed me, never. I may not always like his answers, but I am not living for me; I am supposed to be living for him. He calls the shots. I need to be more thankful for what I have, not for what I don't. Because I have a lot more than most.

I am so sad to see this holiday end. I don't want to go back to work. Oh, yeah, that's another thing I need to do today; work on my resume. Hope you all have a leisurely Sunday.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Our Year in Review

Well, in order to review, I must go back to Thanksgiving and Christmas of '08 to get the full effect. I left the ex and the girls October 15th, 2008. I was not invited to Thanksgiving dinner with my family. J went to her mom's for awhile, and then we went searching for a restaurant to eat at that night. It was very difficult to find anything open, only making the holiday more depressing. We ended up at Doneraki for a Mexican meal.

Christmas wasn't much better. I was not invited to exchange gifts with my family (they had exchanged names and had a huge get together on Christmas Eve at my brother's). I guess my parents started to feel a bit sorry for me and knew that I wanted to see the girls, so they invited me, my grandmother, my ex, and the girls over on Christmas Day for a meal and for me to give the girls their presents. The whole day was EXTREMELY awkward with no one knowing where to sit at the table (my mom put place cards down this year), and we all left right after the dishes were done. Both girls were standoffish and didn't thank me for their gifts, and neither one gave me a gift.

By January we were planning our commitment ceremony for March 1st in Las Vegas. I absolutely hated my job and wanted out of it so badly. But we were excited planning everything and picking out the rings, the clothes, etc. Except for the last minute stress of not finding the right shoes to match my dress or finding the perfect blouse to match J's suit, the planning of the ceremony was actually quite easy.

February was my birthday, and, as usual, J treated me out to dinner and gave me a pearl necklace and earrings for my birthday and Valentine's Day to wear at the ceremony! She always makes every day romantic. Left for Vegas at the end of the month!

March 1st, 2009, at 4:30 p.m.: We were "committed" at the Flamingo by an awesome minister and staff. They treated us like any other bride and groom. J was SOOOO nervous! We wrote our own vows. We had six great friends to share in our joy! Got plastered the last night downtown.
Came home sick, sick, sick. I missed quite a few days of work.

April (I think): J had to have her gall bladder taken out. Not a fun time for her. Was the first time I had seen her mom in years. We actually had a few minutes of civil conversation. I think she could tell that I was going to try to take good care of J.

May: All I could think of was getting out of my job! Started sending out resumes more diligently. I made it through the school year. My daughter graduated from high school, which we had been told by doctors would never happen. Saw a lot of old friends (and enemies) that I had not seen since I left. For the most part, they were cordial. Again, I was left out of planning the reception, so I told her I would not attend. She asked me to, but I didn't feel comfortable.

June: bored, bored, bored. Tried to see the girls as much as possible, but they both had jobs and were "busy" a lot.

July: Had given up finding a job and was gearing up for the new school year, when we got a lead on a job. Had the interview, and while I was waiting to hear back, I went to Florida for a few days. Was the first time J and I had been apart since getting back together. Was going to come out to my grandmother, but she said some derogatory remarks about gays, so I chickened out. Found a lump in my breast before I left for Florida. Started my new job on July 20th. Had my first biopsy on July 24th.

August: Was told by the surgeon that although the tumor appeared to be malignant, he would need to go back in and do a more extensive biopsy to be sure. The kind of tumor I had was really rare. Had the second biopsy on August 31st.

September: Celebrated J's birthday. Started teaching my youngest two classes. Met at the library Monday and Tuesday nights. Was still not getting as much time with the oldest one as I wanted. We started hunting for a new place to live that would be closer to our jobs.

October: Went to an oncology radiologist who said he couldn't tell me whether or not the tumor was malignant or whether or not I needed radiation. It was our call. We opted to not have the radiation done. That month is a total blur with medical bills coming in every day. We just wanted to move so badly.

November 14th, we moved into the city. J was thrilled. I missed the country and got lost a lot. Still do! Celebrated our anniversary at Carraba's. It would have been 29 years had we stayed together the first time.

December was full of mixed emotions. Our families still have not come around. Our parents are more comfortable around us, but I don't think we will ever be allowed to bring the other partner to their homes. My kids didn't sit anywhere near me at Christmas. The oldest one actually started speaking to me, though. But J and I had our first Christmas tree together and woke up on Christmas Day next to each other for the second year in a row.

So here it is, January 2010. I am starting back on the South Beach diet. I don't really like to call it a "diet." It's just another way of eating. I have about 70 lbs. to lose. One year I lost over 40 lbs on it, but then went back to eating my favorite - mashed potatoes! Lost 1 1/2 since yesterday. Been playing on the Wii and not eating carbs or sugar. I will try to keep you up-to-date on my weight loss progress. It's really not about making a resolution. I have never weighed this much in my entire life, and the only one who can change that is me! If anyone knows of a weight loss counter I can put on my blog, please let me know.

Peace to all of you this new year!