Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dinner and a Show

It's been a rough week. There's just no two ways about it. Memories and memory pain. Dd isn't doing so well, however they did change her meds some. Female troubles; free floating anxiety; guilt; and seeing too much of the extended family. I wanted a fun week. A week where I felt capable and in control. Instead I got the aforementioned list.

Prior to the start of the week from hell, I had issued a dinner invitation to an old friend. You know it would be nice to catch up some more following the hs reunion. I cancelled it with the promise to reschedule. His best date was Friday night. Friday night is date night. What to do? I asked my husband. Maybe we should wait a week and reschedule. Maybe I'd be feeling better. Maybe I could channel Martha Stewart if I weren't dealing with all the yuck. Dh said just have them come over on Friday. We'll change date night. Dinner was set for 6 pm.

Most of you know I LOVE to cook, but I have perfectionist issues (just add 'em to the list!). This particular friend I've known since we were 7. He's had his share of bumps and issues along the road as well. I knew he'd enjoy the food and wouldn't grade the cleaning. I told myself I'd cook what I wanted, how I wanted. I'd set the table how I wanted. I didn't clean the house, because what I wanted to do was cook. So I cooked. And you know what? It was great! The meal was terrific, if I do say so myself. Even my son commented on it! The house wasn't perfect, but we all enjoyed the food, the conversation and my ds's ukulele performance.

So a big thanks to K & K for reminding me why I like to "entertain". And a big thanks to dh for being the relaxed, laid back kind of guy he is. And finally to my ds for humor, conversation and great ukulele playing.

Oh, and if you want to know more about the menu and recipes check out my other blog:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Feel Good Friday Meets Thankful Thursday

Feel Good Friday with The Girl Next Door and Thankful Thursday
This week has been a mixed bag, as most weeks are, but I find myself at the end of the week/beginning of the weekend feeling distinctly content and blessed. What brings on these feelings you may ask (at least I hope you will)? Here's my list:

  • a relaxing Sunday with my dh
  • a swim at the pool on Monday that included some good conversation
  • Tuesday brought a good memory from a previously bad memory
  • teenage boys who love my cooking
  • Jamaican Banana Bread, Chocolate Mint Cookies, Rice Jardin, Squash Souffle
  • letters and cards to and from my dd
  • reading: A Mennonite in a Little Black Dress; Boundaries; A Duty of Death -- I love summer
  • catching up on the ironing -- even linens
  • World Cup with my ds and his friends
  • looking forward to date night, 30th hs reunion, the TN Artisan Festival this weekend
  • finding a way to release some of that free floating guilt and responsibility
I'm looking forward to my weekend. I hope you are too!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Daybook -- June 15th

FOR TODAY as part of The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... it's sunny, hot and MUGGY!

I am thinking... that I may need more order to my summer.

I am thankful for... improved limberness.

From the kitchen... my Choco-Banana smoothie for a mid-morning snack.

I am creating... too many things, so I'm not accomplishing much.

I am going... to read all I can this afternoon. 

I am reading... Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

I am hoping... to sew this afternoon.

I am hearing... doggie toenails on the wooden floor.

My sweet baby Yaya asleep on my paisley storage stool. Her pedestal!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Everything Changes

Yesterday I spent some time working through another episode from my childhood. This is the first one, I'm pretty sure. I am 4-years-old and staying with my great-grandmother while my parents are at work. It's a sunny spring day. My great-grandmother lived with my paternal grandparents. We called her Nur (nuh). My grandmother was Dee and my grandfather was Da. There was one other occupant in the house, Aunt Ruth. Ruth was Nur's deceased husband's aunt, who had raised him after his parents died. Ruth lived in the house because no one else would have her, and Nur has promised Gram (her husband) that she would care for her.

Ruth's life story would take up at least a week's worth of blogs. We'll get to that later. Suffice it to say, the family saying was, "She's too mean to die!" But I digress, this is my story.

Nur was hanging laundry on the line in the backyard. It was a load of sheets. She is hanging large white flat sheets with her back to me. I am sitting on the back stoop playing with my doll, Dahlia (daylia). Dahlia and I were inseparable. It is very warm and sunny on the porch. I carefully place Dahlia sitting on the step and go into the house. I am headed to the bathroom, when out of nowhere I am struck in the face by the back of Ruth's hand. The next thing I know, I am lying on the floor looking at the rocker on Ruth's chair. She is leaning over me and yelling. Her face is contorted and she is shaking her finger at me. I know she is talking to me, but at first I can't make out the words. She says something about that Lucile (Nur) woman. It's my fault she says. If hadn't . . . what? She grabs my arm and hauls me up. Don't tell anyone. They won't believe you. You're a liar. She shoves me toward the door leading to the rest of the house.

I wander to the bathroom. I want to see my face in the mirror, but I am too short. I am sure I look like a different person. I use the bathroom. Now I am stuck. I want out of the house, but to get out I'll have to walk by Ruth again. How can I keep from making her mad again when I don't know what I did the first time? I settle into the corner behind the bathroom door. If I stay, Nur will worry about me and come looking. Maybe she'll be mad too. I reach for the doorknob and turn it slowly. I peek out into the hallway. I don't see anyone. I can hear the TV from the den. Ruth is watching wrestling. She loves it. I slowly creep out of the bathroom and into the hallway. Tiptoe into the kitchen very carefully, listening, watching. I make my way to the den door and peer around. Ruth is still in her chair, focused on the TV. I edge around the door frame and keep as close to the far side of the room as possible. I never take my eyes off Ruth and she never looks at me. Finally I am passed her chair and the back door is in sight. I make a dash for it, flinging open the screen door. I am safe! I have made it to the stoop. Everything looks the same. Nur is still hanging out sheets. Dahlia is sitting on the step waiting for me. The sun is shining and a warm breeze is blowing, but nothing is the same. It is all different.

I pick up Dahlia and go sit in the shadowed corner between the stoop and the house. What did I do?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday, June 8th --- Daybook

FOR TODAY as part of The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... it's cloudy, but my hosta are blooming -- lovely pink bells!

I am thinking... about the intro to scuba diving class I'm attending tonight.

I am thankful for... my lovely daughter and the progress she is making.

From the kitchen... is the realization that I must clean out the refrigerator, or open a lab.

I am creating... My 1st Quilt Ever (still) and a new granny square afghan.

I am going... to run errands this afternoon.

I am reading... The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

I am hoping... for some pool time this afternoon.

I am hearing... the sad news of the missing 2nd grader, on the news.

Here is a picture from our trip to the St. Louis Zoo. I think I would like to have a family of prairie dogs living in my backyard -- just for the entertainment value!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Feel Good Friday: Travelling

My Feel Good Friday List:
  1.  I'm going to spend the weekend w/my dd, ds, and dh in St. Louis.
  2.  I've gotten back to blogging..
  3.  I reached out for help.
  4.  My husband gave me a "free" blogging class.
  5.  I started swimming outside this week. Love my outdoor summer swims!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Another Thankful Thursday

So it's another Thankful Thursday. As is frequently the case, I'm glad for the opportunity to stop and think about gratitude. This week has been a mixed bag, as I suppose most really are. Today I am grateful for my son and his friends for just being teenagers (in that good way!). I am also thankful for a recent friend and his willingness to talk about the icky stuff without making me feel judged. My day at the pool on Tuesday was a real blessing. Yesterday wasn't so good, and that makes me doubly thankful to feel well today. 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
-- Colossians 3:16

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Finding Peace in the Heat

Everybody looks forward to summer. The lead up to Memorial Day weekend is awash with excitement about the coming weeks of relaxation, sun and fun. I like summer too, but unfortunately my enjoyment is tainted by memories. These are not memories I deliberately dredge up -- they just come with the warming weather, longer days and rising temperatures.Typically when the memories start to invade, I berate myself for dwelling on the past; for not being grateful for all I have and how far I've come; for not depending on God and being "all better".

The fact of the matter is, I was viciously and repeatedly molested as a child, and the vast majority of the abuse occurred in the summer. So while everyone else is excited and looking forward to the new season, my body and mind are gearing up, unconsciously, for what may happen next. Will there be more abuse? How bad will it be this time? Will he/she succeed in killing me this time? I am vulnerable all over again. I know that I won't see those people this summer. I have separated myself from all of my abusers, some by choice, some by geography and some by death (not at my hands), and yet the body remembers. It remembers the pain, the terror, the heat, the sun; leading to old habits of fear, sadness and isolation.

So how do I fight it? Sometimes well, other times not so well. This past weekend brought dreams, pain, sadness and depression. I fell into old traps of blaming myself, denigrating myself, and fearing everyone around me. I saw my therapist yesterday. She reminded me of how far I've come. She told me I was doing well. She told me to be kind to myself. And she told me to remember the good things that have happened in the summer in the years since the abuse ended.

Yesterday I went to the pool for the first time this summer. I swam laps and laid in the sun. I read a paperback novel and talked with an old friend. I had a few moments of feeling "normal", or at least what I think normal feels like. It was good.

I may do it again today.