Misguided Protection

When I was a child, the only way I knew to get bullies to stop picking on me was to resort to violence. I’ve always been much bigger than all of my peers, so I used that to “protect” myself. I wrote the following on March 29, 2005…

Growing up I heard a lot of outrageous comments about my size. I had a lot of problems with this in grade school, from both my peers and younger and older kids alike.

Some got to me more than others. One boy in my grade used to taunt me everyday on the playground. It was even worse than if he’d been saying all of those mean and cruel things about me. No, he was saying these things about my mom, her being heavy too. That hurt worse than when the other kids made fun of me.

There was one boy who was a grade below me who used to tease me on the playground as well. He would repeatedly call me fat and laugh at me… that was until one day, while standing at the top of the platform of the slide, I heard that annoying voice of his below me. He was standing on the wooden platform leading up to the one I was on. He got that mean grin on his face and asked me if I thought the slide would hold me. At that point, I stomped on his fingers with my snow boot. That took care of that.

The first time I resorted to violence after being teased was when I was 4 or 5. I was swinging at the playground of the apartments where we lived and having a good time with my friends when the neighborhood bully approached us. He was a 16 or 17 year old geek who got his rocks off by teasing little kids. He stood in front of me and said something along the lines of, “This is my swing now, fatty!” I swung forward with all my might and kicked him where it counts. Instead of just leaving us alone, he stood up, grabbed my swing chains from behind and kneed me in the back over and over. It made him really angry that he couldn’t make me cry, so he started yelling and swearing and calling me “fatass”. After that, he never approached me nor my friends again.

The last bully I remember getting to me was a high schooler when I was in 6th grade. Every time he walked past me in the halls he would yell stuff like “BOOM! SHAKE! BOOM!” and walk like he was being shaken around from my walking. That went on for a long time. My mom called and wrote the school administration. No one seemed to care. I took care of it one day in the hall by slamming him over the head with my heavy math book.

As I grew older and my best and only friend at school moved away for a year, I became even more of a loner. I tried to get involved with school stuff because it had helped the year before in 8th grade. I became involved in pep club and drama and such but still kept mostly to myself. I usually had a table to myself at lunch because I didn’t feel comfortable sitting with the others. I have been fat for as long as I can remember.

Ok, now back to today. That last sentence was somewhat of an odd exit to that journal entry. Looking back at my old journals never fails to fascinate me. Sometimes I don’t even recognize myself in my own writing. I guess that just goes to show that we are always growing and changing.

Meeting Emerson Hart

I wrote the following on July 20, 2009…

What would you say if you got to talk to your all-time favorite musician?
Would you tell him about how his lyrics give you chills, or how his voice is the most incredibly beautiful thing you’ve ever heard?
Would you tell him about how his music has impacted and shaped you as a person?

Or… would you mumble “I hope you have a happy birthday” multiple times? Well, that’s exactly what I did. I met Emerson Hart yesterday, on July 19, 2009 in Des Moines, Iowa at the Rib America Festival. His birthday is July 21st, so that is why I wished him a happy birthday. However, I think once would have sufficed.  🙂  Other than that, I asked if he’d sign my cd insert that I’d brought along (just in case!) and if I could take a pic with him. So, I was pretty much the typical, blushing, mumbling fan. Nonetheless, it was really one of the greatest experiences of my life!

I loooove Tonic, but I also *really* hope Emerson comes out with more solo albums too! Cigarettes and Gasoline is the most beautifully written and performed album of all time! So, here’s hoping that his touring days are far from over! For now, though, the third time seeing Tonic live was a charm for me!     🙂

The Pelican Falls in the Trap of the Mean Bird

I dictated this story to my kindergarten teacher at the age of five, on October 7, 1987.

“The Pelican Falls in the Trap of the Mean Bird”

One day there was a bird. A fox came and tried to fly up into the air, catch the bird, and eat it. And then the mother bird came and smacked the fox in the face and carried the nest with the baby to another tree. The fox was dizzy and said, “What happened?” And then a pelican came and saw a frog in the pond and tried to eat it. But… there was a bomb! Then, the bird came and said, “I know it’s not a frog. It’s a bomb. My uncle Seena put it there so he could eat all the pelicans.” Then a caterpillar jumped out of his hole and said, “Rahla! It looks as if there is a fire because I see orange flames coming out of the forest.” But then the bomb grew bigger and bigger and bigger and went “Vroom!” The pelican blew into pieces because the bomb was in it’s mouth when it exploded.

The end.

Discovering Fear

All my life I’ve always thought that my greatest fears were abandonment and being alone. While those are definitely 2 of my worst fears, I’ve come to realize that my greatest fear of all is actually more specific and much more selfish than that. My worst fear is that never again will there ever be a person who will love me as much as my mom loved me. I suppose, in a way, that isn’t really so much different than being alone.

It pisses me off that I think and write so much about her. It’s as if I’m obsessed. When does it end? Will I ever be complete or will I always feel empty? Am I doing something wrong? I feel like I should have gotten better by now. She’s been dead for over 11 years.

I’ve said it time and time again… I am trying to find out who I am. I have always identified myself with who I am to other people. Daughter. Friend. Cousin. Niece. Granddaughter. Sister. Gem in the plus-sized community. I am all of those things, but who am I really? I don’t have the slightest idea who I am. I’ve been so busy being completely co-dependent that I literally have no clue who I am as an individual.

I don’t understand why I can’t just be happy being myself and having a relationship with God. Why do I feel like I need to be attached to someone to matter? I hope someday I can answer these questions.

Livin’ It Up!

Getting My Hair Cut

Having the back patio re-decorated is like having a new addition on my house. My friends and I have been spending countless hours talking, laughing and playing games out there. Tonight Crystal came over and gave D, Chris and me haircuts, out on the porch, of course.

Last night Dennis N. came over and brought stuff to make yummy,  fruity drinks. His wife Brandy was at a bachelorette party so Dennis figured he’d come over here and have a few drinks.

D's Temporary Mullet

A few drinks turned into several pitchers of delicious, icy beverages that consisted of vanilla rum, vodka, fresh strawberries, lemonade and Welch’s frozen strawberry juice. Dennis and I were already rather tipsy after our first pitcher. That didn’t stop us from making more drinks, however. Mike showed up later in the evening and joined in the festivities. Needless to say, fun was had by all!  🙂

A Second Chance

Overheated and exhausted, I sit here with a sense of accomplishment. This afternoon Mike came over and planted some pretty flowers in the front yard and helped D and me pull weeds and bag them. I ended up getting all into it and even swept the dead leaves off the alcove. Little by little, my home, like myself, is being transformed into something beautiful… and I couldn’t be more thankful.

As I sit here relaxing after doing something productive and now listening to “I Wish the Best for You” by Emerson Hart (my all-time favorite musician), I can’t help but count my blessings. I’ve spent years of my life standing by and watching my life fall apart. My health… my home… my marriage… everything in my life was deteriorating. Now God has given me another chance at life and at finding love someday. I am getting healthy, both physically and mentally, and my marriage has ended amicably, giving both Eddie and me a chance to find the ones we were meant to be with and at the same time still have a friend in each other.

“You
Me
Why can’t we see that there’s
More to love than we’ll ever know
Sometimes you’re closer when you’re
Letting go
I wish the best for you…”

-Emerson Hart

Renewed

One of my favorite things about my home after I had first bought it was the fact that it has a screened-in porch in the back. For one reason or other, I have never really used it much. As a matter of fact, for years now I have hardly been in my backyard at all… or the front, for that matter.

For the first few years after I moved here I kept the 3 season porch looking pretty nice. Somewhere along the line depression took over and I just let it get crowded full of junk. I struggle a lot with black and white/all or nothing thinking. At certain points in my life I have let it get the best of me. For instance, my first reaction when I see a sink full of dishes is that I can never do all of those dishes so now we are just going to have a dirty kitchen and never have clean dishes again (then I do them and realize it was really not that big of a deal at all). When I deviate from the Weight Watchers plan, even a little, I feel like I should just eat everything I want for the rest of the day… and feel like I need to cram in as many sinful foods as possible within that waking day. Those are just a couple examples of the way my mind tends to work. Anyway, just giving a bit of insight as to how I could let my lovely back porch go to the wayside for years.

Recently I took Mike and Don out to show them the back porch and they mentioned that we really should clean it up and utilize it. I told them about how it was one of the selling points of this house for me and then I had just let it get out of hand because getting it up to par seemed so daunting. They said that they would come over sometime and help us get it cleaned out and decorated.

Once back in the house they noticed a beautiful crystal chandelier type decoration. I’d had it tucked away until I could find a good place for it. Mike took it out to the back porch and hung it up on a hook hanging from the middle of the ceiling. It looked so beautiful out there and gave me hope that it could be nice back there again… or dare I say, even nicer than ever before?

Saturday afternoon I came home from the tea to find Don and Mike out back going all kinds of HGTV on our porch! Don had taken tablecloths that look like white lace curtains and stapled them up to the windows over the pretty floral tapestries they had put up last week. D’s pretty, sleek black gold-trimmed table sits in the center of the porch surrounded by various chairs. The big, beautiful smiley face rug that Don made for D is hanging on the porch wall that is the outside of the house. Everything is centered around the gorgeous, purple and clear crystal chandelier. Don brilliantly turned it in to an actual working chandelier by hanging white Christmas lights in a bunch down through the center of it. It looks stunning, especially at night.

Yesterday Laura, Josh and Wally took me to get a new grill since I’ve been wanting one. I picked out one on the smaller side, which I am happy about so that it is easy to roll out of the porch when we’re going to use it and then back in the porch when not in use. Last night Josh grilled out hot dogs and we had a nice little picnic out there at the table. He and Wally had to leave for a show that Josh’s band was putting on, but the rest of us sat at the table out there and played Boggle and several games of Apples to Apples (LOVE that game!).

As the evening progressed, our friend Donovan showed up and joined us and then a bit later Don and Mike showed up and we all had a great time playing Apples to Apples. That game is way too much fun! Just make sure your friend’s little brother doesn’t write naughty words on the blank cards. That makes for an awkward situation when playing the game with your little sisters and their mom. hehehe  🙂

So, I am rather happy to report that my back porch, like my life, is renewed! I am saying goodbye to letting my depression get the best of me and bring me down and hello to my new life full of possibilities and promise! Praise the Lord! He is good ALL THE TIME!!!