All About ME

The other day I came into a social setting with myself and a couple other people who don’t know me very well, but know a little bit about my, uh, ‘situation’ (thanks, honey!), who sat across from me and said something along the lines of

“tell us about YOU.”

…….uuuuuuhhhhhhh………

What do you want to know??

I HATE that. Don’t you hate that? I don’t hate that they ‘asked’ (it’s not really a question, is it? More like an order; tell me NOW; tell me ALL YOUR SECRETS!!!) I just….hate the query. ¬†I guess it’s just, so…. VAGUE.

Honestly, what would you like to know?

I’m loud. I’m overbearing and obnoxious. It doesn’t take too long for people to discern that, usually, though it takes some of them quite some time to figure out that the horribly blunt/crass/should-be-filtered-but-aren’t things that come spewing forth from my mouth aren’t usually meant to be negative. Honestly, there are probably a whole SLEW of people out there who just think I’m TERRIBLE because I regularly call my husband an idiot. Which HE knows means I love him. But yeah, I can take up a lot of space in a room, and not always physically. ūüėČ

And sometimes people ask you to tell them about yourselves because they’re looking for your deep dark secrets, and others it’s because they want to know about your adoration for sunsets on sandy beaches with loooooooong walks hand-in-hand with your sweetheart. Or that, you know, you’re engaging in such (horrifically boring and cliche) activity in SEARCH of your sweetheart… (back off, girls – this one’s mine!!)

Sigh. And I never know WHICH set of ME information a person is looking for.

Do you want to know about my depression and how horrible and debilitating a disease it can be and my thoughts about the (incredible moronic) people who claim that it’s solely caused by choice and a lack of faith in [Christ] (here’s looking at you, Matt Walsh, you ignoramus)?

Depression-depression-33252772-500-442

Do you want to know about my passion for Muay Thai kickboxing and how wickedly I can snap around a rear-roundhouse kick, or how I have trouble keeping my fists up before throwing a lead hook? And my dream to one day have Kru (basically black belt) in front of my name?

Do you want to know about my passion for reading and endless devotion to fantastical children’s fantasy such as none other than my BFF J.K. creates? Or our family’s one agreed upon ‘religion,’ Batman? Or our little band of Whovians and our trip to FanExpo in Toronto to meet Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill? (Best. Day. EVER.)

10615323_10154585632800523_8321023533099716766_nMaybe you want to know that when I was a kid I danced. And I was good. And I LOVED it. But I was stupid and I quit when I graduated elementary school to go into high school because I was convinced that high school was going to be hard and I wouldn’t have time to dance anymore. ¬†So now…I can keep rhythm, but I dance like any overweight mother-of-two, with the white-man overbite and the ever-so-classic grocery cart move.

Do you want to know how much I hate sleeping with my feet covered? I love onesie pyjamas but they can’t be footies. Or I bet you’d be fascinated to know that I’m REALLY good at my job, which is basically touching naked people all day and making them feel good. O_o (I’m a massage therapist, you FILTHY people. My GOSH.)

Hey! I know! I have a bum left shoulder, but no one can figure out why. Maybe my depression leaped from my brain into my shoulder just to screw with me.

I know! I have a hard time with new, and a SERIOUSLY hard time with follow-through. I have ¬†been in about a thousand different MLM companies. I’m too lazy to make anything work, though. (Pretty hopeful about this latest one, though – it’s a HOOT!) But in the meantime I’ll work my ‘real’ job and make money that way. Because I am an evil working mother who doesn’t love her kids enough to stay home with them.

Riiiiiiiiight.

I love sports. I love playing sports. Watching them makes me antsy because I hate sitting on my butt watching other people have fun. Yes, I find physical exertion to exhaustion fun. My dad thinks I’m psychotic. (My psychiatrist, too! hahaha If you’re crazy and you know it shake your meds!)

What do you tell people when they ask about you? Seriously, I want to know! I NEVER know what to say, or where to start, or what people REALLY want to know about me. ¬†When you say to someone “tell me about yourself,” WHAT are you expecting to hear??

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Am I Angry?

I was recently asked if I’m angry about my mister’s apostasy.

I don’t think it’s any surprise to you, dear readers, that I sure as heck WAS. VERY angry. My gosh. I was FURIOUS. How DARE he!?!? My perfect, picket-fence, Mormon dreams were completely DASHED because he had the audacity to RUIN MY LIFE!!!

(Remember this? Sigh. I do. All too well!)

But I’m not, now. ¬†Really.

I tease and call him my moron, or that idiot or other degrading nasty names, but I’m a jerk in real life to everyone soooo…. it would almost be WRONG for me to ALWAYS be nice! ūüėČ And I know full well that he thinks I’m a brainwashed automatron, so…we’re good!

I don’t mean to sound flippant or crass, but I’m really not angry anymore.

Yes, of course, I wish things were different. I think anyone with huge differences in marriage wishes they weren’t so. ¬†Especially unplanned for ones? I don’t know if it’s worse when you didn’t know about the divergence until later on in the marriage, as opposed to knowing ahead of time and barrelling on anyway?

But things aren’t different. So, what use is it for me to sit here and be a grump and be pissy and angry and treat him like garbage? Fun fact, I actually LOVE this man. I love him. Sometimes I forget WHY I love him ūüėČ but he’s delightful, and SUCH A GOOD MAN. ¬†And we’re married, and to me? To him? That means something. EVERYthing.

We just don’t have the same religious beliefs anymore.

So what?

So get over it.

Up until recently he’s been so good as to even accompany us to church every. single. week. ¬†True story. My apostate has a better attendance record since his apostasy than most ‘active’ members do! And why? Why would he do that?! BECAUSE HE’S NOT A BAD MAN! And even disbelieving its doctrine or whatever his beef is ūüėČ the church building itself isn’t going to cause him any harm. So he comes to help me juggle our two angels while I’m off teaching primary (and brainwashing the next generation muuahahahaha!)

But our baby isn’t a baby anymore, and is in Nursery now.

So….

I figure here are my options. I can MAKE him keep coming with us (not actually, physically make him, you know what I mean. “I am wife, hear me roar” kind of make) and have him resenting me, my faith, my traditions, and everything and anyone associated with those things, OR…

Dude, stay home. NAP. Enjoy some time to yourself while I take the kids. Make us lunch for when we get home, and then we’ll leave a lovely Sunday afternoon together (read: he gets the kids while I take a turn napping!)

His first Sunday staying home our 7-year-old says to me in the car on the way to church “It’s sure nice of Daddy to stay home from church to make us lunch!” hahaha I love that! I love her so much. ¬†And she is just pleased as punch that her daddy is at home on Sundays looking after things while we go off to worship services.

So no, I’m really not angry. Not anymore. I have more important things to do with my energy than choose such a destructive attitude. Ain’t nobody got time for that! ūüôā

And now I have to go fix my bed head before I head off to work because…. gross. Until next time!

The Art of Faith

I love this. And it’s how I currently feel about my own faith in the Gospel of Christ as taught through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. While my husband has, arguably with very good reason, opted to let go of his faith, I hold onto mine in spite of the bad, the ugly, and the shocking. Because it wouldn’t, technically, be faith otherwise. And that works for me.

“Battle of the Fittest”

While packing up our stuff this summer to go into boxes to go into storage in preparation to finally move we found a LOT of paper.  Like, a LOT.

And, totally randomly, I cam across some old writing assignments from one of my English classes at BYU. Weird, right? Sheesh.

But I kind of liked this one. As did my instructor; I got a perfect score. ¬†And thought I’d share it. Because…that’s what I do. (Ironic, really, when you read it…)

Totally autobiographical, by the way. This is me more than a decade ago… sigh. ¬†A small insight into the inner workings of a crazy person’s depressed brain function!

Battle of the Fittest

I wish I could say that I’d handled things better, but I didn’t. ¬†I wish I could tell you that I’ve always been sure of everything, but I haven’t. I wish I could remember how strong I was, but I wasn’t. ¬†I had everyone fooled, though. No one knew. ¬†I don’t eve know if I did.¬†

I think, though, that if I had known, I would have made it worse. ¬†I would have spent my time beating myself up, wondering what was wrong with me, why I wasn’t able to cope on my own. ¬†Actually, I know this is true. ¬†I know that I’d have pushed it aside. ¬†I am Stone: I don’t have feelings.¬†

When the Missionaries in my ward became aware of my membership on the varsity wrestling team they were shocked.  They called me after a pro-wrestler, as a joke. But I let it stick.  I became Stone Cold. 

Before this I’ve never been one to open up to people, never willing to tell what’s on my insides. ¬†I think I’m loud and boisterous sometimes just to avoid admitting what to me has become failure, admitting that I am hurt, that I am upset, that I need help. ¬†But my name “Stone” took on a whole new meaning. ¬†It wasn’t a name, it was me. ¬†I was Stone. I was strong, immovable, cold as rock and rough as sandpaper.¬†

About a year earlier one of my school friends had dropped dead at lunchtime in the Taco Bell parking lot. He wasn’t healthy to being with, but it was shocking nonetheless.

A bit later on a childhood playmate of mine passed away inexplicably. My mother shared the news with me over fish and chips one evening, claiming the first of my peers to go. ¬†“Second,” was my reply, my head bent down, intent on studying my coleslaw.¬†

It’s okay. It’s not a big deal. ¬†They’ve got to start dying off at some point in time, right? Everyone dies?¬†

So when I didn’t cry after Annie’s mom had been diagnosed with liver cancer and died within the same month it was normal.¬†

And when I found out that Grandpa died a day after we heard about Candace’s dad, I was fine. ¬†Louise called me right after I’d found out about Brother Potter, but I couldn’t tell her. ¬†Louise’s mom was killed in a car accident two years earlier, who was I to care?¬†

My teachers at school were sympathetic the first time in that month when I told them I had to miss class for a funeral. ¬†They cautiously pried to see how serious it was to me, and I told them it was okay, just a girl at church’s mom; I had to play music. ¬†But when I came up to them two weeks later and told them I’d miss most of the week – two more funerals – they were in shock. “You know a lot of people!”

Well, not anymore. 

The question would finally come, and I’d answer. “Oh, no¬†biggie. ¬†Just one of my best friend’s dad’s funeral on Wednesday, and my grandpa’s viewing the same day, and then his funeral on Thursday.” My writing teacher recoiled in horror, and another student came up to us to explain, through her sobs, hat she would have to miss a couple days for her grandfather’s funeral and recuperation, if that was okay. ¬†Both looked at me standing there, my face betraying nothing, my features unchanged. ¬†The Stone would not give way. I wasn’t about to embarrass myself in front of the classroom like her. ¬†I was too strong. I didn’t need the tears.¬†

At the first funeral I held it together. Candace and her siblings didn’t need me to add to their¬†grief. ¬†The Bishop had asked me to lead the music, and I did as if it were a regular Sacrament meeting, ignoring the words “God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again.”

At Grandpa’s funeral the only things I paid attention to were the strange robes and irreverent actions of the man they called a minister. ¬†I hated my grandmother’s brother for taking my spot as the musical number, he who was only the brother-in-law; I was the granddaughter. ¬†We sang “How Great Thou Art,” and pretended to listen as the congregation recited the Lord’s Prayer. ¬†I wasn’t upset, though. ¬†Joe and I spent the “refreshment hour” being greeted by old people and making ringing noises with our half-filled glasses to see if anyone would check their hearing aids.¬†

It was church that Sunday. ¬†I don’t know why. ¬†I can’t even identify the feelings that I had managed to bottle inside of my being. ¬†Candace’s sister, Bonnie, got up in the meeting; she having found her father’s lifeless body the Saturday earlier, who blamed herself for his death because she never got up to check on that noise in the night, whose mother was crazy, whose father was now dead, whose brother was on a mission in France and unable to offer support, who suddenly found this huge burden to carry, stood to address the congregation.¬†

I looked over at Candace and Allan and Heather, all sitting together, watching their sister bravely raise her head. 

I looked at my own parents, sitting with me, and my brother.  I thought of Annie, who had been shipped off to live with complete strangers. I thought of Will, laying in the Taco Bell parking lot at lunch. I thought of my grandfather, his beliefs. 

I’ve been taught the Plan of Salvation my entire life. ¬†I’ve always known about it. I still do. I know of its truth.

I just don’t understand it.

As Bonnie stood there and cried into the microphone, attesting to the truthfulness of the Gospel and speaking of the mishaps of her family I cracked. ¬†It was like Moses had struck the rock in the wilderness to bring forth water for the thirst of the masses. The flood that held Noah’s ark afloat re-enacted.

Still, I tried to conceal it.  The convulsion in my shoulders were fought.  I refused offers of tissue, afraid that it would give me away to others. The stone had broken, by the dam remained.

I leaned forward and put my head down, so they couldn’t see. ¬†They couldn’t know. ¬†It wasn’t about me. ¬†I had no right.¬†

It was finally time for Sunday school – I couldn’t go to my class; Candace’s dad had been the teacher until a week ago.¬†

I ran, down the hall, away from the people. ¬†I needed to find refuge. ¬†I needed to find a place where no one would see me. ¬†I couldn’t do this anymore. ¬†I was ashamed of myself for letting it out. ¬†There was no reason for me to do so! ¬†

I found myself in the Young Women’s room at the far end of the hall. ¬†No one would find me there. ¬†I was safe. ¬†I seated myself on the piano bench that had been my home in that room since I was a Beehive, and let the thoughts sweep over me.¬†

Why him? Why, of all the families out there did it have to be theirs? ¬†Why did they need to be tested so? ¬†Why, when everything was already messed up as it was did God have to take their father? ¬†Why did he take Annie’s mother away from her? ¬†Why the only person Annie knew as family? ¬†Why couldn’t He have taken my life and flip-flopped it?¬†

Tears streamed down my face as I let myself finally release the pain.  My chest heaved with the newfound effort of breathing as I fought with myself for silence. 

Wasn’t I strong enough? Couldn’t I take it? Why was my life so simple? So good? ¬†Why couldn’t the Lord have burdened me instead? What was stopping me from being capable?¬†

Suddenly, the door opened. ¬†My head shot up, eyes searching for the impossible escape, tears still flowing. ¬†The Young Women’s President entered, placed her bags on a chair, and came to sit with me.¬†

I stiffened, held my breath, tried to calm myself.  My face was as red as my heart, the blood filling my head with colour, my eyes giving me away completely. 

“It’s okay to cry,” she said as she rested her hand on my shoulder.

I looked at her, my heart swollen with ache, my lungs fighting for breath that I would not give them. ¬†I told her it wasn’t okay. ¬†I wasn’t allowed to do this. ¬†I had no right. ¬†It wasn’t about me. ¬†There was no reason for me to be upset. ¬†I had no feelings. ¬†Prattling off to her the reasons why I shouldn’t be crying my hold was lost – releasing the air to speak released the air to let it out. ¬†I was sobbing again.¬†

I don’t understand! ¬†I don’t know what’s wrong with me! ¬†I don’t know what it is that I’m feeling, why I’m feeling it. ¬†It’s not right. ¬†It’s not about me. Why am I doing this? Why am I so selfish?¬†

My heart flooded out through my tears, my questions, my anger.  I wept through the entire block. 

And then I was done. ¬†The floodgates closed. ¬†My breathing returned to normal and the colour drained from my face. ¬†I could put my arms around Candace just for¬†supper. ¬†I could once again stand in front of all these girls who looked up to me and be there. ¬†I didn’t need anything, anyone, anymore. ¬†

I’ve been able to remedy the problem, whatever it was. ¬†I cannot for the life of me place what feelings I had raging inside of me that day, nor can I explain my need for release.¬†

I’m alright, though. ¬†I’m good now. ¬†I don’t feel anymore. ¬†Stone has returned, and oh what a wonderful thing.¬†