Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wrapping up the blog.

I thought I wanted to continue to use this blog to monitor progress. But, I think in light of recent events I would like to just wrap it up all together. Do take, though, to note that the things written here are not an accurate depiction of my life. They are merely a small moment of each day. And though small the moments were significant. And so I wrote it all out. All the moments of suffering. I did for the same reason anyone else would: no one wants to suffer alone. In short, this blog is mostly a depiction of my life when I am in a funk.

In wrapping things up, I want to acknowledge the tremendous blessing the gospel and love of Jesus Christ has been in my life and throughout this journey. I have been suffering for almost three years now. I have felt abandoned at times. But I have a greater understanding now of the Savior's plan for me and his timeline of events in my life. I have a greater understanding of the fact that healing doesn't occur in time, it occurs in events. And the healing is up to us because it happens when we respond to those events and situations we are placed in. I am grateful that even in my darkest time, I knew somewhere deep within myself that I could not abandon the faith and gospel I knew to be true, even if that meant spending all of church hiding in the mother's lounge. It wasn't easy. In fact, most of the time it was downright painful to sit through church and listen to instruction about thoughts and feelings I couldn't convince my mind and body to have toward the church or my family. But I knew it would be better for me to sit through it and suffer than to abandon it altogether.

There were so many times when I cried out in prayer saying, "I am ready to stop feeling this way! Take this pain away from me!!" And I completely understand why now. When I was feeling pain and anger towards my husband's sisters I had to really think hard about what I could love about them, how I could remain a sister to them in spite of what they did to me. And I did that! I found something redeeming and something to love about both of them. And I realize now how important that step was in my progress because I now see the event for what it was. And if I could see it without feeling guilt for my anger, see it without the sorrow of losing their friendship, see it as I do now there was no way I would have gone to the extent to learn and sway my in the direction of loving them. This is because the bottom line is that their behavior was deplorable and the fact that they have yet to accept responsibility for their actions is even worse. What they did was selfish and horrible and they are selfish and horrible because of those actions and subsequent inaction to accept responsibility. And creating a rival window treatments business? Well, they should be embarrassed. And keeping funds they didn't earn even if it was forgiven. . .  they should be embarrassed. What kind of people are they?! It's horrible and the example they are setting for the children in behaving this way in keeping unearned funds and creating rival window treatments businesses and never accepting responsibility for the pain and suffering they subjected me to is no example at all. I am the first to admit that I wasn't a good example either. But I accepted responsibility and have apologized profusely. They are cold unfeeling people. If I had to find redeeming qualities in their character with just the above in front of my eyes, it would have been impossible. So I understand now why the Lord wanted me to experience regret and guilt for the anger I felt toward them and the words said as a result. I understand why I needed to feel grief as if I had lost a friend in death. It was so that I could find something in them to be able to say with full honesty of heart that I love my sisters in law. They are children of Heavenly Father who have to wade through the sludge of this world just like me. We're on the same road hauling the same load. Above all, I have faith in them. I have faith that one day they will accept responsibility for their actions and make things right. This is why it is important for me to feel that love toward them. One day they will accept responsibility and will be brought to an understanding of the tremendous mental pain and physical pain they put me through. And when that day comes I want to be able to build on a new relationship from that moment of love and forgiveness. That can't happen if I don't already feel love for them as my sisters.

I am so grateful for the peace I have felt as a result of having the responsibility of constantly trying to repair this relationship lifted from me. I am grateful that I can finally say the facts without going into a downward spiral of shame for saying them out loud. I am so grateful I can finally say that what they did was horrible and not spin out of control feeling bad for saying something like that out loud. But it's the truth. It was a heinous crime against me, against their brother and against my .business. I can't tell you what it feels like to finally be able to say that unaccompanied by pain and negative thoughts. I can finally say that it is what it is. And there is nothing else attached to it. I count that a tender mercy from the Lord as the thoughts and feelings that normally accompanied such thoughts were often debilitating, even bad enough that I was hospitalized once for stroke symptoms.

The bottom line is that I am ready to have a friendship again based on pure love and good intentions as there are no residual feelings or thoughts associated with this incident anymore. I hope they will come to their senses quickly and accept responsibility. And if they don't, that's okay too. I love them enough to be able to build from where we are at. It's all. . .  good.

I wanted to wrap up this blog because it has been an attempt at finding someone out there that might feel similarly or understand what I have gone through. I just didn't want to be alone. But I realize now that I have not been alone. I have the company of the Savior, Jesus Christ. And that is all I need. So I am done with the blog for now. I may pick it up here and there to record significant subsequent events. But for now, I feel whole. I've also decided I am done with Facebook. I hadn't been on in weeks with marathon training. I went on the other day and it was just a narcissists play ground! Things just look different when you feel like a whole and complete person.

Good bye for now.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Nothing special, just what I am thinking this evening.

Last night, I was beat after an eight mile run and went to bed early (11 pm ;)). Garren went out to run at 10:30pm. He said he isn't afraid of being raped, sprayed by a skunk or attacked by a porcupine, all things I have used as perfectly valid excuses for not running after dark. He came back and told me FOUR other people were running on the track with him! IN THE DARK! Mostly what I fear in the dark is my lack of coordination and I fear spraining my ankle. But Garren has no fear :) So he showered and crawled into bed waking me up, and said, "Let's face it: if it weren't for you I wouldn't be running." Awww, I love my Garren. He knows I am trying to inspire others with my persistence in running with my disorder.

I am excited he is finally running because I have been trying to get him to be more active so we can all be ready to do this several day long hike in the alps. We need to be physically ready for that. I'm excited because Garren running feels like we're getting one step closer to the Alps! Now if I could just stop making the most delicious chocolate chip cookies on earth,. . .

After my significant break through on Sunday I feel great about everything I am doing right now. I trained a new seamstress today, and the incident with Garren's sisters usually comes up naturally because I have to explain why we have certain things in place now as a result of their actions. But today it just kind of felt okay. I got to where I needed to explain, explained and got through it without feeling angry or sad. It was beautiful! And I'm really looking forward to doing my ten mile run tomorrow now that I have been able to eliminate some of the reason for which I run. I just feel so happy. I already felt like a new person as of some other experiences and changes I made in my life this year, but after Sunday I feel complete, pure and just genuinely happy.

I feel like I want a change of scenery. I kind of want to do something different. I wish I could just sit and focus on one thing, like my novel. But I keep thinking of all these new things I want to try! I've been considering homeschooling my kids. I don't know if I can be that disciplined though. . .  ugh. I'm just so fitful! There's so much this life and world has to offer!! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I had an extremely significant experience today. Probably the most significant spiritual moment I've ever had.

I can finally close a chapter of my life that I have desperately trying to close for years: the matter of my husband's sisters. I have dedicate much of my time to making things right with them and restoring our relationship to what it was before "the incident." Every few days I would literally pray, ponder and think about what I could do that day to remind them that I am still here and I still care. (This is how it came about that I found his sister had started working for a small business in her area and that day I thought my positive action toward her would be to purchase one of her creations and then endorse her skills on LinkedIn. Which leads me to Home Remedy Designs, a rival window treatments company she had created. Childish and hateful is all that was). I'd send emails, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, and whatever just to let them know I was still there and they were important to me. So much of my life has been devoted to these little careful things in an effort to make things as they were before the "incident."

Tonight, I did my usual. . .  what can I do today to quietly and subtly remind them that I care about having a relationship with them? And I immediately received my answer. It is difficult to explain as it wasn't delivered in words. But if it had been words they would have said, "You have done all you can do and you don't need to continue doing this anymore. What you have done is sufficient in my eyes and I don't require anything further." It was such a relief! I can finally be done!

I have often said that I was moving on without my husband's family in my life. But it always felt like it came from a hateful and angry place. But tonight I was finally able to say that I was going to move on with my life without them being a part of it and it felt peaceful and like Heavenly Father thought that would be okay. I think it has been clear and apparent that they are cold and unreceptive to my attempts and I think Heavenly Father recognized the pain I experienced as a result of both their actions and inactions after repeated, innocent attempts and has finally freed me of any further obligation to make things as they were before. Because they won't do their part.

It was so important to me that we have a good relationship for our kids and especially for Garren's mom. But I finally felt at peace tonight thinking about not having to do that anymore. And tonight it didn't feel important to me at all. I felt nothing at all. I feel nothing for them anymore and it is very peaceful.

I have been waiting for this day for years. I didn't realize or expect that this is how the peace would come. I always thought the peace would come from us finally being able to move on from that incident. Or perhaps an apology on their part and perhaps accepting some responsibility for their poor decisions and their rival business. But that clearly isn't going to happen. So it came in the form of just no longer feeling obligated.

I finally can say I'm never going to speak of them again or have them in my life and it feels like it is okay. I am going to go see this sister in a few weeks and it will be the last time I ever see her in this life. I am not afraid anymore of how the visit will go because I feel nothing for her anymore. I do not feel angry toward her, sorry for her, love for her as a sister,. . . I feel nothing. So anything that could go wrong won't affect me. And if it all goes well and is positive then hopefully that will be something we can build off of. But right now there is nothing. I feel nothing. And it's so nice. Finally. But after this sentence, never again will I speak of them because I don't care. They are nothing to me at this point in time. I don't mean that to sounds negative. But they truly mean nothing to me right now. I'm not sure how else to put that to make it sound the way I feel and not make it sound hurtful, because I don't intend for it to be hurtful. I just mean it plain and simply.

Peace cannot be overstated.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

You're Welcome!

Recovering and back at it!

I try to live a healthy lifestyle to avoid getting sick. I don't handle "resting" and sitting still very well. My mind wanders and I become very depressed very quickly. So when I came down with the flu, naturally I was quite afraid of spiraling into a depression. But I was pleasantly surprised! I had all kinds of down time and I was fine!

Last week I had read several scriptures and ensign articles about how you can know if you are headed in the right direction and using the atonement accurately. Forgiveness does not happen in a day. So it is important for those going through the process to recognize the little improvements along the way that let them know they are getting there. Otherwise, it is quite discouraging and feels easier to stay down once you have fallen. I have had several tiny moments this week that have told me I'm headed in the right direction and I am adding this experience with the flu to my list of things.

A long time ago I used to be quite fun and enjoyable to be around. I've grown to be quite grumpy and unhappy in recent years. But these past few weeks I have found myself reconnecting with the wittier part of myself. While I had the flu, I spent a lot of time in bed and on the couch. I found myself crafting jokes and one liners. I couldn't hardly believe it! I haven't done that since well before my kids were born. Don't take that to mean having kids makes you grumpy and unhappy. It's just having kids literally zaps the energy right out of you and kind of go into crisis survival mode Constantly. But lately, as my kids are old enough to make their own sandwiches and poor themselves milk, I have found myself having more fun with them on a different level as I don't feel so in "what's the plan" mode. Having young children, I always felt like I had to have a plan to make everything function properly. But now, I feel like I can lighten up and relax and have fun with my kids as kids and no babies anymore. I'm really enjoying the age they are at.

Anyway, yaddad yadda..  . .  As I am reconnecting with the writer in myself as well I find myself wanting to write more jokes and comedic scenarios. But my novel definitely is not a comedy. I hope to channel that energy somehow because I'm definitely enjoying it! I feel like my old happy self :) It's good! It's a good day! Thank goodness for the flu to give me some down time to reconnect with fun Melissa rather than boring survival mode Melissa.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wrapping up the week

I've been working really hard lately to be a better person. All around. I want to be happier, more peaceful, kinder, etc. And I have felt so much better in all these areas this week. But one thing has me so down today. The Janet Abaroa murder was on 20/20 last night and I've just been in a funk all day. Janet and Raven met at SVU. Her last year there was my first year. She was murdered the month before Garren and I got married. Earlier this week he took the Alford plea deal which mean he accepts the consequences for the action without pleading guilty. So he was sentence to 95-123 months in jail, time already served counts. Which means he'll be back out by 2018. The whole thing is sickening. And it just makes me sad. They said, "This is good for everyone because Raven goes to jail and now the family can begin to heal and move one." WHAT?!?!? SERIOUSLY?!?! How does that help the family move on?! If I were in the family I would be extremely unsatisfied. The entire story, including court is here on WRAL's website. The most unsettling part was hearing all the friends testify and talk about all these places around campus I'd been a million times. ugh! NO JUSTICE! Life is so unfair!

So, to make myself feel better, we looked at several hiking trails in the alps as a family :) We think we have it narrowed to the France side or the Switzerland side. There's one hike we found that starts in France and ends in Italy that looked interesting to us, but we are limited to what our kids can handle. So we have to find a trail that doesn't have an "Avid" portions in it.

Marathon training is picking back up after a week off (except Wednesday). My kids and husband had the flu. But everyone is back to normal. I'm going to back to 5 am runs this upcoming week. Unless it snows on Tuesday and then all my mental faculties will surely be too challenged to run. :) I will admit though. .. . I like having fun with my kids on snow days :) Garren says, "They should be doing school work at home because that's what they would be doing otherwise." I say, "Uh huh. After we build a fort." :)

Oh, and, on another note. I didn't get the flu. And I always get what my kids bring in the house. I am convinced it is my doTERRA oils. That's the only thing that has changed in my lifestyle. I'm convinced! Anyone use doTERRA?

Friday, March 21, 2014


Okay, enough with the heavy!

When I have OCD flair ups I tend to get extremely personal and heavy in my writing. This is for several reason: 1) I have trouble controlling my thoughts and tend to obsess about one particular thing. 2) I try to channel that obsession and tend to do it through intense scripture study, prayer and meditation. So the result is days and days of purging myself of all "worldly" things like tv, radio, media, etc and listen to nothing but church hymns and conference talks for a few days straight.

But then I snap out of it and come back to reality. Of course, this personal improvement continues as I do try to fit in personal scripture study, etc into my daily life. But I do like the occasional Arrested Development episode. And let's not pretend my life wouldn't be empty without Henry Cavill O'clock. . . This would be the point at night when I want to give up on working, but I have to go on! And I google Henry Cavill. :) That usually gives me some more energy.

Speaking of work. . .  a few months ago I wrote to seamstresses of Christmas past, present and future to find who would take over the business. It was my golden ticket email to my WIllie Wonka moment. So I have my amazing team of women assembled and ready to take over! I am finishing up a few things, training videos, etc and then on to the next venture! My next business was going to be. .   something awesome that I am still determined to make work but can't afford a key piece of it yet. So what I am going to do for my next business venture? I have two goals, one long term and one short term. I'd like to design and create textiles for films. A friend of mine is a filmmaker and I was an Associate Producer of his film Black Bird. And yes, you will see the business name there under Company Credits. He lives in Tennessee and it would be super awesome to work with him at some point. He plans to film in Tennessee as well. So I'm hoping I can offer my services to him in the future and start building a portfolio. That would be super awesome. Short term: My Novel. I've finally created a time line. If anyone cares I made a tab for it. Ha! That's to keep myself in check, of course.

So, my novel. . . It's about. . . .  nope! Lips are sealed. You didn't think I was absent the day of writing class where we were instructed not to divulge our ideas, did you? But it's pretty awesome. I know this because when I get ideas that I know will be successful I tend to fill up every spare moment of my day (marathon training) with something so that I can avoid doing this awesome thing because it's so big and so great that it almost scares me. But it's time to put that aside and get this novel written.

My only problem right now is that I have to read a bunch so I can get my mind sharp for writing. The best thing you can do for writing is to read. And I have to read Dystopian Society books and I hate those. buh. But my novel is, in fact, a dystopian society book, even though I hate them. So I need to get in the loop on that genre. And I have the Hunger Games movie to watch tonight while I work, but I just. .  meh. . . I don't want anything to do with it! Dystopian Society novels and movies mess with my head! 1984 was the worst. I've only read it once and it was 15 years ago and to this DAY I wonder who's watching me through the tv! And Brave New World? Forget it! I'm still expecting the day when we start rationing drugs to everyone to keep everyone happy and peaceful. And my novel is. going. to. mess. with. your. mind. But in a positive way. It's going to be different from other dystopian novels because it will get you thinking about a positive outcome. See, other dystopian society novels show you where we are headed if we do certain things and make certain choices. But my novel starts in a dysfunctional universe and works itself out of it! It's going to be UH-MAZING. Well, I think so anyway. ha! Not bragging, but I do have a history of awesome ideas that turned out to be total successes! On the other hand I have a history of not awesome choices too. Like that pay day when I went down to the bank to see about getting a loan to buy a B and B. SO glad that didn't end up being my next business venture. Holy cow!

I can't wait to finish up with my work so I can get started on my novel! And I need to finish this marathon stuff and get it out of my system. Ha!

(Someone asked me about my time the other day. I do have an affinity for time management. I'm just very good at it. Always have been. But that's also because I can't sit still, so I get a lot done. So here's how it goes for right now. It's about to change when I officially turn over the business to my lovely ladies. Wake up at 5 and run for two hours. Work until Miriam gets home at 1pm. Piano lesson practice and letters and numbers practice with Miriam until Josh gets home at 2:30.  Homework and Piano lesson practice. Then we spend the afternoon doing any of the following: science experiments, playing in the play room, going to the park or we go to the gym on days that I don't go at 5 am. And gymnastics on Thursdays or swim lessons. Baths at 5:30, dinner at 6, bedtimes at 6:45when my husband comes home from work. Then I work from 7pm to 10 pm or whenever I am done. but if I get up at 5 I have to finish at 10. And when I take a break from working I blog :) When do my husband and I spend time together? The other day we blew kisses at each other passing in our cars dropping off the kids at their schools. jk. . .  Garren works for the company too and helps me in the evenings to assemble mounting blocks, or whatever when he isn't doing the numbers. Occasionally we have lunch together before I get Miriam from school. Weekends are anything goes! Coming up, when I am done with work, I plan to write while the kids are at school. I'm so excited to get started. But a little scared and nervous. My idea has a TON of potential and I hope I can do it justice).