The Inevitable Quest...

A place for me to be me...while searching for who I want to be

Friday, December 23, 2005


Christmas Card 2005

Merry Christmas everyone! I know it's 2 days early, but I am about to board a plane to Maine in a couple of hours to visit Steve's family. I don't know that I will be able to blog from up there. Anyways, this is a picture of the Christmas card that I made this year. I was pretty proud of it! It's not as crafty as anything Joy does...but it was fun to make.

I hope everyone has a blessed time with family and friends this Christ filled season. Enjoy each moment as they pass ever so quickly. Eat lots and be MERRY!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Great Depression...

As the New Year approaches…I really want to cleanse my soul. It seems like my New Year’s Resolutions in the past have always been physical…like lose weight…or tone up…or whatever. But this year I want to change my core…my inside…in hopes to find a better person…a person that I like. I have been realizing more and more that there are some things in my life that I need to let go of in order to move on. There are several things I need to let go of. But one in particular that I just don’t allow myself to let go of. It’s almost like a crutch…or something I can hide behind…or something that I can blame my crazy on. And maybe I still won’t fully, but if I put it out there, maybe it’s a step in the right direction. I’ve sat through many sermons on “Forgiveness” that I honestly and truthfully sat intently listening hoping that maybe this will be IT…the thing that breaks thru and allows me to let go. And some have helped…but none have accomplished the task at hand.

My freshman year of college was supposed to be the best time of my life. I was so excited for this new adventure! I had always been Miss Independent and I was ready to go away to school. And in Malibu…a dream come true! Never did I anticipate what would happen at New Student Orientation. The second night of Orientation we all met with our RA’s and SA’s in our dorms. There was a woman from the Abuse & Rape Shelter in Santa Monica. I didn’t think anything of it. She was talking about how us girls needed to look out for ourselves while walking home at night…and stuff like that. I was probably rolling my eyes because my mom made sure I attended every self-defense class that was offered in a 30 mile radius from the house that I grew up in. I knew I could defend myself…and kick some butt. Then the woman said a statistic (I can’t remember what it is) about the percentage of girls/women that have been sexually abused by friends, family and people they know. I remember being astounded. Then…a floodgate burst open in my brain…and images flashed through my mind that I had hidden under lock and key 12 years earlier. I don’t remember anything else that she said. I must have sat staring at the carpet, which turned into a movie screen as my brain projected these images that I indeed suppressed and hoped never would have come back. I’m sure my eyes were twitching side to side as my mind scanned my brain for every memory from the ages of 3-6 that I could dig up. And then it hit…DEPRESSION. I became a completely different person. Dead…numb…a walking zombie.

When I was young…2 of my mom’s brothers lived with us for awhile. Since they were adults, my parents would leave my brother and I with them on occasion. Several of these “occasions” they would drink beer. The younger of the 2 brothers drank more. I remember him (I still can’t bring myself to say his name) taking me to his bedroom and asking me to take my clothes off and he kissed me. My earliest recollection of this was when I was 3 years old. I don’t really remember anything beyond him touching and kissing me…but part of me thinks God isn’t allowing me to remember anything else to protect me. He gave me so many mixed messages that royally screwed me up. There was the positive side…where he told me how beautiful I was. But there was the negative side…where he told me that NO ONE else would love me...and not to trust anyone else…only him…and definitely NEVER EVER tell anyone “our little secret”. So I didn’t. I remember he would tell me to tell my mom that I loved hanging out with him. He would make me say it in front of him…and I just felt like vomiting. I wanted to cry out to my mom to NEVER leave me alone with him…but I couldn’t. He was always around. To this day…I still am mad at myself for not saying anything. But then I have to remember…I was 3 years old…and being manipulated…surely I couldn’t have known better. This continued on and off the next 3 years of my life. Luckily he moved into an apartment part of that time so I didn’t see him as much.

Then came the day of freedom…one of the best days of my life. I was 6. I remember the phone call. My mom answered…she started crying. I ran to her and wondered what was going on. She said that her brother was killed. I remember running to my room and jumping up and down on my bed in ultimate glee! This was it…I was free from him FOREVER. He could not hurt me any longer. I do feel bad about the way he died. He was at a bar and was crossing the street to go to his car. Some car hit him going 60 miles per hour and drug him 100 yards. The car took off…and left him to die. My mom was so devastated. But I honestly think God was protecting me in this situation, and the reason for his death was so that I could have my life back. And I shut that door of my brain and locked it far away to never be opened again. What I didn’t anticipate was a random woman from a Rape and Abuse shelter finding the key which I thought I hid so well.

What happened next was the hardest time of my life. I couldn’t tell anyone what was going on with me. So I just told my mom I was homesick…which wasn’t true. She made me an appointment at the campus counseling center. This is where I met Carolyn! Praise God for Carolyn! Even though I had to take a test where they indeed found out that I was depressed…and the psychiatrist wanted to put me on anti-depressants…I decided not to…to see if I could just handle it on my own with Carolyn’s help. The first month I saw her 5 days a week…then 3…then 1. My sophomore year on I just went every other week or once a month just because she became a special person to me. It probably took 2 weeks for me to finally tell her what was wrong. She loved me every step of the way and helped me through it. I have never cried so much in my life. It was a dark 5 months…I contemplated suicide. I just wanted it all to go away. I thought it would be so easy to drive off the cliff in Malibu Canyon. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do that to my family. But I didn’t want to be sad and unaffected by things. Some days I thought I was so far in the tunnel that I just couldn’t see the light at the end. I didn't want to get out of bed. I wanted to be alone in the dark...but then I remembered I was alone...and I was so hopeless! It took a good year…but with Carolyn’s help…I finally felt like I was finding me again. She encouraged me to tell my parents. I really didn’t want to. Then it donned on me…what if he did the same to my brother???!?? So when I got home for summer break…I worked up the nerve to tell him and ask him if anything ever happened to him. He said no…THANKFULLY…and said I better tell mom and dad or he would. I was not happy about this. As of that moment…my mom had happy memories of her brother. He is DEAD. Why should I tell her and make her memories bad. I put myself in her shoes…if it was my brother…I would want to keep the happy memories. But Henry insisted I tell them…and he held my hand as I did so. It was the hardest thing I had to do. I was crying…my mom was bawling…she blamed herself. That’s exactly what I DIDN’T want to happen. But what happened next still hurts me. I told them at night. They were already in bed. The next morning not a word was mentioned about it. To this day 8 and a half years later…no one has mentioned it to me. No one has asked me if I am okay…no one has said that they wanted to help me through this. I was left alone…and hurt. Part of me thinks I need to release this hurt toward my family as well. I just don’t have it in me to bring it up…when I so desperately want to let it go. I know that my family loves me…and I know they just never knew what to say. My sophomore year of college I randomly came across the song “Taboo” by Mancy A’lan Kane. These are the lyrics:

Footsteps louder down the hall
I see his shadow on my wall
Hide beneath the sheets with my Raggedy Ann
Smell of Gin, The touch of his hand

Too Young to Remember
Too Old to Forget

Smile for the camera in my Easter Dress
Church on Sunday but I never confess
Keep it all locked up in a secret place
I run to whenever he comes my way

Too Young to Remember
Too Old to Forget

The lights are on in my dollhouse tonight
Maybe in the morning it will be alright

Too Young to Remember
Too Old to Forget

This song hit home. Do you ever have that feeling that a particular song you hear…should have been written by you. I felt that way with this song. Surely she wrote it about me! Of course not. It helped me realize I was not alone. This happens OFTEN which is just appalling. I listened to this song today…and it just made me sad. It made me sad for the little girl that I was. Not knowing any better. Who was so alone and scared. And SO YOUNG. Too young to have to deal with this.

Ang Toy Box

I think I was 2 in this picture…but close enough. (And no that's not a wig...that's ALL MY HAIR!!!) I can’t imagine how anyone could do that to a child so young. Then the anger rises…not for me…but for all the other children that are going through this as I am writing.

I really don’t know why I can’t forgive him. I’m sure he didn’t do it to hurt me…he was just messed up…and intoxicated. And maybe I can’t forgive him because I can’t talk to him. There was never really any closure other than his death…but that doesn’t make all of my questions go away. I know it is because of him that I have trust issues. I know it is because of him that I never had a boyfriend. Poor Steve…he was so patient…and I tried over and over to push him away. I’m so thankful he pushed me back and challenged me. And I have healed…I just haven’t forgiven. I want to…but I don’t really know how. I’m across the country from his grave. I never visited it. Whenever my mom would go visit it, I would go to my friend’s grave which is only 50 feet away or so. I’ve prayed during those sermon’s about forgiveness. I’ve read every verse there is about forgiveness. Maybe I need to have a ritual of some kind. Like maybe I need to write a letter to him then burn it. Or maybe I need to drop a white lily into the lake. Or maybe I just need to not be stubborn and try (it would be a stretch) to remember any good memories. The hurt part of me thinks that doesn’t exist…and won’t allow myself to scan my brain for that in fear of finding something bad. Or maybe I need to volunteer at an organization that helps children that have been sexually abused. That would be really hard...but I'm sure very rewarding...I just haven't been able to take the first step. But hopefully through prayer…and the desire to move on…it will just happen. If time is what needs to happen…it will happen. All I can do is try.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Randumb Ramblings 12.16.05

Randumb Ramblings is BACK! Last Friday I was at an R&R I skipped a week. Without further ado...on to the randumbness!

*I went to St. Louis on Wednesday and saw U2. It was amazing! Although…I’m not a huge fan of the general admission thing. My legs were so tired from standing the whole time…and it was hard to see over some people. But it was a great experience none the less! And…I was able to hit the FABULOUS H&M while I was there. Merry Christmas to me!!!

*Christmas parties are so fun! I love the opportunity to dress up. Not that I REALLY dress up…but just fun makeup, earrings (which I NEVER wear…Steve even commented today…I don’t think I have ever seen you wear earrings 2 days in a row…yes people I’m even shocking myself!), and a nice pant outfit. Not to mention everyone is so nice around the holidays…it’s just BLISS!!!

*1 week from today I will be boarding a plane for Bangor, Maine in hopes of a White Christmas. I had been saying my 1st White Christmas…but then I remember some White Christmases when I was really young up in Washington. I’m hoping to engage in some snow activities with my nephews and niece!!

*Snack of the Week: Cheryl & Company cookies!!!!! These are my favorite kind of their cookies. Radio U always sends us Cheryl & Company cookies…and they are SO GOOD. Especially the ones with frosting on top. Okay so I don’t know how many Weight Watchers points they are…probably NOT GOOD…but it’s CHRISTMAS!!!!!! We all have to live a little…right?!?! :)

*I have no clue what my favorite Christmas song is??? My friend James makes a holiday playlist every year for his son, and I was listening to one the other day, and it has Louis Armstrong reading “Twas the night before Christmas”. I LOVE listening to Louis. His voice is so deep and raspy and rich. My favorite part is when he says that Santa’s Belly is like a bowlful of Jelly…then Louis laughs. It’s such a genuine laugh…and it makes me laugh every time! I don’t know why, but I could listen to him read the story over and over again!

*Random AJ Fact: The only person I have ever felt Rage towards is my older brother. (You know…older brothers just know how to get under your skin.) Being that I was younger and smaller…I had to think of creative ways to inflict pain on him. For example…when I was 5 years old I bit him in the leg SO HARD that my 2 front teeth came out and were stuck IN…HIS…LEG. Now that’s RAGE!!!

*Tonight one of my clients is taking a bunch of people to the Clay Aiken Christmas Special at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone…but I’m really excited to go!!! I was a fan of Clay when he was on American Idol…and come on…it’s CHRISTMAS MUSIC!! Being in the Music Industry…everyone’s typically too cool for school. So people that are going are like too cool for Clay Aiken. I don’t really care if everyone thinks I’m the Queen of the UNCOOL…I think it’s going to be such a fun evening!

*I made Christmas cards this year for the first time. They are not nearly as fun and crafty as Joy’s…or the rest of you that are SUPER creative. But I was pretty proud of them. Maybe I will take a picture and post it if I get the nerve.

*Confession…speaking of posting pictures…several weeks ago I gave myself the goal of figuring out our new digital camera and putting the pictures on the computer…so that others could view them…or that I could post some…instead of them just resting inside that little camera. Well…I STILL haven’t done it. THIS WEEKEND…maybe?!?!?! Maybe by putting the ‘maybe’ in there…won’t make me feel bad if I don’t get it done…therefore not stressing me out about it…then I might actually do it. One of these days…it…WILL…HAPPEN!!!

*I have notices that I have been saying “Shock-a-lock” when I get upset or frustrated. NO clue where it came from. I kind of wish it would go away…because it isn’t cool in any way shape or form. Just another bullet point for me to put on the “Reasons why AJ isn’t cool” List.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Dumbest thing I ever did...

I was always in good shape growing up. Starting at age 3, it was either Gymnastics, Dance, Waterpolo, Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Track, Swimming or Softball. Not to mention a couple of stints in Powder-puff Football. All of this activity allowed me to eat whatever I wanted…whenever I wanted…and how much I wanted. My mom was a home economics major and always had healthy well balanced meals for us. Then I went away to college…continued to eat as much as I did in High School…but wasn’t working out NEARLY as much as I used to. 3 hour sports practices 5 days a week went down to 1 hour dance classes twice a week. So I gained the freshman 15…and sophomore 20. I found myself at a place I had never been. Unhappy about my weight…and wanting to be thin. Pepperdine was an amazing school. But it is in the Heart of Malibu, California…the center of perfection…where everyone looks like a Barbie. These amazingly beautiful women were lusted after on my campus by the hottest guys in the school. I was never given a second glance. I thought I was going to find the man of my dreams in college…and I didn’t ever have a REAL date. Sure I took guys to parties and formals and sorority functions…but they were all just friends. I needed to do something drastic if I was ever going to get noticed. My junior year I tried to be anorexic. I would eat 10 baby carrots and 5 saltine crackers…and that would be my food for the day. I think I made it to about 30 days. I lost weight…but my body went into starvation mode…and you wouldn’t have been able to tell exactly how much I had lost. Then that summer I studied in Florence, Italy, and in our villa we had an Italian chef who made 3-course meals 3 times a day. I wasn’t going to pass that up! I knew I would never have another time in my life eating authentic Italian food. So…I again gained weight.

Then my senior year in college I found the ephedra filled “Metabolife”. This was the biggest mistake of my life!!! I did lose about 10 pounds the first couple of months. I think all in all I probably bought 5 bottles of Metabolife. It made me feel like CRAP. My heart would race, and I would be shaky and jittery, but I didn’t really care. Then I stopped because I just couldn’t take my heart beating so fast. Even when I stopped taking it…I would notice my heart beating weird every now and then. About 2 years later…it woke me up in the middle of the night…and it wouldn’t stop. It’s like it would beat normally for 5 seconds…then skip a beat. Every time it skipped a beat it made me either cough…or take a deep breath. It freaked me out and I didn’t know what to do. I think I worked myself up more just getting anxious that it made it worse. I was finally able to calm down, but knew I needed to go see a doctor…as it was happening more regularly. I was scared…and I stopped working out for fear that something might happen while my heart rate was elevated. After wearing a heart monitor around for a month…the doctor told me that I have a PVC. It’s premature ventricle contractions. My heart beats at a different speed than the valve below my heart pumps. So in order for it to get caught up my heart will skip a beat to catch up to the valve. But I found out that working out is actually a very good thing for my PVC…and as long as I don’t go more than 2 days without working out…I usually never notice any signs of it. The doctor also said it isn’t uncommon to women my age…but there isn’t any medication that treats it. The medication they were using…proved to be fatal. I did talk to my doctor about the Metabolife…and he said there is a good chance that that is what caused my PVC. I couldn’t believe it. Taking a dumb pill to try and lose weight probably caused this. Ever since I have sworn to not take any pill or substance to try and help lose weight. And I am proud to say that when I finally ended up losing my weight…I did it the right way…the old fashioned way…just through diet and exercise. I do love to exercise, but this is just another reason that motivates me.

So this takes me to today. I was lazy this weekend (and it was FREEZING) and I didn’t work out Saturday and Sunday. (I can’t really remember the last time I didn’t work out 2 days in a row.) This morning my heart was bothering me. First thing I got on the treadmill and ran my 2 miles. I felt better…but something was just off kilter. My heart wasn’t settled. It kind of freaks me out…but whenever this happens I just remember Dr. McKechnie telling me that getting anxious just makes it worse…and to stay calm. Luckily it only really bothered me for an hour or so. But it just really terrifies me when this happens. The only thing I can think about is what am I going to do when I am pregnant??? I will run as long as I can…but after that I will just have to get creative to get my heart rate up. But I hear you are so exhausted when you are pregnant…and what if I just can’t work out every day because I’m too sick or tired. I guess there’s no sense in worrying about that now. But it’s something I think about. And it just infuriates me EVERY TIME I see “weight-loss drugs” advertised on TV. I just scream at the TV and tell these people… “Don’t DO IT”. I know weight loss is a big topic in the US these days…but seriously people…if I can convince you of ANYTHING…please don’t take drugs to help make you lose weight. Believe me…you don’t want to end up with a heart problem because of it!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Randumb Ramblings 12.02.05

*Thanksgiving was awesome! My favorite part was making Grandma’s Homemade Turkey Noodles the next day using the leftover turkey! Homemade Noodles are the BEST!

*We were a part of the CRAZY people that went out in the thick of Black Friday. We left the house at 4:30am and were done by 7am. My parents came with us and we had a great time. We went to this fun restaurant Puckett’s in downtown Franklin afterwards. I had whole wheat pancakes and they were SO GOOD!!!

*Random Fact: When I was 15 I was selected to be on the California Women’s Waterpolo All-Star Team, and we went to Australia for 2 weeks and played a bunch of states teams…and the National Team. They kicked out butt! But…the cool thing was we played the National Team in the brand new Sydney Olympic Complex that was built for the 2000 Olympics.

*I have a very regimented routine to get ready for bed. Rarely do I stray from this routine…and sometimes when I do…I usually forget to do something. Usually the routine looks like this: Change into PJ’s (if I haven’t already), Floss, Brush, Wash Face, Take out Contacts, Apply Facial Moisturizer, Apply Lip. It’s all simple stuff…but must be in that order.

*Snack of the Week: No Pudge Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars. They are SOOOO GOOD!!!! And they are only 1 point!

*My office is painted lavender. I don’t really know why I chose this color. It’s not a favorite color of mine…but it has served me well. I knew I needed something semi-serene since a lot of my phone calls are VERY frustrating.

*I have 2 birthmarks. The first one is a very faint dime sized mark on back of my left leg right above my ankle. You have to look pretty hard to see it. My other is more of a beauty mark on the upper left side of my chest. I’m rather fond of that one.

*My house is SO NOT decorated…the walls are bare…there are 2 rooms with NO furniture…and we moved in about a year ago! This is the way I see it…if I don’t have the money to decorate it the way I want…I’m not going to decorate it at all. At least the painting is done. We have been so focused on paying things off…we have just put off decorating. It is probably going to be a couple more years until we can focus on the house. When my parents were here…I took them to the models in Westhaven to get ideas for decorating. I CAN NOT GO TO WESTHAVEN. It’s ultimate ENVY…and just not good for me. I start dreaming of a life that I think would be GREAT…but I don’t think I would really want. Then we went back to my home and I realized how BARE it was. Oh well…at least we have a house…RIGHT!?!?!?!?

*LISTS…LISTS…LISTS!!!!! I love lists! A list for whom to sent Christmas Cards to…a list for our week’s grocery shopping…a list for Christmas gifts…a list of ideas for the Christmas cards I am going to make…a list of what needs to get accomplished at work that day. My lists have to be on fun paper…and colorful. With my favorite Ultra Fine Point Sharpie’s of course! Sometimes Steve thinks I’m crazy…but without my lists…my life feels even more in disarray than it already is…and that’s never a good day.

*The Christmas Parties begin!!! Tonight I am going to my friend Elizabeth’s Christmas party. The rule is…you have to have an ornament to enter. I think this is a super idea. It would be fun to see the different ornaments your friends give you. And every single ornament would have a memory with it. It should be fun…but I don’t know that I have ever been to a Christmas party as early as December 2nd!!! Happy Friday!
Site Meter