By Anonymous

In my religion we are taught that we chose to come here to earth so we could gain a body and learn all we could. We were given agency to choose how to treat ourselves and the people we come into contact with. Unfortunately that also means that often we are impacted by the poor choices of those around us.

I was raised in a home where my father (named Eric) was physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive. Those outside our family had no idea. Eric was a doctor with a warm and funny bedside manner, a respected teacher in our church, and generous to those that needed his help. This made it almost impossible for my mom to convince anyone in a position to help who her husband really was.

I wore clothes from the thrift store that were ill fitting and completely out of style. Showers were limited to ten minutes twice a week. At least once a week I was beaten with his special 2X4 that had holes drilled in it so that even the air couldn’t slightly cushion his blows. He called these beatings “spanks” but I think we can all agree spanks that leave your back, butt, and thighs covered in purple bruises are not spanks at all. The things he said were more damaging than the bruises. I won’t quote him directly because a direct quote wouldn’t impress you with how cutting and painful they were. The words tore me down. They confirmed that I was repulsive and ugly. They whispered to me every day that I was not worthy of love from anyone who actually knew me. They testified with confidence that the blessings of the atonement were unreachable for someone as sinful as me.

When I was fourteen I did something that pushed Eric over the edge. All my belongings were taken from me. I was given my moms old clothes to wear and I slept on the floor of my brothers room in a sleeping bag. Every night for a month I was beaten 20 times. I wasn’t allowed to talk or sit with any member of the family. One day as I was waking up Eric came in and angrily told me to get dressed and get in the car. I walked to my parents’ bedroom where my mom was doing the laundry and told her that Eric and I were going on a drive. I hugged her and said, “ Goodbye Mom. I love you so much.”

She broke down crying and said that I couldn’t go. She ran into my baby brothers’ room and scooped him out of bed. She yelled to Eric that she needed to run an errand real quick then hissed for me to quietly get in the car. Armed with the cash in my mom’s purse and the clothes on our backs we left our home forever and drove to her family in Utah.  Later I learned that when I said goodbye the spirit testified to her if she didn’t do something that would be the last time she would ever see me alive.

So what happens when our suffering is over? There is a time of trial in every persons life where they struggle and pray for the pain to pass them by. What do we do when the clouds part and the sun comes out? Do we remain a victim or do we press forward? No matter what uncontrollable events happen to us we have the ability to choose our attitude. We can choose to learn from our experiences or let our experiences extinguish who we truly are.

After several years of anger and confusion I finally decided that I wasn’t going to be a victim. I chose to be grateful for the lessons I learned and use those terrible memories to build something beautiful. I found a gentle, loving man and we have two angelic children. I went to therapy. I cultivated hobbies and enjoy watching my babies explore the world. Eric is no longer a looming part of my life. Things aren’t perfect but compared to what it was it’s a paradise.

Making Friends

I’ve had this message in my heart/mind for the past week and yet I still forgot to officially sit down and write about this until tonight. I’m feeling a little inspired right now because I’ve had a full day of friendship which makes me want to share.

One thing I’ve mentioned is how important making friends is for me, it’s something I think could benefit everyone but I’m not going to speak on your behalf (hint, hint). I’ve gone through periods in my life where I just feel like I haven’t been able to just find this friend who wants to hang out constantly and be close to me. I often think to myself about how difficult I find it to be to make new friends. Maybe this is easier for everyone else but I struggle with introducing myself to someone new and then what to ask after that’s happened. I hate awkward silence. Feeling that we’ve had an awkward moment makes me anxious further, it leads me fumbling over my words which leads to more awkward silence. Knowing that I feel this way I know someone else must also feel something similar, there are too many people in this world for me to be alone in this. So something I wanted to share is an acronym F. O. R. M. if you do business training you may have heard this before. My husband does work in sales and does a lot of networking, he learned this and just taught it to me this week for me to build relationships with my own part time business. As I was pondering this though I realized this can be applied to anyone wanting to get to know someone and have somewhere to go to when that awkward silence arises.

Family: Everyone has one!

Occupation: What do they fill their days doing? Some people have official jobs, parents who stay home, or those who are retired etc.

Recreation: What do they do when they aren’t doing their occupation? any hobbies, talents, etc.

Motivation: If they could join some cause what would it be? Are they for saving the Earth, feeding starving children, education etc.

I tried this out recently and it worked wonderfully! It gave us another hour to chat when it looked like it was a conversation that was going to die.

There will be risk involved. Something I’ve learned recently is this:

Taking risks leads to more opportunities to find security and connection in a relationship.

Does it suck to be rejected? Heck yes! It hurts a lot and that doesn’t change over time. I think we just come to know that the risk is worth it. How sweet is it to find a friend who reaches for you and that you can reach back to?

Challenge for this week: Identify your comfort zone, be aware of it. Then take a step out of it. Introduce your self to the other woman at the park or someone you find reading a book you enjoyed, after that happens try using F. O. R. M.

I’d love to hear your experience. I’d also like to hear from those who have their own methods to making friends, what works best for you?

 

 

 

Of Soul, Symbols, and Sacraments by Jeffery R. Holland

Keeping it simple today by sharing a talk that was shared with me a few weeks ago. This is of the spiritual nature between husband and wife. I wasn’t raised with this mentality of what sex should be, in my home it was very taboo. This talk brought to me a lot of awareness and I know there are others that would benefit from listening to it as well. Click here and I hope you can enjoy. Please share with others if you learned/enjoyed these words.

Your Excuse or Your Story?

A couple of weeks ago I heard a story through the podcast Inspired to Action by Kat Lee. It was brief but the lesson had an impact on me. It was the story of Isaiah Austin, when he was in middle school his eyesight left one of his eyes, it was a dream of his to play sports and he was devastated that his dream wouldn’t come to pass. His mother told him, he could either make this his excuse or his story. He went on to play basketball professionally.

The line, this can either be your excuse or your story, summed up my whole life.  I used to make many, many excuses; I have no support, my day didn’t start the way I wanted, my expectations were not met, etc. I let things happen to me, I was acted upon and I never took control of myself. The one person in my life I can control and change? Myself.

I’ll have one bad thing happen in the morning and then I start telling myself, ‘Well today is going to suck.’ That one event was my excuse to making my day terrible/complaining about my day. Upon reflection, was it really a bad day or just a bad 5 minutes? I’m the one in control of my day and what did I do to change what happened?

All the ‘bad’ events in my life, I can either tell myself I have a bad life, I am the sum of the mistakes I’ve made or learn from those lessons and help them guide me to be a better person and write the story that I want for myself.

About 8 years ago now I was living a life I was dissatisfied with. I wasn’t making good choices or really making any choices, I was so indecisive and I just let people act upon me. I was in a relationship that I didn’t want but didn’t know what else to do in my life and I didn’t want to be alone. I had always pictured my life as being happily married, several children, having gone to college for something, being involved in my community and having some sort of connection with God. Where I was at the time and my lack of choosing wasn’t leading me anywhere near that image.

I remember the day that I made a change.

I didn’t have to work that day and I was catching up on some laundry. I had a stackable washer and dryer in my apartment and I had climbed on a bar stool to reach some items in the back of the dryer. I fell and hurt myself. At first I held back my tears because I felt like a child for crying over some bumps and bruises then I realized no one was there to scold me and I should just let them flow. So I did; it was like a flood had been released. At first I did cry about my scrapes but as I let it out I realized I was crying about my life. How much I hated it, I wasn’t doing anything with myself and the choices I did make I felt made me a bad person. I felt like what Alma the younger wrote about his experience in (Book of Mormon) Alma 36:17:

“And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins…”

I was in torment. After what seemed like hours of laying on the floor crying I decided then that I was going to start making changes to my life. I didn’t need to let life happen to me, I needed to life my live. I made a plan on how to move forward. Honestly along that path I still made some major mistakes but I didn’t change my course, I knew what I wanted and what I needed to do to get there.

Now with this blog I’m sharing my story; the events of what has happened in my life are the chapters that will build my life story. The plan I had for myself? I’m living it right now. I still have my ups and downs, but ultimately my life is what I had wanted for myself; I wouldn’t change where I am.

My hope is that you rid yourself of your excuses and start writing your story. You are the only one standing in the way of what you want.

 

This Wednesday I’m starting a short blog series on updating my toolbox (the #1 item) and would love for you to create your own with me or update what ever system you have.

As always I would love your hear your story and possibly have you share here on the blog, write to me at happywithimperfect@gmail.com.