I wonder... With The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) October session of General Conference coming up and the inevitable pain that it will bring, I thought it would be interesting to write out what god would reveal if the god I believed in existed. Here’s one version of how it could go: Family, We have been wrong. So very wrong. We got caught in our own vision of the world and have made violent decisions that hurt many of those we claimed to love. Lost sig
When you realize you get so damn confused all the time because you hear voices others don’t.
Some of us speak so quietly you have to actually train your ears to single out our voices.
There are many of us who are heard and then cast aside the moment a louder, more commanding (whiter, male) voice enters.
Sometimes our voices aren’t audible at all. We communicate in so many ways.
A lot of our voices are drowned out by the systems that torture us. Our screams for help are
This new creative process still feels clunky to me. I used to stand in front of a canvas, take a deep breath, close my eyes, and feel. Whatever that meant in that moment. Then I’d open my eyes and let it happen. I’d know when I was done when I had captured (the word trapped popped in my mind taking me on a quick trip to all the horror themes where souls get trapped in paintings and I genuinely had an instant of panic that I was doing something “bad” and harmful. My god, this
I love dictionary words. The ones I haven’t learned. The surprises. The ones I get to leave behind for safe keeping. My favorites are the ones that are mainstream enough to know yet obscure enough to still mean what’s written. We usually agree. Get clearer. Hear each other. The ones that haven’t been torn apart by lies and distortions. By spirits and letters. The ones that trick. That hurt. Dictionary words hold the infinite fluidity of the universe, and as such, for this mom
I might have figured something out. The reason people tell me I'm "paranoid," "need to calm down," "need to trust," "have faith," or "let it go" when I ask questions has nothing to do with ME. Nothing. I'm not stupid or missing something. (Well, not in the instances I'm thinking about at least. I do miss a lot of stuff being human and all.) I'm certainly not paranoid. If anything I'm not allowing myself to be scared and angry enough. I naturally come with a desire to get to t
This must be a ‘mid-midlife’ crisis. From other's perspectives I went through a midlife crisis a few years ago. Nope. That was certainly a crisis. That was me running for my life. Seem dramatic? You weren’t there. Not a midlife crisis. Fleeing from physical danger to safety is an intrinsically different predicament. This, however. This. Yowza. It’s like every person that comes into my life is holding a key that unlocks trauma. It’s as if my mind is searching for reasons to pu
Communication is love. Be it verbal, physical, or otherwise. "Speak to me," is akin to, "I love you." Let me learn your language, and allow me to teach you mine. Image description: Acrylic painting on canvas faded in background. Deep blue background; orange, red, and yellow vertical paint strokes symbolizing thoughts, messily reach the top of the canvas. "They told me they liked to use words a lot but only images ever came into their head...Their expression was visual and yet
"When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence." ~ Anonymous Of all the hymns this is the one that shaped my life the most. I didn't grow up with much but even then I knew that what I had I needed to share. Even if all I had was love, compassion, and kindness I would give it freely. The more life has given me, the more drive I have to give. As I see people suffering around me I do not understand the desire to hoard resources. I do not understand t
Oh the layers of nonsensical thinking to go through. This photo (taken by kid #3 on a recent family trip) is now my desktop photo on my laptop. I love it. If I could float in the warm, calm ocean for the rest of my life it would be heaven. Here's the deal though. Even saying that brings up feelings of inadequacy for me which is maddening. It's a dream. A human cannot float on the ocean for the rest of their life. It's completely and totally impractical and has no bearing on r
To say the Netflix comedy special "Nanette" affected me would be an understatement. Wow. Wow. Wow. Please watch it if you haven't. If you're a friend and local and need a Netflix account, come over. This is worth seeing again. And again. Trauma is insidious. The way it holds us. The story it paints. I am incredibly privileged to have had resources that have allowed me to work my focus through the decades of trauma. That have allowed me the space and safety to face and then mo
Piggybacking off of yesterday's post and an ongoing theme in my healing...How in touch are we with our own humanity? What do we sacrifice for our reputation? Integrity? Honesty? Connection? Love? Humanity? As victims, getting in touch with our humanity will most likely circle around our worthiness. Our capacity to make mistakes free of shame. Our ability to give ourselves permission to be flawed. As perpetrators, it turns out we're pretty much circling the same drain. Worthin
It is tough to process and come to grips with the fact that I am never going to be perfect and that is absolutely okay and expected. I am not always likable. I am fallible and can be downright nasty at times. With the exception of those who choose not to embrace their humanity and grow from their mistakes, this is what it means to be human. To be flawed, messy, vulnerable, kind, mean, loving, horrible... All of it. Everything. Undoing the harmful teachings and conditioning th
The attached article came across my feed today and it was the validation I needed in the midst of life's chaos. I have three sons and my goal as their mom has been to raise three self sufficient, loving, and kind men. Men who recognize and rebuff toxic behavior and thought patterns within themselves and the world around them. Being a parent is difficult. Reminders that we are on the right path are priceless. I let my love for my children guide today's images and self care. Ho
My partner held me last night as PTSD racked my body. I awoke in the middle of the night sobbing. There were no thoughts. No remembered nightmares. Just sobbing. Sobbing and fear, loneliness, rejection, pain. While they held me they whispered, "It's okay. You are safe." As I held back the screams that attempted to escape my body for fear of waking and scaring my children I thought, "I am not okay. This is not okay. I am never safe." All the while knowing they were right. I wa
"I wanna see..." Where You Are - Moana Composers: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa'i & Mark Mancina I recently started referring to Where You Are as the "coconut song" during discussions with my children. Near the beginning of the song Moana's father, Chief Tui, sings, "Consider the coconut. Consider the tree. We use each part of the coconut. It's all we need." Chief Tui uses the coconut as a metaphor for the island and its people who work together, using traditions passed dow
If one of the main points of your speech is adaptability you'd better be adaptable. I was invited by Safe Harbor Crisis Center and Clearfield High School to speak at their Falcons are Fabulous fundraising rally this morning. I am in awe of how much these students were able to raise for Safe Harbor (almost $50,000) and the sacrifices some of the students made today. It was a spirited event! Attached you will find a partial (almost complete) video of my condensed speech. I prep
I fell into a perfectionism hole again which means I allowed shame to fill my thoughts until I froze. I'm glad I'm recognizing this quicker and am building up my shame resilience (Brené Brown). I'm not making excuses for myself, I am simply recognizing patterns, and November and December are HUGE trigger points for me. If I could, I would skip them altogether. I cannot so I'm working on extra self care and healthy coping skills like making these inspirational memes. I use pho
"Perfectionism is not a way to avoid shame. Perfectionism is a form of shame. Where we struggle with perfectionism, we struggle with shame." Brené Brown Recently my blog was weaponized. That phrasing might sound odd to someone who has never experienced abuse. Abusers find ways to take beloved, or even mundane, things and use them as weapons against their victims. Specific blog posts were suggested as reasons why I was behaving poorly as a parent and my time with my children s
Becoming the Hero, Written Series Once a month I do an art workshop at the local domestic and sexual violence crisis center. It is the crisis center that helped me as I decided to leave my abusive marriage. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to return as a survivor and share empathy, understanding, and some skills that help me navigate life after abuse. I take some of my pieces and share my process of healing through art; inviting the workshop members to find the tools that
Becoming the Hero, Written Series* In which I find the voice of pain that yearned to be listened to, and plead with the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to enact changes that will protect victims of violence and prevent instances of violence in the future. *Please note that this was an incredibly emotional letter to write. I had to reopen many wounds and as such, missed a lot of minor grammatical and spelling errors. I read through it multiple times