Saturday, July 30, 2016

It's Tough Bein' Karl Malone

I should have posted all this earlier but I have been grouchy. You see, it's hasn't been an entirely fun
for me .But whatever, I'm good now so...better late than never.

a few years ago Robert and saw a documentary about Karl Malone. He's very entertaining. He was complaining about things that were hard in his life that Robert and I were just laughing because the things he was saying were ridiculous! Then he said what just be one of the best things he ever said. "It's tough bein' Karl Malone." We could not stop laughing! Now whenever somebody complains about something trivial, like "My cars heated steering wheel won't turn on." we always say that it's tough bein' Karl Malone. The same idea applies here. I was focusing so much on the negative that I was ignoring the overwhelming good all around me.

On October 30 2015 it became official, Robert has been married to strokey me longer than he was married to regular old me.  I don't know how or why he does it. I mean, we can't go anywhere together that he does not have to offer me his arm and help me up from chairs.  All the cooking and cleaning he has done could rival Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom. I'm very high maintenance. On the other hand, I totally get all of his M.A.S.H. references, make enchiladas and chili verde that he loooves, and let him go crazy on his car obsession. Okay, there is more to it, on both sides, than that but you get the idea. I give him all the credit for keeping this family together and happy. Good thing, too, because I really like him.

A few days before Christmas I stated feeling pain in my neck. I chalked it up to sleeping weird
and took an Advil. It didn't help. I rarely feel my migraines as strongly as I used to but I got one and it about knocked me flat. Not the best timing. Robert kept telling me to have it checked out. But not wanting to be a bother, I did my best to ignore it. Then on Christmas day I was at my mom's house and she and my sister got wind of it and made me promise to get it looked at. I was still unconvinced. On the way home Robert suggested that I text my doctor to just ask. He advised me to go to the E.R. Great. Robert and I headed there at around 10 that night. We ended up staying all night. Poor Robert had only a hard chair and we were both awake all night. Good because, like most parents, we had a good, full nights rest the night before. Not really. Robert was texting my doctor (who was at his sick daughters house) with updates, I was texting my friend, Karen, who happens to be my doctors wife, and they were texting each other so nobody got much sleep. I had a CT Angio with contrast and it showed that my carotid artery had dissected and was 70%  occluded. Wonderful. Vertebral artery dissection was what caused my first stroke. We caught it and I was already on aspirin (I honestly love the taste of that stuff) so no strokes. Yet. They had plans to admit me but my Neurologist came in and told me that there was nothing I could do there that I couldn't do at home. Start Plavix as well as aspirin and GO HOME!!!! I was so happy to get out of there but also so worried and confused. Nothing for 33 years and then 2 different arteries dissect in 8 years? Why? I had more tests, more brain scans and ultrasounds and everything came back totally normal. I was okay knowing that childbirth had caused the dissection but now there are two and no one seems to know why. Now I feel like a ticking time bomb. I wear a medical I.D. bracelet, can't go skydiving (Robert loves it and had almost talked me in to it), and won't vacation where there isn't a close hospital. I'm much more aware of things now and am on high alert. At least I know the symptoms and am already on anti coagulants so having another stroke my biggest worry right now. I swear my body is 100 instead of 42.

Speaking of which, I am now the same age as Skip was when he abused me. Robert has been 42 for nearly a year and it didn't even bother me. But now that I am, it has me thinking. My oldest is 13. I look at his friends and think, they are just babies! How could someone of my age be attracted to someone that age? I'll never understand pedophilia and I never will and I never want to.

For a big part of this year I was angry. I was angry that my body was betraying me and I was mad at God for letting this happen. I sure wasn't fun to be around. I don't know why I am so dense sometimes. I was totally missing all the good things. I actually had so much to be thankful for. I'm thankful for family (even in-laws!!!) who jump in and bring meals or watch kids while I'm at appointments, a husband who takes off work just because he wants to knows the doctor will be calling and he doesn't want me to be alone and kids who pray for me and support me in their own little ways. But mostly I am thankful to my Father in  Heaven to whom I can just pour out my heart and not try to act happy or strong. I've prayed in a lot of interesting places for some pretty strange reasons and He always hears and answers me. He takes good care of my little family.

See? It's tough bein' me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

For Craig

This is a very simplified version of my dating history but it gives an idea.

When I was old enough to date, (ok. maybe a few months before) I dated guys who I may not have dated if I had never met skip. I didn't have much of a self esteem and didn't feel that I deserved to be treated well or date the "good" guys. I am still friends with some of those boys so I don't want to say too many mean things but they were as respectable as I thought I was. If I did get asked out by someone who, if  they knew the real me, would be repulsed, I was uncomfortable and found ways to make sure our first date was our last. I think I was lucky because Jed was in my same school and, out of respect for him, the boys thought twice about how they treated me. Otherwise, I could have been in trouble. There was one boy of whom I thought the world and with whom I  had a lot of fun. We had a lot in common like our love of old movies and jumping off our deck onto the trampoline. Okay, really he ripped his hand open doing that but we had fun at the Emergency Room.  But I put the brakes on that before he could see what I was really like.

About a year later I met a boy with whom I fell breathlessly in love. He was leaving for his mission in two months time so there was little chance of my big secret coming out. Also, I had some serious trust issues so a long term relationship was more than I ever thought possible. But two months I could handle and he was one of the "good ones" We both threw ourselves into the relationship with all of our hearts. It was the kind of thing where he would leave his car open because he was in such a hurry to get to my door and I even tagged along to his college class with him because we didn't want to be apart. I promised I would wait for him and we even  picked a wedding date for shortly after he got back.

When he left and all we could do was write, my secret was still safe and the relationship was still safe for me to be in.

But when he got home it all fell apart. Suddenly things were real. My subconsious stopped me from giving it my all. I thought was a horrible person and men were the enemy so the relationship stood no chance. I started pulling away and playing games, secretly hoping that he would put up a fight for us but with the way I was acting, he probably didn't dare put himself out there. Every time he didn't react like I wanted, I lost a little more trust in him and our chances.  I even left for San Antonio for a month or so just to prove a point.  I don't know what that point was but I felt it necessary to prove it. When he didn't even call me and failed to acknowledge my birthday, I knew it was over. Oh I didn't want it to be. I was desperately in love with him but at the same time felt that I had already had an affair, was damaged goods and therefor undeserving of him. We gave it a half- hearted try after that but deep down I knew it could never work because I was so messed up that I honestly felt that I was not worthy of a good, healthy relationship.

Contrast that with how my relationship came to be with Robert. I had been through the court system, therapy, and at least one healthy relationship. When I met him I thought he was the most handsome man I had ever seen. Unfortunately, so did my good friend. I was still under confident  and she was, well all the guys seemed to like her. So I got to see how he treated her. And many girls after that. He was never alone for long before some girl would come after him. He was rarely the instigator but there always seemed to be plenty of girls vying for his attention. He treated them all nicely and was very honest and respectful of them but was choosy about with whom he spent his time. He considered me a good friend-one of the guys. I used to be included in conversations about his ex-true love, what he wanted in life, how school was going, why or why he didn't like certain girls etc. I also saw how he treated his family, as well as others. I saw the way he lived his religion, how he viewed the world, his honesty, his humor, as well as many other traits I grew to love. We saw each other often the first few months and then nearly every day for nearly two years. I got to see more than I would if we were dating and we were both putting our best feet forward.

After a year or so I realized how important he was to me and told him that I thought of him romantically, He let me know that he just didn't feel the same way. He was honest, respectful, and kind. I was hurt, yes, but I was also totally impressed by his actions!

It was only a few months later that I started spending time with a different guy. We had even talked about a future together. But I was still hanging out with Robert, fully understanding that we we would always be just friends. Then one Sunday night (June 13th to be exact) we were just watching T.V. when we kissed. After that there was no thought of the other guy (sorry Justin). Robert and I were inseparable. He knew all about me, even some things I wish he didn't, like my secretly liking Barry Manilow, and he never questioned my worthiness or my truthfulness. He hated what had been done TO me and was not shy about it. Whenever I would have a moment of self doubt, he would put up just enough of a fight for us to let me know he was 100% in this with me. I wasn't afraid to love him with my all because I already knew his character. It was a foregone conclusion that we would get hitched and I had my dress and veil even before we got engaged. In the last 17 years, his love for me has never faltered. Even when I was dead set on his divorcing me after the stroke, (it would have been so much easier for him) he just wouldn't. My room faced the elevators and around 5 that evening, a huge bouquet with legs got off the elevator and walked into my room. he kissed me and said, "I can handle anything but DON'T YOU EVER LEAVE ME!" There is a song by Sheryl Crow called "Are you strong enough to be my man?" Robert is the only man I have ever met who is.