I’m Fat For a Reason

This will be a difficult blog post and not only for me, but for those that know me and others who can relate.

I had an epiphany that started yesterday morning and really hammered home today.

I choose to be fat.

On the surface, this seems like a really stupid concept.  It’s illogical, goes against health concerns and is the opposite of what our culture is constantly telling us.

It took me 25 minutes yesterday to find a shirt to wear to work because almost all of the ones I own are now too big. I’m down to 4 shirts that don’t fall off my shoulders or show cleavage.  As I was driving to work, I realized that small changes I’ve made in the way I eat, along with more frequent trips to the chiropractor so I can move around more with less pain, have lead to some weight loss.  How much, I have no idea – I don’t own a scale.  Frankly, I don’t want to know.  I don’t want to be let down.  In the past when this has happened, my weight remained the same or it even increased!  This is one of the games lymphedema plays on you.  It moves fluid around and makes you think you’ve lost weight when it is is just lymph fluid shuffling around from your arm to your butt.

At the start of this year, I made the goal to give up soda, something I was drinking on a daily basis, at least one bottle of Cherry Coke, something two or even three.  It was my crutch to deal with stress at work and stress of life in general. I didn’t have any soda at all until the last two months when the stress really kicked in.  My contract job ends in early September. I was rear ended by a semi and trailer on July 31st and there are issues with his insurance so I had to fork out the $500 deductible and cover the $400 car rental, leaving me with very little cash.  I have really bad health insurance through the employment agency.  It has a $6,000 deductible and the co-pays for my prescriptions are through the roof. My back went out severely over Independence Day weekend and then two weeks later during a singles conference my church had that I had really, really wanted to attend.  The person I’m in love with doesn’t love me back.  Blah blah blah.  Back on the soda wagon I went.

Shortly thereafter, back on the fast food wagon I went to, jumping on with both feet.  This is also another vice I have that I had been avoiding very well.

Last night, I ate fast food and ice cream and consumed three sodas yesterday.

After feeling my teeth rotting away last night and not feeling well at all, I was lying on my bed, realizing that I chose to eat that garbage, even spending money when I shouldn’t have since I’m freaking poor right now, because I am afraid of losing weight.  I don’t want to lose this security blanket.  That lead to more introspection and trying to find out what the heck is going on in my head and my heart.

It all boils down to the following:  Being fat keeps the douche bags away.

I was a pretty good looking woman before I took The Pill and my life changed forever, but a great portion of that change was the fact that I stuffed my face with sugar and fast food.  I was engaged to a guy named Matthew when I weighed 160 pounds, wore size 14 pants and could salsa dance for 4 hours straight without taking a break.  When we broke up, my heart snapped in half.  I was 24 and had never cared for sweets or junk food.  I remember making the conscious decision that I never wanted to feel that heart ache again and going to Safeway and buying a cheesecake, which I had never bought before, took it home and ate it like an animal in one sitting, making myself sick and forcing myself to finish it all at once.  I cried over him for two years.  It was one of the lowest points of my life.  Everything went to hell.  That’s a story for another time.

I bring it up because that’s where being fat started.  I had been molested by family members, friends my own age when I was a kid, a friend of my brother’s, and strangers all as a kid.  I had been raped when I was 22 and sexually assaulted a few times as a young adult.  I dated a lot and had many boyfriends and made a lot of poor choices when it came to relationships.  But it wasn’t until I actually trusted Matthew and he stabbed my heart with the worst kind of disloyalty and pain that I no longer wanted anything to do with any man again.

I then made another poor choice in a guy, getting engaged to Rick, who I now have a lifelong civil restraining order against.  Then I married Chris, and what a treat that was.  I ignored all of the blatant, obvious signs and outright statements to my face that he was a sex addict, a narcissist, a liar and a user.  It wasn’t until I found his written statement about how he hated my body that I started to wake up to the nightmare I was in. When he forced me to have sex and then cheated on me and refused to go to counseling, lying to our bishop’s face, I finally escaped.

I don’t want to be raped again. I don’t want to attract a narcissist again.  I don’t want to marry a douche bag again.

I’ve had one solid, good relationship with a man in my entire life.  We are best friends.  He loves me for me, not my looks.  He’s the only man I have known my whole life that loves me regardless of my appearance.

So, I’ve been thinking today about how I can overcome the fear of being an appropriate weight again.  I need to because I miss dancing, having energy, and don’t want to get diabetes or a heart attack which both run in the family. I’m also tired of being judged by people who automatically think I’m dumb, lazy or childlike because I’m obese. I know that I’ve been passed over for jobs I’m qualified and over qualified for because of my size. I’ve also healed enough to be ready to date again, and no one who is physically healthy and mentally healthy wants to date a fat girl with image problems.

I did a Google search and came across this article Afraid To Be Thin.  I wanted to find something that would help me get over my fear of attracting buttholes who would only pay attention to my body and not ME and/or try to hurt or use me because of having a healthy, attractive figure again.  In the article, it suggests writing down 25 answers to, “I am afraid to be thin because…” to get a breakthrough.

Here are my answers with free thinking, no editing.  Pure vulnerability here.

  1. I am afraid to be thin because I was raped.
  2. I am afraid to be thin because I was molested.
  3. I am afraid to be thin because I don’t want to attract attention to myself.
  4. I am afraid to be thin because I don’t want guys whistling and cat calling at me all day long like they did before.
  5. I am afraid to be thin because I don’t want guys grabbing me off the street, trying to rip off my clothes or ambushing me in public like before.
  6. I am afraid to be thin because I don’t want a returned missionary trying to rape me at a church dance again.
  7. I am afraid to be thin because I married a sex addict and narcissist who pretended to care about me and then after we were married I found out what a black hole of a heart he had and he just used me like a sex doll.
  8. I am afraid to be thin because I wasn’t true to my values when I was thin before.
  9. I am afraid to be thin because I know who my real friends are as a fat person.
  10. I am afraid to be thin because people would constantly ask me questions about my body parts like I was made in a factory, not a real person, like “Are your boobs real?” and “Are those real eyelashes?” and “Where did you get your hair?” and “Why do you have such hairy arms?” No one asks me these questions now.  No one has any interest in my body at all and I like it!
  11. I am afraid to be thin because I was hit a lot.
  12. I am afraid to be thin because cops would pull me over for no reason.
  13. I am afraid to be thin because of the warning in my patriarchal blessing.
  14. I am afraid to be thin because you are never pretty or thin enough.
  15. I am afraid to be thin because I get comfort from food and don’t want to think about fat and sugar content.
  16. I am afraid to be thin because I feel safe.
  17. I am afraid to be thin because when I want to be left alone now, I am.  I’m practically ignored all of the time except when I speak loudly.
  18. I am afraid to be thin because of all the money to buy a new wardrobe.
  19. I am afraid to be thin because I hate fake people and they hardly acknowledge me now.
  20. I am afraid to be thin because I hated guys staring at my body parts.
  21. I am afraid to be thin because I don’t own a .44 magnum nor do I know how to use one.
  22. I am afraid to be thin because society is hedonistic and I don’t want to bend to their requirements.
  23. I am afraid to be thin because I know I’ll end up in jail now if some ass tries to touch me again.
  24. I am afraid to be thin because I don’t want to find out that people who are my friends now would leave me.
  25. I am afraid to be thin because I don’t want to fall in love again and be fooled that he really loves me.

Now I’m going to write 25 reasons why I WANT to be thin.

  1. I want to be thin to get rid of, or heal as much as possible, the lymphedema.
  2. I want to be thin so I can go dancing again, if the stupid lymphedema will allow it (can’t do a lot because of the jumping, etc. really jams up the pain on the legs).
  3. I want to be thin so I don’t get some other horrid disease or health problems.
  4. I want to be thin so I have the energy of bouncing off the ceiling for hours again.
  5. I want to be thin for the fantastic sex.
  6. I want to be thin so I am happier with my overall self.
  7. I want to be thin so I can buy clothes for $3 at the thrift store again and stop paying $50 for fat pants.
  8. I want to be thin so I can keep up with babies and kids.  Eventually, I want to adopt one.
  9. I want to be thin for a GOOD man who will love ALL of me, unconditionally, and not dump me, cheat on me or leave me because I get sick or gain 10 pounds.
  10. I want to be thin because it will improve my singing.
  11. I want to be thin because I’ll have more energy to get more accomplished in the day.
  12. I want to be thin so I can be a better role model for said future adopted kid.
  13. I want to be thin so people will listen to me and I won’t be ignored just on appearance.
  14. I want to be thin because it’s tiring carrying this fat bod around.
  15. I want to be thin so I can take a bubble bath again.
  16. I want to be thin so I can go swimming and play volleyball again.
  17. I want to be thin so I don’t have to wear a stupid fatsuit under my clothes anymore.
  18. I want to be thin to help my body regulate its temperature better.
  19. I want to be thin so I can ride roller coasters again.
  20. I want to be thin so I’m treated like a human being when I’m a customer.
  21. I want to be thin so I’m healthier and have a better chance of serving a mission.
  22. I want to be thin so I can perform more acts of service and not die out so darn fast.
  23. I want to be thin so I never break another chair from my fat butt again – once was enough.
  24. I want to be thin so doctors will listen to me and actually help me instead of assuming I’m just fat like they did when I had gigantic tumors growing for years.
  25. I want to be thin so I can have less trips to the chiropractor, as I’ll be able to be more active.

It was hard coming up with the last 5-7 things for both lists, but I feel accomplished that I even did this at all instead of trying to ignore reality.

I’m making the following commitments today:

  1. No fast food.
  2. No soda.
  3. Walk for 30 minutes a day.
  4. Remind myself every day that I am NOT who I was 23 years ago, nor who I was 5 or even 2 years ago!  I am a very strong, determined woman who lives her beliefs and would never be a victim again.

Whatever your trial or fear in your life, I wish you the very best of success.  Remember that God loves you unconditionally and even when you feel totally alone, like I have many times throughout my life, you always have Him.  Pray to Him and tell Him everything you feel, even when you’re angry, confused and don’t know what the freak is going on or why it is in your life.

My hope in sharing my difficulties with others is that they will uplift and inspire at least one person.

God bless you all.


The bravest ones

face the World

when Hope is scarce

and the good have become the few

They enter the Day with the soft patter of their feet

Not horns blaring or entourages exploding

to announce they are on their way

Full of fear

they open the door

to the unknown

Full of love

they open the door

to the forgotten

Low on accolades and awards perhaps

they know they are needed

however small or large the task

and the next task

and the next

and next

living as they believe they should be

Not seeking praise

Seeking tasks

Not seeking money

Seeking service

Not seeking contention

Seeking peace

Yes, Sheri is Still Alive

I haven’t written in my blog for a long time.  A lot has happened.

The most recent medical struggles have been minor.  First, the toenails on the biggest toes have decided to start getting very thick and start shrinking up from the nail bed – kinda freaky.  I saw my GP who referred me to a podiatrist, but her diagnosis is that I have  onychoptosis – Greek for “your nails are dead.” There’s no fungus, but trauma has occurred, so says the doctor. I haven’t kicked a brick wall recently so not sure where the trauma comes in.  The doc tells me I’ll probably be wearing special ed shoes.  Fun.  I have really bad pain in my heels and the tops of my feet.  If the podiatrist can solve the riddle and corrective foot gear takes care of it along with the pain, hallelujah.  I think I’m past caring about fashion with all of the physical pain.

I had a colonoscopy two days ago at the hospital.  They put me under with general anesthesia, so I was knocked out cold.  I haven’t had this procedure before, and I don’t think I’m ever going back.  The worst of it was getting stabbed multiple times by the nurse unable to find a vein, the tape ripping off my skin (I’m allergic to the stupid tape and forgot to tell them to use the paper kind, not the cement glue kind), and the effects I had from the anesthesia.  They stuck a tube down my throat which caused a sore throat, punched me in the lip somehow while doing that so my upper lip is nice and swollen, and I was mad and irritable as hell. It took a few hours for the anesthesia to get out of my system so I wouldn’t want to punch anyone in the face anymore. I felt violated.

The GI doctor showing up late with the nurses calling him, hounding him down and being told they couldn’t start without him didn’t do much for my nerves.  Neither did the nurse who didn’t believe my medical history.  She also tried to get me to give a urine sample for a pregnancy test.  When I said there was no point in that, she didn’t believe me.  I told her to go read my records and find the hysterectomy, and besides that, I haven’t had sex in a long time.  Ugh.

I was really, really upset the day before I went to the hospital.  I have a small hemorrhoid, and the GI doctor that I saw last year told me that it would be taken care of during the colonoscopy. Well, I called to make sure that was the case with this doctor, and he said he couldn’t do it; he didn’t have the skill.  I’ve been bleeding sometimes because of this stupid hemorrhoid, which is painful along with inconvenient and embarrassing, and I had believed it would be gone.  I also got the $520 bill for seeing the GI doctor who did nothing more than talk with me and get the procedure scheduled, so I was pretty fired up. I threw my phone at the floor and busted the screen.  Sigh. My frustration was gone minutes later.  Luckily, I was able to get a new phone for cheap.

It’s a long, long history I have of being told that something will be taken care of medically and then having that hope taken away from me.  But I have to keep trying, and I am grateful for what I have.

There was one lonely polyp that got removed in the procedure, and besides one small pocket of diverticulitis that is of no consequence, there’s nothing else that was found. I was told that the bleeding was “probably” from the hemorrhoid – no way, Sherlock!!! – and to digest Metamucil and/or go see another surgeon who can actually take care of it.  AAACCKKKK.

After drinking the prep – liquid plastic – for two days and not eating the whole time, I went to IHOP with my boyfriend and also chauffeur, for pancakes, hash browns, and eggs Benedict.  They totally cooked the eggs Benedict wrong, but I didn’t care, I was starving. There was a sweet older man at the table next to us, and he was stranded due to all flights to Chicago being canceled. Some suicidal maniac at the airport in Chicago had lit the place on fire, trying to kill himself, so both airports there were closed down.  He vented to me in friendly banter about his situation, his business out here, the traffic in Seattle, and also his family. He was really sweet, and I told him why I was so happy to get to eat some eggs.  He told us that his son had colon cancer at the age of 52.  The conversation then turned that direction.  He assured us his son is fine now.  When he left, he thanked us for listening to him.

Since I’m on Warfarin, I had to be put on Lovenox before and during the colonoscopy.  This is because I could bleed out on the Warfarin, but not the Lovenox.  If you’ve never had Lovenox, here are the great details for you.  I get to administer shots to myself of the blood thinner morning and night into my stomach.  The shots feel like a hornet has bitten me and that liquid fire is spreading in about a 4″ radius around the injection area.  Then I can hardly move for 10-15 minutes while I feel the poison, er, medicine pool inside of me before it goes into the blood stream and while it’s doing that, I get very weak. I slap a band-aid on, put the syringe into the sharps container, then breathe for a few minutes till the pain goes away before I try to get up and walk.  I have been blessed in that I have a small area on my stomach that doesn’t feel much from the hysterectomy aftermath, so I can stick a needle there and not feel the liquid fire.  Since I can’t use the same spot in 24 hours, I do have to use the parts of my stomach that will feel the flames.  Right now, they have me taking the Warfarin and the shots together.

A few months ago, I started to lose some of my hearing in my right ear.  I don’t hear very well in crowded situations like restaurants or when work gets noisy. I went to an audiologist for testing.  She said that I can’t hear the highest pitches and have a hard time with certain letters being together like “sh,” but I was fine and wouldn’t wear a hearing aid anyway.  She said my brain will just fill in the missing words. I’m glad she decided that for me.  I have to have the volume turned up all the way on my phone to hear people in noisy situations or in the car, and sometimes I still can’t make out certain words.  It can be frustrating at times when I’m at a restaurant.  The server will just ignore me after I say what once or twice and direct all of the conversation to the person/people I’m with at the time. It’s like I become invisible.   What is really sad is when I’m on a date and the guy refuses to repeat what he says, getting angry at me and even proclaiming, “You’re deaf.” Wow, thanks for the compassion and obvious over reaction.

When it comes to work, that has also changed. On 9/15, I officially went from supporting two women executives to one of them plus two new men executives. I had been working 12-18 hour days prior to this and having extreme stress due to the one exec that I no longer work for.  She’s a piece of work. Things are still very hectic, but I’m getting away from the 60 hour work week and more towards 40, if there is such a thing, in the industry I’m in.

I live in West Seattle now.  Have you heard of the Seattle freeze – the idiom regarding how people in Seattle are unfriendly and cold?  Well, it’s true over here in West Seattle.  However, I’m working on breaking through that barrier.  I really like the neighborhood that I’m in.  I’ve joined a couple of FB groups for my neighborhood that are free trade, and even though I haven’t participated in the trade yet, it’s great to communicate and meet with them.  The beach is just a 5 minutes drive, and it’s great to go there to think and watch the water. Groceries are insane here.  I drive to Costco in SODO and Winco in Kent.  Sometimes I go shopping nearby but just for a few things.  It’s just way too expensive.

The building that I live in has been a constant nightmare since moving day.  They gave me the wrong keys so I couldn’t move in, then had to wait 2.5 hours for the maintenance guy to show up.  They did a remodel with the cheapest subcontractor and supplies imaginable.  They ruined my belongings.  Jewelry was stolen from me.  They got paint on my leather couch and told me to clean it up. Then I got a notice that my rent is going to increase several hundreds of dollars when it’s time to renew the lease.  No thanks.  I’m already planning on moving next May.  I got $100 off my rent twice because of the mistakes along with a maid service cleaning the apartment after the mess made by the subcontractors, but none of that makes up for how I was treated nor the increased rent.  Besides, the remodel was really bad.  For example:  The “new” cabinets are just the old cabinets with wallpaper on the majority of the cabinetry, not all of it, so the old cabinet still shows through on the outside edge. Not to mention the dishwasher that wasn’t installed right and flooded my kitchen floor and sink, ruining everything under it and none of that being replaced or paid for.

I really miss living in a house, so I’m going to be finding a small house.  I don’t care if it’s farther away from work.  My commute to work right now is longer than it was when I lived 35 miles away. I can get to downtown without traffic in 7 minutes.  During the commute time, it’s 45-60 minutes.  When I lived in Kent by Southcenter, I got to work in 20-30 minutes on a good day, 45 on a bad.  I would much rather have a house for cheaper rent with a yard then be in an apartment.

So, my divorce was final in March, and we were separated in November. It is still weird to me in various ways to be living alone, but I’m getting use to it again. I have been thinking seriously about getting a dog.  I’ve been waiting for the building to get their remodeling done that has been going on for months before shopping for a pet, so that the little guy/girl doesn’t freak out over hearing metal saws and hammers. They are finishing up the new dog run and a BBQ area outside, painting on the exterior, and then I think they will finally be done with the building. I can bring a pet dog with me to work, as long as my manager approves it.  I plan on getting a rescue.

The ex and his new wife informed me that I’m not allowed to see or contact the kids.  This was a huge, huge blow.  I’ll leave it at that.

As mentioned, I have a boyfriend.  We dated before and started dating again.  I don’t think of him in just the context of “boyfriend,” because that term is so loosely used.  He’s my best friend.  

I See Therapists Instead of Dead People

Life has been very…..hard.

As a writer, I can be really descriptive like that, so watch out.  I know, I should have warned you to take a seat first before I shocked you with that revelation.

I haven’t written for a while.  I’ve been seeing a therapist.  For a few months.  On purpose.  No, not my husband, who happens to be a therapist for those who don’t know.  I’m PAYING someone ELSE who is a therapist.  For help.  Yeah.  (BREATHE DEEPLY.)

Clenched jaws.  Screaming rage.  Hours of panic attacks.  For those who don’t know what a panic attack feels like, it feels EXACTLY like a freaking heart attack.  So imagine having the exact pain of a heart attack for hours on end, morning, noon, night, midnight, 2 am.  Yeah.  FUNNESS.

I can say funness if I want, stupid auto correct.

The point is this: I have issues.  I am imperfect.  I am flawed.  I have pain.  And I am dealing with it.  I am growing.  I am learning.  I am loving.

I am learning to love myself.  I am learning to slow down the PTSD so it doesn’t automatically scream “Everyone is out to KILL YOU!” when driving down the freeway.  (You would probably think that too, if you’d been in as many car accidents as I have.)

The really, really good news though is I am learning to love myself.  No, I am not being a cornball, I am being authentic.

Like the rest of you, I have heard my entire life all about self-esteem, love thyself as thy neighbor, “I Am A Child of God,” etc.  I’m not laying in a gutter, physically or mentally; I know who I am and why I’m awesome – for the most part.  My recent lesson has been in understanding that loving myself does not mean that I take care of everyone else’s needs/wants/demands and put myself last!  *AND* that there is no way in hell no one will look to me for help or advice in any way, which is my heart’s dream – to be a philanthropist and serve the world – until I get my own shit together and understand who I am and along with that understanding comes full love and acceptance of who I am.

To the wonder and amazement to my PTSD brain, I have made some changes and continuing on in others:

  • Work: I have stopped being a workaholic.  My job/business/boss does not OWN me.  My time is mine.  I have every right to have a balance between work and the rest of my life.  I work so I can live.  I do not live to work.
  • Diet: I eat breakfast every day.  Whoopdedoo, you’re thinking.  Well, I wasn’t allowed to eat breakfast growing up, and I carried that bad habit into adulthood. Part of why I’m fat is because I don’t eat enough.  Go look it up if you don’t believe me. I drink three 10 oz. glasses of water a day.  I use to drink zero glasses of water a year, with rare exception and only used a bit to get the meds down twice a day. I’ve stopped drinking pop every day.  I bought a pop every day at work for the last year-and-a-half, a habit that has gone on for years ever since free pop was available when I worked at various places before.  I also drank it when I went out, almost always.  I’m weaning myself off of it so that I stop the pop completely.  I started paying attention to how much I eat and when.
  • Relationships: I’m no longer saying yes to what other people want from me when it isn’t what I want.  The really hard one.  I was a pushover in this area.  I put what other people wanted ahead of my own needs in many ways, then would have anxiety attacks about it afterwards.  Resentment and frustration built up.  A lot of the times, I would even say yes to the detriment of my own finances, emotional and/or physical well-being. I’m working on this and probably will for a long time, but I know that eventually, I will get to the place where it’s on auto pilot and is emotionally healthy and strong.
  • Hiding My Body: BREATHE.  Feeling a little panicky there.  I am no longer hiding the physical Sheri, something that I have done for years, only bringing her out for special occasions like weddings, birthdays, and such.  I got a short haircut today, with various hair lengths, and it really highlights my eyes, which I believe to be part of the trifecta of my good looks – my eyes, hair and boobs.  My hairstylist, Emily, that I’ve been going to for the last 2.5 years, was so excited that I got over my blend-into-the-wall-bob that she insisted I come back in a month on my birthday for an update and offered to teach me this cool eyeliner trick.  More on that later.  I’ve been living in dark clothing – grey, black, purple, occasional red or pink – for YEARS. YEARS.  Sad.  Pathetic.  Get over it, woman.  Time to move on.  I haven’t worn make-up or done my nails or even taken care of them properly or used moisturizer on this middle-aged face except here and there either.  That has also changed.
  • I’m an ARTIST!:  I am, damnit!  I am highly creative, weird, intuitive, unique, imaginative.  I write, paint, make cards, sing, write lyrics, breathe/eat/smell paintings.  I can’t tell you what is better – sex or a live concert – because they are both freaking sensual and liberating to my whole being.  Music makes me feel ALIVE.  I feel God’s love course through my veins when I hear music.  I feel liquid sunshine soaking my soul when I look at an oil painting full of light, color, majesty.  So the change that I have made is to stop being quiet about it.  I’ve been making cards – Halloween, Thanksgiving, birthday, get well, just because, anniversary, wedding, baby shower, baby blessing, thank you – and people have been asking me to make them stacks and PAYING me for them.  I’ve been donating them to a colleague who gives them to needy children through the Mailing Smiles program.

I’ve prayed for assistance in being more accepting of who I am and standing up for myself better, to MYSELF as well as others.  I’ve had prayers answered directly thereafter in the form of TED talks, friends, scriptures and the Spirit speaking to me.  My eyes are being opened.

How Hairy Arms Lead to Hearing About Hairy Other Things

Second Title: I had a stalker, but now I have a new one.

WARNING: This post has swearing, Mormons.  And those that aren’t that don’t like to read swearing.  I type like I would say it in real life vs. censoring myself for the blog.

I decided a few days ago that I was going to stop trying to hide who I am by blending into the walls and try to be unnoticed.

If you know me in real life and you’re laughing right now, I would slap your arm to make you hush and listen.

I know that I am loud (volume wise), opinionated and swear like a Navy Seal, so for some to hear that I view myself as shy and quiet, they would disagree.  However, there are others who know me who only see the shy, quiet, anxious version.  Because of the effects of the mini-stroke, I do say what’s on my mind and the F word does slip out when I’m excited regardless of who is around me.  However, due to the comfort level I have with a person, I will not share any personal information, feelings, details of my life, politics, views of the world, etc. etc. until they reach a certain level.  Sometimes that takes years, if ever.  I can count on one hand the people on this planet that actually know me and that I trust.

I have no issue with standing up for my religion, loved ones and morals, no matter the circumstances or who is around.  I think and treat everyone equally in this regard.

When it comes to me being approachable and being seen, in the last 14 years, I have liked that to be next to nothing and on my own terms.  I had a stalker, who was an ex-fiancee, and that’s a story for another day on this blog – maybe.  I had another ex-fiancee who shredded my heart to a million pieces.  I went through tremendous pain with my family.  I have prayed, begging God to take my life so that I could go Home to Him and get off this planet.

When I went through one of the failed relationship situations, I believe something snapped, literally, in my brain.  I had the damn mini-stroke at that time, while I was being stalked.  I think my brain was like, “WHAT THE FUCK!  GET OFF THIS PLANET NOW!  NO MORE SHIT, WOMAN, SERIOUSLY!  DIE ALREADY!”  God had other plans.  And with those other plans, came defense mechanisms, like turning into Boo Radley.

For a time, I went nowhere except work and the grocery store.  I even stopped going to church.  It was too hard.  Too many people.  Too much noise.  Too much static.  TOO MANY DAMN FUCKING PEOPLE!

My hair?  What hair?  I was lucky if I could have the strength to wash it, let alone style it.  Make up?  Why in the WORLD would I want another MAN looking at me?  Any ONE for that matter?  I’ve been attacked by men *and* women.  (Oh, I have stories.  Lots and lots of stories…)  Clothes…?  It was all I could do to just get dressed in the morning.  One day at work, I realized something smelled really bad.  Awful.  I thought it was the guy next to me in the meeting.  Then it dawned on me that it was *ME*.  Ohhhhhhhh what the hell.  The shame and the depression – I don’t know what was bigger at that moment.

I got out of the funk I was in over that bastard and became functional again.  However, for years, I’ve been neglecting my appearance and my body.  It isn’t something that I was doing intentionally.  I was on auto pilot much of the time, doing what the subconscious demanded, which was to SURVIVE, which meant to not cause anyone to look at me and notice any movement.

When I got married two years ago, I had a really big wake up call to how I treated my body.  I wasn’t taking care of myself medically, and it could have been deadly.  I got my butt in gear on that and the heat gets slowly turned up ever since to do better and better.

A couple weeks ago, I decided it was high freaking time to stop bringing the good looking Sheri out only for special occasions and start dolling myself up on a regular basis, like a regular woman, and stop being afraid of being feminine, pretty, and turning a head.  Gosh, just being a HUMAN BEING and doing normal junk like using lotion like I’m supposed to and doing a regular manicure so I don’t have shark claws would be a huge improvement.  I made plans to get a new, avant garde hairdo.  I planned on buying a new pair of colorful, good tennis shoes for myself – the only shoes I can wear with the lymphedema; my current ones I had worn 7 days a week since July 2012 and were toast.

That brings us to today, when I got a new haircut.  Emily, my hairstylist, has been my girl for over two years.  She does an amazing job.  Not only that, she has a great heart, is fun, and a very good listener.  I need a good listener in a hairstylist because it’s a chick touching my head, and if she didn’t listen to me, there would no longer be a business relationship.

I showed Emily the two hairdos I was considering from pictures I cut out of magazines, and I asked for her opinion.  The one I really wanted I was scared my face was too round to handle, but she said it would work great.  As she worked her magic, I told her what was new with me and how I’ve been working on my junk.  I confided how I am clueless about hair, make up, etc. and just do the best I can when I put forth the effort or pay the pros.  She knows one of my BFF’s is a model, and she asked me why I never asked her for advice.  I admitted I am too self-conscious.  Emily said she would show me how to do a lash out with eyeliner after she finished my hair, and she did so, including bringing some concealer.  Then she showed me how to style my new ‘do with wax and made me promise to come back on my birthday so she can spoil me.

I went to get some blush at the mall and a ran into two older women handing out fragrance samples.  They both complimented me on my hair and also perfume.  This was noteworthy because I hardly ever hear compliments like this, and I haven’t heard one from a stranger in many, many years.  This felt really good.

The sales gal at the make up counter was really kind.  I was vulnerable and honest with her, telling her that I wanted to get blush but knew zip about what to buy and hadn’t bought any since 2006.  Seriously, I can remember because that’s how little buying make up happens from this purse.  I mentioned that I also knew zip about how to use eyeshadow and asked if she would teach me.  She asked why, and I explained that I went through a rough patch involving a stalker and other craziness but that I am over it and moving on with my life.  She was genuinely happy for me, and she was thrilled to teach.  She did one shade at a time on my left eye, teaching me while I did the same on my right.  She also offered to teach me how to pick a blush, apply it, and how to mix them.  They had a kit for a small price as well, so I ended up with a ton of high quality make up for a fraction of the price, and the kit included brushes, so I’m all set!  The sales woman asked if I had any big holiday parties or anything important coming up, and I said no except for the company party in January.  She said to call her the day or two before if something gets scheduled, and she’ll do a whole complimentary make up session for me.

I then went to another store, one of my favorites of all time, to get some yummy smelling lotion so I will USE it.  I was looking at the shelves, when this bouncy, curly brunette with a pierced lip came up to me with a witty line.  I laughed, and she offered to demo various lotions on my hands.  I accepted.

This young woman talked a mile a minute and was extremely agreeable to everything I said, even going so far as to “top” whatever I had to say as she put different lotions on my hands, a facial cleanser, and shampoo on my arm.  It was harmless, and I wasn’t judging her.  I considered it to be over zealous sales.

Then this happened.

(Curly starts to put second shampoo to test on my arm)

Me: I have such hairy arms.  I must have some European gene in there somewhere, like Italian or Greek.

Curly: You know what?!  ME TOO!  I am also Italian!  Well, my friend’s mom is Italian, but you know, same THING!!!

Me:  Hmmm.

Curly: And I have no hair on my arms, I don’t know why, since I’m Italian too, but I have a hairy bushel AND a really hairy happy trail!  I mean, a REALLY hairy bushel! (Circles her hand around her stomach.)

Me: Ughhhh…..  I’m done now.  I’ll get this and this.

Curly: OK!

Curly: (At the register after ringing me up)  Do you want anything else?

Me: Nope.

Curly: Are you sure?  NOTHING else?  Nothing else you want to take home?  Or try at home, I mean?

Me: Positive.

Well, I am standing out now, but I didn’t think the first person to hit on me would be a girl.  If that’s your thing, great, but it’s not my thing.  And it made this situation funny for me, since I’m trying to deal with being afraid to be attractive.

I like this, including the grey hairs.

I like this, including the grey hairs.

You Are Not Replaceable

I’ll Stand By You

This week is Suicide Prevention Week.  I believe it is important to bring this up because suicide has been in my life.  I believe it’s important as well to talk about subjects that are taboo – I’m not afraid to talk about this.

If you need help, please call someone, anyone, and talk to them.  Get help.  If you don’t have someone in your life that you feel you can trust then call a suicide prevention hotline.  Find a therapist.  Go online and find people who “get” you, who you can relate to, in social media.  Just talk to someone, please.  You are not alone.  Write to me, whether you know me personally or not.  I don’t claim to be a therapist nor do I pretend to have all the answers.  I promise I’ll listen and I’ll care.  Sometimes that’s all we need.

My life was saved when I was 17 years old by a teacher and again when I was 18 when I was deeply depressed and contemplating suicide.  I thought it was the only way out.  Thank God that I had someone to go to when I was 17 and then had a hotline to call the second time around.  I was also in very dark places in other times in my life.  Depression is a bitch that lies and the despair is completely insane.

I’ve also known people who were suicidal.  I was able to be there for one of them.  Two others that I knew as acquaintances through work chose to take their life and I had no idea about their circumstances til it was too late.  One of my best friends from high school lost her brother this way, when he was so young and full of life.  I have family who have stories.

When I’m feeling down or like my brain is splitting in half, I have things that I do to remind myself of why I’m on this planet and why I’m needed.  I have a mission to fulfill.  I vent to those who love me and don’t judge me.

And I pray.  I remember that we are made in the image of God.  I am His daughter.  He created my personality.  He gave me my weaknesses and strengths.  He has done that for each of us.  For you.

You are never alone.  You can talk to God at any time, about anything.  Prayer is a miraculous gift, so we are able to talk with Him at any time.  Say whatever you want; He is already aware of what is on your heart.  Pour your soul out to Him whenever you need to.  Yell.  Bawl.  Say anything and everything that comes out.  God loves you, and nothing you say will change that.

The joy I have in my life is not because I don’t have trials – I have plenty.  I have joy because I remember God and Christ.  I thank God for what I have.  I read His word.  I keep Him close.

May the Lord bless you in all of your trials and triumphs.  Remember you are not replaceable.  You are never alone.

I love this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY0_oVV29PM Music really uplifts me.  I hope you like this too.

I Believe in the Priesthood As It Is, aka, I’m Not Afraid

There is a feminist movement in my religion going on.  They want to have women receive the priesthood.

We believe in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that the organization of our Church is set up the same as how Christ set up the organization originally, namely, with prophets, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.  We believe that the priesthood is the authority given to worthy (morally speaking) men and young men age 12+ who are members of our religion in order to administer the ordinances, covenants and operational aspects of the Church.  These would be such things as baptism, blessing and passing of the sacrament, giving a blessing to the sick, being a bishop, etc.

The feminist movement wants the women to have the priesthood too, citing inequality.  I don’t view this as inequality at all.

Men and women have different roles.  Our gender is given to us when we were created by God as spirits, and we are born with that gender.  Women are given the gifts of motherhood with the capacities to nurture, while men are given the capabilities to lead the children through to adulthood with the mothers and on to the next life.  Men cannot give birth.  Women cannot parent alone.  Yes, men can adopt a child and yes, single mothers parent alone all the time, but for the best situation for the human condition, children need a father and a mother.

So it is when it comes to the priesthood.  Men have callings in the church to do various things to bring children through this life and on to the next – they are able to baptize, give blessings, marry them, and so forth.  Women are given callings as well in all aspects you can imagine to build and lift the kingdom of God.

Thus, I saw this posting on Facebook about the feminist movement going to gather together to attend the Priesthood Session of General Conference in October in Salt Lake City.  General Conference is our bi-annual worldwide church conference and anyone, member or not, may watch and participate.

I posted something on the blog I saw about this movement.  No one but me disagreed with the movement.  Here are my comments:

I believe that seeking additional truth and standing up for what one believes in are noble causes. When it comes to seeking answers or requesting a policy change for something in the Church, we have the personal responsibility to seek out the doctrine for the truth and the reasoning behind the policy.

The priesthood power and keys are a point of doctrine in the gospel, not a policy. They are based on truth, revelations from God. I believe it is dangerous and prideful to dictate to the Lord how to run His Church.

I would guess that the women who show up to Priesthood Session for this October’s General Conference will not be turned away, as the Priesthood Session is not a secret society and nothing is said there that cannot be shared with anyone on this Earth.

As one previous comment stated, one is already able to access the session online live or by attending in person at the state center, and also, one can watch on TV or listen on the radio. They publish the session with all the other talks and sessions, including the all Women’s session, in the Ensign and Liahona. The men are able to read, listen or watch the talks given to the Relief Society and Young Women, just like we can do the same for the Priesthood session.

I do not view there to be any inequality at all in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love this Church. I love the gospel. I am appreciative and grateful for how the priesthood is arranged and managed by those who are in authority. I believe that women are given every and many opportunities to serve in this beautiful Church. It is a great gift to all.

Here is the article if you’re interested: http://www.the-exponent.com/the-spirit-of-fear/

What are your thoughts?


New House, New Job, New Ward, New Anxieties

As previously mentioned, we moved in June to a house in Kent.  We are renting this lovely place and we would like to stay here until our son’s at least graduated from high school.

The cute house from the community front lawn

The cute house from the community front lawn

































The kids really love having their own rooms.  Sir did in our last place, but he’s got a bigger room now, and our daughter now has a bedroom that’s totally her’s instead of sharing it with our desks.  They also love having a yard to play in, even though it’s small.  I’m very grateful for the well insulated walls and nice carpeting so I can’t hear every banging their toy swords make anymore.  I also like being able to park in the garage for the first time in eight years.  It helps so much to stay out of the heat because my body can’t regulate its temperature well and I don’t sweat as a result of that and the medication I’m on.  It will be a big blessing in the winter for the same reason.

I want to put my desk into my walk-in closet since the thing is monstrous and I only have enough clothes to fill 25% of it.  Also because the closet has its own *light* and *door* so I can go in there, close the door – after closing the *bedroom* door! – and crank the music up while I paint, write, make cards, whatever.


Nerd’s New Job

My husband got a new job that he starts the day after Labor Day.  He’s going to be a therapist for a non-profit in Tacoma, with clients who have court mandated therapy.  It will be full-time.  This is a really big deal for our family because his practice wasn’t stable.  It is a real miracle from the Lord that this opportunity has presented itself.  We have been scraping together a few dollars here and there as he is paid a little at a time from clients and from me selling my iPod and a couple movies at work.


Our New Ward

Since we moved, we are now in a new ward, which is the Des Moines Ward in the Seattle stake.  This surprised us because we assumed we would be in the Kent stake, in a Kent ward, and didn’t know till after we had agreed on the house.

For the first time ever in my life, the bishopric came to our house to get to know us.  The RS President and one of her counselors came over as well to chat with me.  There are some really friendly people.

I’m concerned for our son because there are hardly any kids in the primary.  I subbed as the primary chorister one week, and there were five kids total, two of them being mine.  He’s in a class that combines kids from age 6 to 10, and he has cried a couple times because of the huge age and maturity difference.  We’ve already asked to move him into the class with the 11 year olds; they won’t do it.  He’ll be all right till the end of the year.  For Scouts, there is only one other boy in his group and he’s in the other ward.

I have absolutely no idea what kind of calling I would receive in this ward.  It will be a complete surprise.

I really miss my last ward.  We had a lot of friends there as well as the children, we knew almost everyone, and it was full of good people.  I miss teaching and writing to my visiting teaching route.  I volunteered to assist in contacting the 90 inactive women in the ward to give myself something to do.  No one needs a calling to reach out and let people know they care about them and give them info about the ward and the missionaries if they desire it.


First Paying Customer

For the first time ever, I had my first paying customer for my art.  It was unsolicited, so it was quite surprising and makes it even cooler to me.  My friend Bonnie, who is my SIL’s momma, ordered 14 homemade cards from me!  I was so astonished and loved being asked.  I made her 6 birthday cards for girls, 6 for boys, and 2 baby shower cards.  I also gave her a thank you card since I was late in finishing and she paid me in advance.  This really boosted me in all kinds of ways.

This leads to a fabulous surprise coming this weekend!  See you then!

New Medical Garbage, Hooray!

I haven’t been keeping this updated very well – as in MONTHS – so I am getting my act together!

I really wish WordPress would not automatically double space on me!

Anyway, I want to summarize this as briefly as possible because I’m emotional about it and junk and frankly I’m on a roll with the creative side of my brain right now and not really in the whaaaa cry baby side of my brain.

A few months ago, found I was bleeding internally.  That was all posted back in the May post.

Well, Heppenstall decided to retire and let me find out after the colonoscopy being rescheduled THREE TIMES because she wouldn’t make a decision about the Warfarin with the gastrointestinal doctor.  I complained about Heppenstall to my insurance company who couldn’t do anything about her since she was retired.  They recommended that I report her to the Washington state version of the AMA.  I didn’t bother, since she was no longer in practice.

So right now, I don’t have a primary care doctor.  Trying to hunt one down that I will trust, can handle someone with PTSD and the luck of the Wicked Witch of the West, understands lymphedema and wants to solve the riddles of why I create blood clots for no reason, have a spine in the letter “J” that no one else seems to want to give me physical therapy or other treatment for, and oh yeah, figure out what the hell is causing me to bleed.

In the meantime, I have had two experiences with one in my bed just leaning forward and one getting into Christopher’s car, where I was screaming for my life because of the pain in my stomach that came out of nowhere.  It felt like a gremlin was eating me from inside out, grabbing the stomach muscles and twisting them.  I couldn’t do anything but scream my head off til the pain subsided. A large thank you to the Lord for Christopher being with me both times or I probably would’ve gone crazy with the PTSD kicking in and wanting to stab someone.  The first time it happened, the pain went away slowly and then I was fine the next day.  However, the second time was two Fridays ago, and it still feels like the gremlin has his arms wrapped around my guts.  I get up very slowly after sitting or when I need to lay down.  Tonight, the right side of my stomach decided to join in since its been feeling left out, so it is also tensing up.

The Nerd wanted to find a chiropractor we could go to that would be closer to home.  We moved in June to Kent, Washington so we would be closer to our work.  He found a practice that does the IQ gun, the same as Dr. Barrett, in our city and is literally up the street from us.  I tried them out, twice.  The first time, the chiropractor I saw was a nice guy and he took a lot of time getting to know my history, taking x-rays, etc., but he didn’t adjust me with the accuracy of Dr. Barrett.  I left his office still in pain, which I have never done when I leave Dr. Barrett’s office.  Nerd and I went together for a second time when my back was killing me, and a woman chiropractor was assigned to us.  She talked a mile a minute, stood right next to me and wouldn’t move even when I commented about it being 5,000 degrees in there and needing personal space – PTSD newsflash lady!!!  I knew I’d never see her again when she refused to adjust the table for me, didn’t ask what was hurting and was pushing down on me, causing me pain.  You are not a good chiropractor if you are PRESSING DOWN ON THE PATIENT’S SORE BACK.

I embarrassed my husband because as soon as she was “done” with “adjusting” me, I got up and left, going straight for the car.  Automatic fight or flight response.  I’ll never go back there again.

Yesterday, Nerd made appointments for us for Dr. Barrett after I got off work.  I could barely move at all this weekend and didn’t make it to church Sunday because of the severe pain in my back and hips.  Extra Strength Tylenol failed me.  After Dr. Barrett adjusted me, and about 30 minutes later, I was able to stand and walk for the first time without pain in over a month.  I told him he’s not allowed to ever die because I need him.  He laughed and said he just had his 50th birthday and his first thought was surprise that he didn’t die in his 40’s.  Another reason why we get along so well.

I felt blood flow through all parts of my body like a raging river escaping a dam.  I don’t know how the heck I end up all twisted like this.  Oh yeah, a zillion car wrecks, child abuse, a curved spine…

Dr. Barrett adjusted all of the following on me:

  • Atlas – was pushed up and forward
  • First vertebrae – He told me that it was cutting off the flow of spinal fluid
  • Second vertebrae
  • Left shoulder in 3 places
  • Left shoulder blade
  • L3
  • L4
  • L5
  • Right knee, front and back
  • Both heels
  • Pelvis, both sides
  • Sacrum

Moral of the story: If you have a screwed up spine, you need to see the chiropractor – the one that is GOOD! – at least weekly.

Second moral of the story:  Do not pick physicians that look like they are over 50.  You are only 38 and you need a doctor that won’t retire for at least another 10 years.

Third moral of the story: Be nice to Nerd.  He really, really loves you.


I’ve learned quite a few things about Sheri lately.

1) Daria is my long lost twin.  We were separated at birth.  I was called her name by a former friend 8 years ago when he was trying to explain his frustration with me, and I wasn’t familiar with her.  I started watching the series from the beginning on Amazon Prime (yes, that is a plug), and I have learned that she is me and I am her so we are one.  I told my husband to start calling me Daria.  He just stared at me.

2)  I do not need to be a workaholic to survive.  When I get scared about finances, my marriage, or sometimes life in general, I kick it into workaholic mode and do insane things like work 60 hour shifts.  I had a major paradigm shift after doing this for two months and working 18 hours on a Friday night during a thunderstorm where the lightning was coming dangerously close to hitting my skyscraper at 2 am.  The drunks who rode the elevator down to the underground parking garage with me also freaked me out and reminded me of why normal people don’t work so late when they don’t have to.   The next Friday, my bosses decided to give everyone Monday off as a free day – EXCEPT FOR ME.  I was livid.  I had a chat with them and after being told no some more, I took that Friday off.  I just did it.  They survived.  And I proclaimed – in a professional manner, of course; I still need to pay the bills – that I would not be working psycho hours anymore, that I have – er, wanted – a life and I had my family to take care of and spend time with and do art and write and there’s music and NO MORE FREAKING 60 HOUR WEEKS!!!

3) I started writing my memoirs.  After being told by God and my intuition and the universe to GET THIS DONE ALREADY, I finally started writing the book of my life on August 24th.  This is huge.  HUGE.  Freaking huge, people.  Just huge.

4) Fear is for losers.  I have been holding back on being creative – writing, designing, composing – out of FEAR.  Fear of what the world will think of me!  Fear of criticism, of attacks – verbal and perhaps physical – when I share what I know and feel and think.  Fear of the ME.  Fear of who I am.  Fear of what I have seen, done, experienced.  I was afraid of being judged harshly by other Mormons for writing what I what to write because they will not like what they read.  The chick who wrote the Twilight books is Mormon and I wondered what kind of slander and BS she had to put up with for writing about vampires, especially for the sex-breaking-the-house-apart scene.  But to hell with all of the fear, the criticism, the blah blah blahs.  Everyone has critics.  Everyone is attacked.  Good grief, Christ Himself was under constant attack and He was PERFECT.  He was absolutely, completely perfect with nothing but love and glory and power and the bastards still questioned His every decision, gift, blessing and association.  If I didn’t have any critics or attacks, then I would know something was WRONG and that what I had written or created was really crap!  So goodbye fear!  I have lit your butt on fire with a flaming torch as tall as the Space Needle and sent you to Saturn where you can dine on atmospheric dust and pretend you’re special, because your lease is NOT being renewed.