A Girl Named Sue

15 04 2013

After my three pregnancy losses, I decided I needed to fill my life with something productive. Volunteer work made perfect sense.

I became a rape crisis worker. I became a victim advocate.

I became a Child Mentor at the Utah County Children’s Justice Center.

“The Child Mentor Program is designed to provide support to children who have been through child abuse investigations. A Child Mentor’s role is to be a friend, a positive influence, and a reliable and consistent presence in the life of a child. Mentors are assigned a child to work with one-on-one, on a weekly basis, for six months. Mentors are encouraged to participate in fun and healthy activities with the child. Going to story-hour at the public library, getting an ice cream cone, or going roller-skating are some of the things the mentor and child may do together.

The point is to have fun and be ready to listen. As a mentor, you are in a position to let the child know that you are there for them if they need help. As a friend, you are in a position to let them know that someone really cares.”

Sue (obviously not her real name, because…duh) was around seven years old. Once a week I’d pick her up and we’d go swimming, miniature golfing, roller-skating. We never really talked about anything important or deep, and that was fine by me. What do you say in that situation? “Sorry you were sexually abused. You really shouldn’t learn how shitty this world can be until you’re much older.”

Probably not so much.

So we went out and we had fun, and it was good.

Except it wasn’t. Not for me. Whenever I spent time with Sue, I watched her.

Sue’s mother managed the apartment complex where they lived. She was gone most of the day dealing with problems, but close enough to leave Sue at home by herself. Because her mother managed the apartments, Sue knew most everyone who lived there and felt very comfortable. Every time I picked her up, Sue’s front door was wide open—even when her mother wasn’t home.

Sue had no fear of strangers. Male, female, young, old—Sue would talk to anyone about anything.

Sue had no boundaries. She once tried to set me up on a date with a stranger we met while we were roller skating, knowing full well I was married.

Everything I saw made me think the cycle was set to repeat, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. She was so young and so trusting—even after all she’d been through—and I was scared for her.

I finished my six month commitment as Sue’s mentor and I left the Children’s Justice Center (CJC). I’d love to tell you there’s an uplifting and fabulous ending to this story, but there isn’t. I often wonder what’s become of Sue. She’s nearly an adult now. I hope she’s well.

I tell you this story because I want you to know about the CJC. It’s located in Provo and it’s an incredible place where kids who have been abused can hopefully start to feel safe again. They’ve made it so kids don’t have to go to the police station and give statements to multiple parties. Kids can sit in a room with teddy bears and a couch instead of a sterile room with nothing but a table and a chair.

You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you about the CJC. It’s like I have ADHD or something.* Shut up. I’m getting to it.

On May 9th I have the incredible opportunity to be part of a show called Listen to Your Mother. Listen to Your Mother is “a national series of live readings by local writers in celebration of Mother’s Day. Born of the creative work of mothers who publish online, each production is directed, produced, and performed by local communities, for local communities.”

You guys. This is kind of a big deal. I had to audition for it and stuff. I decided I was good enough, I wrote something new, I put on my big girl panties and auditioned. And then they picked me. And then I cried. I’m not making that up. Someone texted the cast list to me and I started crying.

So. Those of you who live close to me—and you know who you are—had best be at my performance. If you aren’t, you’d better have a damn good excuse. I’m talking rivers of blood or a plague of locusts** or something equally horrifying. I need all the support I can get, because as the day draws near it’s entirely possible I’m starting to get slightly freaked out about all of this. Also, I wrote about Maggie (surprise, surprise) and the idea of breaking down in front of a roomful of strangers isn’t too appealing. I’d like some familiar faces in there.

Oh, and the CJC thing? If you didn’t notice from the above link (which I’m sure all of you clicked on), 10% of the ticket proceeds go to the Children’s Justice Center, which I think is pretty awesome.

Summary: Buy a ticket, watch me blubber and laugh*** my way through a new piece about Maggie, and it benefits The Children’s Justice Center. How could it possibly get any better than that?

Okay, fine. I’ll throw in some cookies.**** Buy a ticket and I’ll bake cookies for you greedy jerks. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?

 
*Really. I’m on medications. Imagine what I’d be like without them!
**If there are rivers of blood or a plague of locusts I probably won’t be there either.
***No, seriously. There’s some funny stuff in there! I promise!
****Chocolate chip only. I’m not taking orders. What do you think I am, a fricking cookie shop?

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A New Level of Lazy

23 06 2012

I often joke that I’m inherently lazy. This isn’t actually true. Like many people, I do like to take shortcuts. And yes, I’ll sit on the couch wanting a glass of water for at least20 minutes until my husband stands up and I can say, “Hey, while you’re up…”

I know.So pathetic.

Still, I have my limits, and today they were pushed so far that I had to take a picture and illustrate it for you. See how ambitious and not at all lazy I am?

Image

Seriously, sir? It was too much work to return your cart? May your automobile be violated by a thousand unreturned carts.

*Grocery shopping after a 10-hour shift makes me a little bit stabby.

**Really, though. That’s ridiculous.

***Yesterday was my birthday and I had to cancel my birthday date with Car (Cajun food! Avengers!) because I felt like I was going to puke but then I didn’t puke which was almost even more sad, if that’s possible.

****Redeeming factor: My parents got me a Kindle Fire for my birthday, which is 20 shades of awesome. Not 50 shades, because that would be creepy.

*****Not that I’ve read that series. Pervs.

******Seriously, I haven’t read it. I can tell you don’t believe me, but I really haven’t (I heard the writing really sucks).

*******Not that I’d read it if the writing didn’t suck. OBVIOUSLY. I’m going to stop talking about it now.

********If you don’t know which books I’m talking about you’re probably really confused, aren’t you? Ha! Sucker!





So Tell Me

16 04 2012

Little G turns four in 15 days. I know. Don’t ask me where the time went—I’m as stumped as you. Today I got an email from Fisher-Price, because of course they want me to buy his birthday gifts from them.

Question: Do all children now magically turn into girls when they turn four? Because that’s kind of the vibe I’m getting here:

*Still no final diagnosis for Big G. Just waiting, waiting. All the time waiting. Losing my mind waiting…

**Also, I’m sick again, because the universe hates me.

***It’s possible I’m slightly depressed.

****But that’s okay. I’m going to plant a garden.

*****I realize that’s not at all related. I just felt like saying it.

******Plus I have to plan a party for a four-year-old, so I don’t really get to sit around moping. Dammit.

*******Is it really spelled “dammit” and not “damnit”? That doesn’t make any sense, but that’s what the WordPress proofreader claims.

********Why do I suddenly trust the WordPress proofreader? The sickness must be eating my brain! I must immediately take to my sickbed!





Special Delivery

29 02 2012

YOU GUYS.

Yesterday kind of sucked. I’m out of my magical ADD pills and my children, as best I can tell, are minions of Satan (today is obviously going well).

BUT THEN? Car brought home free pizza prepared by the Son of Almighty God.

To make my night even better, Car and I had this conversation:

Car: “How are you going to blog about this without being sacrilegious?”

Me: *chortle*

Car: “Oh. Right.”

Seriously, it’s like for a brief moment he forgot who he was married to.

For the next hour, every time I glanced at the pizza box, I burst into giggles and Car just shook his head and rolled his eyes.

Next up: Chinese food from Elijah the prophet. Hey, a girl can dream!

*I will forever be bitter about how sacrilegious is spelled. It’s just wrong.

**The pizza wasn’t that great. You’d think Jesus would have the power to make fabulous pizza.

***Would it be inappropriate to make a joke here about Jews making lousy Italian food?

****Probably.

*****I just checked with my Jewish friend Meredith, and she says the joke is fine, but for the record she makes excellent pizza.

******I assume Meredith speaks for all Jews. It’s only fair since she does the same with Mormons and me. It’s cool. I’d rather she think I speak for Mormons than, say, Mitt Romney.

*******Hahahaha! I kid!

********Maybe.





Search Me

12 01 2012

Every once in a while I glance at my stats—not to see how many people read my blog (that number just depresses me, as based on my sheer awesomeness I should have thousands–nay, millionsof readers), but to find out from whence y’all came. What site referred you? What magical combination of terms did you type into the search engine to be led so very astray?

I really should know better than to ask these questions.

Dude.

A few things here:

  1. Who asks a question like that? 
  2. Who googles it? 
  3. Why the hell did it lead them to my blog?

I know I talk about poop a fair amount on this blog, but to the best of my recollection (though I’m sure I killed a few brain cells with the drugs), I’ve never named—or even contemplated naming—a bowel movement.

I thought the “megatron baby birth certificate” search was hilariously random until I realized someone was probably looking for proof that people actually named their child Megatron based on the number of likes or fans or something received on Facebook. If I cared more I’d look it up but honestly, I’ve lost interest now that it isn’t a cartoon baby Megatron.

I do find it hilarious that I consistently (seriously, every day) get hits from “Billy Blanks,” since the only time I’ve mentioned him on my blog is when I talked about how phenomenally creepy I find his peek-a-boo nipples.

FYI: I’m perfectly aware most of my readers are my friends and family. Bless you for finding me amusing enough that you’re willing to a) maintain contact with me and b) read my nonsensical ramblings. As for the rest of you—those who found me through blogging, mutual friends, Twitter, or (heaven forbid) freakish search engine requests and have, for some bizarre reason, come back for more—please seek professional help.

*I totally just upped my search ranking for “Billy Blanks.” BOOYAH!

**I think we all know if I had to name a bowel movement, I’d name it Bob. Partly because I name everything Bob, and partly because Mr. Hanky is already taken.

***Wait, did I talk about Mr. Hanky in a blog once? That might sort of explain the naming of feces. But not really.

****If you don’t know who Mr. Hanky is, you probably shouldn’t look it up. You might be scarred for life. I’m looking at you, mom and dad.

*****Wait, how would I know it was my last bowel movement? Are we talking about the last one I had (say, this morning), or the last one I would ever have? That might make a difference. If I actually know it’s my last crap on this earth maybe it means I’m on death row and I’ll want to name my poop something more bad-ass than Bob. You know, something like Slash. Or Killer. Or Captain Huggy Face.

******I’m trying to not contemplate the implications of having poop named Slash, but I’m failing miserably.

*******I also might be snort laughing.

********From now on, every time I need to use the bathroom, I’m going to say, “I gotta go make a Captain Huggy Face.”

*********I so win at blogging right now.





Who you callin’ ho?

11 01 2012

Friends, today I’d like to address a serious issue: comma abuse. I’m not saying I haven’t slapped around a comma or two in my day, but commas are our friends and we need to make every effort to treat them with respect.

Unlike this little gem Big G brought home from school back before Christmas:

It came with little cut-out figures Big G had colored.

Oddly enough, that doesn’t make it any less nonsensical.

FYI: It’s exceptionally creepy when your 6-year-old son dances around the house repeatedly chanting, “Mommy, Daddy, I love you!” in a babyish voice.

Unrelated but awesome Big G gem of the week:

Big G: “Mom, is there a state called Vixen?”

Me: “No.”

Big G: “Why not?”

No matter how hard I try, I can’t come up with a good answer for that one.

*Yeah, this post is about something from before Christmas. Deal with it.

**Because really, you should just be happy I wrote something.

***If you whine about it I might not write again for, like, a month.

****That was not an invitation to whine, you jerks.

*****I’m suddenly very paranoid about my comma usage.

******But not my asterisks.

*******Thank goodness.

********I know the title has nothing to do with the actual post, but what was up with that extra “Ho!” inserted at the end of the first sentence on Big G’s handout? Is Santa some sort of pimp-daddy now?

*********He does have a fur coat and, apparently, a sweet funky ride. Ho!

**********Genius idea of the day: instead of “Jesus is my co-pilot” I’m going to make bumper stickers that says “Santa is my pimp.”

***********I haven’t been sleeping well. I can’t decide if this makes me completely looney or just amplifies my awesomeness.





I Choose You, Depression!

22 11 2011

Recently someone posted this on Facebook:

“I am grateful for being aware that I have choice. I choose happiness, I am happy, It’s simple, but funny how I used to think that it was out of my control. Those were bummer days:(
Could it be as simple for you too? Yes! Say it over and over, you will start to believe it, . . . I dare you to be happy! I triple dog dare you to choose Happy! lol Choice, it’s that simple.”

I’m going to set aside my grammar snobbishness and dive straight to the heart of the matter: Major depressive disorder is an illness. I have not chosen to be depressed.

Has anyone ever suggested schizophrenia is a choice? Next Facebook status update: “I triple dog dare you to stop hearing voices!”

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.” Sadly, there’s a good chance my brain is not wired like the brain of the average person. MRI studies have actually shown that the brains of depressed people look different from those of non-depressed people.

I’m not removing personal effort from the equation. If I sit by passively, depression will kill me. I choose to see my therapist and psychiatrist. I choose to take my medications. I choose to get out of bed in the morning even though there’s nothing I’d like more than to pull the covers over my head and spend an entire day in the fetal position. I choose to fight.

But telling me to choose to be happy? That’s like telling a type I diabetic to will her pancreas to produce insulin. It just ain’t gonna happen. So she’ll take her medications and her blood sugar will stay under control, but she’ll still be a diabetic.

I take my medication. Sometimes my depression is under control. But underneath it all, I’m still depressed. There’s a good chance I’ll always be depressed. That fact alone is…well, it’s depressing.

But it’s not my choice.

Saying it’s my choice suggests that in some sick and twisted way I enjoy being miserable. I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. Those of you who read my blog regularly know how much I love laughing. I despise drama in my life (unless the drama revolves around how unbelievably awesome things are).

Could I do more for myself? Of course. I need more sleep, more exercise, more time spent on myself. But I don’t know many people who wouldn’t say the same.

I choose to be happy, but for some reason beyond my understanding, God has chosen a different path for me. Does that mean I spend every minute hating life? Well, duh. Obviously not.

I’m trying to think of something funny to tell you to prove I’m a happy-go-lucky gal, but go figure, for once in my life I’m at a loss for words. Crapsticks. BUT I’M FUNNY, DAMMIT!

I promise I’m not turning this blog into a big platform to talk about my depression issues. That would be boring and lame, and I’m not boring and lame. SHUT UP. I’M NOT.

Jerks.

*I totally have the supplies for my advent calendars. Now I just have to actually make them.

**That’s the easy part, right?

***Y’all get the Pokemon reference in the title, right? No? Crap. I’m such a geek.

****Speaking of geeks, you should’ve seen my reaction when I discovered they have the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon on DVD on amazon.com. Oh yes, they do.