Monthly Archives: January 2014

How Can I Stand Here With You and Not be Moved by You

(Everything–Lifehouse)

I am my own worst critic, and I know this, but so often I expect to be judged harshly by other people as well…maybe this is a learned response because I was bullied a lot starting in elementary school and lasting through 9th grade, so I just expected to be made fun of for no reason so any mistake would be grounds for further humiliation…and I guess to some extent I still do get teased, but a lot of it I have learned to put myself down before anyone else can. It doesn’t hurt as much if you yell at yourself before anyone else gets a chance to yell at you. If I am alone, I will verbally tear myself apart over even such minor mistakes as leaving a pan on the burner too long causing there to be a lower water content in the food causing it to take an extra 10 seconds in the microwave to heat up…and it’s a good thing that I mostly only do it when I am alone or I would have been sent to the looney bin a long time ago…especially because in between berating myself for these flaws, I will tell myself to shut up and be nice and start alternating between berating myself for the perceived flaw and berating myself for berating myself…really funny to be interrupted and take a step back and realize what I am doing…

Sometimes I am genuinely surprised when the response I get from someone is not telling me what a horrible person I am, but rather letting me know that they care and understand why the mistake or negative action happened. While I am still condemning myself, the person I expect to condemn me even worse has already forgiven me and moved on…and you know what, not only do other humans do that, but God does as well. That’s pretty awesome that stupid, screwed-up, can’t do anything right me is considered completely forgiven and totally perfect just the way I am by the one who can do no wrong. I am amazed when fellow earthlings do not condemn me, but how much more awesome is it that God doesn’t harbor negative feelings against me for all the mistakes I have made.

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You just have to be positive. Alright, I’m positive; I can’t!

(Sermon on the Mound)

I am feeling really overwhelmed with school. I don’t even know where to start because I feel like so much has already been thrown at me. I don’t know what to do first. I had a bad start to the semester and I feel like I am sinking. To sink the ship just a little faster, it became quickly evident within the first meeting of patho today that the teaching style of this course was most definitely not going to mesh well with the learning style of myself…I am so overwhelmed…

and then there is pharmaceutics and biochem…

I also thought I got myself out of IPP TA’ing for this semester…unfortunately I am stuck there again because of my inability to say no. What the h**k am I getting myself into?

My only hope to get through this semester is God…

I don’t know how I will survive, but God does.

…and I guess if I got as far as looking to at least see what I am up against that perhaps I will be able to figure out how to decide where to start…

After All This Has Passed I Still Will Remain

(Beauty from Pain–Superchick)

Some days it is amazing that there are a variety of definitions of okay…It is great that okay can mean anything from ‘this is a good thing’ to ‘my heart is still pumping oxygenated blood.’ This allows me to truthfully say okay no matter where on the spectrum I fall…

…and now I really need to do something useful with my life, or I am going to go much lower on the spectrum of okay…

Sing until the whole world hears

(song probably not related to post–simply what is playing on the radio and comforting me right now…)

So I might have written about this already, but a couple weeks ago a girl from my school died. I thought that I was completely fine, that it really did not affect me. I have been realizing that it did affect me a little more than I had admitted to myself…I don’t really have time before I go to bed to really write out what I am thinking about…and really I do not think I need to re-hash it again because I have written about 7 pages in my journal today processing through my thoughts so my brain probably needs a break from that…

One way that I cope with struggling is to kind of go outwards and try really hard to support other people, usually putting myself down in the process…I am trying really hard to protect myself, but am feeling dangerously close to giving my sanity away…Sometimes I just wish God would give me his plans to read so at least I’d know what to expect even if I wasn’t necessarily going to like the developments.

A better title for this post might have been “Save me” (Save me–JJ Heller)

I’m not who I was

(Brandon Heath)

I was looking at my list of goals that I wrote during the fall of my first year. It was really crazy to see how far I have come since I wrote that list. I definitely recognize right now that there are still a lot of areas in which I have a lot of room to grow, but I am not who I was. The list was labeled with “unrealistic alert” at the top. I wrote the list, but really felt that these goals were far beyond anything that I could possibly accomplish.

Well guess what! Of the 11 goals on the list, there are only 5 goals left to be completed. Also, the ones that have not been crossed off I have definitely made significant progress towards. It is really crazy that how far I already have made it is so much farther than I expected to be pretty much ever.

It is really crazy how far God has taken me in the past two and a half years. For example, the first goal on the list was say hi to friends unprompted. That is not going up to someone to say hi; it is simply when I come across one of my friends (not even a stranger) saying hi to her. That is something I can do enthusiastically now! It is so crazy to think that not that long ago that was on a list of things that I was never going to be able to do on my own.

As my abilities have grown I have also realized more and more how many more skills I need to be who I would like to be, but that doesn’t negate the progress that I have already made.

I am not the best but I make the best of what I’ve got

(Sunshine–superchick)

Sometimes I am not sure what the best is though. Sometimes there are so many conflicting ideas in my head about what is best. Right now I am trying to decide if it is best for me to go to the disciple-making overnight that has replaced the leader’s overnight this year.

I have decided that this semester I really want to be nice to myself. This does not mean, however, that I want to enable myself to hide away inside myself and shut the rest of the world out all the time. I do want to continue to challenge myself, and hopefully make good progress on overcoming some of my germ and social issues. These decisions came about because of the grades I got last semester that I did not like. Looking back on the semester, it seems that what was really hindering my academics was not necessarily the difficulty of the subject but rather my mental status. Part of that I will admit is just that I really do not believe in myself a lot of the time, choosing to believe instead the lie that I can’t do it and am not good enough and it is too hard. The bigger part is that when your mind is completely focused on a non-academic aspect of your life that seems to be crushing you, it is quite difficult to find the energy to really focus on and even sometimes to find motivation for academic-related endeavors. I am holding my grades in open hands this semester–I know that God can give me the grades I hope for or choose to let me learn to accept lower grades. Last semester I help my grades in a closed fist. I didn’t really see it then, but I was fighting God for possession of my grades. I wanted good grades and I felt God trying to pull those grades out of my hands and fought against it. Of course God, being God, successfully wrestled the grades away from me. It was frustrating. It was really frustrating, but God didn’t take them and leave, he stayed to help me understand that my worth was not dependent on my grades. For so long I have felt like there was nothing I was good at, nothing I could find success in. The only thing I was ever successful at was earning good grades. It felt like God was taking back the only thing he had given me and I didn’t have anything left. I wish I could say that now I no longer care what my grades are, and I know God has a plan for my life though I haven’t a clue what that plan is…that first part of the sentence though is not true. I do still plan to strive for good grades, but I want to not be so attached to them that God has to wrestle them from my grasp.

Okay, that went off track a little…so anyway, I know that avoiding anything that could be hard and making myself feel 100% safe 100% of the time ultimately will not help me. As much as I would love it at first, it would quickly become a prison. In regards to my germ issues, I kind of went there the winter of second semester and was spending far too much time washing my hands. In terms of social situations, while sometimes I definitely do need some alone time to process my thoughts, I do need people. As hard as it can be sometimes to be with people, I cannot live life alone. I crave friendship the same way other people do, but the barriers that I face make it harder to access it.

So how does that relate to the overnight? Well I would love to go to the overnight, because I know that it is what people expect of me, and also because I feel like I should be there. I also know that in theory it is good for me to spend a weekend with other believers. I know I have been to other overnights before and it is getting easier, but it still is a rather difficult thing for me to do. If the overnight had been this weekend, I would not have hesitated to sign up, because the reasons to go would have had precedence over the reasons not to go, however, with it being next weekend not only is it a bit of a stressful experience, but it is a stressful experience tacked onto the end of the first week of classes. The first and last few weeks of a school year tend to be the most difficult for me to cope with. At that point in the semester I am feeling especially overwhelmed, so adding on an overnight that will add to the stress in addition to taking away study time is a difficult proposition. Additionally, these things tend to not involve a lot of sleeping, so it does not exactly make for a great start to the semester to get sleep deprived over the first weekend.

Trying to work out the best in this situation is really challenging me. I would love to attend the overnight, but at the same time, attending is the last thing that I want to do.

And If I had to Crawl Would you Crawl Too?

(Crawl–Superchick)

Anyone who knows me at least a little bit knows that I ADORE children, and would much prefer to spend my days with a few infants than almost anything else. Because of this, I spend as much time as I am allowed to in the nursery at church. If I could live there, I totally would. Every week when the kids are picked up it is really sad, because I love them so much it is hard to give them back…but their parents kinda want them back, and I don’t actually have any car seats so I would have no way to bring them home with me…It is especially hard the last week before I go back to school because I know when I get back the majority if not all the infants will no longer be infants, and all the other kids also grow up way too fast…

My favorite stage of child development is the first few months after birth. I really think kids are by far the cutest the first two to four months they are outside mommy. Although I would love to have an infant around me at all times, since I actually only get to see them about once a week at church, it is also really cool those first few months how each week the child is obviously bigger and more developed. After the tiny babies, my next favorite age is from there until they are about to crawl. Then my next favorite is kids who are still under 2yo but walking, then kids that are crawling, then from there chronologically, the younger the kids the more comfortable I am. I have noticed that as my social skills improve I am getting better with older kids, but it feels kind of harder for me with kids who are school-aged, because at that point I start feeling like we are close enough in age that the relationship is more ambiguous–are we friends or am I mostly just watching you…yeah I know, I don’t really have good age boundaries for my friendships…

This Sunday was an interesting one to leave off on…in a mostly good way…First hour I wasn’t in the nursery and my mom was in the guest center so it would be a little obvious if I skipped out on the service, so I had to go to the old people service 😦 …second hour though I was in the hearts room…that is kids who were under two years old at the beginning of the year and who are ready for a more structured hour–though the closest I have ever gotten to leading story time is once when I put in a video a summer or two ago because the room was a disaster zone, my helpers were more interested in playing with themselves and snacking than playing with or doing anything with the kids, and the kids were antsy…so anyway, Bethany told me that I was Sheila (the usual hearts room teacher) for the hour…I am sometimes not sure if I want to be another person or if I’d rather just be myself, the main adult in the room for the hour, but I decided this was a time it was good to be another person, because Bethany says Sheila is one of her rock stars, so if I can be her, then I can feel like I am awesome too 🙂

So that was interesting…I had one child who cried for his mom long enough that we had to call for someone to pick him up, because he wasn’t settling down no matter what I tried…except the number that was left was grandma’s number…grandma agreed to pick him up and look for his mom though, so it worked out…but when grandma got there he still screamed as she was picking him up that he wanted mom…I felt really bad for that…both because the kid didn’t even want grandma, and because I kinda felt like a failure because usually I am really good at getting kids calmed down…

Third hour there are only two rooms, and I strongly prefer the younger room–again because of the infants…I think my helpers wanted to be helpful, but just weren’t really sure what to do–but I learned that I need to be more specific with what I want…I asked first for a bouncer and I got one–in the middle of the room…then I asked for either two swings or a swing and another bouncer and the girl asked me which ones to get and at this point I was about to get a fourth infant so I really just wanted her to grab something and do it quickly and told her to get whatever she wanted…which provided me with a swing and an infant vibration chair…the latter of which might have been a nice idea in a room with only infants, but not such a great idea with older kids around…especially since she originally did not place it near a wall…so yeah…lesson learned: be very specific about what you need, because it is not as obvious to other people as it is to you…One of the infants that was dropped off was my best friend’s friend’s baby. My best friend had me put her friend’s number in my cell phone and promise to text if ANYTHING happened…that child was adorable…he did start to cry though, and I wished I had gotten a little better definition of “anything” because I was not so sure if I was supposed to text his mom immediately or try to soothe him myself first…so I texted his mom…and Betsy came to pick him up and calm him down…which was kind of good because that gave me a chance to find another infant’s nuk and grab a new spit up rag for another one, but also another failure for me because it kinda makes me feel like I am not trusted with a crying baby…but yeah, it was AWESOME that Betsy gave me permission to text with my cell phone, because we are technically supposed to use a church phone to call parents if necessary so that caller ID will probably come up as Berean, which is something I hate doing, so if they wanted notification if ANYTHING happened then that was kind of not going to happen…he was a cutie though…I try not to play favorites though…but there is one girl whose birthday is 10/20/13 and she has been coming to the nursery since mid-to-late December and was frequently the only infant 3rd hour, so she kind of won my heart, but besides loving the youngest ones most, I still do not play favorites…plus it is most definitely not anything an outside observer would be likely to notice, because it is something that stays in my heart–I still outwardly show the same love to the little ones as I do to the older kids, and while I am a little more protective of the younger ones it isn’t really much more than would be expected since they are smaller and therefore slightly more vulnerable…

…I am going to miss the nursery so much when I go back to school…I already miss it a lot…

Also, this is super random, but someone said this online, and I was like that is totally me: Everyone has cognitive variation usually like between 70s and 80s but I am in the 99s and 9s so I am both simultaneously extraordinarily gifted and incredibly impaired…in other words I am perfectly average…

Another random thought…my home church just got a new pastor and he started his first sermon on Romans 1:15…when I left South Sub the pastor there had been doing Romans for a few years and had covered approximately 1:1-5ish then skipped to just before 15…so it was almost as if the new pastor was picking up where the old one left off…Usually hearing the name of the book of Romans is enough to get me a little bit worked up…I do not know if that trigger has lost some power or if what I did with Michelle really worked a little bit or if I was just having a good day, but I sorta kinda paid attention to the message and didn’t get that upset…I mean there was still the initial shock, and right now writing about it there is some turmoil going on in my body, but I don’t think it is that bad. I have not felt like I was re-experiencing anything, and I have not felt overwhelmed with emotion about it…SCORE!

Okay, one more random thought before I post this and decide whether or not I think the printer will work since I don’t want my parents to find this on the printer even though the beginning anyway is benign enough…so yesterday as I was leaving Ray found out it was my last day and said something like that I should make a bigger deal out of it because I never make it a big deal, but they would like me to or something like that…I know that they like to have parties and totally would have one if I asked or even if I didn’t ask if everyone were aware of when my last day was for sure, but their parties are stressful for me–especially when they are celebrating me since I hate being the center of attention…It is a lot easier for me to just come and go as I need to without a lot of fanfare. I like the status quo. I appreciate an introduction to any changes that have occurred and a quick review of any changes made while I was still around when applicable, but beyond that, it feels more comfortable to me to come and go as if nothing has really changed…I might ask this summer for a new nametag that says I am an intern instead of a pharmacy clerk since that will have been two titles ago…

I’m alive and I’m gonna live that way!

(Alive–superchick)

So I just saw an amazing blog post…so many great thoughts…and I don’t feel like finding it again to link to it ’cause that sounds like more effort than it is worth right now…What follows will be a combination that mostly consists of the other person’s thoughts moderately interpreted into my words…

You treat cancer, you treat AIDS, you treat broken bones, you treat diabetes, you treat asthma, but you don’t treat me; you teach me. I want to learn. You do not treat me unless I am sick. You don’t treat me for who I am, or for my personality.

In Japanese you can accidentally call a young girl an orangutan by the emphasis on one vowel. I don’t mean to say anything ridiculous or offensive like that, but it is not my culture so if I tried to fit in there it might happen, but treating me isn’t how you keep me from making mistakes like that. Teaching me on the other hand will help me avoid these missteps. Without this instruction my intentions are lost in translation.

Treatment implies disease or pathology which implies broken or needs to be fixed. I am not broken. I do not need to be fixed. I need to be taught. Teach me. I am your student.

The writer of this blog also said something about a snake eating its own tail and that sounded kind of interesting, but besides the great visual, I did not understand that concept or the idea it was intended to represent so yeah…doesn’t that sound awesome though?!?!?

You’re Still That Girl and you’re gonna change the world…if I can ever make up my mind :)

(Still That Girl: Britt Nicole)

Well I had a whole bunch of things I wanted to write about and I couldn’t decide which one to write about…so I decided to write about ALL THE THINGS…so yeah…

I am really excited that it finally got warm enough for snow…It was no fun when just walking from the hospital to my car my fingers got cold enough to hurt…I still have a pretty high pain threshold from my self-injury days though it has gone down some, so I don’t really feel cold that strongly until it starts to hurt…so I am probably not that safe on really cold days…but at least now I feel it as it is getting too cold rather than not really feel it until it starts warming back up…

Except there is one or two parts of being warm enough to snow that I am not so much of a fan of…for one thing, the actual snow…the snow in the correct location–on previously grassy hills and in backyards and not on sidewalks or anywhere else where it gets in my shoes is great, I am just not a fan of the slush getting everywhere…also I am not such a fan of the garage door peeing on me…but even better is that now it is warm enough for the snow to melt 🙂

Also, lots of people tell me to drive safely…but my default is to kind of drive whatever speed seems safe to me–which tends to be somewhat above the speed limit…sometimes it is because when I am feeling really anxious or really frustrated or overwhelmed driving fast with the music as loud as it goes tends to help me calm down…also, driving fast makes me less worried about being late and I am the girl who consistently shows up to work at least a half hour early, so being late is something that I do not want to happen…and sometimes I drive fast because it is just what I do…so anyway yeah, I sometimes use cruise control to keep myself from speeding, but most of the time it is just not that big of a deal to me…Well on Monday a student from my school died in a one-car accident…It was kind of surprising, but I actually knew who this person was…and somehow that broke through my behavior…for a few days I was a little bit worried about getting in an accident and I actually drove pretty close to the speed limit for a few days…and then it wore off and I was back to usual driving whatever speed felt good to me…just a side-note, but when other people are in the car I do drive the speed limit, and though I drive fast, unless I am really anxious, I am careful to drive a speed that feels safe and keeps me in control, which occasionally is under the speed limit…don’t want to make it seem as if I am a crazy driver who never slows down and has no regards towards safety…

There is a book called “but I hardly ever wash my hands” I do not have any idea what it is about, but the title makes me think “but I hate washing my hands.” People probably think I like to wash my hands seeing as how I do it so often, but in reality I hate it so much…well the actual act of handwashing is not so bad, just how frequently I feel like I have to do it. Part of me would love to stand in front of the sink washing my hands all day, but another part of me really hates it and wishes someone would forcibly remove me from the situation when I am washing my hands unnecessarily…

Okay, so there is something that has been bugging me since towards the end of my senior year of high school…I got invited to a sleepover with the other senior girls from my church…it was nice to be included since this one was more of a friends overnight than a Sunday school class overnight, and the other girls tended to be a little clique-y sometimes which is totally understandable and self brought on since they had been together since they were little and I was new our sophomore year of high school and especially at first had no interest in breaking into their group because in my head I was still convinced that somehow this was a big nightmare that would end and I would go back to my friends as if nothing had ever happened…so I didn’t try very hard to make friends with them because I did not want to be there anyway…so yeah, I actually was invited to this sleepover, and everyone was sharing memories they had of each other (most of which had happened before I was around and I not had happened somewhere besides church) and one of the moms came up to me and said something like you don’t have to participate since you are a really private person…that kind of made me mad…Yes, I am quiet, but I do not think anyone who really knows me would label me as a private person. It is hard for me to talk to people so if you only include information shared verbally then yes, I am an extremely private person, but if you include information shared via writing whether in notes or via facebook or email, I will tell you more than you could ever want to know about myself. I am actually learning to filter some of this communication to try to avoid over-sharing, but if asked, I am more than willing to tell you pretty much anything about me…so basically give me a comfortable way to share and you won’t be able to get me to shut up…I am NOT a private person. Quiet, yes, but private, definitely not!

So this is really random, and I think I found this page because I was reading another blog and it had a link that said something about what happens when mom is sick that I clicked to get to this blog then from there I liked the title of this blog so I scanned the list of old posts to see if anything caught my attention which this one about sensory seekers and sensory avoiders did…and basically the actual post wasn’t as interesting as the title made it sound, but I scanned the characteristics of sensory avoiders and sensory seekers and found that I had traits of each category…yeah, I didn’t have anything of value to say about that…

Also, just wanted to say that I wish I had started this on BlogSpot instead of wordpress…I think BlogSpot makes a lot nicer blogs than wordpress but I had already used wordpress numerous times for school projects, and my previous blog that I gave up on…so I kind of wanted the predictability of wordpress…I already had used it and was comfortable with how it works, so I figured why change something that works…yeah, I probably could have figured out BlogSpot and had a more functional blog, but wordpress works to put my thoughts online, so that is good enough for me…

I am what I am and that’s all that I am

(song: Please Please Like Me)

…so I was cleaning out some old junk files on my computer and found a page labeled why am I different? I had no idea what I would find there…a blog post I had liked and then a series of numbers that I no longer remember what they mean could be a likely scenario or something even more random…I do occasionally copy and paste random things that I find and like or need to remember into word and just save as whatever the first thing was and then over time the document sits there and the original note to self is no longer then, long since replaced many times with other notes but the document still bears the same name until I get rid of it…anyway, what I actually found was a story very similar to my timeline post…so here is a possibly shorter/just a slightly different version of my life story 🙂

Why am I different:

Starting in elementary school I was bullied a lot. In elementary school the strategy was to keep me away from the bullies as much as possible, but by middle school I just had to learn to deal with it. I learned the b-word was bad because I used it one day—how was I supposed to know it was any worse than stupid-head? I was bullied until partway through ninth grade when people started being really nice to me so that they could ask me to be their partner for group projects because I would do all the work.

August 10, 2008 my family abruptly changed churches, and I did not take that very well. It pulled me away from everything that I knew and had planned on, and I was crying every week for months. I still have trouble thinking about it, but I can see positives now.

March 3, 2009 I started trying to stop hurting myself. I finally did hurt myself for the last time on April 10, 2009! Success! Until my senior year of high school when I realized that I had started inching towards anorexia nervosa. Luckily I realized that in time that I do not believe I was ever fully anorexic.

January 17, 2011 I was accused by a friend of being suicidal. I was most definitely not suicidal, and I am pretty sure that she knew it. Her goal was to get me to tell my parents about my former self-injury. She was not successful at that time, and had she been patient she would have found out in a few more days that I was considering telling my parents in April—and I decided to follow through and tell them in April anyway which was terrifying, but probably the right thing to do.

Because of all these things, there were a few people in my life who had been pushing me to try counseling, so at the beginning of my first year of college I tried out counseling once so that I could say that I had done it—and didn’t know how to get out once I was in so I continued, and now I am still in counseling—but by my own choice. That first year my counselor talked to me a lot about social anxiety, and that seemed to fit considering my fear and avoidance of social situations. I am no longer fully certain that I have this one though—it is still a definite possibility, but it is not for sure a category I fall into.

People had suggested that I may be OCD a few times, but I had either not taken the hint or not really believed them until my roommate got sick first year and I fled my room only returning to sleep, and washing my hands so much that they were bleeding. I tried to bring that up with my counselor first year, but I didn’t have the communication skills to get past that my friend said that I might have OCD. Second year I tried again, and during at the beginning of second semester it became clear that I most likely had OCD and needed to pay some attention to that.

This year I found out that I may have mild autism. At first I was not so sure, but after some time to think I found myself agreeing with that idea. I can make decent relationships with people older or younger than I am but really struggle to know how to interact with people my own age. I do struggle in social situations, but the reason has more to do with feeling like I don’t know what is expected of me than being embarrassed. I do have fear of making other people feel uncomfortable which is actually the Japanese form of social anxiety, but my primary fear is that I do not know what to say which I think falls more into autism. That might also explain why I am a 21-year-old who still has temper tantrums on occasion.