Hello Monday -- What's New Today

I have to share my most recent Lily Bee project with you today, in case you didn't make it over to the Lily Bee blog.  I am really enjoy getting to know the LB product line.  It's interesting working with certain products over time, you begin to develop a special relationship with them.

That is what I'm feeling with the LB products anyway. Each manufacturer has certain strengths and I feel like I'm really beginning to dig into those with these lines.  It sort of opens up a whole new world.

At any rate, I recently created a page about one of my very dearest friends, Rebecca.

Rebecca and I have only known each other for about 5 years and we only get to see each other for about 2 weeks every 6 months because she is a missionary down in Mexico.  I see her on her furloughs to the states, or when we visit them in Mexico, which has only been twice now.

But somehow, we have developed an extraordinary friendship.  It's the kind I would not trade for all the tea in China.  She is a sister to me in the most wonderful way.  She knows my deepest struggles and loves me all the more because of it.  I feel so very blessed to have found such a friendship.

So here we are.

One of the things I like about this page is that I was able to incorporate LOTS of little details but there is still a lot of white space which allows the eye to rest.

I really love using the 6x6 tablets to create punched or die cut shapes.  The tiny patterns work really well on the smaller scale pieces.  I'm also a huge fan of the LB solids which sport a very light grid, allowing me to journal right on the page IN A STRAIGHT LINE!  Woot!

I could resist using a LOT of the Studio Calico wood veneer pieces.  I've been gravitating towards those a whole lot lately.  They seem to add the perfect touch and are available in some wonderfully usable shapes.

Did you see that there is a giveaway of some of my lovely little Scarlet Bird Designs goodies over on The Lily Pad Blog this week?  Make sure you get over there and get your name in the drawing!

And now, back to my life story.........

My eyes, as you may recall, were crossed.  Well.....one of them was crossed and the other ended up straight.  All the patching and exercises weren't able to straighten things out so it was decided when I was 8 that I'd have surgery on the eye.  This event took place the summer I turned nine (this was a year before my dad left us).

I remember feeling so much hope that people would accept me once I had beautiful, straight eyes. The surgery was done at the beginning of summer to give the eyes a chance to heal before school began again.  It was frightening but as an 8 year old, I didn't really understand what was happening, only that I was going to be pretty again.  And that was enough for me.

I had the procedure an went home again later that day.  There was a lot of very red eyes, blood in the eye and such for a while and no swimming, which was somewhat akin to torture for a girl growing up on the West Coast of Florida in the summertime.  But I made it through and my eye was almost perfectly straight.

The doctor said that it was likely to look in a little when I was tired but that mostly, it should be good.  I wouldn't be able to recover depth perception because my brain had already been programmed to use only one eye at a time.  But both eyes saw perfectly so I was in good shape.  

At that same time, my parents made the decision to enroll me in the same small private Christian School that my sister Kim had attended the year before.  I was pretty excited about that as well.  I'd grown up with the same kids over the years in school and they'd always been cruel, this was the option of a whole new batch of friends and I over the moon about that opportunity.

There were a lot of wonderful things about Crystal River Christian Academy.  The teachers were very kind.  If you worked hard, there were awards to be had.  It was a self-paced program which allowed you to move ahead faster than other students if you wanted to.  And it was small, so you could know most of the students.

I did well there in many ways.   I excelled academically.  I believe I gained some confidence as I won some awards for my efforts in keeping my space tidy and for Scripture memory.  Generally, I'd never won any awards before as those were more often given out for athletics and I was never gifted in that area.  The others went to students with leadership types of skills and I was too timid for that in those days.

However, two more events happened there that were negatives.  One was that I met a 'best friend' who turned out to be my next abuser.  The other, was a principal/pastor of that church who was very fresh with the young girls.  

The friend, we'll call her Celia, was the only person who accepted me in the new school. I'd carried my fears of being disliked with me to that school and was immediately branded as an outcast.  I've since come to understand that once you have a fear of rejection, you wear that on your forehead somehow and all the bullies can read that little 'hate note'.  They may not be literate, but they can tell you'd make a good victim.

So, Celia it was. She and I started paling around at school and it wasn't long before we started having sleep-overs.  She had a tendency to be aggressive and a bit of physical bully. She'd punch me if I didn't do it her way.  I was nine when I began attending and she was 11.  That is a pretty big difference at that age and I recall feeling she was so much 'more' than myself.

Add to that the fact that she was my only friend and I was putty in her hands.  Right off the bat when we went to her home, she made it clear that we had to do things her way all the time.  If I didn't obey, I got punished in some way or other.  I learned quickly to comply, or be lonely.

I don't recall how long it was before she wanted to try sexual things, but she did.  I resisted, but it was to no avail.  If I was to be her friend then I would comply.  Since I'd already been violated so much before, I didn't realize that I could say 'NO'.  That went on for a few years before I got old enough to understand that I could say no. 

I struggled for years with wondering if having been molested by women meant I was a lesbian.  I struggled with the shame of having been a victim when it seemed as though I could have said 'no'.  I struggled to learn how to view my sexuality in a healthy way.  In the way God intended it to be.  Today, I am thankful that I've come to a place where I can say without shame that I was molested, by both men and women and that it was not my fault.  I know that I am heterosexual and what was done to me has zero bearing on my sexual identity.

I don't know any other women personally who were sexually abused by females so I can't say for certain, but I think the biggest difficulty those abuses have created for me was extreme shame.  More than the shame I felt at being abused by men.  Even now, if I'm honest, as I write this down there is a part of me that wonders who will make a judgement about me because of who my abusers were.

I can't say I've quite resolved all of that in my mind, but I do believe I am on the way to resolution.  I can tell you that today's revelation feels like the most soul baring revelation yet.  I feel pretty vulnerable putting this out there.  Thanks for listening.

I hope you have a wonderful terrific fantastic Monday.  Blessings to one and all!


  1. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your layout!!!! It's just delightful! I have been reading your story with a heavy heart. My Mother also dealt with mental issues and I can relate to some of your feelings. But as I read, I literally praise God in my mind that I was spared any type of sexual abuse in my lifetime. My heart just breaks for you each time you share part of it. I don't think I would have the courage to share my life as you are here but I am sure your testimony will be a blessing for someone. I think you are precious and beautiful and very BRAVE!

  2. This is amazing I love your use of white space and the colours are gorgeous. I am following you now xxxx

  3. Your layout is beautiful. So many bad seeds have come in and out of your life. I'm so sorry for that, but it has all made you who you are today. And you are amazing.. to not have let that affect you in a negative way, but to better yourself. I am honored to hear your story and get to know you.

  4. I love your layout! I too am addicted to the wood veneers and love how u split the design to two separate corners. I am proud of you for sharing your story. It is not an easy one to tell. I too feel you are very brave and beautiful woman and many people who have to deal with the memories of abuse will find comfort in your words.

  5. I love this layout, so much fun with your journaling and the wood veneer figures. As the other have commented, I read your story with a heavy heart, but remember that you are brave for sharing!

  6. What a wonderful friendship and layout. I love how you got so much on there but still have all of the white space. Sharing your story must be hard, though cathartic. I hope it is brining you some closure and hope it will help others who have been abused.

  7. This is a heartwarming lo! I think you are a beautiful person inside and out, and regardless of what you have to say, I will always listen. Thank you for continuing to be brave dear friend!

  8. thank you for sharing, it is just amazing how the human spirit can go on, and if you can, think about the people you may be helping by sharing this.

  9. You are simply the bravest person I know, Ursula. God bless you, and thank you for sharing your story.

  10. Your story is compelling, and let me assure you, you are not the only one victimized by women, but you are one of the few who are brave enough to openly talk about it. I pray that you are experiencing continued healing as you tell your story, and that those who read and were once victimized can learn and heal from your example!

  11. I love your lo and the relationship you share with your best friend, it is similar to the one I have with my bf!

    I have to agree with the above poster when she says you are so brave to share your story, I hope this brings healing to your soul. I know sharing your story will help others who have gone through something similar to be able to have some insight and personal revelation to help them heal as well. Thank you for sharing your story.

  12. Love your layout. Great colours. Love the pink number paper and the two girls!

  13. Your LO is beautiful!

    It must be really hard for you to share your story, and for this, I thank you for having the strength to share it with people. I certainly hope nobody will judge... Who could really claim to be position to do so anyway.

    I hope this journey down memory lane will be helpful in one way or another! Thank you again :)

  14. friends like that are truly once in a lifetime. What a wonderful tribute to your friendship. The layout is gorgeous.

  15. You are so lucky to have a close girlfriend. I really miss that. We've moved so much since we married, I just never had a chance to maintain any kind of closeness like that. Love the layout

  16. I am blessed to have you as my best friend. That's all there is to it.

    Love the layout -- want a copy! ;^)


I really enjoy your feedback, so thanks a bundle for taking the time to leave it.

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