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!