Hello Thursday -- And a Hybrid Layout

Hello Thursday!  I'll share my layout first.

I played with the wonderful products over at The Lily Pad and had a ball.  One of the fun things about a lot of digital kits is the bright, fully saturated colors.  The yellow on this page just makes your heart sing, don't you think.

My Silhouette SD made quick work of cutting some of these great shapes out.  

I added some of the die cut pieces from the Moment's collection goodies. They just fit so well on every little thing.

And I used the Dear Lizzy Stamps for the date, loving the tiny little hearts.

I wanted to just take a moment and say thanks to those you following along with my story.  I admit it is hard to write, but at the same time, I am not ashamed or afraid.  It is my story. It is what happened and so I must tell it.  It means a lot to me that so many of you are 'listening'.

Today, I thought I'd share about another experience that profoundly affected my life.  

When I was 3 years old, my little family was traveling along a road near our home in a Cadillac.  I seem to recall the car was borrowed, but I'm not certain of that.  At any rate, this was in 1975, the days before seat belts and car seats and the like.  My father was at work, but the rest of us were on our way to who knows where.  

As my father reports it, my mother had one of her episodes where she sort of 'went somewhere else in her mind'.  Unfortunately, the car went with her and at full speed, my mother drove off the road and into a drainage ditch!

My sister was thrown through the windshield, I flew forward and hit the dashboard head first and my brother, by God's grace, only got a scratch.  Mama was slammed into the steering wheel enough that she had a steering wheel shaped bruise.

The paramedics said my sister, Kim, was dead.  She wasn't breathing at all. They rushed her to the hospital where a doctor began the procedure to put a tube in her neck. (I'm guessing it was trach???sp??)  She suddenly began breathing just as the knife was inserted.  Our family claimed it as a miracle.  She had sustained some pretty significant injuries including broken jaws and broken limbs but was able to fully recover eventually.  There were skin graphs and a hospital bed installed in our living room for some time but she pulled through.

I arrived at the hospital with my eyes rolling around my head.  I'd hit my head so hard the nerves controlling the muscles in my eyes were severely damaged. I can't tell you what all they did to me, but I do remember being in the hospital and sticking my tongue out at the nurse when she came to give me a shot.  I was NOT happy with the shots.

Eventually, my eyes calmed and there was talk of surgery but my parents opted not to have it done as it was quite experimental at that point in time.  The result was that I had one eye that looked straight at my nose all the time and one that looked normal.  

I went through lots and lots of therapies but the errant eye wouldn't cooperate and I was to be cross-eyed until the age of nine.  By then, surgery had been perfected and I was able to get my eye corrected at least to look at.  But it wasn't soon enough to keep me from the horrendous teasing of my school-mates.

My name in school was 'cross-eyed monkey'.  It's a name that still makes me a bit ill to think of.  I have a hard time saying it out loud to be honest.  As a nearly forty year old woman, I am somewhat amazed at how incredibly damaging the taunts of youth can be.

My parents always gave me the old 'sticks and stones' adage but I knew from experience that such a saying was a useless collection of meaningless tripe. It was a lie and I knew it.  Those names did hurt me.  I would far rather have had a broken bone than to have been labeled defective by the people I most wanted to like me.  

I spent 4 years in school in a small town growing the reputation of a defective, ugly, cross-eyed monkey that couldn't play a sport involving a ball if her life depended on it.  My crossed eyes rendered me devoid of depth perception and as such, a terrible ball player.  In the South, where sports are all important, no one wanted me on their team and that often meant no one wanted me as their friend.  

I was a painfully lonely little girl.  I used to cry on my walk home from the bus stop, even as other students literally threw stones at me and called me names.  I would look at myself in the mirror and think, 'I'm not so ugly.  Why do they think I am ugly?'  I couldn't understand their cruelty.  My daddy would tell me I was beautiful but I would just feel all the more confused.

At nine, I received the surgery that would straighten my eyes, but the students never did forget and I was 'cross-eyed monkey' until I moved away from the small town at fourteen years old.

Since I didn't have friends, I spent a lot of time day-dreaming.  I loved to play with my doll, Cinammon and be her mommy. I would concoct all sorts of games with my dolls. Sometimes, I'd just sit in a patch of grass and stare at the clouds.  My mama would often join me and we'd hunt for animal shapes in the sky.  A child finds ways to compensate but I can tell you that no matter how much compensating you do, it doesn't erase the hurt.

Today, I look back at that lonely little girl and I feel sad for her.  I'm so much stronger now, so much more confident but I do wonder what I'd have been like without the hard things in my early life.  I do believe that having these kinds of 'trials' in my life has helped me to see just how much pain others suffer.  

I know that my story is not unique by a long shot.  Many people have suffered in these ways and many times worse.  We truly are all in this together.  And there is always hope and always someone out there who WILL truly love you. I can't wait to tell you the good parts, but in order to fully appreciate them, you'll have to wade through the rest of the muck with me.


  1. So sorry to read all about what you went through. I encourage you to continue as there is nothing to be ashamed of with your past. I think it will help a lot of people as we normally just build a facade around us to appear fine. Thanks for breaking down the walls and talking about the taboo subjects. You seem like a beautiful person inside and out. Your layouts make me so jealous. Side note I'll be visiting your childhood hometown next week to swim with the manatee.

  2. Just want to echo what Michelle said as she put it so beautifully! Just know that you are not alone in your experiences or your journey as you relay the past Hugs Tx

  3. And I totally forgot to say how bright and fresh your layout is, love it! Tx

  4. That really hits home. I was teased and called names as well. Things that happened back then still affect me today in ways. I am much stronger as well, but it is amazing how those things really affect you.

  5. Beautiful layout. I love your work.
    ...And I love your writings. I just started reading along with your story yesterday. Have you ever considered writing professionally? Your words flow so well....I can picture everything perfectly in my head.
    You are beautiful and I am so glad to see that you have let the bad times shape you into the amazing person you are today instead of letting the bad moments win.

  6. Gorgeous work, of course. And such a heartfelt story. Big hug to you, and I wish kids knew when they were kids what it would mean as adults to say what they say. You're amazing. hug to you!!

  7. I love that little row of hearts next to the date! I just love the bright, cheery lo you created. definitely a happy one!! And, I wanted to second what @ Chrstina Collins said. You are beautiful, you are strong, you are loved!

  8. Love your bright and fun layout!!

  9. Love your Layout! Had a connecting moment from this part, still trying to swallow the lump down, I am extremely proud of you.

  10. Your comment "I can't wait to tell you the good parts, but in order to fully appreciate them, you'll have to wade through the rest of the muck with me." so resonates inside me. I'm finally (at 40) at a place where I can view the "bad things" through the lens of "the good things wouldn't be so good without the bad things". Absolutely there are some things we both went through than NEVER should have happened, but they did, and it's what we do with them that matters now. Because it really all boils down to NOW is all we're promised. Make NOW count.

  11. thank you for sharing. I too was teased horribly about my eyes, they are very large and now if anyone says "you have such big eyes" I clam up and get embarrassed and they are trying to pay a compliment. my mom always did the sticks and stones too, so when my son was upset at being told he was not "white" I tried to actually listen to him, tell him how not everyone is the same and the sometimes, people just say mean things. I to this day hate people talking about my eyes, it still really hurts.

  12. I think that we, as girls, always get wounded by words. Maybe that is why we have such a hard time forgiving girls who are mean because we never can forget all the ugly things they said. I suffered teasing for most of my childhood as well and there is nothing like being scorned by peers and feeling lonely. ((hugs)) to you brave girl. I never would be the forgiving and filtered woman I am today if not for those cruel words spoken to me many years ago.

  13. It breaks my heart to think of the teasing you went through and the confusion you must have felt about that. It also amazes me that you have turned into such a compassionate and giving person as an adult - a lot of people would have been bitter and angry and not gone on to lead productive lives. I give you some credit, but I bet you would give Jesus the credit, so I will too. Thank you again for being vulnerable and laying out your story.

  14. beautiful hybrid page!
    I've went back to read your story. You are a strong woman! And brave to share your story.

  15. Your layout is lovely, I especially like the clouds. And you are brave to keep telling so much of your journey, you must have been made very strong via all your trials. I was teased a lot at school too, for being too hairy (they called me the gorilla), to being poor and not having the 'right' clothes. I was on my own a lot too. But now it doesn't matter so much because that's made me who I am. I look forward to reading the rest of your story.

  16. Such a pretty page!
    So sad for the little girl you were and the teasing you faced, but everything, both the good and the bad, have shaped you into the person you are today...and although I don't know you well, I can tell you are quite an amazing woman.

  17. Love the way you use the circle elements and the banner.
    So sorry you had to go through all that as a child. Sounds like you are a much stronger, caring person for the experience. It is amazing the safety precautions we take for granted today that we never even considered when we were children. Thanks for sharing your story.


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

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