Yesterday’s Verdict

The hearing was emotionally intense. I had not seen him in 4 years, and my first glimpse of him in the courtroom made my body lurch. His back was facing me so I never saw his face. Hearing his voice brought chills down my spine. Giving the victim impact statement was difficult and emotional, but I made it through. The hearing officer recommended another review in 15-18 months. So for now, I’m relieved.

(If you have any specific questions for me, feel free to email me. The details aren’t anything that should be discussed in a public setting)

Justice and Mercy

Later on this morning, I will be here:

I will be making a victim impact statement. It’s been 5 years since the crime, and the offender has been behind bars for 4 years. It’s parole hearing time, and he could be out on the streets very soon. I’m nervous. Especially because I’m living in Utah again.

For a long time I hated him. The lives of my daughter and I were forever changed. It was a painful recovery process, riddled with insecurity, doubt, distrust, fear, and feelings of violation. But now, a few years later, I now feel like I’ve forgiven him. Forgiven, but I don’t trust him. I don’t know if more time behind bars will honestly be beneficial in the long run. I hope he can find a way to live a normal and productive life. I just want him to stay out of mine.

For weeks, I’ve been struggling with what I would say. I just finished editing and printing the document for the court record. Now it’s time to gain my composure, drive up to “Point of the Mountain,” and look him in the eye.

10 Years Ago

Much of my blog is based around my dear husband Taylor. Sometimes I mention him ad nauseum. He’s honestly the best thing to ever happen to me. But did you know I had a life before Taylor? Did you know that in my first semester at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, I met a boy, fell in love, and became Mrs. Perry? It’s true, and it happened on March 26, 1999 – 10 years ago today.

This is me in December 1998. My first semester of college. I was a humanities major at Ricks College. I attended on a merit scholarship, involved myself in drama and French club, was involved with Lambda Delta Sigma sorority, attended dances often, went to the devotionals, played in the Rickstix drum line and loved college life. I was the alto section leader in the Ricks College Choir.

I recall my time at Ricks College with great fondness…for unforgettable memories and dear friends.

How did we meet? At a choir retreat at the Teton Lodge, I started flirting with a boy named Steve. He had caught my eye a time or two in choir (always late to class, but dressed sharp) We cheated to be on the same team for activities, and on the van ride home from the lodge he held my hand. We went to a dance on campus that night…and afterwards a snow wrestling match turned into our first kiss. This picture is from the night of the Cabaret dance where we said our first “I love you’s.”

Three weeks after we met, he came home to Salt Lake with me to meet my family. Christmas Eve, he proposed to me. We excitedly planned our wedding in the Salt Lake Temple for March 26, 1999.
We were married until 2003, when we divorced for a variety of reasons. Out of respect to him, I will not go in to those reasons for our separation. We had some good times, we had some great time, but we also had many horrible times.

Some may call my speedy courtship and marriage a mistake. Some may call it a “starter marriage.” My time with him is part of who I am today. I became an adult much more quickly than I had intended, but I have loved the roles as a wife and mother that I have assumed. As I looked through the boxes in my home in Georgia, I could only find these few pictures from this period in my life. My old wedding pictures are stored deep away in California, and it really feels like a chapter of my life I no longer need to dwell on . I will always be grateful to him for bringing Rosie into the world.

The importance of December 5th

25 years ago, my brother Shawn was born. I’m nearly 4 years older than him. I fell in love with his big blue eyes and rosy cheeks. He’s a big teddy bear of a tenderheart. He likes to call himself my big little brother. His preference for chocolate has always been well-vocalized, and most of the time I think of his birthday, I think of chocolate cream pie or chocolate cake. Today’s his 25th birthday. Happy Quarterlife, Shawn!
10 years ago, I was on a Ricks College Choir retreat at the Teton Lodge. I was a flirt to a fault, and the red head with the cool glasses and charming personality caught my eye. We had a blast at the retreat. We cheated on big group games to be on the same teams. By afternoon devotional, we were holding hands. And after the dance that night, we had our first kiss. 19 days later we were engaged, and 3 months later we were married. The joke about “Ring by Spring” was true in our case. This picture was when he picked me up for Ricks College Cabaret, the night we expressed that we loved each other. Although he’s not a part of my life anymore, he brought Rosie into the world, and for that I’ll always be grateful.

5 years ago, our divorce was 4 days from being final. The consequences of his actions led to the downfall our our marriage. I had a bit of a personal revolution in December 2003, mostly for the good. It was an awkward time of figuring out single parenting, jumping back into the dating market, learning to be a self-sufficient provider, and really becoming an adult.

Today, I was offered a job that I can see me sticking around at for a good, long while. From what I understand about the position, I will be able to meld my medical and administrative knowledge with my spunky creativity. Moving to Atlanta will be a new chapter in my life. I look forward to the things I’ll learn and the experiences that are waiting for me.

Heartbreak revisited

Sunday morning, I was checking my email, and had an offline message from yahoo messenger. It was from someone I never thought I’d hear from again. It was from a man who broke my heart in such a cruel way. He was the first one I’d dated after my divorce. I fell for him hard and fast. I felt more compatible and attracted to him than anyone I’d ever met (at the time). We’d shared the depths of our hearts to each other. He’d spent time with my family, and Rosie adored him. I thought we were in love, and we started making plans for the future.

And one day…it was over. The email he sent said he never wanted to talk to me again. He didn’t respond to my emails. He didn’t have a cell phone. He moved out of his student apartment, and his roommates told me they were forbidden to give his new number.

A few weeks later, I tried emailing him again, asking if we could get together to talk. I needed to understand why he abandoned me so suddenly. He responded with “coming back to you would be like coming back into a nightmare.”

I was devastated. I was already emotional and vulnerable and had hardly started down the road to healing from my divorce, but all I could think about was him. I didn’t understand why things went wrong, when I had no inkling that he felt any differently than I did for him. I had never been more heartbroken from a breakup. *

(*Heartbreak from a divorce is a much different feeling. It’s more of a feeling of your family ripped apart and identity as a wife stripped away. Maybe I’ll blog about that one day)

So flash forward 5 years. I get a short apologetic message, saying he’s glad that I’ve found someone whose made me happy. And it’s true…I have a husband who adores me, and I’m very very happy with him. But hearing from Tim opened up a deep Pandora’s box of emotion that was buried long ago. From a current perspective, he’s not the person I could have seen myself with now. I don’t have any pictures of him, but I still remember clearly his face and features. I sent him back an email, but of course, he didn’t respond.

I wonder if the emotional rollercoaster his message put me on this week would have been better than never hearing from him at all.

Life in Balmoral

A few weeks ago I was reconnected to a bunch of my Balmoral friends’ blogs through Lia. Today I was thinking a lot about the three and a half years I lived on Archmore Court. My ex-husband Steve and I excitedly bought our first home, naively hoping that a new home may smooth over our marital problems. It was only a few blocks from work, was in our meager price range, had so much more space than the bungalow we were renting in Sugarhouse. Our ward was comprised of the townhomes, and a few streets of houses. Most people were young families, with young children, in school, or just starting their first careers. It was nice to be in a ward that had so many people in the same situation as me.

Unfortunately, not all was well in Balmoral. My nearly 5-year marriage quickly landslided into catastrophe, and I was filing for divorce (for many reasons that do not need to be mentioned in a public blog). I became a single mom, and felt so out of place. In between working two jobs, and begging for my $45 (!$%&@!) of monthly court-ordered child support, I was flat broke and took in a few roommates to be able to avoid foreclosure. I was trying to keep things together emotionally, and was grateful for the ladies who listened to my woes and offered support. Taylor came along and won my heart more quickly than I expected, and we were married less than a year after my divorce. If felt good to be a “normal” person in Balmoral again. We lived in Balmoral for 18 months before moving to California.

Taylor had ended an engagement to a girl shortly before meeting me. The relationship did not end amicably. All post-break-up communication was on her terms. For instance, she sent out an email to say she was marrying someone else, and when he responded to congratulate her, she flipped and told him to never contact her again. A few months ago, he got a Facebook friend invite from her. He cautiously accepted it, and we looked through her pictures. Imagine our surprise when I saw a picture of her in front of her Balmoral townhome, with a bunch of common friends. How awkward would it have been if we’d still lived in Balmoral?

This blog ended up being a lot more jumbled than I intended, but in closing, I’d like to thank all you Balmoral ladies for the love and support and friendship from 2003-2006. Keep up the blogging so I can know what’s going on with your families, and maybe I’ll be able to make it to one of your upcoming reunions.

Eight years ago today

Current mood: nostalgic

On March 26, 1999…Steve and I were married. We were married 4.5 rollercoaster years, then divorced.

It’s kinda weird to think back on my life with him. It started out okay…we were married in the temple, and came from good backgrounds. We had some good moments and some fun trips, but the bad in our marriage definitely outweighed the good. He made choices that were wrong continually, yet I chose to “stand by my man.” Many moments were shear hell, to be honest. But a woman can only stand so much deceit, abuse, and disappointment. Leaving him (or kicking him out, rather) was the hardest but most rewarding decision I have ever made.

We’ve been divorced 3.5 years, and I’ve been married to Taylor almost 2.5 years now. My time with Steve seems like an eternity ago. It’s amazing to compare the love and adoration I receive in my marriage with Taylor, that was never present with Steve. I feel cherished and understood, and despite the student-husband scenario…I feel like he’s taken good care of me.

Despite the trials I’m going through now, I’m happy. I am confident about myself in a way that I haven’t felt since high school. I’m healthy, I’m feeling spiritually well, and I’ve got a lot going for me. It’s taken a long time for me to heal from the wounds of the Steve years…but I think I’m there. I have some amount of bitterness due to his actions, especially those taken against Rosie…but I have forgiven him. I am sad that he is suffering the consequences of his actions in such a severe way. I’m sad that he didn’t get the help he needed before he became out of control. But I can only be involved so much, and I’m happy that I don’t have to be in contact with him anymore.

Currently listening :
Speak for Yourself
By Imogen Heap
Release date: 01 November, 2005

The Fiction, The Romance, and The Technicolor Dreams

The un-Readers Digest Version of Today: Woke up around 7:10…threw clothes on Rosie and myself. “Worked” 3 hours today, but it wasn’t much work. The cubicles were being torn down and rearranged to accommodate the new employees for our Urban Central Psych providers. Now Natalie will sit by me. Hehe. So for the first hour I was moving stuff on my desk to accommodate them ripping my desk apart piece by piece. Since our computers were down, the team bummed around for an hour or so until we could leave for the summer party. I talked to Gina, whose ex-husband got in a motorcycle accident yesterday. He is on life support, things don’t look up for him. She went to a psychic a few weeks ago, and was told a funeral would be coming up. She is freaked.

I stopped by the post office to pick up the certified letter. It was from the towing company that took Steve’s car when he totalled it two weeks ago. Since my name is still on the title, I guess that I can be held liable for the towing and impound charges. Steve assures me that the insurance will take care of it, but I need to make sure I stay on top of it.

The A/R management summer party was at the Triple D Ranch. (TRIPLE D??????) Warm, sunny, and very windy. Yummy lunch, hayride with Rosie, and even a bit of a display from a few drunk lesbians. Texted Dan many times. And won Hale Center Theater tickets in Bingo! (traded them from a golf game)

Did a little shopping. Bought some new capris and a few shirts (the best one is yellow, with FRESLY SQUEEZED in green across the front) I just love the Old Navy clearance rack…..

So now I’m home….IMing Dan.

Listened to a lot of MB20 today. MMMMM Rob Thomas. I think I agree with Ralin about the healing effects of his voice. She and I need to go on a concert roadtrip and drool over him. The night Dan and I went to the comedy club, we listened to MB20 on the way home. I told him about how I feel like what is described in Hand Me Down. And he just held me. Everytime I’ve listened to the song since I think of that….

Someday they’ll find your small town world on a big town avenue
Gonna make you like the way they talk when they’re talking to you
Gonna make you break out of the shell cause they tell you to
Gonna make you like the way they lie better than the truth
They’ll tell you everything you wanted someone else to say
They’re gonna break your heart, yeah

From what I’ve seen
You’re just a one more hand me down
Cause no one’s tried to give you what you need
So lay all your troubles down
I am with you now

Somebody ought to take you in
Try to make you love again
Try to make you like the way they feel
When they’re under your skin
Never once did think they’d lie when they’re holding you
You wonder why they haven’t called
When they said they’d call you
You start to wonder if you’re ever gonna make it by
You’ll start to think you were born blind

I’m here for the hard times
The straight to your heart times
Whenever it ain’t easy
You can stand up against me
And maybe rely on me
And cry on me, yeah
Oh no, no, no

Some day they’ll open up your world
Shake it down on a drawing board
Do their best to change you
They still can’t erase you
Lay them down on me
Oh yeah
You’re just one more hand me down
And all those nots don’t give you what you need
So lay all your troubles down…on me (Hand Me Down, Matchbox 20)

Say Goodbye
Dan posted an LJ entry about me today. I’ve got him quoting lyrics too..

So here we are tonight, you and me together
The storm outside, the fire is bright
And in your eyes I see what’s on my mind
You’ve got me wild, turned around inside
And then desire, see, is creeping up heavy inside here
And do you feel the same way as I do now
Now let’s make this an evening
Lovers for a night, lovers for tonight
Stay here with me, love, tonight
Just for an evening
When we make our passion pictures
You and me twist up as secret creatures
And we’ll stay here
Tomorrow go back to being friends

Go back to being friends, but tonight let’s be lovers, we kiss and sweat
We’ll turn this better thing
To the best
Of all we can offer, just a rogue kiss
Tangled tongues and lips,
See me this way
I’m turning and turning for you
Girl, just tonight

“Say Goodbye” – DMB