...i am a princess on the way to my throne...


Fresh Air 

After a bit of a much needed hiatus, I am feeling refreshed. I have refocused my priorities, and really thought about the things that are important. Easter Sunday was a huge turning point for me, mainly because I stopped to think about the cross and resurrection and what really took place during that time. The Bible tells me that through Jesus I can do all things, and I am finding out that nothing could be truer. One of the songs we sang is called "Because He Lives", and if you know the song then you know how sweet is that simple truth. Because He live, I truly can face tomorrow.

Things have been settling back into swing for me. It seems David has been diagnosed with good old fashioned Seperation Anxiety regarding his behavior at the beginning of school. He never went through it as an infant, but it would seem he's a late bloomer. After talking to his teacher, it seems he's not the only child his age who has gone through this, and in truth I think it's harder on me than on him. Once I'm gone, he seems to settle down into the routine of the day. Today he got very upset when I left, but I didn't hear any screaming or kicking and by the time I got down the hall it sounded like he had settled down. Can I tell you what relief I felt? So my little boy is 'normal' after all! (Whatever 'normal' is for kids, know what I mean? I'm learning they are all so different!}.

Once again, I want to thank everyone who reached out to me during the past couple of weeks. It's been a time of great reflection, and also one of healing. I still can't believe Laura is gone (I don't think I will ever get used to it) but I realize that she is and that's just the way it is. With great resolve I removed her blog link from my sidebar. Her blog is no longer in existence, and through my sadness I understand that life goes on. I will always miss her.

On other notes, I've been stitching more and trying to get more artwork under my belt. I've even started exercising and eating properly again, and I'm already feeling better. Once I get my days planned out I'll pop back to Rivendell to record my progress and possibly get another shield. Yay!

I have a pretty heavy load this afternoon: a trip to the bank, lunch for the kids, three loads of laundry, two book covers to scan in, pictures to upload from CDs, my own art web site to trim down before production, a desk to organize, a checkbook to balance, dinner to make, a bubble bath, and *then* I can relax. Whew! I'm tired already.

But it feels good. Living feels very, very good.



Firstly, I want to thank everyone who took the time to write me and leave comments. I never expected the wealth of support that came flooding at me, and to be honest it has left me a little shaken. Once again, I think of Laura and the support she had, and I think I've finally realized that in the end it did not matter. She had her own pain to deal with and in the end she just could not handle it, regardless of how everyone else felt about her.

I am feeling a lot better today. I'm starting to put things in perspective. How can one person go from such a dark, depressive moment to one of near-perfect clarity in a day or two? Well, I've done a lot of thinking. I've done a lot of reflecting. I've also allowed myself the grace to feel angry and upset, and I've stopped making excuses for myself. There is liberation in truth, and a freedom that surpasses nothing. Once we realize things about ourselves that are not pleasant, the knee-jerk reaction is going to be sorrow and self-pity (as was mine over my procrastination and my anger towards Laura's suicide). Once I wrote about that, it seemed like a burden had been lifted from me. It seems this journal really is more to me than just a 'fun' place to write, but it's actually helping me put a lot of things in perspective.

There are a couple of things in the comments that I want to address. Someone asked if I was a single parent, because I kept using the term "my children" instead of "our children". I do indeed have a husband, and I don't think I could make some days without Robert. He has been a rock in my life, and he is a wonderful father. I love him dearly. The truth of it, however, is that when he is at work and there is a struggle, the children are indeed 'mine' and not 'ours'. Think of it, moms: you are having an especially hard day with your kids, and how many times do you stop to reflect on "our" kids? Nope, at that moment they are all yours, because Dad is not there to help deal with a tough situation; you have to deal with it yourself at that moment. That's just the way it is, and when David and I have a go-around, it can be extrememly draining. When Robert gets home we immediately share the burden, but during the day it's my responsibility. And yes: sometimes I do feel like I'm way in over my head. I can honestly say parenting is the hardest job on the planet.

When I spoke of my son being 'brilliant', I meant it. He has one of the sharpest minds I've ever encountered. His father was tested when he was in kindergarten, and he tested as a genius (which stands true to this day; and both of them are too smart for their own good sometimes!). When David started K-4 he already knew everything the other children were just learning, and he would get extrememly bored and distracted (the same holds for his class today). There was talk of moving him to K-5 and possibly 1st grade, but his motor skills and maturity level just would not allow that. He is amazingly creative, and very hyper-active. Some of you may not know this, but nearly two years ago he went on an 'adventure'; he decided early one morning to climb the fence in our backyard and play with some of the toys in the neighbor's yard. It was dark, and he went for a walk and got lost. He was gone for two days. I can't tell you what my husband and I went through during that time (we were suspected by the police of harming David, but considering the freaks out there that do harm their kids I guess that was normal), but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was the only One who sustained us. I'm convinced He sent an angel to guide my son to the open rental house he was found in, for it provided food and shelter. Well, I believe some of that trauma still haunts David, for lately he's been extremely clingy at school and causing major disruptions when I try and leave. And honestly? Sometimes he's just throwing a fit because he's not getting his way. The struggle comes to me from trying to decipher the difference, and I can't even describe how weary it makes me. He's been doing this for over a week, and each morning has literally been a bombshell. I wrote my last post after having that kind of morning, and I always second-guess myself. His sister is 3, and Jessi is a completely different temperment than her brother. She's more like me: mostly laid back with a propensity to be dramatic and emotional. David is like his father: brilliant (in every way), imaginative, moody and emotional. Well, since both the children get 'emotional' from us, you can imagine at times there is an awful lot of "emotions" that fly around this place!:)

Sometimes things are just hard. God never promises in His word that life will be easy for the Christian; oh, no, on the contrary. The devil is going to fight you with everything he has, and the Bible tells us that in the last days he will literally wear out the saints. Well, I'm feeling pretty weary. I always try to be the source of comfort to others, and I try to be so positive on the boards. I don't want to spread negitivity and bring others down, so I try to keep my problems to myself. But I realize that there is comfort in sharing, for others have been there. I wish Laura could have grasped that. She hurt so badly and so deeply that she probably thought there was no one in the world who could understand her lonliness, her emptiness, althought all of us have been there at one time or another. I know I've felt that ache more than once, and I've held on to God with everything I've had. I honestly don't know how people make it without Him in their lives, for there are times when He has to literally carry me for I just can't walk anymore.

I will write more later, but right now I need some coffee. There is so much I want to say, and so many of you I want to thank, just for being here for me and offering a "I know where you're coming from". I appreciate all of you so much.



Before I begin, I want you to know this post will talk about things that might make you uncomfortable. I am going to talk about things I do not usually talk about, and say things you may not want to hear. In a nutshell: I can't help it. It's a rather dark post, for it's been that kind of morning.

Please don't think bad of me for bearing my soul on some things that have been on my mind. I need to express them. Why I feel I need to do it in a public venue, I don't know; maybe it's the "urge to confess" that brings cleasing, or maybe it's just because I'm an exibitionist by nature. I don't know, but I don't really care the reason, only the fact that I'm going to speak what's on my heart and pray that people understand.

I fail at so many things it's pathetic. I'm a failure. However, the mere fact that I fail does not make me a failure, but the fact that I do not take control over those things that caused me to fail in the first place does. I'm a procrastinator; not the cutesy, arrives-fashionably-late procrastinator, but a hardcore, this -is-a-disease kind of one. It's debilitating, to the point where I have anxiety attacks when I try to get off my butt and get something that I've let go done. I don't understand it, I don't know why I'm this way, but I'm fighting it with everything that I have. I'm desperately trying to pray through, but I'm wondering if this isn't my cross to bear, the thing that keeps me fighting and working and humble. I just don't know, but I hate it and, in many ways, it causes me to hate myself.

For example: I promised Jo I would send her some designs back in January. She wanted them for Nashville, which I assumed was the Nashville CATS (it was actually Market, which was in Feb. but I thought that was in Charlotte. DUH!!). Well, time got away from me, I forgot, I was distracted, insert whatever excuse you want, but Market came and went and when I realized it was for Market and not the August CATS she was refering to I just about died of embarrasment. I feel like such a flaming, stupid idiot. I just can't stress that enough. But, if I had finished the designs on the timetable I had set for myself and given them to her, all of this would have been a moot point for she would have had them for Marked and CATS Nashville. My procrastination has caused me embarrasment and failure once again. And this is just a small example! Then there is some gridding I said I would do for someone over a year ago (forgot about it, just found it, and kept meaning to return it but for some stupid, unexplainable reason I kept putting it off), and a bookmark I own someone that is two months late...dear God, what is WRONG WITH ME??????? Why do I continue to do these things, when I know it's causing myself pain? Sometimes I get on top of things and I feel great, and other times I let myself go and I become the very cause of my own stress.

The truth is, I can't depend on myself. And that is a miserable thing to live with.

I know my procrastination is the source of my depression, or a good part of it. They go hand in hand. The only good thing is that I recognize this now and I can get God's help, if He'll help me. The Bible says He will, but there are times when I think I've screwed things up so bad that I'm beyond help.

And I stink as a parent. It's true, I'm totally clueless. My son has some major issues going on, and I lose my patience so much. He's brilliant, smart, but strong willed and headstrong. He's also an emotional basketcase sometimes (gets that from his mom) and I just feel so clueless on how to deal with it. I get so tired of feeling like I'm floundering. Again, I feel like I'm failing him and his sister. Nearly every day I think, "Okay, how am I going to screw my kids up today? What decision am I going to make that will scar them for life"? It's awful. People have told me this is the nature of parenting, but I can't continue to just leave things to chance. These are my children, and they deserve better from a mother than just "chance". The truth is, I have no clue what I'm doing. I can't even enjoy my children because I'm too wrapped up in failing them.

God, please help me.

And I'm angry. I'm angry at Laura for copping out. And yes, that's what she did. I know she was hurting; she told me so. I've been sitting on this for so long; I know people who didn't know the story eventually figured out it was suicide, but out of respect for Neil I chose not to use 'the' word until he used it himself in his blog. It's out, it's open, it's the hardcore truth surrouding her death. I know how debilitating depression is; I suffer from it nearly every day. I *know* what it's like to feel worthless and struggle with feeling like a failure; read above post. But what the heck kind of legacy does suicide leave for your loved ones, anyway? It about broke my heart when I read how devestated her mom was after she had read Laura's blog. Laura rarely, if ever, painted her mom in a favorable light, and now that's all her mother has of her daughter. What an awful thing to live with. And Neil? Sure, he's coping, but what the heck else is he supposed to do? Laura chose to leave him, not the other way around. Of course he's going to move on. It's all so SENSELESS. It's just a waste of a beautiful life that she just threw away because she couldn't deal with things. I was her friend, and I'll never, ever hear from her again. I'll never be able to see her name, or see her posts. I nearly had a heartattack the other day, because I saw a username on the Mirabilia board that I could have sworn was hers. When I did a double-take, I saw it obviously wasn't hers, and I found myself bitterly resenting her for choosing to remove herself from her loved ones forever. And yet, I would have forgiven everything just to have her back and saying it was all a very bad joke and that she really is okay.

*Why*?? Just why? I get so tired of hearing how "they're at peace now". Well, what about the loved ones who are left behind, what kind of peace do they have? Suicide is not a victimless action, far from it; it's the family and friends who have to cope and deal, and try to have all the questions answered, when there are no answers. It is the ulitmate in selfish acts, and it devestates those left behind.

I miss her so much. I didn't even live in the same country as she, and yet I feel like I've lost someone who lived next door. It just hurts. I can't even imagine what her parents are going through.

Right before Laura disappeared from the internet, I has resigned admining the Mirabilia board. There were too many things going on in my life, and I just couldn't deal with any outside responsibilities. I left things to her and Angi and I pretty much withdrew. Several months flew by, and things had stabilized enough that I decided to come back the following spring. Angi had told me Laura had just kind of vanished not long after I left, and had even blacked out her blog. Since I wasn't keeping up with blogs at the time, I had no idea. There was a thread on the Mira board asking about her, and one of her friends (I don't remember who it was) said she was okay and just taking a break. Well, stupid me, but I took that at face value and thought she was doing what I had done and was chilling out. Sometimes people just need space and they take it. Well, time went by, everyone was groovy, and I appointed Dana as another admin, for I figured Laura would come back when she wanted. My biggest mistake, and biggest regret, is that I assumed everything was alright. I did not e-mail her, for I thought it would be bugging her. I was trying to respect her space, but as it turned out I was only driving her further away from me.

Finally, she started posting in her blog again and posted once or twice on the Mira board. I was so happy!! I sent her a happy e-mail, and left her a comment on her blog cheering her return, and that's when I noticed it: she had deleted my blog link. I instantly knew something was not right, for I was one of the first people she had listed on her blog, and was also one of the reasons she started blogging in the first place (or so she told me). I knew if she deleted my blog then it was a deliberate move on her behalf. I wrote her and asked her about it, because I wanted to know if I had done anything wrong. She wrote me back, and told me that all the time she had been gone she had gotten e-mails of concern from everyone except one of the people she had considered one of her best friends, and that was me. She said she was so hurt and felt so destroyed that I had not written her. I was stunned, and promptly apologized and explained myself, and through a long series of e-mails we sorted things out. Things were still a little tepid, but they were getting back to where they had been. She told me that she knew she no longer felt any grudge against me, for now when she thought about me she only felt love. I don't remember how long this was before she died, but I wish none of it had ever happened. What's so ironic about all of this is that during that time she was gone I thought many times about jetting her an e-mail, but then thought I might be imposing on her if she truly wanted time away from the 'net. And then other times I thought about it I put it off, and procrastinated. And then other times I simply couldn't be bothered.

Laura thought of me as one of her best friends, and in her eyes I couldn't even be bothered to see if she was okay. True or not, that was how she felt. It helped drive her into a feeling of insecurity and low self-worth, and I have no doubt in my mind that if I had taken the time and sent one little e-mail, despite all of my reasoning and feelings, then she might still be here today. It might have shown her how I did care about her, how we all cared about her, and how bitterly I miss her. I believe I could have helped reach through that debilitating depression of hers. For whatever reason, Laura trusted me. Maybe she would have trusted me when I told her how special I thought she was and how much I admired her. But no, I never did, not in those words. And I should have. It might have helped.

And now I'll never know. The chance is gone, the opportunity is over, all because she decided she'd had enough. She robbed herself the chance to feel special. She robbed herself the chance to get well. And she robbed herself the chance to see how everyone truly loved her.

I told her I loved her, but I guess I didn't tell her enough. And now I'll never be able to tell her that again.

So...I guess all this is my legacy at the moment. A depressed, procratinating failure who possibly, inadvertantly helped drive a dear friend to suicide. That is not a mantle I would wish for anyone, and yet it is the burden I carry upon my shoulders at this moment. I will get through this, and I have no doubt I will come through the other side with a smile on my face and a fresh perspective, but in the meantime God has a lot of work to do in my heart to help me see things any different.


Gone Surfin' 

I'm around, just doing my thing. There are some things I'm thinking about but don't really want to share them. Well, that's not exactly true...I *do* want to share them, but I'm not ready. It has to do with Laura and everything that has happened, and I guess by posting this it is my way of coming a bit out of my shell. Oh well...

I was sick all last week, hence no update in my fitness blog. I did not even weigh on Saturday, because I didn't want to know how much I gained from not eating right, water weight or not. I'm back on track this week, so I'll head over to the Rivendell board once I've weighed to post my progress (or lack of, but at least with my working out and eating right there will be no excuse). I really want to get to 40 miles so I can get another sheild!

I've been playing on LiveJournal, where I've set up a place to keep all my art works-in-progress and do nothing but gab about my artwork and progress as an artist. Sometimes I don't know if I'm a stitcher, and artist, or a designer or all three. It's kind of strange to float in and out of the different communities, taking one hat off and putting on another. Perhaps this is something a lot of people deal with, and maybe it's not something that should be dealt with at all but just excepted. Hmm, makes sense I suppose.

Here's my link if any one wants to check it out:
Stacey Tippin livejournal

Speaking of art, I ordered four Amy Brown prints the other day and they are winging their way to me as I type. I can't wait! They are all retired prints, so once they are gone they are gone, with the exception of ebay, of course. Gotta love ebay.

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