Blog

I’m Sorry You Feel That Way, But Daddy-Daughter Dates Are Wonderful

Some of my favorite memories of my childhood come from the time I was able to spend with my father. Learning from him allowed me to see that there are men in the world who value the respect that should be given to women, and it showed me that he cared about spending quality time with me. I felt loved, and I looked forward to being able to talk with him and seek out the wisdom that he had.

I became very emotional after reading this article because the only thing that I took away from it was the bitterness from this woman. The research that she had done for her blog post had to do with statistics that related to incest, not incest because of daddy – daughter dates. She was opinion based on stating that “Moreover, it’s just… creepy. ‘Daddy-Daughter Date’ sounds like a porno. You can’t escape the incest-inspired overtones of these dances and ‘dates.’” I don’t understand why she would relate the two. Something as wonderful as a father spending time with their daughter, and allowing her to know of her worth does not sound like porno to me. When talking about daddy daughter dates, it shows that the father is taking time out of his day to show interest in his daughter’s life by taking her out for a nice evening.

This blog writer stated that, “This is 2017. And newsflash, women don’t need men to do things for them. We don’t need some big, bad patriarchal figure to hold the door or complement our inner beauty. We deserve men who are equal partners, who share life’s journey with us, and who treat us as equals. Daddy-daughter dates include an implicit power dynamic, and it’s not in favor of the girl. They aren’t empowering. They’re teaching girls to accept a domineering masculine figure in their lives.” Her point was obviously trying to prove that women can be independent and expressing her feminist values, but she executed that position very poorly.

Her points are nothing but raging. Women can be strong, and can also be expected to be treated like a woman who has worth. She never states anything of how she thinks women should be treated instead, but if she doesn’t like the idea of a door being opened, or being complimented, then I can only imagine what her thoughts are of being treated of worth.

Daddy daughter dates are not ‘power dynamic.’ By taking your daughter out to a movie, a sit down dinner, or doing nice gestures such as opening the door and pulling out your chair, you are showing your child that there is a level of respect that can come because of chivalry, not because the father is then thinking, ‘I want to rape my child.’ She sexualized the action that was originally pure, and should learn a thing a two from Natasha Helfer Parker on why that is harmful for the mind of a child.

I am saddened by her perspective of what feminism is. You can have both. You should expect to have both! (Both being that you can be a successful women by the passions you want to pursue, and expect that there are men out there that want to treat you with respect because both men and women deserve to have that.) However, her perception is that in order to be equal, you can’t have the expectation that men should be kind to you either.

I believe in having tight knit families, and I believe in raising children who see the value of their worth, and are empowered to live out their dreams. I can’t wait for my loving husband to be able to take out our daughters on dates and spend time with them, because I know that he will instill in their minds that they are capable of things that can change the world.

 

Taboo and Ignored

For my final presentation in my Professional Presentations class at BYU-Idaho, I had to give a Ted Talk. We were able to pick the topic of our choice, and it took me a while to narrow down between the different subjects I had thought of. I finally decided to do my topic on Sexuality, and how we need to switch the paradigm of our thinking so that we can be more comfortable talking about sexuality and helping out future generations to do the same.

While preparing for this talk, I had to go to the Presentation Practice Center that is on BYU-Idaho’s campus. After doing a run through of my presentation, I sat down and was able to receive some feedback from the employee. Her response was, “Did you ask your instructor if you could talk about this topic?”

…I truly wanted to laugh that that question was even being asked. I responded by telling her that officially no I did not get permission, but that I didn’t feel like I needed it. I told her that if my instructor wanted to talk to me about the topic I chose, that I had no problem sitting down with him and discussing the importance of why this needs to be talked about.

She went on to say that, “Well I just don’t want you to get in trouble, and I know that Brother ______ is very conservative, so I just want to make sure that this is okay.”

To help you understand, my topic was in NO way derogatory or offensive. In fact, it was a very well researched and put together speech, and I felt even more justified in giving this presentation because she felt she needed to ask if I had received permission to give it. My speech was one of five picked to present in a mini “Best of Ted,” which is an indicator that my professor was definitely okay with my topic.

I feel so strongly that our thinking of what sexuality really is and being comfortable to talk about it NEEDS to change in order to form healthier lifestyles.

Here is a link to the speech that I gave: http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/2avji
Mine is the first speech that pops up.

Even after giving the speech, I received feedback from my peers in the audience, and one of my peers wrote on her feedback slip, “Maybe should’ve picked a different topic, yes it is important, but still uncomfortable.”

…Thank you for proving my point further that this needs to be addressed.

 

All of my research comes from the following places, and I want them to be attributed in case you have any further questions.

http://educateempowerkids.org/why-do-we-fear-talking-with-our-kids-about-sex-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3941358/

http://www.mormonmentalhealth.org/035pornography-masturbation-sex-and-marriage-in-mormonism/

http://www.mormonmentalhealth.org/003-top-ten-mormon-mental-health-issues-pt-3-sexual-intimacy-parenting-faith-crisis-and-homosexuality/

https://www.lds.org/manual/a-parents-guide?lang=eng

http://www.mormonsexinfo.com/bundles (I bought the parenting bundle, SO WORTH IT!)

The Book Titled: And They Were Not Ashamed (Wonderful read for people who are about to get married)

 

My Boxing Arena

I didn’t sleep three hours because I wanted to waste my day. I didn’t sleep for that long to get rid of doing homework, or to be distant from my husband. I didn’t do it because it was raining and I knew my bed was going to be warm and snuggly, and I didn’t sleep for three hours because I was tired – I already slept in till 9 AM. I slept for three hours today because I am stuck; stuck in this cycle of when I lay down I can escape from the headaches, and the mind swirls, and the stress of x, y, and z not getting done.

The hard part, is I’m still stuck when I wake up.

The things I could’ve done while I slept are now the current thoughts filling my mind. “Why didn’t you finish the dishes?” “Why didn’t you sit out in the front room and do homework while Brian was doing homework?” “Why did you escape from the world again?” “Why do you put yourself in that bed and do this to yourself?”

I enter the boxing ring in full swing of punches at myself.

The thoughts won’t go away, and I am stuck beating myself up again and telling myself – “Just go back to sleep, it will torture yourself thinking about these things.”

This is the cycle that won’t stop and I become stuck.

The horrible thing is that the combat is with myself. There isn’t an army of analytics standing at my bedside when I wake up with clipboards shaking their heads in disapproval, just me. Just me hating the decision I made to sleep, and just me staring at the empty wall when I wake up.

I’ve never had friends judging me when I tell them of this routine, and it’s because they love me. So why can’t I love me?

Feeling like a failure is not what the Savior intended for us. He knew that when we came to Earth we would struggle, but that does not mean He wants us to fail. To him, we won’t fail unless we quit trying.

Hearing this and desiring this are two completely different things, and to be honest, sometimes I’ll just do the hearing part. I always desire to pick myself up again and try a little harder, but it takes a lot to get unstuck. How grateful I am for having another hour, and another day to put His guidance into practice.

I won’t stop trying, but my trying process may be a lot slower than the common person.

What slaps me in the face is the fact that I KNOW I can do hard things. I can be a straight A student, I can keep a well-kept house, I can plan activities for the church I attend and have time for being social throughout the week. I can serve my husband, be loyal to my friends, and hold a steady job. I can bake the cookies that I wanted to for my neighbors, and do the wash that has been staring me in the eyes. But I am tempted every day to throw that agenda out the window and curl up in a ball and pull the covers over my head; with no reason other than because I got pulled into it, and my anxious mind had control over my desires.

In one of my classes I am taking, we have written five affirmations for ourselves; essentially goals that we want to work on in hopes of becoming someone better than we were before.

I am loyal. I am kind and I am faithful. I am a good listener. I am charitable.

I can do hard things, and when I say these affirmations, it allows me to know that I am not the failure I think I am when I succumb to my weaknesses. I am working on these struggles, but they do not define me. My strengths do. I may not see the successes every day, but they are there, and they do encourage me to become unstuck.

Don’t Be That Girl

 When I was dating, I wanted to be like Meredith Grey. She was so glamorous in my eyes because she was smart, and strong, and had been through ‘things,’ and was an accomplished doctor and independent woman. She didn’t really need a man, but it was romantic because Derek would always be there for her even when she pretended she didn’t want him to be. To me, it looked like the way to have someone fall in love with you was to be distant and to suppress your emotions.

 

Why was this glamorous to me? Why did I idolize a woman who looking back now is just a woman who victimizes herself? Because I was conditioned through my youth that suppressing your feelings as a girl is what you have to do in order to NOT be ‘that girl.’

 

You know, the girl that is talked about because she actually shows her emotions? Or the girl who likes to get her nails done, or likes to go shopping and spend all their money, and dress up for a date, or actually put on makeup. The one who isn’t relaxed and is maybe a little high maintenance, or really misses their boyfriend because he went on a trip and is now texting him on girls’ night instead of paying attention to the gossip.

 

That girl.

 

Why are girls looked down upon for those things? Why can’t we dress up for school and date night and not have to have excuses like – “Oh I wanted to dress up today, I don’t always do this.” Why can’t you always do that? Why can’t you miss your spouse or boyfriend when he is away without having someone look at you like you’re an attached freak? It is sad that people have made girls feel bad for actually wanting to feel like oh, I don’t know… A GIRL!

 

Because Meredith wasn’t big into crying, I didn’t want to cry. I didn’t want people to think I was a sissy, or couldn’t put on my big girl pants. (What is so glorifying about the phrase, ‘I’m not a big crier.’ It shouldn’t be considered an admirable quality.) So when I was dating people throughout high school or college, I would tell them that. I wanted them to know that I was strong, and that I was capable of handling tough situations.

 

What a horrible joke. I held back what would really be on my mind because I didn’t want to look foolish. I didn’t want the guy I liked to think that I was too much to handle; too high maintenance. I wanted him to know that I was someone that wouldn’t take offense to sarcastic jokes, or that it was okay for him to put me in the middle of his jokes, because if I didn’t then I felt like I would look too sensitive.

 

I didn’t want him to ever know that I went shopping, or be with me when I shopped because I felt like he would poke fun at how many items I brought to the dressing room to try on, or that I actually wanted to buy the $130 boots that I had been eyeing that whole month. It was embarrassing, and I didn’t realize how ridiculous those feelings were until years later. 

 

Are there girls who genuinely don’t care for getting manicures at a salon, or watching chick flicks on the weekends? Yes, but if the reason they are backing out of these things is because they have felt the need to suppress these interests, then how sad we have created a culture where someone’s interests are the root of jokes and stereotypes.

 

Writing this article has even given me the fear that people will think I’m ‘that girl who is feminist,’ or ‘that girl that is always activating women’s rights.’

 

No. 

 

I am ‘that girl that is tired of people being afraid to show their interests or shying away from liking something because they will be referred to as that girl.’

 

I believe in allowing women to feel loved and uplifted because they have passions or likes that make them happy throughout their life/day. I believe in giving into crying because it will help ease the burden of the stresses I am feeling, or the hardships I face with school or work. I believe that if I want to go and get my hair done and pay $150 because that is what a GOOD hairstylist will charge that I shouldn’t have to feel bad about it because ‘I spent too much money on something unimportant.’

 

Am I going to spend $1000 on shoes? No. I can’t even afford the $50 ones that I am stalking on Steve Madden and am not about to put myself in a financial crisis. But if I splurged on a shopping day in the future (once my husband and I have degrees and actual jobs), how grateful I am for a husband that doesn’t make me feel like an idiot for being able to be a girl.

And Their Thoughts Don’t Matter

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Sometimes it is because the room is so dark, and the sheets are so comfortable. Sometimes it is because I want the extra 2 hours of sleep that I can fit into my morning if I rationalize not doing the important things. Sometimes it is the lack of motivation that I feel once my eyes are open. But majority of the time, it is because I mentally cannot get myself to start my day before noon.

I don’t like feeling inadequate, so why is it that those are the feelings that encompass me daily? If I don’t like something, like how I didn’t get as many fries as I would like when going out to eat last week, then I will follow through with changing the circumstances, like how I ended up with an extra plate of fries with my meal after I asked the manager to supply me with the right amount.

So why is it that when I want to be productive, and when I want to feel accomplished, I am not as determined to supply the outcome. How are fries more important than my dreams?

I’ve wasted a lot of time being in my bed. More time than I have spent awake it feels like. In my family that is what I am known for – the girl who could sleep for hours.

The girl who could sleep for hours…how is that even the slightest bit fulfilling? You can’t win an Olympic prize for being the girl who could sleep for hours. You can’t put that on a resume, or be proud of something like that, because the immediate thought is that you are lazy, unproductive, wasteful, and unmotivated. The only beautiful scenario that occurred about sleeping is Sleeping Beauty, and that was because of a spell that was put on her. Sleeping for me isn’t a spell, it is a mental curse; one that I wish I could get rid of by a simple kiss by my sweetheart.

The thoughts of what other people think of me swarm my mind. They truly overpower any other thoughts I have. I often will play scenarios in my head of conversations my family and friends have. “Corinne? Oh she wouldn’t be able to do that, because she won’t even be up until past noon. Have someone else do that for you, she is incapable.” “Yeah, she sleeps a lot, she probably won’t come to the park because she won’t be up until lunch time anyways.” “Oh yeah! That was such a fun trip! Where was Corinne? Oh wait, she was probably sleeping through the whole thing.” It destroys me, and because of the anxiety I have, it becomes real for me instead of just a made up scenario.

This insane trick my mind always plays on me makes me feel like I have to prove something. Like I have to show my family and friends that this isn’t me.

The thing is, that shouldn’t be my reason for wanting to change; because then whenever I am doing something to be proud of, it would be for them and not for myself. Caring what other people think is a weakness that I need to surrender. I have such amazing goals and dreams, and I can’t wait to have them be real, but I can’t let the scenarios and mind games fool me out of doing this for myself – it wouldn’t be worth it in the end. I would constantly think – am I good enough yet? Do they think that I can be someone other than an obsessed sleeper?

I met with a wonderful friend of mine last month, a friend that just makes you feel like you are on top of the world. She was truly an answer to my prayers, and she told me the simplest and most powerful thing. She told me that she had read my previous posts, and that I need to be kinder to myself. That if I would never say any of those things to her, then I shouldn’t be saying them about me. She told me about my worth that I had forgotten. She made me feel like I could accomplish whatever I set my mind to. She encompassed the Savior, and at that moment I truly felt like He was shining through her to talk to me. The things the Savior would have said to me if He were present were exactly what she had told me in those moments.

I don’t think that I will be rid of my weaknesses in this life. One of my life time heroes told me that it is something that you will just have to work on dismissing every day – like someone who is addicted to drugs. A constant thought process each day that you can change the outcome. My beloved prophet said this recently:

“I have spoken over the years with many individuals who have told me, ‘I have so many problems, such real concerns. I’m overwhelmed with the challenges of life. What can I do?’I have offered to them, and I now offer to you, this specific suggestion: seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day—and then one more and then one more after that—until we’ve lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit, a lifetime close to the Lord, a lifetime of good deeds and righteousness.The Savior promised, “Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.”

I believe that there is a Father in Heaven who wants to see me live to my potential. I cannot say that is easy, in fact it is truly hard. The mental issues I am working through, and the comfort I find in sleeping is the greatest weakness I’ll have here on Earth. I am certain though that there is more comfort in living a fulfilled life in the Savior, and I know that He wants to help me to be better. He wants to help me for me, and not for anyone else. Because of Him I can live up to my potential and my dreams. Was today a day where I failed? Maybe to my standard, but “one of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever be final.” (President Thomas S. Monson)

Tomorrow is another day, and tonight my prayers will be firm that He will help me carry out the dreams I am seeking to fulfill.

Because of Him

There is so much good in this world. So so much good.

I won’t let the disappointments of what has occurred within the last year take the courage and hope away from what can become of this world.

There are organizations that care, and individuals who sincerely want to make a difference in the world for the better.

We have closed off our eyes to the greatness of God’s creations because the darkness has blinded our vision. His power is greater than hate that is building up; Light will ALWAYS win.

Don’t get me wrong, I am saddened by the mistreatments that have entered our communities, but I know that there is a Christ who suffered all that they suffered.

I know that there is a Savior who came and conquered all, so that in the next life we might live with Him and the Father again.

There is beauty in believing in Him, and knowing that He gave ALL of His life to helping others, and to suffering with those that suffered, and mourning with those that mourned. This gives me knowledge that when we follow His example, the world really is a better place.

He LIVES! Because of Him, we can live too.

He Denieth None

Paint a picture in your mind.

Paint the outline of the men and woman that have fought over the years for the freedom of this country.

Paint the details of the pain and affliction that has come from the brutality of racism and inequality.

If the details in your picture are like mine, you’ve probably added the tears from the families that have lost their loved ones and their hope for their future.

A movement has started in this country that has caused uproar and another controversy to talk about.

So are you doing something about it, or just talking about it?

Scrolling through social media and attaching yourself to one side of the #Blacklivesmatter movement is only the beginning of change for this country. Yes, reposting articles that the media has written, and liking photos on your newsfeed is an act of getting the word out, and the conversation started.

But what is being changed? What is being done besides re-tweeting the same message your best friend posted at midnight? What are you instigating besides repetition of opinions that have already been thought of?

I see people lash out on others because they view the situation on a different plane than their colleague. Yet, did they even take time to walk in the shoes of those that are directly connected to the Dallas Shootings, Alton Sterling, or Philando Castile?

I don’t think that any of those people deserved to be killed. I don’t believe that there should be inequality between a white person’s rights and a black person’s rights. Why should there be? God created us all equal, and “He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.”

I think that the way to change our actions is to change our heart. You cannot persuade someone to your side unless you show them that you care, and I do not think that killing is the solution to any of these issues.

Unless you yourself are racist, then you should be understanding of the idea that blacks deserve every right that a white man does. However, I don’t think that this is what some people are arguing about. I think that some people just want to argue that there is unfairness in the police force, and then generalize that towards every police officer that patrols their own town.

I think that there are some who want a scapegoat, and pinning it on a police officer or a black man will justify their stereotype they have created.

What justice does that do though? What control does that strike?

It all happens one-by-one, and I don’t mind starting that chain.

Instead of immediately taking one side, internalize the facts and unite in the cause that all men should be free. Don’t let one side sway you unless you are researching the matters on your own.

But my two cents for the night is that the only change that will come is when our heart is in the cause and not our hate or our eagerness to avenge.

Join the chain, and be that next one.

The Thread

What is it about anxiety that is frightening and uncontrollable?

Maybe it is the constant questions that rotate in my mind, or the lack of breaths I take because worry consumes me. Experiences that have caught me off guard, and are harder to just ‘get over’ than people typically advise me to do, generates the fear of knowing that I will live with this for the rest of my life.

The other day I had an anxiety attack, and it allowed me to learn more than just what it feels like, but the importance of comfort when going through it.

– – – – – –

It all happened at once. The rush of emotions was surreal. One minute I was tearing up because of frustration, and the next I was laughing because of how ridiculous I was being. It was as if I was conducting two different symphonies. One was playing the music of my heart, and the other was playing the music of my mind. I couldn’t tell which one I felt stronger, but both were fighting for my attention.

I struggled to take deep breaths so I could determine what I wanted to feel. I was frustrated for so many reasons. I was tense and stressed because I had cleaned all day so that Brian and I could have friends over to hang out. I was upset because I wanted Brian to be done with homework and yet on the other hand I was irritated with myself because he had told me earlier in the day that he would be busy with assignments that were due by midnight; so how was I then so impatient with other expectations?

He had worked all day, had been at the temple at 6 a.m. to help out with baptisms for the dead and had class to attend. Where was his chance to stop and recuperate? He didn’t have one.

Even then I was sitting on the couch feeling grouchy because we weren’t going to have the exciting Friday evening I had expected.

That’s when the thread started. All of the sudden it was a journey down this power rushed river of emotion. I had expressed to Brian how I was irritated, and then I began to feel selfish. I was a selfish person for not letting him take the time to study for his test Saturday morning. I wanted to support him, and help him achieve the success he was aiming for, yet I wanted an evening of fun. I was expecting an evening of games and movies with chocolate and popcorn. I was tearing myself apart feeling both extremes, that every 30 seconds I was going back and forth on what I wanted.

I couldn’t control it, even when Brian turned on the Bluetooth speakers and pulled me off the couch to dance away the frustration. That didn’t work. I became pathetic. I cried on his shoulder while he twirled me around the living room. It was a smile one second, and a brush of a tear off my cheek the next. Brian was so good to me. He held me close and tried to have me verbalize what I was feeling. The thing was, that I didn’t know how to express that myself.

I gave him a hug and then went to our room to just let it out. I kneeled on the floor with a box of tissues at my side and curled up to have the tears come flowing out. I was whimpering like a dog, heaving like I had ran a lap around an Olympic track, and had my eyes shut tight to close off the rest of the world.

My kind husband came into the room and enwrapped me with his arms. He held me close and expressed how this wasn’t my fault. I was not to blame, and I was not responsible for his grades in his class or how the evening was supposed to go.

I trust him. He holds my trust more than any human, and yet even as the words slipped out of his mouth, the thread was continuing and my mind would not shut off. I began thinking of things that ‘he might be thinking.’ Ridiculous thoughts such as ‘I can’t believe I married into this mess,’ or ‘she is going to be another person I have to take care of,’ and even ‘I could be studying for my test.’

I couldn’t let it go. That’s how the thread works, it just keeps unraveling and twisting off the spool, and there is no snipping it from its root.

Brian took me to the bed, and we laid intertwined in fetal position. All of his soothing words finally began to take me over. “You are not a burden Corinne,” “You are my wings,” “I am getting through this life because of you,” “Proposing to you was the best decision I ever made…the best decision I EVER made.”

I tried gathering up these thoughts as they dropped from his lips, and heaped them into a basket of protection for safekeeping. His words are soft like a blanket, and they comforted me as if I was covered in a physical quilt.

Realizing that what occurred tonight was an anxiety attack is mesmerizing. Not in a glamorous and beautiful way, but rather a paralyzing reality check; knowing that this could happen again, and it will just take time to pass.

Wedding receptions, birthday parties, baby showers, those happen all so quickly and are enjoyable to be a part of. Anxiety attacks happen all at once, yet the emotion is contrary to the listed celebrations.