Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Working through my process

Brad and I decided to take a little time for ourselves this week. Not a major vacation by any means, but we're going to go on some local day trips.

Both of us have a bunch of time available so we're going to see some of the local sites around here. We both decided not to schedule a specific itinerary, so we're waking up each morning and brainstorming what we want to do.

My Brad suggested we do this, and after working through my guilt about talking time off from work, I realized I've been feeling a lot of stress lately and really just need to relax.

It's really surprised me how I've dealt with Tony getting married. I'm honestly overjoyed beyond belief. I've been on such a joyful high over the past couple weeks, but there's also been this underlying sense of -- hard to even know the right word -- sadness or something like melancholy. Like I've lost something.

Tony is the first of us to get married. But on some kind of probably irrational level, I've also been feeling some sad. It's been hard for me to process why there's something sad going on with me. 

On some emotional (and very irrational) level, there's this feeling I'm losing him. Maybe because change of this type is very hard for me to process and adjust to. Maybe it's the ADHD. Maybe it's just the way my brain works. 

I already know my process in figuring things out takes time. It use to be so incredibly frustrating to me, but lately I've been trying to cut myself some slack and just let my process work it's way through. 

Maybe all this is my brain trying to adjust to the reality that life is moving on. And maybe my emotions are just trying to catch up. Which I guess is a good thing.

In the meantime, I'm not going to obsess about it. In the past, I would have tortured myself until I figured things out. But now, I'm really looking forward to taking the week off... enjoying my time on some day trips with Brad... and giving my process time to work things out.

And that, for me, is a victory❤️

Monday, June 29, 2015

So much love

I now have a SISTER!!

Tony and his beautiful wife, Beth, were married Saturday afternoon! And before I go any further, let me say, yes, I cried. Until Saturday, I honestly never understood the phenomenon of crying at a wedding. But now I understand it perfectly.

Something that celebrates the beginning of a new life together, brought an avalanche of emotions to the surface. And all throughout the day, those emotions ran together. Sometimes they collided into each other... sometimes a single emotion overshadowed the others... and sometimes two or three competed for attention.

Tony has always been a special person to me. He's always been so grounded and calm and has such wisdom. When I decided at age 16 I was ready to come out, Tony is who I went to. He was the first person to hear me say the words. And after getting a huge smile on his face, gave me the tightest hug ever.

So at the reception, when it came time for me to offer my toast and say a few words, I just spoke from my heart... without notes. Tony got teary because he knew exactly what I meant when I looked right at him and said:

"My parents started me on my life journey. And Tony gave me the courage to be my true self."

And when I toasted Beth, I jokingly said I was so relieved Tony didn't turn out gay. Because as much as I dearly love my brothers, and wouldn't trade them for the world, I always wanted a sister:

"And my parents gave me two brothers. And Tony gave me my Sister."

We did a lot of dancing at the reception, and I almost broke down crying when Tony came over and asked me to dance with him. That meant the world to me.

So much love. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sundays with Sam: What an honor

Hi every one! It's Sunday and time for Sam-I-Am!

It seems like I am using the word "WOW" a lot lately! Last Sunday I used it because I was so excited that RICK's dad used the word "son" when he referred to me. That made me so happy.

And today I am using the word "WOW" again! Wow! This seems to be the year for WOW! HA HA!

Okay, so let me share with you why I am using the word "WOW" again this week. Ready? Here goes.

I am writing this post on Thursday night, so what I am wow-ing today has not actually happened yet. But since I am enjoying using the word "WOW," I just could not resist using it ahead of the thing I am wow-ing!

Matty shared with every one that his older brother is getting married on Saturday (or, by the time you are reading this, they are already married).

Matty's family is one of my FOUR adopted families I have now! That's right FOUR! And that deserves a big WOW! HA HA

The families who are in this list of adopted families for me are:

RICK's Family.

Brad's family.

Matty's family.

AND (ta-da) all of you! My online adopted family!

I don't know Matty's older brother extremely well. He's been very busy with finishing school so I haven't gotten to know him all that well. I get to spend time with him when the family celebrates a holiday, because Matty's parents always invite me (and now that I have a BOYFRIEND, they always invite you-know-who: RICK!) BUT, he is one of the nicest persons you will ever meet.

When I am over there he always spends some time talking to me. He always wants to know all about my job and he has given me some good things to think about because I am looking into going to a community college.

And then when RICK came in the picture, he always makes sure he spends time with both of us, and a few times when I have been in another room, his brother will chat with RICK. He's such a cool guy.

So his brother asked me a while back if I would like to be a part of his wedding!!! WOW!

That made me very nervous because, well, I have never been to a wedding before! So I asked him what he had in mind. He said he needed two more people to help out being "ushers." And he wondered if me and RICK would like to be ushers!

Well, I just smiled when he asked me because to be honest, I had no idea in the world what an "usher" is. I asked him what we would have to do, and you could tell he suddenly realized I did not have one single clue. But he did not miss a beat! That is what I love about him (and every one in Matty's family and Brad's family and RICK's family). NOBODY ever looks at you like something is wrong with you.

He just said, "Well, when people arrive, the ushers walk with them down the isle and find them an open place to sit." So that sounded like some thing I could do.

So RICK and I are going to be USHERS at his wedding! Oh wait. Since you are reading this on Sunday, then change the words "are going to be USHERS" and make that "were USHERS." WOW!

This is a MAJOR honor for me. RICK said he had helped out at a cousin's wedding, but this will be the very first time I have EVER been to a wedding! And it means so much to me that he asked RICK and me to be a part of it like this!

And the other cool thing about all this? I am having so many "WOW" moments lately! It is just blowing me away big time! I love that word "WOW." RICK even said it is one of those words that you can spell backwards and it still comes out the same! HA HA! WOW!

Any way, I just had to share this new "WOW" moment. I love "WOW." And I love having a reason to say "WOW" every chance I get to!

See you next week!
Love and Hugs from Sam-I-Am-A-WOW-Person!Emoji

Friday, June 26, 2015


The weekend

Wanted to wish everyone a nice weekend! 
My older brother is getting married tomorrow, which makes me very happy.Emoji 

(Isn't there always a "but"?) 
But I have to wear a tux!Emoji

(This time it's a happy "but") 
Brad says I look nice.Emoji 

This is about Tony and his beautiful fiancée...

So I happily make the sacrifice of feeling like I'm being choked by fastening the button down collar. 

And not getting to wear my baseball cap.

Because I love my brother and his bride.

And I know he'll return the favor when he participates in our wedding!

Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend!
What plans do you guys have?Emoji

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A little sexy fun

I need a break from being so serious lately.

Someone sent me a long list of questions to help identify different kinks you might have. And I mean, some were extremely graphic. I'm not ready to disclose how I answered some of those, but I picked a few you might get a kick out of.

1. If you were a stripper, what would your name be? Dick Dangler. Not original with me. 
But I giggle every time I see it!Emoji

2. A food you would like to use during sex. Nutella.

3. Kitchen counter, Sofa, or on top of the dryer? Sofa, because it would be more comfortable. But kitchen counter is not far behind. Does kitchen table count? 
'Cause been there, done that! heeheeEmoji

4. If your partner really wanted to video your lovemaking, would you agree? I'm honestly not sure. I think it would make me too self-conscious while we were having sex and that might kill some of the spontaneity. I love getting lost in the moment, and it might be hard to forget the camera was on.

5.What is the fastest way to make you horny? 
Kiss me. Kiss me hard. Kiss me long and hard.Emoji

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Growing up? Nah . . .



I mentioned a while back our neighbor is a volunteer in the local library Children's Room. I had told her I'm working on writing a series of children's books for different age groups who are living with ADHD. And depending on how that goes -- as well as myriad other factors -- might also write one for Young Adults.

She was so excited over my plans and told me about some volunteer opportunities in the Children's Room. A few months ago I had actually made an appointment to talk to the the Children's Director about how to do a large search of children's books written for children with ADHD. So I already had a contact there.

So after going through the mandatory background check and attending their Volunteer Orientation Training, I officially started last weekend!

Oh man! It was SO much fun! It was a reading group for preschoolers and they were SO happy to be there! I got SO MUCH energy from being around them and their parents/guardians. 

The Children's Room is located a little away from the main library, down a long hall, so any noise they make doesn't disturb the adult patrons. And they were SO LOUD and SO EXCITED  and SO HAPPY to be there!

I was in charge of helping to set up before they got there, and cleaning up afterwards. Oh, and I helped serve some refreshments, too! 

Because of their energy level, I had to make sure I didn't forget my responsibilities and plop myself down in the reading group and join them in being read to!! Oh man! All that energy and excitement!

Since they were preschoolers, the selections were those large picture books. And the person reading to them really did a fantastic job. She really knew how to draw them into the story by building anticipation about where the story was going. She would get to a point and before turning the page, would get them to share what they thought was going to happen next!

I thought that was such an brilliant idea. It was like they were participating as co-authors in the story! So she would looked around the room and then ask, "Now. Who wants to raise their hand to say what they think the little girl is thinking about?" WOW!!! So cool.

Or she would say, "Who wants to raise their hand to say what they think her decision is going to be?" INCREDIBLE way to stimulate their imagination and allow them to participate in the story as an ACTIVE participate!!

During Orientation they were talking about how reading for Adults is in many ways a passive, solitary activity. You sit down by yourself, pick up your book, and read without any interaction with other people. AFTER you read the book, you might take a more ACTIVE role in discussing the book with others who have read it, as what happens in a book club. Or in an online book discussion forum.

But with kids of this age, it's rarely a PASSIVE activity. The story comes alive for them in an ACTIVE way through interaction. Oh man! It was SO interesting to watch these little kids come alive as they pretended to be characters in the story!!

Anyway, like I said, I wanted to plop right down and surround myself with all these kids. They were so excited to be there and their imagination was soaring! I love the part of me that's still a little kid inside. 

Maybe you can sense my excitement! I couldn't wait to tell you guys about this!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My friend, My hero

I mentioned last week I had a dream involving my best friend, Tyler {here's the post}. The dream was something of a replay of something he did in the weeks after I was able to return to school following the attack.

Tyler stuck by my side the whole time. He and I walked next to each other down the halls. He made sure I knew where he was every hour if our schedules made us be in different locations. He knew I was still anxious and shaken to be returning, and he helped me regain feeling safe.

When I told my counselor about the dream, I knew at that moment I wanted to talk to Tyler, just like I did recently with my folks and my brothers. I wanted to thank him again, and to see if he felt comfortable sharing some of his memories. I know he was extremely affected by what happened to me, and it's only been recently that I've come to understand that those closest to you are in some ways traumatized also.

Tyler came over Thursday night while Brad was working late. Tyler's girlfriend was also working late, so it would just be the two of us.

We sorta hung out together for a while. I made us something to eat (or rather, zapped some leftovers Brad had made). We joked around, as usual. I showed him some carvings I'm working on. He brought me up to date on a few things going on in his life.

Then we went into the living room to talk so I could bring him up to date on how my therapy is going. I told him I've been in therapy for five months now, but for some reason it feels a lot longer. I told him it hasn't always been a smooth process, but my nightmares are less frequent now. And I've only had a couple flashbacks. 

But I also told him how helpful the therapy has been. I've made great strides and I know I still have a way to go. I told him about talking to my folks and my brothers, and the only other person I wanted to talk to about this was him.

So I told him about the dream and how it brought back memories of how he shadowed me when I returned to school. And basically how he helped me regain feeling safe again.

And without me even asking what his memories were, he started telling me some things he remembered. About how my personality was different after the attack. About how anxious I looked. About how I wasn't joking around anymore.

And then he got choked up and looked away. It felt like all the air in the room suddenly got sucked out. And then he told me, "It's like you weren't really there anymore. I didn't know where you were." So naturally I started getting choked up.

Then he just said in a really soft voice, "I had to get you back. Those bastards weren't going to take you away. I had to get you back."

So we talked a while longer, and eventually got things back on a lighter note. We had some ice cream and talked about some mutual friends.

When he was leaving, I stopped him at the door and we hugged. I said, "Thank you." He got choked up again and just said, "I'm glad you came back." That got me choked up and we hugged again. All I said was, "Me, too."

Remembering all these events with my folks, my brothers, and now my best friend, has been so healing for me.

And I'd like to think it's been healing for them, too. 

Shared healing is what my counselor calls it. 
Now I know for sure what that terms really means.Emoji

Monday, June 22, 2015

My pride

Matty wrote something last week about Pride and I wanted to share a few things I've been thinking about.

There was an article in the newspaper this past week about one of the suburbs close to Boston. The Mayor and City Council of this suburb declared the month as LGBTQ Pride, and had a program and ceremony where they raised the Rainbow Flag over City Hall, where it will fly all month along with the U.S. flag, the State Flag, and the City Flag.

In the article, it mentioned how the Mayor and City Council selected the openly gay high school principal to Chair the program and celebration. It was so cool to see this principal, along with her wife and daughter, in the spotlight like this. And it made me so proud that you can be a high school principal and your sexual orientation is completely irrelevant to your job.

We had a GSA (Gay/Straight Alliance) in my high school and one of the Faculty advisers was an openly gay man. I remember getting a lot of courage and pride that he was openly gay in my high school. His visibility helped me as much as going to the Alliance meetings.

I also remember the struggle I had in trying to decide what to do about my high school prom. I wrote a number of posts here as I was trying to make sense of my internal struggle about going to the Prom with another boy. I had no struggle at all in wanting Matty to be my date, but in some ways it felt very anxiety provoking to me.

I came out when I was fifteen, and most people at school knew I was gay, but I was even more introverted in high school than I am now. And going to the Prom with my boyfriend, who nobody had even met except one girl, felt like we would have a bright spotlight on us the whole night.

I finally worked through my process and Matty accompanied me as my date to the Prom. I remember getting a little lightheaded when I asked him to dance with me. When we got to the dance floor, my eyes were closed almost the whole time. And what I remember most was feeling his arms wrapped around me in a tight embrace as we slow danced. My anxiety slowly melted away and I felt so safe and proud we were at my Prom together.

Sure, we got some stares. They weren't aggressive or hateful stares. Just people noticing these two boys together. But you know what? Even at the time I remember feeling proud of those stares. That's right. As introverted as I was, those stares meant something important to me. 

Matty and I were being brave. Matty and I were being bold.

But most important of all? Matty and I were just being ourselves. 

And that's what Pride means to me.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sundays with Sam: He called me 'Son'

Hi every one! It's Sunday and time for Sam-I-Am. Hope every one is having a good day!

I wasn't planning on writing about Father's Day because I didn't know exactly what to say or how to go about it. But some thing happened last week when I was at RICK's house. I hope every one remembers who RICK is, but in case you might have forgotten, that's okay because I love reminding you! HAHA!! RICK is my BOYFRIEND!!! I love saying that, by the way!

Any way, back to what I wanted to share with you.

So I went over to RICK's house on Tuesday night because his mom invited me to join them for dinner, and she made the best spaghetti ever! And the garlic bread that went with it was out of this world!

RICK and I offered to help her get things ready, and she asked us to set the table and bring the big salad bowl out. So while we were doing that, RICK was joking with his dad about how much spaghetti he eats, because I have seen the man eat spaghetti before and it is probably his favorite food in the whole world!

One time I was there and his mom announced, "I think I will make spaghetti this weekend" and you should have seen the look on RICK's Dad's face!! Man, he loves spaghetti!

So any way, back to my story. After RICK made a joke about how much spaghetti his dad eats, his Dad said, "Best food in the world." His dad is kind of quiet any way, but the look on his face said it all. He looked like a small kid who was about to devour gallons of ice cream!

And then I said. "Yep. We're going to have to put a bib around you so all that sauce doesn't get on your shirt." And he got a big smile on his face, which made me feel so good.

So then I just kept going. I guess I feel so comfortable around his family because they always ask me questions about every day stuff, and I no longer feel self conscious about the stutter I have, because they have never done any thing to make me self conscious.

Some times with other people I meet, I can tell my stutter makes them uncomfortable especially when they stop including me in the conversation. I guess they think I am ashamed of the stutter or some thing, but I can tell they get anxious around me or some thing. But with RICK's family, it doesn't matter one single bit. They just keep going and treat me like any one else, which means a LOT to me.

So when RICK's dad smiled at me for saying we might need to tie a bib around him for the spaghetti dinner, I then said some thing about how I liked to watch him enjoy it. See, some times RICK's dad can be a Big Kid. When he gets like that he is SO MUCH fun! Like I said, he is very low-key most of the time, but when he is a Big Kid, every body roars laughing!

So I made a comment about how he some times gets one single spaghetti noodle, looks around the table at every one, and them makes a show of slowly slurping that one noodle into his mouth! And boy does he take his time. Oh man, he is so funny some times!!

So after I made the comment about tying a bib around him, I then said, "I'm going to call you 'The Human Vacuum Cleaner Spaghetti Eater'." And guess what happened next?

He stopped what he was doing, looked straight at me, and started laughing so hard! HA! HA!

So every one joined in the laughter, and man, I felt so happy I could make him laugh like that. And then he said some thing that made me feel so happy I came within an inch of starting to cry. Yeah, I still cry some times when people treat me like I'm 'normal' or like I am not a 'freak' of some kind. I love it when I get the feeling that people like me, and like being around me, and treat me just like every body else.

So when I said, "I'm going to call you 'The Human Vacuum Cleaner Spaghetti Eater'," and after he stopped laughing, he said, "Son, that is the funniest thing I have ever heard."

I almost lost it. Yeah, it meant so much to me that he liked my little joke. But when he called me "Son," I got an instant lump in my throat and the feeling traveled all the way up to my eyes and I had to fight not crying.

I know what he said was just an expression, but for some reason being called "Son" hit me really hard in a good way. It meant so much to me that he said that, maybe because he really liked my comment, but I think it was him using that word "Son" that touched my Heart in a really deep way.

I know I am not his son. And he knows that, too. I know it was just an expression that showed he felt comfortable with me and appreciated my joking with him.

I can't remember my own dad ever calling me "son" like this. So this was extra special to me. I am starting to look at him as a "father figure," I guess. I think RICK is very lucky to have a mom and dad like them. And I am going to just enjoying hearing that word "Son" again.

After dinner when I was on my way back to my house, I did start crying. And I am not one bit ashamed of it. I did a mixture of crying and smiling all wrapped up in one. And several times I heard my self saying, "Wow." That's a real good feeling, you know?

And until I can spend some more time with them, I am going to keep remembering every single thing that happened on Spaghetti Night. And I especially can't wait to see my Human Vacuum Cleaner Spaghetti Eater again! He probably has no idea what calling me "Son" meant to me.

In the mean time, all I keep saying to my self is, "Wow." And there's a whole lot of meaning in that little three-letter word, believe me.

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there. And also to all the Father-figures, too.

Hope every one has a wonderful day. See you next Sunday.

Love and Hugs,

Friday, June 19, 2015

What happened to Pride?

Or the better question is, "What happened that I forgot Pride this year?" 

The big citywide celebration was this past Saturday. Brad and I have been going every year since we've been together. And last year, my best friend, Tyler, and his girlfriend, asked to go with us.

I know it's celebrated in June. All month long, in fact. Here and many other places in the country, as well as all over the world.

It's always something I look forward to, mainly because for the past several years I've done a lot of research on the history of our community. And I've thought that -- for me -- showing up for Pride was one way I could celebrate that history.

I actually noticed a few things on social media about different Pride celebrations in other parts of the country. I registered that. I knew it was June. And I knew it was happening.

I do remember thinking to myself, "I need to find the Boston Pride site and get details."

But it never seemed to be "front and center" in my brain like other years.

Maybe I've been preoccupied with other things.  I know a lot has been happening. 

Work has been extremely busy. 

I've been trying to play catch up with my school assignments. 

Going to my weekly therapy sessions. 

Every day trying to remember to do my grounding meditations. 

Writing daily in my Feelings Journal. 

The emotional drain and exhilaration of talking to my mom and dad about what they went through after I was attacked. 

The emotional drain and exhilaration of talking to my brothers about their experience.
Brad and I got engaged this year.Emoji
We've been posting on the blog 6 days a week, with our Sweet Sam on Sundays.Emoji
I guess there are a lot of different ways to celebrate Pride. 

Going to an organized public event is one way. 

Learning all I can about the history of the Community, and finding ways to honor that history, is another way.  

Having a blog where we share our own little history is hopefully making some kind of positive difference in the world.

And every day getting to interact with, and celebrate, all of you who are Allies as you help make the fabric of the Community that much stronger!
Happy Pride! Love you guys!Emoji

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Your gift to me

I know I come back on here periodically to thank all of you who reach out and support me when I'm having a difficult time about something. So today is another one of those times when I want to express my sincere gratitude and heartfelt thanks for all the feedback and support you gave me on my post yesterday.

When I was growing up, my Mom told me over and over, "When someone says or does something nice, remember to thank them and let them know what it meant to you." I don't remember the context, but there was one time she explained that if someone extends themselves to you in a genuine and heartfelt way, then they're giving you a very valuable gift.

So I wanted to say Thank you to all of you who listened to me as I tried to explain what was going on inside me when I felt let down and hurt by my dad's reaction to that paper I wrote.

I actually was a little nervous about how vulnerable I made myself here. When I wrote that my dad said I had been "lazy" in my research, I admitted to what was essentially a temper tantrum when I threw the paper on the table and stormed out of the room.

I almost edited that out because after all this time of being mature with my dad, here I was telling you about a tantrum that really didn't reflect the maturity I hoped would guide me as we repair our relationship.

You guys (and My Matty) have been so helpful in keeping me grounded on my Rock of Maturity, and I didn't want you to picture me as some spoiled, immature brat or something. Yeah, I know. Old issue with me. Please like me. Don't think less of me. Blah, blah, blah.

And to be honest, this work with my Dad has felt very risky to me. I've gone over and over and over in my head thinking, What if he lets me down again? What if I open myself up and he hurts me again? Maybe I should just cut my losses and move on.

But I decided to keep that part about the tantrum in. It was an important part of what happened. And telling you about my tantrum (though not a very endearing quality I'm all that proud of) was letting you know how hurt and anxious I was. And it was the part of me that was scared my worst fear was coming true. That he had -- or was about to -- let me down. Once again.

In the end, I'm glad I was honest with my Dad. I'm glad I said I needed some time to think things through. I'm glad I didn't drop the ball and throw in the towel.

I know I shouldn't have hesitated to include the part about the tantrum. I should know by now you guys are incredibly caring and non-judgmental. So now I want to honor what my Mom told me many years ago when she said, "When someone says or does something nice, remember to thank them and let them know what it meant to you."

So thank you. Your feedback, your acceptance, your encouragement, your support, and your non-judgment, gives me the gift of feeling free to keep growing into the man I'm capable of being -- and becoming.
Love you.Emoji

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A perfect process for an imperfect relationship

I need to slow myself down a bit. 

And remember some important things about how life and relationships work.

My dad and I hit a big bump in the road this past weekend. It's the first biggie we've had since we started repairing our relationship.

I don't have a lot of experience in working through things like this with him. Sure, he and I have done some major work in repairing the damage from all those years when we were estranged. And we've both done a pretty damn good job.

But now that we've reconnected and proven we're strong, when we hit that big bump this past weekend, it somehow felt like we were right back to Square One and had lost every single step of progress we've made over the past year.

He made an off-the-cuff comment about a grade I got on a paper I wrote for one of my classes this past semester. I had worked very hard on that paper and in spite of my best efforts, I still misread an important reference paper and missed something really crucial. It didn't jeopardize my overall grade in the class, but I was still disappointed in myself.

It's been really nice to finally, after all these years, share some of my proud moments with my dad -- as well as moments when I was bummed out about something. I don't know, maybe I'm trying to have just a normal relationship with my dad after all these years of things being black and white with us. 

Growing up, I never felt he liked me very much. And I never felt he was worth getting close to. We kept each other at arm's distance. 

And now that we've done all this remarkable repair work, maybe I'm expecting things to be perfect -- or as close to that as you can get. At least how it should have been from the beginning. 

I was showing him the paper I wrote, including the prof's comment about how I misread the conclusions of that reference. He made an off-the-cuff comment about being lazy because of my misreading, and I immediately felt like I was five years old again being criticized for not measuring up to his expectations of me. And though his voice tone was measured, I read all kinds of things into what he was saying. Yep. I'm a total screw-up. I can't do anything right. I'll never amount to anything.

Maybe my expectations and hopes were too high to begin with. I've never done this kind of thing before, so what do I know? All kinds of doubts started creeping back in. 

And like a five year old child, I threw the paper down on the table and stormed out of the room. Just like I would have done years ago as a kid. My tail tucked between my legs.

He immediately came to find me and asked if we could talk about it, and I said, "Whatever." He said he bet I was pretty pissed at him for saying I was lazy. I just listened.

He said he did some lazy research when he was in school, and it was unfair of him to project his issue on me. He said his comment was uncalled for and he apologized. It's always been rare for him to apologize, and I wanted to immediately accept his apology because it felt real, but I decided to tell him the truth. 

That it really hurt and felt like it did when I was a kid. And that I just needed some time to think things through first.

He honored that and I went back later and we talked and I accepted his apology and we worked things out.

It's still weird to me that this incident made me feel closer to him. Not him saying I was lazy, but something else about it. I'm still not sure why.

One thing I do know is that we have an "imperfect" relationship. But maybe the "perfect" (or "right") process to guide us in getting where we need to be. 

Like I said, I've never done this kind of thing with him before. I really hope we get this right.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Healing doesn't happen in isolation

Just a short update on something important to me. 

Remember a short while back I decided to sit down with my folks and bring them up to date on how my therapy is going? {click here for that post} 

They were incredibly supportive and proud of the hard work I've been doing. And I asked them what they remember it being like for them in the days and weeks and months afterwards.

They shared things they had never talked to me about before, and I felt like the healing I'm now going through is a "shared-healing," because they were traumatized, too.

And when they shared just a few brief things about what it was like for my two brothers, I knew at that moment I wanted to sit down with them and bring them up to date, and also to give them the opportunity to share what it was like for them. {click here for that post}

Again, I felt like the three of us got even a lot closer, because this was my time, and their time, to share what it was like for us. Another example of how the healing I'm now going through is a "shared-healing," because they were traumatized, too.

So the update for today is something that happened in my therapy session this past Friday. I was telling my counselor about a dream I had that involved my best friend, Tyler. It was uncanny how parts of the short dream were so true-to-life.

I dreamed that Tyler and I were walking side-by-side down the hall at school. In the dream I noticed that some groups of kids were also in the hall, and I got some stares and noticed a few people whispering to each other. My dream mind was telling me they were talking about the attack.

In the dream, Tyler put his arms around my shoulder and guided me down the hall. When we overheard someone making a sarcastic remark about me being a coward, Tyler storms over to them to defend me. That's all I remember about the dream.

So I was discussing this dream with my counselor. I was telling him Tyler was my Protector at school after the attack. He shadowed me everywhere, and when our schedules sent us to different classes, he made sure to stay in touch with me. He always knew where I was and made sure I knew he wasn't far away.

So when Tyler and I went to the gym together this past Saturday, I told him I wanted to hang out with him later this week  -- just the two of us. I said I wanted to bring him up to date on a few things. It funny because he actually had a similar reaction my brother Nick had when I asked to spend some time with him. "Sure. What's the matter? Is everything okay?" 

I assured him everything was fine. I just wanted to bring him up to date on my therapy. He just said, "Cool. What day and time?"

His girlfriend is working late on Thursday night, so we decided on that night. Brad is scheduled to work late that night also, so we'll have the house to ourselves.

Like I have with my folks and my brothers, I just want to tell him how my therapy is going. And also to see if he wants to share anything about his memories of that time. He and I have known each other almost our entire lives. We've shared so many things and are like brothers to each other.

When I first started my therapy, I had no idea how any of that was going to work. One thing I'm learning is that the healing involves more than just me. My family and Tyler were profoundly affected by the trauma I experienced.

I still have some major work ahead, but I think this "shared healing" is part of the process. My counselor said as we get more into the hard work, I'll know I have all this support behind me. 

I feel it already, and having Tyler more on board with me is a huge comfort.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Make a wish

                        (Here's a link to the YouTube                      site: https://youtu.be/TUD1MyLNA2c)

We want to thank Jesper, a friend of ours from The Netherlands, and a follower of the blog,  for sending us this short two-minute video. 

The guys featured in the video are in Bloomington, Indiana, and you can get to their website here: Mark and Ethan.

Or their YouTube site here: Mark and Ethan YouTube.

We hope you enjoy this incredibly beautiful birthday celebration video Mark made for Ethan. 

We were both sighing during the entire two minutes. And you might even need a tissue at the end for some happy tears.

Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sundays with Sam: You make my day

Hi every one. It's Sam-I-Am. I sure hope every one is having a good day. And in case you are reading this on Monday or another day, I sure hope you are having a good day then!

I'm in a super good mood today because about 1 hour ago (I am writing this on Thursday night) I got a text from guess who? My BOYFRIEND, RICK! And all it said was:

"I miss you♥"

I went to the image section of Google and typed in those same words and found the sign you see up there!

Who does things like that? Well, my BOYFRIEND for one! So after I texted him back with about a hundred hearts, I called him and we talked for just a few minutes because he was still at work at his dad's auto part store and I didn't want him to get in trouble for being on his personal phone, so it was just a short call.

I was in a silly mood so I played a trick on him for those few minutes we talked. When I would say "I love you," he would whisper the same exact words back to me. I knew he was whispering because he was at work, but since I was in such a silly mood, I kept saying "I can't hear you. What did you say?" and he would whisper "I love you, too" back, and I would pretend I couldn't hear him and try to make him say it louder.

And then he didn't say a single word for a few seconds and I could hear some sounds like he was covering up the place on the phone where you talk, and I just said, "Rick?" and all of a sudden he started making a laughing sound, or like he was going into a giggle spell. And then there was some kind of shuffling sound and he said, "Hold on" and then about 30 seconds later he came back on and said in a very clear and louder voice, "I love you Sam!"

He had gone out through the back of the store and was standing in the parking lot where he could talk with no body eavesdropping. And then I said, "Don't get in trouble. I was just being silly." and he said he knew I was being silly but things were slow in the store and he wanted to take a short break and talk to me!

I guess the reason I am in a super good mood right now is because no body has ever been like this with me before and it makes me so happy. I want to keep my post on a light note today but I could go off in all kinds of directions that would make me feel sad, but I am keeping things light today because to tell you the truth, I am SO tired of being sad and lonely. And now that I have the chance to be happy and silly and lighthearted, then THAT is exactly where I want to be!

It's kind of funny because the pic of the Teddy Bear up there looks sad because he is missing some one. And I hope he has some one special to send him a text that says, "I miss you and love you♥." It just blows me away that a few words from some one close to your heart can change a rainy day to a sunny day and make you feel like a million dollars.

And you know what else? I some times send the few friends I have a text that just says "I was thinking about you♥" and it is SO exciting to get a return text to see what they say. 
Like the one I got from Brad last week that said, "You just made my day"

When you send some one a few simple words to let them know you love them, or you are thinking about them, you never know how it might help some one feel cared about.

And believe me from my own personal experience, those simple words you send, and the simple words you get back from them, are MAJOR.

I hope all of you can think about my Sunday posts as a message from me to you. This is a way I have of saying, "I am thinking about you♥" 
And when I read your comments, I want you to know "You just made my day"
Either today or some time this week, I hope you will let some one you care about know that you are thinking about them.
You might even get a message back that says, "You just made my day"
That's all for today. Have a good day and good week, and I'll see you next Sunday!

Love and Hugs,