Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Saying the Word

I have been mentally debating the idea of writing this post for some time, and after chatting with a few other bloggers who have had similar hard times in their lives, I felt like I should.  I wrote a little about my story almost 2 years ago, and at the time I had less than 100 followers.  However I still received emails from people who appreciated what I had done in talking.  I firmly believe that when we open up and talk about the skeletons in our closets, we connect with people who are possibly living in shame, trying to stuff all the bones back into the closet, slamming the door on them forever.  In writing this story today, I am hoping that I will get through to at least one person, and let you know, you are NOT alone and you have nothing of which to be ashamed.  If I get through to one person and make just one person aware that their life can be better, then I have made a difference and my story has been worth it.

I went to a small university, the type of place where if you didn't know everyone's name, you at least knew their faces.  It was predominantly greek.  I was not in a sorority, but I had my group of friends and was happy there.  My sophomore year, I went out one night with some of those friends.  We walked to an off campus party.  One of my friends (who lived in the room next to me) and I decided we were ready to go home.  The boyfriend of another friend (she was more of an acquaintance to me) volunteered to walk us back.  The three of us decided to order a pizza, because that's what you do after you go out in college.  My friend retreated to her room and I expected "him" to leave as well.  He did not.  I do not want to go into the details of what happened next, but I was raped.  I was a virgin at the time.  When I woke in the morning, I was confused, and scared, and not really sure of what happened.  There was blood on my underwear, and I couldn't get into the shower fast enough.  I showered, threw away the underwear, and dressed myself in some pj's and crawled into bed, hating myself.

I blamed myself for what had happened, and because he had a girlfriend who was an acquaintance of mine, I kept it to myself.  Finally, a month later, I opened up to a friend, and she said the word I couldn't.  She said "rape".   I kept trying to tell her that it couldn't be true.  Conveniently that month the campus was holding a "speak-out" for rape awareness.  She dragged me to it, and we sat in the dark chapel, lit only by candlelight.  We heard several anonymous testimonials of rape victims.  There was a story that I could have written.  It was almost an exact account of what happened to me.  At that moment, I was finally able to wrap my head around what had happened.  I accepted the truth.

My friend convinced me that I needed to tell his girlfriend... she planned to marry him and had been with him since high school.  She needed to know the truth.  It took all the courage I could muster to pick up the phone and tell her my story.  But I did it.  And what happened next still baffles my mind.  She requested me to meet her and him on a campus corner and repeat the story in front of him.  He was the last person I wanted to see, but because I thought she deserved the truth, I went.  I told her the story again, with him there.  I looked into her eyes and told her everything.  He looked at me with disgust, shaking his head the entire time.  And she did the same, and told me she didn't believe me.  Finally, I looked at her and said, "If you aren't going to believe me, and you think I would lie about something like this, then fine.  You two deserve each other."  And I walked away.

At this point in time I had already pushed away several friends, and started to lose weight.  After everyone knew what happened, I lost more friends.  People would not look me in the eye.  I never felt more isolated and alone in my life.  Even the friends who had stood by me just before, now backed away from me.  I felt like I was Hester Prynne, branded a horrible person.

I was so angry.  I was so angry that this had happened in the first place.  I was so angry that I had allowed it to happen. (I do no believe this now, but at the time I did).  I was so angry at everything and everyone, and eventually all that anger lead to a numbness.  It was easier to be numb to emotion.  And with this numbness came deprivation as a coping mechanism.

I began starving myself, living off of coffee and apples.  By the time I graduated college I was under 110 pounds.  Currently, I weigh around 130 (I do not weigh myself so I don't actually know) and am healthy and normal.  I am 5'7", so you can imagine that under 110 did not look good on me.

Well if you have had an eating disorder you know many things I am about to tell you.  You know that it most likely evolved due to dealing with some greater issue... your life was spinning out of control, and you needed something to control.  You know that no matter what you see in the mirror, it's never good enough, never thin enough.  So you keep on going... the more bones you can see the better.  You can feel your bones, see them protruding, and it's proof of existence.

Eating disorders can also destroy relationships.  I have not mentioned my family, and I do not want you to think they were not there for me.  They were there for me as much as they could be, though they were 14 hours away.  But I did not make it easy on them.  I pushed them away, and when I did speak to my mom, it was usually not very nice.  I had not told them about the rape because I wanted to protect them.  I didn't want them to know they sent their baby girl to a school where they thought she would be safe, and they were wrong.  I didn't want to let them down, so rather than allowing that to happen, I built a wall.

But my mother knows me too well.  It took her some time, but over a break of my senior year when I was home, it dawned on her.  I had snapped at her for something, and she just asked me why I was so angry al the time.  Why wasn't I the sweet girl I had been?  I recall seeing the thought hit her... and then she asked me.  "Oh my God, Cassie, you were raped, weren't you?"  I couldn't answer her because I started to cry.  I felt so much shame- so much that I had pushed them away, instead of letting them be there for me. (And if you have been following me for some time, you know that now my mom and I are very close and she has stood by me.  She also reads my blog- Thanks, Mom!)

Around this time is also when I started dating Chris.  From the start, he loved me for who I was.  He never made me feel like an outsider or isolated.  He brought out the best in me again, and I started to feel alive again, and I had a desire to live life.  It did not happen overnight, though.  It was a long process.  But I knew I wanted to spend my life with him, and I knew I wanted to be alive long enough to see that.  I knew I wanted to have kids and be a good mother and be a healthy role model to them.  I knew those things, but it was still a process.

Eating disorders are an addiction... And anyone who has ever had any addiction knows that you can't just "quit".  It takes time and it takes a true desire.  Even in the beginning of our marriage I still struggled, and faltered.  It took me some time to become pregnant with Sawyer because I was not ovulating.  I was petrified that I had ruined my chances of being a mother.   After 3 rounds of fertility pills, I became pregnant, and that was Sawyer.

I knew that I wanted to be a healthy and wonderful and energetic mother, and I could not do that with an eating disorder.  I have been much healthier since that stick showed two lines on it.  But I am not going to lie- addictions are a never ending battle..  For the most part I am healthy, but of course now and again I have days that are not so good and I find myself wishing I had the willpower to just not eat.  Those days are rare, but they still come up now and again.  And in talking with other bloggers who have faced similar struggles, I have found they also feel the same way.  I will never 100 percent be over it, but it comes down to coping mechanisms.  And knowing that we are not alone helps so much, knowing there is always someone out there who can completely understand me helps.  My bad days are few and far between at this point in my life, but I wanted to share my story to let those who have those bad days, too, even if they are much more frequent, know YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.


I cannot say that I am glad for all that I have gone through.  I am not.  I wish with all my heart that I had never been raped and that the eating disorder hadn't followed.  I also wish that I had not pushed my family away.  But all that has happened in my life, has made me who I am today.  I stay open with my children, and I plan to tell them this story when they are old enough to understand.  It won't be easy, but I want them to know so that they never have to go through any of the darkness that I went through.  I am hoping that me going through it was enough for all of us.  I am hoping that my kids always see how wonderful and beautiful they are, and never walk in shame or darkness.

That is my wish for my children, but also my wish for any of you reading this who might be struggling.   What I love most about blogging is the love, friendship, and support. I know you all accept me for who I am; and in turn, I accept you for who you are.  And most importantly today, I not only accept me for me, but when I look in the mirror I am pretty happy with the woman looking back at me.  It's taken me time to get here, but I am here.  And I plan to stay.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Piece of Work Wednesday Furniture Link Party Number 77!

Before I get into this post, just wanted to say a big "thank you"to whomever nominated my blog for an Apartment Therapy Homie for Design Blogs!  I check my stats to see where traffic comes from each day, and was shocked when I saw it coming from that direction!  If you like me and want to vote for me, you can, but frankly, there are a gazillion amazing blogs nominated, so go and just vote for your favorite!

Happy POWW!  I hope you are all having a wonderful week so far and enjoying lovely weather!  We have rain coming but I enjoyed the past couple days working outside.  I have not found much to work on, so I went through my garage and found this cabinet we used to have in our old house's family room.


We had used it to store games, but we had no use for it in this house.  It has been used and abused by my kids and was in need of some cleaning up and repainting.

I decided to paint it with Paris gray chalk paint.  I had a can on hand and thought it would suit the style of the table.  I sanded it first to rough up the surface (I know I have said before that I do not truly trust ASCP to adhere as it is supposed to, so I always sand first), then I painted it with just one coat.  After it was dry, I sanded it all over with fine sandpaper to distress and show hints of white.  Then I waxed it, added a new (actually a true antique glass) know and voila!




It was such a simple change, but I think it looks so much better!

So let's see what you have this week!
Please remember my rules....
RULES:
1. Your post must be a completed original project and must be a furniture redo or build.
2. Your post must be new to my parties- do not link something you have shared on this blog before.
3. You must be a follower to party here.
4. You must place my button or a text link in your post or sidebar.
5. Leave others some comment love!


Now let's see what you've got!




My Colortopia

Happy Tuesday!  Hope you are enjoying glorious Spring like weather, like we are having here!  I just love it.
I wanted to tell you today about a relatively new website called My Colortopia by Glidden.  It is an innovative website which helps you figure out which color schemes might work for you and mesh with your personality.  There is a quiz you can take, and when you complete the quiz, My Colortopia provides you with several suitable color palettes.  It is incredible!  I wish it was around when I painted rooms in my first house. (Picture a room my husband affectionately called the "Under the Sea Room").  Yeah, it was not pretty!  If I had had this tool back then, I am sure I would have only had to paint the rooms once, as they all got repainted pretty quickly after recognizing my bad choices.

It's so easy to see a room and love it and think you want to try it, but you really have to reflect on YOU.  You are the one living there!  So what inspires you?  This quiz will help you figure that out.








For me, I am always inspired by nature, and seasonally so. In the winter, I find myself drawn to the whites and grays, which I use as a base in my home.  In the Spring, I love to add a little more aqua, yellow, and Spring greens.  At this very moment, my charcoal mantle is decorated with green glass candlesticks with white tapers, white candlesticks with aqua tapers, and white pillar candles... those colors together in this onset of Spring make me happy!  In the Summer, I change those accents to more yellows, and punches of pink here and there, and colors of the sea.  And then in the Fall, the gray and white background looks best with punches of orange and yellow.  The seasonal affects on nature is what inspires me most. I am drawn to fresh pink buds, changing orange leaves against gray blue skies.... aaah that takes my breath away.

If you are feeling stuck in your own home on color palettes, I encourage you to take this quiz- it's only 7 simple questions!


·        I have been sponsored by Glidden brand paint to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, February 27, 2012

If I can't Find a Bar Cart, I'll Make One Instead

Anyone get the Grinch reference?  Anyone?

Since before Christmas, I have been looking for a bar cart for our dining room.  I had wanted to give one to Chris for Christmas, but never found one within my budget; or when I did find one, it was sold before I could get to it.   If you remember our dining room, you may recall this cute little cabinet.

My mom bought it for my birthday a few years ago when we went to the auction together (that was what I wanted to do for my birthday.).  I painted it white and distressed it and added the turquoise beaded knobs.  And it worked really well in our old house where it housed my cookbooks.  Over time the doors swelled and didn't shut as well.  We brought it with us to this house, but I wasn't loving it's very cottagey feel in the corner of the dining room, but I wanted to keep it for sure.

Well last week I was flipping though a magazine ( I can't remember which but will search!) and I saw an old cabinet turned liquor station and somewhere, one of these turned on!
Light Bulb Clip Art
Just like the Grinch, I got an idea.  I got a terrible, horrible, awfully good idea!  I decided that I could turn my cabinet into a liquor cart.  I began by removing the doors, and filling the hinge holes with woodfiller and sanding it down.


Once that was done, I primed the piece all over.


Then I used metallic antique gold spray paint to paint the inside.  I did the inside first because I knew I was going to be spray painting it with the gold, and I knew I could cover any spray paint when I hand painted the exterior.

Before I painted it, I also turned it upside down (here it is on its back, but I ended up flipping it over) so that I could add casters.  You can buy casters at hardware stores, but I was literally working only with things I had on hand (all the paint, primer, hardware came from my stash of stuff).  I drilled holes in teh appropriate size for my casters, and then placed them.


 I also added a brass handle to each side....

And a brass hook to the front....

And here it is now!  I surprised Chris by having this ready for him when he came home Friday.  Not sure it is the cart he was looking for, but you know what?  It was all free to me.  And I like it.   I am also considering adding a shelf to the bottom.





All in all, I am pretty happy with this piece.  I am most proud of the fact that I didn't have to buy anything to create this little bar cart for us.  Of course, as my mom pointed out, when the kids are older we will need a locking cabinet.

As a sidenote here is a funny story.
When I was 18 years old I got the grand idea to steal vodka from my parents.  They NEVER drank it, so I used a "Poland Spring" water bottle and filled it all the way up and put it in my closet.  I replaced the vodka I took with water.  I thought I was so smart.  Let's fast forward 8 years to when I was about 26.  I got an email from my dad address to my brother and I.  He had made bloody Mary's with my mom and they realized that they felt nothing... nada... He then realized that the vodka was watered down.  He wanted to know which one of us did it.  I called him right away and could not stop laughing!!!!  I called and said "It took you THIS long to figure it out?!?!?"

You might think less of me after reading this, but I think it's a really funny story.  And I didn't drink that whole bottle all at once... I used it over time in 7-Eleven slurpees, which then became "magic slurpees" to my friends and me.  And I know something else.  Yes indeed, Mom, I will be locking my liquor up.

UndertheTableandDreamingThe DIY Show Off Photobucket{Primp}The 36th AVENUESaved by SuzyPhotobucketPhotobucketRedouxThe Shabby Nest

Decorating InsanityRRRtoomuchtime

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Two Necessary Supplies & Thrifting

Today, you can find me at The DIY Club where I am sharing two of my absolute must-have items when it comes to furniture repair and painting.  Here is a preview of those items, but hop over there to see them in use!

Also I wanted to tell you about a thrifting adventure.  After Chris came home Friday he had the rest of the day off, so I got in my car and headed to Chambersburg, PA to hit the Hobby Lobby and collect some knobs.  I also decided to check out the Goodwill and Salvation Army while I was there.  Well, the Goodwill was overpriced, and the Salvation Army shop didn't even carry furniture!  But I found a couple small things there, and came home with 2 dresses for Spring!  I am going to share one with you, because even though it is cold outside, I was able to layer it and wear it now.  It's navy, flowy, and has cute ruffles on the sleeves, neckline, and hem.  And the best part is that it was $2.  And I love it!  It's so comfy!  Sorry for the self portrait... I am so bad at these.

Happy Sunday!  I am off to meet my mom at the movie theater to take her to see "The Vow"and then take her out for Thai food after for her birthday!  This is the greatest gift idea ever, because I get to enjoy myself, too! ;)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

POWW Faves

Happy Saturday!  I, for one, am glad this week is over.  Chris was in LA for work (where Hot Topic is headquartered) and returned home yesterday morning after taking the redeye home.  We were all excited to see him, even though he was exhausted!  Every time he heads out there he returns home with free goodies from some of their vendors.  Are you a Hunger Games fan?  If so, prepare to be jealous... (not of my unwashed hair and no make up, tired appearance... ignore all that and check out MY SHIRT!)

Before we moved my arms were nice and toned... sigh.  Anyhow...

Do you have any fun plans this weekend?  Today I am heading "to work".  As part of our space lease at Wild Rose, we can opt to work on one Saturday every 6 weeks to save on money.  So of course we took that option!  This Saturday will be my first day working there.  I am looking forward to it, honestly!  It will be nice to get out of the house and interact with some adults for the day.  If you are local, pop in and see me!  Maybe call me and see if I want a coffee while you are on your way... ;)

Let's get to the faves. Please sing the following to the tune of "Oops I Did It Again."
Oops you did it again, you knocked off my socks, you rocked my whole world, oh baby baby, ooh I think I'm in love, with all of your work.... I can't pick a favorite!

That about sums it up because once again a bajillion awesome projects were linked.  Let's scratch the surface with a few that really stood out to me.

Three Mango Seeds shared this fabulous dresser rescue!  It's amazing!  And it has a pig on it.  Maybe instead of put a bird on it we can all start saying put a pig on it!


Little House in The Big D shared this awesome funtastic desk! (And why yes, spell check, funtastic IS indeed a word).  I need to try this on something.  LOVE.


Uniquely Chic shared this gorgeous turquoise dresser... the wood top is beautiful!


I love this DIY outdoor daybed from The Apprentice Extrovert.  Seriously, I can picture myself relaxing with my margarita... and probably not moving for a very long time.  It looks so cozy!


This desk from Home.Made. is a real beauty now.  You need to go see where it started to fully appreciate the work that went into it!


And finally this next dresser from The Green Dresser is so fresh and has me feeling ready for Spring!  I love the nice clean design and happy colors!



That's all I have for you!  Be sure to visit the rest of the links for even more inspiration!  And come back Monday for a fun furniture revamp!  Happy weekend!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Guest: Gwen from The Bold Abode

Happy Friday!  I have a fabulous guest fro you today, but also wanted to let you know that you can find ME over at Maryann's new blog, Power of Paint, sharing how I distress painted pieces.  I am so excited about Maryann's new blog, dedicated entirely to the magic of paint!  I hope you will pop over and see me there.






And now to my guest.... I am so excited today to have Gwen from The Bold Abode here today.  I love Gwen because she is funny, honest, and even when she talks about serious things, always puts her silly spin on them!  We often have very silly serious back and forth banter.  I also love that she is not afraid to share her love for inanimate objects, like, say.... bowls!
Kissing Bowls

Aside from being funny, she is also extremely creative and talented!  I just love this hand painted table she worked magic on!
IMG_5940

Isn't that amazing???  Why yes, it is.
Today Gwen is here sharing an awesome idea!  So awesome that I told her that I planned to get Chris drunk tonight and convince him to build me one of these bad boys!  Oh yeah!  Take it away Gwen!  Go on with yo' bad bold self!

Holla, Holla all you Primitive and Proper Peeps!

I’m Gwen

Game Face (2 of 10)

from

Daisy Button

And I am unbelievably stoked to be here today!  I think it’s safe to say that I’m not the only one around here who knows how sweet, funny, talented, open-hearted and BOLD Cassie is. But I do wish she was just a little wackier...a little goofier.... hehehehe...



I LOVE her for this picture...


And, mercy, she’s a pretty BOLD girl for letting me take the wheel, and I’m gonna do my derndest to make her proud!



Sooooo….I’ve been drooling over this Nantucket Porch Swing for three years…





Isn’t she gorgeous?



But with a price tag of over $800, ummmm…that was NOT going to happen.  Neverevereverevereverever. Period. The End.



So, when I saw all of the reclaimed pallet projects popping up, I jumped in on the action and decided that I was going to get my Porch Swing….one way or another.



I found some plans for a regular old Adirondack Porch Swing,




So, gathering up my skirts, I got to work. But not until after I'd called my dad about twenty times and then scrounged the local construction sites for some leftover wood…It got pretty mucky there for a while!



The first part of building from plans is to make your templates.  I like to use this special pattern making fabric that is marked out in 1” squares.



Arm Patterm

But I had to make some adjustments if I wanted that Nantucket Swing. These amazing Patternmaking rulers really came in handy-dandy!



Top TemplateTracing Top TemplateBottom Template

Once the frame was built, I began to think that this might actually work.



Frame

Yes, I did have my doubts…cuz this is the first real piece of furniture I have ever tried to build. Slapping some pine boards on some reclaimed house columns is most assuredly NOT the same thing…



But when the seat boards started going in and actually fitting…goosbumps all ovah!!!



Laying Seat

Here she is all finished.  Except for sanding her and painting her and sealing her….yeah, almost finished. Yall know how that goes, right?



Unpainted

And don’t yall love it when you can dig through your stash and find some “free” paint to use? I had some left-over Cote de Azure by Sherwin Williams from our Master Bedroom and used that as the base coat…



Painted Porch Swing

But, the base coat…she wasn’t singing…more like screeching. So, I washed her in a coat of white, and now she’s hummin’ a different tune.




But, come Spring…when I actually get her hung, she may find herself in a pretty coat of white.  I love color, but something about that white swing makes me smile.


How about yall?  Would you slap some more white on her or leave her singin’ the blues?

 

Thank you again, my dearest Cassie, for being a part of my life and for allowing me to share this little part of myself with your readers!



Now get out there and 

Daisy Button Be Bold!