how we met your fathers

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The Big Reveal

For approximately three and a half years, Jenn and I have been telling you the story of our twenty something lives.

On May 16, 2015, I L got married.

Here is what I have to tell you.

My name is Lauren Cullen (formerly Lauren Goodrick), my husband’s name is Brent, and I have a six year old step son, Malakai. For any of you that have followed my journey (and Jenn’s), who have laughed with me, cried with me, shared my pain, my hopes and dreams. It is time that I move on from this blog, How We Met Your Fathers and onto my new one.

Please, continue to follow my story.

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In 178 days I am getting married.  Growing up, I thought that when I got married, I would magically know everything. If anything, the only thing I know for certain,  is that I know a lot less that I thought I did.

And the “dream wedding” I had all my teenage and early twenties life seems like a distant memory compared to the one I want/am planning right now. I always wanted a BIG, glamorous, me-the-center-of-attention-wedding. Which is ironic because I always preferred to be as far from the lime light as possible growing up. I think that I wanted a huge wedding because I wanted to be noticed.

But I am noticed. And more than that I am loved. By Jenn- who has been there through the last 7+ years and who has only stood by and loved me the whole time. By my bridesmaid, who swore she would never, EVER be a bridesmaid ever again, but loves me enough to be one for me. By my family. By my friend Pyro. I am noticed by The Historian, my future husband, my person- THE person who has seen and knows everything about me. And noticed by many other people I have met along the way. I am seen and I am loved. Which is something I never thought I would be.

And as for any of you who have followed our blog, and shared in our journey, our pain, our triumphs and seen our inner most fears,  I think it is safe to say that over our online journey, I began to notice and love myself along the way.

The other day, The Historian said “Getting married won’t solve our problems. Hell,  It’ll probably create more.” But that is for another day and another blog.


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Fake relationships and broken hearts

I had my first boyfriend when I was four. His name was little Davy. I remember sitting on the swings in his backyard and promising to marry each other. Alas our love was short lived as our parents friendship desintgrated over varying issues and i didn’t see him again until the first day of first grade and I foolishly thought the promise we made as four year olds would still mean something.

It didn’t.

Sometimes I wonder if all the “Ted Mosbys” out there are wired differently than the rest of the world. That from birth we aspire to find true love and try over and over no matter how much it hurts. That we genuinely believe a soulmate is just around the corner with our innermost being and are willing to throw away all sensibility every corner we turn.

Little Davy was just the first of many. Unfortunately teenage, and young adult heartbreak takes longer to bounce back from than six year olds chasing eachother around the playground. But even at that young age, I learned a lesson. Boys were stupid and sometimes people change their minds.

Growing up I had more crushes. In late elementary school and jr high, I learned that boys like girls who were pretty. And not girls who played sports and got dirty and didn’t know how to braid their hair.

My freshman year of high school was painfully awkward. I was 4’11”, hadn’t started my period and had no reason or need to wear a bra. I didnt own a dress, the only skirt I own was a jean, knee length skirt i wore for chapel days.  I fell in like with the All Star baseball player (also All Star douche bag…he later played for the Cleveland Indians) who rode my bus and said across the room from me in my Spanish class. We would talk, he would listen…pretend to listen.  We would IM at night. He consoled me a few times on the bus when I had a bad day. His arm around me made me feel seen and craved even more to be seen. He wrote in my year book, gave me his phone number. We talked a few times over the summer and he promised to see me back at school. I made it my mission to be noticed my sophomore year. My friend gave me an all out makeover. I went from jeans and tshirts and pony tails,  to skirts/dresses and heels and curled hair and makeup. Only…he transferred schools.  I saw him once at homecoming that fall. I was all done up and all the boys, especially my gut friends noticed me.

Except him.

That lesson learned was Boys are stupid. And sometimes boys are nice to you even if they don’t really mean it.


I think the worst was when I was 20. A year after “The One Who Wasn’t The One” I got back in touch with a friend from highschool. Three years older, ten times badder, I had always had a thing for him. We decided to hang out. To this day I’m still not sure if it was really a date. . . Or if I had convinced myself it was one. We talked.  We laughed. He said sweet things to me. About how pretty I looked, how he’d always noticed me back in high school. He put his arm around me. This sort of thing went in for the entirety of my winter break. And before I went back to Portland, he danced under the stars with me and convinced me 500 miles wasnt that bad, especially on a map it was only an inch away and we could date long distance and he would visit me for valentine’s day. He called. He texted. All day long. Every day. We started making plans for him to move up there, I began day dreaming of future plans. Of bad boy turned good. until one day…it all stopped. It was four days before I found out that he ran off to Reno and eloped with a girl he barely knew, ten days before Valentines Day.  On the Would’ve been two years with The One Who Wasn’t The One and our planned engagement day.

500 miles, a dance in the stars and a fake relationship was one of the most excruciating heart breaks I’ve had. . .
Recently,  that boy. Now 28. Reached out to me and apologized.  He told me he was gay, always had been and waa tired of hiding it. He was sorry he hurt me, but a young man from a conservative church family couldn’t come out drove him to do unimaginable things to get over his pain. Lesson learned: boys are stupid. And sometimes those that break hearts are in more pain than they leave us in.

To the girls who have had their hearts broken by boys they never dated. . .


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I walked into class earlier this week anticipating a lecture on White Privilege in my Social&Cultural Foundations of Psychology course.  But my professor decided that in light of recent news stories re. domestic violence (Ray Rice, anyone?), she wanted to dialogue about that particular subject instead.


As I listened to my professor list stats and numbers about abuse and domestic violence in the States — how abuse can take form in physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual ways, manipulation, threats, belittling, harassment — the memories came pouring in.

In different ways, both the Ex-Fiancé and the Senator abused me.

The Ex-Fiancé was much more emotional and verbal, but I strongly believe it would have led to physical abuse if we had gotten married and stayed together.   “All of the signs” were there, and I refused to acknowledge them, choosing instead to spend nearly 2 years with him before he dumped me in his (second-to) last abusive dig.

But the Senator…  We were together for a lot less time and it escalated much faster, to the point of physical abuse.  Even as I broke up with him, the Senator spewed abuse, reaching out to physically harm me as he alternated between blubbered apologies and biting cruelty.  It was unreal.

It literally felt unreal.   Like a walking nightmare.

I have memories that are stuck in slow-mo, rewinding and replaying over and over in my mind, of his words and actions and attitudes, his texts and his words printed on my heart.

Mostly, though, I replay all of those “do I stay or do I go” moments, the moments when I chose to betray myself and my beliefs and my own safety rather rhan “betray” this man who had somehow wriggled his way into my life and my heart and my bed and my mind, destroying me from the inside out.

Please.  I beg you.  If you are in a relationship that uses power, manipulation, sex, gifts, pouting, anger, fits of rage, mood swings, withholding sex, keeping score, demanding favors, hurtful jokes, revenge, threats — with someone who decides what you wear, what you eat, where and when you go, who you see — and you feel in ANY WAY unsafe, undervalued, unappreciated, used, controlled
if this describes you like it could have described my life with the Senator —



There is hope.  Call 1-800-799-7233

Call a friend.  Call a shelter.  Call the cops.

I waited 6 1/2 months.  Please learn from me.


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September is so awkward.

Now before you all get all bitchy I LIKE September.  Okay?
It’s L’s birthday month–and the Historian’s birthday month–and my mom’s birthday month.
And apparently the month The Ex-Fiancé gets married.
It’s the semi-traditional back to school month.  It’s the PSL @ Starbucks month.  It’s the start of Fire Season.  It’s fall—except that it’s also summer.  (?)
It’s when people insist on wearing boots and sweaters in 92* Dallas weather.  It’s when my school leaves the A/C on to 67* which fools me into thinking it actually IS cool outside.

It’s a confusing time.  September wants so desperately to be fall and yet it’s 2/3 summer.

And I’m confused about pretty much… everything.  I’ve been argumentative with Gem the last couple of weeks, and generally acting pretty touchy and sensitive.  I’m desperate for him to move and yet I know I can’t force him to, especially when it’s nor yet a wise decision financially speaking.  I’m trying really hard to get through this depression low, and mostly I end up feeling like I’m failing at everything.

And yet it’s almost FALL, guys.  I can’t wait.  I love getting back to school and getting to be outside in less-than-105* weather when there are fewer mosquitoes.  I love the excitement in the air.

And there is that slight niggling feeling that I’m about to get another year older and my life is still “stuck.”

How do you handle the various confusing moments in your life?  Because my response seems to be eating rice pudding while watching The Mindy Project on hulu.


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Breaking Glass

Tonight I did something I have never done before…
I broke something out of anger. Not only did I smash it to pieces on the patio, I ripped it out of the Historian’s hand and THEN smashed it to tiny bits. The moment of satisfaction was short lived because the moment I looked at him, I knew I had gone too far. 

I am not an irrational person. I tend to be quite calm and collected. But something inside me forced me to the edge of something that scared me. We saw a side of eachother neither of us had seen. Me irrationally breaking something, him calling me crazy and to leave him the fuck alone, me taking my ring off and shoving it in his face and saying “fine. Ill leave you alone. Do you want this back?” And him knocking my ring out of my hand.
I’m sure to any of you reading, that this sounds horribly dysfunctional.  But before you judge us anymore…this is not how we normally argue. And what’s more, its not crazily out of the realm of how a lot of people fight.

Earlier in the evening he and I had been watching Modern Family. And we commented on how “in ten years we will be Claire and Phil” here’s the link to episode 16, season 2 called “Regrets Only” Claire flips out for no apparent reason. Throwing vegetables everywhere and at Phil amd storms off only to get locked outside and have to climb through the doggie door to get back in the house–claire-storms-out-on-phil

Its five AM. The Historian finally came to bed after taking his frustration out on Black Ops, he is snoring. He doesn’t seem mad, but I know inwardly he will be for a few days. Im embarrassed and still cant find my ring.

Not sure if this is better or worse than me hiding in the bathroom like I usually do if we fight.

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a technical virgin with a purity ring.

(I apologize in advance. this is like 3 days in the making and it’s a little long.)

I am turning 26 this fall. and I still wear my “purity ring.” when I celebrate my 26th birthday this year, I will have worn this ring for 10 years. in those years, my identity has been shaped, my reasons for my choices have changed, and my attitudes have been altered. but the ring remains. it has moved around on my hands, first from my left ring finger, to my left middle finger, and now to my right pointer finger. I wore it on a chain for a few months. it’s not as shiny or clean as it once was. it’s a little beat up, some scratches and dents now obvious, and I think it’s kinda starting to lose its ring shape (or are rings normally slightly egg-shaped?). but it’s still there.

my daddy gave me this ring on my 16th birthday, but the idea of it has with me for far longer than that.

I don’t remember exactly when I first heard the words “courtship,” “purity,” or “virgin,” but I do have a lot of memories of talks along those lines. my parents were always adamant that there would be plenty of time to date later on — and that I should not simply aspire to be a princess in need of rescuing, but rather a woman capable of rescuing herself who chose to humble herself and let a prince rescue her. I remember from an early age being told to dress differently, choose my words carefully, be aware of who was watching me. my friends and their parents, by-and-large members of a conservative homeschooling network, all reminded me that it was my responsibility to protect the eyes and minds of the boys around me. a lot of youth group activities happened under promises of “appropriate swimwear,” “adequate supervision,” and the all-important, “gender-specific discussions.” two-piece swimsuits were covered with old, paint-spattered t-shirts, courtesy of my youth pastor. carpooling with the youth group always needed one MALE leader AND one FEMALE leader in each vehicle–or the cars had to be gender-specific. and PDA was not really allowed, at all, among the peers I grew up with.

now, don’t misunderstand me; I might only be 25—but I do not see the need for 9 & 13 & 17 year old girls to wear string bikinis and only post model-esque shots of themselves on Istagram. I don’t really understand dating at the ripe old age of 14 (let alone younger). nor do I feel particularly drawn to take, um, pictures of myself and send them to, well, anyone.

I understand and appreciate the attitude behind all of the rules and expectations I grew up with. they were designed to help keep kids safe–to “guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (that’s from the Bible, you know, although “out of context”), and to encourage us to be modest, humble, respectful, mature adults. I get it. I love the heart.
but the actions… not so much.

I was–and am–more of a tomboy at heart. my closest friends in elementary school were boys. making friends with girls was HARD — and I really only successfully did it a few times until I was about 17. so growing up, and being expected to be a good, Christian, modest girl, who didn’t talk too much to boys or give them any special attention, was REALLY difficult.
and then I got older, and I went to college–suddenly PDA was the norm! expected! everywhere! guys would COME INTO GIRLS’ DORM ROOMS and hang out. alone. just the two of them.
okay so I wasn’t THAT naïve. but pretty dang close.

the experiences and expectations I grew up with; the countless purity talks; the examples where we would all take a red construction paper heart, tear off pieces and give them away, then try to put our own heart back together again; the fairy tale, Prince Charming, only-dated-one-guy-my-whole-life-and-excuse-me-I-mean-COURTED; the whole idea that kissing and even holding hands was something special and sacred and worth guarding — all of that teeters preeeeeeeetty close to the edge when the hottest, most exotic boy in your class says he wants to be make-out buddies. or a couple of semesters later when your first “real” boyfriend assures you, your family, your friends, that he’s The One and you’re Meant To Be, and so, naturally, you should let him kiss you and try for a couple bases. I mean… you’re Meant To Be. you’re getting married. right?

until he left. and until I was left with a broken heart and “impure” lips and a mostly-paid-for wedding.

and until the next boy I “dated” only wanted to sleep with me.
and the one after that.

and somehow it became harder and harder to say no.
and of course, I didn’t want to be single.

so I compromised. 2nd base became easier. then, suddenly, by the time I was dating The Senator, just 18 months after breaking up with The One I was Meant To Be with, 3rd base became the norm. sleeping over was just “part of being a grown-up.”
I remember texting L and saying something like, “this is what adults do, right? they sleep over at their boyfriend’s apt after giving him a birthday bj?” (um. side note. this is not a necessary component to being a grown-up. btw.)

so there I was. 24 years old. still clinging desperately to my “V-card,” which was feeling more tattered and dog-eared and grey and thin by the week. and I began thinking about why I was even wearing that silly old 16-year-old’s purity ring, anyway.

because here’s the thing: my virginity is not defined by my ring. nor is my purity defined by my virginity.
I am a technical virgin… with a purity ring… and with a string of exes, all of whom know things about me I’d rather they didn’t.

so I was technically a virgin. what do the kids say? I don’t know. I’m not cool. I go to seminary. but I was technically a virgin.
except I wasn’t living a very “pure” life.

I am NOT saying that your life or your choices are wrong or inferior or gross or impure. but I was wearing a full-on PURITY RING and yet I couldn’t even look myself in the mirror. I didn’t feel very pure or clean or holy or righteous or blessed or anything. I mostly just felt a lot of shame.
and somewhere along the line. these thoughts formulated into this: maybe you should stop playing at sex and start living purely.

so I did.
I broke up with the Senator.
I journaled a lot.
I wrote a history of my sexual experiences for a class (apparently being a sex therapist means you have to do this? I don’t know) and suddenly realized that I had been thinking about my virginity the wrong way my WHOLE LIFE.

all growing up, I had been told that my “V-card” was a gift FOR MY HUSBAND. that I should protect it and save it and give it only to him, only on our wedding night. and that ideally, the only person I should have any sort of real physical intimacy with at all, was my husband. otherwise I would be bringing ghosts from the past into my marriage bed and bringing echoes of experiences to peer over my shoulder and intrude into my life with my husband. (seriously guys. could we try to be a little creepier, please?)

and that’s all likely true — if my virginity was a gift I should keep for my husband.

but it’s NOT.

I realized, last summer, that my virginity is a gift for ME.

guys. I like sex. it’s fun and it’s playful and it’s hot, and even my fake, incomplete, one-person-has-to-wear-pants-or-at-least-underwear-at-all-times “sex” was awesome. I miss it. I want to have sex with Gem like, ages ago.

but it’s a gift, for me. and I don’t want to open it yet.

when I was 16, my reasons for wearing a purity ring were pretty simple–and shallow. people noticed it and I could brag a little, then change the subject. I grew up in a circle where EVERYONE knew what a purity ring was, even if mine wasn’t the “True Love Waits” design that was so popular. even now, 10 years later, people understand the concept. I liked that I had a cut-and-dried, one-stop-shopping answer to my sex life, my sexual identity, and my sexual preferences. “oh, that’s my purity ring; I’m waiting for my own Beloved.”

apparently, this answer is insufficient to convince X-ray techs that I’m not pregnant. but. whatever.

but my answer isn’t that simple anymore. I am a sexual being–I have urges and desires and hopes and hormones. and that is OKAY. it is also OKAY that I hold hands and cuddle with Gem, because he’s my guy and we’re committed and we trust each other, and trust is reiterated silently through touch.
but I am not ready to have sex with him. and after having come so close to having it before with too many men who weren’t worth my time, I want to keep this gift for myself. to be able to know that I’m clean and safe and loved and cherished. I’m not a prize to be won, like exes made me feel. I’m not even a prize I will give Gem someday–I am my own prize.

I am wearing my purity ring and living as a virgin not because I have to. not because my community expects me to. not even, although this IS part of it, I admit, because I think that’s what God wants for me. I DO think that He wants us to have full and abundant lives, filled with happiness and pleasure and love and joy. but for me, my gift to myself, is to only ever experience that with one person.

being a virgin when I get married, whenever I get married, living as a virgin, wearing my purity ring–it is not about what I’m not doing. it is not about what I am missing out on. it is about what I am choosing for myself. I choose to live this lifestyle because I think it is best, but not because of youth group discussions or a broken heart.
every time I touch Gem, even take his hand, the fact that he touches me back radiates such trust and commitment and faith in our love. he knows that I touch him not for my own pleasure, but to assure him of my love. and he does the same for me.
I think living this way is best because I have no questions about my worth or my status or my value. I know where I stand with Gem–but more importantly I know where I stand with myself (and with God). I will keep wearing my ring until my wedding day, because I am going to keep choosing to wait to give myself my V-card until that night.

and after that, maybe this little, slightly egg-shaped, silver ring can take a break.

I don’t have any way of comparing if my decisions will be “better” in the long run than anyone else’s. but I’m still making them. and I have no regrets about the decisions I made in past relationships–they weren’t the ones I am making now, but then again, I’m a little different, and Gem’s a little different.
I can say that, being back-to-back with a guy who’d slept with several girls, and a guy who has really only kissed several girls, that my emotional connection is better with Gem. but who knows.

all I know is that my purity ring and my V-card are staying just a little bit longer. and I like knowing that Gem has kept his V-card for even longer than I have, and it’s still waiting for him on his wedding night, too.



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I Did Not Wait Until My Wedding night to Have Sex and it Was Neither The Best or Worst Decision I Made

I waited until I was  twenty-two to lose my virginity, it wasn’t on my wedding night and I am okay with that.

There are a lot of trending articles right now about “I waited until my wedding night to lose my virginity and I completely regret it” or “I waited until my wedding night and it was the best decision I ever made.” Jenn and I wanted to join this growing trend and share our thoughts, our regrets, and/or our non regrets.

I remember when the book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” was the fad. Along with “Every Young Woman’s Battle” and everyone I knew also seemed to be reading Elizabeth Elliot’s books on purity… that’s what happens when you go to a Christian high school. It seemed as though everyone was making purity pledges of varying kinds. Don’t have sex til you are married. Save your first kiss for your wedding day. All well and good. I know lots of people who waited until their wedding day to have sex. But most of them were also young couples to get married. 18, 19, 20…not all, but most. I even know a few people who saved their first kiss for their wedding day. I’m not about to talk down on these people, I greatly respect them for their personal choices, religion driven or not. I’m simply here to share my story.

And my story is as follows…

My mother never once told me to wait until I was married to have sex. She always told me “Just make sure you know you are ready and that the person you are giving yourself to is someone that loves you” …well, I got the first part of that lesson right. But more on that later.

I knew growing up that sex was something important. It was a special part of you that you chose to share only when you were ready and to share it with someone special. I also know that from looking back at my diaries from 10/11 year old me that i was very aware of a sexual desire within myself, even if I didn’t known that’s what it was called. I would write in my diary as an 11 year old girl about boys I liked and how all I wanted was to know what it was like to kiss them and play some game I had heard of called ‘tic tac hockey’
But as I grew into Jr high and highschool, i was not only painfully awkward as a tomboy, sports loving, late blooming girl, i was swirling in the midst of a home life with a tyrannical father figure who threatened to kill the first boy that dared to call me at home (that boy, now man, is married and expecting a baby, but remains one of my best friends), and an impending christian social norms of saving your first kiss because as a woman its our duty to not lead men astray. And furthermore our duty to find a wholesome, righteous, godly young man and to be his wife. Maybe go to college, get a career. But definitely, become a wife.

…At least, that is the message I got. And living in a household where obedience was key to day to day survival, buying the books on purity, the purity ring, and the pure lifestyle made sense. If I wanted to be blessed in the future with a loving husband-and I sure as fuck did ( I was the girl who planned my wedding at 16, had the binder full of wedding dress pictures, and couldn’t wait til I got married and I KNEW it wouldn’t be any older than 20. Because 20 was grown up and mature and surely if in was obedient God would bless me and not make me wait).

But as high school wore on, my friends began dating, and one by one those of us who made the pact to save our first kiss dwindled down to only three or four. And its not that I didn’t date. I did. But I had an extremely warped sense of what affection and love was and supposed to be that only grew more bizarre over the following years. I think the idea of women not supposed to lead the men astray caused a power trip for me. I felt powerful. I could decide what happened. I was the one who could lead a boy down the dark path or not. I would flirt I would tease. I would cuddle. I would hold hands. I would make them want to want me. But never touch or never kiss. It was more about giving me a sense of power and control during a time when my life was very out of control.

When I was 18 and a freshman in college, I fell in love with a boy. A sweet boy who wrote me poems, stayed up til early morning hours talking with me. A boy who on many levels understood the darkness of my childhood, because much of it mirrored his own. A boy struggling to become a man. Our relationship was very monitored. In pursuit of highest purity, moral diligence and because his mother said so we were not to go on dates alone, hug fully facing each other-because it brought unclean thoughts to his mind, I was to be a modestly dressed Christian woman whom did not stand out in anyway to bring attention to myself. Looking back, we were just children looking for approval. We had decided not to kiss until we were at least engaged, and when that didn’t follow through, it ultimately was what brought our rocky relationship to an end. Since I was the girl, all the blame was on me. I led his astray….to say the least, I was left heavily damaged emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I had devoted my lifestyle to purity only to be told I did not measure up. Surely I had been doing what God expected? And he was going to bless me…right?

Years went by, 19, 20, 21….I held fast to my moral standards, mostly. Every time I attempted to experiment with making out, or any sort of ‘petting,’ I felt disgustingly dirty. This didn’t feel like a blessing. The waiting. All the pressure to do and be the “Right kind of woman” what exactly was the blessing? Clearly, even following the rules wasn’t good enough, a thought I mulled over for years after the boy i dated when I was 18.

So, I gave up boys, dating and God. Threw myself into working fulltime at a restaurant and devoting my free time to bars, drinking and humanitarian relief. I remember one Sunday that I was working, probably running ragged after two nights of black out drinking (it is important to note during my 21st year no matter how drunk I got when I was out, I never even so much as kissed a random guy at a bar or club, I have to source of my friends who were constantly trying to get me to hook up. One friend even went so far as to give me her bed for use if I met someone I wanted to ‘play around with‘), I was seating a customer who commented on my cross necklace and asked “honey, why aren’t you at church today?’ Dumbfounded I replied “well, obviously, because I am working.” Her response verbatim “A young woman such as yourself should not be at work. She should be in church learning how to find herself a righteous young man to marry”
I was shocked. speechless. maybe I wasn’t living a completely decent lifestyle with my weekly drunken outings. But I was working fulltime and devoting my life to better the social issues of the world. But STILL I was expected to fullfill my womanly duties and find myself a husband.

When I was 22, I moved to Colorado. 1600 miles from anything I knew. And while it was at a Christian college, I found myself amongst the most openly liberal Christians I had ever met, they all were having or had had sex. Me, the girl who couldnt say ‘penis’ or ‘vagina’ without blushing, surrounded by all this….freedom. Some of them regretted it. Some didn’t. Most everyone seems of the mindset of ‘its your body, it’s your choice’ and it is 2012 and IF the world does end, wouldn’t you rather have sex?
….And I did. And the first time was humiliating. You can click on the link to read the extended version.

It was humiliating, but as the days passed, weeks and months, I felt personally liberated. I messed around with some boys, discovered that ‘Friends With Benefits’ wasn’t really for me and decided I would wait until I met someone I knew I was going to be serious with. That someone ended up being the Historian. He knew where I stood and wasn’t going to pressure me, he let me tell him if things were going to far, and let me tell him when I was ready. And when the time was right, he was gentle, he was considerate, he was loving and it was truly special. And it continues to be.

You see, I was 22 when I lost my virginity. I wasn’t married. And I am okay with that. I look back on following the crowd. Being obedient. It caused me more pain than my embarrassing night of losing my virginity. Than my ‘living in sin with my fiancé.’ I made my choices. And I choose to believe that God is ultimately OK with my choices.

But like I said, this is just my story.


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Lessons I Didn’t Learn From TV Shows

There has been a lot of buzzfeed lists and ( I’m not bashing this site by any means, I love reading it) lately about “20 life lessons “Friends” taught us” “24 Life lessons From How I met Your Mother” or ”Everything I Needed To Know About Life I learned from 90s songs”

Things like ::
1) What “I think we should see other people” means
2) How to tell someone they’re your soulmate
3) Love is worth having.
(All from Friends list)

4) love is worth the wait and can last for eternity
5) The Hot-Crazy scale. (Goes for men and women)
(From How I Met Your Mother)

And as much as I Love, love, love How I Met Your Mother and a myriad of other sitcoms there are a lot of important life lessons these shows never taught me.

1) After college, you most likely won’t have a regular group of friends that you see all the time in your regular bar or coffee shop. In fact my closest friends live in different states…

2) Even IF you have a regular bar or coffee shop and a job, you sure as hell can’t afford to go there everyday.

3)  You first time having sex probably will not be glamorous, or romantic. It will probably be awkward and hurt and maybe even gross. (Refer to my past post about losing the V card)

4) Sex with your partner really does take practice and it may not be an easy conversation to have to talk about how and why techniques may need to change or stop all together.

5) Your parents are your parents and finding that line between growing up and being an adult and not asking your parents permission to do things or not telling them certain details about your life can be painful, for you and your parents.

6) TV shows don’t ever portray a healthy, stable relationship where one partner struggles with an addiction but makes the positive steps to overcome it. Because people, when properly motivated, CAN change.
A) They also don’t show how hard the addiction struggle is for the person who is/was addicted. They don’t always enjoy taking that extra two or three pain pills, or the six pack they just finished off before 2pm. It doesn’t show the vulnerability and pain they feel about the addiction, or the overwhelming fear they have when they decide to get help.
B) it doesn’t show that a lot of addicts weren’t abused or molested. Sometimes you look back over ten years and can’t figure out what happened.
C) They don’t tell how the non-addicted partner feels or struggles. How when the other partner is serving time for 12 days (months after they got sober), she lies on her bed in her underwear, writing a blog, with How I Met Your Mother in the background going back and forth with emotions of sadness, anger, and missing the other person.
D) Surprisingly enough, visiting someone in county jail, really does consist of rows of telephones and windows you sit on opposite sides of.
Not surprisingly, TV doesn’t convey the awkwardness and humiliation EVERYONE there feels. Nor the feeling of helplessness both parties feel when limited to 30 minute phone call with your significant other inches away behind a wall of glass.

I learned a lot from my favorite TV shows….but my most important lessons I learned from my own choices and experiences. And TV sure as hell didn’t prepare me for how to make those choices.


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I am starting a three day fruit smoothie detox tomorrow. But right now I am eating chocolate chip cookies.

I recently read the first book in the Michael Vey series “Michael Vey: Prisoner os cell 25″ because a client (an eleven yr old boy) told me to read it…here is the synopsis ” Michael Vey, a teenager diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome. Although Michael appears normal and has typical hobbies such as playing video games with his best friend Ostin, he secretly has the ability to pulse or surge electricity out of the palms of his hands.” Basically Michael and 16 other Glow Children are products of radiation from a machine gone awry and the Elgen Academy wants to train them to take over the world.”
Okay. So that’s not the confession part. The confession part is that I ACTUALLY really enjoyed the book, and when my morning client cancelled this morning I went to Barnes and Noble and asked the attendant “My brother is reading this uh…Michael Vey series? Do you have the second book?” And proceeded to read for the next two hours.

I recently saw an old friend of mine. We more or less dated for a time frame of eight months without actually dating. Friends with benefits without the sex. I was 21. He was 25. We would hang out. Make out. He was my first experience in “ that’s what happens when I put my hand down there on a guy.” He was in town. The moment I saw him and gave him and hug I suddenly got a huge surge of unexpected feelings. I’m engaged. I love the Historian. But it was still weird to experience.

I’m really struggling with my self esteem lately. I don’t know why. I used to be bulimic and anorexic in high school and for brief periods of time between the ages of 18 and 21. But those thoughts have been creeping back up into my brain. And I find myself after meals staring at my porcelain nemesis reminding it that it has no power of me anymore and that working out is a much better plan. Or you know, eating cookies before I start my Fruit Flush.

Eight years ago I had a friend commit suicide. I got an email from her the day that she did it. Five days ago was the anniversary of her death. I still feel guilty sometimes. Regardless of the fact that she lived 3,000 miles away and there was literally NOTHING I could have done about it.

The Historian….he is an alcoholic. Or rather he is a recovering alcoholic now. But only for the last 8 months.
I knew he was an alcoholic eight days after meeting him. He told me. He said “I need to tell you. I drink a lot. To the point where I have to have it in my system or I get sick. I don’t like it. I want to change, I just don’t know how. But I wanted to be honest with you. If you can’t handle it…I understand if you would rather walk away. But I like you and didn’t want to hide anything from you.” January 10th, 2013
He got his first DUI almost a year ago. July 21, 2013. I bailed him out. And I lied to my family. I told him that if he ever got another one that we would probably be over. And that some serious changes needed to be made.
September I found out that for ten years due to a long term back injury he had been dependent on opiates for a better part of 10 years. He decided to start a specialized program to get off of them. He did and it worked.
December 7, 2013. He got his second DUI. As I lay awake at 3 am texting Jenn only telling her the half truth, I weighed my options. I could leave. I could leave his ass in jail. I could bail him out and get mad and THEN leave him. At 4am I drove to the bail bonds place to bail him out. “Why?”, I am sure you are asking. Because he had already proven that he could change by getting off the prescription pain killers. I figured that he had at least 10-12 hours before he actually got bailed out and would have enough time to detox….
aa) The night that he got arrested, there was a lockdown at county.
bb) he had immensely more alcohol in his system than I could have ever imagined. He went through serious hallucinogenic DT’s that only 5% of addicts go through.
cc) He completely disappeared from the county system. And even though I had posted bail, they couldn’t tell me anything because they didn’t know where he was. He was in the medical bay. After 48 hours of putting him in solitary confinement because of his hallucinations. He broke his wrist trying to “escape”
dd) Monday afternoon the local hospital informed us that he has been in ICU since midnight Saturday night.
ee) I called my mom. Told her EVERYTHING. She came to the hospital with me. She didn’t ask any questions. She didn’t scold me or tell me to leave. She listened as the nurse told me “you’re Lauren? You are the ONLY ONE that he has been asking for since he got here.” She watched as I cried at his bedside, looking at him hooked up to machines and told him I was there, she watched in silence and as he opened his eyes and smiled at me when he realized I was there and went back to sleep. She hugged me and told me that never again would she doubt how much or how deep we loved each other and that as long as we and he kept going in the right direction, and making the changes necessary that she would support us.
ff) I was the ONLY person he asked for. During his DTs. His horrible hallucinations. The nightmares, the terrors. He asked and wanted ME. And in that moment I knew that all I wanted was him. And I wasn’t going to leave.
gg) In the end of July he has to serve time for his prior unlawful indiscretions. Two to three weeks depending on county crowding.

7) This is the first time I have told anyone all of what has happened with the Historian and that aspect of our lives. Judge me if you like. Tell me I’m stupid. Tell me that I should run in the other direction. Tell me that there is no hope. Tell me all the things that I have thought many times over. But I don’t care what you have to say. He is my person and I believe in him. And I’ve seen the changes that he has made. Not everyday is easy. Most days are hard and they are just getting harder as his “little vacation” looms nearer. He’s cried, I’ve cried. We’ve cried together, but we are looking forward with knowledge of the past and what we want to be different. Individually and together.


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