Showing posts with label So I Married an Aspie Saga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label So I Married an Aspie Saga. Show all posts

Sunday, September 4, 2011

So I Married As Aspie-part cuatro

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

-Emily Dickinson

Hope, such a simple word, a word that has lost so much meaning in today’s culture of immediacy.  Hope, such strength, such fragility, all summed up in one syllable.

Hope means to hold on when everything around you screams to let go.  Hope means to look for the good, the peace, the rest ahead while in the midst of the bad, the striving, the endless night.

I wish I could say that I held onto a nearly dead marriage all those years out of hope.  I wish I could hold this as one of my limited virtues.  Alas, that was not where I was at when we left the story.  No my hope had faded; I had surrendered to a life just as it was.  I stayed out of sheer stubbornness and conviction. I had made a commitment till death do us part and only death would separate us.  But hope can be found even in the darkest, deepest places.    Hope found me when I had given up all hope.  It came in a form I least expected.  It came in the form of my son Jamie.

I wrote briefly of the traumatic pregnancy I had with the twins.  That story alone would take a book to tell in its entirety but for brevities sake I will skip pass the details and go straight to major points.  After falling down a flight of stairs at 25 weeks, I was hospitalized for the majority of the remainder of my pregnancy.   Twin A (who is now known as Jamie ;) sack was leaking amniotic fluid.  Wanting to give the boys the highest survival rate possible they monitored the fluid for any sign of infection and had me lying on back on bed rest in the hospital.  We made it to 35 weeks.  Once he was born he was placed on oxygen because he was not breathing.  After a few days in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) another miracle of miracles happened.  He was breathing and ready to be released.    I noticed instantly that Jamie was different from Alex.  Alex looked for Jamie and wanted to be close enough to touch him.  As young as a few days old Jamie pushed Alex away.  Alex like most babies would respond to your voice….Jamie very rarely did, I chalked all this up to personality differences.  Around one Jamie began to babble as infants do.  But by one and a half he stopped.  I began to notice more disturbing things.  Jamie did not respond to stimuli the way our other kids did.  One night I was putting the rest of the babies to bed.  Jamie had taken a longer nap than the rest so I left him in the playroom to play a little longer.  The sun went down as I was doing the bedtime routine and I did not realize it.  When I walked into a dark playroom I was horrified at myself as a mother for leaving my baby to be in a dark room.  Most babies would have cried out or at least made some sort of commotion. Not Jamie.  He was sitting in the exact same place I left him staring blankly into space.  When he would fall and get hurt Jamie would not cry.  Instead he would start picking at the wound.   He actually pulled his stitches out one by one when he cut his knee open.  Barely a day after getting the stitched they had all been pulled out.  Around two Jamie began to scream for hours on end.  I could not figure out what was bothering him.  He also began to beat his head on the floor, not a toddler temper tantrum beating.  No he would beat until it was bloody if I did not restrain him.  I would hold him all day long, rocking him and counting in a monotone voice (the only way I found to calm him).  We brought him to several doctors, all of whom diagnosed him as severely autistic.  We were not given much hope for him.  Although not definitive, they felt the best bet was to medicate him to control the violent melt downs and to give anti-seizure meds as a preventative measure.  I refused to accept that this would be my son’s life.  My husband and I both began to research autism and decided to send him down the educational route.  We were blessed to be in a great school district that had a fabulous early intervention program.  ABA therapy, speech therapy, OT, PT, and a fabulous teacher made a world of difference.  The meltdowns began to lessen and slowly the real Jamie that was trapped inside began to emerge.  I remember vividly the first time he hugged me on his own.  I still cry when I remember the first time he told me he loved me.

Throughout my research I kept coming across information on Aspergers.  My oldest son Paul was now in Kindergarten and he was not assimilating well at all.  In fact, he was regressing at an alarming rate.  Through our research we began to suspect he was on the spectrum as well.  Again God was with us.  Paul was placed “by chance” with a teacher who specialized in SPED kids. In fact she had only that year returned to the regular classroom and had won awards for her work with autistic children.  She called me in for a conference and told me she thought Paul should be tested for Asperger’s Syndrome.  Since we had already started to suspect it ourselves we had no problem sending him for testing.   Sure enough, Paul was the poster child for Asperger’s (normally Aspies are not diagnosed this young.  Paul was a rare case because of his extreme giftedness and extreme Aspieness-for lack of a better word).  Now both my hubby and I began to research even more about Autism and Asperger’s.   The more I researched the more I learned how to communicate with my boys.  Simple things like keeping my emotions in check completely when dealing with them.  People on the spectrum have a hard time placing emotions and understanding them.  The more emotional I became the less engaged they were….in fact often they would ramp up and begin to melt down.  Another simple thing was I had to be explicit and precise in what I said to them, especially Paul.  Aspie’s tend to take everything literally.  When I once told Paul it was raining cats and dogs out he went to the window and looked out.  He turned around and said “It’s not raining cats and dogs, it’s raining a lot of water” Some of this was age appropriate but with him it was to an extreme.  I learned I had to prepare them for every, single change way in advance.  My boys were learning coping skills and how to mimic appropriate social responses. If I sprung a change on them they had no idea how to respond thus pushing them into a meltdown.

I need to break here and explain what an autistic meltdown looks like.  When I say meltdown some of you are thinking of a toddler screaming in the mall, others of you have watched a special on Autism and have seen a child screaming or flapping their arms or beating their head on a wall.  In the special they cut to the frazzled parent, back to the child and then to a commercial break.  In real life there is no commercial break. In real life, a meltdown can go on for hours.  In real life you look into the eyes of your child and realize they aren’t there, they have no control over themselves and it is your job to deescalate them and keep them safe at the same time. The causes for meltdowns vary.  It can be overstimulation from their environment, anxiety over an unknown situation or  often their minds race.  They can’t turn their brain off and it drives them crazy.  People often expect the Aspie can control it.  The truth is that in the middle of a real meltdown they are not in control, they are not even there; my guys often have no memory of what they did during a meltdown.  One night, not all that long ago, Paul was being driven absolutely crazy by the sound of the crickets outside.  Now short of going out and hunting down every cricket in north TX there was not a lot I could do to ease the situation for him.  We tried to drown out the noise, we tried to distract him but nothing worked.  He had a complete and total meltdown.  He tried to run out the front door completely naked except for his whitey tighties.  In the end we cocooned him with a blanket.  This works really well for several of my guys on the spectrum, they actually asked to be wrapped up like a burrito now when they start to feel out of control.  Cocooning is taking a blanket and wrapping the child tightly in it.  Only their head and feet pop out (like a burrito).  The pressure calms them.  I don’t know why but it works.

 My husband has given me the perspective of the person having the meltdown.  He has says it is very overwhelming,   Paul describe the noise and light as actually bringing physical pain that  you can’t escape it.  Hubby describes it more like being in shock, He says there is a serious disconnect between what you are thinking, which seems very clear and what you are able to get out.  .  Outside all we (the people around) see is the meltdown in progress. 

Ok back to the story…..

It was becoming more and more obvious to everyone (doctors and us alike) that my boys were not the only ones on the spectrum.  My husband was a Class A AspieJ  I began to apply the same communication techniques to him that I was using with the boys.  The results were amazing.  I also began to apply the same grace to him that I gave my boys.  Some of his obsessions began to have some sort of reason to me, the fact he rocked back forth almost violently as he fell asleep (making me somewhat seasick in the process) now made perfect sense.  He wasn’t just ignoring my needs or wants.  He honestly could not even see them.   When he obsessed on some particular thing when we talked, when he thought I was lying when I rounded 3:05 to 3 o’clock, when he flipped his coins over and over again, when he could not decide what flavor of ice cream he wanted, when he fought even the tiniest change of schedule, when he took every word out of everyone’s mouth literally, it all began to add up for me. Suddenly I knew how to communicate with him, suddenly I wasn’t going crazy….It wasn’t in my head.  Now I had hope that things could get better.  I just needed to learn the right language. 

I learned that I had to prepare my husband for things in life the same way I did my boys.    A good example would be when my son Sam wanted to join the boy scouts.  Sam asked me almost a year before he actually joined.  I slowly began to prepare my husband for the change.  I would once and while point out what a great organization Boy Scouts was, I would occasionally say how nice it would be for one of our boys to join.  At first his response was completely negative.  One day he looked over and said “I know what you’re doing but it’s not going to work this time!”  Finally when it was time for Sam to join I asked hubby the question “What do you think of Sam joining the Boy Scouts?”  He looked at me and said “I’ve seen this coming for a while.  I think it will work.”  Now if I had just asked him right away the answer would have been an immediate NO!!! Not for any good reason but simply because he was not prepared for the question.

Our relationship underwent a radical change in dynamics.  Honestly, this amount of management would be devastating to a typical relationship.  Like I said before, we are an outside of the box kind of relationship.   What works for us will not work for many relationships out there.  But there are relationships that resemble our out there; relationships that more often than not fail because no one is around to say that there is a different way.   The divorce rate where one partner has Asperger’s is over 80% according to some studies.  Other studies suggest the same rate is true with parents of one or more children on the spectrum.  We have beaten the odds.  We have succeeded through God’s mercy and grace.   That is not to say we have a perfect relationship.  There are still things we have to work out, still wounds that are healing.  But we now have hope.  We now have a roadmap that works.  It is my prayer that a couple that is just beginning their journey will read this blog and understand that it is possible.  All it takes is hope, a willingness to change, a willingness to give up your idea of what marriage should look like and embrace what it can look like, and a willingness to give and receive grace.    Lots of love-Kristine 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

So I married an Aspie-Part 3

The storm was magnificent.  The sky, dark with storm clouds that were relieved only by the occasional strike of lightning, grew more menacing by the minute.  The wind howled, whipping my hair around my face, making me brace my feet on the rocks just to stay standing.  The ocean waves to the left of me pounded the jetty relentlessly.  The waves of the inlet broke with equal fervor to the right of me.  The rain pounded against me like tiny shard of glass, mixing with my tears until all evidence of my hurt and pain were completely obliterated by the magnificence of the storm that raged around me.   I slowly calmed, I slowly found peace.  Compared to the greatness of the nature surrounding me I was small, my problems miniscule…..manageable.  The God of the boundless ocean, the controller of the uncontrollable storm, the being whose very breath spoke all of this into existence, yes to Him everything in my life was easy to remedy.  To Him I was small and protectable.

I can’t tell you how many times I drove to the ocean during a storm through my late teen, early adult years.  Every time I crossed the bridge into Ocean City I felt beaten, out of control of circumstances that seemed insurmountable.  Every time I left Ocean City, crossing the same bridge, I felt peace.  I knew God could control what I could not.  I know that this seems a strange way to start the next to last installment of the story of my dating, engagement and early marriage.   It is so appropriate though.  Before I begin I must say a few things.  First and foremost I am going to do everything in my power to be completely honest while still being mindful that this is not just my story to tell.  Secondly, I do not share this story to drag up hurts in the past.   Rather this is a story of hope.  Thirdly, remember that these are the fires in which we were forged.  Please do not stray from the path.  There are places that are still tender, places that are still scarred.   I share this in the hope that others who have similar stories can avoid some of the dark times we walked.  There is hope, there is light even in the darkest of times.  Sometimes we just need someone else to point the way.

Our dating and engagement months were fraught with communication issues.   Hormones, naivety, and the crazy busyness of the season allowed me to ignore the freight train steaming toward us.  A couple weeks into the marriage I could no longer deny we had problems.     It seemed that my husband had decided I could do no right and he had taken it upon himself to fix me.  Everything from the way I handled money, to the way I cleaned, even the way I talked was up for renovation.   We had never heard the word Aspbergers at this point.  I had no clue that when I said I spent $40.00 and had actually spent $41.50 he would consider that lying.   I would grab a grocery basket and he would correct me; “It’s not a basket it’s a cart.”  I was a newlywed and wanted so badly to be the perfect wife.  Instead it seemed I was becoming a worse wife by the day.  I craved affirmation and instead I received constructive criticism (for the record I didn’t call it constructive at the time).  I spent hours being lectured on my failure to communicate correctly, being told over and over how my feelings really didn’t matter because emotions had no real meaning, and being instructed on how I could get “it” (whatever “it” happened to be at the moment)  right.  I felt completely worthless as a wife.  Please understand I am not beating up my guy.  I wanted to leave this out and he insisted that I put it in here.  His exact words were “Why would I be offended.  It’s accurate” 

We sought out council but it only made things worse.  What normally would be excellent advice to newlyweds nearly ended our marriage. My husband took EVERYTHING literally, and when I say everything I mean EVERYTHING.  When advised that we should consult each other before spending money, he began calling me from work to ask if he could by a coke or a candy bar.  My response “Do you have $.75?  Great! You’re an adult you can make this decision on your own.”  This actually happened, more than once.   He had been told we should be open with each other (fabulous marriage advice you’re thinking, right?)   Yeah, not so much.  Open to him meant sharing every thought that ever crossed his head.  “Hey honey just wanted you to know I’m thinking about pink flamingos.”   “Alrighty then” I would respond.  When he would ask me what I was thinking about and I would respond “Nothing really” he thought I was keeping secrets.  He began to doubt my fidelity.    I had noticed as when we were dating that he flipped coins all the time.  What I did not realize was that he was incapable of making any kind of decision without flipping a coin.  Something as simple as buying ice cream had to be flipped on.  This is a funny little quirk until really important; life altering decisions are based on a coin flip.  Not so cute anymore.    Throughout all of this I felt like I was not only a terrible wife but that I was also going insane.

We fought…boy did we fight.  I tried so hard to stop the arguing but nothing I did worked.  If I agreed he would say I was being patronizing.  If I disagreed he said I was being argumentative.  If I didn’t say anything I was being uncommunicative.  There was just no right answer; there was no way for me to make him happy.

We found out we were expecting our first born about six months after we got married.  I was so excited.  I might suck at being a wife but I am going to be the best mother in the world, I thought.  Our son Paul was born in July of 2000.  He was different from the moment he was born.  The nurse who delivered him freaked out a little because he not only focused on her immediately after birth but he studied her and tracked her with his eyes.  According to both her and the doctor this is unheard of with newborns right after birth.  Paul was very advanced but he was also very sickly.  He had to nurse every twenty minutes around the clock for the first three months.  If he ate any more than that at any one sitting he would empty his stomach.  By five months we had stretched his feedings to every two hours.  The flip side of the coin is that by three months Paul crawled and by five months he was climbing stairs.  He had started to teach himself to read by a year and was playing online video games completely by himself (of course at a year he weighed less than he did at five months and still had to sit in an infant carrier).  He was very sick until we moved to VA when he turned three.  When Paul was 10 months old I found out I was pregnant with our second child.  Between the stress of having a sick little baby and the stress of a marriage that was spiraling out of control I was barely hanging on to my sanity.  Sam was born 5 weeks early in December of 2001.  Although he was early, Sam was born healthy and cheerful.  He was always smiling and would chatter at you all day.  It was such a blessing to have a healthy baby because Paul was still so very sick.  The stress had taken its toll on our relationship.  My man had gone back to school to try and get a better job; he was also working full time.  I was a stay at home mom with two babies, one of whom was always sick.  It had gotten so bad our pediatrician would call several mornings a week just to check on how Paul was doing.  The stress in our lives was through the roof and we were completely falling apart as a couple.  We tried more marriage counseling.  This turned out to be a huge mistake.  The marriage counselor gave us great advice, if we had been a typical couple.  Unfortunately we were not a neurotypical couple and his advice nearly put the nails in our marriage coffin.  I felt like the lowest of low.  I was a terrible wife, whose husband considered her a liar and a cheater.  I was a terrible mother whose son was always sick.  Then I found out we were expecting twins.

The twins changed everything.  When I was 25 weeks pregnant with them, two weeks after Sam turned one year old; I fell down the flight of stairs in our house while holding Sam.  Sam miraculously was unscathed, not even a bruise.  I completely crushed my elbow and spent the next ten weeks in and out of the hospital (mostly in) trying to keep the babies from being born too early.   To say it was a bad time would be an understatement.  Every other day the doctors were predicting either I or the babies weren’t going to make it.  At one point they asked my husband if it came to a choice between me and the babies what should they do.  He chose me, I chose the babies.  It was a hard, hard time.  We called all the churches we had been involved in, trying to find someone who would be willing to watch our boys at home so my husband could work.  My father was willing to pay a great salary to whoever would help us out.  However none of the churches would even ask their members if they were interested.  So my husband was out of work to top off everything else.   He would call me and start his normal “communication lecture”.   Honestly I can’t say he was doing anything wrong.  He was just being who he was.  Unfortunately he was completely insensitive to anyone else’s feelings or state of being.  Laying in the hospital, fighting for the lives of my babies I couldn’t handle it.  I was an emotional wreck.  The nurse walked in at one point and said to me “Honey I don’t know why you’re so upset but these babies need you to be calm.  They need you at peace.”  Right there I made a choice.  Right there I decided I had four little boys who needed a sane momma; four little boys who needed me to be at peace so I chose to distance myself emotionally from my husband completely.  In late February 2003 we had two more beautiful boys: Jamie Patrick and Alexander Usarian (he had it rough when he had to spell his name in Kindergarten ;).

A lot happened over the next five years, more than I could ever fit into a blog.  But over that time I did not speak to my husband at all unless it was something unimportant like the weather or completely unavoidable.  Emotionally I completely detached from him in every way.  We had moved to VA, he was working 80 hour work weeks; I had another baby (our last little boy Benjamin Timothy born October 2004).  Our relationship had gotten so bad a family member offered me $35,000.00 and a house if I would leave my husband.  I appreciated so very much that someone loved me enough to try and intervene but I was committed for better or worse.  I had to hope the better was coming soon.   Around that time Jamie was diagnosed as severely autistic.  That diagnosis changed everything and saved our marriage.  

I am going to break here, in our darkest of dark times.  I promise the hope and the light is just around the corner so bear with me.  I do want to say one thing about this blog:  this is not a blog to beat up on my husband.  I learned later on that he really did not understand at all what he was doing or saying and the impact it had on me.  He was living life as he always had, in an Aspbergers world where accuracy is truth and emotions really are not weighed in at all.  Empathy was not something he was even capable of thinking more or less acting out of.  Indeed he was just as frustrated as I was with the beginnings of our marriage.  I was just so inaccurate and emotional!!!  Please know my heart and that of my husband, who has graciously not only agreed but has also encouraged me to share the harsher times in our relationship, is to show that some relationships need different advice, advice we did not have access to.  Some relationships face different challenges; some relationships exist outside the box.  I hope that as I write the final installment someone out there will be spared some of our hard times.   As always, lots of love-Kristine

Friday, August 19, 2011

So I Married an Aspie-part Deux

Today on As the Skiff’s Turn we join our lovers on their first official date, Kristine’s 21st birthday.  It has been a few months since the wanted poster was posted.  The interim has been filled with school, work, finals and trying to pursue a relationship within the strict confines of the Bible school’s dating policy.  The semester is over and Kristine has chosen to remain in the frozen north for the summer to pursue an internship at a homeless outreach mission.  Spring is in the air, well NY style spring which involves more snow than flowers, and our lovers are twitterpated.

It was a perfect date.  Mr. Perfect brought me to a quiet, upscale Italian place.  They sat us in a quiet corner and we spent the next hour and a half gazing adoringly into each other’s eyes.  Sweet amore.  After our dinner Mr. Perfect brought me to meet his family and then we took a quiet, very chilly (May in NY is still quiet nippy) stroll at the lakeshore.    What a wonderful date.  After the stress of the previous months it looked like finally things would settle down and I would be able to enjoy falling in love.

Several months had passed since my wanted poster was posted on campus.  It had been a hectic, crazy, difficult few months on many levels.  I had taken on extra shifts to finish paying off the semester so that I could take finals.  Spiritually God was doing a deep healing on some old wounds.  Physically the lack of sleep, stress, spotty meals, and emotional rollercoaster had taken their toll.  My blood sugar bottomed out and I found I had hypoglycemia. Emotionally I was in a daze.  Mr. Perfect was very easy on the eyes and I loved talking with him.  He was super smart and had such a different perspective on everything.  But he could not just accept me or my opinions.  He would not let anything drop.  He was not very tactful which at times put me in embarrassing situations.  Several concerned friends advised me that this was not a healthy relationship for me.  I ignored their warnings, as those in love are prone to do.  That perfect birthday date just confirmed my choice.  He really was Mr. Perfect.

Instead of moving back home to the Eastern Shore of MD, I stayed in upstate NY to complete an internship at a homeless mission.  I lived with two other women above the mission.  It was a terrific but difficult few months.  The ministry aspect was awesome.  It was right up my alley.  I had done this type of thing many times before so I was in my zone.  My personal life was something else entirely.  Mr. Perfect only lived a few miles from where I was interning.    We were able to see each other often the first few weeks.  As our relationship grew, so did our communication difficulties.    With so many hormones raging we were able to ignore the more ominous storms on the horizon.  Still for a period time where most people are still floating on cloud nine in love, I spent a lot of time crying and frustrated.  Had I been surrounded by the people who knew me best I doubt our relationship would have continued so quickly but I was pretty much alone other than my guy and his family (who I loved but still did not know that well).     He was only home for a few weeks before leading a mission’s trip to Israel for the last 6 weeks of summer.   During the time he was gone I grew very close to his family.  I would just hang out with his sister or parents the few free moments I had from the mission.  Once he came back it was back to school for him.  He had an internship in NYC and I having completed my internship that summer lived with his parents those 6 weeks.  It was a good time.  I got a job a JC Penny’s and enjoyed a few moments of down time. 

 He returned in October.  The weekend of Halloween my parents came for a visit.  We all went to Niagara Falls because my parents had never been.  As we were enjoying the falls a gorgeous rainbow appeared arching across the sky.  Suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder.  I turned around and Mr. Perfect was down on one knee with a ring in his hands.  We were surrounded by a large group of Japanese tourist who thought this was the most enchanting, romantic thing EVER.  Flash bulbs were going off all around and people were chanting “Say Yes” at me.  The chanting drew more people our way.  As the crowd grew I began backing up in embarrassment.  The protective wall is the only thing that kept me from backing up right off the cliff into the falls!!!  The chanting grew louder, snapping me out of my daze and I said yes.  Somewhere in Japan a Japanese tourist has some great pictures of my proposal!!!  We went to a beautiful dinner with my parents.  I have to say he did the proposal thing 100% right. 

We started marriage counseling with our care pastor. He had concerns with some of the major issues he saw in our counseling sessions.  He urged us to consider slowing down and waiting a little longer.  We were trying to keep our relationship pure until marriage.  Our hormones were not agreeing to the whole “wait a while” thing.  So we opted to keep our date as it was.  May 22, 1999.  He was very gracious and continued to counsel us. He gave us some very wise counsel that we relied on through the years.  Our communication difficulties were spiraling out of control by this point but I was so caught up with the wedding and the hormones that I still did not heed the red flashing danger signs.   

The day of the wedding came.  It was an absolutely beautiful day in May.  All of our plans came together beautifully and we had a perfect wedding.  Love was in the air and we were very happy.    Here are a couple of pictures from our perfect day.

We honeymooned in Niagara Falls.  It was a perfectly lovely honeymoon, with its share of hilarity.  I wouldn’t trade any of these memories for the world.  Stay tuned for the last part of our journey.  It is at times dark but the truth remains that the light at the end of the darkest tunnel shines brightest.  Lots of love to you all-Kristine

Monday, August 8, 2011

So I married an Aspie

I have given glimpses into many areas of my life here in the kingdom of Skiff.   I have specifically focused on the effects of autism in our lives but I have stayed away from one of the most personal ways autism has affected me, my marriage.  I have alluded to it in my first blog posting but since then I have steered clear of this delicate topic.   I have many times come close to addressing it but I wanted to have the right words to convey my thoughts and the lessons I have learned.  Also, much of this is old news for us.   On a daily basis our challenges now revolve more around the boys.  But this is a very important issue, one that affects many marriages and relationships.  To get to where we are now I have to start at the beginning.  So grab a glass of wine or whatever your preferred beverage and settle back as I steer this blog back in time 14 years.
It was August of 1997.  I left home and moved 500 miles to upstate NY to attend Bible school.  It was a small college located in a smaller town about 20 miles from Rochester. This was a strange new land where people did not smile as they passed by you in the tiny super market and they certainly did not strike up a conversation with you as you checked out at the register.   The temperature was cool enough to require heavy sweaters….seriously heavy sweaters in August!!!!  I might as well have been dropped on Mars.  This was an exciting adventure and I loved every minute of it.  On the first day of orientation, I saw him, the tall guy, with black hair, incredible blue eyes and a sexy jaw line.  Just my type ;)    I was smitten as I looked at him standing above me on the hill.  WOW!!  That incredible guy then started walking toward me.  There must be some mistake; he can’t be walking over to me, I nervously thought as looked around me.   Suddenly there was a tap on my shoulder “Hi my name is ------.  So where are you from?”   I don’t usually have trouble finding words but it took me a little bit of hemming and hawing to get my thoughts together.  We chatted for a few minutes; what we talked about I couldn’t say.  I drifted back to my dorm room and told my roommate all about the good-looking guy I had chatted with.
The Bible school we attended is a very intensive place both spiritually and academically.  I was also working in the cafeteria to help pay my way, the leader of several student groups, and participated in other extracurricular activities.  To say I was busy would be an understatement.  I would notice Clark Kent (the nick name I assigned him because he looked so much like Superman’s alter ego….right down to the superman curl) as we passed by one another  but he never talked to me.  In fact he was kind of rude.  Oh well, rude people can be cute too, I thought.   A couple of weeks went by before we spoke again.  I was sitting at a table in the cafeteria when Clark Kent ran up to my table (literally ran….he was always running everywhere back then.  It was like God had taken the energy of three people and stuffed it into his body) “Hey I heard you have a car.”  He says to me.  No preamble, no “Hi” just straight to the point.  “We are having a birthday/ going away party for my friend R.  You are invited.” “Thanks. I guess I could come” Clark then stood on a chair and announced to the whole cafeteria “Hey she’s driving to the party.  You can all catch a ride with her.”  “I don’t even know where I’m going”  “Oh yeah.  My friend K will ride ride with you and tell you how to get there” Then he was gone, off running again.  When I got to my car 20 people were waiting for a ride.  Did I mention I drove a 2 door Toyota Tercel.  I think we crammed about 7 or 8 people into it.  We got lost in the middle of nowhere on the way (this is before the days of GPS). The person who had been assigned as my navigator had only been to the house in question once, in the dark.  By the time we arrived at the party I was pretty ticked with Clark Kent.  I could not believe that Superman would ever put anyone in the predicament that I had found myself in. To top it all off, he then proceeded to completely ignore me for the first half of the party.  The second half of the party he flirted outrageously with me.  I was completely baffled by the time I left.   I told my roommate the incredibly frustrating evening I had.  She then changed his nickname from Clark Kent to Ice-Man.
Ice-Man and I had many similar meetings.  I never knew what to expect from him.  Sometimes we would have these intense deep discussions about everything from God to starting businesses.    Other times he was flirtatious and others he completely ignored me.  I was so busy I really did not have time to think on it too much in the beginning but by Christmas break I had sworn him off.  Anyone that was so fractured was not for me!!  I enjoyed a wonderful break.  I signed my car over to my sister because I was a poor college student and could not afford the payments anymore.  That left me to take the bus back to college (500 miles in a bus alone as a young, single woman is not an experience I would recommend to anyone….just saying).  When I stepped off the bus, completely exhausted and frazzled I was suddenly swept into a bear hug.  Before I could get a good look at who had me, I was swept off my feet and swung in a circle.  I looked up and saw Ice-man had me.   According to eye witness reports the whole bus scene was incredibly romantic.  I was in such complete and utter shock I didn’t notice.  I mumbled something about “good to see you too”, got into my friends car, and sat with a shell shocked expression on my face for 30 minute drive back to campus.  I could not reconcile the man who had just swept me off my feet (literally) with the man I had left a few weeks before. The same one who would not even look in my general direction, much less hug me. Over the next few weeks Ice-man completely disappeared to be replaced by someone entirely different.  Everywhere I turned, there he was.  I could not get away from him.
One day during this time I was walking on campus and literally everyone I passed hugged me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a social kind of girl but for every, single person to show me this much attention was unusual even for me.   I was simply too busy to pay any real attention to it.  I continued my day and ended up at work.   As I was standing in the window of the cafeteria, washing dishes, I noticed everyone pointing above me and laughing, many came around and hugged me.  Now I’m not the brightest bulb in the pack but even I knew something was up.  I walked around to the front of the window and saw this flyer posted above my head.

These were posted all over the campus!!!  EVERYWHERE!!!  I was so busy that I never noticed them.  Never accuse Mr. Right of half measures ;-)
So this is the beginning of our story.  Next post I will explore our dating and engagement year.  Thanks for reading.  Don’t forget to leave your comments on this blog to be entered into my 6 month blog birthday giveaway. 


Total Pageviews


Kristine Meier-Skiff. Powered by Blogger.