I have buckets and buckets of things to be grateful for and I know it. I mean not only the fact that I’ve lived through horrible things and come out relatively okay, but also I go to college in HAWAII. I have a loving wonderful crazy family. An even crazier psychotic cat…
I’ve had her since I was seven and she is NUTSO.
Anyways back to my point because of my whole spectrum of attention span issues before I forget is that I wanted to make a post saying thank you to some of the very, very good men in my life family and non-family who have been so good to me through all of this. I’m going to put up their pictures and kind of tell their story.
So today let’s celebrate my life. All 20 years of it. As much as I can. And yes there will be repeat photos. Deal with it.
K boy Tyson and Chandrika (obviously changed names) my best friends in high school who among many others got me through the hell that was my Senior year. Tyson was always there with hugs and he LISTENED to me. One time after I had just started therapy and I had a tiff with a teacher… Ok I was having flashbacks because he was older and he constantly triggered flashbacks to the rapes. Coming from months of nightmares from hell where I relived the repeated rape of 9 years of my younger life, so real I woke up to look for him, on this day I knew I was going to cry. I hate it when others see me cry because I expect to be punished or hit for crying. So I got up and went to the door because I didn’t want anyone to see me cry. He stopped me and asked
“Where are you going without the bathroom pass? You can’t leave unless you have one.”
And I said
“You know, sometimes, when someone needs to go to the bathroom, it’s an emergency.” And walked out
. But then it was a few weeks before graduation and he filed a report. Technically that report could have prevented me from walking at graduation as well as going on my record. Anyways so I had a fullout hour long crying session outside the seminary building laying on the grass and bawling and Tyson, Tyson who ate lunch with me all year so I would eat and read my mile long text messages about my life, and gave me hugs every day even when he was on crutches and told me “You’re a very strong girl, you’ve come a long way, you’ll make it.” Same guy who walked me out of the school building when I was on my period and nearly blacked out. Same guy who listened to my stories and pretended they were interesting. Same guy who made me laugh. Same guy who sat next to me in English with his wry sense of humor and teased the heck out of the teacher. Same guy who ended up being varsity football player and Prom King and was super popular and STILL cared about me. He pulled me up from the grass and hugged me better and then played the ukulele and sang to me and then we had lunch together and he tried on my tiara.
Best guyfriend ever.
KT. Knew him for a few years. First time I really met him in person was at a church event and a dance. He was Tyson’s cousin so I introduced myself and told him the story about Tyson and the spider. MANNN Tyson hates spiders and bumblebees. I could care less but Tyson finds one he runs away to hyperventilate which is funny because he is a big scary man and obviously could handle spiders if he didn’t let the little buggers psyche him out like that. So a church leader came up and asked KT why he hadn’t asked me to dance yet and KT pulled a full-blown drama queen episode and played dead. “My legs won’t move!” and I was even less excited to dance with him than he was with me ^-^ and nearly ran away but didn’t. That night I had a feeling that I should get his number. Almost a year later that saved my life.
I remember texting him when I went to Holomua to check out BYU Hawaii and he was here at the same time and it was so fun to go back and forth. He has a good sense of humor too. We joked about vampires, werewolves, ice cream, and one time his autocorrect called me babe and it was the funniest thing ever. I texted him back and said I HOPE THAT WAS A MISTAKE. OR ELSE…
Once time there was a young single adult activity and darn it he has the longest name in the world and I was so mad I kept getting it wrong. Anyways we did a speed dating activity- and I was running track for Hamilton at the time and all the boys were from Chandler and Basha our rival schools so obviously I didn’t make many new friends. It’s not easy when your school and your track team are at the top of all the athletic events in the state sighhh… KT was wearing his jacket over his shoulders like a cape and he put his hand to his chin thoughtfully and says “I can’t put a finger on it, but I think I know you!”
“I think you look familiar too, but I can’t say exactly where I’ve seen you before… Maybe you have a cousin I’ve met before?”
“Or maybe we met somewhere else? I swear I know you I just can’t think of your name.”
And then finally at the end of the conversation he told me his whole name again. So I got how to spell his name ALMOST perfect and put it in an essay called the Three Little Samoans which was about my guyfriends helping me make it through my grandmother’s death in September 2015. And the day of my car accident two weeks later after the YSA activity he texted me the spelling and I finally got it.
And that’s when things started to open up. I had someone to message and that made it so I could put it somewhere and not hold it all in myself. I had someone to tell who I didn’t have to worry about hitting me or hurting me or anything else. And I could talk to him about things I never told anyone else about except Tyson. This was also the time my family was really struggling with the funeral and such. KT was a real support to me and he texted me the cutest things and if I heard from him, it was a good day. Maybe I was freakin’ codependent. But he was so good to me. Losing him when he went on his mission to Tonga was like having a heartbeat outside of my body.
I remember the first time he hugged me. I felt whole. I felt warm and like a complete person and I felt completely safe. Those few moments he took to talk to me, even though I was on crutches from my tibial stress fracture and we were supposed to be at testimony meeting for a single adult activity and instead I got to talk to him and I got to hug him. On my birthday months before he had asked me the night before if I trusted him enough to hug him and I said yes but honestly it took me months to get to that point and I prayed for it. The next day after that text message was when I nearly ended my life, but suddenly that text message and his face and Tyson’s face if they lost me stopped me in the act. I wondered simply if I could ever have that hug and have it feel good and safe.
Low-key he’s the only man I ever fell in love with so you ho-hos who think I like you?
In your dreams bruh.
You can’t beat out this guy for what he meant to me these past few years with your cute pickup lines, easy smiles, and quick words. I will only ever fall for a guy who is my absolute best friend and is also hot. None of you have the guts to even apply for the position so mindyobusiness. I DON’T LIKE ANY OF YOU. YOU HAVEN’T EARNED IT.
Tyson and KT saved my life and I will never ever ever forget them.
Chandrika was another wonderful friend who took me to Garba and we danced around in her room and we ate Indian food and I learned about Hinduism and culture and we played tennis together with the other wonderful girls I was in tennis with. We laughed. We watched Bollywood. She helped me start to learn some Hindi. I showed up to her housewarming party dressed in a buff Micky Mouse shirt when everyone else wore sarees. She introduced me to bhindi, chakra, samosas, and other wonderful things. Her sweet and wonderful mother cooked for us and shared stories with us about south India where she grew up. I loved every moment of it and I miss her terribly.
My loveable crazy Samoans. Teddy Bear.Bye, Teddy Bear, I loved you Siona. And some others. Teddy Bear is probably one of the most significant friends though they all were so good to me. At my friends wedding I kept looking at the dance floor because the MC was saying SOMEBODY DANCE and I was like “should I?” and I caught his eye. And he was like “Yes” and we just had crazy good times and crazy bad times. He helped me get through a very hard part of my life and encouraged me and gave me good advice and big huge hugs and sang to me in his not-so-great big deep voice. He was such a sweetie. I didn’t treat him right, that’s for sure. But I’m really grateful he was in my life at all.
Plus he’s the only man who has ever dared to call me “My muffin.” Also “My lady.” “sweetie” etc.
Got some really good friends in these photos. My buddy Manasseh who is my gym buddy and occasionally we have these deep talks with each other and I’m just glad to have a gym buddy who isn’t checking out my butt.
The girls in the Fiji village always ask how am I doing and how is everything and I love talking to them and visiting them at work and they light up my life, as does going to the Polynesian Cultural Center every day. One of the girls is such a darling. I absolutely love her. If you bottle sunshine, you have the essence of Luluru. ^-^
One of the other men pictured here is a man I’m going to call Brick because he is the most logical pragmatic man I have ever met. He has very clear boundaries but I’ve told him things and he is straight up with me with advice and lets me know when he can or can’t help me out with it. It’s been so good to be able to just text him and say hi sometimes when I’m on the brink of relapse. He doesn’t even have to say anything meaningful, just if he says hi back I feel like someone is there for me and that is enough.
We are getting into dangerous territory over here lol and stop drooling over my guyfriends please.
My Samoan father is there and he has been AWESOME or as he would want me to say because he is such a good role model- he has been SWEETASS. I basically got adopted the first time I went to the Polynesian Cultural Center to hang out and that was because of the Tongan guy in the bottom picture who kind of knew stuff was up and said “Hey why don’t you go there?”
Life-changing advice right there.
My Samoan papa listened to everything I had to say about what actually happened back home with the rape and the neglect and my emotional stuff and he doesn’t understand a lot of it, but he still listened and gave me advice. He taught me things about making Samoan costumes out of leaves too and also demonstrated how Samoans poledance. I’ll give you a hint.
When he found out about my weight issues he would always give me Samoan food and he always teases me about boys but not in a bad way. He is very encouraging for me to get married to a Samoan man and make adorable little cinnamon buns lol. I’m so glad he’s in my life.
But I do not plan on baking any cinnamon buns any time soon and men that is utterly your fault. Maybe if you were more like dogs, I would be more interested. Hint: Dogs are loyal.
Another family member is a Tongan man who is married to a Hawaiian. He is like a grandfather to me and always comes up to me and hugs me and kisses me on the cheek and asks me “how is my angel?”
After I got sexually assaulted in March and I ran away up into the mountains hoping not to come back down he was one of the first people I saw besides the good men who stopped me going all the way up and sent me back to BYUH. I told him what people were saying happened and he told me “the truth will always be the truth. You know it. The Lord knows it. And nothing anyone else says can change it.”
Also one of the guys in those pictures was a jerk to me but I learned some good lessons from him so goodbye, good riddance, and thanks for the life experience.
The Tongan guy in the saree I had one of my favorite life moments with that one. He works at the luau and one time he was wearing a yellow Hawaiian malo and for those of you that don’t know, it looks like this. You could probably float downstream with one of those on. It’s like a ship. But honestly guys it’s like the biggest Pamper you’ll ever see. I’m sorry but it is.
So I stood there laughing at him so hard. He was embarrassed for WEEKS. All I had to do was walk up to him and say “yellow” and he would be like “RRR”. I am thankful to him for all the times he let me laugh at his expense. I probably owe him money for that but for now thank you Sam.
The girl in the picture is a worker at Samoan village and she and the other girls were good to me at least to my face. Some of them weren’t so good behind my back but they were good. We ate together and I helped them clean dishes and whatever in the village. Sometimes help with the puletasi’s and I think they all appreciated having someone take the time to visit them.
I had to stop writing this for a bit and I’ll probably try to keep doing more gratitude posts because it’s so healthy to do