Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Herb Garden

So it turns out, Utah's growing season starts much later than Lewiston Valley's.  That was very disappointing to me, because even after living in Utah for nearly 7 years, my brain is still used to "the second you can feel the warmth of the sun you had better get things in the ground." 

So, to hold me over until planting season, I decided that this year I was finally going to plant a full herb garden.   I eventually talked to some sensible people who reminded me that a "full herb garden" might overload me just a tad, and perhaps I should settle for a smaller, more manageable set of basic herbs, grown in pots on my porch. Then, as things start getting finished, I can set things up to have a much larger garden next year if I want. 

I conceded. 

I went to the nursery with my grandfather, since we both love plants and gardening. He is a very experienced farmer, and has gardened in Utah his whole life. We had a grand old time, and he helped me whittle down my list to a reasonable list for both budget and manageability. 

The Final List: Herb Garden
Sweet Basil (x2)
Lemon Basil
Opal Basil
Peppermint (Papa is growing spearmint at his house [whether he wants to or not--a rogue spearmint family took over one of Nana's flower beds] so I'll get some from him)
Chocolate Mint (my future pastry endeavors are very excited)
Lemon Thyme
Lemon Verbena
English Lavender
Purple Sage

Oregano and Purple Sage
A very pretty pot, and they will both bush out very well, inShu'allah. 

English Lavender and Rosemary
I was a little hesitant to put these both in the same pot. But The nursery lady said it should work, and I can get a bigger pot to winter them over as they grow larger? I don't know, but it smells FABULOUS.


 The mints (Chocolate Mint on the left, Peppermint on the right) but got their own pots.....because mint takes over EVERYTHING. Luckily, I also use it all the time. SO EXCITED for the lemonade and pastry and jelly and creams and lamb chops. 

Sweet Basil
Opal basil, lemon basil, lemon thyme!
Chicken, pesto, fish, pesto, salad, pesto....

PESTO TIME.  Two sweet basil plants, and a purple/opal basil, and lemon basil. So, so, SO delicious. 

Lemon Verbena
All the mocktails. So stoked. 
Thyme, Chives

A culinary eye will notice many essentials missing from the list: coriander/cilantro, sage, Thai basil, any kind of parsley, shallots, dill, borage, majoram, geranium, marigolds, lemongrass, lemon balm, French lavender, watercress, and a HOST of other possibilities. 
But, alas. It would be nigh on to impossible for me to grow every kind of deliciously flavored plant that I could want. (Especially since I don't have a greenhouse yet). This little herb garden of mine makes me very happy, however, and I find great joy in knowing that I am on the road to fulfilling this particular life dream. 

Also, if you happen to be in the local area and are growing herbs and vegetables of your own, particularly those not on my list, I would be very interested in trading for some of your harvest. Particularly if you enjoy French pastry. Danishes for onions or apricots? Croissants for berries or tomatoes or cilantro? Whatever. I'm down. 
...But seriously. 

I'm hoping to also plant some purple bell peppers, red/yellow/orange/brown bell peppers, and onions. I'm not sure how feasible a vegetable garden will be on top of school and work, but as the summer schedule starts working out I can decide. 
Happy Spring!!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Freedom and Roots and Goat Cheese, ilHamdulAllah

"I also need to be a little bit more careful about what I say on this blog. Apparently, the LAPD and Captain Hammer are among our viewers."
I typed out 3 different blog entries but I don't like any of them so I'm starting over. Again. 

Basically, it's more steps of the same. Today I decided I didn't actually have time or desire to be the pursuer in a relationship, contrary to yesterday's post. And so, as I'm not a date-whoever's-there-just-for-the-sake-of-a-relationship kind of girl, dating is probably just going to slide to the back burner for a while. Or completely off of the metaphorical stove. No sense cooking something if no one is around to eat it. (Except in reality I do that all the time. Hmmmm. haha metaphor fail.)

 I'm networking around to various chefs in the area, hoping to expand my range of ethnic foods and specialized services in the food industry. I have so, so many things I would like to do and explore. I'm slowly checking them off the list. I just need to find a better rhythm, so I can start moving through the list a little faster and actually finishing things. Trying not to create too many deep root attachments to Utah; I'm thinking sometime in the next couple years I'm going to want to get out of here for a little while. Even if it's just a 6-month/year long stint, I'm thinking hopping a plane and finding a job Elsewhere for a while might be very beneficial. It's a new idea, so I think I'm going to let it stew around for a while and try organizing my life such that it could happen. No reason to drop more roots than I actually need to in a place I'm not sure I want to stay. Southern California is looking mighty fine; or maybe the Bay area. We shall see. The final destination isn't important; just the idea that Sabina wants to leave. 

In the meantime, today I met a really great guy named Mustafa. He owns and operates O'Falafel, a Middle Eastern restaurant in Salt Lake. I met him through his daughter, Amani, who invited me to help her with a play this afternoon. Her father also came. We connected in both love of food, and love of the Arabic language. He is native Palestinian, lived in Jerusalem, studied pastry in Switzerland, and is going to teach me how to make delicious magic. Seriously, his hand-made pita is some of the best I've ever encountered. And the hummus. The hummus! His chicken is also fabulous, and Amani suggested he teach me how to make lamb. I am quite thrilled with this new development. Though, it will force me to expand and review my Arabic language skills. I didn't learn a lot of kitchen terms, and it's been years since I've taken the class, anyway. Maybe this will be good motivation for some serious FusHa study, eh? Amani lives in the house directly above my cousin's basement apartment, and I think we are going to be great friends. She is super laid back, and I was glad to finally meet her. PLUS she gave me a block of goat cheese and some pita to take home, which was great. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Word Thoughts of Twelve Minutes

Someone told me once that if I didn't have anything to write I should just write everything that was popping into my head with limited filte.r I mean, obviously there is SOME filter because even typing 60+ words per minute there is no stinking way I could POssibly keep up with my brain in words alone, much less tone or other extra-verbal cues. Funny, how we have those when we think. And how not all thoughts are actually words. Sometimes thoughts are really obnoxious, actually. I wonder what it is that causes us to think-- in the metaphysical sense, not the electric patterns in the brain. Though it will be really cool to learn how electricity can be translated into thought patterns. I should go fix the typos in that previous paragraph, they bug me. Wow I wish I typed faster, this is hard. Maybe if I used Home Row Proper it would improve my piano finger drills. That makes some sense. I should try it. Piano is going fine; I'm learning some songs I really like and brushing up my theory. I really do need a drill book, though. I need to fully commit to this piano player thing. I want to be able to play whatever people need me to play--not in a concert setting, but jazz, hymns, pop, rock, you know, basics for my social circle. I need to get Eliza rent money for the piano. Oooh, rent money. I don't want to think about that. nope, not going to worry about that tonight. I am however going to go get myself a part time job in bakery. I feel like that would be beneficial to my schooling. I'm really thinking I might want to actually be a pastry chef, which thought had never seriously occured to me before. Why do I never spell occurred correctly the first time I try it? Hmm. Must just be a habit-- after 20 years of spelling words I should have gotten that one by now. I wonder how many other accidental habits I've picked up over the years. I wish I were a little more intentional with my life. See look now I'm using Home Row and things are going a little smoother. My fourth finger is still the slowest, though, and I still look at the leyboard. I don't even need to look at the keyboard. Maybe I should practice that. That would help with mallet percussion, too. And, you know, typing. Which I do much more than mallet percussion nowadays. I wish I could march again. I thought I'd be able to help with the local high school this spring and summer, but the tissue around my heart is swelling up again randomly so flinging cymbals around and bucking bass drums probably isn't the smartest idea. Slash, it would actually be really stupid. And, contrary to popular belief, I do OCCASIONALLY put my health before my hobbies. Mostly because I'm trying to baby myself back to being able to dance again.  I really do relate to the world primarily through kinetic energy, and this limited motion/weight gain/swelling/CRAP is really starting to drive me nuts. Seriously. It bugged me before when it was active deterioration, but that was pretty painful and actually just dumb. This is teasingly dumb-- I get cleared to go to the gym, I just get going back into my routine and BAM I'm down again. So. Ridiculous. Plus I look awful in my clothes but I don't want to go get new ones because Clothes Shopping and also Stubbornness and also I just don't care enough to spend money on it. No, it's not that I don't care enough, lets be honest. It's because I'm a little bitter that I even have to get new clothes. I'm smaller in many areas, larger in others, nothing is sitting right. And that's really obnoxious. Slash, I dont fit anywhere socially. My desire and my heart and my mind are in Active People mode--those friends who love to exercise and ladeedah. I desperately want a solid game of ultimate frisbee and some hard core latin dancing and maybe a decent hike. But I can't. So then I spend lots of time with Less Active Friends who complain about exercise and don't like it and ladeedah and PS I eat everything and I'm still a size 5. Eyeroll. YOU HAVE A PHENOMENAL PHYSICAL BODY. It is a GIFT. GO USE IT because some of us are quite stuck at the moment. 
But I don't have down syndrome or visible injuries. I just look like the run of the mill Fat Person, and if I really wanted it that bad I would find a way, because Inspirational Person did it so I can too, right? 
It's okay, Sabs. You just need to be patient. Not my strong point, obviously, but I need to understand that I am physically unable to do many of the things I want to for now, and that just needs to be okay for the moment. No need to be complacent; (Rule #....wait what rule number is that? Wow, I must be pretty upset if I'm forgetting my own rule numbers. Rule #26. Okay, you need to review those). I wish my computer was working. Then I could have all my stuff right where I want it and be snuggled up with a blanket instead of hanging out in Mom's room on the desktop. Mom's room is actually an office, since there aren't any beds in my house, but it's still Mom's space. And a different keyboard. I like clacky keyboards. Wow I'm a little surprised where that thought process went. Oh, well, to continue--wait mom is calling. I guess I need to wrap up. Actually, I think I need to try to find something decent to wear to the luncheon tomorrow. Is that why my brain started thinking about how I don't like any of my clothes right now? Hmm. That was a strange occurrence. Wow that word took 6 times trying to spell it. Guess that's going on my spelling list for the month. I should get back into that habit of self-spelling tests. I have many many classes I'm trying to juggle at the moment-- I feel like I keep sort-of learning things, and then it is time to move on to the next thing. I'm sort-of okay at baking, but I need to really take things one at a time and maybe I will be more confident in my abilities. Take things in order, one at a time, and supplement with things that I enjoy. I'm doing 2 jobs (hopefully) and gastronomy, which are for the whole 6 week section of my life, I can take short doughs and classic pastry and enriched breads and use them across those same 6 weeks. Then I'm sort of focused but can still bounce around and make sure to fit everything in. I finished Jana's yellow hat while I was reviewing the brioche, apple pie, and tart lecture videos. I'm so glad I have lecture videos instead of just slides and notes. It's so much easier this way. I need to adjust my schedule and check with James about that crochet Ganesh he wants; as soon as I get the all clear on the final design concept I can make THAT during video lectures. I'm a little nervous how that design will come together, since there is no trial run, but it should be great. I'm excited to see what the final piece looks like. There's something magical about creating something tangable where before there was only potential. I should work on drawing so that I can write down how it looks for other people. Like, I can think of music and then play that music, but I need to work on transferring that music into the written sphere so other people can replicate it; or at least have a record of it. Recipes are the same way; and if I new how to draw 2 dimensional concepts, it would be easier to keep a record of my 3 dimensional creations (crochet, plating, sculptures, sugar paste, design concepts, etc). hmm. Also I'm beginning to think that my sensory perception is a little blended--apparently thinking of tastes as colors is not a universal experience. Nor is not remembering faces, nor is not retaining melody. I have really weird gaps in my memory retention, but oddly specific memory in other places. Makes for weird communication sometimes. 
You know, he really needs to just date me. Lets be real. That would be very helpful. I may be a little broken, but I'm actually pretty awesome. And if this continues too much longer, I'm going to do something tremendously stupid and screw things up, because I pretty much do that every time. Slash, I am not really in an emotional place to do all the work and be the Pathetic Pursuer, like unto many past relationships of mine. Call me Mahana, but sometimes a girl just needs a little validation. 
I promise I don't think about boys all the time. I guess it's kind of like that Hitler thing--the longer you talk in a conversation, the more likely it is someone will bring up Hitler? Seriously, it happens all the time. Talk to a single woman long enough-- or in this case, read what her brain does in the course of 12 minutes-- and boys will eventually come up. And this boy is worth thinking about. So stop judging me, Self. I do what I want. 
I'm not sure if I'm talking to you, Reader, or you, Self. But I guess it doesn't matter because this exercise is over and I'm going to go help mom get ready for bed. 
Wow that Home Row thing really did help me type faster. 
I didn't quite get all the thoughts down, but I would guess I got about 70%, if I'm going to be generous. Plus, writing the thoughts almost forces them to finish, so it's not quite as flitting as my brain usually is. I actually have to finish typing the word. Which takes freaking forever. That was a fun vulnerability exercise. Also, it is missing all the flitting memory snippets and images and smells and sounds and touch memory that were overlayed through most of the 12 minutes; it is hard to think in just words. But it's a start. Plus my brain type includes many spelling errors. I guess that's the most revealing of my true nature. ;-)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Dance, Monkey, Dance

I was talking with a man friend of mine a few weeks ago, and he made an interesting statement: as an extroverted, friendly, goofy, life-of-the-party, occasionally very loud person, he is frequently--nay, almost constantly--expected to be  friendly, goofy, life-of-the-party, loud, etc. The Entertainment.

And sometimes he doesn't want to be.

He called it the "Dance, Monkey! Dance!" expectation.

.....I was totally feeling that earlier.

I just tried to type out a generalized, non-whiney, academically-focused analysis of the whys and wherefores, but I can't get it right. I'll just speak plain. Please forgive me; I don't mean to offend anyone. I'm sure this is a common emotion. Details are different, but I'm sure the principle applies.

Sometimes, I don't want to be the life of the party. Loud and silly is fun for a few minutes, but sometimes I just want a quiet evening. Especially Sundays. I want to sing, not yell. I want to go for a walk. I want to have an intelligent conversation, not a giggly "hey all the IQs just dropped 50 points apiece because Hormones" flirt fest. I love flirting. But sometimes I want to flirt like adults instead of feeling like I'm at a high school basketball game. Sometimes I just want to build friendships and learn about people.

Sometimes, I just want to sing and play instruments. I don't want to yell or try to out-sing everyone. I don't want to jokingly become over-theatrical every time a song happens that people know. I don't to have to drum every time. I love drumming, and I'll request being able to do so often, but then I become The Drummer and if the drums stop, so does the dancing. But sometimes I don't want loud, I just want Well Executed. Or Semi-Well Executed. Not everything has to be heard over a jet engine taking off. Sometimes, a steady groove is enough.

Sometimes I need to talk about my life and the hard things that are happening. And sometimes, I just want to LEAVE IT ALONE. Sometimes, I don't want you to ask about my mother being sick. Or my father being absent. Or my health. Or my job problems. Or what I do with my life. Or what you can do to help. Sometimes, I just want a normal-person conversation.  I am in the habit of answering questions, and "letting people in." But then I use all my "telling people" points on people I don't really want to share with, and not having the emotional share power to actually talk to people I WANT to share with (read: boy. best friend. etc.).

Tonight was one of those Sometimes. I had fun, and I think I helped other people have fun, so that was good. That is why I chose to continue. But really, all I wanted to do was spend some time with much quieter boy people (and not necessarily just one I was interested in. Just quieter boy people) and appreciate intelligent conversation. I felt stuck. I wasn't sure where to go or what to do (since I was just behaving "normally" anyway), so I stayed where I was expected.

....."Wow, Sabina, that's fine that you don't want to do that all the time. In fact, it's a little annoying to everyone else, too, so why don't you just stop? When you don't want to, just don't!"
That's a good thought, Hypothetical Introverted/Mixed Energy Audience. I will work on that. I AM working on that. It's no one else's fault; I don't want it to sound like I'm mad at my friends. I'm totally not! This is a personal problem that only I can solve.
 In the meantime, I have a code word for my strange mix of emotions when this happens: 
"Dance, Monkey! Dance!"

Psychology of Romance: Personal Security

I was reading in Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives, (because apparently that's what I do on Saturday nights after I'm burned out on homework...re-read my homework from undergrad. o.O) Anyway, came across some great papers by Jason Carroll--one of the best lecturers I've had the privilege of learning from at the Y--and he had some good thoughts. I've decided to work them into a blog post, as many of them apply to the things on my mind recently. 

First question: What is love? 
A question asked by philosophers, religionists, poets, artists, and others since as long as anyone has existed. For the purpose of right now, we are going to say that "love" is the ability to be emotionally available to self and others--especially in times of need-- without requirements of performance, perfection, problem-solving, or production. ("Times of need" is loosely defined as when loved ones are hurt or fearful of being hurt.)

Next: what does it mean to have the ability to love? 
"How one asserts, expresses, and defines his or her importance, and the importance of others, in intimate and non-intimate relationships (L'Abate, 1997, p 4)." 

With these two definitions, one can conclude that a person's ability to love requires a combination--a sense of self-worth or personal security, and intimate regard for other people. 

This is something I've thought a lot about: the phrases "capacity to love" and "ability to love" are sometimes used interchangeably, but lately I've noticed a great differentiation in my life. I have always had a great *capacity* to love--the need, the want, the desire, the potential to do so. But sometimes there are circumstances and experiences in our lives that legitimately reduce our *ability* to love. Something to think about. 

So, personal security and other-centeredness. Personal security refers to  one's sense of self importance (which involves perceptions of self-worth), the ability to regulate negative affect (i.e. depression, anxiety, anger), and feelings of secure attachment (Carroll, Badger & Yang, 2006).  Personally secure people depend on sources of internal validation instead of external validation for the sake of personal worth. (Internal validation: the love of God, a sense of personal and individual worth, personal optimism and hope for the future; external validation: personal appearance, accomplishments, material possessions, unhealthy relationships). 

Some could argue that one does not need to be personally secure in this sense in order to truly feel love for someone else. Perhaps it is possible; there are many forms of love and many levels of maturity within romantic love. But we are focusing on healthy, mature, long-term relationship kind of love. In order to be emotionally available, one must have some sort of emotional bank account to draw on. That requires personal security. Personal security, as defined above, is the basis for all sorts of attributes required for dating and marriage relationships: Courage. Vulnerability. Willingness to Trust. Confidence. 

Without personal security, vulnerability is extremely threatening, and then fear of rejection dictates many behaviors in a dating situation. This leads to less authenticity, disclosure, or mutual reliance on each other as a couple. Romantic relationships require vulnerability, which includes the possibility of being hurt, and courage to be open one with another.

Let's be honest: that can be really, really scary. What could possibly be worth that kind of turmoil??

And that brings us to the other side of the equation: other-centeredness. Basically all that is saying is that a person with a focus toward others possess and demonstrates qualities such as forgiveness, commitment, sacrifice, kindness, fairness, and an effort to understand. It involves the ability to care for others, and the maturity to allow others' needs to become equal in importance--or more important than--one's own needs. 

We understand those sorts of personal virtues as good things to have generally. It is interesting to correlate the social science studies of personal security and other-centeredness with the teachings of the Atonement. As we individually allow the Lord to be our support, rather than leaning on external sources for validation, we let go of fear. We act freely, rather than reacting to fear of rejection or uncertainty.  As we develop our relationship with the Lord, we can focus on serving and "being there for" the people around us--we can focus on loving them. This absolutely includes our romantic partner. As our individual personal security grows, we can then make an active choice to lean on one another, rather than desperately clinging, like a drowning person, to whomever happens to be there. We can move in tandem and accomplish an intentional family--and an intentional romance. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sausage and Gravy

This time last week, I had a discussion with a Boy about the proper kinds of gravy. There are 3 kinds of gravy, and the Proper Gravy for Biscuits is a simple Sausage Gravy: sausage, drippings, roux, milk, salt and pepper.

Today, I was talking with my aunt, and suddenly she brought up, out of the blue, how last night she had an overwhelming craving for milk gravy and biscuits. And my "milk gravy," she means Sausage Gravy: sausage, drippings, roux, milk, salt, and pepper. She explained to me that that was the only way to make gravy for biscuits, didn't I know that??

....I had no idea this was such a Thing.

So, naturally, on my way home from the hospital today, I picked up a pound of country sausage, and made some Sausage Gravy: sausage, drippings, roux, milk, salt and pepper. And ate it over buttermilk biscuits.

It was delicious. I don't know if I did it "right," but it was yummy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring Projects

Today, I've been working on school, getting the last two projects done for this quarter of baking school. Next block of classes starts on Saturday, and I still have an exam to take and all the paperwork to do, so I was cutting this one a little close. This is my 20 minutes between lamination turns of the last puff pastry.  

I realized I have 94 days until my birthday. Crazy.

The weather looks great, it has me excited about my herb garden this year. I don't have a lot of time, so I'm thinking I'll just do herbs and some peppers. I love peppers, and bell peppers can get spendy. I adore farmer's markets, as well, and I think this year I'm going to have to procure most of my fresh produce from there. I should find a handsome man to go walking to market with. :-) One of my favorite summer pastimes.

I also decided to pursue training as a professional chocolatier. Don't panic, dear concerned readers, this training will be postponed until AFTER graduation from current culinary training. However, it will be a bit expensive. Thus, I will be pursuing means of "extra" income (is there such a thing?) to better enable me to afford such a school. I mean, lets be honest, there is never going to be "enough" money, so I may as well put my current fixed expenses on my current income, then add extra jobs for this extra schooling. Completely putting off professional training until I am "financially secure" seems a little silly--especially since chocolate training could greatly increase my earning potential.

Made sense to me, anyway. It will require much care in time management, however.

One of the first "extra" jobs I accepted was a large crochet commission. I say "large" in terms of "many hours," not large in terms of size. The finished product will be approximately the size of a standard teddy bear. The client wants a plushy version of Ganesh, the elephant/Siddah god of the Hindu pantheon.

What a project.

I've been working on the design for 3 days, hashing out logistics of proportion, weight, stabilization, etc. and doing a ton of simple-but-time-consuming math.  I hope to begin the design this weekend. I have a 5 week deadline, so I really can't postpone begin time much farther out than that. I'm a little intimidated, but I'm excited for the challenge.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lessons From a Spelling Test

This post will be dealing with some generalities. Discussion is welcome, but for my friends and readers I would ask that you take the general spirit of the idea, rather than the nit-picky details, because I'm not really at a point to hammer those out right now.

Which leads me into the idea presented in this blog post: I am frequently considered an intelligent, well-rounded, articulate individual who pays attention to the exact phrasing of words to communicate precisely what I intend, in as many layers as I intend, with quite a bit of control so as not to mis-speak. This has occurred since I was a child. I remember particular friends of mine from elementary school who would intentionally look through the stack of corrected spelling tests to try to find MY grade, and then make fun of me if I missed a word, because I was supposed to be "smart." I was frequently compared to a very smart boy named Alex--this comparison occurred at various times all the way up to our ACT scores and college scholarship money. I don't think Alex or I ever had a direct competition--it never even occurred to me to care WHAT his grades were--but the comparison was there. I adapted the policy of never telling anyone my grades, from elementary to high school. Not because I cared about FERPA or anything, but because I did not want to be made fun of any more than I already was.

Not only did this artificial and wasteful comparison destroy any elementary school chance of actual friendship with Alex and his group of friends (all intelligent, funny, witty people, whose company I greatly enjoyed), which opportunity is highly regrettable, but it also undermined my social and personal confidence. It led me develop an acute sense of shame, like I was never allowed to make a mistake. Because somehow, MY mistakes meant more than the mistakes of everyone else around me. They justified their misspelled words because mine were printed poorly; then tore me down for not being "as smart as I thought I was." (Read: as smart as THEY thought I was). This fed a long cycle of incredibly low self esteem, fueled by shame and pervasive feelings of incompetence, not only in the orthographic area of my budding linguistic academic career, but in all aspects of my life--music, athletics, math, fashion, in-class test review games, social skills and the ability to trust friendships. (The only thing it didn't effect directly, ironically, is my religious understanding. I've never associated shame with my personal religious beliefs. Apparently that is a rare thing, even among other people of my faith. That's a different topic, though).

But that's all kid stuff, right? As a well-adjusted adult, I can recognize those outlying factors of the immature peers and misguided adults of my childhood and move forward. I can prove to myself that I am better than that, by accomplishing thing A, B, C, and D that *I* want to do, regardless of social expectation. If I DON'T accomplish ALL THE THINGS and FULFILL ALL THE POTENTIAL and RISE ABOVE ALL THE HATERS and IGNORE ALL THE HURT FEELINGS, I have *chosen* to remain a victim. If I choose to remain a victim, then I have really done this to myself....and I am just a shamefully pathetic adult, a Victim, who had so much potential but just wasn't as good as we thought she was. 

Woah. It's like the Spelling-Test Police of my elementary years learned that sort of behavioral mindset....from their adult parents. Which adult world now has even more tools of judgement through our friend The Interwebs.

Well, joke's on you, Life Grammar Police. Because I'm done carrying the load. I is kind. I is smart. I is important. And I will find habibi who lets me just be a great person, faults and all, without turning my mistakes and weaknesses into character flaws. But that has to start with ME accepting that.  The only good answer to this nasty cycle of shame (direct or indirect) is a true understanding of the Gospel. Perhaps this is the "curse" that Nephi refers to in his lament in 2 Nephi 4? 

34 O Lord, I have atrusted in thee, and I will btrust in thee forever. I will not put my ctrust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his dtrust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
 35 Yea, I know that God will give aliberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I bask cnot amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the drock of my erighteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen."
The only way to break the cycle is to stop depending on people around us for validation or fulfillment, and instead allow the Lord to fill that need in our lives.  
And that requires true repentance, not shame and self-depreciation.

And a pretty hefty dose of "mind your own beeswax."