Monthly Archives: April 2015

I worried about my walls for no reason…

I managed to keep my walls relatively intact today until the very end, when she asked about something, and I looked at the clock “oh, sorry, time’s up.” I said. She looked at me, looked at the clock, back at me, and said we’ll tackle it next session. She threatened to write a note for herself so we’d be sure to get to it.

There were a few moments I almost cried as we talked about the move, but I held it together and quickly changed my line of thinking. It was relatively easy since I had nearly 10 days to craft my walls. Everything is at a distance right now. If it threatens to come rushing up on me, I hide in bed, or blast music at myself, or listen to one of the meditations, or force myself upon my friends so I have plenty of distractions. Oh, and alcohol. There’s plenty of reliance on that right now too.

Part of me wishes I hadn’t wasted a session when we have so few left, but another part of me is really happy I didn’t activate all the neediness and hopelessness that’s just beneath the surface.

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violence breeds violence, regardless of the motivation…

I write this with full awareness that I may have my head bitten off by several people for posting the following opinion… I will also remind any commenters to please keep their comments civil and respectful. I’m ok with discussion, but not bashing.

I am in the minority of people appalled by a video of a mother beating her son for partaking in the Baltimore riots this past week. I will not hail her a hero or “mother of the year”. I do not care what her reasoning was, I think she was wrong. I also think her son was wrong for participating in the riots in the manner he did. It was stated that the woman was trying to prevent her 16-year-old son from being killed. Reportedly, he was about to throw (or continue to throw) things at the police, and join in the general havoc. This apparently justified the mother smacking her son repeatedly on his head and torso as she berated him.

I was told by many friends and family that they “would have done the same” or they understood her fear/anger reaction. My problem with the whole thing was that she used the same logic and behavior he did to try to dissuade him from further action:  I am more right, and have more power for X reason, so I will beat you into submission… That’s up there with cursing someone out while you tell them not to curse.

I’m pretty sure that’s a huge double standard right there (not to mention a mixed message). It’s suddenly ok to beat your child (and have it filmed, then applauded by millions) because you are trying to prevent them from getting hurt?! If I see my kid almost run into on-coming traffic because he didn’t look before he ran, is it suddenly ok for me to yank him back and start beating on him? Would the media and millions of Americans tell me I am “Mother of the Year”?? No. I would have the child taken from my custody (even if temporarily), and I would have CPS up my ass for the next year or more. “But I didn’t want to see him killed, and he wasn’t listening to me when I told him to stop.” would never fly as a valid excuse for beating my child…

There’s pages and pages of articles on the generational cycles of violence. It’s a safe bet to say that the 16-year-old kid witnessed (with some regularity) violence growing up. It didn’t have to be his mom, though her reaction to his poor choices leads me to believe she likely has done something similar before. It’s also safe to say that she was probably witness to violence in her childhood. People repeat what they learn. Even those with the best of intentions can succumb to early learning. Heck, I see in myself some of the very things I hate in my dad. I try to make a conscious effort to not behave as he did/does, but I’m certainly not perfect (super-far from it actually). I find myself angry and yelling more than I would like. I can feel rage bubble, and fists want to fly. I do my damnedest to not act on those urges though… Would my anger at my early life excuse abuse I perpetuate on others? Absolutely not. It would be understandable, but not excusable. I would still be expected to change my behaviors… I am expected to change my behaviors. I mainly turn my violence onto myself. Even that is not acceptable. I hear from person after person that I need to be kind to myself; that I need to stop treating myself so abusively…

So why is it ok to see this mother hit her son repeatedly? People come back with responses along the lines of “I would do anything to keep my kid safe.” or “What would you do if your kid was about to walk into his death?” I maintain that my response would be non-violent. I would step in his way to block his path, I would pull him away, I would do my best to hold him in place, or move him back if possible. I would not strike him. If for some reason, I lost my head and started beating my child, I would hope someone stepped in and pulled me away rather than film it and laud me with praise… But I guess I have a different perspective than most.

That same day, when I questioned the logic of rioting and looting within the community, it was defended by some as “displaced anger”. This also bothers me. Why is displaced anger from a mob more ok than displaced anger in say, a romantic relationship? If the mob were a man, and the destroyed property his beaten wife, he would have been arrested on domestic violence charges (in the very least, there would have been some outcry of injustice from women’s rights activists and a public push for charges). So why are we excusing it because it’s fueled by institutional racism? When my dad came home pissed because he got mugged on his lunch break, then proceeded to yell at, threaten, and hit my mom, it was not okay simply because it was “displaced anger.” When a parent beats a child because of financial stressors, it’s not excusable as “displaced anger”. Why are we so quick to step up and excuse other violence as such? Why is mass-perpetrated violence ok when individually-perpetrated violence would be scorned?

I do not believe racism should be tolerated. I do not believe young black men should be singled-out and harassed or harmed. I do not believe anyone should be harmed. I do agree we should be outraged by the state of our society. I believe we should stand up and “fight” for change, but I do not belive rioting, looting, and violence are the answer. They get us nowhere but deeper into the cycle of violence. I really wish more people understood that…

 


Do You have Athazagoraphobia?

An interesting concept to think about.

I used to chalk my belief up to a weird perversion of object permanence. I guess this kind of is exactly that. I tend to believe if people don’t see me and interact with me regularly, they forget me. I get the impression it actually happens. I also fear that people find me really annoying and distasteful to be around. I have trouble reaching out to friends and family because I worry that 1) they hate me, and because of that, they 2) consciously try to forget me or remain away from me.

Lemme tell you, it frustrates my friends. I can’t tell you how often I get asked why I didn’t call or come by… How do you explain that you feel like people would rather gouge their eyes out than have to spend a moment with me?

There was another part that stuck out to me: the fear of forgetting. I often hoard memorabilia, and I journal incessantly in an effort not to forget more than I already have. People call it materialistic or anal, but I keep hoping an object connected to a memory will keep the memory alive. When so much of my past is a huge blank, I grasp at anything that may help me to not forget… Sadly, it doesn’t really work. I go back and read journals but cannot connect to them or remember accurately what I was talking about. I look at items from my past, and have no clue what they were from, or who gave them to me. I take pictures all the time hoping photographic evidence will trigger a memory, yet so much is still lost. It’s not as bad as it had been before college, but it’s still there. One of the worst memories to have lost is my first date with my wife. I know what she has recited to me over the years, but the rest is super foggy. I have snippets of moments from the night, but most of it is gone. It’s no reflection on her or the night (because I’m still with her, and we went on a second date relatively soon at my initiation). It’s just “the story of my life”…

But I digress. This is an interesting blog on a phobia I had not heard of before, but one that makes perfect sense to me.

 

Discussing Dissociation

Drawn by ... On deviant Art. Drawn by rhyme-my-name.deviantart.com

Athazagoraphobia.

I have learned a new word today.

Athazagoraphobia.

Athazagoraphobia is the fear of being forgotten, ignored, or being replaced.

Athazagoraphobia.

Ooooh boy, what a powerful word that relates to intense feelings held by soooo many dissociative trauma survivors. And since abandonment and neglect is often a huge and prominent part of the trauma history, is there any wonder?

First, let’s learn more about athazagoraphobia.

Here is a quote from http://www.fearof.net :

“Athazagoraphobia is a rarely discussed phobia. It means the fear of forgetting or the fear of being forgotten or ignored. Thus, Athazagoraphobia is of two types or has dual components: it might be seen in dementia patients in their early stages (or patients suffering from other medical conditions where memory loss occurs) where they fear forgetting their own identity and other things. Alternatively, it may be seen in spouses or caregivers of Alzheimer’s/dementia patients…

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rawr! depression and pms are a fun combination

:/

you know when you put something out into the universe, and it’s supposed to come to you? why the heck can’t that ever happen with the really awesome stuff? why is it always the stuff I really don’t actually want, or stuff I fear?

last night I journaled to myself about my hesitation to meet with TM today b/c I want to maintain my emotional distance… I recognized that I really didn’t want to not meet with TM today, but that I was just uninterested in losing my distance (there’s something about her office that allows me to drop my walls after I spend all week carefully crafting them… grr!).

anyway, she called today about 40 minutes before I was to leave the house to say she was going home sick.

why can’t I win the lottery when I put that out there? or why can’t we find an apartment that allows all our dogs? I would prefer that to stuff like missing an appointment or someone getting sick.

there were other “stupid” reasons I was disappointed about the cancellation: I was going to get pizza from one of the only good pizza places in this state; I was going to drop an art piece off for a local art show the weekend after next; I was going to get my favorite coffee from my favorite coffee shop… :sigh: sure, I could have gone out of the house regardless of my appointment with TM, but that area of town is about 30 minutes away. If I was going to go anywhere, it would have been to some shops to look around (reptile stores and fish stores are particularly relaxing)… but again, I just didn’t have the energy to make the effort. mom went to run some errands, and the thought of having to drive “all over” (3 stores all within 3 miles of the house) was too much effort.

sigh.

I also made the mistake of posting an “unpopular” opinion on my fb page. I couldn’t think of any eloquent ways to rebuke their stances, so I just closed out the page and left them to rant at me without bothering to read on. maybe tomorrow (or next week, or next month)… I napped instead.

now I’m watching tv re-runs with mom because I need some sort of background noise. trying to find my zen, happy place, but it feels out of reach. hoping TM feels better soon, and I can actually meet with her this week. aside of dragging me to that part of town, there’s comfort in seeing her. stupid feelings of connection. rawr! walls back up please.


More art journal progress

I was all about avoiding stuff yesterday. To that end, I played a bunch with my art journal. It doesn’t look like much progress, but lots of time was spent organizing my supplies because, well, avoidance.

wpid-img_20150425_223137.jpgI finally got around to making use of the little buckle findings from the Tim Holtz line (had gotten an “as is” pack several months ago and meant to make a closure for my first art journal, but that didn’t materialize). Anyway while catching up on Arrow and a Sleepy Hollow, I did the buckles:

 

wpid-wp-1430025053079.jpgI also worked on the tiger wing page more. The writing is excerpts from lyrics to Faith Hill’s “if you’re gonna fly away“. I changed two lines where she spoke of prayer to more accurately reflect me. “Has the sun gone down on you?/Have you given up on truth, oh?/I wish I could say all the right things/To make your pain go away/I wish you knew how beautiful/You are in every way/…So you’ll take a thousand pills/Hoping to be numb/Lie awake in bed/Counting all that’s wrong//No one understands/No one ever will/Trust me when I tell you/I know just how you feel…”

 

wpid-wp-1430024972849.jpgAnd finally, I added lyrics to the rose page from the other night. There’s a Tori Amos song called Blood Roses that fit the page pretty well… “Back on the street now/Can’t forget the things you never said/On days like these starts me thinking/…Now you’ve cut out the flute/From the throat of the loon/At least when you cry now/He can’t even hear you…”

 

Like I said, it doesn’t look like much progress, but it took me all day (probably because I couldn’t concentrate to stay on task for the life of me).

The depression is definitely still here. I was going to try to go to the beach today, but it took all my energy just to shower (which was a first in 5 days). I could have left the house, but I’m finding it harder and harder to do. The overwhelm of what it would take to get out of the house, coupled with the huge lack of reward, is making it seem nearly impossible. What’s the point trying?

I also find myself once again doubting these recent memories. If they really are accurate, how come I didn’t remember them before? Sure, they explain my intense anxiety around going to bed, and some other behavioral or cognitive things, but… memory can be unreliable. It could all just be something I’m fabricating in order to make sense of those symptoms that make no sense. The visceral reactions to certain triggers may just be a learned response. If they are false, no restructuring needs to happen around my understanding of life. If they are false, then it was all just for attention… If they are true, the world changes. I’m not sure which I prefer: am I narcissistic and unable to survive without a sob story, or did yet more really crappy stuff happen in my life that will change my understanding of childhood? Can I pick neither?


Tiger wing butterfly

 

wpid-20150408_084058.jpgWhenever I find a poor butterfly in the pool (or any bug), I always try to net it out in hopes the little guy will make it. Two weeks ago, there was a monarch. I thought he was going to be okay, but I found him a few days later dead among the orchids (He will be used in a belt buckle eventually). The pic is from when I first pulled him from the pool.

wpid-20150424_190507.jpgThe little tiger wing I found today isn’t looking so hot though. He’s not moving much, but I keep hoping he will make it. After sunset, he’s barely moving at all, just an occasional twitch, so I brought him inside… Poor little guy. He will be immortalized in art, though it’s little conselation to him.  😦

 

In the mean time, I thought I’d try my hand at colored pencils again. I still need lots of practice with them, but the tiger wing seemed easy enough to attempt. It came out okay.

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Still feel like doing more art tonight, but not sure what. I’ll let you know if/when I decide on the next project.


Tonight’s Art as Therapy

Yeah… kinda had a melt down on the phone with my wife. Wasn’t her fault. The way she reacted to something I said was just “the last straw” for the day. And lemme tell you, that meme that points out that angrily hitting “end call” just doesn’t fill the need to slam the phone down is SO accurate… not that she deserved me slamming the phone down, but I was having a moment. Being able to slam the phone would have helped get the churning emotion out. Instead, I pushed “end” about 30 times as I gently set the phone down next to me… anyway, there was no real reason for my outburst. I felt bad about it, but I just couldn’t rein it in in time… the stress of the day finally cracked me. I almost cried…
We talked about it a few minutes later and I apologized. She apologized also, though she didn’t have reason to.

Anyway, I figured after my craptastic display of assholery, I needed to let off some stream. I started finger painting a journal background. It was too bright though, so it got covered in crackle medium then black paint. Ahh, the comfort and security of a black background…

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I played some more, added more paint, and am now waiting for those layers to fully dry before I figure out where to take the page next.

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While watching paint dry can be spectacularly entertaining, I needed to risk missing the excitement and move on to another project. I decided I was going to put more effort into the happy timeline TM asked me to do. I came up with this:

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It was supposed to be a rose vine with leaves (and thorns), but after putting down the vine, I realized it kinda also looks like a dragon. The vine would have great symbolism (growing the “happy” in life), but I just like the thought of a dragon better… so I’m undecided where to go next with the artistic “line” of my timeline. I’m going to sleep on it, and see what I decide another day.

I wanted to put more effort into this one because I want the positive stuff to be a more salient memory than the negative stuff. This is also less overwhelming, even if it does have its triggers and sore spots. I might end up gluing it into my art journal as a fold-out spread. I want it to be something I want to look at and remember.

Anyway, yeah. The cats did their best to hinder progress, but I figured out how to work around them.

Rora is weighing the value of sitting on the project I’m currently working on vs walking through the wet paint on the journal page.

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And Biz absolutely had to have a bath immediately as I started drawing… he actually woke up from a sound sleep on the coffee table to make the most of this unique opportunity.

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What can I say, they are too cute trying to be annoying for me to actually be annoyed at them.