Tag Archives: hope


I can’t really remember all of what we covered in session today, but it mostly consisted of me catching Dr C up on the past month… then we talked about being present in my body. I admitted I haven’t really been present for quite some time (several months, if not years). We talked about the barriers to being present. I mentioned liking the disconnect especially after the almost-3-years of constant flashbacks and intrusive memories while living down south. 

That brought us to the topic of what to do about the trauma work. We talked more about emdr and I was able to verbalize my concerns; namely that, while it has felt like the most successful treatment option to date, the last few times I tried, it had left me more triggered and dissociated. I expressed my desire to find some plan for maintaining safety if we are to go ahead with more emdr. 

We talked more about that, then we penciled in a very intense week of emdr to commence during my “vacationless vacation” coming up in October. I half-joking told her it would be awesome if I could enjoy sex again with my wife on our wedding anniversary… so now we are scheduled to do 7 consecutive days of 2-hour sessions, most of which will involve emdr (with talk and art mixed in). 


I hope the nearly 2 months we have before that time will be enough to establish a sense of safety around the work we will be doing…

We arrived at the intensity of it after talking more about my fears moving forward. Both Dr C and I agree that the ideal setting for me to tackle my trauma work would be an inpatient/residential trauma unit. I don’t always have it in me to tackle the work in the single hour a week insurance pays for, and sometimes things aren’t ready to surface till odd hours when Dr C is unavailable. Other times, it takes a few hours of processing stuff internally before I need to talk about it again with someone. Since all of that is rather impossible, the next option would be a php or iop that specialized in trauma combined with seeing Dr C. Again, rather impossible since there’s nothing like that locally. So plan C is some really intensive therapy for the week both L and I are “on vacation”. The hope (from Dr C) is that L could drive me to sessions and provide some moral support afterwards. I personally think it’s a bit much to ask of L, I guess I can hash it out with her. It’s far enough away at this point that Dr C and I can still change the plan or arrange for iop…

Anyway, so yeah. That’s what we did today. I’m kinda happy we have a plan since I’ve been feeling stalled in therapy lately. 

on trust

Someone on a forum asked about trusting people in life. I believe she meant it in terms of trusting someone to not hurt her, but I defined trust slightly differently. I took it in a more universal scope…

I don’t trust anyone 100%. I trust my wife the most, though I don’t burden her with most of my trauma stuff. I trust her to work on the relationship. I trust her to call me out on my crap. I trust her to tell me when something is bugging her… I trust my critters. They are easy to figure out and rarely have ulterior motives except maybe food and adventure… I can build trust with a therapist. I trusted TM to work with me on what I brought to therapy. I trusted her to be open to helping me figure out my reactions. I trusted her to help build that trust, and to work with my best interests in mind within the bounds of her expertise and ability. I’ve trusted the same with some past therapists… I trust other members of my family to live up to what I have experienced from them in the past. I trust my dad will continue to be an abusive *** who will never learn. I trust my mom will be distant and in denial but loving in her own way. I trust my brother to be a geek and creative and funny but not emotionally accessible. I trust my wife, my mom, and my brother will be there for me. I trust my dad will push the boundaries I put up and bulldoze them (or try his best to do so). I trust his oldest sister will forever be crazy, abusive, and a plight on society. I trust my best friends to be people I can always come back to regardless of the time and distance between us…
So I guess you can say I trust a bunch of people, just in different ways.
I wish I was able to trust someone completely in a positive way, but I don’t even trust myself completely. People will come and go. Critters will come and go. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but I trust certain people will do their best to be loving… I also trust everyone is imperfect…

Who do you trust? How do you define that trust?

twolah blog entry “what they don’t tell you about trauma”

I came across a blog entry on To Write Love on Her Arms the other day and wanted to share.

I don’t totally agree with all of it all the time, but maybe I need the reminder…


7/4 – just found this also… To Those Who May Not Understand

Feeling disposable

Feeling very disposable tonight. Not quite sure why. I have an idea, but… I don’t know.

Trying to hold the idea of being worthy of care, and that people actually do care about me in my head. It’s proving difficult. Part of that comes from shutting everyone out right now. It seems to be the only way I can function enough to keep moving forward. It’s the only thing that keeps me from dissolving into tears again.

I hate this time of year. I hate that I so easily fall back into despair. I hate that it is so much easier here, where all the reminders of the original events are in my face 24/7/365.

There’s so much swirling around in my head at the moment. I wish I knew how to sort it out. I might need to purposefully do some containment visualizations tonight. I’m grateful for TM’s suggestion of using the pensive. I don’t have to pay attention to where I put things, or try to stuff them in so they all fit. I can simply pull it all out and put it into the bowl. I know it will be held safely there. Everything can coalesce, but I will still be able to pick out what I need when I need it; easily and one at a time. I can put the whole mess in at once, and know I’ll still be able to find what I’m looking for when I’m looking for it. The house, family, the cats & dogs, friends, experiences (positive and negative alike)… it gets pulled into the pensive so that nothing falls over the rim. I will have the tools needed for pulling them out one by one when I want or need. It will happen safely and in a controlled manner…

Just have to make it through the next several weeks. Well, first I have to pull off the move, then I can worry about the rest of the month. At least I’ll be with L again. And the triggers won’t be in the walls and the trees… most days and nights, these walls scream with the past. The new walls may well scream for someone else, but I will not be able to hear them. Hoping for some internal peace after this relocation.

quote – on the other side of pain…

“On the other side of pain, there is still love.” – Madeleine L’Engle

don’t know how to allow myself to feel

I was talking to L today for our usual daily chat (coz what else are you going to do when you’ve been 1500 miles apart for the past year and some weeks?), and I managed to get out (without my voice catching, and without having to go silent) that I was trying to come to terms with having to find one of the cats a new home… The words came, then the emotion hit, and that was all I could say about it without tears welling up in my eyes… even just writing it here they are threatening to burst forth, but I’m frantically blinking them away.

We also mentioned that Monday will be my last session with TM. More tears sprung to my eyes, but behaved themselves…

I don’t know how to allow myself to feel this. It’s too heavy and too scary. I still can’t think of leaving mom here by herself without the tears escaping from the confines of my eyes… So I stop the thoughts or the conversations. I switch the topic quickly and efficiently. And I still don’t release any of it. It’s safer to feel bad about losing TM because the level of emotional investment in her is not as great as it is with everything and everyone else. I care about her, she’s safe, I will miss her a lot, but it’s nowhere near the level of overwhelming hurt that comes with everything else.

It all feels like K & T dying again. It’s that huge. It hurts that much (only maybe more, because it’s them being gone, and worry over mom and the dog and cats and house and future and everything…). The safety net that was supposed to always be there is again going away. I feel like that poor bee I tried to rescue from drowning in the ocean several weeks ago. It was so windy & choppy, every time I fished him out, the wind caught him and threw him back into the water. Eventually the waves carried him away and I am assuming he perished… I feel like that little bee after I had fished him out a second time, and before the wind whipped him away again. There’s a sense of relief in knowing I’m getting out of the waves, but I also know it’s pretty windy. I’m holding my breath for the last time I get knocked in and the waves finally take me away from all hope of getting out of the water. I’m afraid it’s going to happen like that. I’m afraid something will finally knock me so far that all the means of finding safety are too far to get to.

I don’t know how to be ok feeling this emotion. Maybe if I felt support around it; maybe if there was a cushion of safety in attempting to deal with the emotion, I might be ok trying it in bits… but there’s no cushion. I will have 2 weeks after my last session with TM to keep it together and keep moving. There won’t be that neutral party to bring me back to a level-head. So I have to maintain it for myself. The only way I know how to do it and still function is to stuff it all away.

So I stuff. I fight the tears and the sadness and the fear. I fight the panic… I’m not sure how well I will manage that on the last drive out of the driveway, but at least I won’t be the one behind the wheel.

This sucks.

jewlery-making as distraction

grounding braceletsI made a handful of grounding bracelets today… I started making one for TM, then made another for her and couldn’t decide which I want to give. Then I just kept going. Made 6 in total, and a necklace. I would have made more, but I am out of toggle clasps. Listed everything on etsy except the two choices for TM.

Now that the distractions are up, all I want to do is cry.

Made some progress on the move front yesterday by reserving a pod (so we don’t have to worry about towing our stuff. in the long run, it ends up costing about the same). We have no place to move to, but hopefully the apartment L applied for will be approved with all 3 dogs. If not, we will keep looking… The hope provided by the apartment possibility is wearing off now. The depression is looming huge and dark. I’m so tired of this.

Add to all that now saying goodbye to TM 2 weeks before we had planned and I’m a puddle. I go through the motions. I function (barely), but I’m not feeling anything but heaviness. I guess tomorrow I will call at least one of the three referrals she gave me yesterday. TL might still work there. If she does, and it would be ok, maybe I could see her again till I leave. It would help going back to someone I know even if it’s a different organization.

There’s so much stuff I know I need to do asap around the house, but I just can’t… The little dog is starting to grow dreads. He desperately needs a bath and haircut. I just don’t have the energy. The reptile room also needs spot-cleaning, but again, no energy.

How do you treat depression symptoms that neither meds nor behavioral therapy can touch anymore? I am still adamantly against ECT, so that will never be an option. What’s left?

thoughts and ramblings… (apologies for this wall of text)

I had my usual appointment with TM today. I struggled to explain to her what was different about this weekend. She asked what the motivators were for my change in attitude. I couldn’t put my finger on the tiny “half-spark” of internal motivation for the change, but I also could not adequately describe the difference in external motivators either. At one point, I tried to explain that I disliked being a cause for concern. I don’t think I explained the “why” behind that very well though… Just now, reading through an older post from another blog I follow, I found a wonderfully concise and accurate description:

“I have always reacted badly to emotionally affecting other people; it’s like I should exist as a neutral entity. Especially when it comes to people who matter to me.” ( blogged about it in this post from last year)…

I’ll have to try to remember this the next time I see TM.

Anyway, we talked about the weekend, and she challenged me to find what it was that allowed for that tiny bit of internal push to change how things turn out. I kinda thought about it already while running errands on the way home… I don’t think she will like the answer (though maybe she will be able to put a positive spin on it): Since I don’t have a fool-proof, guaranteed-to-work method to kill myself, I might as well work to make the interim as pleasant and productive as possible. If I’m in crisis and falling apart at the slightest sign of stress, I will certainly not be making the most of this time I’m “stuck” here. I will also never progress past the initial “dump” of info in therapy. I need to be able to get past this point.

To that end, TM pointed out what should have been obvious to me but wasn’t: I’m still pretty depressed. We talked about what my barriers are to accomplishing even the simplest things. I had reported to her Friday that I had tried several times between Tuesday and Friday  to go to the beach without any success. She wanted specifics around what had me turning around. I explained that it should have been easy enough for me to go, since I always have a “beach bag” in the car (shirt, shorts, blanket, towel, bathing suit). I could simply head out and either change when I got there, or go in jeans and change into dry shorts after. But I would get stuck on all the steps needed to make it to the beach. Sometimes I would start to go, get much of the way there, then turn around because the remaining effort was just too much. The slightest hinderance to making the full journey (which is really only about 6 miles or less, and maybe takes 20 minutes) had me losing my resolve to go. It became overwhelming to think of having to make all those turns, go through all those lights, find parking, gather my stuff, walk “all the way out” to the water, find a spot to consider “mine” or walk along the shore… And if I decided to go in the water, I would have to make sure my stuff didn’t blow away, and my valuables were safely hidden, and battle the waves to get to a point where I can just chill… It was so much easier to just turn around and go home. (I also described my thought process around going to the mall several weeks ago to exchange my bra. She was surprised at how far I broke it down, and admitted that having to think about doing all that would exhaust her also). She agreed that my miles-long list of “steps to get there” could seem to out-weigh the single acknowledged gain. This was where she pointed out “what [I] probably already know, but…” that’s all depression talking. I sometimes forget that depression can also manifest as a lack of energy or enjoyment from things. I’m so used to it being a horrid, hopeless, lifeless mood that as soon as the mood lifts a bit, I don’t see the depression anymore. I think the universe has been trying to bring this to my attention of late. Not only has TM now pointed it out, but I had followed a few forum posts where it was suggested that the poster still was experiencing depression despite the lack of depressed mood. It was more of a behavioral presentation. If I take an honest look at myself lately, I have to admit I’m still obviously depressed. Not only do I find it incredibly difficult to motivate around anything or take enjoyment out of what used to be enjoyable activities, but I also actively battle a higher intensity of “self-destruct” thoughts than would be considered my baseline… So much for moving past the depression. :sigh:

Anyway, she left me with cognitively challenging homework this week (a good balance to the emotionally challenging timeline from last week). I’m supposed to document (timeline or otherwise) some happy/good events in life. I laughed at her and said it would probably all fit on a post-it, compared to the large piece of brown paper I brought the other timeline in on. We laughed, then commiserated on the salience of negative or traumatic memories as opposed to positive/happy ones. I pointed out that we probably wouldn’t have gotten very far in the history of humanity if we forgot tigers might rip our arms off when we tried to cuddle them in the forest. She laughed at that. I like that we have a similar sense of humor, and our thought-process is somewhat similar. I again almost asked her if I could take her with me when I moved…

The other piece of homework was more of a reflective exercise: to figure out what happened to give me that internally motivated little half-spark of hope that helped me get through the weekend. That is so much more challenging. I can easily figure out the external motivators: L, the animals, not wanting to wind up in the hospital, not liking the feeling of causing others to worry or be concerned… easy-peasy. Internal factors though? maybe the discomfort with causing worry? (because it has changed somehow from not feeling worthy or deserving of worry, to disliking the feeling I get within myself when others say they are worried. I know I’m not describing that well, but…). So yeah, I dunno. This one may take me forever to accomplish.

On another note, though TM offered the possibility of a scheduled phone check-in, we ended with leaving it up in the air. I told her I really wanted to prove to myself that I can be self-sufficient (because I used to know how to do that at one time). She made it a point to say that neither calling nor not calling her would mean a failure of any kind. I’m glad she has been listening to all my fears, lol. While I still am seeing calling her as a failure, I will keep playing her statement over and over again in my head. Regardless what happens this week around seeking support, I will not have failed… (some day, I might believe that).


hit the transference motherload…

So, I was able to ask TM if she hated me today. I was also able to explain why I needed to ask, despite intellectually knowing I didn’t experience her as hateful in the moment (only after I left, and after over-thinking kicked in)…

We talked about the roots of it (or started to). She pointed out a bunch of stuff that made total sense.

I got lost a few times though. There were points of the conversation where she brought up ideas that scared the crap out of me. I struggled to “come back” to the room and the moment and recognize it as safe. I had trouble seeing her genuine reactions to it because I was so lost in fearing she was mad at me for checking out. I finally was able to tell her that I was scared of her reaction, and being able to give voice to that fact helped me come back a bit more.

I’m hazy on so much of the session. The fog comes and goes around it.

She offered another additional session this week. My hesitancy was two-fold around it. On the one hand, I really wanted to take the time. On the other however, I worried not only that it was a “trap” to test my neediness (she would be mad at me for wasting so much of her time), but also that I would get too used to the safety of knowing I can go back. If I get too comfortable with it, it will suck a whole lot when I have to wait a week again… She left it open for me to call back about the extra time if I needed it. After getting more grounded and getting some distance from the triggered fears, I was able to call her and set up another appointment. Some things are easier to only have to contain by myself for a few days vs. a whole week… A ton was triggered today, and I’m glad I get to go back and address it again before I put too many walls between it and myself. I definitely don’t want to get too used to it though. I don’t want to wear her out, or be too much. I also need to know for myself that I can hold myself together between sessions…

Anyway, my brain is shot at the moment. I hope this post makes sense. I still feel like I’m in a fog, but it’s more because I am tired from the effort of holding it together in session while revealing some stuff that took great effort. I think I need a nap…

“50 shades” controversy, & the lasting effects of childhood trauma

So, after first writing this up almost a month ago, I have yet to put more effort into it. I had contacted a few people claiming to be connected to the BDSM community in an effort to get “honest” perspectives. Publically, they strongly supported the notion that the community is respectful and vigilant of “safety”. Privately however, some denounced the community as seedy and very unsafe. I was warned to “stay far away” from anything even remotely having to do with BDSM, including looking further into the different aspects of it. The few people I know personally and trust, and who also have some experience with the community express otherwise: that their experiences have been safe and respectful… This has me confused. I am more apt to believe the people I know in real life, so I guess I will go with that… Continue reading

Dear one of my first therapists…

Dear JF,
do you remember me?  If I called with questions, would you 1) be willing to talk to me about them? 2) even remember anything about me from that long ago?
Things have come up, and I wonder if they are true. Would you at least be able to tell me if I mentioned it to you?
You would probably not be surprised to find out I’m still a mess. I have not made anything out of my life. I’m still pathetic and a looser…
would you want to know I still remember you? Would you care that stuff you said still impacts me in a positive way? Would it be weird if I told you that first time you hugged me and didn’t let me go right away both scared me and made me feel like someone cared for the first time in a long time? I hope I didn’t contaminate you… I hope your daughters are doing well. I’m not sure why I think you have 2, because I’m not sure how I would know you had a second one… I’m sorry I couldn’t do anything but cry when you told me you were pregnant. I really did think you’d make a great mom…
if I tried to contact you with my questions, would you respond at all even if you didn’t know the answers?
Should I take the risk? I think I could leave you a voice mail if I could dig up your contact info… but I’d be afraid to tell you that I’m still stuck, that I didn’t do anything meaningful with myself.  I’m still a failure, and any accomplishments listed under my name feel fake. I have no connection to them, I was faking it all along. Apparently I could fool everyone enough to let me graduate and find jobs and move ahead. I guess I’m really good at faking it. Still haven’t made it though. Don’t want to have to admit that, because you tried so hard to get me to believe in myself. 😦
would you believe I finally admitted to myself that the DuckBoy stuff wasn’t my choice, and wasn’t ok? It took 18 years, but I’m starting to deal with it. I remember talking to you about it, and you trying to tell me it wasn’t ok and it wasn’t my fault… I finally believe you (most of the time)…
I lost the little glass stone you gave me “for protection, even from [myself]”… I didn’t mean to. It slipped out of my pocket and into the space next to the emergency break in my car. I tore the car apart looking for it (literally. some pieces don’t fit right anymore. Oops). I still have this sliver of hope that I will find it some day. I might pay someone to dismantle the car so I can double-check everywhere…
thank you for believing in me, and for putting up with me even when I’m sure you wished you could pound sense into me…
I miss you a lot sometimes. Now is one of those times…
hope you are well. You may get a message from me, though I’m not sure I would ask for a call back because I’m afraid I wouldn’t get one. I’m not memorable for anything good, so you are probably really happy I’m long gone…
anyway. Yeah. I miss you.
Thanks for all you did. It really did make a difference, even if it didn’t look like it at the time…



(I left a message at her office. here’s hoping she will return the call and maybe be able to help out with my questions…)

falling into the stereotypes (some of my internal processing)

I’m trying to figure something out, sorry if this post doesn’t make much sense…

Since TL mentioned termination last week, I’ve gone back and forth between putting up huge walls, and desperately wanting to talk to her again. As tomorrow’s appointment gets closer, I find myself having that regular anticipation of talking to her and happy to be seeing her because she represents a safe place and has been a relatively safe person to talk to until now. At the same time though, I’m wondering if tomorrow should be the last session because termination sucks and I don’t want to draw it out. Then I’m again bouncing back to ignoring that she brought up termination at all.

I’m confusing myself and not explaining that well… I think I’m stuck between pushing her away and denial of the termination conversation… :/

I want to go see her because she represents a safer person. I want to talk about what this all brought up, but at the same time I feel like trust has been lost and it’s no longer ok to look to her for support with anything beyond logistics of possibly being hooked up with a new therapist. I don’t know how to straighten that out in my head. Not sure how to proceed… I think my hesitation with looking to her for more support comes from knowing that it’s opening myself up again to that horrid feeling of loss and being lost. I don’t like it, I don’t want it. It’s overwhelming and (again) way out of proportion for the relationship. I have so much trouble with changes like this. I really don’t know how to handle it, and I have not been able to address it in therapy yet with any meaningful results (even after so many therapists and so many attempts at tackling all the issues)…

TL wasn’t clear on what exactly the time-frame is. She refused to answer when I asked how long she had left, and she again asked me how long I thought therapy should take… I don’t know for sure if she meant she was leaving next month, or within the next six months. I’m assuming she meant the next month because she had given one month as a reference point twice when asking how much longer I thought therapy should take.

I have a LOT of trouble with loss. She knows this, so I don’t know if she’s trying to ease into the termination conversation, or if we are just trying to tackle the loss issue. The thing is, my thinking went immediately to “f-this. she’s leaving so why bother dragging it out. no more talking, no more trusting. I’m done”. I know this is a cognitive leap, and that I’m throwing up walls without really knowing exactly what’s going on. Sometimes I can recognize this and think more rationally about it. Other times the emotions take over and I’m totally lost. I think that’s playing a huge role in the back-and-forth I have about wanting to talk to her about this more, and wanting to run away. I’m recognizing the diagnoses and history this all plays into/off-of.

I just can’t consistently figure it all out though. I don’t know how to be ok with it. I am not sure I want to take down any of the walls to open myself up to talking about this just to find out that I am right and she is leaving next month. My head goes SO dark if I try to let myself feel anything more or not take this total detachment right now. I don’t want to land back in the hospital. I don’t want to be the stereotype of my diagnoses, but at the same time, I’m finding I’m nothing but that stereotype…

Years ago, my records indicated I was hopeless and will struggle with this forever. As much as I hate the thought of that, I’m afraid they may be right. I think I live in a fantasy world that I can move out of this behavior when this stuff isn’t actively triggering me, but as soon as it’s triggered, I don’t know how else to react. I’m ashamed by it and frustrated beyond belief that I can’t seem to figure this out once and for all. I wish I could find a therapist that I could stick with, and that was consistent with the “you’re not hopeless” stance so they could remind me once in a while, but the way I fall back into all this every time loss comes up I doubt that will ever happen. It’s really crappy. I don’t want to be hopeless, but I think they are right. I think I really am. If I can’t learn to navigate losses, how the hell can I learn anything else? I think some things are just too broken to fix…

Too much damage

Sometimes broken is just too broken… you can’t fix too broken.
As much as I clung to the hope De had when she told me she’d help get me through the darkness, I don’t have any hope left. I’m way too broken… and there’s no fixing that. Too many failures. Too many broken pieces that just don’t fit back together again. :(…

It gets better…

Not my art, but oh so very accurate to how I feel so often when I hear that sentiment…

How many times can people look down on us from solid ground and tell us “it gets better” as our grip slips and the dirt we are holding onto crumbles? I understand the sentiment, but unless you’re going to grab onto me to try to haul me up, don’t tell me it’s going to get better…

On a somewhat related note; I had a major anxiety attack over something I had not decided upon. It was very urgent and decisive and scary. I talked it out with someone, and I think the feeling originated from the lack of professional support I’ll have around this upcoming anniversary. I had pegged it as difficult back when thoughts about it surfaced over a month before. It seemed as if the same day I voiced these concerns to De, she decided to change jobs (with her last day being 5 days before said anniversary). I know it probably has little to do with me, but her departure is impacting me in a really big way at the moment. I wish the waiting list for the new clinic wasn’t so long. I wish the holiday wasn’t so close to the anniversary. I wish I still had some support around it. But that’s not life at the moment and I’m going to have to deal. I know it likely gets better, but right now I feel like the little guy hanging off the edge with my fingers quickly losing their grip while everyone else watches from the distance and tries to assure me everything will be ok… everything at the moment does not feel ok or settled or like it’s going to get better. Everything feels like it’s constantly falling apart. I have moments of breathing room, but they are quickly over-taken by moments of panic and hopelessness. Hell, just 45 minutes ago I assured L everything was ok, and now I’m back to panicking. Maybe I should make little ice cream sandwiches with my chocolate chip cookies from the grocery store. That will give my head something else to focus on while I pass the day. When did days get so tedious? When did I go from enjoying the time I had to explore and watch tv and go to the beach, to begging for the minutes to go faster so I can get through to night time, so I can get through that to the next day, and so on? I seem to be living desperate for some emotional peace and security, yet finding none. I hold my breath for my next therapy appointment because it feels safe there. I won’t have anything to hold my breath for come Tuesday, and that’s terrifying. My appointments with De have been my reason to get out of bed, to take a shower, to keep waking up (or trying to sleep). She had been my replacement for L lately, and now that’s going too :/ I hope we can come up with something resembling structure for after our last session… and I really hope that, if De does not think it’s too pushy, she can help me call the new agency and bump me up on the list a bit, maybe? I dunno. Someone else suggested it. I’m not big on asking for stuff like that, but I also know the days around July 7th will suck.

Stupid things…

…that are not all that stupid, but they are.

I ordered some charms for a bracelet I wanted to make. It was something that was inspired by a song that means a lot to me. I searched high and low to find the charms with the right look. They had to have just the right look. I finally found them. I ordered them, and waited 3 weeks for them to arrive. Now that I see them in person, they don’t fit. They are too large and bulky for the piece of jewelry I want to create. It’s not supposed to be a big deal, but the meaning behind it is huge for me, so the fact that the pieces I am trying to combine for the finished product don’t fit well together are bothering me more than they should. I want to cry over it. I want to sob and tantrum like a little kid… All over some stupid charms that don’t fucking fit. Part of me (that stupid little [big] negative part is saying that this is the way my plans for my life will go: the pieces I think will pull everything together will not fit, and everything will need to be figured out all over again. It’s how life always goes)… so it’s stupid, but it’s not. I’m mad that I “wasted” money on these really awesome charms that just don’t work. And I’m mad that I have to figure shit out all over again… and I’m scared that is how this move will go, and how all my plans for life will always go, because that’s how they always have gone. FML.

identity crisis

It’s come back to me again recently that I have lost my identity with this disability determination.  I used to be a youth worker, a domestic violence counselor, a substance abuse counselor, an educator… now I’m just… nothing.  I know De and L and J would all argue against that, but much like L struggled with work being a huge part of her identity last year, I’m struggling with it now.  I’m not even a good mom to my “kids”, I fail them regularly. It’s underscored with this impending move and all it means.  I have to try to hold a job again when I move back up north.  I have to be productive and live up to all those expectations, but I also have to do it within the bounds of disability.  I can’t afford to screw up.  I can’t afford to lose this determination and then screw up life again.  Finances scare the crap out of me.  Screwing up scares the crap out of me.  I know I have a lot to prove during this time that L and I are apart.  She has her fears about the pressures, and I have mine.  I know I have been doing really well (comparatively) these last few months, but that nagging fear of screwing up is always in the back of my mind (and L’s, and everyone’s…).  When you lose trust from those closest to you, it’s very difficult to build it back.  When you lose trust in yourself, it’s just as hard.  I know I tell L that everything will be fine (and for the most part I believe it), but there’s that little voice in my head that says I will never be a real human being.  I will never get through struggles in life without major meltdowns. I will never be “safe” from myself… I know these are only doubts, but I need to give voice to them.  I can’t carry them all alone right now.  I saw De today, but I was too busy trying to avoid tears and fear to acknowledge any of this.  Now that things have slowed (I’m just sitting watching TV with L), my head is filling with all the things I’ve been frantically pushing away (and then some).

I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know what I’m good at.  I have no way to make money or to help alleviate the pressure on L.  I have no useful skills.  De was trying to get me to come up with some way to structure my days, but even that instills trepidation.  I don’t want to commit to volunteering because I don’t think I can keep up with the gas commitment even if I can manage to keep my emotions in check to allow me to go in every day.  Everything is far here, everything requires driving, which requires money, which I don’t have.  Hobbies require money. Hanging with friends requires money (and friends)…  All of this I don’t have.  So whatever.  I have to suck it up and just deal with crap.  I have to ignore it, or breathe through it, or something.  Back to running through the fog trying to avoid all the road blocks.


Deferred loss means relief for now

I am totally relieved because J will still see us next week, then work something out to try to see us every other week in the evenings while L and I figure out this move stuff. She jokingly said it’s contingent on the move happening as planned, but she said she will look into it and see how her new schedule works. I’m so happy that we will at least have her support for another week, if not throughout the move process. I am a bit mixed about it though because I had started to come to terms with the loss. That’s fine.  I will deal with it again as it happens. The support means more to me then does getting the loss over with to stifle the hurt. It’s kinda like with the dog: being able to have more time with Twiggy means more to me than getting the hurt of losing her over with.
We did give J the bracelet today though, and she seemed to really like it. She suggested that we try to sell them.  I told her our audience was limited, but I would love to make some sales. We jokingly told her to tell her friends. I know it’s a confidentiality thing with her, but it would be nice to get more sales. I think I may look into opening an etsy shop for art and jewelry, but I would need to work hard on more inventory.
Things are looking up. I think me being a mess will be postponed for a while, and I hope to deal with it better when it does come… I’m so relieved.

No words (WIP)



When there are no words… or the words don’t make it past your tongue.

More changes

J told us in session yesterday that she will be leaving the agency by April. Great. L will lose all her outside support in April. We have this huge move pending. I’m holding my breath in case De tells me something similar in today’s session; that would be just my luck. Too many changes too soon. I’m not sure I’m liking this.
On the plus side, I’ve gone through a bunch of my crap at this house and placed it in the “sale” pile for Saturday’s garage sale.  There’s still a bunch of stuff I want to clean/organize to be able to add to it though.  This house has over 20 years of crap collected in it from multiple households. I’m glad I’m in a better place to be able to finally release some of the hoarded items. I used to feel that memories were connected to the items, but I’m finding that I still don’t remember what a lot of it was. It has no meaning to me, so I have no reason to keep it.  There are a few things that will be more difficult to part with, but that’s understandable. We just have to remember that we needed to condense all this stuff to 2 much smaller apartments…

roller coasters

I swear I have done nothing but ride them since Friday… there’s no hope, then there’s hope, then there’s no hope, then there’s hope… I hope the hope lasts.  Not quite sure how to make it all work, but hoping.  As long as I’m still hoping (even if just in waves), then it’s not so bad.  The hopelessness comes, but so does the hope, so I’ll take the cycles.  I don’t want to find out that there’s really no hope.  I don’t want to fall head-long into depression over all this.

One thing that got me today was when I was speaking to someone at the affordable care act contact number… I was trying to figure out insurance for L and I, and whether or not I could still sign up/should sign up/need to sign up.  The lady was telling me the guidelines for assistance with the premiums and such when she says that there’s a minimum income level needed to be able to receive the assistance.  If we can’t meet that level, but still don’t qualify for Medicaid through the state, we have to pay FULL PRICE for an insurance plan (the cheapest I found was $220/person without the tax credit).  So how is this supposed to help??  If you are too poor to meet the income requirements for the assistance, but make too much to get Medicaid according to the state (which is anything between $700-$990/month, aka, a whole boat-load of people struggling with jobs at minimum wage), you’re just screwed now because you either pay $200/month in insurance, or you pay the fines the government levy on you for not having coverage (about the equivalent of the cheapest monthly plan)… screwed… Thanks.  Also, why is it that the plans all have 1) an annual deductible greater than my annual take-home pay, 2) insanely high co-pays, and 3) the “better” the plan, the more you pay for premiums, deductibles & copays?!… Once again I ask, how the he** is this helpful to anyone other than the insurance companies??  You could sign a waiver saying you can’t afford it all, but there are strict guidelines for eligibility to be able to sign said waiver.  (que hopelessness)

On a positive note (I will include 3, because 3 is a good number), we maybe, maybe have a glimmer of hope for remaining in the house.  It’s kinda a long shot, but it may happen.  We also called about help with some repairs that need to happen.  We are just waiting for a call-back from the agency (I hope they are not like most of the other agencies in this state that conveniently lose your message).  I will give them through the week, then call again in the early part of next week (assuming I have the energy and motivation).  Also, I was introduced to a new “top 10” musician tonight: Angel Haze.  I don’t listen to too much hip-hop or rap, but I do enjoy it, and this woman has some really, really powerful songs.  I really like all of the songs I’ve listened to tonight, especially her remake of Same Love, Angels & Airwaves, and her song Battle Cry (official video to this one can be really triggering for religious themes, self-injury, csa/child trafficking, etc so watch with caution if any of this is triggering to you).  I have her on in the background as I’m typing this.  Battle Cry is great, thought I could only watch the video once.  Without the video, it’s actually really inspiring and motivational… well, even with the video, but if I watched it too often, I could see myself getting lost in the triggers… anyway, yeah, I really like her and I’m really happy her music was pointed out to me.

random: I’ve been wanting to ask De for my picture back.  I think I want to fiddle with the background because it’s too busy with the effect I used… the characters get lost in the busy-ness.  I wonder if she will still have it in her office so maybe I can mess with it.  I used fixative, but I’m hoping I can somehow soften the bg… I may have to think about how that would work.  Anyone know how to make a “permanent” fixative workable again?

Finally a good night’s rest

I actually slept last night, roughly 7 hours.  I felt good today, not tired, not overly hyper… AND I accomplished a monumental task (at least it has been since we moved here): I cleaned all 10 snake cages in one day!!  For the past year and a half, I’ve only done 2 or 3 at a time, and it was generally weeks before I got the drive/energy to do more of them.  I even ended up taking a break in the middle, going to get groceries for dinner, then finishing.  That’s TOTALLY unheard-of in my world.  If I ever take a break from something, I don’t go back to finish it (unless it’s art, and even then it’s a huge ordeal).  I can;t believe I did it.  I’m totally proud of myself.  I also took pics of 7 of the snakes (3 were either too stressed or hiding too well).  I miss playing with them.  I need to do it more often.  I’m just really glad my energy came back today.  I actually enjoyed what I was doing.  😀

We also perfected the stromboli-making technique (well, ok, L did that while I finished the last cage).  They came out really good and evenly distributed.  Last time we had huge wads of dough at the ends while the toppings were all smooshed into the middle.  This time there were toppings all over the place.  L did a great job.  (And I ate WAY too much for one night. I feel like I may explode).

Anyway, it’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do to a person.  I hope I can get another good night tonight.

I’m THAT asshole

Yes, I hate him. But I hate myself more for what I allow him to bring out in me.

I had it out with G today. I lost my shit and screamed at him (literally. At the top of my lungs). I told him how much I hated him and how he is just like his sister. I told him to fuck off more times than I care to admit.  I told him I wished his plane crashed.  I told him I wished he’d step in front of a truck… that was over 6 hours ago. The only thing I feel bad about is that I allow him to get me so angry. If it were still up to me, I would not have any contact with him at all. He would still be banished from my world, but because we moved in with mom and she allows him to stay here sometimes, I have to see him. I really do hate him. I really am sick of his shit. Maybe I don’t wish him dead, but I wish to never see him again. Maybe he’ll get the hint and stop trying to talk to me now ever again (mind you his sister still tries despite years of ignoring or cursing out, so he may not give up either, but a girl can hope)…
Anyway, I’m glad he’s gone.  He’s staying at a hotel tonight and will leave to the airport from there. Good riddance.
But back to that part about hating myself: I hate that I give him so much power over me.  The speeches to myself after the fight involved a shit-ton of arguing with the voice in my head that said I needed to cut or be reckless. I kept reminding myself that he is not worth the consequences to those actions no matter how much relief I think they may bring in the moment. It took a lot of back and forth with my head, but I had read De’s note earlier in the day, and kept reciting it to myself
(Last session, we had also talked about the negative voices.  She put down on a sticky that I am worth arguing with those voices. Even if I don’t believe it myself, I know L had said it before, and now De wrote it down for me.  I owe it to them to at least make an attempt to listen)…

Today’s blow-out with G also really scared mom and L… I feel bad.  I never wanted to be that person. Turns out, I am that person more times than not.  I scare them with my anger.  I scare people with my depression. I just scare people.  And I hate that. I’m sorry. Like I said, that’s the last person I wanted to be… :sigh: I have a lot of growing and working to do. I will still forever hate G and his bullshit meddling, but I need to not let myself get out of control in response to him (or anyone else).

finally off the ride

The vertigo has finally subsided. A friend clued me in to the Epley Maneuver, which is simple and effective to help vertigo pack its bags and leave. I have a much greater appreciation for the lack of awareness of the earth’s perpetual motion…

I’ve been doing a ton of art the last few weeks. I hope I’ll get around to finally editing and publishing the post that has much of it (been sitting in draft form for a while now). I’ve been ahead of the week for the last few days, I’m always thinking it’s a day later than it actually is. My mom has had the same problem. I feel like I have a ton to say to De when I see her on Thursday and I think that plays into things. I don’t actually have much to tell her, but there’s an anxious anticipation to meet. When this has happened in the past, there had always been something to tell her. I have no idea what that is this time… Maybe it’s just that I want to show her what I’ve done with art? I don’t know. It’s a little kid excitement. I also feel like I have more money than I actually do. It’s very weird. Everything is off and surrounded by excitement. Am I missing something?
The insomnia is back, but it’s due to this unexplained excitement. Nothing but art had kept my attention lately. Even that is done while watching tv, being online, and playing the games on my phone. I think I need to consciously slow myself down. Time to reinstate the 5 minutes of silence again… Maybe I can get myself up to twice a day,or even 15 minutes in one stretch?

Friday Nights and Deep Thoughts

I think I like having J on Friday nights.  She is more spontaneous and will joke with us for most of the hour.  She seems more relaxed and less therapist-ish.  It has its drawbacks (we don’t necessarily accomplish much on the serious side during sessions, but that’s ok for the moment).  We laugh a LOT, and time seems to go by faster.  We still cover some important topics, but a lot of the heaviness is left off.

Tonight, after starting really late then laughing our butts off for the first 20 minutes, we continued to joke and be inappropriate randomly throughout session.  We accomplished some stuff though.  L showed J that she had actually made progress on her resume.  J gave us some more resume pointers, then we talked about jobs/volunteer positions L and I would like to apply for.  We talked about taking personal risks and about some fears. We discussed goals, and came to the conclusion that L and I will be in this state for maybe another year.  She will go for the Office Manager job, and it will either be a means to an end, or it will be our ticket back North.  We were able to address the fears associated with trying something so drastically different.  J even let us in on some of the other jobs she had done in her previous life (prior to becoming a therapist).  Turns out, she had done a job similar to what L is hoping to apply for and thinks L will really enjoy it.

Yesterday, the office manager at the clinic had asked L if she and I would like to volunteer.  I guess since we have been clients for at least a year (L for longer) and it was ok with both L’s individual therapist and with J, they offered us the opportunity to volunteer.  Both L and I really like the organization, so we filled out the apps before we even went into session.  Then during session, J talked about other positions opening up within the company and planted the seed for me to apply.  We were able to talk through some of my fears about jumping back into the full-time working world and into mental health.  I settled on simply volunteering for the time being while leaving the possibility of a paid position open for later exploration.  I have no doubt I could eventually kick ass at the job, I’m just not sure I am at a place to step back into full-time.  I’m quite a bit gun-shy about any major commitments when I only have a few weeks of stability under my belt.  For the past 3 years or so, I seem to be able to hold it together for 6-8 months, then things tend to go south.  I don’t want to ruin my relationship with this organization in case we do end up staying here and I do end up needing a full-time job down the line. And like I said, we both really like the organization and the services they provide.  J pointed out that they have not only the outpatient office, but also the youth center and senior centers that need both employees and volunteers.  She suggested that we start with the centers and see if we can incorporate our art-party ideas there maybe once a month.  It would still be on a volunteer basis, but it would give us a chance to try things out and to build up a portfolio.  De had also mentioned something along those lines with offering our services to the state with Kids In Distress and their family support programs.  It seems once again, J and De are on the same page without necessarily talking to each other (they have releases but neither has had to make use of them. That’s totally weird for me, as my providers up north have always had open and active communications. I find that is not common practice in this state, nor is helping a client hook up with additional services when needed).  I think doing more art stuff with “in need” populations could be fun.  As much as I try to break out of the helping professions for any length of time, I always find myself drawn back eventually.  I know at this time I do not want an 8-hour work day doing direct care.  I know that would be too taxing.  I would not mind doing some part-time group work or rec therapy. I miss the work I did as a Recreational Therapy Assistant (couldn’t officially call me a Recreational Therapist since I was not certified).  I enjoyed making my residents smile and giving them something different to do during the daily grind.  I’m sure I could find something like that here.  I’m just not sure how secure I am in committing to an actual job.

I read a quote the other day; “If something happens once, it may never happen again, but if something happens a second time, there will also be a third time” I wish I could look at this in terms of the positive, but the negative associations creep in.  I had 2 serious bouts of hospitalizations since 2007.  Both consisting of over a year of revolving hospital doors.  The second time was worse than the first.  I crashed again after our move, but it wasn’t as bad (only 2 hospitalizations total).  I find myself holding my breath for the next round of hospitalizations.  I don’t want it to occur, but I fear it might.  Triggers are rampant here.  I don;t always know how to handle them.  We had a great time on vacation, but I can feel little things seeping back in.  I want to cry for no discernible reason.  I’m sad more often than I had been in the past 2 months.  I want to drink and smoke because I like the feelings they bring when done in moderation.  I want to lose myself in my art and my music.  That all often means I start shutting out others.  I had told De last week that I felt as if I were running from something.  This week the feeling is a bit more desperate.  The self-harm urges returned with an earnestness yesterday.  I journaled to De that I felt like something had been left unsaid in session, but that it was because I was censoring.  My problem is that I don;t quite know what I’m censoring.  I’m not in touch with the content, just the emotions of feeling unfinished.  It makes me want to shatter myself (funny that the drawing I am working so hard on is entitled “Shattered”).  I think things are coming out in my art and my music choices before they reach conscious awareness.  I find myself collaging things without a real grasp as to why I am choosing those words or images.  It tend to all make sense later (like the drawing).  I have something in mind going into the piece but then it changes direction and meaning by the time it’s finished.  I think my dissatisfaction with my drawing is a measure of dissatisfaction with its ability to accurately convey what I need it to.

Twice this week I came close to “coming out” as a survivor of sexual assault in a more blatant way.  I can speak about the concept with De, however I have not admitted it outright to anyone else in so many words.  L knows and mom has a vague idea, but none of my friends or other family have any clue.  It had taken me over a decade to admit the impact of DuckBoy to myself, let alone admit to friends that it ever happened.  There are still some friends that will never know.  It’s not something I necessarily want to shout from the rooftops.  I do want to be able to share my experiences though.  I want to be able to help or inspire or at least make someone else feel less alone.  This blog is helping a lot, but I think there’s something to be said for a more personal connection.  Being assaulted is a deeply personal event.  It can make you feel alienated and alone.  It can make you question the events.  Acquaintance rape can find you defending the person (They didn’t mean it, not any of the times.  He just can’t control himself. I must want this.  It isn’t really sexual, just my imagination.  I should be flattered.  I should like this… He can’t be that bad because he’s my [boy]friend).  It can have you questioning yourself.  It can trap you (abuse has a way of doing that, especially if there’s already a history).  I don;t want to remain trapped in any of this.  I want to break free. I want to know my life will be different and better.  I wat to make it better.  And I want to help others make theirs better also.  So I toy with the idea of “coming out” to those around me.  I think they would do a double-take if they found out.  I think they would question my “defenses” of offenders.  I am famous for pointing out that offenders need compassion and help, not necessarily punishment.  One thing I have learned not only from having been assaulted, but from working in mental health: everyone has a reason for their actions or behaviors.  Many offenders were also abused as kids.  They have incredible baggage they carry around with them.  People who end up killing or harming someone else likely was taught, either directly or indirectly, that power and safety comes from domination. When I see a story about a child molester, I wonder if that adult also has a history of being molested. Abuse is generally performed in cyclic, generational patterns. An abuser was likely abused as a child.  We need to provide treatment and support to help break the cycle.  Yes, punishment is also a factor, but if their head is anything like mine, they are punished enough internally.

When I first started college, I was introduced via a family friend to a psychologist who worked exclusively with sex offenders.  At the time, I couldn’t picture working with that population (I probably couldn’t do it even now, but I have a better understanding of where they are coming from).  I was amazed that this man was able to work with these boys and young men day in and day out.  I wasn’t able to talk long enough to find out why he did what he did, but I think 18 years later I can hazard a guess.  Many damaged people damage others.  It’s not that they necessarily mean to, it’s just that it is all that they know.  There are some exceptions, but they are rare.  Even the most hardened criminal has a small, terrified child hiding somewhere underneath.  Violence and anger are fear turned outward.  An animal will strike out in fear and defense.  People will do the same.  If you don’t know that what you are doing is wrong (not by societal standards, but by your own moral compass), you see no problem with your actions.  An offender who came to a clinic at which I worked turned out to be jus a really hurt little boy inside. He had experienced some horrific abuse growing up, and he perpetuated that to a lesser degree.  He wasn’t a violent offender, but he did enough to be labeled and mandated to treatment.  Only the intern was willing to see him.  Once his story was known, every other clinician’s opinion of working with him changed.  They suddenly saw the human being behind the disordered behaviors.  Even the cops started treating him differently (repeat offender).  I only heard short updates in team meetings, but I know he got off to a start on his healing.  The instincts motivating his actions were finally understood by those in his life trying to help. I hope he eventually made it through that dark time… but I digress.

I think we all need to look at others with a different lens.  We need to look at ourselves with a different lens… Understanding and love is the key to improving both society and ourselves.  I wish I could remember this at times when I perpetuate the negatives I internalized growing up.  I seem to have nearly unending patience and compassion for most others but I cannot seem to muster it for myself.

Oh, I also wanted to add a pic of the collage I did yesterday after session… I’m still trying to figure it all out myself, but I think I may like it.  wpid-20140131_130957.jpg

my brain feels like cold oatmeal that’s still a bit soggy…

I spent the day running around doing errands. It was really only supposed to be one errand, but it led to others that eventually stole the day away.

Original mission: get silicone lubricant for the pins in the new calipers (mom’s rear brakes were changed by your’s truly and mom & L on Saturday).

I grab one of the dogs (because he has way too much energy and he’s driving everyone nuts) and head out.  I decide to also stop at the pet store (to which I have a free $5), so bringing the dog makes sense.  Ok, quick trip to the auto parts store and the pet store.  I should be home in an hour… or so I thought.  Just a few lights shy of the auto parts store, my car flashes a warning at me saying that my oil levels are dangerously low and I need to turn my car off NOW.  I pull into the parking lot of said parts store and pick up a quart of oil, then ask the lady behind the desk if they have the lubricant I’m looking for.  She shakes her head, and sells me something 5 times as expensive.  I cringe, but go back to the car.  I toss the lubricant into the passenger seat and proceed to add quart of oil to my engine.  I check my dip stick only to find I’m still not registering.  Great.  I need an oil change anyway, so I call my preferred mechanic (15 minutes away) to make sure they have time to fit me in.  Yes.  I pop in the pet store along the way to get what I need (forgetting that the same chain has a store less than a mile past my mechanic on the way home… oh well).  I get what I need and the puppy and I head off to get the oil changed.  It takes 20 minutes to get there, then the puppy and I wait an hour for them to finish (meanwhile puppy starts chewing the furniture in the waiting room, so I take him for a quick walk down the street).  We return in time to pay and leave.  While there however, I had asked the mechanic what they used for the lubricant.  He tells me that the woman at the parts store sold me something that is pretty useless anywhere on the car but the calipers.  He suggests I check out another store for the right stuff.  I stop there on the way home to return the horrendously expensive lube I originally purchased, and pick up the “complete brake kit” they happen to have on sale for less than half the cost of the lube (packet of lube included as well as brake fluid and brake cleaner).  I have brake fluid at home, but if it means buying all three things for $2 more than the lube alone, I bite.  The puppy and I head for home.

Once home, the puppy is occupied with telling the other dogs of his adventures in the last few hours.  Mom, L and I head outside to “bleed” the brake fluid from the car.  Tire one done without a hitch.  I move on to tire 2 only to find that the caliper is spewing brake fluid all over the place (it’s pretty corrosive stuff once it touches air).  It has stripped the coating off the inside of mom’s tire hub, started to melt the rubber on the shocks, and is in the process of eating away at the first layer of anti-corrosive on the axle and rest of the brake assembly.  I have L call our “car” friend for tips.  We try a bunch of things only to find that the re-manufactured caliper I installed is defective.  Great.  I also ask him how to clean up the brake fluid from the rest of the car to avoid damage.  He says all I need is to spray it with some brake cleaner (serendipitously picked up earlier today) to neutralize it, then wipe the excess off.  Yay! one thing I can fix immediately.

I leave mom babysitting the car and tools outside while L and I go to exchange the caliper at the closest store.  When I get there, I am told they do not have any more in stock.  I am given the address to another “local” store that has the part.  L and I drive off (my car had mentioned I was low on fuel earlier this afternoon, but I had forgotten to stop at the time.  now she’s blinking and throwing up the “low fuel” warning again.  We make it to the next store.  I exchange the faulty caliper.  I also want to buy new brake line bolts for both the rear brakes.  This store only has one, but I can buy 2 and pick the second one up at another of their stores. Ok… I make the purchase and L and I are off again.  We drive to the 3rd auto parts store of the trip (my 5th for the day) to pick up the bolts.  It just so happens that we are now on the perfect heading for picking up fries at Five Guys and getting gas at the cheaper station. Yay!  We do all that and get home in time to see the car bathed in total darkness.  Brakes will have to be finished tomorrow I guess.  I had started my “quick” errands at noon today, and am finally home by 7pm… So much for doing anything else.

This continued trouble-shooting with car repairs has my brain turned to mush.  While it was a fun challenge at the start, I kinda just want to pull all my hair out at this point.  I would hand it off to someone else to finish if I knew of any such person.  Alas, I have no cash for a professional, and know no one in the area that could finish the job.   It lands all back on me, mom & L. Fun. (not).  HOPEFULLY there will be no more snags in the process and mom’s car will once again be driveable by tomorrow afternoon… I’m really hoping.

I have had plenty to help me distract though.  I have not yet once thought about the things De has wanted me to tackle this week (oops!), and my defenses remain in place.  I’m not really interested in having the conversation with L about my fears.  It all leaves me wondering why I am in therapy at the moment.  I think I am trying to run away from it all.  It’s scary stuff that I do not want to face, but know I have to face.  Maybe this week can be spent talking to De about some of the fears.  While I don’t necessarily have to talk to L about it, I could set up my session to focus on that and get somewhere with De on it.  I don’t want to give in to the fear that has had me give up every time so far.  It has always ended in disaster in the long run.  I want to finally push through my defenses and actually make progress with it all. I don’t want to let this trip me up again…  Maybe if I can finally get the brakes done tomorrow, I will have some brain power left to do some meaningful (expressive) art.  It’s not that the rest of my art is not meaningful, it’s just that lately it’s all been coloring or scribbling or meaningless doodles.  I want to be able to get some of this trapped stuff out at least through my creative side.  I hate that it’s all trapped in the sponge of my brain… It’s only going to grow moldy there until it gets too big for itself and spills out again.  Most of the “spillage” happens in violent and (physically & emotionally) traumatizing ways.  We all deserve better than that…

till the next water-logged-sponge blog, hope you all have a great night and a wonderful day!

Friday Night on Repeat

I was organizing our art stuff and started playing the music on my phone in shuffle.  I hit Miranda Lambert’s “Over You” and it has gotten stuck on infinite repeat.  There are just some songs that are worth the incessant playing.  I’m not 100% sure what I like about it.  I think it’s a combination of the lyrics and the way she sings parts of it. There’s a desperation and… “something” in her voice at times that just triggers something in my brain.  It latches on and holds it.

The last few days have been ok.  I don’t think I wrote much recently, but that may be because a lot of effort is being exerted on visual expression.  I wish I was better at it, but I need to practice again to get back to my drawing level from several years ago.  It’s definitely something you lose if you don’t use… I’m also playing a lot with mediums I’ve never worked with (or did so only a very few times).  I really want to work more with water colors.  They have a feel to them that other paints can’t quite achieve.  I just seriously need more practice.  I would like to take a class, but we don’t really have the extra cash.  I could try learning on my own through videos, but there’s something about being able to ask questions that makes it work better for me. One day…

In the mean time, I will be fooling around with other random stuff.  There’s a lot I want to be able to put on paper, but I’m not quite sure how.  I guess it will take a lot of trial and error.

Random “weird” thought of the moment: I was getting gas and checking a stack of lottery tickets from the last few weeks.  The guy asked if I had felt lucky.  I responded with “No, life hates me…”  The woman at the next register said that I was still alive and breathing, so life must not hate me that much.  My automatic response was “Exactly! Life hates me.”  I didn’t realize what I had said until I saw the look on his face (combination of pity and disgust I think).  It wasn’t even like I have been depressed all that much lately.  I think all those years of living in the dark makes dark things a habit.  I’m not suicidal right now.  I have no desire to die right now.  I might even go so far as to say I have been “happy” lately (ok, maybe that’s more of just “disconnected and slightly hypo-manic” but since I don’t really have bipolar, I will just call it happy and disconnected).  The words just tumbled out of my mouth without me realizing.  I said them laughingly and with a smile on my face that had been there when I walked into the store… It’s weird how “habits” can carry through even the good times.

More for the 2014 100 Theme Challenge

I was messing around with water colors today. I have a LOT of practice to do before I’m reasonable versed in the techniques, but I think these came out ok. The first is a “practice” piece that came out better than the one on the intended painting…
55) Comfort


The next is the painting I wanted to have the dog in… It’s still in the works, as it’s bottom-heavy.  I need to figure out what to put on the top portion to make it feel more balanced.

60) Superpowers – there’s comfort in the dog’s protection and the wings and the bear.  There’s comfort in the blackness also.  It’s a place to hide and blend in to avoid attention.  Sometimes kids need superpowers to get through the darkness, even the inner kids.


Meditation via Nature

The other day, we went back to the Japanese gardens.  I have yet to do any of the prescribed meditations for the program, but I really enjoy wandering and finding interesting things to draw or photograph.  I took a few that I really liked this time around, and one in particular that speaks to me, but I can’t figure out what it is saying.  There’s just something hopeful about it: striving and reaching and… persevering.  

b&w tree

2014 100-Theme Challenge – 6) Reaching Up (out)

almost forgot to show you the card I made for L!

I was glancing back at my entries from the last 2 weeks and noticed that I forgot to show you the card I had made for L (that was the top-secret one).  I’m actually really pretty proud of it, though I have issues with the way the mouth came out…  Either way, she liked it a lot too, so here it is:



Cute, no?  I could have done a better job with the mistletoe, but whatever.  I like the little guy.

100-theme challenge 2014

I have participated in 100-theme challenges twice now, and I really liked some of what I produced because of them.  This year however, I wanted to put my own spin on things.  I wanted to come up with one myself.  A lot of my list can be interpreted in therapeutic ways (though admittedly, some were inspired by objects/events in the living room at the time of its creation), so I thought I would post it here in case anyone wants to participate.  The rules are simple: interpret the prompt however you see fit.  You can choose to post your work publicly somewhere, or keep it to yourself.  It can be in any form you wish as long as it can be considered creative in some way (drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, music, sounds, pictures, words, collages, performance, anything).  It’s really just supposed to give you topics you may not have thought of on your own to help spark creativity… I have liked the challenges in the past because I did things I never expected to do.  It forced me to take time out for creativity and story-telling.  Since I have been focusing more on my own art therapy of late, I figured this next one could be a way to help me express to De what I need to get out.  I will try to post anything I do of relevance.  I must warn you however, I go in spurts with these things.  Sometimes a whole bunch of work will show up at once, other times, there will be months without anything.  What I’m trying to say is: don’t hold your breathe for me to get the list finished in a timely manner.  I have had 2013’s list for the past year and only this past month have I started it…  I really liked that list though, so I will continue working on that one as well (rather than incorporate stuff from that list into this one).

Without further adieu, here’s my 2014 100-theme challenge:

1) candlelight
2) magnified
3) left standing
4) aftermath
5) breaking ground or ground breaking?
6) reaching out
7) trust
8) broken
9) in the daylight (everything is different)
10) rats in the walls
11) shattered
12) open to interpretation
13) flashbacks
14) heaviness
15) lighter than air
16) combustion
17) lights
18) hope/hopeless
19) under pressure
20) disclosure
21) history
22) presence
23) disappearing from…
24) gone away
25) at the dinner table
26) unbalanced
27) highlights
28) even snakes get the blues
29) enlightenment
30) despair
31) rave with me
32) the itch you can’t scratch
33) slippery slope
34) in my travels
35) it’s the end of the world
36) here there be dragons
37) firefight
38) spirals/spiraling
39) a blank canvas
40) just a thought
41) reflections
42) big trouble
43) happiness
44) wrath
45) associations
46) to the world
47) on the inside
48) truth in advertising
49) memory
50) deception
51) hollow
52) survival
53) turmoil
54) bad choices
55) comfort
56) falling (is like this)
57) open up
58) feety pajamas
59) what would you do?
60) superpowers
61) once upon a time
62) AWOL
63) hunger
64) the light’s gone out
65) running
66) awareness
67) transition
68) humility
69) conscience
70) memorable
71) convergence
72) destroy
73) buildings and bridges
74) the last time
75) vision
76) burning bridges
77) why
78) the first time
79) meditation
80) technology
81) walls
82) containment
83) distraction
84) anxiety
85) heart
86) it hurts like this
87) play it again
88) talk to me
89) open book
90) animals
91) brutality
92) nature
93) family
94) obsession
95) release
96) skeletons
97) peak performance
98) water
99) drowning
100) rescue
In case anyone is interested, the list I’m working on for 2013 is this (I think I have pieces to cover 7 of the topics… I’m seriously slacking!):
1. Break Away 2. Bites the Dust 3. Innocence 4. Drive 5. Sound of Settling 6. Mother Nature 7. No Time 8. Standing Still 9. Two Roads 10. Foreign 11. Breaking the Silence 12. Keeping a Secret 13. Blind Man’s Bluff 14. Waltzing 15. Traps 16. Mischief Managed 17. Lazy Days 18. Hot/Cold 19. Anyone Out There? 20. Seeing Red 21. Through the Fire 22. Between the Raindrops 23. Safety First 24. Puzzle 25. Gateway 26. Fantasia 27. Everyday Magic 28. Irregular Orbit 29. Change in the Weather 30. Nowhere and Nothing 31. Charge 32. Turn the Car Around 33. Colorless 34. Assassin 35. Daughters 36. Instant 37. Don’t Be a Hero 38. Born Without Time 39. Sound Effect 40. Little Bombs 41. Freak 42. American Boys 43. Clue 44. True Believers 45. Portable 46. Caption 47. So Close 48. Under the Red Hood 49. Dragon 50. Making History 51. Rivalry 52. Death 53. Excuses 54. Colors 55. Family 56. Music 57. Off Topic 58. Black and White 59. Memories 60. Song Title 61. Fighting Chance 62. Childhood 63. Shenanigans 64. Elements 65. First Time 66. Lost 67. Strangers 68. Insanity 69. Mirror 70. Silhouette 71. Zodiac 72. Dreams 73. Hope 74. Misunderstanding 75. Relationship 76. Stay Gold 77. Beauty 78. Alice in Wonderland 79. Runaway 80. Our Own World 81. Kiss 82. Little Things 83. Secret Admirer 84. Sweet Dreams 85. Past 86. Present 87. Future 88. Forgotten 89. Human 90. Silence 91. Breathe Again 92. Breaking the Rules 93. Fairy Tale 94. Death 95. Umbrella 96. Pattern 97. Season 98. Clothing 99. Animal 100. The Ones We Left Alive