Wallpaper entitled "Hope"

From SpookyWallpapers

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sound in Silence...

Lately, there have been too many small references to my lack of living in the real world made by the other half who lives here. He and I have been over and over this same subject more times than I can count. I agree with him on some points. I know I have created problems. But why can he not get through his head how I am feeling now as opposed to years past? He thinks I can do what I've always done--after taking some time, move on. It isn't that easy now. But he seems to think that I can somehow be magically cured just by talking to someone. How could he have lived with me through these last 25 years and not figured it out?? I am clinically depressed. On medication. I've done the talking. I'm through talking. On the night of my last meltdown, I told him that he didn't really know who I am, didn't understand my soul, that he just didn't "get" me and probably because he never really listens to me. Even recently, he admitted that he had no idea what was going on with me and my hormones. Forgive me if I'm going over something I've already said many times, but I am so frustrated. This past weekend, after he made the hurtful remarks, I spent all day Sunday in bed, first being angry, then being annoyed and then crying. Yesterday I was exhausted by all that spent emotion. However, one good thing did come out of it. I have always written down my thoughts and feelings and called it my "poetry." I'm not sure if it is, but it's mine and so there. I have shared only one or two of them ever (out of maybe 50 that I've written), so I am a bit hesitant to share one here. Once on the net, forever on the net, and such. Anyways, for what it is worth, here it is.

Listen to the Sounds

I read somewhere that tears are the result of the soul or spirit crying out in pain.
The spirit can be broken, and the heart can break.
[Where do the tears come from if the spirit is broken?]
[How does the heart keep beating with so many scars?]
I've heard that the mind splits--[or does it shatter?]--into pieces that allow the pain to be forgotten.
[I wonder how many pieces are inside my head?]
A body/soul/spirit/heart/mind can only take so much hurt and pain.
Then it needs a safe place to rest and to heal.
Something to wrap itself in, like a cocoon, insulated from feeling.
To bind the bleeding wounds.
To stitch the broken heart and put the pieces back together.
To wait to be reborn as a person with the strength to try again.
For a time, I was able to cocoon myself like that.
I would emerge, but not like a glorious butterfly.
No, I was a moth.
Drawn to the hurt and the pain.
Drawn until I was burned by the flames.
Drawn until I was once again crying/breaking/shattering/falling.

I need my cocoon.
It is my safety net.
A necessary part of my healing.
Because a person will cry/break/shatter/fall from all the pain.
And a person needs a net when they fall.
[If I fall and don't have a safety net, is there any sound?]
[Do falling tears plead or the breaking heart scream?]
[Does the mind shout out a warning before shattering?]
[It doesn't matter. No one is listening.]

I'm falling, and something is different.
Something has happened to my safety net.
It's not stopping my descent.
I'm lying here, surrounded by the broken fragments of what is left of my net.
[Has it been damaged every time I broke/shattered/fell?]
[Does it shatter like glass into sharp, broken pieces?]
I can't feel because I'm broken.
I can't see because I'm crying.
I can't hear anything over the screams of my body/heart/mind/soul/spirit.
I need a cocoon.
I pull the sharp fragments around me, and they cut into my skin.
Deep cuts, exposing what is inside me.
[Frantic. Find bigger pieces to cover up the bad parts. Too ashamed to let anyone see.]
Now I'm bleeding, a slow leaking of self.
[It makes no sound.]
I've built walls around myself with the fragments of my net/cocoon.
Walls that are not stable or strong.
[I am like the man that built his house upon the sand.]
My net/cocoon is worn, thin, ripped, unraveling, in pieces.
It doesn't matter.
I no longer have the strength to wrap myself up in anything now.
I can only lie here.
Exposed, bleeding, crying, broken, alone, trying to hide behind my walls.
I've lost my cocoon.
Without it, I can't heal.
Without it, I can't insulate myself from pain.
Without it, I can't be reborn, stronger.

I need my walls.
They are my only hope.
A translucent cover of broken pieces, stacked and piled, surrounding me.
My walls are so very fragile.
Definitely not safe.
I cannot let these pieces fall.
[God, please don't let these pieces fall.]
I lie still and silent.
Still and silently crying/broken/shattered/bleeding within my walls.
Within/inside/behind/under my walls.
[If I fall and die in a dream, will I die in my reality?]

(Image used is entitled "Broken" and is by shenanigansarah at Etsy.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Indicate choice by chewing a hole next to it...

Earlier in March I posted about our rescue dog, Maris, who has a rare form of cancer in one eye. We had just taken her in to our regular vet for a general checkup to get a handle on her overall health. We did so in preparation for the vet eye specialist appointment this week. We took her in yesterday, and the prognosis was exactly as we thought it would be. The cancer was discovered in early July, 2009, and the specialist said that she probably had six months of sight left. His recommendation was to remove the eye when she no longer could see out of it. We found out that she has, in fact, now lost total sight in her left eye. Maris has been doing some things differently, but we hadn't chalked them up to her being blind in that eye. Duh? Don't know why. I knew she was losing sight, but I guess that since I see her every day, the changes come little by little and aren't as noticeable. After the appointment, we talked about a few of the things she has been doing. She gets to the steps that go up to our deck, but instead of using the steps from where she is, she walks around to the other side of the steps, then walks up the steps diagonally. This has been happening for awhile, and at the same time she started doing it, we had been having an issue with Berra's arthritis. Since they both are getting on in years, we thought she was having problems with her legs. We even gave her meds for arthritis! Now we know that as she got to the steps, her left eye was closer to them, so she couldn't judge the steps as well. Once she walked over and turned around, her good right eye was focused on the steps and she would go up at an angle so she could keep her sight on them. Also, she has always had a hard time with learning to wait patiently for food to be put in her bowl when it is time to eat. She would stand right next to us as we scooped the food, then make a mad dash to her bowl, where she would hop, hop, hop in place as we would race to get the food in her bowl before she could put her head in it! Awhile back, after hopping, she started waiting for us to put the food in the bowl. I was congratulating myself on a great training job! Yeah, right. What I hadn't paid attention to is that she turns her head as we put the food in the bowl, again indicating that she has turned her head to the side so she can see the food going into the bowl. Ah, well. She hasn't been in any pain, and our vet specialist has assured us that she shouldn't be for another few weeks. However, the cancer, which started out small, is now completely covering her eye. We are adamant that she not suffer any pain at all, so we went ahead and made the appointment to have the eye removed. Both vets told us, taking everything into consideration, it was what they would do for their pet. I still had a hard time with it. So how did I decide?

Well, I sat all three dogs down one afternoon so we could have a chat. This is no easy task as Guidry has ADD. Seriously. Berra and Maris are ssooooo laid back, but Guidry demands attention and entertainment (she's our other rescue). We are working on her behaviors. Very hard. But back to the discussion. I told them what was going on and what needed to be done. Now some people think dogs can't think. Most people think dogs don't have emotions. But I have seen some astonishing actions from mine both here and gone that indicate that they were thinking and feeling. Poo poo me if you will, but I'm gonna chat with my dogs. I gave them the facts and the choices. Then I asked them to vote for eye removal or going to sleep (how could I phrase that any other way???). Choice #1: Eye removal? Barks, noises, movements, etc. Choice #2: Going to sleep? Nothing. After a few seconds, Guidry turned her back and made a dive for Berra's toy. He made a fairly good attempt to get it, but she is much faster. Meanwhile, Maris is just sitting partially in my lap being sweet and watching them. I took that to mean that they had made their decisions and it was back to playing. Isn't it nice to share the load?

I've heard of animals painting on paper. I wonder if I should put the options on paper to let them vote. Hhhhmmm...

(Image is entitled "The Hanging Chad Necklace" and is by markaplan at Etsy.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

I ain't going 'til the fat lady gets skinny...

Okay, so it's Friday morning, and I still haven't made it into work this week. Supposed to be there on Monday. Hhmmm, just a bit late. I'm trying to rev myself up for the trip by including a few side ventures that are more appealing. I found out yesterday that I am the most requested "most wanted to see" teacher for the high school "Classes of the 80's Reunion" coming up in April. Most requested by far above any other teacher. Did the lady that called make this up? She even wanted a confirmed RSVP that I would be attending so she could announce it since it would mean more alums would come. Huh?? ME?? I admit that I loved teaching at first. I got so burned out that I had to quit. But I loved the kids. Since I was still single, I was cheerleader sponsor, student gov sponsor, FCA sponsor. Had the FCA group over for dinner, made them waffles one morning, took them ice skating. I mean, I really did love these kids. I got the reunion invitation in January and hadn't given this event one nano-second of thought. Wasn't going, no way, no how. So back to the appealing side trips idea. If I go to this thing--big, big if--what in the heck do I wear? Who am I kidding? They probably wouldn't recognize me. I'm 30 years older and fatter. I need to schedule some lipo immediately, but won't since I can't afford it. Notice that the idea of plastic surgery isn't the thing that stops me. Wait, it can't be lipo, it has to be skin removal. I have extra belly skin from losing 50+ pounds years ago. Okay, I have a friend who owns a shop and she sells these jeans that are supposed to make a person look two sizes smaller. I've never given these any thought before since they cost over $200. However, when compared to the cost of lipo or surgery, it's a mere pittance. That's where I'm thinking of venturing later today. After I go to work. For sure. Most definitely to work first. Maybe I need to run up and join the closest gym and begin an intensive 6-week body makeover. No, no, work first. Can I wear jeans to this reunion? Maybe I should go to the expensive lingerie store in town and buy some of those slimming undergarments that are supposed to work like lipo. Do I even have six weeks? What I really need to do today is get my butt to work. Maybe I should consider a butt lift. I don't really have one to speak of. My boobs are good since I gained weight, they got big, then I lost weight and they didn't. Bonus! But they could use a lift, too. Lord, why don't I know any plastic surgeons?

I'm really going to go to work. Right now. Probably. After I call to see if my friend has any of those jeans.

(Image used is a print of a painting by Nguyen Dong entitled "Fat Lady," and it's found at lenity at Etsy.)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Inside what's left of my skin...

I have always had vivid dreams, and I usually can remember most of them. I usually spend some time trying to figure out what the heck my dream means or what it's telling me or saying about me. I think that dreams are probably made up of both memory and the things that have been relegated to the subconscious maybe because we can't focus on them consciously for whatever reason. It's interesting that originally the word dream meant joy or gladness. Interesting because most of my dreams are anything but joyful. They usually revolve around something that plays a part in my life but it gets turned upside down and inside out. Freakin' weird is what they are. Like my grandmother turned axe murderer. Actually, now that I think on that one, it's probably not so weird. I saw her chop off a chicken's head (yes, with an axe) and everything else she did to get it to the cooking pot. In my dreams, however, she was after my brothers and me. This was one of my regular childhood nightmares.

Last night, I dreamed about a place where everyone was covered in some kind of strange...rubber cement like stuff. It wasn't sticky, but it was pliable. The people in this place were not very friendly, and in fact, constantly looked for anyone who was different in any way. Of course, that would be me. The punishment for being different was that the "skin" was removed and the person vaporized. Now I have no idea why the skin had to be removed if the person was just going to be vaporized anyway (maybe the skin was really a protective cover?), but who can explain dreams? I'm fairly certain that Freud could find something in my dream that would represent sex in some way, shape or form. I'm not big on believing it all winds down to that. So if anything of a sexual nature can be found in my dream, just keep it to yourself. All I know is that I really got into the artist's work from an earlier post--Elizabeth Ingraham's fascinating and strangely disturbing "skins," which were meant to represent the mental or emotional things women take in or take on. Society has placed these labels on women for so long, and only since my generation have women tried to buck the system. Her site describes most of the "interactive" skins and how she portrayed the various labels. Some were beautiful, like the one named Regret, made with lace and covered with beads and shells. Ms. Ingraham says that Regret "...rattles at the slightest touch, producing faint echos of love and loss." I'd say that's about right except my echos would not be faint. Accommodation was constructed so that she would open up and become larger by pulling on a row of snaps. "After becoming large enough to accommodate virtually anything, she then obligingly snaps back up into her normal size and shape." Interesting that it's someone else that has to pull the snaps to open and then shut them back up. Accommodation doesn't seem to be in control of what she's accommodating. Guilt was pictured in my earlier post, but there were no words that described her on Ms. Ingraham's site. Guilt appears to have seams or zippers over most of her "body." Perhaps as she tries to atone for each of her offenses (inadequacies) each unzipped area pours out red fabric. Self-flagellation, drawing blood whether by scourging the outside or ripping ourselves apart from the inside.

As I said, I've always carried a boat-load of guilt. For anything and everything. Things I did and things I didn't do. Until recently, that is. Now I'm not so much feeling all that guilt. I guess by not being bombarded with stress and requests and feelings of having to make everyone happy, along with doing whatever I can to make myself feel better, there really isn't anything to feel guilty about right now. Although I did feel guilty about selfishly taking so much time for myself at first. Now I feel okay about saying no when it is what I really want to say. I don't say it to everything now, but I didn't used to say it to anything. Making some progress in the last seven or eight months, no? Today I realize that not feeling guilty is not the same as not caring. Big load off my mind, because I was really feeling guilty about not caring. Never ever want to not care. Thinking about my dream made me realize that no one else can make us feel guilty--we do it all to ourselves and usually over our own ridiculously high expectations. Thanks, Ms. Ingraham.

Too bad I had to get vaporized to figure it out.

(Image from this post is entitled "Ray Bradbury 2010" and is found at workingearth at Etsy.)

(Along with Ms. Ingraham's "Skin" exhibition, an experimental dance performance was given at La MaMa Theater in New York in 2005 based on the "Skin" concept. The performers eventually "...become so wrapped up in societal expectations and others' opinions that they become mummies. After being fully bound in tape and adorned in plaster, they are left alone for us to consider: real, struggling people trapped inside someone else's dressing. Their emergence from the oppressive tape that binds them is a turning point in the story." Read more at offoffonline.com.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Think Green...

Today being Saint Patrick's Day and me being Irish, here are my Irish words of wisdom:

Live well. Love much. Laugh often.

Happy St. Pat's Day!!

Yeah, none of that watery green beer. Go for the stout!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Inside my skin...

Yesterday I was supposed to go to work and help with a payroll project. I emailed them on Friday and said I would be there. Then I just didn't go. I tried, but I couldn't make myself walk out the door. I haven't gone in four weeks. I've never been like this. When I knew that something important needed to be completed, I was the one who always bent over backwards to do everything I could to make it happen. I don't even feel bad about not going, and I haven't tried to go in today.

I think I've quit caring. I don't like being this way. One one hand, it feels so selfish and just wrong. On the other, I almost feel like I'm rebelling in some strange way, like a little kid who is saying "nah-nah-nah, you can't make me." Ever since I had that meltdown a few weeks ago, I've been getting more and more like this little brat, with an attitude of "don't tell me what to do or I won't do it just for spite."

I've always carried around a lot of guilt because I felt like I wasn't good enough or strong enough (mentally or emotionally). I was even told that I didn't care enough when, in fact, caring too much was what created the problems. I felt a lot of guilt over the last six or seven months when I opted to stay home from work. Guilt for not doing enough for my employers as well as guilt for creating our difficult financial situation at home. I mean, really major guilt trips. Now, I've gradually come to realize I'm not feeling guilty at all. Not about anything.

I'm becoming someone I never thought I could be. I don't think I like me this way.

The image used in this post is from a 2004 exhibition by Elizabeth Ingraham, a faculty member at UNL's Hillestad Textiles Gallery, and is entitled "Guilt." Her exhibition was titled "Information, Memory and Desire: Skins," and the lifesize figures were created from various fabrics and findings. The exhibition annoucement had this to say:

“Through a series of life-size, dimensional female skins, I am exploring how expectation, desire and convention - our own and others - form casings which shape our deepest selves and which become so familiar they seem like our own skin,” Ingraham said.

She likened the skins to costumes and camouflage, saying that they describe emotional states, conceal and reveal identity. The works are tactile as well as visual and are designed to be touched and handled by the viewer - unzipped, unbuttoned, entered, read and rattled."

Read more about her at culturalterrain.com or at monet.unk.net and see more of the "skins"--Duty, Denial, Regret, Baggage, etc.--"...the guises in which women enrobe themselves."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ah, Spring! Ah, choo!

Spring is definitely in the air. Trees are budding, bulbs are pushing up through the soil and neighbors have already starting mowing lawns. All of which stacks up to sheer terror for me. Well, maybe it's more like misery, but to a person who is allergic to the outdoors, it's close. For the last three or four days, I've suffered through my first bout of acute symptoms--sneezing, itchy, red, swollen and watery eyes, sinus congestion and runny nose. Soon it's going to affect my skin allergies, too. Hives, no less. Having three dogs doesn't help either. I went through a box of Kleenex and most of my Benedryl in two days. Having tried all of the over-the-counter medications, I am at the point of needing to see an allergist for shots. My dermatologist told me that North Carolina ranks in the top three places for the worst allergy conditions. Soon our weather reports will include a daily allergy alert (as if those who need them really need them!). I knew I loved snow for a reason!

I wonder if I could make this mask look more fashionable?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rescue me...

We have three Golden Retrievers that are our children. We love, pamper and spoil them. I think there is nothing cuter than a Golden puppy. Who can resist those soft little bundles of fur that wriggle and cuddle and make cute puppy noises? We started out getting puppies, but the last two we've gotten were rescued and around two years of age. Both were abused and had some behavior issues as a result. It is a tremendous joy to rescue an abused animal, but they require a lot of time and attention. Not everyone can give that time, and not everyone understands the special needs of an abused animal.

Our first rescue was from the local Golden Retriever Rescue Club over six years ago. Her story is awful. A breeder who had around 40 Goldens was mating smaller ones to get a miniature version, something that would be totally awesome to those who love Goldens. Our Maris was one of only two that she had successfully bred. Based on some of her behavior, Maris probably was abused during early leash or show training up until she was about two years old. Then, unfortunately, the breeder abandoned her animals, leaving them in small puppy size cages in a warehouse with no ventilation for 28 days. I won't go into the details--they are gruesome. When the GRRC got there, half of the dogs were dead, and the other half dubbed "the bones bunch." We have always had very large dogs, males weighing between 100 and 120 pounds, so we had been looking for a smaller Golden. The first day "the bones bunch" was in an adopt-a-show, my other half just happened to attend and put our names on the list for both of the small dogs. We were first on the list for the one we eventually got, but later that week, we were told that her behavior issues were the worst of any Golden they had ever rescued. They decided not to adopt her out, and I asked them to contact us if they ever changed their minds.

The foster mom tried to help Maris but wasn't very successful. She kept her for six months, and then, possibly in frustration, decided that our vet references had been so stellar that she would consider letting us "try her out." Otherwise, the fosters were going to keep her. The foster mom's biggest concern was that we had two other Goldens, and she felt that putting Maris with other dogs would exacerbate the problems. We begged her to let us have a chance, and it turned out that it was probably more helpful than hurtful to have Maris be around other dogs.

When we got to the foster home (per our appointment), the smallest Golden I've ever seen was walking around at the front glass door. I ran up the steps and I don't think I rang the bell, walked into the house and sat on the floor. Maris was cautious, but she came and got partially in my lap, and she licked my face with one very gentle kiss. The fosters were astonished because Maris had never exhibited any kind of reaction to anyone before. It was obvious that we were meant to be. We were to take her home for the weekend and bring her back on Monday if we changed our minds. I knew there was no chance of that happening. I was recovering from the worst depression I've ever had, a deep pit that I believed had only one way out. I needed Maris as much as she needed me. Thankfully, I was still around to rescue her, but in truth, we rescued each other.

Needless to say, this littlest Golden stole my heart. Her eyes gave away her lack of confidence and trust. I was able to stay home at the time, and I worked with her for months, trying to help her unlearn her drastic survivor and emotional behaviors. When she ate, I was right there beside her, constantly touching her and her bowl, letting her know that the food was hers and no one would take it away. She gradually stopped scooping up all of the food in her mouth like a squirrel and taking it away to hide and eat. I walked around with treats in my pockets that I would surprise her with so she would learn that food wasn't scarce. I kept an eye on her when she was outside so she wouldn't eat any poop. We put out a giant bucket of water, praying that she wouldn't drink every drop of it, as she was wont to do. She did not want to be touched and hated to be held or groomed. She would growl and occasionally bite if we did any of these things or if she felt threatened. I wouldn't back down, didn't scold her for reacting that way and continued to touch and stroke her fur. She was like a rag doll at first. She had no muscles to speak of, and I decided that a daily body massage would not only help her as her muscles strengthened, but would also be another way of therapy. Gradually, she lost most of her behavior issues, but her ordeal left deep scars. To this day, she does not have the exuberant personality of a normal Golden. She is quiet and subdued most of the time. She is cautious around people, doesn't run to them, and gently raises her paws as a greeting. She is anxious when daily activities are the slightest bit different and paces when anything in her comfort zone changes. But she has become, hands down, the sweetest dog we've ever had.

After all she went through as well as the problems that can come with over-breeding, I'm not surprised that she's had several physical problems. Goldens are prone to getting cancer, and Maris has had three different kinds--a rare gum cancer, a skin cancer and a rare eye cancer. We never want to do anything that puts our babies through unnecessary pain. We consider their age, overall health and look to our wonderful vets for advice on how to manage any problems. We firmly believe that the animal's quality of life is the main issue, and we try not to make emotional decisions.

We are now having to consider whether or not to have Maris' eye removed. She had half of her lower jaw removed several years ago, and she has managed quite well. My heart and my head are battling with this decision. Although I have loved every Golden we've ever had, Maris and I have a very special bond. We are soul mates in so many ways. She has been a joy and a treasure in my life. We both have been to the edge but survived our darkest hours. She and I both guard our hearts carefully. We proceed down the path of life cautiously, but we do keep going.

I know that I will lose this most special gift we've been blessed with at some point down the road. I've often said that I think God gives special needs children to very special people who can love and accept them unconditionally. I believe the same thing about Maris. She was given to me because we needed each other. Some people don't understand depression. They think it is just sadness or a phase. Those are the kind of people that wouldn't understand a gift like Maris, nor would they have been patient and understanding with her behavior. I'm so thankful that I was entrusted with this little angel.

And hopefully, God will prepare for another one to find us when Maris is gone.

(Image in this post is entitled "Golden Retriever" and is by Ron Krajewski of dogartstudio at Etsy.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Passion for fashion...

Today is a much less painful day than yesterday! I'm a bit sore from those muscle spasms, but thankfully, that's it. I'm sure I needed a wake up call regarding my lack of exercise, and this one definitely got my attention.

I went to a new place to get my hair cut this past weekend. It's a school for stylists that has been in the area forever. I had been paying around $50 plus tip for a trim and $125-$150 for highlights. What was I thinking?? Well, I have to admit that the gal has been cutting my hair for over ten years, and way back then she only charged $25-30. As she and the salon grew in popularity, the prices followed suit. I knew I had to do something different since I haven't been working for so long. When I thought about where to go, I drew a total blank except for that stylist school. They don't take appointments. It's first come, first served by the next trainee who has a free chair. Maybe it was fate, maybe it was luck of the draw, but the guy that cut my hair was fantastic. When I left, I felt like I had not only gotten a great new cut but had had a therapy session to boot! After we introduced ourselves and he and his teacher talked about my hair--chopitoff/shaveitoff/changethecolor/spikeit/flattenit/frizzit (I told them I was totally open to whatever)--I asked him about his training and what he planned to do. As it turns out, he is a musician and was doing the training to help support his passion when he graduates. He immediately asked me what my passion was. I floundered and sputtered for a few minutes. My passion?? I could have talked all day about my problems, but my passion? How long has it been since I gave that any thought? Well, I came right back around to what I did so long ago and would love to do again. I love unusual fashion. Looking at it, designing it, wearing it, not so much sewing it. That's where I always got hung up. My idea of sewing is whatever can be done the fastest and doesn't require a pattern. Which led to some pretty unusual fashion! I was in several art shows and had my pieces in a boutique for a few years. My things were popular, sold well and I got lots of requests for more. I do have to confess that part of the reason for getting into it was an attempt to escape from the craziness of my life. I was working long hours and had very little extra time, but doing this made me feel so much better. At first. As things took a downturn in life, the creating became as stressful as my regular job. So I gave it up. I worked for years in the boutique that bought my stuff in order to satisfy my creative side, but I haven't been able to do that for awhile. So...now I'm thinking about creating. Again. Maybe if I think about it often enough, I'll actually do it!

Oh, and, by the way, my hair cut was only $9.95. Deal.

(Image used in this post is by Gilfling, and is entitled "Even I Dream Sometimes." The drawings, sold at Etsy, were created while the artist/designer was getting a degree in costume design. Inspirations included back braces, prosthetic limbs, dolls, masks and baroque costumes. Dress forms also appear in several drawings.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Me and Flick...

I have always been active and in fairly good shape. I never thought about how the last six months of inactivity would affect my body. I was spending too much time thinking and not moving. Ouch, but that has taken a toll.

We have been cleaning out the garage for several weeks in anticipation of an inspection, and yesterday was the longest cleaning day we've had. This morning I couldn't move. Major lower back spasms. Majorly painful. Never had anything like this before. I've been doing some very careful and slow stretching as well as moving around slowly. I can't remember if it's heat or ice I need. Going to look that up next.

I'll be pulling out the walking shoes and the exercise mat soon. When I can move again. Right now I'm kinda stuck.

(Image from "A Christmas Story.")

Friday, March 5, 2010

Strait talk...

After working on yesterday's post, I was reminded just how much I adore bindings. Meaning, of course, as fashion. Corsets, harnesses, cage skirts, anything wrapped, strapped and layered, belted or laced. I can still get away with most of this because it has simply always been my style. I was wearing lingerie as outerwear long, long ago. Now, my dad did call me a "street walker" and refused to take me out anywhere if he thought I was dressed to an extreme. Hhhmmppphh. Today, he takes my niece out no matter how she is dressed, and most of the time, she shows way more skin than I ever did! Not to criticize her. She is a cutie-pie. The difference is that I was more covered up than not, wearing a lot more stuff than the youngins do today. I didn't feel completely dressed unless I had on at least five pieces of clothing. My friends used to takes bets on how many I would show up wearing.

How did I get reminded of this? Well...

(Jacket is by Jim Stewart.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Leave me alone...

Today I am feeling rather numb. I guess that's an oxymoron, isn't it? Feeling numb? Being empty of feeling. I like it so much better than being full of feeling. Especially full of pain.

I'm no longer here. I've recessed back into myself. I want to stay here. My husband is suggesting that I go to a facility to recover. What awful images go through my mind as I consider that. Society has not been kind to mental patients, and the medical field has been abusive. I don't want to go to a mental hospital. Too many people who think they can fix me. Might try something different and make me worse. Send me back to the pain.

Oh no, not going there.

(Image in this post is an installation/sculpture from patriciaayres on Etsy and is entitled "Restraint.")(And BTW, she's my favorite Etsy artist/designer! Her other shop is artlab.)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Too little too late...

I'm finally getting over the exhaustion after my meltdown on Sunday evening. That was some night. My other half was truly shocked at my explosion of emotion. I certainly hadn't planned it, but I guess it was a good thing since it opened his eyes a bit.

Last night I saw a commercial for a hormone replacement center that helps treat "those who have lost the joy of life." After the experiences of last year, I definitely lost that joy. Going through the struggle with constant bleeding, all the tests to determine what was wrong and finding out I was post menopausal probably due to the extreme stress, a kind of forced post menopause. That pretty much made me lose it. The loss of joy, I mean. I really struggled for a few months trying to accept that what fundamentally makes me a female was dead. And it wasn't a silent struggle. I know I talked to my other half several times. However, interestingly enough, last night he once again proved that he and I are miles apart.

After I saw the commercial, I made the comment that maybe I should try to make an appointment. He asked me why I needed help with my hormones. I asked him if he truly didn't know, and he said, "I'm really sorry but I don't." Knock me over with a feather.

I'm married to a man who doesn't listen to me or hear what I'm saying. And all I really feel is sadness for the years I've given to someone who hasn't been there.

(Image used is entitled "Listen to What They Tell You" and is by lineanongrate at Etsy."

Monday, March 1, 2010

And in this corner...

I had a rather impressive emotional meltdown last night. We needed to get the garage cleaned up for an inspection, and it turned into one of our oldest arguments. In the past few years, my arguments have gotten less emotional and more to the point as I have gradually felt less and less emotion for my husband. As a result, his arguments have escalated into yelling and throwing objects out of frustration that I'm not responding to his tactics. Our age-old discussion relates to my purchasing, finding or collecting what he calls trash. He also seems to believe that I am hoarding stuff. I believe I talked about my house decorating in a previous post, mentioning that I use antique things as I find them and often in ways that they weren't intended to be used. I also use these same things in creating art. For example, I have a wall assemblage that includes a window frame, tin roofing, and a shredded curtain still on the rod, all of which came out of my abandoned grandparents' home. Much of what is in the garage is from their home, and needless to say, I will never get rid of it regardless of whether I ever use it or not. What isn't from my grandparents' home is still interesting, and I may want to use it in a project. He thinks if I haven't done anything with it in a year that it should be tossed. He doesn't get that inspiration doesn't have a deadline.

I calmly left the garage to go get ready for bed but decided I would apologize for something I said that was rather nasty. However, as I tried to lead up to my apology, he went off on several tangents and avoided answering questions as usual. Or his answers actually proved what I had said. I finally reached my last straw in trying to make him at least see my point of view. He didn't have to like it, just see it. Well, my emotional dam burst, and I kind of went hysterical. I actually scared him. Somehow, amidst the heavy sobbing, I told him that I had been rejected, pushed away and gotten rid of so many times that I was simply afraid for it to happen again. I said that my heart had been wounded so many times that it wasn't mending and that one more heartbreaking incident might just do me in. I said that I wanted to go somewhere that no one, not even him, could hurt me. He said that I wasn't being realistic, that there was no place I could go that there wouldn't be any people. Is it me or is he not listening? I told him about the things he had said and done to push me away, which he remembered but didn't seem to think were hurtful. I have never told anyone everything that has happened over the last 20 years with my family, my husband or jobs and even a bible study. He thought I was upset because I was holding in too much anger and should demand apologies. I am not holding in any anger, and I tried to make him see that apologies wouldn't change how I feel about what happened. I tried to make him understand that hurtful words can't be taken back or attitudes changed. What was said was said and my heart broke. Period. My hurt is not the same thing as anger. He argued that I seemed fine most of the time and that even when I was with my family I seemed okay. Although I've tried to tell him many times that I am putting on a "smiling face" and really am not doing well, he obviously doesn't listen or believe me. In the end, I'm not really sure he understood what I was saying. That he hadn't understood had been one of my earlier points of discussion. For all that we have been married for almost 25 years, he doesn't really know me.

And that, for me, is the saddest thing of all. There isn't anyone close to me who knows the real me, and there aren't many people close to me. The thing that scares me is that if they do know me and pushed me away, there must be something really bad or wrong with me. If that's the case, I don't want anyone else to know me.

(Image used in this post is found at digitaljunkies.net, a company providing freelance digital art and design, and is entitled "Hysteria.")