Art Work, Emotions, Randomness, Sleep, Therapy

The Bedroom

It’s ugly.  I won’t deny that.  For some reason, I needed to paint a bedroom.  I mean, it isn’t really hard to figure out why I needed to paint this.  I wanted it to be beautiful and ugly at the same time.  I used the most garish colors I had.  And that pink is very pink.

In it’s own way, it’s a frilly little girl’s bed.  The bed itself might be something a little girl would dream of.  The curtains are poofy and pretty.  The carpet is a deep blue.

When you put them all together, they make a very ugly combination.  That’s sort of how my bedroom was.  It holds so many nightmarish memories for me.  But it was also my refuge as I got older.  I was able to hide from the world when it overwhelmed me.  I used my imagination while I was reading.  I learned so many things while in my bedroom.

I feel so drained now.  It’s amazing how much emotional energy this took.  I didn’t care that the bed doesn’t look right.  I didn’t care that the lines are crooked.  It was coming from a place so deep in my soul, the superficial details just didn’t matter.

I think the strong colors are quite reflective of the strength of the emotions that have been surfacing.  I’m trying to roll with the punches, so to speak.  I’m using all the coping strategies I have, and trying to stick to the healthy ones.  I’m fighting the dissociation that seems to be cropping up again.

I’m not going to let these new triggers get the best of me.  I am stronger than they are.  I’m not exactly sure what they are yet, but I will be the winner.

Now, you all have to remind me of this when I fall down into the depression pit…

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Art Work, Family, Inner Child, Positive things, Randomness

Sparkler Update

Sparkler is doing well. She’s getting big. She’s getting very big. I hope she stops growing soon. She used to fit in the palm of my hand. No more.

She definitely has a personality of her own. She lets me know when she’s unhappy with something. She can be very loud at 6 o’clock in the morning when she needs food or water. She seems to like the “other stuff” (the seeds and such) in her food better than the guinea pig pellets, so I bought a bag of the other stuff to mix in with her food. She still also loves oranges, peppers and cucumbers.

So now for a few pictures…

Enjoy!

Anxiety, Art Work, Emotions, Randomness, Therapy

Running from Emotions

Running from EmotionsSo… I bought some poster paints at the store today. I was intending to finger paint with them. But I figured why I was getting art supplies, I should get some brushes. I bought some flat ones and some pointy ones. Can you tell I’m not an artist?

I taped my paper up on my wardrobe. I don’t really have any better place to do it. And I figured the paint would come off of there more easily than the wall paper if I missed the paper (which I only did once). I pulled out the flat brashes and the paint. And I attacked the paper. No, I literally attacked the first piece of paper. It was some sort of anger I was getting out. I pretty much covered the paper in reds and oranges. It was crazy. Then I balled it up and threw it in the trash. That alone was therapeutic.

But there was so many other things under the surface. I don’t even know where the anger came from tonight. It just boiled over. Better to slap paint on paper than to take it out on myself, which has been on my mind lately. I just picked the paints that spoke to me. Yeah, that sounds stupid, but that’s what it felt like. Everything was sort of swirling around. As the emotions came and went, I just made different shapes. Gah! I don’t really know how to explain it. I have no words to explain how I’m feeling right now. And because the painting is reflecting those feelings, I really don’t have the words to describe the painting.

I titled the piece “Running from Emotions” because it occurred to me as I was resizing the picture (no need to upload a 4000×3000 image here) the orange blob in the lower right looks like a person running away from everything else in the painting. That must be the whole sub-conscious thing at work again. The other thing I noticed is how small the “person” is as compared to the rest of the painting.

Overall, for my first (okay, second) try at painting with a brush, it doesn’t look too bad. I’ve seen stranger things in art museums. In a strange way, I like it. I’m looking forward to playing a bit more. I bought white paper (which is gray on the flip side) and black paper. I really want to play with the black paper. Maybe it’s the whole black equals night thing in my mind. I don’t know.

Emotions, Family, My story, Therapy

A Letter

April 26, 2008

Dad,

I’m tired of stuffing my feelings. I’m tired of pretending that I don’t hate what you did to me. I’m tired of ignoring the insanity of my childhood.

Never was my life a bed of roses. I worked hard to get where I am today. And as sure as I am that I am a huge disappointment to you and Mom, that isn’t necessarily a reality. I’m trying harder to accept that there are people who think I’m good at my job. And it warms my heart when one of my students say “I love you, Teacher!”

It’s taken me a very long time to figure out that life is wroth living. I now realize I spent way too much time contemplating how to end my life. And it’s a miracle that I never tried to end it. When things got really bad, I was lucky to have people to turn to. I was extremely lucky to have J, P, J, R, L and Dr. M in college. I was just as lucky to have L and Dr. D in grad school.

I’m angry. I’m very angry. That’s a hard thing for me to say. All those years you taught me that being angry wasn’t okay. It was fine for you to be pissed off at the entire universe. But for me, I had to be the perfect little lady. I could never let my emotions show.

To this day, I’m never really sure what to do with my emotions. I’m trying, slowly but surely, to learn how to express my emotions safely and in a healthy way. It has been a huge challenge for me.

I don’t know how I feel about you. I know I hate your actions. But I don’t know if I hate you. I know I don’t love you. I don’t feel any sort of emotional attachment to you.

I don’t know whether to hate you or pity you. I’m quite certain horrible things were done to you when you were a child. But that isn’t an excuse for what you did to me. That isn’t a reason. You made the choices you made. No one made you follow the path you did. And now, I have to live with those choices.

The good thing that has come out of this is that I’ve made different choices than you made. I have broken the cycle abuse. My method may not be the healthiest, but it is effective. I have chosen to not have a family of my own. And even though that’s unthinkable for you, I know it’s the right choice for me.

It’s taken me a long time to finish this letter. At times, the emotions were just too much. I had to put them, and this letter, away for awhile. And even though it’s been slow, it’s been a huge step forward. I didn’t run away as I would have in the past. I persevered. Progress is progress, no matter how slowly it may be made.

And even though this has been hard, it’s taught me one thing. I am a stronger person than I give myself credit for.

Anxiety, Dreams, Emotions, Family, Sleep

Storms

Nightmare city tonight…

It’s not secret I’m freaked out by thunderstorms. They were predicting them all day. They never arrived. That’s a good thing.  As I’ve written out the dream, I’ve put some comments in parentheses, mostly possible symbolism.

So in this dream, I’m in some sort of a summer house with a sun room.  You know, one of those glassed in room deals (feelings of exposure).  I’m sleeping on the floor and my mother is sleeping in the bed.  Why in the world is the sun room set up like a bedroom (so much happened in the bedroom)?  No idea.  The dream starts out with me sleeping.

All of a sudden it starts storming.  Just a little storm, nothing really bad.  The type of lightening that just lights up the whole sky and some rumbling thunder.  But it’s enough to wake me up in the dream.

So I wake up and after a minute or so, the little thunder storm turns into a rip roaring insane storm.  The lightening is the cloud to ground kind.  The thunder is the kind that booms and shakes the entire house.  In the dream, the lightening changes colors, usually centered around the reds and golds (anger???).  At times it seems to be in slow motion.  As I’m busy freaking out, I keep thing “Oh wow, this would make an awesome picture.” (trying to find some normalcy???).

I sit up and I’m shaking.  I’m doing the whole hypervigilance thing.  I’m waiting for the walls of this flimsy sun room to blow in or out at any moment.  I can see them bending and hear them groaning as the wind blows.  I start screaming.

If the dream stopped there, I don’t think it would have bugged me so much.  But in this dream, I start clinging to my mother.  I’m an adult in the dream, but I literally wrapped myself around her legs.  It wasn’t her reaction that bothers me.  She basically just kicked me away.  It was me as an adult going to her for comfort when I know damn well, she wouldn’t do anything to help.  The futility of it all is what drives me crazy.

I know I long for a mother figure and a father figure.  I long for parents who would have loved and nurtured me.  I don’t think that’s all that abnormal.  In fact, if I didn’t, I think I’d be more worried about my mental health.

So basically, it’s 3:30 AM.  I’m waiting for the Ativan to kick in.  I’m biding my time by writing this and fooling around on Facebook (god can that be a time sink).  I have the irrational longing to go to the convenient store across the street and buy a couple beers to get rip roaring drunk, either that or a bottle of Soju (10 bucks versus a buck).  I won’t, because I’ve taken the Ativan and rationality should ensue quickly.  And I won’t because I know that getting drunk won’t solve anything.  Oh yes, and I actually need to get stuff accomplished tomorrow (errrr…. today) and being hungover would definitely put a kink in the getting stuff done mode.

OK, random thought before I go to bed.  This is well over 500 words.  Any of you remember when it took hours to write 500 words?  I remember having to write a 500 word essay on “A Tale of Two Cities” as part of our summer AP English assignment.  I remember counting each and every one of those words (yes, this was back in the day before spell check and word count in word processors — PFS Write for an Apple IIC if you must know) and rejoicing when I hit the 500 word point.  It took me days to get get there.  OK, well over 600 words now.  And I banged this out in what?  Fifteen minutes?

Art Work, Positive things, Therapy

Sunrise

Sunrise

I really love this piece. It’s so peaceful. It speaks of hope and renewal and rebirth. I’m not sure why I’ve been into doing water in my artwork lately. But it’s a nice change from some of the horrible images I was doing.

Overall, I’ve been feeling more positive lately. Making the decision and signing my new contract has some to do with it. Better sleep has a lot to do with it.
Right now, I finally feel right in my skin. I don’t know how long this will last. I know I’ll have ups and downs. This is definitely a nice respite from the downs.

Not all is roses, but I feel like I can deal with the thorns.

Anxiety, Emotions, Fears, PTSD

Fear of Touch

Fear of Touch

Haphephobia? Seriously, there has to be a technical name for just about every phobia out there.

I’m sure I’ve written about this before. It’s something that I’m constantly working on. I think I might be able to downgrade from phobia to plain old fear. I certainly don’t like being touched, especially if I don’t know it’s coming.

Sometimes it’s hard to see progress. You get caught up in the day to day trials and tribulations of dealing with depression, anxiety and PTSD. It takes a conscious effort to step back and say “Yeah, I am making progress”. I guess it’s sort of like counting your blessings. The world seems horrible sometimes, but when you take the time to actually look, there are a lot of really great things going happening.

It’s been a slow shift in my fear of touch. Getting my hair cut used to require rather large doses of anti-anxiety meds. I realized the other day that I went, had my hair washed and cut, all without crippling anxiety. It helped to have a friend for moral support. Actually I was her moral support too. She was getting a way different hair cut and was freaked out about it.

I don’t mind touch so much when it’s coming from my students.  There are days when it drives me bat shit insane though, especially when it’s hot outside.  I have one particularly affectionate student and there are days I have to pull her off of me.  I really love K.  I’ve been her teacher since starting at this school over a year ago.  But really, it’s 90 degrees outside (and the owner is being a prick about having the A/C on).

I’ve found more inspiration in comic strips lately.  I don’t know why.  Maybe I’m just weird.  OK, I’m definitely weird.  Wanna make something of it???  :-)