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About Faith

SUNDRIP – Art for Life is a site that expresses in every media possible an intimate look into the life of a person living with major trauma. The issues addressed in art and writing include Dissociative Identity Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Lupus and CRSD. Despite these issues, I intend to move forward, through and out with honor, grace and creativity.

4

Content : Sexual abuse

I feel like throwing up. I feel like rolling over in the fetal position to cry.

This is the second time the CNA 2 talked to me about homosexuality. The first time I didn't say much. Today she went into detail and told me I look like a "stud". That is not a compliment to a person who is not an stud. She said I "look gay" and that I am not a "girly - girl. " She commented that I don't wear long nails, eyelashes and makeup. I told her I prefer the natural look.

The main difficulty of being called a stud is that it removes my femininity, something I cherish.

As a child, my mother used me as if I was a man. Also, she would say, "Are you gay? Are you a boy? Do you want me to cut your hair?" As early as the second grade she began chipping away at my birth right to be female. She hounded me, always asking if I thought I was a boy. Never did I feel that way, but she did use me that way.

She started the same crap with my brother. She kept asking him if he was gay. The boy was three! Three years old and she was hounding him, too.

Dr D and I talked about how I will need to reason with myself on the matter. When I look in the mirror I don't see anything masculine about me. I don't feel masculine. Whatever is seen by others is not under my control. I can still be comfortable in my skin as a woman and throw off the absurdity from my CNA 2.

I have two CNAs and one nurse. CNA 2 is the one who crossed boundaries today.

Dr D asked if I switch personalities when the cna's are inappropriate. No. I just listen like a good girl, just like when listening to my mother. I give no indication that I'm disturbed and upset. That has changed recently. I tell them when they have crossed the line but I don't show that I'm upset. That's the main thing for me, never give what they're looking for. Never give them a reaction of shock or dismay. I learned that dealing with my mother. She was looking for a reaction so I refused to give her one! I do this w a lot of people now, no physical reaction no matter what!

Jordan

1

Today my CNA referred to me as handicapped. I was offended! I thought, You're gonna tell me that bc I sit in a wheelchair I'm handicapped? After further thought I'm like, oh hang on, there's a little more to it than just being in a wheelchair. There are weeks when I can't get up. There are days when keeping my food down is a joke and coordinating thoughts is nothing but tiring. Yes, I have in home nurses and aides. There are quite a few limitations but in my mind I don't think of myself as handicapped. I think disabled, but not handicapped.

Honestly, the two words are about the same in definition. It's the stigma of handicapped that gets under my skin. There is no dignity w that word. It feels like a stripping of abilities and value. Saying I'm disabled only recognizes limitations but handicapped says to me that I have lost my ability to count in society.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I think too much. I just know the two words feel different when used.

In another shock, my other CNA asked me how I can be expected to have faith in God the same as a person not sitting in a wheelchair. (crickets) Dear CNAs, Y'all realize my life isn't over, right? You do realize there are people who have it worse?

Losing a body part is not the same as losing yourself. And despite depression or hating my life from time to time, I still have a bit of fire in me that won't allow me to give up! Sometimes I lose sight of things but mostly I remember that I have hope. I have a future!

My final thought is this. Sitting in a wheelchair hasn't weakened me, nor has it made me stronger. It just is. It's a page turned not an ending.

Faith

2

I was able to go in to see Dr D today. It was good to see him. It feels like forever when its only been a few weeks. I talk to him every Monday though. Anyway, the kids stayed out the entire time. Between Michelle and Ariel (6) there was no time given to anyone else. He does fine talking to them, but it wears me out. I've been fighting a headache after the whole thing, which I hear is common.

Michelle went over some art created while trying to deal with her anxiety. She talked about how she is being helped by lavender essential oils. Since we don't leave home often, it never occurred to us that we might need it while out. I'll make sure to have some on a scarf so that it is right there for us to use.

I didn't realize how close of a friendship Robert and the little ones have. It's possible for them to talk back and forth and hear each other clearly whereas I usually have to listen really, really hard to hear them or rely on their letters and notes to me. I can't communicate with Robert as easily as Michelle can. I was shocked by how clear their communication was today.

Although subject matter wasn't heavy, switching to a child personality is exhausting emotionally and physically. Since my nurse was the one who took me to therapy and she doesn't know I have DID, I had to immediately come forward and ride home with zero time to transition from therapy head to normal head.

Nope, the nurses and aids don't know about the multiple personality disorder. I usually don't tell people about it, unless of course they're total strangers on the internet. Most of my friends don't know and don't need to know. Only about 5, my closest inner circle, know.

When nurses are around I, Jordan, stay out. How, I don't know, but I do. I, and everyone inside, will answer to the name Faith. At home alone people come and go as they please. The kids know their boundaries and don't try to cook or make tea. No one leaves the house on their own. The kids are good about knowing house rules so it's ok for them to come out when we're alone. The older teens look after each other, too. We're a good group.

As far as art goes, I'm working on 5 art projects that will be completed soon. I'm working on one small doll and one doll bag holder. My second home nurse, the one that comes on Fridays, says she may take the doll bag holder for her mom. I'll still post photos though.

Last but not least, there's been a bit of talk inside about taking a break from Facebook. I don't know for how long but I'm throwing around the idea. Facebook has its place in small quantities. I'm thinking of a lot less after a break.

Jordan

2

Wow. Since the weather changed to 'bury y'all in snow' I've done nothing but sleep. I can't wake up. I'm not in a lot of pain but I can't wake up... or keep my food down. This happens from time to time though I'm not certain why. I get nauseated and nothing sounds good except toast or saltine crackers.

I'm in bed, too lazy to reach and turn on the heated blanket. Lazy! I'd rather roll right back over and go back to sleep. Lol

My ideal evening would include pot roast, garlic bread and beer with some painting to cap off the night. However, it's reasonable to conclude that crackers and hydration are on the menu. Turning in early is a certainty.

Faith

6

Gracious! These people are going to drive me crazy! First off they don't show up but when they do, they can't take me anywhere or run errands bc 9 times out of 10 they have no car insurance! The last CNA sent had no license and no insurance. You know the level of irresponsibility of that? My goodness!

So today the woman showed an hour late w no car insurance, so she couldn't even go to the store for me to get a few items. Then she complained that it would take her too long to do the laundry so she asked to go home instead of stay and work. Soooo, no shower, no laundry, no mail and no meal prep. What are they doing other than charging my insurance for work not completed? I'm so mad today I can't see straight.

You know what I don't get either? I don't understand these young people who don't know how to use measuring spoons and cups. It is foreign to them. Completely foreign.

I'm so irritated right now I can't even see straight. Before this is over I'm going to be huffing lavender straight from the bottle!

Ok so therapy went fine. We talked about the triggers from my upstairs neighbor who finally moved. He's gone but the upset is deep. It was hard listening to him scream for hours deep into early morning hours. That's over which means I may get some peace from my neighbors here on out. I hope so.

Me

My heart is no longer as desperate as in my youth. I'm not willing to trade everything for a partner.

I had a long conversation with the new CNA about marrying a man I really didn't know because my heart was so desperate to be loved. I told her because it was important information to pass on. Talking about huge mistakes like that can help others not to feel so different and alienated. She kept looking at me like, Oh my goodness, but many times she could relate. That was the point, help her relate.

We talked about how much emotional abuse took place and how cruel his words were. And yet I took those blows, one after the other. I was so desperate to be loved that failing in the marriage seemed worse than the abuses I was suffering. How could I face people who already think of me as nothing and unlovable, broken? How could I endure the words of my mother and the smurk on her face? At that time I couldn't. I made the decision to stay and that decision had serious consequences.

Desperation leads the heart to do dangerous things! I stopped thinking logical and symbolically followed behind him, pledging loyalty all the way.

I was just a child when I ran into my husband, a pained child. Now I take my position as an adult and speak. I will strengthen myself and others.

Faith

1

hate life renewed energy Sundrip

I Can Keep Going was drawn by Robert (19) with writing by Michelle (12).

What stands out in this piece for me is the brick wall on the shoulders of the largest figure. We are feeling a lot of pressure right now.

I like how Michelle processes things: This is how I feel. This is the reality. This is supporting truth.

I've not been suicidal but life has felt like a burden, emotionally and physically painful. Several factors played into not getting enough sleep so that was a problem, too. Each day is a struggle that feels like a losing battle but the reality is I've made progress and I'm moving forward in many healthier ways. I slip up, like the other day with self harm, but I also put in place safety plans and try to find ways to help myself. Lavender in the nose and on my feet has helped tremendously, so has the art sketchbook. It feels like a losing battle but it is not. I know I can keep going, and I will.

The art piece was created in watercolor and is 7.5 x 10 inches on 98lb paper.

Robert

words fma

Content: Suicide. Blood. Emotional angst.

Cruel Words was painted by several of us. What strikes me is how affected I was by the suicide of the CNA's friend.

In the drawing there are heads blown off the people in the trees. That's a first for drawings and hopefully the last. I know the kids inside were very affected by the suicide. Having her cry in our arms that way was very heavy.

I fired my regular CNA who had cruel words for me. Anxiety is already high for us, we don't need to worry about the mouth of our CNA and what she will say that'll hurt.

The grumpy CNA is pregnant with three weeks left. It is entirely possible that her change of attitude is purely hormonal, however, the irritability and weariness she caused couldn't be tolerated. It is also true that I can't justify asking an 8 month pregnant woman to lift my wheelchair and take me to the doctor. I feel horrible asking her to do my laundry or run the sweeper. The girl is tired and irritable! Dang!!!

I like her but the change in her isn't safe for my personal issues, ya know? I talked to her about why I fired her and she said she knows she's hormonal and understands. I even told her it's about time to take maternity leave because she can't be at my house when her water breaks. lol. I can't handle that. I don't know nothin about birthin no babies.

Firing my CNA was the right thing to do. I was walking on eggshells in my own home and that can't be. So, on to the next chapter in the CNA Saga.

The art piece was created in watercolor and is 7.5 x 10 inches on 98 lb paper.

Robert

2

Fish Face Insanity by Sundrip

My neighbor has Schizophrenia. A different neighbor says it's not a mental illness but that he has demons. She inaccurately applied Scripture, which I quickly corrected, but its still on my mind and still bothers me.

She has no idea what comments like that do to a person with a mental illness. Though I corrected her, its not my job nor is it my desire to be the grand educator. I don't want to sit down the ignorant and set them straight, I just want to fight my battle without their words spinning in my universe.

When she said he has demons I thought to myself, she should never find out that I have Multiple Personality Disorder! That for sure would make her think I have Legions of demons in me.

disolve by robert Sundrip

When younger my mother used to tell me that my demons were upsetting her. My mother knew I had DID when I was at least a young teenager. She knew Morton by name and called him a demon. She said I'm possessed because of being a bad person. That too has stayed with me. I fight with the thought, that I'm a bad person, but I no longer fight the fear of having demons. My mother's reason for saying it wasn't ignorant beliefs it was cruelty and abuse. My sister knew I had others, too. She used to call out a young one to play. I don't know if she still remembers that or not.

You know, I got to thinking, mental illness isn't for the weak or ignorant. A person with a mental illness has to be one of the strongest people around because we have to fight tooth and nail just to keep our head above water. Then you add life events with it and you've got yourself one serious storm. We are not weak for having a mental illness, not even close.

The drawings included were created in the last few days as a way to survive myself.

Robert

I yelled at someone today. I was frazzled and shaken by recent events. She applied a tiny bit of pressure and off I went. I must have looked crazy bc after I started talking to my regular CNA and burst into tears!

Right now I feel like I have to be very careful about what I do bc I'm raw. I'm more upset about my grandmother's death than I realized. It seems I have less emotional control right after I wake from dreams. Dreams are influenced right now by her death and by my neighbor's mental illness that has spilled over to other residents. The screaming is that of a horror show! So, when I awaken from whatever nightmare, I'm more likely to show my own mental health issues and humanity.

Last night in the dream I protected myself verbally from physical assault by the aunt w Leukemia. I reminded her that I am an adult and she will not put her hands on me. It was at "the house", the one that should be razed to the ground.

Lavender bear

I've taken night meds and feel sleepy. I've also got Bernhardt who smells of lavender. I should get enough sleep this evening. Let's hope for quality sleep, too.

Oh yeah. I remembered something I used to have that I definitely need to replace. I used to burn candles all the time! For security reasons I need some but for the flicker and calm, I gotta have it. It'll be payday soon and I'll narrow down what I want to buy lol Right now I'm like, I want. I want. I want. I'll narrow my list and we'll see.

Jordan

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