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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I slept a lot and read a lot, slept more and read more. That's all I've done. My neighbor has been quiet the whole time! When I say I slept, I mean I slept hard, drooling and all on these lavender scented pillows. I added oil to them. It's a beautiful scent.
It's been a healing sort of day, the type that goes deep inside and is a gift of peace. I can't tell you how much I needed it! I feel refreshed. Like someone came in and cleaned my inner windows.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but today has been a gift that is much appreciated and on time.
Michelle I got some painting time in yesterday as did I. I hope to revisit my piece later. This day isn't over.
I feel uprooted. Everything is different. My home is great but I've not laid down roots here. Most of my possessions are new because the old got thrown out. The only photo of my father that I had was thrown away accidentally. It is gone forever and it hurts.
My dishes, terrariums, plants, shoes, bed, sheets, furniture, everything is different and new. My frogs are new, fish are new. No dog or cat anymore. Heck, my laptop and phone are even new. I realized I have few things that I am emotionally attached to because I've not had them long enough. It feels like everything has new roots, nothing is stable, consistent, long term, dependable.
I'm new. I've changed physically and emotionally. My eyes haven't stopped watering since the amputation. They water nearly non-stop.
I feel like I'm complaining but all I'm trying to say is that laying down new roots at 47 is difficult.
Art supplies are new. Again, these are observations not necessarily complaints. I love my new art supplies, especially the Winsor and Newton watercolors seen in the photos. Winsor Newton puts out a superior product that I totally love and yet there's a feeling of sadness because they don't have longer history with me. It would seem their only history with me is the hospitalization.
It hurts my heart to think that what all the new things have in common is trauma. So I've got to try and change that view to one more positive, something like this: All the new things are associated with SURVIVAL not near death. They are evidence of life, of a future, of deep, deep roots that helped me walk to this very day.
I woke in the fetal position and quickly stretched out of it. That position makes me go deeper into myself which can hurt more emotionally.
I'm anxious, in pain again and swollen. I know these are normal cymbalta withdrawal symptoms, so I try not to let it get to me too much but, I'm so anxious I feel like I need to run. I've got a lot of tools in my survivors bag so I'll have to pull out a few to manage this emotional and physical chaos.
Yesterday I had visitors which was wonderful. Two elders from the Kingdom Hall came to pay a nice, encouraging visit to me then an old friend stopped by. We had tea then scarfed down spiced chocolates. We watered all my plants and chatted up a storm. I really like her visits.
I don't expect visitors today unless my neighbor comes down for a bit. She's in a lot of pain, too and needs support.
Soooo, today is rough but I've got some tools to make it a bit smoother. It's time to start implementing them.
Today is one of those days where I feel the weight of what happened in the hospital. I feel shocked, stunned, grieved. I can only describe it as a train wreck where I can still hear the sound of metal crumbling around me. What I feel today must be what I was feeling when I drew and painted in this image with the caption: There's more to do. I'm not strong enough.
We went over the image in therapy and talked about the butterflies included and how they symbolize transformation. Also significant is the green under the eyes which I used to stand for goals of growth and keeping focused on them. Despite that focus there's dissociation (figures in the tree) to fight as well as feelings of trauma and grief symbolized by the hanging figure between the eyes. Hanging on is my main focus. It's what's between my eyes. No matter what, just hang on. That's what I think the girl in the middle is doing.
I look at the color of the dress of the girl hanging on and realize it 'should be' a shade of red, however, it is orange paint that drips into red. In my art therapy pieces, orange symbolizes ambiguity, mixed emotions, indecision. Then of course there's the spiral in the throat. I started that about a year ago when it became very difficult for me to verbalize my feelings. As if through a hole in my neck, the words escaped me.
Recently I've felt like an idiot trying to talk, so I just didn't. I didn't email or write on this blog for a number of days (never a good thing for me). I just got quiet. Today I feel better equipped to put two words together but I also feel worn thin by it all.
Tomorrow is another much needed therapy session. Like every Monday, it's over the phone. However, I'll be going in to his office every other Friday to see him. In the Friday sessions, Michelle will get dedicated time where she'll talk about her own art and issues. The goal is for her to do some healing, too.
In the hospital I felt guilty for putting my friends through worry for me. I felt bad that they worried for five long months, especially around surgeries. When things would get harry I felt horrible for putting people through tears and worry.
In this art piece that expresses the guilt, I put hanging people on the shoulders of a figure standing behind a smaller faceless figure. Both figures have an amputated foot with darkened skin around the amputation site. The figure with the sunflower crown is holding a star in her left hand.
In the hospital I worried that the doctors would realize that they were putting forth a lot of effort for a nobody, and when they found out they'd stop caring for me. This piece expresses the issue of low self worth.
The painting shows a split face which is typical in my art anymore. It shows two faceless figures and a large sunflower at the bottom. Also of note is the yellow hair and orange face of the faceless figure with spike hair. Again, yellow symbolizes disgusting things and there were plenty of gross things in the hospital. For her hair to be yellow is very significant for me.
Both works were created after the amputation and are in watercolor and ink.
The painting above, where I express myself as No One is interesting to me since I had an alter named No One who always painted herself as faceless. That alter changed her name to Jordan and is interestingly enough, the main personality in the group. She is in affect, my face.
The No One painting is also the inspiration for art where there are two faces as opposed to just a split face. I've been doing that in art therapy a lot lately. Dr. D and I talked about that last Friday.
Finding artwork created by alter personalities used to happen quite a bit. I thought it was strictly a thing of the past but I guess I was wrong. It would seem that I still find art I don't know a thing about. I was quite shocked to see the piece called My Sister in the middle of the entry Half of Us and All. That piece is by Michelle and I have no recollection of it. I was relieved to see it though because I thought the only thing I am no capable of is abstract images in black and white. I thought I was all arted out or something. So when I saw her drawing and several of Robert's drawings, I was quite pleased that we've still got some art images in us to put on paper. I'm not going to press it though. If all I can do is put ink on paper from corner to corner like in this entry then so be it. If other times I paint or draw something more 'substantial' then that's fine, too.
Dr. D and I talked about my creative goals for next year. My goal is simple which means its going to be difficult. My goal is to have some fun, just let it be. That's what I intend to do. I'm not going to force myself to create anything. I'm not going to nag myself or get down on myself. I create what I create. I paint what I paint.
I am also in a newer financial situation. For the first time in about ten years its not imperative that I sell art each month. My rent is affordable now.
Though I no longer get government assistance with food, I am at least able to budget the same amount I used to get so that my food purchases don't need to change just because the money source did. Well, I shouldn't say I don't get foodstamps any longer. I get $15.00 each month for food from the government. I look at that number and just laugh. How did they come to that amount? I knew with rent so low I'd lose quite a few foodstamps but $15 is insulting. Even so, things are much easier now, financially speaking. Things got bad for a minute there.
Dr. D wanted to know if the subject matter of my art will change with stresses lower and with my goal of fun in mind. No. I doubt it. My art changes when something emotional happens in my life. The subject of my art changes when an alter paints instead of me or that alter is in therapy. Michelle (age 12) is taking some of the time for her stuff our in office sessions. Robert used to do that but hasn't since we got sick last time. He's sort of in a managerial position inside and is doing his very best to keep us all on the same page with things running smoothly. He's busy keeping us sane, taking meds and dealing with CNA stuff. I'm happy to see he's sketching and painting in the book. I'll scan that next week. For now I just have black and white ink work which is art worked on by several of us. I have no intention of adding color.
This goal of creative fun is of interest to me because it comes at the tail end the honeymoon of my post hospitalization. I can tell I'm still very shocked and traumatized by what happened so it interests me that I would say I just want to have some fun. I don't want to worry about producing something worthy of showing on the blog. I want the weight of my own criticism and expectations to no longer crush my creative process and enjoyment. I want to go with the flow more. I don't want to see this as my job. Yeah, it is my job. I paint and sell my artwork and dolls. This is my employment, but never should I burden myself or load myself with unreachable expectations. So, lets see what stress I can throw off in 2019. Lets see if I can allow myself to have some creative fun.
Because my plate is full and I'm a bit overwhelmed with life, I've only set the one creative goal for 2019. I usually do three but not for the coming year.
In therapy we talked about the unfinished image "Both of Us", drawn by Robert over a two day period. We spent a lot of time on it because it drew us into a discussion about being co-conscious and more integrated. My emotions are more integrated and more identifiable.
I showed him 4 drawings total. Three of the drawings were done by Robert. When Robert draws himself in work, it is important to him for Dr. D to see the image of Robert. He doesn't want to be overlooked or looked through. To be ignored and overlooked is painful for anyone.
We talked about the colors and why I use certain colors. We talked about how different it is that Robert used yellow on the face in his drawing. We don't do yellow at all. Hate yellow. Of course he asked why and I just told him. My mother's mattress had yellow flowers on it. There were too many times I had my face buried in that yellow and that's all I could see. I hate that color to touch me now. I use it in art to mean negative things. For it to touch his face tells me there's some sort of guilt or maybe flashbacks that he is dealing with. Yellow in art is explained on my art therapy page. It's also interesting that the pants worn by the girl in the upper left corner is wearing yellow pants. This just doesn't happen, not even in art.
The image to the side was drawn by Michelle in pencil. Dr. D noted that the people are in typical fashion from what I used to draw. He says the people have a look of despair and trauma on their faces. It's funny, I don't set out to make my images look this way. I just start drawing what I feel. I think its the same for others inside. Everyone just draws what they feel. The painting or coloring in is according to our color chart that we've had for who knows how long.
We discussed how it feels to have a 12 year old alter around who doesn't want to be called anything but her own name and doesn't want to be mistaken for Faith.
Dr. D called Michelle the last hold out, then laughed. Yeah. Everyone else is on board with knowing and understanding what it means to have DID. We know how we got here and why we have DID but this one kid ain't havin' it. She can't accept that she is not separate. She hasn't yet learned that what she does affects the rest of us and what we do affects her. We're a system..... We take care of each other.
She wants her own sketchbook but we won't let her do it. She draws and paints in the community book just like everyone else.
There's guilt associated with 'causing' us to feel anxious whenever she's around. Her anxiety is always very, very high.
Speaking of high, Dr. D and I discussed differences in artwork when I'm high. He asked if there's a difference in noise level in my head when I'm high. Yes. I can hear the alter personalities clearer so it feels louder at times with pot, but there's also a calm that covers us all. It works out well if I eat it. I had it in hot chocolate the other day. Turns out that homemade honey cake with weed is pretty good. That one was new for me.
Last but not least, Michelle got her snails in the mail today. How totally cool is that! All the way from Greece! She keeps saying, I would have been happy even if they'd been from across the street but no one had snails that they were selling locally. I think it's totally cool that they're from Greece. It just sort of happened that way and I'm glad it did.