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.
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.
As I understand it, there has been an increase in reports of emotional triggers caused by the active abuser known as the 45th President of the United States. His inauguration has increased the stress level of people with depression as well as survivors of abuse. Why? Because his narcissism, public shaming, paranoia and threats, mirror the abuses we suffered.
Donald Trump is controlling, angry, arrogant and verbally abusive. He abuses his power with impunity. Rules don't apply to him. Like our abusers, he pits one side against another for his selfish gain. He lies and creates situations that keep everyone running in circles then he blames the chaos on us. He says one thing in public but another in private. It is plain for many to see how destructive of a force he is, but just like with many abusers, nothing is being done to remove the threat. As a matter of fact, just like with our abusers, there are those who swear he's a good person and only has the greater good in mind. How could we possibly accuse him of anything other than being a good, hard working family man? Yes, President Donald Trump brings further harm to citizens trying to heal from an abuser like him. ...continue reading "The Mental Health Toll of President Donald Trump"
I have no idea how it got to be 7:30 am without a wink of sleep, but it's here and I'm wide awake. I can recount all I've done. I've been rather productive, it's just that it doesn't seem as though it should be so late.
My closest friends and biggest support system are out of town at a convention called "Don't Give Up." I so want to be there!!! I can't travel the three hours let alone sit for several hours for three days. I love that they're getting encouragement. They'll bring that back to me, but it hurts and feels as if I have been left behind. It doesn't help that my therapist is also on vacation. I have to remember that I have friends in other congregations around the city and that I'm not alone.
I can't believe I'm in the book of Revelation and will be finished with the entire Bible soon. I'm on Revelation 4 right now. Honestly, when I was a kid and read it I wasn't sure what to think. I know certain scriptures in the book but I can't say I know what to expect because of how much time has passed since I read it. ...continue reading "While They’re Away. Sketches and Bible Reading Progress."
These are recent entries in my personal sketchbook. They're mindscapes - an artists version of a CAT scan.
I've done my best to toss out the notion that I must create something beautiful. I have to stop feeling as if I must please viewers with a masterpiece or outdo myself. I have to stop thinking and let myself paint. It's been a challenge but I'm getting better.
Mindscape – 40 years in the wilderness
Mindscape – Divide and Conquer
Mindscape – The compass 1
Mindscape – The compass 2
watercolor sunflower page
watercolor sunflower page
These are photographs. When I take them out of the sketchbook I'll scan them then put them on the working wall (the wall that holds all current projects) so I can grab and do more whenever I am able.
She's a young one with sad eyes called "With all her imperfections."
Can you love her with all her imperfections? Can you forgive her moody ways, her tendency to frown instead of smile? Can you love her shyness, her uneven horizons?
She spits out poetry like she's on a stage show before college kids smoking herbal cigarettes and talking about diversity. She'll never fit in with them because she thinks they're shallow, but she can't bring herself to stop the verse.
Her eyes have been wide shut to ambition, calling it the true path to unhappiness. Her eyes have been wide shut to the clamor of panels on the news telling her how she should feel about the newest outrage, describing it as "woke". She can't stand it. She feels too much, says too much, writes too much and excels at imperfection, but she needs you to love her. With all her imperfections, can you still love her?
Her face is the canvas of her few years of life. There's still room on her cheeks for roses, still time for the love of life to kiss her lips pink. The brow line still rises and behind sad eyes there is living hope.
Can you still love her? With all her imperfections, can you still love her?
Heartbeat is in my sketchbook. She's 7 x 10 in ink and pencil. I'm going to have her enlarged before further work. Her heartbeat comes from her temples and stretches out to form the surface of the earth. Trees and flowers grow from her heartbeat.
She Realizes Her Totality
This is a half sheet pencil drawing with the same lines at the temples only the heartbeat lines go down and the face is divided. This piece is in my private sketchbook. I want a little bit of color on her but I don't want to do her in full color. I want it to be watercolor and to get it right I'm going to have to practice which means getting her printed so I can practice on something other than the original drawing.
I was awake until 9 am then got up and got ready for therapy. It reminded me of my college years where I had severe insomnia but I could get up, shower, get dressed, eat and be out of the house in a very short period of time.
It was an odd day. The weather is beautiful. On the way I talked to my cab driver who has been taking me for about a year now. I really like her. Today on our way to therapy we got rear ended. I was wearing my seat belt but I didn't have on my back brace. It was quite a jarring we got. My pain level sky rocketed making me sway, swoon almost in this rocking, sea sick kind of way. I was trying to gather myself so I didn't throw up. I needed to get my pain down very quickly so for the first time in about a month I took half a pain pill. It helped for a bit. I started doing small pelvic movements to get fluids in that area to ease the pain. The movement is so small, in the car it wasn't obvious to the driver.
I got to therapy and began reading the journal entries to Dr. D about suicidal ideation. Again my pain skyrocketed. For the first time in his career and the first time in therapy I got on the floor and did a few yoga stretches to relieve my back. it helped a good bit. I kept my shoes off.