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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

4

Content: Anxiety. No self harm. Fill in CNA's friend committed suicide. Regular CNA troubles.

The day has been mostly good but with a lot of anxiety. We seemed to manage it better though. There was an instance when we wanted to cut but Michelle said rather quietly, "May I have some lavender?" We promptly put it in our nose and on our feet to help relax us immediately. I was so pleased she asked for assistance.

Here's some of her artwork throughout the entry.

My regular CNA is on holiday vacation which means I've had a fill in for two days. The first day went fine but today the fill in CNA checked her Facebook status and found out one of her friends killed himself. She lost it right here so I held her while she cried. She left in tears an hour after arriving. I can only shake my head at the amount of drama brought in this house by CNA's. It's not her fault her friend killed himself but dang, I should not hold my CNA like a child while she weeps, but I did.

Tomorrow my regular CNA returns and she's going to be rather upset with me because I spoke to her supervisor about some of the things she's been saying to me that are totally out of line. I talked to her about being on time and she told me if I didn't like her showing up late I could get someone else. (Sigh) I told her she was 20 min late to her shift and it mattered especially since she doesn't stay to make up that time. She said, I was here at 9 am but I stayed in the car to eat my breakfast. (Sigh)

The other day she told me my meal smelled bad. She said, "This stinks!" Then when she was putting Miracle Whip on my sandwich she told me her family doesn't eat Miracle Whip and that it "stinks!" (Sigh) I talked to her supervisor. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring but that's okay because today isn't over and today is half way decent. Despite holding a sobbing, pregnant, fill-in CNA whose friend killed himself, despite interrupted sleep, I've had a decent day. I think the best thing is knowing that Michelle is aware that she can ask for help when she needs it.

I've got enough lavender to last until the end of the month, then I'll hit up Amazon for a large bottle of it.

I wonder why CBD oil doesn't work for my anxiety? I've switched from Medical Marijuana (MMJ) to CBD oil and CBD isolate but they do nothing, zero, zip, for anxiety. I don't think the MMJ did much for my anxiety either. It helped with pain but it didn't do much for Michelle.

I've sipped tea, let Michelle paint and have done some relaxation techniques to manage the symptoms. Right now the anxiety is pretty high so I'm going to get off here and put some lavender in my nose and on my feet. Time to sip some tea and maybe do a little reading. I've still got a few hours left in this day and I plan to survive them well. I think I'll make a sandwich, a large, stinky sandwich.

Jordan

1

As one can imagine, last night was rather rough. I believe I came to a pass where I refused to accept anymore stress that eats me up and spits me out.

Depression flattens me on my back, anger makes me get up and move. Last night I got up and moved. I moved past the laying in bed immobile point to trying to figure out how to get a handle on things. My first weapon is aromatherapy, lavender.

Before the bomb went off (health issues) I had a house full of smelly good things. Lavender was everywhere and it helped me quite a bit. I even had it in my carpet because I figured if I fell and was down there a bit I'd at least have comfort. I need to bring lavender back in my life in a huge way.

In recent days I've been using my lavender oil reserve in my humidifier which helps relax me very much. I've got just enough to make it through the month then I'm going to have to stock up from Amazon. I hear the NOW brand is pretty good so I thought I'd try it out. It's also in my price range. What I use on my foot is from Young Living and it isn't cheap stuff by any means. I've been getting it for $10-$15 off w/ no shipping which makes it more affordable, but I'll be dag on if I put it in the humidifier. I sometimes put too many drops in the humidifier so that even my neighbors are relaxed. lol.

I wonder if I could help my poor neighbor by accidentally putting too much Peace and Calming in the humidifier which is placed by a shared vent. Anyway! The man didn't stop screaming until 3am. I didn't get to sleep until 8am and had to be up at 10am. Hard night for sure but made easier with lavender.

Back to my own issues.....Before the health bomb I changed my sheets every Monday then spritzed them with homemade lavender spray. I used fresh lavender in water then lightly sprayed the sheets and pillows with it. I need to get back to that.

I made my own lavender infused oil which I can now do again because I've finally replaced the equipment that didn't make the move. This isn't the kind of oil I can put in my humidifier though, it's the kind that can be ingested for anxiety relief as well as used in my hair. I use a French Press to press out the lavender flowers and get that beautiful, strong scent. It's wonderful stuff.

Of course there's lavender tea. I found that lavender infused Earl Grey is wonderful. It was an accident but man I love that stuff. I also love Earl Grey with raspberry leaves.

By way of my tea collection I have an arsenal of weapons against anxiety. I remember that now and will do what needs to be done to sip and humidify my way to less stress. Lavender in many forms has it's rightful place in my weapons cache.

This isn't going to be easy. Anxiety seems at war with me. It wants to eat me up, destroy my happy spirit. Right now, I'm a bit too angry to lay down and take it.

Jordan

1

I've been struggling so much with anxiety associated with flashbacks and memories. Lately my dreams have been horrible. Everything from rape to my sister being stabbed violently over and over again. There have been medical flashbacks, too, where I wake and think I'm in the hospital still.

Last Wednesday there was self harm, which my therapist is aware of. He never freaks out about it. As a matter of fact he shows so little concern it's not even funny. He asked me no questions about if I'm safe or not. He just asked what was going on inside that was so big that I began to self harm. I can't remember how he phrased it but we moved on from it rather quickly.

Dr. D says that whatever Michelle remembers is what's causing her anxiety and the flashbacks. So here I am awake right now, nervous, rocking, full of despair. I don't know what to do with her or for her but evidently she and Dr. D are going to work on some things.

I'm not suicidal at all. It's just that the anxiety and despair get so heavy I can't tolerate it and self harm comes to mind.

It's nearly midnight and I'm still awake. I should sleep but I just found out my grandmother is dead. I wrote a very angry post that I feel half way bad about and half way like I should just leave it up.....maybe set it to private or something like that cause it isn't in the least bit Christian saying she should be dead. I don't know........ I think it figures that I wasn't contacted about it. I wasn't contacted about my brother's death either. They just let me find out on the net just like her and everyone else who has died. Let me look it up. Forget it. It's too late to think about that right now.

I don't want to sleep, not with the dreams I've been having.

I have a Schizophrenic neighbor who isn't helping matters much. He keeps screaming all day and night. They're in the very sad process of evicting him. I hate that but I need a break, just a few hours without hearing him scream, "F**k you. F**k you. I'm gonna f**king kill you." This is what I've been listening to for days on end and I'm certain it's now affecting me. He bangs on the walls, sounds like he's dropping a bowling ball on the floor and just keeps on screaming his head off. Then he turns his music on really, really loud but he can be heard screaming even over the music. I want it to stop. I want him to feel better. I feel very bad for his situation but man do I need a rest from the screaming.....as does he. He's been evicted. I wonder where he'll go. I hope wherever it is they make sure he's taking his medication cause on his own he's in terrible shape.....as are his neighbors.

2

I thought her death would bring me some peace but it hasn't. I found out today that she died July 7th, 2018 while I was in the nursing home.

You know what? I read the obituary and they called me Faith, not by my birth name. My Aunty C did that and I know it. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that. It means the world to me. I'm recorded in a roll of family members as separate from her.

My grandmother was hateful. She was an abuser, enabler and all around horrific person but she was someone's mother, sister and wife. Just like my own mother, I'm having a hard time 'enjoying' the fact that she died because I know death hurts. Her family and friends are hurting so there is no joy in this moment. Sadness is absent as well. I am angry though.

It makes sense now why my aunt, who is dying of Leukemia, has decided to move to Colorado.

Why I torture myself I do not know. I looked up my sister online again, this time with the total shock of finding an updated photo of her. My first thought was, oh she's just as beautiful as I remember. Then my heart fell sad.

I spoke to her just the other day (in my heart) and told her I don't understand what she's doing with her life. I don't understand why she never, ever loved me or liked me. She, like my other adult relatives, has a choice to be different. She chose to be like them, to be with them, and that is plain sad.

When zero family members called or cared that I was in the hospital I knew it was past time to let go of her and them. Despite them not visiting or calling or caring they were going to get a gift from me. Had I died my body specifically was to go to my sister! Sounds passive aggressive...and perhaps it was a bit....Here's my body and a thousand bucks to cremate me! It was a final screw you! I thought, ya know, you'll go to the bedside of an abuser and enabler but won't answer the call of someone who loves you. Perfect! And honestly I thought it would be an annoyance that was easy for her. It would be hard for my friends to do but not my family. They'd so easily cremate me and go the heck on. My friends should not be burdened with my burial I thought. Let someone who hates me do it.

Now the Matriarch of the family has died, the one I was originally named after. I was fine reading the private obit, which was a total work of fiction, until it got to the part about sending flowers and donations to my deceased brother's foundation. That's the only part that got me choked up. That is a life that shouldn't be gone, that never should have been extinguished and one that I will never get over. Nothing will heal that loss and nothing will ever be the same.

I called her obit a work of fiction because they called her a wonderful mother and grandmother who was always there for her family. Must be someone else cause they're not talking about my grandmother!

I've had a very long time away from this family, time that has stood still in a way. I've got no new memories with her, but they do. Perhaps their relationship with her changed. Perhaps she changed in her older years just like her own mother did, who at one time was more evil than she.

My memories have not had a chance to grow dim. I still remember her and her house like it was yesterday. I remember her, not at a loving wife of some 60 years to the same man, but a domineering, self serving, cold and vicious woman who taunted me relentlessly. Her house holds ghosts that just won't die, memories that haunt me cruelly to this day. The good they wrote about in her obit, I don't know any of it. I just know she should be dead. She should have been dead a long time ago and maybe, just maybe my mother wouldn't have been as abused as she was. And maybe just maybe I could have been spared a single beating, a single horrible word, a single night in the cold or spared a single, solitary day of abuse. Just maybe.

I cannot, at this time, offer condolences for my grandmother. I'm not happy about someone who should be dead. I hope it makes sense that I say I'm not happy right next to saying she should be dead. This is a seasoned abuser we're talking about, a woman who did everything in her power to make life hell for her children and grandchildren. Having her name was horrific because whenever she hurt my mother emotionally I got the brunt of the anger, the violent anger. That name carried a prison term with it for a crime I didn't commit. It was hell carrying that name and getting blamed for it and being called a smaller version of a master manipulator, a bitch, a liar. Those are the names I was called as a young girl, master manipulator, bitch, liar. So no, there's no sadness, no mourning period, just an empty space where family should be but isn't.

Devils. Dogs and Masters.

Me !!!!!!!

7

uprooted sundrip

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.

Outlook sundrip

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. 

Jordan

1

Thirteen years I walked past my therapist's Christmas Cactus and never thought to ask for a start until now. 

The three spider plant starts from the surgeon are growing like weeds. They were so tiny when I got them.

I snagged a start from the hospital's bed of pathos. It's being rooted in the fish tank with the Betta fish I had when I was in the nursing home. 

I wish all these plants could go in one planter but they have different requirements.

Spider plant, Christmas Cactus, Pathos, Dumbcane, large Peace Lilly. These are my memory plants. 

Why on earth would I wish to remember one of the worst things I've ever been through? Because it has changed who I am. It's changed me for the better and the worse, with the hope of good coming out on top.

Today in therapy we talked about how I have a fear that I'm going to just drop dead. That my health isn't reliable and there's no sense in putting forth effort when I may throw a blood clot and die. I hope such morbid fears will subside in time. I'm counting on it. I'm counting on growing right along beside the green leaves that fill my apartment. 

.........A visitor asked if I'm trying to make a paradise out of my home. The answer is yes. 

Jordan

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