I'm in a decent mood despite health issues. I'm still struggling with an infected foot that requires wound dressing changes daily. It's kind of ugly at the moment as far as the foot goes. I'm still on antibiotics and steroid cream.
Well, I've been able to paint and do some collage work in my art therapy book. I had this apartment messed up bc I pulled out papers and stuff for a collage. Looks like I'm going to need to start collecting collage materials again. I don't have many materials for it to speak of, so collect I must. It felt so good to let go and let art! I quickly cleaned my studio apartment after I let go, but let go I did. It's the first collage in a year!
I go in to see Dr. D two times a month now which is really helpful bc I feel like there's actually a point to the art therapy. I was just describing it to him over the phone each week then showing it mass when I saw him once a month in his office. Now that I see him every other week I feel like there's a point to doing the assignments. Sooo, there's a lot more art in the book than normal and not just geometric shapes. That's a huge step forward, moving past just geometric shapes in black and white. It feels good to let go.
I knew I was shut up inside. I knew I was closed off and that was why I could only get out shapes. I wasn't trusting the process, or much of anything at all. But, I had some really good break throughs the last few weeks. Those revelations have given me strength and the ability to better endure. I feel as if I got a bit of information that put a little extra gas in a tank that was running on empty. With this propulsion, I've seen an increase in art. I couldn't be more pleased.
While I am still struggling to get my foot healed up right, I am doing much better emotionally. What's interesting is that people tell me my voice sounds stronger, more calm. I feel better inside, that's for sure. With a little emotional healing and a lot of art, I just may be able to see this battle through.
Dr. D and I discussed the possibility of me painting almost daily at set times. This would allow me to know ahead of time what to expect. I need set times for things as well as lists to feel more control over my environment and situation. Setting a specific time to paint and doing it has helped me to relax more while painting. There are no expectations. No pressure to produce view worthy materials. The goal is to create and to risk. At first I was concerned about wasting paper and paint but truthfully, I have plenty of both so paint I will.
I've learned a few things over the years about size and media for my personal use. If I use paper that is too big then the project is overwhelming and may not be completed. Paper that is 8 x 10 is usually undaunting, however, there are times I'm so closed up that I need 5 x 9. These sizes also mean if I'm confined to the bed I can still paint with relative ease.
I know for a fact that I'm a paper artist. I love paper, especially textured papers. Oh they just do something to me. Pencil, pen, brushes and other tools are musical as they hit different textured paper. I absolutely love it.
I've been asked if I paint on canvas and create larger art but the answer is no, I usually don't. I'm not comfortable with creating larger art. There's been so much discussion on this subject but the bottom line is this: I am an artist who creates smaller works on paper. Staying within these bounds means I stay true to my craft. It allows me to freely paint instead of attempting to become something I'm not. When I allow myself to paint at a size comfortable for me, I am able to express myself and risk creatively.
"Be More" is a 7 x 10 watercolor and ink piece created in a wire bound Canson notebook. The art therapy piece expresses the need to bring my emotions to a more balanced view.
I see myself in such a negative light and demand a lot of myself. I'd like to lose the idea that there's something fundamentally wrong with me and get closer to the balanced view that I'm just a flawed human being like everyone else.
After creating the piece free style, with no expectations, I looked at it and began to write what it brought up. The first thing that came to mind is that it's disorganized and very raw. This didn't feel negative to say. It seemed to reflect how I've been feeling lately, disorganized and like I'm just flailing about like a fish out of water. I noticed that the two people dominate the picture. They hold hands and share a small red flower. Though both have a missing foot, one has her mouth open and the other is closed.
As I began writing words like disorganized, fearful, disliked, desperation and paranoid, it occurred to me that I should write how I'd like to be and ways that I am at times. The other side of the paper includes words like risk, flexible, fluid, acceptance and giving. Right between the two figures and by their feet is the word 'integrate'. This reflects my desire to be more harmonious with reality. Reality is that I'm not all bad or all good. Things are no so black and white with me.
Of all the words that were written, one sticks out the most. It is the only word that appears in all capital letters and that is the word BURDEN. I ...feel...like...a..burden to others! It'll be quite the struggle to get that emotion in check.
It felt really good to complete this art therapy piece. I like free style painting. I like adding converse words/ideas that turn the piece into a learning and mindful experience.
It feels like yesterday but tomorrow it'll have been a year since the amputation. I was ok until it was time to be alone, then I fell apart.
The two people I talked to commented that I've come very far in a year. They said there's been loss but that I've made great strides. In prayer I said that what I needed was someone to grieve this loss with me, validate it, not encourage me to keep going and see the bright side. I said I needed someone to understand my tears and understand how complex it is to lose a part of yourself.
Yes, I've come a very, very long way and beat nearly impossible odds. That can't be disputed. What I have a hard time with is justifying this level of upset over half a foot missing but my grief, as confused about its validity I may be, is in fact strong if not consuming. I told my therapist that watching the foot die for a two month time period is the part I can't seem to get over. Seeing.. remembering how far my body had to be pushed for two months !!! brings tears of anguish to my eyes!! I can't be any clearer when I say that watching a limb die is worse than the amputation itself.
I'm not angry about being in a wheelchair. I knew this was part of my future bc I've been ill for years. But I miss long walks beside my dog outside! I miss my dog.
This is all so new. New pain to get used to, new eye level from a wheelchair and seeing the world, new home, different body...... Is a year long enough to adjust to such things?
Tomorrow will be a long, busy day. The carpet is getting cleaned after the water heater drained all over it. This means my little bed has to be moved as well as a few personal items and plants. It shouldn't take long but it'll be an ordeal. My nurse is coming tomorrow and I will be going to the Kingdom Hall. It's going to be a full day. I didn't plan it that way. There sure won't be much time to wallow in my thoughts, or much time to recharge mentally as I try to transition from one task to the next. Let us hope I have enough energy for all this on a potentially emotionally charged day.
See On Losing More. http://www.sundrip.com/2018/05/05/on-losing-more/ The entry before the amputation.
I left something behind in the hospital. Under pain and pressure my mind split and broke, but it's much more than that. I've been shaken to the core.
I feel like I should apologize for still talking about the affects of the hospitalization, like I should be over this. Anyway, what Dr. D and I discussed is how the medical events felt like my own natural disaster, my own earthquake. My entire world shook, right down to the core of me. It destroyed things I fear I won't get back. Further discussion brought out more on what part of me feels like it broke and was left behind in the hospital. What part of me was left behind in the hospital? We moved from the natural disaster example to one of home invasion w assault and robbery.
The medical events where sudden. No time to prepare for them. The events saw me lose my home, pets, possessions and part of my body and nearly my life. It's as if a robber came in and stole all of it and gave much physical pain while doing it. And much like a robbery victim, I am feeling a huge loss of security. That is what was left behind in the hospital, the piece of me I fear I won't get back. It is also a huge creative block as I can't seem to risk the way I did before. All I get out anymore is geometric shapes in color or black and white. If I can't risk, how will I ever truly paint again?
I know that I need to move more towards acceptance of my new life. I know that, but I grieve the loss of the old that seemed to be coming along better. I was losing weight! I was walking more, healthy enough to care for a dog. Yes, pain still consumed me but from where I am now, what I see is that the life was mine. It belonged to me and I had a sense of trust and security. The hospitalization changed those two things. While I don't worry daily that I'm going to die bc of a blood clot, I do struggle with it. I go back and forth between feeling super alive and feeling like I have one foot in the grave. It's as if I am running forward making progress, feeling good and I suddenly remember not to trust that feeling. And I'm right back in the hospital bed with the smells and sounds and the horrific pain. I'm back to feeling lost, insecure and shaken.
It'll be a process to get out of this spot and I know it. I just miss so much of what was. People pressure others to live in today, don't look back, accept what you can't change. I'm not there yet. I'm limping toward that goal, but I'm not at acceptance.
I go in to see Dr D next Tuesday. I was to go in Friday but that's not going to work.
We briefly discussed that my new CNA is testing her employer's patience to the limit. She has informed them that she will not return until May 2nd. I shake my head bc it's a bunch of bull why she requested the time. Due to her attendance issues she may get fired by the company. I'm also frustrated with her attendance problems.
These pieces were worked on in the last two weeks. There's been a lot of art lately but hardly any of it has hit the internet. I'm falling behind on it, however, today there are a few to show.
They're all four different from one another. Creating them was quite emotional, especially the last piece when Robert spoke with Dr. D about some difficulties he was having.
The black and white mask is also by Robert. The other two are by Michelle. All are created in watercolor. The last one has crayon as well.
Today in therapy we talked about how difficult it can be to sit here with our CNA day after day and not have her know a thing about our DID. Today two of our snails died just before the CNA arrived which means we had to just swallow it down and not think about it. That's difficult for a kid who just lost her pet. It can be difficult for me, Jordan, to stay out for 6 hours, 6 days a week but so far it's happened. So far we've kept our secret.
Content : Suicide discussion. Physical updates. Flashbacks of abuse. Abuse.
The nurse will be here tomorrow. I've fallen 3x in a week so things are a bit messy right now.
I've been told I pushed too hard, tried to do too much.
I'll see Dr D tomorrow as well. He is concerned about what he calls hallucinations and what I refer to as body memories. This is the second time he's asked if I'm suicidal and the second time I've told him no. The more suicides I hear about the further away from a possibility it is for me. George Foreman's daughter and 3 survivors of school shootings recently took their lives! It hurts and reminds me of my brother's suicide. How could I make the decision to kill myself, knowing what I now know? Years ago it was an option but not now. Not now.
During flashbacks I smell blood and urine. I can feel her hitting me. I can smell her parfume. My stomach cramps and I vomit.
I'm feeling a bit down right now. A little lonely, too.
I should mention, I like my new CNA a lot. She's on time, works and drinks tea with me in the morning. The funny thing is, there are a few teas that are just for me. I don't share them. I finally got tea in the mail from Uganda. It's awesome and just mine. I have Japanese Orchid tea that is exclusive as well. Most teas I'll readily share but some are saved just for me.
We talked about the dream I had where my mother beat my sister without mercy. It was brutal. She did so in a separate room from me, my cousin and 2 aunts. It was so bad and went on so long that I risked myself by knocking on the door to interrupt it. It worked and she stopped.
After the mother and sister emerged the cousin told my mother that I had made negative comments about her. I denied it. The mother took me in the room behind closed doors where she questioned me under threat. I swore I didn't say it. She believed me and let me go unharmed.
When we left the room the cousin admitted she lied. Everyone flipped out and yelled at her, why, why, why? She said that what my mother did to my sister was wrong but that my sister shouldn't have to do it alone. She said if I was beaten too then there would be an equalizing. My sister and I would be on even ground, sharing an experience. She said that it wouldn't be that one sibling witnessed the humiliation of another but that both would know and so one wouldn't be in a higher position than the other.
The dream was interesting to say the least because it touched on how it feels to watch a sibling abused and what it feels like to have your abuse witnessed. Someone saw the emotional and physical impact it had and that in itself is abuse and traumatic, to have someone see you like that. It also touched on the trauma of watching the horror show helplessly.
In the dream we were all at the mercy of the mother. The answer to making sure my sister and I were emotionally connected was for me to be beaten. Never did anyone step in and say, "You can't beat them this way" or "What you're doing is wrong and we aren't going to allow it." No, the answer was to beat me so that neither one of us was alone. One would be alone in that she watched the abuse. The other alone in that she experienced the abuse.
Dr. D and I discussed how my mother rarely went off the rails and just started beating us. She was more focused. She beat the palms of our hands, our feet with a dowel rod quite often. She beat our lips with a wide tooth comb. Rarely did she slap us in the face. When beating us with the dowel rod while laying down it was focused on our back area: legs, butt, back. There were times we got punched in the face but it was rare. My mother's rage was focused on areas of high pain, with an item she said she used because it hurt.
Robert spoke to Dr. D today. I can't say it was a good session at all. Robert is still very protective of us after the suicide issues with the CNA. Dr. D asked why we didn't report the CNA sooner than we did. He then said, "You usually protect yourselves so well." Robert reminded him that the CNA his the 'mother cord' with her suicide threats. We felt responsible! We felt guilty! We felt small and like we were in fight or flight. When it got bad it got bad quickly and we were in fight or flight. Why didn't I tell? Well dang it.....(sigh) what kind of question is that? Listen, I have mother issues and this girl played right into them. I'd even look her in the face each morning to see what kind of mood she was in to see what type of day we would have, just like my mother. If she cried then I cried with her. If she (the CNA and my mother) wanted to laugh then we laughed. I did exactly what I would have done had I been in the presence of my mother because I still have mother issues. She's the only person in the world who could make my knees shake. I told on the CNA when I could, period!!!!!!!!!!!
Dr. D and I talked about hallucinations recently. I've been smelling blood and urine even though its not there. There's been a bit of depersonalization as well.
You know what? I'm not strong enough. I'm just one person and I've been through a lot lately. I've had so little time to recharge from the hospitalization, the amputation and the new life I'm leading. There's been so little time to get firmly rooted, then for the whole suicide thing to pop up and her behavior to mimic that of my mother is just too much. So yeah, things are messed up right now. My head is messed up right now.
I'm trying to manage in my head that this all is not my fault. It only takes someone to hint that it is and my head gets all messed up. Right now it doesn't matter to me why I worry stuff is my fault, I'm just trying to say that it feels really bad to be thought of as a problem. So, I'm struggling with that right now.
To help matters, I got a call from the CNA company concerning the issues with CNA 1 and 2 as well as the chicken salad situation. They took responsibility for it and said they realized I was having a rough patch with cna's right now. It was helpful to hear from a supervisor that the company realizes the problem isn't me but the individuals being sent.
I talked to my CICOA representative who also said its the poor quality of individuals being hired that's the problem, not me. She shook her head in disbelief at the details surrounding the CNA and the suicide threats here.
I try to be "good" because being labeled "bad" hurts too much. I was always told I'm bad and trouble, a burden. Everything was my fault. It was as if I had the power to destroy the world in one mistake. I didn't know when I'd destroy lives but I was told I was and could make people unhappy. I was a horrible person, destroying everything I touched, ruining innocent people.
There was a time I found out that a friend had cancer. I didn't want to be around her for fear I'd somehow make her sicker. Forget that she was stage 4 skin cancer, it felt like my badness had somehow made her sick! That's when I knew I had to work on my perception of my badness. I mean, that's a lot of power, to sicken someone clear across the country!!! How did I get this super power to destroy lives since very young? I am not the devil. I don't ruin and destroy everything I touch. It was yet another lie I was told, brainwashing and emotional abuse.
Today I'm trying to toss out the idea that I am bad and that I ruin lives and opportunities, that everything is my fault and nothing good can stay with someone so bad and undeserving. These thoughts are not welcome and I'm not accepting them today. What I'm going to do is get up and work on a project that I know I can complete successfully. This will boost my spirits and confidence and help put my mind on a healthier track. Forget all I was told by my sadistic mother. Those thoughts and memories are not welcome. I'm powerful enough to push them away. Robert
I've processed this out in my head a bit because when it happened it got under my skin.
Yesterday one of the CNAs said several times, the reason she didn't work out here is because I'm "not used to working with adults" and she's used to "working with a different clientele." She said she doesn't like the clientele this particular company assigns her. Even now as I write it I'm like, really, a different clientele?
When she talked down to me that way, it fed into my issues. Her words stung deeper than they should have. My head heard her say that I'm not mature and that I can only relate to children, not adults. I can't hold an adult relationship.
I just said in another entry that my own mother couldn't hold an adult relationship if tried.
So the question I asked myself is this, can I hold adult relationships? Yes. I can and do. I had to counter the inner message that I'm broken, a broken child. To do so, I began to list my relationships.
I hold healthy and simi-healthy adult relationships. I have many friends that I see on a regular basis. I'm closer with some than others. I have a range of friendships from close inner circle to casual friends. I have friends from the internet as well as acquaintances from the internet, all adult relationships. So the answer is yes.
The CNA may not have even meant that I can't hold adult relationships. But talking down to me triggered my issues, issues my brain struggled to untangle.
When stuff like this comes up, I can either swallow it down or process it and move forward. I choose to move forward.
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!