Title: Wild Things Art by: Faith Magdalene Austin Medium: Acrylic collage on heavy cardstock Size: 9x12 inches, Finish: Sealed, signed, dated, unmounted Style: Collage, Surreal, Abstract Figurative, raw
Art details: Cut outs of my own art have been arranged to create "Wild Things." Sunflowers, koi fish, African faces, Asian faces and more have been mixed together in a wild collage. This is a visual feast, a mindscape, surreal art piece.
"Wild Things" and other original art can be found in my Etsy shop at www.sundrip.etsy.com. You may also contact me for a PayPal invoice.
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.
The nurse came out today. I asked her to speak plainly. She said, "You're not going to get better." I burst into tears. It's not like I am unaware, it's just hard to hear. She added that I'll have good and bad days. I still cried. It makes me sad, this new life. I'm still mourning the old. Sometimes I'm ok with this new life but today I'm not.
In therapy we talked about the difficulty of accepting that this body sucks. We talked about what caused the falls as well as feeling pressured to walk. The pressure is mostly, mostly internal. I see people with amputations walking around or elderly people hobbling and feel shame that I'm in a chair. I "should" be up. Then I think, Faith, you can't compare yourself to anyone else! I know I have extensive nerve damage that can't be seen. Lord knows I can feel the pain, but it can't be seen. I just feel so bad about myself right now.
In session, Dr D looked at some of the art by Robert and said it's disturbing and creepy. Robert thanked him. Dr D suggested that he and Robert spend more time together in sessions bc he said he thinks Robert has a lot going on in his head that he needs to get out. The thing is, Robert remembers the sessions not long ago when cursed Dr D out for acting like an idiot about the CNAs. Robert does not trust the man right now. He's certainly not going to sit and confide in him. More time needs to pass between those terrible sessions.
CICOA is coming out Thursday for my review. Wow, what timing. My doctor is requesting that I have Saturday care too, which CICOA and the nursing company will get approved. This means I'll have 6 days a week that a CNA is here. I'll have a different Saturday aide than during the week. This means trying to find a second aide that fits here. A second aide the inside people have to hide from. Let's hope it's not too long b4 they find someone suitable. Maybe it'll only be a few weeks until I heal from the falls, then maybe I can go back to 5 days a week.
Today I'm tearful and sad. I'm also physically tired which makes a difference in my mood.
Dinner was beautiful. I had portobello and goat cheese fettuccine with fresh spinach and tomatoes. It was inspired by a frozen dinner. Tomorrow is homemade deep dish pizza. I still love to cook.
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.
The week has been quite. My regular CNA has been out for a while leaving me with only 2 half days of coverage. It's been difficult to say the least, but it's been quite, no major drama.
Saturday is one of the days I was covered for 3 hrs w a CNA. After taking care of things here we ran to Walmart. Neither one of us thought about going in the afternoon on a Saturday and how busy they'd be! We got there and the motorized carts were all in use. I decided since I'd gotten myself to Walmart I'd try to walk a little bit. So I did. Turns out I walked for 45 minutes!!
After walking my lungs hurt and my feet were tired but I was not in as bad shape as I expected to be, or so I thought. I came home and immediately went to sleep for most of the night. When I got up to go to the restroom, oh my goodness pain!! My feet let me know that I over did it!!! So, most of Sunday has been babying the painful amputation site. My left foot reminded me that it too was traumatized in the hospital and it too was over worked Saturday.
I learned that I can walk in the store but I have to be aware of how long or I'll pay the consequences like I am today. And yet I'm happy I figured out that walking stabily isn't in my distant future but much, much closer.
I know I over did it but I'm proud I took the risk to walk.
I've had a few quiet days at home alone because my regular CNA is out. It's been peaceful.
I hate to use words like peaceful then mention small moments with tea concerning my life, at the same time as the news reports more than 50 people have been murdered by a gunman in New Zealand.
So I'm sipping fine orchid tea from my favorite mug and my heart can't even smile. There is no peace, and there hasn't been since this early morning when I first heard about it.
After I heard the sheer volume of terror caused I did what others did. I goggled "does New Zealand have the death penalty?" No, they do not have this barbaric penalty. But right now my heart turns to barbarism and asks why he and his accomplices should live when they have changed the lives of so many people forever? Sometimes the death penalty seems right. Barbarism is what he played out on the world and I'm wondering if a News Zealand prison is harsh enough for him or should he be transferred to San Quentin in California?
I think what shocks me too is that it's New Zealand. Had it been Sweden, France, G. B. London, the United States, it wouldn't leave a question mark. But, New Zealand? Really?
Active shooters are such a part of American culture that even the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses has been given instructions on what to do. When we went over active shooter information at my congregation my heart blead! The thought of someone walking into the house of my God with a weapon hurts deeper than words can express! How dare anyone ever defile a place of worship with hatred?
I shake my head to throw off understanding that some people have no respect for life and that hate is what they feed on. I shake my head.
I'm going to sip my favorite tea today and dig deep to find my inner peace. Whatever peace is in my heart, whatever calm and hopeful feeling I find, I'm going to accept because I'm going to need it. The day is early.
I don't know how to write this entry. I've been trying since yesterday to contain myself enough to take notes from therapy concerning all the suicide triggers of late. Perhaps first I should say I understand the desire to die and I understand what pushes a person to try because I've tried myself, but it doesn't seem to apply with my brother. I can't seem to square it with my brother because he was loved so much but when I was trying to kill myself I wasn't loved abundantly like him. It seems to make a world of difference.
My brother left behind his entire children's orchestra, his family and friends. He was loved very much and so robbing us of himself feels brutally painful.
I'd like to know how he came to the decision that it was ok to leave us behind with few answers to a world of questions? How did he justify leaving us all by suicide? Did he think we'd get over it? If so, he should have left instructions how.
Is love enough to save a life full of physical or emotional pain? Is being cherished and adored enough to keep you alive?
I have a memory that is stuck in my head. It's of him at age three. He's standing at the kitchen sink on a chair washing dishes. He loved doing that. And he turned around and smiled the biggest smile like, look what I'm doing. That smile is burned in my mind. The memory is painful and joyous.
I had hoped he would break away from the family of ours and live a life free of abuses we suffered. I hoped a lot for him. Now he's gone and it's insufferable. The only thing I have left of him now is his toddler's smile.
The nurse visited again to check my lungs which have shown improvement. She wants me to continue the excersizes to strengthen them.
Of course there was an incident with the foot. I was soaking them but didn't realize the water was too hot and burned myself. Oh my gosh! Oh the issues one has when they can't feel part of the body. I'm new at this whole thing but I'll get the hang of it.
During the visit the nurse paid me a wonderful complement. She said she's normally an anxious person but when she comes here she feels very relaxed and can feel stress fall off her. She said the environment is welcoming and that I have a very welcoming spirit. Without knowing, her complement helped to heal over a few weeks of feeling like a bad person for having negative experiences with the nurse's aides (CNAs).
Last Monday's session with Dr D concerning the CNAs was worse than the appointment the Monday before that. It was so bad that I cursed him out. I can't believe that happened, but it did. It did nothing for my argument that I've not contributed to the drama in this house caused solely by some of the the nurse's aides. I could not get him to let go of the ides that it takes two for conflict. Well then conflict isn't the right word, "drama" is!
So the session ended badly then without knowing it, the nurse kind of gave me a complement that reminded me of what others have said. I have a welcoming home and generally a welcoming spirit. However, I can be triggered and pushed too far.... as Dr D found out.
We now have a permanent CNA that seems like she will work out. We're going to miss the last one who didn't get to stay bc she didn't have car insurance to transport us to the doctor and store. This one has everything in order and seems nice. So far she's not treated me like her therapist. She shows up on time and works very well. She's a tad ditzy but hey, ya know, it happens. I do like her.
When I interviewed the new nurse's aide I asked about depression and suicidal ideation. She denied both so she passed that test. In the last month I've dealt with 3 suicidal individuals, so yeah, I flat out asked her mental health status.
I have therapy again Monday afternoon. We'll see how it goes.