Skip to content

Family tree on my backColors speak louder than wordsI've thought a lot of my mother lately. In therapy Friday afternoon we talked about traveling, the orchestra, theater, opera and all the cultural things she loved. It's a strange contrast between the tyrant and the artist but there was in fact a contrast, one I loved. I recall my mother singing around the house. I knew when she sang it would be a safe day. For some reason when she sang all the vile went away.

One of my mother's favorite animals is the African Elephant which is why I purchased a notebook with one on the cover. I also liked the quote which says: Colors speak louder than words.

The loss is incredible.
Grant mercy please.
She left deep wounds, many questions, but no answers. I have to find resolution in wreckage.

In the notebook I've written letters to my mother, some kind, others telling her exactly how I felt living with her. These letters and drawings are just another step in healing from the war god I called mother. ...continue reading "Mother’s and Grey Elephants"

According to my sketchbook, I've had unrelenting anxiety for a little over a month. It's really getting to me. These two art pieces were worked on to help ease things.

The piece cluster shows a checkered flag, a flag used to signify winning the race. I don't feel like I'm winning this battle at all.

Visitation is currently in black and white. It's a mindscape piece such as those in the series called Forty Years in the Wilderness. A mindscape is a snapshot of the inside of my head. Sometimes the images are livable, manageable, other times ... not so much.

Mindscape - 40 years in the wilderness

Tomorrow at 1:30 I go in to see Dr. D. I nearly canceled it because I'm having a hard time sitting. My sciatic nerve is acting up. I've done a lot of stretching to get it to ease up. I've taken the new medications, especially the muscle relaxer, but its not budging. I think we're going on three weeks now with this nerve constantly throbbing. It adds to the anxiety. It's like a dull ache, the kind that drives you crazy.  It may not be the most painful thing in the world but it, like my anxiety, is unrelenting and that's what makes it so hard to deal with, it just doesn't stop.

I'm going to take Clyde out one more time then go to sleep. I'm so happy he's here. I love that he wants to be close by me. I need that. His ears are so soft. He's adorable.

I miss Mary Jane and hate that she died.

fma

5

Three weeks its been since I first inquired of this dog name Clyde. Several snags came up and I figured I wouldn't get the dog, thought it had all fallen through. I said if I didn't get him I'd concentrate instead on a six month vow to serve my community in a fuller way.

Here's what I know about Clyde.

  • He's got a funny name that I didn't like at first but that is too cute to change. It's silly and I now like it. I can't help but giggle when I say it, just like when I call my frog Chandler. I giggle. Strange name, cute animals.
  • Clyde has taken professional obedience classes and knows several service animal commands.
  • Clyde is laid back but has a need for regular walks which I am confident I can do.
  • He is a low key dog who needs a low key environment without a lot of intense stimulation.
  • He learns quickly and knows how to do compression for my legs which are often in pain. This is a key reason for getting a dog as opposed to a cat. I need the weight on my legs and sometimes my arms. I need a pet that will sleep with me so I can sleep instead of staying up until the sun rises. I can't explain how much I need another service dog to warm my heart with big brown eyes and slobbery kisses.
  • Clyde comes with all his food, bowls, leash and his crate. He's crate trained.
  • He's 6 years old, 60 lbs, neutered, chipped, not an excessive barker, shy with new people.

Clyde - a 60lb muttTwo people who are in my life have questions about the dog. "How can you afford a dog?" ..... "How are you going to take the dog out for a walk when you're in pain"....."I don't like dogs. He'll have to stay away from me." .... "What if he doesn't work out, what are you going to do then?"... The negative sisters have questions, some valid and some just typical of them.

I am not a 'love me, love my pet' kind of person. If someone states clearly that they don't want any part of the pet for whatever their reason, then so be it. I can respect that. I don't push my pets on people which means Betty will more than likely never even pet his little head. That's fine by me. She's under no obligation to like my pets. Her sister Snow prefers dogs at a distance. She likes them but doesn't want them all over her and doesn't want dog kisses. That's fine. I'm not offended by it. And for short visits I can put him in the room when need be. It's not like he'll be locked up all day or anything. No, he'll have a lot of one on one time with me and a few other people who are thrilled to death that we're this far into the adoption process that I was sure fell through. .... I feel the need to add that no friends are co-owning or sharing financial responsibility, including the adoption process.

soft ears and a tail that thumps makes my heart breathe easy

I hurt so badly. My heart is desperate. I need a companion animal. I can't stand life as it is right now. I look for the soft eyes of a pet and those eyes aren't there to tell me I'm okay. I look at the door wondering if my mother is standing there. I wish so much to have a dog I can learn to trust. If he's not barking and responding to sounds then no one is in my doorway, I don't need to keep looking up.

Last night in bed, last night after 2mg of Klonopin, last night after tears, I instinctively reached behind my back to caress the head of Mary Jane but she wasn't there. There is no soft purr to greet me and demand breakfast. Please, I need something gentle to balance the harshness of pain and grief. I just can't take my current load in life without a pet beside me. I need one.

Bringing in a dog is so much better than a cat. No more $30 flea and tick treatment. I can use diluted tea tree oil at $8 a bottle which will last forever. If he gets ill I am capable of caring for him better than I can a cat. Mary Jane's vet was 2 blocks away. That's where Clyde will go.

I expect the transition to be rough because there are many of me that have to get used to him. It'll be difficult for him because he's grown up in one home only. The transition will not be easy. I'm going to flip out because that's what I do. I flip out and panic!!! But flipping out isn't the same as giving up. It took a year before Mary Jane and I became a team. It'll take time for Clyde and I to work like a well oiled machine. I think I'm physically and emotionally up to the task.

If the adoption goes through I'll have 4 pets with a name starting with the letter C: Charlie, Cheesy, Chandler and Clyde. My baby boys would be the 4 C son's.

Soft ears and a tail that thumps makes my grief stricken heart breathe easy. Please let this be okay. Please let me get the right dog.

Faith

 

2

Content: Biological mother issues, emotional abuse, emotional walls, letting go

The Takeaway d4Dr. D and I discussed grief over not having what he calls a healthy mother. I said I don't grieve not having a healthy mother, I grieve not having my mother. I've been very clear over the years that what my heart sought most was some kind of way for my mother to see me as someone other than a disgusting rag to be used up at her will. I wanted to be someone she could look at without disgust, without false blame. She couldn't do it or wouldn't, it doesn't really matter which. Even after my mother was diagnosed with dementia, I still hoped to be something other than disgusting to her. I figured if she couldn't remember me then maybe she'd look at me with something other than disdain. That didn't happen.

In the last year I've not actively looked for a mother figure. As a matter of fact I've watched my behavior, measured the behavior of others and tried to keep myself safe from the strong desire to seek out a mother figure. ...continue reading "Therapy Review: Actively seeking a loving mother"

1

The Little ViolinistIt was to be a little girl in a red dress but it didn't quite turn out that way.

I realized early on that I am attached emotionally to this painting and that I wish to keep it for myself. Knowing I'm color sensitive, I changed the bright colors to those I can hang on my wall and see regularly. I had to tone it down.

As I toned down bright colors, I decided to allow the turquoise hair to be wild, almost crazy. I put a layer of brown over the skin but other colors still come through. As I scratched along adding turquoise and dark orange instead of bright yellow and bright red, I caught of glimpse of this wild girl holding a violin. And that's the moment the painting changed from emotion I could handle to a complete stand still. ...continue reading "The Unexpected Violin"

1

A video for friends.

At the end of the video I said these are my 'frogs' but only Cheesy the Chubby Frog stars in this short vid. ...continue reading "Cheesy the Chubby Frog and Aquarium Therapy"

When thinking about losing Jane, I don't feel crippled by it. I feel bad about that because it's almost like I should be out here falling apart, but I'm not. I feel bad that some reached out but she died anyway. I feel bad about that but I hope they realize they did make a difference. Reaching out always makes a difference.

There's a huge hole where Janie used to be. The house isn't the same at all, but it's still better because she was once here. I think that's what I still feel the most, very grateful.

My heart is heavy concerning my brother. I heard him play the cello, my favorite instrument. I thought I was going to burst into tears. I've never heard him play the cello before, just the violin, so watching and hearing him was rather moving. A long time ago I said I never got to tell him how proud I am of his accomplishments with music and with the children's orchestra. You could see in his face that he loved his job. ...continue reading "Cats and Violins"

There were only two of us but we had a nice time. We didn't do anything formal, just tea and cake. One can make tea and cake sound stuffy if important facts are left out. I had the tea already and she brought Little Debbie's. It was a nice visit though with some catching up as well as learning about one another.

I'm just now getting to know her. Interestingly enough, her mother was my foster mother making her a foster sister when I was a child. Small world isn't it?

It's sometimes difficult to be in the same room with someone who knows way too much about me, especially since I didn't get to pick and choose what she knows.  My sister decided this exposure for me which I find unacceptable and disempowering. I don't know what preconceived ideas she has about me, I only know she seems to like me...and yet I don't trust it. Why? In general I don't trust women. That is first and foremost but there's also the concern of being judged. ...continue reading "Tea, Chat and Trust"

I got the frog and brought it home. It already had a name before he even got here. The name is Chandler Pickle. As it turns out, Chandler is a girl but, who knew? The guy at Petco says I should change her name but honestly, it's even funnier to say the frog's name is Chandler and that it happens to be a girl. I mean really, if she has a problem with her name she'll have to change it when she grows up, just like I did. I'm sure some fat bull frog lawyer with several lily pads and his own pond will take on her case. Until such a time, her name is Chandler which I can't say without laughing, which is the point. I wanted the frog to have a silly name. ...continue reading "A frog named Chandler and the cat that won my heart"

4

March 1, 2001 - September 30, 2017
Mary Jane passed quietly this morning.  She was such a good girl.

Mary Jane AustinI could not have asked for a better feline companion

Janie and I spent twelve years together. She was tolerant of most things and up for anything. What a great personality.

The first year together was difficult because we had to break each other in. She was used to going outside but with me she had to stay inside. At first that was hard for her, and me, so I'd give in and let her out because she'd yowl and yowl until I couldn't take it anymore. Eventually she stayed inside and has been an inside cat ever since.  ...continue reading "Mary Jane Austin"

%d bloggers like this: