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I've looked around at apartments to see what will be available to me come June. It's not just that my landlord is despicable and thoroughly tests my faith, it's that this place is now well out of my financial abilities. That's too bad bc I would have dealt with the landlord situation.

I'm looking for an apartment with central heat and central air. I don't have that here. One of the things about CRSD and even Lupus is that we have to keep our body temperature pretty even. A window air conditioner doesn't do that nor do base board heaters. It's too cold for me in the living room but too hot for Jane in the bedroom so she's out there most of the time.

I haven't had tea parties this summer as planned bc of pain issues. I've been able to make greeting cards for people but I don't feel as though I've done the type of giving I wish to do. At the moment I'd have an angry self to offer which isn't that great, but I think there's a sense of loss because I've not been able to have the kids over or any families over. That was to be a big part of my summer and fall. ...continue reading "Home. Pets. Health."

i sketch without heart. not much of anything is getting done because my pain level has risen.

my therapist double booked for friday which means i won't go in. he called at 5:33 pm wed, 30 min after hours to say he doubled book friday. he doesn't work thursday's at all. he said to call the office thursday to see if i can reschedule that appointment for a later time on friday. i told him up front that i am not able to reschedule those appointments bc the person taking me has a very full schedule. 5 min of a call from him out of the blue, after hours, where i can't talk to him again until friday evening isn't good. i'm not pleased. i'm going to have to get ok with it in my head. it was a mistake. i can live with it. my body isn't allowing me to sit long anyway. i'll fix it in my head so that it doesn't feel like more than it is, a mistake.

i'm having a hard time sitting. i can stand or lay flat but sitting is painful. spasming has been a problem again. i just want to cry.

i was going to say that i don't care about stuff right now and that i don't want to do anything but not caring doesn't totally fit. i'm angry about a few things. i think most of it has to do with pain levels rising and not being able to sit longer than 10 min without spasms. i've come back to this entry 3 times now to finish it.

i'm raw at the moment bc i'm getting closer to the date to see my new general practitioner. this month seems extra full of appointments, stuff i can't get out of. i'm going to the very last dental appointment which i'm not looking forward to.

i'm raw after finding out that its my brother my sister feels guilty about. i can't believe i actually thought she could/would feel anything for me other than contempt. i wonder why i allowed myself to believe she's capable of feeling anything for me? why did i again put myself in front of a speeding bus then ask why it ran me over. is she always going to be a dangling carrot? the type of temptation i just can't resist? i feel so stupid. what was i thinking?

yesterday someone wanted to adopt all three of my fire belly frogs. they are now with a larger pod in a much larger terrarium. this means my only frog is Pete the African Clawed Frog. i don't want any more fire bellies. they're adorable but they aren't for me. i want a land frog not semi aquatic. the good thing is that i've got the correct set up for frogs here. i never sell of major equipment i know i can't replace. tanks are easy to replace but other equipment may not be. ah... snails. i thought all 5 of my little baby snails died but it appears i have one little guy. he's adorable. i tried to out source getting a snail but it hasn't worked. now i have to out source even further and bug my friend one state over about putting a snail in the mail. i just don't know enough people willing to dig in their yard for stuff. wow, the things a girl does for pets. anyway, as long as i have a few live things to fuss over and care for then i'm good to go.

oh yeah, my web mistress is working on the rss feed and the issue with commenting from the wordpress reader.

I racked my brain trying to think of what it is my sister can't forgive herself for. At first I thought, does it have anything to do with me? I wanted there to be something she felt for me. It's another slap in the face and another dose of cold reality.

It sounds absurd now, to think she feels anything for me other than contempt. Why did I even think she grieved over me to the point of believing she is no longer worthy of life? I guess because I thought I'm the only person who hasn't used and abused her. I'm her younger sister. I'm still alive, the other members of our immediate family are not. Our mother and father are deceased, my brother is gone. It's just me and her.  ...continue reading "Hate in Cement"

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Tuesday I'm going to pick up a fountain pen to use when writing letters to my brother who called himself the Vivaldi kid, among other things. I'm not really working on grief associated with him, but I am writing letters to my Vivaldi Kid, for the violin.

It occurred to me that not seeing him at his funeral makes taking his death hard. I didn't get to say goodbye. What did they dress him in, or did they cremate him? I was never told. Where is his grave site? Did anyone bother to take photos of the site? Is he in New York or here? He should be in New York. What happened to his body? If cremated, did they even collect his ashes?  What did they do with him after his death? Did he have arrangements in place? What I mean is, did he have last wishes for his properties?  ...continue reading "Letters to the Vivaldi Kid"

Let the River Wash Over Me - SOLD - Redbubble prints available Snow and her husband were here today but I wasn't able to get up and greet them. They did what they came to do and left. I've been here in bed most of the day. I checked the news and got on FB for a minute. My body is screaming, even my scalp hurts. The weather is changing and that's a problem.

I'm not depressed right now just in, 'here we go again' mode. Some call it self pity and that's fine. I was in bed thinking, the rest of the world is living but I'm hugging the wall in bed with a voice inside saying,, 'help me.'

It occurred to me that I should contact the doctor that diagnosed the CRSD to see if he can assist in any way. ...continue reading "Low stimulation, high emotion, high pain level"

Today I sold the painting "Wait for Me - Let there always be hope". When the individual saw her painting she was moved because she's going through a lot right now. This is the moment artists love, we eat it up.

As artists we put our very lives on canvas and hang it out for all to see. We love the oohh and ahhhh responses but when someone is moved right to the heart, it fuels us, validates us and propels our creative direction.

I so, so love the expression I saw on her face when I handed her the painting. I won't forget that for awhile. I feel like I was able to give someone something of value, a tiny bit of understanding and a little more rope to hold on to. It feels good.

SOLD
Always Hope - prints on Redbubble

"Wait for Me - Let there always be hope" found a wall of its own.

Art Title: Always Hope
Art by: Faith Magdalene Austin
Medium: Colored pencil and watercolor
Size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Finish: signed, unsealed, unmounted
Style: Abstract Expressionism, Modern

This piece has sold which means it is now only available in prints from Redbubble which is linked to on my sidebar. To see available art that can be purchased through PayPal or Etsy, please see the Available Art Gallery and Available, Too.

Thank you for visiting SUNDRIP - Art for Life

Live free. Create well.
Sundrip

I am emotional in most GP visits because the doctor has to touch me and it hurts. Also, sitting in the doctor's office feels like my denial blinds have been lifted. At least outside the office I have a measure of time where I'm not thinking of my body and what has been lost, but being in that office is different. I know why I'm there. I know that faking a smile isn't going to work. I feel vulnerable and I cry. I chatter on when I'm nervous but I can tell you what hurts, where and how it feels different from the normal pain.

I've been told recently that expressing clear needs to medical doctors can be problematic. I used the word recently because this isn't news to me. I've heard it a thousand times. I've also hear it said, 'You're more involved in your health care than we're used to seeing."

What's interesting is that I no longer have faith in you. How do I put faith in a community that has no faith in itself? Doctor's constantly put down their peers down. I've had GP's tell me to stay away from pain specialists. I've had orthopedic specialist talk bad about other orthopedic specialists and rheumatologists. Nurses in office will talk bad about the doctors and tell you what medical practices they think are quackery. If you can't even agree among yourselves how to treat the basic needs of a patient then how do you expect me to put my trust in you? You don't even respect each other.

...continue reading "The broken yet determined chronically ill patient"

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Strange Sisters - Young Children in the Sun Well, that was heavy. I felt relieved after writing that story. Reading over it I'm able to see how close I stuck to reality. I'll put this to bed after I process why I said there's a reflection of me in each character in the story Tea for Christopher.

Content: Physical abuse of a young child. Processing the previous entry. No sexual abuse mentioned or discussed.

Christopher
I'm primarily Christopher in the story who tries to manage the unmanageable. I had Christopher leave home just the way I did, an unplanned exit on a night of routine abuse. I couldn't do it another night, not another second. I left Feb 2, 1992 at 10:30 pm and I never went back home. I went to a hotel that evening then got up to go to work. I never went back home.
Just like with Christopher, I did watch my little brother beaten with a dowel rod. Just like in the story, he was held down with one hand by my mother and beaten with a dowel rod until he was no longer even screaming. I walked away and left him with that monster. A few days later he was removed from our home by Child Protective Services. I felt so broken by that loss.
It is safe to say, the story Tea for Christopher was triggered by what happened the other night outside my window.

Ruby, the mother
It's interesting that the mother wasn't given a name until about the middle of the story. I realized I kept calling her 'his mother'. I didn't think too hard about a name for her but I immediately rejected Diamond. Now, the name Ruby seems appropriate only because of the color.
Why am I the mother in the story? I see how much my life revolved around creating situations that would appease my abuser while ignoring myself and my needs. An abused child is always at the beck and call of the abuser, there is no time for anything else.
I never told her, but I apologized in my heart for being a bad daughter. Though my mother left us repeatedly (a few days tops) there was a constant threat of being sent to the orphanage where my grandfather grew up. She was neglectful in criminal ways. Abandonment issues are still a huge problem for me. ...continue reading "Thoughts on Tea for Christopher"

My style is to just write and only correct spelling once I've completed it. Even the names of characters are made up as I go. I write until I feel I've released enough.

Content: After reading through it, I realized I'm all the characters, all of them, without exception. The story includes domestic violence, child abuse, the death of a child, blood from an accidental cut on the hand, physical violence towards a male teenage child. No sexual abuse is discussed in this quick write. Spaces are added to distinguish one speaker from another. I used a phrase taken from congressional hearings but left out all other sarcasm or humor.

"Christopher, your father will be here any minute, please set the table. Get his tea cups, please." Christopher rolls his eyes and says, "He''ll be here just a minute?"
"Not now, just finish setting the table, please."

He sighed heavily but very carefully pulled down four small, black Japanese cups with a red flower he couldn't identify. He sat them beside four square black plates and utensils he just figured out how to use. He's frustrated.... no, offended. His father will be home soon so his parents can begin their ritual of pretending to be happy. In the blink of an eye the tide will change from a perfect brew to boiling lava spilling from his mouth burning his mother to the core. She lets him and she won't stick up for her son. Her whole world is a man who comes home angrier each night and stays only to start another war. He leaves the carnage on the floor and goes out for the night.

Christopher's mother begins to bring the meal out to the table but upon seeing the settings she gasps and drops the platter. "Why would you do that? Why are you so cruel to me?"
Christopher feels the weight of what he's done and turns his head away from her. "Do it right and quickly!" she demands, but he's firm in his resolve.
"No. The table is set. You wanted a family dinner and I've set the table for us all."

By the end of her teenage son's sentence she has become a quivering ball of tears. "Why? Why would you do this? I just wanted a nice night for once. Help me clean this mess. Help me get this off the floor before he gets here." Christopher's eyes begin to well with tears, his breath is heavier and his heart has moved to his throat, but he leans next to his mother whose tears now mix with the ruined dish. He cleans the broken glass from the floor. Mother is still crying, heartbroken that she won't get it right, again. She can't seem to do anything right. She's a failure, a disappointment, again. As she hears the same old argument of worthlessness, she notices that Christopher's hand is bleeding. He continued to pick up the pieces one by one, leaving drops behind as a witness to his loyalty, to his love and exasperation for the woman he calls mother.

His mother grabbed his hand and looked at him, "You're bleeding. Honey, you're bleeding. Don't you see?" He dropped his head and shook it in disbelief that she for once saw that he too bleeds. "Christopher, what are you doing, go wash your hands, you're hurt." Christopher pulls back and continues to pick up tiny shards of glass. He pauses and says, "You never make special tea for me."
"What? What are you talking about?" She's confused. I mean my goodness, her husband is going to walk in the house and they'll both be on the floor cleaning up her hundredth failure of the day. Her mind is cluttered, she tries to prioritize. Clean this up, get something else, get a reason for the delay and stay calm.

Christopher places the last of the glass on top of the pile of broken pieces. His hand drips a steady stream and shocks his mother back to the person standing right in front of her. She says nothing this time. Still crying she looks at him bewildered then holds his hand, wiping the blood away with her dress, the one she put on for her husband who will come through that door any minute. She wipes away the blood, but can't stop his steady stream of tears. "What's going on with you? What's all this about? Tell me." ...continue reading "Creative Writing – Tea for Christopher"

It's not pretty - this meadow of mineI posted a photo on my FB page about PTSD but later when I visited the page it linked back to, I erased it. There's probably valuable information on the page so I do not fault it for that. I removed the link because of the memes and quotes....and how they landed this hour of the night. In other words, they didn't do anything wrong......it's just hard right now. I'm ranting, anxious, triggered and tired.

Set off......

I completely object to the idea of showing PTSD as pretty, the same way I am disgusted by people showing Lupus in a dreamy way. I assure you, when I'm in pain I don't think about purple butterflies with trailing light. When I'm up this late I don't think about anything other than running from the brain vomit produced by PTSD.

I've been up too long, and I'm mad....at everything. I can't get myself to go to bed. It's hot and sticky. My brain won't shut off.  Why do I only think to take something for the anxiety when I'm far gone, like this?

I hate this world. I've thought recently of just walking away and living quietly in some place...who knows where......just some place. I'm weary, worn out and appalled by the human condition. I'm appalled by the lack of reason, the abundance of openly hating one another and purposeful harm in action and words. It's like there's blatant behavior to inflame and keep communities unsettled. From top to bottom people seem to want nothing more than to upset and destroy each other. It's hard to watch.

I want no part of loving anyone....or hating them.  ...continue reading "PTSD Isn’t Pretty"

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