Day 234, 2020

I had such a great time yesterday at our dinner picnic. I brought the Pupper and she was cool at first until she got terrified by the sound of the train and ran. I caught her. I could tell she was making sure I was behind her. Poor little thing. I zipped her up in my sweatshirt for most of the rest of our hang and she calmed down. It was SO nice to see people and talk about things. We each had our own picnic blanket and brought our own food. It was PERFECT. I am hoping we do more of those as this progresses.

I also reached out to my therapist who I haven’t really worked with since this all began. I’m looking forward to talking with her about everything that’s been brewing over here. There has been SO MUCH.

I guess I don’t have a ton to talk about today.

The sun is out

Some things.

  1. I am OBSESSED with visiting and/ or moving to Maine. This came out of nowhere and it came on STRONG. I have never been there and I’m already looking at houses.
  2. I joined Weight Watchers again because I have no self control and for some reason I still believe that throwing money to a corporation is going to make me skinny. Definition of insanity. But my follow through has been pretty good lately. And my inspiration vibrating high.
  3. I just joined a sculpture studio. It’s a co-op near my office with great supplies and working artists. I’m so excited to dive in and get learning. I also signed up for a painting course at the local community college because the art therapy program requires 12 studio credits. I should be there after this semester.
  4. I’ve overhauled my website and put a store up with my original paintings. Oh, right. I’ve been doing a lot of painting. Like A LOT. The quarantine productivity level is crazy. Also, I feel like I’ve finally found my voice in painting. It just clicked a few days ago with faces on moons and suns and stars. I took an online class with an artist I admire and I think it helped loosen me up. My first few after the class were very similar to hers but I was able to incorporate my specific style and really make them my own. I am feeling very happy.

This evening I’m meeting some friends for a socially distant picnic. I’m heading in right now to make some iced tea. I have no idea what else I’m bringing. Maybe popcorn? Hard boiled eggs? LOL. How do I have friends?

Waking up…

I woke up feeling a lot clearer thanks to writing down my thoughts last night. I am reconciling the fact that I do not need to impress anyone. I do not need to abide by anyone’s rules. My job, as an adult woman, is to fully be myself and as much as I have been talking about giving myself permission to do that, I finally feel like I believe it.

I was on a Zoom call with my friends last night and looking at myself wearing a turban and tie-dyed overalls. For a soft moment, I liked what I saw. My sense of style is very unique to me and to my way of living. I am an artist in my heart. I love colors and practicality. The turban keeps my hair (and sweat) off of my face. The overalls are comfy and have big pockets. I like this me. I don’t give a fuck about convention. I always kind of knew this but living it out loud feels really good.

On the call, a friend was talking about an acquaintance who is a dance therapist and I swooned and then I thought why the fuck not me? WHY can’t I just go through and finish my art therapy degree?? It’s a fucking calling. I would be DAMN good at it. I LIVE it. I LIVE art therapy every single day. I also have two big projects in the works and I am just going to put my head down and dive in because I don’t give a fuck anymore. I don’t give a fuck who is going to disapprove. That’s their business. And that’s ok. But this is my life.

Cue Billy Joel?


Cue this.

That’s my fight song.

Loss of Power

I am feeling big feelings and I’m going to write them. I have been crying. I honestly cannot tell you the last time I cried. Really cried. Mournful, soul-pulling, crying. This feeling is terrible, but I know it’s important to acknowledge them and see this through to the other side.

We lost power on Tuesday and my husband, son, dog, and I stayed with my parents until it came back today. A series of incidents occurred that made me reflect pretty hard on what it was like living there as a teenager. My feelings were too big for my skin and I felt explosive, misunderstood, and alone – like most kids that age. Experiencing this as an adult, though – this prolonged, high level anxiety of messing something up – gave me more empathy for myself. Without going into detail, my mother did not speak to me, my husband, or my SON for the entire last 24 hours of our stay.

Every day, I take an antidepressant, a mood stabilizer, and anti-anxiety medication. I am a recovering alcoholic. Looking back, I have definitely pulled the passive aggressive silent treatment in relationships. I think back to those times and shudder. I forgive that person now because processing emotions was never really modeled for me growing up. My father is even keeled 90% of the time but would sometimes pivot to a complete sudden rage. It was rare, but it was terrifying. My mother, on the other hand was very loving to me when I was a child but as soon as I became a teenager it seemed she wanted less and less to do with me. My hindsight analysis is that this was because I was having more mood shifts. Front that point on, I was mostly met with digging remarks or silence. We often have nice chats, but when we do veer into any kind of depth, it is made clear that she knows best and my opinions are too lofty.

As I entered into my teens, It felt like I became dirty and unlovable. I carried that into adulthood along with a total inability rationally deal with my feelings. I’ve learned a lot since then and am mostly content with my actions and reactions to difficult things. I’ve been through many, many years of therapy and even studied Psychology and Counseling in college. I have found my spirituality and read about it every single day. In my recent life, if disagreement or discomfort arises, I often want to nip a problem in the bud with honest conversation. With my son, I truly try to teach him that it’s ok to have big emotions and that he can talk to me about anything. My dad did that with me but the abandonment I felt from my mother affected me in such a spider web of ways that I am still digging through them.

I am a 42-year-old, grown-ass woman who is not about to blame my parents for problematic things that they, as human beings, may have done in raising me. Right now, at this moment, I often think about what I’ve already done to completely ruin my son’s adult life because I have no idea what I am doing. I extend that compassion to them as well. Parents are not perfect. They are not saints or deities. Parents are people who have no idea what they are doing. I acknowledge that these actions cause issues that are up to me to work through. I have to do my fallible best to do better.

Today, I’ll let myself be sad that no one rubbed my back and said it’s ok. I’ll take this floating-away sensation as the final tethers being cut. I am my own person and nothing will change that. I am totally cool with it. I mostly like myself now. I do, however, want to grab Teenage Me’s bony little shoulders and pull her in for a hug.

I often mourn my relationship with my mother. I’ll never have a relationship with a mother who is unconditionally supportive and emotionally open. It’s sad to think about, but I am not alone. All through life, we find mothers in our friends, partners, teachers, and mentors. I hope to be that mother, not only to my own son, but to other fledgling souls I encounter along the way. That’s life. All I can do is try my best to be the things I wish I had and to find those qualities in folks I choose as family.

Day 216, 2020

I am having a hard time today. I woke up to an almost comical sequence of messes and irritations. I am making light of it. It almost broke me fro the day. I’ve not been sleeping well. My jaw hurts all the time from holding tension.

I spent all day on the iPad yesterday researching avenues for my art online. Literally all day. I took pictures, re-sized them, taught myself how to use Lightroom. I spent all day in my head. I get physically sick if I spend too much time thinking. It feeds my anxiety and the next thing you know, I am fried and frazzled.

I have resolved to do some serious yoga today and to focus on getting at least a small session in each day. Yesterday was super productive, but out of balance. I am feeling very out of balance today.

When I woke up in this state of almost-panic and dismay, I jumped in the shower and took deep breaths. I let the water run on me for a long time. Counting 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4. My text alarms were going off. My email notification was ringing. 1-2-3-4. I am thankful that I now recognize that the boundaries need to be pulled WAY up when I’m having a moment like this. I put my phone on Do Not Disturb and that is where it has remained. I’ll check in on it, but I think being 100% accessible to everyone all of the time is wearing me the fuck down.

I think the 24 hourness of family life is cracking me as well. Again, being 100% available 100% of the time. My husband bickers with my son. I feel like I am constantly running interference with them. Part of it is because I can’t believe a grown man is fighting with an 8 year old and part of it is because I am a control freak and need everything done my way. Acknowledged.

I feel my blood pressure rise. I joke that they, (mostly my husband) are going to kill me. I also worry that may be true. The jaw pain is almost unbearable at times.

Back in my body

Back in my body.

Back in my body.

Root to rise.