Strangers and Thieves

Tonight was kind of weird — okay, very weird. Around 7:30 pm, someone knocked on my door. It was the man I wrote about back in December 2014 who was asking about the still vacant trailer on this property. KR said he has talked to him once before as well, not to mention I’ve spoken with him on at least one other occasion since then as well. He continuously uses the excuse that he is interested in renting that trailer each time he comes back here. It’s a dead-end, graveled road. We don’t get much traffic, so it’s unusual to see strangers.

Today, he used the excuse that he ran out of gas. His vehicle was parked at the beginning of the graveled drive close to the main road. He walked down to see if we had some gas to get him on his way. I told him he could use a couple of gallons from the gas can we keep for mowing the yard. I walked with him out to the shed where we keep the mowers and gas which is closest to the vacant trailer. To my surprise, both gas cans as well as our weed eater weren’t there.

Quickly, I called KR to be sure he hadn’t moved them. He, of course, hadn’t; but I wanted to be sure. The only conclusion we could come to is that they were stolen. Not even 2 weeks ago, his air compressor was stolen out of the shed. Granted, that shed isn’t secure; and there’s really no way to secure it. Yet, it’s the only place we have to store outdoor equipment like that.

I apologized to the man about the gas. Instead, I allowed him to use my phone to call for help. Afterwards, I called the police out here to file a report. I don’t expect anything to come of it, but this is getting ridiculous. Thieves are the worst sort of coward. I have nothing but contempt for them.

Between the oddity that is this strange man who keeps showing up and having to call the police to report stolen property, I feel triggered and seriously paranoid! I’m fighting panic and considering the fact that KR and I may need to invest in a home security system just for peace of mind. I really don’t feel equipped to handle crap like this.

My Life-Line

I’m attempting to process a suggestion made by my new case manager yesterday and my reaction to it — especially my reaction to it. During the course of our visit, which mostly consisted of filling out initial paperwork since this was only our second visit, she mentioned journaling. I told her I was an avid journaler, had been for years.

Her suggestion was to burn, shred, tear up, or otherwise destroy what I’ve written.

This suggestion seriously hit me the wrong way! My reaction went something like this:

Thinking to myself: Wait… what?

Voices quickly firing off in my mind: Did she just say what we think she said?…. She’s not to be trusted…. She knows nothing about us…. Destroy 22 years worth of writing?! That’s more than 16 journals…. What about the sketch journals and art journals? For that matter, what about the blogs or anything else we’ve written or worked on?….  She done lost her goddamn mind…. 

I was completely aghast, positively horrified by the idea of destroying my life’s work in this way. Quite honestly, I about lost it! I told her, maybe a little too firmly and aggressively, “NO! I refuse to do that! I will NOT destroy my journals! So, not happening.

A protector voice immediately took over telling me: STOP talking! Don’t say anything else! (I swear I thought I literally heard sirens going off in my mind because I felt so angry.)

Then, I promptly shut down — got quiet, listening to the voices of agreement in my head, ALL expressing the same disgust and rage over a suggestion that seemed to blatantly disregard how much time and effort I have put into recording my life in this way.

Throughout my journals and everything I’ve ever written, drawn, painted, photographed, or otherwise created, each holds a piece of a puzzle I’ve spent my whole life trying to put back together. I’ve worked hard on myself for the past 22 years to gain a better understanding of my life, my personality, my values — everything about ME, as an “individual” — despite my struggles with mental illness, trauma, and life, in general. Every single part of me has contributed to those journals in an attempt to understand what it means to be human in a general sense as well as an abstract sense. My journals are a part of me. They reflect the good and the bad. They are a timeline of my life. Everything I’ve ever created is a part of that timeline.

And all of it is my legacy to my children.

My case manager continued to explain that destroying whatever I’ve written out of angst and pain would allow me to release it, let it go. Holding onto it all would only prevent me from moving forward. This reminded me of a statement made by my counselor a few weeks ago — something about how I hold my past on a pedestal, refusing to let it go and move forward. I can’t remember his exact words, but both sentiments were basically the same — at least, in my mind.

Get the fuck over it and move on already.

The effects of mental illness and trauma are only a piece of the puzzle that is my life as well. ALL of my life experiences — good and bad — have made me the person I am today. All of that self-introspection in my journals and through my art are my attempts to process and cope with the effects of trauma on my life, especially when nothing else helps! The act of releasing is in the art of writing it all down. It is in the art of creation. I purge it from my system each and every time I find the words or imagery to get it out. My journals, my art, my blogs, and whatever else I choose to create are my life-line. Why would I want to destroy that? To destroy any of it would be like destroying a part of myself.

My case manager noticed I shut down, saying, “You got quiet.” I only smiled, patiently waiting for her to change the subject — all the while, seething inside.

Welcome to Earth

Man, people are super sensitive these days. It’s like the world is losing its mind. At least, it seems that way on social media lately. Everything is something to argue over whether it’s politics, social injustices, religious differences, cultural differences, human rights, or whatever else you can think of.

So much hate.

That bothers me. I know I shouldn’t let it. Being overly sensitive myself (from birth, not just some strange cosmic alignment or whatever the frick is going on right now), it’s like feeling all of that hate even if I remove myself from online activities… or from social interaction in the “real” world… or however else I attempt to isolate myself and avoid what I can only describe as a psychic attack from the collective consciousness as more than 7 billion alternate realities collide.

Humans are intense creatures. This statement makes me think of Jem’s song, Down To Earth:

 

Depression is kicking my ass. I’ll admit it. The cycles have become a little more predictable. The constant, lower grade depression seems to spike into more aggressive depressive symptoms throughout the year, following trigger dates. This is true for anxiety symptoms as well. My startle reflex is a bit exaggerated right now. My neighbor’s 7-year-old has startled me several times this past week, popping up out of nowhere.

Walking down the hallway several days ago, I literally jumped after glancing into the spare room and seeing what my mind registered as a human shaped shadow. It was the mop propped up in front of the street-lit window of the darkened room. I had to laugh at myself over that one. Same thing happened today, except with an umbrella drying in the bathtub!

I’m also struggling with a strong sense of déjà vu. I see no point in going into detail because it’s seriously not even worth my freakin’ time to do so. I’ve complained enough. The resulting frustration bypassed angry and mad altogether bordering on a rage that made me want to throw my hands up in the air and quit! Obviously, I’m a bit irritable, too.

Just breathe…

And hold out for the good times, right?

An interesting link, though:

We Feel is a project that explores whether social media – specifically Twitter – can provide an accurate, real-time signal of the world’s emotional state.

Hope Is a Guiding Light

For many women Mother’s Day is an especially difficult day. I’m speaking to those women who for whatever reason don’t share the daily lives of their children, who either lost custody of their children or signed away their parental rights. I know the pain — gut wrenching heartache — that accompanies both scenarios. I know the guilt and shame you’ve felt from the insensitive comments made by friends and family who can’t possibly understand the reality in which you find yourself.

I know the despair and heartbreaking sadness of such a profound loss as that of losing a child to a significant other and also that of voluntarily giving a child up for adoption, to another family to raise. In my own life, both of these scenarios occurred within a year of each other, seemingly reinforcing the other, deepening the wound and that sense of loss and despair. So often over the years, I thought of all the life experiences I was missing in my children’s lives. They do grow up so fast.

I know that none of us knows exactly what the other is going through, nor do we share the exact same set of circumstances; yet each of us can relate to one another at a deep, emotional level. Others without our experience of a Mother’s loss could never understand this intense pain. We, who never wanted the stigma of being childless mothers, suffer a great loss, an emptiness/incompleteness that tears our hearts to bits, shatters our soul to the core, and so often leaves us in a broken heap on the floor with every anniversary, birthday, and Mother’s Day. Even holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving lose their meaning when they’re overshadowed by a loss of this magnitude.

Never think for a moment that you don’t matter. You matter! You deserve to be acknowledged on Mother’s Day, too!

Use today as a day for mourning your loss if you must. Don’t allow anyone to take that away from you. Get through the day with great courage and cry your tears and feel that pain. Know that pain won’t last forever. It comes in waves and lessens with time. Remember to give yourself credit for that strength and courage that only you can validate in your heart.

Distract. Soothe. Repeat.

Find a method that works best for you to get all of that pain and sadness out and commemorate that severed bond. Get creative. Journal or write a letter to your child (even if you don’t/can’t send it), create a video or use poetry to soothe your soul. Paint or draw your emotions. Start a scrapbook for your child full of happy and sad thoughts, your life experiences, and those moments you do experience with your child. For those of you who don’t get those experiences right now, hold onto that hope with all your heart that one day you may — you will — have that chance to be a part of your child’s life.

Never give up that hope. Let it be your guiding light during the storms.

Coping with Treatment Fears

There seems to be nothing I can write to explain my mood this week. I have felt insecure, confused, and rejected. At the same time, I’m frustrated and skeptical to the point of choosing my words with diligent consideration while fighting an inner rage who stubbornly refuses to see reason.

I met with the “new” case manager yesterday. I don’t really have much to say about that except after we meet for a second time this month to fill out some paperwork, I will only be meeting with her once per month rather than the usual 2 visits per month. Apparently, case management is undergoing some changes that limit support to “maintenance care.”

Like so many times before in this never-ending cycle of reliving past trauma, I’m questioning, “What’s the point? Why bother?” And I fear even acknowledging those questions will leave me with no care at all, stuck trying to figure everything out on my own.