good riddance

sometimes
he shows me
something
other than his wounded self
other than the
sad & scared
little boy
inside
the one he expects
me
to take care of
instead
sometimes
his true colors
emerge
brighter than the
blue of his eyes
fangs & claws
cruel words come easily
as jekyl
turns to hyde
& i am almost
almost
relieved
to see the one
he keeps
hidden
away
as much as it hurts
the pain is a
relief
compared to the
confusion.

after i wrote this (based on a text fight with dusty)…i began to wonder if this side of him is actually yet another of his chameleon colors. i mean, maybe he is channeling me when he becomes snarky like this? his interpretation of my behavior? is he showing his true colors or is he just copying my personality? like when he is like this, he calls me “dude.” that is totally me. i call him dude when i am frustrated with him.
and he is all bitchy at me.
recently, someone called me “charming,” and i let him know that he was the very first person to ever call me that.
he was.
no one calls me charming. i am too honest & too blunt. i don’t bother with filters. i am a “bitch” or “scary” by many assessments. however, i am a kind person. i do care deeply for others & will help anyone i can help & feel badly if i can’t. but i am not good at social niceties. i never have been and really don’t care to learn. though i am polite. i say “please” & “thank you….”
additionally, some of what he says feels like he is being fed lines from someone else. telling me not to use him as a punching bag when i call him on his bullshit. who told him to say that, i wonder.
does dusty in fact have a real personality or are they all borrowed?
i wonder.
but seeing this side of him does make me feel better about my decision to kick his ass out of my life. anyone who is capable of being a shit to me after all i have done for him…all those things that he pretends i never did, choosing to remember the times i stood up for myself & didn’t give him what he wanted…choosing to remember those times as my being unfair to him.

bleah.
whatever the fuck.
good riddance.

i did the illustration after i wrote this post. i really did NOT want to do another self-portrait of myself as a victim–suffering someone else’s bad behavior. instead i decided to celebrate my own bad behavior.

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when i was just a girl

when i was just a girl
not yet a woman
i hung a sign on my wall
declaring
“i am destined
for greatness”
one day
a male friend
scoffed
“what? you’re going to marry
adam ant?”
i was
beyond
offended
(still am) as if! as if
a woman could only be great
through marriage
when i was still a girl
not quite a woman
i spent eight hours a day
writing
& writing
novels
first in longhand
then typed
it took about nine months
to birth one
when i was just a girl
not quite a woman
i was broken
already
broken by an
abused
childhood
an abandoned
childhood
i was broken
but
i was
still
whole
until one day
i discovered
the “greatness”
of men.

to say i was an awkward child would be an understatement. to say i was a strange child, also, understated.
needless to say, boys were not knocking my door down.
i was shy & dressed funny.
which was probably the best thing for me. i was safe from myself. however, once i figured out the whole boy-catching thing, things went downhill for me pretty fucking fast.
i let them tear me apart.
i gave them the best parts of me.
and i have been recovering ever since.

on the bright side–i am recovering.

tall dark & handsome

he came to me in a dream
ready to end
my misery
with talons
like razors
a creature from–
well…
nightmares
a feathered man
tall dark & handsome
my sure
demise
but to my credit
i fought
for my
wretched
life
even resorting to
my
feminine
wiles.

a little something different.
maybe too much halloween candy, but i had a vivid dream last night about a big blackbird-man who came to finish me off. except he was also sexy. i think i have a pretty conflicted view of men.
speaking of….
so who remembers clan of the cave bear? my brain often references the idea in it that ayla is guarded by her spirit animal, the cave bear who scarred her. she is thereby deemed to have too strong of an energy for most men to mate with her and make a child with her.
i think of the grizzly bear as one of my main spirit guides. i feel her energy in me & feel i am protected by her.
i have found that my strength makes dating tricky. which i think is weird…but it seems to be true.
until (at least) this point in my life i have chosen physically small men. feminine men. men who do not seem threatening to me…. yes, i chose them. if i wait to be chosen, it is a long wait. however, most of the men i choose then turn me upside down–& not in a good way. most of them seem threatened by me. most of them try to dominate & degrade me.
so i’m thinking maybe i should be looking for a romantic interest that has–at least–the grizzly bear spirit i have?
i dunno.
just brainstorming here. it’s not like i have suitors lining up at my door to choose from.

 

always for now

always & forever
did not last
as long
as i thought it would
always
became sometimes
& then
seldom
before falling off the world & into
never….
forever started to
sputter out
after
what?
just a couple of years?
a brief
forever
waxing & waning
away to
nothing.
never mind.

phoenix rising

i realized something today
i am pretty fucking awesome
whether i’ve had
a beer…or two
or
am stone cold sober
whether my bathroom is clean
or the scene
of a toxic event
i am pretty fucking awesome
warts & all
literal & figurative
losing my mind
or all fucking zen
i am incredible
fantastic
amazing
think what you will
of me
but i am the only
one
who
knows for sure
i am
totally
fucking awesome.

after 250 self-portrait art journal pages (this is #251) in the past eleven months…it was bound to happen.
i felt good writing this…it was a bit harder to post as i am all, “what if i’m wrong? what if i suck?” but i totally felt it as i was writing it.
confidence.
belief in myself.
and it felt good.

navel gazing

you look so hard
into
your own heart
using
other people’s eyes
are you lovable?
are you beautiful?
are you special?
are you good?
are you a good person?
do you deserve happiness?
so much time
energy
so much of your own
heart
but you never
stop
you never
look up
& out
to see what is in their
hearts
& to wonder
are they lovable?
special, beautiful, & good?
do they
deserve
your happiness?

cat battle

so i re-did this page. it’s from december of last year when i was in a very dark place and realized that no matter how much i wanted to throw fidgit’s cat out the door for being a jerk…i could not risk breaking my son’s heart.
it seemed relevant to right now.
i am not a cat person.
much of the emotional abuse i suffered as a child was animal-related. pet-related. i wrote about it while my parents were visiting last winter.
it is something i still struggle with.
so
we had one cat–pepper–who we adopted from a humane society when fidgit just had to had to had to have a dog & all that was allowed on our lease was a cat.
i will admit that pepper is good–for a cat. he tolerates my minions & never* poops outside the litter box. he is also an asshole who likes to knock over water glasses & bounce on my bed when i am sleeping, but fidgit loves him.
pepper moved to rural illinois with us.
so then all the kittens started showing up. when i was a kid, that’s how we got new pets, they just showed up.
however, i did not keep the kittens; i took them all to the humane society knowing i cannot deal with cats in a healthy & mature way.
then roscoe happened. he was just hanging out on the side of the road. you know, a country road where seeing a cat corpse is not that uncommon. so there is roscoe, about 8 weeks old, clearly some barn kitten out for a stroll.
i stopped the car & picked him up.
i have a quick bond with certain cats. almost always brown tabbies. almost always rude & lovable all at the same time. usually a little bit wild (i will have to tell you about moose sometime–actually she is probably on my post about my cat curse….)
roscoe was one of those cats.
i resigned that we would have two cats.
unfortunately, roscoe had fleas…which i’m pretty sure is where my current fleaocalypse started. also, he did  not know what a litter box was (being a barn cat) and had to be trained over a few weeks to use a litter box.

then, not even a month later, shortly after i had successfully litter box trained roscoe, an orange classic tabby kitten popped out of the cattails by the pond when i went to hang up clothes. i’m pretty sure she was dumped off as cats often are in the country. there are the barn cats & then there are the dumped city cats. ginger seemed to be the latter. and, iggy wanted her. and i was stupid & tired & too easily worn down by iggy’s ability to work his angle…. i agreed to it against my better judgement and knowing i do not get along with orange tabbies.
and i never was able to bond with ginger.
on tuesday, after much grief & heartache and talking to iggy & the other kids about it, i took ginger to the humane society.
i was right.
i cannot handle having that many cats.
i thought about taking all three in. part of me really wanted to take all three in. end the cat chaos. the cat battles. end my seemingly constant hating of myself for not being able to deal with cats. i mean, taking the cats to the humane society, that’s at least better than shooting them in front of my kids (right, dad???)
while ginger was with us, litter box issues became common–when she would get stressed out, she would stop using the box…and then roscoe would stop as well. i had it fixed though…i had it under control & then my uninvited house guest from hell messed with the litter boxes. she actually put one box outside & shut the door to the others, leaving my cats with no boxes. i fixed the situation as soon as i became aware of it…but it was too late.
ginger started not using the box.
and roscoe stopped using the box.
and i started losing my mind.
i was hoping that with ginger gone, everything would go back to normal.
i don’t know if it was the flea spray…or if the situation is out of my control…or if my cats just hate me, but yesterday, roscoe & pepper (*first time ever) both stopped using the litter box.
and i fell apart.
i spent so long talking myself out of just getting rid of them…all they had to do was use the litter box….
i tried to talk myself back into getting rid of them. this is a big house. a carpeted house. it is not my house. there are too many unfinished areas–dead zones–in the house for a cat to have an accident without my realizing it.
i wanted to give up.
and then i started wondering what kind of example i am setting for my kids. i mean, it’s bad enough when i throw a fit because the cats are cats (yesterday morning i went into the kitchen around sunrise. there is not much natural light in the kitchen & it was rainy out. i did not turn on the lights. at one point i kicked something on the floor–so i turned on the lights to see the jagged bottom of a broken glass jar just next to my bare foot…and broken glass all around me–thanks, cats.)
but what does it say about me if i don’t even try (again) to solve this problem? i have to try again.
so i am cleaning & organizing a room where the cats can be quarantined and re-trained again to use their litter boxes.
i am trying not to ask myself what happens if they keep having accidents?
i’m trying to believe i can do this.
i have to do this.
i have to win a cat battle. i have to show my kids i can be a good cat mom. i have to show my children that problems can be solved…that taking time & having patience are good things.
i have to.

curtains

this same window
i spend my day
creating
art
from the light
shining through
this same window
i used to sit
as a child
staring at the dark
reflected
back
at me
waiting
for my father
to come home
wishing
for my father
to never
come
home
it’s a different window
though it is
the same
only light comes through
now
no
more
dark.

i scribbled this thought down a few days ago, and remembered it today while reading JGomez’s beautiful & powerful piece “Disintegrate Elsewhere.”
my father always came home…and his homecomings were generally stressful…if not terrifying. a family walking on eggshells while a father waits, determined to take his temper out on someone. i learned to be quiet. i learned to be invisible. i learned to not draw the disturbed glare of his blue eyes.
i watched as others took the brunt of his temper. wishing him away. wishing to feel safe.

i live in the same house…but it is a different house now that he is gone. i wish little me had gotten to feel the peace that i am now, finally, able to feel.

burnt fingers

why have i let them
why have i let men
have the best parts
of me
giving my everything
to them
apologizing
for it not being
enough
holding torches
that just
burn my fingers.

a short poem…a simple drawing. liberally using my white space.

i borrowed from my figure drawing book (expressive figure drawing) for this one.

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