the invisible exhibitionist

the invisible exhibitionist was, in part, my response to social media. being a highly sensitive introvert, social media was especially difficult for me. why was everyone happy but me?
so instead of posting selfies with perfect hair, i inked how i saw myself, warts & all. instead of photos of my delicious meal or fantastic vacation, i posted free verse that glorified all of my short comings as a mother. as a daughter. as a friend & lover. 

i didn’t want to show everyone how well i was doing, i wanted to reassure others that they were not alone in their struggles.

the invisible exhibitionist is available through lulu.com or contact me for an autographed copy. 

image is “feral” one of the self-portraits from my book

queen of the imposters

it’s my grandma saying
“you’d be so pretty if only you dressed like a girl”
it’s my parents saying
“writing is a nice hobby, but what will you really do?”
it’s that boyfriend saying
“you might be sexy if you started jogging and lost some weight”
it’s the father of my children saying
“why do i have to work why you do nothing?”
the father of my children
questioning all my decisions while offering no help
the father of my children
insinuating i’m doing it all
wrong….
but they don’t even know
they don’t even know what they have done to me
that they have become a little voice in my head
telling me i’m an imposter
when i wear girl’s clothes & pretend to be pretty
i’m an imposter
when i say i’m a writer
i’m an imposter
when i feel sexy
i’m an imposter
when i try to mother my children….

a friend of mine was talking about how the judging voice in her head was “the white lady.” this made me wonder what the most disruptive voice in my head looked like.
so i meditated & journeyed into myself to confront the one who whispers “imposter” whenever i try to do certain things.
i couldn’t find anyone. no one came forward. i called & called, but no one answered. i assumed they were hiding from me.
but then last night as i lay in bed after being screamed at by my ex-husband who was visiting for our son’s birthday, i realized, my imposter voice was there…they just didn’t realize i was talking to them. they are oblivious to what they are doing to me. they think they have done nothing wrong. they see themselves as completely innocent.
this made me realize i need to start being oblivious to it as well. just drown it out by proclaiming, “i am not an imposter. i am a good mother. a good writer. i am pretty & goddammit, sexy too.”

saint nobody

the tower falls
as faulty towers do
but could it be a blessing
& not a curse
like what if the tower
is built out of
all my terrible
relationships
what if it is constructed
out of my self-doubt
& insecurity
my believing i am
unlovable
has saturated
brick after brick
creating this monstrosity
of an
unstable structure
that needs
needs to be
knocked down
so a new me
can grow.

got the “tower” card in my tarot draw again. the scariest card in the deck. disaster! defeat! disrepair!
crap.
so i tried to look at it a different way. like, what if the unstable structure i have built–the one that needs to fall down–is my believing i am an imposter. a nobody. worthless…. could that tower fall?
could it not be a disaster so much as a chance to rise from those fucking ashes?
let’s find out.

washed away

i was letting myself
get washed away
in the current
when i got stuck
in a whirlpool
of me
caused by a pile
of my own
debris…
so then
so then i started
picking at
kicking in
fighting & crying
but the dam
held steady…
so now i relax
i float on my back
watching the sky
spin
above me
& i have faith
that my problems
will break free
make space
&
let me flow forward
once more.

more metaphors on my clogged stream of energy.

this inking is a self-portrait in honor of my upcoming self-portrait collection, the invisible exhibitionist.
my floating in a pool of me….

and also in the spirit of selfies. my publisher suggested i take a selfie with my book proof.

i am happy to say that reading through my proof made me laugh several times. it feels nice that i’m not making myself cry at the moment.

buffering

“keep your distance”
is what my energy worker
tells me
is lurking in the energy field
just next to my skin
& i know
it is true
true of me now
& for as long
as i can remember
i don’t let
anyone
close
i am an open book
friendly even
sometimes…
but there is always
that invisible buffer
to keep you
form getting
too close
to me.

ah yes, the walls of the emje. carefully built & tended.
of course, in my tarot yesterday, i drew an upside down warrior who told me: putting up walls is a sign of weakness–not strength.
poop.
i guess i might need to dismantle the catapult and bake some muffins…
but seriously, after a lifetime of keeping everyone away, how do i learn to let people in?

messed up

if i identify
as broken
if my narrative
is
what a mess
i am…
what then?

just trying to work the feelings out. that fucked up self-talk can really do a number on you.
i really don’t know what i would do without my being able to ink it out.
art therapy, y’all.

easy

sometimes i wonder
why i can’t just
do things
the easy way
be pleasant
stay married
rent
not choose art
work nine to five
buy the stuff
all of it
to make life
easy
don’t swim
against the current
don’t find a home
on the fringe
be sweet
be sweet
be sweet
let people
love you.

on the 5th i did several journal pages (they will appear over the next few days) and got a lot of my angst onto the page. the messed up mood i have been in since…like over a month. more? i am done with it. just. fucking. done.
art journal to the rescue!
it really seemed to do the trick. by evening on the 5th, i felt my heart start to lighten.
what would i do without my art therapy?
the sentiment on this page is something i have often felt. why do i make my life more difficult? why can’t i just go along with what most people do?
i can’t. i wouldn’t be me.
but that does not mean it’s easy.

dove soup

the dove sits on the telephone wire
watching me do yoga, poorly
like i was feeling out of sorts
& yoga only confirmed
how badly my mind & body
are aligned. how ungrounded
how uncentered i am
& the bird watches all of it
through my picture window…
usually a lone mourning dove
is a comfort
an echo of my own lonely heart
but today it feels like a taunting
a mockery
& all i want to do
is shoot the damn thing off of its
spy’s perch
& have dove soup for lunch.

deconstructing

i feel like anger
has been woven into me
& now
i need to undo all these fibers
work backward
get the knot out
the fucked up stitch
& re-weave myself
into the person
i need to be
the person
i want to be
but
fuck me
it feels like so much work.

of course, if i don’t do the work, that will drive me crazy. looking at the mess of me will bug me until i finally do do the work.
and i will do it.
i will. just, right now, i could really use a nap.

“lydia”
8X10 ink on watercolor paper
$45 ish

art journal art therapy

this is what i was working on with me
right before i crashed
it is safe to suggest
that i am reacting to my own efforts
to shine
by now
feeling extreme sadness
a sinking sort of
hopelessness
in a similar vein
i have begun having a reoccurring dream
that i am swimming in waters
that i am terrified are shark-infested…
but the waters are clear
in one of the dreams
i was trying to keep little me safe
(also a reoccurring theme lately)
in another
i am having fun interacting with other adults…
i suspect
the waters are me…
i fear i am infested with sharks when in fact my waters are clear?

ack.

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