just words

i never wanted
perfect
i would have been
happy
with
kind
i would have traded the world
for someone
who
loved me
best
but…marriage vows
are just
words
really
no matter
how pretty they sound.

there is this thing dusty says to me whenever he feels the need to shut me up. he mentions this mysterious thing he whispered into my ear during our wedding ceremony. he brings it up knowing i have the memory of a chipmunk on mind altering drugs. he brings it up knowing i was so stressed out on our wedding day that i barely remember being there. he brings it up knowing i will feel bad for not remembering his great declaration of love.
or maybe i’m wrong.
but i’m not.
he brought it up recently when we were texting back & forth.
he texted, “i meant what i whispered in your ear that day.”
so i asked, “which day?”
and of course it was our wedding day to which he referred even though that was no where near to being the topic of our conversation.
yes, dusty, you are one up on me. i don’t know what you whispered. i just don’t fucking remember.
so i texted him back to confess that i was too hopped up on anxiety to remember anything from our wedding day.
so he finally told me those magical words that he has held as proof of his good intentions all these years:

i may not be perfect, but i will always love you.

so of course my response was what the fucking fuck? who asked for perfect? i would have settled for a dude who didn’t escape into a pot-induced video game haze instead of being present in our marriage. i would have settled for a dude who didn’t insult me on the day i buried my brother. i would have settled for a dude who helped change the diapers & got up at night to help me with the babies…or who fucking didn’t berate me for being pregnant. i would have settled for a dude who didn’t fuck around on me to punish me.

sigh.

so i told him, those are just words. anyone can say words. without the action to back them up…just..fucking..words.

ancient history

before i met & married dusty and had an on-again/off-again dysfunctional relationship from hell with him…i had a practice run for two years with his kentucky twin.
in 1996 just after i lost the best boy i’d ever known, i fell in with this narcissistic, emotionally abusive asshole.
it should have just been a rebound…but he was so good at manipulating me that it lasted for two awful years. he conned me out of thousands of dollars, put my ego in the crapper, and cheated on me like crazy.
this poem was written about six months in.

holy crap.
i should have read these journals back when stuff started going funny with dusty. i had no idea what a narcissist was–not really. nor that they preyed on people like me…people with too much empathy.
i had no idea.
i thought it was love.
just like i thought it was love that kept me with dusty no matter how much of a fuck he was to me.
i should publish these journals as a warning.

without feathers

without feathers
i watch the snow fall
around me
“i love the snow,”
i say quietly
and try to keep from
crying
without feathers
i battle the demons
inherited from my
father
mother
relationships taking
wrong turns
down one-way streets
“i want to live,”
i try to convince myself
i feel in my heart
intense hope
and bottomless
sorrow
and i continue my journey
without
feathers.

to keep my heart safe from dusty, i find i have to remember things i would rather forget.
some of you were with me during the really really awful bad terrible fucked-up hello kitty catastrophe.
you know, when dusty started dating a 30 year old in a hello kitty backpack while he was living with me?
how she would come to our apartment & hide in the bushes & wait for him? how she would write graffiti about the two of them on the bike paths around where we lived?
how she gave him a phone so they could “sext” each other?
how he would sneak off to see her & leave me alone pregnant…with a newborn…and his three other children?
how i would happen across the two of them…how i developed an anxiety whenever i left the house that i would see them somewhere, together?
how i would constantly find fucked-up little gifts & notes from her to him on our front step or hanging from the trees around our home?
how he refused to leave madison with me & the kids because he wanted to stay near her?

sigh.

this is what i have to replay in my head.
the cold way he would look at me when i happened upon them somewhere near our house, embraced.
the way he shoved me when i tried to find out what was going on between them & behind my back.
sitting alone in a courtroom waiting to find out what would happen to me for having a public & profane breakdown.
finding out, too late, from people i thought were friends that this had been going on when i was being told it was not.

this is what i am trying to recover from. among other things. meanwhile, dusty keeps trying to creep back in. still blaming me & telling me what a cold heart i have for not loving him.

i’m tired, y’all.
i’m tired of doing everything alone as he watches & complains that he isn’t being included when i would love to include him–but instead feel it necessary to protect myself from him. i never wanted to do this alone. every day as i struggle to take care of four kids & homestead & have time to myself to do art & to try to keep from losing my mind but losing my mind because i never seem to get time to re-charge because there is always something that needs doing…someone who needs me….

sigh.

i really like this self-portrait.
i think i should take the ones i feel strongest about and do them on a good watercolor paper. this one…i really like it.

ps. so i worked on this last night while watching the netflix original movie a futile & stupid gesture based on the life of doug kenney (who founded national lampoon)…. i totally recommend it. it made me both laugh & sob–which is my criteria for a good story. it also made me think that maybe it is a good thing that i am largely unrecognized for my art, etc. i mean, these depressed & damaged people who make it big & realize that it fixes nothing & end up killing themselves because they still feel like failures….

so today i am thankful that i have never been successful enough to feel like an utter failure.
yay.

i told me so

i wanted to believe him
oh how badly i wanted to believe
that he really loved me
really wanted me
really saw now what he had done
wrong
how he had
wronged
me
i wanted so badly to believe
he really had changed
that things could really be
different
better
that there was hope still
even though the nagging little voices
in my head
assured me he had not changed
pointing out the little red flags
scattered around him

dusty and i were perfect and in love once. so so so in love. it was a long time ago. he was the center of my universe…and i’m sure i somehow fit into his universe.

and then i got pregnant with fidgit.
and everything changed.
i changed, my focus changed, shifted. dusty was no longer the center of my universe. he had to share the spotlight.
and dusty changed. a person emerged that i had never met before. a cold person. a cruel and judgemental person.

and that was the beginning of the end.

i was surprised when he started up with the love and adoration this last time. i guess i shouldn’t have been. i guess i should have remembered he will do anything he has to do to keep the status quo. but i was surprised because it has been awhile since he acted as if i were important to him. usually i am just a piece of the puzzle…but he started acting as if i were the puzzle itself. every piece.

but i told him “no” because i have to hold close the hurt he caused me so i don’t forget. like snapping a rubber band on my wrist whenever i want to believe dusty actually cares.

and last night i got my proof that i was right to do so.

while he was wooing me to keep our family together, apparently he decided to cover his bets & he also got back in touch with the woman he used to try to destroy me. the poor delusional twat who he would lie to as much as he would lie to me–except she believed him. i don’t know if she was crazy before he got a hold of her, but she was crazy by the end.

so, yay, they are back together.

i told me so.

(i just realized that if we had stayed married, today would be our 14 year anniversary)

tripping joggers

how do i rationalize spending $100 on paper (sketch pads, etc) when i have no money? i dunno. some of the paper is for the minions who love to do art almost as much as i do. you know, so it’s homeschooling. and i spent only like $70 on solstice (christmas for you non-pagans) presents…so maybe it’s okay? also! i’m getting some of my deposit back from my apartment in madison that i moved out of almost a year ago.

funny story.
after trying to leave exhusband#2 multiple times i again agreed to get a place with him…even though he was actively cheating on me right in front of me.
ah, the lies we tell ourselves.
agreeing to live with him against my better judgement, i did so insisting that we move out of madison. madison is just too damn expensive, and exhusband#2 does not like to work, and i have yet to be paid for what i do every day. so i wanted to move somewhere where we would not be living paycheck to paycheck…but he did not want to abandon his girlfriend.
so
after trying to find an apartment for a family of six in another town with absolutely no help from exhusband#2
for some reason
i agreed to keep living in madison?
in an apartment we could not afford?
i paid the deposit. living off of credit cards and student loans, i paid the $1050 security deposit.
we moved in.
a month later, biking with the minions, i came across him making out with his girlfriend (whom he was always in the process of breaking up with) on the bike path by our house.  
i freaked out.
lost it.
crashed my bike.
broke my arm.
and kicked the slut in the knee.
the wrong slut, but the slut i was aiming for….
i got a citation for “disorderly conduct” and had to go to court and pay a fine.
so i told  him, “if you don’t break up with her by the end of the semester, i am moving out of madison.”
he didn’t.
i did.
going even further into debt to lease a u-haul to move me & four minions two hours away from madison….

did  i say this was a funny story?

and i found someone to sublet the madison apartment. a “friend” who said she would pay me the deposit…but never did. and then lied to me about it…repeatedly.

so i had pretty much written off that $1050 until yesterday when the landlord contacted me to say he was sending me the deposit. how much? i dunno. but at least some. a little more money. to rationalize my buying $100 worth of paper.

it’s for the art, people! i have priorities! it’s for the art!

i don’t have cable or a smartphone or a car or new clothes or fancy appliances…but by god, i have paper to draw on!!!
and some to mat with, hopefully, so i can put some of my inkings in a local gallery? dare i dream that little dream?
paper
i love you so.

(this inking/comic is another in a series i am playing with where i take random things i have written over the years. random sentences. random ideas. random “stories.” i am taking all of that randomness and trying to turn it into visual art. i used an ink stain and a random thought to create this one. very casual.)

(aww crap. i totally forgot to do the photo progression like i did in yesterday’s post. then you can see where i’m getting my ideas from the lines in the ink…but i forgot. or rather, i was wrestling with crazy minions while trying to do art & was lucky just to finish an inking! the more i do this however, the more i should remember to photograph my procession to whimsy.)

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