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.
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.
he saw my damage
he loved my damage
he wanted me to
i wanted to heal
i wanted to fly
he told me i should
he did all he could
so i would stay
if i was damaged
this was inspired by reading mike’s manic word depot’s post “don’t want to be fixed.”
another take, i guess, on people in relationships trying to create the reality that works best for them–regardless of what is best for their partner.
i have been having a bunch of realizations (epiphanies if you will) about my relationship with the father of my children. lots of lots of stuff to dig through there.
(hey…if you are typing too fast & fuck up, “lots” turns into “lost”…which also makes me spin with epiphanies…just that word…lost….)
that would be my message in a bottle
assuming a rejection
because it feels like rejection
all of it
my entire life
feels like rejection….
you bury me
in the cold…cold
a quote from a saturday morning memory
back when life seemed like
something i was waiting for
surely something good
for all the bad
i had endured
but it doesn’t work
people from bad childhoods
grow into adults
who only know what hurting feels like
who only recognize pain
as a feeling
who run away
of anything that doesn’t fit
the fucked up pattern
the drawing is inspired by egon schiele
the quote is from looney tunes
you are the only person
i want to be
not someone like you
(as unlikely as that is)
not someone who treats me
like you treated me
when i think of dating
i feel repulsed
when i imagine
dancing in my kitchen
waking every morning
my whole body tingles
& i swear
i must glow
with sweet longing.
writing this was easy…sharing it–not so much. so i started wondering as i tend to do. why is it easier for me to share my dark & disturbing parts?
my sad & barely surviving parts?
my anxious & depressed parts?
my struggles & shortcomings?
my feelings of worthlessness & isolation?
my oh so crazy bits?
but sharing something i wrote about love…my feelings of love…for another person…i feel like i have gone too far.
i feel like i have crossed some sort of line.
this shouldn’t be allowed!
and, to boot, it is unrequited love i am celebrating.
yuck. so gross.
why do i react to love as if it is something unspeakable? unthinkable? illogical? is this cultural/generational or is it reflective of my damage? or…is my damage also reflective of my culture/generation?
there are entire movies. entire tv series. books, poetry, and songs. all of these. dedicated to love. all kinds of love.
so why do i feel so stupid admitting that i love someone?
so in art journal psychotherapy today we have learned that i am more comfortable with & even celebratory of my darkness & my damage and will happily shove it right in your face….
but when it comes time to share my thoughts of love & devotion & romantic longing…for a man of all things…to admit that i have these feelings…then i ready myself to fall on my sword.
i find being morose a more natural & acceptable state than being dreamy.
yet i call myself quixotic and think of myself as whimsical? a puzzle inside an enigma wrapped in a conundrum.
do you see the exhausting challenge of being me? of living in my head?
in the interest of balance
here it is
a little of my yang for all of the yin
a silly love song.
it waxes & wanes
the moon inside me
today it is a dark dark place
man nor beast
it is heavy & cold
but also burning like
a demon’s fire
a storm no one will
yay! valentine’s day. shiny happy people and all that.
in my high school you used to be able to buy tissue paper flowers to be given to people you cared about. the color reflected the sentiment.
every year i thought, sure, i might get a flower this year.
nevery year did i get a flower. nevery.
but i still had hope.
i still waited for a valentine.
fucking charlie brown i was.
in my twenties i would make valentines and take them to the bar and hand them out to people i loved.
in my twenties my heart was broken into a million pieces…shortly after valentine’s day. broken in a way that a person like me doesn’t recover from.
it took me years
to realize how damaged i was
how damaged i had been
how much damage there was in my heart…
i am still learning about the damage that is me. twenty-two years later. twenty-two valentine’s days later.
figuring it out.
i thought my soul
was calloused over.
that they could do
to hurt me.
i guess a mother’s
grow too old
to be affected by.
no, wait, this is my favorite self-portrait. it’s me, as frankenstein’s monster. i am really happy about this.
the motivation, not so much.
my parents plane takes off in 25 hours and 30 minutes. i have barely survived. my anxiety has developed its own anxiety.
but i have not killed them nor myself.
there is nothing like having the person who is supposed to love you unconditionally
the ONE person who is supposed to love you
no matter what
there is nothing like hearing her say to you
“you are a bad person”
or her calling you an “asshole”
& a “stupid-ass”
& an “interloper.”
it has been eye-opening. and healing in its own weird way to realize where all this low-self esteem comes from.
and, of course, tons of material for an upcoming tell-all memoir.
my life is very much a journey
it is a river current
dragging me along
it is a careful path
i have forged
not too often…
it is someone else’s path
i love my journey
& am so so excited about it
i want to turn around
& it takes all my strength to continue
…i doubt i will reach the end
but i pick up my walking stick
& journey on.