inktober 12

i posted this on the inktober group i am in on facebook, i referenced how conflicted i felt about so much color–as if i were channeling the teletubbies…and…nothing.
not one like.
not one comment.

sigh.

is it me? i put on deodorant…
(actually, not technically deodorant, i use baking soda, coconut oil, and essential oils….)
but you know what i mean.

i would like, at some point before i am dead, to not feel like a complete pariah.

and dusty is coming here to stay for a week. part of me is relieved that there will be another grown up here.
part of me just wants to die because the only relief i get is when the man who helped put me in this fucking situation comes to visit.

mostly, i just feel like crying.

i’m going to go take a shower and cry.

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day six of inktober

i’m in a piss-ass mood…
still.

ironically…”don’t worry, be happy” is playing on my radio.
but we all know how that ended….

fuck.

i texted dusty today to let him know i think is a terrible idea for us to live together again in any context.
so then he called…and i said i was busy…and he said “please, please, please” and i said, “no.” but he kept insisting i talk to him.
so i got on the goddamned phone and told him he needs to start taking responsibility for his shit. that i am tired of rescuing him. that he needs to stop taking the easy route and start actually working for a future instead of fantasizing about one.

fuck!

i’m just so fucking desperate that sometimes dusty seems like a good idea.

so fucking desperate….

fuck.

and still my inktobers are getting lukewarm receptions.
so i’m just doing whatever the fuck because no one seems to notice either way.
which
is actually
the story of my life
if you think about it
so maybe
i dunno
maybe
i will be doing some dark & depressing memoir bullshit comics….

bleah.

 

inktober fifth

okay.
i’m tired of what i have been doing with ink brush painting.
yesterday i used some leftover ink to make random panels on a sheet of paper.
today i pulled a comic out of my ass…
about panels.

inktober5

and then i ended up spilling a bunch of black ink
so in the spirit of sustainability and not wasting and taking lemons & making lemonade,
i did a quick sketch using the spilled ink…which is the inking showcased at the top of today’s blog.
full moon long shadows.

i like it.
i like my art.
i like being me.

so there, world of no recognition…or very little recognition. i like my stuff. i know i am good. i don’t need your fucking “likes” (but, you know, they are nice)

on a personal note
because it has been too long without me over-sharing…
i had half-invited dusty to live here–as a paying lodger…but now i am re-thinking that. i mean, it sounds like a recipe for disaster.
he just won’t grow up.
and it’s not like i am so good at being a grown up…but i manage.
meanwhile, he pays a minimal child support…occasionally.
he has a crap job because he won’t bother looking for another one.
he lives with his crap-ass mom because he won’t bother finding his own place–nor does he have the money to do so.
and he has a crappy car that does not run because he just stored it in a garage for seven years while he made me give him rides.
and now he is dependent on him mom for rides.
and i keep thinking…why?
why won’t he just get up off his ass and do something?

well, i guess he’s just waiting for me to pick him up again.

so what happens if i don’t?

perchance to dream

the other morning
in a dream
i was in iceland
and trying to get back to my kids
who were on the top floor of a hotel
i considered taking the elevator
but if you have ever been in one of my dreams
you know to avoid elevators
so i took the stairs
and it took forever
because they weren’t all in the same place
finally
i found the last flight of stairs
but peter dinklage was ahead of me
and somehow i pissed him off
so he started kicking away the stairs
creating a chasm for me to fall into
but i grabbed him
and the open doorway
and pulled him back
to scare him just a little
before throwing the both of us
up & out of the chasm.

every morning i wake at sunrise & then fight to get a few more hours of sleep. you know, to be more rested…but also! also because that is when i have my best dreams. dreams that speak to me the clearest.

i quickly interpreted this one as saying that even though i am scatterbrained (how long had my children been alone in a hotel room?) and struggle with political correctness (dwarf tossing?) i am a better mom than i think i am & will not let myself fall into a chasm.
also, i am still afraid of relationships (elevators represent relationships in my dreams.)

writing out the entire dream today, i noted that i said to some man who was standing next to the elevator i was briefly considering, “i can’t take the elevator, i am afraid of dragons.”
which seemed weird to me…since i’m not afraid of dragons.
then i realized something.
dusty was born in year of the dragon and identifies himself as such.
dusty is a dragon.
i am afraid of finding myself in another relationship with a dusty.
so i avoid all relationships.

i find myself deeply sad a lot these days. i think, maybe, for this very reason. i want to get into that elevator…but i can’t. it is too fucking scary.
but still….

and i watch romantic comedies with sam rockwell…or ben stiller…in them…and i just feel deeply deeply sad.

if you’re not nice to the mama…

“i’m a good father!”
he tells me
& tells me
& tells me
and to paraphrase shakespeare,
i think the fellow doth protest too much.
who is he trying to convince?
and i say to him,
“but you are a crappy partner.”
and something eggs at me
until i realize
you can’t be a crappy partner
and a good father
you just can’t…
to be a good father
you have to be good
to their mother.

(i had a full post written…and i lost it. so now i’m pissed off & trying to remember what awesome things i had written….)

page16

dusty came for the weekend because it was misha’s birthday and maybe–just maybe–i was trying to sabotage myself because i was feeling too happy…too healthy…too on top of my life….

was i trying to sabotage me?

well, if i was, it didn’t work! the day after he left i finished my application for the sustainable arts award for moms who are artists &/or writers. i got my shit together and even figured out how to make a pdf file of my pages of moses jones.
two days after he left, i finished all my rough drafts for “mistress of mud.”

page17

of course, why he was here, i was sick to my stomach. literally. nauseated the entire time. so so sick.
my body does that.
if my brain won’t listen…my body goes on strike and some sort of illness manifests. so many boyfriends have resulted in flu symptoms.
meanwhile, dusty is telling me what a good dad he is and thinking that my passivity due to nausea means i am flirting with him?

holy crap.

we were having a good conversation one night. we went out and watched the moon rise and stars fall out of the sky. it was amazing & awesome and we were there together.
then
i was like, “okay, i’m going to bed” seeing as i am always up at sunrise and pretty much always sleep deprived.
and it was a light switch.
gone was nice dusty
& out came hostile dusty.
fuck that bullshit.
he thinks we are going to somehow someday have some fucking happily ever after? and if i don’t reciprocate, i get treated like garbage?
i don’t want to lead him on. i want to be honest with him that it is over and would take a miracle of biblical proportions for us to ever be a couple again…
but i am afraid of his reaction.
i feel stupid for it. silenced.
why can’t i be civil to him without  him thinking that means he is going to get laid?
i want to be able to say, “no” without it turning into an attack on me.
fuck this bullshit.

fuck it.

page18

on the look-out for the next ex

relationships…

all i think about is relationships i don’t want to think about relationships why do i think about relationships so much?

bleah.

i recognize that part of me longs for the balance of a relationship.
i recognize that part of me loathes the idea of needing someone else.
i recognize that part of me is so injured that the idea of letting someone else in is terrifying.
i recognize that part of me is so damaged that i do not trust myself to choose a healthy partner.

ack!

this post is my letting go of obsessing about relationships.
sort of.
last night i dreamed about two exes.
back up…
recently i sent a series of “crazy” messages to my ex–the one i have trouble letting go of even though we broke up 21 years ago. i was angry because i keep asking him for help, and he ignores me. okay, sure 21 years, but he is always happy to respond when i am flirty & fawning…but not when i sincerely ask for help. when i sincerely ask for a friend.
i have spent 21 years apologizing to him.
for every fucking thing i did wrong when we were together.
and recently i realized something.
he has never once acknowledged that he did anything wrong in our relationship.
maybe he just doesn’t give a fuck.
maybe he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong.
maybe i am wrong to expect we could be friends after everything we went through. maybe our strong connection was just imagined, and i need to let it go already.

let it go already.

last night in my dream he wanted to talk to me about my “crazy” messages to him. first he wanted to do it in a crowded room–so i asked for a private conversation.
once we were alone, i felt the need to hide, covering my face with a scarf and–literally–sinking into a wall.
he started talking to me, but then was distracted by a celebrity entering the scene, and steered off to talk to that person instead, weaving tales to entertain this new person and completely ignoring me.
and then i got up & left to go make green bean casserole for my kids. i didn’t care. it was status quo for us and i was done with it.

i guess i’m ready to let it go.

other thoughts on relationships were addressed by chani and his weekly horoscopes where i was told (as a cancer):

Being thoughtful about who you partner with will help you to create more thoughtfully. Being deliberate about your collaborations will make them more effective. Being conscious of how your insecurities and your need to please can get in the way of protecting your energy is a game-changer.

You can’t take every partnership up on its offer. You can’t pour your energy into every vessel that has room for you. You can’t make good on your promises when you over-extend yourself. 

almost every relationship i have had i have actively sought out empty & cracked vessels that could not possibly accept my love…or i have found them on my doorstep and been like, “okay, i guess this is my boyfriend.”

hence my fear of even stepping towards a new relationship. if i like a person, they are probably damaged…& if they choose me, they are probably damaged.

sigh.

so i read up on the red flags. i read up on the narcissistic tendencies that i seem to attract. i read things about nice guys vs. good men and i try to keep these things up front in my mind…just in case i ever actually meet anyone.

meanwhile, however, you know…four minions and a homestead full of livestock. plus art to complete and vegetables to harvest….

but for those of you that think i should just forget about relationships and focus on kids & homestead & art, i have this to say:  i feel like that would be denying a part of me that deserves to be taken seriously AND i need to do the work. whether i am in a relationship or not, i need to do this work to heal the damage i have in the area of relationships or i am going to wake up one day & realize i am in another fucked up relationship.

speaking of which, i am letting dusty visit this week for misha’s sixth birthday, so–right there–reason to keep fresh what i want & do not want from a relationship.

i love my kids…but i hate being a mom….

i hate being the one in charge
i hate being the bad guy
i hate having to be the one who makes sure we don’t run out of
toilet paper
clean clothes
toothpaste
shoes that fit
food
i hate being the one that has to make impossible ends
meet
i have to
no one else is going to do it
i have to find ways to fix
messes that seem impossible to fix
i have to referee fights
that seem to have no end
i hate being referee
i hate being mom
i want to not have to worry about everything
to not be the one who is supposed to have all of the answers
i want to find room in my heart
for me
to not feel overwhelmed by them
i want to be able to breathe

it’s not them though
is it?
it’s not being a mom so much
as my being damaged
damaged by life
damaged by parents, damaged by exes
never taught to love myself
in the way a person needs to be able to
so that person can be a good mom
neglected by my own mom
leaving me unable to cope
abandoned
abused
by the man who was supposed
to do this with me
be there for me
now
i just want to hide, heal, and lick my wounds
but as a mom
i just can’t seem to
there are just too many other things
that need to be
done….

page11

yesterday i collapsed in a heap and all i could think was, “i hate being a mom. i hate being a mom. i hate being a mom.” it was both a relief to think it…and horrifying.

i didn’t always hate being a mom…if you read my wordpress profile thing-y here, it sounds like i used to really think i was a good mom….
(i wish i could remember that feeling.)

though it was a cruel awakening when i became a mom and realized i was working harder than i ever had before–but i wasn’t getting any pay or benefits. after a lifetime of supporting myself, i was now dependent on a partner who was–well–crappy. he would tell me my position as a mom was pointless and why was he the only one earning money? he would tell me to get a job. i was exhausted to my bones–and he was telling me i wasn’t earning anything therefore i was lazy…useless? and he wasn’t the only one. our society echoed him. subtle or blatant, i got the message loud and clear.

i was a mom now–and now i did not matter.

page12

gone was my independence. my ability to just pack up everything i own and go somewhere new. just go. whenever i wanted. be free whenever i felt caged. now i was anchored. by one..then two..then three..and finally four little anchors.

gone was time to myself. my crappy partner put that last nail in my coffin. no art. no writing. (right now i have a five year old begging me to color & i really really don’t want to color–i want to exorcise this demon–i want to write.) no exercise even because no one would let me. seriously. i was not allowed to do the walks i used to do daily to clear my head & keep my weight down. if i wanted to go–everyone wanted to go with me–and it became an unbearable circus…

page13

i know there are people out there devastated because they can’t have children. i used to be one of those people. i wanted to cry every time a friend or a sister got pregnant. i tried for 10 years before i got pregnant. i dreamed of being a mom. i dreamed of having that love in my life. of course, i thought, being a mom will fix what is wrong with me.

but i wasn’t careful about with whom i had my kids. that was my mistake. my biggest mistake. i didn’t realize how much that would change things…taint things. that partner who doesn’t value you–or your role as the mother of his children.

it’s devastating…at least for me…it has damaged me so deeply sometimes i feel like i am unable to love at all.

but i love my minions. i do. as much as i hate being a mom sometimes–i never stop loving them.
so that’s something, right?

something salvageable?

page15

(these illustrations are more  from the project i am working on “the mistress of mud” with a friend of mine. yesterday i posted that i hadn’t gotten any work done, but i realized i actually had…and i did the one at the top of the post last night as i played around trying to emulate david mack’s style.)