look (don’t look)

as i let my dogs out into this unseasonable & warm january day, i started sobbing. beautiful weather sponsored by big oil. beautiful weather thanks to climate change. this same beautiful weather in the middle of illinois in the middle of winter, means droughts in other parts of the world. hurricanes & tsunamis in other parts of the world. famine & wild fires in other parts of the world. and if this beautiful weather continues here, the plants will be fooled into thinking it is spring and then a cold snap will kill them as they try to bloom. this warm january day means scorching heat in the summer…or even in the spring.

that’s what we are. we are enjoying the beautiful weather…despite the consequences. refusing to change and ignoring the consequences. the environment is just one level of the game we are playing…and losing.

i have been depressed for three days now. with reason. the world is a mess. my country is a mess. but turn on the tv & everything is okay. turn on the news and it is someone else who is suffering. not you. so, carry on.

look2

sometimes being an empath really really really fucking sucks.
i can feel the pain in the air. the pain of this world.
i can feel it.
and it hurts.
if it hurts me, imagine how it feels to whomever, whatever is actually experiencing the pain.

and while i am getting enough sleep, i am tired to my bones.

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dark flame

when i was nineteen i went into therapy for the first time. i was dating a man who would lock me in his basement/bedroom to keep me from leaving. escaping is one of my go-to defenses, so this was pretty devastating to me. he was one of the most awful people i knew and i knew this before dating him–and still felt attracted to him. so i started therapy.

i was unhappy without knowing i was unhappy. i mean, i considered myself an optimist even though my mom said i was a pessimist and another boyfriend labelled me a nihilist…or was it a fatalist?

anyhoo. i was unhappy without realizing it. or maybe it was that i had hidden my happiness so far away that i had forgotten where it was. i was also afraid. ever since i was a little kid. terrified of the dark. so afraid!

but in therapy, one day, it felt like a miracle, i found my happy. and i was no longer afraid. i didn’t realize i was no longer afraid until later that day…or that week…when a lightbulb needed to be changed in a storage room in the attic of the rooming house i lived in. to whomever was with me, i said, “i can’t go in there. i’m afraid of the dark.” and then, without thinking, i walked right in, fearlessly.

the miracle felt like a glowing in my chest. i could feel it like i can feel myself blinking, breathing, my heart beating. i could feel it in my chest.

i confessed to my miracle-worker of a therapist that i was afraid i would lose it again. that it would go away. i compared my fear to the story flowers for algernon. where someone is given the gift of intelligence, and then has to watch as it slips away again.

she assured me that it was mine to keep.

and it has stayed there. i check on it. sometimes it is small & hard to find. sometimes it is bursting out of me.

lately i have begun to wonder if i can share it? can i spread it around? infect others with my own happiness?

i remember that i have at times infected others with my seething anger. pushing & pushing it out of me until it clings onto someone else and i am free of it….

two days ago, i accidentally pushed too much of my happy out and left myself empty.

yesterday i left my happy unprotected and allowed someone to crush it.

today i am recovering. wondering how to do it right. do i keep trying? do i hide it away again? i don’t want to  hide it away anymore.

when i open myself up, i can feel it in my whole chest, glowing. a brilliant flame. it feels amazing.
so how do i share it without depleting it? without losing it to careless strangers?

darkflame1

so much anger in this one

if i were a dude
the brontes would write a book about me
but i’m a chick…so i just get ostracized
for my anger.
smile, it’s not so bad.
smile, you’re beautiful when you smile.
smile, don’t you know anger is pointless?

you mean, anger is not” feminine”
not “attractive.”
if i were a dude,
i could start a war with all this anger in me
and i would be lauded for my bravery &
my masculinity.

but i’m a chick.
an angry chick.
and that is only cute for a minute or two
depending on how cute i am.
then it becomes something
you walk away from.
everyone walks away
from me.

is that why i am so pissed off?
except,
they say i “drove them away.”
they say i “put up walls.”
but what if i was pushing
so that you would pull me closer?
what if i put up walls
so you would knock them down?

then i would know
you really loved me.
i don’t believe anyone has ever loved me.
i really don’t.
i don’t believe my parents loved me.
the hordes of boyfriends…yes, hordes,
because when you’re looking for someone
to love you
you look everywhere
but non of them loved me
not really.
my dogs don’t even love me.
and if they tried,
i gave them reason not to love me.
i joked that i had kids
so that someone would love me best.
now i wait for the day
they realize what an asshole i am
and stop loving me.

i’m a fucked up mess. i read about empaths being “light bringers” but all i feel inside of me is darkness. deep & black & oozing. darkness. i want to forsake everything and embrace the darkness inside of me. i don’t know why i feel this way. maybe the older i get the crazier i get. i never felt this deep & dark before dusty got a hold of me. i had my anger. i had my feelings of being lost & unlovable, but i never had this darkness in me until he showed me exactly how little i meant to him…. and now i struggle to get him out of my life–out of my house, and i feel like i have no control of the situation. for a person like me, a lack of control is like being buried alive.

so maybe the anger is the only thing i have right now.

(this drawing is a watercolor i did for a class when i was journaling about the topic of my choice. i chose to journal about me as a mother.)

after…and before

did i plan on drawing a wildebeest today? okay, i can imagine wanting to draw a bison. but a wildebeest & a fencer?
that’s why i enjoy these drawings. these exercises. they show me things i would not have drawn. i see them. i draw them. and i think, “huh. i’ve never drawn that before.”

animals1

this is what i started with. do you see a wildebeest? a bison? i do. that is fun for me. the cheerleaders…i’m not so sure about. i think there is something deeper. flowers & mother earth. pollination.

it’s been a rough day.
all this crazy energy in the air.
even living out in the country, i can feel it. and it wore me out. i started my picture pretty late because i was so worn out. i felt like negativity was just everywhere.
and hope.
some hope.
i spent too much time on facebook–got in a fight with someone blaming this mess on third party voters…really?? really?? that is ludicrous.

so i took a big nap. listened to the coyotes. looked at the stars. and drew a bison. a wildebeest. some sheep, cheerleaders, flowers, and a fencer.

tomorrow, hopefully, will be a better day.
for art & humankind.

mister chicken

so as it turns out,
i’m not crazy–i’m an empath.
okay,
sometimes i’m still crazy.
but when i get super sad and then feel elated the next minute–
the thing is–
i often don’t feel my own emotions,
i feel other people’s emotions.
so weird.
i always knew i was really really empathetic
but only in the past couple of years have i learned about being an empath.

so i’m an empath.
i feel things
and know things
that other people cannot sense.
i know when someone is lying.
i can see an aura better than i can notice the color of your eyes.
and it has come to my attention that being an empath–& not knowing how to protect yourself–is a dangerous & even a bad thing.
i don’t know how to protect me.
i lay open for everyone to just dump their emotions in.
and then i turn into a raging pond of dumped emotions.

so today i was reading a book about service dogs for families that have special needs children and i felt profoundly sad.  and instead of just feeling sad, i examined why i felt sad…only to realize that the sadness was not my own, but the sadness of these families.
it finally clicked.
i was not feeling my own emotions.
i was feeling someone else’s!!
and just like that, the sadness evaporated.
how often am i doing that?
being angry with someone else’s anger?
being happy with someone else’s happiness?
being frustrated with someone else’s frustration?

i wonder.
when i was a child, i loved animals. all animals. i loved them. i collected them. i had over fifty pets as a kid–and even more imaginary ones.
but my dad was so angry.
and he put that anger on us kids
and on the animals.
and i felt myself absorb that anger.
i felt it grow inside me.
i recognized it when it came out–it was his anger, not mine.
but over the years i adopted it as my own.
i was the one being angry at the animals.
it stopped being his and became mine.
and i felt so horrible about it
about myself.
i cringe to think that that is who i am.
but what if it isn’t?
i wonder…
if i now realize it is not my anger after all…can i send it on its way?

 

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