ghosting illinois

in the spring of 2016
i lived in manitowoc wisconsin
i had begun volunteering
at a community garden
working with
farm to school
& helping to launch
a cooperative grocery
things i had wanted to do
most my adult life
i was doing them
joining a community
on the icy shores
of lake michigan

circumstances changed
my landlord decided
she needed more space
my ex decided
we should try again
my parents moved away
and i had a free place to stay
who doesn’t want
a free place to stay
but
as we all know
nothing
is free

i’m trapped in illinois
isolated
no community
no urban scene
any where near
for
gardening
& creating green spaces
i am stranded
right in the middle
of a giant fucking green space
(turns yellow though
when the corn has tassles)

i want to ghost
illinois
move to a town
large or small
but a town that needs
someone like me
a town that wants
someone like me
a town that loves
someone like me
a town
maybe
in iowa?

throwing a dart at at map. what about decorah iowa? it has nice assonance. i do enjoy a good ass..onance.
i don’t know. any thoughts? anyone?
i have to stay within kid-swapping distance of their dad in southern wisconsin…but i don’t want to be too close. plus people in wisconsin do not like me very much.
i used to live in iowa city. for the first four years of my adulthood i lived in iowa city. and i did love it. i ended up ghosting it because i was 22 & the world beckoned & my therapist wanted me to stop dating & focus on healing…so i skipped town & moved to illinois (briefly) & binged on boys before beginning a state-hopping escapade, full of boys.
but that is another story.
i liked iowa city. and i like the idea of going back to school & being close to friends…but i also like the idea of finding a small community in a picturesque setting.
hmmmm?

i’m hoping to be out of here by my birthday (july 12–mark your calendars!) as both a big happy birthday to me and as a fuck you to my folks who are headed back up here to wrap up loose ends.
i know, really mature…but you should meet my parents before judging my desire to avoid them at any cost.
plus my kids are still traumatized from their last interaction with my parents.
(never ever ever should have moved back here…but that is a lesson learned)

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peeling the onion

what if
my overwhelming desire to be out
of that
relationship
by any means necessary
was not a reflection
on my
ability
to commit…
some sort of self-sabotage…
no, not at all
in fact
a survival instinct
what if
i knew he was wrong
wrong for me
wrong to me
even though on the surface he was
mr. right
what if
my escapist tendencies are all
the only thing
that keeps me from falling
into
the
abyss
of a relationship with a narcissist
not a bad thing
not at all
not something to punish myself for
20 years later
but!
something to celebrate
i
survived.

i’m finding layers, y’all. all kinds of layers. things are not just black & white, good or bad…there is all kinds of stuff going on in the layers.
my energy is shifting.
it’s kinda pretty awesome & i feel a giddy feeling about it. so giddy.

this is a thought i had about a person–many many posts on him. we were together and he said he was my true love and all i wanted to do was run and i did run a couple of times but i tried so hard to make it work and all i wanted was out.
then he left me for someone else. in a pretty fucking cruel way.
and i spent too much of my life thinking i did something wrong & fucked my entire life up by not being able to love him the way i thought i should have loved him.
then, i realized, though he did it a bit differently, he was pretty much the same as all the other charming assholes that my gut said, “RUN!!” about.

funny that instinct. not always a bad thing, running away.

the illustration is based on an egon schiele sketch.

courting death

self soothing
is thinking about 
the blade against my skin
self soothing
is a match 
to burn it all to the ground
self soothing 
are the words
rolling around 
in my rotten brain
no one has ever loved you
anyway
self soothing
is a free fall 
away from my nightmares
and into a comforting
emptiness
love
love is the easy answer
if by easy 
you mean
impossible
death
makes more sense
no longer fantasizing about love
saving me
only 
hoping
for
death.

death. the ultimate distraction. no. i don’t really want to die. most the time i plan on living forever. but some days there is something deep & dark inside me. an overwhelming lack of hope. 
it has a lot to do with escape. that’s what the thoughts of death are. i mean, when i was in the midst of it, i thought, what if i didn’t die–but just disappeared?
it was all the same to me. well. actually disappearing was more desirable than death.
i am sure other mothers feel this way. i am sure none of us like to talk about it. i talk about it because i have to.
if i keep things inside, it only gets worse. 
squeeze it until it bleeds…& then it can get better.

i am not sure how i feel about this illustration/self-portrait. i feel like i am…too sexy? is death sexy? i wasn’t going for sexy. i’m not sure it is even sexy. trust me, i do not feel sexy. 
i do like the illustration…it feels comic-booky to me. i just feel like a fraud for having drawn/painted it.
don’t ask me why. 
i don’t fucking know.

home sweet prison

i have created
a life
i want to escape from
i built
my own prison
just so i would have a reason
to tunnel
to file & chip away
to avoid
reality
by any means
necessary
i have done this
i want to guess
on purpose?
…but
why?
my life is the rat on the wheel
running
& running
but going
nowhere
a life
fashioned
for escape
but no
actual
escape.

i just don’t even know what to do with me anymore. today is a wash. what the fuck, emje?
ack!
it’s like–sure, i can see what’s wrong with me…but i have no fucking idea how to fix it. i’m just like in my head saying, “you’re just going to fuck this up too, you know.”
that’s me. that’s my life.

INKtober twenty-third

another dead  end in the  labyrinth of  my life i
turned  a  corner  &  was all  like, “no y’all,  this
this  is  the  way  out—-i  know it for sure now”
only to  find yet another  gushing  wound  that
better serves to be held fast apply pressure for
godssakes i’m  going to bleed out… wait, where
was i  headed with this…. oh yes,  another  bad
decision….    another  wrong  turn….     another
immersion into false hope, losing myself in the
cult  of  my  own  personality &  not learning a
goddamned  thing from all of my  many  many
many
mistakes

i don’t always illustrate my journal pages with a literal depiction of anything pertaining to what i wrote…but sometimes…i do.
just be thankful i went with pan’s labyrinth rather than trying to portray myself as gerald the goblin king & his mighty bulge.

anyhoo.

and my flock of dodo birds.
don’t forget the dodo birds when i am making decisions based on pursuing my own extinction…playing with self-fulfilling prophesies.

but my fevered brain is settling once more into a holding pattern of isolation. embracing my lonely.

comic idea: how to properly & carefully choose netflix shows to pacify & sedate a lonely heart….

INKtober seventeeth

i just feel so sad
i cry
& i don’t
know why
but still
the tears come
will there come
a time
when my very being
is not
composed
entirely
of tears?
just because i open
my heart
does not mean
i am someone
you know
i am
quite
unknown
possibly
unknowable
i don’t want to be
alone
but maybe i
cannot
be
anything
but the loneliest person you have ever met.

i still haven’t recovered from the show the mysteries of laura being cancelled…you know, three years ago–but i just found it on netflix and i know it isn’t really that great of a show…but i was emotionally invested nonetheless. c’mon–i’ve seen every episode ever of friends (when originally aired even!) you know i have my shallow bits.

okay.
so i know it has everything to do with dusty & my lingering love for him. my hope for a thing called “us.”
though there is every chance in the world that i will never be successful in any relationship ever.
but who is? you ask. well, from where i’m sitting…everyone.
or i feel like everyone i see is successfully human & relate-able while i am some funky misshapen thing from outer space….

i don’t feel like arting & inking…but i did this anyway–because it is inktober & i’m trying not to be a drop out because how fucking hard is it for someone with my neurotic & compulsive inking habits to not ink something every day?

i am not sure my art journal page nor my blog about it makes any sense today. but, you know, i’m more worried about what the fuck i am going to disappear into on netflix now that i have watched every episode of the mysteries of laura….

escaping my escapism

for the first time
in
forever
i am not looking
for someone
to rescue me
no
not like i’m some fucking damsel
in distress
though i’ve tried
i’ve never managed to convince
anyone
i am a damsel
in distress
but still
always
in the back of my head
is the thought that someone
a certain someone
not just
anyone
but my hero
on his white horse
would soon ride in
& whisk me away
from all this…
except
the thought
is
gone
i somehow
escaped
my own
escape.

i’m in brand new territory, y’all. if i was still in therapy, i would be having a “breakthrough.”  but it’s just you & me here…watching…waiting…wondering.
and here we are.
brand new territory.
what now?
you know what?
what happens next will happen next.

meanwhile, i have started that queer week of my every month where i am a mother with no children. i mean…they still exist, but they are in wisconsin with their dad. and i am here, waiting…watching…wondering.
is this a week where i blossom & explore…or a week where i wither & mourn? it often goes either way.
but this time…
i think it is going to be the former.
don’t tell the minions, but after i left them with their dad–i felt a certain weight had lifted, & i could breathe again. yes, i will miss them…but in the meantime, i will revel in my perceived & temporary freedom from motherhood.

dodo dreaming

when i was a kid
i coped by mentally packing
planning
what will i take?
where will i go?
what will i do?
when i was in an abusive
relationship
i coped
by mentally packing
what will i take?
where will i go?
what will i do?
somehow
circumstances
have led me back
to my childhood
home
& the precarious situation
of having my parents
as my
landlords.
if things
should
turn
ugly
my brain is already
always
packing….

look at dodo bird me.
i wish i could say things with my folks were magically healing and wonderful. that my mom gave me a hug and said, “sorry i was such a crap-ass mom.” and then dad would apologize for being an asshole. and then unicorns would dance across rainbows.

my mom is not talking to me. my dad is avoiding me.
mom only talks to complain about me and to sing dusty’s praises–loudly in front of me. apparently he is a better daughter than i have ever been. for the life of me, i cannot think of anything i have done to her.
whatever it was it must have been super awful.
i had dusty come down. he has the super powers of a sociopath where he can be in the trenches and not be effected.
not mentally & emotionally
shut down.
dusty is literally a life-saver in this situation.
literally.

searching for the sun

should i dig my hole
and hibernate?
forever ever after?
or should i grab my
essentials
and set out
in search
of the sun?
my own bright
light.

i included my nose wart in this one. i kind of like presenting my “flaws” as part of my art.
this one is a solstice musing…but also–more actually–a commentary on my struggle with escapism & isolation versus putting myself out there and trying to be a part of something.

warts & all…as it were.

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