character study

(a personal observation)

life is like
menstral cramps
the pain comes
on a cycle
sometimes
it’s bearable
sometimes
it knocks you
on your ass
but it
recedes
it goes away
&
everything
is good
for
awhile.

i am working through some stuff that has been buried away for twenty-four years. i guess after getting all the childhood stuff examined & the major relationship stuff worked on, it is time to look at little injuries throughout my life that weren’t so little after all.

coming soon!

tara over at raw earth ink sent me a sample of things to come for my next publication
the invisible exhibitionist!
so exciting!
for you who weren’t with me from 2017 through 2019, i was obsessively inking self-portraits & vomiting free verse in an attempt to root out the damage that kept me broken.
i wrote about everything & anything that went through my head or that i felt inside me.
i exorcised as many demons as i could find
& ended up making friends with a few of them.
i did almost 500 pages of self-portraits.
during 2020, i hung up a show at a local art spot & more than one person told me it should be a book.
so!
it’s going to be a book.
every time i read what i wrote back then, it makes me cry all over again. i was a raw as i could be.
and i share that rawness in hopes that someone who needs to see it will. in hopes that i can help at least one person not feel alone.
i am looking forward to seeing it all together in one book.

wrestling with demons

i literally
wrestled my demons
in a dream
last night
exorcising
what once felt like
a terrible
haunting
& finding
only
a child
in pain.

re-cap, condensed version of the post about my dream.

on dreams, demons, & being haunted

in the dream
it was a lonely house
on a hill
shrouded in darkness
foreboding
terrifying
until i was forced to enter
to save us all
from a greater
danger…
the house was
beautiful
on the inside
…but haunted…
a specter
rose up
threateningly
behind my companion
i wrestled it to the ground
only to realize
it was just
a child
“tell me why
you have so much
anger?”
i asked the child
&
the pain
was
released.

so this is a dream i had. it was pretty profound & felt really meaningful. i laid in bed pondering it. what do i do with this?
am i supposed to help other people exorcise their demons? or is it just another pat on the back from the universe for doing all the work to wrestle my own?
of course, i am still wrestling my demons.
case in point, my inking today is heavily borrowed from the artist david mack because i am going through a thing where i think my own work sucks & what is the point?
today, while on a walk, i started asking my frowning face–“why so stressed? what is there really to be stressed about?” and for a moment i let myself smile again.
but i can find reasons to be sad & even woke up this morning to a dream of my telling someone that sometimes i just don’t have a smile inside me….

so, yeah, still wrestling some demons….

wild thing

please don’t go
i’ll eat you up
i love you so

(from where the wild things are)

i was doodling the other day, worried that i will go a bit mad just writing & not drawing. so this is what i drew.
my feral self?
i was writing in my novel-in-progress for nanowrimo about feeling like a coyote. dingo. even hyena…
but definitely not foxy.
i’m thankful i have art & writing to exorcise my neurotic demons!

(i’m worried about my inkings…they all have such vacant stares…. maybe i need some focus)

tea party with demons

the voices come
& the voices whisper
“you’re fucked.”
it’s my nightly meeting
with my demons
they’ve come for a tea party
butter on toast
(monsters love toast)
it’s a thing
every night
the whispers
& epic songs
telling of my ultimate
& fanatastic
failures
i love my demons
i do
i might even miss them
if they were
gone
miss their nasty
little
whispers
& predictions
of doom…
but no worries
they are always
close by
to keep me
company.

a few beers & witchery with a friend had me singing this out about my demons. what is light without dark? what is good without mischief? i do love my demons. they keep me on my toes.

mother grim

open a beer
or open a vein
whiskey shot to the head
or gunshot
you don’t know
you don’t know me
& how it feels
sometimes
to try
every day
to be a mother
to these ones
every day
every day
every
day
i make this decision
bag of wine
or bag over the head?
relish these years
when they are little
they say
kids grow up so fast
you don’t want to miss it
they say
miss it?
i am deep as fuck in it
living it
despite myself
every day

have you ever heard of “highly spirited children?” yeah. i have four of those.
they are wonderful, beautiful, brilliant, funny, explosive, screamy, dramatic little things. i love them dearly, but sometimes i find my thoughts wandering over to the dark side.
right now they are with their dad–who again–challenged our placement agreement.
whenever he does, i examine my determination to keep being their primary caretaker–to make sure i am not doing it for selfish or controlling reasons.
i discovered that even though i sometimes think i am a crap-ass mom…i completely believe it is best for our children to have me as a primary caretaker. even though i sometimes feel i am going insane with the stress of being a single mom & of raising four strong-willed children, i think i owe them that little bit of stability that being with me gives them.
i have been there for them since day one. i have a commitment to them. so, sure, sometimes i think dark thoughts, but hopefully–expressing those dark thoughts will help me work out those demons so i can be a better mom.
that’s important to me, being a good mom.
not a traditional or conventional mom, but the mom they need me to be. a crazy-ass mom who (most the time) can roll with the punches.

ps. i don’t drink box wine or else i would have known to call it box wine not bag of wine. oh well….

don’t tell…the last page?

have i finally exorcised this fucking ghost?

i hope so. i am tired of holding a torch that just burns the fuck out of my fingers. i want to move on and stop wondering which thing that i did wrong was the thing that drove him away.

fuck it.

it needs editing & more substance, etc. but the rough draft is available entirely for reading over at medium.

let me know if you have any suggestions for work that needs to be done on it. i am still pretty close to the story–i was crying as i wrote this last page. but i think in writing it, i am working out a lot of the bullshit that i was holding onto and calling love.
yay.

the journal page is from 1995 when seymour & i lived in austin, tx with peacocks on our front lawn .

just me & my memoir

i put up another page of my memoir in progress, don’t tell, over on tumblr.

like my art journal, this memoir is a way for me to exorcise some demons. right now it is not really formatted…i am just ranting about what is on my mind for the day. connecting it all together, in the way i think it fits.
so it’s a mess. which is true to my history.

in this self-portrait, i have long hair. fun fact, for my first child, before my second pregnancy, i was guilty of having the mom bob. i had long hair for my first pregnancy because i just always pictured it that way…plus dusty wanted the long hair on me.
but then i had a baby that wouldn’t stop pulling my hair.
i freak out when my hair is pulled.
so i got a mom bob.

then i got pregnant again. had an identity crisis about being a stay-at-home mom. started wearing doc martin boots and shaving off my hair.

but for a brief time in my life. i did have long hair.

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 moreĀ  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.)

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