attachment disorder

dear sir or ma’am
not that it is an excuse
but i have recently
learned
about
that pop term
mental illness
du jour
& you know
how i always joke
about being that baby monkey
in those
horrific
experiments
jokes
about being raised by wolves
well
i’m so sorry
i broke your heart
turns out
being rejected by mum
really does a number on one’s
ability
to…
well
to fucking form attachments
to trust
to have faith
of any kind
to believe that someone
could
actually
love me
i can tell you now
without a doubt
i ruined
your life
because i am
broken
so….

i have decided to advertise myself as “beautiful but broken.” hey, at least i’m seeing myself as beautiful…i mean, that’s new.
sigh
i have been struggling to get up in the morning. struggling to get through the day. i’m not sure if it’s father’s day, my dad’s birthday, my birthday (all happening in the next few weeks) plus the anti-versary of being molested on the same day my dog got hit by a car…the dog that i had just realized i did love after not being able to bond with any animal after my cat was murdered….
i feel like i am being “dramatic” by taking my life seriously. by acting as if i have any reason to hurt when other people survive much worse…. yet, i feel like maybe i need to give myself permission to mourn…to grieve…but then i’m all “snap out of it” and not letting that happen.
and it all just starts over again.

pariah

i already suspect
everyone
hates me
yet when it is confirmed
that
someone
hates me
i spin out…
that familiar
downward
spiral
“they’re just jealous”
possibly
the only nice thing
my mom
said to me
her grade school pariah
am i a threat
i wonder
something to fear
or hate?
this makes more sense to me
than jealousy
but of course
odds are
someone has to love me…
following that
would suggest that someone
must hate me
&
if the whole world
can’t love
me
then
the whole world
can’t hate me
either.

trying to talk myself in off the ledge? i’m not sure this is working.

cool calm & collected

the two fathers
battle
inside me
my birth father
angry
violent
scary as fuck
my inner father
patient
understanding
kind
the father who taught me
to hurt others
the way i was hurt
& the father
i hope
will lead me
back
out of the darkness
i don’t want
to feel this seething
all consuming
anger
anymore
i want to be held
to be told
“it’s okay.
you’re okay.”
i want
to finally
heal.

in my dad’s yearbook, they took the first letter of your last name & wrote three words to describe you beginning with that letter.
“cool calm & collected” was under the photo of my father.
i always found this strange. but! to everyone not in our immediate family, he was cool, calm, & collected. he saved his enormous anger for us.
i saw this again in my ex-husband. he was the greatest guy ever to everyone…except me.
it is difficult to reconcile this jekyl & hyde treatment. impossible even.
having no access to the kinder version of my birth father, in seeking an inner father, i have to start from scratch.
this might take me awhile.

unappealing

the more they ignore me
the louder i tell myself
i never needed them
anyway
the more unpopular
i am
the more inspired
i am
to perfect being a pariah
the less they see me
the harder i try
to stay
invisible
what happens if…
what happens if i fight
that reflex
what happens if i try
to be appealing…
holy fuck
the mere thought of it
goes against
my very fiber
hmmm
maybe “self-sabotage”
maybe
not
giving
a
fuck
is just how i roll…
i’m too fucking angry
to be appealing
to be soft
to be inviting
is there a way
to seek my audience
without
compromising
who i am?

who’s your daddy?

i am meditating on my inner father lately
after realizing
i have never met him
but i have been having so many dreams lately
with my father in them
a father whom i do not consider a father figure
so i asked myself
what does my inner father look like?
who is he?
what is my relationship with him?

my inner mother, on the other hand
has grown stronger
since i let her in
comforting
reassuring
letting me know
i’m not a fuck up
&
i am loved.

begin again

grizzly bear dreams
daring me
to trust
to love
to open the door
that i slam
shut
in fear
that door
i use all my strength
to hold
shut…
what happens
if i open
the door
& discover
my grizzly bear
is
a
teddy bear?

these are the first two pages of a brand new journal.
a brand new world
a brand new me?
i have dreamt of grizzly bears in the past & was able to analyze myself back then & realize that the grizzly was my fear of motherhood. then i stopped dreaming of them & haven’t dreamed of them in years.
but the other morning, i woke up to another terrifying grizzly bear dream. i am never harmed in the dreams, however, i am extremely scared & take measures to avoid being attacked.
in the case of this most recent dream, i slammed a door shut & begged others to help me hold it shut.
upon waking, since i identify with grizzly bears & have a medicine card deck (identifying the grizzly as protector of my feminine) i am able to be aware that the grizzly is not a threat to me & being my feminine protector, grizzly bear advocates for self-love (as well as love of others & motherhood.)
so i am afraid of loving myself? i have been working on learning to love myself…which i’m guessing resulted in this dream, reminding me of how silly it is to be afraid.
so!
i began to envision opening the door and hugging that huge grizzly bear head instead of trying so hard to keep her out of my life.

the violence we inherit

i wonder as i replant all of the basil babies
my son’s cat
dug up in the night
i wonder
was there a voice in my dad’s head that day
a voice that urged him to stop
or to at least take a beat
& think
about what he was doing
as he loaded his gun
or was he too loaded himself
sound voices unable to reach a brain fevered
with the excitement of an excuse
to do violence
what did he think about 
as he blew out my cat’s brains
& destroyed the last of my childhood dreams of love
dreams of feeling loved
of feeling safe
as much as i want to do violence
to my son’s cat
i will not
i know the feeling will pass
i know it is important not to hurt my son
know if is wrong to hurt an animal
who is just doing what animals do
i hope my son
feels loved
i hope he feels safe
i hope his cat appreciates that even though i am 
sometimes void
of the empathy that normally haunts me
i am able to recognize right
from wrong
however
even though i assure myself that i am not
my father
i am grateful to the cat
for having the sense to hide
before i found my damaged seedlings
so that belief
did not have to be
challenged.

i don’t remember how old i was when it happened. i’m pretty sure a lot of the details were told to me. but i don’t remember by whom. all i know…or all i was told…was that my sister had put nester the bunny, my baby brother’s pet, on the deck in a cardboard box. my sister did this so she could clean the living room. she cleaned in an obsessive-compulsive way. she cleaned because it was something she could control. she cleaned to survive. so nester was put in a cardboard box on our deck so my sister could do what she had to do.

my cat was a farm cat as my parent’s didn’t believe in house cats. my cat was a big tomcat covered in scars. i loved my cat like nothing else. 

my cat found the bunny and with his own set of survival skills, he broke nester’s neck. this is what i was told.

i remember that midnight then ran under the deck to hide. i am not sure how he knew to hide. but that is where my dad found him. telling the story for years after, my dad would say my cat was laughing at him while my dad pulled the trigger.

what about me?

where was i? was i screaming? was i crying? i remember knowing. i knew my cat was going to be shot. what did i do? was there anything i could have done?

i was already damaged by this point in my life. recent readings have me wondering if i suffer from attachment disorder due to emotional & then physical barriers that kept my mother from bonding with me as an infant & into my childhood.and the violence my father was capable of kept me in a pretty constant state of fear. i am pretty sure i was just hanging on by a thread at this point. my dad had already been responsible for at least one other instance of killing someone i loved when he put my pet mouse out in the rain. 

i think this was it.

the straw that broke the camel’s back and left me unable to love. to trust. to bond with another living creature.

…until i had children of my own and found a fierce love somehow…somehow…still burning inside me.

“foxy” 16X20 inking on canvas…$200

one year at madness manor

i could stare at the hills
for days
lost
in the green
every shade of green
lost
in the dappled
shadows
i could stare at the hills
for days
like i have finally
found
what i have been looking for.

when i was a kid i would literally sit in my yard and stare at the horizon. my horizon then was actually the levy of the mackinaw river and the hills around the river valley as i grew up in one of the few places that isn’t flat in central illinois. i would stare at the trees on this levy, my horizon, as a way to survive the horrors of my childhood. staring at the horizon, i would plan my escape and imagine just getting up and leaving. i spent my childhood just waiting for the time i could finally go. run the fuck away.

now, when i look at the horizon–which is much closer now but very similar to that river valley in illinois–i have no feelings of escape. i just feel…content. home. peaceful even.
like i have arrived.
i somehow made it after thirty-three years of searching.

i am home.

quixotic updates

i am working on this new ink on canvas tentatively titled “foxy.” i really like working on canvas & now that i am down to my last free canvas, i am thinking of buying more for future creations.
that bunny keeps hopping into my art lately. i have even started a children’s book starring him.
fun fact. after i wrote the text for said children’s book, i went to my sun porch, looked out the window, and watched three bunnies eating dandelions in my backyard. i stood & watched for at least ten minutes. if you have never watched a bunny eat a dandelion, you are totally missing out.

in other news, i went through all my journals looking for “fodder” for books & stories. i have decided to focus on one project at a time instead of being easily distracted & starting new projects without finishing old ones. after the children’s book illustrations are done, i will focus on finishing the text & doing illustrations for my novel, a better life through sock puppets.
i am trying to give myself credit for what i have achieved. i let myself be proud of the fact that i found so many random ideas & sketches worth working with! including the above gem from 2016.

so i am not moping. i am rebuilding that fucking tower & giving myself credit for doing a good job with it.
as they say in my home state of wisconsin–forward!

i’m a loser, baby

always being a fuck up
is difficult
enough
why should i expect
any more
from myself
if i know i am going
to miss
the boat
why should i even try
how do i turn the race
around
so my last place finish
is first?

i drew “the tower” card in my tarot deck again & this was my immediate response. bleah. self-loathing is exhausting.
but on the upside, i really am trying to figure out how to turn the race around so my last place finish is actually a win.
it would be a pretty neat trick if i could figure it out.

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