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….

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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.

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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…

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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?

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(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.)

where am i?

the last time i smiled
was two years ago
in pictures since
it’s like i’m trying to smile
but i can’t
my smile is gone
he took it
& which is the greater sin?
that he took my smile–
or that i let him?

& daddy 034

there it is. my last smile. two summers ago when i first left dusty due to his refusing to stop seeing his girlfriend…of course, since i had left him, he was being super sweet to me…and that might be why i am smiling. fuck it. fuck that bastard.

i feel so lost lately. i am on auto-pilot. spirals of self-pity & anger. is this part of healing…or just another level of my own personal hell?

i don’t like that i have lost my smile. sometimes my smile was the best part of me. once when i worked as a baker behind a big glass window that people would knock on and i would smile at them (okay, that makes me sound like a zoo animal–nevertheless), a person slipped me a note that said, “i would walk a million miles for one of your smiles,” and i’m sure i still have that note somewhere.

who am i without my smile?

sometimes i wonder when exactly my heart fell into its current state of decay.

i try to do dating sites, but then i think, “who the fuck would want to deal with this?” meaning me, my life, my being trapped on a homestead, my four overwhelming minions, my general fucked-upness….

i have $45 in my bank account. i am seemingly unable to figure out how to make money. which is another trap. poverty. do i continue to borrow from my credit card? that seems like a bad idea…but what happens when i need gas for the truck? or toilet paper? there are only 4 rolls left. do i go pick leaves? switch to cloth?

a friend told me about a grant for moms who are artists or writers. i am both. i could enter in like four different categories–at least–i have that much material. since becoming a mom, i have done more art & writing than ever….
but what if it all sucks? surely everyone else is better than i am.  i could never win a grant. no one will publish me. i always get the, “we really enjoyed this, but…” rejections. which are probably just standard rejections designed so i don’t stick my head in the oven.

i started working on the inking shown at the top of this post a couple of weeks ago.
this is as far as i have gotten.
and i haven’t gotten any more work done on the project i have half a summer to finish….

what is the matter with me?
how do i pop myself out of this puddle of misery?
i’m not dancing. not smiling. & my dreams are a soup of anxiety.  the highlight of my week was getting two dairy goats. since then i have actually told them, “you complete me.”

i think maybe i was a shepherd in a past life…or a herd dog.

missing moses jones

i haven’t done many inkings lately with all the other work i have been doing just by surviving my every day. i miss doing art.
however, when i went looking through my old moses jones pages, i was horrified by my art. i was all like, “who reads this atrocity?” (well…no one other than my handful of dedicated fans [i love you]) but that doesn’t mean i shouldn’t try to do better!

before my several months of doing inkings & neglecting comics, i was already frustrated with the style moses jones was starting to take on. i prefer the earlier pages. i super prefer the original moses jones prototype drawings.

so after purchasing a wooden katana (technically a bokken–used for training) at an olde english faire, i felt compelled to do some sketches of some of the characters from moses jones.

it felt good to sketch her again. and to do it roughly. no blue pencil…just ink.

i mean, i guess i just continue the story but alter the art?

or start a new chapter over again since i am only a bit into the new episode & completely forgot that i left lucy in labor at the end of episode two?

i need to start a new chapter. start over–ish.

but first! i need to work more on this project i am illustrating for a very cool woman i know. i have been playing around with that character as well. this is what she will look like:IMG_4059

so now i just need to get her story illustrated.

then! on to moses jones & more inkings….

edge of the world

i’m in kind of a “meh” mood about my art.
that happens.
periodically.
maybe i should work on a different project for awhile.
my memoirs.
or an illustration gig for a friend.
maybe make a zine.
or work on a new page of moses jones: apocalyptic mama. right? who remembers mojo? who misses mojo? i miss her sometimes.

edge2.JPG

speaking of…things have taken a weird turn with the dusty knickers of my life…okay…not so weird, if you are familiar with our on-again/off-again relationship which showed up in my comic as his disappearing every time moses got pregnant. my dusty never left me–in the physical sense, but did pull away emotionally. and behaved self-destructively. and was incredibly manipulative.
and i swore it was done and that i would never ever ever ever ever take him back again (i have broken up with him–maybe as many as seven times?–and he has inched his way back in, waiting until i am vulnerable….)
but i invited him back in, again, on a trial basis. and it is really nice to have him back. i am well aware that this is the “honeymoon” period…but–as cautious as i am, it is nice to have  him back.
so…can people change?
he had some life-changing stuff happen. he realized a lot of things about himself and how his relationship with his mom shaped his self-destruction, lying, and manipulative behaviors. and now…he is behaving in a healthy way that i have never seen from him. like…communicating…like…having conversations & being human.
it’s weird.
and even though i am lonely and desperate for company and tired of doing this alone…i don’t think i am vulnerable. i mean, i know i can do it alone if i have to.
but i don’t want to.
but i know that i can. and i am willing to do it alone rather than be in a fucked up relationship.

i guess we’ll see what happens.
i don’t have the best track record for making good decisions about men & relationships.

but…people can change…i mean, i have changed. i really have.

and you know what? i threw him out. i did it. i can do it again. i know i can. i know i am stronger now. more sure of myself.

he knows it, too.

edge1.JPG

i listen for the little voices it is night time when their voices are loudest

longest title yet for one of my inks.

this drawing made me think of my anxiety…it made me think of all the stuff going on in my head all of the time…especially at night, laying in bed.
i don’t mind the little voices too much. not the constructive ones anyway. the destructive ones can fuck the fuck off. you know, the ones who blather on and on about how you should have said this instead of this and now everyone thinks you are a great big idiot? i am learning to tune them out…except of course when i most need to tune them out….

littlevoices3

but!
the constructive little voices…the ones obsessively trying to figure out how to save the world…how to be the best mom ever…how to finish a piece of art…how to start a short story…what project to tackle next…how to deal with this problem, or that one. those voices rock. it’s like i’m doing the prep work while i’m laying in bed. i work it all out and then i’m ready to go.

those little voices convinced me, after reading a carrie fisher memoir followed by a carrie fisher novel (the two overlapping quite a bit) i realized, i should be writing my memoir…as fiction…or creative non-fiction…or in long hand! with illustrations! and i can publish it as zines!

littlevoices2

alas, the destructive little voices were stressing about yesterday’s post and telling me it was pretty fucking dumb & unhelpful…then the constructive little voices started suggesting follow-up blog posts on sustainable living–talking about all the things i do every day. i mean, if i want to be a trend-setter, i do have to start sharing more my awesome trends in sustainable living…(okay, awesome to me, the destructive little voices are going to have a hay day with that.)

or i can turn it into a zine too–with illustrations!!

okay. i just had a cup of coffee. i haven’t had one in days because one of two appliances i own–my coffee grinder–broke.
but today i realized that my other appliance–the blender–is actually just a giant coffee grinder!! another step in sustainability–no specialized appliances!

but i do need to get a mortar & pestle for grinding spices…or make one.

littlevoices1

galapagos

i was inking this one when i realized it is inspired by kurt vonnegut’s novel, galapagos. my brain is just chock full of stuff that erupts onto my paper. sadly, the information stuffed in there isn’t good for much more than that. trivial pursuit, jeopardy, and strange eclectic inkings.

i have been feeling desperately lost & lonely lately. very depressed. my kids have started labeling me as “sad.” like today they said it was “opposite day” and fidgit said, “so you aren’t sad today.”

talk about depressing.

so i’m a mess.
sad.
desperate.
lonely.
lost.

strangely enough…at one point today…i could not get the internet to work. i wanted to title my ink, but i could not remember the name of the novel and was unable to google it. so i texted like four different people, three exes & a sister, to see who knew their kurt vonnegut.
when i didn’t hear back from anyone, i started wondering if the world had ended and we were left alone to sort things out. i suggested this to fidgit–and he was good with it.

and i started to feel less depressed.

is that fucked up?

i’m less lonely if there is no one left to reject me or mess with my head or ignore me?
less lonely with facebook wiped off the face of the earth?

so…maybe i need to seriously curtail my attempts to find salvation through social networking…
i know,
you’ve heard it from me before.

but this time i am serious.

it is the end of the world as we know it…and i need a break from humanity.

and with that, i give you, galapagos.

galapagos1

a little back-up

i did many pictures on paper that is not exactly “good.”
i mean, i was just doodling.
just fucking around.
i didn’t expect that people would be actually buying these.

my cousin and friend and all around awesome person in my life requested to buy one of my INKtober creations. she was interested in ones that i actually did in my journal. i found the one she wanted, and was aghast to discover it had another one stuck to it–with ink? yikes. and the other one was another good one (not one of the crappy ones that i have made.) so i was determined to save them both. and i did. i steamed them apart and then backed them up with a heavier paper.

and i even spilled ink on some heavy paper to use as back up to make them that much more substantial. i think it worked out. i mean, they are journal pages…there’s a certain charm to that, right?

so then i decided i should back up all of the inks i have done on sketch paper. that’s what i’m doing today. i will put them up for sale for a smaller price. generally, i spend more time on the ones done on better paper. the ones done on sketch paper are often kind of goof-offs…but they often turn out so well that i wish i had done them on better paper. so here is my effort to remedy that. we will see how it goes.