Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vivid Dreams

Had quite the dream last night, this morning...whenever it was.  I wish I could recall more of it now than I do but I failed to write it down like I meant right after I woke up.  I did manage to journal what I did remember of it this afternoon and then started looking up meanings and trying to identify the animal from the dream.

The first part of the dream that I remember was being inside a house of sort standing and looking out a large plate window.  This window could not open and was just one solid piece of glass.  I think my Beloved was standing behind me on the left.  As I was looking out the window, my late Grandmother was sitting outside the window on something.  I knew it was her by her dress and hair, but she never spoke nor turned around.  I don't think she even moved the whole time.  From the right, a wild cat of some sort started to prowl and approach her.  I got scared and was trying to yell to her not to move, and hoped that the animal would just pass her by.

The wild cat, larger than a house cat by A LOT, but smaller than a tiger.  It had the coloring of a tiger but had elongated spots.  After much Googling and with help from a friend we narrowed it to most like being an Ocelot.  Or an Ocelot mixed with another breed.  But for the sake of simplicity, I went with the Ocelot.

In the dream the Ocelot came up to my late grandmother and opened its mouth around her entire face from scalp to chin.  It stayed like that briefly, then moved away from her face and came around to her left side where it licked her cheek.  All through this my grandmother never moved or spoke.

The next thing I remember is that I/we (my Beloved and I) were on a river bank.  It was quite wide but the river was very low.  So low I could see the rock bed and walk across it.  Which I seemed to do as I also watched myself from the river bank.  Part of me felt like I was trying to go on a trip to visit my aunt in Massachusetts, but I didn't know why since she has advanced dementia and doesn't recognize most of the family.  It also felt like I was trying to get my girls to either come with me or come to me.  The weirdest part though was feeling like the Ogre was some how hindering me or hindering things or both.  I don't think he was actually in the dream, it was more like just his presence.  I also don't recall if I actually saw my girls or it was just the thought of them.

From the river bank, I also recall seeing a dam with a waterfall.

I spent a better part of the early afternoon looking up the meanings of these key things the Ocelot, the River, the Dam, and the Waterfall.  I also spent that time trying to shake off the feeling that the Ogre is trying to keep me from moving forward with my life and hindering me.

I've not had any contact with him in almost three years.  The last I heard from my wee one many months ago was that he wanted nothing to do with me and told her that he wanted to divorce me.  But to this day, I've heard nothing more and can find no court filings under our names.

I have some thoughts about what some of the dream might have meant and ideas that my friend and I concluded.  I'll post those thoughts later this week after maybe some of you may have offered some insights.
I would welcome your thoughts on this.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Well, It' June Already And I've Nothing To Show For It

Boy time sure flies when you're busy doing nothing.  Half a year is almost gone and what's to show for it?  Not a whole hell of a lot, that's for shit sure.

I had planned to blog here a bit more often and well that hasn't happened since March. As my Beloved keeps saying...I seem to be in a rut.  Which he says is making me pissy and quite bitchy.  I haven't felt like I am but that doesn't me I'm not either.

My plans to paint the year away haven't lived up.  Same with writing.  I totally flopped and failed for April's Camp NaNoWriMo.  I don't even know what my biggest struggle is.  I can't seem to find the motivation.  I can't get into a daily practice.  I really struggle with it.  I don't know why I'm having such a hard time with developing a daily practice of art and writing.  I want to do them, but I feel held back.  Maybe it's those voices that tell me whatever I create will be shitty.  I dunno.  But it's annoying and it's getting old.

So today, being the first day of a new month am deciding more or less enough is enough.  But be warned I've said this before and feel right back quite easily into the non-creative rut.  As I was saying, I decided to take on a challenge called 100 Happy Days.  There is a website by that name if you want to sign up and take the challenge.  Which in itself is rather simple in its concept.  Take one photograph of something that makes you happy and post it online with the hashtag of 100 happy days.  Simple right?  Sounds easy enough.  But the challenge is going to be A) remembering to take said photo, B) remembering to post said photo.  The thing I dread is what if I don't have or find something to photograph.  I did take my first picture though and it's already posted.  Because well...Llamas!

I also signed up for a free challenge at The Sketchbook Project.  (Oh did I mention the above mentioned challenge is free too?  Well, it is!)  For this, I have one week, well until June 6th to find and photograph a face in an unusual place.  I tend to over think things...A LOT!  So I am finding this a real challenge.  If you want to participate, there are still spots available...you can sign up here: http://www.sketchbookproject.com/projects/challenge

And finally there is another Camp NaNoWriMo starting July 1st.  I've already signed up with a goal of 10,000 words.  That's approximately 323 words a day.  So we'll see where I get with this one.

To say that I have nothing to show for half a year isn't entirely true.  I have made a few journal pages.  And I've worked some on a big painting I have hang up, it's not done yet.  The face is giving me a grief.  I have a hard time with faces, and I'm trying to figure out what works for me.

Another thing, I want to delve into is to study Druidry.  I've found a couple of places where I can do so online for free.  I just don't know I'll start that. I wish I had some of the books about Druidry so I didn't have to be at the computer to study.  But I can't afford to buy them and I can't afford to buy a library card, besides I don't think they have said books anyway.

So there it is. I'm struggling, I've fallen into a rut, and I'm tired of it.  I just don't know how to get off this merry-go-round that isn't so merry.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Life, Loss, And Other Things

Time sure does fly!  Last week, on the 25th, my baby girl turned 18.  Just like that, in the blink of an eye, I was now the mom of two young women.  Not babies anymore, 18 and 21.  Where did the time go?

On Friday, Sister #3's boyfriend's brother was killed in a single car accident.  He fell asleep at the wheel and wasn't wearing a seat belt.  This poor family has endured so much in the last year.  They have suffered so many losses.  First last March the eldest brother died, earlier this year the 11 year nephew of the boyfriend lost his battle with cancer, and now this.  1 year and 20 days between the 2 brothers dying, and 27 days since the young boy was buried.  Please keep E and his family (mom, dad, and sister) in your thoughts as they all struggle to deal with so much tragedy. 

It seems the Universe thinks and wants me to really focus on my art.  I won a spot in this years 21 Secrets Live a few months back.  It has been a really fun learning experience which continues through June.  Then I won a spot in a 10 month program called Spectrum.  Yesterday I found out I won a spot in the Spring installment of 21 Secrets!  I am really excited about all of them. 

In about 6 hours or so, Camp NaNoWriMo starts.  I wasn't sure if I was going to do it.  But since I can set my own word count goal, I decided to go ahead and participate.  I set my goal at only 10,000 words or 333 words a day for the month of April.  It's small and doable.  It's something I can work in between other things. 

I just need to figure out my time.  I am being given these amazing classes by the Universe to participate in.  Story ideas still pop into my head.  And yet I let myself become so easily distracted by nonsense.  In the midst of all this, I've decided to try and shed a few pounds.  I'd like to weave a walk into all this to help with my plan.  So far, I haven't done it.  Maybe I should make April all about me month.  Focus on art, writing, eating healthier, and start walking.  Easy to say, harder to do.  Let's see what happens in the next 30 days.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Feelings, Anger Not Grief

Yesterday marked two weeks and I've yet to really shed a tear.  I can't!  I've tried...they just won't come.  It makes me feel like a terrible person, guilty even.  I just can't grieve for her.  The logical part of me says she lost that right to my grief when she chose to cut us out of her life.  What gets me is that no one knows why.  The truth of it is too, even if I had had the opportunity to ask I doubt I would have gotten the truth.

I'll tell you thought what I really am.  I AM PISSED!  I am so fucking angry at her.  Her and fucking gambling addiction.  Anything of value, she sold it.  Gone!  Lost forever! 

She had her mother's (who would have been 108 yesterday) mink stole.  It's gone!  She sold it.  She had a charm from her mother's charm bracelet.  It's gone too!  She sold it!  Thank the gods my aunt had the good sense to send me the other two when their older sister decided to divvy up the charms back to who gifted them.  Otherwise, she'd have sold those too. 

Back in my teens, I/we spent a lot of time at Shea Stadium.  In 1986, I got to go to a lot of the Mets home games.  I was there the night they clinched the pennant race.  OMG it was amazing and crazy.  Earlier in the season I got one of their foul balls and then started having the players sign it.  If memory serves me right, I had the entire team on  that ball.  If you know baseball, you know then that was the year the Mets won the World Series.  For some reason after I got married and moved out, I left the ball behind and in her possession.  I don't know if I forgot or just never got to go back and get it.  Well, she must have sold it too because it's now where to be found. 

She chose gambling over family, over friends.  In the end, she had burned so many bridges and hurt so many people that no one except her youngest sister spoke to her. 

I did my grieving years ago when she decided I wasn't worth having in her life anymore.  I was of no value to her.  Sometimes I often wonder if she tried to get rid of me the way family members say she "lost" what would have been my younger sibling.  Or if she would have given me away like she did my older half sister.  Too many people would have stepped in I think to stop her from doing that though, or at least my father's mother would have. 

She never let me forget growing up how I was an accident, that I wasn't supposed to be here.  That she and my dad weren't even sleeping in the same bed.  Which sometimes made me wonder if he was my biological father.  She would never let me forget how I "owed" her for raising me, feeding me, clothing me.  When I started working and making a decent income but still lived at home, even though I was about 17 she told me one day...You owe me now for all those years I put clothes on your back and food in you stomach.  I took care of you now you HAVE TO take care me.  Simply put that meant support her gambling habit. 

I don't know if I will ever shed a tear over her death.  In someways, it feels more like I lost my mother years ago instead of two weeks ago.  Or perhaps one day I will grieve for the mother I didn't have.  But if I think about that, I've probably done that too years ago. 

But this anger that I feel...I have to find away to let it go.  It's building and it's starting to affect me.  It's messing with my stomach and I don't like that.  I just don't know how to let it go.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Just Like That, She Is Gone

At around 10AM (EST), I received another call from the hospital.  It was a nurse practitioner that was seeing my mother for the first time.  She was not responding to treatment.  Her white count was dropping, her BP was still falling despite the fluids.  Now she had sepsis.  The NP wanted me to consider them taking her off the BIPAP mask/machine.  Then lo and behold she found a health proxy in my mom's chart where she had named my aunt the proxy.  At that point, anything I wanted or thought no longer mattered.  The NP said she would take my wishes into consideration but it was now up to my aunt.  She then hung up and proceeded to call my aunt. 

At just after 1PM (EST) my aunt called.  "She's gone," my aunt said.  I was stunned.  "Already, now?" I asked.  She said yes.  She got to the hospital, touched her hands and legs they were ice cold she said.  Told me she leaned in and told my mother she was there.  The BIPAP machine then beeped once, twice, then stayed a steady beep.  A nurse came in and check for vitals.  But she was dead. 

It was fast.  Faster than I even thought.  The NP actually confirmed she was end stage.  And pretty much everything was going to start failing.  I knew it was probably going to happen quickly, I just didn't think it was going to be a couple of hours.  It is probably better.  She did not suffer at the end.  She never had to endure the chemo that would have only prolonged the inevitable. 

I don't know exactly how I feel.  I am sad.  Sad for all that she missed out on with my girls.  Sad that she was so selfish and toxic.  In the end, she had really no friends left.  No one but my aunt visited her at the hospital, except a couple from the senior center.  They only visited once and never went back. 

I'm not angry.  I haven't been angry at her or about her for a long time.  My heart aches for what she missed out on.  She died not even knowing that she also had to grandsons and two great grandsons from my sister.  I knew, but because she chose to cut me out of her life I never got to tell her. 

I really can't find the words to express how I feel right now.  Relief and sadness mostly.  I just hope that she now finds the peace and rest she could not find in this life.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I Should Have To Do This!

First off, Happy birthday to my Beloved.  My life just wouldn't the same without you in it.  You make everything better, you make me a better person.  I'm so glad you found me. I love you babe!

Thank you Mary for your comments on my previous post.  You always have wise, sage advice and words to offer.  I know finding myself won't be instant, or happen in a year.  But I hope that I can at least begin to find the path amidst the weeds that will lead me in the right direction to finding my authentic self and being well...me. 

And now for my rant:  UGH!  God damn this woman!  God damn the first hospital she was in, even the home.  There is no health proxy on my mom.  No directive.  No living will.  NOTHING!  She's been in rehab for recovery from her stroke last year for the last 2 weeks.  Yesterday I get a call at 5AM local time from the ER that she was brought to the hospital in respiratory distress/labored breathing, a low BP and fever.  They said she is weak and tired so they felt unable to get any info from her.  They called my aunt first, but she couldn't/wouldn't make any decision.  So she gave them our number when they asked if she had any other family. 

The ER doc was very nice and empathetic.  He was telling me how he felt my mom was too weak to handle/survive being inter bated.  And if they did manage to, and she pulled through she might not hand being taken off it.  So then the questions of what are her wishes in this kinda situation.  HELL IF I FUCKING KNOW!!!!!  I told him that but much more nicely, I promise.  I explained to him we haven't spoken in over 15 years and even before that she never said anything about such things.  I told him I would call my aunt and ask if she know or at least find out what was on record from the other hospital.  That's when he said he spoke to her and she said she didn't know and didn't want to make a decision.  WELL FUCK!

He said he was going to back and finish working my mother up and while I called my aunt to try and figure shit out.  Came to find out that the other hospital, neither time she was there ever offered or had her sign a health proxy or living will.  Apparently the home hadn't either.   My aunt didn't find out until a meeting at the home last week that my mother even had the pancreatic cancer and that it metastasized to the liver. 

The doc said I needed to decide on a DNR/DNI/Full Code.  WELL FUCK FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!!  Well initially I needed to decided if I wanted them to place her on a mask or not.  But he kept advising against the inter-bation .  I consented to the mask it was the logical thing to do, she was in distress.  I then called my aunt and that's when I found out there's no proxy, no directive, nothing!  SHIT!  This was more of a fact finding call then anything else.  After that call, I received a call from the admitting doctor.  She's a fast talker with heavy accent.  Well now she wants to know what if anything was decided and of course is asking for more details as to why my mom was in the home and why she was at the other hospital.  So things I knew others I didn't.  Now she's wanting my decision on the whole if my mom stops breathing or goes into cardiac arrest.  

I am truly at a loss.  She too is advising against them inter bating my mom.  Her body won't handle it they say.  Xrays were inconclusive for pneumonia but they are treating her with antibiotics because there is an infection somewhere.  Again she asks about the DNR/DNI, again she advises against inter bating.  So I agree to the DNI, it's the logical choice right?  She can't handle being put on it or taken off it.  That alone could kill her.  Then she is asking me if I want them to do compressions if her heart stops.  I ask more questions and how long would they try that.  She answers them, I more or less understand what she says but her accent makes it difficult.  She then advises against compressions because of her fragile state and it could cause broken ribs, punctured lung, and a variety of other things.  Initially I tell her to go with compressions.

Then...THEN...she says what about the DNR?  Wait, what?  I just said do the DNI!  Now she's saying the go together or some shit.  Now I'm confused.  I don't understand how that's possible if I had to pick one or the other.  AND if you're not going to inter bate, and you're only going to try compressions for 20 minutes...then that should be the end of it if she doesn't come around.  But NOOOOOO!  She persists about the DNR.  I tell her I need to speak with my aunt.  She asks if my aunt has proxy.

I tell this lady doc look I haven't talked to my mother in over 15 years by her choice.  She cut me out of her life.  She never spoke of these things not before that, not now.  Ever to any one.  I don't know what she wants.  And no my aunt doesn't have proxy because it was never offered/mentioned at the other hospital.  I'm getting frustrated.  She keeps pushing for a decision.  Tells me she will let me call my aunt but needs to know ASAP.  She's critical she's says.  *SIGH!* 

At this point I feel like I am being backed into a corner and basically guilted into make a decision that is not mine to make.  Thank the gods for my Beloved and his calmness, his level headedness, his familiarity and experience having worked as a care giver.  With his logic and explanations, he helped me through this part.  Called my aunt back and told her what was up.  We both agreed that my mom has placed us in quite the pickle!  I told her about my discussion with my Beloved and we all agreed that going with the DNR considering the cancer would be the choice to make. 

When I last spoke with the admitting doc yesterday, she was on a bipap machine for the oxygen, being treated with antibiotics, and getting floods for the dehydration and low BP.  We also changed it to DNR. 

I am so grateful to my Beloved for being who he is and helping me navigate through all of this shit.  I have had several people say I need to go up there and see her or at least call and talk to her before it's too late.  To try and make amends.  First of all...you don't know this woman and how she is.  Second of all, she hasn't asked to see or talk to me.  I have nothing to make amends for.  I came to terms with her cutting us out of her life a long time ago.  She made her choices.  That might sound cold but she did.  Would I like to know why, yes.  Would it change anything, no.  Would seeing her or talking to her change anything, no.  What's done is done, she did what she did.  She made her choices. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

How Do I Find My Authentic Self?

So, if you've been reading along this year you know that for this year I chose the words "Emerge" and "Authentic Self".  Essentially I want to emerge as my authentic self this year.   Truth be told, I haven't done much in the way of doing anything about it.  Well, all week, I mean seriously no joke! all week the Universe has been throwing these words at me everyday.  If it wasn't one it was the other.  First it was in oracle card posts on Facebook, then it was a blog post by Dominee.  Next was by Julie the teacher this week in 21 Secrets Live.  Then yesterday MORE oracle card posts on Facebook, today too!  Then a blog post by an artist. 

I mean seriously?  The Universe is REALLY trying to get my attention here!  Don't you think?  I get it!  I hear you!  BUT................

How?  How do I find my authentic self?  How can I emerge, if I don't know where to start?  HELL...I don't even know who my authentic self is.

I'm too shy, too afraid, too everything.  I see people I love being hurt (emotionally) by themselves or some one who is supposed to love them and I sit back quietly and say nothing.  Oh I run a whole dialogue in my head of what I would say if I had the balls, but I don't.  I am afraid of saying anything to anyone on any subject because I am afraid of offending them.  I second guess that it isn't my place to speak up. 

I think maybe, part of that stems from all growing up I was told "children should be seen and not heard".  When ever I tried to speak up, about ANYTHING I was either told that phrase or not acknowledged.  As I grew older, still trying to find my voice I found people would talk over me or cut me off and start talking as if I weren't even there.  Or yet still...ignore me.  When I married, the Ogre and his family pretty much did the same thing to me.  By then, I was also made to feel I was too dumb or stupid to have an opinion or know what I was talking about.  All my life, even now I have felt invisible. 

Also all growing up and even after I was married I was told "You can't"  As I child, I went through the phases of "I want to be a nurse" or "I want to be a teacher".  In return I got "You can't be a nurse you hate needles and the sight of blood."  "You can't be a teacher because you hate school."  (In my defense, Catholic school was no picnic!  Those nuns...some of them are down right MEAN!)  When I wanted to go to college and was looking at NYU, I got "why do you want to do that, it's a waste of time.  you don't need that piece of paper."  In the end, I attended LaGuardia Community College.  I started out with business management.  I was doing well with all my classes until it came time for algebra.  UGH...I suck at it, I just can't do it.  The Ogre claimed to be a wiz at it and would gladly help me when the time came.  And guess what...when that time came, he put me down and wouldn't help.  He said I was stupid for not knowing how to do algebra.  I decided to change majors at that point.  He didn't like that either.  I wanted my degree to be in business management so I could supposedly help run his business at the time.  I guess I was too stupid otherwise.  He eventually made some bad decisions against my advice and the business failed. 

I could go on and on about such things...but that isn't the point.  The question remains How do I find and emerge as my authentic self, if I don't know who that is.  I am too fearful to act or speak.  I am always worried about everyone else and how they will feel or what they will think.  I am afraid of offending people.  I am afraid of voicing my opinions or acting on my ideas.  I hate it when I do start to use my voice and I get the "oh there she goes, getting on her soap box."  So I keep my mouth shut.  I have NO FUCKING CLUE who my authentic self is! 

So tell me oh great wondrous Universe, if I picked such great words that you feel the need to throw them at me everyday how the hell am I supposed to do this?  How do I find my authentic self?  and then How do I emerge as such?