Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

Just What She Needed May 22, 2013

She stood at the sink lost deep in thought. It had been a long, rough day and she could feel the tension in her shoulders. She took two deep, cleansing breathes and tried to relax. Just as she inhaled one more deep breathe, she felt, rather than heard, his presence in the room. It was as if the air itself paused when he walked in.

She closed her eyes in anticipation. He didn’t disappoint. A moment later she felt his warm breathe on the back of her neck. With one gentle finger, he traced the contours of her spine from her neck to the small of her back. She shivered as his finger retraced the same path just as his lips found the sweet spot on her neck. She leaned back against him as she felt the tension leave her body. He wrapped his arms around her waist and gave her a gentle hug as he planted butterfly kisses up and down her neck. The stubble on his face tickled and made her giggle and squirm. With one swift motion he spun her around and pinned her against the counter as his mouth found hers. Her giggles turned to moans as he made her forget about the day.

He always seemed to know just what she needed.

 

P.S. I always read the WordPress “Recommended Tags” because sometimes they are ridiculous. This time made me laugh. One tag was “kiss”. Okay, that’s appropriate. The next one was “halitosis”. BAHAHAHA! 🙂 Makes me laugh!

 

THIS is What I Wanted to be When I Grew Up? May 7, 2013

Life is crazy. And weird. And never, ever what you expect it to be.

When I was 10 if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say a vet. I wanted to help all the animals in the world. Never mind that I couldn’t stand the thought of putting one down, or the realities of surgery. I just wanted to love and help them all, in some vague way. Oh, and get paid for it, so I could afford the ‘farm’ I would have. Never mind the real hard work that goes into such a farm; I just liked the idea of it.

When I was 13 if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say a rock star. I idolized those who could rock out: playing a guitar and singing their way across all the countries of the world. I wanted it all: the fame, the fortune, and the fans. It was just a minor problem that I had no singing talent at all, nor could I play any instrument. Unless you counted a play electric organ. I could beat out Silent Night like nobody’s business.

It’s strange, looking back. I had this idea of who I would be and what my life would be like. In some ways, parts of it came true. I always wanted to get married and raise a family, and I have done this. I wanted to stay home with my children and raise them like my mom did with me, and I did. I stayed home with my girls until they started school. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I eventually decided to be a teacher, and (other than the lack of money) I never regretted that decision. Although I still sing in the shower, to keep the vocal chords warmed up, just in case…

My life did not turn out to be exactly as I thought; life has a way of shaping  you and changing your beliefs and values. Things that I once thought to be important are now of no consequence to me.

Funny, as I was growing up, not once did I ever think to myself, “When I grow up, I want to be a semi-crazy mom who raises one drug-addicted,  bipolar daughter with life issues, and one daughter who has strict, traditional values. Except for being gay, of course. Oh, and I want a husband who is old-fashioned and out of touch, so I can carry the weight of our problems by myself. Throw in a dog I love, but who has unexplained seizures, and THAT’S the life I want!”

No, none of us really get what we think we want. But you know what? I’ve made a life. I have a sense of humor that saves me most days. I have a family I love who loves me back. I have an interesting job that is great most days. This is my life, and I made it mine. It is not what I expected, because it is so much more.

 

Black and White Without the Gray February 10, 2013

Interesting reading I found this morning.

http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2011/05/brilliant-musicians-whove-battled-mental-illness.html

 

http://www.adhdandbipolar.com/famous-people-with-bipolar-disorder.html 

When I feel “Up”, I become very creative. By up I don’t mean a normal good mood; it’s so much more than that. This is the reason I suspect I have some form of bipolar disorder. It is NOTHING like what my daughter suffers, but it is there staring me in the face.

I really understand how so many creative people in the world are bipolar. When you have that edge of mania, just sharp enough to make you invincible, the creative juices flow. Even during depression I find inspiration. I could live and die by my art if there were not people in my world who keep me grounded. I often wonder what it would be like to totally give in; stop fighting the rhythm of my body and mind and let go. Forget trying to fit my square peg into the round hole. Sometimes it becomes so exhausting trying to be like everyone else; I’m just not like other people! I know this and have mostly accepted it. But still I continue to work the 9-5, and live the typical suburbanite life. I think that is where most of my unhappiness originates.

It’s not that I am miserable all the time. I’m not, really.  I have a great job that I love, and I am good at it. I have a husband who does love the me I allow him to see. Most people seem to like me and I like them most people. Of course you know I have my dogs whom I love more than most humans. I just know that I spend so much time suppressing “me” that I often forget who I am.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So, who am I really? I am an artist who cannot decide on one art form. I love to paint with acrylics or watercolor. I enjoy making jewelry from metal, wire, rocks, glass, paint, and clay. Writing gets in my blood and I must get it out; poetry, quotes, stories, or simply blogging about life. I love pottery and feeling the slippery clay between my fingers. But I think my true art form is photography. I love photography and would spend most waking moments traveling around the world and taking photos.

new art april 2011 217So why do I work and live like I do? Because it’s what I’m supposed to do. You know: get married, have children and a career, buy a house in a good neighborhood. I did all of that. I’m not unhappy that I did, but I often wonder what life would be like if I lived by my creative juices like my heart desires. Ideally, I guess I could live this life and create in my spare time. The truth of the matter is this life consumes me and all of my time. Just taking time to blog is a challenge.

I have a studio. It is tiny; it once was the bedroom of my daughter, S. Now it’s crammed with the remains of old projects and the tools of all the above mentioned art. I’ve tried spending my summers, when I am out of work from mid-June until mid-August, creating. IT’S NOT ENOUGH! When I create, I become consumed by it like a drug or a new love. I don’t want to talk to people, or cook dinner, or do any mundane things of life. Yet, time after time, I must stop and attend to life matters.new art april 2011 163

I feel like I am some weird schizophrenic blend of two people: the Domestic Me, who enjoys working and conversing with coworkers and children. This version of Me enjoys having everything in order: files put away, papers organized, and dinners planned. She lays out her slacks and dress shirt before bed,  goes to bed on time, and even remembers to put gas in the car! The other part, the Creative Me, only goes to bed when sleep overcomes creativity, puts her hair up in a sloppy ponytail, wears t-shirts, old jeans and bare feet, and listens to blaring music as creativity rules her every breathe.

new art april 2011 164The Domestic Me has ruled for many, many years. Only on occasion has Creative Me taken control and she sometimes wrecked havoc in my life. But SHE is the one that seems like the real me! She is me if I am being honest and really, totally ME. Why, then, do I keep her deep inside? Because that bitch is scary! She would get the tattoos and piercings someone of my age shouldn’t even think about. She would quit the 9-5 because it impedes the creative flow. She would probably then starve to death because, while I love my art in all its forms, I’m not nearly good enough to live on it. Even if I were good, Creative Me would not know how or where to begin to sell my craft. At least she would be much skinnier than Domestic Me! She would always wear jeans or flowing dresses, seldom cut her hair, smoke weed, and probably scare the piss out of small children! 😀 Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the truth is out: I am the original hippy. I am a hippy living a soccer mom life and it sometimes hurts.

So, how do you blend the unblendable? How do you mix black and white and not create gray?

sundown

 

The Alien Thought of Taking Care of Me January 13, 2013

Taking care of myself…putting my needs before the needs of others…thinking of what I need to be happy…these thoughts are so alien, so foreign to me. I have put myself last for my entire life. Even as a child, I tiptoed around, trying to be “good”, so mommy and daddy wouldn’t fight and have angry voices. As a teenager, having sex with guys I didn’t really care about, because it was what they wanted. It made me feel needed and loved…for a little while. Then, I became a wife and mother. Putting myself last seemed natural; a good mother and wife took care of her family, right? Even in my job, I take care of others. It is what I do best.

I guess I have made some tiny steps in doing a few things just for me. For example, my “photo shoots” (Wow. That sounds like I’m some kind of professional or something!). I try to find some time at least once a week to take photos. Admittedly these last two trips were really to please the hubs; I just went with him where he needed to go and brought along my camera. He “humors” me, I know. To him, taking pictures of trees and old buildings is silly, but he loves me so he stops and lets me shoot away.

After all of this time, how do I change? Where do I start? What is the first step to taking care of me? I don’t even know how to begin.

 

 

 

 

 

It is Tomorrow December 26, 2012

It is tomorrow. We made it through the night and into a new day. J called her Doctor and made an appointment for her first intensive therapy session. I am proud of her for being so brave, because this has to be so scary for her.

I am just glad the holidays are over. Putting on a brave face and faking any degree of normalcy is so incredibly hard! I did (based on some advice from friend here on WP) keep everything very low-key; few decorations, few presents (gift bags only; no wrapping), little cooking, and little interaction with extended family. I still feel as though I am in a dense fog and I still feel dead inside. I did cry  yesterday, so I guess that is something.

It is hard to live with someone who has no understanding or tolerance for my moods or what J deals with daily. I’ve given up explaining my dark moods to him; as far as he is concerned, I am feeling “sick”. I don’t have the strength to explain or defend how I feel emotionally. All I want to do right now is sleep, write, or zone out. So that is what I will do.

At least the dogs understand; they sense my moods and have curled up here beside me.

Fog

 

Early Signs of Mania and Choices I Made August 6, 2012

Trigger Warning: Drug and alcohol use, abortion, and gang rape

I was sixteen years old when I first left home. (I ran away before, but the police brought me back). My mother and I  had spent the past few years butting heads and I was tired of living by her rules. The more I rebelled, the tighter she tried to hold me. By this time I had smoked weed, drank any alcohol I could get my hands on, and popped whatever pills I could find for about a year. I rebelled more and more as the memories of childhood sexual abuse came to the surface. My mother accused me of lying about it for “attention”, which just drove a bigger wedge between us. I think this was also my first instance of mania. I was wild and crazy, just a party girl looking to have a good time.

I had a friend I smoked weed with named *Greg. Greg was a sweet, quiet guy and we hit it off. A few months later, I was pregnant. Deciding to get married, we told his mom and dad. My parents? I had so much anger in me I simply told them I was getting married and leaving. Being all of sixteen years old, my dad had to go to courthouse and sign for me to get married. I still remember the anger and pain radiating from him as he stormed from the room.

We immediately moved in with Greg’s parents. We slept in his childhood room that was still decorated for the high-school senior that he was. He had a part-time mechanic’s job. I didn’t have a job, but none of this bothered me. I knew it would work out fine, and I had visions of being this great mom living this perfect life. That’s why I think I was manic during this period.

Not long after moving in, Greg’s mom talked with us. She was this uneducated little country woman, but she had a way  of talking that was very sweet and gentle. She convinced us both that having a baby at that point in our lives was a mistake. She loaned us the money and gave us the number of a clinic that performed abortions. We decided to go through with it that next week. I had not spoken to my family since I left, so I had no one to talk to about my choices other than Greg’s mom.

Again, I think I was manic throughout this entire period. Otherwise I don’t think I could have done this and survived. I always considered abortion as a woman’s option, but never, in my sixteen-year-old mind, did I think it would be an option I had to consider. So I focused on my “great life” Greg and I would have after this “procedure”.

I won’t go into details about the abortion. Just know it was horrible and something I have to live with for the rest of my life. Manic or not, I chose to go through with it.

Afterward, I felt empty, as though my soul was left behind in that clinic. This began one of the darkest periods of my young life. If I had been wild before, I was now the poster child for “Girls Gone Wild”. The drug use became worse as I grew more and more out of control. I found a job at a burger restaurant and we found a place of our own. I attended night school so I could get my high school diploma. Greg worked two jobs. Most of our money went toward rent, electricity, and alcohol, and drugs. We began selling weed to help support our habit. For months we ate egg sandwiches and whatever I could bring home from my work. Every day, I got high, drunk, or stoned on something. Every weekend, we went to wild parties thrown by his older friends.

His friends, Kevin and Robert, had their own apartment and they knew how to throw a party. We were always welcome, and at the time I thought it was because they just liked us and were such good friends. I felt the way they looked at me, but it was no different from how men always looked at me. I didn’t think much about it, really. I wore sex like a costume because it was a weapon for me, flirting shamelessly.  No one looked at me, the real me, if they were too busy looking at my body.

One night the party was wilder than usual. Some new drugs came in and they were strong. We danced and partied like always. Greg and I had no money for drugs that weekend. so Kevin and Robert gave them to us. They also kept giving Greg drinks until he was too drunk to function. They told us we could stay the night since we were too wasted to drive. We had never stayed, but we both thought it was a good idea. I remember dancing and first Kevin, then Robert, slipping me more drugs. I remember very little about the next few hours.

Around three in the morning Greg and I stumbled to the bed in the spare room. We both passed out immediately. Within twenty minutes, Kevin and Robert snuck into the room and picked me up. I remember waking up and they told me we were going to party some more. I think I passed out again, because the next thing I remember I was in a different bed and completely naked. Kevin was on top of me.

I was so stoned everything around me seem to be flashing in slow motion. I looked over Kevin’s head and saw five guys surrounding the bed. I tried to say no, but I don’t know if the word even came out of my mouth. I did push against him, but I was no match for him. When he finished, the next guy climbed on top of me. I was crying and pleading with them to let me go, but they laughed and told me “we’re just having fun” and “you know you like it”. I even yelled for Greg, but he was passed out. They didn’t let me go until they all had a turn.

Robert led me back to the spare room and put me back in bed with Greg. I cried myself to sleep.

I never told Greg or anyone else what happened that night. I was too embarrassed and thought it was my fault for being a flirt. Not long after that, Greg and I decided to go our separate ways. I continued to self-medicate for many years, trying to forget the choices I made and where those choices led me.

*All names have been changed to protect the innocent…and the guilty.

 

I am a Lying, Sarcastic, Bitch…Want to be My Friend? August 4, 2012

Who Is Wonder Woman?

Who Is Wonder Woman? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, so here is my vent for the day…

I am a bitch today. At least I am a quiet bitch. Maybe a depressed bitch.

I have been very withdrawn for the past couple of days. Since returning from the beach, I haven’t gone anywhere (other than to the store to buy needed items). I also haven’t been on Facebook…mainly because I am so sick of reading about stupid American politics, Chick-fil-a christians (homophobic bastards in my opinion), and game requests for games I’ve never heard of and will never play! I have, however, continued to try to post…something…daily on my two blogs on WordPress. For some reason, that remains an important connection for me.

I think I have withdrawn because I feel depressed and angry. I am still seething over J, my daughter. (J, age 25,  has bipolar, an eating disorder, OCD, anxiety, and ADD. She is currently unable to live on her own and so lives with me and hubs). She has a STD (for the second time, mind you) and seems like it’s no big deal. She is so broke, she couldn’t even afford the doctor or the antibiotic so she borrowed the money from me. Again. I get quiet when I feel that kind of anger because I know if I let it out it only makes things worse. Being angry with someone with bipolar AND an eating disorder is tricky; you set them off and the reaction can be deadly.

I also get angry with hubs. I don’t often talk about him on here; I have very mixed feelings about him. All of the hardships I have gone through with J, I have weathered alone, I have made all the decisions, I have cried all the tears. He works. And fishes. And hides out in his garage when things get bad. After almost 30 years of marriage it seems harder now than before. I continue to hide my own mental health problems from him. Why? Because despite everything, he is my husband.  We have a long history, and he accepted me at a time when I was in a bad place. Do I see us staying together? No. He is totally unable to understand even a small part of what J goes through.  When he finds out I have the same issues and I have hidden them from him, it will be over. I am preparing myself for that. I know I will be okay alone. Being alone does not bother me. I have been dishonest with him about so many things, I know there is no going back. I am now at the point of No Return.

So how is hubs with J? He thinks she should be able to “control” her depression that puts her in bed for weeks at a time. She should “just get up and DO something”. When she is manic she spends her money frivolously, getting tattoos, taking every friend out to eat, and buying impractical gifts…BEFORE paying bills that are due. Hubs again thinks this is a character flaw that she should be able to control with will power. He met with the doctors. He has been in therapy sessions. He has heard it explained over and over again. He is one of those people who will never get it. I am a buffer between the two of them and it is HARD.

Would it be better if I just left him? I don’t have the energy. And the thought of dealing with J, who will fall apart, is draining. I also have no money whatsoever, and it takes money and a plan to leave. And I know J will go with me. I would not leave her here with him. So I will stay, at least for now, because it is all I can do.

I am also lonely. I have realized lately that I no longer have any many friends. I am very social and well-liked in my community, but I have made such a habit of protecting my heart that I don’t let myself get too close to anyone. If I feel someone getting close, I back off. I shut down. They are left wondering what they did wrong, but it’s really just me. Many years of protecting my heart  has left me protected, but lonely. I have protected myself so well, no one even knows me. So if you don’t know me, you cannot love me. Or hurt me.

Yeah, so here I am; a lonely, depressed bitch. Want to be my friend? Hahahaha  Sounds like the plot for a lame movie. Really, if you met me, I would seem upbeat and outgoing. I have a sarcastic and sharp sense of humor. I am great with animals and kids. Younger people gravitate toward me. I’m not sure why, really, but I think because I take them seriously and I listen. I’m a great listener. You would never, not in a million years, think that I had mental issues that I struggle with on a daily basis. I am very, very good at wearing a mask.

So, I am a coward. I live like I do because I don’t have the courage to let the world see ME. The REAL ME. I didn’t do it on purpose. I just kind of evolved this way by living up to expectations of others. By trying to be Wonder Woman, and Super Mom, and Super Wife, and Super Daughter, and Super Employee. It is what I thought I HAD to do, you see. So I did…for many years. I hid my mania….I was just in a ‘great mood’ or feeling ‘silly’. I also explained it away because of the drugs and alcohol, back in the day…I hid the spending…no one ever knew….When the depression hit, I was ‘sick’…had a lot of work to do (I work a lot on the computer, so I could explain sitting around as long as I had my computer)…then when J started having problems, any of my problems could be easily explained…of course I was a wreck; look what I was dealing with!!

Life sure is funny. I dislike deception, and I am the most dishonest person I know.

Oh what a tangled web we weave

 

Rainey: Unedited and On the Edge of Losing It July 19, 2012

Trigger Warning: I am struggling today, and this post is my brain rambling about many things…including suicide, sexual abuse, and other things. It is NOT a cry for suicide prevention help.

***I apologize in advance for this post…it is not my usual, and it is unedited and straight from the heart. I can’t hide anymore. Many of you may not want to read.

What if I just let go? What would happen? I have held myself in check for my entire life and it is becoming harder and harder and harder. I don’t want to be strong anymore. I don’t want to be the one who fixes everything, makes it all better, handles all the problems, listens and gives sage advice. I have never allowed myself to fall apart. I cry a little, let off some steam, but never, never, never do I let go completely. I am so afraid I will not be able to come back to “normal”. When I went to the west coast to place J in a treatment program I participated in counseling sessions with her and the counselor, Navid. Navid said he had never met anyone who kept such tight control of their emotions. He kept digging and trying to get me to let go, so I finally faked it and cried a little. I have major issues that I keep under wraps because everyone, I mean EVERYONE, in my family depends on me to hold it together. I’ve watched J try to kill herself numerous times….I held it together.  S moved away…I was a rock. My husband, P, had cancer. I held it all in. Then he had a stroke. I carried on. I’m so tired. I don’t even know who I am anymore because I am so caught up in being who everyone NEEDS me to be. I am one big stupid lie. If I let it all out the madness will overtake me and life as I know it will be over. I’m beginning to think that is not a bad thing. Can I walk away from all that I have? I’m not talking material things, that doesn’t mean shit to me. I’m talking family, friends, job, my LIFE. There is no one, not one single person in my entire existence, that understands. That, I know in the very center of my being. Do you know that when I started dating my husband, P, I told him about the sexual abuse I suffered as a child. He accepted me anyway, and that meant THE WORLD to me. Then, when J was in the hospital it came up in conversation and he said, “WHAT? I didn’t know that!”. All these years I felt so good knowing he accepted that part of me, and HE DIDN’T EVEN FUCKING REMEMBER OR CARE!!!! What does that say about me? I have surrounded myself with people who think they know me, who only allow themselves to see what they want to see, who think they might even love me, but they have no idea, really who or what I am because I LIE with my actions, with my words, with my smiles. There is a madness inside of me that I have hidden for so long, and it has been patient, but time is drawing near….it cannot be patient much longer. I know I have severe mental problems but I continue to function and no one even guesses anything is wrong with me. Am I that good or do people around me really not care? As long as I am there for them, right? I know you will say go to  a doctor. I have no desire to go through what J goes through, what so many of you go through,with doctors and medicines. I know I will have to before all is said and done, but procrastination is one of my biggest faults. I was supposed to go this summer, but cancelled the appointment. I know I will either kill myself or fall completely apart.  A part of me wants to just walk into the nearest mental hospital and commit myself and just let the pieces of my life fall apart. My husband will leave me, my parents and siblings will turn their backs, I will lose my job, my friends will be nonexistent…only my daughters and my dogs will stand by me. Really, that doesn’t even make me sad or upset. I just feel numb inside, and overwhelmed by what will happen. So instead of doing anything, I sit here because I feel overwhelmed at what I will do after that. What will a broken, mental, middle-aged woman with no job, no place to live, and no personal relationships do? Where will I go? How will I survive? These things keep me paralyzed. and so….I continue to live this lie. I don’t think I can hold on much longer.

 

Impending Doom, Gay Rights, and Playing in Sprinklers: Just Another Day July 17, 2012

sprinkler

sprinkler (Photo credit: g_kat26)

Today was mostly a good day. I sat in the sun (even though it was hot as Hades) and read for a while. When I became too hot, I hooked up the sprinkler! I haven’t done that in ages, and it made me feel like a little kid again!

There are so many “projects” I need/want to do, but I am having too much fun just “being”. That is something I have always had trouble with; I feel guilty if I’m not doing something constructive. This week, though, I am just reading, playing games, and relaxing. It’s kind of nice to not be under constant stress.

Speaking of stress, J is struggling so much now. Her moods are all over the place, she’s still mostly depressed, and she is not herself. I have her pills (at least the heavy-duty ones that can do the most damage) unless she went to the psychiatrist and got new ones without telling me. She is having trouble with eating too much again and has done some purging. I don’t think she is cutting; I haven’t seen the signs. I just feel an omen, as if something is going to happen. I hope I am wrong.Various pills

I miss my other daughter, S. I have seen her only two times since she moved away, and she is already talking about moving to another state, one that recognizes gay marriage. I don’t blame her, and I want her to be happy, but I hate knowing that she must live elsewhere just to get married. So many in this state are vocally opposed to gay rights.  About three years ago, I had my own business (in addition to working my old job). This was when S first told me she was gay, and soon after, began living with her girlfriend…in the small town in which I work and live. Immediately, several customers stopped coming to my shop. This is the place in which I live and it makes me sad that people cannot just mind their own business and let others be. Even if I thought being gay was wrong (and I don’t), I would not presume to go around and tell others not to be gay!

That was my vent for the day. Just live, and let others live.

 

The Exuberant Panther April 26, 2012

Depression sits in the corner like a panther waiting to pounce. Sometimes it pounces suddenly without warning, and takes over with a vengeance. Other times, it is more like smoke that curls out around me, slowly wrapping me in an embrace like a shy lover. If you are lucky enough to  have never experienced true clinical depression, it is hard to understand how it colors everything you see and do.

My husband is one of those lucky people. He doesn’t understand the lows that knock the wind out of me. I stopped trying to explain it long ago and when he asks what is wrong I respond, “I just don’t feel good.” If it lasts too long (or interferes with things in his life) he suggests I “go to the doctor and get some vitamins or something.” It sounds harsh, but he means well. He just has no understanding, even though both my daughter and I suffer. He has attended family sessions in support of my daughter, but he just can’t wrap his mind around it.

I know I post a lot about depression. It’s not that I like being reminded of it, it just needs an outlet, I guess. My friend, Dot, commented about a post I made. She said it was a good description of depression, but she didn’t like being reminded of it because it was always there waiting. It’s funny, when I sit down and decide to write, I don’t have a plan. I place my fingers on the keys and they begin to type whatever needs to come out. When I wrote the poem “My Shadow“, I wasn’t feeling depressed. I just knew there was something I needed to say, and it all came out.

I also have moments when my exuberance needs to come out. I feel high, on top of the world. During those times I try to post photographs. When I am feeling good, the colors of the beauty around me seem to glow and speak to me. I want to capture little bits so I can hold them close when the darkness covers me again.

I go to the doctor today. Maybe I will bring a copy of this post to show how I feel. Wish me luck.  ~Rainey