March 29, 2012
I think it's the sadness. It's hard to really feel the impact of the sadness from the things I talk about at therapy- so instead of just being able to sit with the big sadness of it all- I kind of try to run from the hurt and the sadness.
I am typing this in my tent, in my studio and being in here helps me feel more calm. I am calming down and feeling better. I wonder how the afternoon would have gone if I'd just gone straight from therapy to here. Anyway- tonight there is a lecture, then I'll bike home. I've been making some smaller drawings and sewing a dress.
March 28, 2012
March 26, 2012
March 25, 2012
March 24, 2012
Last night I had nightmares and then a really painful memory this morning.
I've been trying to stop cutting my hair off... I'm not there yet. I shaved my head this morning.
Today I baked for a friend. I'm doing the best I can. I think that's a lot.
March 23, 2012
Getting better is so FOREIGN and I realize the more I let go of the ideas I had before of how things would be- the better I do. And the more I hold onto the truth and stay out of denial about the abuse and about the divisions in my mind- the more I am able to do and I am able to think with much more clarity.
And I am wearing one of my RACE TO STOP CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE shirts to the concert. :-)
March 22, 2012
And last night I got my nose pierced.
Oh! And we started getting the New York Times delivered to our apartment and I just couldn't be happier about that.
Putting this dress on has made me want to draw on more dresses. I think that will be what I do next. :-)
March 20, 2012
Today I was going to hang my drawings at school- but there wasn't time- so it was just decided where everyone is putting their work. Tomorrow I am going to put my drawings up. I've been kind of dreading it and then hating that I am hating anything about making art- so I asked one of my roommates to come with me and help. I want to have fun installing the drawings- not feel like it is serious and awful. It is lucky and a huge privilege. So we're going to organize it all and hang it together in a few hours. Then I'll probably do more drawing.
This is one of those times when the best I can do is not really very great- but I am also not hurting myself at all- and I want to keep remembering that really is great. These are two drawings I made today.
March 19, 2012
The next time I went back I started to talk about my dad raping me. Now it's been more than eight years of working to know my own my mind, to tell the stories about what happened to me when I was growing up and to begin to knit it all together.
And now it is the night before we install our first year MFA show in the museum and I feel anxious. I feel anxious because I still wish that the past could have been different, that I had a different story to tell, that I had not been hurt so much. I feel sad that I will stand in front of my own big huge violent painful (but hopefully kind of beautiful in someways) drawing and know that all of the really hard things I have been working on accepting are true. I usually feel like I want to hurt myself when I get this anxious. I sort of have that tonight- but I am working on still more writing and drawing and talking and not taking harmful action- not creating more hurt because I hurt.
This is a small drawing I made earlier today. It is about how sometimes when all of everything about being human is too awful to think about I just step away and pretend I am a cat.
I had therapy tonight and it helped to talk to my doctor, I am writing here and this helps me, I am walking home with my roommate and friend tonight.
Recovering from the abuse often feels impossible- but I try to keep reminding myself that is just the feeling of it and that it is actually happening- I am getting better. In a just a few weeks I will be done with my first year of graduate school.
March 18, 2012
Tonight I was saying that my hair is making me feel kind of crazy and I'm thinking about shaving it and David reminded me I want long hair, that this moment of wanting to cut it will pass and then went on to say that he thinks I can rock an afro. Which is exactly what I will have with the humidity in DC. It made me laugh- a lot. But I kinda think he might be right... ;-)
I have six more weeks of classes this semester- I am not going to let myself ride more than a few hours each day because I want to be drawing a lot as well. But a good twenty or thirty miles a day really helps me feel like I can sit and draw for longer. I know it is kind of a lot- but so is this anxiety, so is the pain I still struggle with a lot. So I am really grateful I can go for a fairly long ride and that it helps me to calm down. I was so happy to be out riding today- I started thinking how this summer I might bike to the Midwest to visit some of my closest friends. :-)
March 16, 2012
Today I'm not feeling great. I keep thinking about riding my bike away from everything- but I need to draw and work on my art for the show. I'm hoping I'll start to feel better when I draw today.
It's helping me to be able to write here again when I just let myself write about however I feel. I wrote the other day about how in the past I've felt like I needed to make it sound like I am feeling ok when I write here... especially since I am in graduate school now, especially since I have been working to recover from the incest for more than 8 years. But surviving 25 years of incest, working in therapy for 8 years and now being in grad school- it is a lot. It is a huge amount of stuff to deal with- it is a huge amount of living to... live.
I made so many choices in the past which I regret and a lot of them were informed by the pain I had suffered and I was not able to talk about it very well and so I reenacted a lot of old pain and hurt myself again.
My greatest progress is that I am talking more and acting out old scripts of the past less. That does make me feel good. I'm doing fine in school and a lot of things are going better- it is because of talking. More talking and less reenacting. It will be great when there is talking and writing and drawing about the past and the living in the present is really about the present. I feel like that is slowly starting to happen. It is slow, it is painful, it is a lot of work- but it is real and it is happening.
I feel better from just having written this. And now I actually am able to go back and read my own writings. Now I am going to go draw. Big. ;-)
March 15, 2012
March 14, 2012
I've been working at this gnarly mess of hurt and pain for so long and it still feels like there is so much left. I'd never give up now though. I've come too far and I am too angry about how much people try to turn from the painful problem of incest.
Today I felt like my brain was being run through a meat grinder. I was anxious all day and then I finally burst into tears. I think I've always tried to keep things kind of positive or hopeful when I write here- or for a while now anyway. I know things are the best they've been- it is still a huge hell of a mess and the pain of it everyday is sickening.
The things that make me feel better are biking and walking, drawing, cats, laughing, good friends, opera and coloring. Coloring is different from drawing.
Today I mailed out 12 Race to Stop Child Sexual Abuse t-shirts.
I hang my drawing in the first year MFA show next week. I am still struggling with a title for the piece. I've been thinking of calling it: THIS IS A DRAWING ABOUT A LOT OF HURT AND A LOT OF LOVE.
March 13, 2012
I just had a conversation with Eve about not acting out old scripts of abuse anymore- but using words to tell the things I need to say instead. It is good; it is often very painful.
One thing we just spoke about on the phone was that I am going to grow my hair out. I've shaved my head for so long- because my father used to like my hair long, because he used to pull it, because I wanted to look like a different person, because I was scared to be attractive, because I wanted to say: I WAS HURT AND I'M STILL HURTING. So there was all of that and then me being either bald and kind of hating it or with very short hair and looking like my mother. And the later of those two things- the thing about looking like my mom- that is a post for a different day.
Anyway- I am going to let my hair grow out but instead of trying what I have tried in the past- trimming it as it grows out and trying to have cute short hairstyles- I'm just going to let it grow. I'm just gonna let it grow and be kinda wild- it gets really curly really fast. So anyway- a different way of going about things. I never really wanted to have a stylish short haircut- I wanted my long hair back but I was too afraid to do it.
It is very overwhelming to live everyday with so much less dissociation than I had in the past. It is painful, but things are getting better. I have three great roommates, a lovely apartment, I'm almost through my first year of school, my two cats are healthy and I have a lot of very good friends who love me. This is the best my life has ever been and even though I still have rough days- I know that is part of the healing and that I will keep continue to get better.
March 10, 2012
March 9, 2012
This year I am going to run again in the Race to Stop the Silence- Stop Child Sexual Abuse. I wish the race was called "RACE TO STOP CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE". Last year when I ran it I made my own t-shirt and wore it.
This drawing on the left is what I am going to wear on a t-shirt this year. A friend of mine at school is going to help me screen print some of them and I already have 7 people who are going to wear the shirts with me to the race. Two friends are running it with me and I am really happy about that.
The info about the race is HERE and if you are going to be in DC on April 29- contact me and I'll happily give you one of these shirts to wear!!!
March 6, 2012
I was happy that I was able to sit with them and eat. I was grateful that the daily struggle in my head is so much better- that I have days that are the best I've ever had.
I am in my second semester and school is going better. I feel more calm. I am able to be more present. I still have a lot of anxiety- but I am working on that and a lot of other things- but I am so grateful for all of the things that are starting to work in a better way- mainly... my own mind.
I was telling Christopher the other day that when I am feeling bad or starting to really struggle- I have to stop and remind myself about what happened to me- that I was raped for more than 20 years. Then I am able to take a breath and think, "What is really happening right now that is upsetting me?", "Why am I struggling?", "What is this really about?". And then I am able to figure out which part of my thinking is upset and why. Then I am able to feel better.
It is new. It has taken me more than 8 years of work to get to this place. It is hard; but this is the best I have ever been doing and feeling and I know I continue to heal. I'm enormously grateful that thousands of times I told myself to believe Dr. C when he said it would get better even though it was like I could not see it at all.
For a really long time I thought 'getting better' would in some way mean 'getting away' from horrible truth and pain of the past- it is the opposite. I was always trying to get away from that. I had to run toward it to finally start to move toward really healing.
It is so much work each day. But it is worth it. School is going well, I have friends, I've been biking.
And I'm drawing. I am drawing everyday. And I am seeing Christopher. And I... I think I am finally starting to get to be me.