embracing the weeds.
embracing the weeds.
is for me.
doing for me,
like i did
for my kids.
After my secondary ‘Aha-Aha Moments’, I decided to make some immediate and then minor adjustments to my world. Instead of re-minimising everything (which I do rather well I might add), I figured a few tweaks would do just as well.
The first was this:
Don’t get Me wrong, I give a shit about a lot of things … too many things actually; well too many for own well-being at the moment. Yes, I give a shit about world peace, racism, sexism, injustice, in-equality … I give more than a shit actually – I give so many shits about this shit, it hurts. This is how I was made. It is my character and the fabric of my nature. But right now … I need to give more than just a few shits, about Me.
On to the shit I can change:
So I decided to add 3 things.
Art for Arts sake, means creating without a purpose. My art has always been in response to something – colonisation, abuse, anger etc. It has never been just because I want to create something. It’s actually quite hard for Me to do something that has No ‘purpose’; it goes against every minimal thing about Me.
More healthy shit: this is two-fold. In a few weeks I will try the ‘mindfulness’ walk, with my new found knowledge. This is purposeful, so should counter balance the art-for-arts-sake.
Second part of the healthy shit is practical:
My tipuna were foraging and healing themselves long before the Crown set foot on these islands and long before I came into being. So instead of waiting for ‘the cure’, Me and aunty google set about to find some practical things to do. I’ve added the following to my daily health regime:
1x cup organic raw milk
1/4 cup water
I’ve included the health benefits of each of these ‘weeds’ and herbs, in the links. The idea is to increase this a little bit at a time over the next few months. While it may not sound very pleasant and definitely looks a bit dodgy – I figure Chartreuse is way worse 😉 And so far so good on the ‘health benefit’ angle.
On to picking somewhere I want to go:
I wanted to go to my art classes this year and felt like a big fat failure because I hadn’t been able to make it all year. Soooo, instead of wallowing in it, I’ve decided to go the the Exhibition Opening on the 4th of November. I may need drugs; I may need all my bits and pieces that I use … and that, I have decided, is just fine! I am going!
I’ve asked my daughter if she’d take Me and hold my hand etc lol, and she said Yes 🙂 And she’s going to bring my beautiful mokos too. I said to her – ‘are you ok with Me freaking out if that happens?’ … and she says, ‘sure ma, we’ll just throw a blanket over you, put a hat on you and hold onto you’. I cried 🙂
So thats Us, well Me … and the mish from now till the end of the year at least.
And guess what?
I’m OK 😉
Although I’m not a hoarder by nature, and tend to gangstah lean toward the minimalistic slant on life, there is one thing that I do, unintentionally, hoard.
Sexual assault memories.
Now I don’t hoard them on purpose; they’ve just made their way into my basement and that’s where they stay. However, they do make uninvited appearances whenever they feel like it.
While I’m asleep.
While I’m awake.
When something smells familiar.
When something sounds familiar.
Otherwise known as Flashbacks: Or ‘Fuck-off Flashbacks’ as I like to call them; until recently, I thought everyone had this phenomenon happen to them. I figured though, that if their lives had been full of beautiful, picturesque, cheesy moments, then the emergence of any said basement memories, must be a pleasant, rather than horrific, occurrence. How sweet does that sound!.
Turns out, flashbacks come with pts(d) aka Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; they’re not an everyday thing for everyday peeps. Although an ever popular title at the moment, the first time I can remember this title being used to describe ‘Me’, was in the late 90s. But that was it. No further explanation, or plan, or treatment, or anything. Just a wave of the psychological hand as I was ushered out the door with the recommendation that I take anti-depression medication. I argued vehemently that I wasn’t ‘depressed’ per se, but having to figure this shit out was wearing Me the fuck out; is that the same thing as a ‘Depressive Episode’? I think Not.
I dodged the system there after. I threw myself into motherhood and studying and working. By 2006 I had nearly completed my studies and was moving into a new job.
By 2008 I was getting physically sick. I couldn’t hold food down; I was covered in an irritating rash; my hair was falling out; my head was always sore; my heart was always racing; my stomach was always turning. A raft of medical tests showed up nuddah. Instead the ‘professionals’ prescribed antidepressants; which I didn’t take. Again citing that I wasn’t ‘unhappy’, but I was losing weight faster than I could keep it on: and, oh by the way – “can y’all fuckers help Me or not?”
By 2010 I was medically discharged from my job and shit was declining rapidly. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t hold a conversation, couldn’t drive, couldn’t make sense of much. The ‘professionals’, once again, prescribed antidepressants; the kick ass, make yah dribble, kind. Along with a few other strains of pharmacology – just for good measure. This time, I didn’t argue. I took them.
By 2013 I couldn’t leave the house. I still couldn’t drive. I was fat. I was tired. I was drained. I was broke.
So we did what any normal human would do, and we moved to the beach.
From then till now I have had an ongoing battle with ACC, to get assistance. Any assistance. The last assessment was done in August of this year; 3 years after asking for the initial one; 8 years after the one I should have had in 2009; one year after making a long ass complaint with ACC and them apologising for ‘the delay’.
In May of this year, I knew the battle with them was wearing Me thin (not literally – I wish!). The infrequent interaction with them and the long delays in between were adding to the anxiety and making me feel ‘sicker’, which was actually impeding any progress I had made from 2013 to the present.
But: Theres always a But –
I persisted with them. Believing they were my only resource or course of action. I thought I needed more money; more counselling; more help – of which I was actually entitled too, but felt like I was begging for. I really just wanted my life back and I wanted them to assist; just a tinsy winsy little bit!
But gnawing away in my gutt, was a very clear voice:
“Girlfriend … They can’t give You what You need”.
I could feel the unbalance settling in as the father issue got thrown in there. But I persisted. With the father and with ACC. Because that’s what I do.
So on a particularly bleak ‘soldier on, even though I am nearly worn the fuck out’ day, I was trolling through my Twitter feed, and stumbled upon the Podcast of one very righteous drag queen who goes by the name of LaQuisha. Her Podcast was aptly named for my very situation: “Breaking Up With The NZ Mental Health System”.
Within the first 5 minutes, I had big girl tears in my eyes.
Sometimes … just sometimes … there is huge relief in knowing your not alone in something … that you’re not the first person to experience whats going on around you.
I felt relieved. She described her struggle; similar to what I was currently having with ‘the system’. She likened their neglect as similar to what she had experienced as a young person and within her family of origin. And I had a lightbulb moment.
I could see it falling into place. The father issues … the resounding silence … the blaming … the abuse.
I got it. Hallelu-Jah, I finally got it.
Or so I thought.
So Me and my newly enlightened self, wrote a quick post about it, so I wouldn’t forget and because that’s what I do. I saved the podcast for later perusal and thusly celebrated my Aha Moment.
That was 5 months ago.
And that’s right. I forgot everything I had just learned and I got further weighted down. Actually, I continued to let myself be weighted down. I analysed the fuck out of all sides of the issues, both ACC and father. I flipped it, responded to it, dropped the anti-anxiety meds, I talked it out, cried it out, blogged some more and then some more; I raged, I painted, I tried to remember the good things, I listened to soothing music, I tried more photography … oh, and I minimised and minimised the fuck out of everything. And yesterday, as I was on another rampant minimising mission, and was deleting shit off my computer, I came across – that’s right:
A little surprised it was sitting there, just looking at Me, I decided to re-listen to it. And Yes, that’s right; 5 minutes in, and I was in big girl tears. A-Gain. So I paused LaQuisha – made Me a very delicious coffee – and came back to gaze at the screen for a just a little while longer, before un-pausing and re-listening.
Yes, that shit dawned on Me long and hard for quite an embarrassing length of time.
I had the answers to my conundrum 5 months ago, and for whatever fucked up, deep-seated psychologically mind numbing reason – I freudian-ly, chose to ignore it. I knew 5 months ago what I should do. What I already knew in my gutt, instinctually, 5 months before that. That there was No help in the system for Me and that my father and his bullshit, needed to Get Gone.
So I am now on a break up with ACC. I figure I need them like I need a hole in the head. I’ve done the assessment and gotten sweet fuck all from them. Will I get anything else out of them? Not without applying a shit tonne of pressure. And I do not have the energy for that, and actually, I don’t want to waste anymore of my time and precious resources on hitting my head against the proverbial brick wall. In the new year I may apply for more EMDR if I feel I need it; but that will be done on My terms.
Am I breaking up with my father? Definitely. I’ve deleted him completely from my life – Again. I don’t need his bullshit. And I never needed anything he had to offer; which was next to nothing anyway.
I’m now talking with my Mama about getting my name changed back to my maternal family name. We’re going to take a trip up the River, where our tipuna came from, to find the burial sites of my Great Grandmother and Great Great Grandmother.
The thought of that stirs my spirit.
This is about finding where I belong. Who I belong too. Who loved Me long before I was born. That is where My healing is at and that is where my strength lies.
It’s not in what I’ve lost, or what I haven’t got, or what I can’t get. It’s in what ‘else’ I am, what else I can be and what else is waiting for Me.
of a hand;
*a night in the day of – a day in the night of*
I’ve had some really positive feedback on my art displayed in the recent exhibition. I mean really good feedback. Things like: ‘it had an impact’ ‘it opened peoples eyes’ ‘it left a lasting impression’. I couldn’t ask for more really.
What I guess I hadn’t braced myself for, was the vulnerability I felt, the negative comments and the deafening silence.
I’m slowly working through the vulnerability part.
Most of my artivist pieces have only ever involved my response to colonisation. As sore as that topic can be, I’ve discovered it is in no way shape or form, any where near the soreness involved with personal abuse.
The collective abuse of a culture and the genocide of those people, is a grief, almost shared. The anger is aimed at almost nothing and almost everything. Theres a helplessness in it that is relieved through art. Well for Me there is. My responses that are educational are also cathartic but purposeful. That being, that in the educational process, decolonisation can happen.
I was hoping that that would happen with the personal abuse issues.
I was hoping that in expressing my self, I’d find relief and educate on the topic of sexual assault. That in the education, there’d be a type of decolonisation process, but based in the myths, prejudices, stereotypes and ignorance of sexual assault.
And by in large, the feedback was hugely encouraging. And I am holding out hope that the impact it had on those that were moved by it, is lasting. That it creates change.
But here at home, the negative and silence resounds at the moment.
Maybe because of the topic? Maybe thats why it all seems so deafening?
The silence is not a new thing. I think it’s just considerably noticeable at the moment because of how I’m feeling. That sucks ass. Really, it does.
there will be a lot of ‘unfolding’ in the next few days, maybe weeks, knowing my long winded way of getting to things … there’ll be morbid poetry (er-hem, I mean, More, morbid poetry) ramblings and raging and/or morose music. i’ll be pausing the happy little daily photographs for awhile. They’re not doing it for Me.
i need to get Me sorted and this is the best way i know how. best and easiest, since there aint no cunt to help with this lot.
thanks to Bethany, i’ll be trying the mindfulness tip, but edited for Me’s use 😉
and thanks to the ever faithful Jim, i’ll be trying some serious gardening. Trying, being the key word here 😉
at this stage, i know theres the impending anniversary of my sisters death. and all i know is somewhere after that, i got lost. i’m enjoying blaming my father for that, but it aint entirely his fault. the fault is mine, as in i let him encroach on my space. but i’ma rolling with blaming his rotten ass at the moment.
somewhere after june, i lost touch with managing Me. thats the last time i can remember being aware i was going into a panic and being able to stop it before it happened. by august i was kacked out and fumbling with the grounding process.
i had had 2 ‘run ins’ with my father by then and was feeling like shit, which also annoyed Me no end. by september i’d cut that bastard off.
ACC and 2 large ass panic attacks, a huge bout of vertigo and a months worth of ‘sickness’, and i’m thinking, WTF is happening to Me?
Oh, and add to that the Tears. Fuckssake … I hate tears. i also hate thinking its hormonal, cause hormones are always to blame for a womans tears. these are angry hurt tears; fuck the hormones i say.
last night i got my exhibition pieces back. and with it came a host of compliments, of which i am humbled and grateful for.
also, there was this comment, said with an oozing nasty tone:
‘make you feel better did it?’
and that was enough to shatter what ever esteem and good vibes i had inside.
what pisses Me, is that that one comment was enough to floor Me. a year ago i would’ve brushed it aside. today … it’s echoing in my head.
it’s not the first time in my life i’ve been met with this sort of negativity, and by in large, i’ve culled most of those peeps. but i think in the culling process, i haven’t replaced them with ‘good for the soul’ peeps.
and i think in my new mish, this is what i need to do. not that i don’t love my blogging backup peeps … but i need peeps i can see now. peeps that can help encourage Me and keep Me grounded.
so thats enough rambling for now.
i’m off to cull 😉
where did i get lost?
was it in between breaths?
was it in between spaces?
was it in between, at all?
i could just make it,
make it so it seemed
even more than bearable really.
and then …
ahhh, i remember.
the first punch
was being forgotten.
it wasn’t my beloved sister leaving
it was being forgotten.
they forgot she was my sister.
they forgot, i was her sister.
and as i gulped for air,
the air of grief,
but i could breath,
because i had learned how;
the torment that comes with
seeped into my pores.
into my pores
and into my blood.
slowly, so slowly it poisoned
as my heart turned septic,
my body turned septic.
the second blow came
when the forgotten
was bent, and used as a
its a strange place to be,
bent over in the dirt,
head slightly tilted to see
those who step up.
and there i have stayed.
in the dirt,
the only thing to do now,
is to stand up.
“the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, which determines its character.”