me me me
Five years old, and this is my first day of Boarding School. Some things I remember are:
I remember that dark falling into a bottomless pit feeling of going to sleep by myself alone at night, and waking up in the morning and I’m still alone. I remember that the first month (or more) of boarding school, when I was 5 and in first grade, I would wake up every morning with my eyes glued shut from so many tears the night before. I couldn’t even open them some mornings unless I first got the crust off.
I remember that I never fit in, and nobody every really accepted me. The other kids seemed to have a secret language that I wasn’t privy to. I never could get the soap out of my hair when I washed it because having water on my face panicked me. So my hair was always dull and looked greasy and dirty. I envied the other girls their shiny hair, and the way they all seemed to look good, their buttons all buttoned in the right holes – mine never were. I was so alone. And so one day I put Vaseline in my hair to make it shine. What a disaster. Irene Drown helped me get it out. I was the laughing stock. I retreated ever more deeply into my shell, into my cave of never fitting in, never looking OK, never saying the right thing.
The first year of boarding school was in a big old building, it was one of those old Spanish mansions. A big square building 2 floors and a basement – I can even remember the layout. The bathroom was huge (to me) and tiled, and seemed to echo.
The first week I was in school, someone told me to put the toilet lid down. I didn’t know what they were talking about, so I tried to take the porcelain top off the toilet tank, I thought I was supposed to put it on the floor or something, it was very heavy, and fell and broke. I remember being in a lot of trouble for that. In the medicine cabinet was a bottle of baby aspirin. I liked how it tasted, and one day I ate all of them. Nothing happened to me.
I never told anyone that I was the reason the baby aspirin disappeared. By then, I knew that you should never admit to anything. And after that I never did. If I would have been caught red handed with my “hand in the cookie jar”, I would have denied the whole thing. Never tell the truth. That’s what I learned early on. Never tell the truth, never admit a mistake, tell no one your secrets, and basically, just keep your mouth shut.
We walked to school every day, and along the way we were sometimes bombarded with dirt clods and spit as well as insults. It was a time when Americans were very unpopular.
The 2nd year of school, mother and daddy were the dorm parents. I was really looking forward to it. But I think those 2 years may have been some of the worst. They were so determined to be “fair” that they went out of their way to treat me just like the other kids. I never felt close to them after that. It was awful. Everyone had to say “yes sir.” and “no ma’am”. I didn’t get tucked in at night, didn’t get any of the physical affection I was used to at home.
By this time I was pretty much in my own little hell, very withdrawn, hiding behind my hair, twirling it, sucking on it, a dark cloud followed me everywhere. I never felt clean. I don’t know if it was a mental perception, or if I just wasn’t able to cope with the weekly group shower. My hair was always tangled, I chewed my fingernails to the quick every day. I remember it as being particularly painful and excruciatingly humiliating to be me.
One afternoon, I was down in the living room area and the lamp somehow got unplugged. When I plugged it back into the wall socket, I got a small electrical shock. I thought I had been electrocuted, so I lay down on the couch and waited to go to heaven because I knew that if you got electrocuted, you died. But I didn’t die. And I remember being very very disappointed.
Mother and Daddy got me a “Barbie” for my birthday when I was 7. I had it for 2 days, and then it disappeared. I later found out that the other girls buried it in the back yard. They were jealous. Mother and Daddy did get me a lot of presents, they left the goodbye gifts under my pillow when they left, and I loved that, to me it seemed like a link to them and the love I so desperately missed. But, in retrospect, it really seems cowardly to leave without actually saying goodbye. I’d wake up, they’d be gone, and in their place was a present. What a bittersweet feeling that was. Pleasure/pain.
I get that feeling sometimes even now… hmmm… A kind of heart clenching anxiety… mixed with oh, how nice…. I get that same feeling when thinking about having to do a dog training class. Interesting…
And at the same time, it caused problems in my already precarious relationships with the other girls. None of the other parents did stuff like that, and it really made the other girls jealous. Hence – the burying of the Barbie. And the funny thing is that I wasn’t that impressed with the Barbie, and I didn’t really miss it when it disappeared. Had they buried my beloved teddy bear – it would have been a different story altogether.
The only place I really felt comfortable was under the house with the dog. It was a fuzzy medium size mixed breed dog, I called her Bear, I’m not sure if that was really her name or not. She lived under the back steps, under the porch. I would crawl under there and sit in the dirt with her. Sometimes I heard the other kids talking about me. It was never anything good. Usually something about how I was stupid, or weird. I remember once she had puppies. I got a lot of comfort sitting in the dirt with the puppies sleeping on me. Often I cried when I held them. My face would be streaked with dirt and tears, and then I’d be in even more trouble for getting dirty.
When I was in first grade, I got chicken pox. I remember lying in the top bunk, praying that I would die. Begging Jesus to come and take me to heaven. It was agony. The other kids, and Aunt Edith (the dorm mother) all told me that if I scratched the blisters I would be hideously ugly and scarred for life. So I didn’t scratch them. Not once. It was one of the most difficult times in my life.
Gosh! All this is making me cry!
On Sundays we had to write letters to our parents, the big kids helped the little kids write them. I asked mother and daddy to come and get me and take me home. Aunt Edith tore up the letter and made me write a different one. One that said that I was happy and doing fine. I never asked to go home again.
Well. That’s all I can cope with right now.
I painted today.
It’s a paint or die type stream of consciousness painting as process painting…
Today the working title is
A fish out of water catches a lightning bolt in his mouth.
I came to the astounding conclusion that my life is just up to me and God-in-me. It’s a personal thing. We can work this ‘life on earth’ thing out just between the two of us. In our own way. In our own time. I don’t need help. I don’t need anything. I don’t need anybody. This is a me and creator spirit thing.
And at the same time…
Other people are valuable in my life.
Their support is great.
Their love is important.
Their acceptance is precious.
I painted today, and it was good.
Note: This was written back in 2004, and I cannot find the painting, so I substituted a different one. The one I used is from my short lived “Fire In The Belly” project. Looks like I’ll have to make another one, maybe even a series of “fish out of water” paintings!
So this is how I’ve been feeling lately. There are so many things I want to do RIGHT NOW that I am virtually paralyzed, and end up doing other completely different things. And this morning I thought that maybe it would be helpful… emphasis on MAYBE… to make a list. So here it is!
All the things I want to do right now:
- Re-scan my Middle of the Night Art with a higher resolution so that I can start to put all those cool pictures on nifty stuff at Red Bubble… so that I can buy some of it for myself.
- Get my little Middle of the Night Art website up and running so I can see all the pictures and pick the ones to put on Red Bubble.
- Hook up my other PC, and my scanner, and get it turned on and up and running so that I can do the above stuff.
- Oh… and go buy a new strip so that I can hook up that PC and all the stuff that goes to it.
- Update all the static web pages on the site so that there is a link to the Middle of the Night Art site that people can actually find and click on.
- Do a Medicine Wheel.
- Get all the Medicine Wheel information from a class I gave on Medicine Wheels uploaded to the Feathers and Bones site.
- Make a Medicine Wheel bag that I can take with me wherever I go.
- Create some Medicine Wheel art for my Magick Room.
- Go treasure hunting at some thrift stores and look for cool stuff for the Medicine Wheel bag or whatever else I might find that’s cool and interesting.
- Find all the paperwork for a class on shamanism that I took a long time ago.
- Post all that information on Feathers and Bones.
- Take a Shamanic Journey … or two … or three…
- Go for a walk in the woods and see what happens.
- Redo the preliminary exercises in the shamanism class.
- Repaint the bathroom.
- Replace or recover the bathroom floor.
- Fix the toilet that is wobbly and crooked.
- Make more art for the bathroom.
- Oh… and clean said bathroom really really well.
- Make a cool shelving unit out of legos for the bathroom so I will have a place to put stuff in there.
- Organize all my movies and take the ones I’ll never watch again in and trade them for store credit or other different better movies.
- Do the same thing with all my TV shows that I have on DVD.
- Do a seance with a bunch of fun like minded people, in a cool place with a great ambiance, and lots of love laughter and wine.
- Reupholster and fix the couch.
- Paint the living room a yummy orange.
- Rip out the carpet and fix the floor and put something beautiful on it… maybe paint it and get some cool rugs… or put in new flooring… or just get new carpet… but for crying out loud, get rid of what’s on the floor right now. It’s so ugly.
- Get all the posts that are currently on my Gypsy Magic blogger blog transferred to the various Magick and Mystery sites. Every single one! All of them!
- Finally finish moving the old old old static web pages that are still up but not connected to anything really. There is some stuff on Color Therapy, Transcendental Meditation, and some Quotes… all of which need to be moved somewhere that they can be seen.
- Go camping with just me and my dog and really get quiet and centered.
- Clean the bird cage… well… I don’t really WANT to do this, but it needs to be done.
- Get the grass mowed where I am going to put in the new fence and plan that all out.
- Somehow manage to get all that new fencing here, and get the fence put up so that Opie and I can have a bigger nicer yard and a gate that actually opens in winter.
- Well… I don’t really care if it opens at all in the winter… but a nice good wide gate so I can use the riding lawnmower to do the yard would be a huge bonus.
- Mow a bunch of pathways in through the overgrown dense whatever you want to call it that used to be a corn field, and then became a field of wild flowers when I had sheep to keep it mowed down, but which now is totally thick with underbrush and poison ivy and god knows what else.
- Make a magickal labyrinth like the one I used to have before I had lawnmower issues and then got depressed and then got busy and then got more depressed and then a bunch of shit happened and then suddenly it is totally gone and replaced by bushes and trees and … yes … poison ivy.
- Clean out the closet where the hot water heater is so that I can get someone to come out and put in a new one because not having hot water really sucks ass.
- Go through and totally clean out all the boxes that are piled in what used to be my bedroom but which is now the “cat room” since my dog hates the cats and the cats hate my dog and I don’t want anyone massacred in my house, so I sleep in the living room, and the “cat room” has become a repository for stuff I need to sort and throw away or keep and put away.
- Clean up my art room so I can actually go in there and do art.
- Make some more small paintings with fingernail polish… because that was fun and I have some ideas.
- Finish all my zen tangle pictures that I started and then left hanging.
- Work on my 100 things project.
- Paint that cute little bird house I found and then do a magick spell where I entice all my house demons and bad juju entities to climb in and go for a ride… and take them someplace else where they can live happily ever after NOT in my house.
- Make a place for Saskia outside where there is a chair, and a shade tree, a small table, flowers, wind chimes, a place for candles, and whatever else seems right so that I can feel that her spirit would be comfortable here if she wanted to visit, and so that if I wanted to, I could sit out there and remember how much I love her.
- Charge my brand new shock collar that I spent a bunch of money on.
- Do some serious training with my dog so that I can use that collar to teach him to come when called no matter what, and that it is NOT okay to try to kill the cats. And also it would be nice if he knew how to heel and stay.
- Get a bunch more posts up on the Encyclopedia of Herbology so that I can look herbs up and see what they are good for.
- Upload all the Reiki 2nd Degree information from my class paperwork to Twofeathers Reiki.
- Make a Reiki box.
- Get the Pagan Calendar totally updated… the whole thing… for the whole year.
- Make a cool orange fur bag with Sunny so that her dream can come true and… well… it sounds fun and cool.
- Read the books I ordered.
- Get the Prosperity Project up and running again, and actually do it ahead of time so that I’m not scrambling every day to get it posted.
- Build a bottle wall.
- Make a sweat lodge.
- Actually do a sweat… somewhere, even if it’s not here…. but go to one or something.
- Upload all of my “how to make a sweat lodge” information to Feathers and Bones so that I’ll know how to do it when I have the area mowed and a place for the fire that won’t be a hazard and burn the entire place up.
- Paint the Front Door.
- Build a porch or small deck so that my dog and I will have a place to sit outside and enjoy ourselves.
- Figure out what my password is to my email on my phone so that I can deal with my email on my smart phone instead of having to do it on my laptop which is a huge pain in the ass.
- Make an appointment for a massage for me and Sky.
- Actually comb my hair so that later today I can take a shower at Sydney’s house and get my hair washed without having to do it with a COLD shower which is no fun and actually quite miserable unless it’s a really hot day which it isn’t.
- Take Layla someplace fun and interesting.
- Go to the beach.
- Do the old book idea that I had the other day which requires either my scanner to be hooked up and running, or a good graphics program that will render a bunch of text.
- Back up all the files on my laptop. I haven’t done that in a while… and it’s time. Only thing is, it will take forever because there is so much! Sigh!
- Take Sydney to a bakery because she’s been wanting to go to a bonafide bakery for a really long time and I keep promising but I never quite get it done.
- Go out somewhere on a high hill, where it’s pretty and quiet, a gravel road in an area that no one actually lives in… and do the “Let It Go Bouncing Down The Road” spell that I have in my mind but haven’t actually written or posted.
- Get all the memes in my meme folder uploaded to Meme City.
- Post a bunch of stuff to More Cool Pictures and Way Cool Pictures so that I can sift through my collected images more easily since there will be a lot fewer of them.
- Clean out my “cats” folder by posting everything I have collected so far on It’s A CatAstrophe, because that folder is ridiculously full and I’m tired of looking at it.
- Make a really cool … super uber spectacularly cool gift for anyone who happens to actually read this entire list from start to finish.
Ok… so that about sums it up for right now this minute. I’m sure that after I post this I’ll think of even more things that I want to do.
So, years ago when I was running around doing a lot of dog training, managing a boarding kennel, working full time, and doing all kinds of cool stuff, I spent much of my time feeling hounded by Worry, Guilt, and Fear. It’s like they were stalking me… calling, texting, showing up at my house at odd hours of the night… I’d run into them at the grocery store, they’d show up at family dinners, and I just could not seem to get rid of them.
And then one day, I realized that they were actually helping me quite a lot. Worrying about my car would ensure that I got regular oil changes and maintenance, guilt over possibly not doing what I “should” be doing pushed me to take care of stuff that might otherwise have gone undone, and fear compelled me to pay attention to my worries and my responsibilities. The end result was that I was a highly productive person. A lot got done! And it got done right.
So I made friends with them. I invited them into my home, took them with me wherever I went. Sometimes, I’d even talk to them when I was driving. I’d say, “Hey guys, what’s up? You seem kind of quiet today.” Or, if it they had a lot to say, I might have to tell them to simmer down a bit and talk one at a time. And that’s how it was for quite a while. It brought me peace, and made my life way better.
But somewhere along the way, and I’m not quite sure when, I realized that something in me seemed to be broken. If I didn’t want to do something… nothing short of a dire emergency could compel me to do it. I wasn’t worried about the consequences, nor was I very often afraid. As a matter of fact, even when I knew I “should” feel worried, or guilty, or afraid… I just didn’t.
My old friends had just somehow faded away, like old friends sometimes do. They didn’t call or text, never showed up at family dinners, I didn’t see them at the store or at work. It seemed that they had lost interest in me, and after a while I forgot about them.
Years passed. Stuff happened: bad stuff, happy stuff, annoying stuff, horrible stuff, fun stuff, interesting stuff, tragic stuff… You know, life. And then yesterday, I had this sudden realization. Looks like I have some new friends and I’m not sure how much they are actually helping me. But definitely I have some new buddies hanging around.
Who are they? Well, there’s Rage, Regret, Disappointment, and Despair.
Thanks to Rage, I’m constantly fantasizing about stabbing people in the throat with a pencil or setting their hair on fire. Regret sits on my shoulder and pokes at me constantly… I can’t seem to get him to quit. Disappointment looms over me like a black shadow, and Despair is a black hole which I find myself constantly trying to scramble out of. If it wasn’t for Rage, I’m not sure I would even be functional at all.
So, now I’m not sure quite what to do. I definitely don’t have the energy or the enthusiasm necessary to try to send them packing. And I’m wondering, do I invite them in, fix them a sandwich, and make them comfortable? Obviously Rage is serving a purpose in my life, so he probably deserves a seat at the table. Not sure about the other three though. They are going to require some thought. I probably should have a talk with them, see what they have to say for themselves.
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