A haven for creative people living with mental illness. This is the place where you can tell it like it is, not yet another place where you have to pretend to be someone you've been told you should be.
I call this one "A Space Oddity Makes An Embryonic Journey."
You can call it "Cie Was Fucking Around In Photoshop And Really Has No Idea What The Fuck She's Doing," and that would be quite accurate.
It got to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" stage, and then I named it and added it to my Fart Gallery, which is my folder for my art practice. Because that is how I roll.
So, this is for David Bowie, because he was and is wonderful. He gave me the gift of being his wonderfully unusual and unique self, which taught me that being different is a good thing. It isn't an easy thing, but the best thing to be is yourself.
It hasn't been easy being different in a world that demands conformity.
I'd rather be in good company with good-hearted oddballs like David than in with a hard-hearted in crowd who will only break bread with those they deem acceptable in a very superficial way.
I'm real and raw, I'm irreverent, I have tattoos, and I tend to liberally sprinkle my conversation with profanity. Don't like, don't read and then complain. Should you do so, I will have to assume that you are the kind of person who is too stupid to avoid walking into a pit which has glaring neon signs and a barrier fence around it.
List 2 things you have to be happy about?
I'm happy that my son is part of my life. I wish that other members of the family would accept him as he is. He is high-functioning autistic and just talking to him you wouldn't know he's any different from people who are neurologically "normal." My mother insists that he isn't actually autistic because he doesn't have any extreme behaviors and his intelligence is higher than average. She thinks he should be able to just go out and get a job. He's never been able to hold a job because he becomes overwhelmed and then gets depressed. I get tired of arguing with her about it. I hope someday he finds a job he can do, because I think it will give him a sense of accomplishment. However, I don't think he's any less worthy because he hasn't yet.
I guess I'm happy that I have a job, even if the pay isn't great. I have a lot of health issues. My job allows me to make my own schedule and doesn't require punching a time clock or working a certain number of hours. However, the pay is extremely variable (I deliver food and pay depends on tips and number of orders run.) I say I guess I'm happy about it because a lot of the time I don't want to work at all. Call me lazy if you want. I refuse to call myself that anymore. That word has given me such a complex that I feel guilty about resting, ever.
Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?
I'm kind of a huge fucking dork, and I love plays on words. See if you can spot the "rock" in the image I shared. He isn't jewelry, but he is a gem. I gave him some jewelry in the form of a copper bracelet for protection from unwanted energies. I don't think he'd much care to be referred to as a pet.
Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?
I really don't like to be touched. I did hug my statuette before I put him back in the display case, where he watches over the ashes of two of my best friends: my beloved cats, Lafayette and Trinity.
Lafayette died on his sixth birthday, and I will never get over losing him. He was very special. He was a small cat but always a big kitten. He lived in the shelter from the time he was a month old until I adopted him when he was eight months old. He had quite a few health problems which all seemed to be minor. He was from a feral colony, and, I imagine, he was probably quite inbred, but that didn't matter to me. He died from kidney failure. I've always wondered if I'd gotten him to the vet sooner if I could have had him for longer.
Whenever I show my tattoos, I so often get the kind of person who feels the need to comment that they don't like tattoos. I don't care if you don't like tattoos. Don't like them, don't get them. There's no need to be snotty about someone else's choice, particularly when the tattoo has personal meaning for them.
I've never had the money to get a tattoo honoring Trinity, but here is a picture of her. She died at age 10 from brain and lung cancer.
What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
I have been having trouble being inspired to write at all, which is why I've resorted to puking out personal crap that nobody wants to hear about. Oh, hell, let's be honest, nobody wants to read my stupid stories either. I wish I could go back to wanting to write them anyway.
All the lights have died somehow, or were they ever there?
Night of the Long Grass by The Troggs Released 1967
The Cheese Grates It:
Dark Night of the Long Grass
The above has been one of my favorite songs since I first discovered it in my pre-teen years. I was somewhere between ten and twelve, I honestly don't remember exactly. As I will be 53 years old in approximately three weeks, I hope I can be forgiven for the fact that most of my childhood memories are fairly misty. I tend to remember emotions rather than exact events. The most prevalent emotion that has permeated my life is sorrow.
I seem to be constantly losing things. All of my life I have misplaced things. At this point I speak of losing people and beliefs. I will say right now that anyone reading this can check their "seek counseling and meds" trope at the door. I've tried both at various times in my life and neither works. So, let us allow ourselves to speak in terms of emotion rather than things strictly physical. I've found that approaching matters from a strictly physical viewpoint has never worked for me in any case.
One of the prompts I'm working with asks me to state one of my strongest beliefs and then disprove it. I'm not going to do that. That strategy is for those who delight in playing devil's advocate. I've never been that sort of person. In any case, believe it or not, I have no strong beliefs. I don't believe in much of anything anymore. The world has torn away all of my beliefs from me. Some will say this is a good thing. To them I will say "fuck you," as I am tired of hurting.
I don't follow any sort of religion. I don't need dogma or the promise of an eternal heaven, which, from what I can gather, is rather like an eternity on a constant winning streak in Vegas, to convince me to try and be a good person. I've never been to Vegas during my lifetime, and I can do without going there in the Afterlife. I also don't need the threat of an overbearing deity sending me to hell to convince me not to do awful things to others. I don't do awful things because it's wrong to cause harm, not because I fear the wrath of a celestial patriarch who will cause me to suffer for eternity.
The God that I learned of in my youth, when I was, by the way, a very devout Catholic who truly believed in Him, came to seem to me to be an abusive megalomaniac of a parent. For those with different perceptions, it is not my intent to attack your devotion or convince you to stop believing. This is my perception.
I initially lost my religion in my late teens and could never go back to it. It does not ring true for me anymore.
I discovered Wicca and New Age ideals when I was in my late teens. I lost my religion again in my late forties, having discovered time and again that much of the New Age thinking is rife with victim-blaming and My Way or the Highway thinking, just like the religion I left behind in my late teens. Although some of the mystical practices that I did as a solitary practitioner brought me a degree of solace, I was too hurt by those I had interacted with in an attempt to find camaraderie to continue them.
I am not an atheist, if for no other reason than the fact that the idea of the here and now being the be all and end all is simply too fucking depressing for me to abide it. I continue to at least believe in the possibility of spirits, angels, other dimensions, an afterlife, because it brings me a grain of solace to do so, and I'm not going to try and disprove it, simply because it can be neither proven nor disproven given modern scientific methods and tools. If you wish to read theories disproving the existence of these things, there are a plethora of atheist writings devoted to doing just that. No, I am not going to point you in the direction of such works. Google is your friend. I am merely a remote person ranting in the dungeon of my own sorrowful hell and finding no solace.
I lost a lot last year, including my occupational identity. I had been a nurse for close to two years and had been a caregiver for close to twenty-five. My own health was deteriorating, and I was fired because I fell into a deep sleep while working a night shift. I had seen the warning signs. I was dozing off more often during the night. I knew that my diabetes was getting worse, but I was trying to pull together the time and money to go to the doctor. I worked myself into the ground because people needed me.
The other nurse on the case was sick. I was sick too, but I had contracted the illness from the patient I worked with three days a week, so the case coordinator felt that I could keep working with him because I couldn't re-infect him.
I fell into an extremely deep sleep which I don't remember falling into. I woke up to see the patient's father sitting on the side of the bed, glowering at me. I collected my belongings, apologized profusely, and left. The family embellished the tale, stating that I was ordered to leave. I was not. In fact, the father told me I could finish the shift. I told him that I felt it would be better if I left, and that I would remove myself from the case.
When I was called into the office, my coordinator said that I had always done good work for the company and that he would give me a positive recommendation to any potential employers who called, but would have to tell them that I wasn't eligible for rehire. I was polite and brief, thanked him, and left without making a scene.
I worked with another patient through another company until that patient became severely ill and had to be hospitalized. The company didn't get me another case. I ended up delivering food via Uber Eats. I tried driving passengers through Lyft and Uber. Some dumb stoner kid backed into the rental car I was driving, and that was that. The company I'd rented the car through didn't credit me for the unused days. I was out a thousand dollars.
I tried going back into working in a long term care setting, and ended up nearly passing out. I tried working for yet another homecare agency, but found that I could no longer do the extremely physical portion of the work. I left nursing entirely.
For a time, I worked for a grocery delivery service. However, the service was poorly run. Often I would be sent out with a bag full of ten deliveries, and I would come to find out that I was making the delivery several hours after it had been placed. The company never called the customer to advise them that the delivery would be so late. Often there would be one manager on while the other managers acted as drivers. I ended up with severe nerve impingement in my left arm and a badly inflamed lateral epicondyle, which left me unable to sit up for long periods of time because the pain was so intense. At this point the pain is gone, but the numbness and tingling in my left hand remains. It may never resolve.
While I was working for this company, I would wake up screaming every day due to horrific cramps in my calves. My tendency to sleep paralysis also worsened exponentially during this time.
I parted ways with this company after a person who had meant a lot to me from the time of my very troubled youth died far too young from early onset dementia. The man wasn't young when he died--he was sixty-four years old--but he was too young for such an awful fate. Dementia seems to me to be the Universe taking a huge shit on a person, and this man didn't deserve that. He tried to be kind. He was flawed, but he tried to be good in spite of his own predisposition to addiction and depression, and the fact that he had a bit of a temper. He didn't deserve the way he went out. His mind was his defining feature, and he was robbed of it. He didn't consider himself physically attractive or particularly charming or especially talented, but he did seem to pride himself on his innovation and determination. That he couldn't have been allowed to find comfort in those things during his last days seems like nothing but a huge slap in the face, and I hate it.
I know that there are those who have lost everything and yet manage to maintain their beliefs and avoid bitterness. I suppose I'm not as good as such people. Honestly, I've never seen much good in me. I don't like myself very much, if one is to be entirely honest, and I doubt I ever will. Still, I used to have my imagination and my wonderful world where fantastic dreams could come true. At this point I seem to be losing even that, so you'll pardon the fuck out of me if I don't feel like disproving whatever fragile bits of belief may remain.
Perhaps this is more a confession than an actual rant. In some ways, once a Catholic always a Catholic. I haven't forgotten how to confess.
If I am ever diagnosed with dementia, I will commit suicide. Anything else, I will put up a fight and let it takes me when it takes me. Dementia does not get that much respect. Fuck dementia. It destroys everything that a person is. My aunt has dementia, and she no longer communicates with words. If one speaks to her, she giggles. She wanders and is forever searching for something that she cannot put a name to. At least she is not combative and she doesn't seem particularly distressed. However, she is not herself and hasn't been for a long time. I will not become that way.
Forgive me for at least hoping that there is something better on the other side for those who have suffered. Forgive me for at least believing in the possibility of magic and an afterlife even though I quite question the interpretation of the Higher Power in which many people believe. Forgive me for being neither here nor there, for being neither a believer nor a non-believer. Or don't. What I believe or don't believe really matters to no-one but me.
Per my resolution to minimize the amount of toxic, ignorant, psychic attacks negatively impacting my life, I kicked the radio station which had been my primary choice to the curb following an onslaught of weight loss surgery ads and the afternoon DJ making the inane remark that "exercising makes you feel thinner. This is especially true for women."
I now have the radio in the Forester permanently tuned to the publicly funded jazz station. I have satellite radio in the Fusion, which tends to be on one of the 70's or 80's stations or the Underground Garage. They don't blather on and on about bullshit calculated to offend and shame people with non-optimal appearances: bigger people, older people, women who aren't conventionally attractive.
It's a huge relief to be able to do my job and have some music to keep me from dying of boredom without some stupid advertisement or idiot remark from one of the DJ's raising my blood pressure multiple times during my shift. I've thought about writing a letter to the radio station, but I doubt it would do any good.
I hope one day we will have a world where a radio station playing such toxic advertising would be flooded by emails rebuking them.
People deserve to live their lives without being constantly reminded that they are seen as undesirable thanks to the constant brainwashing by mega-corporations hell-bent on taking their money.
Advertising is usually a form of attack rather than an informative medium.
It's time to stop kowtowing to the Frankenstein monster which was in no small part created by behaviorist John B. Watson. Watson was a bit of a shit in any case. He was unscrupulous in his experimentation on vulnerable subjects.
We need to learn to think for ourselves rather than allowing advertisers to mold our beliefs.
Content warnings for profanity and gloomy, pissed-off poetry
If you have a problem with either of those, don't read this and then bitch about it
Anyway, I didn't write it for you
The Vile Truth ***
It's time to write a poem all about me
To tell a truth which will set no-one free
I won't deny, it will be bleak
If sweetness you want, somewhere else you should seek
For I speak only the vile truth
I graduated high school back in 1983
Into a world which despises people like me
I was never spry or slick
Nobody wanted to be my sidekick
I was one of the forgotten people
Let's get the eating disorder aside first
For although it's bad, it isn't the worst
In a world which treats thinner people like they walk on water
My sin was being the chunky-thighed, chipmunk-faced daughter
A plump, unloved candle with two charred ends
Starve until you get thin then binge when you can no longer stand it
Same sorry story, I'm so done with this shit
To spy on celebrities and watch their weight with disdain
This society has a lot of reasons to be ashamed
A dose of fetish in a shallow, judgmental world
Why don't you sprinkle on a little more self-righteous hate
When I look at you, what I see isn't that great You tap-dance a sleazy staccato while you whistle a disdainful tune Sing "I'm prettier than my brother" as you sashay across the room Attractive on the outside, but filled with a soul-scathing darkness
Perhaps you should pay more attention to the shadows in the cellar Of your own soul, and not that of the other fellow Watch your back is something I learned long ago Men who tell me I'm pretty have a hand they won't show Predators have left me with a heart made of frozen filaments
I funnel my sorrowfulness into my writing though I don't believe That anything of worth in this life I will achieve She ran away from everything that hurt her, even herself I have nothing to brag on, not fame, wealth, or health My struggles inescapable: a mind without doors
If the deities think there are different things I should do I want to hear it from them, not you I don't know if I believe in magic any more But perhaps one day the fairies will settle the score I can't help but hope for the wrath of the dryads
On this shallow world Which destroys those Who are not deemed beautiful In a very narrow way Which judges people on looks rather than On the way they treat others
Yes, I'm angry.
No, I don't want your suggestions on how I can finally become thin, beautiful, and find Prince Charming.
I want a world where we don't judge people on their physique or their perceived beauty, and Prince Charming would be just one more pain in the ass whose needs I had to attend to.
I don't pull punches with my poetry.
I don't write about sweetness and light.
To me, poetry is hyperbolic.
It isn't a process of trying to make myself into one of the shiny happy people instead of an icky, dark, depressive thing.
It is simply me expressing thoughts that are not appropriate dinner conversation.
I am nearly 53 years old and I have a lot of health problems plus I live with a brain that has been trying to kill me for my entire life.
To break that down into a diagnosis that people who need an explanation for everything can understand, I have three major mental illnesses and I do not respond well to medication. I live with this shit. I accept this shit. But that doesn't mean I necessarily like it. Whatever potential I had was stolen from me by mental illness and more so by a society which has disdain for people like me, make no mistake.
As to my body, I discovered health at every size and size acceptance when I was 45. If I had discovered these critical concepts years ago, I might not have tried to starve myself into an arbitrary "acceptable" size. I might not have wasted hours a day at the gym instead of spending time with my son in his early years, all in the quest of achieving a "perfect" body so someone might "love" me. My overexercising (orthorexia) contributed to a lot of the musculoskeletal problems I now have. I couldn't exercise like that anymore even if I wanted to.
Further, these behaviors never made me thin. I do not have the kind of body that will be thin regardless of how much I starve or overexercise it. Unless I become terminally ill as my great-grandmother did (acute myelogenous leukemia took her from 300 pounds to 95 pounds in the space of a year and then she died--but, hey, she cut a svelte figure in her casket!) I will never be thin. Fuck it. If this is a problem for you, than you're the one with the problem. You shouldn't be judging people based on their body type.
I'm diabetic, so I have to be careful about what I eat. My go-to snack is seasoned Kale. My treat is five of those little "fun size" candy bars: two sugar-free and three regular. I drink unsweetened nut milk, which is 45 calories per cup. Do I think this makes me some kind of saint? Fuck no! It actually pisses me the hell off to have to mind what I eat to this degree, and, in fact, I find discussions of diet and exercise boring as fuck. Who the fuck cares what you eat or how much you exercise? I certainly don't, it's none of my damn business. I only mention it because my point is I eat a very restrictive diet and I'm still fat. A person's body type is much more complex than "calories in, calories out."
I have to inject insulin because I have a zombie pancreas. I also have to take thyroid medication, because I have a zombie thyroid. My PCOS is pretty well resolved thanks to menopause. However, my pituitary is whack in some sort of unspecified way. I have a crappy, third-rate endocrine system. My crappy, third-rate endocrine system insures that in a world where thinness is next to godliness, I will always be fat. I honestly don't care about that. It just pisses me off that so many people do care about it, and, further, that they think it is their right to care about it.
Here is your TL:DR takeaway:
Quit judging other people for their looks or based on what you think they "should" have accomplished in their lives. You probably don't know what battles they're fighting or how much impact your words have. If blaming and shaming worked, we would have no addicts, no fat people, and no-one would be mentally ill or struggling for even the most meager of "success." Try a measure of kindness instead.