Tag Archives: self-esteem

The elephant in my head moved over a bit, and then things got a little woo-woo around here.

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[Note:  this one is a little woo-woo, and pretty serious, and won’t make much sense if you haven’t been following along, or at least haven’t read my last post about talking with the elephant in my head who wouldn’t let me look at my issues.  and, as always, some of the best stuff is in the post-scripts… enjoy!]
 

So.

I’m still dealing with the fallout from the conversation with the elephant in my head.

She’s moved over a bit and I’m working on stuff.

(and I realized that I love the elephant for protecting me)

(and I also realized that she might be Ganesha, the elephant headed Hindu deity revered as the mover of obstacles and the God of beginnings…. Isn’t that awesome?)

It’s been a difficult time and I’m feeling very raw and vulnerable, but some good things are happening.

Really good things.

I’m working with an amazing woman, who somehow miraculously lives in this tiny village in Mexico at exactly the same time that I do and exactly when I need her the most.  She is a shaman, energy healer, therapist and a saint, probably.  You know how some people just exude love and peace and presence?  She is one of them.  And I get to work with her.

(thank you, universe) 

I think of her as my teacher, rather than my doctor or counselor or healer — as  I have finally realized that no one else (and, no magic pill, apparently…) is going to come along and heal me.  I can be guided and supported, but I am going to have to do the heavy lifting all by myself.

Sigh.

The teacher approaches everything from three (seemingly, but probably not) different perspectives — energetically (chakra-ish), from a shaman perspective and from a more traditional, Western, psychotherapy viewpoint.  It’s perfect for me, because I am more familiar with the Western view (having been the recipient of years of that kind of therapy/self-help), but am open to and have benefitted from energetic healing and am fascinated with the work of the shaman.

And I need help.  So, at this point, I’m open to all possibilities that allow me to live a life that doesn’t involve repeating the same negative behaviors ad nauseum and despising myself until I die.  Alone.  Under a bridge.  Unloved to the end.

(see how I think?)

Just a little drama to lighten the mood…. 🙂

Anyway.

So, it turns out that I have been on the right path!  The teacher is thrilled that I’ve been identifying and having conversations with parts of myself (kim, kimmy and Kimberly, the walls, the monsters, the elephants, oh my!) and writing about it here on the blog, which in turn thrills me, because I am nothing if not a girl who always wants to be the teacher’s pet…. (hello, people-pleasing ISSUES)

And she thinks that I may need to befriend a few more parts of myself.  Which immediately makes me nervous.

There are more?

(and then I start thinking about Sybil, and multiple personality disorder, which isn’t called that any longer, now it’s dissociative identity disorder, but really it’s the same thing and how many more parts can I identify before I start qualifying for a little “rest” at a clinic, which of course I can’t afford because I don’t have medical insurance and..)

And I’m resisting this idea because I’m pretty sure I know what led to my tragically low self-esteem, which, it seems, is the root of everything I’m dealing with now and, knowing that, I thought that all I needed now was to learn new ways to behave, not dredge up the old crap.  Not find new parts of myself to chat with.  Ya know?  Why go over it again?  I’m so tired of my story.  Seriously.

But the teacher explains that it is not enough to have a general idea of when and why things started falling apart — i.e., it’s not enough to say “my parents were alcoholics with huge boundary issues, on top of that, my mother was a  manic/depressive artistic genius and my dad was a charming, brilliant womanizer, and don’t even get me started on the sadistic step-mother, of course I’m fucked up!” — you have to go back and investigate what actually happened.

Fuck.  Why?

(and also, “how can I do that when I’ve got so few memories of my childhood?”)

She says that when there is trauma early in a child’s development, a part of the life force/soul/psyche becomes trapped or locked away.   And while the child/body continues to grow and function, a vital part is left behind and if the pattern is repeated (and it usually is, because for most of us, life can involve some trauma…), the body/soul/psyche  can become depleted, exhausted, unrooted from the source, literally split apart.

And that is where I am, folks.

I can feel the truth of it as soon as she says the words.

I am tired.  I have no passion, no energy, no life force to work with.  It’s depression, but not depression.  If that makes any sense.  When I first met with her I described that I feel unrooted.  Lost.  Like I’m watching this person, in this body that I don’t even recognize, living my life and I don’t understand her.  I don’t know her.  I’m completely disconnected from my body.  I don’t know what I’m doing here.  And not just what I’m doing here in Mexico,  I don’t know what I’m doing on this planet.  I don’t know my purpose.

It occurs to me that this might be far beyond simple low self-esteem issues.

And I’m scared.

So.  The teacher explains that the goal is to try to find out when parts of your soul/psyche/energy were affected by traumatic experiences and to try to retrieve that energy and return it to the whole.  Or release it back into the whole.  Something like that.  In shamanic terms, it’s called Soul Retrieval.

And it looks like I’m going to have to do it…

The teacher wants me to identify when, as a child, I was the most terrified.  This freaks me out because (a) as mentioned above, I have few memories of my childhood and (b) for as long as I can remember, I’ve been worried and scared, so it’s hard to pinpoint which thing has been the most terrifying, when my experience has been that pretty much everything is terrifying.

Also I have this sense of loyalty to my parents — I quickly tell the teacher that I’ve never been “traumatized” — I wasn’t beaten or locked in a closet and I always had food and shelter and clothing, I mean, who am I to even complain about anything, really?  So then we have to deal with THAT.  Shame.  No, I’m not like many of the kids that I spent my career in child welfare law trying to “save”.  Those kids were traumatized.  And what about the kids who don’t have food or clean water and die of AIDS?  That’s trauma.  And she helps me see that we all came here (to this earth, to this plane of existence) for different reasons and I shouldn’t trivialize my stuff, just because it doesn’t seem as bad as other stuff.  It’s mine, it’s painful, and I’m here to work on it.

So, we decide to talk to four-year-old-me.  The teacher helps me — she walks me through trying to find the four year old — What is she doing?  Where is she? What is she wearing? What does her hair look like?  What is she feeling?  Will she come back to you? — and here’s what happens:

Me:  (I find her — four year old Kimmy — under a table, in a blanket fort of sorts, holding a doll) — “Hi Kimmy, do you know who I am?”

Kimmy:  nods yes and scoots back so I can sit down

Me:  “I’m you, but I’m all grown up now.  How are you feeling?”

Kimmy:  “I’m worried.”

Me:  “You’re only four, Kimmy, what are you worried about?”

And then it all starts flooding out — Kimmy isn’t talking (umm, obviously, since she’s in my head…) but I’m somehow remembering what happened when I was four — my brother was born when I was barely four and I was excited but then it was scary and there was a fire at my dad’s office and there was fighting and locked doors and my mom was unhappy and she painted a bad picture with a knife and blood and she cleaned out our house when my dad was out of town and we moved away from everything – away from my dad, away from my grandparents, to a new town and she was sad and she was angry and I wanted to stay in my house and I wanted everything to stay the same but she said I had to come with her because I had to help her.  She needed me.  And the baby needed me.  But didn’t my Dad need me? And I didn’t understand.

Me:  (crying)  “Wow. That’s a lot, Kimmy.”

Kimmy:  “Who is going to take care of me?”

And there it is:  WHO IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF ME?

And then I really fall apart (in real life, lying in the middle of my teacher’s loft office, while she gently holds space for me) and I see that little girl was so scared and she was too young to even comprehend what was happening, much less to soothe herself and she had no one.  All the adults who were supposed to be taking care of her were caught up in their own drama and their own mental illness. And then I start getting mad:

WHO THE FUCK IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF ME!!!!  I’M FOUR YEARS OLD, PEOPLE.  I’M THE CHILD.  YOU ARE THE ADULTS.

And eventually something comes over me and I start to feel a little energy come back.  And I started to remember that that was then, and this is now and that it’s ironic that my biggest fear has always been “who is going to take care of me?” when the truth is that it’s always been me who has taken care of me:

Me:  “Me.  I am going to take care of you, Kimmy.”  And then I start showing her that we grew up, and we were ok, and we kept taking care of mom and then we had a baby (sweet Austin) and we took care of the baby and he grew up and we kept taking care of mom, and now she doesn’t need us anymore.

Kimmy:  “But I can’t go with you, I have to help mommy and that baby.”

Me:  crying again — she doesn’t know mom is gone.  Is there really some part of me that doesn’t know, hasn’t completely accepted that mom is gone?  And so I try to explain to her that we did help mom, and now she doesn’t need us anymore and that baby brother grew up and now he has his own baby to take care of and we even had a sister after that, and we took care of her for as long as we could and now she is all grown up and has her own little girl.  But Kimmy still doesn’t want to come.  She doesn’t want to leave mom and she isn’t sure about me.

Kimmy:  “How can you take care of me?  You don’t even want to take care of a dog.”

Me:  …… (thinking: well that was a low blow, Kimmy…. but you’re right – everyone in this dog crazy town is trying to get me to adopt a dog and I keep resisting because I don’t want the responsibility of another living being, I’m done with taking care of other people/beings for awhile, I’m tired, I don’t trust myself to meet their needs…. but YOU are ME — I want to take care of you, I need to take care of you and I need your energy.  Maybe if you come back to me, I will find that I have the capacity to take care of a pet, or not.  Either way, I can take care of you.)

Kimmy:  (climbing into my lap and wrapping her arms around my neck)  “Are you sure?”

Me:  “Yes.”

Kimmy:  (clinging tighter)  “I’m scared.  This is all I know.  Are you sure mommy will be ok?”

Me:  “Mommy is ok, Kimmy.  And we are going to be ok, too.  Will you come back with me?”

Kimmy:  “Yes.”

*****************

So.

That was huge.

I’m not quite convinced that the four-year-old is back with me.  But the teacher says to talk to her and comfort her and be patient while my body/psyche try to make space for her.  She says to rest when I need to, cry when I need to and to write all I can.  So that’s what I’m doing.

xoxo

kim

p.s.  I think the picture is the elephant with kimmy… isn’t that sweet?

p.s.s. I realize this is a bit woo-woo, and I’m not asking anyone else to believe in what I’m doing or take a position on shamanic Soul Retrieval or anything else, for that matter.  It’s just me, dealing with my stuff, the best way I know how.  And I’m sharing it with you, just in case it can help.

p.s.s.s.s.  We all have issues with our parents, don’t we?  I felt angry for the four year old, but the forty-eight year old knows that you do the best you can with what you have at the time — my parents were sick for most of the time I was growing up — and they did support me financially and they did love me and they did try and I know they wished they had been there for me (and my brother, and my sister) while growing up because they both told me that while they were alive.  I love them both dearly.  Maybe this should be a whole separate blog post, but it seems to be coming out here…. Anyway.  I don’t want to discount my parents, or my extended family who did, and still do, provide me with unconditional love and a place to call home.  I just need to sort it all out now and put the ground back under my own feet.  And part of that is looking realistically at the bad stuff that happened.

p.s.s.s.s.s.  And if you’re wondering how this post and the woo-woo work relates to the last post and the self-esteem stuff and the repeating patterns of trying to get my needs met by other people (read: usually men) join the club.  I mean, obviously it’s related, I just didn’t pull it all together here.  Stay tuned.  I will work it out… 🙂

p.s.s.s.s.s.s.  One of the very last things my sweet mommy said to me was “I think Mexico is going to save your life.”  I wonder if this is what she meant.

8 Comments

Filed under My Big Book of Me, Writing and Not-Writing

So. I’m back in Mexico. Seriously. (And now I can write a bestseller, probably…)

I don’t even know where to start this blog post.

So.

I’m back in Puerto Morelos…. (yay?)

If you’ve been following along, you know that I just left Puerto Morelos in late June and that I was planning to spend a few months in Colorado and then return here to start my NEW JOB (!!!) in the fall.

And you also know that I left my house in the care of someone because everyone knows that you can’t leave a house empty in Mexico.

And you might know, or have guessed, that the someone that I left in the house was a person who I had previously (and erroneously, it turns out) referred to as “a nice man”….

CONGRATULATIONS ON MAKING ANOTHER SPECTACULARLY BAD DECISION REGARDING A MAN, KIM.

Turns out this man is not a nice man.

(which I knew or should have known before the leaving-him-in-my-house decision)

He is, in fact a con man.  A drug addict.  A thief.  A pathological liar.  A sociopath.

(and those are the nice words for him)

(motherfucker is one of the bad words for him)

(also pendejo and cabron)

And in the four weeks that I was away from my house, he (a) hot-wired my car and was stopped while driving it and now it is impounded by the Federales and I will probably never see it again and (b) cleaned out the house — stole all the appliances, TVs, electronics, the AIR CONDITIONER, pretty much anything that could be relatively easily removed from the house and sold, including my hot pink yoga-fucking-mat.

(the yoga mat?  that is just mean.)

AND

(c) the dude rented my house to another family.

Yep.

Miraculously (in my opinion) the other family just happened to ask a friend of mine to help them move into my house.  And my friend was all “what the fuck?” and “let’s call Kim!” and “dude, where are all the appliances?”

And that is how I found out.

(and, oh my god, i couldn’t believe it, couldn’t wrap my head around it, kicked in the stomach feeling, intense shame and humiliation and what-have-i-done? and oh mommy, i’m so sorry, so so sorry and the motherfucker was STILL calling/texting and telling me everything was great and, in fact, he had been working on the house and preparing it for when my family was going to visit in a few days…)

And I fell apart for lots of reasons but mostly because I didn’t know what to do because I had less than $200 to my name, which is not enough to buy a plane ticket to Cancun and especially not enough to stay in Mexico and not enough to replace anything stolen.  And then I realized that once I deposited a check I would have a little bit more — enough for a plane ticket one way — but still not enough to stay/replace anything.

(And if I go to Mexico now how will I get everything taken care of in Colorado and I can’t afford to make two trips and I haven’t spent any time with Austin and his birthday is coming up and all my shit is still in storage and I need to sell some stuff to survive until the job starts and I need to go to the doctor and get prescriptions and I can’t live in the house with no refrigerator and FUCK and I have so much to do in Colorado, how can I go to Mexico now?)

Anyway.

So I bought a one-way ticket to Cancun.

And my amazing friend Mary picked me up and let me stay with her and she came with me to kick him out of the house when no one else wanted to get involved because the dude may or may not be a drug dealer (or worse), etc. etc.

(The point is that I couldn’t find anyone willing to just go talk to the police with me (as I do not speak spanish) so I had to get him out of the house without the help of the police.  I was terrified and Mary was all “fuck it, I’ll back you up, let’s roll” (she’s, ummm, in her 60’s) and so we did.)

So we just walked right in and I was totally going to keep my cool and not escalate the situation (just in case he was psycho) and then he smiled and said “Kim!  What a nice surprise.  What are you doing here?” and tried to hug me.  And that is when things, ummm, escalated on my part.

GET. OUT. OF. MY. HOUSE.

(SCREAMING at the top of my lungs and shaking like a leaf)

“What are you talking about?”

GET THE FUCK OUT!  WHERE ARE THE REFRIGERATORS?  WHERE IS THE AIR CONDITIONER?  GET THE FUCK OUT NOW!

“No no no, just calm down and I tell you what happen.  Someone broke in and robbed the house.”

LIAR!

“Listen to me, can I talk to you right now?”

NO. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.

“Can I call you later?  Can I come over later when you’re calm down?”

NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.

You get the picture…..

And then he left.

Of course there is more to the story. There always is. 

I’m leaving out the best parts that serve to illustrate WHAT A FUCKING IDIOT I AM to have trusted him in the first place (because they are super embarrassing and I’m ashamed and also because they will probably be the parts that make my book a fucking NYT best seller…)(but mostly because they are embarrassing and just go to show that I am in serious need of continuous therapy to deal with issues like:  Exactly how little do you value yourself if this kind of behavior is acceptable, Kim?”)(Although I could write a better book than 50 Shades of Grey with my eyes closed, so maybe I could turn my extreme shame into a bestseller and thereby finance my lifetime of therapy.)

I’ve filed a police report (thanks to the nice lady at the laundromat next door who speaks pretty good english and agreed to get involved and translate for me) and the nice detective (Sweet Jesus, there is a whole other chapter for the book — in a Hollywood story all of this bad shit would have happened to me to teach me a lesson and so that I could meet and fall in love with the handsome police officer assigned to my case — in real life, the officer/detective is kind of short (but cute…), barely speaks English, is probably married and thinks I am the most beautiful woman he’s ever met…. WHAT. THE. FUCK.???) tells me to be patient (aarrrgghh!) and that they have leads on where this guy is and that he will be arrested soon.

Anyway.

Lots of stuff to think about/write about.

I’m penniless in Puerto Morelos but I have amazing friends here (super special thanks to Mary and Linda for opening their homes to me and having my back!) and I am so lucky that people saw what was happening and got in touch with me.  I’ve learned a lot.  I’m not dead.  My house is standing.  All my mom’s beautiful artwork is intact and exactly where I left it.  It could have been much worse.

But still, it was pretty fucking bad.

I will feel better when the bad guy is behind bars.

(fun fact:  in Mexico you are GUILTY until proven innocent — they jail you first and ask questions later….yikes)

xoxoxo

kim

p.s.  it’s hotter than the sun here.  i’m not exaggerating.

p.p.s.  he took my yoga mat.  what kind of scary drug addict/dealer steals a pink yoga mat?

p.p.p.s.  i don’t blame people for not wanting to get involved/translate with the police, this is a small community and things can get weird when the police are involved and there were all sorts of rumors flying around about how big and bad and horrible the guy was and people were worried he would see them as “enemies” and come after them, i guess.

p.p.p.p.s.  the nice detective called me “voluptuous”  (he knows that word in english… suspicious, right?) so it’s good that i can’t really afford food right now.

3 Comments

Filed under My Big Book of Me, Oh Mexico..., Uncategorized

Imagine a combination rollercoaster + bumper cars ride. In the dark. Also, I hate cancer.

I’m tired.

And probably (huge surprise) depressed.

And sad.

And overwhelmed.

And relieved.

And pissed-off.

And probably some other stuff that I’m not ready to acknowledge and/or say out loud.

Anyway.

The past few weeks have been, ummmm, hard a fucking nightmare interrupted by a few moments of absolute joy.

Imagine an amusement park ride that is a combination of a scary/rickety wooden rollercoaster (up, up, up, (has this thing been inspected recently?) straight down! around to the right! around to the…no straight down again! and, what? now up?) and bumper cars (oh, tra la la, this is fun, OUCH where did that come from?  motherfucker…)

Now imagine that you are on this ride in total darkness.

It’s been like that.  Only worse.

And better.

It’s a mixed bag, really.  But mostly worse.

I can’t recount all of the details of the bizarre twists and turns and major life changes that have taken place recently (well, I could, but that would be a book, not a blog post) but here is where things stand right this very minute (I know from experience that this could change at any moment…)

1.  Mom is done fighting this ovarian/brain cancer with chemicals.  Two and a half years after her diagnosis, major surgery, c.diff. (horrible horrible illness),  three different types of chemotherapy,  brain surgery, gamma-knife radiation treatment and a clinical trial, Mom finally reached a point where the (mostly imaginary, it turns out) benefits of the “treatments” were greatly outweighed by the negative impact these treatments had on her quality of life. 

2.  We just wrapped our minds around the fact that ovarian cancer, in the form of abdominal tumors, would probably take my Mom’s life (VERY PREMATURELY, DAMMIT!) and then WHAM! the MRI shows us that Mom’s brain tumors are (a) increasing in number and (b) are “very angry….” and the angry ones are not accessible for treatment without destroying a lot of other brain stuff.  SO.  Now we are trying to wrap our minds around the fact that her death is probably more imminent than we had imagined and that it is more likely to be a result of the brain tumors than the ovarian/abdominal tumors.  (Note: It’s all ovarian cancer, even in the brain.)

3.  FUCK YOU, CANCER.

4.  My brother and his wife (who we adore) are EXPECTING A BABY!  (This is one of the “joy” things I mentioned above…)  Oh the happy, happy, happy!  And the sad.  But mostly the happy.  And the surprise?  WHAM!

5.  Sometimes even in the middle of depression and doom and gloom and resentment and awfulness I somehow find some “light” inside and become Ms. Positive “Carpe Diem” Woman.  I know this may come as a shock to you, it is to me also.  Anyhoo, it happened right after we got the ridiculously bad news re: the brain tumors followed by the awesome news re: the baby.  I decided that we had to celebrate being done with going to the hospital every week and feeling like slaves to the medicine and that Mom needed to not even think about packing up and moving right now — she needed to just fucking GO do the things that mean the most to her.  Go visit my sister and family in Tampa, go visit her Aunt in California, go stay at her beloved home in Puerto Morelos, Mexico and see all of her great friends there. 

So we decided she isn’t just visiting people, she is embarking on a World Domination Tour.

Mom:  “Well, “World Domination Tour” isn’t a very accurate description.”

Me:  “Who says it isn’t an accurate description?   You get to decide that.”

Mom:  “Good point!”

** also, sometimes she gets tongue-tied and says “World Demolition Tour” — which is also awesome.

And then we had a Bollywood themed World Domination Tour Kick-Off Party!

And it was amazing.  So much silly and fun and LOVE and dancing.  More joy.

[Yes, sideways pictures are the latest in blog technology….fucking WordPress…]

6.  So, Mom left for Tampa yesterday and is now enjoying the first leg of her World Domination/Demolition Tour!

7.  I’m still reeling from it all.  Even after all of the “OMG if I have to spend one more minute with my Mom I’m going to lose it!” I had a really hard time putting her on a plane and letting her go to be taken care of by someone other than me.  Heavy sigh. I’m so contradictory.   There was intense bawling in the airport and in the parking lot and back at home.  Now I’m sitting in our house wondering how I will ever get everything packed and moved by the end of the month.  Except that I know I will.

8.  And I saw my THERAPIST on Monday — for two whole hours.  It was probably the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.  And it was wonderful because my therapist is a woman I’ve worked with, on and off (mostly “off” in the last few years, obviously…), for over 10 years, so I didn’t have to recreate the entire crazy-wheel. 

9.  And she gave me information about a little retreat center in the mountains that is (a) totally isolated — no TV, no internet, (b) lovely and (c) super-inexpensive, and I called and I am going there TODAY.  I’m giving myself a silent retreat to mark the ending of one thing and the beginning of the next thing.  Yay me!

10.  Oh, after the god-awful news + the great baby news, we went to see my awesome son at college.  He is sad/happy and having a great time in college.  Here he is with his one and only sweet Bubba.  Joy.

[Don’t hate me because of my technical skills.  Just pick up your damn computer and turn it!]

Heading up the mountain now!  Big love to everyone and thanks for the comments.  You keep me sane and laughing.  Mostly laughing… 🙂

xoxo,

kim

3 Comments

Filed under Cancer sucks., My Big Book of Me, Uncategorized

I found Buddha on the farm. Or he found me. Anyway, we’re still here.

(view out the front door of Amache Studio on the farm)

(oh, and i probably shouldn’t have posted this, it’s not like i’ve resolved anything here…just revealed more of my horrible, selfish nature and yet another voice in my head… you’ve been warned.)

Here’s what I haven’t been doing since I last wrote, almost a week ago:

1.  Writing.

2.  Driving back to Denver.

3.  Practicing acceptance.

Here’s what I have been doing:

1.  Sitting down to write.

2.  Driving back and forth to town.  Just to make sure town is still there…

3.  Struggling.  Resisting.  Creating constant turmoil in my brain.

And then I started reading “How to Be Sick:  A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill And their Caregivers (emphasis added!) by Toni Bernhard, and things started to change.

I’ve flirted with Buddhism for decades.  Meaning (of course) that I’ve read a lot of books about Buddhism, without ever really trying to practice it in any meaningful way.  It appeals to me on so many levels, I just don’t know how committed I am to being that good

For one thing, I seriously doubt my ability to maintain the “loving kindness towards all beings” thing for any significant period of time.

That being said, this “How to be Sick” book is serving to remind me, ONCE AGAIN, that acceptance is much more pleasant than constant suffering + suffering over the fact that there is constant suffering + guilt about wasting time suffering.

Acceptance.

Who knew?

(that is a joke, y’all…. cuz a LOT of people knew, even me, then I forgot.)

Anyway.

So, I’m reading this book (and I’m still not done with it) and I start to notice that there is a new “voice” in the mix, you know, in my head.

Me:  “Hey, Mr. Smooth-Talker, who are you?”

Buddha-Me:  “I am your Buddha-nature.”

Me:  “I start reading one book about Buddhism and all of the sudden I have a Buddha-nature? That seems a little too convenient.”

Buddha-Me:  “I’ve always been here.”

Me:  “No, dude, I’VE always been here, you are NOT a regular.”

Buddha-Me:  “I’ve always been here.  Sometimes you notice me, sometimes you don’t.  You change.  I am constant.”

Me:  “Huh.  Now what.”

Buddha-Me:  “I don’t know.  You’ve been pretty busy struggling and resisting everything this week, it’s been hard to watch.”

Me:  “Sorry my head isn’t a more hospitable place to be right now.  Not only is the Mass of Dark Matter still just sitting out there teeming with issues, now I’m stuck on the farm with my Mom, who is totally depressed and sick and has now decided that we need to move here, like, for the duration, whatever that means.  Which brings up all sorts of crap for me — I know she just wants to be in her house (which she loves) surrounded by her stuff (which she loves) and around some friends (who she loves) but her doctors/clinical trial program are at least a four hour drive away from here (in good weather) and we have to go see the Dr. at least one time a week, which translates to a FUCK TON of driving for me (she doesn’t drive) and my life is there and my son is there (or at least closer to there than here…) and while I could grow to love this place, I’m not smitten right now — I’m really not in love with the constant wind, the dust, the bugs, the smell from the feedlots (when the wind blows a certain direction) the water (it’s very hard water that is treated with some chemicals specifically formulated to Make Kim’s Hair Limp and Unmanageable and Ugly) or the fact that there is no coffee shop with free Wi-Fi and a comfortable atmosphere for writing within 50 square miles.  Plus I have all this outsider fear/anxiety.  We moved a lot when I was growing up and, consequently,  I was always the outsider/new girl/weird chick from somewhere else and now she wants me to do it again.  Here.  Which I’ve already done once in my life and then had to move again.  I’m barely keeping myself out of a Great Depression right now, how is that going to work when I’m isolated on the farm with my depressed Mom?  That scares me.  A lot.  Anyway.  What can I do about it?  I have no choice.  I’m the designated caregiver.  (And don’t you know there are some issues about that….) It’s not like I can just quit.  “OH, now you’re really sick and it’s all downhill from here, I don’t think I want to do this whole “caregiving” thing any longer, work it out with your other kids, Mom…” And, of course, I’m not working (because I’m the caregiver) so my vote on where we should be really doesn’t carry much weight.  Which doesn’t feel good (AT ALL), but pretty much is just the way it is.”

Buddha-Me:  “You don’t have any control over a lot of things that are impacting your life.”

Me:  “No, I don’t have any control and that is the problem!”

Buddha-Me:  “Is that true?”

Me:  “What?  Yes it’s true – you just said it!”

Buddha-Me:  “No, I just acknowledged that you don’t have any control over some things that are impacting you.  I didn’t say it was “the problem”…”

Me:  “Oh.”

Buddha-Me:  “The things you can’t control are just things you can’t control.  They exist.  Your Mom is very sick and needs a caregiver.  You are the caregiver and you’re not willing to quit right now.  Being her caregiver means you have very little control over your time.  So what is the problem?”

Me:  “The problem is that I don’t like it.  Any of it.  I want it to be different.”

Buddha-Me:  “But it isn’t different.  It is what it is.  You know that.  None of the churning and angst and sad and fear going on in your brain is changing anything, it is just making you crazy.”

Me:  (heavy sigh)

Buddha-Me:  “What if you just accepted that this is how things are now and stopped the struggle?”

Me:  “It sounds nice, in theory.  I am just not sure I know how to stop the struggle.  It seems like it should be easy, but it feels like it isn’t so easy to do in real life.  Which is dumb, because the struggle is not good for me or for my Mom.”

Buddha-Me:  “Can you even imagine stopping the struggle?”

Me:  “Kind of.”

Buddha-Me:  “Well there you go.  Progress.”

(Stay tuned.  This discussion is difficult to have, and difficult to write (it’s been 2 days in the making already…) and it isn’t finished.  We’re driving back to Denver tomorrow (for real this time) and then busy with Dr. appointments Tuesday/Wednesday – I plan to write (ha…) from the hospital Wednesday, but no promises…)

xoxo

kim

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Filed under The Great Anti-Antidepressant Experiment of 2011, Uncategorized

I can’t write on account of the Mass of Dark Matter surrounding me. Here’s proof.

Here is the situation:

I CAN’T WRITE.

I CANNOT WRITE.

I AM NOT ABLE TO WRITE.

I’M UNABLE TO WRITE

NO CAN WRITE.

FUCK WRITING.

I don’t know what is wrong.

I don’t think it is “just” writer’s block.

(as if anyone would ever call that cavernous depth of hell “just” writer’s block, hello….)

It’s more.

There’s a large mass of dark matter surrounding me and I guess I’m going to have to fucking interact with it if I’m ever going to be able to write (or do anything else remotely meaningful with my life, ever)(dramatic? yes. overly dramatic?  fuck no.)

Me:  (long, heavy, dramatic sigh of deep, deep sorrow and exhaustion)  “Oh alright.  Hello darkness, my old friend….”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Cute.”

Me:  “I’m trying to hide my intense hatred for you by acting playful.  Playful interaction is supposed to be good for me, but it is hard to be playful and fucking annoyed as fuck at the same time, which I am.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “I know.”

Me:  “Is that what you want?”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “I don’t want or not-want anything.”

Me:  “Lovely.  Let me guess:  you’re Vulcan…  I knew there would be some repercussions from obsessively watching all things Star Trek related all my life.  Now my neuroses are alien.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “No.”

Me:  “What does that even mean?  You’re not Vulcan?  You’re not my neuroses?  Can you help me out here?  Why am I doing all the work?”

(Oh, perfect, now I’m having discussions with myself and asking one part of myself why the other part is having to do all the work in the conversation… is this at all normal?)

Mass of Dark Matter:  “You’re creating the work.  Why do you struggle so against me when you created me?  You know what I am.”

Me:  “No, Mr. Mass of Dark Matter with Vulcan tendencies, I don’t know what you are.  And while I want to scream I DIDN’T MAKE YOU and other things that make you feel stupid for saying that I made you, I am aware that you’re in my fucking head, so I GUESS I have some part in your creation.  But I refuse to take total responsibility (that’s what she said…..) AND I’m not at all clear on what you are.  While you’re clearly an ass, you don’t seem to be a Dreadifuss Beast.  Or any other kind of everyday monster.  You seem to have shades (or maybe echoes…) of the RRLM, but that doesn’t explain everything, plus he is everywhere, so that doesn’t help….. OH MY GOD.  You’re not Vulcan at all.  I just realized that you are soooooooo not Vulcan, you, my fucked-up friend, are the BORG.  Which, if you know anything about anything, is WAY FUCKING WORSE.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Interesting.  I can see where you might conclude that I am more analogous to the Borg than to Vulcans (all of whom are PRETEND, FYI).  This means that you have correctly sensed that I am made up of all sorts of parts/things/issues which were once unrelated, but have now been stored in a huge container, ME, and are now working together towards a common goal.”

Me:  (panicking cuz the Borg are scary as shit and they always win, practically)  “What is the common goal, total destruction of ME?  You’re telling me that my shit got together and formed a coalition to fucking destroy me?  You don’t hear about this little phenomenon in Psych 101, do you?  This is advanced fucking nightmare shit.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Settle down.  No one is trying to destroy you.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Our common goal is to hide inside this Mass of Dark Matter so you don’t go around trying to address every single one of us, especially in writing.  That would be a disaster and you would be hurt, or worse.  When we are all together like this we are MASSIVE and TOTALLY UNAPPROACHABLE… at least that is how we want to be perceived.

Me:  “Mission accomplished, fuckheads.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Exactly.  Believe me, you do NOT want to poke around in here on account of the gravity and the ever-present slippery slope.”

Me:  “Well.  Fuck.  What am I supposed to do?  Who/what is in there?  Just give me an example.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “What did I just say?  No.  Don’t even start.  It’s not safe.”

Me:  “Look.  You’re probably right, but just give me an example.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Nice try.  No.”

Me:  (bluffing) “I guess we will just have to go to real therapy then, and you will all be destroyed.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “You can’t afford to go to therapy, or you would totally be there.  Anway. I didn’t want to do this, but I suppose I have no choice but to show you just how uncomfortable it would be for you to continue to try to “playfully interact” with this stuff.  I don’t think you’re going to like it and I don’t think you are going to want to publish it, in any form, to the world.”

Me:  “It can’t be that bad.  I’ve shared a lot of scary stuff in my writing.  Show me what you’ve got.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Alright, but keep in mind that you asked for this.  Also, this isn’t even the thing with the biggest gravitational pull in here, so, if you think this is bad (and you will), imagine what the worst stuff is like…

Me:  “Just do it already.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Okay, well, part of what is in here is your fear that you can’t have a life of your own as long as your Mom is alive.  Which is horrible enough in itself, but then you have the corresponding, heretofore silent, fear that even if your Mom’s illness weren’t an issue, you wouldn’t be having a life anyway.  You’re worried that your time is up — you’ll never find work again, you’ll never fall in love again, you’ll never have the relationship with your son that you want, you’ll never participate in life.  You think you’ve had your chance and you squandered it and at the ripe old age of 46 it’s all over.  Done.  You think your destiny is to end up with nothing and no one.  You act like this is not what you think, but deep down inside, it totally is.  A year ago (when your contract ended) all you wanted was to be hired by a group of mean women practicing bullshit semi-law/social work.  That is how “big” you allowed yourself to think.  Now, because those women didn’t hire you (which would have been a fucking disaster) and you stayed in child welfare so long that you’re totally burned out on ever practicing law again, you think you’re unemployable.  And even if you were employable, you don’t think you can work with other people ever again because somehow you’ve lost every single social skill you had ever acquired over the last six months of not working.  Sounds far-fetched, but that is what you think.  You say you want to be a writer, but you don’t believe that it can happen.  You think you’re too old, you didn’t get the right education, you’re not motivated enough, you’re not interesting enough, your imagination sucks and the truth is too difficult to write.  Especially while your Mom is alive.  And you can’t really imagine doing anything else, which makes you worry that you’re just lazy/dumb/lazy.

Me:  (pregnant pause)

Mass of Dark Matter:  “I warned you.”

Me:  “That’s heavy.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Hence the “Dark Matter” part of my title.”

Me:  “I’m not sure how to playfully interact with all that.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “It’s too big and too heavy to interact with at all, much less “playfully”…

Me:  “I wish it wasn’t really my stuff.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “I know.”

Me:  “GAH!”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Exactly.”

THE END

and/or

STAY TUNED…. (?)

xoxo

kim

p.s.  this little conversation has been EXHAUSTING to write/read/think.  which usually means something useful will come out of it — just not right now.

p.s.s.  it seems like i write the same fucking blog post over and over, just using different things to describe my brain.  is that true?  or am i exploring different things?  i need to go read my own blog to figure this out….

 

 

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Filed under My Big Book of Me, The Great Anti-Antidepressant Experiment of 2011

Parade of Horribles + Rain, naturally.

My brain is currently host to a highly energetic Parade of Horribles.

Again.

As usual, there are 76 trombones.  All being played by the uber-talented What’s The Point monster.  He’s got a lot of mouths.  It’s not an attractive sight.

Close behind him are 110 coronets being played by his ugly cousins from Everything is Totally Out of Control-ville.

All the Dreadifuss Beasts have turned out in their finest frippery and fun-loving fury. They are in charge of creating and driving the ever-popular (and ever-changing) “Worst-Case Scenario”  (a/k/a “Vignettes of Inescapable Doom”) floats-made-entirely-of-not-flowers, of course.

Bringing up the rear is the award-winning drum corps, “Drums of Doom” marching in a perfectly depressing formation and playing some kind of funeral march in an entirely unnecessarily cheerful manner.  It’s nothing if not unseemly.

Except nothing is moving.  Because of the baton twirlers.

The baton twirlers are an interesting bunch. 

They look very professional with their sparkly outfits and white boots but they seem to be, ummmm, totally confused + paralyzed and the whole horrible parade is sort of bunched up behind them.

Turns out that just a few minutes into their routine they threw their batons up into the air (as planned), did a few cartwheels and flippy-skirt turns (in order to make catching the batons look practically death defying, of course) and then, horror of horrors, the batons didn’t come back down

True story. 

Every damn sparkly baton is up in the air. Floating just out of reach and apparently entirely uninterested in coming back down.

No one knows what to make of it, particularly the twirler girls.

And it’s raining.

(Which means that the balloon handler-monsters are panicking because the massive “You’re A Horrible Mother/Daughter/Person!” heart-shaped balloon is losing steam and threatening to crumple onto the whole entire parade…)

So pretty much the Parade of Horribles isn’t even parading, it’s just hanging out making a shitload of clangy-chaos-noise and concocting new Vignettes of Inescapable Doom while everyone waits for the batons to remember about the laws of gravity and come back down.

The only *good* news is that the “You’re A Horrible Mother/Daughter/Person!” balloon is so big that it can shelter most of the other horrible things from the rain.  So they can continue to be horrible instead of packing up and going back to wherever they came from.

Always look on the bright side, that’s my mantra.

Ha.

Anyway.

I guess my “theme” for today is that Nothing Is Moving because Everything Is Up In The Air and What’s the Point in Moving Anyway as long as everything is overshadowed by You’re A Horrible Mother/Daughter/Person.

Fuck.

This is depressing.

Even when the parade isn’t moving, I can hear it and it is pretty horrible.  I mean really horrible.  You’ve been warned:

what’s the point?  everything is up in the air, you can’t do anything because nothing matters and whatever you start you will have to stop because something completely out of your control will happen and then you have to drop everything, again, and you can not have anything – no relationship, no job, no parenting, no home, no control over your own time because everything is up in the air, plus you have no money because you suck and you can’t make any money because you can’t get a job because you have a job taking care of your mom and how can you make any time commitments to anything else when your mom needs you but you might as well because you are a sucky caregiver and she’s probably better off alone than with you and everyone knows (especially the RRLM) she doesn’t need you *that* much and you’re just lazy and if you’re not going to have a real job you should at least have everything else under control and not get all moody/distressed about having no control over your time/life because you don’t really have the right to complain, given your complete lack of worth + money.  oh and don’t forget that your son is all grown up now and you suck because you can’t write a check for him to go to college so by definition you’ve failed and he’s entirely too busy to even have a conversation with you, so you must not have made any kind of impact on his life beyond traumatizing him and putting your mom’s needs ahead of his and now you are on the brink of doing it again (but not really because he doesn’t need you Now just like he didn’t need you Then) and you probably will because you think you don’t have a choice because you don’t have any money and you can’t get any because everything is up in the air and out of control.  what’s the point?

I told you it was horrible.

And that is just an excerpt.

The worst part about it is that it is all just Me being awful to Me.

I could never be that awful to someone else, nor would I ever stand by and watch someone else be treated this awfully.

(Heavy sigh)

This has got to change.

And soon.

I’m working on it.

xoxo

kim

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Filed under The Great Anti-Antidepressant Experiment of 2011, Uncategorized

Sometimes I wish I were related to someone who knew something about art or design, so they could just design this fucking blog.

I know what you’re thinking…

Who doesn’t wish they were related to someone who knew something about art and/or design, Kim?  No one, that’s who.”

Or, if you know me, you might be thinking:

“Ummmm, aren’t you always talking shit about your artistic genius mom (with great hair) who, like, uses her fancy MacBook to design amazing stuff all the time (when she isn’t actually painting stuff/making collages/making jewelry/bedazzling everything) and therefore is very familiar with design software and using it to make cool shit?

And you would be right! 

I am always talking shit about how creative and fabulous she is and it’s true that she uses design software in her sleep to create pictures and posters and prints and calendars and pretty much anything you can imagine.

Huh.

You might also be thinking:

“And aren’t you always going on and on, ad nauseum, about how your brother is rich and famous and a brilliant entrepreneur, but more importantly a kick-ass graphic designer who has tons of experience with website design and a finely tuned sense of knowing what it is that other people are going to think is cool long before the other people have any clue?”

Yes, I do that too!  He’s also an internationally famous kick-ass DJ, dontcha know.

Anyway.

All that is true.

And that makes me wonder why my blog design isn’t (a) done and (b) extremely cool and culturally relevant.

Oh sure, my Mom has that whole “ovarian cancer” excuse (also affectionately known as the “C-card”) to explain why she hasn’t been slaving away on creating some fabulous art for my blog and/or teaching me how to do stuff on the design software. 

And I guess my brother is just too insanely busy being the boss at his design firm* and/or hob-nobbing with celebrities and/or having a life, to create a fabulous online presence for me.

I don’t really know, because I haven’t actually asked either of them to help, directly

And, unfortunately,  I may have said something like “DON’T BOSS MY ART!” when my Mom “offered a suggestion” (read: told me that I doing something WRONG, according to her) on my first theme.  This, in hindsight, maybe wasn’t exactly the right response.  What I should have said is “DON’T BOSS MY ART, please” and “maybe you can show me how to use your fancy-pants graphics stuff on your computer some day and then you can be all gloaty about how superior your MacBook is and I can be all “I’m my own artist, thankyouverymuch.”

Win-win, mamacita.

When I started this post, I really just intended to address the elephant in the room, i.e., my ever-changing theme so you wouldn’t think one or both of these things (a) “Am I going nuts?  This theme was totally different 15 minutes ago.” or (b)  “Is Kim going (more) nuts?  This theme was totally different 15 minutes ago.”

And then it turned into wanting to reassure you that neither of us is (completely) nuts AND, I guess, to shame my Mom and brother into helping me.  I mean, you would think that they would be kind of embarrassed about the bad graphic design going on here. 

I know I am and I’ve never even come close to being an award-winning graphic designer, Jonas.

And that is when I realized that I’m passive-aggressive.  Sometimes.  Especially with the people I love the most and/or when the topic is something I’m feeling particularly vulnerable about.

FUCK.

FUCK.

FUCK.

I hate when I have uncomfortable epiphanies while doing something totally benign, like just trying to get SOMETHING posted on my blog, for the love of Gawd.

Insightfulness is not as easy as it looks, people.

xoxo

kim

p.s.  YES!  That “Don’t Boss My Art” picture is something my artistic genius mother (with fabulous hair) just doodled in her journal one day, while recovering from brain surgery. Art just oozes out of her when she isn’t even trying.  When she is trying, it shoots out like water out of a high-pressure firehose, except with more bling and bedazzle.  Anyway, her name is Marguerite, and she owns that art so don’t use it without her permission, or else.

*Ok, Mom says Factory is not some two-bit “design firm”, and she’s offended with how I’ve referred to it.  She’s right, of course,  Factory Design Labs is like a huge bazillion dollar a year full-service advertising agency that represents little brands like, oh, I don’t know, “The North Face” and “Audi” and “Oakley”, to name a few.  What Mom doesn’t understand, since she isn’t a famous blogger, is that I was trying to make it seems like all my brother does all the time is graphic design/web design/whatever it takes to make it seem like it would be super-easy for him to just fucking design this blog in his spare time.  That’s all.  I am fully aware that Factory is a big-ass deal.

 

 

 

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