Will I… (Trigger Warning)

 

I have been trying to hold back my level of suffering from the world. The various support groups for autism, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, PTSD… every single one this is a reoccuring theme. I know why. Not only is being in this level of pain dangerous but it makes you vulnerable and often this is when people abandon you, attack you, or they cannot comprehend what you are trying to tell them. I do not as a rule cry when I feel so much pain but I silently sit and try to find the cause to fix it or I just learn that this is my new life. I must always be prepared for the permanence of my agony. There are people who are lucky enough that this is not the case.  I cannot stop hiding this, even when I try sometimes. There is the element of fear. If everyone knows that I can barely breathe for pain, then even the predators know. (Oh hello predators. Yes I will tazer you even when I hurt.)

This song is from rent, it is called Will I… thus the title of the post. I could die from the on going issues I have at any time. My heart could fall to pieces, a literal broken heart. I could have a heart attack from my stress and high cholesterol. I am bleeding internally somewhere, I could run out of blood. I could kill myself. That is why I am writing this post. You see, that is the whisper in the depths of what might be my soul. If I die it is over. I do not live out of some doubt about an afterlife. I do wonder but that is not a consideration in any of my choices. I do not stay alive for other people or the cats. I love many people deeply, so deeply there is an ache of joy. I guess a mental pressure sore from all the goodness. I stay alive because I want to.

I am afraid of dying and missing people. I am afraid of lingering in pain without dignity. I am terrified of being tormented by doctors as Ihave been lately. The nightmare is not the diseases or the pain. In fact some of that is better. I officially no longer am diagnosed with epilepsy but still have a seizure disorder of some sort. The some sort is not defined by science. Yet NOT having epilepsy is a miraculous thing.  It is a wonder to me.

I spend a lot of time advocating, and passionately burning for the world. Now I am just burning. The pain is in every nerve, even though some of them should not be communicating with the brain. My blood pressure is up, my heart is racing, and this is omnipresent. I have had to fight around government shut downs for my needs, but I did this. Yet all I want is to have someone hold me. Something no one can do at all. Maybe ever again. I just want to be held in a soft space of beautiful harmonics without actual sensory input. This dark space has no reality. I often find this song in the undercurrent of my psyche because it holds most of those things. Yet I do not have to wonder. No, my life will never get better. I will always have some agonizing wrong. Yes people care. I have never known how much people care, I think I do then it seems to grow. Maybe I grow. Maybe not.

I am terrified. I feel the race of time, not just because bleeding internally is very bad but I need this resolved for my mental health before november. My PTSD is at a peak height and I am not sure what I will be enduring medically but I know I will survive it if I can. Will I be allowed dignity is the true question. I am afraid to die and leave people I love, this is new to me. I never cared before. I always lived for things like spite, revenge. My revenge has been to build my life up into something I was told I could never have. I look around this space I live in and every corner has a marker of love. Every doll I own someone else gifted me, the Gothmas tree that needs its decorations and makes Sylvani happy, the pile of scarves I know will be useful and necessary that are clean, the myriad of tiny touches. My life has been a life of grief and loss. Now that I have things I want to hold on to I am afraid I cannot survive this. It is not a lack of will to live, it is a lack of trust in my doctors. I have no faith in even the best of them. Why should I with the ineptitude I have fought against for so long?

So I am left to wonder. Yes, I am in pain. No I do not know if I can survive this. I will try.

One more thing: The man who wrote Rent? He died from a condition similar to EDS called Marfan. That runs in my family too but I lack the features that mark it. That is LUCKY for me. I sometimes wonder if the pain he felt and held too close contributed to his dying, if that is why Rent hits the notes I sometimes NEED. Just a little tidbit for people who may not have known.  I do not reach for the anthems of survival that are broad and direct, they ring hollow. “I will survive” does not match my spirit. Even when that is indeed the attitude that I display as I emulate the bronco and buck for my life.

 

I am jagged glass

shattered now

pick me up

fear the cuts

I do not intend

Yet I broke

can you lift me up?

Will you laeve

I am broken

Never repaired

yet I was beautiful

I am beautiful

Shattered glass

so many sharp edges

yet it is true

I am beautiful

Well Practiced Survival and the Art of Happiness (Potential PTSD Trigger Warning)

I hit a speed bump tonight. My brain splatted as I hit the mental pavement and I am sitting here stuck. The speed bump? Happiness. I am happy so it makes me sad. I keep thinking about why that is and I suspect it has something to do with the tenets of survival. I have well practiced fear, anger, sorrow but I have almost no experience with happiness. Happy was the fleeting moment that escaped so quickly and I held on to for years. I can name my happiest moments and its a very limited number. 1. Comic book convention last June, 2. Sprite and the first time I had a flashback and she was there, 3. Gothmas with M, 4. My first time being published.

That last one I had to struggle to pull through the mists of time and survival. I was thinking too about the domestic violence cycle and how cut off people are. I grew up without friends. Even now my friendships are limited. Some of that is the autism factor, I just struggle there but a lot of it is because I trust very few people. How can I trust you? You might be out to get me. I am working on this alone but I do not want to. I never wanted to do it all alone. I never wanted to have to figure out how to beat domestic violence by myself. It should not be about clawing my way up ever. Yet it has been.

I have been trying to find a therapist for five years. Since I escaped my exhusband. I thought I might not make it. Maybe I should settle for one of the quacks who try to lure me in with promises of touching me while praying but I do not think so. I don’t think my wanting to mock this person for being what I perceive as a predator on the vulnerable with their unproven techniques and faith healing is going to be a valuable moment in time. I still survived him alone. It was not even over then. It is just over. Does that make me now really a survivor?

Yes and No. I was a survivor all along but in a way not being afraid has opened up all of these memories and painful things. Its over so now I can process. I am thinking on things from when I was five, that I never considered before. My brain is just now allowing itself to sort through nearly thirty years of stuff. Not all of it is bad. Not all of it is abuse. Not all of it matters. Yet it is there burbling around. If I think of my friends instead of them I end up with my first day in Kindergarten at the age of four, walking in and being called weird before I said a word.

I think on the isolation that goes with abuse and I want to try new things to see if its actually my way or if it is a side effect. I grew up surviving and being too out cast and bullied for friends. Am I so alone now because I just never learned how or is it because I am afraid of my own friends? I don’t know. I do not feel fear when Ithink of each individual. I feel happy. Yet I worry.

I talked a lotof this out with a couple of my friends. I have had friends for seven years now, but it still amazes me when I can say that. One suggested a support group. I looked some time ago, I believe last year, but figured maybe I should. She went to bed and I began to google. I found many local support groups. Tons for folks with cancer, tons for things I do not understand such as video games, and yet for all of the domestic violence groups listed with the local news papers, online in google, and even with the various agencies that help you get out if you are not disabled the only groups are for the ABUSERS. Oh there was one for single parents. Not a one for women. There is one for soldiers with PTSD but I am not a soldier. There is one for everyone but me. I still wrote some down and may call but I already feel that is an intrusion. I do not fit by not having a child, by being a woman, by not being with my abuser now.

I am not at a point where I can just remedy this by going “Okay we meet here, come on ladies and lets survive more.” That is not what I can do right now. I did it before for another need. When I first was disabled I helped with creating a chronic disease support group. Then retreated from it because I was not ready. I will not make that mistake again. So I am left hanging between faith healers and the disabling abusers getting help and my own independence. It cannot just be a side effect of abuse or I would not have survived being alone but I am wondering why I am supposed to do this part by myself too.

I do not want to. I want the experience of people who do not get frightened by happiness. Or people who do but can tell me what the difference between estatic, joy and elation is. My brain cannot stop pressing on the happiness to see what is wrong with it. There is no room in my head for joy. I want to change that but I am lost out at sea without a compass or the north star. There are no maps. It is just silence and placid and gentle waves. I do not know how to be gentle. I do not know how to let go of the anger. I am still angry at my abusers but it is smaller every day. They are dead. I out lived them and can focus on doing more than just clawing through every day.

I am also very tired. I do not want to spend the rest of my life fighting alone to figure out if its okay to smile all the time. My face is sore. Its not the usual sore of the jaw dislocations Its my mouth. From smiling. I keep doing so for no reason. I keep laughing more and more. This is not just a side effect of the surviving either. This happiness started growing long before my exhusband died.  The sensations when I stop thinking or just feel are not the same. It is no longer a hard sandpaper or stabbing pain. It is not a pain at all. Nor is it really emptiness. It is soft and quiet there. The passions are still burning in me but they do not scream to be heard over my sorrow. It is simply quiet, and I have never had that either.

I never expected the thing that would make me cave in on asking for help with my PTSD and other struggles would be happiness. I suspected someday I might have a challenge bigger than I could face alone. This is not even true. It is just that I know I do not have to do it by myself and I do not want to.

I am a ship at sea, no port to call home. The current pulls me, so I go to roam. I am a ship at sea, the waves a song to me. Far from even the open road. The winds rise and my ship sails on, to new lands will I go? Tomorrow I may find land ahoy but tonight I am just adrift in the sea.

No Fear!

I have been struggling since my discovery that I am free of reasons to be afraid. Some of this is my consistent issue with the identification of emotions, which is not new and I found out is an actual diagnosable medical thing so I will be perusing. No idea if there are treatments or “trainings” to help identify feelings but it is good to know I am not alone on that. I found this out from an article about autism. The term is alexithymia. The discovery has helped me to cope with some of the not knowing. It removes it from “I am a sociopath aren’t I? Why don’t I ever know what I am feeling?” territory and puts it firmly in, “Well it is okay to not know” ville.

I am happy my exhusband can no longer harm me. It feels very good. I also have a spot of sad. Then comes these confusing emotions I have never felt before at all. It took me a little while to figure out why they were so confusing and then I realized, I have not ever had a chance to feel them. In my entire life I have not had one day, until now, where I did not have a reason to be afraid. I was born into a toxic wasteland of abuse and fear, and while I managed to not live that way as an adult most of the time I still had the fears of my family seeking me out for escaping. There was a very real fear until I was freed enough that they would harm me to force me to comply with their abuse and to make me go back to it. They tried, but I endured it and then came out the other side. There was also the fear that my father, the murdering sociopath, would decide one day to harm me. Being someone that he felt threatened him, especially in our adult encounters, was incredibly dangerous. I destroyed one of his marriages in a fit of rage at the age of 13 by telling the woman the truths I could make my mouth say of what he had done. When he did not deny it, she left him. I had never expected that because it was new to me, and he told me he would kill me. By the time he died I was married to the Ex. After surviving being caged and harmed, he continued to try and kill me. My brain has no idea what to do.

I am experimenting in ways to build on these good feelings or to even express them. The colors for good are still those dark jewel tones, blacks and the image is fire and air and water and earth all twisting up. Its a bit explosive, but it is not a bad explosion and I do not have the ability to paint it. Even writing this much I feel the torrent and my heart races, but it races differently from fear. I think it might be excitement. Its a good rush of adrenaline. I am doing things that get me closer and closer to restoring my life to where I had carved it into being before my Ex. Not entirely the same, it could never be as I am no longer that same person. I consider that a good thing however. I want some of the activities back, and I want to see in person some of the friends I feared he would harm. Little things at first, when I try to do more my health is hurting me some and then I am left to struggle with the energy drain of these strange emotions. I crept outside and sat there at night several times. Its not yet summer so mostly it is quiet though the sirens are getting more frequent and later at night. Still, I am outside. I am planning more than a month ahead for small things. Once my wheelchair is repaired I am going to the museum. Those things. Writing this blog is also one of them.

I am sitting here trying to formulate the words to explain things I have no way to, no experience for and the only words that fit are it is like a second childhood. I am reborn. I feel the urge to go running and playing. SO I am. Albeit slowly because my body is not nearly as energetic as a child’s. I have found that not having nightmares has actually disrupted my sleep because it is so new. Yet my sleep feels better. I am less exhausted even when I wake up startled by my dreams of sexy shirtless elvin firemen.

I feel like I can do anything, and I suspect some of the sad is in not having felt this before but despite those pockets of sad I feel… well I wish I could tell you. I feel as if I get not just a new chapter but an entirely new book. Book Two in the Series of Kateryna Fury, maybe three. My life is full of blank pages to fill with adventures and happy memories. So I will. I rebuilt myself to happiness and there is something like satin against bare skin about living without fear and knowing that I, with the help of very dear friends, made my life this good even with the fear. I have an awesome life. I have found too that this story which has haunted me for months and I have been working slowly on writing is no longer something I am afraid to write. It had no ending. It is a dark and somewhat frightening story but the ending exists now. I had not yet felt the things that I needed to in order to let the character feel them too. No fear.

It is strange to me that my brain reaches for things to be afraid of. It is seeking them out and trying to fill what feels abit like a void but none of those fears fit and my emotions kick that away before my logic does. I am working on trying to visualize happy things that might fit that spot. Is it a want? Is it a need? I have no way to know. Something about the unknown is frightening, but this unknown is a kaleidoscopic whirl of potential and I am going to start exploring.

The Phone

I know that it’s something other people with Autism happen to deal with. The Phone. I sit here staring at it every day. It takes me four hours to make a single phone call. Which of course comes after I plan out my calls sometimes four days in advance. The phone… it feels like an enemy despite the fact that my phone isn’t even a smart phone so it lacks the most basic sentience. Not certain if Smart phones are sentient but my carer’s Blackberry says it’s thinking all the time so I will suppose it’s a very stupid smart phone since it rarely gets past the first thought of the day.

I hate my phone. From the phone bill, which if I was willing to risk being out without a cellphone could be less, on to the talking. The talking is the worst part. Why is it people shout into the phone? I know I am quiet and hard to hear but most of the people I know literally yell into the phone. When I had roommates I started asking one of their guests to go to another room since every time she was on the phone she began to yell. The roommates got louder too but this was usually because our phone was a piece of crap landline, and even I had had to yell into it so I wrote that off.

The phone fills me with foreboding. If I could translate that feeling into a story the phone would be the killer in one of my gory little trips down violence lane. The phone did it. Not the man, woman or mutant sewer alligator. It was the act of saying “Hello?” The silence at the other end, a crackle that could be breath and then you are dead, in the dial tone of terror.

This is about how it feels to make a call. I know the phone won’t actually kill me but this supposedly innocuous device creates a whole new level of communications challenge. Even texting can be difficult for me if I am tired or if my hands won’t function. Coordination is never a guarantee. Texting is the best part of a phone however, as I know when it is my time to text.

Sometimes waiting to talk on the phone I pull up a clock, so I can watch the second hand. This helps me to feel less like it has been an eternity since the other spoke when it has been a single breath. I am always angry sounding on the phone, but this is because I am focused on hearing you, understanding you, and frankly, knowing when it’s my time to go.

I often hang up on people too early. I don’t get the phone right, which bothers me. I feel self conscious with the phone. I can’t see you. You always sound hostile to me when I can’t see you. Then the phone brings me bad news. Whenever my student loan people call it’s never what I expect. “We approved you for this deferment but the department of education says your doctor isn’t the right kind of doctor.” Yet, they can’t explain why my doctor is not qualified to sign the paper. They don’t even understand what they are saying so I hit the end button before I yell at them for being stupid. Why would you hire someone who cannot understand and explain what is wrong with the papers? I already took care of this but am I to be a mind reader? Am I to infer that they wanted an MD not an Osteopath? They don’t know the difference and I don’t either. Luckily my doctor’s office does and someone else there can and will sign the papers.

The phone. It’s stalking me now. The only useful thing about the phone for me is the alarm clock. I do have internet on my phone but that is merely a back up in case my coping mechanisms fail then I can wait patiently while I poke at the buttons and read something on wikipedia. It’s about staying calm. In that moment the phone is the worst computer ever.

I suspect the advent of the video phone will eventually occur and I wonder if that will be worse or not. What about those six am calls from idiotic office workers who don’t comprehend that I am sleeping? Will they be more awkward since I don’t wear clothing to bed? I think that’s the entire reason why videophones aren’t what we use anyway. The video phone would level the playing field by making certain EVERYONE feels as awkward as I do on the phone.

Soul Lobotomy

As being a goth requires thinking on Death, I seem to fit that quite well. Of course not all Goths are actually death obsessed but I myself have always been. You see, I do fear death. It is not my death I fear, I accept that this is an inevitability. It is the deaths of others. Sprite is not handling Nymph dying well, and her behavior has started to reach the critical point when she begins to self mutilate. I am left remembering my own deeds of self destruction, and yet most of those times others would think of were the acts of them not me. It is a strange tangle. So in my worry for her I spent the day on the phone with the vet, who worked with us via telephone for free.

Our options are find a cat…. or trying antidepressants. I am certain that you all know what my decision was and my vet strongly recommended the cat over the drugs. I have crystalized the thoughts enough as to why she cannot be the only cat, and M my friend helped that by flat out asking why it is okay for me to put her emotional needs above my own.

I don’t think I am of course, but with animals and love in general I am a thousand times bitten and a million times shy so I never recover from a loss. The trust and love of any living being is far too rare for me. Sprite also keeps me alive and happy and healthy. The trifecta of need is met with in her compact furry form. So much soft fur, so much amazement.

So what is it that has her in such a state each time she is the only cat?

Some Sprite facts.

She has never been the only cat, except with me. The formative years of her life were spent first in a hoarding situation with a cruel cat hoarder. Yes they think they love cats but when you cannot care for them and there are so many that they are starving and just a trapped Pride of ferality, you are being cruel and need them rehomed. She then moved there to a crowded foster home. A shelter, a multi cat household with five cats, including herself. Then, back to a shelter. Another multicat household. A shelter where to save her from being euthanised she entered yet another cat household with a slew of people and cats. Two cats per person and at least five people, though I think it was way more. I forgot as it’s been a long time. Six years in fact. Then she moved in with myself, my roommates, and their two cats. She struggled to deal with just two other cats. IT took her over a year to adapt to that, and at first she self mutilated over being lonely.

Then I got married. She needed stitches from her self harm fit, and we got William Shakespurr. Even typing his name makes my ribs hurt, so there are regrets but not between Sprite and myself. After rehoming him once she started self mutilation there was Nymph. Sprite hasn’t been so depressed in the entire time I have known her. She is in some moments a shell of who she was. My eyes and nose have the tingle feeling that I associate with crying when i think of her pain.

So do I drug her and spend exactly the amount I have after rent for food and other bills? Nope. I am going to find a cat. The cat won’t be big, I will not risk my health for this cat. I won’t get the poodle off of Craigslist I found. A dog I could pet! Wee. It would be fine until it barked, licked me, had to pee, wanted to go for a walk, needed grooming, a bath… and of course there’s DOG food. Ick. We have a few caterviews coming up. The first one I feel won’t happen as the people with the cat first asked for 1000 for a mixed breed cat of no special intellect. They admit she’s a very stupid cat. Then again she was more likely spoiled than stupid, as the humans adopted her instead of a child. They cannot afford pet rent anymore. Something I do not contend with here thankfully. So we moved on.

Yet it was in this that my fears came to verbalisation. You see, I wake up and my first thought is rarely, “God damn I have to pee.” That’s my third thought. My first thought is, and has been since my first night with her. “Oh god is Sprite still alive.” My second has become, “Oh God is my secret love’s name here still alive?”. It leaves me shaking. Then I breathe, realize yes, Sprite is here. Go pee, and check to see if said lover is still alive. This has gotten worse since Rose died and a lot worse after losing Nymph. I am prone to going to my bedroom if Sprite is sleeping and waking her up just in case. I had gotten past that need just a few years ago. I will try again. By past, I do mean I just didn’t do it every few hours every day. About once a month.

In fact my fear that my loved ones will die was an issue with my ex-husband, as I would sometimes have to wake him up if he was too still or quiet. I would wait hours, biting my nails, trying to not cry and when I could stand it no longer I would touch him. Breathing isn’t enough, I need actual movement preferably with snarls of “I am sleeping go away”.

Somehow this lead to a promise that lead to a discussion of Greek Mythology, the details would give away identities of people who must remain secret so, shh… In the discussion of the Greek Afterlife aka Tartarus, I mentioned I would rather be in the torture section also called Tartarus instead of the Elysian fields or the very boring sounding waiting dock where people who cannot pay the boatman’s fee end up. No, the Elysian fields sound horrible to me. They are after all intended as a Utopia but one person’s Utopia is another’s meloncholic vision of sadness.

Imagine waiting forever for your loved ones. This is what you do there. You wait. They must die to join you, you are not aware they are dead, and so you spend your days at home, doing small things like cooking or cleaning. You do not remember them fully you just know you are waiting. You do not even know you are dead and the urge to explore or go beyond the simple tasks is removed from you.

What if you don’t have a loved one? What if your loved one goes to Tartarus instead? What if they become immortal? Do you wait forever? What if they are one of the chosen few who is allowed something else at the discretion of the god Hades? You are left to remember nothing forever. How is that utopian? It sounds more like a lobotomy of the soul to me.

As it is, I have found no conception of the afterlife suits what I would see as heavenly. Golden streets sound hideous and wasteful, and a heaven as the Christian Heaven was taught to me with no pets, gender segregation amidst other kinds (not wholly a universal tradition) but where there is need to fear attacks from hell, where again thought is not prized… this seems wrong to me too.

I cannot think of any widely known traditions that don’t make me sad, lonely, or a bit angry. Probability factors? All three. Some of my sorrow is my depression and aching heart over the lost friends. A lot of it is the sensation of insult that even in death I am relegated to doing what others would deem right for me and not what would make me happy in these supposed places.

I guess heaven would require me to be fulfilled by myself. Even that possibility is a requirement. I would demand full disclosure, instead of fading to a shade of my former self as the Greeks put it. So as I think of Rose and Nymph and what their heaven’s should entail i want to be remembered, I want them to know they are dead if THAT will make them happy, and if they want to wait for me great. If not? That’s fine too. I dislike the image of my friends being leashed until I die. In a way it’s a sort of a chain unless people become hermits.

Your mother loves her husband. He loves her. Your parents love you. They love your siblings. You and your siblings marry and have children. You die, you and your parents and siblings are now all dead and waiting. Your children and grand children are alive. They reproduce, or even just fall in love or make friends with people on the deep level. Now you are all waiting.

The waiting never ends.

Anyone up for a Soul Lobotomy?

A Year After Survival (Trigger Warning)

It was a year ago that I was sitting in that place, full of filth and disease. It was a year ago that Anthrax threatened my flesh and my mind was as damaged. It has been a year since in desperation I misdialed the number that lead me to finding my current apartment where I met my case manager who shares my name, where I escaped not just the first but the second bad carer, and where I began to heal. It has been a year.

It has been a year of utter devastation in some other ways. It has been a year of great loss. Death has haunted me my entire life from being forced to help my father kill on to the loss of every pet Grandma ever took in to shelter for us or my mother helped rehome, the death of my best friend, the death of Nymph, and the deaths that I felt uncomfortable mentioning. That would be the deaths of allies in advocacy, some of my heroes, but death has been here. In some moments I feel death is mocking me for living by taking everything that is important to me. I think that’s grief. I know it isn’t the actual facts as death is merely a part of life but my feelings do make it ache.

It has been a year of distance. I have started to step away from people that would perpetuate the year of Torture, people that do not understand this is not normal or healthy. Or family that does not respect that I damned well have a right to live in peace without being treated like a monstrosity for not doing things their way.

It has been a year of tears. I have cried more in the last year than I have in most of my life, yet this is a wonderful thing. Though it means I am wounded and grieving, when have I not been? I cannot remember any moments without pain until the last few years of my life and this year has held a majority of good.

It has been a year where I have admitted I am in love with someone. I have been for a very long time, albiet against my will. I love myself. I love Sprite. I love Rose. Still. Death doesn’t cancel out love. I adored and loved my little Nymph friend. I love M my friend. I love. I love. I love.

It has been a year of hope. I started to dream again, not the literal way but the hopes and dreams of a life beyond struggling to make ends meet, a life beyond this desolate place where I have never been able to leave. I hate New Mexico, and I always have. it has been a year of great achievements. Partly because I am still here and kicking.

My 26th Birthday is approaching and I am going to have people over to celebrate. I feel strong enough. I feel safe enough. I still want to flee this place. Yes it has been a very hard year. What year isn’t going to be hard? I have a laundry list of illnesses and disabilities, I have a mind that just won’t shut up, and I honestly cannot imagine life without a challenge. I truly think it would be boring.

This year I have learned some things about myself…

1. I have a very interesting life. More so than many people have. My life could be a great work of fiction, it would make a great movie series because each year holds enough action to make Harry Potter wish he had my level of danger, daring, and doing. I would still not wish this life on anyone but I also wouldn’t change it. My life has never been boring. I cannot say I haven’t been bored, but it’s been a very long time and that’s why I stopped enjoying school that first year.

2. Love. I has it. (Imagine a lolcat saying that if you would please.) I have always been capable of great love, like all my emotions when I love someone animal or human it is with all of me. There is only a set of extremes inside of me, so my love is extreme and comes with a side package of loyalty and trust. You can of course get rid of parts of this but I will always love you once I did before. I love my father. The evil bastard. I am still glad he is dead. I love my mother. The pathetic damsel in self imposed constant distress. I am still not going to invite her in, as that’s the rule with vampires of all varities. I don’t love my grandmother. I never have. She has always been a caricature of torment to me, even when torment was normal and acceptable in my world of Hitler fanatic parents and abuse. She’s always been worse than my father. I will sadly always love my exhusband. The thing is, I will love who he appeared t be not who he is. I will love the love of my life who knows who they are. There are no caveats there. I will love them and there is nothing anyone can do to stop that, even myself. I did try… I will love Sprite forever. I find the idea that she is my furry wife or soulmate, the wife thing starting as a joke about the supposed women’s duties which she does. She feeds me, clothes me, holds me and satisfies most of my needs but not the carnal ones is accurate. I glanced at her just now sitting in my new wingback chair and she looks so sad right now, and we both are because… I will always love Nymph. Even though she is gone and even though I had to let her die, I will always love her. I will probably always love the next companion Sprite gets. That happens sometime this month.

Yes, a year of love. I will always love myself. I didn’t used to. Even through the years of survival and struggle, even being “better” than the text books tell you someone with my level of PTSD, disabling, even with Autism, even with taught body hatred (fat, not blond, not able enough, just not good enough for anyone (Thanks Mom!)). Yes, Even then I never quite got the hang of looking at myself and seeing a person of value. I came close, a few years ago I started to get there most days. For the majority of this year I have loved myself. When puking from pain and or illness? Check. When unable to shower for two weeks because it hurt too much so I ended up wanting to claw my skin off to make myself clean? Check, that’s why I didn’t let myself lose my flesh to my fingers. Even when I felt it was my fault irrationally and that somehow I deserved being penned in a room and starved and raped? Yep. I still felt beautiful and at peace. That one really threw me for a loop. I haven’t felt that the abuse is my fault for most of the time since this started. The nifty side effect is, I don’t see ugly people anymore. The majority of people outside my door or online or people who aren’t movie stars are all stunning to me. Movie stars hate themselves usually, they abuse themselves and that does uglify them to me. Self hate isn’t pretty.

I love.

This has been a year of food. On my birthday I am going to make (with my carer) a food I haven’t let myself have for three years. The last time I ate it was when my ex was a fiancee. Penne Rosa. This decadent dish is my favorite. It pwns lasagne. I didn’t even notice I had deprived myself of it. I did so out of anger with myself, so I must forgive and eat the deliciousness. It’s expensive to make and very rich food. It’s something I learned about when I was a chef. Yet despite depriving myself of Penne Rosa without acknowledging it subconsciously I have eaten very well this year. This last year has the advent of Meat Cake into my life, the flavor is very rich, it’s not salty but it isn’t plain. It’s meat cakey. It is the most delicious savory food I have had in a while. I consider pasta’s sweet. I have reclaimed the Quesadilla. Despite living on them for a year, two months ago I found they no longer make me want to puke. So snake food is a go. I have had the advent of the Dilly Bar into my life. Butterscotch or cherry please? Some of the changes are based on the local area discovering Gluten Free, so I now can have bread or pizza at my whim (and ten dollars total ingredient cost, not twenty for cardboard). I also started only eating food that tastes good. THis happened in January.

This has been a year of the evolution of appearance. I stopped hiding under horrible black hair. Black hair is great on other people, and I can pull of the sickly goth look with it but despite being Goth, looking like I am dying isn’t something that feels right. I like being on fire, not literally since we’ve been there before, but with my red hair, my fierceness showing in my eyes and rich red lipstick. I figured out that anything I wear is goth. I am a goth. I am wearing it. Still not a fan of blue though. My war against only wearing black was lost. I feel comfortable there, I feel sexy. I still do wear other colors, mostly reds and greens. Still. Despite trying to listen to what other people said my fashion identity won out. Some of the evolution is the loss of ballgown length skirts. Wheelchairs don’t like them. They like to eat them. So I must streamline my tastes. Alas. Alack. It’s a bit fun actually. I also started wearing black eyeshadow more often. I am still waiting on that corset, it apparently was lost in the mail and the company I am working with is not getting repeat business. That’s been going on for over a year now. When I get it, I still want to take those sexy photos. Unshaven lets are sexy.

This has been a year of creative goals. I haven’t been alive enough in recent years to write music, act, create, share. In the last year I have written several audio dramas, some are still in need of work. One is being produced and I have a voice acting role in it. I’ll share when that comes out and it will be free. I am composing a soundtrack for something that should air on most radio stations nationally, potentially internationally. I am writing a book on PTSD. I have had requests for a book on Autism, as I explain both in a way the Nuerotypicals understand, without them thinking (at least supposedly and this is my goal) that everyone with this label is the same. I am writing period. I am considering writing three books at once but for that my head may explode.

This has been a year of discovery. I am discovering it’s okay to not like TV. Sure, I had roommates with TV addictions and that contributed, but TV doesn’t work well with the way my brain works and that’s JUST FINE. I don’t have to be a big TV watcher. I also no longer want to write for TV, because TV and I just aren’t a match. Frankly, that’s a stress relief to admit. There is a reason that after becoming a TV/Movie critic I broke down for a while and had to quit. TV is TORTURE. I get physical pain, and I can’t see for crap so why bother? Audio dramas are more suited to me though some still fall prey to those isms that annoy me, anger me or otherwise fill me with epic disappointment… more often I find that the writers are more independent in their creation, and therefore they get a more “open” piece. The editing work I have faced with mine has been mostly grammatical errors. If there is something that I am told to change because being a wheelchair user who can kick isn’t real, I also learned I can say “I am a wheelchair user and I can kick like a donkey. I just fall over afterwards” and explain the whys, the editor accepts this and lets me know. It’s an open dialogue. Much better than the editors I had when I wrote as a kid. Then again I am an adult now, so there is a lot more respect for me instead of incredulity at my age etc etc etc.

I discovered a wheelchair that fits your needs means if you can walk a bit, you do. I am more physically active with my wheelchair than I was without it. It’s exhilarating. I am also mentally freed of unnecessary pain. I am not sure unnecessary is the right word, perhaps it is treatable pain that isn’t treated? That felt too long and needed qualifications. I have discovered that living alone is best, so even though I am in love and would marry said loved one if it was merely a matter of mind and heart that marraige won’t work unless we get a house with two kitchens and two bedrooms (well… three, Sprite needs one too). I have discovered that people get my jokes, even the bad ones. If I list all my discoveries my word count will be in the millions.

I have discovered that I like my dreams being nightmares for others. Today I dreamed I lived in a sitcom world, in fact I moved in with the family from “Family Matters” though some of them were from “The Fresh Prince of Belaire”… it was great but I was scared. I was scared that they would figure out I wasn’t belonging. I was scared that being not a TV type would get me ousted. I am not sure why my mind selected those shows, perhaps because Will Smith was a childhood crush? Perhaps because Urkle’s awkwardness made it safer? I was still scared and in my dream even wondered if my consideration of what a nightmare is, is different than others. A nightmare means you are terrified. I am not afraid of hoardes of demons but I am afraid of Uncle Phil telling me I am just not good enough. Also stairs but then, I can’t get up them.

I have discovered I dislike most comedy films, as their humor relies on othering people and as an outsider it hurts instead of humors. This of course is well known to many. I have discovered Twilight worries me for the safety of Stephanie Meyer. I suspect she is in an abusive relationship or will be, as her inner soul shows a romanticism of very dangerous things. I have discovered that when Sprite is sad she cries loudly, and I cannot. I don’t “boo hoo”. Just as when I fight physically I am quiet. It’s not ninja as some have accused me of but it is the knowledge that being loud means you get hurt more. I am trying to cry with sound now.

I have discovered that mathmatically based on the sale ads my friends in California have sent me food may be cheaper there than here. Also, the foods I can eat are more plentiful. I secretly dream of fresh strawberries that won’t rot before the week is out. I have also discovered that housing is so expensive there it is beyond my ability to actually comprehend it. There is a literal disconnect in my mind.

In this last year, I have embraced my dreams. I have begun to not fight them, but to let them flow. I learned at a young age to control my dreams, and I wish I had not despite it being fascinating to be aware I am dreaming. I wish I had known I sleep better if I let myself dream about stabbing someone to death. The person is always evil, and I am always saving the defenseless. It is not murder but romanticised heroism. It still scares me, and I wonder what others dream about that they feel is wrong. I have had more sex dreams too. I no longer interrupt those but ride the passions out to see where they go. Usually? Orgasms. It has been a year of sleep. I still face insomnia but I am less tired, less angry, less cranky, and more able to face the world when I sleep and dream.

It has been a year of thought. I have not stopped thinking in my dreams or awakeness for over a year. I can usually sleep through it but as I wrote about before, sometimes it is so bad I can’t sleep. I have always been this way but I no longer tell myself it means I am crazy. Well, I am but I think it’s a good thing. Non crazy people tend to be very dangerous and terrifying.

It has been a year…

So what will this next year hold for me? Will I die before my next birthday (27)? Every year a doctor tells me I will… so far they’ve been very wrong. Will I go a whole year without someone trying to hurt me? I really hope so. Will I write seventeen novels and leave poverty behind and build a castle outside of LA with two kitchens and a cat kitchen? Probably not. The novels? Okay maybe one or two… The Castle? Give me a few years.

Will I start my band? Yes! We’re up to two other musicians now, which is real progress. Will I make my CD? Yes! Will I keep blogging? Yes! Will I get another cat and love it even though I really don’t want to and didn’t even want to get Ny because I was afraid she would die and am doubly afraid now for Sprite and future cat? Yep. Will the cat die? Probably not. Will I ever have that damned yard sale I have been trying to have for a year? Nope!

Will I survive another year? Yes. In fact, I believe in this next year I will thrive. I know for a fact I will begin making jewelry again. I already have. It’s super slow based on my limits but I will make it. I am learning to make chainmaille, and I will have a chainmaille shirt (not made by me, I want it before I am 70), I will go out after dark sometime too. I will have sex. I will buy a glass dildo. Possibly to use during sex but I may be selfish and not share that toy. I will keep going on and on.

I admit sometimes I wonder if I will even know when I am dead because I haven’t stopped. I am a clockwork humanoid in some ways, ticking on and on. Yet the rest of me is in fragments of my imagination. Sometimes I am a barbarian warrior woman, somewhere between Red Sonja and Xena. Sometimes I am just a princess, with the means to protect the people who don’t have enough and cannot fend for themselves. Sometimes I am a demonic seductress. Sometimes, I am a butterfly. Sometimes I am just myself and I am somewhere else.

When I seek out peace, I find it in my mind again. It has been a recent return to that quiet garden in my mind. Now there are new roses growing and new butterfly bushes too. It is still quiet there, this is the only place a lack of music is not a worry mentally. I have missed my secret garden, and I find though I did not tend it, I never really have. It has always tended me. It is here that my glass hearts grow and often break. It is here that my mind is a mix of vines and flowers, towering trees and hollow logs with new lychen and moss growing over them. It is here that the outside world and inside meet. This is my subconscious and it is where I often look at myself, and I wonder. This is a place where Sprite cannot follow. This is a place where I once mistook Heaven. This is a place I have not had for more than a year, and perhaps it was a memory from never.

In the last year I have unrepressed a hoarde of memories. Perhaps they are the demons I slay each night? I am aware of multiple murders by my father, both very similar. I am aware. I have acted. It is a pain, but this is the necessary pain. If I leave these memories buried they will poison me. The little girl that screamed so long is not screaming anymore. She still cries but she is now sheltered in that garden and at times she laughs and plays with the other people there. All of them are me. The orphan girl. The innocent one. I never really knew her before. I know talking of my past identities this way is also what caused people to try and force me to think I had fractured my mind and was dealing with multiple personalities. I finally understand that doctor’s diagnosis. Even my mother knew it was wrong and argued with her, which speaks volumes. Yet, I am aware that each trauma that locked a part of me away killed the previous identity.

In this last year I have been reborn. You have witnessed this birth through my writings and I am aware now that if any flower represents me it is the lotus with it’s many layers and blossoms. I am on a journey through each of the lotus layers of my life. My sensei told me that once and he said that he could not explain it to me but i would understand it one day, perhaps when I was very old but he hoped that I would do so before I was “ancient as the stones”. Remembering him, I remember why I am who I am. He did not act alone in the previous years to shape me but he set this foundation of fine stone. Without him, there would be no Kateryna Fury. There would be no person here. There would be no memories left. I would be dust and ashes long forgotten or remembered only with my mother’s hatred. There would be tear stains and bloodstains at most, no one would notice I was gone.

a hispanic woman stands naked in a black brace a severing wound goes down her throat and torso revealing an ionic column that is fractured in multiple=

It has been a year of Survival. Yes, I survived. Yes I fought harder and harder than I thought possible. I did not fight alone for the first time in my life. I did not starve. I did not hate myself. For the first time that I can remember I do not feel like Frida Kahlo’s broken column. My pillar is whole. It has been rebuilt, not replaced and not forgotten. It still has cracks, yet it is stronger than it has ever been before. I may live alone, but I am not alone.

I also know this is visible to others, though I didn’t think on it or expect that this would be so. I look alive. I no longer am carrying the burdens of forgotten crimes or crimes that i didn’t need to carry. That alone has set me free. Though I am sad at this moment, I am not shattered. My heart is reborn. I am the Lotus. I am the Warrior. I am the Writer. The pen is not mightier than my sword, but it is as double edged and I carry both.

Paw Steps In the Stars (Trigger Warning)

Nymph left us today, and the experience is one that I didn’t know how I would feel. Every other loss in my life of such a companion as she was during a time when I had no control in my life even over my own food, I was a child as well not a woman and those caused so much pain as the experience was full of suffering, deceit, and often the death of the animal was a punishment against me. My dear friend Nymph’s last moment was perfect. There is no other word I can use. There is nothing I would chance, except her having been ill at all and as it was, she had a very good life.

The veterinary center that I go to is amazing, the set up protects the humans and the animals, it was a guided journey in absolute kindness. Furthermore I am aware that the staff became attatched to Nymph, her illness effected so many people, not just me. I didn’t have to be alone, M the Carer was with me. I gave her the option of waiting outside during the process but she did not do so.

They set us up in a quiet room, the lights were dimmed which was nice for both Ny and myself. Sprite doesn’t like the darkness but that’s alright. Sprite climbed into the bed they had set up for Nymph and laid down, which I think made it far easier for Nymph to do the same. Ny was curious and wanted to poke around the room. Sprite was not, for the first time in a new place. Instead she and Nymph held one another. It was beautiful. We were there settling in for a good half an hour, this gives the humans and the animals enough time to relax. There is enough time to change your mind if you want, and nothing happens until you, the pet friend are ready.

Sprite and Nymph both met a few nurses, and Sprite for once let people in public pet her without any balking, she just made sure that Nymph was okay with everything. We played music, I set up a play list on my MP3 player and brought speakers. The playlist is the songs that I like, Sprite likes, and the ones that Nymph responded to most favorably. I felt a bit unsure about playing her favorite song at first, during the process but it was fine with everyone. Though Rob Zombie isn’t excactly what was expected I am sure.

I went with her favorite song because for some reason the Devil’s Rejects makes her dance, run, AND play. She had been fighting the Nurse a bit, she didn’t want them to touch her. So I hit play and she put her head on Sprite. I put my hand on her after they gave her the medication, and the first thing that happened was her pain went away. She was awake and alive at that point and I felt her being her again.

Pain changes how your body feels, from the texture of your fur on to the way you hold yourself. Nymph hadn’t felt like her at all for days. This is how I judged her pain, besides asking her. She felt soft, warm, and she purred. Then she was gone. I felt her go but I also felt Sprite’s awareness as I was touching her too. She was sad immediately, and pressed up into me, pleading for a bit. After the doctor and nurse confirmed that everything had gone as it should they laid Nymph back with Sprite and I cried. M the Carer hugged me, which was what I needed at the time. That need surprised me but she was good about my redirecting where she touched me, because I knew she didn’t want to hurt me and she confirmed that.

We sat with Nymph for almost an hour after, I was okay to leave before Sprite, but Sprite literally would not let go. So I let her process and be sad. I knew she was ready once she was out of the bed, even though as soon as I reached for her she jumped back in. We played most of the playlist I set up, and Sprite for a time had her head on the speaker. She is even now very sad. She was alarmed we didn’t bring the body with us, but she does know Nymph isn’t going anywhere else.

My vet’s office will be mailing me a cast of Ny’s paw. I have one of Sprite’s and I will reframe them together. Likely I can use the same frame, since neither cat is giant. I came home, I talked with a few people about some unsavory things but that is life, they were careful with me too and made sure to ask if I was up for the conversation. As it is about Murder, I had to be. If I put that off it would hurt me more.

Then I talked with friends. I realized I was fighting my natural resting patterns and let myself go lay down. It started to rain immediately, which explained to me why I hurt so much bodily. Mentally I feel the same peace that hit me when Nymph felt like Nymph. There was no wrong in this decision, just right. I had the right facility, the right doctors, and the right day and time. Any longer and Nymph would’ve been tortured. Any shorter and she would’ve not been in enough pain and it would have cost her days that she could enjoy. I never expected peace.

I expected guilt, anger, sorrow, doubt, but peace was there.

It was in my rest that the glass shattered in that empty house and the ice cracked further. In that house are my regrets, losses and it is a house on a foundation of pain. The entire house collapsed as I let myself remember every moment I had with Nymph. Her first steps in my house as Sprite greeted her with a big lick and her last morning here with me. Her delight when she realized Catnip is VERY good, and her frustration that Sprite wouldn’t let her pee at the same time. I don’t think we had any bad moments, though our worst was indeed the moment she became sick and I knew I had to take her in. Yet even in this there are so many good memories.

This morning I woke up, and before I could even shift I realized I had a chest full of cat. This left me with a bit of a pain in my back but that’s fine for Nymph.Sprite rarely stays on my chest but after my walk yesterday predominantly stayed with Nymph. She even let her pee at the same time. She dislikes sharing her litterbox, yet it was what Nymph needed. Yesterday was horrible for her, Nymph hurt so much that all she could do was lay with Sprite. Today she was too weak to do much, though she made a valiant effort at hiding from us when she heard me say, “Okay lets get the cats ready to go to the vet.” She went under the bed, not as far as before as we blocked that off but enough that I couldn’t get her, then she went to try and get under the shelf. That was hard to see as her belly was so full of fluid that she couldn’t fit where she should’ve.

Even then she purred for me. She was only wanting to avoid the other people with their poking and their prodding. That was at a minimum too, and that she purred in her last breath is something I am grateful for.

During our settling in time, as I watched Nymph I told her what I think Kitty Heaven is. It is a place where I would love to be myself frankly, not the death part but who doesn’t want rivers of fresh milk full of fat fish that jump into your paws, plump mice that run through rows of catnip, growing everywhere, and where cats are made out of stars?

The storm has concluded it’s fury as I write this, and this is the second time that a storm has mirrored my grief. I will still be sad when I wake up and she isn’t there. I will be sad when she doesn’t poke my feet trying to figure out how I can be so big. I will be sad when I think of the things she loved to do. I will not be sad when I think of the pain she did not feel. I will be happy as I think of her as a cat made of stars, she sparkled even in life and I would expect that she could be no other way in death.

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