The worst Oscars life reel would be mine.

I know this might be shocking but I’m crazy. Not “oh cool, the aliens in my toaster are repainting the walls again” kind of crazy, but the kind that still warrants keeping an eye on oneself. I think of it as being more like a jigsaw puzzle that is frequently put together, missing a few pieces, or has pieces of another puzzle mixed in. Recently got diagnosed with ADD, which runs through my family like lactose through the intolerant. Whenever our dog Daisy goes bonkers, we say that she’s got “head bees”, so in a way, I’ve got my own head bees. As well as head goblins. To put it simply, the inside of my head hovers between the chocolate room in the Wonka factory and Silent Hill on a rainy day, with random useless knowledge popping up like VH1’s Pop Up Video.

Recently during my usual struggle with my brain’s refusal to shut up when its time to go to sleep, I wandered over mentally into my memories. Memories of how long have I really been dealing with this bullshit. So here’s where it gets personal people!! Prepare for the realness!! This list is kind of crappy when you think about it, but its just what it is. I’ll admit that it will make for the WORST “this is your life” reel for the Oscars. Feel free to skip it if you don’t want to know. I’ll understand. It’s lacking in glitter ponies so I can’t really blame you for skipping it:

  • At age 6, I was bullied for my glasses and my emotional sensitivity. I begin hating what I look like.
  • At age 9, the first time that voice tells me that I was worthless, and that no one cared about me. It was the first time I felt invisible.
  • At age 11, I heard the whisper to be dead.
  • At age 12, my household started getting………..different. I began experiencing anxiety issues as a result of many of these shifts, as well as the toxicity within it.
  • At age 13, I hurt myself for the first time. Small scratches, but enough to trigger a mental sense of relief when I did it.
  • At age 14, I become involved in a physically abusive relationship, later sexually assaulted. Not much longer, my first suicide attempt. I try to slit my wrists at school. My mother’s response was, shall we say, inappropriate. I never told anyone about the abuse or the assault until I was in my thirties.
  • Between ages 15-18, whatever it took to numb myself emotionally. Dabbling in drugs and always believing that I meant nothing to no one.
  • At age 19, I came close to committing suicide again after a painful breakup with yet another emotionally harmful relationship. Had the pills in my hand, but a letter from a friend made me laugh so hard I cried and I didn’t stop crying for a few hours which got me to pull away from the edge.
  • Age 30, after dealing with some other issues I reach my mental breaking point when I locked myself in my bathroom to prevent myself from punching my fist through a window in order to cut my wrists open. I finally decide to seek therapy.
  • Age 37 diagnosed properly with ADD with chronic depression and an anxiety disorder.  Medicated and therapy becomes part of my life.

See! The audience is now all uncomfortable and desperately wants to sneak out to the lobby to get some M&Ms or popcorn. My therapist recommended to me years ago that talking openly about my struggles helps take the shame I associate with my craziness. She said that asking for help is the strongest act I can take, so saying to people, “Hey, so yeah I know that most of the time I’m all rainbows and shenanigans, but underneath all this is a scared little girl that thinks that everyone hates her because she cries, so I could really use some love right now otherwise I might just walk over to that edge and not stop.” I guess this is why I love Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble from Doctor Who. She put up this facade of snark because deep down she believed that she was worthless.
17522897_1336657633055591_8966408900149772778_n I frequently find Hubby and me having this very conversation. Made even more amusing that he has a doctorate so he’s my own Doctor. Minus the Tardis of course. But he reminds me that I am, for him, the most important person in all of the known universes. Once again, The Doctor saves me. Only its my doctor. Have GOT to figure out how to get him to make me a Tardis. He’s smart, so I’m sure he could figure it out.

So the voice has started up again recently, whispering lies, and I push against them. Its exhausting sometimes. But, I push on. Numb, but push on. Lather, rinse repeat. I’ll get my glitter back again. The sparks will fly and the chocolate factory will overflow with delights. Great, now I want candy! I might need to hit a candy store this weekend. Get me a big ass bag of diabetes!! Candy glitters people. Just go with me on this.


The final stretch of winter freedom

Next week school starts again and my brain couldn’t be happier to be functionally active. Well, other than functioning as the internal voice of Damien high on his own ego and out for blood. Man, I seriously can NOT handle being without something to do!! Hubby being gone last week was yet another shiny example of how I’d fail miserably at being single. I barely left the house during that week. I did work on my elements paintings but I really only got one 95% done and started another one. I’m hoping to work more on them later in the week, but if its all crappy outside and the bed turns into “comfy bed”, its going to be damn difficult to drag my carcass out of the dreamy soft warmth. Well not too hard. Daisy’s dead weight of sleep will act as the forklift of momentum to get up as the pain of her awkward snuggling murders my back. That…….and the need to pee.

I have been making more digital collages lately. I am freaking in love with making these. I’m getting better at understanding how to use Photoshop by doing what I usually do in order to learn a program. A little technique I call “Button Smash”!! Basically, its just me hitting random features a bunch of different ways until I figure out how it works. This monkey doesn’t need expensive books to learn things! Youtube tutorials sometimes, but Button Smash is the best way to understand something complicated!! Poke something repetitively and eventually you figure out how to do it right. Just learn to love the “undo” feature with all your heart and soul, and all will be right in the world! Most of what I’ve done I put up on my Facebook page but like most addictive things, I’ll give the first taste for free.


Not too bad, right? Not perfect but I think that actually makes things more,………authentic I guess is the word. Like, if these were made from real physical images there would be flaws so having the digital versions being not absolutely perfectly put together makes them feel more real to me. I’m learning as I go along. Trying to build up a stockade of images to use too. Trying to be mindful to use more retro images or stock photos so as to not be a jackass. If I DO get contacted by someone, I’ll amend the image or just remove it all together. I actually prefer the retro/vintage stuff anyway. (its already ridiculous in appearance on their own) I get to build surreal universes!!! A world of nonsense all the my fingertips and click of a mouse! And it’s not porn!!!!!

When school starts, I’ll feel a bit better probably. The brainmeats will quiet down a bit so my depression will roll back somewhat. I’m also getting a home gym this month so that I can come home from school each day and workout. That should help since exercise is supposed to, but sweating makes me more angry than happy. Damn I miss my old gym in LA where I had a steam room to sit in! I don’t care for a sauna all that much but a steam room was just so freaking awesome! Its a big bowl of donkey dicks that I can’t seem to find a gym close to my house that has one. *kicks dirt* Stupid gyms. So I’ll have a gym at home to stare me directly in the face, and therefore, absolutely ZERO excuse for doing something! I turn 40 this year and I hate how I look. I need to do something, mostly so that I can once again be able to take a photo of myself without wanting to hide in some Cavern of Sadness forever. I’m broken, so its time to start gluing pieces back together.

A dark week in Strange Child’s world

Its been a ridiculously tough year. And it just got more emotionally painful.

Friday, November 18, 2016 at 2:30am a family member died. His name was John Johnson. He was the husband to Mikio, and adopted father to my daughter Lily. He was a goofy man who’s heart was full of love and light. He was tender, silly, and an absolutely wonderful father.
My husband and I just aren’t the kind of people that should be parents. Knowing this is a deeply painful thing to admit, but as we were in that situation at the time, we recognized that there are people that are meant to be loving parents. So it was going to be our honor to give them the gift they so desperately wanted. We set out specifically to find a gay couple too as we know that those couples fight even harder to make a family in this messed up country of hate and selfishness. Our standards were simple: they had to have been together longer than 5 years, and were financially stable to provide for her. The agency sent us flyers of potential couples and we shifted through them. I narrowed it down to two flyers; one of them was the one Mikio had done up to look like the magazine that he works for.  In January of 2009, we made arrangements to meet them. They were the only couple we would meet. That meeting was amusing and we left with zero doubts that they were the right people to raise our daughter. They agreed to an open adoption, which means that we have access to our daughter’s life and she has access to us. She knows who we are and what we are to her. She calls me mommy too. When she was born, John embodied the befuddled new dad stereotype. He was afraid to hold her for fear of dropping her. He was already telling bad dad jokes too. I recently started joking that he was would be the real life version of Ty Burell’s character on “Modern Family” by trying to be The Cool Dad. He was supposed to be the dad she rolls her eyes at and groans at how dorky he is.

But that isn’t going to happen. His heart broke and now he’s gone. My little girl is going to grow up without one her daddies.

Every now and again, my mind wanders over to memories of his smile or mannerisms. It begins to hurt when I think of her. I won’t be able to fly out there as school and finances are barriers. I may be on vacation this week, but I’ve got school work to do and stuff around the house that has been piling up that needs to be done. I’d probably make a trip out there in January before my classes start up again.

I want to hug my little girl and her papa. Apparently, she’s being the strong one. She’s the one comforting the adults. When hubby spoke with her, she said, “Don’t cry. Daddy’s in a better place now.” That’s my girl.

The Very Bad, No Good, Terrible Summer of self wreckage & art comes to a close

This summer has been an interesting and soul searchingly hard one for me. Interesting in that I’ve spent most of it being depressed, lonely, isolated, and trying to make as much art as I could. Interesting in how I had to drop the plans of transferring to a different college to finish up my degree because it offers more studio art classes, yet the cost of the school was way beyond my financial reach, even with assistance. Interesting in that I went to gym more then I usually do and not one pound fell off my fat ass.

The Soul Searchingly Hard part was my therapist helping me accept that being without a job and/or school means I’m without a purpose which leads to me beginning to spiral. Add in isolation from not having any sort human contact, and my brainmeats turn further inward with a laser-like focus on every single one of my flaws completely the Spiral of Self Destruction that I am so unbelievably talented at! Seriously, I win the gold medal in this sport!

So where does that leave me as this summer comes to an end and another semester is set to begin at the end of the month? It leaves me feeling a bit of the weight off my shoulders in that I know another of my limitations and have a general idea of what I need to do to fix it. I have at least these last two semesters left to complete my degree, which should be this time next year fully graduated with a BA in Studio art with a minor in Art History. Provided I factored in all of the classes correctly. We’ll see. And in July I’ll be working on my parents 50th wedding anniversary party right after school is done, so in way, I’ll have a job right out the gate to work on for 2 months. After that? That’s where things need to be planned out before that in some fashion.

Hubby suggested that I have two options for myself at that point. I could find any sort of job, even a part time one, and do my art on the side like a hobby. My paychecks can be 100% used to pay off my school loan, making the debt go down faster than it might if I wasn’t working. He expects to be making more then he is now so we’ll have a bit more coming in that we can also look into me renting a small art studio outside of the house, where I treat it like going to an office every day. I could even look into sharing it with someone. There, I’m not worrying about doing damage to the place too much like at home, which means I can go crazy in the place. I could even find one that will let me bring Daisy with me, so she’s getting out of the house during the day, and there wouldn’t be anything there that could distract me like the TV. He tells me that he doesn’t care what I do, as long and I do not do what I’ve been doing………..ripping myself apart internally until I break.

For now I just make things, get through my next semester, dig through the bullshit in my brainmeats to find the good, learn new things, and live life. One of my most recent paintings I did was inspired by most favorite artists Vincent Van Gogh. I didn’t draw it out first, I was messy with painting it, and I concentrated on my love of his art in my mind while I worked. I’ll fully admit, Doctor Who is what got me more interested in his work. But it was in learning about him that I found a connection to him as person. We see the world in similar ways in that the world around us is beautiful, even in the most simplest things like sunflowers or the night’s sky. A few days, I’ll be standing in front of his most famous of works, Starry Night (1893) and I’ll probably break down crying while I stare into its mastery. When Van Gogh painted that image, he was in the asylum in Saint Remy, after having cut off his ear in a hysterical fit. A fit which many including myself theorize was brought on by Paul Gauguin’s perceived “abandonment” of Vincent when the two’s friendship dissolved and Paul left town. He wasn’t allowed to paint at night in the hospital so he worked during the day based on memory of the previous night’s sky. Vincent wrote letters during that time about how he much preferred how the night sky looked, how it moved, how it glistened with life much more than daylight. That painting is Vincent Van Gogh’s soul at that moment in his life. To see it in person,……………I will most certainly need a moment people. So, I did a painting to pay homage to my beloved Vincent:

van gogh

Hubby was gobsmacked when he saw it. He actually said, “Don’t be offended, but I think it’s your best one”. There was a small part of me, I call her Veruca, that was irked a bit by him as she was all “So you’re saying the rest of my stuff is crap, eh?!” But I kicked her and she quieted down. Of all the paintings I did this summer, I’ll admit this is my favorite one. I want to try to do more like it. I signed up for the painting class this semester so we’ll see how that goes. The interesting part will be along with that, my other studio art class is a conceptual one. I’m hoping that during this semester I find a bit more of my artistic voice. I need it right now.

So once more, I find myself crawling out of my own wreckage. I am almost at the point of dusting myself off and straightening my hair bow with a sense of “I’m gonna rock this bitch” attitude. For now, its me gearing up for our vacation trip to see Lilymonster this week. Art, food, and love. Oh, and I might get lucky and get into a taping of the Daily Show!!! Tonight however, I get to live out a teenage missed opportunity. I’m seeing Guns and Roses live tonight! \m/ !! Small things of joy allow for the bigger things to come through.

I should be studying, but,….

Its finals time again, and I’m stalling my studying to write this because I’m lazy and don’t want to. *glares at neglected studies* Stop it. Stop guilt tripping me, ya bastard! I’ll get to you in a minute!

Anyhoo, thought I’d write up something since I’ve been dealing with a few things and I figured it might be best to get it out of my overcrowded dysfunctional brainmeats before they start to go rabid and all foamy at the mouth, leaving me a twitching ball of insanity on the living room floor. I don’t really twitch mind you, more like stare blankly at the TV like a zombie that’s been neutered.

So what’s life been like recently? Well I’m glad you asked, and that you care, because one of the issues lately is another bout of depression trying to sneak its way in under the guise of “See, no one cares. I’m you’re only friend, so let my torture you with aaaaaaaaalllllllllllll the things you suck at, including this whole people loving you thing, as its so much fun!” Little fucker. I am on the hunt for a new meds doctor as my current one has moved to a far away location that I don’t think is worth driving out to for 30 minutes to just get a refill on my prescriptions that I am not sure I want to continue taking or are working properly at the moment. I don’t really agree with the ADD diagnosis and want to reevaluate that whole thing. I know I suffer from chronic bouts of depression and anxiety issues with the occasional panic attack. I don’t like how the ADD meds make me feel, I don’t think the anti-sad pills are helping as much, and I want something to help with the resurgence of the panic attacks. I also want to see if this doctor can help me get a weed card. The chocolates I have aren’t helpful ever since I had that horrific panic attack in February. Every time I’ve tried to have some, even the lowest grade in a sliver amount, triggers my panic. Hubby thinks its psychosomatic which I agree is more than likely, so I figured if I switch back to the herbal version, I might be able to get back to using it like I used to. I do find it amusing in an ironic way how the idea of going somewhere to get the card is causing me anxiety. So a giant middle finger to the useless DARE program that I was forced into taking as kid.  (Seriously, waste of time and a boring t-shirt to boot)

Hubby has a new job, again, but this one seems like it should be far more productive for him, as well as stable. He’s looking at more traveling as well, which is another reason for why I want something for the anxiety as whenever he’s gone for long periods, I become paranoid about the house getting broken into by someone, and I’m getting killed or hurt because even though I have a “dangerous pitbull” as a pet, all they have to do is bring a vacuum with them, or say they’ll give her a bath, or have some fries to distract her and I’m freaking toast! She’s not as cowardly as Milo was, but she’s just as useless of a fierce protector. I probably shouldn’t be saying any of this because now I’ve given all the bad guys a road map for how to kill me. Fuck! Uhhhhhhhh, ignore all that! She’s vicious! She’ll gnaw your face off and eat your toes! She hates fries and will laugh at your threats of vacuum monsters and evil foamy baths! Ever hear a pitbull laugh? Its terrifying! Fear her!! I’m so screwed.

Well in case I’m not killed because my ferocious pitbull is still gnawing on the bones of her enemies, I still need to deal with the depression that wants to barge its way in. I feel lonely at the moment, as I hunker down for finals and whenever Hubby is away, so I don’t tend to get out as much. I swear, I’m the living embodiment of a balancing scale of weirdness! I am introverted in that I LOVE being left alone to do whatever I feel like, watch whatever I feel like, but yet after about a few days, I crave social interaction, but don’t want to be alone in doing it. Throughout all my life, I watched as friends seemed to form tight groups with other, while I never seemed to be included. I saw them go out and have all these adventures while I was never even thought about inviting me to. They have all these moments that they tell me about, and as I’m hearing it all I can think of is “Why didn’t you call me to join you?” I feel…………..forgotten. As a got older, I figured it was fine as life made it tricky to have more free time, and the funds, to do all those things. But still…………………this continues to happen. So one begins to wonder: is it me? Am I the reason for being left out? Did I do or say something that makes people not want me around? So this kicks off the train of “Why Do I Suck” spiral of doom that leaves me crawling around in my own skin. The effects of abuse have resulted in me wanted to please everyone, to make sure that everyone loves me so that they either don’t hurt me or leave, which I’m getting better about letting go of. But this? It still remains. Its why I have such a love/hate relationship about my birthday because it always flares up strongly during that month. Lately, its been a loop in my brainmeats that if I disappeared, no one would notice I was gone. How do you shut that voice off when it continues to point out the fact that people DO leave you out? Its hard to not listen when you see an overwhelming amount of people you love all gathered together going on trips, going to events, or having parties and you were never called or asked to join in, and when YOU reach out to throw your own events, they all suddenly are busy doing other things. Being an adult sucks donkey balls, people! Especially when you’ve got brainmeats that don’t work properly!

I KNOW its childish and ridiculous to feel like this. I’m almost 40 for fuck’s sake! “Its quality, not quantity”, as Hubby tries to soothe me with. *eye roll* Stupid charming man. *sticks tongue out* I need to make more friends. Ones that art artistic, history nerds, geeks, and unicorn allies. And glitter enthusiasts! You can never have enough glitter. As Raymond Reddington said: Never underestimate the power of glitter!

*sigh* I need to get to studying. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming……….

Sometimes, its just too much, but Pixar was the hug I needed

On Friday July 3rd morning, 3 months almost to the day, we sent our beloved goofball Milo across the Rainbow Bridge to meet up with his sister Tank to pee all over the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s lawn.  Milo was 9 years old and had developed bone cancer, most likely flared up intensely by an infection. He snored so loudly as he left our world that even the vet had to shed a tear over how adorable he was. He was my first pitbull dog. He was a Mastiff pit mix that was the sweetest thing in the world. He was the living embodiment of the Cowardly Lion as he was afraid of just about everything: Balloons, bubbles, skunks having sex, the vacuum monster, and his cryptonite…….slippery floors like tiled or hardwood. He was the biggest dork and the biggest reason I’m determined to forever own a pibble. His tap dancing whenever we came home is missed heavily right now. Whenever I hear a siren, I’ll miss his howling. Whenever I vacuum, I’ll miss him running for cover. I’ll always laugh whenever I remember the times when he ate grass and he pooped and it didn’t quite pass out of him so it was hanging off his ass and his running away like his ass was on fire with this look on his face of “OH GOD GET IT OFF!! GET IT OFF!! STOP LAUGHING WOMAN!!”

MiloMilo at 3 months

My depression slammed back into me recently, and its hitting me super hard this time. I JUST got used to Tank not being around, so not having my sweet dork next to me snoring and farting in his own mouth is taking me down. I’m trying all the things I need to do to fight back, but as its been only a week, I just want to curl up in bed and hide. But I know that I can’t do that.

After we got back home that day and after I lost myself emotionally for a bit, I felt the need to get out of the house. I couldn’t handle the silence, nor could I handle the emptiness of it. I’ve never had a moment where there wasn’t a dog in my life. We would lose one, but there was always another dog waiting to snuggle my grief away. But as that both Tank and Milo were close in age based on their size, there was always a weird sense in my gut that they would both leave this world close together, but I never thought it would be THIS close. So Hubby asked me what I wanted to do. We decided to go see a movie. At first it was Jurassic World, but I was sooooooooooooooo not in the mood for death and dismemberment. Even at the hands of computer generated dinosaurs. We decided to see “Inside Out” as its Pixar and they never fail and I needed something funny and hopeful.

Yes, Pixar can destroy you but it turns around and hugs you and tells you that its okay, that there IS a rainbow on the other side of this shit mountain you are on. The “Lava” short at the beginning broke me but it was just so beautiful beyond words. But the film itself? Oh sweet lord!! The things in that film are way beyond being just a kids movie!! Seriously, the intellectual storytelling in it is astounding!! I found the relationship between Joy and Sadness to be like watching my own head on the screen. I have that constant struggle to just be happy, to focus on the positive NO MATTER WHAT battle cry in my brain all the time. I wanted to reach out to the screen and hug Sadness and invite her to join me in my Depression Blanket Fort where we can go cry and feel all the bad things in peace and hold each other knowing that neither of us are alone. I wanted to run around and play with Joy, and more importantly get her to give me her dress because I totally wanted it! The scenes of Joy dancing and ice skating in Riley’s head made me smile inside my child like heart. I just fell in love with both of them. When they get to Imagination Land I squealed with glee because I wanted to run around it and play. It was when the plot explains itself that everything just broke me, but in a good way. On the day that I lost my dog, the film was telling me that it was okay to be sad. That, yes it hurts and yes its painful, but that there is nothing wrong with me because I feel this way. That there is no shame in allowing myself to be sad.

The film makers talked about how the film came together and how they found that the one emotion they couldn’t wrap their brains around was Sadness. Why do we get sad? What is its purpose and why do we try to deny its existence? But most importantly, why do we shun it? Sadness is yelled at, told to stay in the “Sadness Circle” and told not to move or touch anything. She’s looked at like a freak and unworthy of being there as she just causes pain in Joy’s eyes. But its not until Joy sees things from Sadness’s perspective that some of the greatest joys can emerge from those sad moments. That Sadness is a natural reaction to something and that its okay to let it happen. Being in a constant state of happiness is a lie, a mask that can actually make a situation worse if you continue to deny yourself the feeling of release that Sadness can give you.

My struggles with depression have always been there. I’ve always had moments of depression and the pain that it can create. But it’s from those moments that I’ve found myself become more empathetic, and more compassionate. My art and writings allow the pain to escape the caverns of my mind so that I’m not pushing it back into the Sadness Circle. I read The Bloggess, who in many ways is so damn similar to my own weird self, and her struggles with depression have helped guide me in many ways. When she comes out here to the Bay Area for a book signing, I’ll be there to give her a hug and tell her how much she’s helped me fight back against the lies that Depression tells me. I started embracing my weirdness back in high school, but I’ve pushed much of it aside many years ago to try to “fit in”. I tried to suppress much of my quirks and mental health struggles because I was terrified of being seen as a “freak” or worse…………a crazy person that needs to be backed away from slowly while holding a mop as a defense weapon.  Relocating to the Bay Area and dealing with several bouts of depression, I think I reached a new fork in the road. My therapist has been very helpful in getting me to look at things differently and really finding ways to get a better grip when I feel on the edge. Embracing my artistic side and fueling it constantly has been the first step in letting my Freak Flag fly. But seeing that movie also sparked something new that seems to be lighting the right path for me to walk down.

I am a weird person, and here’s why. I have weird colored hair, many tattoos, a dark sense of humor, and a love of strange kooky things like skeletons and garden gnome butt plugs (his name is Tyrone and he sits on my living room shelf). I enjoy silly things like glitter, unicorns, and ridiculously girly things like tiaras and tea parties. I am almost 40 years old and I think a bounce house is one of the best inventions ever created and I’ll be DAMNED if I don’t have one for my pretty, pretty princess birthday party. I love history, especially if its just useless knowledge. I’m obsessed with pop culture as it allows me to fangirl the SHIT out of things like Supernatural, geek stuff, Lego, Disney, Doctor Who and cartoons. I can watch something and then almost repeat every moment and joke verbatim. I know ever word in “Tank Girl”, “Auntie Mame”, and “Heathers”. Ryan Reynolds is one of the sexiest thing to me mostly because he has the ability to not utter a word and be the funniest damn thing in the world! I find my husband’s “Rainman” moments where he “white boards” something technical out on an invisible board to be DEAD SEXY! Minions…………..I must have minions!!!!! I want to hug a sloth. My favorite animals are penguins, sloths and octopuses as tentacles are just the most coolest things in how they move. See? I’m totally weird! I don’t think I’ll be ashamed of myself anymore. Being weird is actually fun.

So for now I just breathe and focus on getting through each day individually. I have our trip to Paris in August and art that needs to be seen. I have committed to volunteering at the shelter so I have dogs that need loving and walkies, and later perhaps a seat on my couch. I have things to make, a gym to go to, and a world to inflict my weirdness on. Also, minions to find. Seriously. How do I get them?