anxiety, bipolar, child abuse, depression, drugs, mania, mental illness, substance abuse

no more wire hangers 3

is anyone getting the titles of the posts in this series?

my mother knew she had mental illness issues, but she refused to see a psychiatrist or a therapist. we convinced her to go to a couple therapists to find one she felt she could talk with. she went to meet two and her excuses for not going was that she was sure one had ulterior motives and the other had an office that made her anxious.

when i had panic attacks growing up (we didn’t know that’s what they were at the time) she got angry at me. in retrospect i think it was it was because she was scared when she saw me going through that. i’ve seen her have panic attacks and oh boy have i seen her anxious.she was afraid that somewhere inside her was me. she didn’t want to  go through what i went through with my depression and mania. two psychiatrists told me, after long talks about my mother, that she was bipolar, too. i’m not surprised, but having a doctor say it shed light on things and made me feel validated

she even self medicated, like i did. she was obsessed with this shitty white wine. she drank glass after glass all evening while she watched courtroom dramas and true crime shows. after i went to university she bought a new house that she has since defaulted on. the house was a gorgeous Victorian in downtown St. Louis. it was in a neighborhood that was transitioning from a gutted ghetto into lovely restored houses. good old gentrification. her house was already transformed when she bought it.  it was gorgeous but it had three stories. she usually watched tv and drank in a family room on the second floor and also in her bedroom on the third floor. guess who had to fetch the wine?

drinking was her second drug of choice, the first  was nicotine.  by now, she will have smoked almost 60 years, two or more packs a day. she was a professional smoker. she chain smoked 24/7. she drowned her sorrows in wine, cigarettes, and taking it all out on me.

i’ve already said i’m a recovering alcoholic, i’ve been clean for 15 years. when i went home to visit (my dad lived in St. Louis and i was tied to my mother by a mental bond i had to fight to break, so i still kept coming back. she encouraged me to drink. she prepared by laying in a supply of beer, gin (she had cocktails after work, too; gin and tonics…one or two) champagne and vodka plus a few bottles of decent wine for dinners. she encouraged me to drink. pushed me to drink. i  jumped back into the hole of drunkenness to avoid having to deal with her. i can’t  put it all off on my. i was thrilled to have time away from my husband so i could drink my fill. i had to be very honest with him to keep our relationship working well and i wanted both he and I to be happy. i made the decisions to drink the alcohol she bought, but it was damned hard, too hard. i embraced it.

hangovers were hell so my mother gave me a bottle of codeine to use to take them away. i took a few in the morning. went back to sleep, woke and puked, went back to sleep and got up feeling pretty good.

we went out drinking too. she liked to show off my tattoos and piercings when we were bar hopping, hoping to look cool. at home she hated the tattoos.

Mommy Dearest.

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art, body modification, tattoos

My Tattoos

My tattoos were incredibly important when I got them 15-20 years ago. I love them and have never regretted anything about them.

I think I made good choices that reflect my artistic vision, which is weird because I only dabbled a  little in art at the time and didn’t think I had a vision or style.
My artist who has done all but my very first tattoo which I got when I was 17, influnced me more than  anyone. Mind you, this is about my drawing style, not my painting style.I helped design them and actually drew some of them. All but one are abstract.


 they are still very important but I don’t feel the need to have them showing all the time or talk about them all the time the way I have in the past. Sometimes I dress, not on purpose, and wear my hair down,such that you can’t see any of them. I feel like I have a secret! Also, I wonder if people would treat me differently if they could see them.

People argue about who is the “owner” of the tattoo, or who is responsible for it. Tattoo artists help with the design, or do it entirely. They draw it and ink it on mimeograph paper. They’re making original pen and ink drawings that they color on the skin. If your tattooer is a good artist, you’re not just getting random marks on you’re getting original, custom art. The tattoo artists get paid for their artwork, like any successful artist. spend A LOT of time on anything that’s big or intricate or both. They usually take a picture to put in their portfolio. So, you could argue the artist gets the credit.

 But people who have gotten tattoos say that they helped design or gave picture to the artist. It’s their body, their  blood, their time sitting uncomfortably. I had do a lot of that, sitting on a chair with your body turned so that you can twist your arm backwards. Try sitting like that for hours. For a tattoo I have on my right calf, that goes from the middle of my foot up to my knee, all the way around. i had to stand with my knee bent on a chair seat and the other leg standing with my foot next to the chair.I was leaning on the back of the chair. I was in that position for 4 hours (with short breaks to smoke pot) with blood running down my leg.that might not seem like much to some people and could see remarkable to some. 

Either way, you can see why the person getting the tattoo could see it as *their* tattoo. I think there’s some truth in both.
There was a brief period of time that I was incarcerated. They took everything away from me, but I still had my tattoos. They were my art, clothing that was part of my body. I could run my fingers over them and feeling them slightly, here and there. I could run my eyes over them and tap into a thousand memories.

Some of them look like armor and they all feel like that. I put thousands into paying for them. That was when I was working so it was the sweat of my brow. My husband supports me now (wonderful man that he is), so I don’t feel like any of our household income is 100% mine.

Because I paid for all the tattoos with money I earned, when I was working, it is very important to me, sincebe because of that, they belong to me and me alone.

I love the permanency. Most people are scared of it. I want to stay true to myself. The tattoos force me to be.

black and white, corgi, dachshund, dog, dorgi, Life, pets

mackie is having a good day! he’s chillaxing!

mackie is just letting it all hang out! lol pardon the horrible mess! mackie and i were playing tug there with a stuffed toy and it got shredded. i haven’t cleaned it up yet. pretty bad!

man, i wish i felt like that. i crept closer and closer to get the picture. it would be tragic to disturb him. but he was really out of it and i was very quiet.

when he does things like this i feel good because i know he trusts me completely and feels  so safe here that he will expose his whole underside. 🙂

 

mackie relaxed and upside down

another thing…

i wrote about my pedicure and manicure, but i never showed them here.  that’s a side thingy.

i needed sandals! i hate fru fru shoes and i’m not a shopper. now that i’ve got chronic pain i simply cannot deal with uncomfortable clothes or shoes. i  bought a pair of flip flops and they hurt so bad i thought i’d  cry.

so i got online and started searching for comfortable sandals that didn’t look like old lady shoes. i like sports clothes, i don’t wear them, but my husband does. i’ve gotten into the Adidas stuff he has. i like the way they look, black and white stripes are my favorite. but i’m not new to Adidas. i have an old pair of dilapidated Adidas sneakers, the old skool classics . i wore them into this condition. damn i love those shoes!

old addidas

i like examples! i like taking pictures! i am a visual learner. i guess that’s why art is so enjoyable to me.

after reading a gazillion reviews on sooooooooooooooooooo many kinds of sandals i decided to go with an old favorite brand that made super comfy sneakers.  i found in the reviews was an almost universal issue–the sandals ran extremely big so order a size down. they  the reviews were almost silly they were so good. lol lots of people said they were the most comfortable shoes they’d ever had. that sure sounded good to me. the price was reasonable, too.

as soon as i put them on i knew those silly people reviewing them weren’t silly. they are soft, so soft. they have toe grips, indents like Birkenstock’s food bed, only  made of leather. somehow the foot beds just keep your feet where they’re supposed to be. lots of sandals let your feet kinda float around and they’re really uncomfortable. i hesitated to get these because i thought the strap would be either too small or too big. nope. it’s perfect. and it has stripes! they really are incredibly comfortable. ordering a size  down, which is 8 for me. fits just right!  yay!

addidas sandals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

chronic pain, drawing, photo manipulation, stress relief, Uncategorized, writing

more about one of my mandalas

a little while ago i posted some mandalas that i created by using some original, traditional drawings and photo manipulating them.

i wanted to delve into this idea a little more. actually i just want to show off my coolest mandala.

i think it looks sort of like flash for a traditional american style tattoo. maybe i should get it! actually, because because my fibromyalgia  makes my pain several times worse than it would be for someone with out the disease, so i’m not going to try it again. i’m mostly covered, anyway!

the symmetry of this mandala is just a pleasure for my brain to experience. the softness of the lines make it look kind of dreamy, something from a long time ago. obviously it gives me lots of ideas. that’s so fun!

it’s also fun to try out to different photo editing apps. i did that with  such programs on the pc,  but doing it with  my phone, i had to get apps to do it with. i found several and am checking them out. like anything you do first on the pc and then use on a device, there’s a learning curve, but it’s not like trying to learn to use PhotoShop!

i think this looks like a gate. maybe it’s a gate to a palace, or a crest over a door. i said tattoo already but it looks like i’m saying it again! it would be good painted on the back or a leather jacket (i had a jacket like that, but the painting i’d done on it wasn’t that great. haha!

it’s nice to remember that…and think about how incredibly much i’ve grown, artistically, over the years, especially over the last decade. i can’t believe that i’m still  on the art therapy journey, one that i hope will never end!

 

img_20170220_173345_082

Uncategorized

some of my tattoos!

these are some of my tattoos. i’m exhibiting them here, upon the request of another blogger. they’re all by Greg Kulz in San Francisco. he’s an amazing artist and tattooist, a good friend, too. he tattooed me for over 20 years! i haven’t any new ones in the last 5 years  or so; for a variety of reasons. they’re my pride and joy. even though they’re very old, they still look almost perfect. i have excellent skin for tattoos! yay!

enjoy!

celtic top-crop

neck tattoo new pink nikes with leg tattoos outside of right arm-crop tat

Uncategorized

my best tattoo

neck tattoo

this is my favorite tattoo on my body! it wraps around my neck. all my tattoos are by greg kulz ,in San Francisco.

i love this baroque style. i have a similar one that covers the back of my left hand.

one of the best things about it is that it’s 17 years old and sill looks as good as it looked as it looked when i first got it!

i’ve never felt a moment of regret about getting tattoos over my body!