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My Art Therapy Journey

Posts tagged relationships

In my lifetime I have been told I am miserable.

I’ve heard it from more than one person.  I’ve heard it from people in my family…and I’ve heard it from people who have no way of knowing me, for instance, my daughter’s step-mother, because she has always refused to speak to me or acknowledge my existence…beyond, of course, assuming that I am miserable.

Whenever I have heard this I have always been speechless.  It always has hurt me is such an unreachable place I don’t even know what the feeling is that it brings up for me.  It’s so unexplainable and I’ve never been able to understand being informed of my misery, lol.

I still can’t really understand it.

But I’ve been dealing with a lot of things lately.  Coming back to life gradually, in bursts.  So I’m looking at my past and my history to what has brought me into being born all over again.  This privilege I get, that sometimes I have to work at accepting because of the pain it also brings with it.  It brings with it the reality of my life.

And so I run into the past.

I don’t run toward my past.  I run into my past.  (And that is a very big distinction.)

As I move forward, my past is there.  It greets me, and I can’t move beyond it without acknowledging that it is there.

And so I’ve been thinking about times  in the past I’ve been told or heard that I was miserable and the turmoil and confusion that has always caused to erupt from inside of me.  I could never figure out why I was hearing that because inside of me my heart was not miserable.  I didn’t feel miserable…but I eventually started believing that I was, indeed, miserable.

“You’re miserable.”

“You’re a miserable person.”

“You’re a miserable excuse for a person.”

I didn’t understand.

It did hurt though.

It hurt A LOT.

And I was alone for so many years and nobody ever told me otherwise.

I still couldn’t figure out why that must be what I was.

Because even though I probably should have been, I wasn’t.

However, I experienced my confusion about being miserable as…miserable!

Well, I’m happy (not miserable) to say that something has occurred to me over the past day or so.

I’ve realized that the people who have ever told me that I was miserable were possibly, themselves, miserable in some way.  However, I would never say this to another person.  I couldn’t imagine telling another person they are miserable, even if they were inflicting (or projecting) misery onto me.  I can’t even imagine ever saying it which gives me some sort of faith that misery is not what defines me.

It still hurts so much that people who were designed to love  me when I needed them most did not love me enough to be able to see past their own pain.

But I’ve been in therapy for the last couple of years with a therapist who treats me with dignity, and even though receiving respectful, compassionate care has been the most excruciatingly scary, I’m beginning to take some breaths of respect and compassion for myself.  It hurts, but this is the part about running into my past I’m talking about.  It takes me back to all those places where history got it wrong.  My life has been given grace to correct itself.

For all the times I could never reply, I am hitting “Reply All.”

“I am not miserable.  I am not a miserable person, and now that I love myself I have no excuse to believe that anymore.”

So to my brother and to my mother, I hope this finds you well.

And to my daughter’s step-mother, I would still sit down and have a cuppa with you anytime your heart will allow.

I’m my own person now.  I would love for you to get to know me.

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I’ve been savoring  my latest set of Instagrams.  It seems like so much has happened in just a couple of days, even though when I look around not much has changed.

Except for my mantle.  Yes, my mantle is looking different these days!

My mantle now holds a vase with Roses of Different Color!

And, I think you can be assured it’s not because I am wearing rose-colored glasses, either.

Just take a look at these beauts!

Yesterday my husband ran an errand to the store and came back with these!!!

No arguing, no disharmony, not even a “discussion” precluded these babies!  No ladies (and gents) my husband bought me flowers because….because HE DID.  And he gets full credit.

Now, I didn’t used to think I was the type of girl to get all giddy over flowers, but turns out…I kinda am.  Especially when they’re tie dye, and especially when I know it means my husband is listening and paying attention.  And something grabbed his attention at the store when I wasn’t with him and he thought of me!

So I’m a little sweet on these flowers, and sweet on him.

Self-Portrait with Roses  : )

So not too much commentary today, although it feels like there’s a ton to share.  It will have to wait because I am stopping to smell my tie-die roses!  And I invite you to sit-a-spell and smell them with me!

I’m so excited to share someone else’s art that has influenced my life deeply today!

I started listening to Alanis Morissette in my early 20’s. I remember belting out her songs in my make-shift garage studio/office where I painted into the early morning hours when my first daughter was just a toddler, thoroughly enjoying myself even though I couldn’t hold a note.  What mattered was that I had the freedom to sing!  My (now EX) husband worked 3rd shift which meant it was just me and music and art in those solemn hours between 11pm and 7am.   It wasn’t Alanis’ popular “Jagged Little Pill” that did it for me.  I really loved “Under Rug Swept.”    I think I connected with every song on that album in some way, but there were a few that I blasted out on repeat.  One of them was “Utopia” and another was “21 Things I Want in a Lover.”    I divorced my husband in 2002…and I can’t say for sure, but maybe these two songs, in particular, had something to do with me coming to a point where I chose to face the world on my own…without him.

There is a lot of art I could create about my relationship with my ex-husband, but that’s not where my focus is today….

TODAY…it’s about the present.

I have watched and waited for years for Alanis to release a new album.  And I have been hopeful that when she did I would once again be gifted with music that reached into my life and being.  Music that I could belt out at 2am that would help me get to “morning.”

So I’m ecstatic to share that she’s done it again!

She’s one of my “Liked” artists on Facebook, so I’ve known a while that she’s been working on stuff through status updates on her page.  I have been hoping, hoping, HOPING that my voice could return with her in her new release to the place I had been with her in my 20’s, but in relation to the environment I am creating at this point in my life…this present time.

I eagerly listened to the single the moment I saw it was out…titled “Guardian

Right on!

I listened to and read the lyrics…”yes, yes…yes! ” I thought!  I got this!

And then Alanis posted this clip about her inspiration…..!!

And yeah, I’m pretty sure she didn’t write this song just for me, but if I saw her in person I think I’d say to Alanis “Hey sister, thanks for writing this for me!”  : P  Like, somehow our hearts and brains are intergalactically linked and as she was writing she was thinking of me even if she didn’t know it.

Really good musicians can selectively have this connection with their fans, right? : )  So thanks, Alanis, for choosing me to have your connection with this time.

Oh…oh oh oh!  And get this!  You won’t believe what her new album to be released in August is titled….ready for it!?

“HAVOC AND BRIGHT LIGHTS”

 

I believe I need not say more 😉

 

I know I forgot to post yesterday, but I didn’t entirely forget.  I did take photos yesterday with the intention to post, so I was at least half-way to being here.  Can that count?  I’ll try to make up for it today and post twice.  : )  Better late than never.  That’s my motto, thank goodness, or else I’d never get anywhere.

This image is a photo of my hand…close-up.  It was taken mostly by accident.  I was really trying to take a shot of my new sewing machine (yes!  my very first sewing machine EVER!), but in the process of fumbling I got this.  It got me thinking about how sometimes something so worthwhile or useful along the journey can be right in front of you, so close that you don’t even recognize it.  Sometimes you can’t even see what it is.  Nonetheless, it’s there all along.

How many other things (or people?)  are so close to me I don’t  fully notice or appreciate them for all they can be?

What if I searched them out intentionally instead of waiting for the freak moment to find me?

Mary and Max.  I might be the last person on the face of this planet to watch this film,  seeing as how there are 1,250,000 views on YouTube of  its original trailer (and at least two handfuls of awards!).  But for the chance that I’m not the last one, I’m compelled to share about it here. [And if you haven’t seen it, then I am sure you are not the last one either.  But you might want to look this one up to be sure you don’t become that person!]

Ok, so I really liked it.  I’m not a great reviewer, but I am fantastic at exclaiming, “You must see this!”     I have to admit that I didn’t see a few parts because I had to run out of the room for other things a few times, but the film was so good that I plan on watching the whole thing again just to catch the small bits I missed.  There is also the chance that I’m adoring  Mary and Max so much because they got me/my life so well in certain ways.  So if you watch it and don’t like it, don’t blame me.  You’ve been informed.  And me/my life is not always completely normal. ; )    Make of it what you will!

As a disclaimer I would say this is an animation I would definitely reserve for adult, or at least mature teen viewers. It’s not exactly one to pop in for the kids on Saturday morning cartoon fest. ; )

FYI: I watched Mary and Max on Netflix, so if you have access to their  instant streaming movies you’re in luck!

I’d love to hear if you’ve already seen this, or if you haven’t… what you thought about it after you’ve had the chance!