Have you noticed that I haven’t been posting about emotions and grief and all that crap? I preloaded two benign posts (I put all the pictures in before we left Tuesday) so I could write two posts up in the mountains without having to think too hard. I  figured I would have issues up there, and I did. The emotional stuff…it’s heavier now with the holidays. I was so relieved, even happy last year at this time about an issue that I thought was finally solved, that I could finally feel comfortable about the holidays and how we dealt with them, and I guess this year is proof that I knew nothing. That nothing is permanent or works out…and yes, I know that’s negative thinking, but the holidays sort of bring that out, you know? You have expectations, and this year, I had none…and I got that. Nothing. I got nothing that I really wanted, because who the hell knows what I want? I’m just moving through the days, doing the stuff people expect me to do, but not happy about any of it. Living in the moment? Really just trying not to think at all. That’s one issue I have with this concept of living in the moment…if you don’t look forward at all, you can’t change what’s happening. If you don’t look back, you can’t change where you are. In the actual moment, I don’t do anything but live THAT moment. And that doesn’t change anything for me. I need change. I need reflection.

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We go to Lake Arrowhead every year for Thanksgiving. This year was no different.

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We left Tuesday. The plus is that the girlchild wanted to drive and she’s fairly competent, so I sewed birds until we hit the mountain…

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Calli slept in the back seat with the boychild…

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She’s a very good car dog…

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As long as you don’t mind her sleeping on you. She did have an extended back seat…we put the ice chest behind the seat and covered it with towels so she COULD sleep that way, but it’s more fun to be ON someone.

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Traffic wasn’t bad. The weather was nice.

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And I cried on and off. Music set me off. Plus the holiday itself. And stupid memories. Hard to shut those off. Just stitching, my brain has too much time to wander off into sentimental crap that won’t help it. It does it anyway.

I don’t feel good enough. I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t the right thing. I know that’s not about me, but it doesn’t make it hurt less or feel better. It really just feels like shit. I wasn’t worth working for…and that’s happened twice now. Please don’t say “you’re better off…” because that just ignores the pain I’m in right now. It may be true…I certainly got there in my head post-divorce and still believe it, but it doesn’t make any of it feel any better while you’re living it. All those things we say and write…they are so meaningless, and sometimes downright cruel. Just say “I’m sorry.” That’s all you have to say. You can’t fix it, so don’t even try. There really isn’t anything you can say that will make it better. You can show me some lame comic off of Reddit or a stupid Vine video of BatDad…that might help…once.

On Tuesday night, the kids and I went to see Catching Fire


It was good, although I almost ended up in the boychild’s lap during the baboon scene. He is very tolerant. I wrote this down during the movie, a quote from President Snow’s daughter: “Some day I want to love someone that much.” Snow answers, “And so you shall.” Even the movies conspire against me. I had a conversation with the boychild…something along the lines of, “you’ve watched your mom cry for 5+ months now…keep that in mind as you are dealing with women or anyone else in the future…don’t run away…make sure you communicate and be responsible for your actions…don’t you dare do something like this to someone else. It’s not OK.” He says he knows. In the moment? Who knows what he will do or think or feel. He is very kind to me, though. Then again, I’m mom.

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This was Tuesday night’s sky. It helped, briefly. Nature helps. Beauty helps. Briefly.

I felt bad about writing about depression and grief on Thanksgiving, so I just didn’t write. I mean, I wrote here, but I didn’t post any of it. I was there with my family and friends and I should have been thankful for food and time off and people who love me, but I’m not. I’m in that mind space where I’m just surviving…I’m trying to tell that whiny voice in my head to shut up. I’m not reading blogs, because I can’t handle other peoples’ happy or thankful at the moment. I’m staying off Facebook…same deal. I have nothing good to say…all I can say is wow…this still sucks. Thus is depression, and it has its claws in me. I will get away, but not today. Today I will do what I need to do to get through, and I will try not to think about last year, because how can you now be thankful when you have less and what you have hurts all the time? And that is depression. It’s not something where I can just get up and make a decision to be OK. I have to work through it.

My dad gave me an article about the difference between being lonely and alone: I still feel lonely in a room surrounded by others. I’m not ready to go out and party. I’m still hurting and sad. It’s a sign of how deeply I was committed to what I had, how deeply I was hurt. Respect it. Let me find my own way, in my own time. I’m alone because that’s all I can handle. I’m lonely because I haven’t figured out how to fix that yet.

We came home today; I drove down the mountain. We had Pandora playing most of the trip off the girlchild’s phone, and tried a variety of ways to rig the speakers…this was NOT the best choice…

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Boychild finally typed up his essays for the University of California college app (due tomorrow)…in the back seat of the car…

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Calli had her head on the keyboard for part of it. He has now officially applied to two colleges…only eight to go (seriously). I’m feeling a little less stressed, or a little more stressed, depending on what part of his going to college I think about…paying for it or sending him off or having finally started the process or I don’t know. His actually getting in? Scary stuff. Paying for all of it while trying to budget for Christmas is a whole ‘nother issue.

We switched drivers at the bottom of the mountain (I get carsick easily, plus didn’t want to white-knuckle the trip down in the rain)…

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Calli was awake for that (briefly).

Then I went back to sewing, in the rain this time…this is where the speakers ended up…

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More crying on the way home. Girlchild notices…doesn’t say a word. I cried on the way up because she had been yelling at me, typical teenaged stuff, but I just couldn’t handle it. On the way back, I don’t even know what set me off…songs…the trip…my brain. She said sorry on the way up. Don’t cry. Please don’t cry.

I didn’t manage meditation up there at all…too tired by the end of the day. I think we saw three Avengers movies in the last 5 days, plus lots of people and food (more about that later). I really should have meditated, but would have just fallen asleep in the middle of it. I kept having dreams and nightmares…mostly dreams that turned into nightmares…makes sleep a bad place to be. The house was on fire, I kept going back for stuff, someone was helping me. Kids were little; I grabbed electronics and chargers. I couldn’t get to my sketchbooks, clothing, or meds. Calli was the last thing I grabbed. The house gets sprayed by something, but it’s not helicopters, it’s people flying through the air with their arms outstretched, spitting water from their mouths. It’s not enough. I woke up terrified. That was the nightmare. I couldn’t remember the dream by the time I had typed that out.

I meditated tonight, a relief really (remember that), but with a cat on my lap, squawking at me and kneading my thighs with her claws, while the dog cried at me with her ball, wanting me to throw it, headbutting me until I petted her. While breathing. While counting my breaths. While noting my emotions. While crying. Meditation with interruptions is still better than no meditation at all.

Mr. Meditation says I need to allow my emotions the space they need to exist. I think I do that. I don’t run away from them. They are part of human existence. We can’t control when they come and go. We can’t get away from them or control them. There needs to be a willingness to listen within. Listen to my own emotions and watch them and exist with them. If more people did that, I think there would be a lot less pain in the world. Fear of one’s own emotions seems to cause an awful lot of stupid behavior.

Despite all the bad mental stuff over the last three or four days, I found myself today being grateful for the art. I’ll write tomorrow about what I’ve gotten done, but better than that…I currently have 9 pieces out for shows, either in shows right now or traveling to a show that will open soon. I have 4 pieces guaranteed for shows in the next few months, another one that I will finish in the next few months that has a guaranteed traveling exhibition starting next winter, and another one I haven’t even started that will be in a show next January. There is no shortage of work in my head that wants to be made…one was crying out to be drawn during meditation today and I ignored it…at least for now. The art brain is there, it’s active, it’s holding my head out of the water. The art brain doesn’t mind being alone…it’s the non-art brain that gets lonely. The two don’t exist apart from each other, unfortunately though, so I have to help one to help the other…at the moment, the art brain is ruling the roost…it hears the other part, but it knows that the art will get me through…so it keeps making and dragging that part of the brain along with it. They don’t often get along, the two pieces of my brain, but they do know to take care of each other…give art brain ample time to create, but let the rest of my brain have a life outside of art, and they will both be happy. Right now I will settle for one part being hard at work and somewhat distracted by that. For now.

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