Who Ever I Am…

When I was 14 the tests were done, pages and pages, in small corner offices.

The murmurs were PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder the diagnosis, the explanation. When I was 18 they added Repressed Memories to that lot. Those terms defined how I was treated. By people, by teachers, guidance counsellor, family and therapists. Explained how I acted. But they stopped there. Even when I tried to talk to doctors and counsellors about anxiety and panic attacks, they either kicked me out of their office assuming I was looking for meds, or sent me home with photocopied Coping Skills hand outs. But never really treated, not medically. Those terms, they explained things, but didn’t do anything to help, outside of excuse and create sensitivities, understandings, pathways. I don’t even know if those terms relate to who I am now. I can tell you this. I’m past it. This is a new life and I mean to live it at it’s best terms.

We all wonder at some point, how much of life defines who we are, our nurturing and socialization, or lack of those things. But how much of who we are is in our nature regardless? Or with regard perhaps. Who we are decides how we deal with what life throws at us, who throws life at us.

But on occasion, do you ever just contemplate that maybe it isn’t the diagnosis? Maybe there is just something wrong with me anyway? Maybe there are things about me that were planted there by the seeds of my parents before I was even born, to be mixed into the beaten batter of life as I knew it. But I will tell you this…put a person with PTSD into a situation of equal trauma and she will regress to all manner of behaviours and defense mechanisms. But set her free, free of triggers and free of Post anything, and ooooo baby she will fly! And I intend to find out just how free!

Advertisements

Small Crisis in Life With Smalls

HEY! LOOK! One of the Smalls approaches on far less than stealthy feet. “SMALL3 just ripped off my arm!” I pay more attention at the word Ripped. I see are three giggling 7 year olds, one with an arm hidden behind his back. All with flushed cheeks and wild eyes. All looking at me expectantly.

“Hmmmmm” I say, trying to look as seriously considering of the situation at hand as I possibly can… “Hmmm… well then, he will just have to help you get dressed in the morning from now on.”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! They shriek as they pound the floor back to their bedroom.

My Horoscope Read Me

Read My Horoscope

I’ve been thinking about zodiac symbols and horoscopes. And the people who write these little blurbs about our personalities and potentials. If anyone is well versed enough in the subscribed meanings of zodiac signs, they can pass off all manner of relative information and call it fortune-telling. If I were to study the labels and defining symbolism of each zodiac sign, I could write little paragraphs telling people who fall under these labels all about their lives. And we the happy readers nod in amazed agreement. How is that possible?! we ask. How do they Know?! But do they? Or do they just know a lot about what the signs supposedly say about us? And then present us with ideas that resonate with those definitions we have been previously presented with?

This makes me sounds like a cranky old lady, I know. Thing is, I am just about as hippie as they come sometimes. I light candles to commune with the energies. I dream that the spirits of my loved ones past are part of the wind and stars around me. I commune with my feelings, connect with the universe for guidance. And I enjoy reading my horoscope. I really do enjoy the spark of recognition, “Yep, that is me right there…” There have been times in my life when I included nightly card readings as important in my life. But I don’t think it was for the prophecy. I think it was for the affirmation. The process to self realization and sometimes planning. Most card decks will remind us that the meaning is in the personal interpretation. And this is what I am getting at with zodiac symbols; that they are meaningful to us because they have been created that way, and can now be interpreted as personal.

As I type this, I instinctively think to myself “that is so Serious Sensitive Virgo of me”. But who says? (My Mum used to laugh at me, say I was a Virgin of the Mind. … all about interpretation!)

 

My horoscope for the last month might say “stay true on your path, be open to all opportunities and don’t let up, your chance is out there.” Or it might say “take this gift of time to learn how to slow down and relax, you might not have another chance like this any time soon again.” This is the thing, there are so many sides to every story, and it often just depends on perspective. And on how well the writer of said horoscopes knows what we think we know about ourselves.

Measured Times

Finding a Muse in the Masters

Nighthawks – Edward Hopper

“What will you do Jimmy? If what they say is true? If you go under?”

He drew a long breath, his shoulders seeming to pull towards each other as he looked up at her. “I dunno Sweetheart, I just don’t… But a man has to have a livelihood. And if they shut us down… well I’m at the short end of the stick aren’t I?”

“Well, what if you had a way. Any chance of you buying the joint? I mean if you came… say into some cash?” His voice was gruff, like the strain of forced tones was too much for him.

Her red hair bristled like static flames as she looked over at him. “Now dont go tempting him! Its bad enough facing a shut down, dont drag him into one of your schemes.” She looked away from the man sitting to one side.

The next few minutes hung on the tension in the air.

“What you have in mind?” Jimmy asked. “Desperate times might just call for desperate measures.”

All Dressed Up With Places to Go

At what point does it become really awkward to have your Mum bring you to your school dances? Elfkin is 7. Grade 2. Still sees life in pair setting. We Do Things Together. But soon it won’t be like that. Soon he will be waving from the door telling me to hurry up and get lost, instead of blowing me kisses and drawing me in for another hug before he lets me leave him behind for the day.

This week we have some Halloweening to do, and I have some costumes to finish putting together. 2 out of 3 costumes yet to be worn. Since when do kids have so many costumes? Since this is something I have created, I guess. I like helping him take these chances to play act. When I was a kid our Mum would get home from work in time to feed us supper, cut holes in another sheet and rush us back out the door for trick or treating. She was never not there. But often times, she was between shifts. Stopping in to celebrate with us on stolen time. The life of a nurse. Oh but she was creative!  I may not have her skill on a sewing machine, but I think I make up for it in thrift store shopping and resourcefulness. Only, now I have another costume to come up with… My Own.

Apparently my go to costumes are over done. What the Small doesn’t know is that I have a habit of repetition when it comes to costumes. I am pretty sure I was a Vampire 5 years in a row in my 20s. Each year my costume more bad ass than the previous. Now I’m onto witches and I think I have reached my 5 year mark again. So ok, fair enough, I will do something different. Only, I want to wear the same clothes. In fact I still some how have most of my costume from last year to use again. I managed to get away with calling myself a Halloween Doll for the party this weekend, but he will see through that ploy if I don’t mix it up a bit. So what can I do with the same striped arms, coloured legs, cowgirl boots and black skirt? Why a Dark Fairy of course.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore Halloween. It is on par for Christmas when it comes to my seasonal enthusiasm. But now my creative energies are better directed in making sure that boyo has the costumes he feels best in. He won’t have the most expensive costume on the block. But as long as he Believes it in his heart that he looks like a Green Alien Dude, then my work here is done! If he Feels like a Mad Scientist, then I have succeeded in bringing his little heart’s desires to light.

Halloween is special. It is the last of the magic, the chance for adults to act like kids again, for us all to flaunt our inner selves, whims and fancies. Long after Santa and the Tooth Fairy have taken a bow, Halloween lets our inner light shine forth! Parent’s everywhere are the crusaders of magic! And how better to do that than by putting on some funky outfit and showing our kids just how much fun we believe we can have! So this Fairy Mumma will Fly her way to the Halloween Dance with her little Dude at her side. Blessed to have this chance to bring a little magic to light. Call me TinkerBell, for I Believe!!!!

Of Day Off

Today is Friday. Which is not really something to go thanking all manner of deities about when one is unemployed and lives with a gaggle of 7 year olds 😀 Blessed be that it is yet Friday Morning, however!

How to make the most of a day off;

~ Celebrate that you have the apartment to yourself by playing your favourite songs, and singing them loudly. This isn’t really much different from any other day, but do it anyway, because it feels like dipping in the candy jar, cause you Can!

~ Probably do some hair dying. Leave that stuff in there til the itching recedes to a sort of warm numbness. At this point, you might as well leave it in there a while longer, mostly because you are afraid to go rinse out in case your hair is no longer affixed to your skull.

~ Instead of dosing yourself on coffee, make a pot of tea, drink tea throughout morning. Might as well refill kettle and pre boil that baby, you know you will need to! (Especially if you are skipping the coffee, for whatever reason…)

~ Spend a while longer than is necessary sitting around in your pajamas, chatting with friends online, and playing mindless games, or as you like to justify it “Mum was getting you to a new level, honey!”

~ Probably contemplate going outside at some point, maybe even to take the dog for a walk. But make sure you do this contemplation from a state of not fully dressed, preferably while curled up on the couch with remote in hand.

~ Eat a Lot of peanut butter on toast.

On that note, I have to go repop the toaster.

Next Stop, Imagination Station

When I was a kid, I had two imaginary friends. Luanne and Connor. To be honest I don’t remember too much about our actual time together. What of them is still with me is more from the remembering of my mother’s stories. I think that is how many of our childhood memories stay with us, through the sentimental attachment to the telling of stories of these moments.

There was a photograph around, of my mother, sitting on a rock, pregnant with my brother, our two dogs of the time with her. I clearly remember one of those dogs licking my face and my mother’s laughter rings through that memory. Dixie and Trixie. I was 3 years old. When asked about first memories, this is the one I site. But do I really remember that moment, or is it because of the photograph, and my Mum telling the story of that moment whenever we looked at that picture? A special moment between mother and daughter, that I need to hold on to.

It is like this with my imaginary friends. I clearly remember getting into an elevator and telling some people off, because they were either standing on my ‘friends’ or letting the elevator close before they were safely inside. Do I really remember this? Or is this a story conjured in my mind from all the times my mother laughingly told on me? This is around the same time as the photograph, as we still lived in apartment buildings when my brother was born. So I was 3 and 4 at these times. Is it possible I still have these memories, 34 years later? Or am I just holding on to fragments of the time and of her?

There is another imaginary moment that comes to me. Mum and I riding the streetcar, watching out the window for Elly the Elephant, who might have made it out of her hiding place to play tricks on us on the way home. I can almost see that big pink creature’s backside going around a corner. I can remember the big fern plants that the lady friend we had been visiting had in her living room. And my Mum happy.

These imaginary friends had been vivid enough in my imagination at the time. But as I grew up, learned to read, discovered the wonders of escaping into fairy tale and fictional worlds, I let those creatures go. The world of imagination was a bigger place than my elevators and backyards. I could wander through life not in the city or in my real life, but seeing all of that through the filter of wonderland, of wonderful lands that I could run away to in my mind! I can still do this, if I am bored, or lonely or feeling overly creative. I can still navigate my life through fantasy, although in growing up, I have learned not to need to. Is Elly there waiting for me, hiding behind the shower curtain? No. But I think she is out there, teasing other small hopeful children, and I like that idea.

<a href="http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/imaginary-friend/">Imaginary Friend</a>