Truly I am happy. I can catch up on sleep. Nobody here is telling me to deny that I have PTSD and get a job in retail/food service. Nobody recognizes me and asks me what projects I am working on/involved in nor do people I met once that I forgot about come up to me and creep me out.
While catching up on sleep,I have vivid dreams of issues that I need to work out. For instance, the people creeping me out thing. In the city I am from I started to avoid free nights at the museum, performances, etc because people b0thered me. Back then, I still chanced seeing a movie when something I really wanted to see was screened, as well as some events that I really wanted to see. In the past half decade or so, I have been much a recluse; only communicating with people who are directly relevant to my life as an artist. I did not make friends at work. But in the past few weeks I have had a change in my attitude. In my dreams a voice told me that people want to be noticed. So now I realize how my problems were what others wanted, to be noticed, whether in public, or anywhere else. I never thought of being flattered while someone I am not friends with accosted me when I was trying to live my life. I did not see these incidents as a sign of being high visibility. I do not intend to go back to where i came from for at least a while now, but I know now that I need to take it as a compliment that I am well known if people invade my privacy.
I am reading up on narcissistic disorders. I am reading how I am not alone. as I read articles and essays online about narcissistic parents. I know I had it worse than most cases I read about, with both sexual and physical abuse combined with mental abuse. I know that because of my race I was denied safety, interventions, and perhaps an education (I don’t know if I was discouraged to sue my parents (see my Why Didn’t better My life” post), but I know my ethnicity and the laziness of social workers from when i was a child until I was in supportive housing in 2014-2015 (see posts from December 2015 till May 2015 to read about how I was staying with an addict and inhale second hand crystal meth fumes). I am amazed as I look back on my life that I did not kill myself, especially how high the number of suicides are for people with mental illness who are not in safe living situations. I also have been learning that I had it better than others.
Teal Swan and Anna Forrest, both renowned teachers have been pimped for intercourse over a long amount of time. I was dancing naked and doing manual and oral sex since I was 2 years old but the penetrative rape when I was in fifth grade was one or a fewer incidents, and did not last for years. I really admire for the women who survived being pimped as children.
I also am learning that addiction is not a character defect but a disease, like PTSD. In my experience, people with PTSD do not disrupt others’ lives like an addicts’ but it is often mistaken for a character defect. I am learning that I am not stronger than my parents, or the roommates that made it impossible for me to stay with, even putting me in homeless situations.
I am also realizing that my accomplishments in the arts are due to my horrible life. I am so used to being uncomfortable that I was able to push my work to the limits. I was also isolated as a child and not allowed to play with others, nor did I have family members who communicated with me, so I grew up without human closeness. Without valuing social life, as I was conditioned not to value closeness with others’ was what kept me from socializing and focus on work. I met people in the arts, but did not have a need to have meals, drinks, shop, or have outings with others. I know I confused people; I used to be in my friend’s artistic fashion shows, as well as perform in some of my friends’ very flamboyant happenings. I like to talk with a few creative people who I have had long relationships with in the arts, but generally like to keep to myself.
I also realize that because I grew up in poverty I am not lacking to live a poor life. I was able to live on less and focus on art. After 18 years of poor artist’s life I am ready to work towards living on income from my art. I have worked for low artists fees and honorariums and some teaching jobs. The commission in August 2015 was the most I have gotten paid for my art. I am ready for more well paid work.
An added plus from growing up poor; I have been able to have a simple life, with very little possessions, and being able to be environmentally responsible. I also avoided restaurants because I despise the sexual harassment, bullying, and bosses stealing tips from waitpersons. I avoided bars and clubs because I hate alcoholism and illegal drugs. I know hate is a strong word, but I have been tired of stoners and drunks who make mediocre or bad art, who are irresponsible and disrespectful of other artists, curators, arts administrators, and support people in art spaces; they are late, forgetful, and have imbalanced egos. This is one instance that I can generalize, as my experiences have shown such. I have discussed this with friends who are colleagues who are working at my level or higher. This year I resolve to not to deal with people with less experience as I, and to continue looking up to people who have art careers and make work that I admire.
I am learning the importance of family. My friend’s parents are different with him and have different values, interests, and ways of thinking. They do not agree. They nag him. They are very loud, and I have to find pockets of time to meditate and do somatic practices ( I am still too much in pain to do the yoga I was doing until November, and am learning about my body in this time of recuperation). Things are not perfect but they care for each other. I am here because my friend told his parents how unsafe my life has been since 2011, and that i have no family nor relatives. Because of my friend valuing my life, I am allowed to stay with them for now. I am so very happy that I am here.
I am learning to value myself. My rashes have spread, and it still itches. I am taking this as a sign to stop even thinking about getting back into work of a sexual nature. Its 2016. I am on my way to making a living as an artist. I want to wean myself from having to teach yoga and taking odd jobs to reinforce my art income. I want to find a therapist to cure me from my PTSD, so I can get off of Social Security benefits as well.
Looking up mental health information in a safe place with a supportive friend who allows me to have feelings, and mourn the loss of my childhood and adolescence has made me more realistic with myself. I am okay to say now that besides PTSD and chronic anxiety, I have what has been diagnosed as Bipolar or Borderline Personality Disorder or both. I am not in denial anymore. I had a panic attack a few days ago while shopping for food. I have been getting less panic attacks since 2012 but they still creep up.
I will live the second half of my life with the experiences I had until I was rescued and fostered by my friend and his family, as well as the realizations I am having while catching up on my health and learning about self care. Happy new year to all. Thank you for reading these posts. I am always happy when I check my statistics. Through blogging I have also gotten a glimpse of others who are struggling and being resilient, courageous, and intelligent. Having gained clarity, I am looking forward to live my life with more gratitude and insight, as well as the wisdom to stay out of dangerous and damaging situations