Dolls, Fibre Scultpures and Costumes

Posts tagged ‘mental-health’

Back in the Closet?

A lot has happened since I last posted.  Holidays in Jasper with my daughter, and six weeks in Whitehorse with my oldest daughter.  I needed that time to try and find myself back somewhat. It has been harder then I expected. Almost 4 years of intense care giving  has left my mind in a rut where it wants to keep me ready to jump up and do everyone’s bidding.  That means not working on my art work because it will get interrupted.  My mind thinks I still need to “thread water” marking time.

My father decided that he wanted to live in a seniors residence with other people of his age so he moved out in August and deeded the house to my sister.  So when I returned from Whitehorse we renovated and redecorated.  We removed the formerly white carpet (what was my mother thinking off!?!), painted, and put down new flooring.  I now have my own bedroom and we moved the studio upstairs.

work space

work space

studio2

Sewing area

studio1a

Cutting space and inspiration wall

What you are not seeing is the wonderful big north facing window.  The very very cold big north facing window, in the coldest room in the house, in Edmonton where it regularly gets down to -25c as a high for the day.

Now my new bedroom is in the centre of the house in a nice warm room.  It is the former study and it has two very big closets, one that was used for the computer with a desk built in so it could be locked away when my parents were gone.  So for the third time I reorganized my studio space.  I emptied the boxes of my yarn to under the very cold window (more insulation), I sorted and shredded a lot of person papers and cleared a space in my closet.

View from the bed

View from the bed

work space in the closet

work space in the closet

Note the space for the cat.  There was another space on the other side but he preferred to be where the lamp was. The body parts are part of a project for the fibre arts group  call for submissions.

So for the first time since 1979 I am back in the closet – until spring.  I am looking forward to spring.

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Not Screaming

No I am not screaming, sometimes turning the air blue, but I am not screaming….. yet.

After my nice holiday and the show I settled back into the routine until Alberta Health Services decided in its particular lack of wisdom to put out bids for home care to save money.  Suddenly we had another home care provider, all the old familiar faces that someone with dementia needs disappeared overnight to be replaced with, in one week, 11 different caregivers.  Yes 11 different people, many of whom had no experience, no clue what they should be doing and couldn’t lift a flea to save their lives.  Since the end of June we have had 19 different people.  All of whom I had to train.

During this time Mom has gotten worse (we had a trip to ER) and no longer pushes off when stood up and doesn’t step, so the care givers have been ordered to either use the hoist or have me lift her.  Yes, that is right a 65 year old woman is lifting someone because those 20 somethings have no clue how to do this.  Because the hoist is a joke, it is complicated and slow.   We use it for bathing, note the “we” because I have to help with the hoist too.

And of course they come earlier so I no longer have any quiet, private time in the morning to help me balance, to journal or pretend to workout, so I can face the rest of the day.

We had some wonderful caregivers with the previous company but they couldn’t switch because they were indentured servants, i.e. foreign workers, full trained Filipino nurses who were amazing.  Actually they were probably lucky to have a contract because all the other caregivers got their wages cut while the executives got bonuses and pay increases.

I have done quite a lot of knitting, mostly to keep from screaming.  I did some painting too, but most of those were “experimental” and mostly splashing stuff on a page, not for public consumption.   I did some work on Pan, doing more sculpting on his head.  It is amazing how many hours one can needle sculpt without it making any difference to a photo.

wingspan finised

wingspan finished

Week Two – Again

So I realized I was blocked – again – but in a different way.  Is that progress?  I started “The Artist Way” By Julia Cameron again, for the 4th or 5th? time.  I tried one of the later books last summer but it didn’t really click and I realized I needed to go back to the beginning.

Usually when I do the 13 weeks I look for a way to change my life to match what I want or need.  That is not going to happen this time.  There are too many fixed variables in the system requirements this time.  This time it is all about internal change because the external is fixed.

This time it is much much harder in that I hit a block right in week one.  I have always kind of ignored week ones exercises because I have very little memory of my life before age 13.  They are there but most are not retrievable easily.  High fever and a coma will do that to you.  This time I kind of wanted to look at underlying causes but no go.  I had that problem in the later book in this series too, “Going for Gold”  , most of that is based on digging through ones biography.

This is the end of week two, another really unsuccessful week.  There were days where there were two sentences on the page.  There is in this chapter a lot about the people around me.  Not going there.  I hope week three will be better.

On a positive note, Pan now has fully sculpted legs attached to his body.

Should

It has been a while since I posted. A long, dark, cold while. I Should have posted, I Should have journalled, I should have exercised, I should have done more baking, I should have worked on my art more, I should be able to tune out the TVs and audio books, I should be more patient, I should be nicer…… I hate SHOULD.

I spent a lot of my life using anger and a kind of bravado to get where I wanted to be. It is very efficient use of energy, it even got me on the front page of the Edmonton Sun. It is the kind of energy you can use to organize protests, to break through barriers, to climb “Mountains”. It feels clean and righteous. But it doesn’t work for dealing with the situation I am in right now and it doesn’t work for health issues and most off all it doesn’t work for the “Should”s. When I hear Should I get angry and dig in my heels, which doesn’t help.

I chose to be here. I knew it would be hard and a challenge. I am not the touchy feely nursey type person, in fact in school I scored rock bottom on those attributes in the guidance tests. This endless winter has me feeling trapped and struggling. Mom has gotten worse and a couple of times I have hurt myself lifting her or dealing with a wheelchair and snowy side walks, the car has had problems – all little things but they have really gotten under my skin.

I was lucky however, someone on one of the health forums had an issue with her treatment and I tried to help and as I was typing I realized just how much I was answering my own issues. I need to find a way to let these issues flow free. Morning journalling was one way but it is not working. Mom keeps calling for me every time I set a pen to paper, the private time I had early in the morning is gone unless I re-arrange my morning and that is hard to do. Getting up earlier is not the answer, I need sleep.

What is helping is that my sister is giving me a few hours after lunch to escape down stairs to the studio. At first it was hard to switch gears but now I put on my music and meditate for 15 minutes before trying to throw my self into the creating.

Once upon a time I learned to ride a horse (mostly because it looked like my daughter was having such a fun time and I thought in a moment of total craziness it was a mother/daughter thing we could do together) It was going ok (not great) when due to a bizarre combination of circumstances I was thrown of the spooked horse and it was several weeks before I could get back on to it. This was when I learned that you can’t ride a horse by conquering your fear, because it knows and it laughs at you. The only way to really ride a horse is to learn to let go of your fear, anger and anything else that gets between you and riding that horse. You would think I would remember that. It took many tries in bitter November and December weather before I figured it out.

So I have to figure out how to ride this “horse” so I can let go of the SHOULD and just DO it.