Opening the black box

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Even though I woke up with anxiety, I also woke up with a assertiveness and will to go against it. This summer, I’ve been consumed with fear and worries and it has triggered some kind of meta anxiety (anxiety based on anxiety alone). It is not even real. And I need to open the black box that contains my fear to examine what they are all about so I can accept in – and finally let it go, before the anxiety takes over and I’ll end up in another depression. So, I have to do this.

I’ve already dissected my ‘ladder of anxiety’ that leads to fear and panic attacks. Since I’m highly intolerant to uncertainties and everything in my life right now is filled with uncertainties, any problem that brings another uncertainty will trigger the anxiety and I’ll keep climbing down the ladder:

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When I reach the level of anxiety, it all spirals down to panic pretty quickly, especially at the critical ‘point of no return’ when my mind has made up various future catastrophes in hopes of solving the gap, created by the threatening uncertainty. Since I am struggling with PTSD, my mind automatically goes to the worst case scenario because that has often been my reality. It once was a way to protect myself – a survival strategy, but now it doesn’t have any function and instead ruining any peace of mind.

I’ve been making a lot of research about anxiety and how to deal with it, the best strategies I’ve come across so far is learning how to deal with the worries and the nature of problem-solving/ accepting and letting go, and also becoming more tolerant to uncertainties. So I made a new ladder to see where exactly I should make a change:

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The trick is to stop the movement down the ladder at the second stage of worrying – instead of going to the next level where anxiety takes over, I have to be aware of my worries and pause – so I can ask myself “is there something I can do to fix this uncertainty?”, if there is something I can do I need to be better and more effective when it comes to solving problems, if there isn’t anything I can do, I need to accept it and let it go. Both ways will stop me from going down the ladder. I just need to celebrate the positive outcome and stop confirming the bad ones where I’m feeling like a victim (“bad things always happen to me”) and to trust myself to handle whatever crap that will come my way. I have survived many difficult things and I’ve always landed on my two feet.

I am stronger than any shit-storm.

2010

2010

And there really is something fundamentally important about the message in this silly song:

The black box

All the Bears In My Garden

All the Bears In My Garden by Mia Makila, 2012

With my black box.

I’ve been thinking about this thing about being without a thinking box. I do HAVE a box (other than my own core). It is my fear. My black box. I’ve even put it into my work a few times. Every thought process is filtered through this box. Always. It’s what a trauma does to your mind after a long time of feeling unsafe and judged. I used to be scared of everything, but I’ve dealing with so many fears in therapy and in my art, I do feel I’ve overcome so much of it. But there is still a black box inside my mind. I think it contains residue form my trauma, but nothing more than that. There is no real substance to my fear anymore. It’s almost like a phantom fear – no longer real but still present.

I have already been writing so much about this fear. The fear of happiness. Love. Success. The world outside my own head. Life.

It’s a twisted fear, not about the dark but about the light.

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2012

I wonder what could erase this fear and eliminate the black box. I think I know the answer already. It’s trust. Faith. Acceptance. Peace of mind.

And I’m working hard to achieve all that. Perhaps I’ll always have a black box inside my head – maybe we all have one, but I want to make it shrink and empty the box as much as I can.

The past is the past

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It’s a stormy morning. But I feel calm on the inside. I’ve left the recent chaos behind, it disappeared when summer died. When I think about it, many things died this summer, so much fear, many distorted self-images and impossible fantasies. Good riddance. I feel lighter, but at the same time more grounded in myself. More present. I still don’t feel well enough to work with my art, but I can’t wait to start a new piece.

I hate that I have so many ideas but so little energy to make them happen. I need to find more ways to relax and charge the batteries. I can’t stand the idea of all those wonderful things always being stuck inside my mind and never expressed. I need to make sure that doesn’t happen.

From now on I will never let my past destroy my present again. It is the only poison I have in my life – my past. And it is no longer part of my reality and  therefore shouldn’t be ruling my present. I’ve been careless with my thoughts and squandering my emotions on things which are out of my control. I’ve tried to fix my past by waiting for the broken pieces to come together, but now I am abandoning the pieces. They don’t fit anywhere, they never did. There’s a hole now, where they used to be, but I don’t feel broken because they are gone. I thought I would. I am able to breathe more easily now. But I feel very tired. And I miss Johnny.

I will continue to rest and charge my batteries. I will take a walk and I have an appointment at a massage parlor. I’m doing my best to find a way back to my strength that was stolen by this cruel summer.

The impossible nature of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”

A self portrait drawing I made in junior high (at the age of 14) to show my best friend Nanci how I felt about being bullied by some girls in our class. It’s basically saying that the bullies laughed at me if I didn’t speak up at their verbal abuse but also that they would laugh at me if I got mad and tried to stand up for myself.

I’ve made a very important discovery about the nature of a certain type of abuse, which I call “hate-abuse” (verbal and psychological abuse done by a person or a group of people who are bullying someone because they feel uncomfortable around that person and display hatred towards that person), and it is that it is not about a wrongdoing or a specific quality or feature in the victim – it’s the psychology of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” that creates the perfect foundation for a sense of power for the abuser – like “satisfaction guaranteed” because they will feel superior in any case.

These words were once meant for me: “you seem to like being treated like a pathetic and submissive creature”, meaning I did not stand up for myself to that person’s abuse. But I’ve also heard this: “you think you are so innocent but you get angry too and say hurtful things, you are to blame just as much as I am to blame”, meaning I finally exploded of anger after being bullied and abused. My abusive husband would even show me scratch marks on his hands which I had created in self defence during his violent attacks of abuse. He would pout his lips and made me kiss the wound. Like it was all my fault. And I bought it, felt guilty and ashamed.

There’s just something so completely impossible about this routine of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” – and the root of the impossibility is that the abuser or the bully has already made up their minds about the victim; whatever they’ll do they’ll be hated and punished. It’s all about getting a reaction – and the lack of it triggers a want to try even harder to get it. This is called narcissistic abuse and is meant as a tool to “play you”. And boy, have I been played!

The important thing here is that it’s not about you. It’s them. I’ve spent nearly two decades trying to figure out why they hated me or whatever I had done to deserve the abuse. But it’s not about me, I just can’t win anyway. It wouldn’t do any difference if I changed to whatever they would want me to be (for them) or if I would act differently. Because they will always find something, that is wrong, something worth punishing; if I’m happy they’d think I don’t deserve it, if I’m sad they’d say I’m only feeling sorry for myself and using it to get other people’s sympathies, if I’m successful they’d say I’m a fraud, if I’m failing they’d say I’m worthless and pathetic etc. There’s no way to win this game.

The only thing to do – is to withdraw from participating in their game. And it can be very hard to do. Nobody is ever allowed to play me again. I learned that lesson too late but better late than never.

The cat

I’m starting to feel more relaxed. The summer is dying and all my troubles seem to fade with its death. My health is improving but I’ve lost a lot of hair, perhaps because of all the medicine and the penicillin, but most likely from all the emotional stress. I have to accept that I am highly sensitive to stress. In fact, all the recent health issues have pushed me forward in the process of self-acceptance. For the first time in my life I am forced to deal with my physical vulnerability while I am connected to mind, body and soul. I am out of the dissociative behavioral pattern, I am slowly beginning to explore my physical self without separating it from my mind or consciousness. It is a strange thing to be this connected to oneself – because I am suddenly aware of every part of me like they are newly added to my body. It is an odd combination with my hypochondria and at times I feel worried I would lose all my teeth, more hair or get really sick. I think this physical awakening is a phase of self-protection and self-compassion – I have allowed situations where my body has been abused in so many ways (by others but also by myself) and this new awareness is the first step to a new acceptance, forgiveness and forming a new sense of self-worth and self-respect.

Perhaps that’s what my recurring dream about the forgotten cat is about;  for years I’ve had this nightmare where I hear a soft whimpering noise coming from behind a sofa, I pull out the sofa and see a very thin and dying cat and that’s when I remember that I have a pet that I haven’t seen or fed in months. The cat is covered in dust and it’s starving. I feel so guilty. The fur is coming off and is covered with eyes, all blinking and looking at me. The cat wants me to pet it but I feel disgusted and creeped out. I slowly approach it with my hand and pet the fur and I can feel the glossy eye balls against the palm of my hand.

The cat is obviously me – or a representation of my body (I would use cat or lioness to describe my inner animal and I have lots of dreams where they appear) and I have failed to give it attention and love.

I’ve made some artworks based on this recurring nightmare, perhaps I’ll make more. It stills haunts me.

“The Nightmare” by Mia Makila, 2010

I won’t ever abandon myself again. It is the biggest crime you can commit to yourself while being alive on this Earth. Self-abandonment leads to so much suffering and the lack of self-compassion is the first step to any destructive thought or action. This season of health problems has taught me so much about just that.

Holy Hell

The summer is still hanging on even though it’s about to be fall. It has been the hottest September in 160 years here in Sweden. I absolutely loathe heatwaves. I miss rainy days, dark clouds, stormy weather, grey skies and fresh air. But I guess these are the last days of summer.

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From “Holy Hell” (2016)

I watched a great documentary on Netflix yesterday –  “Holy Hell”, about a charismatic spiritual teacher who formed a cult in California in the 80’s, called “Buddafield” and the filmmaker was documenting the events and lives of the members, with his camera, during his 22 years with the cult. I am very creeped out by most religious beliefs and spirituality that is based on a leader (a God or a teacher) and the submission of his followers. People might think I’m into religious spirituality because I’m writing so much about the inner core and how to embrace the inner world. But I’m not. I am so not into that at all.

"Ship of Fools" by Mia Makila. 2008

“Ship of Fools” by Mia Makila. 2008

When you hear religious or spiritual people talk about being filled with light and energy from reaching some kind of spiritual ecstasy, they always describe an “out of body experience”, like the spirit has been liberated from the physical body. To me this is the opposite of what I want to experience. For a person who has been dealing with PTSD for two decades, and a dissasociative disorder, where you separate your mind from your body to survive traumatic experiences and memories, there is nothing holy or liberating about the out of body experience.

2014

2014

Once you start to protecting yourself with the dissasociative state, it is hard to go back to experiencing things with both body and mind connected. I still separate myself at times, even though I’m not going through another trauma. I separate during sex. In arguments. In situations where I don’t feel safe.

This is also visible in my art from a year that was particular hard for me – where I only created octopuses. An octopus doesn’t have a body, only a big head with tentacles dangling underneath:

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From my old blog:

“It was so easy for me to separate my emotional experiences from my carnal existence. In some situations I could actually feel how I disappeared, how I drifted, far, far away from myself and abandoned my body – just as I felt abandoned by life and love.
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When you are sexually, emotionally or physically humiliated and destroyed, you feel completely invisible. To not be seen, to be ignored, to not be listened to – even though you are pleading for your life, trying to connect with the abuser to stop the violence and humiliation,, you are completely extinguished as a human being, not only emotionally but in a way even physically. You feel invisible. Your body is still there, but it doesn’t matter. You are just an object, a meat blob. Like closing your eyes but still being able to see everything that is happening around you, everything that is happening  – to you.”
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The most significant thing for me now is to reconnect and experience life (and myself) with everything I am. It is the most spiritual thing I can imagine – to experience happiness, creativity and pleasure where I am deeply connected between mind, body and spirit.
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It isn’t about finding a light in other people – or from a divine leader to be able fill the void inside your soul, it’s all about finding it within yourself and then do something wonderful with it – as a contribution to the external world. That is what spirituality is to me. A self-intimacy and self-compassion that turns into a balanced and warm energy that I want to share with other people. It is simply about taking responsibility for your own happiness and then sharing it with the world – or with somebody else who is your equal so you won’t lose that sense of inner balance and connection. The beautiful inside-the-body-experience.
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Trapped in amber

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A still from one of my favorite TV series “Fringe” with people trapped  and frozen in an amber quarantine

Johnny and I have been watching Fringe together, but from opposite sides of the world. I really love that show and it tickles my imagination, especially all the philosophical elements.

As we were watching the episodes where people have been frozen in time inside the amber quarantines due to the overlapping of an alternate Universe, I was thinking about how I wish I could do that with my past, just trap it all in amber and there would be no way for me to reach it  – or for my past to ever reach me. I think I have to create my own amber quarantine, inside my mind.

I’ve tried to run away from my past, I’ve tried to block it out, I’ve even had some suicidal thoughts at times (don’t worry, I would never surrender to those thoughts) when the past has come too close to my present moment, but it’s impossible to escape it and trying to escape it doesn’t make me feel at peace. It’s just a desperation of not feeling like I’ve had closure. PTSD is not easy to live with, and at times it can be confusing to live with the past as a shadow to every passing moment.

You can never run away from the past – but at the same time the past is no longer part of reality. It is merely a collection of used up time, memories, words, feelings, actions that once was part of reality but now gone. The only way my past could ever reach me is in the way I allow it to exist in my thoughts. I make it real, I break the laws of reality when I visit it through my pain and the vicious memories.

I love the quote: “Nothing controls you, you control nothing” – it is a good reminder of how my past has no power over me, here and now, in this very moment and that I can never go back and change anything. People from my past can return, familiar situations can be duplicated, but I am a different person now – I am not the same person I was back then. Today I would not accept the things I once accepted, I would not love the people I once loved – I would not even start the fights I once started. It wasn’t worth it. None of it. Not the love stories, the passionate affairs, the tragic warfare, the silences, the stupid strategies to prove I was right and not failing. Who cares about all that? Who was I trying to prove all that for anyway? Why was my attitude that everything would either ‘make me or break me’? Why did I take so many risks when there were no rewards?

My past is not only a collection of dead time and vivid memories of old mistakes, it is also a collection of questions and they are keeping my past alive. I’m like a restless ghost haunting my own past – asking ‘why, why, why?’. I have to accept that there are no answers and that the only question to ask is  ‘how, how, how?’ – how I want my life to be, who I want to be, and how I want my future to look. That is an exciting question. The why is only loaded with confusion and pain.

I’ll put that inside of the amber quarantine as well.

I love how I am always rescued by movies and TV series somehow. They trigger something positive in me, and I can’t count all the moments where a line or a scene has made me moved forward in my thoughts. It’s odd but nice. And it makes me a nerd, but that’s ok. Because I am sharing all these moments with another nerd. We speak ‘nerdish’ and it makes me feel really good. It makes me feel loved.

Time to put my past in an amber quarantine. I’ve got stuff to do.

And oh, I just love the Fringe title song, here is an extended version:

The danger of non-acceptance

I had a little breakthrough in my self-therapy yesterday. Psychological breakthroughs are equally tough to face as they are liberating. It means you have pushed through a wall – and acknowledged something that you haven’t been ready to admit to yourself before and suddenly you are so clear in your mind – and things finally start to make sense.

I'm not a crazy cat lady, I'm the crazy notebook lady! (self-therapy)

I’m not a crazy cat lady, I’m the crazy notebook lady! (self-therapy books)

As I am working with my self-therapy and making research and notes in my notebooks, I often return to the same conclusions, but always with more understanding or new theories which will add something important to the old ones. I gradually build a clear understanding of my own behavior and emotions – and then I can move on and hopefully change from the core out.

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notes from 2013 explaining the main movement of the ‘dance of death’

One thing that I keep coming back to is my theoriy about the dance of death (the destructive relationship, see older post here). I’ve filled notebook after notebook with theories and illustrations about the cycles of abuse and psychological submission/dominance.

The basic foundation to the dance of death is one person feeling submissive to another who’s acting like a victim that the submissive person is trying to rescue but being dominated and damaged in the process – and ends up a real victim (and the abuser won’t recognize or acknowledge the process of this dance which leaves the submissive person feeling lonely and powerless or doubting the whole experience).

A simple movement of a bad cycle going round and round but each time becoming more toxic and damaging for the person who’s trying to rescue the other (and the fantasy of what it COULD be like if the other person would change their behavior). A base for co-dependency.

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This is the first step in getting caught in a destructive relationship – and the reason why many women stay with men who abuse them (or vice versa). But there’s more. Here is a ‘destructive ladder’ I’ve found in my work yesterday:

  1. Lack of acceptance. I could not accept that the person I loved (and the victim I wanted to rescue in them) could ever abuse me or use psychological manipulation to put me down, to force me into a submissive position, to blame me for their damaging behavior etc, because that meant that I had to leave. The thought of leaving scared me so much that I’d much rather accept being treated badly. Because the abuser doesn’t want to take any responsibility for their actions or words – and their damaging behavior, I was left with all the guilt, shame and the heavy responsibility of blame. That makes it even harder to accept that the relationship is toxic and leaving the ‘victim’ I was trying to rescue is very difficult when you feel responsible. The lack of acceptance made me stay and paradoxically accept the abuse .
  2. Expectations. Instead of accepting reality, that I was being abused, I turned to my expectations that things would get better or that the person would change, that they would come around and understand what they’ve done and apologize, that I could change them and make them see just how toxic their behavior was, that they would suddenly be full of remorse and regret and cry and promise never to repeat their abusive behavior. Of course that never happened. The lack of acceptance made me stay and accept their abuse and the expectations of a future time where everything would be alright, would make it even harder for me to quit the dance of death.
  3. Responsibility / Guilt. Because I wanted my expectations to come true, I had to carry the responsibility all alone and not make anything worse by saying the wrong thing, by being confrontational or provocative, I had to adjust my own behavior and censor myself to not make the abuser angry or more hateful. Here is where I would lose myself completely to THEIR expectation of who I should be to them and the guilt I felt for being who I really was made me even more submissive and cemented my role in the dance of death even stronger.
  4. Blocking out negative emotions. Because of I had to live up to their expectations of how I should behave, what I could or could not say or do, to make them comfortable and happy enough so that they would live up to MY expectations of them (to stop being abusive and start being empathetic and loving), and because I refused to accept the real nature of the relationship, I had to block out the negative emotions in order for the ‘lie’ of the dance to go on. This repressing process of real and powerful emotions is very damaging and leads to a disassociative state, memory loss, depression, separation of the self and makes the dance of death seem natural and normal. It will take a long time to reclaim all these emotions if a dance would ever end.

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And it’s not easy to disrupt the cycle or end the endless rotation of the dance. But I did, more than once. If I’d only accepted the reality of the situation and the destructive nature of the relationship, I wouldn’t have stayed in the dance.

This is one of the most important discoveries I’ve made in my self-therapy so far.

Someone helped me get unstuck!

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Life is funny. It has happened many times that I’ve received an email from a stranger who’s following my blog, at the exact time I’ve needed to hear whatever they have to tell me. I am not religious nor do I believe in fate, but this is something that has meant a great deal to me, spiritually. Today it happened again. A kind person helped me fill in a blank space in my inner journey and now I know exactly where I have to go next. Stuck, my ass, now I am on my way again!

My blank space held the question “What is the opposite of ‘expectations’ (both good and bad)? How can I go on without feeling the weight of them?” The answer was embarrassingly simple;

acceptance.

So, there it is. Such a little word but with the complexities of a whole lifetime of trying to get there.

But at least now I’ve found a new direction for the path I’m walking on. Sometimes getting stuck is just one step closer to getting unstuck. Getting lost is one step closer to defining what home really is and where it is to be found.

With the concept of acceptance follows many steps of self-discovery and self-compassion. I am ready to work hard to accept the things I haven’t been able to accept before. I have to accept myself and my nature (and my body), my limitations, shortcomings, strength, my superpower, my talents, I have to accept reality, situations and people I can’t change, hearts I won’t ever be able to reach, I have to accept the love I am offered, I have to accept that I will always carry a big sadness within my soul but also to allow happiness inside, I have to accept that my past will always be a part of me but that it can’t touch me anymore, the slow processes of trauma recovery and that I can never live up to what other people want me to be for their own comfort.

To accept all those things is also to let go of worries, fears, stress, frustration and the sense of being powerless.

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What this person did for me today with her email was not only to help me get unstuck, she also gave me hope that everything will be alright. As long as I am in a constant movement forward, everything will be alright – even if it means accepting being stuck for a little while and not being able to run wild but to take the smallest steps to be able to move forward.

I’m unstuck and hopeful.

What a beautiful twist to a bad day.

Temporarily stuck

I’m still dealing with health problems, but the doctor is referring me to a specialist, so I’m hoping for better care soon, but I might have to wait for months to come to the new clinic. The summer has been full of difficulties and suffering and at times I feel like I am failing to be strong. I can feel how depression is approaching but I won’t let it inside. This is the time to be stronger than ever, even if I’m all out of energy and strength – and I feel like I’m losing faith in life,  but I have to fight all the negativity – and find some new faith again. At least now I know just how sensitive I am to stress and when life is throwing me too many hardships at once, I get burned out very easily. I’ve found my limitations and my weak spots – but also how I am able to see where I need to pick myself up before it’s too late.

I am not comfortable with these transitional phases – and the slow speed of one-step-at-the-time strategies of trauma recovery. I feel so restless. I just want to make art. Be economically independent. I want to share my life with Johnny in the same geographical place. I want to feel healthy and beautiful. I want to move, move, move forward. My mind wants to run wild. To be creative. I want life to take my hand and run with me. I am hungry for the pulse. In anything. Everything. Even in myself.  Nothing is worse than feeling stuck like this. To feel covered in dead time, waiting, worries and missing.

I am sharing these personal diary notes with you to expose the real nature of trauma recovery and the slow process of overcoming hard times. I don’t want to romanticize the image of being an artist, or to brag about my achievements in a mundane blog. I want to create something real and genuine – something that makes me connect with the world outside myself and vice versa. It is my contribution to the world, even if it’s a minuscule one.

I am no longer bound to my original life plan that I created for myself in December, life has disrupted the flow of it and I need to create a new plan where the steps are smaller and the goal is not the dominant factor but the victory of each successful step is. Because if I try to take on every problem I’m facing, at once, I won’t be able to handle it.

First step: to get well and finding new strength.

Second step: to find the pulse of life again.

Expectations

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I’ve spent a couple of days with more visits at the clinic and making research about something that I think is the essence of most of my misfortunes; expectations. I have high expectations of myself, I expect bad things to happen when I feel vulnerable (PTSD symptom), I feel like I have to live up to other people’s expectations (that’s why it’s so hard for me to be myself around other people and why it’s so easy for me to lose myself and my inner voice), I create a dreamlike world full of expectations in my head and reality has no chance to live up to it – and I expect the worst outcome when faced with a problem (catastrophe minded).

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This is a good topic for my research – and it’s a key to many locked places inside my mind. Maybe it’s even connected to my art and one of the reasons why it’s been so hard for me to work since I got a little successful 10 years ago, because I suddenly felt there were new and higher expectations of me – both from other people and from myself as well.

It’s surely one of the reasons why I stayed in all those destructive relationships – I was chasing their approval by trying to match their expectations instead of leaving when I felt like they didn’t appriciate me for who I really am. I call this chase the dance of death and now I can see how it’s deeply rooted in my behavior because I am so sensitive to the pressure of other people’s expectations. To not live up to them has made me feel worthless and not worthy of their love. And I’ve been rewarded for losing my self-respect while chasing theirs – and punished when I’ve demonstrated self-respect while going against theirs. No wonder I’ve become so messed up.

But I am not that innocent, I have high expectations of other people too, and I’m especially brutal with the expectations I have of a partner, mostly because I am so sensitive to what I’ve experienced in my past relationships. As soon as they disappoint me, I think I am close to a new betrayal. And that’s when I freak out – and things get complicated.

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Trust and faith are good tools to overcome this fear of betrayal, but it’s hard to trust when you have a damaged soul. I’m doing my best. I’m trying not to expect it. To not look for it. To feel like I’m on to something. Expecting betrayal can make you slightly paranoid and leads to unnecessary suffering. I’m happy I am now aware of all this, it will be so much easier to overcome it.

I had built so many expectations before Johnny came here, what we were supposed to do, places to visit, we would be happy and enjoying every minute of the two weeks we had together. I was blowing up expectations like balloons. But reality popped the balloons when I got sick and we couldn’t do all those things or visit all those places together. I got frustrated and annoyed so I couldn’t feel happy all the time. My expectations transformed from the light and pretty balloons to the heavy weight of a ball and chain, tied to my ankle like a reminder of what a failure I was for not being able to live up to my own expectations. Johnny saw this and made me see how silly it is. I had created my own sense of failure after creating expectations where there’s no room for the unexpected or any reality. Johnny thinks the best way to stay away from expectations is to have the attitude of “engaged improv” (to be spontaneous and present). I like that. But it’s hard to change from being someone who’s all about trying to control life by building expectations (good and bad) to the relaxed and bohemian ways of engaged improvisations. But it is a motivation to let go of any form of expectations. Mine or theirs.

There are so many ways to break free, both mentally and emotionally. I’ve gone through many phases of self-liberty and independence lately. And I’m gonna continue until I feel like I can live my life without having any weight of my past holding me back.

A crash course in “us”

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Things rarely happen the way you plan it, but the unexpected always brings something positive with it. This time with Johnny has been bittersweet – I wish I wasn’t so sick and it has made me feel trapped in my own body, in my apartment and in the passivity of waiting for my health to improve,  but it’s also been pretty perfect, because we’ve been spending so much time together talking – defining who we are as a couple, what we want to achieve with our connection and the direction in which we want to walk together. I’m not gonna lie, it’s been tough at times. We only have a couple of weeks to figure these things out, then he goes back to the States and it might be another year until we’ll get to build an everyday life together in the same place again. These weeks have been like a crash course in “us”

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Our honesty and directness are crucial – we can’t afford to be vague about who we are or what we want, we already have the language barrier, time differences and painful pasts we want to avoid revisiting. Our talks can be brutal at times because we challenge each other, in a positive way, to get to the realness of each other and cut through the layers of insecurities and imagined expectations that’s been forced on us by other people. It hurts to let go of fears by facing them. You’re bound to get your ass kicked by them before you’ll able to triumph and rise above. It hurts to get your comfort zone crushed. To let someone inside even though you are still healing a damaged, delicate heart. It’s confusing to let go of preconceived ideas of what you should be, do, say, or act – and instead just be and see what happens when you are showing your bare bones for the first time. Will you be able to move or will you fall apart?

But the brutal nature of honesty together with the smoothness of intimacy makes the relationship vibrate with life and energy – and there’s a clear sense of movement and progress and that gives me the biggest sensation of relief and satisfaction.

“You have to work hard for the things you want otherwise it’s not gonna be what you want but a compromise or something else and you’ll end up dissatisfied”, Johnny says. And it’s true. I’ve worked hard to achieve my dream of becoming an artist. Whenever I’ve had to compromise in my art I’ll end up losing my true artistic voice. I’ve worked hard to just be me without having to sacrifice or compromise who I am in order to fit into other people’s expectations of me which leads to depression or getting caught in traumatic places. So I understand the importance of the hard work. I just wish my mind wasn’t so full of little wounds, created by the traumas and the PTSD, it makes the hard work feel even more difficult and hard. My traumas are connected with love, intimacy and vulnerability. But that’s also where the magic happens in my art. That’s where I feel at home. Naturally it gets confusing at times. I need these deep talks with Johnny, otherwise I’d probably freak out and just give up when the trauma wounds are too sore or bleeding. But I’m lucky we share this open-hearted connection and that we both want to change and adapt to each other without losing our integrity. Change is hard work – building a home is hard work, but also so rewarding. I have been breaking free from my past for several years now, but now I’m actually breaking free from who I used to be in that past. I still don’t know exactly who I am when it comes to love and relationships – “great” Johnny says, “let’s find out together!”.

Underneath my skin

We are having long and deep discussions about creativity. It’s like injecting life into my veins. It feels so good. We talk about his writing, my art, my writing, our differences and shared processes. We are both in transitional phases. Changing. Evolving from something familiar and old to an unknown expression. I’m restless about it, he’s not. “You can’t rush it, you just have to absorb and digest new ideas and visions, while leaving the old behind. It takes time”. I can’t help thinking that it’s also exactly what I’m doing with my past.

I’ve been without skin for over three years now, since the last break up when I also broke up with my own past. It was a painful experience to step out of my familiar skin to become naked and fragile – both to myself and the world, in order to change and grow. The same goes for my painting. I’m changing skin or at least shedding a layer or two. I feel awfully sensitive and a little exposed.

I use to live in a skin that was colored by what other people expected from me. It was a skin of a mother to the men in my life, the skin of delivery machine, their whore, nurse, the good girl. It was the skin of the artist who produced artworks to sell instead of saying something important. My skin tore up easily because of the metal from the delivery machine and it was melting from all the pressure.

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Manic Mandy by Mia Makila, 2013

To be without skin makes me feel so vulnerable. I can’t go back and dress myself in my old skin. It doesn’t fit anymore. I just have to heal and take care of the new, thin layers of skin – produced by life, time and the peace I feel inside. The more peaceful I feel, the stronger the new skin will become. Both on my body and in my paintings.

Sometimes I flinch when Johnny touches my new skin, not because it’s painful but because I feel so sensitive. But his touch is the best cure. His love helps it heal. Our home makes it grow stronger. My new sense of freedom lets it breathe. I’m slowly accepting myself and the new skin that’s emerging in the rawness of my metamorphosis.

So I am without skin, but what a lovely feeling it is to let the inside get a chance to take a deep breath before it’s covered by new layers. It has been a time of self exploration – to find out what has been hiding underneath something that was suffocating me for so long.

A palette of emotions

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I am not only making research about colonial folk art portraits, I have also started digging deeper into the palette of emotions. As a portrait painter specializing in strong human emotions, it’s important for me to know the nuances of them, not only their basic color. There is a difference between anger, rage and wrath – and between anxiety, fear and terror. Since I’m working mostly with the primitive emotions (like fear, pain, rage and shame), it is crucial that I have a deeper understanding of how they work, express themselves and what their core symbol is to me. For example; I’ve used upside-down crosses to illustrate negative emotions, but without any nuances. It could be fear, anxiety, rage or plain evil:

My latest paintings have the expression of rage, defensiveness and protectiveness:

Compare the expressions to my older paintings, where it wasn’t so much about rage but more about fear, shame and pain:

You can really witness my inner journey by studying my artworks. From the time I was still living the symptoms of PTSD, to dealing with the traumas by facing them – and then slowly overcoming them.

I will be able to tell better stories through my art, express myself more genuinely, if I learn how to work with the palette of emotions. They are the raw material in my art and the core of my creativity.

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Unapologetic

I’m still sick but the toothache is finally gone. The apartment is filled with silence and a murky light that looks like an extra blanket on my bed. I’m covered in softness, even on the inside. I’m thinking about the love I have in my life. The friendships and the acceptance they provide. It means so much to me. To be accepted and seen for who I am, appreciated for who I am. It’s not always been part of my life or even part of my expectations of other people. That they would actually accept me and love everything about me, even the things I consider flaws and imperfections. They even tell me they love me because of those things. I feel very grateful. The qualities in me which I was bullied for in school, abused for by people close to me or by men who wanted to belittle me, are now something other people love and embrace. I think what other people have hated about me is my vitality, my shameless love for living my life true to who I am and the way I don’t apologize for who I am. But they tried to change that. Some of them failed and I got stronger because of their resistance. But other people succeeded in shaming me for those things – and I started to apologize for who I am and for everything I stand for. “I’m sorry, I know I’m difficult.” Or; “You are right about your judgements about me, I am a selfish and egocentric because I love who I am and want to live my life as true to my inner nature as possible, I am a freak because I used to be shameless about who I am, I am weak because I want to be seen and heard and you are strong because you want to blend in with the crowd and you don’t need attention as I do. I am sorry that I am coming on too strong, that I take up too much room, too much time. I am sorry that I am “too much to handle” – I am sorry my existence is making you feel uncomfortable.”

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I apologized and they loved it. They washed off my true colors until my body was almost invisible, they gagged my mind until there were no words coming out of my colorless body. They felt good about themselves. They had tamed the beast and finally got some peace of mind. The problem was solved. I was invisible and quiet and they felt stronger, better and most importantly – they felt comfortable around me. I was no longer a threat to their intellect, dreams, self images or ego.

I don’t know how much of this that had to do with my personality, my behavior of confidence and self love, or the fact that I came off as a strong woman. An unapologetic strong woman. I think that’s the worst social crime you can commit as a woman, to feel confident enough to not apologize for your confidence. That just have to be punished. Destroyed. Eliminated.

When I was a little girl I was totally unapologetic about who I was. Even when some girls bullied me in school. Even when a boy hit me in the face during a math class. Even when the art teachers in high school tried to make me feel bad about having an artistic voice at such a young age. But then, something happened and I lost the ability to fight off abuse and hate. I became highly apologetic. I apologized to my boyfriends for having a worthless pussy since it caused me pain during penetration, it just had to be such a turn off for them ( I never once considered that my pussy hurt because they failed to turn me on and having sex with a dry pussy destroys the nerves and it becomes painful to even think about penetration). I apologized to my parents for wanting to be a starving artist and causing them so much worry for my economic future. I apologized to my abusers because I knew it was all my fault that they had a problem with me, I was the problem, I had to be the problem otherwise they wouldn’t be that angry, right? I apologized to the gallery owners because I hadn’t produced enough artworks.

The only one I never apologized to – was myself.

Until last year when I made a ritual with myself where I forgave myself for every mistake and failure which had caused me pain in my life. It was so liberating.

The most important apology to myself was about how I had kept apologizing to other people, for who I am and for everything I stand for. That is a self betrayal. And the aftermath of apologizing for who I am, was to stop being me, and becoming passive and submissive to other people’s vision of who I was supposed to be – to them. And that is self abandonment.

I have stopped apologizing for who I am. I have surrounded myself with people who celebrate who I am. I’ve grown allergic to situations and people who try to tame my nature or my love to live life the way it is supposed to be lived. If there’s a cage, I’ll burn it. If there are chains, I’ll break them. And the shame other people try to put on me, I’ll return to where it belongs.

If I make someone uncomfortable by just being myself, then that someone has big problems of their own. You can’t tame every lioness in the jungle just because you feel threatened by them.

“Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around”

It’s a sweet morning. White skies. Stillness outside. Nothing but wind. And I’m under the blankets, watching Vanilla Sky on DVD. There are so many good things about that movie. The soundtrack is amazing. And it’s filled with little lines that fits perfectly as a reminder of what life’s all about.

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Vanilla Sky, 2001

The movie focuses on the relationship between actions and consequences. To be mindless and mindful, to make decisions or to live with the consequences of not making them. To be emotionally numb and awake. To feel like life’s owning you and how to own your own life by painting your sky in any tone you want, grey, blue or vanilla.

It is about human vanity and the comfort of buying a lifestyle and the illusion of happiness it creates, “living the dream” – and the discomfort of adapting to the cruelty of reality – being stuck in a nightmare, a spiral of negativity that makes you feel like a victim of life.

But the message is far from negative. we are not victims of our own lives – we are the artist who’s creating it. “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around”. What a powerful statement.

But all those chances are far away from any comfort zone and doesn’t come with a price tag.

You can’t buy yourself a vanilla sky, you have to paint it. The opposite of being a victim of life is to be a Claude Monet. And here comes the importance of making a decision again. Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around. Now. Now. And now.

The season of pain

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It’s been one of the worst summers of my life. I’ve been dealing with so many different kinds of pains. First the pain of what’s going on in the world – there is so much pain and fear right now with terrorism, increasing of rape cases, especially in groups of men, demagogues and dangerous political drama. But I’ve also endured physical pain. Emotional pain, stirred up by my self therapy (but necessary in order for me to continue my inner journey). But then there’s the pain of knowing that my second trauma is in a way still on going. I don’t talk about this in public because it can hurt people close to me, but even if I don’t talk about it, it’s still there. I’ve learned how to live with it and the pain is mostly about not understanding why. I’ve let got of both shame and guilt, they don’t belong to me. They never did. But it’s this little word “why” that keeps haunting me. To not being able to understand something difficult is not easy to accept. The heart needs closure. And to give up looking for an answer is definitely the best way to heal. That is extremely hard to do. It’s so hard to accept that there aren’t any answers and looking for them is pointless. Trying to figure out why someone hates you, why you are not good enough for them, why they think you deserve to suffer like that, why you are stuck with all the pain while they can live their lives without being bothered by what they’ve done or the consequences of their actions and the lack of responsibility.

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But when I think about it, I don’t think they are happy and living their lives without any pain. I think people who hate other people hate themselves even more. I think these people know more pain than their victims, but in order to survive they project their pain and suffering onto other people. If they wouldn’t hate other people, who would they be? If they didn’t feel superior to other people – how would they feel about themselves?

The most toxic relationships are often between an empath who’s trying to rescue a wounded soul but being the object of projected self hatred and pain. The empath becomes a victim of a dangerous dance of wanting to rescue the wounded soul but end up with a wounded soul because of the dance itself. You can’t rescue other people if you are trying to rescue yourself through them – and you can’t hide from your own pain by inflicting pain in others. It’s that  simple.

Because once they stop hating you, they are faced with their shame, guilt, self loathing – and their unbearable pain. But there is a way out of it, and it’s by facing it. By wanting the dance to end. By surrendering to the reality of things instead of hiding. Instead of escaping into numbing and separating the mind from the soul. Daring to be vulnerable is the key. Daring to be naked in front of oneself – without judging, without feeling shame.

So I wouldn’t trade my pain for theirs. I wouldn’t even trade it for their lack of pain for hurting me. But I do want closure. Whatever it looks like. Accepting that they won’t ever be vulnerable enough to be held accountable for their actions. Accepting that they aren’t strong enough to do that, and I can’t do anything about it. Accepting the feeling of helplessness and powerlessness when it comes to resolving the situation. Accepting the waste of years being part of the toxic dance and allowing them to treat me like a door mat. Accepting that I deserve happiness, success, love, pleasure and freedom, in spite what they think I deserve (which is basically nothing). Accepting that I can’t change another person or make them see what they’ve done or who they are. Accepting that the pain they have caused has helped me become who I am today and feeling grateful for being strong enough to make something good out of it instead of becoming a slave to it. I will never be a slave to my own pain. I want to cut it off and let it go. Maybe one day I’ll be ready to do that or perhaps it’s a slow process and I’m already working on it, what do I know.

Feeling hated is difficult and painful but I imagine it’s nothing compared to what it must be like hating oneself. I am finally in a place in my life where I accept myself for who I really am – and I am able to love myself without feeling shame. It’s a big victory for me – and from here I’ll be able to deal with whatever life throws at me, because I know when something is happening because of me or because of other people’s weaknesses and shortcomings. I used to take on the responsibility for everything, even for things that had nothing to do with me. If someone would hit me, I would think it happened because I was being difficult, that I probably deserved it and that it was my fault, not theirs.

Now I know exactly what belongs to me and what doesn’t. And it makes it easier to live with the pain of being hated and punished for who I am. It’s not my fault. It’s not my responsibility. It’s not my problem. It’s not my choice. It’s not my place to ask why.

Even if this has been a crappy summer, I will make the following months the best autumn of my life. The season of pain is over.

Burned out

I can’t remember that I’ve ever been this drained in my life – and I’ve been going through a lot of hard times before. I’ve been very strong for a long time now – using that strength to build a new life, a new and deep relationship, friendships, to rebuild my art career, a new collection of work (I’ve produced 10 artworks this year alone), to build a new self esteem and overcoming trauma at the same time for a little more than two years. Starting at rock bottom. I don’t know where I got my strength from then – but it has carried me all this way and I feel grateful to myself for being who I am today because of the hard work I’ve put into creating a new life for myself and a new skin to live in. To overcome a trauma is almost harder than to survive it. I know it sounds strange, but overcoming it means a lot of dedication, hard work and determination. I’ve come so far. I’ve accomplished so much in only a few years – but I am all out of energy and strength right now. The persistent heat wave and the fact that my health has been a disaster lately, hasn’t helped. I’m a little burned out.

My New Skin (digital)

My New Skin (digital) by Mia Makila, 2014

 

I just need to get better in my health and to rest and relax as much as I can. No pressure. No expectations. No ‘to do’. No stress. No worries. No planning. No fear. No self-doubting. No crying. Nothing forced. Nothing mindless. Nothing that doesn’t feel right. Nothing destructive. Nothing but love. Happiness. Peace. Silence. Gratitude. Focus. Self-forgiveness. Strength. Pleasure. Relaxation. Meditation. Good vibes. Healing.

Nothing except being.

Counting the days

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I woke up to a cloudy day. It’s still hot but at least the sun is not too bright. I feel somewhat cloudy too. I’m totally out of sync with my emotions, it’s been an intense month with a lot of emotional discharge. I feel a little worn out. Johnny will be here in a few weeks, so I want to feel centered and energized before his arrival. I need to isolate myself for a while, like I do whenever I need to find that perfect sync between mind, body and heart.

Even if my inner batteries are running low, I feel strong and in control of my own destiny. I know where I am going. I am aware of my own behavior and choices. And I’m still working on my art – and it means everything to me. I feel so inspired. I’m growing as an artist, I feel like I’ve reached a new artistic level. It doesn’t happen a lot, perhaps only a handful of times in a lifetime. But it has happened now and it makes me feel proud. I know I am without competition in my style (both here in Sweden and internationally) – and in the way I use my trauma to express female sexuality and the integrity of the soul. It makes me feel confident and like I really matter as an artist, like I make a difference somehow.

My creativity is leaking into every area of my life now days – even my relationship with Johnny is a beautiful creation that we’ve both been working hard to maintain and add to with everything we are and have. It’s our own little piece of heaven – our home in the world, even if we are separated by an ocean. I can’t wait to have him here with me. We are counting the days.

But first I need to meditate and recharge. I have so much I want to accomplish, so much I want to experience – but so little energy. I think that my art could be the perfect place to get in sync with myself. I feel grateful. Where would I be without my creativity? Even the thought of it is unbearable. I feel lucky – and I know my creativity will save me, every time I need to be saved. That is why I never need to be saved by a man or anyone else. This is what makes me strong. This is part of my core strength. It’s what will keep me going, no matter what. But I owe it to myself to keep it safe and in sync. So that’s what I have to do now.

The cool dance of independence

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All I can do in this heat wave is to do self therapy work and make research about the process of emotional independence. It’s a very difficult and complex process if you have been trained, like me, to be dependent/codependent all your life – to be a good girl (and by ‘good’ I mean no attempts to be independent or going after my own wishes and needs but only pleasing others), to obey, respect others while letting them disrespect me, lack of clear boundaries, low self-esteem and virtual no practice in independence what so ever because I haven’t been rewarded but punished for it.

The lack of independence is really my problem with codependency. After many years in trauma treatment and doing this self therapy work, I have finally understood my role in the “codependency dance” and why I’ve been so attracted to participate in the dance in the first place. Without this understanding and accepting my responsibility when it comes to being part of a codependency, I would never be able to break free and become independent. It takes two to dance, right? If I’d withdraw from the dance floor, I would break the pattern and the power of the codependency dance. Independence is a way cooler dance anyway. It’s all about walking the walk like I’m talking the talk – to stay true and being clear about who I am and what my boundaries are. It sounds so simple. But it’s not. To learn how to dance you have to practice and sweat until you’ll get it right. One step at a time, failure is part of the process and practice makes perfect. All clichés but true.

I need to practice on being much more clear when it comes to letting people know my boundaries and integrity. I need to be louder when I speak up in an uncomfortable situation. I need to improve my self-esteem. I need a steady income so I don’t feel dependent on other people to help me out. I want to practice self respect in order for other people to show me more respect. I want to be able to let go of taking on other people’s responsibility and guilt. It’s not easy being an empath and prone to feeling unnecessary shame and guilt, when it belongs to somebody else,  it can be such a heavy weight.

My process of independence is a very important key process in my self therapy. It’s not a coincidence that it’s happening now and not a few years ago, I wasn’t ready then. But I am now.

About pity party, love and worlds gone topsy turvy

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From my notebook about the “friends” I invite to join my pity party

I’ve been struggling with anxiety for a few days. There are just so many things up in the air right now, so many important processes in motion. I feel like I don’t have the strength or energy to deal with all of it,  simultaneously – but I have no other choice. And then I feel overwhelmed, lose my drive and host my own pity party (see video in my previous post) and end up with anxiety. The trick is to not let it get to you – just let the change happen without making any resistance.  If you are ready to change or if you are forced to change to adjust to a new situation – then resistance won’t have any impact on the result anyway. But it makes you feel in control for a while.

The more I understand about myself, the more I am able to relate to other people and understand their behavior as well as my own. It isn’t always a good thing. Especially not when they don’t want to hear your brilliant insights or aren’t interested in changing in order to become better people. It is frustrating at times. A spiritual or mental awakening is the biggest thing that can happen to a person, but at the same time it can make you feel intellectually lonely and socially misplaced. I don’t have many friends because I find myself on a different frequency than most people, but the few friends I do have mean the world to me. We share a frequency and a deep understanding of the value of life. Many of my friends have survived traumas or some kind of betrayal.

And because life’s been difficult and painful for both Johnny and me, we share a deep connection based on gratitude and appreciation for what we are able to build together. That and mutual respect for each other’s weaknesses and strengths. I am not used to being in a relationship based on respect. It’s both such a great foundation for our relationship but also the most confusing thing. Where I am expecting an aggressive reaction – he’s kind and accepting, in times when I think he’s gonna judge me for something, he’s embracing it. And when I expect him to betray me, he’s just holding my hand through whatever I’m going through. It makes my whole world go topsy turvy. I am so used to the opposite reactions. To be judged, humiliated, ignored, punished or neglected. The love I feel from Johnny restores all the broken pieces of my poor little heart. I am so grateful.

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I just have to get through this time of anxiety and worries without losing any momentum. I’ve worked too hard for this. I can’t let anything come in between me and my will to live my life as I am destined to live it and not as people expect me to live it. This is the process of independence and it’s scary as hell. And I love it.

Winds of change and understanding

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It’s been a windy week. I love the wind. It’s fresh and always moving in a clear direction. I like the energy of the determined movement. I’m spending the weekend thinking about my art and writing lists and notes about what digital art/painting really mean to me. I’ve found some surprising answers.

During the years of trauma treatment, I understood how I’ve been separating myself from the girl I use to be in the destructive relationships (the victim, the submissive Lolita, the sacrificing girlfriend etc). It’s like I’m doing the same separation in my art as well; I use my paintings to give the trauma a voice, and my digital art is more an expression of who I really am – a reflection of my dreams, fears and desires. My paintings is a collection of portraits of my demons, rage and pain. I make it all visible to be able to let it go.

This realization makes me look at my art and my creativity in a new way. I can see how I can use the two artistic expressions to tell a complete story – the story about myself. I use to believe that my paintings were my main artistic expression, but now I see that I can express more through my digital art but the raw core expressions comes out through my paintings. I guess I’ve been kind of conservative in the way I’ve been judging “physical” works as an art form with a higher value than digital works. What kind of a pioneer am I if I think like that? I have to be a warrior and to stand up for the digital art to make it as accepted as painting in the art world. When my friend and digital artist Joe Myers was still alive – we were planning to revolutionize the art world with a “digi wave”. I guess I owe it to him to go on fighting for the integrity and acceptance of the digital art.

These wild winds have brought me clarity. I feel like I can breathe again, without inhaling the haunting self doubt.

A moving vacuum

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Life is moving forward yet standing very still right now. It’s like a moving vacuum. I feel so restless. I have so much to do but my health won’t allow it – and at the same time I’m just waiting for things to happen. I’m waiting for my love to come here in a month. I’m waiting for sex. I’m waiting for a new job opportunity. For my health to get better so I can paint again. I’m waiting for any news about what’s happened to Domenique. Waiting and patience are not my best qualities. Underneath it all, I’m still waiting for my own wounds to heal better so they won’t bleed as soon as they are triggered. I’ve moved passed and beyond so many difficult things and I feel stronger than ever – but I’m still fragile and it’s still easy for me to be sucked back into old behavioral patterns. But at least I’m fighting it, overcoming each time it happens with grace and acceptance. I won’t ever give in to what feels familiar but destructive. It would be so easy to do, but at the same time it would be the biggest mistake and would ruin everything I’ve worked so hard for, for the last 3 years, it is simply too overwhelming to go there. It keeps me motivated to withstand the momentarily urges to fuck up my life again. Instead I’m protecting the good things I have. I’m practicing gratitude. Self respect. I’m staying on my path. Even though on bad days, I’m reminded of how attracted I’ve been to drama and the feeling of unworthiness. The trick is to just keep moving forward and never look back at the familiarity of the alluring self sabotage. The word in itself is a warning. I’d rather go through periods of vacuum and waiting than to surrender to anything that feels like the places I’ve been to before.

The fool

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It’s been raining on and off for days now and I’ve been feeling a little low because of the monthly hormones. I’ve been thinking a lot about where I am going. I’ve never been comfortable with the whimsical nature of the unknown. I always try to tame it, like if it’s a beast, by planning, thinking, dreaming and working hard to achieve something – anything to keep the void of the unknown from getting any closer. The future is my canvas to fill with my own texture, paint and light, but it’s just that the canvas keep changing shape, so my planned brush strokes sometimes miss its target and I end up painting outside the lines where the colors fade with the nothingness underneath. It is quite impossible to tame the unknown, but I’m always willing to try.  At least I have ambitions. I want to live my life without any limitations. To use everything I am in all my achievements. To never stop dreaming. I want to fulfill my life’s purpose. To love and to be loved – all the way. I want to make love without any inhibitions. I want to overcome every fear standing in the way of my curiosity. I want to overcome all the symptoms of PTSD – and to never have anxiety or panic attacks again. I know that through hard work and the right focus, I’ll be able to achieve some of these things, others will just happen naturally without my interference, because that’s how life works – and some of these things will remain a dream and a dream only because you can’t get everything you wish for. I accept that.

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Photo of my used napkins after crying so much, 2013

I’ve wasted too many years on the wrong things. On people who never deserved my time, love or ambition. On worrying. On being insecure and scared. I’ve wasted tears, heartache, headaches, for nothing. It wasn’t even important. It was just stupid and made no sense at all. I’ve been afraid to shine my light and to be who I am because I’ve been scared of being punished for it. To make other people feel uncomfortable around my rawness of strength, power and confidence. But now I’m feeling sad that some people can’t tolerate other people’s strength because it triggers their own inferiority. I wish they could be stronger than that, I wish they could let go of their insecurities and embrace themselves for who they really are. They would shine too. We all have that wonderful rawness inside. I could never go back to how things were. I could never accept being treated disrespectfully or to have my heart and head filled with darkness – a darkness which doesn’t even belong to me. I’m done being forced to carry other people’s darkness and hatred. I don’t deserve that. I never did. No ones does.

I’ve been such a fool throughout my adult life, not because I am stupid but because I’ve tolerated to be treated like one. That will never happen again. I’m only a fool for trying to tame the unknown, and I like that foolishness. It is a driving force. A foolish one perhaps, but it keeps me moving forward no matter what.

Constant little awakenings

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It’s a time of constant little awakenings. I’m discovering more and more of myself and my strength and qualities. It’s an incredible experience but at the same time it makes me feel restless and a little disgusted by how I’ve ignored all that throughout my whole adult life. I have so much to make up for – so much to explore. And I’ve never had any talent for patience. Or for holding back when I feel passionate about something. I feel uncomfortable by the slow speed of the necessary steps I’m taking in order to come back as a full time artist. I want too much too fast at times. But all and all I take this restlessness as a positive sign of recovery and healing. I just have so much I want to do! I want to make money on my art again. I want Johnny to come here to live with me. I want to put together amazing art shows. I want to invest money in new art projects. I want to collaborate with other artists. I want to write books. Hold lectures about trauma and sexuality. I want to create magic in everything I do.

I just need the money.

The lack of it is the only broken piece of my life that is left from my past. I want to feel the triumph of getting rid of the only dirty leftover from my past. I’m so close to being independent, strong and successful now. So close.