Friday, December 30, 2011

Getting a Little Personal

Despite having lofty goals for this down time between semesters, I haven't been working on too much. Of course there was Christmas and since then, I have been ill. I am finally feeling better today only to find that the snow that fell last night has decided to stick around. I was hoping for a rarity around here: to experience a December without any snow (or at least, snow that lasted throughout a day). My neighbors who have had their snowmobiles parked in their yard for the past month are joyous, I am sure.

First snow that stuck

In addition to the above, I have been dealing with some outside stress that I have absolutely no control over. I don't want to bring down the tone of my posting here, but just so you know, my life is far from perfect (not that I think I have been projecting that here anyway). I do have control over my reaction to this stress, but am reaching a breaking point where I can't take much more.

For those of you who have been reading for awhile, you may have wondered why I don't even mention my family, just Chad's. Well, I made the hard decision for myself a few years ago to start cutting them out of my life. My parents were both abusive to me, more so emotionally and verbally, and this continued into my adult life. It got to the point where my sister started acting like them and I couldn't take in anymore. Prior to doing this, I had been drinking a lot to sort of blanket the way they made me feel. I decided to stop drinking and knew that I had to make changes in order to be happy. Now, I'm not sharing this to gather advice from anyone or to be told I'm doing the wrong thing. I spent 26 years of my life unhappy and pretending everything was ok. I cannot be happy with these people in my life and refuse to live the way I used to until they all die.

Recently, as it usually happens around the holidays (and really, my birthday since it is the same time of year), they start to contact me heavily. I do block their phone numbers, but that only lasts so long with my cell phone provider, and they do call from other numbers. I have thought about changing my phone number, but in the end, that would complicate the rest of my life. When I moved in with Chad last fall, I thought I would be safe from their surprise visits. And I was until somehow, they found out where I live. Now there has been visits to Chad where they try to convince him that I am crazy and they have been sending numerous items to me in the mail. Oh yeah, and so many drive-bys of our house.

It is taking all my strength to continue to ignore them and return the mail if they put a return address on it. Basically what they are doing is called gaslighting. My entire life I have been told I am an angry person and yet, I never felt angry. Yes, I would react in anger when presented with something false by a member of my family, but that is what they wanted, and really just proved to them that they were right.

I'm not going to go into all the details here because I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. If you want to discuss this further with me, you are welcome to e-mail me and ask questions. I used to cover what was going on (hence the need to drink) and don't want to do that anymore. Aside from this recent increase in contact, this past year has been bliss for me. I am blessed to have a partner who supports me and has even less patience with what has been going on.

Why am I sharing this today? Well, I have been reflecting on this past year, like all of you, and some of the projects I have not shared have been in relation to my childhood and family. I don't want to hold back on showing my creative process if it starts to evolve into more of this touchy subject. This will probably be the last time I write so much about this topic though, as I really don't think about my family most of the time. I say probably, not definately. This blog is not just about what I make, but about my journey through life. My life experiences also do influence the things I make and my style, so I do feel this is important to disclose.

If you've made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read it. I will be back tomorrow with my year-end recap and hopefully the tutorial for this block. I was going to do it today, but the lighting inside is not good thanks to the overcast skies all day. Also over the weekend I will be sharing my creative goals for 2012 so you know what to expect out of me for the coming year. I have been enjoying reading the recaps and goals posts that have been popping up all over.


Cille said...

Hugs... And more hugs. It takes a lot of courage to break a bad relationship... Even more when its family. Keep doing what's right for you.

Cindy said...

Yeah for you. It is hard to break away from harmful patterns, even harder to see them for what they are. Stick to your guns and have a wonderful life.