Thursday, March 31, 2011

Depth Peception

I've long been known to have a tendency towards jumping in with both feet. I don't test the depth, even in murky waters. I like to take a running leap and cannonball right into it.

Needless to say, this occasionally gets me in over my head.

Hey, at least I've learned not to dive in. A person can only take so many concussions or total breaks with reality and keep swimming, you know?

Having finally pulled out all available writing in the subject of The Crew, including the rather scattered notes kept by Pastor R and Pat back in '98-'99... I'm reminded once again that it might be a good idea to occasionally stop and check the depth of the water.

Initial plans to post up to 4 entries a day will simply have to wait until I reach the actual online diary portion of writing. Everything else is so scattered. There are fragments of my own hand written journals from 1999, early attempts to identify the alters, scraps of notes from me or Charlie to The Crew. What I do have to paint a picture of the time when The Crew finally began to emerge and be recognized is some writing I did in an effort to look back. I think it worth posting those next, if for nothing more than continuity.

Having looked over the first 6 entries.... several times... I like that I can acknowledge I may be ready to do this but not organizationally prepared and find it funny, not a reason to lock myself in the bathroom or hurt myself. To be self-deprecating not self-flagellating is still new enough to be kind of awesome when I stop to think about it.

I hope I never, ever take it for granted.

One of these days, I'll learn to test the waters. Or not. Life would get boring if I always knew what I was getting into.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I see an influx of writing, the likes of which haven't been done on 4 years, on the horizon. Be warned. :P

Thought it would be a good idea to answer some questions raised in the previous entry's comments.

Black Rose said...
Marisa, am I correct that this was the doc that when you came back to yourself in the fetal position on his floor, he told you to (paraphrasing your paraphrasing here to the best of my memory) suck it up, or to quit playing games and "pretending" to be a little kid?

The doctor I was seeing in late 1994 was the first treatment I'd tried since moving to South Carolina in 1991. I saw Larry (an intern working with a psychiatrist) from 1990-1991. This doctor was between Larry (the one who told me no more) and the doctor who eventually led me to Crane and Lyn.

Jarred said...
Black Rose actually brought up something else I'm wondering. Right now we're reading entries from 1994. What was your relationship with The Crew at this point. Were you aware of them yet? Had you accepted their existence?

My relationship with The Crew at this time was non-existent. The event Rose brought up was the day The Wall (later known as Levia) came up to completely separate me from them. There were moment when there was some cross-over... but I'd taken Larry's words to heart and decided the whole "inner child" thing was nothing but more trouble... I think I'd even convinced myself it was probably more of a spiritual issue... and being one few accepted as real, that was all the more reason to ignore it entirely.
When the wall went up, I did my best to forget them for the next 7 years. These 6 posts were written at almost the middle point between the day I split again to create The Wall and the day she stepped aside and allowed the others the chance to speak.

Pause, Process, Proceed (Companion Post)

Fall 1994 Entry 1
Fall 1994 Entry 2
Fall 1994 Entry 3

The first thing I notice in the journal entries from 1994 is the language. For me, it was extreme and probably the only way I could express both my anger at God (wasn't becoming a Christian supposed to solve all my problems?) and the depth of my feelings at the time.

It's also obvious the depth of self-hatred I had, which still makes me squirm all these years later.

What really gets me though is how completely I was living within emotion. I can look back now and acknowledge that while emotion may always be real, it's not always honest. I am not, nor was I ever, the complete waste of humanity I so deeply believed. Even when not in the throes of a Major Depressive Episode, this was a deeply held belief and it seemed certain that eventually everyone would figure this out and I'd end up alone. I can't pinpoint exactly when I finally accepted my own value as a human and a child of God... to be honest, it's still an occasional struggle. But it's been years since "You're a shit" has played ad nauseum in my head or since walking past a mirror brought with it the compulsion to curse my reflection.

There's hope in that. Granted, brain chemistry may never change and Depression may always be something lurking and ready to strike... but I can honestly say the tools to fight it are there and fight it, I do. It's nice to see the difference and know, not simply feel, it's a battle I'm equipped to fight.

One thing in these writings I'm proud of is the level of questioning there was for the theories of the "doctor" I was seeing at the time. It didn't take me long to realize he was a fraud and even more self-involved than I was at the time. I saw him for only a few weeks. By the time my pastor informed me the man was an unlicensed pariah, I was already at my limit with him (though I'd never admit that to the pastor). When I called Dr. M to tell him I would no longer be seeing him, he had the gall to tell me I couldn't make it without him. No kidding. If for no other reason than spite, I managed to pull myself out of that particular cycle of depression within a few weeks. I can at least thank the guy for giving me motivation to prove him wrong.

As uncomfortable as it is to type up and read these past writings, it is nice to be able to look at it without getting lost in it. The lyrics from a contemporary Christian song have been playing in my head as I write... "I don't have to carry the weight of who I was". What a very welcome change from the 'tapes' of the old days.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Full Stop

The Crew

Reposting the blog from Bloop... along with all other diary/journal writing I have.

Prayers would be appreciated. This is a lot harder to follow through than it was to make the decision.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Farmer 'Risa

Realized the other day, while driving home with ducklings in my lap, that I've officially made the transition from Goofball Garden Obsessed to Hobby Farmer. This is the first time in 16 years I've spent more time on edibles in the garden than creating a haven for birds and butterflies.

Not that I've given up that pursuit entirely. It's simply not the current priority. Eventually, the plan is to create an "official" Audubon Society approved Wildlife Habitat here but feeding the family comes before my Cinderella-esque fantasies of singing and dancing around the yard while the birds and squirrels and all of nature sings along with me. Go ahead. Laugh at the mental image. You know you want to.

Okay, so I'm well aware the likelihood of both ducklings being female (I chose the two smallest in hopes of increasing the odds) and therefore, egg layers is 50/50 at best. I may end up with a couple of drakes or one of each which will put a little bit of a dent in the plan to gather eggs for the family. This leg of my journey to reasonably sustainable suburban living might result in nothing more than another couple of pets and some fertilizer for the garden.

But I'm going to keep trying.

Growing vegetables has been a tough task the last couple of years. Depleted garden soil, lack of funds and zero shade in a near tropical climate cooks most plants. Especially if you don't have a well to provide unlimited quantities of free water to keep things well hydrated. I've kept plugging away at it while still mostly focusing on tougher perennial flowers so as not to feel like a complete garden failure.

The prospects are much better this year. The soil in the backyard is richer than I've played with in years, lots of trees nearby will prevent a desert climate come July, while still allowing enough sunlight for things to grow. Our new location also adds to better prospects. Most of the neighbors grow vegetables. There was curiosity about the hay bales in the front yard (best sun) but not a neighbor looked down their nose at what would have been considered an eyesore in our former neighborhood. This means I have more yard to work with, despite being on a smaller piece of land.

The seeds planted a couple of weeks ago are doing well. They've been kept outside which should prevent shock later and I planted more than I need to make sure there will be enough viable seedlings.

Now comes the tough part. The obsessive in me would love to start ordering more seeds and plants online or through catalogs. She would also like to forget the budget and stuff plants into every conceivable space NOW. Patience is not my strength here... but I'm putting on the brakes, looking at the priorities as well as my current abilities and hoping to find a balance between the urban homestead that will takes years to create and the reality of what we can reasonably do now.

The flowers and shrubs currently sitting in pots will give me plenty to do in the months to come and I've taken the steps to, I pray, provide more than snackage from the garden this year.

I'm trying to be patient.

Which means... *sighs* the dwarf nigerian nanny goat will have to wait.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Instinct vs Training

Luna challenged Sugar one time too many today. It happened so fast. I didn't hear a growl or anything... just the rustling of leaves. I had been letting Sugar out front because I knew Luna was too obnoxious for such an old lady. Sugar reminds me of Charlie's aunt "Sister"... the sweetest, funny old lady but she keeps a loaded .25 in her bra.

Sugar is a beautifully behaved, gentle dog... but she's 80 or so in dog years and... she really shouldn't have to put up with a young stud with species confusion interrupting her daily constitutional.

I know the laws of nature. I knew that eventually our animal harmony could tilt. I've seen the warning signs... but really thought they'd be okay if I was out there with them.

Sugar is well behaved enough to be trusted to stay in the front yard. She has no interest in wandering and now we're at the end of a cul-de-sac, there are no dog walkers passing by with temptation to 'check it out'. But today I insisted she come out back with me while I did yard work.

The only thing Sugar has ever harmed was a young rabbit when she was about 6 months old. I didn't even yell at her but she hung her head and kept her tail between her legs all day.

I'm rambling, I know. I really, really loved that obnoxious bird. Muscovys are notoriously bad tempered. I suppose we should count it a miracle it didn't happen sooner.

I've been checking ads for duckings this past week. I want females for eggs. We don't need a male for that... it's possible having birds for a food source (and enjoying as pets) simply needs to come before my grumpy, spoiled full-moon loony bird.

No point in trying to harden my heart and pretend I don't need a good cry. NOT up to the obvious jokes about dinner. Charlie and I were ridiculously attached to him.

I can't trust Sugar around birds again... but I can keep them separate.

Ugh... trying to take a farmer's attitude is warring with my desire to curl up in a ball and cry over my feathered baby.

I'm gonna miss you Luna.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Note to Self...

If you insist on wearing black during the "pollen days", please don't sit on the car.

It reminds me of the Christmas when we made a hand print Christmas tree with acrylic paint on the storm door. I made the inane mistake of opening the door with my butt (my hands were full) before the paint had dried. We never did quite cover the butt print. Made for an interesting Christmas decoration.

At least pollen washes out.

Becka let Elena scoot around on the floor at her house. In her pristine, never a thing out of place, you could eat off the floors house. Elena immediately found a candy coated piece of intense mint gum. We now know Elena does NOT like mint.

The girl's calls to tell me when the babies do cute or new stuff reminds me of when I'd call Mum every time Krys did something new. Nice warm fuzzy.

Oh, and my strawberries are sprouting. *squee*

Monday, March 7, 2011

No way to boil this down to a quote

I left to pick up Rachel from "Othello" dress rehearsal a little bit before Dora was supposed to get her next bottle. In a moment of ditz, I didn't make the bottle before I left.

I'd been waiting at the school for 15 minutes when I thought it was past time to call the house and check on Dora. She was at the house with Charlie (who still can't walk much without getting winded) and her uncles... neither of whom has much skill with babies.

No one answered the first call. John answered on the second ring of the second call. In the background I could hear Dora screaming. John was in overload due to the crying and his inability to find Dora's pacifier with the confusion of all the noise. I asked him to give the phone to Daniel.

I thought talking Daniel through making a bottle would be an easy thing. I'd forgotten how many very specific steps are involved... especially for someone who has never done it.

"Okay Daniel, the bottle should be in the drainer by the sink... *pause* find it?"
"You mean the one without a bottom?"
"Yes. Now go to the cabinet where we keep all the baby stuff."
"Which one is that?"
*facepalm* "The tall, skinny one above the microwave."
"Does she get the Enfamil AR?"
"Nope, the Good Start in the big can. But first you need an insert for the bottle."
"Where are those?"
"Second shelf. Brand new, shrink wrapped box. They're called Drop-ins" *30 second pause while I listened to him rustle*
"Did you put it in the bottle?"
"Oh, yeah."
"You also need the box of cereal. It's oatmeal. It has a picture of a baby on the box."
"Okay, 'cause I thought you meant like, cheerios or something.

Meanwhile, I can still hear Dora raising holy heck in the background.

"Now pour in 6 ounces of filtered water from the fr..."
"Hang on. Dad needs me."

5 minutes later, Dora is quiet. The pacifier has been located and she's snuggling with Grandpa.

"Okay, Mom. 6 ounces, right?"
"Yup, 6 ounces of filtered water from the fridge."
"OH. I was just going to pour in 6 ounces of the formula powder."

Rachel was in the car by this point and I literally face palmed in the school parking lot.

"How do you know what's 6 ounces? Oh wait. Never mind, I see it on the bottle."
"Didn't you know? The moment a woman spits a child from her uterus, she can accurately measure any liquid by sight."
"Ha, ha! Okay, now what?"
"Microwave for 30 seconds."

"What? Just the water?"
"You'll put in the formula after the water is warm."
"Now what?"
"3 level scoops of formula."
"You know, someone needs to come up with some kind of manual that tells you how to interpret what a baby wants."
"It's called Experience, Daniel."
"No. I mean, like, for men."

Rachel and I were on our street by now. I hate talking and driving but these were extenuating circumstances. Good thing we were nearly home. Had I been on a busy road, I might have laughed my way into a ditch.

"Did you put in the formula?"
"Now, and please do this over the sink, pour in cereal until it comes almost to the top."

By this time, we were in the driveway. Rachel moved to get out of the car and I shook my head at her and whispered, "The boy is going to learn to do this and we're not rescuing him before the job is complete."

"Okay, I poured in the cereal."
"Get a cereal spoon and stir it a little."
"Cool, as soon as you stir it, it like, disappears."
"Um... that's because the liquid is absorbing the formula and cereal that was sitting on top of it."
"Oh, yeah."
"Now put the top on. Put your finger over the nipple and shake it about 50 times."

I hung up and went inside. It was only 13 minutes from start to finish but my brain hurt. When I told Charlie about the 'manual' comment, he said "That's called a wife."

Go easy on him... he's still sick.