365 Days of Truth, Confessions of a Mad Woman
Day 1. I am terrified of confrontation and speaking up for myself or in defense of my opinions. I find I get used and walked on because, I will not speak out when something bothers me. I really hate this about myself.
Day 2. I am not as shy as I let on…. I’m just to scared of how people will think of me. Which causes me stress and anxiety, which causes my quirks to kick into full effect, which causes me to not always make sense or act in a normal socially accepted way. So instead of allowing myself to get out there and meet folk. I clam up, hide and play shy.
Challenge to myself: Try and make 5 new friends not introduced to me by my inner core of people. *gulps*
Day 3. Let’s be light-hearted today. When attending the last ever Madstock in London, England. I was injured and managed to use my wilds and charm to get backstage. That day I met Madness.
Day 4. I am very outspoken and passionate… but I take things personally way to often. I am working on this.
Day 5. My daughter saved my life. If she wasn’t here, I don’t think I would be either.
Day 6. I envy larger women who are comfortable and accepting of their bodies. I hate my body on the best of days. I have battled eating disorders, starving myself for weeks, fad diets… have no mirrors that show my lower half at all.
I accept that I will never be able to accept ‘big is beautiful’ for myself. Instead I am now working to healthily shrink the skin I am in.
Telling big people to love or accept themselves for who they are… Does not help. If someone is unhappy in their body, they won’t be happy with it until they are able to change it.
Day 7. One reason, I don’t have my drivers license or give instructions is I don’t know my left from right… unless I make my thumbs and index fingers into L shapes.
Day 8. I wasn’t sure what to say for today’s secret, until D asked me one simple question. “Who was your favourite character when you were a kid?” I honestly had to think about it, and the answer is not one I liked. “I didn’t have one.”
As a child on the Autistic Spectrum, I did not play. I never played make believe. I never got attached to a favoured toy. Nothing. I was a dissector and musically stimulated.
Now though 34 years on I’m learning to play. It’s a challenge, but I have a great teacher.
Day 9. I am hypersensitive to touch. I wear baggy clothing, because tighter clothing is painful as it rubs my skin. I limit my touch contact to close friends only as they will understand if I cringe or pull away quickly.
I am not afraid of needles as most think. Getting a needle is hell. For blood work not only is the needle going in a tummy turning sensation, I can then feel it pulsing in the vein. It’s not a sensation easily described.
On flare up days though, there is only one person I save my ‘spoons’ for and that is D.
Day 10. After my father had passed suddenly, my mother planned a trip to Toronto for my brother, myself and her. Go have some fun and try and make happy moments at a sad time. We were set to go, but the morning of I started to beg my mother that we just stay at home instead. Telling her I had had a dream that she was going to be hurt and my brother and I would be left alone. Now like most people would, my mother took this to be the fears of a five year old who just lost a parent… We were hit by another car on the drive. My mother was put into an ambulance hurt. Leaving my brother and I standing alone (with the police) in a store parking lot.
This was the first ‘dream’ I remember. They never stopped.
Day 11. I am are perfectionist. Due to this I have left a long string of unfinished projects behind me.
This is why Little Trees has been so helpful and exciting an experience for me.
I’m not perfect or a superhero. I am what I believe I can be, with no other unreasonable expectations.
Day 12. When I explode, I do it with no graces, manners or maturity. Although if you give me a few days to allow calmer heads to prevail. I will usually apologize for my behaviour and have a good discussion about what the root problems are.
If however you continue to show the behaviours that angered me in the first place… then all bets are off. I will end friendships, even if I would have tried to salvage them previously.
Day 13: I have an severe phobia of Moths.
Day 14. Some days secrets should stay just that. Secret. Especially when you’re in a not so great mood to start with.
Day 15. One of my most prized ‘Things’ from all my years, is a note on a scrap of paper. (I am a recovering packrat)
I was in a cafe in Toronto, sitting in the hidden smoking section having way to much coffee while reconnecting with an old friend. When Jackie Burroughs came in and sat at the table next to us. I am a HUGE L.M. Montgomery fan, and here was Aunt Hetty sitting next to me!! It took me an hour to build up the courage to ask for an autograph. She apologized, but she didn’t give out autographs.
Gutted… totally gutted, but I smiled and said thank you for letting me interrupt. Then she asked my name, I responded it was the same as hers, Jackie. She laughed and asked me if I liked it, I said “not really and you?”
She shook her head and said no too. There I was over the moon to be laughing and joking with an icon of Canadian theater/television/movies for ten minutes!! At this point I didn’t care about the autograph anymore. As I was saying goodbye and thank you for letting a fan girl interrupt her coffee, she pulled out a pen and paper and wrote me a note and signed it. She handed it to me with a smile and said good bye.
As I got back to my table, I unfolded the note. I read my personal message and looked at the signature.. I made her smile and we shared the same name that is why she signed the note for me. It’s framed, a valued treasure indeed.
Day 16: When it comes to men I am a loser. Seriously… I was single for almost a decade before I married. I think maybe that is why I settled for the first guy who actually wanted to be with ME, not just my breasts. (Please refer back to loser in love)
The only encounters I did have were basically ‘Lonely sex’ or for most of the guys ‘ You’re not my type but I have needs so you will do’. There were even a few that I really wished it was different, as my feelings were a bit stronger then their needs.
This is why I have come to a conclusion that I am probably destined to be lonely and single the rest of my life. You know what though… I am okay with that. I would rather be lonely then have D learn that having partners who just treat you as a walking breasts and vagina are okay to be with.
It’s all about being strong enough to love yourself, and know that no one else has to love you to be happy.
Day 17: Honestly I feel horrible. Pretty sure it’s the flu? Either way I am to cotton headed to be deep and insightful. So something light… I collect cookbooks. I currently have around 100 cookbooks spanning globally from the 1800’s to present day.
Day 18 (late): When I was younger I wanted to become a marine biologist and run off to join Greenpeace.
My dream was stopped dead in it’s tracks by school standard testing. I was told I would never have the math grades required. To just give up and do something I’d be able to do.
So disheartened I did just that. I put away all my books on marine life and Greenpeace and gave up. Thinking, no convinced I was not good enough.
Encourage do not discourage a persons dreams. You never know when you might make the next genius feel useless about themselves and they just give up.
Day 19. Sometimes, not all the time though. I let D have ice cream for breakfast, and feel no guilt about it. Because usually there are giggles and wiggles, as memories are made.
Day 20. `Bullying’. Yup tonight is going to be a deep one, with a happy ending I promise.
Grade Two: We had a substitute teacher, she was the mother of a fellow student. I needed to pee. I had raised my hand, been scolded when I dared say ‘Excuse me’ to get her attentions. You see she was helping her daughter with a difficult problem. Well at the point of almost no return I got up and started for the door. It was that or have an accident. She yelled at me to get back into my seat, and that I was being disruptive. No matter how much I tried to plead with her… I was ignored. Forced to return to my seat, where yes, I wet myself. The teacher then purposefully shamed me and humiliated me, while my class mates laughed. I was told to clean up my mess, and not allowed to go clean myself up or call my mother to get me. I was made to sit in my pee soaked dress all day, and all the way home on the school bus.
Grade 4-8: I was awkward, I was in the LDU, I had already tried to kill myself and been hospitalized, I was shy, I didn’t wear Roots, I hated gym, I had armpit hair. Those are some reasons… I had two friends S. and B. When new kids would come, they were warned I was a weirdo and to not be my friend. But… At the end of grade 8 something pretty cool happened. A boy by the name of R.R-T Anyways he was sent to the LDU to help him with I think it was math. One day he mentioned to another student that his father had a boat at the Britannia Yacht Club. I shyly mentioned that is where my family had had our boat. He asked where it was then, I told him my father had died in an accident at the club and we didn’t have the boat anymore. Suddenly by their reactions I had grown a third eye and was a weirdo to be ignored again. The next day… He came up to me and said he was sorry. I told him honestly I was confused, sorry for what? He told me he asked his dad about what I had said. His dad told him about that day, he was there. He told Randy we had been there too, just before it happened. He promised not to call me strange again and began to say hi everyday. Slowly more and more kids I had been in school with for 4-5 years with were saying hi. The bullying never really stopped, but for a while I had friends and felt included.
I could continue, but I think you get the point. I was bullied from grade one all the way through into my 30’s. For a long time I was effected by their words and actions against me. BUT… It dawned on me about a month ago, that I was still allowing peoples actions towards me to control me 30 years on. They were no longer my bullies… I was now bullying and shaming myself. I was holding onto these memories, no one else was forcing them on me. It was time to let them go, to be free of the memories of embarrassment, tears, fears, hurt and humiliation.
Now I dance in the streets with D singing at the top of our lungs. I don’t care if my clothes aren’t fashionable, I like them. I am not comfortable in my skin, but I am happy with what I am doing to change it. Basically, I don’t care what others think because I AM HAPPY WITH WHO I AM. That is all that matters.
*Warning this episode contains scenes with Unverified Personal Gnosis. Read at your own risk, but understand these are MY thoughts and feelings before you poop on them. I am not asking anyone to share my thinking or think it’s even more than horse manure. I am asking you to have an open mind to my spirituality*
Day 21: Okay… *Deep Breath In*… *Exhale and Type*
I have a foggy memory of being small, it is night time and there is a huge thunder storm. I remember being so scared, but my father was there. He was telling me stories of a God of Thunder who was bowling with his hammer. Each time the thunder rumbled he was throwing it, and when the lightening crashed it’s because he hit the pins making them crash to the ground. It made me giggle and I was no longer afraid, of the storms because I knew it was just the Gods having fun.
As the years went on the story faded to a brief memory. I had found a new God and his son, and forgot about the old ones. I tried hard to understand about the scriptures and the commandments. It just never felt right… and then at a very dark time in my life, I felt ultimately betrayed by God. How could he allow what happened to so many of us in ‘that place’? How could he allow those people to do these things in ‘Gods Name’? At 16, I turned my back on God and Jesus. The wounds still hurt, and the secrets from there are still to painful to share for myself and many on my Facebook friends list. (Quick Note: Please understand these are MY feelings and that you do not have all the information. I am sorry about that. Until the court case has settled though it is better to just stay quiet)
For a while I believed in nothing, then I returned to the old Gods. I began by learning about the ‘Celtic’ Gods for a few years, it felt better but still not right. It was at a festival, 17 years ago. I camped on top of a large rock outcropping, to my left was the way to Men’s Ritual site and to the right was the way to the river. It was a night of storming, and there was water coming into my tent. I donned my tarp and headed out to try and stop the drips. As I stepped out lightening began to flash all around, striking the river and the ritual site. I have to admit I was panicking at this point, but then I had my ‘Spiritual re-awakening’ moment. The next flash of lightening, I saw a man with a hammer on top of the rock outcropping, and suddenly the memory of my fathers voice and story came back… and like a nutter I began to laugh and felt safe.
I remained in the shadows in our community, for many reasons. Occasionally asking very cryptic questions of Asatru friends. I collected whatever books I could. As the dawning of the ‘Time of Internet Knowledge’ came, I sifted through piles of articles, papers and personal opinions. I did this for 15 years. Then I went to a brand new festival with a friend R. Who would turn out to be my guide out of my seclusion. It was the second night, it had rained all day but had cleared up around dinner time. I was sitting at the table reading as D had passed out cold, when R. walked up to our site. She handed me a necklace, on it hung a Mjolnir and said ” I bought this for me, but I think you need to put it on instead.” I took it, I stared at it for a while, and then put it on. Suddenly, thunder and lightening began to sound all around us again for a good minute and a half. Again, I laughed and said “Alright, I get the point”. Since that day I have rarely gone with out proudly wearing my Mjolnir.
I am a proud Heathen and I do believe in things you can not see or explain. I do believe in personal spiritual moments and experiences. I also believe in a healthy dose of research and verified proof, but sometimes books and things in the ground are not enough explanation and you just have to go with your gut. I no longer feel the need to hide this or feel shame about it. This is who I am, and I am happy.
(For some reason this one is causing me more fear to post then most)
*Deep Breath in*… *Post and Exhale*
Day 22: For a picky textural eater I have tried or eaten many ‘exotic’ to western palate foods. Some of my favorite foods, are foods that would usually turn a tummy or two at the thought.
Some foods tried or eaten unknowingly, never again!
Rat, dog, cat, spider, cows brain, pigs testicle with penis attached, I think it was goat testicles, maybe sheep? Sucking the brains out of raw shrimp, fish eyeballs, various insects. So many but the one I just could never do was the Thousand Year Old Egg. I had to draw the line somewhere. I mean I tried prahoak… Once. I only had so many lives left.
Some of my favorite odd foods,
A good strong Stilton, my uncles blood pudding, BBQ cows heart, Kitfo, Sashimi (Only way I will eat fish is raw). Bring on any white rind cheese, the creamier the better. Who am I kidding… just give me cheese! Sugar ants. I think that is what they were. I was visiting a home of a friend and his family served the meal. There were these rather large ants in my dish, i was sure they had just gotten in some how and was trying to remove them. The other westerner with me leaned over and asked if I had ants in my soup. i nodded… It was then we realized we were eating ant soup. So being good sports we tried, and we liked it. They crunch but only for a moment like a bean, then there is a delicious woody sweet taste. We actually asked for seconds. Lastly to throw in a fruit durian.
I am willing to try things but prefer to stay with in my comfort zones. Although with my pension for wanderlust, I do like tasting the local treats and delicacies.
Day 23: When I was little I was carefree and wild. When I was a bit older I began to have interests. I loved dinosaurs. What kid doesn’t? I wanted to be a paleontologist. Then when I was older, I loved whales and sharks and Jacque-Yves Cousteau. I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. Then when I was older still I was given a book by M.C. Escher. I wanted to be an artist. Then I was given a camera. I used to walk just aimlessly along the Ottawa River taking roll after roll of driftwood, washed up shoes, geese, ducks. I wanted to be a photographer.
Well I can proudly say, that although I never got to be everything I wanted to be. I have been a successful photographer. I am an artist. I was a teacher. I am currently also working on being an author. I’m a mother. Now though a spark that was lit a year ago has burned into an inferno of I want to do this… I want to get a university degree. There are many reasons behind my decision.
As I said, a year ago I was talking to a friend about books on Viking and Norse traditions. Offhandedly they happened to mention a Masters Degree in Iceland that got my heart racing. So I began to think, and re-think, and over-think… and then think everything through again. So once I have all the documents and papers filled out, I am applying at Ottawa University in their Medieval and Renaissance Studies program. The future is looking a lot brighter now. I enjoy finally feeling like I have a sense of direction. I haven’t felt this way in a long long time.
Day 24: I was just freshly 17, it was New Years eve, and we had gone to Hull to celebrate. DJ Leslie was blasting out some great music of the times, Skinny Puppy, Front 242, O Fortuna… It was a good night.
I kept bumping into this pretty cute guy, in the line at the bar, line to the washrooms, watching our friends coats as they were on the dance floor. He had been wearing a Dead Kennedy’s shirt, one of my favourite bands. So we had started talking about the punk and industrial music scenes, then about ourselves. He was from Poland, only here to visit family, loved punk more then the industrial, and was also in the bar illegally. Well as Midnight moved closer, we could no longer hear what each other was saying, so he went to find his family and I went to join my friends on the dance floor.
Just as Midnight was about to strike, I went over to get I think my cigarettes from my purse. Then the countdown started, 5… I got a crazy idea. 4… I downed the last of my beer for courage. 3… Breath check. 2… Nerves, backing out. 1… No time like the present. At 12am, I kissed this boy whose name I didn’t even know… at 12:03am he finished kissing me. It was one of the most passionate kisses I have ever experienced, I was weak in the knees. We both just looked at each other for a moment. Smiled and went our separate ways. We never even knew each others names. We didn’t see each other again, I assume he went back to Poland and settled… But to me he will always be the boy I shared a passionate moment with on my 17th birthday.
(Note I have never had the testicles to do that again.)
Day 25 late: I have suffered from depression for 30+ years. I have talked to all manner of professionals, I have been hospitalized, if there is a ‘new treatment’ I’ve tried or looked into it and I have been medicated for most of it. Not now as I made the decision to be able to live my life and not just zombie through it.
You know what really upsets me though. People who presume to know my moods or what I am thinking. People who presume that they know all about depression and need to hand out advice or critic how you lead your life. You know what… right now there is only one person allowed to do that… my Mother. Because she has had to go through this horrible crap with me too.
Depression varies in forms and intensity. Unsolicited advice does not help. So before you give it… make sure it is wanted.
Day 26: It’s a silly one. Even after all these years. I still cry when I read Flint Fireforge’s death scene in the 3rd book of the Dragonlance Chronicles.