For my own poor health
the truth must be told –
my mother, I remember,
was heaviest, the faintest –
sinking the small pulse
of life within me.
I later roused myself –
dreaming over the cool
night air in the suburbs.
I turned again to
my mother, my sister –
but I was the sole
of the family.
(Poetry by Maranda Russell)
For years now, I have considered writing a book about my teen years, when I got swept up in a fundamentalist, almost cult-like religious environment for several years. Boy, was I a mixed up kid back then! I’m using my actual diary entries from that time to illustrate what I went through psychologically trying to be this perfect “Christian” that the church I was going to at the time said I had to be. Here is a sneak peak at the introduction to the book:
“This book is one I’ve thought about writing for a while now and finally decided to just do it. As the title suggests, this is indeed one of my own diaries from when I was a teenager and was being influenced by a fundamentalist Christian mentality that sought to isolate me from everyone around me, put fear and anxiety into my heart concerning every choice I had to make, and weighed down my conscience with constant guilt over every little real or imagined transgression.
I am using the first journal I happen to have, started when I was 14 and about to enter high school. The journal covers the time I was most influenced by fundamentalist, almost cult-like ideas.
This religion told me it was wrong to wear pants as a woman. They told me it was wrong to cut my hair or wear jewelry and makeup. They told me it was wrong to listen to secular music, go to the movies, or watch tv. The internet was evil as well. They told me it was wrong to have friends that weren’t “holy” believers. They tried to make me feel like women were simply made to be complements to men, not to have dreams, goals, or lives of their own.
This religion had me constantly fearing the presence and “possession” of demons and thinking that my future didn’t matter because Jesus was coming back soon anyway, so I wouldn’t live long enough to have much of an earthly life. They even discouraged use of “man-made” medicine because it supposedly showed a lack of faith in God’s healing powers.
I have lightly edited the journal entries to make them easier to read, but have otherwise left the content as is. I have inserted italic comments in parentheses when I felt I needed to clarify something. I did leave out parts I felt were uninteresting or just don’t matter overall. I hope you enjoy reading it and can see how fundamentalist religious environments can be extremely damaging to children and teens.”
This hasn’t been a great week for me. I’ve been struggling with headaches, earaches, fatigue, and stomach issues physically, and then on top of that I’ve been rather depressed and lethargic. Last weekend we were supposed to go to a baby animals festival I always love, but I didn’t feel up to it either day. Tomorrow is my 16th wedding anniversary, but I don’t feel much like celebrating, even though I am very thankful for my wonderful husband.
We also found out that my husband’s health insurance through his work is going up $100 a month and that I might actually be dropped from the plan now that I have SSDI and can get Medicare. I’m not sure how that might affect my current healthcare and doctors. I really hate our healthcare system here in America.
I guess a couple of good things I can concentrate on are that I just hit over 2,000 Instagram followers, and am only 5 subscribers away from 1,000 followers here on WordPress! If you don’t follow me already, please help me reach that goal!!! I would be most grateful and it would make me smile.
Here are a few more oil pastel ACEO artist trading cards I made recently. These all reflect more abstract expressionism techniques:
Check out all my art for sale on my Ebay store!
Sometimes I feel like mental health disorders are like Pokemon: Gotta catch’em all!!!
Is there a point where collecting mental health labels gets ridiculous and almost humorous? Sometimes I wonder if all the stuff that has been ascribed to me is really wrong with me, and if it is – is it actually just one thing with many different facets?
Here are the mental health diagnoses I have collected to this day (that I know of and can remember):
PDD-NOS (high-functioning autism)
Asperger’s Syndrome (a slightly different form of high-functioning autism lol)
Bipolar Type 2
Major Depressive Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder
Avoidant Personality Disorder
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
I may be leaving some out or have ones I don’t even know I have in my medical record, but am I getting close to winning this odd, mentally ill game of Pokemon Go yet? I CHOOSE YOU!…
Did a little shopping today at Hobby Lobby and Target. While looking at toys I saw these “Butt Heads” toys with literal butts for heads that reminded me so much of South Park. My favorite was the “Grim Ripper”:
I didn’t actually buy one, but I had to take a pic at least lol. I did have to buy myself a “Detective Pikachu” figure:
As you can see, I accomplished a lot today lol. I did get some decorative papers at Hobby Lobby that I hope to use soon to make some new artworks, so I’ll share those when I figure out what I’m doing with them.
‘Twas horrible to think
that she suffered
an unspeakable childhood.
Every day they reopened
the contentions –
that she could not
Mischief and dread
became more likely
than right and wrong –
causing heads to hit
hard against circumstances
almost as good
as she once was.
(Blackout poetry created from a page of “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens)