By: Maranda Russell
are drawn in peaceful beauty –
their ephemeral wings
tucked in tight,
their eyes closed
in gentle repose,
and their chubby palms
cupped beneath rosy cheeks –
but ask yourself
as you turn away,
what happens to their charges
while they slumber on the job?
Last night I had a bunch of nightmares. In fact, I woke up feeling like that was all I did all night – face some of my darkest fears. These nightmares didn’t feature vampires, ghosts, ax murderers, clowns, or spiders…they featured the person I love the most in the world, my husband.
In these dreams my husband turned cruel and cold. He stopped caring about me. He wanted to leave me or even kill me. The betrayals started small in the dreams, with him choosing friends over me and simply being uncaring and dismissive of my feelings, but they accelerated as the dreams went on and turned to him expressing extreme hatred towards me and even trying to stage an “accident” to get rid of me.
Let me say that these dreams ARE NOT representative of my husband’s treatment of me. We have been together 15 years and he has been wonderful. Caring, patient, understanding, loving, forgiving….all of these are adjectives that fit him perfectly. He always puts me first before anyone else, often, even before himself.
So why the bad dreams? My guess is PTSD. When you grow up in an unstable environment with mentally ill, abusive, and selfish people who often put their own desires before your needs, it fucks you up for life. You always feel unworthy. You always feel like the rug of security can be pulled out from beneath your feet at any time. You feel like you don’t deserve good things, and if you do happen to get love and affection, you are suspicious and paranoid about it. How I wish I could just forget the past.
I shared a post last week showing the art markers I bought with some prize money I won from an art contest, and I have been having fun experimenting with them! I am really impressed with the quality of the markers so far, considering that they were only around $25 for a pack of 50. I would have liked to have gotten some Copic markers, but they are just ridiculously expensive!
Anyhow, here are a few ACEO (art trading card) artworks I have created with the new markers:
The first image is obviously just an abstract. I do like the snake-like feel of it. The cat picture sold within a few minutes of listing it on Ebay, so someone obviously liked it a lot! The last image was inspired by the Illuminati “all-seeing eye” symbol. If you would like to buy one of these artworks, or see my other art for sale, check out my Ebay store!
Some of you will probably find this post funny (honestly it is rather amusing), but if you happen to be autistic, OCD, or have a sensory processing disorder, you may relate to my very real struggles here lol.
So….I am at war with the crickets. Every single night they seem to congregate outside my bedroom window and conspire to drive me crazy and keep me from sleeping. Their constant noise is maddening and sometimes enraging.
I’ve tried several strategies to deal with the issue so far:
- Sometimes I just lay in bed and imagine stepping on them all and squishing the life out of them. Or I envision dog-size crickets that I blow apart with an assault rifle. Imagining their cricket heads exploding brings a momentary sense of satisfaction from the annoyance.
- A few nights I have gone outside at around 2am (when I normally go to bed), and took a broom to try to sweep them all away from the area or sprayed bug spray all around the area. Unfortunately, one night it was raining and windy when I did the bug spray thing and most of it ended up blowing back in my face and I think I might have poisoned myself instead of them. I don’t know if any of my neighbors have seen any of these late-night confrontations, but if they have, I do wonder what they think…
- Yesterday we went to Home Depot and got some outside insect repellent pellets to put all along the yard on that side of the house. Not sure if that will work either, but it’s worth a try I suppose. The crickets were still around last night, so it definitely hasn’t worked yet.
- Before you suggest noise-cancelling headphones or ear plugs, please know that those things are sensory hell to me in themselves. I do not like the feeling of headphones and certainly couldn’t sleep with them in. Same with ear plugs.
And so, the war rages on…
My favorite fiction genre is definitely YA. I’m not sure exactly why. Maybe I never grew up all the way? Maybe it is because teen fiction tends to be more emotionally raw than adult fiction? Maybe because the themes the genre most often explores (finding your personal identity, friendship, figuring out relationships, family dysfunction, etc.) are topics I still struggle with?
Regardless of the reason, I read a lot of YA fiction and yesterday I finished a book called “Stealing Heaven” by Elizabeth Scott, and I just wanted to say I loved this book in many ways. For one thing, the main character (Dani) has a family arguably more messed up than mine, which is hard to find lol. It is rare that I read a book which makes me grateful to have my past rather than theirs!
To sum up the book without spoilers, Dani is the daughter of two parents who got through life by being professional criminals (thieves who target rich households). Her father got caught and jailed long ago, so she has mostly grown up with her mother only. Dani doesn’t enjoy the thieving lifestyle like her parents do, but it is all she knows. She has never had any sort of security. Never been able to settle down anywhere, because her mother is always working on the next “hit job”.
Dani has never gone to school. She has never had a friend. She has only had one romantic encounter (which was honestly FUCKED UP). Dani hasn’t even been able to use her real name at any point in her life. She is adrift. However, as her mother plans yet another robbery, Dani makes a real friend for the first time and even more dangerously, she starts to fall for a cop! Can Dani find a way out of the criminal lifestyle that was forced upon her?
If you like chick lit, realistic fiction, or YA/Teen novels, I would definitely recommend giving this one a chance!
Today is just going to be a fun post where I share some cool stuff I got recently! First off, we have these new art markers that I bought with the prize money I received from a recent art contest win. It has been so much fun experimenting with them so far:
While I was at Walmart yesterday, I saw an adorable newborn-sized Halloween black cat sleeper and had to get it for my reborn doll Anya. I haven’t been as invested lately in my reborn dolls, but like all of my hobbies, my interest tends to come and go:
And lastly, I finally got this Headless Horseman action figure from the 1999 Sleepy Hollow horror movie (starring two of my favorites, Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci)! I already had the Ichabod Crane figure, but this one is probably even cooler. It comes with two heads that snap on, the skull as you can see in the photo, and the Christopher Walken head next to the figure:
I must admit that I stole these 6 word story writing prompts from one of my favorite WordPress bloggers, Therapy Bits. I’m not sure where she gets these prompts, or if she makes them up herself, but I thought they looked like a lot of fun, so I started borrowing a few of them just to see what I could come up with. Personally, I tend to think of these 6 word stories as a minimalist form of poetry, even tighter and more concise than haiku.
So here are a few of the prompts and what I came up with:
Her curves couldn’t outweigh her personality.
To hold a belief is self-delusion.
One doll, with third degree burns.
Mundane, but still better than Monday.
A cat is a maddening creature.
Make an offer, I can refuse.
Perhaps plausible, but is it infallible?
Rebel against your own poor expectations.
I hope you guys enjoyed this. Let me know if you did and maybe I’ll do more in the future. If you want to share any 6 word stories you come up with, feel free to do so in the comments!
Do you ever wonder if it all matters? I sure do. I try to be positive most of the time when I think about the things I do and whether they make a difference, but when I get depressed, the voices of doubt tend to get louder. They say some pretty mean things:
Are you just wasting your time writing and making art? Who really cares?
Why would anyone care what you have to say? Who do you think you are?
You try to support others, but do they even notice? Does it even help them?
You only focus so much on art and writing because you can’t keep a REAL job.
Your own family never cared that much about you, why would anyone else?
If you died today, barely anyone would notice or care. Your funeral would be empty.
You are selfish and everyone sees through you.
You are a drain on your husband and society in general.
I know these are very negative (some would even say abusive) thoughts, but when I am feeling low, they play in my head like a stuck record. By writing them out, I am hoping they will finally shut the hell up. Do any of these thoughts (or similar ones) ever haunt you?
Here are a few new drawings I made over the past week and just put up for sale on my Ebay store. The bird one was actually inspired by a photo in an issue of National Geographic, the cat one was just random weirdness put together, and the strange-looking creature in the last one was inspired by an artwork in a book I have been reading called “100 Artists See Satan” (as it sounds, the book is a collection of artworks which portray each artist’s perception of the devil or evil):