Why I Support Saving our Sisters

This is an art piece I created as part of the Door to the Soul project at Shade Post in Fort Lauderdale.  Lets just say I learned an awful lot about the biological processes and effects on the body and MIND during pregnancy, labor, delivery and post partum in the process of blaming myself and taking responsibility for my actions.

Please consider giving Saving Our Sisters a like on Facebook.  You never know when you might have the opportunity to help.

 

Its in Our Heads and In Our Hearts

They say it is in our heads and it is, but it is also in our hearts.  I’ve struggled so very much to let go over the last 4 years and its hard to put into words how it feel like I physically can’t, but this link helps explain it, at least it does to me.  A part of all my children always remains with in me.

I’ve never cared one bit, about material things,  I like dancing, reading, writing, creating art, spending time with people I care about, this is my entertainment, a great side effect is its mostly free, can take place right at home, out and about, alone or with others.

Electronics, gadgets, televisions, the latest phone, app, video games, or any other outside entertainment devices don’t interest me much. Sure I enjoy a video, movie,  internet or outside entertainment now and then but I could, and often do, go without them quite easily. I do enjoy electronics as tools to assist my own creativity.

I tried to get away from it all  in 2013, that trip turned out to be much more intense, full of challenges, and obstacles, trying to help myself and also others, this one at last, in gratitude and love, is just for me.

Getting in touch with me again, my own visions for my future, to stop being so hard on myself for feeling like I really, really messed up, for feeling like I can’t be there for everybody in the way they want or expect me to be,  especially my children, I want the very best for them always, and to forgive myself for not being all I’d like to be right now, I’m still pretty darn ok with me.  Its been a long hard few years, I know I am getting there, actually making really good progress and I am excited to have options.  Yellow Green Farmers Market or an individual gallery?  Where will the next stage of my artist career end up? The time to decide is coming soon,  I’m looking forward to it and feeling blessed for the time to decide at exactly the right time. 

 A break from trying to figure how to make everyone but me happy,  to tune back into my dreams for myself, for my family and eventually, hopefully to help mothers in need.   Just because I’m not there right now doesn’t mean I don’t wish I was sometimes, it will all come together eventually.  We don’t start college with our dream job secured for graduation day, its really not that different with other things we hope to accomplish in life. 

Away from the noise, the daily grind, televisions, sirens, peoples opinions, differences, perspectives, wants, needs, demands, social occasions, commitments, deadlines, obligations, the general hustle and bustle of the city. I am doing what I  needed to do for myself,  even though I’ve done this a couple a other times in my life, take a chance on getting to see my kids, and them to see me, and get on with living my life  with the best possible attitude, until the next opportunity arises, which sounds like its coming this summer.  

Wow, I needed this little break. I feel like a new person.

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Miscellaneous Morning

This morning my mind finds itself traveling in and out of wondering, dreams, thoughts, ideas, past, present, future, what it all means, hoping for the best possible outcomes for everyone. As an artist this is a part of the creative process that drives and sustains me.

Feeling exceptionally grateful to my friend who invited me to take a little trip for a couple weeks, and a side trip to see my teenage children if the “stars aligned” (sadly they didn’t).  I know the stars shall align soon, and even though I am pretty sure we are all a little scared, we will be reunited.

Facing fears, pondering consequences, merging life experiences, all of the memories of experiences that make me who I am.  Where did the peaceful path take a turn down a rugged road, full of winding roads, uphill climbs, of confusions and frustrations?

Do I keep writing as mswenderful a name that for some people identifies me easily, or do I create a a new fictitious name? Is that hiding from myself, protecting my children, or denying them the truth of how their mother felt then, feels now, and hopes and dreams of the future?

I do dream of a future, a future with a home that my children and my grandchildren will always be able to visit.  A home where I can easily pay the bills, or better yet, buy  with cash so, for once in my life,  I don’t have to worry about being one unforeseen set back away from a huge disaster that would only be a hiccup to lot of people.

My children have been the inspiration for almost everything I’ve ever done.  Being able to go out and do things with them, treat them to going out to dinner, being able to visit my children who live in Virginia without having to take random chances because someone I know happens to be going by there and offered to help us see each other, is something I dream of and dare I even…look forward too?  They said they weren’t ready yet,  and there I was 3 hours away.  It hurt, but I get it also. They are hurt also. It worries and concerns me as a mother in ways I won’t get into here, but I get it.  We will try again in the summer.

It took me a couple days of being here in the Hudson Valley, to just relax and process. I could have let it depress me, instead I look forward to planning the trip for the summer, thankful for another friend who has already offered to take the trip with me. I will utilize this time to do what I need to do for me.

Being able to buy them plane tickets to come see me after we finally break the ice and (hopefully) they are more comfortable with me again. Being able to easily help my children if and when they run into bumps in the road, just as we all do, instead of moving for summer to take a job and try to help as I’ve done before, would be pretty darn awesome.  Yes its true, I have an adventurous spirit and want to see much of the world, I also  dream of a permanent family home which I am able to venture out of and return to also. I’d love to be able to share adventures with my children. So…..I following my heart I resurrect my dream to be financially independent through my own creativity.

It  began 2010 after so many years of struggling to find and keep work in a fickle judgmental society,  having crappy dead end jobs, being unable to afford a car,  I decided to pursue my own independent living through art.  I was quite used to living, happily even, on practically nothing at all, so I figured lets try this and started building what I hoped to be a growing little art career while still seeking and taking outside jobs, steps to build my own independence.

One of the most important things to me was to keep prices very affordable because I feel that everyone should have access to things they find beautiful and would love in their home, I didn’t want people to have to say ” I wish I could afford that”.  No I don’t make hundreds of dollars per sale, but how cool would it be to sell a 100 prints a day even if I only made one dollar on each one?  Why not try, anything is possible, especially with the “magic” of the internet and a company that prints and ships meaning zero overhead for me.

It never occurred to me to get in galleries, but somehow that happened on the way. Frankly sometimes it gives me anxiety.   Its weird sometimes the things you never even imagined or dreamed of that happen in your life. I just figured heck, if I could make $1000 a month, wouldn’t that be a humongous difference for everyone in my life, even if I always had an outside job it would help give me freedom to change jobs, buy a car, to take short breaks, visit my children regularly and go on adventures most people call vacations and maybe, just maybe stop needing to ask for help every once in awhile when opportunities to better myself arise, if only I could afford them. (Thank you to my friends and family members who helped out and brought me to this place in the journey.)

So I suspect I’ve been rambling and meandering a bit with conversation here today, a day to refresh and revisit my many websites and resurrect my dream of self sustaining my life through my own creativity.

While I am going through the steps to stream line everything feel free to take a look at The Art of Being, Everything is Wenderful T-Shirt Shop (please excuse the green background I’m trying to figure out how to change it), or my Online Print Gallery where I stay true to the dream of keeping affordable art available for every one while on my path to independent employment!

Why Adoption was a Last Resort

Adoption was a last resort because I know a thing or two about adoption, family separation, and grief  through empiricism, direct felt experience and have had to watch my children go through it also.

em·pir·i·cism
əmˈpirəˌsizəm/

noun

PHILOSOPHY
  1. the theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience. Stimulated by the rise of experimental science, it developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, expounded in particular by John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume.

I have first hand experience with what it FEELS like to be adopted.  I am, what I refer to as, half adopted.  I was raised by my biological natural real mother who grew me in her uterus and gave birth to me, and an adopted father.  Of course I did not know this growing up.  It was a big family secret.  Somewhere around the age of 12 I began to start figuring it out for myself.  Feelings I had my whole life, but couldn’t really put a finger on started making sense.  I didn’t really look like any of my (half) siblings.  I didn’t have any features of my “father”.  I never really felt like I fit in at any extended family gatherings.  Its a strange sort of knowing that is very complicated to put words on so I will not even make an effort except perhaps that it is an internal knowing, an intution.

Please don’t get me wrong, my Dad, as I refer to him, is a great guy.  I am appreciative of all he has done for me and accepting me into his life, and my children also.  I’m not angry, I totally get that it was the 70’s, times were different, and everyone completely believed they were doing the best thing.  I can not be angry at that for any reason but we are pretty darn different people.   It was the lying that reaked the havok.  Being forced to continue to try to pretend that everything was as I had been led to believe my whole life was still true, when it wasn’t.  I tried to be ok with it, but deep down inside I wasn’t.  Its hard as heck when you suddenly realize you don’t trust the people you are supposed to depend on to be there  and trust no matter what, anymore.  Its hard when you feel like your whole life has been a lie.

I also have 4 older children, born in 1989, 1992, 1997, and 1998 respectively.  Sadly they too have experienced the grief and loss of being disconnected from family.   My oldest two sons and I live together now.  My daughter and son live with their father in another state. Yes, different fathers are involved.  When my second husband and I were divorced I was not present in the courtroom.  I didn’t know about the hearing.  I can say why I didn’t get the notice, I just didn’t get it.  People like to judge me for it, no one ever seems to observe that hey…..he could have said my soon to be ex wife isn’t here, can we continue it or call her?  I found out I was divorced via mail when the divorce decree arrived.  He had been given custody separating siblings, even though he was in the military and subject to duty transfers.  I suppose maybe they thought I didn’t care since I wasnt’ there, to me it feels like a fast one was pulled.

Its been a slow road in hell at times ever since then.   A road of working,  paying child support while also qualifying for and receiving food stamps.  A road of siblings separated, not understanding, missing each other,  a road of feeling like all of society thinks I am a dead beat parent because I haven’t seen my 3rd and 4th child in more years than I care to mention because I simply can’t afford to. (When they moved from the state we all used to live in together, I moved as close as I could where I had a friend I could stay with until getting myself going,  thinking I’d just start again over here on the east coast and it would be a closer drive when I could afford to go see them)  A road of knowing they must imagine that I am a complete piece of shit, when really all I want to do is be part of thier life again.  How do you explain to your children that it takes 2 adults to make things work out for the children without making their father out to be an asshole?  I’m not really intersted in that, it causes more damage so I am here being interpreted in ways I don’t even want to imagine still trying to find away to make my own living that doesn’t involve half of my paycheck being immediately taken out for child support.

I’ve waited tables most of my life, now I’m 43, its taken a toll on my body but kept some of the money I earn in my pocket.   No one wants to think it, but alot of employers don’t want to deal with the paperwork involved in garnishing paychecks, so sometimes I feel like I’ve been over looked and discharged from employment in favor of someone that wasn’t so much work to hire.   I started trying to sell my art online in 2011 as an affordable attempt to fill thefinancial gap and try to raise some money to go see my children.  I like the platform of the online gallery service as it cost me nothing, made it easy to upload, they did the printing and shipping….and yes, I only would make a commission, but as I like to say in life, some is better than none.

So yes I’ve seen some damage, seen damage to my children,  been part of it, and been accused of being the only one causing it.  So 14 years later, older, wiser, and having learned from my experiences, challenges, mistakes, and achievements sure as hell did not want to inflict any trauma on this new little baby I was carrying, I wanted to be there for him, and with him, as a stay at home mother. I wanted to protect him from the pain of separation and make his life as joyous as possible.

It took over a year after his adoption for me to start answering the question I asked myself time and time again while accepting responsibilty for my actions, how did I let this happen?  I started researching on the internet and found some interesting answers.