E/R

Aug. 22nd, 2012 07:17 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (Asthma Hound Chihuahua)
Just got back in from E/R. I'd gone to my regular doc for a follow-up from when I was in hospital last week. When she couldn't find a vein to check my blood and my blood pressure was low, she sent me straight to the E/R. I'm okay physically but, mentally, I'm a wreck. It's three days short from a year since Aunt Tudi died in that hospital.

I'm just so ever everything right now. So very fucking over it.

Chester

Apr. 21st, 2012 02:04 am
tinhuvielartanis: (2D and 3C)
One of the most distressing issues for me right now is Chester. Every time I look at Chester, I see Aunt Tudi for a number of reasons, the greatest being that he was taken into our family as a Christmas gift for Aunt Tudi after we lost Winston. Winston was a Yorkshire Terrier we adopted from Dr. Patch's office after his family "had a baby" and no longer could care for Winston like they previously could. He lived his last five years with us, and he and Aunt Tudi grew extremely close. Winston had to visit the hospital often in the last year of his life because of congestive heart failure. He actually died in Aunt Tudi's arms during one of our hospital visits. He got too excited at seeing Aunt Tudi and his heart gave out on him.

Losing him and in such a traumatic way was deeply troubling to us both, but especially Aunt Tudi. She grieved so hard for that dog and was so mournful for not having a Yorkie in her life, I decided to get her a Yorkie puppy.

Chester was born in November 2000 and I made the down-payment on him in December of the same year. I took Aunt Tudi to visit the 6-week-old puppies and finalising the payment in January 2001. In March, Winchester Napolean came home with us, horking on both Aunt Tudi's shoulders from nerves and motion sickness. She thought it was adorable.

Chester was less than three months shy of 11 when Aunt Tudi passed.

He has been incredibly lonely since she's gone and, even though I've tried to be there for him in the same capacity, there's just no way I can be. What makes it even worse is, there are some days I can barely look at him because of what he means and how much he meant to Aunt Tudi.

This week has been so bad, and Chester has sensed it. He's been all over me, trying to comfort me, not realising that he has sometimes only served to break my heart more. We're two wounded animals for whom there seems to be no healing capacity. Chester seems to have fared better than I have, but who am I to really say for sure? Humans can't adequately interpret animals' feelings, so I'm not going to assume to know Chester's thoughts on this. All I can do is go by what I perceive and how I feel.

All I know is that Chester has been sorely neglected on my part because of my inability to properly grieve combined with my being a poor replacement for someone whose affection was unconditional and knew no bounds. I'm a selfish slob compared to the person Chester knew as his 24/7 companion up until August of last year. There's no way I can ever measure up and that is to Chester's detriment. It's so unfair to him, and yet another testament to the wisdom that you should never give an animal as a gift.

And here it is 2 AM in the morning and I'm up rubbing the already raw parts of my heart even bloodier.

Still Here

Apr. 20th, 2012 09:25 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (Gothtin)
So, where to begin?

Oh yeah, I'm still here. Not sure why, but I am. Lucky you.

It's been a pretty bleak week, emotionally speaking. One of the darker ones since Aunt Tudi's passing. I've come very close a couple of times this week to going through with my desire to join her and all the animals who've gone on before us. I'm not just saying that. My only option in making that a reality is jumping in the river right down the road. I can't swim and I'd be jumping from a bridge, so it's a pretty certain thing. And I was in the car and going down the driveway in the middle of the night this past Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Why I turned back is anyone's guess.

Maybe it's because I'd feel guilty leaving the animals that are still here.

Maybe I'm just way too much of a coward.

Maybe I just don't know.

Whatever the reason, I'm still here and plugging along, trying to keep my mind on other matters, and off Aunt Tudi.

I've decided that modern technology can sometimes be more of a curse than a blessing. I have always been the type to keep reminders of people I've lost out of my sight until I was better able to cope with the loss. Besides being trapped in a house so small that I can't even turn my head without being reminded of Aunt Tudi, I have a computer full of pictures that keep popping up unexpectedly. I'm not even to the point where I can segregate these pictures, so I'm just playing Russian Roulette with my sanity every time I open up my pictures folder.

There's that, and there's the "magic" of video. I have mpegs that have Aunt Tudi on them, and I also have quite a few family video tapes that I know have a lot of Aunt Tudi footage on them. Maybe someday I'll treasure all of this, just as people have treasured old photos in the past; but I'm not there yet, and I wonder if perhaps good old biological memory isn't the preferred and only-intended method by which we are supposed to honour the dead.

Maybe we aren't meant to hold onto the past in the ways in which we are currently capable. For some of us, like me, it's too painful to do so. I've never been the sentimental type, and perhaps this is why. I feel too much if I allow myself, so I prefer to keep it under tight control. I have no control in this matter. It's all spiralling way out of my reach, and I'm left feeling chaotic (not in a good way) and bereft.

But there's nothing for it.

I've tried to keep my mind off it all by watching even more Tim Roth (if that's possible) movies and TV. I just uploaded Tutorial #55 and have made even more friends/fans on the TTR Tumblr. I didn't realise what started out as a funny little lark would garner such an audience.

I'm also mapping out more of where I want the latest Cadmus short, still tentatively called "Star Watcher," to go. This one may well include the revelation of the Egyptian fresco, the accompanying art I am about three-quarters of the way finished inking in. The one problem I'm having with the writing end of all this, is Flint is wanting more "screen time." I'm still not even sure Flint is actually going to make it into The Harming Tree. "The Waltham Phantom" most certainly isn't keeping in canon with the theme of the short-story collection. And, on top of that, I almost broke my brain a couple of days ago when I really got to thinking about the anchors for Cadmus and Flint, and what these characters engage in, in "The Waltham Phantom." There are some things in this world that are just wrong, and this is one of them, and one of the many reasons I will bust hell wide open, should there actually be a hell.

I haven't heard back from Barry yet on the last two Illuminati songs. After the weekend come and goes, I'm gonna drop him a note and see if he's forgotten about it, which is quite likely, given the other stuff he's currently engaged in, like recording new Shriek music.

Speaking of The Shriek, I'm waiting until after 12/21 and, if we're still around and I'm still around, I'm going forward with re-establishing the Shriek tribute site that used to reside on shriekback.com. And I've decided what domain it's going to be on ~ Midnight Maps. This is very appropriate for me because it was the name for the very first website I tried to make, and was the working title for this blog. For those not in the know, "Midnight Maps" is a Marsh-centric Shriekback song from the album "Jam Science." The website won't be for Shriekback alone, but also for Marsh's latest projects, as well as including all the information from the old Barry Andrews Resource Center and information on Thee Caretakers and other Restaurant for Dogs' alum's works over the years. I've reestablished contact with David Marx and am going to ask him if he's okay with my including his work and website on the Midnight Maps. If so, more's the better!

I'm attempting to keep my stream-of-consciousness and mind-blippishness stuff on Facebook so as not to clutter up Cliffs. My brain seems so much more scattered these days and I fear making this place a dumping ground for nothing more than my own idiocy. Of course, that's what the Cliffs of Insanity has always been, when you boil right down to it, but my thinky thoughts just seem a bit more zoned out of late, and not nearly as coherent as they could or should be. So I just save up, and make one gigantic blog splat before the next big dump, potty humour intended.

All that said, I did post something on FB I would like to bookmark here as well. It was a swift flash of lucidity in the typical murkiness that is my current state of mind.

Christian Fundamentalism = Bullying in the name of Christ


I'm not saying it because I thought of it, but I believe that's pretty spot-on and just a tad clever. I want to be sure to remember it, and use it whenever appropriate. Hell, it'd even make a great bumper sticker. I wonder if you can have your own bumper stickers made...

Ohhhh, writing "bumper sticker" reminds me, I've opted to total my car out to Nationwide and get a used car, which Diane is going to help me pick out, since she's very experienced in this area. I should have a new vehicle by next weekend. My first order of business once I have the car in my clutches is to Tinify it; that is, throw as many incendiary bumper stickers as I can muster on the car's arse. This means a trip to Asheville, which is something I've been wanting to do since it warmed up enough for the Blue Ridge Parkway to be reopened. It's time to go visit Aunt Tudi and Granny. And the shop where I get the bumper stickers sells them ridiculously cheap, so I should be able to get at least 7 or 8 for about $10. Since the car I'll be getting will sip gas probably better than the ION, I'm looking at $20 round trip including the bumper stickers. If I have the fundage after paying for everything I'll have to in order to get the car and get it on the road, that should be a trip well worth the saw buck.

We'll see.

At this point, every day is a "we'll see" sort of day.
tinhuvielartanis: (2D and 3C)
I've had a lot of people asking me lately if I were okay. The answer is No. I am not okay.

I go for days not eating or sleeping. My feelings are almost, if not moreso, as raw as the day Aunt Tudi died. Everything that can go wrong has done so, or will probably in the very near future. A day does not go by without my thinking of suicide at least once. Honestly, I have never been more lost than I am right now.

There are two houses here. There is the one I live in, the lonely little dark hole I've dug for myself. And then there is the one I shared with Aunt Tudi, where all her belongings still hover in stasis. Until the past few days, I've been able to keep the two separate, despite the growing necessity that I begin to clear Aunt Tudi's stuff out.

A perfect example of these two houses converging is my need to get the title for the car. This required my getting out the keys to the fire-proof boxes and going through each box until I found the documents I needed. Just this one simple act left me on the floor surrounded by paperwork in a daze. I felt like my heart had literally broken in two. The reason for this because, despite my being a Virgo, Aunt Tudi was always the more organised of the two of us. I had my role, and so did she. One of her roles was to keep documents like the car title in a neat little place where it could be easily found.

Which I did.

But it meant touching the Other House. It meant crossing over into a realm that I've been partially successful in avoiding all these long months.

And this is just minor example of what's been going on the past few days.

No. I'm not okay.

I'm trying to be, but I'm being an incredible failure at it. I'm even being a failure at just making it all go away. Cowardly to the very end. Or at least that's the way it looks for now.

Misery

Apr. 11th, 2012 07:07 am
tinhuvielartanis: (2D and 3C)
Haunted by the dead. Lonely. Thinking this will never stop. Stayed awake for approximately 31 hours. Kept seeing the dead. Got in my car to drive. Ran into a ditch. Got a ticket. Car towed. Passed out sometime yesterday. Cat got me up at 5 this morning. I thought Aunt Tudi was gonna be on the couch when I went to let the cat out. She was not there. Let the cat out. Car was not there. I need help, serious help. Gonna look for a psychiatrist today. Can't stop crying. Honestly, I wish I were dead. I've had enough of all this misery. If I can't find help...I don't know what I am going to do. I just want this grief to stop. I want to be happy for once. I want to just fucking die.

Bleak

Apr. 9th, 2012 06:33 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus Dark Eyes)
I guess I need to admit something to myself.

It seems that the more depressed I get in real life, the more manic I become online to try to counteract it all. The past couple of days have been pretty bad, with missing Aunt Tudi terribly, reliving all my regrets about her, and being completely alone here in the house, in utter silence. I have been so lonely, and so lost.

Then, every time I'd feel the tears welling up, I'd throw myself into cyberspace and write anything, everything, even if it didn't need writing. And I'd seek out pictures and post them constantly on Facebook. And I would obsess over everything.

I see myself being pulled to those things and people that have comforted me in the past, when no one and nothing else could. And my focus would be diamond-sharp. It's been scary of late, but these are the only things I can think about. I grasp desperately for these sources of solace, and I find myself trying to take everyone along with me, despite their probably being sick of me and my insanity.

And then there's Cadmus. My one great tormentor, my demon child, has suddenly become a safe and familiar haven. This entity that's filled with rage and hatred, so capable of unspeakable cruelty, always eager to take the road that will bring him closer to the dark matter of the spirit...I am running to him for some sort of sanctity and reason in my life.

What does that even mean?

All I know, is that I'm woeful, my sleep patterns (as if I had any) are flipped inside out, and I'm...well, I'm serenading monsters, quietly seething. I don't want to cry anymore. I want to laugh in the face of all of it, and come out the other end as unscathed as I can be. I'm tired of grieving and regretting. If I don't stop it, I may just succumb to the void that is my mind-child. Only the Mighties know what I'd be capable of then, what lengths I would go to, to achieve some sort of peace in my world.
tinhuvielartanis: (Hickey Monster)
I have now been up for 34 hours. Needless to say, I am getting absolutely nothing of any worth done today. I had planned on some marathon writing, but I can't get my mind on it because it's so exhausted. I hate it when this happens. And I can't get my Ambien until Thursday, which means I had to take two to actually sleep at least 6 days this past month. That is not good.

Insomnia really takes it out of a person. Especially when that person gets keyed up over the smallest little issue that may arise. I'm too skittish. That's what Riddick said about the Narc Crew taking him to Crematoria. Skittish.

I'm looking back on the video I made just a couple of months ago compared to the ones I'm doing now, and I really wish I had waited to work on any of the Shriek/Barry/Illuminati material until I had developed some level of Mad Skillz. The other mindless stuff like the Tutorials have been very instructional on how to actually make a viable video. Like the Candyman video I made this morning, or the Kicking Giant Arse epic from the other day. Synching up the images or movie clips to the beat of the music is a mathematical art I didn't think I was even remotely capable of, being a series suck-meister at maths of any sort. But it has happened, and I'm amazed at that.

Still running like scared wee fox from the hounds that haunt me on Facebook. I should never had asked that Question, then I would be blissfully ignorant about being watched. But, no, I can't leave well enough alone.

I've been a cooking fool today, making some chocolate candy and some chicken rice. Both turned out really well and I stored them in exactly the right size of bowls. This is miraculous because I never could do that when Aunt Tudi was alive. She used to laugh at me, at my incompetence at such things. I was incompetent because I figured she'd just do it better, being the domestic side of our arrangement, and I could continue being a mindless git. That's not the case anymore, and I'm really surprising myself.

I have mixed myself up a gigantic screwdriver in the hope it will make me sleep instead of pee uncontrollably. With my luck, I'll spend the evening the water closet, wishing that I could just close my eyes for five minutes. If I don't get some sleep soon, I will surely travel beyond madness and straight into Sparta.
tinhuvielartanis: (Pariah)
I'd say I'm happy about this, but I'd really rather just have Aunt Tudi back, if only for an hour...to apologise for everything I did that I shouldn't have done and everything I didn't do that I should have. I'd gladly live in complete abject poverty, go hungry, lose my home, my animal friends, EVERYTHING...just for an hour...ten minutes. A minute...

But that's not an option...

Since the end of August -

  • Light bill has fallen from almost $200 a month to an average of $55

  • Phone/Internet bill has risen from around $90 to just at $200, only because I've subscribed to every movie channel known to the modern world. It's how I get through some days.

  • Water bill has fallen from around $25 a month to exactly $12 a month, the minimum

  • Heating has cost me a total of $234 for the entire season, basically because I've shut off a room to the house, I'm going through The Change and no longer am cold-natured, and SC hasn't had a Winter.

  • Groceries have fallen from around $500 a month to about $150, depending on if I need staples as well, like cleaners, toilet paper, blah blah blah



Regarding groceries: Over the past six months, I have basically become vegetarian, eating meat only when I have dinner with Uncle Michael and Aunt Janice, and usually getting sick when I eat too much of it. I have started buying more local and organic food, which accounts for my bill being higher than I would have been if I'd continued to eat like I did when Aunt Tudi was with me. I still don't eat very much at all, and am actually about to dip under 200 pounds for the first time since 1983. Potatoes have become more than my best friend, earning family status as of February. I buy recycled when and where I can. I've been to Wal-Mart twice since August. One time to buy a phone card because the website wouldn't let me add minutes and the other right before my surgery, because I needed some pants that didn't squeeze my leg at all, and couldn't find them at Target.

I try to treat myself to at least one non-essential goodie (usually a DVD) after I've met all my obligations each month. I haven't done this yet in March because I haven't paid all my bills yet. I need to pay them this week, or I'm going to be late, and I have no excuse for that except I'm still recovering from surgery and I seem to have some sort of block about getting things done, worse this month than it has been for the past couple.

I keep relapsing as far as my depression goes. When it's bad, or gets worse, I stop doing housework, stop eating, stop everything. I just sit and ache. But I've tried hard to avoid this. My Tim Roth obsession has actually helped me immensely. He gets my mind off everything else. He's triggered my writing. I wonder what he'd think if he knew this. He'd probably conclude that I'm a total nutter, which would be correct.
tinhuvielartanis: (Danny Elfman Muse)
I was awake literally all night, finally falling asleep sometime after 6:30 this morning and waking up in a panic at 8:15. I hurriedly dressed, grabbed Chester and Toby's collars and rushed them to the car in the rain. They had an appointment with Michelle, our longtime groomer. The dogs had a previous appointment sometime in August. It was missed. Need I say why? Thought not. Anyways, they were long overdue for a bath, especially poor Chester, who looked like an abandoned rag mop caught in one of Dubya's "shock and awe" crap attacks. Drop off time for dogs is 7:30 'til 9:00. I got there with 10 minutes to spare, but looking like I needed to be groomed too. I explained to Michelle what had happened, chatted for a couple of minutes, then came back home to do some cleaning that would by easier to do without the dogs being underfoot.

I didn't get much done.

I came home with the intention to rest just a little. I passed flat out and slept for around three hours. Jumping back up in a panic, I ate a quick breakfast, shuffled Smidgen outside and set to gathering all the trash in the house, including cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer for the first time in four months. I figured everything would be severely sparse after I was done. The minute I started working on the fridge, I lost my freaking mind. It's never a good thing when you find yourself sitting on your kitchen floor, clinging to a bottle of Kraft salad dressing, and crying uncontrollably. It was just downhill from there. I got the vacuuming done and the garbage collected, including everything in the fridge, but I couldn't do the freezer before time to clean up and go get the dogs. So the day was pretty much another of a string of busts for me. Not good on Solstice, especially what is hopefully my last Winter Solstice, as Solstice 2012 is the 22nd and I, along with everyone else, will be dead dead dead.

So I got ready, hauled the four big bags of trash out to the car and drove in a misting rain to the dump to drop it off. The minute I got out of the car to dump the garbage, it came a hard rain and my hair "collapsed like flan in a cupboard." (quote by Eddie Izzard) I went to pick up the dogs with a hideously wet, stringy head. I'm sure I looked like Meg Mucklebones when I got to Michelle's. Great. We yapped and caught up while my hair dried a little.

On the way back home, I got a call from Janice asking if she could use my freezer to store some food. I told her of course, go ahead, and take anything in there she might want or need. She was kind enough to take all the stuff that belonged to Aunt Tudi, 'cos I told her about losing my mind earlier.

When I got off the phone with her, I noticed a street sign by the name of Frohawk. Now...I've heard of Mohawks and Fauxhawks (that's just plain stupid, by the by), but Frohawk? My mind began racing with what that would look like, being a child of the 70s, who well remembers and venerates the Fro. So, I'm gonna try to make me a Frohawk and have a picture taken underneath the street sign. It'll take me a while to figure this out, but that's okay, 'cos I don't even have a bleeding camera right now. But stay tuned for that. I have the Hoozer Daddy street sign pic, so I think that the Frohawk Project should be fantastico. I just need a lot of hair, glue, and a bald person, or a one of those bald rubber caps sold around Samhain.

I was supposed to go to Davis and Kathleen's place for a modest Solstice gathering, perhaps cast a Circle and herald the light back in, because I really need to do that. It looks like I'll be doing that alone, though, 'cos I'm night blind which is worse if it's raining. To top it off, I've lost my glasses, which means everything far off is a bit iffy. I'm not sure I want to risk bumming fellow brouhaha-gatherers by dying or sommat. Myself, I don't give a shite, but whatever.

In somewhat happier news, a very talented man who goes by the "band" name Radical Face, is now easily found on The Intarwebs. When I first heard the portion of "Welcome Home," it was in a local commercial put out by the Greenville Library System. I had to find the right person in Greenville to talk to about the music used for the advert and he gave me the name "Radical Face." This was in early 2007 and I went on a Holy Mission to find the elusive Radical Face online. I finally found a remote website and wrote to the email address found there. I was contacted by Radical Face shortly thereafter and given the song. Deja Vu anyone? Today, the song played on the iPod and I decided to see how Radical Face was doing after all these years. He is everywhere online, including having a video for "Welcome Home" on YouTube. I plan on exploring more of his music now and offer up the video as a testament to the beauty of this song and the brilliance of Ben "Radical Face."

tinhuvielartanis: (Here is the news!)
I have not been very chatty lately, at least not enough to put into words what's been going on. The only thing I could deal with was a sentence here and there on Facebook, which is a convenient diversion when you can't talk about anything important. But it's time to come clean about a Thing, so here it is.

Approximately a month ago, I attempted suicide. I couldn't deal with being alone and so very lonely anymore, and watching in my mind's eye Aunt Tudi dieing as I held her hand. Her eyes were so blank and she didn't grasp my fingers in reciprocation at all. She was gone in less than five minutes, but every second of that moment was branded into my mind. Every time I closed my eyes...no, I didn't have to close my eyes...I saw her lying there...dieing. One night, I couldn't take it anymore, hearing her voice and seeing her die, over and over and over. I had only taken three of my Ativan, but on that dark night, the void took my beyond my natural reasoning, and I swallowed 87, the rest of the bottle, all at once. Two days later, I woke up in an urgent care facility that promptly escorted me to Carolina Behavioral Health, a psychiatric hospital. I spent a week and a day there, learning coping skills on how to overcome my loss. I also was placed in drug counseling because of the way I attempted to kill myself. The psychiatric to whom I was assigned surmised that I may be suffering from PTSD, and he explained that some people, especially those who were so attached to the person who passed away, went beyond simple grief and fell into the despereate realm of post traumatic stress and unbelievable depression. He changed all of my meds and prescribed me new ones. I had to see a judge before they would release me from the hospital. But I left feeling much better, with a large list of grief support groups where I could find some solace with those who were going through the same thing I'm enduring. I made some friends there and, thanks to Ambien, I was able to sleep at night and not be in a phantasmic state, reliving Aunt Tudi's last breath over and over and over. I learned how to deal with the guilt of all the things I could have done for Aunt Tudi and all the things I did that I shouldn't have, making her bereft and worrisome. I haven't found a support group yet, but I'm no longer suicidal, although I experience moments of indescibible pain and loss, so all-encompassing that it's almost tangible. My entire body aches from it and I cannot stop the tears that come, pouring from my eyes like a fountain. Never have I cried so often and so hard and unstoppable. Toby tries to comfort me during these incidents, and Smidgen is attached to me almost 24/7, face to face with me, purring in an attempt to stay my grief. So many nights I have fallen asleep hugging my beloved cat as she purrs me into unconsciousness. As always, Chester doesn't give one tiddly bit. He's too old and tired to be bothered with my neurosis, and I really can't blame him. I'm still in recovery and the doctor said I may be in the grieving process for a very long time, considering how close Aunt Tudi and I were. He suggested that I tell people who try to make me get over the whole thing, that everyone grieves differently and that I needed support, not a sermon and not judgement. I've already had to do that with Uncle Michael, and he has changed his tune and simply loves me as I go through this process. I don't want to end up in the hospital again, although they supplied me with amazing food and chocolate milk. It was there that my appetite was jump-started. I gained some weight while I was there, from 202 to 216. I felt like an utter pig, but I didn't care. I've attempted to maintain my appetite and my family doctor suggested that I start a regimen of multi-vitamins and nutrition drinks, just to build my strength back, so I wouldn't be falling all over the place.

When I came home though, all gung-ho to apply what I had learnt, I was told that Aloysius, Aunt Tud's cat, may have been hit by a car and he ran into the woods. I walked into the edge of the forest where Janice said she had found a cat, but was unsure it was Al, and I discovered, to my grief-stricken heart, that it was indeed Al. That took the wind out of my sails, and I found myself isolating once again, lying on the couch in the dark, watching Gordon Ramsay and Law & Order. One night, after not eating all day, I fell backwards hard, and broke Aunt Tudi's happy face table. I also ripped my right great toenail partially out, and had to go to a foot doctor to have it removed. But it was like everything that belonged to Aunt Tudi is either dieing or being destroyed. I'm at a loss for words how distressing this is. But I'm muddling through it, and actually cleaned the house for the first time since August 25th. I also caught up on the laundry and the dishes. I did all this in one day, and felt like I was gonna go mad from all the work I'd done. I'm not a domestic person, and I'm lazy to boot, so this was a monumental achievement. I've marked the weekend as the time I will clean house. I must get organised.

Today I went to my orthopaedist for the first time since 2008. He reviewed my x-rays and examined my knees. Then he told me that, even though it was preferable to wait until the age 50 to have a knee replacement, I could not wait that long with the horror that is my left knee. He's going to schedule me for the surgery as soon as possible next year. This came as such a relief to me, as I have been in horrible pain with my knees for years, wishing I'd get to 50 without screaming myself to death. Right now, Dr. Keith is my very best friend, my ultimate hero.

Since the death of Aunt Tudi, I have been unable to write. This is the primary reason my journal has not been updated for so long. There was so much I wanted to say, but the words eluded me. This frustration only added to my distress. It didn't help when I found out that one of my favourite authors and writing influences had recently passed away. 2011 has been a bitch and only makes me hope that 2012 brings the Alpaca Lips, so I can reunite with Aunt Tudi and Granny, and all the animals that passed away over the years. I know that sounds like I have a death wish, but I assure you; I'm not going to do anything stupid like what I attempted last month. It's not my place to take my own life when it's obvious I'm supposed to remain here. The medical staff all said that I was lucky to be alive, and I took this as a message from the Goddess and God that I'm to remain alive until they say it's time to cross over. To be honest, I really want to hang around to see the end of the world, if that's what is going to happen on 21 December, 2012. And so I linger and cope with this crippling grief the best I can.

I've gotten three holiday cards so far, and I want to thank [livejournal.com profile] popfiend, [livejournal.com profile] beechelfromhell, and [livejournal.com profile] gunslingaaahhh for their generous cards. Unfortunately, I'm unable to reciprocate because I haven't bought one thing for the horribleday season. I'm officially boycotting it this year, and that seems very logical to me, given the circumstances. [livejournal.com profile] gunslingaaahhh's letter in her card made me cry. It's exactly what I needed at that moment. I love you all, all my online friends, my Tribe, my Ka-tet. Thank you for being my friends. Your love passes through all the Internet cables and satellites, comforting me in a way I'm incapable of putting into words. You're one of the reasons I'm glad the Ativan didn't do its job.

I promise I will try to update the Cliffs of Insanity more often. Perhaps forcing myself to write about anything and everything here, even if it's shite, will be therapeutic. One can only hope.
tinhuvielartanis: (Ornate Triskele)
So...with the passing of Aunt Tudi, I am alone. I don't hardly remember September except some of the highlights of the train ride and bonding with the Mother Unit like never before. She even let me in her and Matt's home to get to know Matt better and see her flock of birds. I had a lovely time with herd, but funds went low and I had to come back to the house early and not even go to Todd in Vancouver, Washington.

The rest of September was spent in solitude, lying on the love seat with the animals on me, watching 'Law & Order,' and weeping. The house went to hell and I vomited everything I tried to eat or drink. From July to now, I have lost 69 pounds. I've declared it the Stress and Grief diet and am thinking about marketing it.

October was spent pretty much the same way. I do remember being in the hospital from a break down at some time. Then another from weakness. I'm low on potassium and am seriously anaemic. Still, I'm feeling unsure of my legs, as I've fallen so many times. At one time, I fell when using a walker, on my way to the bedroom, thinking I heard Aunt Tudi. I ended up giving myself a terrible black eye from that fall. Tuesday, I fell five times, skinning my shin on the rocks of Craggy Garden when I went to speak to the spirits of Aunt Tudi and Granny, saying things I wasn't comfortable saying in front of others. I got there and back, though, so I'm more confident about driving home.

Yesterday, I attended a fire party thrown by Davis and Kathleen. The harpist did not come as I had hoped, so that I could give that closure as well. Ten years of resentment and loss is enough. But it is my first step in crawling out of my grievous Hobbit hole.

I'm still considering finding homes for all the animals. Riley is already gone to a very loving home whose people had just lost a wire-haired dachshund. I miss him, but it's already easier with just two dogs. All the animals are missing Aunt Tudi still and they miss me, because I've spent so much time at Uncle Michael's and Aunt Janice's.

But I'm working on moving back in my house and, since the family now has no doubt about my spiritual path, I'm going to Witch my home up. I couldn't take any more Christian postulations as I went through my grieving process. I told them that Aunt Tudi had come to understand the Witch's path, had been Croned, and was not thoroughly Christian, especially an xtian. Once I get finances sorted, I'm purchasing one thing a month from Azure Green. I'm also taking my gear and supplies out of the closet and drawers. Now that I am alone, I'm considering easing back into the Witches' community, if not here, in Asheville. Everyone will know my ways and, if they don't like it, they can remove themselves from my life, or pray for me, or do whatever they can do.

There are crosses etched into the red rock where we scattered both Granny's and Aunt Tudi's ashes. I took the metal tool and drew a humble pentagram and triskele there as well. More will be done. The etchings will be stronger and candles will be lit.

I am alone now, but I am hoping I can reestablish myself with what friends and family I have, and to learn what life without Aunt Tudi will be like. For now I'm off to do laundry and vacuum the floor. I have a new appreciation of a domestic life.

Two Days

Sep. 5th, 2011 04:30 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (2D and 3C)
I've gotten my itinerary for the train trip out to California. I have two days to get this house straightened out and cleaned up. From Cali, I guess I'll be be going to Washington. Then it'll be back to the drabness of South Carolina and the loneliness of this house. One good thing is that I've only cried once today. Aunt Tudi always wanted to travel somewhere by train and she never got to. I feel so guilty about that and so many other things she never got to do. I feel like I let her down in so many ways, always believing we'd have the time to do it. And now our time is up, there's no going back. Death is such a cruel thing to those of us left behind.

Symbols

Sep. 4th, 2011 11:12 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (Barry - Elf)
The family and some friends went up to Craggy Gardens on the Blue Ridge Parkway and scattered Aunt Tudi's ashes. We also scattered the ashes of her beloved dog Sheba and I poured two litres of 7-Up upon the site, since that was Aunt Tudi's favourite drink that she drank all the time. I then took the kids, Steven, and Blake's girlfriend up the Faery path so that they could see some of the suspected Faery homes that are nestled along the path.

Upon my return, I found crosses etched all over the stone that marked where we scattered Aunt Tudi's ashes. I hid my hurt and rage at this, since Aunt Tudi was most definitely not an xtian, so I asked for the scissors Janice used to etch the crossed into the stone, and I carved a Pentagram and a Triskele into the stone in amongst the crosses. This would balance out the variety of faiths to which Aunt Tudi had been exposed and the bits of each religious tenet she took with her and found relevant to her own path. If I could have remembered it, I would have etched the symbol for the Unitarian Universalist Church on the stone because, if she were anything, it was that to which she was closest. I'm going to get that symbol and return to the stone to etch it into the rock for her, because that church was very important to her.

I thank Lady Neith for that and I always will.

After the scattering and before the Faery walk, we all said something in Aunt Tudi's honour. Little Michael and I were the last to speak. He offered up prayer to the xtian God, then I spoke of mine and Aunt Tudi's relationship, her system of belief, and then I recited "Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" by Mary E. Frye. I handled it all pretty well and hugged tightly those who lost it, especially Blake, who had always been very close to Aunt Tudi.

I'm spending the night at home tonight, by myself. The spirit of Aunt Tudi is with me and I don't feel so terribly haunted and wounded. A strange peace has settled over me for right now, like I'm blanketed by the Goddess and she is coming to me in the form of Aunt Tudi. I'm going to stay here on the love seat and watch TV until I fall asleep and then, tomorrow, I'm going to a cookout with the family after I try to get the house in order. It's been almost two weeks now since anything has been done, and the house looks like a pipe bomb has gone off in it.

It's time to get myself together and get ready to leave for a while to help in the healing and to reunite with loved ones I have not seen in much too long a time.
tinhuvielartanis: (2D and 3C)
The entire family is going, unlike when Granny died.  When we scattered her ashes, it was just Aunt Tudi, Uncle Michael, Janice, and myself.  Granny was loved and honoured, but Aunt Tudi was cherished by so many.  Stephanie is going with us.  She was incredibly close to Aunt Tudi and I think she would have wanted to be there.  Afterward, we may go downtown and then get a bite to eat, letting the rest of the family go where they may.  We want to tread the paths that Aunt Tudi taught us.  We need to embrace her spirit in her beloved hometown.

I'm sure I'll get lost, but I'll eventually find my way.  I'm counting on Aunt Tudi's spirit to guide me back to South Carolina, away from my home that I wish I knew better.  I have decided to go there more often and learn the secret paths of the mountain town.  I want know it the way Aunt Tudi knew it.  I want to be a part of it the way I used to be.  It's the only way I feel I can be truly close to Aunt Tudi.

She never wanted to die in South Carolina.  She did not get her wish.  For that, I will always be regretful.  At least her cremains will rest in the beloved Smoky Mountains and her spirit will drift wherever it wishes.  I hope she'll spend some time with me.
tinhuvielartanis: (2D and 3C)
I just picked up Aunt Tudi's cremains.  She is in a black plastic box in a shopping bag, which is kind of ironic since she collected shopping bags "just in case."

The entire family is going with me to Craggy Dome in Asheville tomorrow, to scatter her ashes.  I'm heartbroken by all of this, but I'm ready to do what I need to. 

But to think that my beloved Aunt Tudi is in a box in the dining room wrenches at my soul.  Why can't she still be alive.

Poem

Aug. 31st, 2011 07:33 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (2D and 3C)
This is the poem I read when we scattered Granny's ashes. I'm going to do the same with Aunt Tudi.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

Home

Aug. 31st, 2011 07:10 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (2D and 3C)
So I am home.

The place is so empty, yet so full of Aunt Tudi's presence. The animals keep looking for her. So do I.

How long will this last? I don't think I can take it.

I'll be spending the night at Janice's and Uncle Michael's.

I am utterly bereft.
tinhuvielartanis: (Syd Barrett)

  • Go to IHOP

  • Watch Judge Judy

  • Play Monopoly

  • Listen to Strauss waltzes

  • Look at catalogues like the ones that come from Harriet Carter

  • Watch Everybody Loves Raymond

  • Rescue any more animals, at least for now

  • Go to New York City or Charleston

  • Sit on the hummingbird bench

  • Walk the track at the middle school

  • Discuss politics at length

  • Stay up to see the New Year in

  • Celebrate Thanksgiving and Xmas



And there are a host of other things, but I can't think of them right now...
tinhuvielartanis: (Barry Exact Science)
I am not sleeping. I'm just lying here in this hospital bed waiting for them to discharge me, yet not wanting to go home because I feel it's going to be haunted with her spirit, there is so much of her there.

While I was lying in bed last night, I got to thinking about how I came to discover Shriekback. It was Aunt Tudi's doing. She was up all night one night and was watching 120 Minutes on MTV. A video came on that she thought might interest me and she showed it to me the next day. It was Nemesis by Shriekback, and I was utterly enthralled with the band and the video. I can't say how many times I watched that video, studying all the bizarre and exotic nuances buried within the imagery. I couldn't thank Aunt Tudi enough and she watched me collect all things Shriek and then seek out other fans when I got onto the Internet. She was amazed by my involvement in the creation of one of the first Shriekback tribute sites that was user-friendly and encouraged fellow fans to rally and try to bring the band out of retirement. She watched my hair turn white when I realised I had actually made contact with Barry Andrews. And she was more than pleased to actually meet him, as she always thought he was not just very talented, but one of the best looking men she'd ever seen.

I told Barry, when I met him, how I came to know Shriekback. He thanked Aunt Tudi for her involvement in transforming my musical perceptions. She later told me it was one of her proudest moments.

Really, I will never be able to thank Aunt Tudi enough for that gift. It's one of many she gave to me during our time together. When I get out of this hospital, I'm going to watch the Nemesis video again in her honour and thank her in spirit.

Gone

Aug. 29th, 2011 07:21 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (2D and 3C)
I can't believe she's gone. When she left, I was holding her hand. I barely remember going to the mortuary with Aunt Janice and making arrangements. Then it all went blank for me and I woke up in the hospital in ICU. I had taken way too many pills trying to go to sleep, and almost killed myself. Really, I think that's what I was trying to subconsciously do. Janice is the one who got me help. They're still cleaning out my system, but should let me out tomorrow. I don't know what I'll do then. I don't really want to go home. Aunt Tudi is everywhere there. Her presence permeates that house. Most of what's there belongs to her and I don't know what I'm going to do with it.

There are places I can go. I've asked the Mother Unit if I can come stay with her for a week, so I'll be going out to California sooner rather than later. I have friends out there I hope to see. [livejournal.com profile] acook, [livejournal.com profile] gunslingaaahhh, and Scott are just a few I can think of right now. Janice, Johnna, and Diane have all opened their doors to me, whenever I need to get away from the house. I am not alone. I know this and it's beyond comforting and I can't express how appreciative I am.

The love and support I've gotten from around the world has been overwhelming, and the remembrance of Aunt Tudi has touched me so very much. She was such a special and unique soul, she never did belong in this vale of tears. I loved her so much. She was my best friend, the one who showed me love when I felt my most alone. Right now, I feel beyond alone. I am bereft, empty.

I'm thinking of giving up the animals and moving away from here. I've always hated SC, and there is nothing here for me now, even though I do have family who loves more than I realised. Being alone, I have the opportunity to move to England. I may do that, since I felt so at home there. I have very close friends there who would help me adjust to English life, and I could still draw my disability there, so I would have an income. Nothing really except the dogs and cats are holding me here, and I will remain for as long as it takes to find them good homes, although it'll break my heart to say goodbye to them. They were always closer to Aunt Tudi than they were to me, except for Toby and Smidgen. It'll be Smidgen I miss the most.

Timothy called earlier. It was great comfort to hear his voice. We're going to have lunch soon. [livejournal.com profile] glittertrixie called me this morning and I felt so bad for not knowing who she was at first, but I'm not thinking straight right now. I how she wasn't offended. The Mother Unit called this afternoon. I really needed to hear her voice and know she was gonna be there for me. I owe her more than I can ever repay her, but she's still gonna be there. We grieved together for a few minutes, then she was off to get ready for work.

So there it is. That is all I can think of writing at the moment. The only thing I can say is that I am going to miss Aunt Tudi for the rest of life, but I will go on because I know that's what she would want me to do. She was the strongest person I ever knew and I just hope I can live up to her strength a small percentage.

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