Anger in the Age of

flashback, 1996, NY, statue

Anger.

Whether misdirected or in the form of cyber-bullying, or through my former articles about stress & anger management, or any of the stories I shared about abuse during my time with STMND, anger is a topic we’re quite familiar with here at CardCastles.

So some of the replies I got today due to my support of another strong woman, Maxine Waters, didn’t surprise me.

chat iconThese may seem like two simple pieces of the internet at first glance. Although I did notice something and have been noticing this over & over play out again & again.
When you look at this from a broader scale, it may be clear to some that this response is the language of hate, and not just mere opinion.

Let’s dive deeper, shall we?

Calling someone like Maxine or myself crazy, from the pedestal that many of these cult followers stand on, is something abusers and controllers, bullies and dictactors have done since the beginning of time. They try to silence or discredit the person by calling the person, “crazy” thus nulling their opinion. Some of the cultists that responded to what I said up there called me crazy too for calling her a strong woman.

That kind of language is something I’m all too familiar with, coming from a cycle of abuse myself. I lived with a family member that used this tactic on both my mother and myself often.

In a society where I think most of us are trying to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness, language like this is a double-edged sword. Let’s face it, though. People that could support this regime don’t exactly care about anyone—not even themselves.

This is a pattern I’m seeing in all of these people that support this regime. They appear brainwashed, are usually not of high intelligence, and have abusive and/or racist tendencies. They use religion as a means to hide behind and defend their hideous actions. It is sickening to watch and to say the lot of that are sane in this country are tired of it is far beyond an understatement.

This type of silencing and spiritual and psychologial and even generational warfare they have begun will have lasting effects for generations to come.

Despite them and their abuse,

I am telling all of you with a heart and soul left in your body to speak up now and condemn all of this madness every single time you see it.

Now is not the time to be silent and respectful anymore.

We are going through a full blown crisis of epic proportions in this country and we have to protect our youth while uplifting each other. It is a damn war zone out here with all of this violence happening and such hate in the air.

Sleepy Sundays: Brighter Day

Brighter Day © 2018 Snapping Turtle Arts | cardcastlesinthesky.com

A lot has changed in the past few months. Even more is still changing. We are no longer moving our place of residence and this office. (At least not any time in the near future.) A great deal has gone on behind the scenes.

One thing remains constant. My health is still considerably poor. We are doing our best to fix this. Although, I’m not too sure what’s in the cards for me.

We decided to renew CardCastles for another year anyway. Somehow, I still have this strange optimism despite having tea with the reaper lately. There’s so much more to tell you, but we’re going to have to save that for a Daydreams Diary. For now, let’s all just try to look towards brighter days together.

What gives you hope?

Have a peaceful Sunday

Daydreams Diary: Knots

I am seriously debating closing down CardCastles and the larger umbrella responsible for it (Snapping Turtle) for good.

This is not for lack of trying, let me stress.

March has forever been unkind to me throughout my entire life. You may have even read that here before. I don’t have to tell you the following for privacy reasons, but I’m going to. Holding it in is making me even sicker than I already am.

My sister had her daughter (my niece) taken away from her by her ex. There’s a whole lot more to that, but that is just tier one of a set of things that are rapidly pushing me over the edge.

The tax return we were so heavily depending on (to move out of this hellhole) has been seized for student loan debt. All of it.

To top it all off, I just recently discovered my uncle who was once my legal guardian upon my grandmother’s passing, went behind my back while I was hospitalized back in 2006 and somehow illegally obtained “power of attorney” over me. What that basically translates to is I have no rights. He can sign things for me, obtain any money that comes to me. Fraudulently fill out forms in my name, etc etc. & He’ll be protected from any prosecution because, well, Power of Attorney.

Fighting any of this issues in court are near impossible for me since I am floating just above the national poverty line.

 

I am defeated. Depression has taken a strangle hold over me. & I am not sure if I can keep fighting anymore. The sickness I’ve been suffering from is spreading.

To keep this place standing is starting to feel like a crushing burden. I’m still undecided, but I figured I’d try to keep those of you that care in the loop. There are knots in my stomach and I can’t keep food down.

I hope this all isn’t a complete waste. I’ve worked so hard to get here.

I really love a lot of you and I’m sorry to unload all of this depressing muck on you. Pray/chant/will things for us. We will certainly need it in the months ahead.

 

The Lift

I can be impulsive.

Those of you that know me are no strangers to that.

A few days back I posted a “Shutdown Notice” of sorts closing down the site, my services, and all of the CardCastles social media accounts.

Wintery

I’ve never seen the Stats for this place spike so high. Oh, it certainly wasn’t because folks were concerned, I assure you. Not over 500+ in less than an hour. No, my close friends and core group know where to reach me & certainly wouldn’t spam the buttons here to do so.

That spike was likely due to people that cannot wait to see me fall on my face.

 

Although my health is indeed dwindling, I still have hope.

“The audacity of hope!” – President Barack Obama

Hope is something I tend to cling to with all of my being.
After all, I’ve always been like a cat with nine lives, and well, hell, I’m just not that easy to kill.

When I left, there was a guilt I felt because I’m trying to build this business even larger than it already is. My goal is to stack it into something that can eventually help my family and friends. Due to groundwork I laid out earlier this year, I’m already halfway there.

So, I can’t really just stop now. Even though I certainly felt the need to for a while.

Over the last few days, I got to see how much I really am appreciated, however silently, it’s still appreciation, and it matters. You filled my inboxes, my DMs, tweeted out little playlists for me. (One of my potential future moderators who you’ll soon hopefully be meeting shared all of this with me while I was away. We both had a good laugh about how I couldn’t leave this place if I tried.)

One last thing pushed me back here beside all that.

Wild Card

I thought of someone I care about who is going through my exact same struggle right now. She hasn’t stopped her magic for one minute. Even with all she has on her plate, and doing every bit of it while in pain, she hasn’t thrown in the towel. She’s still going.

That inspires me. That’s a strength I’ve only seen in one other place—through the women in my own family, particularly, my late mother.

So while I had my time to sit and sob

and even though the holidays are draining every last bit of sanity I have left

I

can’t

stop.

After all, I am a creator.

And

We’re all mad here.

Daydreams Diary: I’ve Been Waiting…

It’s been a while since I sat down to catch up with you.

There’s a reason for that.

In the recent words of someone I’ve always admired, actress Uma Thurman,

 

“I’ve been waiting to feel less angry.”

 

I’ve got a flurry of these Daydreams Diaries coming up this season perhaps making up for it.

With all of the events going on in the world, I felt the sudden urge to re-post my own #MeToo story,

The Girl That Didn’t Cry Wolf

 

 

Shared exclusively a few years ago at Stories That Must Not Die.

I think it’s important to highlight this happens to very young girls too. & We need to protect and educate our children.


Love Always,
Daydreams

Like a House of Cards…

Last night I cracked my head on the floor.

It was the first panic attack I’ve had in over ten years. 

Maybe it was in light of recent events. Perhaps it was a whole host of mess that’s been building up for a while. 

All I know is I have to write this here & now to get it out of me and into my safe place here. 

I’ve been planning on sharing over at Stories about PTSD, since I had never spoken in-depth about it before. The little bit I have shared though, has helped people along the way.

I got a phonecall a few days back from my sister who lives many states away. The voice on the other end was desperate.

She wanted to move back up here to her original home, but I’d have some convincing to do on her behalf with some family members.

She’s been abusing drugs and engaging the kind of behavior where she could end up dead.

Her erratic/nervous tone over the phone had me sensing this wasn’t going to go right.

She sounded just like my mother at a certain point in time and it frightened me. It also took some of my old wounds and yanked them right back open. 

The worst part was another family member’s reaction. It hurt them. Deeply. I think this is what put me over the edge.

Needless to say no one feels comfortable bringing her up here. Though we still want to help her someway/somehow. 

She just has to truly want the help.

Before I could talk to family members, she posted some drug-infused rant on her Facebook page saying most of her family with the exception of me never cared about her. She went on & on. Of course people saw it. I’ve always told her watch what she blabs out there on the internet.

Now, I can’t hold back.

This may seem insensitive and selfish.

Until I cracked my head on the kitchen floor from the weight of it all. 

I started hyperventilating out of nowhere for about five seconds, my vision blacked out, and I went down like a load of bricks.

When I came to 

my name was being called & I was being asked what happened.

My son and his father had seen me go down quickly, but it was one of those things you couldn’t stop. 

My legs were shaking. I was shocked and embarrassed. I started sobbing hysterically like a two year old.

I was a blubbering mess. 

My son was concerned. “Mom did you slip? Are you okay? You hit your head really hard.”

I’m okay now.

Aside from my tail bone, elbow, ankle, and head hurting like hell.

But what do you do? When your anxiety that you thought was dealt with, comes back and bites you in the ass this hard

I think its time to go back to therapy.

I’m not going to let this knock me down.

I’ve got way too many great things to share with you this 2016. 

Sleepy Sundays: Stasis

If you follow the CardCastles Instagram, then chances are you already saw this moment I captured that inspired the art further below.

 

It was a chilly afternoon when I snapped this photo. Right before this strange warm-up that’s seemed to have hit my area just ahead of winter.

I was amazed at how the sky was clearly showing signs of winter approaching, yet they were predicting near summer-like temperatures for the following week.

It all got me thinking about how busy some of us all are and how many emotions are flying around this season. The thought reminded me of a story I heard once of how a winter fairy would slumber in some form of stasis. She would bring the trees and the plants around her into this slumber.

So I decided to draw my own version of her, in both day & night variations.

Do the holidays have you feeling the need to recharge? Does the end of the year bring about a “start from scratch” attitude in you? 

Have a restful Sunday!

The Writing on the Wall

Sometimes you can have a close friend, and still not know everything about them.

The Writing on the Wall

In today’s rapidly changing society, we are starting to dialogue about gender equality. No matter what side of the fence you stand on, both sides can mostly agree we’ve made some positive strides as a human race.

This is why the story I’m about to tell you troubles me. It all seems like something that would happen back in 1950, or at least twenty years ago, but it hasn’t.

Just a week ago today I found out my neighbor and close friend was a victim of spousal abuse. I had noticed subtle signs of marital problems with them before. However, there was nothing much to indicate her husband had been abusing her.

So why is it that I feel so guilty?

Perhaps the few hints that were shown, I should have added up.

Not Exactly Coffee Chat

I remember one early evening when our kids had just gotten home from school. My son and her daughter often played together. The little ones have been friends since we first moved in, when they were both just toddlers.

The night had begun to set in, and it was nearing dinner time. Her husband, for the first time ever, was visibly uncomfortable by my presence. I could tell he wanted me to leave. I started to corral my happily-hyper son, but anyone that knows me, knows that can take a while sometimes.

As I gathered my son’s things, I heard my friend’s husband yapping off something in the back of the apartment. He was on the phone. His voice read as obviously angry about something, but I’m still not sure what it was. He blurted out:

“Yeah, it’s like a friggin’ daycare here some days. Everybody just drops their kids off.”

I was insulted by this comment, but I said nothing. My neighbor “made eyes” at me as he said it. She knew I heard and gave me a look of “Ignore him”. Still, I couldn’t ignore him. I never “dropped my kid off” there like he said. Maybe he was confusing me with some of the other children’s parents she babysits. Whatever the case was, his comment pissed me off. So I said goodbye to my friend, hugged her and told her we’d see her in the morning when the children go out to school together.

My hands turned the doorknob to leave and behind me I heard:

Make me coffee! C’man!”

It shocked me at first because I thought it was directed at me. When I turned back to my neighbor to realize it was her being bossed around, my shock didn’t fade.

I could tell she was embarrassed that this happened in front of me. Somehow, she winged it anyway and continued to “serve” him, but not without throwing a little sass his way. I think she had more-so added the sass because I was there.

When I left, that was my first time realizing something wasn’t quite right in their marriage. He appeared to be very controlling of her, and this was the first I had seen of it. This wasn’t just your average “Make me dinner, honey” request. This was flat out “Do this or there will be consequences” and I should have noticed it then.

The thing is, this man never quite sat right with me in the first place. There were times he made the women in my building feel uncomfortable. None of the men here liked him either. One night, when he got a little inappropriate with me, another neighbor/friend got involved and told him to back off. He never bothered me after that, but I’ve kept an eye on him ever since.

I never allowed my son to go there by himself. I always tagged along, because that’s just how I am. I can tend to be the trust no one, over-protective type.

Lately, I haven’t allowed my son over there at all. Ever since I first noticed her husband was “off” which has been about two years now, that’s been reason enough to keep him away. It sucks that the kids have to suffer, but I always still welcome them to play at my apartment.

What’s Going On Here?

Then, last week I found out.

I kind of stumbled on the truth, actually.

There’s been a lot of police activity in our development lately so I asked my neighbor if she knew anything. This normally would be common conversation between us, but when I asked, she started to cry.

“Me.”

“What?!”

“You asked why the cops have been here. It’s me.” She said.

I already knew the rest of what she was going to say before she said it. What hurt was I had no idea just how bad it was. She had caught him cheating. They proceeded to get into an argument over his phone. When she went to take the phone from him, he beat her—severely.

She showed me the bruises that were hidden by her shirt. There were watermelon-sized welts in three or more places on her torso and upper thighs. She had bruises up and down her legs. The entire time she described the horrific scenario to me I couldn’t help but notice the cut across the bridge of her nose. I had noticed it when we first started talking too, but now it was like it was staring at me.

I’ve been here before. This road looks familiar.

Back Then

My sister’s father used to enjoy beating on my 5’3”, 110lb. mother. There’s a reason I’ll never refer to him as my step-father.

Let’s just say their time together didn’t end well. If my family had not intervened in their situation, my younger sister may not be here today.

I know how this story ends, and it’s not pretty. That asshole almost killed my mother and sister. I was only seven years old at the time. I felt helpless. There was nothing I could do.

I vowed to myself then, I would never let that happen again.

I failed to see the writing on the wall, at first. Perhaps it’s because the wall was covered in stained blood and masked with perfectly groomed, cookie-cutter wallpaper. But oh, I see so clearly now.

Never Again

The proper authorities have been notified. My friend is taking the steps toward a divorce, while filing for sole custody of their daughter. Up until now, she’s been a stay-at-home mom. She doesn’t drive. She’s an immigrant, from humble beginnings, with not much knowledge on how our legal system works. He left her with nothing. He hasn’t contacted their daughter. He’s not allowed to set foot in our building.

That hasn’t stopped him from threatening her, though. He said he was going to “get even” with her for contacting police. He’s angry that he may lose his job. After all, that would make him look bad with his shiny, new blonde.

I’m keeping an eye out. I’m staying alert. I’m aware that helping my friend also puts me in danger. I know that I’m also a mother and need to be careful.

This is mostly what my family has told me.

“Stay out of it. Don’t get involved.”

I can’t stay out of it.

I made a promise to that seven year old girl.

I’ll never stay out of it again.