Paralyzed by Fear

Paralyzed by fear.

If reading and comprehension come easily to you, you may not full understand the paralyzing fear of reading or reading out loud. The fear of being told that you are dumb or stupid, to have teachers and peers make you feel like you less than because it takes you longer to read or process. This was my experience from elementary through middle school and even Jr. High.  It was better in High school and much easier during my undergrad.

Tonight, I am sitting at my desk with my printed out essay that I need to read. Its only 9 pages. I start out pretty confident, after all I am 36 and have learned ways to cope with my dyslexia. I have found programs that make my life easier, things that assist with my writing. I buy dual copies of books in paper and audio this helps retain me as I follow along.

In the event that I couldn’t get a text on audio. I would just read it out loud. This works for the most part until I get into textual work or theory, when I get to words I can’t pronounce and start to stubble. I start to get lost in the unfamiliar words. I completed last paragraph on page 3 and the tears start to fall.

I start the next page. Suddenly, I see myself as that 12 year old working on homework for hours, crying and telling my mom that I am stupid.  I would get frustrated and she would should different ways to work a math problem, and even though I would finally understand it. I would still cry because I knew that Mrs. Ragor would count it wrong because it had not been done her way.  I was teased and told I was stupid by not just my peers but by educators. If I had not had a mother that was determined to help me, I would not be where I am today. It was my hungry to learn and her determination that made us unstoppable.

I continued to struggle through this 1930’s essay that yes is still relevant. I hit record on my phone, thinking I might be tempted to share and exert of my reading, but that may be too scary. Online classes add to these fears and anxieties, it’s all textual and becomes a sea of letters and words that I am drowning in. I read through my fears. I can’t read this in my head because it bounces off like my brain is rubber.

Finally, I get through it, the notes were not taken and it took me about an hour and a half. I sat there the tears leaking out of my eyes as if I can finally release the sea I was just drowning in.

It was at this moment, I sent another message to my professors and asked about dropping a class. I felt like a total failure. I couldn’t do this. Two classes, children, and work. There is no way! It’s too much and the reading has me feeling like a failure. All I have ever wanted to do was write and make art, but maybe it wasn’t meant to be. These thoughts of the things my middle school teachers use to say to me were screaming, so loudly in my head. I felt so defeated in that moment. I hit send on my email and let the tears flow.

One of my professors had responded to a previous email. He reminded me of my accommodation and advised me to submit my documentation.  I haven’t had to do this in years, but I will dig out paper work. He told me about PDF reader opinion “read out loud,” which I had to google.  I pulled up the pdf of the textbook my other professor had sent me. The “read out loud”, was the lifeline I needed last night. It’s not ideal, but it worked!!

After I complete these sections. I was going to scan in the previous essay, then I realized that I had a theory book that was on audio, low and behold this fucking essay that took me nearly 90 mins to read, was on the audio text I have.  I listened to this essay and took notes for another 20mins, it all made sense to me.

It was 2 AM by the time I finished. I sat with my 12 year old self. She reminded me of all the things I was afraid of and I reminded her of how far we have come. Together we cried not because it was over, but she is the only one that truly understands.

 

Every Negative has a Positive

Negative: I couldn’t get a single book on audio this semester.

Positive: I spent Thursday and Friday ready out loud to myself in funny accidents to get through the pages.

Negative: I should have than work on the video and the paper, but I was not able to focus on it after all the reading.

Positive: I was inspired to work on my book which has a deadline coming up. So, I got lost in this story and the words.  Relived a few life lessons and before I knew it was 1 am.

Negative: My youngest, who is a night owl.  Requested an hour of TV and in my bed at 1AM. I explained to him that I am going to fall asleep and that he is too big to sleep in my bed.

Positive: I could snuggle with him and after 30 minutes before telling him that I couldn’t keep my eyes open.  He agreed to end the movie if I will tuck him in.

Saturday was just one of those days and was not nearly as productive as it should have been, it was full of interruptions.  There are several reasons as to why this weekend was going to be full of changes.

Negative: The older teenager was going to be here and his plans change from hour to hour. Consisting of mom take me here, mom pick me up there. This is not unusual for a teenager, but I was trying to write a fucking paper.

Positive: He re-met and a friend of mine, and for the first time since the divorce he said. “I like him, he seems chill”

I reminded my oldest that this man and I are just friends, and that I have too much on plate to date.  This idea of me letting people met my children is hard for me, even if they are friends.  The fact that he liked someone even if it was a friend was huge because he doesn’t like anyone new.

Negative: Unexpected visitors:

Positive: My wonderful supportive mom stops by and for the most didn’t interrupt me directly.  She drove with me to drop the boys off and even stayed late to watch a movie with them, while working on my paper.

Negative: I don’t like going to the grocery store. It feels like a waste. I understand that we need food to survive, but it mostly feels expensive. It used to give me a panic attack. Now it’s just annoying with the time and the crowds.

Positive: I got to go grocery and my mom made this trip more pleasant. Plus, the kids brought in and put away all the groceries away for me.

Sunday had just as many distractions, but there are ways a better way to look at the situations and find the best part of it.

Unhurried Rain 

The day is gray and cool.

It reminds me of you.

The rain falls unhurried

Drumming on the roof

Tinging in the gutters.

It’s almost as if I can see you

Sitting across from me,

In that orange chair

Smiling, your blue eyes

looking for my soul.

We laughed and smoked

Told each other our story.

We departed in the rain

Both unsure of the first move.

Overwhelmed

Well, I feel overwhelmed and I want to have sex, but I am taking a break from that. I want to forget that I feel like my life is spinning out of control.  The reality is that it’s not out of control, it’s just finding a new balance. My fears kick in, “can I read the material fast enough and I will be able to maintain the schedule.”  yet I always find my way.

I am a 36 year old dyslexic who knows all the coping skills with a 4.0 GPA and yet there are moments that I feel like the 12 year old girl so afraid to read out loud.

It’s only 10 weeks

“It’s only 10 weeks,” the phrase that I keep repeating to myself as I start my third term at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) this week. It’s 10 weeks two classes, which equates to an additional 40 hours a week on top of my full-time job, my children, and my book. “Lean into it,” is the other phrase that rings loudly. The extra class mean I can complete the degree a term sooner.

However, my day job can be mentally taxing, and there are days I just want to melt on the couch after work. Let alone do all the responsible parenting things.  My boys are great with their encouragement and even reassure me occasionally that I am not being selfish that I am showing them how to follow their passion.

Except as classes start, I’m suddenly filled with fear of time management and mom guilt. It’s only 10 weeks, right. 400 hours….

The clock is ticking, Friday is the deadline to drop a class and I stand on the edge, leaning, armed with coffee and my cape.

Not Sorry

I have never been a hateful person. I own my actions good or bad. I understand that what I post is not for the everyone regardless these are my internal thought and experiences told from solely my from the point of view either at the moment or upon reflecting. In the past, I haven’t loved with an open heart, but with a guard one and be vulnerable was not an option. As I am finding the internal balance that is changing, there is something beautiful in exposing that side of myself.

I know that somewhere there is another person who is experiencing things in a similar fashion and my goal is to help them realize they are not alone.

Release and Reset

When I sat down to write a post to accompany this painting this is what came out. It is not what had originally intended, but I suppose it is part of the release.  It’s raw and vulnerable, which is not a side of myself I normally share.

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Dear Lover,

When we met, you were exactly what I was looking for… I didn’t want a relationship. I wanted someone who would fuck. Sex was my drug. My way to avoid. It was my way to forget the real world and we did it well. You had woken up things inside me that hadn’t existed in my marriage.

Two months into this thing that we were doing you told me you loved me. I was scared and tried to joke it off.  That night we enter the veil and the sex was euphoric.  Except, I was not ready for love and didn’t want to be loved. I didn’t deserve it.  I wanted to be fucked.

We took a break during the fifth month, but by month six we were back to fucking.  In month Seven, I knew she was more than your roommate, and I let you avoid the question because I enjoyed this veil. It meant I didn’t have to be fully invested. During the end of month eight I was seeking someone new, because after all I knew this would end. By month ten, I confirmed that she was your girlfriend and ended with you.  I told myself it was some sort of moral issue.  Until you would call and we would fuck again. I liked this veil the outside world didn’t exist there.

Your drunk love was impressive, but I knew it wasn’t real love. I started actively trying to start another relationship. You would pop in and out. Sometimes I would tell you to go away and put off your confusions of love. Others I would cave and fuck you for hours getting lost in the euphoria.

Month 14, I had tried to sleep with someone new but sexually he and I didn’t fit; it didn’t work; and it wasn’t you. I denied to myself that my heart was confused because none of this made sense. During months, fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen, II still tried to replace you. I met farm boy and lawn care guy both fun for various reasons. I tried a little harder with Farm boy. His sex drive was closer to mine, but again, it didn’t work. It wasn’t you and after all you were still popping in and out. By month, twenty-two we were back in full swing.

At twenty -eight, I wanted more than sex and ended again with you. I wasn’t ready to move in and you were. I want to date and you had to figure what she was to you. I understood that you loved both of us after all you start seeing both of us at the same time.  When I told you we had to be done and we fought. I believed it was over.

Except in month thirty, you were back again professing your love. You want it all, you said, you loved me, and you were moving out.  You asked to move in and I again said no. Responding with we needed to try dating.  I knew we fucked well. The veil was the place that we worked. We didn’t know if we work anywhere else. I wasn’t a new divorcee anymore. I was on my path and this thing wasn’t going to change that.

In months thirty-one and thirty-two I would remind you of what you had said and asked for a when. You would tell me your fears and your secrets and I just accepted them.  During month thirty-two, I really did know we were never going to be more than the sex. Yet we still played this game both knowing it was over, but still pulled and not sure how to quit.

In month thirty-three… you had been caught… we had been caught

The text message DENY IT ALL – hit me like a ton of bricks.

I don’t when, exactly, I had fallen for your drunk love. I thought my heart was protected from it by the logic of this sexual connection. Somehow, your words had seeped into my heart and it didn’t make sense.

This thought of denying it all torn me apart. I wanted to protect you, but if I had denied it, if I didn’t confess my truth, it would have meant it was never real.

I cried because I didn’t want to love you, but I did. I can’t even tell when it must have happened, but it did.  When you showed in what would have been month thirty-four, I caved and I knew I would, I was hurting and the veil was my escape. You asked me to hate you. I told you I wanted to and I was trying to.

You rambled your drunk words. I loved your dick and you loved my pussy. Yes, it was love, but not love with balance. We had let this go of this sexual love. You love hard and drinker harder because it scares you. We don’t make sense in the real world and we only worked inside the veil that we had created where no one else was allowed. Except, the veil has been broken and I’m finally ready for the more.

I will find love that balances my mind, my heart, and my sexual desires. Our sexual love worked, but it only when there was honesty and trust.

I always saw you for who you were and fall in love you anyway. I know my hurt will fade and I will love again. I thank you for all that you helped awaken within me. It was an experience that I will carry with me always. So live well and keep loving.

Wishing you balance,

The Artist