The Sensitive Storm

Beneath the surface, a storm brews.

Here We Go Again

My biological father died on July 4th. He lives in North Carolina and was on vacation with his family for the week. The ocean swallowed him up and spit him back out. He’s the first one they talk about, Randy.

Here’s a link:

Link to News

It’s horrible. I haven’t even begun to process what’s happening. Many of you that follow my blog know I moved to South Carolina in January. At that point I hadn’t seen my father for over 10 years. Once I decided I was leaving and moving back to Florida my dad said we need to meet. He said “there’s no way I’m going to let you be this close and not see you”. So we saw one another. We met halfway. It was sweet and we picked up right where we left off. Also, we were both wearing rubber bands on our wrists. I asked him why he did it he said “I just like it”. You remember from a previous blog why I do it. I took a photo of our wrists because I couldn’t believe we had both intentionally put rubber bands on our wrists. I took his black one. I am wearing it now as I type.

Hands

Fathergrainy photo taken with my iPhone

My biological father and I have become much closer over the past two years. After the death of the man who raised me (and whom I also call dad) I contacted my biological father and asked if we could be friends again, if we could move on. His answer? “Hell yes?” He was so happy. I would later learn from my sister that ever since I cut my father off from speaking to me several years back, he started drinking more and was depressed. Also, it was my fault we hadn’t been speaking. I was still hurt and held a lot of resentment from the past. I told him when I wanted to talk to him I’d call him.

I never knew I had that much of an impact on his life. I guess I know now. Over the past two years we learned more about one another and truly became friends. Even though moving to SC wasn’t one of my best decisions, I know that without having moved I probably wouldn’t have seen my dad for an even longer time. Maybe not even before his death.

But…

this post isn’t about that. It’s about people and how they respond to things like this. I’m still in shock so if I sound bold here, I’m really not. My last few days have been spent staring off into space, crying, and moving my body from one chair to another. I’ve been alone. My mom worked the past two days and even though I have friends, nobody has come to see me.

I suppose I’m being a bit overdramatic here I mean, what do I expect? I JUST had a dad die, didn’t I? What should I expect from anyone? People have their own lives to deal with. But, I haven’t eaten much. Aren’t people supposed to cook for the bereaved? I feel dizzy (though that may be remnants of the Klonipin my mother gave me last night to help me sleep). I’m numb. I randomly burst into tears and I’m hearing from people via text message. Some text me the first or second day it happened and I suppose they think that’s good enough. But, it isn’t good enough.

I think what I am noticing is the selfishness in others and I’m asking myself how selfish I am. I recently met a friend who said he was recently so depressed he stopped paying all of his bills, barely went to work (and was almost fired) and he gave away his beloved dog because he knew he couldn’t take care of it. He said “nobody cared”. Nobody cared. Nobody cares. That seems to be a theme when it comes to others suffering.

The night I found my father drown in the ocean I sat outside on the swing. It was like the fireworks were mocking my sorrow, as if nobody cared my world was just shattered. Nobody cared about my sister who swam to try and save my father, to no avail. How tragic. Not to mention his wife and son. His wife who he’s been married to for over 25 years.  His son who was supposed to drive to the beach with them the day before but arrived just in time to see his father’s lifeless body be dragged onto the shore.

We are faced with challenges. It’s a balancing act, I know. I’ve been struggling for over 2 years since the death of the man I knew as “dad” all of my life. After I was able to refocus after his death I thought-I should be grateful, it’s not the same but I still have a father. I struggled with guilt regarding not only that but also how close do I get with Randy? How do I talk about my dead “dad” when HE was my “dad”?

This year I forgot it was Father’s Day. I suppose my mind blocked it out for me. It would’ve been nice living in Oblivion but when I logged into Facebook I saw photos of kids with dads holding them and “Happy Father’s Day” messages were splattered everywhere. I broke down crying. Sobbing would be more like it. I can’t describe how it felt to a. realize I tuned out it was Father’s Day and b. realize my relationship with my father, Randy, was good enough now that I needed to tell him Happy Father’s Day but I couldn’t tell Lowell (my step-dad) Father’s Day. People around me were calling their dads telling them hi and all I wanted to do was hear my step-dad’s voice. But, I couldn’t.

Some big awkward text to my biological father came out. I felt embarrassed by what I said and how I said it. I was confused and sad but I didn’t want to hurt him. I kept texting him back apologizing to make sure he didn’t confuse what I had said, or take it the wrong way. I had another breakdown. Sobbing on the edge of the bed. Grief and loss is the most confusing thing I’ve ever had to deal with. While I was crying, he called me. I didn’t answer because I was crying. He left a message (which is still on my phone and I listened to today) gently and sweetly reassuring me that nothing was wrong and that he felt special I even called him at all. I could tell by his voice he was worried about me. Maybe he kept waiting for me to pick the phone up because his message was over 2 minutes long. I didn’t pick it up. I didn’t know what to say and I didn’t want him to hear me so upset.

I did speak with him the next day and we talked about gardening and plants. He was ecstatic that I was so into gardening and we shared tips on how to keep critters out of the veggies. He asked if I needed anything. He said he was going to send me a care package. He said he loved me and he was so happy to hear from me.

That was the last time we spoke but we’ve emailed and text several times since. I received an email from him 2 days before he died. Two weeks ago I signed an “intent to hire” with a local high school. I was so happy I was finally able to look forward to work and getting my life back in order. I drove home to see my mother for a few days before heading back to Jacksonville to start getting ready for when school starts in August. Two days after I got home I received an email from the school board telling me that “due to a surplus in our county your intent to hire will not be processed as there is no position”. They were sorry if they caused any inconvenience. I shared the bad news with my dad and here’s what he said:

What the Frick?  Damn Carmen,,,what a shame! I know this sucked bad, and hit you hard, but it obviously was not meant to be for you…life sure has a way at times to kick you good and hard when you’re already down…been there, been kicked,but somehow, I always managed to get back up and start kickin “lifes” ass!  You WILL get back up baby!  There IS something out there with your name on it! I‘ll be praying hard for the right thing to happen for you!  Keep an open mind and think outside the norm. You can do anything you set your mind to!  You’ve proven this over and over… I love you baby. I’m here for ya,,,you’ll get through this I know!

…and those will be the last words I’ll ever hear him say.

Dad

Blurred Lines

The Video

This post is about a song titled Blurred Lines. Here’s the video if you haven’t seen or heard it.

Blurred Lines Video

I watched it without sound and here’s what I saw. It’s actually a bit more ridiculous without sound. You should try it and see what you can see.

#THICKE all over the place. Translation: He has a thick penis.

The women are very very thin. Translation: I should be thinner so men will like me.

The women are prancing around naked in front of the men like peacocks shaking their feathers in the wild. Translation: this is what women should do.

The women have their fingers in their mouths and twirl their hair a lot. Probably because they “want it”. So, if you flirt with anyone you are apparently a bad girl and want sex.

“ROBIN THICKE HAS A BIG DICK”  Let’s see just how vulgar we can be.

Am I reading into it when I see the darker skinned girl is wearing the mask? She’s in the background in most of the video. She’s riding the bike, throwing the dice and playing the banjo. The other two girls are mostly dancing around.

The exchange money…what’s that mean? They are buying the girls?

The Lyrics

The entire song is a blurred line. It’s crap. I used to like it. I actually purchased it after I heard it the first few times…then I heard the lyrics.

Let me break some of them down:

OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you
Hey, hey, hey
You don’t need no papers
Hey, hey, hey
That man is not your maker

What’s the message here? Domestication is crap and no female should do it because we all just animals that want it. It doesn’t matter if we are married or “with” someone. The person we are with isn’t our “maker” and we have the freedom to do whatever we want with whomever we want.

I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

Just in case you missed it, you want it. Also, you’re a good girl but that’s okay. You can let your hair down and give into your animalistic instinct because, I know you want it.

The worst part comes up when T.I starts “rapping”.

Yeah, had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you     (I’ll cheat on her)
So hit me up when you passing through      (Booty call, one night stand)
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two   (Disgusting but apparently she likes that since she’s an animal)
Swag on, even when you dress casual (even though you look like crap I’ll have sex with you)
I mean it’s almost unbearable
Then, honey you’re not there when I’m
With my foresight bitch you pay me by
Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you (you are an animal, remember?)
He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that (also, you like it rough)
So I just watch and wait for you to salute
But you didn’t pick
Not many women can refuse this pimpin’
I’m a nice guy, but don’t get it if you get with me (it seems obvious that he has very high self esteem and she should see that)

How many times does he need to use the word “bitch” and, why is it even used? Bitch is derogatory but apparently it’s okay for men to sing about bitches in pop songs. It’s a good example for our men and what we want from them. We like being called bitches because we are animals. It makes sense.

Do it like it hurt, like it hurt
What you don’t like work?

You don’t like to work for it? And, don’t you like pain?

Baby can you breathe? I got this from Jamaica

In the video he holds up a gas mask. So, he’s into BDSM and she should be as well. Can you breathe?

Evolution+Of+Robin+Thicke+robinthicke_theevolution_coverThanks, Robin Thicke, for keeping mankind in the stone ages.

Go Skate Day

This was pretty cool.

Go Skate Day 2013

Fight or Flight

“Because avoiding stimulating situations reduces anxiety, the person may duck the very experiences that can balance the nervous system, like sex, camraderie, or a workout at the gym, thereby increasing defensiveness and avoidance” ~ Sharon Heller, Ph.d

I just finished reading this book.

9780060932923_p0_v3_s260x420

I learned ton about sensory defensiveness (SD) or sensory processing disorder. A ton. A few years ago I read The Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) by Elaine Aaron and it was enlightening. I wish I would’ve learned more about HSP stuff years ago. Aside from being highly sensitive, I’m also sensory defensive. I may be highly sensitive because I’m sensory defensive or vice versa. I’m not sure. I don’t really care either way. For now I’m just glad I have an explanation for the way I’ve felt all my life. So, it’s not just some BS I made up because I want to sit in the front seat.

I still have unanswered questions because much of the current research on SD relates to children. There is not much research relating to SD and adults. Another confusing thing is there is a lot of information about SD being related to Autism implying that a SD diagnosis is not it’s own thing. From what I’ve read it seems there must be something else attached to it (like Autism). Not just a diagnose (of sorts) of SD by itself.

The author talks a lot about different types of defensiveness. She basically puts a name to all the things I’ve always felt but never had a name for. I may not have a proper medical description of any of these but well, this is my blog, not the Mayo Clinic. Here are the ones that resonate with me.

Check out this awesome list of symptoms I discovered:

http://www.spdlife.org/symptoms/general.html (It really upsets me that my link button is broken and I have to put all that text in here)

Auditory Defensiveness – first and foremost this is the one I have the most difficult time with. Very few people can pick this up in me. It’s helpful when someone else can though, because sometimes I forget or I don’t realize there’s a problem until its too late. I become completely disorganized when there’s a lot of noise. I become disorganized when a song comes on that resonates with me…I can become “lost” so to speak. It’s really difficult to navigate through noise.

Movement Defensiveness (Vestibular)- this is basically being ultra sensitive to movement. Quick movement. Ups and downs. Going up, going down. Motion sickness. Not liking being tipped over or pushed *jokingly. Having a fear of falling. Elevators. Eek!

Light Defensiveness – Obviously being super sensitive to light. I worked part time at Target once for about 2 months. I quit because I had a headache very day. I’m assuming it was because of the lighting. I mentioned it to the person “in charge” and he said he’s had a few people tell him the same thing. He assumes it’s the fluorescent lighting. (The sun. Need I say more?)

Tactile Defensiveness – Basically being easily overwhelmed by ordinary things like textures, tags on shirts, normal touch, etc. Wet hair on my back-after a shower-gives me the creeps just thinking about it.

One time I was pulling a weed off a tree that had grown up through as a vine. It had these little seeds on it which didn’t bother me until one jumped on my arm! I screamed. It was like the look I see on people’s faces when someone does a weird sound with a chalkboard. I can’t tell you how much I freaked out. I cannot STAND cold or wet things bumping or getting on my skin without my knowing it’s coming.

Since I’ve been able to learn more about myself I’ve observed different things I notice that signal when I’m in distress. It’s good to be able to do this because when you do you can possibly stave off some very bad situations and feelings.

Here’s how I know when I’ve reached my (un)optimal level of arousal:

Deep breaths accompanied by heavy sighs

Constant movement

Inability to focus

General agitation *snapping at people*

I eat cookies. Cookies ground me. Oh, and IHop pancakes (yuck)

People don’t think this a real thing. Tough people say “get over it”. Well, I can’t just “get over it”. Don’t you know I’m the rabbit?

 

 

 

An Ocean Away

tomorrow we will run faster

stretch out our arms farther

and one fine morning-

so we beat on

boats against the current

born back, ceaselessly

into the past    ~fsf

 

Self-Discovery

My past three weeks have been intoxicating. Disturbing. Liberating. The synchronicity is so prevalent it’s almost manifested itself as something tangible. I can’t wait to see where all of this is going. I’ve tried to think of words to put meaning on the events but I can’t come up with anything no matter how I try. Instead, I’ll share some photos. I want to give these events life.

*all photos were taken with my iPhone*

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Something’s emerging within me. 

It’s begging to escape the boundaries of my flesh and bones. 

It craves my attention and beckons me to give in.  

Hello/Goodbye

I’ve lived in the past for a long time. I’m still living in the past and I’ve only recently come to realize it.

This April is two years since my father died of cancer and I’ve been depressed and angry ever since. When I am “okay” I think about it from an objective point of view by asking myself questions like…how long have I REALLY been depressed? Why do I feel angry? How did the death of my father lead me to where I am now? Did it lead me to where I am now? What is grief? How long does it last? Am I still grieving?

When I asked myself those questions I realized I’ve been sad and angry a lot longer than my dad’s death. I learned he had cancer on Valentines Day in 2010. I went inward. Even more inward. I subsequently expressed what I was feeling through photographs. I, of course, didn’t realize this until about a year later.

I took my anger out on Jeremy, my boyfriend at the time. Everything went downhill fast. My relationship, my mood and my plans. I had a conversation with Jeremy once that went like this:

Me: why are we fighting so much?

Jeremy: I don’t know. When do you think it started?

Me: about 6 months ago

Jeremy: you know what happened 6 months ago?

Me: no

Jeremy: you’re dad was diagnosed with cancer

I know I keep bringing this up. It must get old reading about the same thing over and over. Carmen’s sad because her dad died…blah blah blah. Oh! Speaking of that (death) I had a dream last night that my family packed into a van and guess who was driving? My dad. Strange since the last dream I had of him we were in a camper and he was driving.

Getting back to my point. My depression does not just start with my father being diagnosed with cancer. I’ve made decisions over the past few years without really thinking about them first. I’ve always been someone who “goes with their gut” and although that has helped keep me safe along the way, something is missing. Completely. And I can’t seem to find it…but I see glimpses which is how I know it exists. It beckons me.

But, what’s missing? What am I doing wrong?

I had a conversation this week with a dear friend and he said I am “muted”. I thought about it and responded that I’ve always been muted. He said I’m meant for bigger things. I said I’m afraid and then he says “you’re the rabbit” and leaves for a moment to come back with this box titled The Peace Box (circa 1970) and upon opening the box I see the following books

The_Peace_Box_Series2

The books are poems of sorts. Here’s a really good description of them: Peace, Love and Art  and this, one of my favorite pages from the book I read titled “The Rabbit Box”.

The_Rabbit_Box_9

“i was the nervous white rabbit of your arms. i didn’t deserve to be loved that much but you figured time was short & life was tricky and i guess it was fun sometimes or maybe i was in spite of myself less painful to you than most”

and this describes “the rabbit”

The_Rabbit_Box_3

The_Rabbit_Box_2“if crocuses in the dirty snow made you cry & remember things…those things you remembered, that is my name i am the rabbit”

My sensitivity sees all things. I am the rabbit. I was even born in the year of the rabbit, whatever that means.

I think what I am reminding myself of here is to give myself a break. I don’t need all the answers and I may never have them. But, making love to every leaf that moves and crying over things remembered in dirty snow is something only few people can do. I am one of those people. Luckily for you I can capture those images with my camera and share them with you and then just for that single moment you too are looking at what I see that others can’t.

Shadows

Color Me Rad Photos {Jacksonville, FL}

Color_me_rad

Let me be clear. I didn’t run this. I wanted to. I started to train for it back in November but when I moved to SC I never got back “on track” (pun intended) and haven’t picked it back up.

Yet.

Ehile I was there cheering on my friend Jordan (and watching her daughter while she & her husband ran) I was able to snap a few shots.