From me, to you, my heart.
I'm sure you've heard this a million times before (OK, maybe only 4,636 times) but thank you.
I've been struggling for days now to express myself on this matter, and it makes me cry. But I think I can now, and you don't have to read the whole thing, but I have to write it. But I'll give you the easy out option and write the summery first...
hitRECord is EXACTLY what I needed, EXACTLY when I needed it.
Warning, please exit now if not interested in long angsty post, watch your step, thank you, come again.
I think that many of you (oh dear, misting up already) take your right to be creative for granted. It's something you do, you are, and probably were encouraged in. And this site came from that love of creativity and the urge to share. I could be wrong, but as I said, this is what I think.
I was not so lucky.
Among other things I was the classic unwanted step-child. My mother has a sixth grade education and was raised mostly in institutions so you can imagine her parenting skills aren't up to snuff and my step-father's first wife had multiple-personality disorder. Anything different sparked a fear in him. When I was nine they had a child together and I was inconvenient and pretty much shunned.
I know this sounds like the angsty bit, but, they would do things like go out to dinner and a movie the three of them and leave me home alone. My grandmother told me, years later, that she and my aunts had discussed asking for custody of me and who I could live with because they thought the way I was treated was shameful.
But to get back on track...
When you're a creative person it's not just what you do, it's who you are. It's a core bit of you that drives you, and you can't not be creative without damaging yourself.
So, my parents didn't realize what harm they were doing with such offhand comments like:
Don't sing, you can't, so don't try.
You call that dancing?
You run funny.
Why can't a find a pen in this damn house, did you take them again?
That sketch pad is six bucks! You got six bucks?
What kind of stupid shit are you up to now?
My dad's brand of humor is belittlement, so jokes at my expense were plentiful. And, we moved a lot. I've moved over 150 times and went to five Jr. High schools. This meant that I didn't have friends, and after a while I quit trying.
At 14 I developed an ulcer and it was recommended that I have group therapy. Since the state paid for it rather than my parents, they said I could go. By then I was a mousy person to all appearances, having pretty much shoved everything that made me ME inside. It was something I had to do to survive with the people I lived with. I was a liar, sneaky, and tried to be as invisible as possible.
(On a side note, I went to a family reunion years later and all my aunts were going "You changed so much!" except my youngest aunt, who's two years younger than me. "Have I changed?" I asked. "No," She said, just as puzzled as I was. Later I figured out that she was the only one of them who ever saw the real me. I don't think my aunts ever heard me laugh, or tell a joke, or do anything outgoing my entire life until that reunion.)
Group therapy was really good for me. I didn't talk much, but I listened a lot. I learned a lot. When I started high school I took art classes, joined the Drama Club...but still didn't know how to make friends. So, I watched. Most people, I learned, meet people through other people.
When I started my sophomore year I decided to take the bull by the horns and talk to everyone. My line? "Hey, you look halfway normal, talk to me." And people did. Some of them never did again and would cross the hall to avoid me, but, some of them are still my friends today.
But now I was living a dual life. Mouse at home, strange girl at school. I might have continued to get better but my parents decided that therapy wasn't doing me any good. Their reason? They told the therapist over the phone that 'she's still not getting her chores done on time, so we don't think it's doing any good.'
Friends and all that, pish! The real measure of mental and emotional health is chores!
My parents never came to a single production I was attached to in school, even when I bought their tickets out of my waitressing money. Nor did they come to the awards ceremony where I received the "Good Works" school support award. To give you a clue of my emotional state I bought my own dress, shopped for it alone, and it was more or less a black mumu....
And then came a brief and shining period in my life where I broke away from all that; drew, painted, danced, sang, loved, lost, made a short movie with friends, and all that jazz!
And then that period ended.
My mother had a stroke, and I am so well trained that I left my home, my good job that I did well, my friends and came here to help out.
Now I'm stranded. And I've been stranded for two years. I can't afford to go anywhere else. My last year tax return? 11K. Shit.
Just sitting here looking at that makes my soul feel like it's been weighted with rocks.
Stranded in a place I don't like, and don't understand, with people who pay as much attention to me as a person as they do a serving spoon.
My best friend whom I've known forever and who also knows them said "They never appreciated you, why do you think they would start now? Because they need you?"
I was actually excited to move here. Music, arts, films...so much to do and see here in the Seattle area! I've done none of it. The fault lays with me, I know, for this. Well, me and my bank account.
So I found myself becoming my child-self again. Mouse girl at home, strange girl at work. And I'd lay in bed at night and realize that after two years I've done very little down here for myself. That if I died only five people would notice or care. That my only purpose right now was to consume and produce, which is no purpose at all.
Sick in my soul, depressed beyond measure. My only creative outlet writing on RPG forums.
And then I found hitRECord.
It was EXACTLY what I needed, EXACTLY when I needed it.
I'm back in group therapy, almost, with other creative people who some of were treated as I was treated, feel the way I feel, and are healing the way I'm healing.
Inspired, I bought a camera on clearance and am going to start taking pics again. I'm writing things other than RPG's again. I'm looking forward to things again.
Not like I was. Not yet. Maybe I never will be able to again. But I can hope.
So, again, thank you.
PS: If you show any pity for me, I will be deeply shamed and embarrassed, so...please? Don't.
Created: Mar 23, 2009Document Media