Updated: Oct 16, 2022
I can hear the sound of dogs yelping and whining tonight, this is completely in my head. I don’t have a dog, my dog passed away a few years ago, my brain is just easily triggered and I have a good long term memory for details. The sound in my head is a noise from childhood, of the dogs we had growing up, we always had German Shepherds big and strong by appearance however they are actually a very gentle and affectionate breed of dog usually. The reason I can hear yelping in my head tonight is because I had a conversation about dogs and that triggered some past memories, growing up the dogs would often get a good beating and the noises still haunts me to this day. If I could I would sleep with headphones on to block the noise out, but I need to be able to hear my children in the night so that’s not an option so instead I’m lying awake with whining in the background of my internal monologue. I intend to go into more about the dogs for the book I’m writing, I’m still going over old memories and jotting bits down. The more I write the more I remember, and the more I trigger myself so it’s tricky. They had a dog once called poppy, I was long gone by this point I moved out way before they got her. I did however go with them the night they brought her home, as I’ve mentioned before I spent years trying to keep the peace and hold onto relationships.
Poppy was also a German Shepard, she wasn’t very big though I think perhaps she was mixed with a sheepdog or something of a smaller breed, we only met her mother when they picked her up her father wasn’t available for viewing. I would have been in my very early 20s perhaps younger, but I still remember this night, the layout of the house, the smell of the puppies. The house was next to a lake, it had big windows and the family were friendly enough, regardless of upbringings and animal preferences who doesn’t like going to visit a load of fluffy puppies!
Poppy was an interesting dog I wasn’t a massive fan of hers to be honest, she made me a little nervous and was annoying. As a puppy she was lovely and fluffy but she unfortunately got put to sleep when she matured because she grew a temper and couldn’t be trusted. She attacked a family member, aggression is an instinct, it’s built in us for self protection, but it was wrongly used and she became a danger. Sad isn’t it, an animal will get miss treated and when they then get triggered and defensive they get destroyed. They become the ones with the anger issues, they get blamed. All I can hear is that noise, German Shepards are very vocal dogs their cry is almost like a scream when they get hit and now my brain is flooded with old random memories.
Like Poppy was my anxiety is a bitch, oh a pun! A bit of humour mixed with some childhood trauma yay! Sometimes I get frustrated with how good my long term neurodivergent memory is, if only my short term memory was as good I’d be unstoppable! A strong visual memory is also a factor in my creativity, my ability to problem solve and empathise so it’s not ALL bad. If I wasn’t traumatised and could get through the day without a stress nap I would probably be better at using these ability career wise!
Where was I, dogs, may as well keep the ball rolling… As a teenager still living at home I remember always feeling better knowing that Scooby one of our dogs, a large white German Shepard was sleeping upstairs incase something kicked off and my mum needed help, (my priorities were wrong) but the dogs did offer me some comfort I doubt they would of been much protection if needed but it did make me feel better knowing they were there. This is something me and my siblings often talk about in fact we were talking about this 2am last night, guess i’m not the only one not sleeping these days.
I’m not being very well behaved… I’m having a break from counselling because I literally can’t bring myself to get back in contact with my counsellor it’s only been a few weeks, ironically my ‘ghosting’ is something she’s helping me work on but the procrastination in me is strong, “i’ll do it tomorrow”. Also counselling is suddenly a luxury in my mind because of the cost of living crisis, it’s not cheap and before the cost didn’t concern me to much because it felt like a need now it’s a luxury. Perhaps why I’m struggling to get a session booked in, perhaps it’s the guilt of spending money on myself while I now need to be more considerate that’s stopping me from reaching out. This is usually the type of question I would look for guidance on. Or I’m just talking myself out of it, using the excuse of my increasing energy bill to get out of talking about my feelings. Think I just answered my own question then really didn’t I! Sigh, but this country is a mess, there will be many people now in the process of questioning whether they actually need counselling or not due to an increase in their out goings.
I’m probably just hitting a wall, I feel like I have no long term plan of action at the moment. I have to always know what I think the next five years look like for myself. It’s a control thing because of my anxiety I know that, also it’s a trauma response so i’ve been told. I have no weddings booked in till next year as I tend to like to concentrate on my day job in the autumn and winter as it’s our busiest time, "oh yes it is" ... a pantomime pun, that I find funny because I work in a theatre and I’m mentally exhausted. I have of course wedding meeting here and there and planning to do, but business wise il be quiet for a little while, which could be a good opportunity to really start my book and make a plan of action career wise! There’s so much pressure in life though isn’t there! To earn money, to progress, to keep going, be successful, but what’s it all for?
I need a new project maybe, I need to do a blog collaboration again perhaps, when I focus on helping people everything is lighter, sharing stories and images feels like giving back. I need some new challenges, some dopamine, passion and motivation, any going anywhere? (theres a meme of Oliver twist ‘please sir can I have some more’ now in my head as I think about how I would love some happy hormones right now. I’ve made art, I have mechanisms, most are what people would call ‘problematic’ so my art is probably the best mechanism I have. It’s my voice, my soul and my therapy.
Inspired by my noisy brain. Digital noise is something as a photographer I’m meant to not like, but the artist in me is drawn to it. I like the grainy look of an edit, the fragments. Photography isn't possible without light, like everything in life light is the catalyst for growth. These are all old images I reedited because I couldn't sleep last week.
I’m still growing my hair, at the moment it’s breaking and falling out. Sad times, lunar is now 9 months old so it’s all down to hormones. Oh how we love hormones right *eyes roll into head* anyway back into the subject of art this is how anxiety feels I guess, like there’s always something weird around you, waiting for you, to grab you. "It's behind you!..."
Silent but never silenced-
It's a thing right, we talk to much and men try and silence us...I got a letter, informing me I had be involved in an domestic incident, which at first I thought was a mistake because well I’ll put this as clearly as possible I HAVE NOT, my family life is so unbelievably healthy, in fact I’m still shocked myself and my sisters are building such normal life’s and relationships. So obviously there was a lot of confusion, going back and forth, emails, phone calls. I was confused as were the police it took a little while to get to the bottom of it, at first I was told there was a admin error, but then it came to light that he had reported my blog and it was protocol to send me a letter. The office on my case wasn’t aware of this, not her fault communication issues happen in every work place. I spoke to the officer who dealt with the ‘complaint’ he assured me that my blog isn’t under fire and what I’m doing is breaking no laws, he also was very sympathetic to how frustrated I felt by receiving the letter and the language used in it, I get it’s a generic letter. Nothing is on my record obviously, I’ve done nothing wrong, this is him just trying to silence me. He’s not as clever as he thinks perhaps, I can see it now, him shouting and punching walls like an oversized toddler and I haven’t named anyone… who am I even talking about, I’m not in control of other peoples assumptions. Ok maybe it’s obvious, and when I say ‘mum’ if you know me you know who I’m referring too and maybe when I come to writing my book I should use different names depending on how detailed I go. Because trust me this isn’t me digging deep, I’ll hopefully get some proper legal advice by then and someone to help me edit. But it’s happening and people need to get used to that. Before much longer if it hasn’t already happened he will either get his job back or a new one that allows his behaviour to continue. It is what it is.
Self compassion is gross, it’s hard, it feels like a lie. Like a pat on the back undeservedly, however it’s also nice and works it just takes time to master. I’ve was learning how to practice self compassion in counselling, a technique I like is holding onto a feeling of love, gratitude and happiness when I’m feeling down. For example when I feel like “velvet you’re being a dick, this is why no one likes you blah, blah” instead of thinking of myself negatively I remember how I feel when I think of my children and husband, the physical feelings of love and happiness… to me they are warm and in my chest. Holding onto those feelings help fight off the crappy thoughts it’s not always easy, it takes time and sometimes my mind is too messy, but it’s a good tool.
This simply is an image of me being triggered I guess, feeling fragile and frustrated. It’s a few long exposures edited together, I love long exposures and I used a little red light that was a lot of fun. I feel like a control freak again at the moment. I’m a walking trigger, like a bottle of pop, it’s all my own fault too, I’ve been eating junk food, I’m not getting out enough and I’m watching as much horror as possible to distract myself. None of this is helpful, I’m self aware enough to know it’s self sabotaging behaviour, but can I stop? Nope! I’m just riding it out, how bad can it get? That’s a trick question. So I need to start looking after myself better again, fresh air, walks, exercise and all of the ‘wellness’ activities I’m very aware that impact mental health in a positive way…
Fun fact, I scared myself doing this image because I was using my flash lightings so I was shooting in the dark and with every flash I could see my reflection in the mirror and It was freaking me out because I hate the dark! Sometimes what we see is the worst versions of ourselves... trapping ourselves.
Letting it out-
This book will be my closure, it will be my therapy, from what I’ve seen he’s already struggling with not “seeking revenge” hummm the words of a true psychopath and that’s the difference between us I look for justice, closure and awareness to help others and they looks for revenge to satisfy their own sick narcissistic needs and egos. But I guess we have all got to let our poison out somehow, I choose mine this way. It's up to me how I deal with my feelings and my experiences.
Creative challenge- purpose
I’ve started an art challenge, I do these from time to time to help me come up with new creative concepts. This challenge was curated by my favourites artist Brooke Shaden. I’ve failed to finish, in fact one of my blog drafts (that may forever be a draft, who knows) surrounding the theme of my ‘propose’ of an artist and well my propose in general. I struggled with the concept, I had every intention to throw myself into the challenge, to give it my all, failure isn’t great, maybe that’s my propose, to start and fail. But here is where I got to- “EXERCISE: Write a single sentence that exemplifies your purpose.”
My purpose can’t be written in a single sentence, it’s forever changing with life and is fluid, life is too turbulent, my purpose at this moment in time (which will change rapidly as situations do) is just to get by in this moment, to create to help myself stay on track of my feelings and to hope I connect with people via my artwork.
Ok so I did the writing challenge, well part of it, there should of been much, much more as I didn’t do the other exercises, I’m yet to make art for this. I’m disappointed in myself in all honesty, I also changed it up a little bit, hopefully in time i’ll revisit it! I’m just not sure how to instil my ‘purpose’ into an image yet. Maybe in my next blog!
Let’s tell a funny story for a change, my blog used to be funny!- One of my sisters got hit by the swinging doors in Morrisons as a young child, this is not the funny part obviously, there is nothing funny about a child getting hurt and of course she was upset and a LITTLE bit marked on her face. My mum, being the ever opportunist called the local paper, because apparently she was outraged at one of her children getting hurt… and this just NEEDED awareness! So when it’s them telling their stories it’s allowed right, interesting to know! We are getting to the funny part I promise, ok, when it was time for a photo and interview she gave my sister a black eye using make up which admittedly at the time me and my siblings all kinda thought was funny. So they did photos for the paper with a fake black eye and my mum was fuming that all she got was a sorry card and a shopping voucher for her efforts. My sister was fine, and i’m sure the voucher came in useful. Funny how I can remember all of this but can’t recall positive memories like birthdays and hugs, trauma is weird. I can still hear the whining of dogs.
Thanks for reading... sorry for the typos!
I really like blogging, It feels very 'me' and it's great to do something we love right!? I've wanted to do this style of work for years but I really wasn't ready to open up about my art work as I am now.
I'm really finding my voice and this has given me a deeper reason for creating! However having my own voice doesn't feel like enough. We all have stories and struggles that are all different. Art for me is about connection, awareness and story telling, and I believe that together there is so much awareness to be spread.
Sound like something you may be interested in? Great! Let’s tell some stories together!
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