Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Interlude - Thank You

Earlier I rushed an update for my re-booting blog post overwhelmed by the amount of comments, obvious increase on traffic and I have to admit a bit panicked (as in: "OMG, holy cow, OMG, holy flying potato of Antioch, how in the heck did I reach 4,000 views?" hyperventilating sort of way). Hehehe.
You see overnight that post went pretty much as public as it could when lovely geeky blogger Jen shared it on Epbot.

Jen herself was the inspiration for me to write it all down, in kind I sent her a note along with the original post and apparently it moved her enough to share it with the masses of awesome Epbot readers.

I have received an insane out pour of support from so many people, it has been both wonderful and scary. I am shy by nature, I tend to try and keep my own issues to myself, when I have a problem I try my best to solve it on my own and only resort to asking for help when all avenues had been exhausted. This can be good and bad at the same time. In an effort to move forward and make things right for myself I decided to take a very uncharacteristic step and put myself out there.

I understand that putting things on a blog is the equivalent of hammering a manifesto to the public square wall and let people interpret it in whatever way they want: "What?! She says she hates oranges!" "Oranges? She hates PEARS!" "No, she meant pineapples! I grow pineapples! I am personally hurt by this!" "Pears, oranges AND pineapples? She hates all fruit!" (hehehe... disclaimer: I love fruit, really I do, I might not be a big fan of pineapple, but I do adore it cooked, I know, I am weird).

As an artist I am used to having my pieces critiqued and interpreted in ways I never thought or sometimes never intended, so I knew what I was getting into. I just never expected over 5,000 people would be interested on anything I had to say... no, really, who knew, right?

Some might see my entry as a tirade against doctors, nurses, the state of the healthcare establishment *people, please put the pitchforks and torches down, slowly, slowly, ok good, now, who wants a cookie?* (not really the case, as I have pointed out on my update I truly believe there are awesome doctors and nurses and I have met many, I just happened to have very rotten luck with a batch when I won the genetically screwed lottery, all in all, I think I used a bunch of my allotted bad luck at once). Others might see it as encouragement to share their own stories to help them heal themselves or as a cautionary tale that will help them voice their concerns to their doctors and nurses when they need help instead of shrinking back and not saying something at all (an actually nice side-effect). But in reality all it ever truly was is a cathartic piece pulled from strands of memories I had tried to bury and forget. Something I had kept inside my memories on the smallest little container I could imagine, out of shame, out of pain, because it is really a bummer of a story and didn't want to make people sad and ultimately because I feared I would be pitied, yelled at, told again I was being a cry-baby or worse if I dared talk about it.

Turns out that posting this has really helped me, even before all of you guys were so incredibly kind, I could already feel a small change in the way I was handling it all. The heaviness is still there nestled within my chest, but thanks to everybody's incredibly wonderful and encouraging comments, I now feel super charged and encouraged to keep this project going, after all that was what I set out to do and what I want this blog to accomplish. Nothing more, nothing less. I can't thank you all enough for that.

That being said and pre-empting the internet insanity that might or might not rain upon me (I have seen the internet grow since the early days of dial-up, so I know how out of control things can get), all I can truly say in closing is:

Things happened, things were wrong, things were right, and now I am still alive, I have a good life, I have an incredible husband as my partner, an incredible family (hi mom! Hi bro! Hi dad! Hi cousins, aunts, uncles, etc!), amazing friends, and I am a pretty happy-go-lucky type of person that tries her hardest to make it through life by being kind, silly and doing my very best. I might not be all the way OK, but we are working towards a nice quirky/fun/sweet version of a "normal" (if normal even exists, am I right?). I believe with all my heart we will eventually get there. We will have bad times along the way, but hopefully the good will manage to out-do it an we'll end up coming up ahead. It is sure going to be fun and find out.
To all my new readers, welcome, you are now officially on the "Let's get this girl drawing... OR ELSE!" cheering squad (Hopefully it is a: OR ELSE... we will let her play with a box full of kittens/baby otters, etc, just saying, that would be nice ;-D).

With some work my drawings can only get better and I can continue to deliver at least something amusing each day.

And once again, from the bottom of my heart: Thank you.

Now back to our previously scheduled programming... which means I better start drawing.


Laura Lynn said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I sobbed through it. You're an amazing, strong woman, and I can't wait to see your drawings if you share them! I will be here checking on you on a regular basis from now in.

Kathryn Sparks said...

Dear lady, I am one of the thousands sent winging your way by Jen-bot, and I am so glad to have been here. Your post about what brought *you* here is touching and poignant, yes, but also brave and encouraging in all of the right ways. You are inspiring! You may not have known it when you began this journey--indeed, I'd bet you'd have doubted such a possibility completely--but sharing your vulnerability and experience so clearly opens doors for all of us others to find hope and even catharsis in your story.
Meanwhile, I must tell you how beautiful I think your drawings. I taught college drawing classes for two decades and have been drawing, myself, for much longer, and you have both the eye and the heart that set you apart from the masses when it comes to putting pencil or pen to paper. Thank goodness you have given yourself permission to draw again!!! It is a gift that YOU deserve, and that we who are fortunate to see it will continue to be enriched by as well.
Joy on your journeys!

Super Red said...

I lack appropriate turn of phrase to respond to the heartbreak and the beauty of what you wrote, but felt that I couldn't read it, experience it, and not tell you that it's touched me. Keep drawing. Please. You deserve it.

Unknown said...

You're very brave to share your story and I just wanted to say thank you. I don't have the words to articulate all that your story made me feel. But thank you all the same.

Puck said...

Super Red sort of stole the words out of my mouth -- what is there to say?
And yet, how can one read through your recounting of what is surely one of the most impressive examples of inner strength and beauty ever to live in one person, and not respond?

I also found your story via Jen - G-d bless her, she's one of the few people who makes me actually think the Internet has the potential to be a wondrous thing - and I just had to say: Your artwork is amazing. (I am jealous of your talent.) Your strength is amazing. You are an example that should be held up to all those who are having trouble finding inner fortitude: It CAN be done.

Personally, I feel positively like a spoiled, whiny brat after reading about your hardships. If anything, thank you for helping me put my life in perspective. ("At least I'm not as bad as THIS person, HAH!" ;) No, really, though. Genuinely, I thank you.)

Please. Draw every single day and exalt in every single moment. Remember to savor the feeling of a soft ocean breeze or a sunny day. And know that you have support from me, and thousands of others, whenever you need it.

Amoniel said...

Hey, I come from Epbot as well, I'm just a teenager, but I am saddened by your tale. I admire you deeply for having the courage to share your story on such a deep and earnest level, and on a platform that has the power to reach so many people.
I wish you the very best in your continued journey of life, and I look forward to seeing your creativity blossom after it has been kept in the dark for so long.
Thank you for being you, and for learning and growing and being human.

Lea said...

I'm another who found you through Jen at Epbot, and just wanted to thank you for having the courage to share your story. Your art is beautiful, and I hope you are now happy with yourself and your life. You've got a fan here! <3

The Kellys said...

I'm another Jen fan and now I'm a huge fan of yours! You are obviously a strong, thoughtful, amazingly kind person who was handed an enormous amount of terrible things.

I cannot find the words to tell you just how awesome I think you are.

Wow...just inspiring.

Keep up the amazing work! And keep drawing!!! Or else I'm going to send my seriously fat and loving cat over there to lounge in your lap until your leg falls asleep! :)

Tracey said...

Bravo! Bravo to you for drawing again. You're an incredibly strong lady, and your story will help so many women to be able to stand up for themselves...I know it has done so for me. I'm another new fan and can't wait to see more of your work. Wishing you much happiness!

Rhissanna said...

I came here from Jen's blogs, as the girl has the amazing combination of Steampunk and cake and there's no denying those things are good. I was very moved by your story, and came back here to see the drawings because I do understand about the drawings and why you should do them. What I just wanted to say, which is probably at a tangent, is that I was blown away by how well you wrote. how well you expressed something that was raw and painful and deeply, intensely personal.It was hard to read and also compelling. I don't know if writing it helped you, but I was very moved by it. I hope things continue to get better for you . I hope those nurses learned something.

I know I did.

Oh, and I love your drawing. Your sketches with action and movement are really beautifully done.

unionponi said...

Another Epbot reader here (big surprise by now, right?)

Thank you for sharing your story and your artwork. It's amazing what you can create so quickly and with such talent. It's beautiful.

Andrea Freitas said...

"I might not be all the way OK, but we are working towards a nice quirky/fun/sweet version of a "normal" (if normal even exists, am I right?)."

I don't think anyone is all the way OK. We all have our baggage. =)

Thank you for sharing your story. I've never had an experience such as yours, but I have had warning signs go off when I saw a nurse practitioner as my gynecologist. I saw her once, hated her, and made my next appointment with someone else, an ob/gyn, who is awesome and always makes me feel comfortable.

And I'm so scared my GP is going to retire and I'm never going to find someone I like as much!

Anyway, keep drawing! Your sketches are absolutely beautiful. =)

Jessie H said...

I love following your drawings now, and I'm really glad this blog and all your new internet buddies (hehe) are helping too.

I had to make a comment in reference to the OR ELSE... cheer squad --- if you're down, and need some extra doses of cute in your day, watch this link:!/live-cams/player/service-puppy-cam

This is a live video feed through of a litter of 6 puppies in the Warrior Canine Connection, all of whom will be trained to help veterans with PTSD and other injuries. They're lives are dedicated to a good cause, and they're just so stinkin' cute that you can't watch them without being happy.


absolutahnie said...

another epbot reader here! what a story! you are incrediblely strong and i so admire you. we'll be sharing coffee together every morning from now on so keep up the good work!

Dana the Biped said...

Wow, you are clearly so strong to have survived everything you've been through. Thank you for sharing your story--the Internet is rooting for you!

Anonymous said...

As someone else who has seen and experienced negligence in the health care system, I was extremely touched by your story. I can't believe just how strong you were and how far you've come. I was lucky, my family was lucky. We had a wonderful doctor, but some nurses and night shift doctors have been negligent. My sister has asthma and anxiety, which can be a difficult combination and several times we have seen nurses disregard her claims as simple complaints. We never came as close to losing her though.

You are amazing. You are strong and you are loved and I am so glad that you are getting better. While things may never be 'normal' again, you are working towards healing yourself which just proves how amazingly strong you are. For many, it is so easy to just let themselves stay broken, but you are so amazing. Your experiences will hopefully help others to stand up against the health care system and be firm when they know something is wrong.

I'll be watching your blog from now on, and will be rooting for you. Thank you for sharing, I know it must have been difficult.

~ Lily E. W.

Unknown said...

Like so many, I linked to your blog from Jen's Epbot. I cried so hard as I read through your story, and I'm so glad to read that you are starting back to a happier place of mind. So, keep drawing. Your sketches are beautiful, and my and everyone else here are cheering you on.

Amanda H said...

Yet another one who found you via Epbot.

I just wanted to comment that as everyone else has mentioned, you are amazingly strong, and I hope you keep up with your drawing. Your "doodles" are amazing. Mine are just stick figures. :P

Anyway, I think the arts have amazing healing potential. I'm not a drawer, and I certainly haven't had such horrific experiences as you have had. But my own love is writing, and I have noticed that when I don't write for long stretches, I tend to be moodier. Writing consistently, even if I get frustrated or hit a block, keeps me more on the level.

So keep up, keep strong, and hats off to you as well as your amazing husband.

Jennifer Ellen said...

I am so glad you decided to share your story - for *your* sake totally aside from all of us readers. And you honor us by letting us into your story in this small way.

I can barely imagine what your experience was like, and I am so sorry you went through that. It's not fair or right, and your graciousness is amazing.

I hope God blesses you like crazy through all this, and you only grow in your voice and the love you receive and the love you give - especially to yourself.

Maple Girl said...

I am all for cathartic releases and moving forward. I am so excited that you feel that way - and I can't wait for more drawings.

Your drawings btw are beautiful.

Pica Maloria said...

I came her by way of Epbot's link, but am staying for the art. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

Kay Carrasco said...

Dear lady, here's a deal for you: You do the 365 days, and the 365 drawings, and I will contribute 365 prayers--for your happiness, for your healing, and in honor of your courage in sharing your story. Wow.

Anonymous said...

I'm here via Jen at Epbot. I had to calm down after reading your story; I wanted to grab that "counselor" and escort her into the hall for a "private talk." I've been a volunteer chaplain and have often been in hospitals as a patient and visitor, but I've never seen anyone as horrible as that woman. How despicable she was, especially when she sneaked back in against nurses' orders. I hope she got barred from the hospital and has a permanent restraining order.

Okay, calming down again... breathe in, breathe out... I'm on your side!

Your drawing is lovely, and your husband is a sweetheart for staying beside you no matter what. You are a wonderful person, and I hope your life and your marriage are again filled with smiles, joy, laughter, and beauty.


Cortney said...

I came from Jen as well. I wanted you to know that your story touched me! I have spent way too much time in hospitals and have always felt like I was being a burden and shouldn't ask for things I needed. Your story is a reminder to me that I need to stick up for myself. I know my body and I know when things aren't right. I'm so grateful they listened to you the second time! Please keep drawing! You have amazing talent. I spent some time looking at your other posts and I loved the first picture on the Twofer post. She looks so content and happy and at peace. I hope that someday you can feel inside how she looks in her picture. Thank you so much for your story!

Nancy J said...

woohoo! Cheer Squad or Else (conveniently has my box of "or else" cookies and kittens at the ready). I look forward to seeing more of your drawings/doodles/sketchings(whatever you choose to call them that day). You have a lot of really great talent!

Misty said...

I am so touched by your story and your strength. Your bravery in sharing it with the internet world is wonderful. I have been toying with the idea of changing careers and becoming a nurse and this just gave me one more push in that direction. I KNOW I would do my best to take care of my patients and that would be one less person who gets mistreated as grieviously as you did. I hope you continue your healing and life brings you amazing things down the road.

Jennifer said...

Your story broke my heart. I don't know you, didn't even know ABOUT you until I read Jen's post, but I immediately wanted to wrap my arms around you and let you know that you're not alone. Such a heartbreaking, soul-shattering, life-changing experience.

I have since added your blog to my list of bloggers and look forward to seeing your sketches.

Jennifer said...

Wanted to add that I'd like to share your story on my blog, if you wouldn't mind. It's fairly new but I feel, that although as heartbreaking as your story is, there is a msg in there that needs to be delivered.

Anonymous said...

I'm so so so sorry this happened to you and that you've been dealing with all the after effects for so long. I hope you know that your strength shines through your words so clearly. You're will to fight to live is incredible. I hope that never diminishes. You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

Lisa Chin said...

Draw Saudade draw! Thank you so much for sharing your story and I'm so glad it has helped you in realizing that none of this was your fault. Life happens and it isn't always fun. We need to do out best with it and it looks like you are working hard at that. I look forward to seeing all of your "doodles." The drawing Jen posted on Epbot was fabulous and I'm sure you have many many more in you to share with your new audience.

Good luck in your upcoming move. You are so lucky/blessed to have such a wonderful husband/partner and family to support you!

Lastly, I wanted to apologize for all the people who have made comments about your life without knowing the whole story. Sometimes we are just ignorant and it comes flowing out our mouths and later on we wish we could cram it all back in! I know that there have been times when I say really stupid stuff because I don't know what else to do. I'm learning to keep my ears open and my mouth shut. I learn a lot that way. :D

Best wishes in all your adventures!

Grace said...

I just read your post. I am so glad you are drawing (therapy). You didn't mention if you've ever considered it, but talk therapy and/or support groups might be good to try too. You sound like you still have a lot of self-blame going on and with the right therapist or group (quit and seek another if they aren't right), you could maybe work through a lot of that. You like to put on a brave face for your husband and others, which is noble and also a great survival skill, but finding a place to work through all those real feelings and have them validated is important too. Maybe just telling your story and sharing your art will do that, but real life support may help too. I'm sorry for all the well or not so well intentioned comments of people around you. I often marvel at the ignorance of such comments. I wish you further healing.

Dana D. said...

So. I just read your story while at work and basically had to will myself not to burst into tears at my desk. Let me say this much... I failed. Your story is one that is truly heartbreaking and heartwarming. I personally went through a breakdown with health problems recently and it's just one of those things that you never see coming. Thank you for sharing your story, I know how hard that can be. I am so proud that you're drawing. I am honored to have read your story, and honored to have been, by reading your story, blessed with the nature of humans and how in this day in age we can all still raly together in support. Know that you always have someone to listen--and they care. I hope for nothing but the best for you, your family and all of your future endevors.

Katie O. said...

I don't have a lot to say that others haven't said, but I wanted you to know that I feel deeply for you and that I think you did absolutely nothing wrong...I too fall into the trap of thinking myself a failure for things that aren't my fault. Please know that it's not your fault. Lots of love to you and your family.