Check Marked

(unknown origin, will credit once identified)

You guys – I watched a movie.

non-Marvel? CHECK

non-Star Wars? CHECK

non-kiddo friendly? CHECK

fiction? CHECK MATE

As you know, this is huge for me. Then, as I was brag-texting about my accomplishment to an Inveterate Optimist, I got sick to my stomach – twice. So, maybe not that huge of an accomplishment. F it – yeah it is. #checkyourselfbeforeyouwreckyourself

I tried to watch this same movie at some point last Spring and made it about 2 minutes in before I recognized one of the actors who does not sit well with me, although admittedly I am not very familiar with his work. I am sure he is lovely and fine and his family and friends love him very much. I knew of him from a documentary kind of show I watched a few episodes of at the beginning of COVID quarantine. I had to stop watching that because I would just absolutely break down and cry – sob ugly cry. At the time I figured it was because they were having so much fun in the show going around to the places, learning the things, drinking the things and maybe I was jealous or grief feeling how much I have missed enjoying things in my life. They were having fun (yes, I KNOW it is produced, directed, contrived etc even in a “real life experience” kind of show), and I… I was… I am not.

Anywho, I decided to open the rusty ol’ Netflix app on my phone when I couldn’t sleep (something was growling outside – it’s a thing as I live in the woods which are occasionally spooky), and the movie was still sitting there asking to be resumed. I restarted it and I watched it. It was short, maybe 90 minutes or so, very quirky, no emphasis on falling in love, and it has Toni Collette (I do know of her)! Even though I did cry at points, ultimately I felt such a sense of relief that I made it through the movie.

Then the afterwards arrived and, well, I need to find therapy y’all.

The innate worthiness factor and my parenting with SonHerisme are super concerning for me. He’s still in virtual school until next school year when it looks like most of us will have had vaccines. Ill MotherHerisme and I are all he has to engage with most days. Oh, and MotherHerisme’s two un-socialized little minature schnauzer dogs. SonHerisme is lonely and he deserves so much more. He is such a great kid.

Post spinach lunch (again, I know – its like a drug), seed sewing (not a euphemism – actual plant seeds needing tended), a bit of laundry and driveway power walk, I am going to at least look up some therapist contacts. I don’t think I’ll return to the woman I was seeing pre-COVID. She’s too lovely, compassionate and kind. I think I need someone a bit more detached, or rather someone I feel more detached from.

Sort of like watching any show. If I feel any kind of anything other than it’s silly and entertaining, I just cannot watch the program. At all. My brain and body just do not handle any feeling above numb very well, unless I feel some control over the situation or it is so very deep into the sillyzone. I would like to not be like this anymore. Disassociation is my superpower which is super exhausting me and super impacting my ability to help SonHerisme grow (and not in a positive way).

However, I would really like to go down to the NGA DC because it is a great comfort to be surrounded by impactful artwork which I can internally interpret and walk away from at any time without feeling any obligation or need for explanation. I don’t think the buildings are open atm – maybe by reservation (?).

*dream break* I like to walk around the sculptures first – Romulus and Remus, African Allegory, the lady with the veil, the little politicians’ busts, Paul Revere, Little Dancer – you know, the usual. Then say my, “how-de-do’s!” to George on my way upstairs to see sweet Ginerva, count the Ruben’s lions, Napoleon, the boating party, the ice skater guy and girl in the white dress (whom I believe come to life for a secret after-hours affair then spend all day staring at each other across the galleries – it could be true). The Civil War memorial, which is noble and sad at the same time. The central fountain with its seasonal arrangements… The steps up from the mall where you can pretend to be Kung Fu Panda pulling your dim-sum cart up the mountain for the festival (sweet SonHerisme memories). Then back down to the basement for coffee and a lot of “no, we are not buying that”‘s at the gift shop, before heading over to the East building to see Bellow’s boxers, Calder, Rothko, Mondrian, Pollock and the sitting Buddha outside with the fantastic giant blue rooster. Return to the basement for a treat and then a short walk through the sculpture garden, avoiding the Natural History Museum because by then it is too crowded, before heading home.

I hardly ever go through the first floor gift shop, only the basement one and I don’t know why. The lady’s room is much nicer on the first floor. Hmmm… maybe a pivot for next visit. That’s sad, dreaming about clean lady’s rooms in museums. That’s where we are on the COVID mental health scale atm, I suppose.

Onwards to check mark off the things needing the doing.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps meet me post-COVID at the NGA DC for a cuppa and we can walk, walk, walk, not talk, together. Not too long on the verso of Ginerva because I will cry because da Vinci is almost too much. Also, there’s a sparkly walking sidewalk in the basement! sys

pps Birthmarked is the movie and now that I’ve thought about the experience for a day or so, I think I am okay with it – yay!

Virtutem Forma Decorat aka Audrey Hepburn: Rise of the No

IMG_0857

Hey y’all

Howsit goin’?

Whatcha doin’?

 

Our sweet summertime is in full swing.  We are on the other side of the slope, plowing towards school resuming in September.  Summer is busy around here: tennis, swimming, karate, math tutoring, outdoor adventure play, day camps (fishing, hiking, singing, more swimming etc), local day-trip fun times, video games, museums, trampolining, cooking, cleaning, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (nod to Mr. King-of-Siam).

 

We also had FatherHerisme and Niece2Herisme join us for about 6 weeks. Niece1Herisme lives locally, so is in and out as often as her family + teenagerness allows.

 

Anywho, it’s been a bit chaotic and busy around these parts.  Which feels like a lovely blessing and overwhelming at the same time.  Of course, I continue to care for MotherHerisme.  She will remain with SonHerisme and myself, along with her two sweet fluffy mini-doggies, for the time being in order to maintain her treatment plan through the coven at Georgetown Hospital.  Pyoderma – do NOT Google this.  You have been warned, and on your own if you ignore this warning.  To sum up:  it is extremely painful, extremely visually dramatic, and requires a ton of painkillers plus steroids plus exact bandage change protocol (enter me).  These past two years have been a lot for MotherHerisme to deal with.  Please send healing wishes, good juju and prayers, as you are able. Thank you.

 

Niece2Herisme decided to throw a surprise birthday party for me this summer.  It was a milestone birthday (sort of) and she loves me so much that she wanted to mark it in a special way.  She is a very sweet young lady and has a big generous heart!  I am so lucky to know her!  Alas, she was missing adult guidance, so much of it did not work out as she imagined (ex: The cake pictured above was ordered by me once I learned that my allergies prevented me from eating all of the food being ordered, including the cake). My heart broke for her.  It was a learning experience, and I hope that I conveyed how much I appreciate and love her through all of this hard growing up and learning stuff.

 

All of the everything, plus having time passed since we had our lives ripped apart, plus hitting a hard birthday, plus my life in general equals the Rise of the No.

 

No to breaking my appropriate boundaries

No to sugar coating or plain lying about what is happening in my life

No to denying the gravity of what has occurred in our lives

No to treating SonHerisme or me as if we are an inconvenience

No to being disrespectful to our space without acknowledgement

No to passively accepting bad or inappropriate behavior

 

No

 

I love Audrey Hepburn.  I am a huge fan of her work, both as a celebrity actor and as a humanitarian.  I love her so very much, that a very special and dear life-long friend of mine, whom I also love, love, love, once sent me a beautiful print of an Audrey Hepburn quote:

 “I believe in pink.  I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.

I believe in kissing. Kissing a lot.

I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.

I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.

I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”

I had this print framed and hanging on my bedroom wall for years.  I loved seeing it.  I loved reading it.  I loved it when my son could read it for the first time on his own.  This past week, I took it down and I doubt that I will ever re-hang it.

 

As I looked at the print when I went to bed, it began to depress me.

Pink is still a-okay by me, as is laughing.

Kissing is seriously depressingly lacking and unlikely to return to my life.

Being strong is an illusion.  Those of us battling whatever battles, battle them to survive or to give our children survival skills – it’s not strength, it’s instinctual self-preservation that drives us.

Happy girls are whatevs.  Great if you are one, also a-okay if you’re not.  Being human and giving your soul space to spread love and goodness is much more important and vital than being happy.

Also, tomorrow IS another day (duh).

Miracles happen everywhere every day.  The very essence of life is a miracle.  I’m not sure how profound miracles are by their existence.  It is in the recognition of the miracle that the profoundness is released.

Obvs I am now old.

Grieving dreams, hopes and aspirations that can no longer be.

One of SonHerisme and my favorite things to do is to hop down to the city and visit some of our favorite artwork.  The only displayed Da Vinci in the USA is in our city: Ginevra de’Benci.  On the reverse of her portrait is another painting by Da Vinci with a secret message “Virtutem Forma Decorat,” “Virtue Adorns Beauty.”  Beauty is found in the things we do, rather than in our face or how our bodies look/behave.  Beauty is as beauty does, so to speak (if you’re from Georgia, South Carolina or Alabama, I’m sure that this is a familiar mantra).  I am not a pillar of virtue, but I do try to be a good role model for SonHerisme and his cousins as well as our broader community.  Not typically in bold overt ways, but in my own quiet patterns and whispers.  I’m an okay-ish-with-my-own-virtue kind of person.  And as for my outside beauty – the virtue does not adorn it. I’ll acknowledge that I am not hideous, mostly (Cartman!).  However I am not a person for whom people feel the need to take more than a glance, much less a second look.  Being an introvert, this is sort of a relief.  At my age I have most definitely stepped into the invisible phase. I don’t have the energy to explore being more virtuous – unless honoring instinctive self-preservation is a virtue (?).  Ack!  Too much pressure and fack beauty anyway.  If you’re not genetically blessed, recognized by someone as such, or overt about your beauty, you end up invisible no matter how virtuous you proclaim or demonstrate yourself to be. I chalk this Da Vinci verso addition up to platituding for profit.

From the time I was very young, being invisible was imperative and worked towards my own self-preservation.  Examples to follow in future post.  My point is that, for now, I am focused on using my emotional boundaries as self-preservation rather than physical boundaries.  This is a difficult shift for me.  It is near impossible for me to even recognize my emotions, much less respond to my emotions by setting appropriate boundaries.

Rethinking how I physically present myself into the world is a piece of this as well.  Don’t look for me to suddenly adorn myself with glitter, eyeshadow or gregarious clothes…  Think more about how I carry myself, wearing sneakers and COSTCO skirts everyday (I know, I KNOW), the language I use, voicing what needs voiced, making eye contact (ugh), etc.

Please do not refer to this as, “baby steps.” This is superdy NOT helpful to someone like me. Condescending and patronizing. When babies learn to take steps, they have someone, and oftentimes multiple someones, enthusiastically cheering them on.  Clapping and, “ohh, ahh” ing over every movement.  When they stumble tumble, large comforting gentle loving hands are there to pick them up, warmly cuddle them, kiss their boo-boos away and reassure them that they are going to be okay.  As a single parent working from home, the adult equivalent of this level of security and support is just not available to me.  I do have lovely friends, who step in and out when able (THANK YOU) – ps they have their own struggles and lives.  The bulk of the comfort I am able to receive has to be self-generated.  Honestly, most days I am unable to muster it for myself.  Then, you know, instinctual self-preservation kicks in: SonHerisme needs support, MotherHerisme needs support, tiny doggies need support, and so goes my day.  I am taking steps – that’s all.  Sometimes tiny, sometimes (hopefully in a healthy manner) bigger, or medium-ish, or just slightly over tiny.  No “baby steps.”

To sum up:

I am saying, “no, thank you,” much more often.

Audrey Hepburn was still an amazing humanitarian and expressed her immersion into a healthy loving supportive environment through her words and works (I am in a different place).

Da Vinci remains an intriguing talented enigma.

No baby steps.

I love that you read all of this, even if you believe that I am wacky.

 

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo