Thursday, July 23, 2009

New header image . . .

Is mine and mine alone. I own the Copyright to that image as the photographer who took that picture. It's actually part of a larger image I took in 2006 to remind me of a place I love in Colorado. It was shot up off "Lookout Mountain Road" just outside of Golden Colorado.

So header image copyright Samantha Quinn, 2006-2009 All rights reserved. There, I said it.

Spinning . . .

When I was a kid, I could (and did) put my arms out, look up at the sky and spin like a top. I wouldn't get dizzy or even wobbly. Things no-one else could do in terms of balance and moving came naturally and easily to me. I could have been one heck of an aerobatic pilot if I'd wanted. I used to be able to easily twirl that baton, toss it in the air, spin around, and catch it easily. Drove my sister crazy because she couldn't. Then again there were many things I made look easy that she couldn't do no matter how hard she tried. We were still very close despite that.

I tend to be preternaturally graceful I'm told. And while I don't have a dancers body (anymore) I can dance like I'd studied ballet for years. My Sensei used to joke that I shouldn't be studying martial arts, but dance, that I was too graceful. Regrettably I wasn't allowed to do that. But my Katas were beautiful.

But spinning always brought joy to my heart and soul, it was like being a bird.

And then Earl took my life. That life. And the spinning has been taken from me by the long term physical impacts of abuse. Between the physical violence, and the panic attacks and vertigo I lived through, spinning is, at least temporarily, something I have trouble with now. While physically I'm still more than capable of going up on the toes of one foot and spinning like I always did, now it leaves me wobbly and sick to my stomach. Because my heart and mind have been changed, and memory of vertigo so bad I wanted to die is fresh. Bright flashing lights and colors, fast movement, heights, and so forth, things that never phased me in the past, are now triggers. I hate it. It hate what it reminds me of, how something so good that really had nothing to do with Earl, has been taken from me.

Wow, it dawns on me this is better suited to a mile in her shoes than over here. So I'll move it over there.

Anyway, it leaves me sad a reminder of what I've lost.

Friday, July 10, 2009

MY Car . . .

I have, what can only be described at best, a slightly unhealthy relationship with my car.

"Wait. What? Did she say a slightly unhealthy relationship with her car?"

Yes, that's exactly what I said. Doesn't mean it that I love it as a woman would love a man, but that so much of my own safety and mental health is dependent on being able to go somewhere when I need to without having other people involved. That when my car isn't running right, or safely, I get freaked out. Most people have the brakes fail, and they don't start to hyperventilate or have a panic attack knowing they can't go somewhere. Well unless they fail while they are driving the car, then, that can be a reason for panic. For me, for a while, something would go wrong and I'd be on the verge of a small nervous breakdown. I maybe depend on my car a bit more than is healthy, but when you've been through what I have, it's kinda way more than just a way to get from point a to b. Because of many of my existing issues, I cannot ride buses or trains really, and of course the having to leave hours of extra time to fit around the bus schedules and so forth? No, we are so not going there. Not waiting on the side of the street, not being trapped on a moving vehicle with people I don't know, etc, etc, etcetera . . . NO.

So without a car, I'm trapped. God forbid all heal breaks lose and I can't get in my car and run. I've slept in it, lived out of it, and gone from one end of the country to the other, more than once in it. Because I certainly cannot fly. Oh yeah, loud, noisy, open, enclosed space full of people? then get crammed with hundreds of other people into a tin can and flung unceremoniously across the sky to do a controlled crash somewhere else why OTHER tin cars full of people are being flung about, by ATCs that can't walk and chew gum at the same time? Ever heard of a runway incursion? Scary stuff that. All the strangers that can hurt me? All the germs and bacteria growing? Airports, planes, inursions = DEATH TRAP! No, I'm not Monk's sister, but I can kinda see what he's saying and dealing with. Back to planes, mind you I nearly actually died in one once. I'm a survivor of flight 232, you know the plane that went down in a corn field? I survived because at the last second I didn't get on it. I had a feeling. I'm not even kidding.

So anyway, my car is way more than a means of getting around, it's a lifeline. It's even been a home. At different points in my life I've been profoundly homeless. Once when I only had a bicycle, and the other with my car. My car has way more survival stuff in it than most "normal" folks. I have a big tent, cooler, grill, blankets (lots) and an inflatable airmattress. Plus lots of other supplies in case, God forbid, I wind up seriously homeless again. If I had to, I could vanish up to the mountains and never be seen or heard from again. All I need now are some decent solar cells just in case. While yes, I could canibalize parts of the car to make a steam powered generator, I'd prefer not to if it came down to it.

Anyway, for a while now, part of my mental and emotional "health" has depended on my car. I know, it's just a car. Yeah, to most people. Not to me. So I'm very careful with it, making sure it stays legal and in good condition. When it starts making funny noises, I start to worry, when, like it did a few months back it suddenly starts stalling, not running on all cylinders, can't go over 30 miles per hour, I start to seriously panic. I mean panic attack level, not just oh crap now what. Because fixing a car - or I should say having it fixed, can be horrifically expensive. Especially if you don't have the money for it. So while I hate the extra moeny for Triple A plus, the alternative is constant white nuckle flight as my Dad used to call it. The whole living in fear of something going wrong, and having the car stuck somewhere. Or having it taken from me, because I can't afford to have it towed and they have to get it off the road or whatever. Not being able to fix it, etc.

So I'm way more "involved" with my car than most people. Because I have to be. I cannot just take it for granted and buy another if this one is beyond repair. Do I wish it was bigger, well yes and no. Be nice if it was more comfortable to sleep in, you know, like a Van maybe, but I get awesome mileage in this one and it's easy to tuck it in somewhere out of the way. Plus it's been really good to me, and despite being ten years old, has not been (touching wood as she says this) a hole in the pavement into which I throw money.

So yeah, I love my car. We take care of each other.