Sep 2, 2010

Are we dancer?

Debating what I should share and what I shouldn't . . . it's always scary to reveal what will more than likely be misunderstood. Basically this year sucks. I never use the word "sucks" but am thinking about painting a giant canvas featuring the word. I hate that I'm not sharing gumdrops and rainbows but . . . this year sucks. I know I have much to be thankful for and I am humbled at what we've been blessed with but . . . man, I want to come up for air. There's a line in the movie "While You Were Sleeping" where the dad says something like "and just for a minute, everything is okay". I have shared that here before, but it's so true.

As many of you know, I am still coming to terms with losing my dad last February and what I went through in his dying process. I am finally turning a corner on that I think but I still struggle to grasp the fact that he is gone and struggle to wrap my mind around the experience of helping him die. It was such a profoundly sad experience. Then there has been other normal life and work stresses to deal with.

It now appears my 18 year old son is suffering from an anxiety/panic attack disorder. I have had 3 episodes of ongoing and miserable anxiety in my life but none for a few years. I know how scary and agonizing it is and my heart is so heavy watching my son go through it. It is very hard to explain to someone that's never suffered from it, but it leaves you with an overwhelming sense of doom and fear and you can't explain what exactly you're afraid of. It's as if someone split your brain in two and your normal logic still works in one half and the other half is certain something bad is happening or about to happen and that you should be protecting yourself - it actually creates all of the physical symptoms of "fight or flight" with adrenaline rushes and pounding heart and muscle tension, etc. It can bring your life to a screeching halt. It paralyzes you. He really had his first bout with it when my dad died but I was so overwhelmed with my own self pity and segregated myself from everyone, I didn't realize what was happening. This bout was much much worse. He is under the care of a good doctor and we are treating it and we are seeing improvement, but it has been all consuming the last two weeks. My son, who has Asperger's Syndrome, has overcome so much in his life - besides Asperger's, he's had two very rare and very serious health problems as a child. He just absolutely has had more to deal with than most adults have ever had to deal with and at this life transition of starting college, I just so wanted to believe he had made it, was on his way, had nothing to hold him back. I believe down to my toes, that he will lick this too . . . it just takes time and a lot of work and a lot of support and patience from family and friends. In some ways, it is redefining me as a mother and person yet again and causing me to shore up and set a good example of how not to worry (and worry is my middle name). I just feel helpless and helpless is always frustrating. I believe in the power of prayer and hope you won't mind including my family once again in your own meditations and good thoughts.

I've been hanging out with my son most of the last two weeks. Have worked on collage sheets and have a lot done - just tweaking now. I did finally get two little pieces made last night and this morning. I was thinking of the song Human by The Killers - it asks "are we human or are we dancer?" I think it was Susan of Broken Heart Art that first introduced the song to me. It inspired both of these pieces. It's about being on stage and performing vs. being real and human. I was thinking of it because of what my family is going through right now and how it affects everything we do and yet the first impulse is to keep it private - put on a costume and pretend to the world that everything is peachy. You know me, always sharing too much information . . . my life is what it is and I can't hide it.

On My Sleeve


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 9/2/2010. All rights reserved.

4 x 8 hand cut mixed media skinny collage. Image credits: lotus flowers from Itkupilli.etsy.com; jacket, scarf, gloves from Sherrie JD's Body Farm at Deviantscrap.com; head, torso, heart, pants, fish, wings, all background pieces are from my own stash: texture from flypaper textures. Face and a few other pieces were hand tinted but most coloring was done in Photoshop prior to hand cutting.




Queen Dear


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 9/2/2010. All rights reserved.

4 x 8 hand cut skinny mixed media collage. Image credits: face and legs from Sherrie JD's Body Farm at Deviantscrap.com; background is made from 5 different flypaper textures; little bottom border piece cemerony.etsy.com; body, wings, crown from my own stash. Face and body were hand tinted with ink and pastel.


Photobucket

18 comments:

jenny said...

Oh Marsha, my thoughts are with you... life deals us all sorts of hands and some are definitely harder than others...I don't think we should just gloss over the more difficult though...thank you for sharing...and hugs to both you and your son...

Your new collages are so lovely...

Jenny x

PaperPumpkin said...

At the risk of sounding cheesy, I feel your pain. I will pray so extra hard for your son, you, and your family. I can personally identify with many of the things you are struggling with...so if you would like to "talk" or need a friend who is "removed"♥ I would love it if you emailed me. It's on my Blog. When I have sunk my lowest, I do what you are doing. You are very brave and I know you are strong. It WILL get better.
Hugs, Kathy

Lori Saul said...

Hi Marsha,
I was drawn to your beautiful new art- you do so inspire me and so many other artists. My thoughts go out to you as well as it is never harder than when someone we love is struggling. I think it is good that you share and your strength and gift of creativity will help keep things in perspective. My best to you and your family.

Terri Gordon said...

Hello, I just wanted you to know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, I am so sorry that your son and you are going through such a hard time. It is so hard to see your child hurting. I also have visited your blog before and always wanted to tell you how much I love your beautiful work, you are so inspiring. Hugs, Terri

MOLLYE said...

Oh Marsha, I am so sorry for your pain. I will be in prayer for you and your artwork will continue to be your healing therapy. My son took his life in June of this year and I know pain and heartache of the degree I never thought possible but all is possible with God and he indeed is walking right beside me. Hugs, Mollye

Terri Kahrs said...

Extra prayers are being said tonight for you and your family, Marsha. Hugs & Blessings, Terri xoxo

Anji Johnston said...

You are always in my thoughts Marsha. Man, can I feel your pain. After loosing my sister last December and then my nephew taking his own life the next day by setting fire to the family home, I never thought things could get any worse. But they did. But after the storm of emotions and anger subsided, I was thankful that I had been given this experience. It has made me love deeper, push harder and never take a moment for granted. Once this unsettling time in your life comes to an end I truly hope that you will find some contentment in your life again. It must be awful to watch your son going through such a horrible experience but you are there for him and that is all that matters right now. I wish you and your family nothing but the best life has to offer. Thinking of oy - Anji

The Painting Queen said...

Dear Marsha,

I wanted your son to know that I had this panic disorder too. Mine occurred during a divorce. So perhaps stress, sadness and major changes to one's life trigger the response. The first time it happened I ended up on the floor thinking I was dying, and the next time I was taken to a hospital by paramedics. The reason is the symptoms are real, and caused by the adrenaline as you say.

What got me past having these panic attacks is knowing it takes about 5 minutes for the adrenaline to dissipate from the system. I also told myself I "never died" from any of these attacks. This takes much "positive self talk" while they are happening. Perhaps a small card that could be put in a wallet, with information he can read when he feels one coming on will help him to focus as he goes through an episode. It's hard to think when it is happening. I found a small card with comforting thoughts about how the panic attack was just a temporary chemical rush to be helpful. I concentrated on things like 'God is always with me' and 'I am spirit and not a body' as well.

Knowing ultimately nothing could hurt me really helped. After a couple of months I no longer got the panic attacks. I am uncomfortable on planes so I used the same technique in those situations when fight or flight started to take over my system.

I hope something in this helps him. It will get better!
Peace,
PQ

Sandy said...

Oh wow Marsha fantastic new art.
Your collages are really really unique, special and outstanding. Love it.

slommler said...

My heart and prayers go out for you and your son. I too have anxiety attacks and I am seeing a good doctor and have medication which I take faithfully. It does make a huge difference and I feel terrific. But the shadows are still there and there are still times I am uncomfortable for no apparent reason. Things will get better for you both. I just know it. Just takes time and patience.
Hugging you both
Sueann

MrsPeel said...

Hi Marsha.... I would really like to say something that makes sense...but cant find the words.
I came here through Marit's blog, it called my attention that she has you listed in the side bar, and I have bought stuff from you at Deviant Scrap...so I came to have a look...
My thoughts, my faith, my meditations and good energy will be including you & family for sure.
I ahve been going through a *suck * year too (witth cancer diagnoses apart from my mobility and other zillions of problems) and though my child's problems are minor, are still my chold's problems, and they take a huge dimension in a mum;s mind and heart....
I have a few friends who are Aspergers's mums, and I know that is not an easy rioad to travel.
I really, really hope everything will ease with his panic attacks (I have suffered them a few years back, so, not even going into it)... I beleiev in the power of the people 's thoughts, I have seen the dimension of what the support of my scrapping family did by the chain of energy or payers...so lets hope that all of us including you in our chain of thoughts will *unsuck* the year a bit for you....
I deeply admire you as an artist.
And I'm always on that debate of how much to disclose in public blogging....though my rel;uctancy comes from an arabig mother who imprinted in my mind and hearty that, if you talk a lot about good things or bad things or just things in general to people, something called the *EVIL Eye* will reach you and everything will go wrong...but my openess aklways wins (or I withdraw into months of no writting at all...)
So, here is all the best I can send right now...one more heart with prayers, energy, light and good thoughts flowing your way ....
Huge huggzzzzz
Cynthia

Trudi Sissons - Two Dresses Studio said...

You know I'm 'with you' throughout...enough said about that. What I did want to comment on was how much I love what you've done with your two latest pieces of art - the light in the second one is remarkable and I am also really liking the different (for you) swirly features that you've added. I love these new features and am always fascinated by watching an artist evolve through different methods of expression.
As for sharing your life, you serve as a role model to others and 'normalize' the humaness in all of us. Good on you! It takes courage Marsha and a willingness to push the envelope. I admire your strength.

There is far too much stigma culturally about illnesses that effect our minds...it's become so warped and the expectations 'socially' to be perfect are so far from being achievable it makes me sick thinking about it. I don't know if I will ever resolve the inequities that exist between the carte blanche acceptance we give those who suffer from illnesses such as diabetes or MS or ...asthma and how much stigma and negativity surrounds illnesses like bipolar disorder, depression or OCD...it's senseless and worse yet, makes the sufferer feel like it's their fault. This is such nonsense.

roc said...

hey marsha. hope you and your son find peace and calmness admist the storm. you'll be in my thoughts and prayers. god bless you both.

lilylovekin said...

Marsha, my prayers and thoughts will be with you as you and your son go through this difficult time. Grief is a very personal journey and everyone travels through it at their own pace. Take care. Lorrie

VBR said...

dear girl, please know that you are not alone, there are so many who think of you and have you and your precious boy in their hearts and prayers. from my own experiences, we seem to be able to endure much when it is ourselves, but when it is our children who are in pain it is almost unbearable. you are a strong and safe haven for your boy and that is going to help him come through this rough time. my love to you both.

aliceinparis said...

Oh dear. Sucks is right. You and your family have had a rough time of it. Your son WILL improve. He's had a lot to deal with too. At least now he knows what is happening to him and can learn coping mechanisms. xoxox

Tracey@glitterbugstudios said...

marsha, wanting to let you know I am here for you too. I wish I could traverse the country in between us and meet you someday! I know you have has a tough year and it's ok to tell it to go to he**! I hope you and your son are feeling better very soon. I have dealt with anxiety attacks also and they can consume your life. But the help of family and a good doctor should set him to rights. Please know that I adore you and you are always in my thoughts. Tracey

Kathy said...

You know, you have had a extraordinarily painful year. It's okay to say it. It's okay to share it! Your artwork is amazing as always but even more stunning knowing all that you and your family have gone through. As for The Killers - I love them! I'm 53 and you can see me driving down the street belting out their tunes with my radio. Try to find All These Things That I've Done, too. You'll like that one I think. Cheers to you kiddo. Enjoy your day! - Kathy