Missing: Myself

Parts of me have been missing for some time now and I need to get in touch with them. I'm not really sure how to go about doing that, but I know it does not involve the internet.

The parts that are missing are:
1) The part of me that drew and painted all the time.
2) The part of me that wrote: wrote stories, wrote poems, wrote novels, wrote songs.
3) The part of me that played guitar, ukulele and sang. Sang other people's songs. Sang my songs.
4) The part of me that skied and kayaked- the part of me that loved the feeling of motion over water, both liquid and frozen.
5) The part of me that dreamed dreams that were not stressful, scary, full of missing connections, engagements, appointments, of losing things, husbands, friends, myself.

I am missing a lot of parts. I know I've been barely keeping it together these days, and I'm not beating myself up over this. Yet. I know what I've been through these past few months, years, has been a nightmare, and it's little wonder why I had to draw myself inwards, not outwards. Now there's an image: myself inside of myself, trapped.

But now the excuses are gone. Booth is healing. He went in to work for the first time in almost two months today. "The Sperm Donor" or "Blob" (that is what I call my father) has been banished from my life, my cell phone, my psyche, which is much simpler to write than it is to accomplish. My brother, David can't handle the psychosis that Blob slings his way, so he calls me or texts me to dump it back in my lap, as if I know how to get rid of toxic waste, the latest radioactive crap being that Blob decided to inform the wonderful Ballard Landmark that he wanted to move out, then changed his mind (which happens practically every second of every day) but they accepted his "resignation" happily, and now he is buying a microscopic street level studio condo for more than it's worth, and less than what he has now in security and comfort, not to mention healthy meals and weekly cleaning services. He also told my brother that he wants tattoos on both his neck and his arm. Sure. Why not? Don't all 81 year olds get tattoos? I can't imagine what the images will be, or maybe I can. There is another image for you.

Sigh. Yes, this excrement is still going on, and I do feel more detached from it than I've felt in the past, but it still runs in the background like a computer virus, slowing things down and ruining my files.

So what am I going to do about these missing parts of me? I thought about writing letters to them, asking them to forgive me and to please come back.

I'm offering sacrifices, the biggest one being Facebook. I realize that it was a real comfort during all of the bleak moments and I needed the love and support of my friends to get through one crisis after another. But now it seems hollow and empty like a pretty shell that I don't need to collect right now. At this point I need to build a solid structure, a foundation for the future. I can allow myself a little "check-in" but where I really need to be is in my studio and office, at my computer and/or journal. (Like I am doing right now.)

For my missing art parts- I need to make myself draw and/or paint something every day even if it is just a doodle.

For my missing writing parts- I need to do this- what I am doing right now- and more.

For my missing music parts- I need to open those cases and tune those instruments and make some music- each day, even if it is just a few chords, or one song.

Now, I know I can't ski or paddle each day, but I need to treat myself to it when I can, and I need to keep doing my workout or walk each day, which I have been doing, which has kept me grounded and makes me feel strong and makes me happy that my clothing fits and helps me not worry about the time that my butt is in a chair.

The part of me that dreams will be harder. I think that is going to take longer to heal. But I can help it by reading good books before I go to bed and then hopefully dream of the good books that I will want to write, and then I will begin to feel whole again, and not just a collection of missing parts.

I truly hope this will work, but I understand that this will take time and practice... recovery can be slow, but in my heart I know it is what must be done, and it must be done with love.

I'm off to find myself. Hope to see you along the journey-


The Late Report: Holiday 2012 Update

Nina and Booth’s Heartfelt Update for 2012
(I apologize for the bad line breaks- I imported the following text and Blogger is not formatting it properly.)

It is with a huge sigh of relief that we are putting this past year to bed. We have had one of the worst
years in the history of our love and lives together, and we are bruised, battered and stitched up, but
we are still here to send our greetings- a bit late, but better than never!

2012 started out on a beautiful note as we celebrated my 50th birthday on the garden island of
Kauai. We flew home to Seattle and continued to provide live-in help for my father, who was still in
depression, although I had finally gotten him to see a psychiatrist. In June we moved him into the
upscale and fabulous Ballard Landmark Gencare retirement community. We did all the moving
ourselves, and I fixed up his apartment to make it a show place. After a few weeks my father thanked
us and called us angels. Then one month later, on July 4th, he started going into mania...and
within another month he had fired his doctor, started drinking and smoking pot, and turned
violently against us as we tried to guide him away from egregious errors of judgement. This ended
in a very ugly manner, and I have since had to “divorce” myself from not only my father, but from
my past as well, as this has changed my concept of my foundation in so many ways.

Our foundations were then rattled again by Booth’s declining health. On Labor Day weekend Booth
confessed to me that he thought that he may have had a mild heart attack while riding his bicycle up
a steep hill. That set us down a rocky avalanche chute that led us to his diagnosis of “left main
disease,” and that led to triple bypass open heart surgery on December 7th at Swedish Cherry Hill
Hospital. Surgery went well, but post-op did not. On December 12th I had to call 911 and Booth went
to the ER and back into the hospital with a collapsed right lung. He lost over 2 liters of blood and had
3 transfusions. Booth is now facing thoracic surgery with Dr. Ralph Aye to remove blood clots in the
pleural cavity on January 4th. Then we hope the recovery will truly begin. We are ever so grateful for
the amazing team at Swedish, especially Dr. Joseph Teply, the cardio-surgeon, Gil Friedlander, the
Physicans Assistant whose sister lives on Lummi Island, many amazing nurses- our favorite was
Ulf, who was from Germany and he made us laugh... and the Ballard Fire Department and paramedics
who were at our house in less than five minutes and saved Booth’s life. We didn’t get to celebrate
Christmas or New Year’s Eve, but we have all the gifts we need- each other.

Despite all the trauma, work has gone on... Booth continues to work with R.E.Lee International and
X2 Bio (new name) and I am working on my books in between all of the stress. My next book, “Once
Upon A Memory” will publish with Little, Brown in December ‘13. It is the first time I am not illustrating-
Renata Liwska did the incredible art. I am currently working on 3 new board books for
Chronicle Books- and other book projects for the future.

Here’s hoping that 2013 brings all of us excellent health, happiness, love and success!

Our Love,
Nina and Booth