Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lost, sexy bra and panties, Bisen, Shitajiki, beauty

This is going to be an image heavy post, sorry for those one dial up, but I promise it will be worth the wait (tune in tomorrow for the Lesbian Sleepover Part II – that one will be REALLY worth the wait!).

I want to talk about something that is very disability related and then about something a little lighter. I have been having a hard time. Because though Linda is home, I am more often the caregiver than she is as not a day has gone by when the phone or email has not left an eight hour mess on our door. And I’m not going to talk about THAT, what I want to talk about is what it does to a person with a disability.

I went to badminton, and won the games, the last game, I threw myself out of the chair, made the hit, over the net, screaming, “Play on, play on!” I had positioned myself to tip forward so I thrust myself back and up, and we went on and won the point, winning the game, 15-13. In that game I also made a hit that had my chair at a 45 degree angle off the floor, but I had enough trunk control and it slammed back down. I overheard the other side going, “I was sure it was a winner but that girl in the wheelchair…..I mean, she went off the floor……and her arms as so long…I was sure.”

The problem was, I couldn’t come home. I sat in that lobby and home was the place where I had a medical appointment in seven hours, it was where I had to help write email messages to government, where Linda was getting sicker in front of my eyes. Where everything of joy turned to ash in front of me. I simply could not go home. So I sat there in my chair for an hour crying. I was actively suicidal, when I finally moved. I rolled into the road wanting to be hit. I rolled past some bums and I felt so numb I WANTED them to attack me, wanted them to rape me because then I would be in the hospital and not have to go home (my body was so numb and so bent on self destruction - if you haven't felt it I don't know how to explain that). It took me 80 minutes to go the three blocks and then I cried at home, and then I got to work for five hours, dealing with the days crap. I had nightmares. We are three days away from our current financial crisis (I can’t remember what it is but read back and it was a computer), but we don’t know if Linda is even going to receive a paycheck and we are going to have rent. This is life. A new day, a new call from an investigator who can’t answer a simply question, “Under whose authority were you originally hired, because I can’t find the authorization for your hiring or your investigation.” This is a investigator who is to collect all the evidence and anecdotes from Linda who will then take it to the people who are currently discriminating against her. So I worked for eight straight hours on that.

And then I stopped breathing. I stopped breathing for a LONG time. Linda had to do mouth to mouth. I saw a doorway and shapes rushing through but as much as I tried to get to the doorway I couldn’t. Everyone was just passing me by. And then I started breathing on my own again. I didn’t want to live because I had lost sight of beauty and joy. I believe with fighting insurance companies, or various agencies, sometimes, it seems easier, if we just ‘accidentally’ didn’t stop in time for traffic. I came home and two of my fingers were black. Another day. Do I do anything about them? Linda did. It was severe frostbite. I had that feeling of heaviness, of not knowing how to go on, of not knowing and not wanting to know what the future holds. It is beyond depression into a blank numbness. I went to sleep by dreaming I was thrown into a giant pit, falling in darkness forever. This is as close to comfort as I had.

And I got up, and I stared out and nothing had changed. There was/is still more complex emails to write, and I was in an empty space with nothing. But I go on. The look of confusion, of blankness is because now my memory trap, due to stressed and frequent seizures has diminished to only a few hours of memory. I literally live in a blank field.

But that doesn’t mean that beauty doesn’t exist. I was sent this letter from someone, I don’t know yet because I haven’t opened it. honestly, I find it so mysteriously wonderful I don’t know how TO open it. To destroy such beauty, would there be anything inside worth the feeling that the beauty gives me; which is to care about something again?

Also recently, I received from someone I communicated with on-line, some Bisen. Bisen is art of stationary which is produced by artists, in fact, some artists go on to be very, very famous. But in the early days, they make an art print and due to the extremely high quality of Japanese Paper, they can reproduce color so high that it can’t be reproduced in North America. Some of it is watercolor, other ink, some abstract, some detailed. And while it is very thin stationary, like a bond weight of 5 maybe, it can only be bought at these expos and shows and so collectors or people like me who buy them and then send them on to others, can only get more by contacting and swapping what they have with other collectors.

This particularly paper, a single sheet is from the famous group “Green Glass” and from their ‘Jewels’ series, called Pearl.
This is from a less known artist who prefers drawing with watercolor, and less detailed but cute in it’s own way.

This piece here was the reason I was excited and went out today to get them laminated (I get a very thin laminate on them to stop them going downhill as just a thumb pushing too hard with crease them forever! Something the MANAGER who dealt with me today couldn’t seem to understand. Indeed, he claimed not really to laminate until I told him I came EVERY week – it was less than customer based service). There is a series called the Gown Series by Green Glass, there is Blue, there is Pink and there is White. I have never seen White even in pictures but a person had a Pink, so I traded for it and it arrived and I was pretty excited, so I REALLY don’t want a guy with butter on his fingers to ruin this piece of art. I know, I get excited about silly things, but Bisen isn’t expensive, it is just very, very hard to collect. And truthfully, I tend to give most of what I get away!

I also, with the Bisen got a Shitajiki board (also known as a Pencil Board – I give these away too!). These cost between $5 and $45 dollars, are made of a laminate and have pictures on them. Often they are to promote a particular game or anime. This one is to promote a store, these two girls are going off to a comi-fest (you can see the catalogue in their arms), and on the back is a list and map of the stores. One is dressed with cat ears and the lesbian overtones of course had NO BEARING on why I might have bought this (I can't see Linda and I in this board at all, no no, no - what do you mean "da' Nile ain't just a river in Egypt?")

Other Shitajiki boards are created by stores for special events where they hire famous artists. This is an example of a board like that. (she's so CUTE! But *ahem*, I showed it becuase of the Autumn theme in it, honest!). Because they boards have two sides, the artists can make two images and that is sort of the fun of getting the boards, they are permanent art, which never fades (What? You see lesbian overtones in that too! No, the reason I keep getting art of two women is um, an odd accident, some sort of eye problem, I think!). Some of the boards are turned into postcards and I have sent quite a few of those out (about 50 or so). I also frame some of the boards and send those out. I find them to be lovely and a reasonable present of personal art from a named artist.

Some Bisen (the paper stationary) are special, there are called, “Puzzle Pictures” because each paper is a separate image, but if you can get BOTH images, and put them together, then you get a third image. Here is the first Puzzle Picture I have been able to complete: so a boy playing with a plane and a boy with a cat instead become a larger picture. I am working with the framers to see how this can be framed safely.

Okay, enough! As some people say, I am a little Japan crazy. Not true, I just find them pretty. And right now, I like pretty. In fact, while Linda and I were taking this picture I was like, “Why is it WE don’t have matching bra and panty sets like this!” I have to admit I like the purple butterfly, no matter how impossible/itchy that might be if you tried to wear jeans – but then I think these are a bra and panty set for people to take OFF, not on, right? Anyway, she agreed and we are looking forward to the sale at Victoria Secret after Xmas – BRING US THE PURPLE TINGED BRA AND PANTY SETS! Oddly, I am actually the short one in this picture becuase you notice her staring at Linda's breasts. Linda's breasts are like the sunset, while they go on day after day, they are so beautiful that I could stare at them all the time. Okay back to Victoria Secret, which is fun because there are rooms and room and then finally the changing room and I have a friend who calls it “The candy store” because you can get so much there that looks delish! But also in some mid room is a VERY uncomfortable looking male who is trying to stare BACKWARDS into his skull while three feet away two 21 year olds are trying to find bras in the C basket. Because his girlfriend is trying things on and if he is caught oogling when she returns….poor guy. Besides that the WALLS are pink, there is pink everywhere and he is outnumbered about 100 to 1 by women. I feel sorry for the guys and think like some stores have for children, Victoria Secret should have a room with lounge chairs and plaid walls and magazines on electronics where men can be deposited.

Right now Linda and I are trying to get buy, minute by minute, hour by hour. We take our little pleasures (like stealing food from each other – woot!). And though I don’t know what day it is, I keep on. I have worked and now I will go sleep, though it is past 5:00 am.

I hope soon, that I will be able to see some sky and sun and beauty and while I will look a bit like this, bewildered by it all, I will learn to adjust that not everything is going to attack me, it just that some days seem like that. Too many days. But the sun will come.

23 comments:

yanub said...

Ugh. Victoria's Secret. Her secret is that she really caries an extremely limited size selection. I've had more luck at Walgreen's. No, really.

Oh dear. Linda does sound like she is doing quite poorly. Please, let us know what happens with the discrimination and disability stuff. Canada, I am really disappointed in you.

I know what you mean, being in that dark frame of mind where you would just as soon die as have to face what is on your desk. I'm glad you didn't, though. Also, I'm glad you kicked butt at badminton.

Victor Kellar said...

Sorry about your tough night after badminton; feeling helpless is the worse thing that I can imagine and I know that you often find yourself there

Still, your sense of humour remains intact, for whatever reason. By all means you and Linda should have matching lingerie; that would be awkward for Collette and I do, so we just got the matching tattoos

One Sick Mother said...

Elizabeth,

I am sending virtual hugs to both you and Linda. I am sorry you are both having such a difficult time.

The Bisen is very beautiful. I like to read about Japanese art here. It is not only interesting, but part of my essential education as mother of a 10yo boy.

Lene Andersen said...

Yep. There are days where all the crap you have to wade through, all the times you have to drop everything to deal with the latest threat to your existence (usually some agency not doing what they're mandated to do) makes everything a charcoal grey. It's friends who get you through. And we're here for you.

Neil said...

Beth: beautiful images, as usual. THe two friends in bra and panties are obviously sisters, since they're each wearing the same thing. Twins; they must be twins, and always dress alike! Maybe you could gt away with wearing some sort of circle skirt over those butterflies? Just trying to help, dear. Really.

The envelope is truly gorgeous, whoever sent it. But is it printed that way, or did someone draw that image? It looks to me like it MIGHT be a commercially made envelope.

I'm so sorry that you are in such a financial crisis. I've been there, and I have been so depressed I didn't want to go home. But if Linda's paycheque doesn't come through, you could go to Social Services for help, and then you might be able to be disabled. Maybe both of you would be disabled! No, not a great thought.

The cat-girl and her friend on the bus DO look like you two. The Bisen images are beyond description, and I'm going to have to look into these Shitajiki boards. Like, how big are they, and how durable? Are they made for srtists to use, or just a throw-away drawing pad? Ah, so many questions. But expiring minds need to know!

Linda, I pray that you don't also lose hope. Maybe you could take a day or so for job-hunting. Let's see: Saintly, well-organized, computer-literate lesbian and devoted spouse with managerial experience seeks position in company without toxic coworkers. Okay, serious for just a moment: could you try to switch to overseeing workplace discrimination for the government? I don't know your training or previous experience, of course, so if this is meddling and not helpful, I apologize.

With love, positive thoughts, and hugs for both of you,
Neil

desdemona said...

There's actually a german comedian who did a "boobie room" sketch in one of his shows. You know how in some kid drop offs they have those "sand boxes" except they're filled with plastic balls, well, he had one of those in that room, except the balls were painted with nipples.
And the women dropped off their husbands there when they went Christmas shopping ;-)
I've searched all over the net now and I can not find a single picture of it though...

Drake said...

That could not have been a nice experience. I can't help but think back to when I was a boy and my sis would leave me stranded at friends, forcing me to walk home alone (cus I always walked so slow ... sigh). I would walk home and keep on trying to "Suck it up" but the fatigue from the walk, even though our home wasn't all that far away, along with the loneliness, I would end up wheezing and then just suddenly break down into tears and stumble home with blurry eyes.

I am glad tho you beat the other team tho ;D.

Mehehee... I know it's nasty to laugh, but thinking my self into the situation, I could imagine the embarrasment that I would feel hehe.

I just LOOOVE the letter! It is gorgeous! Maybe take a knife and cut the top, along the seam. That way you won't have to mess up the image. I love Anime but I also love those kind of artistic images. It gives me goosebumps. It reminds me of my "Metal-Head" years, even though they are usually nasty I liked the band images they usually had on shirts. The artistic talent in bands like Iron-Maiden's images always fascinated me ... even with the goriness of it.

I hope your fingers get a bit of color back in them.

Keep Well.

P.S. My doc is going to try physio and biokineticks to try and stabalize my shoulder by strengthening my muscles so they take over the work of the legiments, before trying surger.

FridaWrites said...

I know what you mean about dreading and postponing going home sometimes. We (and I) have tasks I absolutely don't want to face, and it just gets worse over time.

Maggie said...

Hi Beth,
I'm glad you had a good game of badminton, and yet felt so helpless after wards. You and Linda both love each other very much and I know you hate it when others hurt her.
I hope your appointment goes ok. I will be wishing you peace for today.
Much love and hugs.
Maggie

Anna said...

truly beautiful envelope.
Take care

Dawn Allenbach said...

Those Bisen and boards are beautiful. My favorite is the pink Gown one, even though I'm not crazy about pink. The pearl one is stunning as well.

Give Linda a hug from me.

Veralidaine said...

Lesbian slumber party Part II? I can't wait.

I am glad you played Badminton, but sad that you didn't want to go home. I can relate to this. I haven't been QUITE that self-destructive to avoid going home, but I have gone out to drink with people who aren't good for me and who might be harmful to me just because I didn't want to go home and they were the only people around. Yeah, brilliant plan Veralidaine, go get sloshed with the pedophile who just got fired from your office, right?

I wish there was more I could do for you and Linda. I am sad that Linda is now becoming ill. I worry because if Beacon can't send caregivers who know how to administer pills for YOU, what if Linda needs a caregiver too someday? I am glad both of you have Cheryl in your life. All three are disabled but hopefully in different enough ways that you can support each other.

I wish I could wrap all three of you up in a big (and painless) hug and make all the hurt go away.

On a brighter note, USPS says your pumpkin bread and other surprises will arrive by Friday, so if you are having another sleepover, check the PO box! The Amazon one might be there too.

Kate J said...

Some great pictures! And so glad to hear that people have sent you such lovely things. Hopefully that'll help you and Linda cope with all the s**t which the system seems to be chucking at you.
Love & peace

Abi said...

Cat ears a symbol of lesbianism? Does this mean that I am turning my baby sister into a lesbian by buying her cat ear tops and hats? Whoops. I should be more careful ;-)

Your badminton efforts sound somewhat heroic. I am amazed at your co-ordination; I can barely get the thing back over the net with my sideways mobility intact!

I don't like the sound of what you are going through, though. Home is supposed to be a safe place; it sucks when part of the badness (i.e. the illness of Linda) is contained there, and situations you want to avoid must be confronted and lived through.

It really does seem like it is you and Linda against the world. I picture the two of you clinging together on a raft somewhere hot. Oh, and you are both scantily clad (in matching bikinis). Oh - suddenly you don't quite look so sad. Sorry - got carried away there!

Remember, though, you are not alone. Cheryl is, I think, helping to steer your raft in my mental image, and the rest of us are on the beach, trying to throw ropes out to you.

If you need anything, let us know.

SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,

My heart breaks for you & what you & Linda are going through. I'm glad you made it home from badminton. It's very hard being the sick one & then your partner gets sick too. I've been through this with Dennis a couple of times. Fortunately he was still able to do a lot to take care of himself, but providing emotional support & care is also exhausting.

I loved the picture of the dark-haired girl in the pink dress covered with roses - so beautiful. I wish I had something as beautiful to send you. to help raise your spirits.

Love to both of you

Tammy said...

I really hope things start looking up for you both and that you find beauty again.
I'm looking forward to the next post, I'm sure it will be fun..uhm..interesting!

Elizabeth McClung said...

First off, please feel free to click on images and download the files (about 200K bytes or a 1/5 of a meg for the full 600x800 version full screen+). I have been for the last several months (year+?) been using only personal photos or photos of personally owned objects. Which means that while you can't sell the image as yours, they are my images, and I am saying, I am giving free usage of all my photos for personal use (so if you want to expand your screen saver file, help yourself!)

Yanub: Oh yeah, I'm sorry, I forgot your issues with Victoria Secret, it is just her Pink line is very good for me and seems made almost for layering (good when heat intolerant) and wheelchair sports.

We are continuing to send emails and trying to get the process so that everyone acknowledges that just becuase they didn't DO anything for say 30 days, didn't mean that when Linda made the complaint, the "Blah Blah process" didn't happen, it is just they didn't seek resolution, which is why it is now in the "Blah Blah" stage. Once we do that, we can lock in and then they have a specific time limit upon which to act before the ombudspeople, whose office has all power to investigate administrative abuses of the executive decisions (policies not implimented, discrimination policies for example) and that doesn't stay in house but can, for example, be debated in parliment for resolution. Not what most managers want.

I kicked butt that week so next week I am sure every birdie will mock me. I just can't believe I got so low I wanted to be sexually harmed just to go into a Fugue/disassociative state. Oh well, not there now!

Victor: Thanks Victor, It was hard to go back to a place where I seemed to try to hard and yes, seemed so helpless.

Well, the tattoos were a great choice, but I think the matching lingerie will be pretty hot too, and finally I will have what I have mocked for years - the completely useless, with frills on, matching set that has no place under jeans or a pair of sweats - I think I finally figured out what guys figure out at like 16, some lingerie is a gift to the self, and some to the OTHER person.

One Sick Mother: Thanks very much, we are starting to get sleep which we think is a good start.

I am glad I don't overwhelm you, it is just that I find it so expressive particularly since the females have so many different expressions - like the sports girl who looks so lost at the beginning, or some of the other art I have put up seems to tell a part of the story I can't seem to articulate (I don't know if I have enough pictures of Naruto to help you with your 10 year old!).

Lene: You are so right about the having to deal with the crap and the friends, I have been thinking about you and missing hearing you, I don't know, maybe we talked recently but I miss it. I do. So I have thought of you a lot.

Neil: Well, um, I don't think they are twins not with the shorter one eyeing the um boobies! And they don't look alike at ALL! A circle skirt, I don't know, I do have some of those plaid school mini's, maybe I should try with those.

I think it is printed that way but it even has the shadows of the arms marked on the body, it is really beautiful. I just needed an envelope like that to look at during all those minutes.

There was a good idea about going to social services! But Linda went on line and while nothing has been done officially her sick pay is listed on there so the rent is covered and we have another two weeks to try to get the mess taken care of; quite honestly, harrassing her at home, so she has stress and depression ADDED to her disability isn't going to help her get better - basically they are delaying her ability to get treatment.

The Shitajiki boards are the size of an A4 so about 10X7.5 - they are hard laminate plastic so if you keep them in the thin plastic sleeve you slide it in and out of, the image will remain perfect for all time - they are originally made to put under a stationary sheet so the writing is not spread to the paper underneath. If you are interested, I can recommend a site where you can see what some of the different boards are - if you want individuals artists, like I get look for Doujin and then "Original Images" - the others are usually based on anime or manga shows. Yes, that is us heading off to a fest - see, we are planning, we always have a plan and a place to meet if we are seperated.

I will pass on your comment to Linda, right now we are trying to get her treatment to ensure she has a temporary not a permanant disability, which is being delayed by her workplace. She would prefer to finish her progression to Manager level 4 and then transfer to another branch like the manager before her who went to the Attorney General.

Desdemonia: Sounds amusing, but it would keep them amused - I think that is the problem with Victoria Secret, it IS the land of nipples BUT they are here with girlfriends or wife.

Drake: Similar, I think your pain was from the realization of the isolation of your walk and situation. This was more like if I was in a phsycially abusive relationship and you get a day away, how do you go back then?

Yes, I am glad I won, but since the other side was two guys and it was a close game, I Think they were okay with it.

I hope your exercise works as that is what worked for me, a mix of exercising helped stabilize my back and my arms, so I hope they can work for you.

Frida: Yes, it is hell to do the tasks but it worse delaying it so sort of darned if you do and darned if you don't.

Maggie: Thank you very much, I will pass on your love to Linda, I appreciate that, I hope things are going okay with you?

Anna: thanks, you too.

Dawn: Thanks, I lot of women who would wear pink still love that pink gown, I would love to find another one, but I don't seem to be able to, I have tried and will keep trying. And to find the elusive White Gown!

Yes, the pearl one wasn't so much when I ordered it but when it came I was quite impressed (Cheryl said it would make a great Mardi Gras dress!).

Coming back - yes Veralidine, more lesbian slumber part AND more yaoi pics from our favorite cow eyed Uke (I just got a new book).

Abi: No, cat ears are NOT a sign of lesbianism, however, leaning into and rubbing up against your female "friend" and staring at her breasts all the time. That is more of a sign, but again, just keep saying, "They are just good friends" - Cheryl says, "Oh is Abi right, do I just need to wear Cat Ears to get some sex?" and Linda and I are shouting in unison: "No!"

No need to imagine, pictures of girls in bikinis maybe even US in bikini's will appear soon! Since Linda reached her desired weight and when she is happy (less and less these days)- she is looking FINE!

Need sleep, will finish comments later!

Tom P. said...

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US and one of the things that I give thanks for is that I have had the opportunity to get to know you and Linda.

Diane J Standiford said...

I have learned so much from your blog. Beauty. Such beauty from you. I should feel sad/bad for both of you; I feel--FEEL beauty. I cherish my postcard. Beauty. Maybe I'm a freak.

Neil said...

I hope Linda saw your comment about her cleavage. Or maybe she shouldn't, since you've described her boobs for the world.

But I do hope she appreciates your poetic description of her. Such devotion and adoration of her, um, assets, deserves reward and recognition, Linda! hint, hint...

Love and hugs,
Neil

belledame222 said...

I'm sorry to hear Linda's not doing well too, now.

The Bisen is gorgeous. And yes, those pics do have a wide range of facial expressions. I think one of the reasons I'd not gotten into anime was that I had this idea that they always had the same facial expressions, or similar.

butterfly garters seem like a really good idea. Maybe someone should tell Victoria's Secret to carry some, along with the size business.

Dawn Allenbach said...

Cheryl's right -- it would make a FANTASTIC Mardi Gras costume!

kaleem bhai said...

step up
When people walk away from you, let them go. Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you, and it doesn't mean they are bad people. It just means that their part in your story is over.