Tag Archives: ink

Inked commitments

I see a lot of ink in my job, in fact sometimes I recognize somebody’s face, but I don’t really remember who they are until they get on the table and I see their ink. This week one of my irregular clients was in. I’ve seen her 2 or 3 times over the last year and half, so I didn’t immediately remember her. She has a tattoo that reads: “I am my own before I am anyone else’s”. That helped me remember and in prior sessions she was fairly quiet.

Her tattoo, however, made me think about commitments in a big way. Not just the commitment of ink, but in the message it, and she, conveyed.

She spoke of having a fiancee, someone she cared about and was committed to, but then she also spoke about not getting married ever. She referenced all the problems that happen in regards to marriage. She spoke mainly of financial concerns based on a book she had read encouraging people to navigate the system in beneficial ways. They were all thoughts that had crossed my mind early in mine and Nathan’s relationship. She’s right, there are lots of reasons to not want to get married. I have experienced some of them in my own marriage and in watching my parents marriage. Financial concerns, strife and arguments being the biggest factors that I’ve noticed in mine and my parents marriages.

I admired her commitment to herself, and genuinely hope that it works out for her. For me I see the compromise that we make just living life, and acknowledge that myself comes first in most ways, all which I’m able, but it’s still life. My goal is to live my best life and take care of myself as best as possible, but in some cases that means extra challenges. It is that which leaves me acknowledging there are also lots of reasons to do the commitment of marriage. That is why many of the old masculine paradigm are still drawn to it.

Even the government acknowledges that once you’ve lived together, shared finances for so long, and had children, you’re essentially already married. And let’s face it if you’re that entwined, augments are inevitable to some degree. Most states acknowledge this with “common law” marriage rules. And let’s be honest if you’re having children, either you’re living together and sharing everything anyway, or you’re separated and one parent is automatically the non-custodial parent. Said parent has limited visitation and limited rights and required financial commitments (child support). States do frequently pursue child support from non-custodial parents even when marriage was never addressed, and often when there were supposedly amicable agreements. On the other hand, if you’re living together you share all the rights and all the responsibilities, and it’s still up to both of you, as to how that is handled. The choice of getting married or staying unmarried doesn’t do anything to solve the puzzle of having children. There are pros and cons to both sides of that fence, and if you want to be an active participant in your childrens’ lives then common law or traditional marriage are your only real options. Otherwise you get the short end of the stick in most ways, and still have to pay for them.

In mine and Nathan’s marriage it has meant a big factor was making certain that his daughter would be cared for should anything happen to him. Right now due to legalities he is solely responsible for education and medical concerns for her, and has been since her mom died. However because her mom is already deceased, if anything happened to Nathan, all I would have to do is present both death certificates to proper governing bodies and assuming there were no other petitions for custody, I would be granted legal guardianship. It has been a huge relief factor considering Nathan’s health concerns beginning early in our relationship, starting 6 months after we decided to marry. There have been other concerns over children as well, since I’ve now produced two more of them.

Yet we are polyamorous.

Polyamory struggles with this conundrum because in most of the United States only one marriage is legal. So, you play the dance of trying to decide: 1-do I marry one person and call everyone else my significant other, or 2- do I marry none legally and just have a bunch of significant others, or 3- do I marry no one legally and hand-fast my partners to have multiple non-legal spouses.

It creates hierarchical structure concerns, and then when children get involved, it creates further custody and responsibility concerns for every adult in the family. United States law simply has not addressed polyamory in any way to date. So, most polyamorous families end up attempting to solve the problem with legal guidance, and legal documentation, to sometimes still have biological grandparents/aunts/uncles throw kinks into postmortem processes. There have been more than a few polyamorous families, and many polygamist families, end up in long legal battles after one adult passed away.

That is why Nathan and I drug our heals at making the commitment. We both acknowledged that marriage was a huge risk by itself, and being poly from the onset of our relationship made it an even larger risk as a commitment. We discussed it for hours on end, many times over 4 years, before finally sealing the deal. We weighed pros and cons and all the risks of both sides.

For me it boiled down to love. I knew I loved Nathan and his daughter enough to take every last one of the scary risks we had acknowledged, especially after his miserable divorce completed. I was willing to walk through fire if it meant they knew I loved them and wanted the best that I could manage for them.

I also knew that my own health battle meant I regularly fought both inside and outside of myself. My brain was frequently intent on making me see the worst in everything and it would often cause a strong desire for either death, suicide, or escape, no matter the circumstances. I knew that for me the commitment had to be extra hard to get out of, mostly to make certain I would fight hard enough to win the war waged in my brain and emotions. I wanted to make sure that my inner me, who loved them truly and deeply, had a trigger in my mental sphere to encourage the fight for good. I didn’t want the negative ninny in my brain to win simply because it was easy to escape. Marriage ultimately became my insurance to fight for my own life and to keep reaching for the love I knew was there.

I knew my love for Nathan and his daughter was worth fighting for. Every good moment felt amazing. Every time my brain was in a good space, there wasn’t a shred of doubt that I loved them. It was a deeply felt knowing, that when my brain was clear, was easy access. I wanted to preserve that even when my brain malfunctioned, and being married with divorce as a consequence enabled me to win against my brain over and over again.

To this day I still acknowledge that divorce really would do me no good. It won’t solve the role of finances and could make it even worse. It won’t solve my brain’s function. It won’t make taking care of myself any easier. It won’t be helpful for children, and could potentially traumatize all of us. Divorce simply won’t fix anything that is broken, and could lead to even greater damages. So it is still my safety net to continue to fight the good fight for love. May it always work and love overcome all.

I hope that one day there will be another that feels as I do, and we can commit through all of those legal hoops, to make a solid attempt at protecting a poly family. Anyone willing to go through that definitely has love and all of our best interests at heart.

May you always know how to put yourself first and care for yourself as fully as life allows. May you know that occasionally legal commitment is the route to enable that. May you know that not all commitments must be legal to be truly valid, that a commitment is really demonstrated in many ways on a daily basis, sometimes as simply as surviving the rough parts. May you know that everything has a reason and a purpose, and that our goal here on Earth is to find ways to improve upon everything as best as we are able. May you see that improvement in yourself and know that you win a war every time that your brain would prefer you don’t. Regardless of your decisions may you see that everything works out just as you need. Above all my you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

InkTober catchup

This will fulfill 6th through 10th prompts of: rodent (mouse), fancy and teeth (sugar skull), throw (dice), and hope (crucifix).

My goal was a Covid inspired, Halloween friendly, momento mori.

Sometimes life is a dice roll and you never know when you’ll get the final call. The crucifix is to remind us to have faith that whether it’s now or later God has our back, so to speak.

Final image:

4×4 micron pigma pen on Strathmore cold press watercolor paper.

Source images:

May you have good relieving creative moments. May you enjoy your artwork of choice. May you find ways to add to our world in helpful and/or beautiful ways. May you know God has your back.

Siva Hir Su

Work in progress.

I am a work in progress, but aren’t we all.

However, this week has been challenging to see any such progress.

I didn’t get a chance to do any InkTober drawings after the 5th, and even that one didn’t get finished on the 5th. I didn’t get all my exercise in. I didn’t get my salt bath last night. My arms and hands hurt, and frankly a lot of my body hurt, that is why I failed to exercise. I was tired all week, and the fatigue was so intense that two days it caused a drop in mood as well.

I did ask for help. I received acupuncture twice and an adjustment today. My husband worked on me despite having a million other things on his to-do list. I used mechanical tools to work on myself and rested more than usual. I also managed to stay very clean on food choices, especially since I know this mess started because of food fails.

Instead of continuing my 7 day a week work journey, I cleared Sunday. I also cleared part of my Tuesdays to have a few extra hours to myself.

Mondays I’m now functional as office staff for the clinic, and this week it was a good thing because I almost ended up alone. The front desk person was in a nasty car accident over the weekend and the friend/office manager wasn’t really at full capacity from chemo. But the two of us managed to get through the day with a minimum of difficulty.

Saturdays are still split between the clinic and the independent living building. The rest of the week is all massage. Regardless of where or when, I continue to do my best to spread love and healing with all my activities and interactions.

It’s a lot, but I want to help, for God and for good, so I do. I know it could be worse because my past has had worse if both extremes (too much and too little). I’d rather keep doing what I’m doing than risk too little again.

Autumn is now out of the hospital and Nathan has been helping her with several things during the day. She is more ambulatory now than we were originally concerned about, and KU Med was finally able to get the MRSA infection under control. She will now receive a weekly infusion treatment of an experimental drug which so far seems to be doing the job nicely. Her thumb was the last surgery done, and she was worked on by skilled plastic surgeons, so instead of loosing the thumb, it’s now just a fraction of an inch shorter and more slender than her other hand, but infection free.

She has many challenges, but amidst the chaos of the medical predicament, her wife has agreed to mariage counseling. So, their divorce which was sidelined by the medical situation continues to be in forbearance. She is unsure of moving forward, so she’ll stay with us at least short term to figure out post hospital treatments and what might happen with her wife.

I told Nathan that I simply wanted to help and if we see her through all the way, it’s great, but if we merely get her started that is okay too. God knows what is best for both her and our desire to help.

Some days I wonder what I’m doing, and why I keep pushing. Others I simply know exactly why.

My feminine half wants to slow down, and my masculine half knows I can’t, at least not yet. I must keep going a little while longer.

My masculine half wants to finally heal and be the slender Venus I desire. My feminine half knows I may never fix it and need to quit being so damn hard on myself.

My masculine half needs to strive to be better, do more, be stronger, be healthier, push and push, to try and make up for all the times I wasn’t good enough. My feminine half knows that sometimes we’re not able to do or be something because it’s simply not our job, not our responsibility. You can’t fix everything, that is why we need to look to God and allow the divine forces to do things for you.

But the I wasn’t raised that way, my parents rarely trusted God, and usually it was my mom demonstrating all the trust in divine will. So I keep trying and weeks like this feel insurmountable. I want to trust, but when I’m so damn tried and achy it’s awfully hard to do so.

I see Autumn as a beautiful woman that has been horribly battered and beaten by life, and she needs to find her inner self and love and trust to be able to truly heal.

Saying those words I also see myself.

Yet, I know I have felt my inner being. I’ve heard my inner being. I know what that means. I love my inner being, and when I look at all the things I’ve lived through and overcome I do love myself.

I love how much I’ve strived to improve myself, not just for me, but for my whole family. I love that I never gave up, when many times I wanted to. I love that I fought depression and despite it nearly winning dozens of times, it never actually did. Despite two decades of a depression ridden brain telling me I’d be better off dead, I have managed to live and find at least some healing.

At this point I feel like the exhausted sprinter that took third place. I feel like I could have and should have done better, but I made it far enough that I do deserve some kind of prize. Right now I just don’t know what that means, but I’m trying not to fall over before I get to find out.

I have one client left for the day, one of my house calls that I’m very tempted to not reschedule with. I definitely have trouble saying NO, especially when something helps me keep up with the never-ending snowball of finances, so off I go for one more hour.

May you see your inner beauty and trust yourself enough for healing. May you find a way to show love even when others choose not to see it. May you know your efforts matter in just the way God intends. May you find ways to help others around you even when you might need help yourself. May you find ways to take care of yourself and keep yourself functional to be able to keep doing more. May you put yourself first just enough to matter and show yourself some love. May you know that in the end it will all somehow be worth it. May you know God loves and supports you.

Siva Hir Su

InkTober 5th: blade; micron pigma pen on Strathmore cold press watercolor paper, approximately 4″ x 4″