I went to a meeting yesterday morning, so I had time to doodle, but I didn’t have time to do a “formal” drawing.
It was a community meeting for Bridge Meadows, so I got to draw my 11 year old friend Noah’s hand. I met him when he was six and now he’s got bigger hands and feet than I do, though I’m still taller.
I had a little set-back in my recovery. I thought I was getting better at this self care, good boundaries thing. But Friday, I let someone walk all over me. I put on my cooperative facade and did as was asked rather than say I didn’t want to. This person has done me favors in the past, and I feel squeamish about saying no to him. And he knows it. He takes advantage of it. I hadn’t seen him in a few weeks. I’d talked to my counselor about him and came up with a strategy for protecting my boundaries. When confronted, though, I decided it was easier to cooperate than to get into a conflict. I was tired and felt like it would be an easy favor, but it got more and more complicated. Still, I went docilely along.
He didn’t really harm me in any way, but I don’t like interacting with him. I felt like such a wimp afterwards. I’m 56 years old. How am I ever going to be a strong independent woman if I keep letting people bully me.
I had a lovely dinner with a girlfriend and that helped keep me from despair, though I didn’t talk to her about it.
It nagged at me all yesterday and I realized I was feeling bad about feeling bad
At yesterday’s meeting, we talked about empowering children. After living in this community for 5 years, I’ve learned that dis-empowerment is a problem that spans the generations. It’s not just me.
I attempted a drawing about girls and power.
As I worked on it, I got frustrated with my inability to make a smooth wash, a good skin tone, or good contrasts. I was frustrated by wonky lines and lack of proportion.
Part of me though was answering the criticism — get better paper, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Last week, when I was frustrated by a drawing I threw it away. This week, I decided to finish and post it for what it is. I realized I’m feeling a lot of empathy for my dis-empowered neighbors, but not for myself. The girl is like us all, growth is all around us, but we don’t gives ourselves credit for the growth we experience. We don’t forgive ourselves easily. Depression loves it when that happens.
Everyone will be weak from time to time. Maybe next time I’ll have my guard up better when I’m around this person. Maybe I won’t answer the door when he knocks.
Maybe I’ll get a better watercolor journal, too. And try not to think that really good paper is too precious for me to make mistakes on.
That’s what paper is for anyway — creativity is all about working with your mistakes. In the mistakes of one work are the seeds of another. Next time, I’ll do better.
I’m drawing daily to help manage depression, long-term disability, and life in general. If you’d like to see the beginning of this project, you can see it here. You can also follow me through WordPress or on Facebook.
Your thoughts and shares are appreciated.