Back Pain & Why Tattoos :

Hi Hi Y’all,

I know more and more I talk about chronic illness. It’s not meant to just be a purge, a kvetch or a notice for recognition. Lately, my flare up have just been getting worse and longer. All the advice doctors gave and the awkward hard to explain moments just seem worse. More then ever, I am just tired. So very tired…

A friend of mine is coming up to visit me in April and I am so excited to have someone see where I go to University and be an understanding friend. I had been debating when ( and more importantly) where to get a back tattoo I have always wanted.

When I was a kid I was obsessed with Yakuza movies, samurai movies and ronin movies. I loved the traditional colorful tattoos on them and the values that seemed to come with them. As I got older, learned more about what it meant and how it was perceived I didn’t want such a large piece anymore. For awhile, I thought about abandoning the idea completely.

Then I got my diagnosis and I started to reconsider. What eventually solidified the desire to get the tattoo was this increasing problems. My drugs are increasing and surgeries that seemed far off seem sooner and sooner. More and more I feel like I am missing out and that I’ll miss out on things even more in the future. Weighed down by everything around me and having it all be unseen is taking a bigger toll on me. I can do less then I used to at the moment and no one really sees it or understands it. More and more I have to come to terms with being seen by the average person as a ‘disappointment’.

It’s these things that make me stop caring about some of the things I used to. If I feel like life is short and changing so much for me I have to at least do the things I enjoy? A giant back tattoo or some crazy visual representation of all my problems probably won’t do much for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t stick to aesthetic and feel as if I did something to show it.

My back has two curves and a tiny hump on my neck. At the top of my spine there are signs of bones thinning and possibly going to fade away. As you got to the bottom of my spine fusing has started, my hips are out of place and my legs are now two different lengths. None of this can be seen or understood unless I give up and say I want to walk around like Quasimodo so people notice me. That is always going to be the reality of my back. Anything from now on won’t be seen.

I like small minuscule and thin lined tattoos. Normally, I don’t want color and just want simple black. I’ve known since I was small I would want tattoos that represented ideas that meant a lot to me in life. Knowing this it isn’t hard for me to know what sort of tattoo I’d get on my back.

At the top of my neck, I would want in thin black lines Vegvisir. Vegvisir is one of the most popular Nordic charms. It wishes for the person to never lose their way in storm and bad weather even if the path is unknown. I don’t think there is anything more symbolic of everything going on then that. However, there is one more reason. My great grandma’s mother was a Swedish Orphan. She had come to the U.K. and met a Spanish Jew. They married and moved to the U.S. Apparently, unlike her husband and the efforts she put into now being Jewish and raising Jewish kids she never gave up her belief system. She was very very very Christian. I’m talking crosses and bloody Jesus pictures everywhere sort of Christian. Yet, there was one thing that my great grandma remembered seeing even when she didn’t know the name of it until I told her: Vegvisir. In a legacy where only food and some old myths managed to be passed down, my great grandma could vaguely in her dying times remember seeing Vegvisir as a child. Now how could I argue with that? Jewish or not, my great grandma read me Nordic myths as I was growing up, joked how if it was true Odin was 100% cooler than Zeus, and how we were meant to be tough because it was just in our blood. I’m traveling rough waters right now and maybe that means it isn’t just about being Jewish, but remembering all beliefs that helped create me.

Underneath Vegvisir is the real highlight though. Running in small thin lines will be the I Ching and its 64 changes. For a person of my aesthetic and weirdness (and love for Asian culture) what is better then 64 line patterns each symbolizing a different part of early understanding and divination? Nothing. Seriously, nothing at all. My life is certainly one of change and phases, of fortunes and dis-fortunes, and of joy and sadness. These line patterns will follow the crooked path my spine takes all the way to my tailbone. Maybe it will seem funny to some, but to me it’s a little part of the truth. And when these inevitable surgeries come, the scars appear on my back and the fight through new types of pain begins, I have marks of it all. Little lines that exist as part of scars and as part of the journey.

Going through all of this has taught me that living behind a mask is no longer something I’ll really be good at again. My body demands of me the truth. It demands that I grow past the angry cynical jaded girl I was when I was young and try to find the joy of life. It tells me that it will not tolerate lies and will only tolerate truth.

Don’t I have to do it then?

I.L. Knight

P.S. Odin really is way better. Norse > Greek everyday <3

Vegvisir

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I Ching

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Pagan Folk Music – Vegvisir

Ruining My Happy Place:

Whelp, I moved houses. And this new house has been super great, it fits every box for a warm happy home that is conducive to living a new chronic life. An added bonus: it is next to the Japanese gardens in my town. It is a great place I love to just sit in silence and like find some time to myself and be around nature. It is a happy place for me in a town that has historically not been so happy for me.

AND THEY RUINED IT. THEY FUCKING RUINED IT. THEY RUINED IT FOR ME SO BADLY I CAN’T GO BACK FOR AT LEAST A YEAR, SO I CAN GET OVER HOW THEY FUCKING RUINED IT.

First, my grandmother went around the gardens complaining how the price of entrance and how it was a money trap. Which she emphasized when she saw the mini shrine statues where people were leaving change as offering for luck. When I tried to explain they are mimicking what is done in Shinto shrines SHE LAUGHED AT EVERYONE. I may make fun of a lot of people, but even I try to respect spirituality… It got even worse when she kept taking water from various water stations in the park only to constantly spit it out and insult it… THEN END THE TOUR BY SAYING LOCAL PARKS ARE FREE AND PRETTIER….

My Aunt decided to remark in her loud New York voice and persona at every single person who passed us and politely asked us to lower our voices. It is a majority silent garden where people come for peace. THERE WAS NOTHING RUDE OR OFFENSIVE FOR WHAT THEY WERE ASKING. I mean everyone in our family was quickly walking through the gardens anyways without looking. What was there for you to stop and talk about.

And there is my mom. My lovely, sweet All-American, blonde cherub of a mother. I WILL NEVER ALLOW YOU IN A PLACE THAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME AGAIN. Forget trying to share common interests, forget having a simple basic conversation with your daughter. Forget all of that! No matter how much you are frustrated with me, UNJUSTLY FOR A WEEK STRAIGHT OF TORMENT I MIGHT ADD, you don’t say stupid fucking cunty shit.

First, you call me dirty, disgusting and belonging in the woods in the morning, because I changed from washing my hair from everyday to every other day or every two days. A thing that I was doing, because I NEED TO FREAKING HEAL MY HAIR THAT IS DAMAGED. Oh no, you don’t stop the day there. You enter my peaceful refuge and in the middle of a crowd of plant appreciating people yell that I am fat. That my trainer, who by the way if you listened your daughter at all in any conversation is there for helping me regain atrophied muscle and mobility, is failing because I look like shit. OH AND LET US REMIND OURSELVES HOW I AM A BITCH, UNWORTHY, MONSTER, COLD, LAZY, STUPID, ETC…. person in front of this now gawking crowd of people. Then follow me off into a side path to scream at me for not meeting your ideals as the perfect fucking daughter.

And even after all of this. I still feel like crap, because you know what. I entered a state I haven’t been in years! I blacked out for a moment. I didn’t see anything or know what I did. I only know that I felt myself falter and try to regain my balance. But I could tell what I did, I gave you a light kick to the back of the leg to shut you up.

Something I can’t even take satisfaction in because, (1) it is wrong to lift your hand to anyone in that manner, (2) it occurred in a state I was not in control of and (3) YOU DIDN’T EVEN FUCKING SHUT UP. No, the only thing that happened is me self reflecting in the car ride home. Remembering the one and only ever time before this something like this has happened…

I was around thirteen. Our problems had been escalating the last year or two with your insanity getting worse and my general emergence into puberty… Bullying in school was getting worse and I myself was sinking deep into something I wouldn’t yet have a name for. I was in the kitchen making breakfast as I did every day for you, even if I knew you were going to not eat it and throw it out anyways. What the fight about I can’t remember. But I will always remember that feeling of blacking out and coming back into yourself only to see a surprising a result. A result that you instantly wish was satisfying, but has the complete opposite effect. At the park, it was kicking you. Back then, it was the sight of egg dripping down your face. I had cracked them on your head… A surprisingly creative thing though.

My favorite place was ruined for me though the moment I made that connection. It would be a place where I was brought back too one of my worst memories. A time when I was so out of control, because of my feelings, I literal lost myself. It made me realize it’s not just pain, hurt, guilt, sadness I have for my family. There is a large boiling cauldron of resentment that doesn’t want to just stay in the pot anymore.

I kind of wonder now… with another place leaving my list of safety zones where I can go to escape everything. Where can I go to calm my mind or get rid of a migraine…

I sort of wish Ukiyo was as true as the stories. I could bend down right by the edge of a pool of water and reach out towards a reflection…Where I went or what the place was didn’t really matter. It was just disconnected, separate, more realistic than a fantasy, but still yet a fantasy.

It would be a completely different world… wouldn’t it?

I.L. Knight

 

 

hotaru-no-hikari

Japanese Instrumental

 

 

*The picture has a cat in it o(≧∇≦o). This almost a perfect recreation of what I wish for my retirement.*

And Here I Went & Had It Slip Out :

I did something I really shouldn’t of done at the dinner table. A very rude comment slipped out from my mouth and I am normally better than that. I really do ascribe to the belief that when you are in conflict with someone there exists a certain social obligation to not bring that into a social environment with people around. Maybe it’s the Southern thing in me, but I feel it is completely rude and disgraceful. So letting my resentment slip out in a comment is a bad reflection on myself more than mistakes my mom has made with me.

But it did slip out. And I can’t change that now. So all I can do is describe my feelings about it and what caused it to happen here. Since my mom and I aren’t in a place were we can talk about our feelings.

Here it is. I was sitting in the car on the way to dinner with my grandma and my mom. And they were talking about my mom’s struggles with selling her house. It’s been a very long chaotic process and my family is in real estate and loves to talk about it. Further more, my grandparents have always been very good at recognizing my aunt’s accomplishments and her part in helping my mom out sometimes. Which is something I recognize as a problem for my mom. Since she was the older sister and school things were always harder due to her dyslexia and certain mental illness that runs in the family. It is hard for her to watch her younger sister have unhealthy tendencies and still get praised more then her or her daughter.

Still, I think I was feeling the pressure of being unproductive and folding to my anxiety recently and so I was feeling really down. The thing is I had to be open about something I was working on and proud of. I figured telling my grandmother and the rest of my family first was better then going to my grandpa about it. Because he really hasn’t aged well when it comes to his temper and his ability to recognize anything I am doing. So when the conversation ended about real estate I tried to bring up my L.L.C. It didn’t go well.

They immediately said tell us later, maybe over dinner, and went back to their real estate conversation to talk in more circles. And that probably hit me harder then it should of, because of where I was at mentally that day. But it’s really hard sometimes being held to this ridiculous standard of what is an accomplishment for me and the fact my family is very surface level about me. They don’t really respect or acknowledge that I am a human being with feelings and struggles until I get into a major problem. And then even then it’s about the disappointment of it all. It hurts that they never dive past the shallow to actually get to know me and fight my introverted nature. I hate the fact that everything I do is so very easily dismissed and no one ever wants to talk about it. Even if they will dwell on other people’s conversational topics. My grandparents consider me as their third daughter, and yet I feel like I am a robot they expect to be perfect so they feel like they’ve accomplished their dreams through me.

So when they dismissed it, I felt something a little worse then slighted. Betrayed. Ignored. Unloved. Lonely. Most sad adjectives really. I kind of felt numb, but at the same time that everything I do is worthless in the end. Here I was struggling to find the perfect holiday gifts for them, because I now had my own money and they didn’t really care about the gifts or me growing up. They made me feel like a side piece that was expected to handle everything on their own, because their support was painful. Meanwhile, I began to dwell on their attitude about presents. With my grandma her presents are always kind of shady. Like a free coupon for a blow out the last two years in a row, because she doesn’t think I do my hair enough. With my aunt she’s always been the slightly better one with her craziness in finding good gifts. I mean, she once made me a Shinee shirt with the wrong member, because she remembered their name. It was cute. My mom really is the kind of the worst at gifts. She always gets me jewelry. And yea I like them, but it is never something I really want or appreciate on my birthday or on a holiday. And she always said she can’t help it, because jewelry catches her eye. It’s just every year getting the same thing you don’t really care about is more then just unsurprising, it kind of hurts as a buildup kind of pain. Here I hunt for jewelry for you, because you love it and even advise the rest of the family on what you love. And you ignored my need for a new laptop to buy me a diamond necklace on my 21st birthday. I can’t wear it, so you took it and wear it yourself.

Plus there is their reaction to gifts I give them. They either move on or go it’s cute, thanks, and then move on still. My grandpa didn’t care about the cute Trump mug I got him about liberal tears. My grandma didn’t care for more then a second that I found a cute coffee cup that said ‘coffee makes me poop’ when that is her current catch phrase. My mom at least wore the rose quartz masala beads I got her for a night. Which is okay. And my Aunt did recognize I noticed she needed a new credit card slip for the back of her phone. She even enjoyed the monogram and that it was black leather. Still, it hurts.

So here I was ruminating on that in the car ride to Olive Garden and then we get there. And I am silent in a corner as they talk about more real estate. It never ends. By the time dinner got to the end I never got to say my good news. Hey family, guess what? I own my own business at 21! Wahoo~ Yea, that news didn’t really come out at all. So I was like yo, let me tell my good news. And they all sighed and basically implied yea just get on with it already. And I did. And they didn’t really care. My grandma was like okay and turned away from my direction. My mom then asked why. Which my grandma said she didn’t understand my choice, because I am not in the place to spend money and school is most important. My Aunt said congrats. My mom said an argument to defend my grandma when she saw my face. I couldn’t respond and then they moved on.

The thing is my mom felt bad and a little while later why my grandma was paying the check she turned and tried to say congrats and be supportful in her but this kind of way. The thing is I was already deeply hurt by then. Doing this was a huge thing for me when I have so much pride I don’t do things for the risk of failure and their opinions on it. So when she commented how could I not tell her sooner, she wouldn’t of yelled at me for being on my computer so much I slipped out this:

Because I don’t like you.

And then the table went silent. And I immediately in my head had to be like OH SHIT. But in my typical fashion I put on a ‘I don’t give a damn I am a proud cold fish’ sort of face. Which made my mom freak out more. She was all like seeee she starts everything and hates me. I.L. Knight is awful blah blah. I.L. Knight is evil blah blah. We don’t have a relationship, because she hates me blah blah. She is a rude bitch blah blah. And so in increasing in the I am monster sort of comments. Of course my aunt turned away and ignored it, because she only says anything when she feels like I am scary psychopathic monster. Which is impossible by the way since I am emo about my emotions. But even my grandma was silent and disappointed. She completely turned away and didn’t say anything. Even though she knows about some of my hurt with my mom. We had talked about earlier how the present thing was messed up. Yet, she couldn’t give me the grace of looking at me when she knew why I was sort of down today.

It reinforced in my mind that to them I was damaged goods. Before it was like there were just cracks to the perfection a person was supposed to have. Now, I was completely gone. I was an unfixable project with sociopathic tendencies.

I used to be better about my slip ups. I was perfect about pretending to be happy and dedicated to the goals they had for me. Since going to college and dealing with growing pains and health problems, I have lost my perfectly crafted mask. And in the process have really felt my tendency towards depression.

I don’t know. Here I am finally trying to pick up the pieces and they are more anxious about my 7 year old cousin’s interest in Ouji Boards then the fact some times I feel like my body is on fire and I can’t walk in the morning. Because, I leave it at I’m tired to much.

The silent ride home was really great guys. I am building more resentment towards my family over holiday presents,

I.L. Knight

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Daddy Why Did You Eat My Fries – Adventure Time

Oh Father – Madonna