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May. 4th, 2012

dustin

(no subject)

It's death that really makes you rethink what you do and how you think. 4 years later and I still dwell on Dustin's life as I owned him and how I might have done things differently.

I have recurrent nightmares that he's been with me the whole time and I've been neglecting him. My friend Marissa wondered if it was either I was worried I'd forget him or if Tony is replacing him and that bothers me. I don't think it's either of those. I think it's projection of my fears that I was an inadequate owner and what I could have done better that he would still be alive.

Taking care of Dustin was one of the biggest prides in my life. And that continued for when I briefly owned Strider as well. Taking care of Tony is less involved. I play with him, I feed him and make sure he doesn't break something running down the stairs chasing toys. But with Dustin and Strider I had to maintain their fitness as well. Farrier and vet (a house cat only has so much vet needed when he stays inside and has no problems with his health).

The little joys of horse care and ownership I miss includes making up his feed and feed schedule, grooming, fitness and health, and of course spending time with him. Both Strider and Dustin were VERY people oriented. I never had a problem 'catching' either of them and both were happiest when people were around... and not because they got treats or food. They were both very personable.

I imagine my need to give away Strider because of poor choices (and a jackass ex boyfriend) effect my dreams about Dustin. That feeling of inadequacy and not doing my job.

I have taken care of many horses since then. They've all gone in and out as a part of my 'herd'. Some I bond with more than most. Some drive me nuts. But all of them I love.

However... none have such a strong effect, of course, as Dustin. Or even Strider.

I miss my partners. Even if Strider and I hardly had the time become this, I know we would have.

Jan. 30th, 2012

dustin

Depression strikes back... the sequel!

Or, well, more like 5th in a series at this point.

Right now its not so bad. Reading Tolkien's biography for a second time and really just... blown away by how many similarities he and I have. Mind, I didn't come out of poverty or lose both my parents, but with these girls I go to school with you'd think at least the first one. *eye roll*

Really its the horseworld side that's been stressing me out. Sequential does it, sure, but there's a detachment with my art and the people who view it. Plus I can relate a lot more to the folks in SEQA than in the Equestrian department.

You could say it's my own fault for not deciding to do the team and what not, but I don't see why I have to be in IHSA to be treated equally. There are some of the gals who are awesome. I ride with a few of them in my lessons, and one who seems to be in my same upbringing of not having a lot of money and yet still trying to do what can be done. She's on the team, but she seems also very self conscious and sensitive. It makes her a very good rider and trainer, as my sensitivity makes me one too.

The age gap really makes a difference too though. I came in with all these kids, who are at least 3 years younger if not more. At 25 I have many a barn job already under my belt including training... but not as much showing as they have. At least not in shows that 'mean something' so to speak. Honestly to me taking a mustang to his first show 3 months after breaking him and have him win two reserve champions means a lot more, even if it was a little schooling show, than an A-rate on something that's been trained within an inch of its life (or sometimes really hasn't) and sweeping the show. I also didn't have daddy buy me a $10k and up pony and pay my $300 and up entry fees. I worked that little mustang for a family and another trainer in exchange for board for my own skinny rescued TB... while going through the worst depression I have ever been in.

(side note: almost did get an almost 10k horse once... but didn't and put it towards my working student livelihood)

So what's my problem, right? Why would I want to be accepted by anyone who sees merit in only that? I really don't know... except to say that its human nature. Writing out my accomplishments helps, though. Helps reaffirm what I've done and that what I've done is good.

I sit here crying because I don't WANT to be a perfectionist anymore. I don't want it to matter to me that I do everything right. I want to be content with what I have done well in my life.

Reading Tolkien's biography it mentioned that after his mother died (when he was 13, same age I was when it happened) he acquired a separate pessimistic personality. He could be very warm, welcoming, optimistic person as was his original nature... but he now also had a side that had a "deep sense of impending loss. Nothing was safe. Nothing would last. No battle would be won forever."
It struck me... because here was a many who created the world, the ONLY world that I could completely lose my depression upon entering. I can read the Fellowship book in particular and find myself at peace, enthralled, happy. And yet he struggled from then on with the same feelings I have.

My only issue is I don't know if they happened as a result of losing my mother or because of losing Dustin. I suspect that one compounded the other... And I sometimes wonder, as I struggle with this depression on and off, if my dad ever feels like he failed me. He didn't. But I wonder it, because I know Raevyn feels that way when he is powerless to cheer me up. (He's not convinced that just holding me helps. It's not a permanent fix, but it helps.)

Most of the weekend I was okay. I did my work. My big breakdown was actually on tuesday last week... where I could feel nothing but exactly what was described in quotes above. That nothing would last. 'No battle would be won forever.' I saw a therapist the next day but the complete distress had waned to just exhausted defeat... and slowly I got better till tonight... when it hit again. Less hard than before. But still I find sleeping to be elusive, despite having an 8am class tomorrow.

I shall likely go back to reading now.

Jan. 6th, 2012

dustin

Arnd Bronkhorst Horse Photos, Horse Image Database - Horse photos of Totilas

Arnd Bronkhorst Horse Photos, Horse Image Database - Horse photos of Totilas

Aug. 24th, 2011

dustin

Things that make me giggly incessantly.




Because Raevyn and I have a hard time keeping track of what he does/says that make me giggle till I can't breathe:


imitation of a slow loris
saying 'drawer'
occasionally saying 'water'
his dancing

...adding his dancing to riding a bike
Tags:

Aug. 6th, 2011

dustin

A horsey survey

[x] I've been sitting on a runaway horse
[x ] I've been sitting on a rearing horse
[x] I've fallen off a horse
[x] I have galloped over a summer meadow
[x] I have jumped over 60 cm 
So Far: 5

[x] I have ridden a horse in the field
[x] I've been to a riding camp
[ ] I have galloped over a snowy meadow
(I don't gallop in the snow... I canter. Galloping is dangerous in those conditions!)
[x] I've longe-lined a horse
[x] I've ridden a horse in western style
So Far: 9

[ ] I've ridden an Icelandic horse
[x] I've walked with a horse
[x] I've been on a hack alone
[x] I've been riding a horse for its very first time
[x] I've given a horse a shower
So Far: 13

[x] I've slept in a stable
[x] I've lost a horse I loved
[ ] I've been swimming with a horse
[x] I've been hurt badly by a horse
[x] I've groomed a horse
So Far: 17

[x] I have been riding in all 4 paces
[x] I have jumped a course with 1m fences
[x] I've fallen off more than 10 times
[x] I've fallen off a horse and hurt myself badly
[ ] I've fallen off on a fence
So Far: 21

[x] I've tried Equestrian vaulting
[x] I've been kicked
[x] I've been stepped on
[x] I've been riding 3 times on the same day
[x] I've ridden bareback
So Far: 25

[x] I've ridden in the middle of the night
[x] I've ridden the same horse twice
[x] I've jumped a cross-country course
So Far: 28

[x] I have competed in dressage
[x] I have competed in Show Jumping
[ ] I have competed in Endurance riding
[x] I have competed in cross country
[x] I have competed in Gymkhana
[ ] I have competed in Western
So Far: 32

I own/have owned...
[x] Jodhpurs
[x] Riding helmet
[x] Chaps
[x] Riding Boots
[x] Whip
[x] Spurs
[x] Gloves
[x] A jumping saddle
[x] A horse/pony
[x] Dressage saddle
[x] All-purpose saddle
[x] Western saddle
[x] A bridle
[x] At least 6 blankets
[x] Splint boots
[x] Saddle blanket
So Far: 48

Name a horse that you have... (1pt for every one you can name):
Ridden: Holy crap, I am not naming them all but there are 198.. I counted them once. You really don't want me to name/count them all again on here.
Ridden bareback: This one is easier: Dustin, Strider (that was painful), Snoopy, Turbo, Allie, Patrick, William, Fancy, Luke, Splash, Dottie, Sundae, Mark, Magic, Cash, Sugar, Henry, Lyka
Ridden on a hack: Okay, this one's hard again: Dustin, Snoopy, Magic, Splash, Enhance Sur, Blackmail, Luke, Cash, Kazam, Gingi, Shoshone, Delilah, Henry, Sugar, Aspen, Tristan, Hermes, Beau, Captain, Bailey, Jax, Ben, Dottie, William, Patrick, Toby, Fancy, Charlie, Moon & Moon (2 horses named Moon), Misteego, Mojo, Lyka, Taxi & Taxi (2), Merlin, Roman, Holly, Strider, Piper, Sparky
Fallen off: Dustin (several times), Snoopy, Fancy, Domino, Taxi, Jasmine, Roman (well, he and I both fell. Does that count?), Merlin, Indiana, Nitrogen
Jumped: Dustin, Strider, Snoopy, Blackmail, Barney, Golden Era, Pink Bunny, Nitrogen, Candlelight, Domino, Grace, Moon, Fancy, William & William (2 ponies again), Captain, Patrick, Henry, Jasmine, Taxi, Toby, Passport, Roman, Merlin, Donoma, Jack, Monty, Wiley, Strider, New York, Indiana, Vermont, Missouri, Cowboy, Luke, Piper, Sparky, Romano, Toby, Noah, Chance, Thomas, Zack, Gala, Sugar
Competed in dressage with: Dustin, New York, William, Toby, Chance
Competed in jumping with:  Dustin, Snoopy, Roman, Passport, Toby, William, Chance, Cowboy, Barney, Blackmail, Golden Era, Pink Bunny, Thomas, Zack, 
Longe-lined: (I'm assuming you mean two lines because if I do one the list will be huge again) Dustin, Strider, Rootbeer
So Far: 198 + 136 =  334 + 48= 382

Result:
1-20 = You haven't done so much in the equestrian world
21-30 = You have done quite a lot
31-40 = You're on your way on doing most of it
41-62= You have done as good as everything in the equestrian world!


Um... can we make a 300-400 range of 'hey look, you're actually an equestrian and that 41-62 range was lying?'

Jul. 18th, 2011

dustin

Ima Pony!

 So other possible titles I had 'Video Game Rx" and "The Colon Is An Emotional Organ"... These are some of the things I 'figured out' this morning when I woke to major spasms in my colon.

I also learned that IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) never goes away really. That is, it's something that when you get it or are prone to it, you will have it any time you are stressed. What is it? Well the name pretty much describes it. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is your colon on PMS. The colon it apparently attached in the nervous system to your brain. Anyone who has owned a horse knows this one. Horse gets stressed and he poops. It is a fact of the horsey world. What they don't realize is we're not that different. Likewise if a horse gets stressed majorly he can get what is called impaction colic, and anyone who's had babies knows what that is.

For those that have yet to procreate or otherwise be subjected to nights of crying, impaction colic (one of the many times of colic, or intestinal distress) is fancy terms for constipation. Problem is a horse has 80 feet of intestine (colon included). So when a horse impacts, if you can't get him 'moving' he could die.

So why mention all this? I have IBS. That is, I had it, but now I realize I always had it each time I was stressed. Well apparently the stress of being ill and deciding my future (plus lack of boyfriend probably) has produced in me impaction colic. Yes, I just told you all in a fancy way I'm constipated. Lets all have our giggle/disgust moments right now so that when we find ourselves cleaning up after our sick children, furry or not, we realize that intestinal issues are facts of life and not taboo. I can't tell you how many times I want to throw children into manure piles when I hear them go 'ewwww he pooped!' when a horse relieves himself. Should really be more 'yay! He pooped!' in some cases.

So apparently, my digestive system, like my brain, is equine in nature. What is the major prescription of IBS? De-stressing and fiber.

"Forage—hay and pasture—is the foundation of the horse’s diet."
--
"Fix It With Feed Part 2", Molly Sorge and Meghan Blackburn, Chronicle Of The Horse Online

That line above is referenced but really any book or article about feeding horses says the same damn thing. Forage. Fiber. Roughage. Things that help the bowels keep moving.

On the plus side I don't have 80 feet of intestine! I have the usual approximate 25... give or take about 5 feet. (I love the internet) So death is not an issue. And really IBS itself is not known to cause lasting issues to the colon. Just a whole lot of discomfort... and days of work and other active factors of my life lost to curling up and whimpering in pain.
So this morning my diet resembles horse food... with less lignin and other pokey bits. I even laced my food with flax meal because it's supposed to help with stress. Flax is a major equine supplement, for those who do not know, and in fact it looked much like one I used to give my horse which had a flax base. So bran cereal with flax and whole grains/oats. What also is good fiber? Carrots and apple pectin.

We have often joked over the years that I'm a horse. I certainly speak better with them than people. But it has never rang more true than when I have tried to manage my stress. It ranges from the emotional factors to the physical ones. To say nothing of the random urges I have at times to kick or bite someone who is irritating me, or buck and prance when running.

It's not surprising, then, that being around the 1000lb beasties is my best source of peace and calm. I have often said that I should be allowed to own a horse for health reasons. I'm not the only one I know who finds that I feel better when I get to the barn. That said, times I get sick at the barn should really be a clue for how poorly I am feeling. If horses can't make it better you know something's wrong.

So why the 'Video Game Rx" part of my entry? Well in an earlier entry I had written that apart from time with Raevyn and Nikki/Sammie, horses and playing computer games have been the only times I have really been able to de-stress myself and relax. I used to sit in front of Daniel's X-Box or computer playing Fable 2 or Oblivion and it took my mind away from worrying about life. Even out at the barn I have time to worry about things. Especially when I'm working there for someone, and especially if they're an emotional personality who acts before they think. But when playing those silly games, I don't worry as much. It is the nature and design of computer/video games such as those to provide you with an environment to lose yourself in. One that rewards you with little tasks that mean nothing in the real world except that they promote your self esteem.

The other day I jokingly told Daniel about this and how clearly I needed a horse or a system to game on. He pointed out the latter of these would be least expensive in the long run. So today, after looking things up online and preparing a breakfast of fiberous horse feed... after a night of discomfort and stressful dreams... when I had to go into Walmart at 8 am to get things to help relieve an impacted colon... I said to myself: 'That's it. I just need an X-Box."

Because really... it's either that or a pony.

Jul. 12th, 2011

dustin

The simple life...

 I suspect my life is a lot simpler than I chose to make it. I have a hard time doing something simply because it makes me happy, however. Riding, drawing, even eating. Things always have to have an end result. Likely this comes from some pressure I put on myself since my mother died... it has only, however, become worse as more responsibility is required.

I'm terrified of mistakes. Raevyn read (and then read to me) and article by Jim Butcher, a best selling author of a series called The Dresden Files, about how every motivation in life is pretty much about pain. How we are a species driven by pain. Really most creatures are I suppose, but how it defines our actions, even in positive ways. I suppose its like seeing the glass half empty to some idea of people doing everything for pleasure, which would be it half full. But part of the reason I never killed myself when I was that low was because of fear of pain. I was more just not wanting to exist than take any real action about it.

Admittedly I still sometimes feel like that. Feel it would be easier. But life is what you make it, and so even if I made my life simpler by removing things, I would still complicate my thoughts with stresses as to why I wasn't doing more.

Daniel is likely a cause of the doing more tendency too. I was never enough for him and so I was always trying to do more to please him. I've been that way with my family... that way with my friends... my job... my boyfriends. More Raevyn than Jordon I guess. But Jordon was so new to relationships I didn't have to do a lot to please him. Plus that was also one of my better times.

Now there's the pressure of school. I slacked of for so many years I think at one point I realized my potential if I applied myself and went a little overboard.

Raevyn talks about how his interests as a kid were in math and science. He was good in math, not so much in science. I was always proficient in science... and in english. But one thing I was really interested in that I'm not as naturally talented in is history, believe it or not. Oh, I'm exceptional compared to most people, but that's after years of exposing myself to it. I was never good at learning/memorizing things for history tests. I suppose that itself isn't history, but that was often how you were tested on it. I could learn loads of things, know loads of things, but I can only recall some bits and piece after the fact. I learned a whole load about British history... but remember now very few details. Over arching stories and themes I understood in a very 'proficient at literature' way, but so much is missing.

Detour from my talking but I realized that because of my frustration that I could never get 100% on history tests. I also am, I admit, horrible at studying. I didn't have to learn how growing up because I was very bright and not very challenged in school. So my study habits are a complete fail. And maybe that's more what it is for history. But when I enjoy something I've always liked to do the best I can possibly do. Horses, art, random geekdom knowledge like Tolkien's works, and, of course, history.

So I push myself to the point know where I don't know how to relax. Games helped... when I used to play Fable 2 and Oblivion at Daniel's... that was my escape. Having a horse helped... I could have days where all Dustin and I did was play and enjoy each other's company. Raevyn helps... a lot. Raevyn and actually times when Nikki, Sammie and I go out and do things together. Then I'm able to be physically taken away from things that involve stress. And for Raevyn and I it could just be going for a walk together... just talking. Or watching a movie together, usually with ice cream or dinner that I made. And he helps me with making foods most of the time, and takes care of dishes. Those times I don't feel pressure to do/make/become/increase. Those times I can relax, not have to worry about money or choices. Money is, as it is for everyone, the biggest stressor for me. Ever since Kentucky I've been petrified by it... Combine that with my fear of being worked to hard cause by some of the jobs I've had and you end up with one very nervous individual. Being worked when sick or injured is not healthy for one's mind. Neither is being guilted at by your supervisors when you really can't make it because of these things.

I forget that it is not the end of the world. I assume I am at fault for these things. For being sick. For not pushing myself. My father used to say to me as a kid to 'tough it out' even when I was ill or in pain. In fact he only stopped saying that when it was realized that the dizzy spells/vomiting/faintness/pain of my periods was very very real and not going to go away. I think Terri helped with that really.

Stress is my biggest combatant. And this is why I feel very ill at ease with neither a horse or Raevyn. And for those that may laugh at Raevyn being worth to me as much as a horse, you really don't know how I feel about horses. He does, and that's why he is so very dear to me. He even takes keen interest in it which is more than many have done in the past.

He helped me to decide that what I needed to pursue as my primary major was Equestrian Studies... and Sequential to be my sort of bastardized minor. I am enrolled in two Equestrian classes this fall and one Sequential. And Business 101 which I would take regardless, though it's only required for the Equestrian Major. I haven't told my family yet. A little afraid to. At least to tell Terri. Dad I think will understand. I still don't think Terri does. But she's not too keen on horses, so I suppose its a bit difficult to understand. She did, however, realize recently how much I know about them and how much of a part of me they are.

Stomach angry. Going to try sleeping. Good night.

Jun. 27th, 2011

dustin

Memories like fairytales...

I heard a song tonight that caused a very deep sort of pain. This isn't the kind like when you hear a song you and an ex used to dance to or something like that. It was a song from before my mother died. A song I associated with Los Angeles, Hollywood, when I was 13. Much of 90s alternative rock was formulated on the 'feel' of Hollywood and Los Angeles. This was one of these songs. I don't know the name. I don't really even care to look it up.

It totally blindsided me too. I'd been feeling pleasant, thinking of my boyfriend, Raevyn, and on seeing him again in a couple of months and what that would be like. Some thoughts on the relationship. Nothing depressing, just a bit of self introspection... and meanwhile the song and the dark of my bedroom crept into the back of my mind. Before I knew it there was a wave of deep longing sadness... Sadness I associate with some of my more vivid dreams of my mother or my horse Dustin.

It is times like this I want to cry, knowing nothing can really solve it but to just feel it. This is something I have had to explain to boyfriends and friends in the past and is not any less true of something I sometimes have to tell Raevyn. He, like them, want to make me feel better... to solve the problem and make the tears go away. But sometimes tears and sad feelings just don't go away because you tell a joke... sometimes there isn't a problem to be fixed.

It's a time like that I'm grateful for the Gospel in my life. To know that my life was not the product of random selection. To know Raevyn's was not either, whether he believes it or not. I know in a solid way I cannot explain that this is true. That our paths in life were chosen by us and the Lord to what would best serve our spirits. Yes, we make choices, others make choices. I don't really know how the whole thing works but it really isn't important. I suppose for Raevyn it would be more than mine. Breast cancer is the sort of thing you can't easily avoid. You can more easily write it off as inevitable, whereas the issues he had were more closely tied to human choices. But still, my mother could have not had the treatment she did. She might have been with me longer. It might have changed my whole life. But it happened like it happened. And I feel that I do not need to yet know the specifics.

There are times I feel I'm at the edge of a giant deep pool of knowledge... but the Spirit holds me back. Likely because if I fell in I would not yet be ready to navigate it without drowning. 

I don't write often... and what I do is autobiographical these days. I think I got to a point where a combination of factors convinced me fantasy writing was useless. My self-esteem was a big one, feeling like nothing I could write would be worth anyone's time. That every story has already been written, so what could I possibly add? I guess that could go with self-esteem... or maybe just a lack of creativity. I sometimes feel like that has died in me. Originality is sort of... non-existent in my head these days. Kind of depressing. Then there is the nature of my life. It feels like it's own damned fantasy half the time. Born in Hollywood as a Disney kid to an actress and an Imagineer, mother dies, move to Japan and Hong Kong, find religion in what was formerly viewed as a cult but really is the true church... have a sort of magical connection with horses and an amazing self-taught skill in art... meet a man who both saves and destroys my soul, but am too willful to kill myself. Lose my best friend, a white arabian. And now in art school where I can ride horses and have a relationship with a guy whose life was more screwed up than mine, but is far more loving and trusting than I am somehow. He amazes me... even with our arguments at times.

There are other bits and pieces, little anecdotes and ridiculous tragedies in the bigger picture that cause for some interesting stories. So much so they make fantasy seem commonplace and boring sometimes.

Body fades, so time for bed.
Tags: ,

Feb. 4th, 2011

dustin

Body wanting sleep

Sooo I woke up today feeling sick. Not the 'ugh, morning' sick but actually sick. Stomach churning, ears ringing, warm in the face cold in the body. I thought 'oh no... not again.' This would be the 4th time being sick in two months time. This is not okay.

I was so pleased because I had been doing pretty well. But there's so many things stacking up that I've not been getting a lot of sleep and I think my body is angry at me.

Every time I close my eyes and act like I'm going to sleep I feel better... but then I have to get up again because of the stupid make up class today. Note: make up class because the TEACHER is going to be gone next thursday... because she can't be at her scheduled time.

I'd not go but I already have three absences from being sick. If I can at least be there a little bit of the time then I can keep it from being four. Any more after four and I fail the class thanks to SCAD's policy on attendance.

The nausea comes in rolling moments. Right now the wave just went away and..... now it's coming back. I'm tired. That's all I can figure.

If it weren't for that class I could sleep and sleep and sleep until my body was ready to go again. Now I have to at least do an hour of dealing with the cold and sitting upright and awake.

Am I taking on too much?

Nov. 19th, 2010

dustin

Worrying

I need to stop bottling up my worry and deluding myself into thinking I'm not worrying at all.

It usually ends with me curled up in the bottom of the shower sobbing with several confusing images spinning before my head when I finally do let it all out.

I might possibly be interested in someone else... someone not Jordon.

Jordon and I have been having trouble. He's still very much a boy and that's really not what I need. While I need and appreciate his love and innocence it is at times daunting that he's so sheltered when I'm so... not. And when I'm so not tolerant. Doesn't help that mounds of stress from my new living conditions and problems are making my short tolerance even shorter. It's not his fault... but I worry it may not end well. At least not until he's had more experience with life.

But in a few days we'll be together for a while which might be just what we need. During which I must needs have PONIES! Seriously need to sit in the saddle and at least cuddle with them.

Tomorrow I see the someone else to discuss game stuff for next quarter. Hello, awkward! *sigh* I suppose time will iron this out accordingly. I don't really know how I feel about him, I'm just extra aware, I suppose, because of Jordon.

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