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Wednesday, 31 July 2019

How I sense the presence of spirits...

I wanted to do an article that touches briefly on exactly how I sense the presence of a familiar spirit, when one comes into my vicinity.

Lately, my old friend the teacher who passed has been visiting again - he comes often, I am not sure what his soul's journey has him going through right now, some understanding is lacking with this kind of skill, for I am still recovering from spiritual illness which can make my senses odd at times.  But the Spirit will announce when a certain person is about to come by to see me, usually within ten seconds of their arrival.  Then I will channel another message indicating that they have arrived, so I can say hello and attempt a communication.  (It's rather awkward if this happens while I am on the can, or doing something like that, but of course spirits are a lot less weirded out than the living about private activities.)

I don't "see" them as a mind, I don't know if that is because of Latuda, or if I am just not meant to, but I sometimes can get a vibe of how I felt when they were around as living people.  I get emotional responses in my body, such as laughter, to conversation, if I say something they find funny, for example.  I need to use cards to interpret any message they have for me, as direct channel just doesn't cut it, and probably isn't the safest anyway for this kind of thing.  Then the Spirit will relay anything they wish for me to know.  (Unfortunately some mild interference from time to time means it is not yet perfect, but I just need to keep working on myself to refine it, I suppose.  I am still growing as well.)

Dad comes virtually every day to see me - it's funny that despite the turbulent past I lived, of his three daughters, he claims that I am now the one he worries the least amount about.  These souls very much enjoy communication with a person who knows they are around, so they return a lot.  I have to admit this makes me slightly nervous about private stuff, worried that the dead are voyeuristic perverts by proxy, and I am giving them a weird show if I forget to close the bathroom door or am busy making coffee in my underwear - oops!  Oh well, everyone is weird, I guess the dead know that all too well.

Funny story: When I was a kid, I thought that the song "Every Breath You Take" by The Police was about a ghost watching over the living, having not examined all the lyrics.  That's where an innocent child's mind will go with something like that, I guess.  I also assumed that Madonna's "Where Life Begins" from the album "Erotica" was about a stubborn boyfriend being "stingy" about the idea of going out and paying for dinner at a fancy restaurant, instead of being about getting grossed out by performing cunnilingus (she talks about "eating out" in it a lot).

Anyway, all this psychic stuff makes me wonder how my great grandmother, a professional medium, sensed spirits in her work.  This kind of thing runs heavily in the women of my Dad's side of the family, so I come by it honestly.

-Saraƒin

Sunday, 28 July 2019

In defence of 'The Craft' + some witchy stuff ...

The Wiccans I have known seem to either love or hate this movie.  When I was exploring Wicca in high school, this was the movie that got me excited about it.  There are a lot of complaints about how Hollywood portrayed things here, that it is sensationalized and unrealistic, that the god Manon is (of course) fictional, some have argued it's anti-feminist because it suggests women with power don't know what they're doing with it, and will fuck things up.  Well, as silly as this flick is in many ways, I still love it, it's one of the few I can watch to death and still eat up, even though it's fluff.  Here's what I like about it:

First off, I want to mention that I don't entirely agree with the idea that this is anti-feminist - yes, Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle abuse their powers, leading to strange outcomes, but Sarah (the protagonist), the store witch, and (presumably) Sarah's mother (who had passed) were responsible witches, and nothing bad comes of them because of it, ultimately.  Sarah had to learn lessons, but she keeps her powers by the end of the movie.  So I would argue that this is instead a film with a Spiderman kind of message: "With great power comes great responsibility", not a flick about girls getting into trouble, and nothing more.  To suggest that it's just a smack in the face to womankind is lazy feminist analysis, in my opinion.

Secondly, I understand why they used a fictional god for this movie.  The producers feared the legal outcomes of getting sued if teenagers were to attempt to invoke a real world deity the way the girls in the film did on the beach.  Wiccans complain about that component a lot, but it makes sense if one wants to cover their ass, so I'm not complaining - this is fiction, this is pretend, this is not a documentary about the occult.

Also, there's a massive complaint that this is an unrealistic portrayal of witchcraft and how it works - ok, so... yeah.  Unless you are some master medicine person who is at service to their community and to the gods, most of this stuff is unlikely to ever occur, certainly never in the way it does here, so to see a bunch of naughty teens do this kind of magick is hyper unrealistic.  But again, this is Hollywood - realism is not going to sell to a teenage audience.

But what I do like about this movie is the strong message of "Be careful what doors you open" and to be cautious with any power you do accumulate.  Having been through my share of spiritual horrors, spirituality is not something to take lightly - now I believe my issues were initiatory, but I wasn't really prepared for what I would face at the time.  I find LHP spirituality ridiculous, as I have mentioned before.  Nancy Downs and I had to both go through something like this, and it is NOT FUN to feel like you are being ripped to shreds as a soul while no one believes in what you're talking about:
Mad solidarity, Nancy.
Of course, Nancy was really nasty, and I was being initiated with a fucked up demon, but spirituality can be a real trip, sometimes a bad one, if things go a certain way.  I caution anyone looking to turn to it for a novel experience and nothing more - watch out!  (Though I also believe that if one has a calling with God in some way, they are more likely to get harassed by demons than if they're not necessarily meant to in this life.)

Ok - now for some weirdness that I have been channeling recently that is sure to piss off grouchier members of the Pagan community.  This is something I am not sure of, but it's interesting and I wanted to discuss it, in case it becomes consistent and I'm on to something.  Apparently, Wiccans shouldn't be calling themselves "witches" if they want to use the term accurately.  Wiccans are in fact practising a neopagan spiritualist nature worship religion, not witchcraft.  Real witchcraft, according to what I have been receiving, goes against the wishes of the Spirit, in its truest form.  A real witch in fact involves themselves with the diabolical, which is destructive to the Spirit, to nature itself - a neopagan appropriates that terminology, often in protest of the church.  The Burning Times certainly handled any "problems" the church had with witches atrociously, and of course many nature worshippers and medicine people were also lost during it.  I am not defending the church at all - they have been appalling about how they have handled many things throughout history, and this is an example of this.  But it's interesting what I channel about the lives of real witches - that many get ill and die of odd diseases, or go mad, due to the forces they play with, and due to how Spirit responds to their use of these forces.  The cackling old hag comes from somewhere, I guess.  The witch is a feminist icon now, because she suggests rebellion and self empowerment, very good things - but I guess, if this information is accurate, she does not actually worship nature, she worships forces that lead to the destruction of it.  Wicca is not a bad religion at all, though sometimes I suspect it is an unfinished one.  Goddess worship is on the rise again in this age, and I think the neopagan movement, for all its flaws, is a sign that we are craving a need to return to the Mother for help in the world we live in now.  So please, Pagan friends - understand this is just information I am channeling, I am not criticizing nature worship.  I engage in it myself.

So... what is the diabolical?  Well, I prefer the Lurianic Kabbalistic ideas behind where it came from.  I believe that the "devil" (or whatever cultural interpretation you can think of in regards to this component of the spiritual world) is a corruption of Spirit.  The Lurianics suggest that when God willed the universe into existence, he made a mistake, and as the energies of creation formed, they overloaded the vessels (the Sephirot), shattering them, generating a byproduct that we have come to know as "evil".  I like to think of Satan as God's poop. 

Satan may present to some as a cunning nemesis, as a spiritual being - but that is simply how a human mind interprets it when he's around, rather like how colour or sound are interpreted as they are to the mind as well.  Often mythologies and stories that religions come up with exist to evoke or inspire a feeling or reaction, a means of working with constructs that are beyond current human understanding.

One can play with these diabolical forces, but I consider it as unwise as taking up meth smoking.  Any LHP video I have ever watched usually involves some blowhard prattling on about gatekeepers, bodily fluids, and stuff like that, but nothing moves me in the way a mystic's discussion of their intimate union with God has been known to.  LHP practice is often primal, sexual stuff that I guess humans think is mysterious or hot, but really... it does nothing to mature a soul.  Some of the guys in these videos - I imagine their "lairs" to reek of cum and burnt rubber bands (in other words - crack), as disgusting a scent as that evokes.  I have never been moved by the words of an LHP occultist - I glaze over while they talk about things like the "diabolical kingdom" and Lucifer's ballsack, or whatever.  Beneath all the skulls, swords and sigils, it's just plain hokey.  LHP is the equivalent to playtime for kids who are likely to put their eye out with a pellet gun.

Again, I'm still maturing as a soul, I'm still overcoming my struggles... some of these opinions might change, but that's what the spirit moved me to write today, so to speak.

-Saraƒin

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Psychic readings... with 'Dixit' cards!

Sometimes the major and minor arcana cards of the tarot are limited for my method of psychic interpretation with cards.  Oracle decks can sometimes add something, and I have several of those.  But lately, I am discovering the best new tool for my method is 'Dixit' game cards.

'Dixit' is my favourite board game of all time, right up there with 'Snake Oil' and 'Pictionary'.  Kind of like 'Balderdash' with pictures, in some ways, it's a game of intuition where you have to figure out what card the active player played based on a clue.  I won't describe all the mechanics of the game, only that it helps to be creative when playing, and it's a joyful, whimsical party game where everyone comes away in a good mood, regardless of outcome, unlike some games, like 'Risk' or 'Monopoly', which can lead to arguments.  'Dixit' is a blast, whether you win or lose, and it's often anyone's game, because of the mechanics.  I bought a copy of this game for my Jungian analyst as a gift one time, as it is the kind of thing a Jungian would eat up.

The cards have remarkable imagery on them, the kind of stuff you'd see in myth, fairy tales, or dreams, which is perfect for psychic interpretation.  While oracle decks can be limited to a couple of words and a random pic, these cards are a story in and of themselves - a picture is worth a thousand words, as the cliche goes, so here we have imagery that could be interpreted in a myriad of ways.

Using these cards (I have several expansion packs now) I am getting better insights about things to come for me, and others too, than even the classic tarot archetypes have been able to reveal.  This could be a lucrative novelty to my style, if I ever transition to professional reading, for I don't know of anyone else personally who has used 'Dixit' cards for psychic readings.  Heck, I could probably even use 'Cards Against Humanity' cards with the way I read, but that would be very cryptic at times (hipsters would love it, though).  These picture cards are probably my best means, better than tarot itself, for interpretation.

Other ways I read involve flipping through books until my eyes rest automatically on something, allowing channel to take over, explaining the message.  I am still refining my technique - blocks have been in both my heart centre and my third eye region - I think the heart one is gone now, I am working on ridding myself of the third eye block.  These are probably left over from my time with the demon.  I kind of figured out how to attune to receiving reiki from the sources I work with from using prayer.  Now when I pray for it and rest my hands over various areas of my body, I get the same convulsions and reactions I have been known to get on the reiki table with a strong reikiist working on me.  So that's what I have been up to for healing as of late - I think I had reached as far as what smudge alone can do for removal of certain problems.

Still not jumping to get psychic lady business cards made - that's an idea for one day though.  I'm practising on willing "tarot guinea pigs" at bars and karaoke, to see how consistently accurate I am so far.  People throw me a twenty or buy me a drink, but that's it for now.

-Saraƒin

Thursday, 18 July 2019

The Taming of the Shrew: Conquering anger...

I talk about a lot of enraging things on here, perhaps there may be a tone that is apparent through the internet as a result.  Life has been challenging, and I have had to bump up against some pretty frustrating systems.  I assure you, however, that anger is not an emotion I allow to consume me much anymore, and I am better off without it.

Anger is a pretty popular, common reaction to the strangeness and cruelty of the world right now, and this article might sound trite coming from a white woman like me, but anyone who knows my story would agree that I have had to suffer some pretty outrageous stuff.  Anger was not serving me, it might have poisoned my health if it had continued - because I could come to a place where I could let go of it, I did, and I think much clearer now, and can organize my thoughts much better when expressing myself passionately to initiate change against an injustice.

It was not a healthy kind of anger when I would allow this emotion to consume me - I had a bit of a cruelty streak, as a matter of fact.  This was not a serious anger management thing, but it was also not a quality I liked in my otherwise gentle nature, and I knew it had to be stopped somehow.  The beginning of the taming of this quality came from arrest - it forced me to calm down, out of the fear of punishment if I didn't.  After a while of this, I began to get used to it.  Now, with my spiritual practice, I basically have gotten rid of the rest of it.  Sometimes it creeps up again a little bit, but nothing like it used to - I seem no longer poisoned by a strange adrenaline, but rather I feel a passion to voice myself against injustice, and I can express my feelings much clearer, with a fiercer tone that is in control in a way it was not when the poison of anger took over.  It is the King of Swords in a controlled, firm way that is more intimidating than anger in some ways because it isn't poisoned by rage.

Anger can be an understandable reaction, but I feel an impassioned, controlled emotional response is the better option when something needs to be addressed in things like politics, as an example.  Unfortunately, the West, especially, thinks a certain way right now, and that might not be possible for most minds.  This took an exceptional amount of discipline to achieve in me, and I am not even sure how I would respond in certain circumstances, only that I have curbed my anger now to be virtually non-existent, in most common day scenarios that are a little frustrating.  Anger, if I display it at all, is always something I regret showing the world, if and when it comes out.  I may be a bit sassy sometimes, but that's a naughty playfulness in me, not anger.

I long for a kinder world out there, where people naturally can let go of their rage and find the good in each other, despite how frustrating we find the differences in the way we perceive things.

-Saraƒin

Monday, 15 July 2019

Defending my sanity from gaslighting...

So, sinners -

I am very much aware that much of what I discuss on here sounds out there or "mad", especially coming from someone who has written material that flirts with ideas of madness, and who has been involved in the Mad Pride movement.  How can anyone take some of my ideas or experiences seriously, coming from a mind that psychiatrists deemed inferior in some ways?  Aren't I just making myself look crazier, speaking out against what I was labelled with, with these arguments?

Well, an atheist, or an agnostic, or some other form of conventional thinker, might jump to these conclusions about me, not understanding the potentials of spiritual experience, once one reaches a certain level.  Occultists, mystics, medicine people, witches - they all describe stuff that gets pretty meta, and these people aren't necessarily ill.  I mean, if you are that boring and rigid about the way the mind works, maybe you could argue that, but anyone who considers the newer sciences, anyone sensitive enough to other cultural interpretations of the human experience, ones of more traditional societies that require shamanic ritual for the hunt, for example, should keep an open mind when reading what I post about.

I spent one year incarcerated, where psychiatric labelling was used as a means of categorizing a set of symptoms that were very strange in me.  Keep in mind that labels like this, in these situations, are of a legal nature, when prescribing psychiatric medication, because it is required that a diagnosis of SOMETHING be made to move treatment forward.  So what a doctor is trained to do is to examine a patient, and decide, rather like throwing darts at a dartboard, what diagnosis sticks best.  Initially, schizophrenia was their suggestion.  But as the months crawled on, it was adjusted to schizoaffective disorder.  This is absurdity, by the way, because that implies I have a mood disorder component, which I don't have at all - no depression, no mania, nothing.  That is intrinsic to a real diagnosis of that label, so it's so stupid to me that they used that to describe me, seeing as I have no mood disorder.  But it's because I was deemed too healthy for schizophrenia that they didn't know what else to call it - so, because this is NOT science, this is legal shit, they went with the closest sounding thing.  As for "symptoms" they did not understand, they simply ignored them, instead of considering them a sign of this being something else entirely.

Since gaslighting was a near daily experience for me in CAMH, it heavily influenced my comics, early on.  It's very upsetting to me, as an artist, that even my fans gaslight me, because they often will describe me as a mentally ill cartoonist, something I am seeking to destroy as an idea with things like this blog.  I understand that my life has been bizarre, my experiences are certainly out there.  But anyone who delves deeply enough into the spiritual world will find that their lives, their world views, their experiences, these things begin to defy conventionality.  To suggest that someone like me is simply a madwoman because of things I describe, is yet more gaslighting, yet more of what I speak out against, and any fan of mine has to understand that to continue perpetuating these ideas of me is not helping.  This does me no favours, it reminds me of being locked away and oppressed.

So keep an open mind, sinners, when reading this blog.  I may not be the soundest in knowing all components of my spiritual reality at this point, but I am a sound mind in the process of understanding.  It took breaking the ideas that doctors set up in my mind, and understanding that I am not sick, to get better.  Funny that.

I am on a roll now, and I ain't turning back.

-Saraƒin

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Understanding my limits: A psychic experiment...

I'm still learning how far I can push my limits with psychic ability.  As details grow finer, the new obstacle is endurance. 

I volunteered for a free readings open house at a store the other day, to flex my muscles psychically and get a taste of the professional world.  The reward was a gift certificate for the store, it seemed like a good idea as a means of feeling out the vibe of doing this as a working psychic.

Unfortunately, after about 6 or 7 separate readings, my abilities conked out, because I could see nothing from that point on, after one hour of the three I had volunteered for.  It was really embarrassing to admit to the store people that my mojo had run out, so I was asked to leave if I couldn't keep going, but I still got the certificate.

The others were reading the more standard method of card interpretation, I guess my way of doing it is a drain, and my brain can only tap into Akasha and call in the Spirit so much before it demands to rest.  I seemed to impress those whom I read, they commented on how well they felt I did, and confirmed details I told them.  It's exhausting to keep nailing triple axel after triple axel with these feats of the mind, to a line up of people waiting, and I just couldn't keep the momentum going.

I guess these events are ok if you're a card interpreter, or perhaps some other kind of reader, but the method I use is intense on the mind and I can't just keep tuning in, at least at this stage, for person after person.  I went home, slightly upset, shed some tears, had a nap, and later talked to my mother, who explained the psychics she knows claim the same thing - one won't read more than 6 people at a party, for example.  So I guess this isn't just my handicap.

I probably won't do an event like this again, but it was an interesting experiment, now I know my limits a bit more.  I am not sure how I will proceed into the professional world, but I may design business cards soon, as one person the night before was so impressed she asked for one.

-Saraƒin

Friday, 12 July 2019

Funny story at the cathedral today...

I HAVE to talk about this one, it's just too juicy not to put on this blog.  This story is GOLD.

After doing some drawing at a local cafe (some pencilling for the next two pages of 'Asylum Squad', if you're curious) I decided to head over to the cathedral I often spend time in when I feel the need to be in a sacred environment.  Today I was gothed out in a relatively modest looking dress, no cleavage, slightly above the knee skirt, made of black and red lace.  I wore studded wrist bands, my saint medal collar, as well as the usual array of Catholic jewellery, my hair in a ponytail, dark lipstick, and knee socks with flat mary jane shoes... nothing terribly provocative, certainly not the latex nun habit, or anything like it.

As I approached the cathedral doors, the Catholic nutjob who basically lives there that I have previously described as "The NPC" (and sometimes "The Pope's Lap Dog") stands in front of me, saying "Oh no - you're not going in there!  You are not right!", trying to prevent me from entering.  I said "Oh yes I am - I have every right to enter, just as you do!" and brushed her aside, opening the doors.

After bowing and anointing myself with holy water, I took a pew near the St. Jude statue, only to have this lunatic sit directly behind me, attempting to hover like a store clerk watching a teenager.  So I moved over, and she followed, and I said: "This is ridiculous - you are making me feel uncomfortable!"  She muttered something else and I said: "If this doesn't stop, I am fetching security!".  Then she ranted about some nonsense about what's right for the church, something I don't remember, and I shouted: "This is just fashion, lady!  I come here all the time and I behave myself!  You, on the other hand, are a SINNER!"  After that, she briskly turned and walked away, defeated.  My Roman Catholic guilt trip was effective.

I did a reading about the situation, later at home.  Apparently she might have gotten a vibe from me that I have satanic leanings, based on my outfit, which made me roar.  If that's true, I'm sure the "sinner" line shook that idea up a bit.  I also prayed to the Virgin Mary for her, that she learn a lesson about personal betterment.

This is a woman who often wears one of those lace veils on her head, religious garb of her own, brings flowers all the time, sucks up to clergy, and tries to dominate anyone she sees who rubs her the wrong way, usually women.  She is like a stupid little dog that loses its temper over the mailman, the kind of thing you want to kick - something horrible like a shih tzu with a chip on its shoulder because it's a shih tzu and not a more interesting breed.  She is a religious nut like no other I have ever seen before - I don't even think the Jesuits who run the place know what to do but pity her and let her come, because her reality is probably really sad.  She's like a "Jesus got me off meth" kind of weirdo, appearance wise.  Her life is probably hard, or has been, but she has no right to do this shit to me or anyone else.  A drunken asshole with a bottle of Crown Royal on a rope, around his neck, came in and yelled racial slurs at a security guard in there one time... I saw she shouted nothing at that guy for that, probably because he was a man.  Maybe she thinks women are meek so she can take 'em, but this will not fly with a woman like me.  I have no time for maggots like this after the kind of insulting blowhards I have had to deal with in places of authority.  Go cry about your sins in confessional, you peon.

If this crap happens again I am going to go full on Sister Penance with her and make her question herself as a Christian.  What a change from dressing in latex with the United Church and marching with ministers in drag down Yonge St for Pride 2019.

Too bad I don't feel more like a Protestant.  <_<

-Saraƒin

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Jailhouse musings: Weird shit I observed while in custody...

So I have talked a lot about the shit I've seen in psychiatric hospitals, but I haven't gotten around to discussing much about the jail stuff, probably because I was a bit worried about drawing attention to that aspect of my history, worried about looking bad, but now that I think about it there's some gold here to present in an article.  I will try to make as much of this one as amusing as possible.  Some of it is just sad, but some funny things happened too.

• When I got my one phone call, I decided to call my Dad to inform him of the situation.  I later realized I had blown my one and only chance (now that he is dead and I'm legally sound in society) to make a Was Not Was reference in a real jail to him, by singing this:


"Hi Dad - I'm In Jail" - Was Not Was

It probably would not have gone over well, seeing as he would not have seen the humour, due to it being a serious situation, and also - the man was so pop culturally clueless that even when Scooby Doo was brought up one time in conversation, he assumed it was about "scuba diving".  He also did not know about the band KISS, and once described rap music as something akin to "naughty poetry set to a rhythm".  So he definitely would not know about Was Not Was.

• In a holding cell, waiting for court with some other chick in the jailhouse greens we had to wear, I decided to suggest a game of charades.  So she went first, and started making all these hand gestures.  When I announced that I could not guess what the television show was, she said "Television show?!  These are GANG signs!" ... Oh.

• Another woman apparently felt her hair was so filthy that she needed to wash it in the cell toilet.  I don't think there's ever been a time where my hair felt so filthy I would have considered doing that, but to each their own.  I kept to my end of the cell, far from her, after she did this.

• I spent a couple of separate nights at the Vanier Centre for Women, which was very much like 'Orange Is The New Black'.  Believe it or not, prison food is actually better than hospital food - we even got a slice of cake.  Hospital food at CAMH is so bad I needed constipation meds because it ruined my regularity.  Not saying prison food is great, but CAMH could learn a thing or two from this.

• Once, in my cell at Vanier, I waved a guard over and asked for a drink of water.  He looked offended and said: "What the hell do you think this is?!"  I said: "Well, I thought it was worth a shot!"  So I had to sip water out of the faucet that was in the cell.  Precincts don't have mattresses, you have to sleep on a steel bed frame built into the cell.  But the penitentiary has them.  I was so sleep deprived that it was actually a relief to get to Vanier, after being shuffled along from precinct to precinct in a police wagon, not getting any sleep, chained to other women.  I was woken very early to be shuffled back into a wagon, back to Toronto again the next morning for more court belittlement, but at least I almost got one full night of rest at the prison, on a real mattress.  Then I was taken to a hospital, where I was finally able to catch up on slumber.

• When Christmas came and I was still in CAMH under incarceration, I wanted to gift one friend something, but had no money (the government cut most of my disability at the time because of incarceration).  So I gave her my green prison uniform, along with a card I made that said "Merry Manhandlemas - I am the prison.  Don't you dare step on my jail suede shoes.  Tie me up sweater!", which was supposed to be an ode to engrish.com.  This friend later dumped me as a friend.  I guess the gift didn't help with that.

• The prison issued underwear were the best damn panties I have ever owned as far as lasting a myriad of washes.  One day I finally decided it was ridiculously bad juju to hold onto these things, and I finally got rid of 'em... years later.  My underwear tends to be boring looking anyway, because I'm Ace and thus not out to impress anyone in that kind of way.  So prison issued panties it is.

Well, that's all I can really think to discuss that was rather interesting... there was other stuff but I tried to keep this one light and funny.  Anything else might just be depressing and ranty.

-Saraƒin

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Making peace with my abuse history: An ongoing struggle...

It's rather hard to process the amount of spiritual/systematic abuses I have had to endure.  Aspects of Catholicism, as a faith, not a church, seem odd to embrace considering my liberal angle, but something about finding gems out of the agony of existence calls to me, after a lifetime of maddening experiences with abuse.  Therapy kind of helps, but there seems to be a limit to how much it can do for me sometimes, I'm hoping that time will be the ultimate healer, provided the abuse, which seems to have stopped, does not return.  I have called out CAMH repeatedly for being abusive, but let's point out some of the other systems out there that should be shamed for the way they treat people in pain.

I went to the Etobicoke School of the Arts for my high school years... it was regrettably one of the worst choices I could have made for my education.  The art training was actually quite good, but the politics of the school are horrendous.  Here we have an institute that touts itself as a leading arts intensive school for creatively gifted kids, but ultimately it proved to be a place that champions the Norman Rockwells of the world while throwing the Jean-Michel Basquiats under the bus.  They do not understand artistic temperaments, and they certainly did not understand me.  Racist, ableist, and probably sexist too (as most high schools are), ESA is rather infamous now for some of what it has done to its POC students.  They are also notorious for favouring Eurocentric forms of artistic expression.  In my case, I was mistreated because of ableism, ableism for a disorder I didn't even have, discriminated against without a doctor's note involved - when I was in need of help, I was punished, hence why I don't bother asking for help from anyone anymore.  Shame on them.  Burn ESA to the ground, and start over.  This place has an agenda about what art should look and be like, and if you aren't one of their precious golden children who poops out the kind of glossy tripe you'd find in a dental office waiting room, you are nothing to them.  Don't go to ESA if you're an artistic genius - go to an alternative school instead.  Or Rosedale, if they're any good, I'm not sure.  ESA is bad news.  They betrayed me, they dishonoured me, and I can't recommend them to anyone.

The legal system is insane, but that goes without saying.  The heavy handed gavel of the law came down on me so hard because of law and mental health that I am still reeling over it, many years later.  This shit doesn't just happen to bad people - it could happen to anyone feeling vulnerable enough.  I firmly believe that perhaps the only reason I was not a victim of murder at the hands of an officer, or police brutality, is because I am a white woman.  At one point, for a minor "offence" that seemed ridiculously poorly treated, I was shackled to several other women in a police wagon, and led around barefoot amid broken glass outside of a court house - apparently, my shoes were too weapon-like at the time.  There were lots of weird tests with needles to rule out street diseases - before I consented to these tests, being too weary for needles at the time, I was forced to wear a mask.  I have a feeling I was treated as badly as I was because I lived in a rooming house in Parkdale at the time... they probably thought I was prostituting myself for crack or something, when in reality I was a wounded bird in spiritual crisis and had already been abused by CAMH, fearing a return to them to curb what was going on, leading to arrest.  When the law got involved, I willingly took the meds in pill form to avoid any more forced injections, the way everyone was treating me in the system was hard enough that I couldn't stand being punctured in that way any further.  Any additional humiliations were just too much to handle at that time.

I worry that my work in comics and art is not enough to fix my reputation in society.  I worry my reputation is destroyed in a way that can never be remedied.  I also hate that people often associate my work with schizophrenia, and I regret calling my first graphic novel 'The Psychosis Diaries', having been gaslighted to death by my year long stay in CAMH, which led me to second guess my original understanding of my issues.  It sometimes makes me want to abandon art altogether, and disappear from any attention I once publicly received as a creative.  Am I poverty/"mental illness" porn to people, and nothing more?  I don't want to be.  Better to disappear completely than to be infamously represented.  I am starting to understand some of the words of St. Therese of Lisieux in 'The Story of a Soul' better, but perhaps not in the same way, about wanting to disappear.

It makes being a real nun seem all the more enticing, when I really think about it.  The cloistered life could be nice.  If you can't beat the Hierophant, join the Hierophant.

-Saraƒin

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Summer of 2019 convent stay rundown...

"Salve Regina" is basically
the "Notice me, senpai!"
portion of the rosary, directed at
the Virgin Mary.
I just got back from the convent getaway, where I spent two nights with two friends in the guest house.  Both friends reported having a good time, for their own (very different) reasons, as did I, of course.  At least one would like to return again, possibly even before the end of the year.  The atmosphere is clean, quiet, serene, and there's a real sense of goodness permeating the premises.  The Sisters are really nice ladies, and the food is very good, including some stuffing that was absolutely divine today for a turkey dinner style lunch.  The floors of the bathrooms are so spotless that I wasn't afraid to go barefoot in them in the middle of the night when I had to use the facilities.  I walked the labyrinth, went to two services (including the Eucharist), would have attended other services but I was suddenly coming down with a sore throat so I wanted to preserve my voice.  I had to suck on some Ricolas one friend happened to have with him until I could get home and relieve my throat with other treatments.  It sucked that putting in extra shifts at work led to this - I know I caught it from my job.  Sigh - this was my one planned little getaway for the summer, and it was (only slightly) spoiled by feeling rough with a bug.

This will likely be something that I do once, if not twice a year to feel rejuvenated - it's so quiet there that you could hear a pin drop.  Again, if anyone is expecting a 'Sister Act' kind of convent scenario with penguin ladies and old world church charm, they will be disappointed, but it's still pretty legit.  There are some rules to follow but they're quite easy, and Anglicanism has been pretty progressive lately, in many churches, so one friend and I felt at ease to dress alternatively, as we do, and the Sisters just smiled at us.

BTW, I ultimately decided against it, but I had a phase where I was tempted to go on 'Christian Mingle' as Sister Penance for the lulz and see what came of it.  I came to expect a bunch of tattooed, just-outta-prison type Catholic bros posing in front of black Corvettes, hitting on the latex nun, only to turn on me and call me a slut or something if I were to reject or ignore their advances.  Or perhaps some sad, lonely Protestant dudes with shitty values and shittier grammar would desperately try to contact me, not knowing when to stop.  I think that site is uber conservative anyway... all the liberal Christians are probably on OkCupid.  Blegh, to hell with online dating.  This would have just been something to do for fun, but I am kind of beyond that time in my life where a joke profile is my idea of a riveting thing to engage in on the web.  It's a rather juvenile idea, now that I think of it.

-Saraƒin

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

One more item before my convent stay...

Just a l'il item I discovered at 'Value Village' today, in the costume jewellery section - a chain ring bracelet composed entirely of crosses, for just $1.99!  I had a Sacred Heart talisman I added to it with a metal loop.  Will probably have to be cautious while wearing this - I don't want it to catch on anything!

I'm headed to the Anglican convent again this weekend, on my latest retreat, with two friends.  I'm sure it's going to be lovely.  This convent has a gentler vibe than one might expect - I even saw evidence that they were with the Anglican section of Pride 2019, as I saw someone holding a sign representing them.  Again, I should probably not mention the name of the convent, only that they are Anglican and within the Toronto area.  Lovely place... clean, quiet, chill, with a very powerful sense that the Spirit is present there.  The food is pretty good, too!

I'll have to give a report on how my retreat was, when I return!

-Saraƒin