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Tuesday, June 25, 2013




They say, dream it, envision it, believe in it, work for it and it will come to be.
I did all that and now….. 

Me (on oxygen) in my ceramics studio 3 weeks after my first hospital stay with respitory distress in 2004
I've finally (kind of) come to accept I can no longer cling to the hope that one day I'll be able to have a ceramics studio again. There are several reasons for this:
  • My health.
  • Clay contains silica which is like glass in the lungs.
  • So much has been stolen there's not enough left to open a studio.
  • They stole parts of this and bits of that, somethings are unusable without buying replacements.
  • We need to sell what's left to help pay my medical bills.
  • Family members need help

When I bought the ceramics and opened the studio I had such dreams (as usual), it was going to enable me to help so many on different levels. I wanted to be able to donate dishware/kitchenware to those that had lost everything and no means to replace it. I wanted it to be a safe/fun place for weekend Dads to share with their children amongst others in the same position. I wanted it to be a safe place for the kids in this town to hang out whilst learning/doing something that was fun, functional, productive and not expensive. I wanted it to be a place for families to do things together without it costing an arm and a leg. I wanted it to be a safe place for those in therapy to come and know the studio  will be theirs for the morning or afternoon, I did have a couple of groups book regularly. To supply and deliver to the housebound at a reasonable price a ceramics kit weekly or monthly.

Most importantly I wanted to get to a point where I could help my family and friends.
I believed in my studio to the point I wore myself out, I was blind to the fact people were getting in and stealing I was so worn out, I also got so desperate for help I let the wrong people into my life. Normally I’m fine tuned to picking up when someone’s up to no good, but I was so worn and becoming very ill I missed it. No I didn't miss it, I ignored it (surely I was wrong) I made excuses for people's behavior, I let things slide instead of saying something, plus I didn't want to believe these people would do such things. I had one group of people that were actually trying to con me into handing them a key so I could take some time off…..I didn't fall for that one and eventually I got rid of them all. One of them actually told me I was more tenacious than they thought, maybe that’s why I like terriers so much.

I worked from 6:30am till 5:30pm then going back an hour or two later to work till 3 or 4 am, some nights I often fell asleep on a pile of molds waiting for a cab to take me home. As the months wore on I started staying overnight at the studio getting only an hours sleep before opening the door for the day, I was doing all this six to seven days a week. The nights I did come to the house I spent hours on the computer listing on eBay, often falling asleep while doing it then having to delete and start again because of things I'd done half asleep made no sense. I literally got to a point I couldn't stand still because if I did I would fall asleep immediately, I once actually hit a sliding glass door with my head, I'd fallen sound asleep standing looking out into the back garden. I started to think I was losing my mind, things weren't where I'd put them. Molds on the shelves did not match my lists, other things were missing from other selves and lists.

I started to feel like I was going round in circles, no matter how hard I worked or how many hours I put in nothing seemed to get accomplished. Months later I still had piles of molds all over the place that weren't logged and shelved, I was constantly redoing shelves I'd done just days before. I’d find shelves I'd filled and listed empty or near empty or I’d stand looking at a space knowing something was missing but couldn't figure what…..I was that worn out. I couldn't understand why I couldn't get the molds logged and shelved, the paints, glazes and stains in order and why I seemed to be miss placing kiln wear and supplies. What had I done with the paint, stain, glaze brushes and the precious metals pens etc. It didn't cross my mind someone was getting into the studio……You see anything that went wrong was always my fault.

I tried ignoring the cough that had started, the night sweats waking soaked from head to foot. I managed to do this for about a week, then I couldn't ignore it anymore, besides MrT wouldn't let me get out of bed. Eventually he allowed me out of bed only because he needed to ‘go’ I opened the door he’d dash out to the front lawn and straight back in, nattering at me to lay down, I made it to the recliner where I stayed for three days. It actually took that long for someone in the house to notice I was sick due to the persistent coughing, no one found it strange I'd suddenly stopped working or leaving the house. At this point I would crawl down the stairs to let MrT out and on an evening would ask for MrT to be let out, as for my own needs I’d crawl on my hands and knees to the bathroom. It was during a phone call to Mommy that she told Pappy to take me to the hospital, he was shocked (as was I) they admitted me and kept me for a week with respiratory distress.

Giving myself two weeks off after coming out of hospital on oxygen (supposedly temporary) I slowly started back at the studio, trying desperately not to over work. Unable to pay someone to help me at the studio, I offered someone a place to stay if they would help out at the studio. I let them know I was thinking of closing, that it would take a few weeks of hard work to get things back in order. Mommy came over from England for a week to help me, she couldn't stay any longer because my 101 yr old Grandma wasn't doing so well, I was so grateful for the time Mommy came. Unfortunately I was on a medication that didn't agree with me, there was a lot of tension in the house so Moms stay wasn't pleasant, I was over emotional and snippy, sorry Mommy.

As hard as I tried I still couldn't make things work, it just got from bad to worse. The lease was due on the studio, less money was coming and more was going out, the medical bills started to pile up. I had to close up shop and declare personal bankruptcy,  I was allowed to keep my ceramics tools, what little stock that was left, the molds and the kilns because they were my ‘tools of trade’ it was devastating and embarrassing. It took us months to empty the studio and get everything moved into storage and our garage, all with the hope of working from home. I forgot to mention during all this there were nights I’d come to the house 3am and find the front door unlocked or ajar, all I got was a shrug when I mentioned it. Things were also going missing in the house from the moment we started moving in, I’d mention someone had been in my closet or draws and that things were missing only to be met with hostility.

There are things I'm not going to repeat in this post, they can be found on this page (which is a work in progress so check it often for updates) RIGHT FROM WRONG We had friends kindly give us their time, vehicles and a trailer, they worked hard and at times put up with my emotional  outbursts. I thank you all, I truly appreciate all you did for us and apologize for my outbursts. Again I found myself often working through the night packing boxes ready to be moved the following day (oxygen line in tow). At one point what was supposed to be our last ditch effort to empty the studio we hired some locals, with their promise of working till everything was out. What a waste of money, again I was taken advantage of, I didn't have the energy to deal correctly with them… as promised or no pay….They worked some and got full pay.

Now I'm having to revisit that pain and the new hurt of realizing people still stole from us in the past two and half years, knowing we've had the ambulance here for me about every two to three months. I'm having to deal with the attitude I was given then about it (over ten years of it) and the sarcasm now over the feelings I'm trying to deal with now about it all. I am trying very hard not to get upset as I look at what's left knowing that a lot of it ended up in the trash, either because they didn't know what they had, couldn't sell it as is or the parent wanted rid of it.

Yes I know who did this, I caught them several times walking down my drive bags stuffed and one I bumped into in the hallway upstairs, others I saw wearing our belongings, selling them in yard sales or throwing them in their or their neighbors trash. They seem to think I’m so stupid I don't recognize them or their voices.

our belongings in a yard sale

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