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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » Landmark. That's all. No more grossness.

   
Author Topic: Landmark. That's all. No more grossness.
pooka
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It gets ridiculous. About two weeks ago I realize I'm my (worst? Best?) highest day's count from 900. So I start posting like crazy. I post so ferociously I start to worry I might miss my landmark. I think I have the concept for worry free landmarking in the bag, and I cruise right up to the brink. That was a week ago. After three days of tinkering with my landmark writing, I break down and get out the ID that I had registered in a panic around post 950. Skrika. It was fun having the experience of a non-newbie without the baggage. I tell myself "I'm just going to post a little, get the flavor back to motivate me to finish my landmark." But nooooo, instead I spend all my free time posting as skrika and my subconscious critic has pushed the landmark I was writing into a bottom drawer.

What killed the landmark I wanted to write? Names. Names are so powerful, they actually became the focus of my psychotic ideation after my first baby died. I had named him after my father, though I knew everyone would think he was named after my dear brother. But it was also the name of my estranged brother in law and my even estranger uncle. I thought everyone would assume that because my father was not the kind of dad people typically name their kids after. Unless they are, like, total lunatics. Which it turned out I was.

My mother said I looked so much like my father when I was born, she wanted claim me by giving me her name. But as a little girl, I assumed it was the opposite. So I thought I had blonde hair and blue eyes, but when I was seven some kids wouldn't play with me because of my color. It turned out I looked Chinese. It's not that I don't remember looking in the mirror as a kid, just that up to a certain age children don't really understand the concept of race.

My brother and I were not the eldest children in our family, so I always thought out names showed some special preference for us. I thought I was destined to be just like my mom, up until I was about 22 and I became aware that I had lived my life as her shadow. Later I realized that our parents probably named us as they did because we were born during the Nixon Administration, another couple that shared those names.

When my son died, Mom tried to bring me out of my grief through the same force of will that she had always guided me through life. Her third child had died, but I didn't want to relate to her and I got lost inside my own head. My thinking at the time was that everyone's name is from a nominal archetype who is either dead or absent. But to share a name with someone else was to share their soul, and if two people were too close together, it would create problems with the universe. (This was 1992, long before I had read COTM.)

I checked into a hospital, precluding the possibility of attending my son's funeral, and went to bed. I woke up two weeks later believing only a couple of days had passed. I had apparently emerged from telling everyone how the world really worked to having an inkling that I might be confused. That night, Christmas eve, I was suffering from a loss of muscle control that is a side effect of some psych medications. I thought I was going to wind up paralyzed and before I lost all control, I wanted to end it. Though the staff had tried to remove all potential weapons from patients, I found someone had foolishly left a picture frame on my bed table. I tried to drop it on the floor, but it turned out the "glass" was transparent plastic. I tried to throw it through the window, but here my impaired strength really did hamper my efforts. So I gave up and went to tell a nurse, who helped me count down from 100 by 3's till I drifted off.

In my dream I couldn't find my soul. My mother had it and couldn't give it back. My shade drifted back to the hospital, sitting in the hall of the mental ward at the T formed by a branching hallway. I could see the clock and the status board with all the patient names on it. It dawned on me that my mother never called me by her name, she had always called me Tisha. I had abandoned the name due to the wicked punmanship of my kindergarten class. I was Patricia for a number of years, and then in 7th grade switched to Tricia. But at home I was still Tisha.

Whether this was a medication success story or a revelation, I was cast again on the shore of reality, forced to deal with my grief and the unpleasant mechanics of modern life. Time ceased to be fluid. My race, religious, and body image obsessions did not go away entirely, but I began to have some boundaries . My psych resident called my recovery "inspirational", but then a lot of her military patients accused each other of cultivating their illnesses so they could retire on disability.

So I wanted to write some autobiographical fiction for my landmark, but it only seemed fair to change the names. Either that or not mention anything that someone might repent of in the future. But I just couldn't find any names quite as good as the ones I already had. I started using Ryan and Leigh, after the actors who were a couple on Peyton Place and then married during the years of me and my brother's birth. They divorced around the time of Nixon's resignation, too. But I thought my mother would be even more offended that I would link her to a Soap Opera star than if I revealed that she encouraged me to drown my grief in ice cream.

Whew. Well, that wasn't so hard. I sent a picture of me for Foobonic, but I don't think it's up yet. Well, that will give me an excuse to bump this later
[Hat]
p.s. I think I wrote this the last week of Novemer 2003. I just noticed the dates stamps don't appear accurate in the Landmark thread. But I could be wrong

[ December 06, 2003, 03:34 PM: Message edited by: pooka ]

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Anna
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Congrats, pooka !
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Kama
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Pooka, out of all the landmark threads, yours is among the most wonderful, the most remembered and respected.

Thank you for sharing a part of yourself with us. Thank you for being here.

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pooka
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Thanks [Big Grin]
:puts ice on swelling head:

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Narnia
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We'll keep bumping it for you until then.

I'm really glad you're here. I always enjoy your insights and comments.

Congrats!! [Big Grin]

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Nick
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You got 1000 posts already? Man, everybody seems to be getting a ton lately. All the "new" people are not "new" anymore. [Smile]
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Eruve Nandiriel
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[Big Grin]
989 posts since Sept. 16!
*is hoping to post landmark thread today*
[Smile]

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pooka
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I saw that, EN, part of why I pushed myself to do it this morning [Smile]

"It's never too late to ask for an epidural"

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Eruve Nandiriel
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I was actually hoping to do it last night, but Hatrack was really slow.

*whispers* What's an epidural?

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Nick
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[ROFL]
It's a drug maternity doctors inject just under a womans spinal column during labor that numbs them from the waist down. [Wink]

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Eruve Nandiriel
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Oh. [Angst]
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Black Mage
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Sad, but I've got a rough draft of my landmark drawn up. Probably gonna change though. Was gonna be my landmark for another forum, but I never used. Still, by the time I hit one thousand I'll have something completely different to say.
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pooka
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Black Mage, you should auction it. Hmm. Your screen name doesn't go into initials very well, does it?

Eruve, I mentioned the epidural because of the perceived pain of doing a landmark. Like Rat named Dog, or Ryuko or myself. I really looked forward to it but when it came right down to it, it was kind of scary. I wanted to share something that would help people feel like they knew me better, but it can be an unwieldy project.

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rivka
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That was a landmark well worth waiting for. [Smile] (((((pooka)))))

Names are indeed very powerful. Thank you for sharing yourself like that.

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pooka
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[Group Hug] Thanks!
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pooka
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Here I am! Thanks Foobonic meister!
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katharina
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Oh my, I missed this the first time around. Thank you for sharing! What a wonderful landmark! ((((pooka))))
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pooka
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Thanks Kat, you're a trooper. By the way, I'm also Trisha the Severe Hottie, named for a storybook character on the Strongbad site. I hadn't meant it to be a mystery, but apparently a lot of people assumed I was Pat. Is that profoundly ironic or what? Anyway, in the process of getting that screen name I registered a bunch of others. So deep down, I guess I am Pat.
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JonnyNotSoBravo
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Wow. Pooka, you were waaaaaaaaaaaaaay down on my list of possible Trisha puppet masters. I think it's the name pooka. It always reminds me of "pooky" from Garfield. I can't think of a lovable, brown, teddy bear being a Severe Hottie! That's just too large a dichotomy! Congratulations on your landmark!
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pooka
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Well, thanks, I think... I did name myself after a pet cat, but it's also the name of the michievous giant white rabbit in "Harvey". Though that may be spelled with an H at the end.
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