Layers of Work
August 15th, 2023
I am going through all of my art and whittling it down, layers of 30 years of scribbling. Not only my own scribbling, but my sisterʻs scribbles.
This piece is by my sister Michelle Leilani Cotrina. In the present moment, she isnʻt in my life much.
When I was booted out of the house at 19, for choosing art over religion, and my motherʻs gift of freedom in her own then twisted sense of fate, I left both my sisters behind. I didnʻt look back, but flowed forward, and began to work full time as a Waitress at a Bobʻs Big Boy, saving enough to go and adventure and work as an Au-Paire in Paris for 10 months.
It was only, in the last visit with my other sister, Jennifer, before she died, that I learned, this was devestating for my sisters, my departure.
I was the strong one, who, perhaps sheltered them from the chaos of the family. Once I left, it got worse, from her perspective, in that, I was like the mom to them in the family.
I lost contact with Michelle for a long, long time, as well as my sister Jennifer.
I swore to myself, that if I ever recovered, and become stable enough, I would reconnect, and try and be a resource to her. In 2017, I did exactly that, plugged back into her life, and alot of projects and positive things occured, but now, in the moment, I am letting go of her again, and focusing on my personal well-being and chances at happiness.
Giving us all space.
Initially, she was making very good progress, but then, there was something about the pandemic, and being in a locked facility that would put her in solitary if she was bulimic and threw up on the basketball court, something about this place that shifted things in a really weird direction.
There were all hell holes, all the places she was in, and when she got to where she is now, I thought, this is improvement. I told her, that in order to be in my life, she needed to be working her journey, and taking right action to improve the quality of her life. It was a boundary. She has been choosing, now that she isnʻt locked up, to go consistently back to the streets, and, well, I canʻt call the shots on her care, it isnʻt what Iʻve been assigned to.
Iʻve advocated until I was blue in the face, with social workers, and Dr.ʻs, suggesting, trauma treatment, and now, I am letting go, again, and breath in the pure rich deep oxygen.
I choose to be patient, and trust the process, and be grateful, that she has family that loves her, unconditionally.