We each live in our own little worlds, and Jenlandia is mine. It’s a weird place. It’s not somewhere a lot of people want to go, but it is fun and magical and definitely worth a visit at least once in your lifetime. Quite dark and gritty most of the time, it’s a bit intense for most people, but that just makes those bright flashes of light and color that much more invigorating. It’s definitely not like any other place in existence today.
Really, it’s my outlet. I’ve suffered some pretty serious things in life. I was molested as a child, raised by a verbally and emotionally abusive mother with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, had my virginity stolen by a couple frat boys when I was seventeen, and literally on the same day, started what became eight years with an abusive alcoholic sociopath. That marriage ended in 2007, and just last year, 2015, I finally severed ties with my parents. I did all the counseling I could, including support groups and even anger management, and it did help. But my biggest source of healing and self-improvement has always been creativity, whether it’s writing, painting, sculpting, making cards, or even developing a new organization system in some office. The force that moves me through my life struggles is bringing something new into existence that is unique to me, something that no one else could have done in the same way.
Now, I’m working on writing my life story in novel form so that others can learn from my experiences, but that’s hard and time-consuming. As a means to that end, I paint, make jewelry, and craft home decor type things. I also write out my emotional episodes. I am diagnosed as bipolar, but I also have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which includes an overproduction of adrenaline (possibly rendering the bipolar disorder diagnosis as inaccurate). I don’t do well with confrontation face-to-face, so this is also an outlet for all those things I’d like to say but can’t. I do these things to work through the challenging memories I need to include in my story, and by doing so, I gain clarity and a better grasp on how best to elucidate the struggles I’ve faced and the lessons I’ve taken from them.
All of the artwork presented here is available for purchase on Etsy, and each post has a link to its Etsy listing where you can buy either the original or a print (I am still working out the print situation on some but expect to have it resolved soon). That’s also where you can see the jewelry and other things I’ve made that aren’t shared here. I’m limited enough medically that I cannot find suitable work outside home, so this stuff is my career and only source of income aside from my husband. I do intend to share a portion of all proceeds with charities that help people dealing with troubles similar to mine. How much gets donated, I don’t really know. It’ll depend on what our needs are at the time. RAINN, Futures Without Violence, and other domestic violence charities will get priority, but charities for Autism, Ehlers-Danlos, and mental illnesses are also potential recipients.