More Steps Along This Odyssey

It’s been a while again. Talking about the here and now is harder than telling the past. In truth, I often feel as though all that trauma happened to someone else. Or it happened to me in another dimension, when the person I am was much less sophisticated and complex in my personhood. That, at least, is true. My experience of life was so much less.

In the last few days, I have felt so tested in everything I believe. I have at times lost sight of the beauty that is formed under pressure. My eyes have been drawn only to the unbearable weight of things that I want to be better, not necessarily for me but for a beautiful, talented and wonderful person to whom I gave birth, whom I adore, worship, would die for.

I have been struggling to not focus on the difficulty I have in breathing. At times it is because I’m tired or move too quickly, but other times it is because the dystonia tightens my chest muscles. Then, it is not only difficult to breathe but also to be. I move around trying to relax, I squirm with the tension in my muscles and the discomfort, pain, it brings. It’s like that now, as I type. I had stomach pains all night that kept me awake from 11pm, having slept during the evening. All I could eat was porridge. So today my body is at sixes and sevens, feeling sleep deprived in my brain and thinking. And so much tension in my body.

This is when I sometimes need the assurance of others, as my perspective on other things that press in from life loom larger than they actually are or, in my distress, I let those things become my focal point rather than the good things, the precious gifts in my life. I reached out in the night for support knowing the person would be awake.  When a response finally came, it was ‘shit happens’.

Well, I know this to be true. I’ve had the share of several people. It was not what I needed to hear. I needed empathy. We all need empathy. Even when I need, in my profession, to remind people that shit happens, I tinge it with empathy. What I needed was an empathetic ‘Chrissie, we can all feel swamped in the middle of the night when we are in pain. That sucks, I’m sorry you’re going through this stuff but it will seem better in the morning’. You know, words to that effect.

I learned a lesson and remembered a key thing. Not everyone you reach out to or for, is the right person at the time or for what you need at the time, at any time. Different friends have different gifts for us. For me.

I have been reminded of the good in my life because my cleaner arrived. She is fantastic and my gratitude for her overflows. My daughter walked into my room. Love floods me whenever I see her. (It may not always be obvious to her, but it does.) Even when she thinks I’m having a go at her, I am filled with love for her. She is magical.  I saw my Dad this morning. I love him so much and wish he could slip away to a better place, but his body is so healthy that he will keep going even when his brain has completely died except for the pituitary gland, which will keep his heart and lungs going. I am shocked now that I have thought of him in this way, reduced him to a motor function. My Dad is warmth, affection, reason, moral strength and so undeserving of this pitiless disease.

I am grateful for the grammar corrector I use, otherwise this would make no sense at all.

 

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Author: chrissiemorrisbrady

I've read poetry since I was nine and have written creatively since I was fourteen (probably long before that). After writing book reviews and social comment, I decided I wanted to write poetry. I have no formal training, but I surround myself with poets and their writing. I am honing my craft. I have two published collections which I don't feel good about, but have been published by madswirl.com and other publications. I live on the south coast of England with my daughter. I am seriously ill.

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