Monday, March 27, 2017

As if Tomorrow Isn't a Thing

The thing that is frustrating about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, for me, is the constant illness and injury.  It's dumb shit that becomes big shit and it's constant.

Last year was a catastrophe of illness, chronic pain an injury.  It resulted in a diagnosis of EDS in August.  Then the cold weather happened and I still needed to get back to active so I built myself a mini-gym indoors.  I was motivated.  I did things here and there, feeling good that slow and steady I'd be fine. Getting active is complicated because there are so many parts of my body that are out of whack that the wrong exercise can injure me easily and set me way back.  So it's like working a rubics cube with kid gloves.   So often, Id' take it easy, comfortable that I'm headed in the right direction.

But then, I got the flu at the beginning February and coughed until I got a sinus infection in early March and now, end of March, I still have a persistent hacking cough caused by bronchial spasms and asthma and still cannot really exercise a whole lot.  But I have to. I need to.  I yearn to thrive again.  And two months later, I've lost any progress I made over the previous 2 months.  

Those days when I was busy being complacent, those are days that I have opted out of exercise because I had the donwannas - and I'll just do it tomorrow.  But if tomorrow, I'm ill or injured, that can't happen.  So I wind up in a very prolonged era of lack of activity or exercise, and I hate myself for it and hate my body condition.  I don't use the term hate lightly.  In fact, I might even go so far as to say loathe.  And maybe that's a different discussion but I do feel a heavy sense of self responsibility for every day I decided I donwanna, when really, I yearn for health again and I really could have taken a step in that direction. 

Lesson learned from this super dumb chronic illness : Tomorrow isn't promised.  I don't know what I'll have tomorrow.  Betting that I'll have what I need to do a thing tomorrow is foolish.  I only know what I have right now.  If I can do, I should.

Photo : Tomorrow is too late, Start Now / Next TwentyEight / CC 2.0

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Last Duck in my Swan Collection

I finally threw the duck away.  This duck has traveled with me from childhood in boxes of Christmas stuff.  A ceramic duck with a couple of ducklings wearing santa hats.  Every Xmas, I pull it out of the box so that I can get to the ornaments and other stuff and then I tuck it back in until the end of the season.  Then I pull it out, pack all the xmas stuff back up and drop it back into the box.  No xmas ever have I considered putting it out on display.  It makes me nauseous looking at it.

My mother decided I should have a collection of ducks when I was a kid.  So she bought me a bunch of ducks.  Later, much later, I asked her why ducks.  She said she remembered them being swans.    They weren't.  They were definitely ducks. Most of them got lost along the way.  I remember, I used to have a really gaudy gold planter duck that I inherited from mother.  It wasn't gaudy at the time... in the 80s.  I mean, well, everything was gaudy at the time.  This duck was normal.  I also had a white porcelain set of a big duck and a small duck.  There was definitely a pattern of lots of mother ducks with baby ducks.  Oops... I just threw up a little in my mouth.

So anyways, today, I snapped a picture of the duck and then I threw it away.  The last duck of the swan collection my mother populated with mothers and babies on my behalf.  I think I took the picture out of habit... I do that with things that I don't want to keep around but that have some sort of memory attachment to them.  But really, I think when I look at the picture now, it's more an oddity than memory.  What a weird fucking thing.

Throwing this away is like ridding myself of one more vestige of sentiment I'll never revisit : I will not ever have daughterly feelings about a motherly mother; one more piece of 'polite' I have no need for : I don't need to pretend that the mother/daughter relationship has meaning outside of it's emotional value; one more expectation of society that I don't believe in : I will not grow out of it.

I thought for a few moments, as I put the dishes away, about how, rather than our relationship getting better with time, I've only become more clear about the nature of the relationship, as I make decisions involved in parenting my own son.  Then I drove to work.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


It seems like inspiration would come like a glorious flowing stream, bequeathed by the gods and sung by muses; the heavenly light shineth upon it. 

Instead, ideas spew out spray after spray from hard wrung guts, weak from heaving, over days, weeks, months. Festering beneath the surface, a seething boil of infected thought, uncomfortable in the tissue that bore it until it finally bursts forth, oozing inappropriately from its wound. I'm left panting and gasping from the effort of bearing the thought into the world. I look upon it, expecting to see greatness and find a squalling babe upon the hearth, pink, vulnerable and glistening with muck.

The truth is that truth is rarely pretty, nor is it easily won.

Friday, February 19, 2016

This Shall Not Pass

I'd like to say "this too shall pass".  But, no.  It probably won't just "pass".  

More likely, it will tear past, ripping chunks of soul away, scrape past, flaying hope from the bone, grate past, each metal chink in it's sides scraping shreds of self away.  It will grind continuously, unerringly, constantly until all of the pointy bits are ground away leaving only exhaustion.  As it makes it's way past, gruelingly slowly, it will not go quietly... instead it will wail and hiss, spit and scream, leaving no respite or peace.

You will think "I don't think I can do it", "I can't bear it".  Behind you are the silent ranks of women, 50 billion strong, who say otherwise.  You can.  They did.  Every one before you has and you will too.  

You will not survive because this too shall pass.  No... This shall not simply "pass".   You will survive because you have no choice.  There is no choice because living in abuse is not living and the only way out is a fight.  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cultivating Voice

On the way home, I stopped by the hardware store and bought mulch.  I spent some hours sweating in the dirt with my plants and then finally melted into a chair at the kitchen table, with my laptop, to make reservations for my vacation.  I reached into my bag for my check card... it wasn't there.  After retracing my steps a few times without any luck, I sank back down in the chair to call my bank to cancel it and send me a new one.

I'm on the call with a gentleman who is asking me identity questions and then says "We'll have you set in no time, young lady.  Let me just - "

"Excuse me," I interrupted.  "I am a grown woman.  Please don't call me young lady."  I heard the words coming out of my mouth as if I were listening third person.  The voice that said the things was strong, unwavering, confident.  There it was.  It happened.  He made some brief excuses about being an old man but otherwise was very apologetic and the call ended with a new check card on it's way.

The ease of that moment was brought to me by the letter I and much practice.  My voice on the matter was not spontaneous.  It was cultivated.

Several months ago, an adult male counterpart referred to another grown female identified peer as "young lady", and although it made me shift uncomfortably, I struggled with why it felt uncomfortable.  It was a relatively 'normal' term to hear but, even though it wasn't aimed at me,  I suddenly felt like a little girl being scolded, in the shadow of this man. He continued to use the term with regularity while it took me six months to puzzle through the following  :