Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Where now? Now here: nowhere

I am not supposed to be writing. I am not supposed to be awake. I had what Linda says is a “seizure” and a ‘stroke’ and that this is NOT the UK, and that I am not teaching at uni, nor am I employed in any capacity. And I am sick, it seems, since my legs won’t work. And my fingers won’t work very well. And I can’t see out of an eye correctly.

Linda says I am permanently sick but have no disability income, or other income. I have items to sell on line that she has promised to help me sell, but that I am too sick most days to do them myself and she has promised often to help me she says, like listing things on ebay. But she so far does not, she also says, too busy. So I have little income.

“And what do I do with what I have?” I asked, as I was scanning ebay, as I would be in Cardiff, looking for items to turn a quick profit.

“You buy things,” she said (this sounded familiar), “and you give them all away.”

“All of them?” I was slightly incredulous because if you don’t keep some floating base, how can you maintain your profit or core capital. Yes. Everything, I gave it all away.

I thought about that for a while. “So then, this MSA thing, it’s pretty serious?”

She nodded.

Yup. This is not to say I do not like to think of myself as generous, but you only give away everything when you don’t need enough money to keep maintaining yourself. When you honestly belief there is no point in keeping things to spread throughout your life, but rather that this short time is your life.

I did not ask her how short. But she said I was not anorexic anymore, no, I didn’t do that, I just was that thin. And pale?

For now I don’t know you, those reading, really, or that much. Indeed it seems all the people I know are a continent away. And it seems that who I am is further...

Who is this Elizabeth? Why would I not come up with some scheme and pour my energy into that, write another book, or create a job? I can’t explain it, nor can I explain this apartment and its medical equipment.

“Here,” Linda said, handing me an oxygen nosepiece.

“I am NOT on oxygen.”

“Yes Sweetie you are.” (Only Linda calls me Sweetie, try it and I will rip your lungs out!). She said lots of people are.

I asked her to name one my age. Except the one we knew, back in the UK. And she had cancer. A panic made my heart squeeze up, “I have cancer?”

I could see Linda choosing her words, she is not a proficient liar. Apparently I do NOT have cancer, but I have a serious thing, something as serious as cancer, plus something else, I could tell by the pauses, that there were other things she wanted to say, but didn’t. At one point she said I had been let down by so many in the medical field. It made me check my toes and maybe I should check a mirror, I can’t FIND any amputations, or surgical scars I don’t remember. What did they screw up so bad?

Linda and I are in a bit of a tiff over language. She keeps using “We” the way First Grade Teachers use “we.”

“Who is ‘WE!’” I demanded. Turns out “we” is me, or the me that is supposed to be receptive to the cues from her, or the like.

She even said, “That’s okay, we don’t have to eat our whole dinner.”

“We?" I exploded, "I was not aware that mastication and swallowing were a group activity!” I had experienced more than enough of 'we'. Experienced enough of this place to be honest.

I am a person who does things, solves thing: I open stores, I find jobs where none are, I make money to pay rent, I do not have little funds and have to clear them through ‘authority', my partner Linda; I am not a child, nor an old person. I am not a person who needs help brushing my teeth! Except it seems I am. Since she had to.

“How do I live with this!” I railed trying to type and hitting wrong keys 3 out of 4, asking her how the 'other Elizabeth' could stand it. Apparently she does.

Everything is changed, Linda as well. She is stronger emotionally, tougher, but more tired, sighs more. She handles confrontation better, even if with me. But there is a fatigue in her voice when she talks about not using the “we” and not trying to control everything I do. I ask if we have talked about this before. Yes. Linda is wearing too many hats. I think the fatigue is because she knows she doesn’t have the luxury of time to work at changing. Is she forced to do too much as my medical aide, the person who takes care of me, and there is nothing left of “us”?

“Why does my head hurt?” I ask her, holding the back of my head.

She says this is a subject that gets me agitated. She says it like there are a lot of subjects that do that and that agitation is when bad things happen, bad things happen to me. She said we were talking about this subject when I had my seizure. And now I am here. Only it seems that Tony Blair isn’t Prime Minister and I am not in the UK, and that the “I” who is talking to you will disappear in the morning, maybe.

Tomorrow I am supposed to be fitted for a wheelchair. She won’t say what type. I think she thinks I will get upset if I find out. She doesn't want me to answer my email or open it, because I will get upset at things in there, or confused. Quite honestly, I don’t mind not taking in any more information. Nor am do I find the idea of disappearing when I wake SO awful. Maybe I will wake back in Wales. I think not. But maybe the person here will be stronger than I? I seem to be a person bound? A person overcome with appointments and organizations and no wonder I can’t find a job. And if I don’t know who I am to be, how can I remember all I would need to maintain my own business.

Linda says that is another problem, that I can’t remember things.

I like these images of girls I found on here (this computer), though the ones with wings are all bound, bound with ribbons to keep them from flying away.

Is that why I am bound? Who bound me? Linda said the medical has let me down. So MANY times, she said. But her face said that I AM flying away. Or at least that I believe it from what she says of how I act, and she believes it from what her face shows. Though she won’t tell me what the worst of it means, or is.

So, while I will be gone tomorrow, I guess the other Elizabeth, probably very battered one, if Linda is any guide, will be back. If Linda is that tired, that weary, that exhausted, then Elizabeth must be a bit of a wreck. I say that not just because of the way Linda watches me all the time, as if I am about to fall over, so physically I'm guessing not in good shape. Because Elizabeth, and I mean me, always was a bit of a slow learner, in that, just because I got smashed down by a brick wall doesn’t mean I would stop running (or rolling) at it again if I believed it shouldn’t be there. So how bad off is she (Elizabeth)? Bad off that the only things on her desk are an anime figure, in a wheelchair, an inch or two high and pain medication.

Is she so lost that she needs something to touch every day to remind her that she is not alone in history or society? Is she that alone in life? How does she go on? By looking over and remembering that she is not as alone as she feels? And by taking enough pain meds to focus?

There are two pictures on her (I mean 'my') bookcases, one is a girl with wings, and the other is this. I can’t tell if it is Elizabeth and Linda in the picture nor who is supposed to be watching over whom; who is the exhausted one? Or is it Elizabeth watching over herself. Am I the one standing, her past, her Cardiff memories and attitude brought up to give her a rest. Though the picture has flowers, it is a cold picture, of some sort of winter. And the girl with wings. It is odd because I used to believe I had black wings yet all the pictures are ones of girls with white wings.

Something has changed inside of her, this Elizabeth of this desk and the pictures. For the first time in her life, I think she is paying so hard right now, that she has no need to punish herself further for her past. These are the angels of now, bound only by a bit of ribbon, they want to be kept here, and Elizabeth sees herself in these. I believe that. A few years ago, in 2004 and you would have found the pictures of Dore’ surrounding me.

All this tells me that Elizabeth’s life, here and now, is more horrific than probably anything I can imagine. At that every little bit of happiness is fought for. Certainly it is a painful (literally, I attest!) existence. And yet, she has pictures of angels waiting, accepting the binds which keep them here. I think that is Linda, and maybe, not knowing you, that is you too. She knows she can go, but yet she stays. I think there is someone or a lot of someone’s that she is trying to protect. I will tell a story about her, or me, or both of us from when Linda and I first got together. Elizabeth was driving Linda’s car. It was in a parking lot, she asked Linda to get out. Insisted. Elizabeth (I) have had my whole life senses beyond that which is normal to an extreme sense (like hearing a wristwatch in a pocket in another room through a closed door type hearing). Linda got out. I motioned her away and started the car. She got back in and wanted to know what that was about. Elizabeth (I) explained that she smelled gas fumes and was concerned that over dinner the gas fumes from a small leak has filled the car and so when the engine turned over, the car would flash fire, incinerating anyone inside of it. Linda was not amused. Linda said never to treat her like that again. That she should watch while I (Elizabeth) died.

See, Elizabeth has never been scared of death in a conventional way. And there is absolutely no way she would not find a way to make sure Linda was safe. And not find a way to make sure each person who was innocent or vulnerable was safe.

She’s been in a garage on fire as a child. Her mother took her though the smoke to move the car they couldn’t afford to lose. She was probably nine.

I guess I am trying, in my own way to understand what Elizabeth is doing. And how sick she really is. Pretty sick it seems. I think when she thinks Linda and other people are safe, she’ll go. Or let go. And if she thinks she has become a burden in any way, or is “bad” in any way; she’ll kill herself.

When the “I” with the memories I have now first woke up I had very bad chest pain, and Linda said she had a stethoscope and she did. I looked at Linda with a sort of wonder, ‘when did she learn how to use a stethoscope?’ I thought.

She said my heart was very erratic. It hurt so bad, I couldn’t help but scream a little, or try or writhe. She asked if I remembered the last time this had happened? I did. It was early 2004 in Cardiff, and I was lying on our hallway, and the Marfan’s was acting up big time and she wanted to call and ambulance and I said, “If it is now, it is now.”

Apparently that WASN’T the most recent time, she was just trying to find out where or which Elizabeth I was.

Time for me to go now. I know, what a monologue, eh? But no caterpillar wants to die, just so a butterfly can live. So it seems I don’t want to go to bed, to wake up to jumbled memories and me, the Elizabeth of 2004 gone.

Treat Elizabeth well, all of her. She doesn’t realize how fragile her humanity is. Particularly if it is worn down. She’ll want to impress you, prove she can’t be beaten. Everything can be beaten, by the simplest of things: since gravity breaks down mountains; and rain splits stone.


Anonymous said...

Linda sounds amazing...I wish I had someone like her in my life!

Anna said...

Eh, Either your brain is a wonderful item that works in really mysterious and horrific ways, or, sorry I refrain that to and you are an excellent and frightening writer.

I don't know whom I am writing to, this E that wouldn't know me or Elizabeth that might remember me. Anyway, I hope that whoever you are you are right now, are feeling good, and that your body has got some recovery.

I am off to lunch now, and REALLY it would piss me off if someone started to say we, but it is easy to do.

love to you and to Linda, hope you are OK Linda.

Drake said...

The Beth that was, although I knew her not...
The Beth that is, although I know her but little...
The Beth that will be, for whom I would move mountains to know...

She is, and always will be, in my heart.

The Me that was, did not know that he needed you...
The Me that is, can't bear to see you go...
The Me that will be, can't wait to meet you...

And I'll not keep you from where you need to go.

A butterfly is made to fly and if it can not fly, what use is it's wings.

You can try and keep a butterfly for as long as you can...but that is selfish for it will die way before it's time.

A butterfly is made to share it's brilliance with all...

It is not up to me to cut the bonds that hold you here... Yet, it is not fair for me to add my bonds to them.

I'll not keep you from where you need to go.

OneSick said...


My father had a brain bleed and lost many years of his life.
I remember visiting him in the hospital after he woke and after refusing (again) to "bust him out", I asked him who had visited him that day. "Lily did"
I nodded. His sister would have visited. "J. came" I nodded again -although J had been dead for over 20 years. "And R was here. You missed her." I nodded again. I had actually stopped by on route to the airport to collect R (my sister). She was flying in because Da's chances at that point were about 50/50. (He lived BTW but has since died of cancer)

Three retold visits. Three nods. Only one visit could have been real.

I am strongly resisting the urge to nod to you now.

My old Da slowly reemerged and this "new Da" (who had a different sense of humor, and what "Old Da" described as mad genius programming skills) slowly faded. It was an experience that my father found frustrating, bewildering and fascinating all at the same time. Some, but not all of the memory holes were filled. He eventually forgot a lot of the "new Da" as the "old Da" returned.

I don't know if your experience will be similar, or indeed if my telling you this will comfort or scare you.

I just know that whichever Eliabeth you are; whether you know me or not: I am here. I am listening and I care.

Very much.

One Sick Mother (onesickmother at gmail dot com)

Lene Andersen said...

Oh, sweetie (I'm taking the risk of having my lungs ripped out). You made me cry with this beautiful post. I don't have the words to tell you how moving this was, how clearly it shared your world, your love for Linda, who she is, who you are. And you're beautiful.

yanub said...

I've no time for the comment I would like to make, not sure if you could read it and know enough about me to understand it right now anyway. So I will email you later, and hold you in my thoughts.

sly civilian said...

" Or is it Elizabeth watching over herself."

I hope so. It would seem very true to me.

I just wanted to thank you again for all the cards you have sent...every time i explain where i got them, people pause for a moment. i think some of it is the story of what you're going through, but i also think it's realizing what a soul you must be.

Anonymous said...

I don't even know what to say, other than the fact that you are not alone. You have Linda, and Cheryl, and all the people who write here, all the time. Just because we haven't met you in person doesn't mean we don't think of you daily and hope your day is going as well as it can go.


wendryn said...

I'm sorry life is so strange. I'm sending you hugs and lots of good thoughts.

I'll read and wish for the best and keep sending postcards no matter which Elizabeth is getting them.

Devi said...

You likely don't remember who I am at the moment, but I remember and I care.

Devi, wishing she could find better words

Veralidaine said...

Beth... I don't know what to say. I don't want to talk about our friendship because I don't want to say things that you don't remember or that might upset you and trigger another seizure. I will say that even though it is awful to know that you are suffering confusion and loss of years of memories on top of your MSA, I am glad you posted this. It is beautiful. I am glad to know Old Beth in addition to Current Beth and Future Beths who I know and will know.

Neil said...

Beth (whom I have already called sweetie, and yet, mysteriously, still I live): There are apparently two people inside you. There's a former Beth, who seems to have come forth from the seizure, and the current Beth, who probably knows most of us who comment frequently on this blog.

Your brain has bounced back to 2004, yet you still blog. This tells me that your newer self is still in there, somewhere, waiting with unknown amounts of patience to come back to the surface and regain control. In the meantime, I send hugs for both Elizabeth and Beth, and more for Linda, who obviously should have her name advance to the Vatican for sainthood.

Drake: that's lovely poetry, but I'm at work, and you're making me cry in public. I hope you're suitably ashamed of yourself. (Just teasing; I really shouldn't read Beth's blog at work.)

It is very interesting to see how you write as your past self. I've asid it before and I'll say it again: your blog should be mandatory reading for all medical students.
Love and hugs to all,

Abi said...

This is one of my favourite bits of writing ever. It is beautiful and moving, and speaks to me in a way that few things ever have done. I feel that there is nothing I can say that will do it justice.

The thing is, it's not just a piece of writing - it's more than that. I just can't seem to find the words. It's powerful.

Laura said...

Wonderful post Elizabeth. You have such a clear way of explaining your life. You are such an amazing woman. I think of you often during my day. Hang in there.


Anonymous said...

You are a very creative writer...sometimes when I read your blog I wonder how creative you are.

What a tangled web we weave......

rachelcreative said...

Just letting you know I'm reading. And aiming to treat all Elizabeth's with care, respect and loving friendship.

Perpetual Beginner said...

I'll dare call you sweetie too - of course it helps that I'm a couple of thousand miles away and well-armed.

Brains are fascinating, incredibly complex things. All that you are and were is in there - unfortunately it's not all accessible to you reliably.

Know that whichever parts of you are accessible today, there are many people who care deeply.

P.S. - I got a postcard from you today. The postcard itself is lovely (boys with giant swords! Whee!), and the assortment of stickers and stamps on the back is amazing. It's sitting next to my computer right now, making me happy.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I talked to Linda on the phone and she says that I normally comment to each person but since I am not sure exactly what some people mean, that I should say that I am "reintegration" stage, where I have many memories, but no time line, so things I remember, and things I don't and I don't know what comes before what, or who goes where. She says this gets sorted out and has happened several times before and in some days I will be 'integrated' and then accessing more memories as times goes on. I had another 'burning blue sparkles" where the worker who was there became two people and they talked the same time.

Then my hand turned purple which the worker yelled from the kitchen was "Normal." and to keep the oxygen on. Well, purple hands with black thumbs are NOT normal where I come from (planet earth!) so I put the hand under the blanket so as not to see it.

Okay, here I go..

Anonymous #1 from Ada, Ohio: She is amazing I think, as she knows how to make toast with hello kitty heads on them AND use a stethoscope.

Anna: I don't know, I do know that trying to remember things all the time like words that I know I should know or have used before but can't say or even remember becomes very tiring. I am not sure what is frightening about my writing, I know that I found some appalling spelling mistakes but I don't think besides the editors of the Times they are frightening.

I don't remember you now, but Linda says that I know you and speak of you often (or Elizabeth does, as it feels like I am using a borrowed desk right now). I will sleep soon and for some reason, that helps my brain get more connected. Yes, the "we should drink now" sort of statements annoy me. My worker said, "Do YOU want a drink, move your finger." (I had just had the sparkles and couldn't move but a twitch of a finger and half of an eyelid).

I believe Linda is fine, she is in a meeting. I can have her contact you?

Drake: Apparently my metaphor thing isn't working becuase my brain hurt but I think the context meaning was good and I say thank you (I think?). Sorry, will be more lucid later. Perhaps the new person, the person with firing brain connections will know more, will understand more.

Onesick: This was useful, as I could understand this. I do not believe I have been talking to dead people but since I have mostly been on this internet, I cannot say for sure. However while my brain tells me I am in one place, Linda says I am in another. This is vexing. I asked, "Does this mean we can buy Ben&Jerry ice cream whenever we want?" (if we live in North America) - and she said yes. And I asked why we don't have some or eat it daily. And she did not have any. So the things we lusted for: root beer, Ben&Jerries and pumpkin pie - we have none of these it seems at the house. Then we must be in the UK!

I find the story of your Da comforting as it indicates that the pathways are not destroyed, merely severed or temporarily cut, and that I will find my way back. Although as I said to Linda, "What university do I teach at?" and she said none, and I asked, just now, well what .2 job do I do, if I am so sick. As everyone wants the .5 and .7 jobs so they can see their kids and no one wants the .2 jobs which might be reception. But she says that there are no .2 or .4 jobs here and when I asked why she could not explain. I said, "Well, honestly, that seems and exceeding waste of potential." And she said that she agreed. But that is how it is.

I am however comforted that someone has observed themselves in this before.

Lene: I got a very nice card from you, except the parts I couldn't read when my eyes went funny. You, as they say in all those plummy Edwardian books, have me at a disadvantage. I don't know as much of you as I would like, nor do I understand your statements. But thank you for your comments. However, I let Linda or anyone who has held my hair when I vomited get away with sweetie, or anyone, who grabs some towels when I announce as I did this morning, "I have wet myself!" - a perfect intro into, "And by the way, who are you people?"

Yanub: thank you, I will look forward to the email. Indeed the idea of having a letter or email and reading it before nap and after; before tonights sleep and after and see what new has arrived, popping out of nowhere to place you - the only word that keeps coming up in regard to you is a word which I am not sure if I can say as it might be in confidence but um, "The first state to be a nation" or actually vice versa? That is what keeps coming up; "We do it bigger here!" does that make any sense?

Sly Civilian: If I live in a world where people think that a black finger and a purple hand are normal, I think I have done a poor job watching over myself. However, thank you.

I read about this postcard thing which sounds pretty fun to be honest. I get to make up really cool postcards and send them to people - seriously, who isn't envious of my job!?

Sasha: I hope that your day is going well as well. Cats? That popped into my head. So do I know you? Have we met? thank you for writing. I do not think it matters so much if we haven't since of all that things I forgot, I remembered a little something of you (I hope).

Wendryn: Well, it is strange, sort of like waking up and reaching for your toothbrush and finding it a different house. I think I said last night to Linda that we better clean up the bathroom before the owners got back. She had a funny laugh and say, "SO SO true!" Today, since people say this is MY place, I guess I slammed myself. Um, golly guess some winter cleaning is ahead?

Devi: the finding of words for what I am feeling is difficult. The style of the other Elizabeth, interesting, intense, different. And yet people say, "stop saying, 'her desk' or 'when will she get back?' Elizabeth is YOU." Well, I KNOW I am Elizabeth, I just can't quite be the elizabeth everyone seems to know right now.

Veralidaine: I don't think that is a trigger, I think that I am having more seizures becuase I don't know or remember what the limits of this body are, or what triggers there are on or for this body so do things that the other Elizabeth would find stupid indeed. Which then make me "feel funny" and whee, off we go again!

Gosh, I'm not old am I? That was just UK Beth who was a little more um INTENSE, as I had 3-5 jobs and was well, intense, and kind of intellectual. And I think the intellectual was a bit of a shield half way through my thesis and tried to dump it. But it is like saying, "I'm not using those saying again." and then you only notice yourself doing it even more!

Neil: Have I vomited on you? IF not, it is rather amazing you called me sweetie. I used to be able to follow the path of every memory. Now, for today, I simply know things or I don't. And that is it. Which is VERY disconcerting. There is no consistancy of time, or place. Though again, I contend that if this WAS Canada, would we not have pumpkin pie, would we not have strawberry and rubarb pie? Hot Cherry Pie?

Linda is nice but now, not quite so nice, has had her edges rubbed a bit and maybe not so perfect but a lot more effective, more efficient in her movements. When she says, "I'm raising you up, I'm going to hold your head to steady it." She says it with such authority, such warmth that I believe it. I entrust my body to her (that sounds dirty but isn't).

Abi: Linda said the blog was a chronicle, a record in a way of what was going on as it went on. So I wrote as I was at that time, as I had come to that time. Now, with bits of memory from today or last week or a scrap of yesterday I would know more how to hide things that I think I said without knowing the history that went before. I hope that was not offensive. Linda said it was not.

Laura: Hi. Thank you I think. I tried to understand whose chair I was sitting in and whose life I had woken up into. What did this person go through to be HERE. Only I was HERE instead. And yet we are the same (wow, this is getting both real and very Borges!).

Anonymous #2 from Denver, Colorado: Well, I know Scott since I taught it. Marmion, from which you quote is a tale of Flodden Field, and the quote, "Oh, What a tangled web we weave/when first we practice to deceive!/A Palmer too! - No wonder why/I felt rebuked beneath his eye:" is about Marmion referring to HIMSELF - it was the other, dressed in the armour of Marmion's ancient foe, who, while Marmion's deadly enemy, spared him to fulfill a promise he made regarding mercy.

I guess your need to confess your own deception here might be better done in a therapists office; or if did not know the quote referred to the person quoting it and merely hacked it out of poetry, then I supposed it will not take much to make one such as you think anything creative beyond means.

"It is called education and persistance dear one." What I write, without edit for the most part is Literature, in the old, pre-Bennett use of the word (I am essentially creating a collection of letters - and who thought that would return, but it did, under the name of "Blog"). But the most wonderous part of Literature is that is it both difficult and accessible to anyone with the dedication. Anyone could walk across a field, or stay in a cabin, but there was only one Henry David Thoreau. If you wish to go back and send him a letter about 'Walden' regarding how creative he might be or what webs he weaves (as he does talk about spider webs) or question how creative his notations on the fox which lived near by - please do. I would not expect a letter back any time soon.

Anon #2, I dub thee: "Drudge"

SharonMV said...

Dear Elizabeth,
I love you, both of you - all the Elizabeths you are or could ever be. I even love the Elizabeth who will leave me.


Veralidaine said...

Oh good heavens. Anon #2 is in Colorado? I'm in Colorado. Ah, Anon #2, would you like to come over here and have a little chat with me about being rude to my cousin, please? Of course, anonymous commenters too cowardly to sign even a FAKE name to a comment probably don't want to do that.

Victor Kellar said...

Posting late as usual. Collette and I received cards from you today, I sent you an email

This was an amazing post. Really. Perhaps you don't see but maybe this perspective you have gained; looking at yourself from another viewpoint is a wonderful thing. I wish you had not come to this perspective from being ill, but maybe it's a gift. It is always good to step out of yourself, and look at your surroundings with a fresh set of eyes, especially during times of crisis.

I was particularly touched by how you are seeing Linda for the person she has become. Circumstances, tough unfair shitty circumstances, had changed her, perhaps honed her. Our partners change with us, for us, in spite of us around us .. often we don't get to see this and it is a gift that you are able to do so

Raccoon said...

This was very interesting. Learning a little bit about the you before any of us met you ("met" being meant figuratively, as very few of us have been in your physical presence, and only a handful more have shared conversation with your dulcet tones).

Perhaps the you that we all know will appreciate the missive that the you from Cardiff left...

Here in the states, NBC-TV has a new show called "My Own Worst Enemy," which is about a spy with a split personality. He leaves messages for himself on his cell phone and written on his hands.

It sounds similar, slightly, to what you are going through right now.

Neil said...

Hello again, Beth:

No, swee- er, dear lady, you have not vomited on me. Unfortunately, we have never met, since I live in Regina, and you are 1800 km away from me. I dearly wish I could come to meet you, though.

A black finger and purple hand are indeed not normal for most people. They are, dammit, normal for you.

Linda has written for your blog a few times, has commented, and always seems to be a warm-hearted person who loves you dearly. And the Canadian Beth, who's now in hiding, loves Linda dearly in return. But you have both lived and had experiences in Canada that are not currently accessible to the Welsh Beth who's currently driving; thus Linda will seem a bit strange to you. That's okay; she still loves you!

I pray you sleep well tonight, Beth. I hope that your brain settles down and you become yourself again.

Please ask Linda to have you read today's entry and comments when you're back to the Canadian Beth; I think that it is, in a clinical sort of way, quite interesting to be able to compare the "you" who started blogging a couple of years ago, the 2008 "you" who's having such health issues, and the new Welsh "you" who is understandably confused, but coping remarkably well, all things considered.

You'll find that most of the non-anonymous people here love you, in one way or another. We all respect you, too. And many of us are in complete awe of your power over the English language.

With much love, positive thoughts, and zen hugs for you, SWEETIE!

(You already have my address; come and get me!)

Tammy said...

Beth, I'm so sorry you are so confused. It must be scary.
We have not met in person, just here and thru the post. I want you to know I care very much about the Elizabeth you are right now, and yesterday, and tomorrow.
I hope tomorrow things are a bit clearer for you.

cheryl g said...

Hi Beth, I am so sorry I am away right now but I pray your memories reintegrate soon.

You know me as your "adopted big sis" and even if you don't really remember me now I think you will again.

Allthat really matters is that I love you.

thea said...

I like what I see of Elizabeth, and both old Elizabeth and new Elizabeth have worthwhile qualities.

Looking forward to getting to know more of you, whichever this is.

Grateful to have had contact with you. Thankful that you have done the things you have done.

Sorry having trouble thinking but feel the above things and wanted to tell you.

Anna said...

Good morning,
I hope that your memories has found their pathways again.

Clarification, don't worry, by frightening writing I didn't mean spelling or syntax.( My english might be frightening in that sense since I am from Sweden and not good with spelling even in Swedish:)) I meant that the feeling, the description of what happened to you was so well written that I could feel it and that that was a bit scary to me.

You shouldn't ask Linda to contact me. I just know you from this blog, and I wrote "love to you AND Linda" this time because you wrote so much about her.

Really do take care.

Drake said...

Hey there,

I am sorry if I caused you undue head-aches ... Through the tears, the only thing I could think of writing was what my heart said. I don't know wether "Beth" would understand it either.

Suffice it to say, it is my way of giving you a warm hug, saying that I am there for you and that I don't want to be a burden on you...I want to be there for you.

It seems, the only thing I am good at, is sharing my heart, although my heart has been silent for some time ... maybe because it never could connect to others as much as it does to you ...

I hope, you feel better. I hope Beth feels better and no matter which one replies, I will be here.

Anonymous said...

Cats! YES! If that's ALL you can remember of me, I'm totally fine with that as my 3 cats are sort of my life. No kids and relationship issues, so yes, cats! Good job, Beth! You're still here!


Diane J Standiford said...


The Strangest Bedfellow said...

Elizabeth -

I do not know you well, you have only once commented on my own blog (on Wordpress), and as I didn't have a Blogger account before, I could not comment to you. I've read your blog for near six months now and wondered at the amazing language and beautiful wording and amazing photographs. I have considered myself very lucky to have somehow stumbled upon your blog. My memory does the same thing, sometimes, and I become a different Aly, someone my friends do not know and only my innermost family can sort out. I know the feeling - and it's awful, but it's something that you can overcome - whichever Elizabeth you may be. All of us have more than one inner self and I have thankfully learned to be at peace with all six of mine, and to love them all, no matter which one decides to show herself. Our Selves are true to our own needs and wants and desperations. Yes it can be highly confusing but then so can life. I hope you gain your other self back soon enough and read this understanding that I am here, and I understand. My new blog will attest to this in truth.

With love,


Donimo said...

It's Friday now and I hope that your brain has connected a few more of the dots. Thank you for posting your letters, your honest experience. I really hope that day by day, things will realign in time.

I wish you strength and patience as you struggle with the then and now and trying to understand and just be. I hope these comments have helped you remember that people really care about you, even if you can't remember in a very detailed way who we are.

The Girl said...

Hi Elizabeth,

No "sweeties" or "darlings" or anything that might betray the fact that I work in the theatre! I am guessing you won't remember me, which is fine, because we have never met and I am a recent "fan". I got a postcard from you on Wednesday, though, and it was fab, so thanks. I will email you too, tomorrow.

Don't worry, though. Elizabeth of times past was a person to be admired, the strongest person that ever there was. Also, I don't believe that anyone changes in essentials. Past, present, future, they are all one Elizabeth to me, and that person is someone that I come back every day to read about.

I can check in on Cardiff for you, if you like, to let you know that it's still there!

kathz said...

You may not be teaching at uni, but you are teaching more people and more effectively than ever before - both by writing and by example.

You may not remember me just now but I'm in the UK, in the East Midlands. Unfortunately we didn't meet when you were in the UK so we know each other only through blogs and emails - and the wonderful postcards you have sent to me and my daughter. I'm posting this comment to tell you that, like many people in different parts of the world, I've got to know and care about you through reading your blog.

You may have no income but your work has achieved much more than the kind of work that makes people rich in the world. You have told people about injustices in the world and you have reached out and shown that you care about people - what work could be more important than that?

If you need to rest from work now, please rest, knowing that you have achieved a great deal.

thea said...

I love the pictures of the girls tied with little bits of ribbon. Find the symbolism interesting, but it's also visually appealing. I like the use you make of such pictures to illustrate here too.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Thea: thank you about the comment on the ribbon

Strangest Bedfellow: I am on you myspace page and I can't find your blog, or it tempts me to find it but denies me. Odd, I am glad I am not the only one - where is your blog on wordpress, I should go find that (or is it not something you wish to be found?).

I am glad you have family that can figure it out, I have a few workers who care used to me or the "me's" - and deal with who is there instead of waiting it out, or ignoring the "me" for the other Elizabeth.

Diana: Hey!

The Girl: I know you, you send odd stickers, where are my Temple of Solomon stickers, where are the tacky Christian stickers? Is there really no Galgatha (sic) sticker sheets (for the kids, to make a diarama). Okay, I also know that you are a money launderer? Drug mule? Um, artist? I think Drug Mule is the one with the most street cred, right? I am glad I sent you a card since I have no memory of that. But I have memories of emotions of you. You make me laugh and want to meet your family and then NOT want to - if that makes any sense. Yom Kippur is past. Autumn days.

Please let me know if the horrid thing which is Cardiff has floated off - I lived on a street, 1 mile from the SEA, which was a good 500 meters above sea level and our entire street and the next, and the corner flooded every time it rained. How entirely crap do you have to be an engineering to flood almost every street (much less little underpasses) where you are sitting next to THE OCEAN! AND you are uphill from it! Sorry, obviously I have stronger memories. I remember dancing in the snow when it snowed on Dec 23rd becuase it had been so long and they were going to section me becuase I was obviously a bit loony, until I explained I was Canadian (Which explained the constant 'bit loony' but not needing sectioning).

Anna: Thank you I think, Good writing puts you there. I was simply there and reporting. It was very um: 'here' - like being a family dinner.

Raccoon: Yes, I think that part of me, which was all English Lit. up in case you didn't see me go "blam!" on mr Anon - no probably accessing that - want some Emerson? Would be very interesting to be leaving messages since I would probably say things like, "don't forget to take long baths with lavender and read the 'decadant Edwardian author series' they have that you discovered in storage. I actually went on a English Lit reading at a Manor house and went about in silk pajamas and robes and spoke in oriental style metaphors (or bad Edwardian style metaphors like, 'Your ear the eastern harbour, my words are the spice ships of Alexandra') - strangely, not a single person questioned me. Did I have that kind of reputation already?

Donimo: It is FRIDAY? What happened to Thur? oh, I do not like Friday. Thank you. I think I have fractured a bit, as I have parts that do not connect still and strong parts that came out becuase they were needed but now the parts that are sick are winning - does that make sense?

Thank you for writing though. Thank you for caring. I got a card, I read a card from you - it was good. I didn't know who you were then but it was still good to read and hold.

Drake: sharing the heart is important, please continue to do so. Even if I am not in the state at the time to understand. Okay?

Sasha: Did you send me something. I have a package I feel is from you but I don't know what is inside.

Abi said...

To add to what Kathz says, you really are teaching by example. I find myself making more of an effort to make a positive difference because of you. You are having a bit of a domino effect.

Thank you.

Maggie said...

Hi Beth-
I'm sorry the brain is a bit jumbled. I really enjoyed your words, even if they detail your fears, your struggles, and your other life.
Just know that I love you no matter who you are, what time space you are in, or whatever body fluids you throw at me. There have been times I've had to hold your lips closed to keep you from talking. It was for your own good. You can ask Linda!

Dawn Allenbach said...

Well hell. That was amazing and fascinating and unnerving all at once. I know it's been a while since you wrote it, but how strange it must be for you. I mean, I know you'll wake and not remember writing this, and that's the weird part for you, I imagine -- that you won't know who you are from moment to moment.

I appreciate Elizabeth writing to keep us up to speed.