My heart erratic and with difficulty breathing, I gasped to the worker, “I…come...back…don’t….911”
Then I passed out and stopped breathing. I came to for less then a second and passed out again. When I came to the second time, I was breathing shallow and couldn’t move. A couple of minutes gone.
The worker was holding my head upright. This isn’t what she saw in her job. “You can pass out at will?” she asked, amazed.
“No.” I breathed and waited for enough force in my diaphragm to speak, “I can always pass out. Use the will power to stay conscious.”
Yeah, I use will power to get out of bed, to stay conscious, to stay upright, to blog, to email to do anything despite the pain, the erratic heart, the purple fingers, the purple arm. And when I fail in will power, then I lie there until found. And the next day, I gather my will again. If I do not do this, then "I", the Elizabeth is gone, and I am only the disease. But sometimes, I need to rest, just for a bit, so if someone is there to call 911 if things go wrong, I let go inside and let my body fall, my consciousness sliding away in images of green.
How is that possible? Because I am ‘special’? No. Maybe because I am desperate. I am desperate to grow as a human being. Some days I feel that I have no gender, no name, that everything is stolen from me, as my disease determines everything from sleeping and what I eat, to what I do and when, and how much energy I have. I am death, one kind of death on and under the skin.
I am also driven, desperate and driven by the ghosts. I have lived a lonely life. I still live a lonely life, an extremely lonely life. Why? I don’t know. But I learned that no matter what happened to me, or what I did. That my body could be hit until I sobbed, that I could be hungry that I hoard until the hoards were found and I was punished again. And I learned that there are people who look for the fear, the fear of the knife, is what I had, to be tied or restrained while the knife traveled around my skin, up and down, waiting to bed. I learned to be laughed at, or be in a position where if someone says to lick a foot then I licked the foot. Because I knew something they didn’t. That in the breaking of me, and I was broken, that in the dominating of me, and I was dominated, or treated as an object by so many, so many who wanted control, absolute control of me, body and mind. And so they broke me, and ordered me: parents, siblings, pedophiles (I guess that is what they are called), abusers. And I shook with fear.
But I knew inside I was still free. I learned that what the body does is what the body does, as is what happens to the body. I learned young that even if I decided to NOT be broken, that I would be ‘broken and disciplined’ in the name of God, and yet the next day, pop up again. When, in just one of the dozens of ways I could be punished as a child (8 or 9), I was punished for speaking any single negative statement by being forced to eat jalapenos, one for each word/statement, without water.
So I went and spent all my money on jalapenos in secret. And I kept eating them. And crying. And I was punished and broken 22 days but on day 23 the jalapenos didn’t work any more. Not because I wanted to say, “You are a big fat head!” to my brother. No. Because I wanted to be free, and no matter how many times I was treated like an object owned in body and mind, I needed to be free. But I was so alone. So alone.
I could be licking clean a shoe, but in my mind, I was thinking about the food I had left out for a stray cat. What happened to the body was not who I was, it did not diminish me. It does not diminish me. Only I can diminish me by failing others, by failing myself in not being a person who grows. Because a person who does not grow, does not learn is already dead. A person who does not want to become a better person, because it has risk or might hurt, that person has gagged that part of them which can be MORE, who wants to cover themselves in a living death rather than try. But I will attempt to wake them. It is my call, my vocation.
I am scared that I am not growing. Scared that in forcing myself to breathe though it hurts so bad, to do postcards, to do this blog, to do emails, that I am not growing, but just forcing myself to keep up to a person who is gone. The EFM of before is gone, I cannot do what she did, I cannot be who she was. Yes, I go to badminton, and will tomorrow, and I have a 5K or maybe 10K on Sunday (though the bike shop said the front wheel may or may not make 5K – but I have wheeled on blown wheels before). For me, to do something that threatens my life is like lying down in a bed of soft moss, there is no loss. What is hard is staying, and finding ways to care about ME, about now. And I am trying, very hard, trying to find a way to be excited about now and not just the light so easy to fall into.
But I do the postcards, and this weekend, after I woke from the semi-coma and was so dizzy I hit and fell over a great deal, I spent the rest of the time on postcards. Because what if one of those postcards is to me at age 8 or age 14 or age 24 or age 30? What if one of those postcards tells someone ready to stop fighting, ready to give up that they are not alone. Because they aren’t. And I have to remind them of that. I know that makes me sound like a nutter. I get the postcards in, and I send them out, the best postcards, the ones I like the most I send out the fastest, like this bi-plane, because if I think about it I might want it and that is not my job (to collect). My job is to care about others and stand as a place where anyone can email me about anything and I will try to be there for them. What communication occurs between us is protected. And I do receive abuse. Daily. Because it is a public place standing up and saying, “I care. please, trust me that I care about your health. I care about your loneliness. I want to show that dying, like living, can be more.” So yes, I get abuse everu day: Emails, comments, stating I am a thief, a liar, a scam, or just people hurt so bad that they lash out in pain at anyone. It hurts. To give choices, to show people that there are choices and that taking risks, on themselves, on others is worth it, even if it doesn’t work, is why I stay conscious. So I bear it.
I will never know if a life is changed, or a day is changed. I’m not raising money for cancer, or my disease, but I am raising myself, failures and attempts, up to show any person that maybe what they believed was impossible is not, that the greatest limitations we have are those we put on ourselves because we are scared of being hurt…again. We are scared of being hurt for good reason, and I show that I get hurt, and I get up, and sometimes, it takes people to hold me up. These days, to get out of bed, to breathe with oxygen is about my limit, and yet I do badminton. How? Because if I can wheel to the door, can I wheel to the elevator? And if I can wheel to the elevator can I wheel to the sidewalk? And that is how I do it. And sometimes I just dream, and then people, the real heroes in my life, figure out how to do it. I wanted to go to Hawaii, and in a month, I am going to Hawaii. I am going to the Honolulu and the Big Island, to see lava flow, to see rare beaches with dolphins and sea turtles. I will see the stars, I will see the ocean, and I am so ill that I have not seen the outside, or even the window in days. I am so ill that I could, if I chose go to a hospital, go to an assisted home. Go to be assisted until I die. But I am going to Hawaii instead. Carried by my partner, my sister and a few others.
So this weekend, we did 71 postcards, and last weekend we did 40+ postcards, I don’t know how many. So the ghosts of the me, hounded and almost broken, are quiet again. I want to be here for everyone, and yet I can’t. I’m still so lonely. I’m still working on not breaking, or breaking under the pain, and yet coming back. It is hard but I am not alone, not all the time: a friend who talks manga, a partner who likes to eat and thinks I should, even after I can’t taste, and a plushie, a stuffie. Sometimes plushies aren’t enough.
I also went to see the cats. To photograph the cats.
I will write a full blog about visiting the cats but again, all the cats shown last time were gone. Including the serious faced black and orange cat named Carmen which rode with me in my wheelchair. I know where one of the cats, now renamed and lovingly homed now lives. I thought I would be alone but I had a new young cat named ‘Smurf’ rode around with me (seriously who does the naming?).
Smurf looked like a slightly older version of one of the kittens (a few new ones had arrived) I called Scamp. Scamp may have been tiny but he liked to go everywhere, here is TRYING to get up into the chair, but his climbing skills are not quite up to it, so a bit stuck mid-way (yes, he finally made it up). Linda said she wanted to adopt him and smuggle him into our apartment that day!
Lulu, who I want to show a lot of later, is a cat who is a few years old but doesn’t want treats, or string to play with but LOVE. This is the most affectionate cat I have ever come across. Lulu simply loved and enjoyed being loved in return.
Elmo was a cat a could relate to, having been only 2 years old and used to small dogs but the owners were moving and so there was no place for Elmo. Elmo came with his own bed, a last remnant of home and besides coming out to find out, ‘are you going to take me home’, Elmo retreated back into the bed, remembering and waiting. I know what that feels like.
Vicky was a one year old cat who was a bit shy but still very intellegent and observant. She just didn’t want to risk coming down, that didn’t stop her from trying to find out about this person down there in a wheelchair, and hey, what are you doing down there?
I will do a cat blog soon but Linda has come to check on me. With the risk to her job gone she is back at work for the government, but what she does exactly I can’t tell, seriously, I can be charged for “Treason to the Queen” for talking about it. So to the bed for me and the construction across the street, going on despite rain or anything else. Starting at 7:00 a.m. and going for another 400+ days.
7 hours ago