Sunday, July 04, 2010

How does a hero live? Die? and Fight?

I didn’t go away. I just found that I was the passenger, not the driver anymore when it came to my body. That kind of sucks.

I am going to blog as often as a can, many times a week, once a week. As often as I can, but then, every day for many days we have had to make calls, stop calls, decide 911….every day.

I need to get stronger. Not just because I spent most of a very small inheritance on gifts (for family, and online friends). If you haven’t gotten any it is either because a) I had a grand mal/small stroke and don’t know you as that part of my brain withered and died as it was crushed by a surge of electricity or blood (which is like battery acid to brain cells). b) I haven’t been able to afford to send your gift to you or heard from you to verify that like gifts/are a friend/do what friends do stuff.

I also got more things for the postcard project though as Linda says, “You have enough already for the rest of your life.” Yes, maybe, but like getting and wearing new clothes, it is fun to have new things to send, new stickers from Japan, new postcards from Germany, new stamps with pictures of the three of us, custom made, stickers of us, custom made. I guess those are gifts too, part to me and part to you.

I need to get stronger because in two weeks I am being transported to San Diego. I made a promise a year ago to go to the Eisner Awards if I was alive now. I made it. We are going by van. I sold my manga to fund my part. It seems that there is a belief among some (Cheryl, Linda, others) that I will die July 27-29th. I hope not.

At the neurologist, I found out that the neuropathy progresses, though how it progresses beyond ‘very damaged’ I would say I don’t know, except I do, since two neurologists have told me. I will lose more and more use of my arms until I won’t have use of them at all. Already I use my forearms more than my fingers: to scratch my nose, to pick up things, to catch things. The teeth are for opening things or positioning them. As Linda says, “I don’t know how it will be, but you will find a way and that will be how it is then.” I miss hands, and I will miss the limited use I have even more, if I can live through into the autumn.

Having the last aspects of hope shredded in front of me by specialist/doctor apathy and budget cuts, this body will continue, unattended, as I and others try to keep it going each day. I am a different person now, than I was. Being a passenger on your own body does that, as does pain that makes time stretch and bend, and hallucinations frequent. My dementia continues as seizures and heart, lung and conscious failures increases, and the heat accelerates and adds to all of it.

Having the last choices wrenched from me, I experience some peace for the first time in my life.
I was born and then taught to be a hero, to live the life of the hero. I think that much like adults who tell you not to smoke while puffing away no one ever expected me to actually BELIEVE. I was and am a ‘True Believer’. I remember my father telling me that we needed to live a perfect life like Jesus but we would fail and like all humans need God’s sacrifice to ‘atone’ for us. I was young, but raised scientifically (at school I used anatomical names for everything including raising my hand in order ‘to defecate’ or ‘urinate’ in first grade, much to the horror of the teacher and principal who eventually got me to say I needed ‘to go’ as I wouldn’t say ‘I need the girl’s room’, I told the principal plainly, “No, I need to empty the urine out of my bladder, which room is social acceptability”) so I said, “No one has lead the perfect life YET.”

My father said, “No, but if everyone, all billions have tried then ALL fail….”

“But it is theoretically possible, right?”

My father thought a long time and said yes, it was. And I believed him. And since that moment held myself to that standard, which I failed (at perfection), but I strove to attain it. The neurologist asked about my cut scars and I said, “I am an extreme Type A, and I expect perfection, and dislike failing and when overcome I write my failures where they can be seen.” We then talked about the high incidence of self destructive counter-coping behaviors among student doctors. But as I was leaving he said that due to my sexual abuse and open self harm, the other (male) doctors had withdrawn treatment. That I had not been treated or even taken as a patient by doctors and specialists for YEARS not because of the science of my disease but because of “your deep emotional complexity”. I felt physically as if he had kicked me across the room, my gut hurt so bad. I later decided to ask him if he would write that out, and if he would, I was going to start a suit against the government of Canada that medical treatment for chronic and other conditions should be given REGARDLESS of sexual abuse, emotional abuse or other patient history.

To be told that I was like the AIDS patient in Texas who had been put in a room, given water and no treatment because….of who they WERE, of what they HAD, until they died, it was crushing. It turns out that those four young males who had marked my body and mind still marked me in a way where treatment to me and others with abuse was delayed, or denied, that male doctors were continuing what the abusers loved most of all, the power to hurt me. Sexual abuse isn’t about sex, but power, domination, and establishing that they are dominant (Sounds like Medical Specialist but sexual abusers take it to the next level). I thought I had cracked open and left that binding on my soul behind me, without knowing it was being passed in notes, like a class deciding who to bully, from one medical to another. In three years, all prescriptions, medical aid, home care and life quality has been given by female doctors.

I am learning how to fight in a different way. Fighting to keep my dignity as a human being, fighting to stay here. A very different type of heroics than I have had the rest of my life.

I had lived in an odd community where I was in a feudal system, and minor nobility, I was trained for court, I was trained BY the court, to serve at tables of royalty, to know etiquette, but most of all to know who you ARE: the unseen awaiting rulers. God was coming back and we were going to assume our roles over humanity, and so we should treat them as such now, and practice now. I don’t think they expected me to take them seriously. Or to link Jesus to the tales of the Knights, of the Round Table, that Jesus was the embodied noble, a servant to all. I would be a Hero of that court.
If something is 'right' (note, not if “I am right”), then regardless of the consequences TO ME (not ‘to others'), I must continue. That is how I lived, that and with the conviction that choice is the most sacred of what makes us divine. That those who desire to take choice: tyrants, abusers, despots – the are recognized as doing wrong. But in daily life, to refuse to sign a contract unless it is taken to a labour lawyer, or require management to sign the same one, leads to threats of job loss. I have lost my job over: gender equity, civil liberties, religious law and equality as well as almost losing five years of university. The bully cannot conceive of a person who will not be beaten down regardless of consequence, and who goes and gets an ombudsperson, or lawyer. To knowing participate in an act or the continuing of an act I know to be wrong is immoral. And I will not choose an immoral life simply for convenience. Nor will I allow those around me to take the choice away from those who are the most vulnerable. And I don’t give up.

Those actions makes those in authority really, REALLY angry. It also gets you labeled a lot of things, like ‘nutcase’ but then, as I told people, I am follower of Jesus (okay, I didn’t tell them Jesus, the knight errant or that I thought that Don Quixote should have continued to see a world of gold, and fought for that instead of living in a world of iron and steel).

This ‘Revolutionary Girl’ AMV embodies the type of hero I have tried to be, and have been, for Linda, for others.

To give some context Revolutionary Girl Utena, which deals with abuse, desire, gender roles and society was, even symbolically so effective that 1/3rd of it was banned for release in the US (including DVD). Utena is determined to be a ‘prince’ and dresses as such. She sees her classmate Anthy, who tends the roses, being physically and sexually abused by a male classmate and intervenes. She accepts a duel challenge and arrives with a bamboo blade only to find the male with a steel sword. The winner of the duel ‘owns’ the ‘Rose Bride’ (Anthy), which the student council who have rose rings, believes will lead them to power. Utena fights so that Anthy might make her own choices, and have that freedom: to choose either for good or ill, but her OWN choices.

Utena’s blade cut to almost nothing, she is told it is useless and to give up. A Prince does not give up, and so with six inches of bamboo against a steel rapier they charge (she gains the Rose Blade after this). Following her victory, many turn against Anthy, who is so used to abuse and being treated like an object that she has given up resisting. Utena finds her, breaks up those who have ripped up her dress, whips a tablecloth from a table and creates a simple roman style dress pinned with a rose. Utena then dances with Anthy, openly declaring their bond and they move to an abandoned housing building and live there on campus.

Sometimes to be a hero is to be against the system, and the actions of those in it. To be alone, fighting for just one person, a person who may decide to betray you, or refuse, at least for now, to leave that system. But the point of the hero is to give them that choice, that space where they are not an object, not abused, and able to grow…as a person. However, the abuse and anger they used to take out on Anthy is directed at the Utena, the Hero.

Linda and I decided a time ago that in order to make the most change in the world we needed to get inside the walls of decision making, to be INSIDE the World Trade Organization meetings rather than outside. Because of the 500 people inside the walls or the 25,000 protesting outside, to be one of the 500 could bring about positive effect to millions of people. Linda taught international business, we co-taught pink, green and grey markets. I did the research, and we worked together and decided together to move back to Canada (it was going to be the US but then ‘married gays are worst than terrorists’ election campaign made us rethink that – we already had experienced hate crimes, no need to seek out more). And then, in getting ill, I found that we had overlooked a huge percentage of vulnerable people. I faced that I had been a poor Guardian, a poor follower of Jesus.

How I had failed, and tried to redeem myself is summed up in Pumpkin Scissors. In the series Pumpkin Scissors, after the war, a unit is set up, small and originally for propaganda purposes, called Pumpkin Scissors – scissors to cut through the tough skin of war and corruption. They were to bring hope back to the people that reconstruction and equal justice would be for all. A small group of only six, they are lead by Alice Malvin, a noble who believes that justice and duty to ideals is more important than her sisters’ opinion that femininity is paramount. She leads the unit and while they are armed she usually only has a small short sword with the family crest. (a 34 second clip that will demonstrate exactly her personality).

The new addition, Randel, was part of the secret 901, the ‘will o the wisp’ anti-tank corp, who needed to have no fear of death in order to attack tanks with anti-tank guns while atop the tanks themselves. Large in body and covered in scars from doing unspeakable acts Randel is shy and grateful to now be able to make a difference in little things in people’s lives. He is devoted to Alice, who he believe is allowing him to redeem himself. While in truth Randel’s dedication to the ideals of Pumpkin Scissors inspire the rest of the team to follow Alice (who is a little hot tempered and sometimes attempts the ‘impossible’ – not like ANYONE we would know.).

To know how to fight, to know when to fight, to know how to face the impossible alone, when I am now a passenger in my own body, able at best to send messages out. It is an experience that is unique, and because of that, special (painful but special). I honestly wish, if the results were not death, for others to know this feeling. It is not knowing in your head that you are dying, or even in your tests that you are dying, or in your first body changes that you are dying. It is that state where death is inevitable. People can see it, and no one asks me how I am doing. They talk around it, trying to ignore it because they don’t know what to say. We have no experience talking to those who lie on the edge, so we read books, or we talk about the weather. Cheryl comes to see me, and she and Linda talk about how quickly I am changing, how quickly I am dying. But they don’t talk to me about it. And so I am even more isolated.
At the end of Chrono Crusade, Sister Rosette lives in this state and it is summed up well the feelings that come at the end. Because Death is a bit like a dodgy bus service: You have to wait around for it regardless of how late it might seem to be, there isn’t another option. So to find small conversations, when I have the lung capacity, or small pleasures (or if I am lucky, orgasms – I’ll explain that one later), and watching the one thing I was sure I had control over alter and turn into something else: a stranger. First the body, the legs, the belly, the lungs and heart, the eyes, the arms, and fingers, all eventually strangers, distant strangers. That is the hardest part, the inability to get back up. To have to accept and not confront those who abuse power, those who abuse you, who abuse others, who try to remove choice, as you are too weak, fighting a body which seems no longer your own. But I am still here, fighting.

If you can’t read the four pages clearly, click on then and then click backspace with your browser to return.

No, at that moment, I want to leave the pain, I want to die, but I won't die. But that time will come too.

I keep letters and postcards by the bed and computer, to remind me that I am not alone. And that after a lifetime of preserving choice, when I was most vulnerable, most isolated, weak and chained, they chose, Linda choose……me. To Alice Malvin, I and those who rescue us from ourselves. Thank you.


yanub said...

Such a lovely, lovingly made post, Beth. You must have exhausted yourself making it.

Revolutionary Girl Utena is an interesting anime. I can see why it holds a special appeal to you. Pumpkin Scissors I didn't know about. I will have to see it now.

I am not surprised about the doctors rejecting you because of past abuse. I always say, abuse is the "gift" that keeps on giving. I would never recommend anyone reveal to their doctor their psychiatric history when they also have a medically complicated disorder. It's too tempting for doctors to do what they did to you, throw up their hands, call your body's failing a "conversion disorder," and turn away. Most people are not as pure as you strive to be, haven't even tried to be as pure as you strive to be, never even considered trying to be pure. So, they take path of least resistance, like those doctors have.

wendryn said...

I'm sorry you've ended up a passenger. That must be especially hard for someone who has been so active in so many ways throughout your life.

I'm glad you are going to the Eisner awards!

How does a here live? Die? Fight? I know you think you haven't done enough, aren't perfect enough, but you are an inspiration and give others hope and reason to try. You are one, even if you don't always feel it.


Neil said...

"Death is like a dodgy bus service..." That's a lovely line, dear lady.

You remind me of David Weber's science fiction character Honor Harrington. She always does things correctly, which usually upsets her superior officers: rooting out the bad apples in her government; preventing, or winning, wars; acting "by the book" when others haven't been, and thus correcting deadly mistakes and making more enemies; and winning accolades, medals and promotions for her bravery.

Elizaabeth McClung: no matter when or where you die, I shall always remember you as honourable, honest, and loving. Linda McCLung: you are, as far as I can tell, one of the nicest people alive. You're also one of the luckiest, since you're married to Beth.

Cheryl: you're wonderful because you're such a good friend and helper for both Beth and Linda, and just because you're you.

I pray (in my own special atheist style) for courage, strength and peace for all three of you. And I'm sticking around until... well, until there's no blog to stick around.

Love and zen hugs,

SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,
E-mail me if you can & wish to. I will listen to whatever you want to say & talk to you about it. I don't know about this part of your journey, but know something of the beginning, about the loss of control, the losses small & large of parts of your life, parts of yourself.

I hope there is a postcard from me or a gift I've made you nearby, at your bedside. I have my pretty red mini bento box, and my special round, carved black box from Charlotte Island always next to the bed. The first postcard you sent me - the cherry blossoms in Japan - is on display where I can see it every day. And the second card - the first anime card- sits on my little bed table with my craft supplies & works in progress.


Lene Andersen said...

beautiful images, beautiful imagery and difficult words.

You being rejected for treatment because of your "emotional complexity" is shocking and cowardly. You being so sick is difficult - obviously, more so for you and Linda, but after being your friend for over two years now, hearing that you may not be able to fight your way out of this one makes me very sad. and I say 'may' because somehow, there's part of me that believes that if anyone can, it's you.

You're a hero in so many ways, have made such a huge difference in the lives of so many through your blog, the postcard project and just by being you. Your life means something, not just to me as your friend, but in a larger way. You have made a real difference in this world.

Elizabeth McClung said...

When Linda read it she sighed when I talked about doing the right 'regardless of consequence'. And said, "There have been so many, many consequences." - she wasn't talking about the last year or two but the physical, emotional cost, the bullying, more. I said, 'we would HAVE atrocities and tortures if people just said, "No, I don't think that is the right thing to do, not a good thing." They give over that choice. It is just too bad that I seem to be 1 in er....many.

She laughed when she read "who is a little hot tempered and sometimes attempts the ‘impossible’ – not like ANYONE we would know" - how many times has she heard me storm in about a bully who might happen to be the Dean of a university, department head, employeer, and then, five minutes later walk in to find me on the phone to the police trying to get them picked up. "AHHH! You can't DO that."

I look at the phone. "I am pretty sure I am."

Yanub: Yes, I wanted to write enough but not so much to tire the readers, I hope. Revolutionary Girl has a special appeal, there aren't many series where a person takes on a whole system and school just for the choice of one person, to know that they ARE a person.

I recommend pumpkin scissors heavily! And will send you a copy if you want, or anyone.

No one really says there isn't anything wrong anymore, just there isn't enough wrong in their 'inch' - you would think after all that effort to display plumage and dominance, the specialist would actually DO something to keep up the god-complex in the mind of the patient.

Wendryn: Yes, creating lots of new habits, new ways to eat, new over the counter medicines (a good pharmacist helps when a doctor won't) - the heat I think makes minor disasters into life threatening ones. Heat stroke in less than an hour in an enclosed bathroom on a hot day: halucinations, blindness, pain, then pee the colour of dark, dark oranges, unable to use any limbs, seizures, spasms.

I am sort of looking forward to the Eisners and Comi-con and also that is a LONG way from home. But I will hope for best, get to see redwoods on the way down and Yosemite on the way up. The van will be rigged to a makeshift bed. Down in stages, worry I will exhaust myself beyond a level of autonomic recovery. So excited in a way, I need some new photo memory cards!

Elizabeth McClung said...

Niel: See, that's how it goes, I am nice too, as long as a person doesn't abuse power. I am honorable and Linda is nice, that's how we always get described (also how while I might be able to do it better, they tend to pick Linda, as she is a more....controlled element).

The secret is, that anyone can do what I do, it is just very, very few would want to, it seems. A lot more would rather be nice - I would rather be nice. OR have some peace, I never thought I would have any of that while alive.

Cheryl takes more risks in a shorter period of time than almost anyone I know. Caring, working, changing, being, and beyond that, she takes care of me too.

Sharon: I don't have time memory, not anymore, or know what comes when, or yesterday or today. I will try to email as the strength provides.

I don't call much because it makes me blind and I pass out, which after a while, is a disincentive for Linda to let me call anyone. There are things that cannot be talked about, and until the raven sits on your shoulder and you acknowledge that, there isn't a way to talk about those parts.

Choices. I hope in one, you choose to go to the woods. I will choose, if I return from California, to go racing in a 5K (why not?)

Lene: Yes, cowardly, but then, we aren't exactly a country known for its stance Or the popular uprising against the injustice

So I happen to be having a very Canadian experience!

There is no hope for IVIG, not in this province, and without employ, or even assistance, no way to move to a province where medical treatment can be started. If I get into pallative, I can get better medications, on patches, where they will be more effective.

I made a sort of deal, that as long as I would suffer, I would live, or that is how it seemed. Now, I don't go into a haze and then lose consciousness, I am out, like that - in a sentence, while eating, the body is giving out and while the technology is available...elsewhere, to keep me alive, not here. But that doesn't mean I am going, after all, I haven't seen Bones with Linda this year yet.

Thank you for your kind words. I don't want to go out like Joan of Arc (burned) or Robin of Hood - an arrow shot from a window, to bury me there. Or like Don Quixote, declaring all I have done to be the act of fool. I am a bit like a meteorite, the gleam you see, is the fire of me burning up.

SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,
I know there are things that cannot be expressed in words - though you come very close in your writing. I did attempt it too, once upon a time in my youth when I was a poet.

I have told you almost since we first "met" here, that yours is a hero's journey. I knew that from Greek myth, from reading Homer in the original ionic Greek. Through you, I came to know anime, and I am glad that there are so many female heroes, also broken & trouble heroes. I'm glad you know that you are a hero both through your words and your deeds. That you have taken us along on your journey, shared it openly and with such skill & beauty of language - that is amazing. I have learned so much from you, about living, about myself, about love & strength. I will stay with you until the end whatever you wish to say or not say, whatever you can tell.

I'm angered that the doctors (the male doctors) didn't want to deal with your complexities. It is wrong that because you were a victim that they held that against you. After what went through in my first 3 year bought of illness in my twenties, I swore never again would I go to a male doctor. This changed later as I couldn't always have that chioce & I did find some good male doctors. And as you have also found out, specialists don't want to deal with you if you have complex medical problems that don't all fit into their specialty. And if you happen to be intelligent and ask questions, that is another strike against you. It makes me so angry & sad that the doctors & the medical system failed you. I wish they could be held accountable.

I was worried that maybe you had forgotten me, but I see now that is not so. It is my other worry - that you are too ill and lacking in strength to reply to e-mails (I don't mind, but just want you to know that I am sending them & hope you are able to read them).


tinarussell said...

Elizabeth! Oh, my Lordy! I want to learn from your courage as much as I can...

Utena, yay! I remember Anthy being someone I fiercely identified with during my teen years. She was shy, quiet, compassionate, wise... All I wanted was for an Utena to come along and open me up, you know? I wanted someone to come along and comfort me, to pull the tablecloth around me and dance with me. (Sniff)

Raccoon said...

Knowing when to fight...

That's not even the hard part, is it? And it's not even knowing when not to fight. The hard part is the actual "doing." Or "not doing."

I'm concerned about after Comic-Con, too. But, at least you'll go out with a bang?

I remember being a passenger. It is definitely a NOT good feeling.

Baba Yaga said...

Being a passenger does rather suck.

Heroics - yes, they come in many kinds. Yours with a very EFM distinguishing flavour. I regard 'nutcase' as an accolade granted to those who 'speak truth to power'. Another person I esteem carries "dangerous nutcase" as her private banner.

I have almost ceased to boggle as I should at your tales of medical blank-blank-bleepery. What astonishing honesty from your neurologist; more alarming than gratifying, that kind of honesty. Blatant, as though it doesn't matter, because you are in too weak a position to matter.

Why people think that having been abused, or in tormenting pain, makes one less deserving of help, I don't know. Or, I have some notions, but they make no heart-sense to me.

cheryl g said...

It does suck finding out you are the passenger and not the driver of your own body.

I don’t want to believe you will die this month but it worries me how weak you are growing and the changes I see in you. The changes used to be slow and subtle but now they are very noticeable week to week.

It is unforgivable that any doctor should deny treatment to a patient due to emotional complexity. The job of a doctor is to treat a patient – not to judge or decide who is worthy of being treated. These doctors are abusers using their power to harm another.

There have indeed been many consequences to you. That is what makes you a hero. It is one of the many things that I admire about you – the fact that you do what is right regardless of the cost to yourself. I wish the costs hadn’t been so high but to have lived any differently would be wrong for you. I strive to live up to your example and will continue to strive to do so.

When you first showed me Revolutionary Girl Utena I thought how much Utena was like you. I really like the anime and Utena’s heroism. Now that I have seen Pumpkin Scissors I really like it to. Alice Malvin is indeed like someone else I know who will dive in to attempt the impossible with no regard for their own well-being. I love that about you and it exasperates the bejeebers out of me.

I am sorry I do not talk to you about the changes I see or about your dying. I think part of it is I believe you have an incredibly powerful will. If I talk about you dying I am afraid it will make that happen sooner. It is most likely an irrational fear but I still have it. I am sorry for making you feel more isolated.

I do not want you to feel alone or scared in these times. I want you to feel safe and loved. I will keep working to make that the reality.

Alex M. said...

On your drive to San Diego, if you go through the Bay Area I would love to meet you in person. Your strength, honesty, and caring make you a hero to me!

Elizabeth McClung said...

A lot admire or envy parts of me, but even healthy, no one really wanted to BE me. But then western literature is about eating those who are 'simple' about morals - Lincoln would have made a terrific peacetime president....except no one would have allowed it, like Churchill got a deadlocked government in peace. Those most effective seem the most cutthroat - wings of hospitals and universities are put up in hubris, not love. And paid for with money that, repeatedly has required the success of cutthroat morality: Like standard Oil's policy of sell at a loss to crush your competition, in order to sell at a maximum and crush your customers.

Tina: I am a wee confused as in the series, Anthy was abused, treated as a possession instead of a human, emotionally blackmailed, and sexually used in terms of incest. And she stabbed the one person who fought for HER, instead of for how they could use her, in the back. I am not saying I can't identify with Anthy, since it how I hid until I could get away, but...., the act I admired the most was her decision at the end.

It is the sad reality that Utena's wounds always came from behind.

Raccoon: Yeah, in current circumstances doing and not going insane. I hope california isn't hot, hahaha. Heat wave here is affecting me rather drastically.

Baba Yaga: well, nutcase is what the people who like me refer to my tilting at windmills (but how will they felled if not tilted at by someone?).

I am not sure what those who I oppose think since usually bullies are so used to keeping up appearances that only when truely angry do they start hissing all sorts of interesting insults.

I think perhaps the head idea and the heart idea still pervade, you know the 'they wouldn't be in prison if they didn't deserve it' (even when say, 1 in 4 prisoners in the world are in the USA), so I wouldn't have been abused or raped if I didn't deserve it, or rather by MY being abused, THEY have to clean up the mess of THOSE WOMEN, the ones all jumbled up. Same for being in pain, the person doesn't have empathy with either, sees so much they lose sympathy too? Thus I am dehumanized?

Cheryl: Yes, it concerns me when I am twice as week on Thursday as I was on Monday. It concerns me when my seizures start coming every few hours. Also makes doing things, speaking hard.

How can I know it is impossible unless I try? And at the end of the day, someone has to do it, or more people go on being hurt. If there was a moral compass I could give up and live I would consider it, but that option is thankfully not available. Orphans, prisoners, isolated, in pain, how can I not care enough to act? I don't know how.

cheryl g said...

I didn't mean to imply that you should not act or try. To be true to yourself you must act because you do care. That is part and parcel of who you are. It saddens me to see the pain it brings you but I would not ask you to be less than you are so I will just try to shoulder what parts of the burden I can and help where I can.

Baba Yaga said...

Beth, my dear -

I was writing to you, and then bethought me of the child Beth, and the Beth who may not remember, so I will say this here, where perhaps those Beths aren't at risk from my clumsiness:

I even know just enough of what facing death alone is to wish I could be more there - sitting and knitting by you, or bringing the occasional drink, just being quietly in the same space. To face it, and face it, daily as you have done for so very long - that's a kind of aloneness all of its own.

I realised, when I realised I couldn't send that to I knew not which Beth, that this is one reason I don't acknowledge your dying, the deterioration you're experiencing, as I should: unless we're in real time, I can't send an e-mail to you, not knowing what you'll know when you receive it, with *that* in it. Perhaps it's always there in your under-knowledge, even when explicit memory loses present reality for a while; but to bring it to the forefront when *perhaps* you have an interval of pure present tense would seem unkind.

Anonymous said...

I know what it's like not to be in command of one's body and I'm very sorry that I haven't been around for the past few weeks.

That you fight inspires me to do the same. I think you make a very good Hero. You'll always be mine.


FridaWrites said...

Those doctors should be ashamed of denying you treatment because you have experienced abuse. It is simply wrong and inhumane. I think often doctors look at the victims/survivors through the wrong end of the telescope (or stethoscope) as ones who should be regarded suspiciously rather than the ones who have been harmed. Proving again that medical schools are just not doing their job in teaching people to treat the whole patient--or the patient at all!