I seem to be a little distracted today, but maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. Something has really upset my emotional settings this week, I even found myself with tears escaping during “Eastenders” and “Holby City” last night. As little as 5 years ago, I was one of those people who could watch almost any program without a single tear showing, yes I might feel it inside, but the tears didn’t flow, they just waited for the inappropriate times to show up instead, but in the last 6 months or so, tears happen far too often. It sometimes feels as thought the ability to separate real life and a story has blurred, or possibly I have just become a softer person who doesn’t have to fight the world daily. Light bulb, that sounded and felt kind of right actually. I think I have been fighting the world since I was a child. Being on the chubby side, nothing like I see kids today, but for the 60’s I was chubby, primary school was almost one long heckle made worse by a foible of my fathers. I remember once I had had my first period, my Mother insisted that I wore a second pair of knickers over my tights, she said it would help to stop my tights slipping down and I being just 9 did as I was told. The problem was that I was the only girl in the entire class who wore two pairs of pants, the high waisted sort and for a while that became the name I was taunted with. It wasn’t until I had a conversation with my Mother when I was in my 30’s that I found out the real reason, my Father thought that if his girls wore this extra layer, that boys would get fed up trying to get through the layers, especially as they had to be one size too small, making them tight, that way we would remain untouched. My Father really was a moron to the nth degree, as when I was raped when I was just 12, he refused to let the man be prosecuted firstly because he didn’t want the family name to be dragged through the courts and secondly as it would ruin the man who did it’s career, work that one out if you can. You would think that my “childhood” alone would have set me up to fight, but I actually first had to go through an abusive first marriage as well, before I broke out of all of it and set myself the challenge of actually having a life, my life, not anyone else’s.
Everything that happens to us shapes us, fact, but oddly the thing that I think has changed me the most is my PRMS. Despite counselling and years where I was single and free of complications that I didn’t need, I hadn’t really put it all to bed, it was all still there and occasionally exploded. I honestly think now part of the reason that I hadn’t closed it all off completely was the fact that I knew I was ill and no one, not one single person believed me, I was still fighting, still trying to feel like an adult and not the child constantly scolded. Getting my diagnosis of course caused a million and one feelings and even more adjustments, but it was also like having the huge weight that felt as though it fell onto me when just 9 years old, eventually lifted. Like everyone else I still had the normal fights ahead of me that illness brings, but compared to the past, they were nothing and I was free to finally sort out the last bits and pieces that still lingered. My life may have been more dramatic than most, but I have spoken with others who have been through that fight with the medical profession and they like me, all say that their diagnosis was an amazing relief, regardless of how serious their illness was, being believed is everything.
I remember but can’t find a post I wrote a couple of years ago about how knowing my mortality had somehow along with my confinement at home had taught me how to truly forgive, something I thought I had already done. Forgiveness doesn’t happen in your head, it happens in your heart and until you have done it, life will always be a battle. My health changed me, it gave me that understanding of what is really important and how I had filled my life with so much pain to be carried around with me, that I could have shed a long time ago. These days I know that thanks to the damage done to my brain that my emotional reactions are fast, I get annoyed and wound up about the smallest things, but the difference is it is all in my head, not my heart. It’s easy to know the difference as I actually am aware I am being totally irrational, it’s an odd feeling getting ready for a battle that exists nowhere else but in your own head, yet somehow knowing there is no reason for it at the same time. It is a distinction that I have only been able to make in the last couple of years, since I have cleared out all the rubbish that was weighing me down, forgiveness is the most magical thing I have ever found or done, it changed not just the past but the future as well.
I thought I was good at empathy, I wasn’t, now I maybe I empathise too much, feel too much that isn’t mine to feel, but I now understand the pain I had and others have. I have found a passion for people which I suppose is rather ironic for someone who is housebound, but I have at last I believe the true understanding of what life is about. I didn’t have the space to even think about it before, I had too much anger and too many battles raging around inside me to see it. In an odd way, I actually feel lucky that this has all happened to me, I could have gone on through my entire life not feeling enough for people I will never know, not caring enough and not having the desire to make things better. Maybe crying at the TV isn’t such a bad thing, even crying for those I have lost, or those I will never see again, I even feel good about crying for myself, because it shows me I am at last really alive inside. Something tells me thought that I am still moving through this process, it doesn’t feel complete, if that makes sense, what could be missing I don’t know, but there is something still waiting to happen. I just wish that I had learned this as a child, instead of how to fear the world and accept what it did to me as a pain to be carried through life and I truly wish it could be taught to others.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 10/12/12 – The Degrees of ill