Some of this may be repetitive…I’ve written over 80 posts, so I may have forgotten some of this. Bottom line: I have nobody who will be here after I’m gone to ever let anybody know I was here. I don’t have kids, and while I’ve got some great cousins, they’ve got their own families who will carry on their legacies. I don’t really have a ‘legacy’ per se… but more of a collection of things that make me who I am. I want to leave something behind.
I also want to be of some sort of use to people now. Being an RN, I’m partial to nursing students, new nurses, and folks with medical/emotional/addiction issues. I’ve either had disorders or worked with various patients to cover most bodily systems in some way ! Since being disabled, I feel rather useless, and with no coworkers who I actually see in person and talk to, I get lonely for ‘shop talk’. I miss grossing people out at lunch. I long for the gooey wound care patients who had holes the size of dinner plates on their butts (from previous facilities). I miss the teenagers who survived horrible car wrecks that annoyed the other nurses because they were ‘irritable’ (uh, they saw their friend’s head lopped off by a tree while sitting in the front seat with them in the now topless car; I’d be a bit grumpy as well). I miss the concentration camp survivor with the gentle spirit of an angel and wit of a seasoned comedienne …dying of colon cancer. They were privledges to have known.
I also feel really misunderstood a lot. I look fine. Except for the gimpy walk, knobs on my scalp, assorted scars, and personal experience with a lot of medical junk. I feel isolated in my own head, because nobody really wants to listen to someone who is a train wreck. While I’m a lot more than the sum of my broken parts, sometimes I need to vent. In the past year, I’ve seen my 80-year old dad and doctors. I have computer contact with my friends in Texas and assorted cousins who I have fun childhood memories with- and have been working on seeing an actual local friend in person. I did go to a memorial service- and stayed for a couple of hours- it was nice to be there, yet it was also difficult physically. But I did it. Aside from my dad and birth mom, I may not speak to anybody on the phone for weeks at a time. So I write. If nobody wants to read what I churn out, that’s fine- but at least there’s a bit of me stripped down to as real as I can be. I don’t like that I’ve felt I’ve had to hide a lot. I don’t like feeling invisible.
I’ve had stuff go on that people aren’t comfortable with. I get that. They don’t have to read my stuff. I’ve worked through eating disorders, a lot of medical stuff including cancer, and the loss of my identity as a working nurse. But I’m also thankful for a lot. I survived a brutal rape, and have to deal with parole protests periodically; those take a lot out of me. I’m not much fun to interact with during those times.
I hope people don’t take for granted the contact they have with other people. I live in Illinois, and people here aren’t that friendly for the most part. Not a single coworker from before I ended on disability has bothered to have contact or return calls (I stopped long ago- I’m not a fool, but I had been hopeful). People here dodge ‘defectives’ when they see them in the grocery store. I know she saw me. I’m sure the boss had instructed her minions that they weren’t to speak to me- I’d been given the same instructions when other people left. I got sick…how is that something to be afraid of? It wasn’t a workman’s comp case. I have NO friends here since moving back in December 2002. I’ve got a couple of people around who I knew before moving to Texas in 1985. I’m in Facebook contact- and trying to figure out a time to get together with one of them.
Don’t blow off people just because they’re not in your immediate sites all of the time. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ seems to be the Yankee way. I’ve got so many friends from Texas that I’m still in contact with on Facebook; people are different there. I’m working on some way to get to church with my ice vest and ice bandanas, so maybe I can meet some people, but I must say I’m guarded. When someone sees someone with medical equipment, it draws out the drama junkies who want to save everyone. I can’t be fixed. I get around, however gimpy. I don’t want a drama junkie. I want a friend. In the meantime, I have a blog.