It's a tough thing to look at yourself blatantly. My ego is an erupting mountain of me and my refuse; the sensitive child, the broken colt, the beaten animal. If only people could see, right. If only.
I have just started work-training with a paraplegic man. It's a sometimes scary sometimes acutely uncomfortable position. I have little experience and I am relearning the wheel. I overcompensate, I am clumsy, awkward, feel sorry for myself when I don't do well. My image is everything. this is not about me. I look like a loser. I want to impress. rack up those points, collect the golden stars. rockstar. I find it difficult, sometimes too much. This is not about me. I was driving in to town yesterday morning thinking about quitting. A few things stopped me. I am not embarrassed to say that duty and obligation were two of them. Everyone is afraid of the paraplegic man. The doctors and nurses, the taxi drivers, bank tellers, the caregivers. When the paraplegic man a comes around everyone runs, everyone quits. No one wants to be the one, in case something happens. Not on my watch. But it's not about me. It's about having the opportunity to learn humongous dangerous leaps of real life. I have no choice, if I want to be decent, to say ok. Ok then. I'll take the chance, the challenge to watch to listen, to be there to give, share, be aware, care, dare, struggle in the learning process of green neophyte clumsiness that is so full of humiliation because making mistakes is something we adults are twistedly not supposed to do. So rather, be still, be safe, settle. an entire planet of settlers
What's in paraplegia? What's in normal, abnormal? I thought that I had a pretty good grasp on notions of suicide, euthanasia. I was so openminded. Man, if somebody doesn't want any more of this honeyless jive live ass shit then jesus, go. Go on and end the agony. I also figured that if I was in a hypothetical accident that left me paralyzed from neck down and if it was too horrible for me to make the transition then hell yes, please let me end it now and jesus don't give me a hard time because it should be obvious that no one should live under these kinds of circumstances. Or so?
Interesting how we judge self sufficiency and physical freedom as the primordial defacto raison d'etre of human life. We believe this, we know that though we may be discontent, if we can wipe our own ass, and walk down a street, if we can function as a regular person in our system, no matter how empty we may feel, we are doing what we are opposed to be doing. When regular people talk about suicide, we want to get them help and if that help is refused we may find them rather selfish and irresponsible.
If a severely disabled person does not want to continue to live, we console and condone them and their way of thinking. If a severely disabled person does not want to live their life in an institution, does not want to lose their sense of individuality, their tastes, ideas, thoughts- if a severely disabled person says yes! to life and asks us to help them live it on their terms, we feel that they are unreasonable, selfish, a burden.
In fact, between us- don't we hear it all the time- how the retarded shouldn't procreate, how it would be a burden on the system and thus iresponsable. How, if we had the boldness to say, we abort fetuses because we find them to be a burden to ourselves and the system. That we aren't so much interested in their level of happiness or lack of, that we make such decisions. But that it's more of what an imposition it would be on us.
Even with the now so-so accepted feelings of openly gay- lesbian- trans-ness, we still wouldn't want to wish it upon our kids would we? We want perfection for our kids because struggle is evil, sticking out is a humiliation. Rather than addressing our uneasiness we would rather not have to deal at all. Me included. Fuck I wish I was perfect I wish that I didn't have the problems that I have and I wish that they would just go away. I wish sometimes for all the things that ultimately have nothing to do with happiness or contentedness or connectedness or understanding or awe or life or any of the real reasons that make me happy to be alive.
All these thoughts are in support of why I did not quit my training yesterday morning. I am not grateful. I am excited and this maelstrom is keeping me committed because what's in it for me is a whole new awareness and understanding that I never would have dreamed of.