Actually, I’m Not Ok

me, 1974

The thing about growing up the way I did was I knew I had no one to rescue me, no one to dry my tears. It wasn’t a child’s thought, it was a preternaturally adult realization that I was forced to register as a young person so I would survive the people who had been deemed my caretakers by biology and society. I’ve had that “no room to fuck up” feeling ever, especially since I’m not naturally an underdog. My unique skill set often means I understand others better than they understand themselves (let alone me) and thus owe them patience and compassion even when we’re at cross purposes. And yet: I am human and so screw up with a regularity–most recently by running on a broken baby toe because it never occurred to me it would so screw up my alignment that I’d be injured for a month at least.

Bottom line: I’ve never had a safety net to speak of but the kindness of friends and acquaintances. And during Trump’s reign this fact has proven genuinely scary: I ran out of cash twice, my kidneys blew out after a Covid bout, I immobilized myself twice through stress injuries, and I’ve been unusually irritable, which means I’m constantly poised to alienate anyone who doesn’t have to love me, which in my life is pretty much everyone.

Which is ALL to say that yes, today marks Week 3 of a back spasm so painful that, as I write this, I can’t stand up or sit, let alone lift or clean anything or walk down the stairs of my building. It’s honestly humiliating, let alone dangerous, to be so vulnerable; even I am rolling my eyes at my damsel-in-distressiness. And of course because of Covid my normal healers have long fled the city and I am too broke for the Goldilocks experience of testing out a series of practitioners until I find the correct one. (I saw a terrible one Friday.) And I live alone and can’t drag people over every time I need to eat or feed Grace and of course I am running out of cash because I can’t do readings while I can’t sit up.

What has always scared me most is not seeing the forest for the trees, the escape hatch to a terrible trap. And because everyone is also struggling, worrying (drowning), I genuinely don’t expect anyone to fix or save me upon reading this. But on this very dark November Sunday night (the saddest nights of the whole year) I am still writing this out. Because I believe solidarity helps. And because I know that telling my story always saves me if only because it makes me believe that my story matters too.

Postscript: In response to the very kind offers of support, donations are gratefully accepted here.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy