Friday, July 20, 2012

" I'm sorry..."

I've been spending some time in the mental exercise of uncovering unconscious patterns in my life that cause me discomfort and some level of self-imposed suffering.  In talking with a disabled friend of mine, he'd mentioned the idea that on some level disabled peoples of all ilk spend their lives apologizing for who they were and the way I show up for others, things that they do not perceive about my "behavior" but nonetheless believe.  

I have a lovely psychiatrist, chief of psychiatry at Kaiser.  I laughed so hard one day when she said to me..."now I get you...it's like your going along relatively well in areas of communication for a while, and every once and a while you are going to be completely socially inappropriate, and people just can't handle that..." and I laughed...and laughed.  I am freeing myself of ancient chains...these chains were put on by no one but me.  I learned and replicated perfectly the shame and guilt that was reflected on me by others for so long...often unknowingly.

In once sense, once there is a gestalt, "an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts", once we can make sense of the entire picture, these chains have already shattered, even if it seems  we continue their removal throughout life, yet still we know we are ultimately not bound at all...and that ignorance, my ignorance, is the true source of all my suffering. Once the wool is no longer pulled over the eyes, one immediately sees, even if it take a while to adjust to the sunlight.

I have found, relative to my having AgCC, that as I now approach 50 years old, the years have begun, in many ways to help me develop a little more social skills, understanding, consistency, and direct communication, to learn the difference between confabulation, dissociation, presence of mind, awareness of the body...I'm just now pulling off the wool and the light is so blinding.

Given this disability and that its actual verification by MRI and diagnoses by a Neurologist, again, in my case, the chief of neurology at my Kaiser facility...and it isn't even what we initially did the MRI for...I find myself profoundly blessed.  While very little can be done yet medically, at least until medical science can clone a human corpus callosum, and even in my mind this is unreachable fantasy and science fiction, but who knows?  Anyhow, my point...getting proper therapy given the discover of what has plagued me all my life, occupational therapy, psychotherapy, group therapy, the many resources and one of the finest counselors (I think) I've ever  had the pleasure of working with at the Disabled Resource Center of Long Beach, California... The respect, thoroughness, inspection, introspection, willingness to learn present in my psychiatrist I'd mentioned earlier, is exemplary.  I am on a medication protocol now, that has helped improve executive function, higher reasoning and judgement far more than a negligible amount.  Practically everyone who knows me over a long period has asked me what is changed, I seem so much more organized...blah blah blah....

And yet, (I know, don't start a sentence, let alone paragraph with "and"), as my Dr. said "sooner or later..."

You see, there is no judgement in her statement, just a statement of fact due to this lovely brain and body I incarnated as...that is all...that is all it is.  Everyday in every way my life gets brighter, more resilient, more joyful, thoughtful, balanced...I could go on..."but then there comes a time when..." 

I'm amazed at 49 years 351 days and nine hours how wonderful, rich and full my life is, given that its only in the last ten where I've had any luck and stability with consistency...but I'm here.  The blessings of a human body are beyond belief, this is my understanding anyhow.  We must not waste our lives.  I'm learning what an amazing man I really am, despite what I and others have told myself.  I am grateful to be alive.  I have survived suicide, homelessness, Hepatitis C, which I am actually cured of RNA negative, and zero antibodies, I am told only a 30% chance of complete success.  Plus I had areas of my liver turning cancerous...but I am still here.

I deserve some cred...seriously.  Many in my family do not understand.  I cannot fully blame them, but neither do I blame myself.  The last I spoke with my family "our life is quiet and settled now, we really don't want you around"...this was the last I spoke with them.  Do I regret?  Yes and No.  I did put my parents through their own fare share of emotional trauma...I understand, but then I do not. Children are precious. 

The time just kept growing, because I understand now that I've known all of my life that I was emotionally overwhelmed to the point of utter withdrawal and breakdown, when I was to be the best man at my brother's wedding...leaving my parents home the next day because I knew it was more than I could handle at the current time...I cannot imagine how he felt about that.  I have talked with him since, and love him, but don't know the first thing about opening up communication.  And then (I know!), what would be his response...I've reached out in letters, emails, Facebook, and not once has he responded to me.

I am indeed sorry for legitimate pain that I've caused anyone in my life, let alone those who love me...but I will not guilt nor suffer myself anguish anymore, in self destructive ways.  Rather, this meager funny little man, will try to do his best to help improve our wonderful world.  And (LOL) he'll do so by himself learning, growing, loving, and treating others as they would wish to be treated themselves.

Our first and last love is self love.  If you have not self-love, self-understanding, how can you possibly love an other? How?  If I must change the world, than I must change myself first, change how and what I think and feel about myself, then my view of the world, and all the world changes with me.  

While there is order in politics, religions, philosophies and sciences, they will not be the prime agent of change on a global level...and there is no possibility of any such change, until they understand themselves, until the love themselves fully and foremost.  Only then can a (wo)man begin to reach out and communicate with clarity, compassion and power to change lives.  

As for me, the wool is only just begun to be pulled away, the Light is so bright, and things are still coming into focus.

~JJ


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