I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be,
but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.
— Douglas Pagels

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Acceptance and Giving Up

I am trying to cope with life as best as I can, but I think sometimes I have to realize that I'm human and I'm not as strong as I want to be. I have days when I put on a smile and make lemonade with the lemons I've been given, and I have days when I'm sick and tired of the freaking lemonade, and I grieve for the life that I have lost to this disease. It's hard to have hope when the future looks so dim. Owned by the government and relying on other people to provide my basic necessities is not living. It is merely existing...nothing more.

I had plans like anybody else. College was killing me but I was killing it in return, and I had no intention of quitting. I couldn't wait to get my Masters so I could teach and counsel, even if it was only possible via internet while propped up on pillows. I would have been satisfied with that (I think), and I would have been one kick-ass online instructor. I also planned to provide therapeutic art in my community free of charge in my spare time. I had a solid goal toward the only things I've ever strove for...independence, and making a difference. I wanted a tiny house in a town that I don't hate, and once stable and established, I wanted to apply for foster parenting. I have said since I was a little child myself that I would be one of "those moms" whether I had my own children or husband or not, and I meant it. But that's gone now. All of it...everything I've ever wanted has been ripped out of my hands, as if I'm not worthy of achieving it. I'm not okay with that. I am unfathomably angry.

I don't know anyone who has ever wanted to be more independent. While I don't take the abilities I have for granted, it's impossible to ignore the fact that this is an unfair world that operates on survival of the fittest, and I am not one of those people. So what happens to me? Exist day in and day out until I die in poverty? Forced to live being watched or controlled by other people, who may or may not resent me, for the rest of my life?

Unacceptable. That's what this is. It doesn't matter how much lemonade I make, how positive I think or speak, or how much I pray for my sins to be forgiven in hopes of being good enough to get somewhere in life...that doesn't change reality. I talked to someone tonight who insisted that everything bad that happens to us is a demon. If you're sick, you have a demon. If you're born with abnormalities by the world's standards, you have a demon, and somebody did something wrong to make it happen. You're cursed.

But isn't a holier-than-thou individual proclaiming that you're cursed, a curse in itself? I'm not a Bible-thumper, but I am firm in my beliefs. I know where I'm going when I die, and why I'm going there. I'm a believer, but I can't bring myself to believe that any person has the right to say someone else is possessed by the devil because they're sick - to say that a kid with Epilepsy needs a demon cast out, or a stroke victim must have done something to offend God, or a Muscular Dystrophy patient just doesn't have enough faith to be "normal". The very notion seems, in its own way, sick. And I don't accept it.

I've also talked with people who think I shouldn't be allowed to be independent. They think I should have to live my life under someone else's thumb, even if that means an unhappy home or a facility of some kind. Never mind that I'm only in my mid 30's, intelligent, and could survive on my own if I had the resources to do so. Tough luck. I'm crippled, so I should have to accept being imprisoned for the rest of my useless life, controlled by the fears and convenience of others.

I don't accept it. I don't accept any of it, and I never will.

To those who say this is the existence I should accept...to those who choose to ignore the facts as well as the possibilities...to those who disregard my full potential because I have a physical disability...to those who claim that I'm cursed...to those who think I'm not good enough, strong enough, or worth it...to those who believe I'm done for and have spinelessly written me off...to those who have given up on me, and expect me to do the same...I suggest you get the hell out of my way.

I don't give up.