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– a Life Without Forgiving – My Own

December 13, 2015

–  A Life Without Forgiving   –    

This week reveals the names of people who died either in the street somewhere or in the midst of trauma that reduced the length of their life span.  Whatever was the case my spirit is focused on what lies ahead
dying is an art and i know full well that life is tenuous.  Last week the City Council convened what it called a retreat on educating the Council on homeless issues.  I was impressed with what was unsaid.  One of the key  components was trauma, a subject that I see is more and more essential to insight about what causes people to lose their spirit.
I am not immune from this and I mention that many people who are involved with homeless issues also experience trauma.  Trauma that I am referring to begins at an early stage of life, at birth and almost inevitably before that at the time of inception.
My own life began with trauma and Dr. Nadine Jacqueline Burke Harris shares in her Tedmed Talk that 70% of everyone here experiences or is related to at least an incident of trauma.  Her talk is fifteen minutes and well worth listening to and sharing  from National Public Radio in 2014.
Much research in the last twenty years reflects the development of the brain when it is affected by trauma.  Our brain chemistry is fragile and subject to disturbing influences.  We know that most of what is associated with homeless behaviors and for that matter many who are troubled and dysfunctional is grounded in early childhood trauma.  
My mother jettisoned herself from a moving car hen she was carrying me. I was born hypersensitive to sound, movement, senses, and above all to touch, much as an autistic person.  At the same time my mother did not recognize any  illnesses and defects of personality.  Her mind was made up that one could simply adjust and get over oneself, which I often heard throughout my life.  There is a rhapsody of rebuke for being ill and limited or dependent in some way.  
I felt distinctly different from the day I was first conceived. I did not like people to pick me up. I squirmed and rebelled against being confined, as an example, I shook the crib to pieces, I climbed out of it when I was left alone,  hooks had to be placed at the top of every door in the house, I was constantly moving in school and when reprimanded I smiled and responded with embarrassment that was assumed that I was impudent.  I was called “retarded,” ostracized by both teachers and peers, considered to be uneducable.  Later I smiled a lot when I felt shy and I was in a new situation like changing schools or going to a place which was strange.  I was always an outlyer.
Even among my family in generations ahead and before I was not in keeping with the expectations and high achievements of any of them.  I was thought to be a person who should not have children.  Even though I was never beaten, abused, treated as obverse, I was always somehow distinct and had many barriers to fitting in and functioning.  These became exasperated in the early 90’s when I lost my father and my supports fell away.  To this day I am fearful about change and fragile, as was the subject of the service I recently did and the writing that I am reading on Wednesday at the memorial service for those who have died who were without a safe place to live this past year.  The writing is much more autobiographical than about someone else.

No One to Carry On Carry On No One to Remember What If We All Were Left Alone?   Gimme Shelter – If I don’t find some shelter I’m going to fade away 

No One to Carry On Carry On No One to Remember What If We All Were Left Alone?  “Ultimately It’s Up to You All”  No more lying down at night frightened alarmed exhausted from feeling scared all the time burdened with the preemptive sense that you’re always in imminent danger always hanging on the end of the feeling of being omitted left out left behind carried in a wallet that is tattered and thrown in a moldy heapburdened by the lack of air panicked frozen  left to stare into space  as an orphan without a trace of who you are and where you’re from or what mattered most of all that someone knows where you come fromsomeone anyone who can sit and hold you listen look in your eyes hold your hand and comfort you with their warmth and presence just by sitting and rocking you to sleep. 

 You often have the premonition that this last time will be the ultimate that you will no longer be dangling  serving a term of endless nights days recovering from the fear of losing another part of you   another piece of your heart another part of your spirit another lost memory of longing just to sit without anyone looking at you or seeing how much every movement, every sound, every stirring threatens your life makes you realize that you have no choice and you shake in fear you start up and wander aimlessly   looking for a place that is frozen and that no one can hear you shriek or cry yourself to sleep  for too far too many you’re no one and no one knows what you’re doing or why you cry yourself to sleep, they never hear the anguish in your voice the muffled steps the dragging of your feet, their sense is that you’ll die alone anyway no matter what and that you don’t deserve a thing, certainly not love or affection and certainly not a warm place to lie down and rest 

they look at you as though this is the last time they’ll ever have to endure your sound your breathing you’re cursed and almost always you feel their word rings true you gave up grace and hope long long ago

 Ultimately it is up to us all to remember and recall that once that this young one was ready to answer every call.  We all make a home and have a place in a family we all belong we all come from some place that we remember   we must remember  Gimme Shelter if I don’t find some shelter I’m going to fade away.  We all live in the shelter of one another always one long lineage from the first we are one we’re grand if I don’t find some shelter I’m going to fade away 

What  I mean  is that I feel frail.  It is harder and harder to do what I have been up to the last 20 years.  I am in a situation like a juggernaut as though in a vice that is getting tighter and more constricting.  The work that I am doing is largely unappreciated.  There are deeper reasons for doing this work.  My family has long since disappeared.  My children have forgotten and resist any connection with me.  My sister has never been a person who I have felt related to me.  Largely I feel she tolerated me.  People are almost always disgruntled with me and I have a hollow place where I feel I will never again know anything like a place where I feel safe and have a home.

Furthermore I rarely sleep regularly.  My temperament is volatile and unpredictable. I am as afraid of my nature as anyone with a caustic immune system who feels that they’re in imminent danger of an episode.  As I age these areas of stress, anxiety, fear and inability to function become more and more common.  How long I can hold out, hang on, do what I am from place to place often in rage and rebuke of authoritarian figures becomes more and more common.  I am afraid that I will lose the little which is left of my sense of dignity and peace, that my mind will cease working and I will end up hospitalized and in a nursing home if I do not escape to a wilderness and wait to die.  For me death and dying are on going struggles.  Every day there is a sense of measuring my life in finite moments of surviving.

I am amazed that I will be 65 come January 29. I had not expected to see 15.  ANY WAY THERE IS I FEEL MY TIME HAS PASSED.

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