Ordeal and Surrender
I’m involuntarily taking you on a journey, the same one I’ve been on. It will wind, it will seem pointless at times, though I believe it’s worth it. Ordeal reveals naked truth. It comes through pure vulnerability and surrender. It’s all a violation of ourselves, every piece of it, even catharsis.
We need to make choices under these circumstances that are not the ones we want. By nature they are overwhelming and painful. To survive in body and soul we need choose to continue the ordeal internally through catharsis. Otherwise we only continue as a body disconnected from ourselves. Surrender is the only path through ordeal that leads to truth and ultimately serenity. It is the only way.
I’m listening to Poem by Delerium. They’re an odd group, normally disconnected a bit emotionally relying on “transcendent” mixing to pull it through. Poem clearly came from a place of surrender. It’s pulled me through many of my unwanted though necessary journeys in life.
I just left my Rheumatologist’s office. I arrived to a tense environment surrounded by staff though incredibly alone. Exhausted on every possible level I had to force myself to stand and get through the paperwork that my situation has transcended due to medical neglect. I was so thankful when the patient advocates arrived, apparently this is serious, I wasn’t expecting the manager to tag along.
An ugly truth of humanity is that perpetrators tend to learn nothing, and deflect their lack of remorse onto the survivor. They prey on that deflection of their remorse to turn to guilt and shame in the survivor. It’s an assault of power. It’s true in all human conflict, and is the ultimate source of trauma. Trauma is not what happens to us, rather it is how. Ultimately it is the unanswerable why.
It is a rule in psychotherapy to never ask why. Why violates our existential reality. Another truth of human beings is that we have no objectivity. We are locked within ourselves within our own subjective experience. We all see but down to the biology of our eyes we all perceive the highlights, shadow, and color of vision differently. This is even more truth of our emotional and mental existence.
Another truth of human beings: our united subjectivity feels that we have been here forever, despite the logic and science that shows we are our in our infancy. In comparison to the life of the universe we are proto specs, fragile and young.
Even with the presence of the medical system management and a patient advocate taking copious notes the doctor could not work past her own limitations, her own vulnerability. Her defense mechanism is to deflect her fear onto me to make me the victim. This of course is not her intention, and I am sure she has her strengths as a doctor. Though regardless it is the truth of human result.
Once again I was lectured on what I already knew about the cold facts of my medical situation. Once again facts in my medical record were attempted to be deflected out of the Rheumatology field and back to my other eight physicians who have now stood their ground and have stated Rheumatology is where I need to be.
I have surrendered to the fact that figuring out what is going on with my body is not straightforward and easy. I have surrendered to the reality that while I normalize my day to day sickness that there are serious indicators that something is wrong. In the past 3 years I have gone through so many harrowing and unexplained things. Surgery for an unexplained frozen pelvis that shut down my colon. My mind deteriorating neurologically and psychiatrically in ways that have have landed in me in the hospital over 6 times. Meniere’s disease which is a progressive sentinel screaming there is something wrong. Now I have advanced arthritis in my spine. My spine is somehow in it’s 70s when I am only 34.
Fighting was not a choice, fighting to my vulnerability, to the horrifying truth of my reality wasn’t a choice, surrendering wasn’t a choice, neither is this catharsis. As the other option is loss of identity and irreversible harm.
I’m forcing the release of the guilt and shame of being medically inexplicable. Along with that comes the release of the banshee that wails that I am crazy and that I am weak. I’m surrendering to the fact that I can no longer be who I was, that I have to rise to the occasion of being someone new. I have to face the walk through the fire of ordeal to find the strength I need to survive.
Fear and modesty are luxuries that I can no longer afford.
This is the truth of the human being in the face of adversity, we have to endure the pain of the ordeal in order to survive.
I am truly blessed, though not in the religious way, to not be walking this path alone. I’m surrounded by an overwhelming amount of support, love and opportunity. Some of those are willing to surrender to what our connections need to be. My current struggle is to overcome my own guilt and shame regarding my illness not allowing my subjective standards of reciprocity. I’m surrendering to the fact that at times all I have to give is my own truth packaged in vulnerability.
Those who lend me their strength and so much more need their own space. I will give that when I can. I’m facing the truths of my limitations and today has I only have strength for my journey, and am unable to provide the links to theirs.
I’m also going to cross my artificial line and bring back my poem. The greatest gift, strength and sacrifice of art is to use the medium to bridge the gap of our subjective realities. The best art is a magic mirror of ourselves reflecting into our collective truth. Humanity is a resourceful survivor and has found its own creative way to bridge the gap between ourselves.
I’ve sought a lot of truth in the power of the poem. The poem bridges across ourselves and its mirror is in its use of empty space. That is where we see ourselves. It’s selfish and unfair to withhold my reflection of that truth. It helped many before I hid it away.
I’m also surrendering to the need to be just a girl. I’ve almost lost myself countless times to the weight of the psychotherapist, the social worker, the activist, the advocate, the artist, the warrior, the patient, and my attempts at empowerment. Strength becomes crushing under the weight of its responsibility.
I’ll close this now and accept that this chapter hasn’t ended.
This blog is likely to spend sometime being an intense personal reflect of psychology and philosophy of my own ordeal and my truth. I hope to keep it a productive place. My ordeal is worth it if I can provide a bridge, a mirror, and forge a path to collective change.