autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Humanity, hypocrisy, and a hope of being humbled

Funny how life is sometimes. I very rarely think about the things I’m about to spill but, on occasion, I am reminded in oddly pointed ways and when I am, I think about it, and, inevitably, I feel exactly the way I am feeling.

I’ll preface this by a bit of history.

Once upon a time, I was… different. I suppose by cultural standards, I was “better”, but I don’t see it that way. (Well, ok, sometimes I do, but mostly in that “sour grape” way that doesn’t really matter.) I had a routine, I kept to it, and I liked the results it brought. I miss that routine, frankly. It felt good to be winded and mildly sore; to have the high of having run long distances and to return feeling not as much tired as invigorated. It felt good to feel as if everything was working properly and in top-top shape. Combined with the circuit at the gym and the ability to pull off any damn look or fit I cared to, I really didn’t spend much time pondering much of any of it. In fact, I never thought about it at all. I took it utterly and completely for granted. Until it changed.

There was an odd incident in 1997 that quickly led to exchanging legs for wheels, and almost five years of ridiculous pain and incapacitation; a rather rude, sudden stop to the routine. Insult to injury followed; it’s been roughly thirteen years (fourteen this year, actually) and I barely approximate normal function. Any stress upon the illusion and it abruptly shatters. Which hurts in ways I cannot possibly convey. I suppose it is pride, but there’s a goodly amount of simple defiance in it, too.

There’s a long list of things I’m not able to do anymore. Doesn’t matter how much I want to try them because experience has proven that my body doesn’t have to obey my mind; if I try to make it do as I demand, I wind up facing the probability of landing precisely back on my ass, once more exchanging legs for wheels. Faced with the choice between those wheels or the restrictions I live with today and their outcomes, reluctantly, I take the restrictions.

And I tell myself it doesn’t matter.

And I tell myself it makes no difference.

And I tell myself that I don’t care about the ways it so obviously makes every bit of difference.

And I ignore (well, I pretend to) how I can see it changes things in the most ridiculous and ludicrous of ways.

I comfort myself by reminding myself that I have managed to accomplish a lot just to have the illusion of normal function; that, damn it, it is an accomplishment. I remind myself of how I didn’t realize just how much of an accomplishment it was until I got the copy of my records and read that no one thought I’d ever do it at all; no one thought it possible. That, to this day, there’s two of those crotchety old fucks who insist on telling me it isn’t going to last. Yeah, you know what? Fuck you. Both of you. Hard, sideways, and repeatedly.

I soothe myself with that “fuck you”, and I comfort myself by reminding myself that this is the thing that no one knows unless I tell them; the thing that excuses the results of the restrictions, the thing that means all the things people assume are untrue. I tell myself I have the hall pass in my pocket, but I never want to show it because the only thing worse than the assumptions is the pity. Fuck them. I don’t need their pity. It doesn’t matter what they think; they don’t know and if they did, they wouldn’t be so cruel. But I know that’s a lie, because a good many did, have, and do. Even to this day. They can’t help it. Just human.

Of course, I’ve become something of a liar. Which surprises me when I think about it, because honesty is so close to the bone and important to me. Worst of all, I’m lying to myself far more consistently than to the world. No. Actually, worst of all is when I’m staring the lie in the face….. like I am now….. and understanding just how much I hate it and how helpless and yes, hopeless, I feel before it.

It feeds a lot of things, this lie. More than I like to admit and most of them being the angry insistence upon doing things I know aren’t good for me because I can’t do the ones that would be better and yes, I’m still angry about that. Angry for having no one to blame, angry because willpower can’t touch it, and most of all, angry about all the assumptions that show up in the faces and attitudes of those who don’t know and are so willing to put those labels on me (and yes, I know what they are, and yes, I hate them for doing it). Bah. I know a lesson when I feel it. This one stings. I’m supposed to be ok with this, since I can’t change it. But it’s been almost fourteen years and I am NOT okay with it. I don’t think I’ll ever be ok with it until I’m so old that no one expects me to be other than crippled and unable. And frankly? I doubt very much I will be ok with it then, either.

If you ever wonder how I got this strong or why I have such self-control, this post is a big old nebulous finger pointing in it’s general direction. It’s not the only reason, of course. There’s ancient history of far greater evils than mutiny of the body that I could tell. But I don’t often think about that, either.

But today, today I am reminded because soon, I’m going to once more watch all those assumptions fly across someone’s face. And I’m going to watch the transition from focused enthusiasm to anything from forced versions of it to total disengagement. And I will know precisely why it is happening, but I’ll have to pretend I don’t, at least for the time that I’m there. Worst of all, I’m going to have to be ok with the quiet that follows it. And I’ve got to get everything locked down before I reach that moment so that when I get there it doesn’t break the dam, it doesn’t prod me to unleash over thirteen years of anger on someone who doesn’t deserve it, and so I can catch myself in time to remember all of this in the moment I am watching it flow like water over their face. 

Maybe I’ll find a house and be so giddy for it that it won’t happen at all. But I know myself pretty damn well and I guess (however sadly) that I just don’t have the kind of belief or trust that I used to… which is the penultimate point… since I didn’t realize this was the case until today.

In fact, I didn’t realize it until about two hours ago, when I got my first look at all the things I’ve been missing for almost fourteen years, packaged with a smile and polished with self-depreciation and felt it crawl up out of the abyss and started chewing on my heart and head. I didn’t know I could feel so envious. Wow.

I could be wrong. Maybe it’s just fear and maybe by calling it out and speaking it whatever, I can make it wither, fade, and disappear like shadows before a strong light. Which is, of course, why I’m writing this; putting it here in the full knowledge that it’s available to be read. My admission, confession, and exquisite embarrassment of a reminder that I didn’t want and didn’t need because it’s always here, even though I try to pretend otherwise. That and the sense of sadness that I feel so certain this is the only possible outcome and I realize that no one deserves that kind of certainty… it’s me being all hypocritical because I don’t want to see it again, that look, those assumptions, and the awful quiet that always seems to follow them.

You want to know what I hope? I hope I’m so wrong that I feel humbled. That would be nice even as it would be squirm inducing.