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But I'M NOT BITTER...
The Goddess of battle, strife, and destruction explains it all for you

Frightening the Neighbors

by

April 14, 2008

Thereís a funny thing about becoming neurologically ill.Apart from all the interesting visual and spatial distortions that I *know for a fact* other people pay good money for.

While youíre stumbling around in the thick of it, unable to balance, addled on the drugs, falling down and frothing at the mouth and occasionally breaking bones, you come to a rather startling realization.

People start to fear you.

They regard you as a Thing Apart.A leper.

No matter that you spring up jauntily afterwards, brush yourself off, dab off whatever blood is oozing and pick up where you left off:people get freaked out.

Your friends start to fall away.They are afraid that this is some type of madness, something contagious.

In fairness, it must be pretty frightening to witness.And the drugs change you.They do:itís a fact.You become distant, disinterested.And depending on the drug: sedated, manic, confused, forgetful.

But hereís the thing.And a case in point.

I have a dear, dear friend.

Who now seems absolutely terrified of me.Despite my calls and my emails, she has not responded.Iíve been there for her in some of her most difficult times.Iíve celebrated her triumphs with her; Iíve held her while sheís cried.I know all the secrets of her soul and she knows mine.

But now?Since all of this has become so much worse?

Nothing.Not a word.

I canít find it in my heart to blame her: sometimes there just are no words and I know there is no malice in her.She has recently found the happiness that she so richly deserves and I hope with all my heart that it lasts her a lifetime.

All the same, I feel abandoned.And so bereft of this friend.

I have no support system here and whatís going on with me neurologically (we wonít get into it here, but it is a bit more than simple epilepsy) is pretty scary.

One of my drugs kept me up for 90 hours straight, until one of my long distance cop friends (a former neurological nurse) urged me to ďbotherĒ my doctor on the weekend.I did, and he drugged me into sleep.

Thatís the other thing:drugging me to sleep leads to all sorts of complications.I donít react well to barbiturates.They make me paranoid, make me forget things.I get major hangovers from them, canít shake them off for days.This morning for example, I put a pot of coffee on and forgot to put the pot under it.Result:a kitchen floor full of coffee.

And in the meantime, itís an endless parade of MRIs and CT scans.A PET scan is scheduled but because thereís a big waiting list:I wait.

People fear this illness and they fear me in the grip of it.

I donít even want to talk about my own fear, which I keep at bay by writing.

Word of my condition has spread and has rendered me unemployable.

Nobody wants the liability.Oh, Iím a great lawyer, but who needs the lawsuit if I fall over and split my skull open in court?Itís compassion galore to my face, but no job offers.

On good days, I can go out because the ground and sky are staying where theyíre supposed to be.On bad days, I see them at 45 degree angles relative to where I am and keepingmy balance is impossible.

I do have one friend here who has been my salvation:Sara.Sheís busy inventing her own gourmet cat food business so she works at home but she always has time to come over and sit with me when my own personal spatial perception thing refuses to accord with the laws of physics and gravity.She has her own 1-10 scale of ďbug-eyedĒ when it comes to me. She makes me tea, she brings the cats food, she sits and gossips.She never treats me like a freak.

Natalie is another lifeline.Iím currently working on my first novel and sheís been thrust into the role of my editor.She has absolutely no pity and I adore her for that.I donít want pity.I want honesty and the recognition that Iím still here:Iím still me.†† She sends me constant emails, the gist of which is ďkeep writing, keep writing, keep writing.ĒAnd no bullshit from her:she says itís brilliant writing:I trust her not to sugarcoat it and so I keep at it.

I sometimes think itís the only thing that keeps me alive.

Iím way too young to give up on everything just because my brain has decided to germinate something it shouldnít.

I can still write, and Iíll get this bloody book done.My brain owes me that much, I think.Whatever else is in there affects my balance, the way I see colours, my sense of dimension but it owes me at least one great book.

But it doesnít change who I am.I donít talk to Xenu, God doesnít pop by for tea, I donĎt have delusions or experience magical thinking.I see no unicorns.Iím not a witch, a vampire, a shape shifter, a goblin or a werewolf.I donĎt come from another planet, nor am I invisible.I canít fly or raise people from the dead. I donít get messages in my fillings.I donít see ghosts or think Iím the King of France.The cats donít talk to me.I donít hear voices or think Iím a prophet.I canít walk on water or change base metal into gold.I canít predict the future or even tell you if itís going to rain tomorrow.

Thereís just this thing in my head.

Apart from that, Iím still here.

Still here.

Still ME.

And I can still laugh.

Till next time.

Morrigan



Copyright© the Morrigan & Heartless Bitches International (heartless-bitches.com) 2008
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