Life and Loyalty On Opposite Ends

Life is such an awkward thing. When I was born, I was born too premature to survive the first few weeks of my life unassisted. I was hooked to machines, and those machines kept me alive. It could be why I am able to bond with technology, I don’t know. It also meant that I couldn’t be held or touched by human beings for the first 45 days of my life.

Sometimes I think that I shouldn’t have been born, or that my existence on this planet is pointless and needless, that I take up space and offer nothing in return. It helps to remind myself that people cared enough to keep me alive when I was born. Surely, they must do so for all human life, in an effort to preserve and protect the species, but still, I’d like to think they also did it because they saw something worthwhile in me; a potential seed of a human being that could grow into something truly great; something worth spending the time and resources upon to make that future possible.

I also think it’s why I care about my mother like I do. I care about my dad, I love my dad, and always watch out for his safety and well-being, but there’s something particular about my mom. Maybe it’s because, due to my fragile condition, she didn’t get to hold me until 45 days of my life had already passed. I don’t know.

That’s not to say we don’t argue, because we do. She’s stubborn, and I’m highly opinionated. That’s just asking for trouble. Still, for the most part, we’ve got along quite well. I rarely got into trouble, and was a quiet child. I preferred to lay in the corner and read a book rather than run around playing games with other kids, which might explain the light gravity well that exists around my midsection.

Even so, I do get frustrated. Being in the position I’m in, having lived with my parents for 35 years, is enough to drain anyone’s good humor and sanity, regardless of how much one loves their parents. Sometimes I get so frustrated, and it’s due to all of the stress I have to deal with involved in taking care of a parent who needs 24/7 care. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to myself “when this is all said and done, I’m never seeing any of these people again! I’ll go as fast and as far away from here as my legs and the most available transportation can take me, even if it means landing somewhere on the opposite side of the globe.”

I say that, and when I say it I mean it. Then I’ll watch my mom try to eat her dinner, and I’ll stare as she lifts the utensil to her mouth, but the food falls off the fork, due to her shaking hands, and I’ll start to cry. I don’t want to be here. I want to live, I want to have a family, I want to make my own life, but I can’t do it if it means abandoning her, and I do not abandon people. I do not. Outside of man’s best friend, you will find no one as loyal as I am to my family. Whether they deserve that loyalty or not is another matter entirely, but they do have it.

I have this overpowering sense of justice. I get angry when someone who has harmed no one gets the short end of the stick, and my mom gets the shortest end there is, and it’s not right. So many people have left her to her own devices, but I can’t. If I can look at myself in the mirror and say I don’t deserve loneliness, then surely she doesn’t deserve loneliness, either, especially due to the ravages of a long dormant disease that left a trail of damage in its wake.

The voices in my head like to fight with one another. Any time I feel terrible about my life, I am always reminded of how bad things are elsewhere. Then I tell myself that I can’t solve every problem everywhere, even though if I could, I most certainly would. Then the arguments really kick in, and before I know it, 20 minutes have passed in the blink of an eye, because my mind has once again confounded itself with a problem it can’t solve; not because there are no solutions, but because the solutions require outside help, and as I’m sure it’s known, outside help is harder and harder to come by, because there are so many in need, and so few who are able, or willing, to help to the level required to truly make a difference.

I have a dear friend who reads this blog (God help her), and she has helped me in such a way, that I will be forever grateful. She should know, if she doesn’t already, that those aren’t empty words. I do not forget the people who help me. Believe me when I say it happens rarely enough that I can see all of their faces even as I type this. She made a difference. We didn’t reach the goal we set out to achieve, but the situation vastly improved for my mother, and that has earned my gratitude.

There’s an old axiom that says “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” and for me that just isn’t so. If that were truly the case, then I would have married the Storck corporation many years ago. The way to my heart is through my loved ones. My friends own my heart, whether they know it or not. I still cannot believe what they did for me. They didn’t buy my loyalty, you can’t buy my loyalty, but they did earn it, and they did it because they cared about me, and they had the empathy to know what was important to me, and they acted upon that empathy.

I remind myself of this any time I begin to feel like I am worthless, or shouldn’t be here. It also helps me stay resolved in my efforts to improve my life, to make it better, to make it matter. Surely, if my friends believe in me this much, if they’re willing to extend to me that good faith that who I am matters, and that what I need isn’t pointless or frivolous, then I can extend that faith to myself.

If it seems like I talk about myself a lot, that’s because I do, but it’s not because I am selfish, but because I’m concerned about what is going to happen to me. Surely a person can be concerned about their own welfare, especially in light of all the work they put into making the lives of everyone around them better? On the internet, things can be a bit skewed. I talk about myself here, but in the walking waking world, I say nothing of myself, and only work to uplift others. Everyone should have a place where they can voice concerns that burn inside them, and I have so many. I try not to fixate on my own problems, but Holy Gort they’re right in front of my face, and they refuse to go away. It’s like the loud clamor of cymbals 24 hours a day, and tuning them out doesn’t work because there will always be something to remind me of a particular thorn in my flesh.

That being the case, I must look worse than an Addams family rose garden.

-.Lotus

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