I’ve been lost in my head for another year. Trying to articulate this need to share my experience in the hopes that somebody out there can use it to fuel their own stories and life. It’s difficult to build a following when my own voice is being strangled by fear. Fear of what the internet has become. I’ve been online since the very beginning of the Internet as a place beyond education and research to something social. It has changed to something where it appears that only extremists, the intolerably opinionated for the sake of being right instead of being understood are the only voices adding the fray. It’s become a place of intolerance instead of attempting to understand the views of others without necessarily aiming to change the other person. Maybe I was really lucky early on to have an initially fun, radical, and supportive introduction, and that’s why my shock at the divisiveness that seems to be everywhere now. The predominant emotions being anger, fear and hopelessness. We’re becoming so self-protective. It feels like inclusion and connectedness is becoming harder to achieve. That the haves are bitter that have-nots being it from diability, to poverty, to exclusion on prohibited grounds of gender and race for dare asking to be included. I’ve seen more than my fair share of people screaming “Why does the majority have to spend money/time accommodating the embittered few?” And so it’s added one more strangling hand to my throat and hands typing away at this keyboard in from of me.
Who am I to want to reach out? Why do I think I matter enough to add my voice to the already crowded, noisy angry din that’s already so loud, and so blind and so snarly that I’m not even going to be heard to begin with?
Because I am more than what’s happened to me.
Because I know in the deep recesses of my soul that finding a way through is my gift.
Because the only way I get through is by believing going through all of this is useful somehow.
Because I still have a voice even if it’s small.
Because I am not an inherently angry person, and I can listen to divisive opinions, and have wild conversations with people without judgement. Listening doesn’t mean acceptance. Discussion doesn’t mean my opinion will change especially when the topic is something that hurts others. Finding the commonality and starting there builds reconciliation and trust.
Because sitting with hard emotions and hard content again doesn’t mean acceptance, but it does lay a foundation to trusting that no matter what comes up we’re stronger by acknowledging, talking about the reality, and finding ways to change
That all change comes from working with people where they are and knowing that my gifts still exist even though MS is turning my body into something that is unrecognizable to the spirit still living in it.
Am I back? I don’t know. I just know that my silence is becoming a prison. I just don’t know where I want to go from here. I can’t say that this is my rising. It is simply that I have to be greater than my fear, so I press publish now to reclaim my voice out here.
Edited for clarity June 14, 2019