Today is the fourth anniversary of my fathers' death.
Sitting here, I have been trying to figure out how I've aged twenty years since he passed. I certainly wasn't the average carefree 19 year old when he died. I had already gone through the horrible experience of a failed pregnancy, and I was resigning myself to the possibility of life without children. I was aware that I would probably end up in a wheelchair well before my peers. But at that time, even with the dislocations, I was still able to stand, and walk, and bike, and rollerblade, and hike...
I've gotten married since he passed. Both of his parents are gone now too. I've isolated myself from his side of the family. I've bridged the gap again, finally being able to see them and not think about him. I've built a convincing mask for myself; a protective shell which only breaks down around certain people, or if I've neglected to give myself an outlet for the pain for too long.
I've been hardened. The world stopped being a welcoming place for me. The softness left. All I felt for a long time was sharp, searing, hard.
I am learning to be open again. To express my feelings.
I can no longer keep my mask on. I have too much raw emotion within me to convincingly contain it any longer. I have rage inside me. It is directed toward the health care system, and the ways in which it is failing me, and the people I care about.
I met a little girl yesterday. She has had over 20 surgeries on her brain. During one of the most recent ones, the surgeon screwed up with a stent placement, and scratched her brain in the area that controls motor function. Her eyes are no longer synchronized in their tracking. She has lost the ability to walk unassisted. The surgeon fucked up. The medical system is denying liability. The wonderful health care we are supposed to have in this country is failing this precious little 4 year old. Her parents have to pay for her rehabilitation out of their own pockets. Because someone else fucked up. It has renewed my rage. I want to walk arm in arm with this girl's parents, march into somebody's office and demand that something be done. NOW. For God's sake, she's just a little girl. She should not have to pay for someone else's mistake.
The misery I live with pales in comparison to this family. I want to help. I want to fix the system. I want to find the bastard responsible, and I want to beat him. Repeatedly. Until he admits what he's done, and vows to do everything in his power to fix it.
Alas, I am just one person. We all must band together, and force the government to fix the system. It is broken. And all the people who really need help are so discouraged by the bureaucracy, that they in turn become broken; unable to fight the system any longer, and nothing gets changed.
On this day, of all days, I would expect karma to give me a break. I'm dealing with so much, even though it shouldn't matter that my father died on this day 4 years ago. I miss him all the time, but it sinks in more when you can call it another full year. I got a letter in the mail today, which tells me I owe the government money, because someone gave me false information. Right now, between 2 or 3 different branches of the government, or through government run institutions, I am owed a great deal of money. They're charging me interest on what they say I owe them, but do you think they'll pay it on what they owe me, if they ever decide to pay me? Probably not. That's not the way they work.
I could really use a break. From everything. I just want to be able to not feel for a while. To get away from the finances, the medical issues, the memories, the pain, the injustices of the world.
You don't want to be around me right now. Not unless you really feel like listening to me rant. Loudly.
Wallowing In It
1 week ago