Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones will break my bones But words will never harm me.

From Wikipedia:

“Sticks and Stones” is an English language children’s rhyme. It persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-natured.

Sensible advice that, to remain calm and good-natured.

I have no problem with remaining calm.

But the truth is – as any person who’s ever been bullied can tell you, words can and do harm you.

Words can and do hurt you.

Words can and do cause you great pain.

Words can even lead you to suicide. Continue reading

Time Heals Everything, they say

So I believe it is time to write a post that has been in my head for almost a year but was too painful to put into words.

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As some of you know, I had to stop dancing about a year ago, due to generalized intense joint pain.

For those of you new to my blog, I used to train, compete and perform with, teach, deejay and do social media for Swing Dynamite, a Swing Dance school in Ottawa. In fact, Ottawa’s only dedicated Swing Dance school.

Anyway, it was as if all my joints had suddenly decided to give up on me.

My ankles, my knees, my hips, my elbows, my wrists, my knuckles, my shoulders… even joints I didn’t know I had* hurt.

Not that I was any stranger to pain, mind you. Pain can even be considered my longest lasting friend, considering it started when I was 11 and I met my oldest friends when I was 12 back in 7th grade.

Every time I danced, I was in pain. Every time. But I also got a lot of joy out of it. The joy exceeded the pain by far so I danced.

However, it got to be that the pain over-weighted the joy so I had to stop. Continue reading

You win

I hate life.

There I said it.

I have spent decades finding gratefulness for what little I had. No parents? oh, who needs parents anyway, I can totally fend for myself. Pain? Oh, at least I have a roof under my head and I have food on my belly. Being told that everything is in my head? Oh at least I have my books and a great imagination. I can always escape to better worlds in my mind when nobody is looking.

I have tried to find strength and peace in the beauty of the little things. The birds coming to my balcony. My cats. Later on, when I finally made it to Canada, the falling leaves, the snow. The squirrels and chipmunks. The groundhogs. The Rideau canal. Swing Dancing.

But the truth is my life has been crap since day one. I was born extreme premature and spent the first months of my life in an incubator. The doctors told my mother not to get too attached to me because I most likely wouldn’t make it. And yet I did. I am pretty sure some god(s) with a lot of time in their hands and a very twisted and sick sense of humour had something to do with that. Perhaps they even made bets on how long I was going to last after all the things they had in store for me.

I spent my the first two years of my life in and out of the hospital and after that in an out of the pediatrician’s office with recurrent ear and throat infections which are the cause of my bilateral hearing loss.

I had no friends, as it is so common for children from very dysfunctional family environments.

Nonetheless, I puttered along. Hating every minute of it. Continue reading

When The Beast Breaks Free

I write this with tears in my eyes.

I have talked before about my anger issues. As a child and a teenager I was angry all the time. I didn’t know why I was angry. I just was. Even worse, I didn’t even know I was angry. I wasn’t aware that anger was burning deep inside me, killing me from the inside out.

I didn’t get into fights. I didn’t hit anyone. But I was much too stern and I kept everyone at arm’s length. The smallest of things was enough to set me off and I’d yell an angry retort and stomp away to go simmer in my room.

Being a gifted child didn’t help either. To me, everybody was utterly stupid and I looked at pretty much everyone with contempt. It is quite normal for everybody to see themselves as the norm. I didn’t think of myself as gifted. I saw myself as having a “normal” intelligence. So, if I was a regular, average kid , then everybody else had to be stupid because, how else do you explain the fact that they don’t understand things as easily and as quick as you do? Math class was the worse. I was always angry during those. I couldn’t understand how my classmates didn’t understand such basic concepts. It took me a while to realize I was smarter than the rest. It probably didn’t happen until 6th grade, when the nuns started to assign students to me for tutoring. I don’t know how we all survived that. The poor other kids, because I didn’t hit them for being slow and I, because I managed to not hit anyone and not call anyone names. My charges were terrified of me, but they improved. And the more they improved, the more the nuns would assigned more girls to be tutored by me. By ninth grade, girls were coming to me out of their own volition and I helped them all. I started to get an inkling on how to control The Beast, whatever it was. How to keep it at bay.

Continue reading

Pain, my old friend

Pain shoots through my every vein

Pain my old friend, my bane.

 

Of my body

each cell you saturate

and every fibre of my soul,

as well.

 

Wrecked vessel so shoddy

perfect companion for pain,

my body is.

 

And my soul, what of it?

Nothing but another channel

for my old friend to exist.

 

Frida Khalo’s La Columna Rota (The Broken Spine)

 

“I hope the exit is joyful — and I hope never to return — Frida”.