She is giving me her hand and she says it’s going to be okay. I am closing my eyes asking her to say it again. It’s going to be okay. Her words are landing in the little girl within me.
I am lying on my right side in my bed. I am acute and shivering from fear. We have to get me out of bed. And I am reaching for Josephine’s hand to pull me up. She takes it and tells me it is going to be okay. I am listening. And she pulls.
I am acute in a way I haven’t been for a long time. And it all comes back. Passing out out of pain in a hotel room in Seattle. Being stuck at my kitchen sink not able move. Stuck at the Nordstrom entrance. Crawling up my stairs. Stuck in a Montlake apartment. My son putting his feet under mine walking me to the bathroom. Stuck in a Queen Anne condo. Stuck in the car. Not being able to move.
When acute, it’s not only the present pain that takes a grip on you. It’s all the traumatic body memories flooding your senses with a nameless fear and there is no way you can control it.
I am pondering a lot about feeling safe/unsafe these days. My situation since four years now is that I am quite exposed and vulnerable since I am physically restricted, having to rely on others for my daily survival. I think most people during those circumstances feel more or less unsafe.
I have come to understand though there are people harboring all the safety they need within them. People who don’t need other people. For feeling safe. For support. For loneliness. They might enjoy other people. For fun. For inspiration. For company. For friendship. For love. But they don’t depend on anyone else for feeling good and safe. They fill their own needs.
I though, am ridden by a general feeling of being unsafe and has been so all my life as I recall. It’s a feeling of existential character I would say. Growing up, I didn’t have access to a voice telling me it was going to be okay. So here I am, a 60 year old woman scared in my bed, being offered those words by a 25 year old girl. And I can feel my little child inside receiving them. Like my body is hungering for the sunbeams in the summer. I wonder who I had been if cradled with those words?
I have a sense. There are good days. There has been good times. When I feel anchored. Strong. Solid. Safe and content by myself. Here, alone at the end of the road. Or driving I5 in the Seattle rush hour traffic. Knowing my way around. Trusting myself. Confident relying on having the capacity to handle most every situation.
And I have a picture that’s what it is like being a grown up? Mastering your life. Always. And the fact that I don’t every day, makes me feel I am still a child. I didn't make it all the way.
For a long time now I have been only me. And I have learned to master most things coming up in a regular life with a homestead and home care personal. There is plenty I can’t do myself but I find the people to hire and help me out. I take care of things to the extent that I have come to think sharing shores and troubles with someone would be cheating. If there was a partner or a best friend at my side for everyday challenges or life dito that would be like escaping reality.
Last week one of the home care people who hasn’t been with me for a long time was back. It was wonderful seeing each other again. We laughed. And we even shed a tear. We had missed each other a lot and finally had the chance to share up dates on our lives for the past five months. During that afternoon I could feel myself relaxing in the company of someone who I feel safe and comfortable with.