I am crying as if back in the grief-filled, tear-wracked days of my 30s– death of a parent; divorce; leaving my child when we split the homes; absorbing the parent role for my mother – becoming her all there is between alone and not.  Maybe just too much putting everything else at the top of the list? There is only one of those – the tops; everything else is behind.

Could it be? The floods of held-back sorrow just flow? Or is it neuronal or chemical or hormonal or contextual or emotional or personal or…? How am I to know myself when my body is so intractable? Connections made in others’ seem untraceable in me.

And then the forgetfulness. The word switching. The not knowing the answer to my own questions. The falling – I can feel it coming; can’t stop it. It’s not tripping; more like keeling. Watch it happening with my internal eye. Calm, but confused about what if anything is wrong. Aging? Early onset? Distraction? These shoes?

Anxiety angles its way to the back ends of my inner globe. Sometimes just physiological – heart racing, pulse beating. Sometimes accompanied by the worry, picking-at-a-scab perseveration of my autistic-like part: repetition, pattern; searching for comfort in the over and over. I  navigate the day, muscled by something the size of a microbe.

Of my extended-nuclear family of five, I stick out given that I have a semblance of executive functioning. I plan. I follow through. I close loops. My other four are raccoons – shiny eyes flagging from left to right as they chase the next stimulus, or follow the one that interrupted them mid-completion.  My head whips. Pin pricks my skin. They yell my name for endlessly different reasons. Voices echoing from where they are unmoving, leaving everything to the last-minute, and not completing what they started. Piles everywhere that don’t go away.

Trapped in an inexplicable body that points and shoots and tumbles through. Poked all day long by the auditory pollution of the world at bay. Fumbling towards ecstasy? No. Fumbling towards getting through.

My neurons should be read-ready. People with degenerative neuronal diseases, with spinal cord injuries – they work out how to be connected. Their disconnect (over time and with intention) brings something that seems out of my reach. Neuronal work-arounds create bodily familiarity and rhythm. My jealousy of this neuro-self knowing is grotesque. I get that. What others would give to be in my free moving, inexplicable body.


© Gabriella Strecker, 2016

Etiquette 101: 10 Tips for non wheelchair users courtesy of Travis Roy Foundation Whiffle Ball Tournament Program, 2015