Over here you will find the next Disability Carnival on Thursday. It is an intriguing choice of topic. Contact. Here's what I've come up with.
I didn’t want to end up in orbit.
I didn’t want to lose contact.
I look down at the earth.
I want to be part of it again.
The notion of losing contact spoke very strongly to me when I was considering writing a post for this carnival.
How did I lose contact? Why? And how has losing contact affected me, and those around me?
Well, it was both sudden and gradual, a case of losing contact with others, with normality, with myself.
Losing contact because people I knew struggled to accept the ‘new me’, the ‘me-with-a-disability’. They struggled even to use the word disability in connection with me, because I suppose it’s alien to what they knew before, and what they know in their own lives and the lives of people they know.
Losing contact with normality because for a time my disability, or the adjustment to it, robbed me of routine, work, structure, interests, socialising, going beyond my house.
Losing contact with myself because the experience of becoming disabled was initially, for me, so traumatising that I was thrown off balance. Hit by a tornado, it felt as though I was hurtled into the stratosphere and beyond, to become a speck in orbit around a world that carried on.
My illness came very suddenly and I was instantly severely impaired both physically and mentally. My senses were so interrupted, confused, disorientated that I had to withdraw.
I read recently that touch can play an important part in healing serious illness. A touch from someone who cares can nurture on many levels.
But because I withdrew, and because those around me struggled with my altered self, I couldn’t experience that healing.
I craved contact, a reassuring touch, a hug, to lie in the dark and have my head stroked until I felt better.
None came, or so it seemed. In fact there were people trying to reach me, but I wasn’t receiving. I withdrew and lost contact even with myself.
To experience such utter isolation feels like being in orbit. Like a module floating around the earth, a world from which I came, which I was part of, and which I was blasted from without warning.
Silence descends, a heavy cloak that blankets time and muffles the enlivening sounds of everyday life that occasionally filter through the dark.
Disparate, disjointed noise floats my way. TV, music, laughter, shouting, parties, fireworks, the pub, the playground.
I pick up these sounds, and yet feel so far from them, and the people they envelop.
I am floating way up above a world that seems to carry on without me. Or I was.
Until I realised that I had to launch my own rescue mission. I had to make contact. I had to reconnect in a new way, as a new me, the me that was rejected, that I rejected, that broke up and came back together but different.
Slowly I am sending out signals, sometimes unintelligible, sometimes so clear they hurt the ears of those who are listening.
I am quietly making contact in a world that seems so noisy that if you become quiet you go off the radar.
But quiet can work. At my computer, writing my blog and reading others it works. Feeling less alone, peculiar though my illness is and difficult though my behaviour can be, I feel reassured.
And trying to make it beautiful.