Resentment: Def. A feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury – real or imagined.
Andy has brought Jonah to three post-op doctor appointments this week. God knows what would happen if he did not live where he does and have the job(s) he does. E and J have been unable to bring him to his last 4 appointments. What does the school do if there is a child who needs an eye surgery and doesn’t have the transportation to get there?
The laser surgery was medically successful, at least initially, but I had to take the whole day off Monday because everything happened excruciatingly slowly.
This video shows Jonah, gowned up and ready to go, stuck in a room Does he like Dora? the nurse kindly asked and we said yes and we said sure and we said thank you when all we wanted was to get going. Andy is standing between Jonah and me as Jonah walked his circles in the small space of the room.
Five minutes after this Jonah had a major flip out, throwing himself on the floor in the hallway, kicking, screaming, pulling hair, biting. Nobody came out to help us.
Eventually we got him back to the room and calm.
The operation itself was quick. Jonah got sick afterwards and kept wanting to itch his eye. so I used a tissue to gently press on the eye, and I kissed it soundly, over and over. Kiss eye? Kiss eye? Yes, Boo. Kiss eye. Of course kiss eye.
It was more difficult than usual to send him back to school, an hour and a half away from me, where I see him so infrequently and have so little control over what happens to him. I have to trust. One of the check-in people on eye operation day noted that Jonah was at a residential facility. She mentioned that her daughter was autistic and how she would never, ever trust anyone to take her precious baby away from her. “I don’t trust nobody with my baby,” she declared. It was as if she had slapped me in the face. Who says that to someone whose kid is already in a residential facility? What do you know about why we did it? I wanted to yell.
Jonah & Andy, walking the halls before the room where you gown up.
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And so I crawl along, filled with dread, with grief and terror for this world, with my heart broken for those at Sandy Hook in CT. I read all the intelligent arguments about mental illness, parenting, gun control, and violent games/TV, and I find no answer in my heart — and that, maybe, is what frightens me most. My mental state becomes fragile when I am confronted by humanity at its worst.
Which did not help when very recently I was the target of verbal anger, delivered in front of others and with a ramped-up rage that left me in disbelief, filled with embarrassment, and completely stunned. Despite a nonverbal apology later for the “confusion,” (not the behavior), I think maybe too many people enjoy railroading over people like me, who don’t fight back. One witness, upon seeing my face fall, told me coldly to “suck it up.” Maybe I really don’t belong in society, such as it is, because that kind of behavior seems so foreign to me that I have no response but tears. It will pass, it always does, I regain the strength and something restores my faith and I keep on going.
Yet there is a lot that’s wrong with all the people in this world. With our priorities and with our ignorance and with our anger. All of us. There are a lot of things one can say about me but I will say this for myself: I may be meek, but I am kind, and I don’t take advantage of people’s weaknesses or vulnerabilities, and I care about how other people feel, and I have never treated anyone the way I was treated today. So perhaps people like me really shall inherit the earth, like the Bible says. Watch out then, bullies, because things are gonna get a whole lot more mellow. (Quite rightly).
If I were a Buddhist all of this would play out in my head and heart quite differently. I would be thankful to this person for their challenge to my ability to be compassionate and understanding. I would consider them my teacher. I would not only forgive instantly but also revere the perpetrator – very similar to Jesus’ “turn the other cheek.” That’s some serious shit to truly take on, though, which makes me admire earnestly practicing Buddhists and Christians all the more. Perhaps I should just up and go to Plum Village for a while. I need to pound the lessons into my head.
Of course this whole story – every little bit of it – is nothing compared to what has happened and continues to happen in Newtown, CT. Burials, burials. An entire community with post-traumatic stress disorder. Pain-filled awakenings from nightmare hours of darkness. God only knows the horror. God help all the mourning people. I just can’t muster much joy in Christmas this year; I have had the wind knocked out of me and am only a stranger, miles away. But I can pretend, and the pretending will become real. Smiling begets smiling. Breathing allows for release.
At least I am still able to crawl along. To let go of the resentment. Breathe, breathe. Let it go… Feel gratitude.
I’m a Weeble, you see. I wobble, but I don’t fall down.
Weebles just, well, rock on.
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