Oh man, I have no idea what to do but to write. Words are like water. They flow easy into corners and uses that same force to push it’s way out. Let’s hope so because I’m giving it everything I’ve got and am coming up woefully short. Wait, am I? Giving it all I have I mean. It never seems to be enough.
I have jumped into an ocean with this project with floaties on my upper arms, expecting to survive. What tremendous hubris. People study for years, building entire careers trying to spearhead reform in the treatment of children. And they wind up more drained and depleted than if they had been Dracula’s bunkmate for an ocean voyage.
It’s several days later and I’m slightly more lucid. Not all the way sober, I’m on painkillers for a legitimate reason but I still hate it. Truly loathe it. I want to be in a state of balance and cleanliness and that means cutting back or major changes in how I deal with pain.
That’s something we all can empathize with, pain. Everybody has something that hurts them either physically or mentally. Alright not everybody, I can honestly say I have met a handful of truly happy people. Most of the people I know have to work to find peace and presence and happiness. I had no idea how many of us have to re-cover from our childhoods while we are dealing with the effects of those symptoms in the damage of our adulthood.
Whether it’s physical pain like I am experiencing right now or the deep, emotional pain that hides in each of us, we are given a choice. The pain is strong, it’s nearly overwhelming your other senses. It sucks in your energy and it feels like it’s sucking in all of the atoms surrounding you as well. Each grain of sand we are made of sparkling briefly as though a prism hit it with light, floating out of your being and whirling into a zone guarded and governed by pain. So, what to do?
It’s really hard not to be angry. I like being active and outside, pain often has the debilitating side effect of needing to rest. I haven’t experienced a day without pain of some kind as far back as young childhood. But even then I was painfully shy and introverted. I had a terrible time relating to other kids because I was always around adults who indulged nearly my every whim to over-compensate for the suicide of my father.
Okay, we all feel it. There’s a strong pull of energy there, what might it be channeled into? And that’s a subjective question; how can you make pain work for you and resent it less? I’m using it to do this, what you are reading right now. This is me naked in my pain, physical and emotional. I have ongoing medical stuff that isn’t dangerous but hurts like hell and the medication I am taking for pain makes me an emotional wreck at moments. Besides it feels wrong taking it and I have learned by experience to always honor that instinctual pull.
My venue is to channel my pain into this work and to be vulnerable enough to let anybody out there who is suffering know that they are not alone. None of us are ever alone, no matter what it may feel like. Truthfully, it’s challenging to muster my can do attitude, which I truly believe in, when my body hurts so much I’d rather say screw you and pull the covers over my head. But when I give in to giving in; I beat myself up for it. And it will be subtle at first but I’ll scrapbook my worst feelings about myself until I relieve the compulsion to write. Even when it’s unrelated or trite or straight-up wrong, it’s what needs to come out so that the genuine passion manifests. And that’s what moves this production forward.
I need to find a new way to say that I had no idea what I was getting into when this project found me. I know enough about making a project to know that it isn’t nearly as seamless as the finished product appears, but I honestly didn’t and still don’t know what I am doing sometimes. But that’s cool too. Many great success stories begin that way. It seems to run strongly in my family.
My son is being solicited by NY film academies in his freshman year of high school beyond his development of his acting and my second cousin, my niece as I call her, has already acted in a national commercial and loves the work. Ordinarily, I have major problems with putting kids into modeling and or acting; the competition can distort reality. But my cousin Keith and his wife Karen, whom I love very much, are a very grounded couple. And Karen would never let her daughter out of her sight. They are the home that if my son goes off to Manhattan and I don’t, I hope he’ll check it at once a week for a family meal and laundry session.
It just struck me that my pain had become almost imperceptible. That happens in the groove of writing sometimes, I get caught up in the flow and everything else falls away. Ah, there’s a twinge. It’s not vacating the premises, just taking a wave. That’s okay, it’s challenging and frustrating at times, on many levels, but I know how strong I am. Just like everyone who faces the new days of fresh hell with a brave face deserves a round of applause. But I have learned many useful skills in the search to manage it. Many philosophers and humanitarians often comment we are all facing fears that nobody else can see, that everyone is going through a secret battle so be kind. I know I’m not perfect, but I try to follow that more often than not.
All of us are in the same boat when it comes to health. All together in our separate grief, trying to make it look like everything is smooth and under control. Right now, this moment the pain is taking me to the fear a child is feeling at the anticipation of an abusive parent or caretaker on their way home, every awaiting adoptive parent jumping at each ring of the phone, the teenager on the street hustling how they can try to eat and sleep safely tonight. Pain unites us all with much more urgency than love. If only we could try to understand each other’s pain and act accordingly.
There are moments when I truly want to give up. It’s exhausting being me and getting busier the deeper we get into KINDRED, but I know I can’t. I know in my heart that I don’t want to. I’ve always been a chatter. Traveling alone from a young age, I learned how to start conversations. So constantly talking about foster care to the people I meet is an honor. And at the same time it can cut me to the quick with the losses that I have suffered. And continue in bad physical pain today, but I refuse to give up. The pain is distracting but at the same time, uniting. There are hundreds of thousands of kids in foster care, more awaiting adoption, labeled unadaptable and some on the street.
We all have something so important in common: WE DID NOTHING WRONG AND DESERVE TO BE VALUED AND LOVED. I’m just revving my engine at a starting line, honing my skills as we wait. So that even in pain or anger or deepest frustration; I know nothing matters in my life, except my own son, as much as helping this cause.So they pain is just going to have to be stabled and tacked up, because I plan to ride it like a Bronco over the finish line of getting this project into the hands of the people so they know what is happening to their own nation’s children, their children. And in our pain, unite to do something about it.
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