I don’t want this post to come across as self-pity because I don’t mean it as such. I’m simply trying to sort through my circumstances and make a little sense out of my life as it currently stands. Right now, the only word that comes to mind is disenfranchised. I feel completely and utterly powerless to impact my own future. With this illness, I can’t fend for myself, and our disability system is a travesty. Civilized societies wouldn’t treat sick pets as poorly as we treat our disabled. Our elected officials are worthless except for photo ops, sound bytes, and empty promises they have no intention of ever fulfilling, and the entire system seems rigged against people like me.
I’m sick of conservatives and their hypocritical phrases like class warfare and entitlements. I’m sick of their willful ignorance of science and reason, their disdain for intellectual progress, and their active defense of overt racism. Their perverse need to punish underprivileged people is a huge part of why I’ve been left with no healthcare and virtually no income for eight months, a timeframe that could’ve allowed me to already be on the road to full recovery and a return to productivity. Instead, I’ve needlessly suffered through months of spasms, fatigue, pain, and shame.
Not that liberals are any better. I’m just as sick of their perverse need to punish me for being a white, heterosexual male, as if my very existence is to blame for the world’s problems. Because of some imaginary privilege I’ve supposedly enjoyed my entire life, my circumstances aren’t worthy of note. My suffering isn’t as real as some other group’s. That dehumanizing way of thinking is the root of most ill done in society, and I’m sick of being made to feel as if my voice and my life are insignificant.
This shame and embarrassment I feel for what my life has become weighs on me every second of every day. I was a good teacher, but the stress and toll of that career is a big part of why I’m broken down now. My writings currently have 98 five-star reviews on Amazon (out of 166 total reviews), but I can’t sell more because I don’t have the money to advertise enough to reach a wider audience. All of my hard work feels like failure because I’ve been reduced to begging for help from family, friends, and even strangers. I would not wish this situation on my worst enemy, and I’m trying to get through it with a shred of sanity and dignity left, but every single day, my hope for tomorrow dims a little more.
I’m tired of feeling disenfranchised, of feeling worthless, of feeling insignificant. A person’s life shouldn’t be reduced to this sorry state. The part of me that put myself through school and juggled two and three jobs over the years wants to fight my way out of this predicament, but my body simply won’t allow it. And I’m not even going to get into how badly I miss my sons and how badly my pride as a father has been damaged by my inability to be active in their lives. That part is simply too painful to discuss. For now, all I can do is try to hang on for another day, but the view from down here is mighty bleak.