Woe is me. Never before have sleep issues been so astoundingly bad, chronic yes, but so much sleep being deprived over a short period makes for despair. If only the answer to why, then there could be a solution.

But it has taken days into weeks. Perhaps this batch of medical marijuana oil isn’t as potent, or had nothing in it at all? Yet that stuff is highly regulated so goes through rigorous testing even if this prescription is lighter in color than the last.

Then what? Well, my consumption of news. Of course. So a moratorium on news is in order for the next few months. A lover of movies where I can be close to people without the burn will be my replacement.

No more listening to reports of the thousands of deaths to come in the next two months because no one will be at the helm of the country to lead us out of this until January 20th.

No more tears rolling down my face watching health care workers desperately ask that we all wear masks because they are drained from caring for the sick. Or tears when the news hones in on particular family members describing their loss of a loved one— making those tens of thousands dead real not just numbers. No more dread in the pit of my belly while falling into a vortex, a void with no end.

I must regain my equilibrium because going on like this will truly make me crazy. It does not help when two brothers call on Thanksgiving Day, first Don, then Stevie, my one younger brother. Seeing who the first call was from on the answering machine made me hesitate, but not for longer than a moment.

Trying to be cheerful and upbeat, prattling on happily wanting to believe they do care. But later in bed restlessness makes sleep impossible.

They go on as usual emailing the group omitting me because I have asked not to be included if Tom is. How hard is it to email a little note just for me? Too hard I guess. It is easier to pretend I don’t exist, but give a pity call on a holiday to make themselves feel better.

That hurts deeply… craving family just as anybody does. But after any interchange it takes days to reclaim equilibrium. Don, a once beloved brother, is the most recent culprit sending a group email including both me and Tom.

How could you be so disconnected from the truth, my truth, and yours too? Your brother, who you interact with, even standing with against me, abused me in a horrible way, then spent the rest of my life punishing me for it.

So Tom responds to the group which means there sits an email with Tom’s name on it in my mail. That brought him and all the memories right home inside me where they swirled curdling and souring the peaceful life I’ve built…stealing it.

On Thanksgiving Day for the first time in my life I spoke up to Don, but even over the phone it brought bubbles of fear foaming up from my stomach.

“I’d rather not be included in emails like that. What he did was horrible and I’d rather not be reminded of it,” I said, hands shaking.

“No problem,” Don said blithely, the goes on, “I didn’t think of it.

He continues on, no apology, no nothing. But a while after the call was done my hands were still shaking. I held them to me noticing the upset which caused vibrations throughout my body. I broke the taboo. It only took 60 years. To be clamped down this way for most of my life has stolen so much.

To not be free. To not live fully, honestly, openly? Like wrapped tight in a rug unable to breathe, the only parts escaping are fake, here to please you, but not me, the real me.

I still search for her. She is truly special. I am special. Courageous. And worthy.

They don’t know. They never will because each is too afraid to ask, too afraid of the truth. And it doesn’t matter. I know. And when I forget, I have friends here to remind me of just who I am. This safe place has saved me.

sent to me by a very dear friend…

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