On the bright side, he loves me,
On the bright side, he’s home,
On the bright side, I’m with him,
not here in the dark on my own.
In the light of the bright side the darkness seems endless, the patterns repeating again and again, and the glare of the bright side is searing and deadly, pinpointing where the light ends.
On the bright side, he loves me,
On the bright side, she’s gone,
On the bright side, I’m with him,
not here in the dark all alone.
On the bright side (where is it?) I’m with him (I miss you) not here in the dark all alone…
This is the letter I just emailed to my caseworker to explain how I feel about my little Kia Soul, Firefly. She is my life…and with all the haps recently, she is my biggest burden. So, read if you want…I just wanted to get it down and saving it didn’t seem like enough.
I just want to try to help you understand what I feel about my car. I know you can’t fully understand, because to you, it’s just a thing. Like your phone, or your house, a thing you can (and recently did) get rid of, if it becomes inconvenient, or you just want/need a new one. I get that. I’ve never been there. Ever.
As a kid, oldest of 6 with a low-grade military salary to live on, if we got something it was something we’d better count as permanent until it broke or wore down so badly it wasn’t worth keeping. TV, car, toys…anything.
Then as an adult…first with only a fast-food worker/minimum wage salary that wasn’t enough to let me do more than sleep on my parents couch in their house full of bugs and so many rats I could listen to them war and mate in the walls all around me all night…no AC, in Florida, just a huge box fan with so little motor I had to have it in bed with me to get any relief from the heat…years of that.
Then on 4 yrs. of $25 a week welfare, living on -other- peoples couches, or in shelters (thank you YWCA) and going through disability applications and denials over and over and over again. Finally won, and bought my fondest dream…a little RV, for $7,000. I thought I could have a home and a vehicle in one, travel all over the country, sell things…live the freedom/nomad life I dreamed about. Only problem is, 7 miles to the gallon. Cost to park. Cost of utilities…including dumping the toilet. Ended up back at my parents, parked illegally in their driveway, sucking up their electricity and using their bathroom, until I managed to sell it, luckily for exactly what I paid for it. Minus the upkeep, obviously. (Gentleman that bought it paid in cash. $7,000 worth. In a baggie. >.<)
From there count 10 yrs. or so of living on less than minimum wage disability, in housing units or shelters, back and forth from across the country to “home” with my parents.
Then I met my one and only love, Sam, and moved to live with him and my best friend Becky in Sacramento for two of the best years of my life. Also two of the worst, as I was diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis soon after meeting Sam, and went mostly untreated all through that time. I drove regularly during that time. Neither Sam nor Becky drove. Sam owned a 10 yr. old Suburban, huge clunky black thing, that I needed a step-stool to climb into, and had almost no power steering…lots of fun with RA swollen hands and shoulders.
Then I became insane enough that neither of them wanted me around anymore, and I ended up back with my parents…in the back room of their (manufactured home) trailer, half filled with my moms fabric collection and file cabinets and shelves.
And then I got my car. And alright, I was stupid to want/get a new car. I just thought that for once I wanted something new. Something mine. Something that I didn’t have to worry about it breaking every time I got in it, and worry what was going to fall off next. I thought I deserved this…and since I could have it…I got it. I was so insistent on getting it that I let them talk me into paying more than half of my disability paycheck every month for a payment. But I paid it. All but a very few times, for a year.
And then all the new stuff happened…and it’s all gone pear-shaped, and I have no idea how it’s all going to work out…but it is. It has to. Because stupid or not, it’s my car. And everytime I hear you say “You are going to have sell the car!” I hear “Wow, shame you had that kid when you couldn’t afford it…well, you better sell it, and get a dog or something that costs less.” Ummm…no.
So all that is to say that she, Firefly, my car…is my freedom. I know everyone says that…but everyone hasn’t been deprived of that freedom their whole lives. Everyone hasn’t been dependent on someone or something else, tied to someone or something, powerless and broken, for all their life. I have. And now I have my freedom. I have my other half. I feel whole and safe and yes, sane, when I’m behind that wheel. I feel like a real person, not some fake adult, but me. Just me. My music, my decorations, my life is in that car. (Now if only she had a bathroom, she’d be perfect…;p)
I know you’re worried. It’s your job to be, and you do a very good job. You’re a great caseworker, and I can tell you I’ve had many. *hugs* All I can say is I’m worried too…but I am apparently not going to let this break me. It’s going to be a -long-, -long- year…but I can do it. With help, I can do it. And yes, I’m depressed…and stressed…and all the physical mess that goes with the above…but I’m handling it. I promise. No more talk about pills or other self-destructive things. Apparently those won’t work for me anymore. Not sure why not…maybe it’s just that I finally hit my worst nightmare, Authority Figures hostile toward me for nothing I did and nothing I can do to fix it…and now that I’m here, I find that it’s only horrible…not world-ending. I guess that’s it. So yeah, that’s what I wanted to say. *hugs again* Oh, and thanks.
Being an empath is hard. Harder still, standing here. Those strings have played more feeling than the world is still capable of, and all I want to do is crawl into those memories, those times, good times and bad, and curl up forever, try to live in them, and not here. Not here, in the cold, waiting for the auction to start. Waiting for my heart to break.
Yeah, being an empath is hard…
(With all due credit to Spider Robinson, who taught me more about music and empathy in his books than anyone ever has in life. Also life, hope, joy, sadness, laughter, friends, family…thank you, Spider and Jeanne. Written for the Friday Fictioneers, like it says above, but it won’t let me link in a title, so here’s the link. ;p)
spread my mind and guard my soul,
the me that is and always will be,
help my roots grow deep and wide,
and may you always shelter me.
may you dance with every wind,
delight the eye with every sway,
train my mind to hear and teach,
the wisdom you impart each day.
take my voice to be your song,
through street and inner-city school,
let your shelter shade the mind,
temper heat with dappled cool.
take my words to sing your praise,
and fill the ear with endless green,
until their hearts can grow again,
until their life and yours run clean.