Translunary Things – I wasn’t Outed, I was never In

For just a sec: imagine terminating someone without warning because their chemo was “interfering with their work.” Unfair? Cruel? Hah!

You see, it’s not cellular chemistry, it’s brain chemistry. As my spouse might say, a completely different kettle of monkeys. Or in their words: “lack of creativity isn’t an illness.” (C’mon, really? Suddenly, after 17 years, I just sort of “lost” my creativity? Did I misplace it or something? Jeez, where did I put those hand-puppets?)

So to them, it didn’t matter that I was sick. I didn’t matter that I had an illness that, untreated, had a higher fatality rate than some cancers, and that not taking the meds wasn’t really a reasonable choice. It wasn’t a “real” illness or disability (to them), so that made it okay, and they could sweep the rest under the rug. After all, how could I complain? I was freaking mental patient. It doesn’t matter if it was legal, or even ethical; the damage was done and I won’t re-hash that part here.

But here’s the irony: in the midst of rebuilding my health and shattered self-esteem, do you know what happened to that blot, that fuzzed out spot in my brain?

It didn’t just clear. In fact, it’s starting to shine.

I’m painting again, after four dry years. And writing? The words are pouring out, faster than I can keep up. It may not last, this wellspring, and I’m still both exhausted and unemployed, not to mention gun-shy and trying to start a freelance biz (of me – great time to need strength for self-promotion, huh?) besides.

It’s sad, though, that the price is this: I know I have nothing to be ashamed of, but it’ll be a long time before I feel safe enough to come back out of the shadow. My words might, but not under my own name.

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