Over the last 12 months this blog has meant many things to me. This is where I figure things out, make sense of what life throws at me, find solace and above all, find a purpose…..Today, I am going to use it as a distraction. In a couple of hours I have to overcome my fear of enclosed spaces and subject myself to a medical test in a narrow coffin like contraption called an MRI Machine. I have had 3 MRI’s in the last 10 years and during the second one which happened in Singapore, I got a bit panicky and pushed the call button indicating to the Technician I wanted to come out. He wouldn’t oblige saying he only needed another 10 minutes worth of imaging. The slight panicky feeling turned into full fledged claustrophobia and by the time they pulled me out of there, I was kicking and trashing in blind panic.
So as you can see MRI’s are not my favourite kind of medical test. The third time I had one I asked for a sedative and managed to last the required 20 minutes in the machine. For today’s procedure the doctor has prescribed an IV sedative and I am hoping everything will go well as a result.
A good friend is driving me there and back, taking time out of his busy workday. Other friends have called or text to wish me well. Those related to me by blood however have chosen to focus on something else happening this week instead.
A few weeks ago, a long time friend of mine rang from Sri Lanka, saying he was thinking of returning to New Zealand after spending 18 of the last 20 months personally nursing his mother through a long term illness. He had provided 24 hour care for her, giving up his job in Australia in order to do that. She had passed away in February and now he was trying to get back on his feet. He needed somewhere to stay until he assessed the likelihood of getting a job here. I offered to put him up for a few days. He arrived two nights ago and I have been ringing around friends trying to tee up some accommodation for him.
I shared with my family the news that my friend was returning to New Zealand soon and would be staying with me for a few days. I also shared with them the news about his mum’s illness and passing away, thinking they would find much to admire in a dutiful son such as him. I was wrong. A few days afterwards, my mother rang me up to say how disgusted they were that I was behaving like I had no self respect having a single male staying with me. I was flabbergasted. I thought they knew me and understood why I was doing what I was doing. Yesterday my sister rang up to express her disgust in person. I just hung up as there was no point in even justifying my decision. She knew I was having this test today, yet chose to focus her attention on this incident rather than wishing me well. She chose not to ask how I was getting to the hospital and whether I would be ok getting back home. The friends whose characters she disparaged are the ones that are acting like my real family while mine choose to stand back.
I struggled to understand how I could have been born into a family like that. Why was I so different to them? Then yesterday I had a thought. In Anthropology there is a term called Pollution. It is defined as “matter out of place”. In my quest for independence and striving to live authentically, I think to my family I am simply matter out of place. They don’t know how to fit me into their existing classifications and therefore I am a pollutant in their world…To be looked down upon, to be cleansed of. I don’t feel angry, just sad that they don’t see me for who I really am. There is nothing I can do about it, so I will carry on being who I really am for as long as I can……..Today I have far more pressing things to worry about and I choose to be thankful for everything else that I have in my life and not focus on what I don’t have…..
It all went well. Machine was lot bigger than last one I had been in and there was a mirror attached to the contraption that went over my head which let me see the people in the control room. The sedative helped too because the half an hour felt like ten minutes and so did all the positive energy I received from my friends. Thank you