Absent

my hands act out the usual tasks
my feet walk down familiar paths
I brush my teeth, I shower, I cleanse
my eyes take in the sky, the street
I chew as normal when I eat
and when I go to visit friends
I make believe its such a treat
my chatter hiding false pretence

without a hint of abdication
the brain conveys its information
and yet I feel as if I’m dead
and when I laugh, or smile, or cry
all the humour, joy, and misery
Is not felt inside my head
but somewhere far removed from me

Β©Jane Paterson Basil

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24 thoughts on “Absent

  1. Sometimes the only thing we can do is go through the motions as a nod to ‘normality’ when the going is tough. There is a comfort in the day to day routines and patterns that helps to ground and support. Five minutes at a time, then ten, then a baby step and another… xxxx
    I went to a workshop quite some years ago on Resilience. It was taken by a woman who had been at the police station taking out an AVO against her violent estranged ex. While she was gone he came to her home, killed both her young children, her father and then himself. Out of that horrific trauma she developed a framework, stitch by stitch, from her learned lessons, on how to put your life back together. Her name is Ingrid Poulson. Her very practical framework is called RISE – Resolve, Identity, Support and Everyday Resilience. She is one of the most inspirational and humble people I have had the honour of meeting. I believe she has a website too, although I have not looked her up.

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    1. You mentioned her before, but I don’t think I checked her out at the time. This time I went to her website. What a remarkable woman! She mixes posts about the things people have said to – and about – her, with practical articles about women’s hygeine survival packs and how to make sour-dough bread. Rather than screaming at the injustice, her voice is rational and sensible. She’s amazing – a quiet Amazon of a woman πŸ™‚

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      1. Whenever I’ve been ill, that first day when I just feel normal, I have such an overwhelming joy over just feeling ordinary. It’s hard to remember that we’ll ever feel that way again during a bad spell.

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        1. That’s so true. It’s like the seasons – I find it hard to believe in summer when icicles hang from the trees, and when the roses bloom I can’t remember what winter was like, or imagine it ever returning πŸ™‚

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          1. I always feel like you must want to throttle me when I try to be a Pollyanna during your bad days so I have to avail myself of the up periods… ha. It’s just that the main times I feel depression is when I’m really really sick with the flu and so that’s they best comparison I could find.

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        1. I seem to have been feeling angry and frustrated lately, and I often get secretly irritated with people who aren’t necessarily to blame. The trouble is I’m a pushover. Friends end up manipulating and controlling me because they assume it’s ok, and I don’t have the confidence to tell them it’s not. I have a close friend who thinks that true friends live in each others pockets. I disagree – true friends make way for distractions in each other’s lives, but will always be there should they be needed. But the upshot is that if I don’t spend ten hours a week with this friend I’m disloyal.
          As she doesn’t read my blog, she won’t see this comment. I wonder, does that make her disloyal? πŸ™‚

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            1. I met someone online who had a similar experience – except she had to move to another State to escape her friend. I have an uneasy feeling that her name was Jane, too.
              Or was that you’re friend? You didn’t move States to get away from her did you?
              I promise to do my utmost to keep toxicity from our friendship, in spite of my suspect name πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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                1. No, there are certainly no Janes around here. I know people call me Jane, but it’s an abbreviation for Justice And, um, Nice, er, Endings. Yes that’s what it is -that thing I just said. I’m really called (looks out of window for inspiration) Grass… no, Flowers… no, Trees.. Trees… Teresa! That’s it. My name is Teresa.(shuffles her feet, looks guilty, can’t quite meet your eye)… unless you had a nasty friend of that name, in which case it’s Wilhemina.
                  But I don’t mind if you call me Jane πŸ™‚
                  Phew! Have you ever read Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Ernest?’

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                    1. It’s about a man who pretends his name is Ernest – I can’t remember why – and then discovers that the woman he loves couldn’t possibly love a man whose name was anything other than Ernest. He’s devastated – he’d been on the brink of confessing his small deceit. everything turns out well when he learns that his name is in fact Ernest – his nanny mislaid him when he was a child, and he was taken in by another family who, not knowing what he was called, gave him an new name name. His true mother is overjoyed to find him, he marries his beloved, and everyone lives happily ever after. It’s a wonderful, funny tale told in Oscar Wilde’s inimitable style πŸ™‚

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