Vulnerability and resilency

I lay myself open in front of you,

completely open, as so many times before,

and you defame me with impunity.

Second thoughts? How could I know?

I am at your mercy completely,

but this is not some sado-masochistic fantasy,

it is my health on the line.

My ability to function, to take care of my son

who is disabled, and my husband, who is also disabled

but whose pride will not allow him to admit he might actually

“need” me.

So you treat me, willy-nilly, depending on your mood that day,

and if you have a student who you can show my

“interesting case,”  then there is interest and attention.

My mother fell and split her head open today,

at 86-years-of age.  I wanted to go to her…..

I don’t care that there was no concussion,

that it will be  only four stitches.

My mother and I were once one,

when she woke-up from anesthesia,

when she gentled me at her breasts,

where I felt safe.

You, doctor, world, make me feel unsafe.

I can only pour myself out in your midst

and hope for the best.

This week you have given me your worst,

and so it seems, does my partner.

Not talking to me, not communicating in any way.

So much for disability making someone more

sensitive, more vulnerable.  The walls are so thick

and so high, it would take a master climber to scale the walls

he has put up between us.

I will return to my cushion and hope for some peace.

He is already  at peace.  Amazingly.

So, doc, you’ve seen all of my ugliness and could

have also seen my beauty had you so chosen.

Instead, you saw me as an irritant, a seam in your shoe

that rubs the wrong way, a powerless being you can

make pronouncements over and feel good about yourself.

May you find grace, and mercy on your path.

May you forgive me for hearing you had experienced

vertigo, which makes you human, but irritated you beyond

bearing when you knew I had heard it.

(Despite you leaving the exam room door open directly

across from your office as you spoke with your friend about

this issue).  Next time I will feign indifference, but use Tonglen

to help me understand your embarrassment and pain.

Even though you no longer care about mine.

For that is the way of the Bodhisattva, to allow you

your vulnerability,for it to seem unnecessary, just as mine is completely open,

for your scorn, your foot stomping on it, as my lover’s paralyzed foot is.

Stomping it down, baby Chibi (at least) held in Jizo’s ever open arms.

Never, ever letting go.


Janet Landis

Published by janetlandis

I am a mother, a nurse, a caregiver and a writer.

3 thoughts on “Vulnerability and resilency

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