Limitations I’ve had to overcome to reach my desired writing life include the physical and emotional. Some people we call “fortunate” face few, if any, obstacles in this earthly life. I am one of the many for whom “few obstacles” doesn’t seem to apply.
From the day I was born, I seemed destined for trouble. Then, when I was just three months old, my mother dropped me while coming down the steep stairs of my maternal grandma’s house. Dad dropped the buckets of coal he had just brought in for the fireplace and caught me! That event no doubt planted my first feelings of abandonment, though more and actual abandonment was to come over the years.
Before I could sit up on my own for any length of time, I rolled off the kitchen table where I was being bathed and hit the floor. My first-time mother wasn’t a bad mother. She just didn’t know how to handle a determined infant.
When I could stand up in my crib, I once decided to climb out of it, wailing with frustration just as my Grandma was coming up the stairs. She barely caught me as I fell onto the floor. One or more of these incidents probably contributed to lifelong problems with my back, something the world can often sneer at as phony or invented. Other physical limitations piled on with the years but not before I played tennis, and tried horseback riding and roller-skating. Those were indeed the days.
As for emotional limitations, being married for 44 years to a man with serious co-morbid mental health illnesses was very much an unlooked-for challenge. I feel very grateful to a Heavenly Father who helped me survive those decades, even though I came out of it damaged in body, mind, and spirit. He also prompted me, through the Holy Ghost, on how to handle the frequent mood swings of my husband’s brain disorders.
There was no help at all for me from professional medical services, since the focus was on my husband. Even my own doctors didn’t suggest I get some psychological support for myself, simply writing on my medical charts “situational stress”. Useless. The stress was what we now call “toxic stress” and lasted for over four decades! Long enough to kill anyone.
The experience left deep wounds, since there has been little support for caregivers at all, not even from family members, and certainly none that insurance covered. The trauma also gave me the empathy to relate to others now, when they are willing to accept understanding and support. Not all are. Speaking for myself, healing from abuse that others compounded takes more time than we’re often expecting but it is possible.
But more than that, it has driven me to pick up the pieces of a shattered writing life and continue to pursue my dream.
Much like what it says in our beloved but currently-being-shredded Constitution, the “pursuit of happiness” is something we are all permitted. Yet getting to that stage, even for a writer of independent thought, is another matter.
Even though I’d worked for well over 20 years as a technical writer, produced unpaid newsletters for non-profits, and published uplifting fiction, I still don’t feel I’m “there” yet. I’m not looking for fame and fortune, just to communicate. My pursuit of my desired working writer’s life is a work in progress!