The Survivor Struggle – Part I

In the years since writing this, I am proud to say that not only can I still refrain from breaking into song in local cafes, but I’m also now tackling, head-on, each barrier to my goals.


I get in Psychology and Women Studies classes the stuff that keeps me alive.  Sometimes cold, hard reality hurts like hell. But, I guess, that sense of struggling in unison makes all the difference in the world.  And I’m really not dramatizing — or ready to burst out singing “We Are the World,” right here in the Muffin Break on Robson Street. I am very serious…after a wee giggle at the image.

A couple of times this term, I seriously considered suicide. I reasoned it out. It wasn’t an immature thing — to get back at anyone or make a fleeting statement to what few people would notice. It was a very real and necessary end to my pain.  I couldn’t bear the hurt anymore.

The thing is, at those times, I see death as the only option to stop hurting.  When those moments passed, I had others where listening to my instructor’s stories inspired me. Like the time she said it was her job to see to it, through her teaching, that we would all be alive to see our granddaughters thriving and well. The power with which she spoke rekindled my own. I wanted to go on! I’d pamper myself to health and seek out whatever else I needed. I’d fight the urge to disentangle myself from the caring concern of friends or the fevered collides with my lover, towards translucence and safety. They are  the sources of healing.  Permitting them in my life renews me, allowing me to entertain my curiosity of who I am becoming.

Will I have a baby? Will I get my degree? Can I build a cocoon of love and respect around me? Will I be a grandmother who rides a motorcycle (hehehe) and sometimes travels? Letting myself wonder is incredible.

I felt all of this last night. No wonder I am tired and shaky today. Ah, Yes! A part of the desperation was linked to the fear of not having the resources to take another class.  Can I keep it together if I’m without this influence? Have I made enough contacts so I won’t return to isolation and depression?

T. Gibson, originally published in 1995.

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