A Letter to My Readers

Hi everyone,

I have a funny feeling there are about 3 people who still remember this blog even exists, but….. Optimism, right?

I wanted to offer my apologies for completely blowing off this blog for over six months. Writing has nnnot been at the top of my priority list. Instead, I was running here and there, engaged in various community activities. I was attempting to live my life, as opposed to writing about my life.

Guess what? I miss writing more than I would have expected, a point driven home for me when I wrote something recently. I’ve been storing content over the past year or more, so I will be posting it, as long as it is still relevant, appropriate and reflective of my current mindset.

Hang on to your hats because some of this is rather intense. I’ve had quite the year.



I welcomed the new year in with double ear infections – both sides, inner and outer. First, in defense of infants the world over, I have only felt that intensity of pain once before when my appendix was about to rupture. The ear pain had me curled in a ball on my living room rug at 2:00am begging the universe to make it stop. Sobbing. Loudly. Babies, in my opinion, should scream louder.

Along with the pain, I lost significant amounts of my ability to hear. I could hear someone on the other end of the phone, but not someone standing next to me. I stopped being able to perceive the noise of my fridge for about three weeks. I was unable to walk in a straight line inside my own home. I couldn’t hear if the pot of water on the stove was boiling or not.

As you might imagine, this was a life complication. Once the pain was under control, it took about 48 hours for my brain to say, “Hey, we can navigate the outside world. Camille’s good at her job. You should be able to hear audible crosswalks. AS long as you only go to places you know…..” Around then, I stood up and the room started spinning. “Okay, maybe not if I’m experiencing vertigo.”

Once the dizziness passed, that’s exactly what I did – went out and navigated familiar places while my hearing was limited. I’m still stunned at myself. Not amazed. Stunned.

What attitude or approach achieved this … result? This is a new adventure. Wonder what it will be like. Wonder what I’ll learn.

I credit this mindset to my December reading of Crashing Through written by Robert Kurson telling the real life story of Mike May’s adventures in going from totally to legally blind. Perfectly content as a blind man, he was presented with the unexpected possibility of regaining vision with a new medical procedure. The book chronicles his decision and subsequent experiences.

To boil it all down, he did it to – excuse the pun – see what it would be like. I was presented with a perceptual change and decided to embrace it as an experience. It went well.

two months later, I have most of my hearing back, but they aren’t sure everything will return. The nuanced auditory input I use for things like “Where did that thing land when I dropped it?” is effected along with trouble discerning traffic patterns, identifying the location of an open doorway and a few other things.

I’m pretty much done sucking all the learning and experiencing out of this adventure. Fingers crossed that the steroids work.

It’s Been……

Months. Far too many months. Fortunately, I did not make any promises about posting regularly since they would have been broken. Into tiny slivers.

I now know why I wasn’t writing – to preserve what little mental stability I had left. Writing this blog is intense because in trying to live up to my commitment of sharing the good, the bad and the ugly, I not only have to unearth buried emotions, but I then must turn over rocks to study what’s beneath. I don’t mind physical worms and slugs. The emotional ones, on the other hand, aren’t fun. Barely keeping it together, examining the unpleasant wasn’t a wise move.

I’m better now. Not great, not fixed and definitely not at my best. Just better.

I did learn one very valuable lesson. A bad therapist can make it so much worse. That was last summer and early fall. A good therapist, in contrast, helps, not in any miraculous way, but subtly. I found the good therapist in December.

Over the past few months, I did do some writing. For now, I’m going to post something new each week and pull out something old as well.

Brutal Honesty

Sometimes twelve days on a lake with your family and guide dog who suddenly acquired gills is exactly what you need to refocus. I left warn out from Pride and wondering how I should change my life. without consciously even thinking about it, I came home knowing what to do. My subconscious is so smart.

I need to come clean about why this blog has been so silent. It began as a series of infections, then the habit of not writing took over, or so I thought. In actuality, I was avoiding emotional “stuff.”

Writing this blog with the frank honesty I want means digging in my feelings and uncovering what is underneath. Exposing buried emotional issues to the light of day can be hard and is definitely always intense. Since I was avoiding anything not immediately obvious on the surface, I steered clear of a writing process that would force me to examine things. When I eventually realized this fact, I made a conscious choice to continue not writing. My avoidance was in fact a smart decision on the part of my subconscious.

The emotional issues are still there, but I have unearthed them, cleaned them off, sorted them into piles and assembled the fragments into a picture.

There is a lack of emotional intimacy in my life that doesn’t work for me. At all. I can accept many of the ways my life is directly effected by disability – unemployed, limited income, lack of access to information and even having to ask for help. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a far harder time with the ways disability indirectly impacts my life based on how the world reacts – fewer friends, limited dating, people’s ignorant behavior and lack of respect. They all boil down to lack of emotional intimacy.

If you think about it, the direct consequences of my disabilities are things I can figure out, like fining meaningful things to do that take the place of paid work. How do you change the amount of emotional intimacy you need? And how do you increase the amount in your life when you aren’t the cause of the problem?

I used to think I needed to change my behavior or attitude or mannerisms or deodorant or something. At least in this area, I swallowed the idea thatDisability is the responsibility of the disabled

I was required to do whatever was necessary to make others comfortable and that would make it all better. I had to crack the jokes, not get angry about being treated as less than, educate, explain and accept with a smile whatever I had to. In this way, I would make others comfortable with me and they would want to be in my life. In other words, if I was nice enough, things would change. And, if they didn’t improve, I was obviously not being nice enough. My effort and attitude would fix everything.

Um, no. I have come to realize that how others react to my disabilities is not based on something I did. It’s about them. My only responsibility is to behave like a civil adult using the same measurements non-disabled people apply to themselves. Who, after all, would expect a non-disabled person to smile sweetly and thank the cashier who just handed your change to the person with you?

Still, I was left with a big problem: how do I deal with my need for emotional intimacy not being met? Good question. No answers.

While working my way through all of this, I couldn’t write this blog without making my abject misery worse. Now I can at least write about it. Progress.