The Pearl

the pearl

pain

a grain of sand

irritating

anger making pain

the constant muse

restricted not abused

pain

as deep as a black hole

endless and whole

but from the oyster

emerges

the pearl

© Kait King, 2015

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The Real Zombies

the real zombies

I live on an island and we are very much an outdoors crowd, particularly water sports – besides swimming; I loved horse riding, kick-boxing and wrestling. But now I find I’m pretty much a forced recluse due to the inoperable and permanent nerve damage from 2 failed surgeries, which affects my left side in a chronic-acute-neuralgic-pain-syndrome kind of way :\

I call myself a cave bear as I really am just hibernating…. or am I in a cocoon ready to show the newly morphed me? Instead I am left with what feels like a bad experiment. So I don’t go out much – you don’t when you deal with chronic pain – it’s exhausting. It’s just too painful, hard, embarrassing and awkward to go out.

Anyhoo, back to the story. I went to talk to my shrink for an hour today – she is lovely; spiritual, intuitive, and…. hold onto your hats, she does not believe in CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). Instead she believes in the meta-conscience, an intriguing concept and much more of a fit for me.

So I understand it’s all about identifying myself now – not who I was, but who I am now. I am not sure of what defines me now – in all entirety. I was absolutely convinced I had found my calling when I joined the police with the goal to help our kids. So my faith in me is shaken and I’m finding out who I am as this other me. I know I will get through this because this is my journey – somehow there will be some sense in all of this pain. I was on enormous amounts of methadone in 1998 along with gabapentin, fentanyl and a dozen other medications. I couldn’t even shower myself or brush my teeth. For years I was a zombie until something inside me said “Kait, this is not you – this is not who you are and this is not what should define you.” So I took a long time weaning myself off the medication and I survived when I was supposed to die, I managed to have a life when I was told my life was over. It’s a horror story and not one I want to write but I got through that – dealt with pain on a daily basis through no help of anyone else and carved a life for myself and my son, who had lost me for nearly 5 years already.

Then I give up everything to go to get my degree in Criminology. My son is grown up and doing his own thing. I graduate in 2011 – start my job and slip on my front step. Need a discectomy – it goes badly wrong and triggers old pain syndrome from lung nerve damage of 1998 into its rabid self. I’m in the high dependency unit again – major drugs. I begged everyone around me that if anything should happen they are not to put me on that poisonous methadone. They put me on morphine instead and so the hell has rolled on for the past two years with no positive outcomes. There has been a barrage of medications again and I don’t want to have to take them. Sometimes I feel like a failure when I have to succumb because I am in so much pain but I don’t know what else to do. And the knives I put in my own back become innumerable in this too.

So yeah – I use self-hypnosis and breathing techniques – I do my best not to take medication. It dumbs me down and kills any motivation toward anything. It kills you on the inside too so you don’t have any spirit to feel human any more or to fight for a life – it consumes you in a rolled up carpet, a dark cupboard and deaf/mute existence. I see so many people who are left dependent on heavy medication and with no existence – these are the true zombies of the world. These are the walking dead, the emotionally unfeeling, uncaring and unknowing. It’s almost a way of keeping things quiet….Don’t let them get you 😉

Crazy Horse

Crazy horse

A young man stood in front of me. Slightly overweight with a bad crew cut. His left arm was heavily bandaged. He held it out to me like an offering – a kind gesture.

“What happened to you?” I asked. He dipped his head shyly and poked a toe at the grubby, coffee-stained carpet.

“It’s a long story.” He mumbled, “I was in love with a girl. I loved her for a really long time.”

His eyes flashed up briefly to catch mine. Glancing up to the right and back to the floor he continued.

“We always walked to school together – I was, I guess, obsessed with her.” I could see another flicker in his eyes, but of hesitation or clutching at a memory. “I bought her flowers and chocolates, wrote her cards and love letters. For a long time…” he trailed off.

“How long?”

“I dunno…” He scrunched his face up as if he was in pain, then breathed out, “Six years, three months, one week and four days.” And obviously still counting, alarmingly!

“That’s a long time to love someone.” I said.

It’s a long time to love someone if they don’t love you back.” He said, looking directly at me – scrutinizing my reaction.

“So why did you keep writing and giving to her?”

I thought she would love me if I could show her how much I loved her. I thought I could have her. She would be mine – but she left. She came up here, to the big smoke. She got a job, and apartment, new friends – a whole life of her own. What she didn’t realise was that she was my life. So I came to live here too. Then I followed her from her work one day. Just pretended I was in the area and had bumped into her, random like. That was not a very good thing to do – she got really mad and told me to leave…to leave her alone.” He stopped, rubbed his good arm across his eyes and sighed.

“That’s when I got this really cool idea!” His face lit up with his remembered ingenuity. “See, I read in a book somewhere that Van Gough had cut his ear off and sent it to the love of his life. So I thought to myself that I would prove how much I loved her – I would send her my arm. That’s bigger than an ear – it must mean more! So the next day I go to work and do my job. When I thought everyone had gone home, I turned my skill-saw back on and tried to cut my arm off.” He swallows a gulp of air and grins at me crazily.

“Geez, didn’t that hurt?” I ask.

“That’s why I stopped!” he laughs. “I pushed my arm onto the saw and it sliced quickly -which was my intention. Blood pissed everywhere – it quickly got through the bones before I had a chance to pull back and well….it was just kind of hanging off and that’s when I thought to myself; Shit, what the hell am I doing – this hurts! What a mess too. I would’ve died too , I suppose, if the other guy hadn’t heard me screaming before I passed out.”

© Kait King, 2015

The doyley of pain

Doyley of pain

So I’m asked to describe how I concentrate to write or focus on anything when pain is such a major contributor in my life and a permanent. I thought about it for a second. The doctor had used the whiteboard and drawn “my brain” with pain in the background and words like focus, concentration, motivation scribbled at the front with arrows looking like they were trying to get into my brain. Understandably these things all present a challenge but the way I see it, is that the pain is like an intricate piece of lace that is draped across my brain. In between the detailed lacy gaps things like concentration, motivation and focus do filter through. And depending on how tight the stitching is sometimes it is easier for those things to flow through and other times not so much. This might make sense to some of you – I’m not sure.

Also I’m not big on the word hope. I don’t want hope – I want it sorted now or I will just live with it until some such miracle cure arrives – but I’m not spending my life or any time at all with the hope that I will be fine again. It is what it is. They say hope is a word used for people who don’t want to accept. That is not who I want to be – I know a part of me longs for my body to be pain free but that is just not how it is.

I believe that determination comes from my soul and I will carve my way through whatever it is the universe chooses to share with me and be grateful at the same time – because even though I can’t walk very far, I can write – just a different double u (w)…. 🙂

© Kait King, 2015

But I’ve already paid!

Already paid

With some leftover tea

I chuck some painkillers at me

A certain kind of guilt and

a definitive disgust wash over me

I fight every day

to keep a smile on my face

being strong, overcome

I have a new life to embrace

I know this is not what

I signed up for

I’ve paid the full price

for so much more

But I guess some you win

and some you lose

So I experience my life

in a different pair of shoes

But I’m still so sure

I was destined for so much more

so much more

I’ve already paid for

© Kait King, 2015

Here, take the knife

here take the knife

Carve the edges off your haunting pain

With time as sharp as a knife

the moments slide by in an agonizing grind

You’ll have this moment for the rest of your life

My feet sunk deep in a cement grip of permanence

a ball and chain of grief connects my soul to the earth

My bones and skin just vehicle remnants

My soul will have rebirth

© Kait King, 2015

I’ve chosen not to

i've chosen not to

I’ve chosen not to wear my grief and despair

like shards of broken glass or snapped razor blades

on my less-than-me person

I’ve chosen not to hurt others although my pain has

an enormous capacity for imagination or

is that fantasist?

Dissociation, dissonance, disappointment –

I can use it to carve my poor heart a poorer shape

Should I?

I’ve chosen not to

This pain would hurt less

but I don’t need for others to feel

I would rather shelter and protect

Keep safe and trapped those imaginary

demons – who will come to hover like eye-poking

vultures in their scruffiness as I lie here

in the night

Keeping that evil, seeping, energy-sucking

succubus of hurt from me

Arms length – keeping strength

and land stretches towards me

the sand and sea – it pulls away

living is movement not breathing

and earth ties me to a life of dirt

Sunshine and lollipops –

a distraction

merely a time-waster

ball-breaker, man-hater, life-taker

I’ve chosen not to…

© Kait King, 2015

It gets murky…

Jay in suit

It’s not that I’ve forgotten you, sweet angel of mine, it’s that I just lost myself for a little while. You’ve been there so strong and true. Your arms swallow me safely and I’m grateful, so grateful for you. I couldn’t even see your pain because I couldn’t see through mine – the deep dark cloud of despair. I know it’s not forever, but at the moment, a day is a lifetime

For Jay, my nine year old son (at the time) who had to live with me being there, but not there, for nearly five years. I remember just about nothing of that period of time due to the heavy medication I was on. In the photo above he’s twenty 🙂

Does Anyone Ever

Does anyone ever

Does anyone else

ever feel

That this world

isn’t real?

That you know

you don’t belong

Perhaps the ‘Big Guy’

got it wrong

This is not

where you’re meant

to be

Running on the

hamster wheel –

trapped

and not free

Do you ever

think to yourself:

“I am the ostracized alien

I am the one

who doesn’t

fit in!”

And decide to make

a concerted effort

But remain

disappointed

So you retreat

and think,

“Fuck it”

© Kait King, 2016