I opened my last 90 day bottle of statins this morning. I couldn’t get the paperwork done on the new health plans, so my insurance expired on January 1. And the six months before that I was on a crappy plan that kept me avoiding the doctor.
It’s possible, I suppose, that somehow I will get a new prescription for atorvastatin, it is possible that I will see a doctor again, it is even possible that I will get another health insurance plan. Possible, yes, but it all seems very far from certain, too far to assume it will happen, too far to expect, too far to count on.
My expectation in the world is an expectation of scarcity. In my family, in my world, attention, understanding, safety and even love were scarce things. I was too queer, too idiosyncratic living in a family that was too aspergers to engage me. I just never had the social skills to connect with my peers, never had the support to try my wings. Instead, I learned how to be misunderstood and attacked as the enemy of my mother’s lost happiness.
Certainly, the decade of conscious denial taking care of my parents, and the way their estate was handled have only deepened that experience of scarcity, only confirmed my expectations of loss.
As this blog has detailed, the transgender experience is one of facing massive stigma, one of choosing self-expression over social acceptance. My experience of waiting for the “third gotcha” is always with me, always waiting for the other shoe to drop, always ready to have someone not really get it.
The only thing abundant in my world has been thought. I had plenty of that, more than plenty, too damn much thought. Thought has always been my filler, the putty I use to mend the gaps, to glue to connect the bits, the armour to wrap myself in, the grease to keep my life running when everything else runs short.
Harvey MacKay wrote a book called Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive where he invited you to remember when you were a shark, a baby getting everything you ever needed, a child who was the centre of their own world, being taken care of by people who put you first. He wanted you to use that memory to go back and be a shark in the world today.
That wasn’t in my experience of the world, though. I failed as a shark. And today, where I try to go back to invoke an experience that I want to hold on to, that I want to use as a template of happy and abundant days, well, the cupboard is very bare.
I don’t easily believe, for example, that another bottle of statins will ever arrive. And that belief in scarcity rather than abundance shapes my life and my choices.
I tend to hold onto things rather than trust that “Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich,” as Sarah Bernhardt said. This means that richness has always seemed off the table for me.
I learned to cut expenses rather than invest with hope of return. I find many stories unbearable because, unlike most viewers, I don’t trust in a happy ending. I scale back rather than trusting. Every phone call or e-mail I get I assume contains bad news or some kind of criticism.
A boss of mine, experienced as a high end salesperson, was always frustrated because he couldn’t find my unfiltered port. He couldn’t find where he could tap right into my emotions and get me excited, get me motivated in his terms. Everything went through my brain, scrutinized and distrusted, always looking for the hook.
“I’m glad my sales team aren’t like you,” he told me. “Otherwise I could never get them fired up.”
It’s getting myself fired up that is the problem, of course. I tear the foil off to open that last bottle of pills and I experience the loss, the scarcity, that threads through this amazing memory, this hyperactive brain of mine. Thoughts are the only things I have in abundance, and those bring back my history every time.
Transformation requires leaping. Leaping requires faith. I don’t have faith; I have skeptical questions, understanding of connections and experience of scarcity.
No shark moments to hold onto for me. That’s just my experience of my world.