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An apology, and a promise
Even if we got these, it still wouldn’t be enough.
This weekend I took time to grieve. I went deeply into my body and hunted down the pain that was in my flesh and bones. I cried, I slept. I drank tea and didn’t go for my walk. I crocheted and watched videos of trucks in Canada (Go Canada!). I cried again. I played with the cat. I watched a silly movie and I hugged my children. I came back to life on Sunday night after a hot shower when I realised that I would be more useful to the world active, interested in life and empowered. So I gave myself permission to move forward. Not to forget, but not continue to torture myself on behalf of the people that have been swept under the carpet. Torturing myself isn’t going to achieve anything.
'Why so much pain?’, you may ask. I had to ask myself that too. See, it’s already been a week, over a week now, and I still can’t move on. There is something unfinished, something that I am waiting for that will never come. An apology, and a promise.
I was invited to meet one of my dearest friends in a pub on Saturday. I said yes, but when I woke up on Saturday morning I felt sick in my stomach at the thought of going into a pub. I texted her and asked if she could come to the house instead. She asked me what the issue was so I had to think about it. Here’s what I wrote to her:
I feel sick going somewhere that was discriminating. They haven’t said sorry. They haven’t acknowledged what they have done. And they’re threatening to do it again, even though there is so much proof now that what they did was wrong. It’s not okay.
Now I know it wasn’t the actual pub that decided to discriminate on the basis of a medical procedure, and they’re probably much happier now that they don’t have to ask for medical information. And if it does happen again, if the Government decides to bring back restrictions for ‘unvaccinated’ people, there may be a higher probability that pubs and restaurants will say ‘no, not this time’ as they’re enjoying the freedom of not having to interrogate their customers, or turn business away. I’m pretty sure they are relieved they don’t need to do that here anymore. But I know they’re still doing it in other countries, and that if I was in, say, Italy, right now I’d be stressed and terrorised over mandates that thankfully never came to Ireland.
I went to a café about a month ago and tried out my vax control card. I hadn’t done that before, but I felt the need to do it, and I mostly always follow my intuition. I met the manger of the café who was fascinated with the card, happy and delighted to discover there was such a thing. She told me she didn’t like the whole situation, she was terrified of being closed down. That was the only reason she was doing it, she said. She had had an unexpected visit from a ‘health officer’ so she was in fear of another such visit. Living life in fear is not healthy. I know because I’ve been in fear for over a year and didn’t realise how badly my body took a hit for it. That’s the other thing I was releasing this weekend. Deep-set fear that had also sunk into my bones, along with the grief. We weren’t designed to be on high alert for such a long period of time. Nor are we designed to process so much information, there’s way too much of it, coming to us thick and fast. We are designed to seek out the threat, to make risk/benefit assessments and to keep ourselves safe. Hence the need to fill ourselves with information. They took advantage of that, big time. Anyway, I digress. This café manager and her husband had sunk everything they had into their business, and they needed the customers, and with the threat of being closed down, they were checking papers at the door. Papers please. Sure they’re only following orders. However I did like her, and it was easy enough to forgive her. She needed to know about the cards, so that was why I had to go there.
Why was I able to go to her café, with papers, and yet feel sick about the thought of going to a pub, with no papers? I don’t know. I’m still working it out.
Well, maybe I won’t feel sick tomorrow. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and go out for lunch. I used to do it all the time, take myself out for brunch, check in on Facebook and say “taking the boss lady out to lunch” for a joke. I’ve not done that in 2 years. But I’m in process, and it will take as long as it takes.
Let me be clear here - all my grief and fear has not been about being allowed or not being allowed into a pub or restaurant. That’s nothing compared to the loss of life, loss of empathy, loss of bodily function, loss of connection to God and loss of life from these shots. Did I say loss of life? Having the threat of a game of Russian Roulette between me and a plate of pasta, I’ll pass on the pasta every time. But what about those that didn’t know it’s a roulette game? Those that offer their children to it? Those that still don’t know and are still playing? These horrors are usually to be seen on TV miles away from your house. Not this time. We have all personally been affected by this, and it hits, hard.
I get it. All of this too much to process for some people, so they can’t see it, won’t see it, don’t want to see it. It’s easier to follow orders, to hand authority over. What can I say? It’s a coping strategy. Is it our job to make them snap out of it? To make them see? Not while we are so angry and upset because that’s not useful. I’m putting my oxygen mask on first. That’s what this process is. Then I’ll think about the rest of it.
And why am I sharing my process here for all to see? Because even with all of the tools in my toolbox, this past 2 years knocked me for six. Sharing my process and being vulnerable here with you may help someone else who is going through this. Maybe you.
I might be fine tomorrow, but then the day after I might need to grieve again. Another layer of whatever I am experiencing may be ready to be processed or released. Or not. This is grief.
Yes this really happened and it is still happening. I need to know what we can do to protect each other and make sure that this never happens again. Maybe you do, too. Let’s do it together. Because we are not going to get an apology anytime soon, and we have to make that promise for ourselves.
Affirmations for Empowerment
I claim my space in the world
I have every right to be here
I call my power back to me
I am here. I take up my full space
I have good, strong boundaries
I decide what I put into my body
I give myself permission to feel all of my emotions
I give myself the time that I need to heal