As the realization of all 
the many implications 
of Tuesday eve's activities, 
float to consciousness,
I am overwhelmed.

A sickening fear 
rips through my gut as I realize 
all that was/is at risk.

I'm not safe to use fire or the stove 
... alone.
I'm not safe to walk down the street 
... alone.
I'm not safe to take my own medication 
... alone.
I'm not safe to drive 
... alone.
I'm not able to handle my own finances
 ... alone.

I'm not able to tell time passing.
My body can not be trusted 
to keep me upright and conscious.

Here I sit,

My life's path twisting and flowing 
through my emotions, clouding my hope.

I'm 38 years old, it's 1996

I feel a deep sense of pain, 
edged in hopelessness
as the realization of 
my situation unfolds

I am dependant upon social services, 
for my care, my independence, 
my income, 

Basically all my basic life needs.

Social services and Welfare programs, 
the same ones that I worked so hard 
to be free of, are again my means of

My ability to access "the world" 
is limited now by my physical, 
and cognitive abilities

20 years ago the limits were 
my state of mind, my lack of knowledge, 
and social skills.

Damage from the trauma I'd endured

Now, just as before, 
I can't go to school

It's very hard to convince doctors 
that I'm not just crazy.
Something is physically wrong

I walk a tight wire 
attempting to keep my balance 
as I am again in danger 
of being institutionalized

If I'm not careful.. 

I will loose all 
that I have fought for

I will end my days 
in the same horror 
that I began life in.

How do I stop this?

I try to reİfocus my thoughts

I work to see the differences, 
to keep from loosing hope, 

I form them in my mind, 
one by one, like drawing straws, 
(terrified of pulling the "short one")

What is the difference?

I've experienced life, love and joy.
I've loved, been loved, 
shared friendship, and pain.
learned and taught

I'm no longer alone 
in an internal hell

I know who "I" am, 
and from whence I came.

However, because of this, 
I am also intrinsically aware 
what I am missing,

A double edged sword at best.

Is this what it will be like?
will I be forced to live backwards, 
until the journey be over?

I fear living through the pain,
of seeing all I've worked for 
slowly slip through my fingers.

Like sand through 
the hour glass of time.

As I ache at the loss, 
a slow endless torture,

I wonder...
is this the price I pay for feeling?

I worked much blood sweat and tears 
to have the right/ability to feel, 
to know who "I" was, 
to experience life!!

The shadows say "They" were right all along.

      "Only the good get to die"

             "The bad

        must live (in hell) 

            ... help ...

              Naomi Marie 
              May 3, 1996

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