That's ref-yoos, as in "garbage", not ri-fyooz, as in "deny".
I arrived in China with just enough trauma and emotional baggage to make it impossible for me to deal with more; although I had built up some emotional resilience and was excited at the prospect of new job, new city, new country, new possibilites, I wasn't ready physically, emotionally, or mentally to deal with the Thor's Hammer of challenges that would soon come smashing toward me. At the cusp of a healing shift as I departed the U.S., I had been steadily tramping forward out of darkness and into light; however, repeated respiratory illnesses due to the poisonous, polluted air ... continuous stress in a toxic, miserable work environment ... injury in the form of a broken arm, all became a repetitive sledgehammer blow against my re-born spiritual and emotional defenses. I was, effectively, being beaten down, down, down, to the point at which I currently slump and cower: I am disempowered physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Now I deal with this legacy of refuse in my body and soul, incapacitated for so many months, unable to stand in my former heralded strength to pull myself out of the muck that was sucking me toward the inert: the darkness and fear that bound me immobile. Although standing in recognition of the actions I needed to take, I was unable to perfom them; instead of healing, I suffered worsening of symptoms to the point that my body is this broken Thing I do not recognize and actually refuse to acknowledge.
What I thought was recurring pain from torn rib cartilage was symptomatic of something much worse awaiting me these past few months. Realization crawled slowly out of the dark alley of stagnation and loss of will my body and mind had become; I began to see that the pain signified an emerging and acute problem that manifested terrifyingly fast these past few months. As the physical pain and lethargy worsened, fear joined immobility in my heart and mind to act out the Fight-or-Flight response using my body as their stage -- I became this Frozen Thing sitting on my couch, sinking deeper into fear and darkness. What is happening to me and my body?!?! Too terrified to move out of the blinding light, oncoming with the speed of a Chinese bullet train, I froze in the headlights, and like the deer, was rammed and impaled by this physical tragedy. Yet, I have survived the metamorphasis from healthy athlete to physical wreck ... unfortunately??? So many forces have crashed down on me and into my life, leaving me pinned and unable to react or escape. Now, my symptoms can no longer be ignored as I stand on the cusp of a new beginning, one where I must -- I must -- act and reclaim my health. For I am not an infirm person and I refuse to live in an incapacitated, unhealthy state! I am miserable!
I have regained some of my Light and Power, knowing that I am soon to escape the torturous hell that is this job. I realize I should have never let it go on this long: I should have quit the toxic workplace 6 months ago, accepting that things were never going to improve. In retrospect, I should have cut my losses and said "Fuck You!" and dealt with the consequences while standing on a platform of power, rather than reacting from fear and weakness and the frozen state where I cowered. This job has disempowered me in so many ways: professionally, mentally, creatively, emotionally... resulting in physical illness and emotional fallout. And I let it, without realizing how far it was dragging me down. With so much to bear, I didn't even have the energy to quit. I knew I was falling deeper and deeper into a morass but could not summon the strength to use my battle-proved tools to extricate myself, pull myself up out of the refuse, shake off the negativity, or protect myself from the black toxins that fill the both the atmosphere of the school and this city.
But finally, I am leaving! It is not too late! Although my diaphragm is adhesed and my rib cage imprisons my lungs between steel bars, athough my lower ribs are filled with chronic pain and I feel the compression of organs and the compression of fear, although I am sick to my stomach several times daily with gastrointestinal distress, although I frequently awaken with headaches or experience a sudden spike of pain in my temple for no reason, although my good habits of diet and exercise have fallen to nothing, although this is the worse health crisis-- the only health crisis-- I have ever experienced, although this is the first time in my life to experience serious health problems to the point where I wonder if my life will continue even into the next year ... despite all of this, I know that shortly I will be climbing back up out of this dark legacy refuse strewn through my body and back into the light of health and well-being. Quite literally, in 9 days I will be boarding a plane and escaping from this grey, polluted city to climb mountains, to climb toward a new career in writing, and to climb my way back to health and emotional well-being.
In 8 days, on July 22, I will arrive to Hong Kong to spend 5 days hiking the mountains of Hong Kong Island while awaiting approval of my Chinese Tourist Visa application. The following Saturday, I have reserved a seat on the high speed train BusinessClassBeeyotch! to Kunming, in Yunnan Province. A few days of exploring and then I will continue west to my planned basecamp of Dali to prepare for my trek north. I will be in clean air and away from the toxic noise, light, and energetic pollution that is Chengdu. My healing will begin in earnest next Friday, which will be my first day of freedom from the hell that is the school at which I have been employed for 15 horrible months (actually, only these past 12 months of school year sucked because of a horrible, bullying, non-collaborative co-teacher) ! I can't wait to be in the mountains and surrounded by greenery and the noise of nature and small towns!!
There is fiction. There is life. What is the difference?
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