Where I come from, the litmus test for how bad you were hurt was how hard you were crying. If I had to guess, the leading cause of untreated illness and injuries in that area has a direct correlation to crying being seen as a weakness that would not be tolerated. Crying was the absence of toughness and only the tough had a place at the table. If you were injured today, you’d have your injuries compared to someone’s great-great-grandfather who had his leg blown off in the Civil War and then went to work the next day in the mines, on his birthday.
When I was about eight or nine years old, I’d broken my pinky while playing kickball. I told someone I thought I’d hurt myself, and I can still remember the slack-jawed, sloped forehead caveman response I’d received: “If your finger was broken you’d be crying your head off.” I shrugged it off because it didn’t hurt that bad, but the finger was swelling and I couldn’t move it. One trip to the Emergency Room later, I was told that my finger had been broken at the growth plate and the bone had to be set. The doctor grabs my fingers, and says he’s going to do it on a count of three. Doctor Dickhead did it on the two count.
Not one single tear was shed throughout the entire ordeal. Fuck you and your tears of diagnosis, Josh. I’ve come to find out that neurodivergent brains are wired to perceive pain differently than neurotypical persons—Josh may have cried his head off, but I may not.
The point of that story is there is no universal standard of suffering and need. That’s why there are advancements in medical science. That’s why we don’t treat ailments with cocaine, morphine, and bloodletting anymore. What was good for Great-Grandpa Hopalong was not good for me. What’s good for me is not necessarily good for my neighbor. What’s good for my neighbor wouldn’t have been able to cure my mother’s cancer.
There are a lot of decisions being made for the populus as a whole that maybe should be made on an individual level. What’s worse is that the decisions are being made by those who will never have to be subject to the procedure. These decisions are being made based on an antiquated standard and are really taking steps backward. The decisions being made is the equivalent of going to the hospital for a gunshot wound and being treated with cocaine and having tobacco smoke blown up your rectum.
I strongly believe that having stances and boundaries is important. I also believe that my values are none of anyone else’s business & it is not my job to force people to see my way of thinking. My values are communicated through my actions. If I don’t believe in having cosmetic plastic surgery, I’m not going to get a nose job; I’m not going to prevent anyone else from getting one. If we all share the common belief that plastic surgery is bad, and we all abstain from getting tummy-tucks, then the free market will have no lucrative position for plastic surgeons. There is no need to create laws against it, the absence of a market will do the dirty work for us. It really is that easy.
If you’re reading between the lines, I’m sure you know what I’m alluding to. My roof may not leak, but what if my neighbor’s does? Does the fact that my ceilings are dry negate my neighbor’s emergency?
I’m tired. I’m tired of seeing people being afraid. I’m tired of people being unreasonable. I’m tired of being demanded to prove people wrong when the burden of proof is on them to provide. Our finger is broken—perhaps we should see a doctor who knows best before the only option left is amputation.
Regardless of how you believe, or how you love, I’m going to look forward to seeing you on your next trip across the Millerverse.
Songs Listened to While Writing This Blog:
- Across the Universe – Fiona Apple
- Sally’s Song – Fiona Apple
- Flake – Jack Johnson
- How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox 20
- Shattered (Turn the Car Around) – OAR
- Follow You Down – Gin Blossoms