Monday, November 10, 2014

Fundraising all done!

I am amazed at the generosity of people sometimes.
After my sister and I did the math, ALL the math (I won't bore you with details) we kinda started panicking, a little. I'd like to say I didn't panic as much cuz frankly, so long as I stay sick, I have my Long-Term Disability to cover my "rent" but my sister will lose a lot. Yes, she's being very generous but with a having just gone back to school (a whole other story for which I'm proud that she's following in my footsteps (decision to return to grad school to eventually become a therapist herself), that decision was made before all of this started. It meant that whatever savings she would have had, had she not gone back to school, could have helped her help me while in Toronto. Reality isn't like that. She has no unlocked savings and I have very little after this past year - though I was proud that two years ago while I was still working I managed to put away lots of my income to renovate the kitchen. That's all gone. Part of it in pre-paid arrangements, part in consultations, part... well, let's just say that being palliative is not cheap. Especially when you're only earning 60% of your income and it's taxed on top of that!
Back to doing "the math". We realized that in order for her to accompany me to TO we had to fundraise. Though she will put up with not earning any pay for up to two months, she does have a job to go back to. So we met with a friend that does this kind of thing for a living and by Friday launched a campaign and an event. In less than one week I am overwhelmed with all the support. As it stands today we have cancelled the silent auction-event. It was that successful. I was hesitant to do this, thinking I pissed off a few folks last year by drawing tight boundaries coming from a place of self-respect: no more drama, no gossip, no more spectacles. I insisted on being treated with respect and not a helpless cripple even though I needed help. I, like any human, deserve respect and there was a point where I felt my needs and serenity were being disrespected and there was just too much freakin drama and gossip around me that I pulled out of it knowing I would probably lose out. Though I miss the loved-ones I am so much more at peace without the constant "she said she said, did you hear that blah blah" bullshit. But you know what, in the end, there are still so many more sane people who are there and don't want to control me, manipulate me or pull me into their drama-fights. These past few days have taught me so much more that about "asking for help" (because I did that last year but it kinda turned into a power-struggle). This time around nobody's trying to take away my autonomy. I am experiencing respect. Pure respect and for that I have so much respect and love for those that are there catching me when I fall.

The year 2014 has taught me about pure-kindness. It's not something I was raised with or modelled (I was bullied as a child for being different). It's something that has grown in my marriage. Kindness feels awesome, not just when you receive it, but when you give it. I have had the opportunity to accompany acquaintances to surgery, hospitals, appointments etc. this year. People I'm not even close to - and I hear the appreciation. I don't do it for the words, I do it because I know how lucky I have been to receive so much help, love, kindness and eventually (when I set boundaries) respect. I hope this part of my life doesn't stop, even when I get well, get busy redeveloping my career and perhaps (hopefully) travelling the world. Everyone needs more kindness and we all need to start by being kinder to everyone, not just people we know.

This week's fundraising has taught met that just because we draw boundaries around unkind behaviour doesn't mean that everyone is unkind in inauthentic. It has also taught me that it is fine to draw those boundaries. There is no reason I should ever have to subject myself to that kind of behaviour ever again. Boundaries don't mean I don't love someone, it means I love me more. I can't expect people to change but I can move away from mean-spiritedness. Goodness knows I don't need any of that going into surgery. I am so overwhelmed by all the support I have received thus far.

Much gratitude, artikat!