What’s it like to leave a group? Quit membership? Give up defending yourself?

Sometimes you can’t be understood no matter what you say because you are inarticulate, tired of explaining yourself, won’t play. And you get too comfortable and need to drop that comfort. Or maybe you never belonged and have been fooling yourself?

Over the last 6 months I’ve been labeled “rude” to the point threatened ejected from the only cancer treatment center available to me. Because I was too sick to explain my anxiety over not being told anything about my treatment I insulted someone in a place of power who could hurt me. And they have. My crime? Walking out on an interview where it was obvious the interviewer had no interest in hearing me because in their imagination there was no possibility that the system they represented could ever fail someone. Since it couldn’t have happened, it follows that I was mistaken and an unreliable witness to my own experience. Erased as a person my only recourse was to admit what happened to me didn’t occur and apologize to those who have no room in their understanding anything outside a world as they are privileged to define it.

For 6 months I’ve been in pain, sickness, disorientation and disallowed from asking for help because the condition that I give up all of my self to be someone who has the power to understand my world as it suits their own illusions. Tellers, not listeners, these people live by shaming you, by never having anything but the best intentions, the purest of motives and NO awareness that what they say denies the voice of others. UN-reflective and full of suggestions that others are so mistaken while they are so right…

I’ve had enough of this sanctimonious certainty. Challenging mythologies has a price but ultimately it isn’t about being right or justified–you just can’t give up any more of yourself.


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  • Maha Bali  On February 20, 2015 at 10:30 PM

    Soooo sorry Scott.

    • scottx5  On February 21, 2015 at 5:35 AM

      Maha, I think like Dave said that a person snaps and time to rethink things. Not the Rizo group that wore me down. Rather the mechanical logic of the J&F paper that reduces everything to a TOPIC to be discussed in a reductive way. Words are used not to describe the wonder of things but distorted to the needs of being right or practical. As if the whole purpose of a living forest is to be fashioned into making toilet seats:-)
      Or maybe language as a weapon? No, that’s too obvious. Something like the way lawyers talk–unassailable, slippery. Bohm or Chomsky probably have something to say about this one-dimensional exchange–saying things as if they were abstract and non-committed to any particular meaning. Designated nothing solid in the world?
      In a way this breaking has helped. I think of the doctors I deal with and the limitation of the words they need to use. It seems like they are stuck in a small vocabulary of meanings to describe how they feel and it must hurt them to be forced to display a cool neutrality while I get to throw every word in book at them?
      I will be back, where else in the world can I be reminded to think about doctors as feeling people and not just objects in my way but from Maha Bali?

  • thesmallc  On February 21, 2015 at 9:29 AM

    I am sorry this happened to you, Scott. It gets pretty challenging and lonely when others don’t get it. One of the hardest and most rewarding things we can do is to walk away from situations that make us unhappy. But when it comes to our health, I am not sure how I would react. I’ve been disappointed at times by my medical team, but I refuse to let them go because it is all I have. I depend on them to keep me alive. So I think of this quote by Viktor E. Frankl, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” You hang in there and try your best to cope. I hope things get better for you.

    • scottx5  On February 21, 2015 at 1:42 PM

      Thanks Rebecca, I’ve set some goals for changing my relationship with the the central clinic back to being regarded as an (oddly this word just jumped out) “adult”. Interesting idea from Frankl to change ourselves in a time when the foot-stamping and petulant Individual reins supreme is just the kind of contrary idea that works for me. The theme of taking yourself back runs through Rebecca Solnit’s writing too. At the clinic my plan is to reverse the walking away and walk back in with information on the cancer bloggers course. Something to offer them beyond my being sick.

  • thesmallc  On March 9, 2015 at 8:09 PM

    Hello Scott! Just stopping by to check on you. Hoping everything is OK.

    • scottx5  On March 9, 2015 at 9:55 PM

      Things are OK. My infusion day was changed and I’m more tired than usual. One more treatment and I’m done! From there it’s back to cardiology to decide if the pseudo-aneurism in my aorta is operable or best left alone. My preference is to leave it alone.
      Also avoiding blogging as it makes me angry and I don’t want to go down that road. Fair or not, how things are is way more important for learning how to make them better.

  • thesmallc  On March 10, 2015 at 5:43 AM

    It’s understandable. You do what’s right for you. Take the time you need. I am glad you only have one treatment to go. Rest up and feel better soon. Good luck with cardiology – hoping everything works out in your favor. I’ll be here for now.

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