Nothing works like a big fright to get one to value everything a lot more.
me, sans make up having a great time on my friend's farm - helping with the fencing!
I won't even go into the traumatic events that spurred my emigration from Africa to America, I'll just stick to events that happened when I got here.
Besides suffering from a then undiagnosed condition of post traumatic stress disorder, I arrived in Nashville, got involved in a passionate, complicated and destructive relationship very shortly after arriving. Unfortunately, I had fallen hopelessly and totally in love with this same someone only to be cut off after the complexities of my condition and immigrant strangeness were too inconvenient to deal with. I had absolutely no idea how things worked around here. I was frightened and totally overwhelmed, quickly realized that people had very short attention spans and were so dedicated to making their own lives work that I soon fell by the wayside.
Tried to make a go of it in Los Angeles for a very brief while, was separated from the little money I had by the ungracious and unscrupulous was turned away from the safety of someones apartment because I refused to have sex. The clincher came when I was so stressed and so fed up with this enormous struggle of trying to make contacts, at night constant sexual advances by an ugly, evil lesbian that I finally snapped and said "I'd rather eat my own vomit than sleep with you". She threw me out onto the street there and then and I was instantly homeless, far from home and very afraid.
I went to Florida to pick up my old and - car which I loved but which had no a/c and drank gasoline by the barrel. I picked up my little dog, keeping her cool on that journey from hell to hell, arrived in Nashville again. I was told by my 'friends' that I could stay one night but then I had to go. Once again, I became an inconvenience and felt it all the way. I had nowhere to go so I went to my former neighbor and was given shelter for one year - that turned out to be the house from hell. I lived with boxes all around me dreaming of the day when I would own a little farm and be safe and never abandoned or inconvenient again. I could find no employer to hire me for long. The more I submitted every form imaginable of my resume` the more it was rejected - even MacDonald's rejected my application. I was met with blank stares at every turn. That was east Nashville. Daily my situation was drenched in despair and loneliness, I cried so much, felt so rejected by this society that I began to think I was from another planet, not from another country.
And all this time, with odd jobs as a temp here and there, I grieved for the loss of my lover. I felt such pain in my chest and heart that at times I found it difficult to breathe. The struggle continued lurching back and forth trying so hard to find a place, a livelihood, some sort of security. No one knew any other immigrants s no immigrant advice was available. In almost all my temp jobs I received kudos and stuff and twice I received some cheesy plastic gifts for being the temp of the year. Let me not ramble on - I just feel that since I am having this health scare I wanted to tell someone, put stuff on record of my little life here in Nashville, Tennessee.
For nigh on seven years, I have eaten cheap and non-nutritious foods, have gone hungry rather a lot, have suffered from stress and anxiety and other terrible heart-breaking traumas such as the loss and presumed death of two of my beloved cats - and the failure to make a living as a different but creative television producer. I have also had to deal with a man who turned out to be narcissistic, drug-addicted and dishonest.
In conclusion, all these stresses and strains, loneliness, bad nutrition, secret depression, fear, smoking and unable to quit and now peri-menopause have caused something to start stirring in that intrinsically female part of my body - my breasts - and things are beginning to cause alarm.
I have no insurance, have a struggling production company and I am suddenly sober on every level of thought. Should I receive a scary diagnosis then I will go home to Africa to spend my days with my family on familiar but dangerous soil. Somewhere deep down I kind of am relieved that the terrible struggle will be over and I can finally rest in the earth. I will probably not opt for treatment - just pain control. Should the diagnosis be favorable then I that gives me a new boost to fight on - to bring to light with even more fervor the projects I so believe in and try even harder to fill with light and joy the days of my life.
Everything is personal. Everything matters.