Is This Civilization? Is This A Dream?

What is civilized about having toxic chemicals in so many everyday products and materials?

What is civilized about extracting and using fossil fuels from the earth in ways that cause harm to all living beings?

What is civilized about denying health care and safe housing to people who need it?

When I saw this image, it spoke to me…

my dream NOT

(artist unknown)

But it needed a slight revision… It wasn’t my “dream” to cut ties with civilization, it was my diagnosis…

So here is what I did and why:

My Diagnosis is to cut all ties with civilization…
thanks to MCS/ES
but still be on the INTERNET

until the air is safe to breathe again

until the air is safe to breathe again

I have sometimes thought that I have more in common with the women who are held captive against their will, for years on end, or with prisoners kept in solitary confinement, than I have with other humans in “civilization”.

Although I am not tied up and sexually assaulted, I am frequently assaulted by the chemicals in products other people use (toxic trespass).

I can be assaulted even when alone in my own home, as these chemicals can get in through the windows and my door, even when closed. (Maybe the seals are getting old, but replacing them will also be a problem, as the products are either toxic or very costly, if available. And no, air purifiers are not enough to create fresh, healthy air)

Assault is not too strong a word to use when the effects the chemicals have on the body are completely disabling and take hours, days, weeks or months to recover from. This recovery is usually done alone when no-one witnesses the effects, when no-one sees the pain or struggles. And it is oh-so-easy to dismiss by those who don’t experience or witness it.

Being isolated because I must practice “avoidance of the environmental triggers that harm me” is like being kept in solitary confinement for crimes I did not commit.

This is not justice. This is not civilized.

That said, I can make the best of it. I don’t dwell on these things. I don’t dwell on everything I don’t have and can’t get (even basic essentials most of you totally take for granted). I don’t dwell on what I can’t do anymore.

I think being exposed to the world of Buddhism, where people go on retreats for many years, has helped inspire me to use my time as productively as possible. I have often felt discouraged, due to my very limited abilities getting in the way of any progress or productivity, but I have learned to make use of aspiration prayers too, like “May I be able to…”. Now that I am slowly healing, I am very grateful for my improved abilities.

I have to also say that I am also immensely grateful to have had access to the internet since my MCS/ES became more severe, and so isolating. This hasn’t been without its own challenges, as technological equipment can also be quite toxic, but it has enabled me to keep “busy” and in touch with people, some (not many) from my past, and many I would have never met otherwise.

I have “met” so many amazing people online, from all over the world. There are people to “talk” with at any time of day or night should we need to, or should one of us have questions we need to brainstorm about, or just to say we care when we have been assaulted and are facing a challenging recovery time.

When brain able, I have been able to continue with my love of reading and learning. And now, as my abilities slowly improve, as I have more moments when the creative part of my brain re-awakens, I can inflict my early creative attempts on you, my dear readers…

Still, the internet can never take the place of contact and interaction with real, live humans and other beings. A webinar will never be the same as attending an event in person. A youtube song will never be the same as a live concert. An environmental documentary will never be the same as a walk in the wild. A PDF or kindle book will never be the same as a real book. And an air hug will never be the same as a real hug…

For me, the world will become civilized only when we recognize and act like we are all in this together.

THAT is my dream!


5 responses to “Is This Civilization? Is This A Dream?

  1. Thanks for this piece Linda, you are always a great read

  2. New article on the effects of isolation and when contact with others isn’t friendly or supportive

    (For people housebound with severe MCS/ES, it can be because friends and family don’t believe the seriousness and don’t or can’t make the efforts to detox themselves, or when the delivery person has used toxic products so the encounters are like physical and/or brain assaults and can require hours, days to weeks to recover from…)

    Note that severe MCS/ES is preventable with proper supports, but that these supports are not available to most people.
    Then again, prison is preventable for most people too, if there were supports before hand…

    Solitary confinement a growing issue in Canadian, U.S. prisons
    People who have experienced ‘administrative segregation’ weigh in on its long-term effects

  3. Thanks for a great article. I went over 2 miserable years without even having access to the internet due to poor financial health incurred thanks to the “sick-care” industry.

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