Thursday, April 20, 2023

I Am N O T Invisible!


On Sunday and today, I interviewed people to see if they could work for me as another one of my PSWs. (Personal Support Workers).  They both ignored my presence and talked about me in the third person to the person I was with, one of my current PSWs.

I spelled out words and phrases on my communication board, and one of my current PSWs relayed the messages to both interviewees.  First the pleasantries: “Nice to meet you. Please take a seat.” An introduction to my cats, who were rubbing against their arms and shoulders. Yes, even the cats were getting more recognition than I was!

It only took me a few seconds to see that both of the interviewees were actively avoiding looking me. (I don’t know why!   I’m quite attractive, with bright and cheerful clothing, and flaming red hair!) And then, a few seconds later I recognized that they were talking about me to my PSW.

With the assistance of my PSW,  I communicated: “Please look at me when you’re speaking.”  “Please do not talk about me in the third person.  I am right here beside you..” "Do you look at your other clients and speak directly to them?"

Neither person understood my meaning, and left soon afterwards.

I should be used to this kind of ignorance, but it still hurts. At 64 years of age, I find it hard to accept that things haven't really changed since I was a child. Certainly, my family, close friends, and customers see me as a fellow human being, with the same wants and desires as anybody else. They see my values and strengths, and the contributions I make to our society.

I'm 64 years old, and I should be used to the negative attitudes of some people. Lately, though, it seems like a bit harder for me to take.  I am strong. I am Anne Kathryn Abbott!  And yet ... lately, I've felt tears stream down my cheeks whenever something like this happens.

I am a person, a daughter, a sister, a widow, an aunt, a niece, a friend.  I am an artist, writer, political activist.

I am not invisible!

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Dancing on the Head of a Pin Once Again

 February 11, 1999


Dancing on the Head of a Pin


I’m dancing on the head of a pin

Trying to hide the fear within. 

I laugh, I grin.

I dance, I spin. 

Standing upright and tall,

I do my best not to topple and fall.                                 

Repeatedly, they try to knock me over -

There’s no place for me to run for cover.

They pelt me with troubles and woes,

But I’m determined to stay steady on my toes. 

I dance...

and dance...

and dance...                        

Trying to keep my balance. 

Sometimes I can’t stand it anymore,

Sometimes I want to simply hide and close the door.

Their aim is accurate, it hits its mark -

All I want is to sit and cry in the dark.                            

I trip and stumble,

I swear and grumble,

But, still, I do not tumble.

I never stop


Dancing like a top.                                      

I can never give in

Because if I do, they will most certainly win.

And so I spin...

and spin...

and spin...                                         

Upon the head of a tiny pin

Trying to hide the fear within.


                         Anne Abbott  

I wrote this poem 24 years ago, and I still feel the same way. 

Juggling so many things all at once, spinning, twirling, dancing on the head of a tiny pin, trying to hide the fear that's within.  I need to do so many things, and I want to do so many things - sometimes the two realities collide and conflict  with each other.  When this happens, I feel terrible anxiety, panic even, knowing that, as hard as I try, I am not perfect.

It's hard for me to believe that I haven't posted anything here in over a year.  My life has been hectic, unstable even.  However, posting on my blog gives me great pleasure.  To express myself, share my life experiences and ideas/views - what could be more cathartic?!

So, I promise, here and now, to post more often.  Even if it's a picture, a sentence, or just a simple word, I will try my best to post something, at least on a weekly basis