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…
But it needed a slight revision… It wasn’t my “dream” to cut ties with civilization, it was my prescription!
So here is what I did and why:
My prescription is to cut ties with our toxic “civilization”
thanks to developing MCS/ES
while grateful to still have access to wired INTERNET
I have often thought that I now 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 restricted to being housebound, and am frequently assaulted (either without knowledge, carelessly, or deliberately) by the chemicals in products and materials that other people use (toxic trespass without consent and often without warning) and the effects can be just as harmful!
I can be assaulted even when alone in my own home, as these chemicals can get in through the windows and cracks around my door, even when closed. Maybe the seals are getting old, but replacing them is also problematic, as the products are either toxic or very costly, if available, and there’s no will here for property management to explore the safest options if it’s not easy or cheap. Air purifiers are not enough to create fresh, healthy air, and oxygen is expensive.
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…”. I was slowly healing, and was very grateful for improved abilities, but pesticide drift in the area set me back in a big way.
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” in as useful a way as I am able, and I’ve been able to have contact 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, if or when I have moments when the creative part of my brain awakens, I can inflict my 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 you-tube 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 or cyber hug will never be the same as a real fragrance-free hug…
For me, the world will become civilized only when we recognize and act like we are all in this together.
This means caring about each other and all life much more than we care about money and products!
THAT is my dream!
(Note: this post was slightly revised on May 30th, 2017)
Thanks for this piece Linda, you are always a great read
Very kind of you to say so!
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
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.
Thanks Kay! Glad you have internet access now!
I have to live without a lot of other everyday things people take for granted, but I can’t live without my wired internet!