ME/CFS is a mean mistress, whose sole purpose is to keep me down. She is a dominatrix thriving on my submission, wielding her whip with heartlessness, and when she tires of the lashes – has me wincing in pain – she tosses the whip in my direction, tauntingly daring me to defend myself, knowing full well that I lack the strength to lift the weapon in my defence.
Pain alone does not satisfy her blood lust; she will not rest until battered and weakened, I am a useless sack of flesh and bones. She arms herself with a heavier weapon, taunts me with the swing of steel and spikes, catches me behind the knee or on the hip, throwing off my balance, then strikes a wrist so that it cannot break the fall.
It’s a pattern we repeat time and again: she attacks until my surrender is complete, then leaves me – gives me space to heal, and maybe even gain confidence – until she attacks again; each time dragging me deeper into her dark vortex.
In the back of my mind, I cling to the hope that strength will find me, that kindness will help me shoulder this burden, or that help is close at hand. Such frailty amuses her and she reminds me, coldly, that life goes on around me, whilst I, stranded in this nightmare fight this battle in isolation.
Writer, avid reader, former educator, and proud grandmother, currently experiencing life through the lens of ME/CFS. Words are, and always have been, a lifeline. Some of the best adventures, I'm discovering, take place in the imagination.