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The Sound of Silence

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Friday, October 06, 2017

I began my 8 years at Spark in silence and although I am still here, I have fallen silent again.

Thank you to all who have inquired about my situation. I apologize for my lack of response.
You do deserve an explanation.

Since the tragedy at Charlottesville, I’ve been incredibly sad.
My sadness and disbelief has increased day by day.

I’ve always tried to be supportive and encouraging in my writing here.
However, the situation in my country right now limits my spirit to write encouraging words.
So I have fallen silent.

There have been a few times in my life when I have been overcome by similar “situational” depression.

The year I spent with a new baby while my husband was being shot at in an Asian jungle was my first experience.

Perhaps it’s watching the documentary on The Viet Nam War which also coincided with the struggle for civil rights adding to my sadness. I remember flag waving “patriots” sending young men off to die while they stayed safely home. It’s now clear to me that we can coexist with any Communist government or other dictatorship as long as there is profit to be made and exporting our jobs there. I wish we could have figured that out 58,000 lives ago.

Joe and I are going through all our letters from what was the worst year of our lives. We’re reading them and burning them. I can’t shake the feeling that it’s all happening again.

Last year at this time Joe was recovering from emergency brain surgery. He received excellent care is thankfully is 100% fine. For that result I am extremely grateful.

However, the medical bills were astronomical. Because of Medicare and our supplemental policy, we paid zero out of pocket. For this I’m also grateful.

However, I’m also aware of medical bills as the leading cause of bankruptcy.
It pains me to see families facing medical disaster facing financial disaster as well and having to beg for charity. I have never been in the “I’ve got mine, the heck with everyone else” group.

Worst of all, I am saddened by all the comments in social media from those who have whole categories of those who do not deserve the “privilege” of healthcare.

The list of the “undeserving” varies.
The final straw for me was being told
“I do not want to pay for the healthcare of all those lazy, FAT people who destroy their health by eating junk and sitting on their butts all day.”

This was not a disembodied Internet troll, but someone I know, or thought I knew. He is not alone. There is a huge group that really feels there are people who deserve to be sick and die from lack of care!
Obese people are on the top of their list.

I volunteer in a nursing home. I know that after 6 months to 1 year of residence, most have exhausted their life savings and are supported by Medicaid (not Medicare which was not designed for this).
Medicaid is under attack for supporting all those “FAT, LAZY people...”

Personally, I’m fine. I believe in Spark principles and continue to follow them.
Yes, I’m still in maintenance. I still login each morning, spin the wheel and renew my determination, but that’s as far as it goes.

For 3 years I was a “Spark Hermit” – successful but existing alone in my little corner of the spark world.

I enjoyed 5 years of Spark activity interacting with like-minded people.
Now I’m back in my hermitage, silent once more.

I have only one encouraging thought to leave for you.

Remember that no matter what the life or world situation, overeating, eating junk food and neglecting exercise will not make it better.

Perhaps I can help make things better by finding my voice in a different venue.

Edit: December 23, 2017
Thank you Sparkers for your concern. I am fine.
There are many who need help and sadly many who are blaming the most vulnerable among us. It's those people who need our help and it's my goal to do that.
I am using my time, talent, voice and energy helping others in different venues other than Spark.
Thank you, again and I hope that your time on Spark is as valuable as mine has been.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So sorry to be reading this for the first time today...............I will miss you so much. I have had ongoing depression for most of my life, take medication and have ongoing sessions with a therapist.

    Be well.
    697 days ago
    Thank you. For explaining, for all that you think and do, and fir being you. No explanations needed, but good to know anyway. You are right in so many levels.
    735 days ago
    Thanks for your commitment here and in other places. Yours has always been an uplifting voice for me. Glad you are making yourself known elsewhere!

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    815 days ago
    emoticon Eileen, I know the depths of depression and I feel your pain emanating from the page. I wish I could do something to help you. Life is hard and a lot of people are cruel. emoticon This is a fact that breaks my heart! Then there are the few beautiful Souls, like you, who make the World a better place. emoticon You are not alone in your pain. Try not to carry it by yourself. emoticon I'm sorry I didn't get to know you better! I feel how special you are! I hope you're feeling better by the time you get this. God Bless you emoticon as you continue your journey! Keep the Faith!
    emoticon from Alabama
    832 days ago
  • DESIREE672
    837 days ago
    858 days ago
    I'd be interested in knowing what venue your voice lands in. You truly do have worthwhile things to say.
    859 days ago
    emoticon My heart is heavy. Hugs.
    859 days ago
  • THOMS1
    I just now read your blog. I was sitting here working on spark and I asked my sister whatever happened to Brooklyn=Born. She told me about your blog and how sad you have been since the happenings in Charlottesville. I am so sorry that you are feeling so low. I look forward to reading your blogs when and if you feel you can return to blogging. Thank You for listening. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    860 days ago
    I just wished you a happy eight years of maintenance and I just reread this blog. How are you doing? I hope all is well in the silence. I still miss reading your blogs!
    860 days ago
    I hope you are finding the nicer people and happier side of life. It can look bleak when you focus on the negative people and things.
    868 days ago
  • SUNSHINE20113
    Hi - I'm a bit late in reading this but wanted to thank you for sharing. You do not owe us an explanation, but when I returned to Sparkpeople after my PhD exam I noticed your absence and got a bit worried that something may have happened to you. It's the weird paradox of on-line communities: you get used to hearing comments from people, but don't actually know people and their daily experiences of life. So, thank you.
    875 days ago
    Completely understand and sympathize. I hate it. I am in the dark valley as well. Take care of yourself and hopefully return at a later date. Health, hugs and healing. emoticon
    877 days ago
    Here is hope - your kind, thoughtful, profound words- and the many messages from your friends shring concern, support and compassion.
    883 days ago
    Thank you for all of your encouragement to others over the past few years. I hope continue to take care of yourself and find some peace. emoticon
    884 days ago
    I am not here at all very much but logged in to check on you and a few other friends. I get it. So many medical issues with my sisters, my grandchild, and then myself, that I have been overwhelmed. My anger, and then sadness, at so many aspects of how our world is right now....I have chosen to stay silent about it, not wanting to add to the division. However, I have barely left my house in two months... I am sending up a prayer for you right now.
    886 days ago
  • MARGIEB221
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    886 days ago
    887 days ago
    We can only fix our little piece of the world, by being the kind of person we believe people (or at least we) should be, to be good and right and honorable and compassionate (or whatever your highest values are). It takes time to heal from the heart and soul and mind injuries from seeing what is happening in the world, what people are doing to each other, their planet, gosh, just about everything.
    Be well, take care of yourself, have faith and be the example, even if it doesn't seem like anyone else in the whole world is doing the same. You may be the one beam of light needed to keep many out of total darkness. emoticon
    887 days ago
    Be well...
    "Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
    CS Lewis
    888 days ago
    Thank you for your blog. Like you I am disheartened and grieving about the direction of our country and the platform hate has gotten. I hope to see you back at some point, but it’s important to do what you think is important first of all. Take care!
    890 days ago
  • LCULL56
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    891 days ago
    I don’t know what to do about our country. It’s shocking, and sad.
    891 days ago
  • 1958TMC
    Hugs to you and your family💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖
    893 days ago
    I have been off and on, too, and realized someone important was missing--you! I'm so sorry you've been sad. Me, too, at the existence of hatred and evil. I pray for you and for our endangered society and earth. Peace be with you now and forever.
    894 days ago
    Wishing you all the best, always
    900 days ago
  • KRISSY82
    I've been wondering about you. This was such a tragedy, and I, too, struggled to wrap my head around it. Still continue to do so. And, the whole healthcare issue in this country coupled with the hate being spewed both online and in office is enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed, sad, and in my case, pretty pissed off. I hope to hear more from you soon.
    900 days ago
    Looking forward to the day of your return. You are a kind and sweet spirit. I wish you peace and joy. It can be found in Jesus Christ. In spite of this world and its "governing", there is a better way with Christ. Be blessed my Spark friend and hurry back.

    901 days ago
    Glad that you shared why you have not been active. emoticon

    Hope you are feeling better soon!

    901 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    I realized I had not seen any posts from you for a while so I decided to pop over to see how things are going. I am not on here as frequently as before either just because life is so busy and I have so many things going on and work is extremely busy!
    I know what you mean about the insurance and healthcare that everyone deserves. As a health care worker, I know what can happen if people don't have access to health care. I have insurance and my deductible is high but I can afford it, I have to wonder what will happen to those that have to choose between a test in the medical world that they need, an MRI, a mammogram, a colonoscopy vs putting food on the table. When they do finally go in, it is often too late and the disease has spread.
    I keep praying for the world to find a way to peace and for our beautiful country to find a way to help those that need it, for the underprivileged kids to find a way out of the horrible cycle of poverty.
    I pray that you and your husband will continue with your health and happiness. Thank goodness that spark will always be there waiting for us when we need our friends the most.
    Big hugs to you!
    902 days ago
    Thank you for letting us know.
    Sometimes we need a season of quiet.
    May God continue to bless you.

    emoticon & emoticon
    904 days ago
    I truly hope that you can find something to be joyful about. There are many things wrong with our systems which is true, still, I can't allow it to get me down for there would be no one who would like to take care of my husband and so this is my world.
    906 days ago
    907 days ago
  • NUMD97
    Although you certainly do not owe us an explanation, thank you, Eileen, for taking the time to tell us what is going on.

    I just remarked to Phebe yesterday that you have not answered outside mail either, but I felt I had to respect what was tacitly implied. You needed the space for yourself now. I totally understand. I've been thinking of doing the same. Outside forces are just compelling me to direct my attention there.

    I am tremendously relieved that all of you are fine. There is no doubt that we are going through very difficult times as a country. Who could have possibly foreseen where we are now, politically? Certainly not I. But we as a group of Americans for all our faults are a resilient people and I truly believe we will survive this latest abysmal chapter as well.

    You are right: Perhaps it is time to direct our energies to ensure that our congressmen and senators hear our collective voices and do all that is necessary to stop this insanity before we find ourselves once again on the brink of a world war. That is currently my greatest fear in this arena.

    I wish you nothing but godspeed, Eileen. If you feel like it, reach out. If not I understand. You know where to find me.

    ~ Nu

    PS: If I may, don't burn those letters. They are an integral part of your family's history, and just how strong you and Joe are as a force to be reckoned with. It shows all that you overcame. My aunt told me that at the point that they moved to where they finally ended up as our neighbors in our co-op, they trashed all the letters coming from Europe during the Second World War. I told her how sorry I was to hear that. I would have very much liked to have seen those. These kind of letters serve not only as family legacy, but as proof before revisionists rewrite what actually occurred. The wars that we of this generation endured serve the same purpose. My two cents.
    908 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/8/2017 3:24:27 PM
  • NANCY-
    “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” came to my mind when I finished reading your blog.
    All through my life and through world history there have been way too many tragedies. I remember seeing signs
    908 days ago
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    909 days ago
  • no profile photo CD17528039

    Hugs to you, honey. There are no words....
    909 days ago
  • ALOFA0509
    emoticon I agree. It's a scary time right now. I can barely watch the news the most I can do is PBS NEW HOUR!! not a lot of screaming and blaming it just News, for the most part. I hope that by sharing your thoughts here amongst friends we can help lift each other up. Blessings to you and your hubby emoticon emoticon
    909 days ago
    emoticon for checking in and sharing your situation with us. My family has been deeply touched by wars - WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korean, Gulf War, War in Afghanistan, War in Iraq and two more family members have recently enlisted (one in boot camp right now) in the USMC and USN.

    It seems to me we've been a world at war and I am not surprised. Why? Because we're at war within ourselves. Are we not? Why would we expect to see anything different on the outside? Until we clean up our own inner conflicts, I suspect the external conflicts will continue.

    What we see in the outer world is a reflection of an inner state. And, honestly, I see a lot of beauty in the world despite the ongoing conflicts. I also accept that civilizations come and go. They are part of the cycle of life and death.

    Do take care of yourself, dear Eileen. Please seek professional support, if needed. And, should you choose to direct your time and energies by sharing your voice elsewhere, I understand. There's a time and a season for everything and I appreciate the time you have shared here with us. I am the better for it.

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    909 days ago
    You're missed and loved. Poke your head in from time to time, until then....
    909 days ago
  • ALICIA363
    I came over to say I missed you and I'm grateful for the explanation.
    You go, girl. Use your voice where it is needed.
    909 days ago
    I understand your sadness and silence.
    It is not easy to accept the world we live in, full of contradiction.
    There is always greed and cruelty which it is hard to embrace, even if love, kindness and compassion also exist.

    I have been thinking about you, and I'm glad you are still here, even if silence.
    I wish you many happy moments that shine through sadness.

    909 days ago
    I was just about to send you a spark mail because I've been one of the concerned who wondered what was going on. I was afraid it was something with your hubby, because of the scare last year. Thank you for letting us know your feelings and what you've been going through.

    You aren't alone. We watched the Vietnam series as well and it was scary how much seemed to resonate with current affairs. The lying, the senseless deaths. My husband would have been sent but then they stopped the draft. He spent the summer in Hawaii before because he figured he was going to die over there.

    It is a scary time for a lot of us. you are correct in that medical crises happen to many people. My sister lost her job as a veterinarian the same day she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She continues to work the only way she can which is at weekend shot clinics. This weekend, they are driving to Fresno (3 hours) to work one day, then driving another 5-6 to work in the Bay Area on Sunday. And who knows what will happen with her insurance.

    The gun stuff. Big sigh.

    You have always been so generous with your time here. I'm glad you are doing what you need to, and know you will find your way. Love, light and peace.
    910 days ago
    Oh sweetie, I feel so bad that you have been so depressed over our world. I agree, things are horrendous and scary and depressing right now.

    On the other hand, there are also encouraging events happening in the world. For example, as terrible as the recent massacre in Nevada was, look at how many people helped complete strangers - people with medical care performed all kinds of life saving efforts, others carried complete strangers to safety, or to a hospital - the list goes on and on. ONE person was crazy and shot up a concert full of people - but HUNDREDS of people tried to help each other survive that terrifying situation.

    Mr Rogers (yes, of TV fame) always said that his mother told him, when things are bad or scary, look for the helpers. I take encouragement that there are way more helpers than people hurting others.

    I don't know if that helps you put it into perspective.

    And as others have suggested, treat your emotional and mental health the same way you do your physical health - if you have debilitating depression, a doctor can refer you to someone for help. I've gone through therapy after traumatic events, and it really can be helpful.

    Please take care of yourself. And know that you have a huge group of people here who are sending you love, and hugs, and hoping that you feel more like your usual self very soon.

    910 days ago
  • LINDA!
    I am so sorry and I do understand. This is a horrible time in our country. Praying for you emoticon
    910 days ago
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    910 days ago
    Thank you, Eileen, for telling us where you are at.

    And thank you for all your steadfast service and encouragement at Spark People.

    I don't comment on the political situation in the USA because Spark is not a political community and because I am not an American. But: I suspect it's pretty clear what my views are.

    If you feel the need to raise your voice elsewhere: that's understandable.

    And if you are experiencing clinical depression, I do hope that you will get the medical health care you deserve.
    910 days ago
    My dear friend,
    We are all hurting in one way or another. I'm glad you posted and shared your feelings. There are many here who feel the same as you. We get support from one another. Please continue to post and share. We love you.
    910 days ago
  • KURTZIE1998
    emoticon I am glad you blogged I was worried about you. When things seem to be going to hell in a hand basket, it is hard to be positive. But my faith won't let me get discouraged, I believe in God, I have read and studied other faiths and all have has their main teaching love one another, I have to try and to that everyday, I have to trust there are enough people left with common sense and that with myself, you and others get our world back on track. emoticon
    910 days ago
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