I love you like a brother.
That means the delusion of separation has dissolved. I feel you from the inside now.
So can we discuss this freak out you had when I reacted to you?
You know how sensitive I am. You watch me predict that the truck 10 car lengths in front of us is a diesel. And I’m right. Every time. I can smell the cologne on the man driving up the hill next to my house because his car window is open.
I can locate a colony of mold by feeling it. It was confirmed when they ripped the kitchen out. I could also tell that it wasn’t stachybotrys. And I was right.
I can tell you if I was bitten by more than one type of dust mite. Get your microscope out.
Yes, I get sick easily when I am reacting to environmental stimuli. Coughing fit. Brain fog. Insomnia. Pain. Burning lungs, etc. You watch it happen.
Is this sensitivity OK with you so long as I am reacting to anything other than you? Can we talk about that?
It’s not personal. It’s also not my fault.
If, for example, you walk through that moldy Army Navy store in town and then come in and sit on my couch, you can bet I will feel it. And then have a lot of cleaning to do. So it is a WAY TO LOVE ME to show up clean. You know. Clean by MY standards, not by yours. Even then, shit will happen. It matters that you try.
You know how many times I have heard “You shouldn’t be able to feel that!”?
I get it now, that most people can’t feel each organ inside their bodies, like I can. The sensory processing of this body-mind is perhaps unique. But it is not inaccurate.
I can perceive things that you can’t perceive. Things that are really there. Seriously, how is it that I am the one who is broken because of this fact?
Say you are color-blind. (See where I’m going?) My ability to see red and green could be seen as an asset.
It is only because of dogs’ good natures that they don’t mock us humans, because of how handicapped we all are from perceiving the obvious facts at hand. (That this turd was deposited here about 3 hours ago by a female husky. Duh.)
You think your human senses are “Reality” (with a big R)? What if they are just electrical impulses sent through flawed and various sensory organ-tissues to a deluded and opinionated human brain that weaves them all into the hologram we are supposedly agreeing on?
“When we examine the sensory systems of other animals, we find that many of them can detect stimuli that are undetectable with human senses. We use the prefixes “ultra” for stimuli that are above the range that humans can detect, and “infra” for stimuli that are below the range that humans can detect. Just because we label something as “ultra” or “infra,” however, does not mean it cannot be detected, only that it cannot be detected by human sensory systems.”Perceptual Worlds and Sensory Ecology
By: Stephen Burnett, PhD
Perhaps there’s a variety in “human sensory systems.” Why not, there’s variety in everything else. It’s not up to you to declare whether my perceptions are “real” or not. Your perceptions are not “better” because they are conventional.
Now, if you want to debate the “reality” of ALL perceptions, I’m totally down for that discussion. I don’t believe in mine more than yours, or vice versa.
“If it’s not there when you’re not thinking about it, it’s not very real, is it?” — Adyashanti
“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witness through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.” — Alan Watts
But let’s get back to your freak out. Notice how I called it “your” freakout? Because I didn’t freak out. You felt fine and had an emotional event associated with my physical reaction to you. I got sick, didn’t blame you, and just started cleaning everything. I’m used to this shit.
So I got to deal with an illness and had the additional burden of fielding your emotional event over it. I just want to point that out.
I’m glad to hear that you “forgive me for making you feel bad.” I’m just wondering about how that works.
I never blamed you for me getting sick. I never thought it was your fault. But I did, indeed, get really, really sick. You don’t need to know all the details. But you should know that I did the best I could on that last day.
I had never encountered that pattern of experiences before.
Luckily, I had heard of other people having the kind of experiences I was having, so I was able to get connected relatively quickly to doctors who had experienced it themselves, and had figured a way through it. They helped me a lot and now I’m doing better than when I started.
I wish you had told me earlier that you “didn’t believe in mold illness.” You weren’t honest with me.
You finally told me that you thought my troubles were probably “from bacteria or viruses” or some other microbe you can’t see with your own eyes. Bacteria are resisting antibiotics and killing millions of humans everyday and, well, we see what viruses can do.
It makes no sense that mold would be left out of the Armageddon party. Of course mold is also mutating.
And of course the illnesses during this era will separate people, isolate them and pit them against each other. I refuse to participate in that part. I have never blamed you.
The fact is, no matter how fervently you believe my illness had nothing to do with you, you simply don’t know more about this than the doctors and researchers who have helped the legions of people like me. That is a crime of arrogance.
Am I only allowed to have illnesses that you believe in? Ones you’ve experienced yourself? Can we discuss that?
I can see through this to a man who would never want to hurt anyone, certainly not people he loves. A man who regrets and fears his own darkness.
So in order to protect yourself emotionally, you had to decide that the origin of my illness was mental? And then later forgive me for “making you feel bad?”
Look. Everyone gets a moment to realize that this chemical and mold hypersensitivity thing is an expression of ecological degradation. The “mystery illnesses” will continue to proliferate as the system breaks down.
Did you know that people with nut allergies were accused of hypochondria when they first started to appear? Do you know what it feels like to not be believed when something is true? Black people know. Rape victims know. People who have chronic fatigue syndrome and who are gaslit by arrogant, ignorant doctors: We know.
Who made who feel bad? Want to call a truce on that?
As for the yuck you brought into my house… it was not your fault that you came across it. Also, it was not my fault that I could feel it.
The only reason you think I treated you badly is that you don’t believe me that I am reacting to actual, measurable substances. That’s a double bind that you are creating yourself, and it’s probably triggering a wound of being treated badly previously by other people.
That wound predates me. If that wound were not there (and I’m sorry that it’s there), and you were in alignment with the fact that my sensitive body picks up on substances that actually are there, then you would see that I did the best I could in an impossible situation that was not either of our faults.
I deserved the benefit of the doubt. And your compassion.
You know how I know that it’s possible to not take this personally? Because people who love me show me that all the time. As an expression of love. If I react to their shirt, they just go and change into another shirt with no drama. That’s love. If they do feel triggered or hurt, they witness that and feel that and then don’t blame it on me. They don’t believe their mind. That’s how I like to be loved.
It’s not like I haven’t tried everything to decrease the sensitivity. Seriously. Fuck.
My thesis is this:
1) Tug on the yarn of “what you know for sure” until you’re not quite so sure. Then,
2) Keep pulling until you go ALL the way, until your “separate self” dissolves into the whole.(Because waking up is the only solution now.)
I am the kind of friend who appreciates you for the beauty that other people can’t see in you, who loves and celebrates your quirkiness, who honors your becoming and your intention and still challenges you to be a better person, to heal and feel whole and love hard, even if it’s scary. I am the kind of friend who will forgive you for being a dumbass. I am worth loving. I am worth listening to and learning from. A side benefit of hanging out with me is getting healthier yourself. There is nothing more important during this time just before the earth wobbles than to learn how to be a better human being, to be humble, to be of service.
Maybe, just maybe, my sensitivity would be an asset to you too.
I love you like a sister.