The Weight of My Own Expectation


I live in despair
Unable to appease my sense of loss
The loss of structure in my life
Organised by committing to the army
An uncaring army
Cannon fodder has been used to describe us
Isn’t anyone fodder in any organisation?
Does a company serve itself or its people?
Apparently the people matter to the army
Its called esprit de corps
It’s an illusion
Used to satisfy the collective
To create an impression of worth, of belonging, of importance
The army is too big to care
Compassion, empathy, understanding, are at odds with winning the war

I want to rest everyday
Exhaustion is a constant companion
Unwelcome but determined
To think is to use what little brain energy I have
How can I convince you of my pain?
How do I look different
What marks my disability
My age is not a factor
I have nothing to show except my aged wrinkles
And my scar
What does that prove?
Nothing unless I cut my hair and expose my head
Am I like Samson
Shorn of my weakness, exposed
But I am my own enemy
How can I make you understand
You congratulate those without legs, without arms
Ovations in grandstands as they hold aloft a trophy to be won
And I watch and wonder
Would I have been better off without a limb?
And I chastise myself for self-pity

This injury has destroyed my confidence
Maslow’s pyramid has collapsed around me
I have lived a structured life
Now I have little to bind me, to direct me, to promote me
But I am free surely
From the shackles of the military
Should I not celebrate
Embrace this opportunity
I have tried
But my brain has now imprisoned me
Though this organ limits everyone
Why am I different?
Because I saw what my brain could do
I saw how far I could reach
But now I am shackled again, by a stronger and unremitting grip
I am imprisoned
And tormented
Laughed at constantly by my unchanged motivations
You will never be satisfied
Your expectations have always been met by promotion, by a congratulatory handshake
Celebratory drinks

Stressed from filling out a mortgage application
Asking too many things
Too much information
Too little known
Where do I begin to find out

I sit in an indoor play area
Satisfied but on edge
What should I be doing
The tyranny of the should
I look at LinkedIn
And I see a constant reminder
A reminder of people I know
Being promoted in work
Oh how they are doing well
Advancement, success, more pay, more power
And here I am
Trying to survive the day
A permanent toil on my forehead
A furrowed brow
With the weight of my own expectation?
An expectation too far
Was I ever as good as I now think?

May 2013