Winter And Fear

I’m not too fond of winter these days, for many reasons. My body can’t regulate it’s core temperature, so I can’t be out in the cold for long. I get around in a wheelchair and do not have a vehicle of my own. Therefore, I must rely on public transportation that is door to door, which can cost as much as $5 each way.

The wheelchairs that I use are not snow friendly at all. I can’t move around in snow at all with the manual chair. I can move around in my power chair, but it slides on ice and can lose traction in the snow. Therefore, I’m not too fond of winter, though I do like to take winter photos.

Many years ago, and I mean MANY, when I was a child, winter was fun, except when it snowed so much that school was closed. That meant that I had to stay home and suffer through whatever mood my mother might be in.

When it snowed, we wanted to go out and play in the snow. We lived out in the country, on two acres of land that had a bit of a slant. That made for excellent sledding. Sometimes it was so good we might not stop in time and either run into the trees on the edge of the yard, or go between them and right out onto the road.

The problem, though, was that whenever we wanted to go outside, we had to ask permission first. For me, this was a scary action. I was always afraid of my mother. Living like this caused great anxiety, GERD, and other behaviors such as theft and arson. Yes, you read that correctly – arson. There was also other behavior problems but I’m not going to go into them here. That is for another post.

If she was in a bad mood, she would not allow us to go outside to play. This doesn’t make any sense, as that meant we were trapped inside with her, and subject to her moods if we played too loudly, or ran in the house.

If she was in a good mood, she would let us go out, but only after bundling up in so much winter clothing, we could barely move. But once we got outside, it was great. We would slide down the hill if the snow was right. We would build snow forts and fire snow balls at one another. We also dug tunnels and caves in the snow that piled up high from the driveway being plowed. This was one of my most favorite activities, and one of my fondest memories. When we were cold and wet enough we went back inside.

I had an escape route that could take me away from my mother’s moods. When I started learning to read, I was hungry for more and more books to read. Once I was older, I could spend and entire day, in my room, reading books that I brought home from the school library.

Reading was an activity that grew with me, and stayed with me, until I got sick and my cognitive abilities and memory were very poor. Due to a lack of concentration, I could never stick with a book long enough to read it and enjoy it. To this day, I have several books around my apartment, with bookmarks in them, never to be picked up again.

This was a sad turn of events for me, but my appetite for the Internet turned into an obsession, and it still controls me to this day. I just switched from one kind of control (my mother) to the Internet, to which I can honestly say I am addicted to. It controls me by causing me to miss medication doses, ignore the TV entirely, and even forgo meals.

I have to admit that I’m not even trying to break this form of control. It’s my only opening to the outside world, where I can go wherever I want, whenever I want.

It makes me feel that I am finally in control.

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