If your loved one was abducted by aliens…

War-of-the-Worlds-movie posterImagine if someone you love with all your heart was abducted by aliens. Or faeries. And taken another galaxy. Or the underworld.

And imagine a changeling was left in your loved one’s place.

Querulous. Sickly. Wasting away. Maybe dying.

Elves and Fairies: A Scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream By Joseph Noel Paton, 1850

Elves and Fairies: A Scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream By Joseph Noel Paton, 1850

Resembling the one you love, but with large absent pieces. A version so diminished that it became unrecognizable at times.

Nobody really understands the enormity of the absence. Because your loved one is still visible. Still physically present. And in public, for short periods of time, on a good day, sometimes able to act surprisingly like the person you once knew.

Imagine what it is like to become that changeling:

Daniel Maclise, The Disenchantment of Bottom, 1832

The Disenchantment of Bottom by Daniel Maclise, 1832

Unable to think clearly. Unable to remember. In pain, all the time. Living in a fog which eats up the life you used to know, until that life disappears & your entire landscape resembles a strange and terrible dream. Where none of the skills you once had are applicable and, in any case, you can no longer remember or apply what you once knew.

If you’re lucky, the people from your old life keep appearing. Fading in & out of view. You know you should be grateful, and you are, but their sense of timing is very bad. And their concerns are extraneous. Alien to your reality. They are unable to perceive, or imagine, the grotesqueness of world you now inhabit.

If you try to explain it, they get uncomfortable. Impatient.

Come back, they say, just come back.

Don’t they know that’s all you want to do?

But there is no path. Just deer trails. Innumerable deer trails, that look promising, but always peter into nothing, deeper in the wilderness.

charred by martiansYou gradually learn some some survival skills for your new reality, but the terrain is not stable, and the challenges never end. Epic mythological challenges and horrendously pedestrian ones. Regardless, you battle them alone.

And years go by.

Until slowly, the changeling that was left in your loved one’s place begins to phase back. Slowly. Non-linearly. Comes back into focus.

One missing part at time. In a wiser form.

You know he’ll never be the same again. That from now on, he’ll always live in two worlds: the otherworld is part of him now.

But he can actually see you. He can join you in life. Sometimes. On good days.

And the good days cluster together, until you start to feel like you might be able to rely on them.

Bad days are still devastating, because you just want it to be over & are terrified that a bad day might turn out to just be the end of a remission. A brief reprieve.

But each time, it isn’t. And your life begins to open up again.

Imagine that, 8 months into the AIP.

Matthew

 

6 Comments

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6 responses to “If your loved one was abducted by aliens…

  1. Bet you don’t have to imagine too hard… X

  2. Kathy

    Petra, I don’t believe we have met in person, but I have met both Matthew and your mum, Carol, through my work providing lab services. I was, very, very sorry to learn of your mum’s passing. There are few words to wrap around that loss. I wanted to tell you how much this current post has moved me. It is very powerful, loving and terrifying…all at once.

  3. Erin Wittrig

    Petra, I am a changeling trying desperately to regain the real “me”. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I cry for the years I lost with my family because improper diagnoses, for the insidious addiction to prescription meds that my doctors assured me I needed to cope with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue (and the ungodly, protracted withdrawals that came with discontinuing those very meds). I now know, all the profound fibro and fatigue symptoms were caused by improper nutrient absorption and food allergies, plus other autoimmune issues. I am currently still 1/2 changeling but I now at least have hope that some days will be not just tolerable, but I might even find some small pittance of joy to revel in. My “usual personality” and ability to deal with the normal daily activities is starting to reemerge. Some days, I confess, I still seem to just exist, while others are what I consider good days. AIP and nutritional ketosis have been essential in my quest for improved health and I thank you for sharing your life with us…both the good and the “not so good”. It is important to not feel alone…to know there are others endeavoring “to feel normal” again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and know my prayers are with you as you journey toward the healing of both your body and your heart!!

    • Thank you, Erin, for sharing something about what it’s like to slowly return to yourself from the changeling world. And for sharing your experience of the devastating personal cost of pharmaceutical-based treatments. I’ve watched the ‘ungodly, protracted withdrawals’ from pain medications that Matthew has gone through (and also met intravenous drug users who started their heroin addiction on prescribed pharmaceuticals like oxycodone.) Matthew is now off pharmaceuticals, except for a couple of Tylenol arthritis which he takes most (but not all!) days. I am also witness to Matthew’s grief for his lost years, especially the years he lost with his family.

  4. What a wonderful smile. And what a powerful post.

  5. Pingback: Biohacking Update: 8½ months into the Autoimmune Protocol | petra8paleo

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