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Where To Go From Here

April 9, 2020

This wasn’t how life was supposed to go. Not at all. I know that nothing ever follows the course one envisions, imagines or sees as typical/proper/predictable, but this — this is one layer that utterly blindsided me. There was my accident seven months ago, followed by seemingly nonstop complications, unexpected surgeries, multiple unrelated hospitalizations, and life-threatening psychological episodes. No part of that journey was remotely pleasant or welcome, but I unearthed wells of strength I did not know I possessed and was forced to learn to expect the unexpected. Then, at the tail end of half a year of harrowing recovery, a devastating global pandemic brought the country and world to a standstill. Now, after nearly a month at home, I receive THIS piece of deeply troubling, intensely personal, utterly shocking news — unrelated to anything or anyone in my life at this present moment in time.

I don’t know what to think, let alone how to process or act. I haven’t a clue how to move forward, where I go from here or what to say — which is why I haven’t said anything thus far. I didn’t want to talk about, I don’t… or do I? I know not if or to what degree I desire or need to share, even with my best friends. (Yes, hello best friends who are hearing about this for the first time, albeit in supremely vague terms. This is why haven’t replied to any texts about anything at all.) A surprisingly large number of people already know precisely that to which I am referring, as word travels fast in this email age, though far more are entirely in the dark about this latest piece of stunning information. You certainly didn’t hear it from me, you may not ever. It’s shitty. It sucks. It’s surreal, like absolutely all right now.

Opening a message personally addressed to me in my inbox from a human I haven’t spoken to in a decade about something entirely different didn’t just freeze me in my tracks and leave me dumfounded or merely immediately invoke nausea, disgust and appall, it instantaneously upended the basis of my childhood and thus, foundation of my life. As if I, or any of us, need greater instability, stress or horrors compounded atop current realities, I have now been forced to literally. question. everything.

These writings are my own processings about one of the most consequential and wholly unbelievable occurrences of my life to date. The whole thing is hard, maybe impossible to raise/believe/discuss/verbalize. Without profundity, only my humanness, I put pen to paper in attempt to make sense of things for myself, to reconcile the irreconcilable, to figure it the fuck out — no melodramatic or manipulative histrionics, rather unfortunate, unnerving, unfathomable severity. What are these raw, conflicting emotions? Not only the anxiety, sadness and overwhelm I’ve come to be familiar with, rather the disbelief, the distrust, the disgust. And the confusion, the hurt, the questioning — of past, present, future. I could not ever have imagined I’d find myself here. Honestly. Insanity. WTF.

What does the world have in store? Because every piece of this universe is interconnected. Choices by other people in another time and place and set of circumstances can shift your life in an instant here and now. And they will — to a degree never thought possible in a way never contemplated as probable around an issue never viewed as plausible. Mark my word.

You don’t know. Heck, I didn’t know — until I did. But that’s just it, none of us know what anyone else is going though, nor what can suddenly alter one's very identity, interpretation of history and framework for truth. Right now, I am that person. And for whatever reason, I’m choosing to share (and have heretofore felt dishonest not disclosing) pieces of my emotional response to the situation without revealing the intensely personal specifics (at least, not yet) — which, while not of my doing, are intimately related to, inevitably reflective upon and eternally linked to me: Erin Schrode.

Read more of my journey here
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