Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Afflicted

"You're son is 'autistic' Ms Smith. the elderly white-haired doctor reported with an austere inflection. Looking back at the elderly doctor the young Ms Smith could not believe her ears. "Excuse me, doctor, did you say my son is 'artistic'? Ms Smith smiled, hoping to get the doctor to do the same, which he did not. The doctor said nothing. Ms Smith was taken aback, and was beginning to get confused about her son's diagnosis. As the sublime doctor with the thick Alfred Hitchcock accent rushed Ms Smith and hurriedly lifted the weighty toddler from the examining table to go to the next table for further tests.

Ms Smith's jaw dropped as she was amazed by the doctor's impudent treatment of her and the way he so non-chalantly gave her the diagnosis. Mainly it was the doctor's seeming disregard for Ms Smith. She could feel a cold chill in the room. Like a living nightmare everything in the room warped from sunshine to emptiness. Suddenly, the doctor's room began to spin in a slow circle with her pounding heart. Threatening images began to take upon a nightmarish quality. The doctor reminding her of Mr. Hyde with long, cold, pale hands with deadly nails that maimed. Around her the freakish room became the feeling of a morgue or funeral parlor. "I've got to get out of her" Ms Smith said breathlessly weak. She grabbed her two year old and told her husband "I'm leaving". The door slammed suddenly behind her.

In the process of examining the child, the doctor's long nails had cut into Ms Smith's flesh. This morning's doctor's visit had been more like a bad B horror movie than a reality she could grasp. No, no, not, at this time, fate. Her hand where she had been holding her son on the examining table was scratched raw by the doctor. His hands were so unusual, a cold blueish tone, with six inch nails. He reminded her of a formeldahyde smelling doctor, who lived in the lab for too many hours. "How could he be so cold? What is it about doctor's lately anyway? Are they all without human feelings, no compassion to share with their patients?" Ms Smith thought to herself. "Everything about him seemed so unreal, like he was lifted from a Hollywood set, portraying a role, not a real person at all. Is this the art of science today? They left one thing out; The Art. There was no Art to the doctor's treatment of her son or herself. Her husband, disabled from youth, had known these feelings. They were becoming all too new to Ms Smith.

As Ms Smith sat gathered her thoughts, things were not normal, or at least things were not progressing along a smooth unobstacled path. As Ms Smith examined her life, she recalled that things had not at all followed a regular path, there were bits and pieces missing, large chunks gone where there should have been a completed painting. Looking back at her recent past, Ms Smith could recount the haunting words given to her by a doctor a couple of years ago.

Upon finding herself pregnant, in her early twenties, her boyfriend recently dumping her like yesterday's garbage once the news of her pregnancy surfaced, Ms Smith needed a well-baby physical. She wanted to take care of the baby, even though she knew she would have no support from her ex. She could handle that, there were other single mothers back then, it was not unusual, maybe one day she would find the true love she needed to survive in a world of seemingly hate.

Ms Smith knew how psychologically damaging it was to be with a man who would not going to ever settle down. A man who was an incessant womanizer. Why did she always fall for the "wrong type" or were there nothing but "wrong types" for her? She felt she was never going to be good enough to kiss the ground men walked upon, so why take up that burden at all? As much as she wanted to, she could not change his attitude towards her. She did challenge him, and was met with him turning further away from her. After finally pleading with her ex to "just listen" to her cause, he then would not return her phone calls. To Ms Smith it was as if she was dead to him.

He wanted his freedom; the world was his oyster, she meant nothing to her. It was true, she had been a summer fling, a joy ride, a johnny come lately special. Ms Smith did not know the shallowness of his feelings, she thought that he really loved her, as she had thought her other two previous boyfriends had loved her. Was she too easy? Was she too loving? Too clutchy? Why would they use her and then throw her away when they appeared so interested in her wellbeing at the time. "How fickle men are; I would like to say something else, but I am, and always will be, a lady. Maybe I am a lady who was fooled into loving a man for all the wrong reasons. Maybe I am a lady who loved too soon, too deeply or maybe I am a lady who has been manipulated in some way, to shatter my core, to totally destroy me, but why? Who would ever do that to someone? Is there something more sinister going on under the surface? Ms Smith was asking all the right questions this time.

"How can people be so cold, so heartless?"Ms Smith cried for endless days, her heart broken, her dreams shattered. After numerous attempts to contact her old boyfriend failed, Ms Smith knew she was on her own and was horribly confused. Like all the other women in her shoes, whose turncoat men were very loving at first, and then turned distant upon the news of becoming a father.

Ms Smith's one visit to the doctor's clinic in the small laconic village would seal her fate. Nothing ominious gave Ms Smith the feeling that she should not enter the office. However, this one visit would change her life forever. Nervous, and concerned about her future, the twenty-something Ms Smith entered the clinic.

The young woman doctor from another land far away had seemed like a soul sister. She had all the supposed attributes for such a position. She was smart, intelligent, pretty and young. Ms Smith felt assured in confiding in her, discussing her innermost feelings and recent fall from grace. Ms Smith did not know how to have a powerful conversation especially the dismal repeating never-ending story of chronic rejection by males.

After her initial examination, the doctor looked down at the ground; "Why would you want babies, especially boys, you don't want them to be sick all the time, do you?" Ms Smith horribly confused asked the doctor what she meant by this; was she genetically diseased? What would give the doctor the right to tell her that her future baby would be harmed in any way whatsoever?. The doctor, at this point, refused to elaborate, and left the room.

Haunted by this suppressed this memory of that doctor visit years ago, Ms Smith was beginning to connect the dots. Obviously the doctor, a woman, was just saying that maybe it was a better thing that she not have children; ever. That it would be a better thing not to be a single mother, that no man would ever love her, that she would die alone. Ms Smith felt defrocked of all known power she had ever thought she had owned. She felt, to put it mildly, powerless. Or was her personal power just an illusion, that really, the powers that be, would predetermine that role long ago?

Since the doctor would had refused to discuss anything further with Ms Smith she never returned for follow-up. However, the nagging and lingering doubt about doctors, and basically all people of position, people of influence, people of power came into sharp focus in Ms Smith's mind. If she were a pawn or not, she definitely was assuming that role handed to her. In her mind, Ms Smith could not be anything but perfect, someone who had it all, had all the smarts, the looks, the youth in her bag, she was in a place of power. Not any more,

Now those who wield so powerfully so, who can determine such life and death evidents, whether they be progonosticators, doctors, lawyers or Indian Chiefs, it made no difference. Ms Smith was about to unravel that secret map, that "behind the scenes" sketch of power-dynamics of the power-mongers. How does it all work? Who holds the keys, the sway, who is the truly the gate-keeper? Who is the real power behind the throne? As Ms Smith questioned the very authority she had trusted for years all around her became more focused and refined with one purpose in mind; to find the truth, to find out what happened to her, is it happening to other single mothers, other women of means or no means. She wanted answers, little did Ms Smith know where those answers were to be found.

"I am going to get to the truth I am going to find that truth!" Ms Smith made a solemn vow to herself. What was really going on in her life? Who was controlling her life to the point that all her so called "loving boyfriends" dumped her, left her bagless, out in the cold to die? What organization or men's club could allow this to happen to a fellow human being? Was it the Mason's, The Rotary Club, the Knights of Columbus? Who could destroy a beautiful life in this way? For what purpose. It was too untowards, not normal, did not follow a regular pattern, no logic. There had to be something else going on under the surface. Ms Smith thought a power club, a secret club, whose mission is to destroy the real power of women. A way to claw back the Family Compact, or part of the Family Compact? All these questions; where would the answers be found.

"Knock, knock, Avon calling!" Ms Smith felt assured, selling door to door this time

Jane Jones 29 Jun 09.

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