Chronic Monday: Validation, A Poem

I think this poem is quite good. It is reprinted with permission of the author, who also has a book out, Call for Soulwork (CFS, get it?), and a website by the same name.

But first - something caused me to take my desktop computer down yesterday, which I've been meaning to do for months now in order to move the hard drive and make more space on the desk. Soon after I got it all unplugged and moved to the floor I realized what an incredible mess the cords were, and that I was going to have to take the rest of the office down (Mom's computer, the printer, various devices that enable us to surf the net at the speed of sound and to network our computers) in order to put my hard drive where I want it. No, too late to put it back the way it was. I unplugged everything and tried to put the cords where they will need to be, right before I had the revelation about what it's going to take to put it right. Now it will be just as much work to put it back as it will to go ahead and move it.

That whole digression was leading up to my excuse for not getting the sleep study up today. I finally got it scanned correctly, but of course the scan file is on the desktop computer and I can't get to it right now. (Sorry Aviva!) I'll try really hard to get it done for next week.

In the meantime, I love this poem by Gretchen Brooks Nassar. It says so many things I'm thinking, so perfectly.

A Cry For Validation

Gretchen Brooks Nassar

I Cry for validation,
I just need validation.
Agree with me, damn it!
I'm not okay.
Can't you see what's happening?
mucous in mouth, white coated tongue,
sleepless, wakeful nights...
None of this is alarming?

You notice none of it.
You question my motives
for illness
like CFS is some kind of criminal behavior.
But it's an invisible crime.

I sleep weird hours: no work, no routine
What you see are behavioral
oddities, and not facts of my physical and emotional

You judge me,
I am wrong not to work
CFS a mere excuse
Well, ex---cuse me!
No one chooses illness
well...not consciously.

My illness is real, physical
an uncomfortable, uninvited entity.

Yes, I am befriending it.
Yes, CFS has changed my life.
I let it in now and it's not my enemy.
Sometimes I pretend it isn't a part of me, but
CFS and I are real!
Can't you see?
Validation I seek.
I am not crazy.

strange molecules dance,
and destroy
my brain and emotions
I feel temporarily invaded.

Inexplicable rage; crazed
lost in the parking lot;
dizzy disorientation.
Here I am seemingly overpowered
by miniscule chemicals.

You don't see them,
only I feel them.
Trust me, I know what I am feeling,
Trust me,
am I crazy?
Trust the raging banshee?

You don't see much,
even my struggles with disorientation and
debilitating fatigue.
You don't see me; only your memories, only your
skewed perceptions of my reality
are what you see.

I need to be heard.
I need to be understood.
I need to have someone say:
"Yes, your feelings are real, your symptoms are physiological
Yes, you have CFS.
I'm sorry you have CFS.
Can I help?
You have CFS,
what's that like?"

takes the pain of your judgment and denial--- all away.

I can forgive you.
I do forgive you.

You are blind, afraid to open your eyes,
denial freed you from responsibility, from feeling the need to do anything.

You are free to judge.
I'll find my peace, and I'll find others who believe
in me
and the reality of
my disease.

I'll find my peace.

Copyright 2004, Gretchen Brooks Nassar

Photo by splorp on


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