I’ve been thinking about people who have “saved my life.” Those LIFE-SAVERS! The first one is my Gramma. She watched over me my whole life. No kidding! Even after she passed, which brought me to my knees before God, Goddess, Universe, Creator … You know the other intelligence that seems to answer ours? How helpless do you gotta be to pray like this? “I hope you exist and in case you do, and on the off chance you’re listening, you’re my only hope.”

I don’t know about you but that makes me laugh. It’s worse than blind-folded “pin the tail on the donkey” down here in the atmosphere of planet Earth. I have a vague intuition that if we can laugh at our situation things will work out better than they have any right to. Or, if not then at the very least we will have a better time.

Psychics throughout my life have seen her, in spirit, standing behind my shoulder. Thank you, Gramma. For some time I have wondered if you are still with me.

The next Life-saver was my Mom. She held the possibility that I would walk again, and worked as hard as I did to make it happen. Thanks, Mom. I’m glad you’re still here. Boy am I gonna miss you someday.

Next my Greek professor from Brooklyn College. I dropped his class but his advice was a life-saver. He saw desperate in my eyes and I laid it out for him in two hallways. As we stepped out into the sunlight he stopped and saved my life. He told me emphatically it wasn’t my job to deal with my sister’s MPD. It was my parents job. I was glad to hear it. My sister was living with me at the time and her angry alter ego had scared the stuffing out of me. The threat of violence was palpable when she was in the room.

I high-tailed it home for Thanksgiving and laid it out during dinner. Pop was brilliant that time. He took it on without hesitation and told Barbara she was allowed to be angry. No need for the alter-bitch. Talk about magic. My sister recovered after that. I don’t even remember that professor’s name but he saved my life.

A few years later a counselor saved my life. Leaving my parents house by itself accomplished only the initial stage of my healing: it ended the abuse. The emotional baggage stayed and weighed me down awful. At 23 I had ulcerative colitis. I needed help to get well. My first counselor saw me only for a few months, but at the end he gave me this precious gift: “There’s one thing I want to tell you,” he said. “You are not crazy. You’ve never been crazy and you never will be crazy. But to fit in your family, you have to be crazy.” Thank you, first counselor. You saved my life.

To be continued …

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