Schindler’s List in the Midst of an Epidemic

I am not about to write anything profound. I am sitting here on my bed in the middle of a city in the United States of America, a country I am glad to be in but am not proud of, letting out some well-earned tears after watching Schindler’s List. It is a movie I had not seen before and probably wouldn’t have gotten around to seeing for a while had I not been unemployed. But the company I have given five years of my life to, five years of my recovery from PTSD and depression, have graciously let me go thanks, apparently, to the coronavirus. Thanks to them I no longer suffer from work stress and get to sleep as much as I want to. The trouble with having depression is that I do want to sleep all of the time.

I attended an online Buddhist meetup group today. We talked about the value of life and about how precious life is, not only human life but all life on earth including that of an insect. In Japan, rather than kill a spider in the home, you catch it in a glass container, slide a piece of paper under the opening and return the spider to the natural habitat of the outdoors, wishing it luck. Well maybe not the latter part but I have been doing this practice for many years now.

There are some people who don’t value their own life. This I believe may be diseased thinking, that is, an illness talking. It is my illness talking when I say that I want to die. It is my humanity speaking when I say that I am grateful to be alive today. There are people out there on the front lines risking their lives to save lives, only the front lines are not on a battlefield, they are in hospitals. People, otherwise healthy individuals, are dying, and it’s not just “the old” people. Young people are dying too. The COVID-19 virus does not discriminate and can take anyone from us. It is a virus that is invisible to the human eye, yet its effects are far-reaching and devastating. People aren’t able to breathe and there aren’t enough ventilators to save every human life. Doctors are having to play God and choose who lives and who dies.

Not only did I lose my job but, at a time like this, my landlord is evicting me. They won’t do a walk-through of my unit because of the virus, yet they expect me to expose myself by going out and shopping for a new home, looking at prospective apartments. People hear this and assume it’s because I couldn’t pay rent. That’s not true. I’ve never missed a month and I don’t plan to if I don’t have to. It’s because my greedy landlord wants to sell and get the money. He owns multiple properties. Sure I get it, but at a time like this? I sent him an email asking if he would do this to his own daughter, have her expose herself to a deadly virus by going out and looking at apartments. Of course, I got no reply. I keep thinking secretly to myself that when they do the walk-through eventually, I will just “accidentally” sneeze on the property manager who has been very nasty to me, without covering my mouth. It’s the only thought that gives me some sort of comfort.

Life is precious and this, by all means, is not the end of mine. I will live until tomorrow to tell my story. My therapist hasn’t stood by my side every week for the past twelve years for nothing. I met him when I was 24 years old, in the midst of the years of abuse in that past traumatic relationship, and now I am 36 years old, have been away from the abuse for eight long years. Because of the ECT’s I have lost many memories and sometimes the night I left my abuser seems just a stone’s throw away. But I made it out. And if I made it out of an abusive relationship which kept me prisoner for twelve long years, from the age of 16 to 28, then you, my friend, can make it out of whatever situation you are in too. It won’t last forever. Nothing does. Feelings come and then they go and nothing ever remains the same, except you. You remain. The feelings go, and you remain. Never forget that.