“At a children’s holiday fair, a well-dressed father circles her for a long time viewing her body from every angle, like someone seriously scrutinizing an exotic animal in a cage. Then he goes off to a greater distance in a corner of the gym and does exactly the same thing, closing in, asking sarcastically, bitterly, “Tired, are you? Are we disturbing you?”

“But if I was going to do more than stay at home and grow neurotic roots there, if I was going to raise my child in the world, I had to go public, go visible, even though absorbed in the new privacy of my capsized self. But none had my permission to make me an object of judgment. I wanted that privacy, that border between my country and theirs.” Berger p.126-7

“Living in chronic pain is like being trapped in an abusive marriage, the absence of the freedom to traverse the wide world, but mental freedom is ruined too”
Berger (p. 49)

“The person in chronic pain, or the person painfully disabled, can feel like an immigrant in a new world, on real terra infirma. Horizontal, I began to operate like a stranger in the world, uneasy, too willing to please, trying too hard to blend in, though everyone was looking down on me. We could have been two species; those who move around and those who lie down. They were the natives, I the intruder.” (Berger, pxx)

“Mind says, I want you to leave me alone, or go run, or get out off the couch, or... Body says, I can’t , pain wont let me. So you shut up. “

“At airports or train stations people have thought I was derelict or crazy or maybe homeless: only the dispossessed lie on floors, children lie on floors, dogs lie on floors, tiles ie on floors, but adults?” Berger p36

“With friends inside my house, being down here upsets a balance of conviviality, of the whereness that grounds a conversation. I am always looking up as though younger or subservient....” Berger p.23


Differently placed on the floor, on the couch, on the ground, I appeared fallen, an outsider to be stared at. Strangely disabled, not suffering from visible damage, I did not fit in any category of illness, or “handicap," and so I was Other. Berger p. xvii

“Adults are not supposed to be on the floor. Adults are supposed to sit up for important conversations, sit up, not recline in a pew at weddings.....” Berger p.23
“Suddenly she hears two voices: Look at her. Isn’t that just something. Aren’t you just the height of luxury there? She looks around for height, for luxury, and finally for a weapon, but her eyes land on her daughter's bewildered face, where they need to stay, more than on these strangers' misguided prattle." Berger p126-7
Living with Chronic Pain Is Like Being Trapped in an Abusive Marriage
  Two species; those who move around and those who lie down   Pain Pushed Her Down     Always Looking Up   Adults are Not Supposed to Eat on the Floor   Raising My Child in the World of the Vertical   Pain Won’t Let Go!   Dogs Lie on Floors Part 2

Title Page

 
slide bar below for more part 2