Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mileages May Vary

As I sit down to write, I am tempted to name this blog post, "Sometimes there is so much pain." I hesitate because I think about those who may not even click here if they see that title. So many try to stay away from my pain, and I get it. It taps into pain they would rather not feel. But I am not sure that what I am writing will be about pain - although it certainly is an aspect of what compels me to be here at the moment.

So much of what I deal with on a regular basis is pain that does not relate to cancer, at least not directly. So much of what I deal with I dealt with before all of this happened. Rather, in some ways, I never dealt with it, and perhaps that is why things stand as they do.

There are some things in life you just don't know what to do with. There is no easy, clear or quick fix, and sometimes there seems to be no fix at all. In dealing with cancer, it makes things like that so much harder to cope with. What do you do with them? They don't suddenly change, and all is right with the world.

I just keep thinking about what is bothering me. It seems that someone wants me to sit down and figure everything out, in case I die. Nothing wrong with that idea, really. But here's the thing: it's not like I haven't thought about it. I just haven't come to any conclusions about anything yet. And sitting down with someone to talk about it isn't going to help. Yes. It might make the other person feel better, but at the moment I am learning that my life is not about making another person feel better.

That labels me, among other things, selfish. But you know what? I don't care. I really don't. And yet, a part of me does. I got off the phone with someone who feels pressured by the fact that I don't know, and I was shaking. I actually wonder if that person may have been shaking. I couldn't help but wonder why I felt that way.

I was concerned about how the other person felt, but I was also concerned for me. And I spoke up, only to have everything that has ever come my way come back at me. I heard the same failings of mine once again. I didn't do this. I don't do that. There was no empathy for my situation; "we'll all die one day."

The person has their own stuff going on, and I know that they care about me. I get it. I really do, although, they'll never think I do because I don't do things the way they think I should, or am supposed to do them.

Yes. We are supposed to think about other people. But the thing is there is a difference between thinking about someone and letting them tell you how to do something. In my mind, things are best when there is a level of respect for where the other person is, even if it is no where close to where you stand.

I have been trying to fit myself into a dynamic, and failing, because it is not really mine. It doesn't fit me. It can be angering and disappointing for someone who feels they need certain things. It certainly isn't fair. For that reason, I made a decision to change things.

I have yet to talk to the person about it, though, and I don't know if this is the way to let them know my thoughts, as occasionally I think they read my posts. For that reason, I won't say much more about the subject, other than I have made a change, and while I think it will still leave me on the losing end of things, it is the right thing to do.

I share this with you because people see freaking CANCER and that is all they see. They don't see all of the things that surround it. They don't know the pain and anguish that can come on so many other levels that interplay with it. And the fact that cancer is in the mix can often give any issues a multiplier in the hundreds.

You may never have even considered the kinds of things I talk about. Maybe, as an outsider, you will see something that will shed some light on a situation you may have now, or one day. It is good to put words on things, even the painful things. It helps in some way to dispel them.

There is so much pain that I haven't felt in my life. It was probably much safer to be numb. It was probably much safer to try not to rock the boat. It was probably safer to keep my distance. In some ways, I think I have always done what was best for me without really knowing it. The problem came when I was often told how wrong I was for doing it. Occasionally I might make some attempt to do things differently, but inevitably it did not work.

Wouldn't it be better if we could love someone for how they are, without having to feel like they should be different? If we wanted them to be different, might it make more sense for us to perhaps be different? If they don't do something we want, then we could do something to encourage a similar outcome/effect from our side? Wouldn't it be good if we could communicate how we felt without making the other person feel like sh*t in the process? Wouldn't it be good if we could teach others to be more accepting without attaching conditions, and letting them know that love doesn't have to look a certain way or come with a set of expectations?

I am hurting right now, and I am not sure exactly why. I suspect it goes deep inside of me to the pain that I have felt in regard to how I cannot seem to ever live up to who I am supposed to be in the eyes of many who are closest to me. There is a lot of pain there. And I have done enough to dig the hole deeper over the years by accepting what people say around me, and by letting myself question things.

I can't do it any more. There is a great cost to allowing myself to do that. There is also a cost to standing up and not allowing it. There is no doubt the greater cost is the one that comes at a greater expense to me. It is not that I want to hurt anyone, or have anyone be hurt, but if there is a choice between who takes the "hit," it is just not going to be me.

As bitchy as this may sound, I think we would all do well to have this kind of attitude. The more we love and trust and express ourselves, the more we are likely to stand up for ourselves in a way no one else likely will. If this experience has taught me anything, it has taught me how important it is for me to be who I am, despite what anyone else thinks, or how I will be judged.

It sucks at times. It really does. But it also is a gift I am determined to give myself. I am determined to love myself without condition. I am determined to accept myself. Each and every part. I am determined to be the me I am meant to be. And if it turns out that that makes me the biggest, most selfish bitch in the eyes of some, then it is just something I will have to live with. I hope I don't have to die with it, too, but it is a chance I will have to take.

There is something about writing this that is having me feel pretty peaceful. There is a lot to be said for allowing all of life and for speaking what you feel. We don't do ourselves any favors by trying to shove the uncomfortable stuff down or out of the way. One day, if we're lucky, they may just pop up in a fury, as we unknowingly fed the fire for so long.

And that is what I think has me feeling so much pain. I just kept pushing it down and pushing it away while who I was was whittled away.

When I feel something about a situation or a person, I feel it through my life experiences and filters. That makes it so much more about me than it is about them. There may be things they say or do that I don't like, and it is likely because it plugs into something that I already have inside of me in some way that I don't like.

The more I sit back and try to look at things, the more I see how that often is the case. It helps me be a lot different when it comes to things these days than I used to be. I can be much calmer and rational where in the past I would have been anything but.

There are times I just don't know what to do. There are times I just haven't a clue - at least when it comes to another person. The one thing that is great, though, is that I am very clearly learning that in times like that, I need to look more at myself for answers and for what to do next. It needs to be about me.

I realize that is the antithesis of what many would say. But at this point, that is my story, and I am going to stick with it - at least until, or if, something tells me otherwise and I feel a need to alter my perspective.

If this speaks to you, great. If it doesn't, I understand. We aren't all meant to be in the same place, but I do think we are meant to allow for the differences within a space of love for one another. We don't have to get along to love each other. We don't even have to talk. And when things don't seem to be working out, maybe that is what is needed more than anything else.

Some wounds seem to go so deep. I really wish I knew how to resolve the seeming unresolvable.

Now I am just sad.

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