Sometimes I wonder how much I should share about myself. How much of who we are is the sum total of who we have been? How much of us is an equation that is added up, starting with our first breath, or even before? How far back does it go?
There are times I am acutely aware that people are going to be doing their own calculations. That is why she is how she is. That is why she is dealing with cancer. That is why...
There are times I have to get out of my own way and fears when I share. It isn't always easy. And there are times it is a lot harder than people may think. I have been doing this a while now, but even though it has gotten "easier," it certainly ain't easy.
It is one reason I don't blame those who say not much of anything - except to those they love and trust. If even them. It is very hard to feel constantly judged. It is very hard to be in a place that seems to offer oneself for the scrutiny of others. Some would say because I am so open, I am inviting it.
Well. There was no invitation sent. There was no invitation even implied. But for some reason, it has become a part of our culture to believe that anything done or said in the open is open for public consumption and scrutiny. Who said so? Where did that idea begin?
Since it seems to be inherent in the threads of life, it seems to be taken for granted, as law. As such, we are supposed to expect that that will be what happens. That is just the way it is.
More than once recently I have spoken about Steve Jobs. I have spoken about him because he set out to do things that hadn't been done. He set out to tell people what they wanted, instead of letting them tell him.
I use that as an example because there are many who try to tell me how I should be doing things - and it is rarely, if ever, how I am doing them. Steve Jobs is just one person who listened to himself over those who would tell him otherwise - and it would seem it turned out he was "right" to do it that way.
Maybe people don't want carbon copies of themselves. Maybe they just think they do because that's what they've been trained to want because it is safer. Scrutiny may have been developed as a tool to keep people in line. No one really wants the scrutiny or the judgment. As a result, it is easier to shut up and conform. After a while it is so much a part of a person it isn't even distinguishable as something that could be separate. It just IS.
This is all said as a prelude to what I really came here to share about. It obviously had to be said so that I could get it out of the way to be able to share something I feel will be pretty personal and intimate. There is a part of me that feels like I am almost procrastinating by writing this. It still feels kind of scary.
That paragraph was just followed by a long, fidgeting pause.
And yet another pause, staring at the ceiling.
The "funny" thing is I am not even sure what I am about to write.
A nerve was hit. My eyes started to well with tears.
I have been emotional since yesterday afternoon. During the Despacho ceremony, one puts something into the grouping of things that will be burned. Usually the burning occurs at the same time of the ceremony. Given the weather the other day, it wasn't possible.
The burning occurred yesterday.
I started to get very emotional in the afternoon during the burning, and even more so afterward. Some may just think it a "coincidence," but I just don't think so. I asked for help healing, and who knows what may be needed for that to happen? I certainly do not rule out unseen factors like things in the emotional or spiritual realms.
So much stuff was bubbling to the surface, even before the burning. There are things on my mind that I am having difficulty sorting out. Are they all "cancer related?" It is hard to say. I think there are so many things in my life that are influenced in some way by cancer, but they are "just" things of life. They are things I would have dealt with before cancer, but deal with differently now because of cancer.
I don't know how to extract the "cancer factor" from the equation because it feels like what does and doesn't happen has to do with cancer's presence in my life. Even if I want to act like it doesn't matter, so many others that I interact with wouldn't be able to.
Yesterday I was talking about dating with someone. It was suggested that I don't tell someone initially about cancer. While I have thought about it, I feel like there would be many who would think that was a considerable withhold - even if the initial meeting meant "nothing."
Before I did chemo the second time, I had hair, and I could have possibly have done that. But now to do that it becomes a matter of wearing a wig constantly, and hoping it doesn't awkwardly fall off. I can't go out in my own hair because it is a mess. There is no style. And I can't style the baby fine hairs. It is not just a matter of a short cut. Wearing a hat would probably be too obvious, too, as it would have to come off at some point.
Add to all of this is the factor of required energy to meet someone(s) new. It isn't an easy environment to do it in these days. I have been spending my energy on trying to make a living and survive financially. It is hard for me to partition some out to go meet some new people. Not to mention I feel emotionally vulnerable, and if I keep the bit about cancer to myself, there could come a point that the person would run with a reveal.
I had met someone in the short time that I was determined to be free and clear of cancer. The minute it showed up again, he got weird on me and backed off. We weren't even dating. We were just hanging out. I accepted it, and a part of me thought, "Get over yourself," when he started saying things like he couldn't give me the attention I needed. I didn't ask him for anything. As a matter of fact, he was asking me for something, and I was only trying to get a hold of him to ask him some questions about it.
I handle enough weirdness from people all the time. A part of me doesn't want to add more in the mix of something that could resemble "relationship" at some point. There are no clear demarcation lines for many when it comes to relationships. For some, they begin Day 1.
There are so many things bubbling up for me. I can't possibly share them all...can I? Maybe I will at some point, but it also occurs to me that I never finished the whole "Inner Child" conversation. I guess I am being really good at evading it.
I realized when I saw that card that a lot of what I am dealing with is likely "worse" because of my scared inner child. Growing up with my grandparents I knew I was loved, but I always felt scared of the edge. They were older. What would happen to me, if something happened to them?
I even remember one day fairly clearly, wondering about that exact thing. I remember where I was standing, where I was looking. I remember a friend there with me. I would only have my grandmother a few short years more.
I somehow knew that I would be on my own. When my grandmother died, an aunt stepped in. But neither one was ever able fully to be present. My grandmother had physical issues, and my aunt had her own family. I was appreciative of what both had to offer, but it was never "enough" for me to feel stable, and to feel like I was able to be put first in someone's life.
I know parents who feel it is important to give their kids their attention, and to be there for them when they need them. I am guessing that it could be a good thing, as perhaps it helps the inner child to feel more secure in life. I am sure there are times it could be too much of a good thing, too, but I personally (obviously) can only speculate about that.
My inner child has lived on the edge most of my life. She has always been afraid of falling off, and there would be no one to catch her. Dealing with cancer is just yet another way that feeling is expressing itself.
There are times I feel so incredibly alone. Am I really? No. But, Yes. People are caught up in their own lives and with their own issues and their own families. What I am dealing with isn't easily relatable, and many would love to stay as far away as they possibly can from it, which means staying away from me, as I am often seen as "it."
It is no wonder those who are given the stamp of "healthy" often try to get on with their lives, leaving cancer behind. It is no wonder there are some who will go to great lengths not to let others know that they're dealing with it.
So many things are in this boiling pot of mine - related, and not. I don't know that having a mate/relationship would help, but a part of me certainly thinks it would. I know that the strongest strength comes from within one's self, but sometimes we also need another's strength to help us be strong, too.
I have been told I am strong countless times. I don't feel so strong. There are times that I just can't hold things together. Not only that, they feel like they couldn't be imploding any faster.
It is OK on one level, as I have gotten to a point that I can't consciously hold on. The minute the dam breaks, I am in tears. Sometimes there are deep soul-wrenching sobs that show up. It seems I am crying more and more deeply since dealing with cancer, and I am going with that is a good thing, even though I know there are many who could not/can not deal with it.
But there are times I wish I had someone who could deal with it. Earlier this year when a friend held me as I cried, sobbed, for hours it was amazing. I am sure not so much for him. He likely was terrified. But he helped me get through it, and I am incredibly grateful for what he was able to give me. It was an incredible gift to be able to lose it the way I did, and not be alone.
Most of this blog post tears have been streaming down my face. I don't really know what lurks under the surface of all of this emotion. It feels like a HUGE thing. I remember once asking my aunt why she didn't deal with some of the things that really bothered her. Her response was that she felt if she did, it would kill her. Sometimes things like this stuff that I am dealing with feel that way. They feel so heavy, so dramatic, that their reveal would devastate.
I know enough to know that that isn't true - at least in the long run. In the short run, the world may feel like it is coming to an end. But after the storm comes some pretty amazing things. But it's getting through the storm that is always the tough part.
Although as I think about it,
what may be even tougher
is choosing to go into the storm
in the first place.