I am left alone in my thoughts often as of late. These thoughts build on one another; blossoming into a multitude of new-fangled directions. I visualize myself standing in the clearing of a sumptuous forest; the midpoint where countless paths intercept. I gently close my eyes; raising my chin high into the sky as my head sinks deeply into the back of my shoulders. As though I am preparing for flight, I extend my arms outward, palms facing the sky, and each finger is lengthened. I breathe the crisp fresh air deep into my lungs and exhale freely; my body and mind are tranquil. My face beams an expression of pure joy; I am at peace. Although the paths before me are many, there is no predetermined right or wrong choice that awaits my footsteps. At this moment, I enjoy my sense of peace and the quiet tranquility of my surroundings.
Scratching The Surface Of Two Thoughts
I reflect on two thoughts shared by a sister friend. She sensed that this [cancer outcome] is a choice that I will make, she noted that my soul is weary, and there are many lessons that I will learn. Could it be that I do have a choice of sorts whether I overcome this cancer? I am not convinced one way or the other at this moment. I am however, convinced that my soul is in fact weary. The many years, perhaps lifetimes of being a caregiver, advocate, and shield of sorts has rightly tired my soul. I question – do I possess the inner strength to continue protecting? Do I hold the burning desire to live on being my authentic self, or is that time quickly approaching. I am unclear. Questions continue to linger while answers appear elusive. My heart fluttered and smile widened at the thought of reuniting with my grandfather who passed several year ago, meeting my little sister for the first time, and hugging my dear friend Peggy who left this earth before her time. Is my existence on earth truly my choice, in far reaching terms? I am weary to the depths of my soul; I am weary.
Without question, I am ready for this cancer to be my rear view mirror. I truly do not want to continue with chemotherapy. Losing my hair, not that big of deal, you know it is like whatever, I have bigger things to worry about. I never imagined it would my daily goal to evacuate my bowels, unassisted. Nevertheless, it is what it is. I do not even understand why I am torturing myself with these chemicals. Essentially, I am cancer free right now; the lumpectomy removed any visibly formed cancer cell masses and my tumor markers are currently within normal ranges. The doctors do not have some magical treatment regimen to prevent this type of cancer from returning and taking up residency somewhere else in my body – typically the brain. How revolting in nature, is it to be forced to choose to pump these chemicals through my veins, damaging perfectly healthy and fully functioning organs; followed by the removal of both breasts. The finale being five-weeks of radiation. And for what? Where the hell is hope, the statistical data that indicates these revolting and unimaginable acts [treatment choices] will save my life? The answer is that what I seek is not in existence. All this is not to say that I have lost hope; quite the contrary. I am at peace. I am realistic yet optimistic.
Destination Known As Hurt
I maintain and hold tightly to this ideology; people do well if they can. I forever consider and remind myself of this rather simplistic saying that is riddled with its own complexities. This ideology has served me well in my later years.
When peeling back the emotional layers I clearly have revealed the authentic feelings of deep sadness. Moreover, it is hurt. Remove the anger, disappointment, unmet needs, and yes, sadness. What remains fast is the constant manifestation of hurt. Do all roads lead to this destination known as hurt? Perhaps. Consider that in the darkest moments of one’s life, our true character is exposed; filters no longer exist. Through my eyes, my filter, many needs remained unmet for far too long by the individuals I self-appointed as the caretaker of these [my] needs. I deemed it their [self-appointed individuals] duty and purpose to fulfill a particular need – believing it was not a far-reaching appointment in that these labels and roles followed western tradition.
The Lost Mother Son Relationship
Ironically, my sole biological child boasts angrily that I have failed him immeasurably. I pause in unbridled reflection. Parallels may be drawn in a broad sense between his hurt and mine. Yet there is a vast difference. I say this as to not be dismissive of his perspective rather as a cautionary measure to ground my thoughts in truth. While one’s perception is their reality, my son has methodically altered his childhood story, devoid of personal responsibility. Even in this moment, he projects his hurt, anger, rage, loss, and personal responsibility onto others. I am the primary recipient. Leaving me in a quandary is that I created half of this child yet he represents the essence and character traits that I advocate against. His words have become carefully sharpened weapons; his intention is to wound if not decimate the intended target. An altered story, if recounted enough over a sustained amount of time – may allow one to believe these intentional rewrites. The question then becomes why is there a need to produce an altered childhood story, the why behind the behavior. For him, as for many, I believe it is his deep shame, regret, and pride.
At age 15, my son succumbed to his demons. Today, nearly six years have passed; I have seen glimpses of the sweet kind-hearted boy that I raised for many years. Sadly, much time has ticked away since my last glimpse of his kind heart in action. For many years, I held my head in shame for the unconscionable behavior and flawed character of my son. I no longer carry his shame; it is his to carry not mine. While children may be a reflection of a parent, they [children] do not necessarily define the character of a parent. Unequivocally, more than anything that pierces my heart is to know my sons potential, his true authentic self, and that it is not present with him today. He has buried his authentic identity underneath altered stories, shame, and pride. Understand, I SEE my son; I listen to every word, rise, and fall in his tone, and his never-ending fantastical stories. In his desperate quest for self-acceptance, the words he speaks to others may echo a happy, successful, and well-adjusted young man. This is a façade. His sadness is deep. His loss is unimaginable. His shame is paralyzing. Prior to taking my last breathe on this earth, I hope to see My Son reappear at least once.
His words no longer hurt me. Today, I am hopeful.