Monthly Archives: February 2016

Guarded Thoughts

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When I started this blog I wanted two things from it.  I wanted it to be a place where others fighting cancer, or those caring for a loved one with cancer could come to learn, share, and find a common voice in this scary, crazy world that is cancer.  I also needed it to be a place where I could express myself.  A journal, where I could let go and write about my fears, worries, feelings, and experiences.  To somehow make sense on what has been thrown at me and my family for the past 5 years.

I think I am doing ok with the first part, but I find myself being very guarded with the second.  I have had a lot of shit happen to me the past 5 years.  More than most experience in their lifetime.  There is so much that I have not mentioned yet, and thoughts I have not shared or confronted even.  I think I didn’t want to bother people with my depressing mindset at times.  I worried that if I truly wrote what I was going through that day, or what thoughts kept me up the night before, it would make me seem as if I was looking for sympathy and that is the last thing I want.

I just need to get these thoughts that have plagued me for so long out.  Writing is cathartic for me.  It has always been my safety net.  As a teen, I would write about the struggles I was having with my mother, or about the boy I had a crush on. Mentally it calmed me down, and helped me make sense at what was scaring me or upsetting me at the time. My journal was the best listener, and growing up I felt like I wasn’t listened to much. Even now I feel as if no one really listens to me.  I try to share my fears of dying, or what will happen if my cancer progresses again, and all I get is the positive pep talk of how strong I am and how I could live another 20 years.  That’s all well and good, but sometimes I just want my fears to be heard you know?

This is what I haven’t been accomplishing with my blog.  I think I became so concerned about writing for readers rather than writing for myself.  And maybe that is what you are supposed to do with a blog; write for your readers.  Maybe this is how you get followers and become popular.  The problem is, I was never in the popular crowd, and I want to write for me.  I’m the only one who matters.  I don’t need approval or praise for what I write. I write because it lets me release the voices that are screaming in my head. I write because if I don’t I will explode, or suffocate, depending on the day.

I’m angry a lot lately.  I’m angry that I have to go through this, and feel like this everyday.  I’m angry that my brother-in-law woke up one morning and decided to strangle and beat the life out of my sister.  I’m angry that because of what he did, my family is now fucked up.  Two of my three girls suffer from anxiety, one so badly it becomes debilitating.  The stress of Kim’s murder, having my two nephews live with us, my younger nephew having to move to another relative because he is mentally ill and threatened to kill my youngest, and my marriage almost ending because of him, have all caused recurrences of my cancer.  I can pin point each recurrence to an event. I think as time goes by and the effects of what he did continue to poison our lives, the angrier I get.

This is just the tip of the ice burg when it comes to what I deal with everyday.  I long for a normal, boring, happy life.  Does that even exist?  I know we all have problems, and I know there are people with bigger problems than mine, but is it too much to ask to just get a break?  Can we just have a few years where something bad doesn’t happen? I hate when people tell me “It could get worse”.  I run from that phrase because every time I or someone else says it, I swear something worse happens.  No joke.

I’m tired.  Tired of being sick, tired of worrying if my girls will be alright, tired of being in pain every day, tired of being tired. If reincarnation exists, I must have been a douche bag in my previous life.  I hope somehow, I can have some memory of this life when I move on to the next, because it has to be so much better than this. I know I am blessed on many levels, and I don’t take those blessings for granted at all.  It would just be lovely to have smaller problems, like needing a route canal instead of what I have on my plate.  Whatever it is that lies in my future, I will continue to hope and pray that it will be better than what has been in the past.

Barb

 

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Writing is Hard

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There have been many times in my life, especially since my sister died, that I have said “I should write a book”. I have an idea book that I use to write ideas for story lines and things I think would make a good book.  Most of them have gone unwritten, and honestly, the most writing I have done is this blog!  I don’t know if it’s a discipline thing or the fact that I get busy doing something else, (who am I kidding, twitter isn’t my job) but I seem to come up with excuses why not to write.  Having function only in my left hand, means I can only type with one hand.  This slows me down, and most of the books I have started are handwritten because its faster to write. My latest book attempt is actually about my sisters murder but written in a different way.  The things my family went through, and the way we were treated by my ex brother-in-laws family are unbelievable.  Seriously, everyone who supported my family from the time of Kim’s death until the sentencing have been shocked by what that family has done.

Enough of that, I’ll only become enraged.  Anyway, besides the typing, there is the realization of how much I don’t know.  I thought I could just start writing the story from the beginning and off I’d go.  I never gave thought to editing; other than spell check, or outlining and organizing my plot and characters; grammar rules, of which I remember none of; how to write dialogue; and all the other things I can’t think of because I don’t know about them yet!  How does one learn how to write a book?  Maybe I should have majored in English instead of Sociology. I mean, what the hell have I done with a Sociology degree? Zip, that’s what.

Even writing this blog has not been easy.  It’s hard to come up with a new topic everyday, which is why my postings now have a few days in between.  It’s hard to find your “voice”. Writing is like acting.  Once you have decided on a style and your voice has been heard, its tough to keep it up.  Having stage 4 cancer that has metastasized to my brain and possibly other areas by now, leaves me in pain more often then I would like, and if I wrote about my true feelings this would be a very depressing blog, and no one would read it.  So I have to think of something to write that puts on my happy face and pretend I am feeling great.

If you are not a writer, or if you have never attempted to write anything but a college research paper, be careful the next time you think you could write a book, or comment on how easy it would be to be a writer.  It isn’t easy, and it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  You will never feel more vulnerable, or stupid in your life.  But, it is also very empowering, and freeing. You will learn more about yourself then you thought you could, and this new knowledge can be very cathartic.