It started with a friend’s new job… A major new job that was to double her annual salary. I am outwardly very happy for her. She deserves this. I am proud of her. At the same time, I was forced to acknowledge this snarky little demon called jealousy. I can ignore it for periods of time, but it remains there, gnawing on my shoulder. I want to just brush it off for good, but this great new opportunity has turned the 120 watt lamp of stark contrast on my present circumstances. I can’t even talk about it with anyone, which makes matters worse. I feel like a horrible person, lugging these feelings around.
Imagine being set adrift on a teeny tiny boat, and being pushed off into a ginormous sea. Your friends are there for the bon voyage party and promise to be there when you get back. It’s a very lonely journey, and there is no way you can come back the same person. There is no room to take anyone with you on this little boat.
(Now in my mind comes the barrage of: Be grateful you’re even alive. At least it was Stage 1! At least it wasn’t in your lymph nodes! Look at your beautiful son and your loving husband. You have so much to be grateful for! Just shut it you whiney cow!)
I am having a hard time relating to anyone the way I use to. I hear people complain of this or that, and it seems trivial and trite. This nasty bugger keeps piping in with judgments, inward and outward. I don’t know how long I can keep this ugliness bottled up. I better just stick to being alone. I’m afraid of what will come out of my mouth.
The realization hits me that I want more from the relationships in my life. Everyone is so busy, everything is going at a way faster pace than me, and I just can’t keep up the way I am accustomed to. My friends aren’t as close and accessible as I thought they were. They are waiting for me to reach out I guess, or maybe they just don’t know what to say. Or they are busy with their fabulous, productive lives, making plans, going on vacations, getting new jobs, new cars, making money.
Me, I’m drifting off on an island… getting smaller and smaller in the distance. I don’t know if I’ll make back to shore, and when I get there, will it be some strange and foreign land or will it feel like home? Will we speak the same language?
Breast Cancer at 36 was a terrible shock. Even worse is knowing that I carry this BRCA 1 gene mutation. I will need to have my ovaries removed before I am 40. My breast surgery didn’t heal properly and I will need another surgery which has to wait until chemo is through. I have possibly passed on this genetic trait to my son, and that just feels horrible. Is it insanely selfish and stupid to entertain the idea of another baby someday? This triple negative cancer business is another matter. (With higher reoccurrence rates, this pondering feels pointless. Better stick to the present moment and try to find gratitude.)This is such sad, bitter fruit to swallow.
What I know is that these feelings feel poisonous. I don’t want them to eat up what is left of my time (even if “my time” means another 70 years of living). The irony is that I KNOW the preciousness of every damn day. That makes facing these feelings even harder. There is no brushing this off, no room for denial. Talk about an elephant in the room.