Our family got some sad news today. My aunt, Pauline was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer yesterday. It has already spread to her liver. It is a death sentence. My mother is really sad. She is 69, and the youngest of nine children. She has known her whole life that many, if not all, of her siblings would most likely pass away before her and she has always dreaded being left alone.
I understand how she feels. You have to understand how I view my mom’s family. I HEART them. They are simple, kind, good, salt of the earth southerners. Some of the only love and acceptance I got as a kid came from that family. I affectionatly call them “Ents”. They are all very old, very tall and thin and speak slowly and have huge hearts. The fact that they have all been around my whole life has been very, very comforting. Now we’re looking at losing one of them and it just sucks.
My mom said, “I’m going to start losing them all, now.” I relate to that fear. I am the youngest sibling of six children and I dread the thought of anything happening to my siblings. I was (And still am) freaking terrified when my sister was diagnosed with cancer this year.Â I will lose my parents while I am fairly young and I dread that, too. We may be a pretty dysfunctional family, but we are also very close and rely on each other a lot.
I fear being left alone.
I fear things changing.
I fear a lot of things, actually.
It is strange how things progress in life. I didn’t have the easiest childhood. When I was young, I was always scared, anxious, lonely and just hurt a lot. I always thought when I was older I would be able to handle these feelings and the bad things that come with life much better than I did as a child. To an extent, that is true. I handle many things better and am able to roll with the punches better than I used to. I have learned to put up emotional walls so I don’t get hurt to the extent I was in my childhood. Plus, being an adult you just see things differently than a child does.
It isn’t how I thought it would be. I didn’t realize that the situations that scared or embarrassed me as a child would continue to do so as an adult. That I wouldn’t have the same resiliency to recover from failures, hurts and tragedy like I did when I was younger. I find that I like people less than I used to. So many characteristics are still the same, too. My initial instincts on dealing with tough situations are the same poor choices I made as I kid. I still loathe confrontation, I also suck up and shove away hurt, anxiety and hide (Or try to) a lot of things out of fear people will leave me because I’m just.too.much. There are days that I wake up and actually fear leaving my house. I’m not an agoraphobic or anything, but the thought of having human interaction with people is scary on those days. More and more I find that life just…SCARES ME.
I think that some of this is the bravado and optimism of youth wearing off, but I also think that my perception and feeling of saftey in the world were completely shattered when my son died. In that moment it sank in that BAD THINGS happen in life. REALLY bad things. No one is immune.
Being a person with craploads of baggage doesn’t exactly help. It keeps piling and piling up, which adds more and more shame. I have often thought to myself that if I had to move and start my life over, I would probably not attempt to make any new friendships because truly? There is too much baggage that comes with me on top of my overwhelming personality. If I was a person that was capeable of keeping my mouth shut, I may be ok, but I can’t do that very well. Diarrhea of the mouth. That’s me. It’s mortifying. I unleash “TMI” on people all the time and it is usually to my detremint. I did it in an email just yesterday and now I want to stick my head in a big, huge HOLE.
I don’t really know the point of this post. While I am sad, I am not in crisis mode or overwhelmed. We have been prepared for a long time that it would happen to someone in the family.
I am ok.
It is just that getting this news made some anxiety and vulnerabilities that I have in my life magnify. Basically, I thought that I would feel more secure about my life, friends, family and existence “When I grew up”. I guess that isn’t always true. I wanted to look at these feelings, examine them and write them out. I’m not fishing for compliments, just letting my peeps know what is up and doing some writing therapy.
Again, I’m good. I’ll keep updating you on the condition of my aunt.