This is a warning for my Mum….. please don’t get too upset when you read this!!
I was so disappointed when I realised that the contemplation exercise we were to do was the very one I had done 8 weeks previously. (See my post from Cycle 5 Day 11)
I knew the questions, I knew my answers, I knew what to expect. Ok it wasn’t exactly the same because I was doing the exercise with Mum, but what was I going to get out of it?!
I donned the superiority cap (Ms Know It All) and turned to Mum to start the contemplation.
The first few rounds we talked through the superficial stuff. What love means to us, the types of love, who we love, how and why we love the way we do. Essentially I repeated what I had said during the previous retreat, not diving deeper instead just acting out what I thought were the right things to say. But as Mum shared more and more, I felt I could too. I said that I thought love was innate but I wasn’t sure if I knew how to love. I wondered if it wasn’t in me. I felt like I did it wrong (now there is some good use of the English language!). Maybe I felt like I knew there was another way, a way that was more natural than how I love at the moment. More free, more easy, like I felt during the last time I did the exercise.
When Mum shared that the day I was diagnosed was the worst day of her and Dad’s life, I felt like something snapped inside. She was so upset. My heart broke a little.
All my life I have tried to please, to do the right thing, to be the good girl. I remember as a child splitting my head open for the second time and saying to Mum when the stitches were going in ‘why does this always happen to me and not Vas. I am the good one!!’ (you know it’s true Vassil!!!!). I tried endlessly to create a perfect reality that was pleasing to me and to others, even if it felt wrong deep down. And although the development of my disease was something that was totally out of my control, a small part of me felt like a disappointment to my family. And now if I don’t get better and do as I am told by the doctors that I will be even more of a disappointment. Ridiculous I know but that’s some times how I feel. It’s not something I like to dwell on but I sometimes think I have ruined their lives and there is no turning back.
Talking through it with Zoe today gave me some perspective. I told her that when Mum and I sat at the end of the exercise and had to hold our gaze on one another I struggled. Not in the awkward, uncomfortable way I had experienced with my colostomy bag friend but because I was so sad that I had created such pain and heartache in their life. I could see it in her face. I could hear it in her voice. It was the most real she had ever been. And I was the cause.
I know this is not my fault, I know that no one is to blame. But perhaps in my subconscious I really feel this way and the exercise had brought it to the surface. I was physically having to look it in the eye and it was tough.
Zoe said I had been fighting this my whole life, it was time to sit with it and be ok with it. Be ok with being a ‘disappointment’, be ok with failure. Be ok with not being perfect. No one is! I need to own it, whatever ‘it’ is because it is real and it is mine.
I had a strange sense of peace when I left her. Similar to the lightness I felt after I completed the exercise with Mum.
Well that was a little babble worthy!
I think the chemo is still in my system working its foggy magic on my brain. But I guess another layer of me exposed…. Gotta love self discovery. Always something new to find. Always something new to learn. Lucky I am still interested, guess it’s the scientist in me!