One hundred days since I started writing.
How much has changed in one hundred days?
One hundred days ago,
I was working in a job that made me miserable,
I was in a relationship that wasn’t making me happy and I didn’t know what to do about it,
I was relatively healthy –
or at least I didn’t know how sick I was.
Now I am in a new job,
and I am struggling but I leave each day happy.
I left that relationship and discovered my propensity for cruelty
and my complete lack of empathy.
I started chemotherapy and had an ovary removed
and I have come to terms with the fact
that nothing will go back to how it was
and that’s okay.
One hundred days ago,
I decided to stop screaming into the void
and start whispering into a crowded room.
I learned to be my own summer.
searing through my veins.
The worst pain have ever known
and I have been through
I cannot stop crying.
What I would give
to never feel this again
and yet I have to endure this
if I want to live.
Like a child on Christmas eve,
tonight I cannot sit still,
It is not through excitement
of Santa visiting with presents
but through fear of what is to come.
This day has been two and a half months in the making,
and yet it feels like a lifetime
of panic and anxiety and not knowing.
It is chemo eve,
tomorrow I open the gift
of poison fed directly into my system
that will save my life.
At least my insides will match my attitude.
I look at places to rent near my work,
I look at savings accounts to go towards a mortgage,
I look at the cost of law degrees,
and I look at my chemo schedule.
Once this is all done,
I am finally going to start
living my life the way I want.
They say the first love you know
comes from your mother.
The first memory I have of my mother
is being out shopping with her
when I was two and a half years old
and trying to tell her that I needed a wee.
She shouted at me in the middle of Argos,
told me to cross my legs
and not disturb her again.
I ran out of the shop in tears
and proceeded to piss myself
in the middle of the street.
My mother has never loved me.
She has resented me from before I was born
and this has only got worse with age.
At the age of five,
when I was being bullied by older boys,
she shouted at me for ruining my brand new coat –
when I had been pushed into a muddy puddle
and I spent the rest of that winter with just a cardigan.
At the age of 13,
when she found out I was bi,
she kicked me out.
At the age of 15,
when I weighed around six stone,
she called me fat and disgusting
and told me no one would ever love me.
At the age of 17,
I told her my boyfriend had hit me
and she told me I probably deserved it.
At the age of 20,
she walked out on me and my dad,
and told me his heart attack was my problem
because I had caused it.
At the age of 23,
I was diagnosed with cancer
and she has not been there for me
“You have a face only a mother could love –
but even I can’t manage that!”
is what she says while she’s looking at me.
Sometimes I wonder
if my mother had been a little kinder,
maybe I would be a little stronger,
have a little more self worth,
be less of an easy target for abuse.
For the last three and a half months
I have been reluctant to plan anything
in the future
because the future felt so uncertain.
Will I be well enough?
Will I even still be here?
The future felt overwhelming
so I hid away from it
and tried to live in the present –
and ended up fixating on the past.
But this is keeping me stuck
when I need to keep moving forwards
so here I am,
making plans for November
in a promise to myself
to keep going.
I always said that
suffering is not a competition.
My situation does not diminish
other people’s emotions
but at some point I need to be selfish
because my situation is pretty bad right now
and I need other people to listen to me
and listen exactly to what I am saying
because I am not trying to talk sideways right now.