So many listeners have offered up lovely words of encouragement . Your messages are routed to my personal email and when I read them, my heart skips a little at your tender expressions of support. My upcoming surgery and possible cancer recurrence bring paradoxical feelings. That is, part of me wants to go inward and carry my private thoughts. Yet this other part of me must write. The only way I can overcome my tendency for privacy is to imagine that I’m writing to a trusted friend. Otherwise my vulnerable, critical self will hit the delete button.
As a Jungian Therapist, I recognize that my need to write validates C.G. Jung’s “witness” theory. We need another/s to witness our journey… that’s why therapy is so healing. Even if it’s just one person, holding the sacred space and bearing witness to our suffering without judgement promotes healing at the very depth of our psyche. Right now I must write. It’s as if some enormous internal energy needs a voice. So fasten your seat-belts because I am about to disclose my most personal and intimate feelings of being a cancer patient…
I need to express the shame, guilt, anger, frustration, and sense of body betrayal. I feel shame that I may have more cancer. Why? Because maybe I could have done something differently to prevent it. What? I’m not sure…. I make conscious choices regarding my physical and emotional health. For physical health, I eat very well and I exercise. OK, I’m not perfect, I do drink too much wine, but thank God I have an internal cut-off mechanism. And, I love sweets, but for the most part, I’m fairly disciplined. Regarding my emotional health, I stay in therapy – yep, every good therapist needs a great therapist! I agree with Jung that our inner work is never done. So, I will continue to do my own work.
My anger and frustration result from a body that keeps growing tumors. I feel dirty. I feel like I have a leach and can’t wait to have it removed. Then the guilt… oi. I feel guilty for burdening my loved ones. It really stinks to burden them with extra responsibilites and care-taking. I am very independent, and this situation makes me feel dependent. I feel extra guilty for verbalizing any fears which taunt me during vulnerable moments. So, I write.
I write to an invisible audience hoping that someone out there in podcast-blog land will identify with my meanderings, or at least increase provide insight of a friend or family member going through a challenging situation. Surely, I am not alone. I know I do not have the monopoly on life’s challenges. I sit with clients whose suffering and wounding severly incapciate their daily living. Their stories of strength and resilience consistently amaze me. As a therapist, I grow from my clients and feel honored to take part in their process. If you made it this far, I thank you. Thank you for bearing witness to me as I stumble through my journey.