Identity crisis number 1000…Who the fuck am I and what do I need to be doing?! I have spent a large part of my life being small or insignificant on purpose, dimming my light in order to make certain people (who are no longer in my life) feel better. I have chosen not to take chances out of fear, even going as far as starting a business long ago with a person that many people warned me about, who was toxic and more than willing to feed my insecurity monster while they metaphorically crushed my soul on a daily basis.
When I was a child through my teenage years I was often bullied by other kids, a by product of moving so many times and not being cool. I often wished I was invisible. I think my wish became a reality and one I couldn’t shake for a longtime. This is not to say that nobody could see me but I often did not leave a lasting impression, I was unremarkable I guess. Kids that I literally had lunch with everyday in high school, now adults, can not picture who I was, they have no memory of me. Please don’t feel sorry for me, these are musings and I am not a victim in this story, I consider all of my experiences character building, I am just relating my experiences and thoughts regarding them. Impressions from ones self can be muddy and confusing, you are a witness to me unraveling my yarn.
I received a call regarding a study on colorectal cancer survivors yesterday, it was in answer to a message I had left them letting them know that they didn’t need to keep sending me paper asking me to do this particular study as I am not a survivor, I am at this point actively surviving my diagnosis and ongoing treatment. The person was very affable and informed me that colorectal survivors willing to participate in studies were hard to come by. This is interesting to me and I understand why, or at least I think I do. There is shame attached to this particular disease because of the location, to make things worse there can be collateral damage from treatments that may have eradicated the cancer but caused one to have incontinence issues, a colostomy or something else that I have no idea of.
I got to thinking, is this who I am? Do people see me now and find value in me because I have cancer? It is okay if this is true for some, if any of my experiences or insights can be helpful for others I am glad, though I am way more than my current disease and would not like to be pigeonholed as such.
Cancer is my experience not my identity.
There is a person on TikTok who I initially started following because they had an ostomy and I wanted to show support but every post they have made thus far has enforced the narrative that they are disabled because of this. It didn’t sit well with me and I stopped following them, not because I disagreed with their definition but that they were identifying as their disability and in a sense fishing for validation in regards to this. This is not to say that they don’t have every right to their feelings or need to be validated but that’s not a party I want to go to.
A colostomy is my experience not my identity.
So…WHO AM I? I know of some things I WANT to be, an artist, a performer, someone who wants to help others navigate the seemingly impossible odds that life can throw… I don’t know how to get to that place of certainty, maybe my identity is ever changing like the journey and not a static answer.
Public Service Announcement:
Don‘t disregard someone because of YOUR perceived notions of their abilities or lack thereof. We still want to be asked to dance even if we are not able to at that particular moment…I say “we” but you know I am talking about myself, though I would bet someone else in a similar state as me might agree.
Taking advantage of feeling pretty good I made a dance video the other day, not knowing how I will feel in these next couple of weeks on the chemo pill, every round has been different. I will post it here, I hope it entertains you.
Until next time❤️
“We ARE The Butthole Mongrels”