Being bullied, belittled and abused from birth definitely didn’t make me the most carefree of characters. It left me raw and responsive to random nastiness. It made injustices cling — each incidental injury tearing into the stinging wound within.
And the clinging hurts became cancer.
I’m realizing now that I have to let go. That to flush the cancer from my body, I need to flush out the pain. I need to expel the anguish I feel every single day. I need to release the resentment towards the handful of people who have hurt me most; who continue to hurt me, through snipes, spite or snubbing.
A comment from Brenda (here) made me think of the following poem, which I wrote when I was 13:
Hatred is a weed that grows,
Inside a troubled mind,
Churning thoughts of wretched things,
That twist and knot and bind
The remedy is only this —
(if you’ve an ear to lend),
A laugh, a kiss, a cheerful glance,
The kindness of a friend.
— Andrea Ross, age 13
Pictured above, tween-age me and Olivia Newton John — breast cancer survivor.
Years of early indoctrination infused in me an unshakable sense of worthlessness and, as a result, self-loathing. Despite huge efforts throughout my adult life, this injury kept me distracted from the great good that surrounds me and left me raw and reactive to the snipes and whims of every toxic family member or acquaintance.
The unabating care and kindess of friends, family and community members during this health challenge is providing me with a steady stream of invitations to boot my belittling beliefs, to accept and focus on the good, and to let the saboteurs slide.
Will I accept the invitation? I’ll certainly try.
Mark mumbled early this morning some plans involving scotch and the ringing out of “this horrid year”.
But doctors believe breast cancer takes six to eight years to develop to a detectable size and this was the year we caught it, cut it out, clubbed it and commenced construction of kick-ass “KEEP OUT” mechanisms.
So I say, “Thank You, 2009.”
… and good riddance!
Other happenings that rocked our 2009:
Nortel (my employer at the time) seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States and Canada.
Not a huge surprise but it definitely rocked our world.
We adopt our pooch, Phaedra.
After 6 years of daily pleading, coercing, negotiating and plotting, we caved in. Little did we know she would become my very own Dr. White.
I leap from Nortel, and 22 years of software development, to a 12-month term position as a Technical Writer at EDC.
It was my first time without health benefits in my entire adult life, but it was walking distance from home and a chance to swap the stress of software development for the creative bliss of writing.
My “father”, Keith Ross, attempts to break into our home, spends who knows how long smashing on our front door, screaming through our mail slot and tearing out our mail slot and curtain.
As traumatic as this was for our entire family, it marked a clean endpoint of what has been an extremely painful, life long dysfunctional relationship.
Lucy attends her very first sleep-away camp.
It was a week at Time Travellers at Upper Canada Village where she and 40 other youngsters dressed in period costume and lived the role of an 1860s child. Lucy LOVED every minute of it!
I’m reunited with my long lost cousin, Kelly Clavette.
Kelly was my favourite cousin and a constant holiday companion throughout my childhood. We lost touch in our tweens. Thirty years later, Kelly and I “almost accidentally” reconnected and our renewed friendship with Kelly and her family brings our whole family true joy daily.
My diagnosis bridges the gap between myself and Mark’s parents, Rhoda and Bert Blevis.
Religious differences, unclear expecations and my own social anxiety had made my relationship with Mark’s parents a rocky one but the minute they received news of my diagnosis, Rhoda and Bert let bygones be bygones and promptly made themselves available to support our little family in any and every way. We couldn’t have made it this far (this sane) without their unbelievable support.
My diagnosis reunites me with my long lost brother, David Ross.
I’ve missed my little bro terribly and, regardless of the circumstances, I’m thrilled that we’re in each others’ lives again.
Mark abandons his own media endeavours and takes an exciting new position as a digital public affairs strategist with Fleishman-Hillard.
Health benefits and insurance and security, Oh My!
Our friend Caroline Coady announces she is cured of Stage 4 Colon Cancer.
Mark’s long time friend David O’Farrell loses his battle with cancer.
I revel in 14 years of Mark Blevis.
On December 22, 1995, while on a date with someone else and thanks to a huge number of coincidences, I met Mark Blevis. Lucky me! We’ve doubled the seven year itch and I’m still itching to be with this fabulous guy.
||Thank you, 2009… Bring On 2010!!