First, thanks for the birthday wishes from you guys. And Elliot Macleod-Michael was right. I was pretty much fishing for birthday wishes. Partly because I still hope, like the childhood version of myself, that my birthday is still relevant (even if it isn't) and that it's a "special day" (even if it doesn't feel like it). To me, the simple act of wishing someone a happy birthday just legitimizes a relationship. Maybe it's stupid, but with how fucked life has been for me, it's like a break from the shit; a rock breaking the river's flow, giving me a moment to rest before I continue to be swept downstream. The other reason is because for the past two years, my birthday has been the greatest day of pain in the year. And following a comment left by Elliot, I'm going to share a little bit of personal information with you.
Two years ago, on my 23rd birthday, I was woken up at roughly ten am by my father. He told me that I should say goodbye to my mother, because she had just passed away. She had colon cancer; April of the year before, she went to the emergency room with back pains. After CAT scans and X-rays, turned out it was cancer. She started radiation treatment almost immediately; chemotherapy started shortly afterwards. Her oncologist once told us something that has stuck with me: "some day, we'll look back in horror at chemotherapy and not believe the suffering we inflicted on cancer patients." Chemo is brutal. The prognosis was initially good. She did chemo for a year. But then, almost exactly a year after her diagnosis, everything started falling apart. The cancer had spread to her liver. And she wasn't going to make it. We had a bed out in the living room, and hospice nurses came and cared for her. And she ceased being my mother, and started being this thing, this entity of pain that inhabited the living room of my house. And I couldn't talk to her. And I could barely look at her. And it killed me inside. It killed me that I was no longer seeing my mother. And she passed away, on my 23rd birthday. And that was the defining moment that fully turned me into the bitter, jaded adult that lives on today. Now, obviously, I can't blame all my faults as a human being on the fact that my mother died. I was well on that path before, but it damn sure didn't help. I was my mother's child; my brother's are close to my dad, and while I get along with him, and understand him, we are two completely different people. He coped amazingly well, setting a great example for my brothers and myself; I slid dangerously close to the bottom of the bottle, trying to be stoic and a rock. It didn't work. And that was the final nail in the coffin of my personality.
I'm sharing this because I want to. Because this defined me. And because Elliot shared, and that got me thinking. This is what happened. And I'll be damned if it doesn't feel good. Get this shit out. Because there's no reason not to. Because this was my life. Is my life. I look at my family around me, and they seem much the same. But I have changed. Maybe for the better, maybe for the worse, but I'll find out one way or the other.
Since I'm in a sharing mood, there is something huge I want to get off my chest that I've been holding in forever. But I'll share that another day. Peace out.