Summer Break – pt. 2 (Vulnerability)

The first night I came home for summer break, my dad told me that this is going to be the hardest summer of my life. I think he is right.

Mom has shaved her head and is wearing a wig out in public. Its crazy though because many people have no idea that she is wearing a wig. It looks so natural that sometimes I even forget about it until we get home and she takes it off.

Physically, there has not been as much progress with her cancer as we had expected (thank goodness). Her mental health is a different story though. For almost two weeks she struggled pulling herself out of bed, along with panic attacks that came in waves throughout the week. Thankfully, her doctors realized what was happening and has given her some meds to level back out her emotions.

My mother and I went out to lunch the day after she began taking her medication. In the middle of the busy restaurant we talked about how she felt insignificant, misunderstood, and limited on the time left in her life. She spoke about how some days her anxiety roped itself around her, making it impossible to focus on anything.

While on the unusual lunch topic, she told me about one of her first moments of severe anxiety, when she woke up during chemo one Thursday and had realized my dad had left. During my years of middle school and high school, I never saw my parents as overly in love or affectionate. For some reason this image of my mom in pure panic because my dad left to get coffee, left me raw. She admitted to me that for some reason her mind did not register the fact that he had left to just go get coffee (like he normally does in the 2 hour chemo treatments), but instead she thought he had actually just left. Up and left her, for good. My mom is the strongest person I know, and has never admitted anything like this to me, and not only did that break my heart, but it made her stronger in my eyes. I know many people who would never admit such vulnerability and weakness, including myself, but she laid it all out on the table for me to examine and experience with her.

I have been struggling some too lately, and I might as well explain how vulnerable I am as well.

As a 20-year-old woman, I find my Pinterest feed full of wedding dresses, engagement rings, and home décor. I know that all of this is in the very far future and I am nowhere near needing to prepare for any of it. But lately, when looking at these ideas and saving them to my Pinterest boards, I can’t help but picture these big events. These big events that (unless some crazy miracle occurs) I will not have my mom with me to experience and guide me through them. It’s a very grave thing of me to write, I know, and I am sorry.

Clyde (my counselor at school), always told me that these thoughts will happen, and there is no way for me to stop them, I just have to feel the pain and sadness and then keep pushing through.

Vulnerability is an embarrassing and frustrating concept that we all deal with, and sometimes, to know our true strength and to know our true weaknesses, we just have to have other people acknowledge it. So thank you, my fellow blogger for acknowledging my vulnerability.

Sorry again to all of my followers for taking so long in between posts. I would say “I’ll do better”, but I cannot make those promises. Thank you for following again!!

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