Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I am a good person

I woke up at 3:00 am this morning tears running down my cheeks.  I had woke from a dream.  In the dream I walked into the Oncology Building by myself.  I walk up to the reception desk and fill out a card and give it to Allison.  As I turn around to walk away I overhear Allison saying to someone, "She is here alone.  No one comes with her anymore because she is difficult."  My heart takes a bump.  I walk out and over to one of the seats as far away from everyone I can get.  But it really doesn't matter because everyone gets up and moves away from me.  I look around and realize that everyone is there with someone else.  I am the only one alone.  I hear people talking in stage whispers, "She is so extreme"  "She is so moody"  She is so difficult".

The dream just kept cycling over and over until I woke at 3:00.  My heart hurt, my mind just keep hearing all of those negative thoughts.  I got up and walked around the house.  I tried reading.  I tried doing a little yoga, breathing in and out, allowing my breath to slow down and finally even out from the catches.

I start repeating over and over, "I am a good person"  "I am a good person"

I know where this came from.  I know this is my mind and my heart.  I also know that two people who care for me deeply during conversations before I went to bed last night  made comments about how moody I am and difficult how extreme I am.  It fit into the conversation.  They said it out of concern.  They said it our of their love.  These are the same people that were with me when this journey started.  I know they are concerned about me, but it has just gotten to be so easy for them to slip into almost every conversation some little comment about a fault I have.

It is my problem that I let these words get into my brain, hurt my heart.  I am a good person.

Before the St. George trip each of these people had told me what to do, or said they were not going to do something for everyone.  They kept calling me back and forth until I was in tears and didn't want to even go to St. George.  I thought everything was my fault.  There was no fault.  There was only "helpful" words and advice.  

Then at St. George each of these individuals said things to other people until they hurt them.  I was not involved in the hurt giving, I had gone to bed.  

But still they always seem to interject some kind of negative words about me.  Only out of love and concern for me.  I know that is what they think.  That is what I thought it was.
But last night as I stood trembling in my living room, tears running down my face.  My heart hurting, I kept hearing the negative words.  I tried hard to replace them with, I am a good person.

I think it might be time to take a little break from people who feel that they have the right to "help" me.  Who feel it is their right because once they were there for me, to point out my faults.  But I have to say, they don't go with me anymore to my doctor visits.  No, they just give helpful advice. I know their lives are busy.  I know they have other commitments and this journey has been going on for two years now.  I understand that they need a break.  They do not need to support me by going to the doctor anymore.  They can do their "helping" by pointing out my flaws.  And I know that they truly think they are expressing their love for me.  

I am a good person.

I got up this morning, tired and feeling the lack of sleep, the terror of the dream.  All alone, the negative thoughts bubbling up out of my brain and into the mouths of strangers, striking into my heart.  

I am a good person.

I headed up to the Thomasville Y.  It took some effort because the last thing I wanted to do was to be around people.  I  was still owning the negative thoughts.  It is the not the person who says them.  It is the the person who allows them in, who believes them.  The person who allows the poison into their mind and heart.  We are each responsible for who we spend time with.  What we allow into our hearts and heads.  It is my responsibility to believe in myself.

The problem really is, that I can be difficult, I can be moody, I can be extreme about some things.  But I have been trying really hard to be more then these behaviors.  I am not always these behaviors.  I am a good person.

I started with the elliptical machine and then moved  through the other machines.  My trainer Cindy was there helping me.  I talked to her about my workout on Tuesday.  I went over everything that I had done.  She asked me questions about my muscles and stamina and strength.  We talked for a while and then she said, "No, it does not sound like you over did it.  It sounds like you were following my advice."  I started crying.  She looked so confused.  She asked me what was wrong.  I told her about my dream, about being alone, about negative thoughts that I have taken into my head and heart and how these thoughts are coming back on me.  

She said the only thing I did on Tuesday was to doubt myself.  To allow negative thoughts to convince me of things that as far as she could tell, simply were not true.  I said well, I have my over done it my whole life.  But then I said, "I think that sometimes I am better then that now.  Not always, but I don't do half as much as I used to do."  She looked at me and shook her head, "Negative thoughts".  She is right.  I am not perfect, but I am my own worst critic and I have made changes.  And I am constantly trying to be better.

I need to give myself a break.  I have lots of love and support and good intentions from so many friends.  But I don't need to allow their words into my head.  I do not need to be with people for whatever reason believe they have the right to "help" me like I am a child unable to take care of myself.  OK, I have stage 4 lung cancer.  OK, sometimes I am unable to control my anger and I blow up.  It is true.  Not for no reason though.  No each time I have blown up, there was a catalyst.  It is never right to be mean or unpleasant to someone, but I am just not able to handle the stress or pressures as well as I once was able to do.  Yes, I need more patience, but I am a good person.  I try.  I really really do try.  And I see others hurt others, and I don't throw that back at them.  Because I am responsible for my actions.  They are responsible for their own.

I am a good person.  I want to be a good person.  I am a good person.  And I am trying to be better.

I made it through my exercises and did more under Cindy's supervision then I had the Tuesday before.  I had not over done it.  Just negative thoughts.  Big Negative thoughts.  Bubbling up in my brain, poisoning my heart.  This is my responsibility to not believe them.  To give myself a break.  To be more supportive of myself.    It is not my friends job to "help" me with their criticism.  But it is my job, to just allow their good intentions to wash past me.  To not believe these words and define me.  It is my job to pick supportive friends, and when they are not supportive, to quietly ask them to stop.  And then if they do not, to walk away.  Give them space and time.  Maybe then our relationship can return to what it once was friends, instead of care givers.  I think they have taken on so much responsibility taking care of me when I was first on this journey and now they have no idea of what they are doing to me.  No, they are not doing anything to me.  I am doing this to me.

I am a good person.

After chair yoga I spent my in between hour sitting in a park eating fruit and yogurt, reading a book.  Every time the negative thoughts starting bubbling back up, I used my new mantra, "I am a good person" and I would push those negative thoughts out, not down.

My breathing and balance were both so much better then my previous classes.  I had talked to my yoga instructor and asked her about a couple of positions.  She had seen me cry this morning.  She had heard me tell of the negative thoughts I had in my mind and my heart.  She looked at me and said, "I have no idea how someone like you could have so much negative thoughts running through your head.  You fill a room with positive thoughts, how can you be so positive for others, and dislike yourself so much?"  Good question.  

And with my new mantra, and with my heart a little lighter, my balance improved.

As I left the Y today, I heard a whisper.  I stopped and coming from the holly hedge in front of the Y I could hear baby birds.  I stepped closer, not wanting to disturb the parents, but to see if I could figure out what type of bird.  A Carolina wren flew out of the hedge and tried to draw me away.  I stepped back.  I don't want to stress the parents, they are under so much trying to feed hungry mouths and not expend unnecessary energy.  I stepped back on the sidewalk and stood and listened to the new little voices.  There was at least 3 nests and as I stood there quietly in the sun starring at the holly hedge I then saw the parents as they slipped across the back of the hedge and then out from behind another bush, drawing dangerous attention away from their nests and precious babies.  I moved on, not wanting to be a further distraction to them.

After class I drove home in the toy with the top down.  I thought over and over about why had I allowed myself to get to this place.  I am trying, I can see that even if I have a life time still to go to be the best I can be, I will always be able to improve.  But I have to appreciate any improvements I do make.  I need to appreciate my own heart, my own words, my knowledge that  I try to be better.  And that is all I can expect of myself, to try and be better.

And now here I sit reminding myself that I am a good person.  And getting ready to go to the Opera House for call backs.  I feel a little relieved that I have an opportunity to be in a new play.  To work with new people.  To try again to be the best I  can be.  To learn from previous mistakes and see if I can do better.  To not put so much pressure on myself to be better.  To not allow others love and concern to turn into negative words in my mind.  To sleep through the night, with out waking up stressed and feeling bad about myself.

I have so much to be grateful for.  My family, my friends, my animals and plants, and little place here.  I try hard to be positive.  It is my nature so it has not been that hard in the past.  I try to be kind and treat people with respect.  To try and be aware of what I say and do and how it affects others.  I know that I can not always read others.  And it is not my responsibility to make others happy.  But I can still be kind and be nice and understand that I am never going to be as perfect as I would like, but I can always try and be better.  It might just work.

I am a good person.


  1. Not letting the negative thoughts of others rent space in my head is a difficult thing at times. I know who I am and what my assets and defects are. Still there are times that I focus on the negative voice in my head.

  2. Your affirmation is correct. We don't have to be perfect to be good. The friends who judge and give advice aren't perfect, either. We embrace them, and ourselves, knowing that our spirits are right, we are worthy. At best, night dreams are interesting, but not weighted with telling truth. Our brains don't really rest at night, they pick up on content still percolating and connect them in stories not connected well to the real world - our dreams. I have recurring dreams that recall distressing emotions. Bad TV. Your affirmation is correct.

  3. You're right.

    And you're right about the difficulty of care-talking. It has to take its toll. As does being sick.

    Ultimately, keeping yourself well, or as well as you can be, is your priority, even if it gets in other people's way. I think it's important that people with cancer be unashamedly self-focused, and that can be really really hard to do. It's easy on others for a little while, and then it wears - but it's still vital.

    My mother didn't tell people she was sick, didn't enter a hospital, because she so feared the way people treat you when you have cancer, when you're a cancer patient. It didn't end so well, no, but it also saved her a lot of heartache. I know a lot of people would have told her all about what she was doing wrong, how difficult she was, how controlling, told her what she had to do. Yes, out of the best possible place.

    She really hated that though :)

    You're doing exactly the right thing x