Shadows to Shade

18 01 2012

I’m scared.

There. I actually wrote the words down; I wasn’t sure if I could. Many know I’m grieving right now, but few know how scared I am. Not a panic that I feel when I try to sing in public; not my posttraumatic stress disorder panic and anxiety related to certain medical procedures that remind me of an assault that occurred in my 20’s and/or my recent hospitalization for whatever happened to my arm that resulted in that horrible infection I had. This is…..something else.

I’ve been in denial about it for several months, believing from head to toe that if I thought it was NOT true, it would turn out not to BE true–the power of positive thinking. Names have great power; I did not want this to have any power.

When I found out last Monday that my friend, Diane, died, it snapped me back to semi-reality and I accepted that my test results on Friday would come back positive (as my doctor had informed me they would), but the question of what it was and to what degree still lurked in the shadows.

Shadows remind me of my childhood in our tenement in Brooklyn where this spine-chillingly vicious dog lived that would lurch out and try to bite me every time I went up the stairs. Shadows were the bad things that were about to happen to me in the rooms of my home most of my so-called childhood. Wondering, when I was age 4-5, if the wife could survive the beating from her husband in the shadows under the neighbor’s door. Shadows are the terrors that torment you, the face you see in every person after you’ve been told at age 9 that your stepfather may show up one day and try to kill you. Shadows of the life you would never have had when your mother tells you she wished she had aborted you (and meant it). Shadows are the abandonment you feel at age 14 when she tells you to leave and take only what you have bought with your own money with you. And the shadows that stretched from her grave to crush my heart one last time when my sisters found their baby pictures while going through her stuff, confirming that when she laughed in my face when she said she threw mine out, that I guess she really did. The only evidence of my existence that I was in her life are in those pictures I happened to be in with my sisters. Thrown away into the shadows of garbage she felt I was.

I was about 14 months old here; the earliest picture that exists of me now. My sister, Eva, holding my hand. I was a cute baby!

After all I’ve been through and all I’ve seen, to say I’m scared now seems illogical. The tests did come back positive, but there seemed to be more questions now after the kidney biopsy than answers. A lot of blood work was drawn after that visit–more shadows.  Yet, there is a difference.  There is trust, great trust, in those caring for me that is helping to keep the shadows in their place.

On February 3, I hope we will be able to modpodge some of the puzzle.  Names have great power, even names things are not. Until then, I remain in….shade.








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