Coming Out (again?)
(from CaringBridge 2018)
Today I elected to make a rather broad announcement about my cancer diagnosis. I chose to use Facebook, even though I previously said to a few I wouldn't post anything there. Facebook has become so divisive in the political climate I have pretty much devolved to scanning for kitten and puppy videos; I only post/repost broad inspirational items because I am so burnt out on the arguing and controversy. Since the diagnosis -- I really don't want to give that much time.
But -- I posted a private message and then shared with specific people from all my past lives, scrolling down my list clicking names who...
It proved harder to do that I imagined. Does this one know me well enough, will it be weird? Is that one carrying too many burdens already, doesn't need mine? Can I trust this person (which is crazy because I'm telling everyone, I am not keeping it secret AT ALL, and yet...)? Do I want that person back in my life right now?
On the one hand, I self-disclose easily - best compliment I every received was when Dr. Thistlewaite commented on my willingness to identify with feminine aspects of my spirituality (I responded, "It's a gay thing..." but it is also years of training as a counselor and a lifetime of ministry.) I don't have many secrets, or at least, not to those who need to hear them.
And on the other hand, cancer is intensely personal. What doctors are going to do to me is intimate and I will (probably) have long days and weeks of ugly-face/suffering. It's not in my introverted nature to drag people into that pain. I'm the one who wants to ride off in the sunset, stoic and fade-to-black.
So my mouse hovered over the "Post" button for a very long time.
I have felt this way before... (Lordy, this is double-hard, even though I have been 'out' to almost all of you for years.) I was in self-denial about my sexuality for almost 40 years. I didn't bust out of that -- it was a tedious 3 year process to find myself, come out to chosen, trusted friends one at a time. Letting it out was scary/liberating and holding it back was safety/grievous.
And yet, here I am cancer-coming-out after less than three weeks, when I'm not all that far along in my Kübler-Ross stages: denial, anger, bargaining, etc.
Well, both efforts of coming out have been positive. Something in me says that I need the support, even if I am a private person, so suck it up and receive it. I've received tons of love and support, oceans of care and help, wonderful renewal and blessing. Some tears, but no rejection -- overwhelming hugs.
I missed some people. I wasn't ready for some people. I don't think I can extend any more until this settles and I process more -- at times it is all too much. I'll get there. (I also blame it on Facebook - I am an I.T. analyst but I still can't navigate this crazy program.)
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the notes of love and promises of prayers and light and healing energy! Thank you for the calls, and texts and messages! Thank you for your love and care.
Thank you for all the hugs! (I appreciate your interaction so please make comments as you are can!)
Visualize being surrounded by sparkling joy, imagine being filled with gratitude -- because that is what I am feeling tonight - share it with me.