Friday, January 8, 2010

Who's a survivor?

Last week, I wore my new "Survivor" sweatshirt to Wal-Mart. (BJ bought it for me. I wore it while we were riding because I didn't think the horses would care.) I had just gotten back, and hadn't taken it off... I didn't think I would see anyone I knew. I was wrong.

N... The girl who's trial was that her husband went to basic training for three weeks... The girl that I feel cranky towards whenever anyone talks about trials.

I hid from her. I know she saw me. We made eye contact... but I was scared she would read my shirt, and think... What?!? I wasn't sure... I just couldn't let her see me... and know THAT about me...

Today, all of facebook decided to post the color of their bra in an attempt to bring awareness to breast cancer. I refused... I just didn't want to... The whole thing frustrated me. The final straw came when an acquaintance (notice I didn't use the word friend...) posted, "So as far as this color thing is concerned-I will just say that my color is whatever color a "survivor" wants to be."

Inside my brain, I lost it. ANGER. If I had been congruent, there would have been explosions coming out of my ears and smoke from my nose. But I didn't understand why I was so upset, and Dann was sleeping, so I just sat with it. And now I am blogging about it...

How dare SHE call herself a survivor. She lived. So... Does that say anything about those that die? And that's the WORST that can happen... you either live or you die. And everyone talks about it, cares about it, helps those with cancer through it... To abuse survivors, they say such things as:
  • When are you going to get over that?
  • Why do you need so much attention?
  • It was just sex... what's the big deal?
  • Stop talking about it...
  • Or they just get uncomfortable... and I feel like crap because they are uncomfortable
To clarify, I want a cure for cancer to be found. I know it must be awful to go through the chemo, and the fear of dying... but... there are worse things than dying.

And I can't even go to Wal-Mart with a survivor shirt on without feeling like I am dirty, disgusting, horrible, sick, attention-seeking, etc. etc. etc. And she can just post it, and people congratulate her? Call her an inspiration?

People don't know. Don't understand. Don't care.

I lived. I continue to fight, to live, to survive, and maybe someday to thrive and make a difference. No one knows how long or what it will take.

Can I call myself a survivor if most people will never know about the battle? And no one knows when or what it takes to win?


  1. I always thought of you as a survivor. Even if some days you feel like a victim over and over. You still choose to get up and live everyday and try to move away from the past. Is that not what surviving is? Wear that shirt with pride! LOL. But I get it completely. No one considers me a survivor because hardly anyone even knows...Sometimes I wish they all knew so they could look at me and say "see how far she has come? She is a survivor" Instead most people say "You're 25 and still haven't received your bachelors? You are just now getting your life figured out?" I am glad you invited me to your blog!!

  2. And then I just noticed your: Why is the Still Me Foundation called, "Still Me."

    Please insert foot in mouth now. Eh..being a survivor is part of what makes up you though. (said with foot in mouth and everything) Damn impressive.

  3. Ash - I am so glad you have come to my blog... foot in mouth and everything... I have to say, that is one thing I have missed about you... your ability to talk with your foot in your mouth. (although I don't really think this is one of those times)

  4. I don't want to endure the things you have endured. You are definitely a survivor. You don't have to be ashamed of being a survivor. Wear your shirt with pride. :)