Today I Cry

This morning I was working on a chapter of the book that I’ve been finding particularly difficult and time consuming. I was finally making some headway and stopped to make lunch and suddenly found myself sitting on the couch crying. But why?

I’ve been writing about how women with breast cancer typically don’t show anger, have little choice but to comply with painful, barbaric treatments and diagnostic methods, are surrounded by enough pink ribbons, pink scarves, pink pins and teddy bears to make an eight year old sick, and seem to be in a culture where they must make every effort to remain positive to the point where they apologise when they stray from that. I guess I realised that lately I’ve been struggling with the thought of what I’m trying to do with the book and how very sensitive and contentious so much of what I’m writing about really is. I mean, I’m writing about body image, being fat, feminism and spirituality all in the one book. And I seem to have taken on a huge amount of pressure (from myself) about getting it right, not repeating anyone else, and not offending people. The fact is though, I can’t possibly read everything that’s out there and I currently feel incredibly swamped trying to do that. And I can’t possibly please everyone and get it right for everyone either. These are the exact same things I was trying to articulate in the chapter I was working on. I don’t feel at all supported by my family (except CJ and Mum) in what I’m trying to do. And that’s not their fault (or problem) because I’m still holding back on how passionate I truly am about spirituality and feminism. If I don’t talk about it, how can they know? And if I did, what could they offer me?

This is pandemic, this holding back on how we truly feel. Why am I more afraid to speak it than write it down?

I think today I just feel overwhelmed by how much there is to do, how many women in the world are suffering, and how little I am doing to help. It reduces me to tears. For that reason, and many more, I know that it is one of my Divine purposes – to do what I can to help – but today oh how truly inadequate and ill-equipped I feel for such a job. And it’s days like today that I don’t want it. I’m struggling with the enormity of how much need there is and yet so much opposition. Just writing a book is task enough, but feeling the amount of responsibility that I do for what I’m trying to do with it feels too hard today. Time to walk away from the laptop, time to rest, time to shed tears for those who could only wish for these sorts of troubles. I will indulge in my crying, as much as I the privileged ‘should’ feel happy and positive, today, I cry.

Advertisements

35 Comments

Filed under My Book, Sex, Spiritual, Women/Feminist, Writing

35 responses to “Today I Cry

  1. Simonne, my dear friend.
    I have never met you, in fact we live on opposite sides of the world. I have come to consider you a friend through your writings and my heart aches to hear of you crying, being sad, feeling down.
    You are one of those I consider to be an Earth Angel. Your heart aches as you see all the pain and suffering in the world and you want so desperately to help. You see your book as your chance to help make a difference in this world, to help those so in need of help. I am sure you will succeed in this quest. with your heart, wisdom and writing skills you will make a difference. You are already making a huge difference with you blog and the comments you leave on other blogs such as mine, for which I thank you.
    Something that has taken me years to learn and accept is things happen in God’s time not our time.
    Your are doing what is right, just please keep at it as the time feels right.
    Bill

    Like

  2. Bill, thank you so much. This is lovely, you’re lovely. Not to mention, wise. You’re right my friend, the timing is not of my making, and even through my tears I can see that all that has happened to me in my life and all that I know are coming together so that I can do this and offer what I can. The timing is as it should be and me pushing is not going to help one bit! Thanks Bill.

    Like

  3. Do not get frightened by the enormity of your task. Do not feel burdened by it either. If your goal is noble and your efforts are honest, sooner or later, in one form or another, you will be rewarded.

    Here’s wishing you all the very best for your book!

    Like

  4. chughes

    i think that the passion you feel, the way this affects you, means that you must continue. Someone will always be offended, no matter how carefully you tread. Sometimes you will have to go it alone, not everyone you love and respect will be there for you, but if you need to do this, you will. And it seems that you have lots of support here. It may not be the same, but it’s still here for you.

    CJ sounds wonderful and supportive. If he’s the only one, milk that! Then give him kisses and hugs.

    Working through this challenge in your writing will strengthen your skills as a writer. You can do it. You come across to me as a strong and confident woman- you’re going to do well. Very well even.

    Like

  5. pradapixie

    Write what you need to write, for some it will be wonderful, for some not. But that is not your responsibilty.Your responsibility is to be true to yourself, however that is. So cry when you need to cry, smile when you need to smile. My breast cancer can’t be influenced by your behaviour, But my emotions can feel cherished by your caring and that is what is important.
    Peace and sweet dreams
    px

    Like

  6. Ritwik, CH, PP – Thank you all for your lovely, supportive words. Was going to apologise for my wee breakdown then realised that’s totally not the point, so won’t! Thank you very much.
    S

    Like

  7. Oh, you know you’re not alone girlfriend.
    We writers are a passionate bunch.
    When we love, we love deeply.
    When we care, we care too much.
    When we want something, the desire burns within us so fiercely that it’s amazing it doesn’t singe the tiny hairs on our arms.
    Your passion is what makes you unique, it is what makes you special, it is what makes you a writer. We often become attached to our characters as if they were real live friends. And I know that you do this because it comes through in your writing.
    Breakdowns equal breakthroughs!!!!
    I wanted to share a poem I wrote a couple of months ago with you. Since I’ve already written a novel on here, πŸ™‚ , I’ll just give you the link. http://nextgr8twriter.wordpress.com/2007/03/31/when-writers-cry/
    Hope that’s okay.
    kim

    Like

  8. Oh KIM!! Now I’m crying harder! πŸ˜‰
    Thank you! For the poem (which had me bawling and laughing at the same time) and for your obvious understanding of what I was talking about in this post. I think just knowing that I’m not the only crazy one helps immensely. Isn’t it odd how we like to feel connected to one another? Kim, thank you again.
    Sx

    Like

  9. reggiehudson

    One of the most amazing things about one’s passion is….it can be felt in one’s spirit, soul, heart and every fabric of their being. At times we weep for joy just to be given the privilege and honor of following our passion. There are many in life that circumstances have clouded the very meaning of the word passion let alone just the basic meaning of survival.
    There are other times that we weep from just feeling our own inadequacy, for chasing the passion it is that we chase.
    Passion, what a marvelous word.
    Passion: Is the very thing that will place you upon mountain tops, yet it is also the very thing that will bring you to your knees in humility.
    Those tears you’ve shed today will add many , many chapters to your gift of life. Life without a feeling, living, breathing and at times hurting, passion within one’s soul, is not a life.

    Brother ,
    Reg

    Like

  10. Wasim

    It would be worse if you didn’t cry. We all sort things out in our own heads in different ways. Some people cry it out, some people get angry, some even take it out on others so in contrast with all these things, your crying is just so natural that it shouldn’t be discouraged. You come across to be a strong minded person too so you’ll probably be a success anyway.

    There are lots of things that people wish they were supported by, but the way I see things, is that even though you may not be supported by certain people, it will make you a stronger person for being able to do it without them. May be writing it is your way of overcoming your fears and if it is, then so be it. Can you image how boring this world would be if we all sorted our problems out in the same way? We wouldn’t really be learning much. You wouldn’t have written this blog and nobody would have responded because there would have been no blog, so there’s lots of positive things that come out of other negative ones. I suppose with that in mind, what you may see as ‘no support’ could in actual fact be quite the opposite.

    When I was a child I was bullied and spat on alot. My way of getting over this was to go home and do something creative with my time to prove to myself that I wasn’t like them and I used to challenge myself to NOT retalliate in the same way, so I’de become stronger. The strange thing now is that anytime anyone tries to stop my attempts by discouraging me, or insulting me I automatically switch into my, ‘lets do something really creative’ mode. So, really, what has happened is that bullting has in actually fact helped me to be stronger.

    Everything that comes your way can be converted to positive energy and I think you’re capable of some amazing things.

    Like

  11. Wasim

    Oh by the way have a little read though my 2 short stories at http://hangon.wordpress.com/

    Like

  12. poseidonsmuse

    Simonne, we are absolutely connected on so many levels. I say this, because, I too, have found myself crying ALOT lately…for myself, for humanity, for my friends, my family. That is why I have been absent from my blog and other spaces these days.

    Lately, I wear a blue ribbon…for someone that has tremendous courage and spirit…this person is battling colon cancer – they are young, courageous and despite the spiritual/feminine energy surrounding this person (a dear male friend) – we can’t help but lash out at the Universe (questioning, pondering the intimate details and purpose/direction of his story…).

    You have a gift of empathy, compassion and wisdom. As a writer, you are a conduit for humanity. You will dig deep within yourself and give those feelings a voice – you may not be able to speak for those who are suffering, but your empathy and compassion will give them a voice…a much needed, loving….voice.

    [remember – every conduit needs to discharge too…let yourself cry, let yourself smile, give yourself a hug, take a walk along the beach, smile at a stranger….feel and seek the love that you deserve].

    Hugs gurlie…! [hug]

    Like

  13. Hi Simonne,
    I love the title of your book. Very clever and marketable!
    You’ve motivated me to get going again with my haiku blog – I have a couple new ones in case you’re still interested…cheers

    Like

  14. D. Peace

    I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling down.

    I can see how you’re feeling beaten down by the enormity of writing about issues you care so deeply about. But that, in a way, is a good kind of pressure and a good kind of responsibility. You should be encouraged by the fact that you’re tackling subject matter that merits an emotional response like that.

    What you’re doing is nothing short of admirable, and admirable work often gets done under really adverse and trying circumstance. If your mom and fiancee support you, that’s more acknowledgment than many writers get! πŸ™‚ Be happy about that.

    Whatever you do, don’t quit. You’ll be tested and you should always pick yourself back up again.

    As for being concerned with people misunderstanding you and being offended, that’s just going to happen. Just today, I wrote a funny and supremely silly and nonsensical post that some people misinterpreted as an attack on Al Gore. Trust me, I support Al Gore if anything. They just thought I was making a specific statement that I wasn’t. It happens all the time.

    People become offended or misinterpret art really easily and there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s in the hands of your public, and no creative person likes that.

    But stay positive! I’m here if you ever want to talk or anything. If I can do anything, name it.

    You’re lucky to have CJ and your mom, so lean on them when you need it. And, if its any consolation, I’m behind you and so is everybody else reading this blog.

    Stay positive.

    Like

  15. Dawn

    Simonne I’m so glad there are people like Kim – as Anne (with an ‘e’) would say – kindred spirits – who support you and understand. It IS hard but most people don’t have your courage – they turn away from the brutality that exists in the world because they don’t want to know, don’t want to hear, see, feel the enormity of it. ‘What can I do?’ they say with a shrug and it’s true, often there is very little one can do but if each of us strives in some way, the drip on the rock, the pebble causing ever increasing ripples keeps expanding – something, somewhere at some time has to change and that’s what we hope for.

    Like

  16. What a beautiful chorus of support, thank you all so much, you’ve picked me up immensely..

    Muse – you gorgeous thing. I was wondering if you were ok. Your words are so lovely. Much love to you too Goddess.

    Peace – Thank you my dear blogging friend, means a lot.

    Reg – eloquent words indeed, thank you.

    Wasim – welcome and thank you too. Will have a read of your stories soon.

    Mum (Dawn) – What to say? You’re amazing. You gave me most of these passions you know. It’s women like you who give this world its heart. I love you.

    Like

  17. Why is it you feel you have to write about breast cancer? I’m not sure I agree with your comment saying:

    “women with breast cancer typically don’t show anger, have little choice but to comply with painful, barbaric treatments and diagnostic methods, are surrounded by enough pink ribbons, pink scarves, pink pins and teddy bears to make an eight year old sick, and seem to be in a culture where they must make every effort to remain positive to the point where they apologise when they stray from that.”

    This seems to be a sweeping sort of statement and I wonder why you think this. Perhaps I’m better off keeping my mouth shut here and maybe everywhere for a bit. I have a feeling I am not so atypical as I often think I am. I think maybe I’ve been more vocal about my own choices concerning my breast cancer than many woman are. I really think there are many of us who chose alternative routes and choices.

    Please know that I appreciate your care, your lovingness and your empathy and know too that it affects you deeply. Thank you my friend.

    Sidenote here: I don’t have one pink ribbon, scarf, pin or teddy bear of any kind except my real live teddy bear of a husband. πŸ™‚

    Like

  18. Dawn

    I love you too! To think you have those passions makes me inordinately proud.

    Like

  19. Hi Ruby, so glad you commented. I wouldn’t mind talking to you about this more indepth some time?
    I didn’t take you as one of the pink pin brigade!
    I say ‘typically’ because it really is such an institution now (the pink culture) and even you after you have a spell of being angry either apologise or post it on an anonymous site (that’s actually how I found you), so I’m sure you can agree to that to some extent?
    Why do I write about it? Because I think more people should be aware of how political it is, how terribly some women are treated through barbaric treatments and old school doctors, and because I’m using it as an example of patriarchal medicine in my book.
    I love that you’re atypical Roob! Much love,
    Sx

    Like

  20. Ah, it’s clear now Simonne and it’s a subject I can very well warm up to and understand. I’m quite willing to talk about it but have been hesitant to do so because I don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable. Perhaps it’s time I spoke up more – I just don’t know. I certainly do understand the want to be “fixed” but I have serious doubts about the medical profession and about their abilities…especially when it comes to cancer.

    Peace, love and understanding.

    Like

  21. Thanks Roob. Nothing wrong with speaking up I reckon!
    Lots of love to you x

    Like

  22. missprofe

    I hope your spirit has been revived since you posted this entry.:)

    Like

  23. missprofe

    Your comments re: breast cancer. Not too long ago, I watched a book talk by the woman who wrote the book, Nickeled and Dimed. She is a breast cancer survivor, and described the whole enterprise surrounding women with breast cancer as a pink cult. Additionally, she described the treatments as horrendous, and that breast cancer is a terrible, terrible disease which cannot be made better by holding a pink teddy bear.

    Like

  24. Hi Missprofe, thanks for stopping by. I do feel revived after a very social weekend that took me completely away from the computer (went to a 50s rock and roll night, will have to post some pictures!), thank you.
    Yes! Barbara Ehrenreich – I’ve just ordered that book and the essay on breast cancer from Amazon. She’s a powerful voice.

    Like

  25. Simonne,
    I don’t think that I can add much to the many comments you’ve already received, except to say that your tears are proof that you and you alone are the one to write this book. Divine purpose, dedication, passion, spirituality certainly – but I think it may go beyond that. It is your purpose to help on this issue and your book will do just that. Let the tears flow and then get back to work – you’re on the right path.
    Annie

    Like

  26. Annie, your comment means a lot to me. It’s very hard to do something like this and feel that it’s all been said before, but I do get the sense that my unique set of circumstances gives me a unique voice and a unique perspective. Thank you so much for saying that – makes me think I’m not going crazy! Oh dear, I’m crying again! And yes, that’s ok. Thank you Annie.

    Like

  27. I’ve always had ambivalent feelings about the whole cult of pink. Is breast cancer is the only thing we should care about as women? I’ve often felt that I’d never own a pink anything if I had breast cancer (thank you Ruby for giving that whole thing the proverbial finger). What about women with ovarian cancer, or cervical cancer? Sorry, I know your post was about a whole lot more than breast CA, but that one hits my sore spot. I’m a cervical cancer survivor of 14 years. Where’s my fucking ribbon?

    Like

  28. OB, thanks for commenting, I’m really interested in womens’ takes on this. The thing about breast cancer versus cervical cancer, in my opinion, is that boobs are much more marketable and more the defining characteristic of our sex than vaginas, wombs and ovaries are. A woman will hold onto her breasts for as long as possible, and then get reconstructive surgery (a lot of the time) if she loses them, and has the medical means available by which to do that, but do we do the same thing when we get our ovaries and uteruses removed? It’s not the same deal at all. The breast and what it means to women and men and Western culture in general goes way beyond good health.
    Good for you on being a survivor, I’ll send you a V shaped ribbon when I find one πŸ™‚

    Like

  29. It’s not quite as simple as just going out and buying new boobs or just having hysterectomies or a which is worse contest eh?

    I was going to link to this post on my blog but I know women come looking for empathy there about cancer at times and I’m not sure this would be a good thing to share. It seems a bit insensitive to me and that seems very unlike your usual spirit Simonne. 😦

    Hugs as always though.

    Like

  30. Simonne, you could probably make a million bucks on a V-shaped ribbon here in the states. People here are obsessed with ribbons.

    Like

  31. Ruby – I think I know what’s Simonne’s saying. To those of us who only see the “surface” of the breast cancer movement (for lack of a better phrase), all we see are smiling faces doing the walk or talking about survival. What we’re not shown is the horrendous suffering and pain associated with the disease process itself. Breasts are so visible, and reconstruction such an important part of some cancer survivor’s rehab process that it’s probably just easier and more accessible for society to hone in on breast cancer as a “cause” to rally ’round. It’s possible that the entire cult of pink has actually done a disservice to breast cancer patients, by making it seem to the rest of us that many women just sail through treatment smiling until the cancer is forced into remission, never to return again. Of course we know this isn’t the truth, but it’s not what we’re shown. Oh well, I’ve probably gone and made things worse instead of better here. I wish my words would come out the way I want them to when I need them to!

    Like

  32. Thanks OB, that’s exactly what I was trying to say and you said it so much better. Ruby, please don’t take offence, that’s so the last thing I want. I think you’re amazing and strong and wise. I do realise that that is a surface view and that really was my point. I realise it must have sounded unsympathetic and it so wasn’t mean to. I’m not talking about a contest about which is worse, I’m talking about how breast cancer as a disease is treated and made light of (which I’ve clearly done and am extremely sorry for Ruby) in Western culture. It’s easy for big buisness to get behind and support because breasts are infinitely more marketable than vaginas, that was my point, not that one disease is worse than the other. This is the essay, ‘Welcome to Cancerland’ that helped me formulate some of these ideas. The woman who wrote it has had breast cancer.
    http://www.muhlenberg.edu/depts/polisci/mathews/CourseInfo/RJFellows/Ehrenreich%20(2001).pdf

    Much love to you and OB both.
    Sx

    (Sorry the link doesn’t seem to want to extend itself, you might have to type it in)

    Like

  33. Thank you OB and thank you too Simonne for explaining your take on this issue.

    I think you might be right OB about the posssibility of the disservice being done with all the hype.

    Concerning cervical cancer or even other cancers – perhaps it’s just not as prevelant? I haven’t really done any research on the subject so I can’t say.

    Simonne,

    I have read that article by Barbara before a few times and agree with many of her sentiments. I’m glad she spoke up the way she has and maybe it’s the beginning of a trend but I don’t think so.

    I guess I need to do my own speaking up a bit louder than I have in the past but I do admit there is a lot to be said for being positive – along with talking about the real feeling that go along with a cancer diagnosis – fear, anger, confusion and a myriad of other feelings.

    Peace, love and understanding.

    Like

  34. Hi Ruby,
    I agree that being positive is so important, and I can only say that from own experiences (having had PCOD for many years and the struggles that come with it) and can only look at breast cancer from an ‘academic’ view point, so yes, your feelings are what makes it real for so many people. This is partly why your blog is so powerful Ruby. Your strength as well as your love come across so clearly.
    Peace and love right back atchya x

    Like

  35. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. πŸ™‚ Cheers! Sandra. R.

    Like

Leave a reply, start a conversation - go on, you know you want to!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s