I will be honest here. It’s what I have committed to do in my writing and it’s been honesty that has somehow always served to heal.

This is a lonely journey and it has been lonely for the past six years. The brain tumor, the piece of shit, the cancer, and the disease… all of it has taken a toll and that doesn’t even begin to account for the rest of life’s chaos.

It’s been a lonely and often emotionally painful patient journey. I have not always responded gracefully to the chaos of what this journey has brought into our lives nor to the rest of the chaos life has thrown at us.

It has been a challenging year for our family and I fled. I fled to the solitude that feeds my introverted soul. I quietly took steps backwards, away from friends, away from a social life, dug into my own shelter and few noticed.

I have an amazing assortment of friends locally and around the world.

Many of my friends, aside from being connected to me, have little connection to each other. As I was slowly engulfed in trying not to drown in the shit and chaos of our life, I capitalized on how disconnected my group of friends are.

With few connected friends to notice, it became really easy to pull away. It was brilliant on my part. Except for the fact that when you pull away, attempt to survive on your own, don’t ask for help and retreat, few friendships remain intact to salvage when you peek your head out of your shelter.

I failed.

I chose flight rather than fight this year.

I was selfish and in many respects and I was a coward. I lost the battle, but I’m still fighting the war. I wasn’t depressed; just surviving, barely treading water and determined to get us through on my own terms.

It was easier to sit alone rather than pick up the phone and make plans. It was easier to survive, go through the motions and fight alone, than it was to call a friend and make a lunch date. It was easier to heal my family than carve out time for me. I entirely lost sight of me, the importance of staying connected and in the process; I fear that I entirely lost friendships.

I retreated to a place where I put all my love, happiness and energy into repairing the emerging, visible cracks and potholes that this piece of shit has caused in our boys and in our family.

I commanded our family ship of chaos in solitude with reckless abandon. I relished in our joys, wins, frustrations, sadness, laughter and challenges. Sharing little of it with anyone but Paul and as time went by, realized I was steering our ship farther from shore and I discovered myself entrenched in a self imposed shelter.

I am here, we are making progress and we are healing. This is not easy.

I’m hesitantly peeking out of my shelter feeling disconnected from those who I should have never stepped away from as I attempt to right our ship and steer it toward shore.

Be kind and I hope you welcome me back. I could really use a friend.


21 thoughts on “Disconnected

  1. I held this in my inbox to keep you on my heart.  You don’t have to reply, just know that you being thought of…fondly.  Hoping you are connected more.

    Joy and Peace, Sarah McCrory


  2. In life I have found myself steering our ship far from shore. I could never compare our lives but can relate at some levels. Prayers to you and yours Jennifer. You are on my mind often and maybe we can have coffee together:)

  3. It’s ok to give yourself time and GRACE in all things. We all do whatever to manage our journeys. Sometimes our times physically intertwine and sometimes they are alone but as friends we are there always for you in our hearts, minds and prayers. We love you and your family Jennifer-always

    • Jennifer-
      Even though I did not know you long in Charlotte, my life was touched. I have been following your journey and you inspire me so much. Your honesty is admired and appreciated. I pray for you daily and loving thoughts are coming your way.
      With love,
      Susan Fisher

  4. It appears you and I have had remarkably similar journeys over the past however many months … thank you for articulating. Love you and miss you and am here for you always xoxo

  5. I am so glad you shared this! It took a lot of courage and I can relate in so many ways…as can many others. I just started a log but haven’t started writing much yet.
    Concentration is very hard for me:) But You Have A Friend♥Brain Tumor Buddy!

  6. Totally agree with prior posts. True friends will welcome you back. You did what you thought was right. there is just no roadmap to guide us. i bet you will be rewarded.

  7. You did what you had to do…It’s your journey, your family, you own your own sweet self and soul…and if you need to keep you and yours to yourself, so be it. Actually it sounds like a wonderful thing to do, although I wish that the p.o.s. wasn’t involved at all, ever, banished forever. Bless you girl. I cannot properly write in words all that you deserve to hear, nor properly capture all my own thoughts on to keyboard. Continued peace and love to you and all that are yours.

  8. The best friends will always welcome you with open arms, and no questions if you don’t want to give answers. I am sure you are connected with those who care so much, even if you did pull away, and would be glad to have you back. And I hope they read this, and give you a call. ~Catherine

  9. hey Jen…. I encourage you not to be so hard on yourself but rather see this past year as a time when you did what you had to do to keep the ship afloat. I would assert that it took courage to “step back” this past year to care for your family and things “on the front burner” so to speak, and that it equally takes courage to write like this. Both are remarkable demonstrations of coping and as always, I admire your honesty with yourself and with those of us who are fortunate enough to call you a friend. xo Alex

  10. I am in awe of your honesty, talent and wisdom. I would love to reconnect whenever you are ready or in need. You are the kind of heart that no time will have seemed to pass.

  11. Jen, true friends never disconnect; it’s the casual ones which may drift (and sometimes that’s okay). Time may pass between conversations and connections with true friends, but then they awaken (like the hibernating bear). Once awakened from the slumber, life resumes and those friendships and relationships are as strong as ever; sometimes they are even stronger. The conversations pick-up where they left off, and it’s a very cathartic experience. Much like the hokey pokey, you just take it a step at a time; you put your right foot in, you take your right foot out, you put your right foot in and you shake it all about. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself about, and that’s what it is all about.

  12. Jennifer,

    Though we live far apart and probably have not seen each other since high school, I think and pray for you daily, I wish I had a friend like you that lived closer so we could support each other through the laughs and tears. I too have pulled away with the diagnosis of my seizures and my divorce. Life has been challenging and lonely for me as well. I keep my daughter close, trying to protect her from the horror that divorce has created in her relationship with her Dad while celebrating 2 years of seizure freedom, June 30, 2011. The good and the bad the ying and the yang. I’ll have your back any time any day. Be strong, in my eyes you already are! Love, Carrie Conley

  13. Thankfully we don’t have to let the extremes of any time in our life define us; we are constantly evolving and growing albeit it awkwardly or painfully sometimes. Love always wins and your tribe will continue to hold the light from the shore. See you soon!

  14. Jen, don’t be so hard on yourself…..you did what you needed to do for YOU and your family. At the end of the day your family is what is MOST important. Anyone who does not understand is not a friend. You are an incredibly strong, honest and loving person. Sending you love and hugs….Anne

  15. Jen…I’m far geographically …but not emotionally…I think of you as my ” pretend” daughter and you are in my thoughts and prayers more than you know. Hang in there…and I agree with the above comments…I’m sure you haven’t lost anyone…they have just given you the space you needed to take care of YOU. You are a remarkable woman and your friends know how fortunate they are to call you THIER friend. Much love, ST

  16. You’ve not lost any friends…maybe everyone was simply giving you the time and space you needed to process and heal. We are all right here when you need us. Much love!

  17. I’ve missed your posts! Take care stranger-friend, I noticed you were quiet. Thank you for your honesty. I’ve been there, I welcome you back!

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