I am weak and selfish

New Contributor

I am weak and selfish

My thirty three years on this rock have made me strong. 


As a baby my Mother and I were left on the side of a rural road by the man I refer to as simply a sperm donor. A year later my mother was impregnated by the man I would come to know and love as my father. The relationship between he and I was not always an example of even mediocre parenting. In reflection, I recognize that I was a rather difficult kid, that he saw going down the same ugly path that he did. 


As soon as I could I left for the Army to join the infantry. In the eight years I was in I deployed five times, and never once told my parents I was overseas. I did not need their worry, or the stress of worrying about them. In reflection, I should have embraced the support system. 


I have grown, learned, and developed into a man of proper character. 


I am not weak. 


On January 10, 2020, my Father (56) fell in the kitchen and broke three ribs. When asked why he fell, he describes it as, "my brain just sort of turned off." After going to the emergency room for X-rays the doctors discovered some things that raised alarm.


After more scans, tests, and probing, we learned he had cancer in his prostate, kidneys, and liver. 


We are hard people. We do not ask for help. We always attempt to deescalate but are ready for a battle. My father has (which is his RIGHT) decided to refuse treatment. I respect this. Go out on "your own terms" if you will. 


Why am I consistently on the verge of an emotional melt down? 


I think I am running out of places to compartmentalize the emotion, duties, responsibilities? I am well versed in death. I have been to many ceremonies saying goodbye to fallen friends. I have seen people I loved literally ripped to shreds in front of me. Watched a great leader and role model die from a gunshot that our medic tried so hard to treat. 


Why does this one hurt so much more than I ever could have expected? My father is still here. 


I am consistently in the truck moving from one job or meeting to another and in the truck I am crying, snapping at myself, feeling the emotion coming out and forcing all back in. If anyone has seen the film Revolver it is like the scene in the elevator where Jason Statham's character is fighting in his head and suppressing the bad side, only for it to shock back in, and he push it down, and repeat. I really feel like I am holding a failing dam back by plugging my thumb into leak.


I have a duty to carry the weight of this. My dad named me the executor of his estate. My mom has battle depression her whole life, while my sister is in Florida with her career and young son. My dad's family doesn't wish to respect his wishes, and pushes for talks of "feelings, and crying and hugging" (the absolute opposite of my father). After the way my father's siblings behaved when their dad died, I know I need to prepare for them to demand their own expectations. I am not afraid of this. I have a duty and responsibility. 


Why does this one hurt so much? Why suddenly have I lost all of the stoic strength that I have used to carry me through the worst of times? Am I a selfish human being? The pain inside is terrible, but it is not me that has cancer. It is him. I am afraid I am losing this battle. 


I am weak and selfish. 


My father asked for no funeral, no wake, no service. Just two simple request for his death; 


-For everyone that loved him to go bowling and drink some cheap beer. 


I just reread this for editing and seem to have confirmed my own selfishness. 


I do not know if I really even asked a question, or rather just typed and typed in search of some cathartic release. 


I know all of you are suffering far worse than I am. I am sorry. 


I am weak and selfish. 

Super Contributor

Re: I am weak and selfish

I don't hear weak and selfish, I hear great pain and the truth of your humanity coming out. I haven't seen the movie you mentioned, so I don't get the reference, but it does sound like a good metaphor for emotions. You are going through a hugely emotionally gruelling experience. As much as you try to ignore your feelings and carry on there is emotional work you need to do at some stage. Not necessarily talking and hugging and crying, you will find your own method of processing your feelings, but it is there to be done. If you don't deal with your feelings as they come up the work will not go away, it will just be waiting to be done in the future (and if conventional wisdom and my experience is anything to do by, your unresolved emotions will surface at the most inconvenient time). Feeling traumatic emotions takes strength and bravery- use the strength and bravery you already have to acknowlege what you're feeling so you can release it. You've already begun the process with this post, which is great. Nothing you've written is surprising to me- what you are going through is very common when a family member has cancer. There are people here you can vent to, ask questions of and seek understanding from. And we can learn from your strength too. I hope this has been encouraging.

Frequent Contributor

Re: I am weak and selfish

Fully agree with little stitcher ....... you are not weak or selfish.  You are a human being who is going through a emotionally traumatic experience.  Please find ways and people with whom you can release the hurt and pain ..... emotions are like a volcano, they will erupt at some time and you trying to bottle the emotions currently will lead to potential for massive eruption at sometime, usually happens at the most inappropriate time or place.


there are lots of us here who understand how you are feeling and are happy to talk etc.


bit about me - I was a daddy’s girl when I was young.  My dad had a stroke when I was 12yrs which changed his behaviour to the point I was terrified of him.  When I was 16yrs my mum and I fled our family home for our personal safety.  Not long before I turned 21yrs my dad died, due to his various health issues it was a relief for him.  Even though things had not been good between us for over 8yrs I still remember feeling the heartache and the tears when my dad died.   During those years I grew very close to my mum and shared decades with her until she died end of 2006.  Even though I cared for my mum for last 5mths of her life I couldn’t see how her health is fading.  Her death hit me hugely to the point I considered suicide.  The pain I felt when she died was agony but I can’t compare it to the pain and emotional nightmares I have had, and still have, following being told in October last yr that my husband of 5 yrs has stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  



Frequent Contributor

Re: I am weak and selfish



I don’t think your weak.  I’m sorry for your hurt and pain.  As I am dealing with my husbands cancer.  I myself have lost my dad.  I went thru a lot and it’s been since 2007 when he passed.  I still have days where I cry for him.  To hear his voice, a smile even an argument.  I would do anything for another day, even an hour.  Please don’t be sorry.  We all need to vent.  You are not selfish or any other names.  You are hurting as we all are.  Please know I totally understand and I’m sorry.  

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