Who has to Know
Awhile back I get a great deal of thought to actually writing a book of my early childhood and growing into a young man and living with systic lymphangioma, and all the things that seem to come with a birthmark and such like confidence and self-esteem issues. Guess I'll use this topic to briefly outline my story, my life.
I was born, premature, September 26th 1987. I was immediately rushed into another room in which I was put in an inccubater until doctors could diagnose the tumor-esque formation on my right side, it was later announced that I was born with a hemangioma (wrongly diagnosed). My mother and father were greatly worried, only in two different states of mind. My mother was worried for my safety and well being, while my father was worried that I'd never be normal and what people would think of his freakish son. No one would be allowed to really visit me for awhile, my father told my grandmother I was sick and when she found out what I had she simply said "maybe he'll die and not have to suffer".
But I didn't die, I grew up. At 23 months old I was operated on by a doctor at the Montreal Children's Hospital and they thought they had got ever piece of the tumor out of me and that everything was fine, well everything was not fine. The large tumour like mass had subsided but scab like lymph cells formed on my skin in a few different areas. There was nothing medical science could do for me at the time without complicating it and making it worse. So I continued living my life with what I had.
I was ashamed to take off my shirt in public, afraid what people make say or even think of me. Just a little boy already having self-esteem problems. Sometimes I forgot it was even there, no one else knew since it was on my right side then no one would have to see it. But I knew deep down I was different, even if no one else knew. I couldn't join the football team and play contact sports because I could seriously hurt myself. Atleast art and video games were an option, and even to this day I can draw like an artist and get headshots in Halo.
But I drew monsters and grotesque creatures, I didn't think of it back then but it crosses my mind now and again. Maybe I drew these monsters, because that's how I felt, like a monster.
In second grade a boy kicked me in my side, but there was nothing the school could do because the boy had a mild mental retardation, still my mother protested. But my teacher didn't believe this, and without my families consent insisted I lift my shirt and show her my lymphangioma and I did shaking and ashamed as I did so. My whole class saw that I was different, that I was a monster. Not a real monster, but I felt like one.
Years passed and I never had to really worry about it much, until high school that is. Gym class required that everyone changed in the changing room. But I didn't want anyone to know or see, I didn't want to feel the stares of the others like I did back in grade 2. So I slapped on deoderant and didn't change or wait till all the others had gone so that I could change, even if that meant being late for class.
As years went on I got a increasing interest in girls and relationships but I thought who would want to be with a freak like me. So I pushed people away from me emotionally. Towards the end of high school I met a girl named Melissa and became good friends with her quickly and even told my deepest secret of my lymphangioma to her and she seemed to accept it. We began to date and I knew I'd have to show her, and I did with much fear. And she didn't see me any differently, in fact she wanted to touch it and even wanted to know more about it as to not harm me in anyway.
Many people I've gotten close to have accepted me and my lymphangioma, but the one person who has never been sensitive and understanding about it is my own father. He acts like I don't have it, and not in the sense of seeing past it to seeing the real me, he acts like it never happened. And when I discuss it or need to goto an appointment he always starts an arguement with me, he'll never understand, to him no one has ever lived a harder life than he has or gone through the pains and trials as he did.