By Susan Murphy Milano
Growing up in a home where violence is part of your daily existence does not only affect the victim and the abuser, but it wreaks havoc on children born into this toxic environment well into their adult life.
As an adult survivor of violence and homicide I hid from being labeled a “victim.” I did not want anyone to see me weak, hurt or distraught. I learned how to be in control of my entire world. This included my work with victims of stalking and violence. I created a strong image for the world to see that allowed me to assist those who lived and played in very dark sandboxes, the same box I would go and hide when no one was looking. As if I were playing a game of hide and seek with myself.
I would discover just how dark my sandbox was in the fall of 2009. If you happen to listen to my weekly show on blog talk radio it was evident that something was wrong with my throat and voice. It had a mind of its own. One minute I would be talking in my normal tone and after a few minutes it would raise up and go loud or very rough for no reason at all. My throat would get so bad I timed each of my telephone conversations. By the end of the day my voice was gone and all you could hear was a strained whisper. I attempted to make excuses telling friends and colleagues that I had a cold or a sinus infection. People expressed concern and I continued making excuses.
I had already known for quite some time that something was wrong. I made an appoinment with a doctor. He scheduled me for a biopsy and I waited for the results to come back. I told no one.
Readily, I accepted the diagnosis and did not give it a second thought when the doctors offered me little hope for a full recovery.
In true "Jane Wayne” I can do anything spirit, I was prepared and preparing for the end of my life’s journey. With my new book “Time’s Up” about to release and another book “Holding My Hand Through Hell” scheduled for 2011, I worked with the help of my colleague and close friend Delilah to complete the projects. I was out of gas so to speak with little to no energy, sadly I could no longer continue with the Justice Interrupted program. A show I created to bring awareness for victims of unsolved crimes. This world had shown only darkness and being diagnosed with a life threatening condition I had done what I never let victims of abuse or suvivors of homicide do, give up.
After the holidays my doctor arranged hospice care for when it was time. I decided to say goodbye one by one to friends and colleagues. I made arrangements to visit each person either by car or air bringing special gifts of love as I said my final goodbye.
I was more at peace with dying then I had ever been with living. In my sandbox the light never really warmed the sand.
But the light from my friends was too bright. One by one each rallied around to do what was necessary to keep me here. Their love for me and my work was my river of warmth, love and more importantly light. Almost daily I received books, cd’s and emails of prayers from total strangers. Churches I never heard of contacted me asking how they could help me. Doctor’s in the field offered to provide medical services without charge.
When my health went into a downward spiral a friend flew in to town, rented a car and took me home with her. I had never experienced anyone ever doing anything for me without expecting something back in return.
Several days later I responded to the medication and my health improved. My voice returned and the tumor that was blocking my airway is now gone. I would like to tell you that I had a medical miracle and expect a full recovery. But that is only a small part to my recovery. The miracle is really about God and how he placed all those loving, wonderful people on my path and in my life whom refused to allow me to give up. Words don't seem adequate in describing my deepest thanks, but they are why I am still here.
To my shinning angels, thank you Delilah, Jaemi, Jillian, Kathryn, David, Chris, Nancy, Lavinia, Denise, Neil, Michael, Jay, Christine, Lisa, Jason, Dirk, Cherry, Wanda, Deon, Jennifer, Nicole, Claudine, David, Anny, Mitchell, Patte, Amanda, Diane, Nancy, Paul, Dawn, Margaret, Ward and all the others who have surrounded me with their love and placed me in the light.