“Cancer isn’t killing you, you’re killing yourself.”
After watching Nightbirde’s (real name Jane Marczewski) beautiful performance on America’s Got Talent, and finding out that she went to the auditions alone, many wondered where her family was at that time. After all, how could anyone not be in love with her angelic voice, beautiful face, and expressive eyes.
But Jane did get married—to a fellow musician Jeremy Claudio back in 2015. They had a lovely intimate wedding in an old building from the 1920s in Newark, Ohio. According to The Knot, the couple was very hands on with the details, filling up the place with lots of greens. The wedding ceremony ended with dinner at the building’s Sparta Restaurant & Coffee Shop. All the guests had the couple’s very first meal when they discovered Sparta—chicken and waffles with homemade hot-pepper jelly and home fries.
Within a span of five years, the couple, especially Jane, went through a lot of challenges—mainly bouts of cancer that gave her less than double-digit chances of survival every time. “I have had cancer three times now, and I have barely passed thirty,” she posted on her blog.
The song “It’s Okay” which she composed and sang in America’s Got Talent is about her journey the past year. She tells Access, “This was the song that I wrote for myself that I needed to hear. In the beginning of 2020, I was diagnosed with cancer, given six months to live. Two weeks later, I went through divorce. My husband said he didn’t want to do it anymore.”
In one of her recent post, she shares podcast with the caption, “It’s the realest I’ve ever been about the collapse of my marriage and the lies that were keeping me sick.” Tuning in to part four (Was I lying to myself?) of R.E.S.T. podcast between Jane and Virgina Dixon on Understanding How You Love and Attachment, Virgina helped Dixon in her journey of understanding herself better and what relationships should be like. “I got into this marriage against the advice of my whole family. So I met him and he was everything thatI ever dreamed of. It was romantic and it was exciting, and my family and my parents saw some red flags and I did not listen to them, because I did not respect for the way that they had had their marriage. So that was like a revolt on my part and a lack of wisdom on my part.”
“I got married and we moved to Nashville. We’re both artists, and we kind of fell into the rhythm that I was the parent in the relationship. I bought 90 percent of the income, I cook, I cleaned, I did the grocery, I took the car to get the oil changed, I fed the dog, I mowed the grass. I did everything because that was the rhythm of my life,” she realized. Burnt out, but because this was what she was accustomed to, she kept telling herself at that time, “Please, please, please. Perform, perform.”
She also added that “because of my husband’s own emotional trauma, he was impossible to please and controlling and extremely critical.” She also realized, in hindsight, that she had “come back to the same pattern of overachieving and never reaching the mark.”
“At that time, I didn’t realize that it was unhealthy, that it was abusive… until I became aware of my attachment style and because of my family history, I didn’t realize that I was unhealthy.” Virginia added, “Cancer isn’t killing you, you’re killing yourself.”
Jane remembered the emotions that have always dominated her life, thoughts such as “I need to strive, I need to control if I only worked hard enough, I would have all the things I want and get what I deserved.” Life didn’t go the way she planned, “I was getting angry trying to control.”
Eventually, she realized that the outcome is not in her hands, but what matters is, as Virginia said, is to “understand how you got to where you are, and how to get out.” She stressed the importance of communicating what you need to yourself, to God, and then to others.
And that’s when Jane started to let go, and when she did, “When I let go or stop trying to control the situation, then the goodness of life and the goodness of God just took over. Things have been looking up for me.”