I can’t decide if I want this blog to be successful or not. In fact, the day I had the most reads, I went into a panic. What if my ex reads this? What if my kids read this? What if my parents read this? What will they think? What will they say? How hurt will they be?
To share or not to share……that is the question.
While I was going through chemo I sent out emails to the people interested in what was happening. I did this for 2 reasons: 1) to process what was happening to me and 2) to avoid phone calls. I Hate Phone Calls! I enjoyed writing, I got tons of positive feedback, and I felt I finally had an avenue to express my feelings, good, bad and everything in between.
As many things do, it eventually back-fired. People love to judge, fix, comment. Everyone “knows” about what you are experiencing, how to fix it, what things you are doing wrong, and, after a while, they feel free to tell you.
I’m not writing this to judge those who judged me, because, quite frankly, I judge people too! As much as I hate to acknowledge it, I look at certain people and am sure I “know” how to fix them, or what they are doing wrong, or how they are inferior to me. I’m not proud to admit this, but it is true.
As much as I judge others, I am really, really hurt when people judge me and find me lacking. Yes, this is my issue. I’d love to say I’m above it, able to ignore what others think of me, able to feel secure enough in myself that it doesn’t matter if someone puts me down, but I’m Not. Each “recommendation”, or “comment”, or “link” to a resource that will help me feels like a punch to my gut. Some of them actually take my breath away, they hurt so badly. I’ve found myself doubting my integrity, my self-control, my commitment to my children, my ability to step away from being a “drama queen”, my right to exist.
Sometimes, putting myself out there really hurts.
Then there are the people who say how grateful they are that I am sharing my story. They say “I feel like you are writing about my life”, and they thank me for my honesty. If you are reading this and are one of those people, I want you to know that you are the reason I keep doing this. I read your stories, you read my stories, and we feel comfort in the fact that we are not alone.
I think it’s important to share our stories. It has only been in reading other’s stories that I’ve come to see that I Am Not The Crazy One. As many times as my therapist has assured me that the really crazy ones never make it to her office, I can’t internalize that reassurance. Your stories are my reassurance. Your shared experiences, your pain and angst, and your efforts at recovery, are what help me see that I am not the Crazy One.
So, while half of me thinks “share your story; people need to hear it; you can help someone”, the other half of me thinks “who are you to say anything? You have no business putting your life out there. You are pandering to your own pain, and you don’t deserve to put your story out there. There are people in Real Pain, and you are not one”.
On the days I’m thinking these thoughts, if someone chastises me, or suggests that my life would be great if I would only be vegan, or meditate more, or stand up for myself…..well, I break down. And I vow never to write again.
Silence, though, is the enemy. I know this is true, and I know that being silent hurts me, and perhaps others.
To Judge or Not To Judge?
To Write or Not to Write? To Share or Not to Share?
I don’t know.