I’ve found sharing here really hard lately. Which is why I’m now catching up on five posts all in one day (or trying to at least…if my laptop wouldn’t keep crashing and deleting everything I’ve written). But I think the reason I’m finding sharing here hard is that I’ve been sharing so much in my personal life. Only really with pc and with my therapist, but it feels like such a lot. It’s tough and it takes your energy, and I’m more of the closed-off/keep-it-to-yourself kind of person. So I’m learning, or rather unlearning, that lesson that it’s bad to share.
The other thing that this makes me think of is of my mum. Ugh. She has always told me and everyone else about how secretive I am. How I never tell her anything, how everything always has to be a secret with me. For obvious reasons, I really truly hate her saying this. Because I mean if it isn’t enough that I’ve obviously had to hold so many secrets; of a family where so much abuse is taking place behind closed doors; emotional, physical, and lucky me, sexual (and let’s be completely clear, she’d have gone mental had I not kept those secrets), then how about all those other times the lesson of ‘keep yourself to yourself, don’t share’ was instilled… How about the time she told me that if I didn’t help her keep a secret from my dad they would get a divorce and it would be my fault? And how about being a little girl and sharing something only to be met with judgement, or anger, or annoyance, or laughter, or a very matter of fact “i don’t care”? How about her telling me how she just tunes herself out and nods along pretending she is listening because she really doesn’t want to listen? So fuck her and her sudden decision that actually, she would now like me to share everything with her. Fuck her.
i have always been desperate to share, to have people know me. i may even have been an oversharer at times, because more than anything, i’ve just wanted to connect with people, in a meaningful way. skipping past the small talk and formalities to get to what’s real. sometimes, i have been so thirsty for connection that i will foster intimacy where there isn’t any, prolonging relationships out of fear of loss, which, as you can imagine, just ended up hurting even more.
historically, i’ve usually put myself out there, way out. not because i was so confident, but because i wasn’t. because i learned that most people really like humour, and self-deprecation, and intelligence, and i could control the room better if i shared who i was, if i laid my cards on the table. i was not interested in playing games, other than that i would get me before anyone else ever could. i am a master reader of body language and non-verbal cues, one of the greatest gifts my unpredictable, volatile mother and father gave me.
and jesus, i was persistent…i always believed the best of people, that if they could see my intentions, if they knew my heart, they would understand. if i shared enough i could be seen, i would be loved. and, i believed that someone would be interested in what was inside…so i shared and shared and shared, all kinds of random things, pseudo-truths, things i thought were important. even if no one shared back, even if they didn’t deserve it or want it, even when they hurt me in return.
i didn’t let many people all the way in. hell, i didn’t let myself all the way in, right? but interestingly, as i did, i started to realize that sharing is sacred act; one i no longer wish to grant to everyone i meet. my heart is very tender, and very bruised, especially over these past few years. and the essence of who i am…who i was…who i’m becoming…is not for public consumption.
so today, over and over, the image that comes to mind is one i’ve written in a poem to my therapist a couple years ago: how i’ve unfurled, and brought her my hurts and my terror and my ugliness and my pain, like small children do with handfuls of bugs or frogs or dandelions, with scribbled pictures, or wobbly somersaults in the grass. like wild leaps from diving boards, to make the biggest splash. like how they might run to you, breathless with anticipation, a water-polished rock in the centre of their palm, for your inspection and approval.
how her tending to me has healed me. and how much more easy, yet hard it is to share my self with others. and how, when i do, the ones i have chosen to stay near continue to heal me and love me. (i’m looking at you, pocketbrit.)
I have always been an uncertain person. For as long as I can remember. And whether I was like that before or not, my childhood would definitely have made me an uncertain person.
And it’s an annoying thing to be, to never be totally sure, to not want to make decisions, to always hold back. Except this is one way that I’ve adapted. Because i’ll be really really uncertain. Anxiety will kick in, I will be going over and over, no quite sure…I think this, but what if that’s the wrong thing, the wrong answer, the wrong thing to do. Until at some point I switch all of that off (I dissociate), and I go into ‘just-do-it mode’. Where I keep my head upright, I look forward and I just do. I push all those other voices far away and I get on with it. And you know what, I kind of like this about me. I don’t like the feeling uncertain, not at all, but if I’m going to be like that I’m glad I have this way to manage. After all, most of my decisions are made this way. It feels kind of resilient.
This word makes me think of all of those people that enable abuse to take place. All those questions that weren’t asked, all those times a blind eye was turned, all those times it would cause too much hassle to pry.
It makes me think of our mothers.