Don’t Talk, Don’t Tell All

During my recent absence from writing and posting here, I actually began writing a few different posts, but never quite finished due to various disruptions and interruptions. Here is the first aborted post:

I recently realized that many of my Facebook status updates had been broadcast to the Public for several days. Since I don’t use the geotagging features and seldom post anything of a private nature I wasn’t too concerned over it.

I realized that, as I have been going through and processing a lot of painful, difficult and challenging things in my life and semi-anonymously journaling about them in this very public forum, I had become a very guarded person in most other ways and circumstances in my life.

24 years ago, I offended and scandalized my grandmother with my loud, brash, and overly informative nature.

I don’t really remember where I was going or what prompted it. This is one of the cognitive deficits that I struggle with. I read this and know that I was trying to process through something significant, but because I forget things almost as soon as they’ve happened, important things get lost.

I think I might have been responding to some of the things I see happening in LaLa’s life and how she and I have been interacting. I could also have been processing some of the encounters I had with various people over Thanksgiving week. Maybe all of that was part of it. I don’t really know.

Instead of trying to go back and retrace it though, I think I’m going to start from here.

24 years ago, I acted bold and brash. I had a loud voice, strong opinions, and a fire in my belly to be somebody who others listened and paid attention to. I took the concept of, “we are only sick as our secrets,” and used that as the basis to tell anyone and everyone all of my family’s shocking, shameful and dramatic history. It embarrassed my grandmother greatly and probably was very painful for her to have me rehash.

It never occurred to me that the stories I was telling weren’t just mine and that the people in them weren’t just the ones who had failed me as I was growing up and that their problems and decisions hadn’t only affected me. These stories were about her son and daughter and the man she had once loved and had a life with and who was the father of those children.

Later, as LaLa and Marco were growing up and I was fighting to advocate for them in the educational system and I was struggling to work, parent, go to school, and hold the internal demons at bay, I would tell all to teachers, school counselors, other parents, and people at church. It was always in the interest of trying to work cooperatively and proactively to get others who were involved with our lives on board with guiding, understanding, and provide the supports and services I felt they needed. It often meant that I would tell near strangers and people they didn’t trust or have a relationship with about things they had done or experiences that had happened to them without their knowledge, understanding or approval.

My grandmother was a child of the “don’t talk, don’t tell”generation. I have been part of the “tell all” generation. Partly due to her personality and partly in reaction to my irrepressible public sharing of private information, LaLa is highly sensitive and opposed to the idea of me sharing anything that relates to her.

I have tried really hard to respect those boundaries in writing this blog. However, when something she decided had a major impact on me in emotional and psychological ways, I started writing it out here so I could work through it before I could figure out how to process it with her.

Doing that created a backlash, not just with her but with other significant people, and a whole lot of feelings got hurt, because everyone’s guard went up and already strained and distant relationships seemed to have more stress and tension layered on.

Throughout it all has been the difficult relationship with Jerry, the financial ups and downs with his employment situations, and me trying to cope with the depression and fibromyalgia on my own, while also trying to improve and be the mom Luna, LaLa, and Marco each need me to be.

Every which way I turned I felt I was being criticized, dismissed, and judged for all the mistakes of my past. Feeling rejected because of who I have been. As open and honest as I was here, I became closed and guarded everywhere else.

In some ways I have to be grateful for having gone through this and to some degree continuing to do so. It has forced and enabled me to face some things I had only ever bandaged and dismissed before that really needed to be processed.

However, I am still feeling very tender, fragile and bruised mentally and emotionally. This is probably a significant factor in me not doing much writing during the last week or so of November.

The important thing is that I’m starting to open up to myself again and do the writing. At the same time LaLa and I are achieving a new openness and acceptance I feared we might never achieve again. That’s so precious to me and I’m going to do my best to guard and nurture this. I am so blessed.


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