Yesterday I got an email from a beloved friend. She shared her confusion regarding my blogging about the private, personal, painful, parts of my life’s journey. I appreciate her candor. Her email was good because I began reflecting on why I’ve been so open.
My mother and father would be horrified to know I’ve told the stories of my depression and Daddy’s death. They were very private people.
Here’s what I’ve sorted out—I began this blog for two reasons: I wanted to write and I wanted my kids to know me as a humanoid beyond being their mom.
My humanoid truths, my personal journey, isn’t all giggles, rainbows, and puppies. I’ve lived some tough stuff. We’ve ALL lived some tough stuff.
When the cleaning ladies come they turn back the corners of our area rugs and wipe up the cooties living under there. The first time they came I bet there were loads of cooties.
Life delivers cooties. Some people prefer to keep life’s cooties under cover. That’s fine for them. My experience of keeping cooties buried created illness. I became clinically depressed when I tried to shove my dirty secrets down. I bet other people have too. It took years of honest therapy, exploring those secrets before I became healthy and felt safe in my own skin, voicing my own opinions.
It could be argued I should have written my truths to my kids privately– it wasn’t necessary to put them on view to the entire planet.
Here on my blog I can look at my “statistics”. Those stats reveal how many views per day, where those views came from. I’ve observed the painful blog posts–daddy’s death, my depression–have gotten more “clicks” than the other posts, as well as the most positive feedback. Those stories have touched people all over the planet, from places as far-ranging as India, China, Pakistan, Ireland, Philippines, Australia, Germany, UK, and Israel.
Why are those posts the most viewed? I asked my insightful step-daughter, Amy, exactly that. Why do so many people want to read the sad stuff? She thought perhaps because we all live sad stuff, but few of us talk about our difficult life affairs. People need to know they aren’t alone. Maybe it helps to hear there is a light at the end of even the longest, darkest tunnel. Hopefully, eventually, they will step into the light.
I want my children to know they can survive the tough stuff. In my experience surviving the painful, horrifying life events meant pulling them out from under the carpet. It meant examining those dreadful moments, reliving them and then purging. A garage sale of the heart.
This blog is about my life’s travels. Most of my life’s excursions have been mundane. Some have been delightful. Yay for that. And a few have brought me to my knees with heartbreak and despair. My kids will live through their own on-their-knees moments. I want them to trust that suffering needn’t only be survived, but through suffering, they will ultimately thrive. Perhaps they can choose to use the pain, examine it, grow from it, and possibly even share it. With sharing they can help someone else weather a personal storm.
So….Thank you, good friend, for your honest email. I know being this candid makes some people in my world uncomfortable. That’s okay. This is my venture. Warts and all it’s what I’ve lived. I’m simply blowing the cooties out. And, with a bit of luck, I’m helping someone else know they can flourish in spite of having endured despair.