Sometimes it's not even sort of fun to write about those things, but I love doing it. I get a great deal of positivity out of airing my insecurities and the things in my life that have shamed me.
I write the most about my childhood and teen years and mostly avoid my late teens and twenties. I would love to share my experiences with being a twenty-something adult, but I mean, I have to take a lot into consideration before I could do that. My husband's family could be reading this. My husband IS reading this right now. I hope that someday my children will read everything I've written about them and myself and our lives and the ways we've grown together. I don't ever want to say anything that would make my family cringe a real, deserved cringe.
Hopefully you can understand why I feel okay with talking about something as far removed from my present as my upbringing. My life as a child in an oppressive home, under the pressure of an oppressive religion has nothing to do with my children or husband. None of it was my fault. I didn't choose to be born in a trailer park, you know?
All the ways I lived as a twenty-six year old, I picked those. I picked a lot of things that I would love to spill, but since the grandparents of my children could be reading this, I leave the drugs and most of the rock n roll out. Because my husband is reading this, I leave out the long string of crushing and humiliating endeavors I set out on in the name of boys. He doesn't want to hear all that, and quite frankly, neither do you.
So, maybe it seems like I'm fixated on growing up, or like my childhood really threw me for a loop or something. Really, my entire life up until I had children was an exercise in being unsuitable and indecent. I only allude to so much of it because I just don't want to make anybody feel ashamed to be related to me.
I am not a private person, but I respect the fact that other people are.
I am always going on about how I want to live honestly. I don't mean that I care about being honorable or that you don't see me as a liar. I know I'm not those things. When I say that I try to live honestly, I mean that I try as hard as I can to present something to the world that resembles what I'm thinking, on the inside. I try not to project that I'm better than I feel. I try to live in a way that, the people who are around me understand that every terrible thought they have about themselves, all the ways they feel ashamed and sickened and all the times they curl against their fear and embarassment... all of those things you keep yourself awake at night trembling over. I try to live in a way where you can see all of those things about me. I don't want anybody to have to dig to find out that I am all of those things on the inside, too, just like you.
I believe whole heartedly that keeping secrets about yourself is an absolutely harmful thing to do. Every time you're scared or ashamed and you close it up tight, looking both ways to be sure that no one witnessed your embarassment, and hold that thing inside of you, you're killing yourself. You're rendering yourself powerless.
I used to hold a lot of things inside of me. I used to feel terrified that, if someone were to point out how not good enough I really was, I wouldn't be able to handle it. I was made up of a bunch of reflective surfaces and mud walls. All I wanted was for people to believe that I was well put together. I was happy, in a world full of secretly unhappy people. I wanted people to look at me and think, "She must not feel as bad as I do, because look at her. She's so big and colorful and bold."
Living that way was hard.
People believe it would be too hard to say to the world, "Yes, I know that I'm fat and it embarrasses me," or whatever your deal is. Are you stupid or ugly or nervous or awkward or afraid of your sexuality or boring or neurotic or injured or damaged or whatever? We're all something and we walk around with our coats buttoned up, saying to everybody,
It's so hard to feel that way all the time!
It's so much easier to say the things that poison you inside, to get them outside of you so that you can see them in the light. It's kind of how those things that kept you up all night seem silly in the morning. Once you can see them for what they are, they don't really have any power. They're just smoke.
There's never been any secret about myself that has been worth keeping.
So, if you've wondered why I write the way I do about my life, I hope this explains things. Out of all the choices I've made about living life, being able to humiliate myself by telling the truth has been the most freeing and positive thing I've done.
I'm afraid of everything! That's why I'm not afraid of anything.