Rather do without, and just hold a smile…
God, I love The Fray.
I have been thinking a lot about sharing and how the way that I was taught to share has moulded a big part of who I am now.
Here’s the thing. I grew in a pretty close-knit family. This means that on my Mum’s side we can share a lot but on my Dad’s side, everything stays within the four walls at home. I remember once, telling someone at school that my Dad had advised me to check out the loos of any school that I wanted to go to because they would tell me what the school was like. If they couldn’t care for the loos, then the rest was probably rubbish as well. When I relayed this to my Dad, he looked at me sternly and said “whatever your Mum and I say should stay at home! That advice is for you and no one else” It also went for bad-mouthing me. My parents might moan about me at home but they would NEVER moan about me to other people. In one way, it made me feel safe. I knew that my parents wouldn’t spread everything that I said. But in another way, it made me feel trapped.
Because I got older and I realised, as most teenagers do, that I didn’t want to share everything with my parents. I am no Gilmore Girl. My crushes and embarrassing stories and silly things with friends and deepest insecurities felt so personal. Whenever I caught myself on the cusp of sharing, or just afterwards, I would feel like I was so exposed. Like I was in the middle of the sea, surrounded by sharks and not sure if the people in the boat near me would help or betray me. So I didn’t share. I didn’t share my insecurities that I will probably be alone for the rest of my life. I didn’t share the deepest worry that I will disappointment my parents and I didn’t share the first time that I fell, madly, deeply and uncontrollably in love and then when my heart got broken. Partly out of fear (my parents didn’t love the idea of me dating as a teenager), partly because I wanted to savour everything and partly because it felt like I would be too exposed.
But then one day, it got too much.
I was at home and I couldn’t hold it in anymore, because it hurt. I was so tired and I felt like I was bursting with something that I needed to share. So I told my parents about my fears, my depression, my medication and how I felt. It wasn’t easy, it still isn’t. I still have to fight against my Dad telling me to keep things to myself, or to be wary of everyone outside of our home.
But I won’t give up because I know better. It is so refreshing to be able to tell people when I am having a bad day, or when I feel like my meds aren’t working or when I am having panic attacks or days when I cannot get out of bed. I am trying not to go back. I am trying to be free.
Gosh, that is a lot of sharing for a Monday night isn’t it?
Oversharing? Only joking, I do not believe in that term.
Feel free to get in touch and let me know what you think about this and my other posts.
All the best,