Hello beautiful readers! I never intended to write this blog post, in fact it just came to me today as I was ruminating in my emotions, and as they say in the therapy/self help world, things started coming up for me. I’m an expressive person. This is who I am. When I’m not doing ok I say so. I rarely think to hide my feelings so that others won’t judge me, though I will, at times, try to sugar coat things to spare people’s feelings, as well as omit details that would tarnish the reputation of others or embarrass them. But as for my own problems, I don’t really keep secrets, especially not from those closest to me. However I have noticed that the feedback I’ve gotten lately has triggered me into feeling that maybe I’m sharing too much. While I can take responsibility for sharing more than what makes me feel comfortable, I won’t take responsibility for others forming the wrong impressions and judging me. It actually kind of makes me feel less trustful and pisses me off. I just didn’t realize it until now.
When you’re transparent like me, you expect people to judge you. Sometimes you want to put the whole story out there so that if people do judge you, they judge you based on facts that are true and important to you. The thing is that while you expect others to judge you, you also expect the people closest to you to understand you, you expect them to GET IT. And it really sucks when those close people make judgements about you based on their own incorrect assumptions.
I’ve encountered quite a few comments that left me feeling judged and alone at times that I reached out for support when I needed it. It left me feeling that maybe it really is better not to share the whole story…because people don’t respect you as much when they ask how you’re doing and you tell the truth that you aren’t great. I’ve come to find that when people ask you how you are, they actually just want you to say fine, and if they don’t, they only want to hear how bad you’re doing so they can put you in that place where you belong- beneath them. But the question today is- Am I really sharing too much? Or are people labeling me unfairly?
“Hot mess mom” “Your life sucks” “What’s wrong with you?” “You make me not want to have kids/be married” “It’s all in your head” “You wouldn’t have depression if you would just be more positive” “I feel sorry for you” “Your kids are sooo bad” “You could easily just (enter something I could not easily do)”
These are things I hear after sharing honestly about challenges I’ve had/had. Often times the people who say these things have had similar, if not the exact same, challenges as I’ve had and also had a hard time (I know this because they at some point or another told me about it). Other times they’ve never been through what I have and assume I’m over-reacting or that married with kids life actually just sucks. What I wish people would acknowledge is that life has challenges and sometimes it takes work to overcome them and sometimes that work is not easy and it’s ok to be honest! Also, just because I have certain challenges, it does not mean all people like me have them. Every challenge we have is there due to a million little things in life that happened to us by chance in our lives which then led to us making certain decisions that may have worked for or against us.
I would like to say that I’m sure I’ve said some insensitive things as well and I want to apologize. I’m sorry if I have not been supportive when you needed me to be.
What I think all of us want people to express in some way, shape, or form when we tell them we are having a crappy experience is this- “I know that your negative experience does not define your life. I know that you experience joyful days and that you’re going to be ok. I hope I can be of service to you in some way by listening and not judging. After I have listened to you, if desired I can ask questions and then offer my perspective”.
I will now try to live up to this.
The truth is, I share honestly about my problems to help me reflect and find solutions, and also because I need support and understanding in those times. I write about them in my blog for people who are going through the same thing or can relate to my feelings. I also write about things that gave me an intense emotional reaction. I want to express that life is a series of highs and lows, that we can grow because of that, and come out better than we were before. I want to shed a light on the importance of healing and how life-changing it is, and why would I heal if I don’t have anything to heal because I’m perfect? I don’t have a perfect life, but guess what? Not one person I know does either.
You may be wondering if I get such negative feedback because I’m such a negative person. Let me assure you, I don’t hate being a mother, I don’t hate being married, and I don’t hate my life. I do experience joy. It’s just not something I choose to personally tell people about when it doesn’t coincide with some kind of noteworthy event. For example I might call a friend to say how excited I am about an upcoming vacation. I would not think to call a friend to tell them I just had a beautiful day of taking the kids to the park, I reveled in the sunshine, my husband and I shared intimate conversation about our dreams over a picture perfect picnic dinner in our yard, and I got the best sleep ever. That shit is for Instagram lol. Imagine, “Hey girl are you busy? Because I just wanted to call you to tell you that I literally just cried tears of joy about how beautiful my kids are and how blessed I am that I had 4 successful pregnancies, and all of my kids are at the top of their class, and my husband made breakfast today and cleaned the house, and how it’s amazing that I can just get up and not have to worry about war and poverty affecting my day, and how my Starbucks barista is the best, what about you?” Does anyone do that? Is that a thing I should know about but don’t? If it isn’t- I don’t know- maybe it should be?? Maybe the problem isn’t that I’m too honest or that I’m sharing too much, it’s that I’m not sharing ENOUGH of the good stuff.
In the end, there’s a lot of problems in the world and I don’t want to spread more bad vibes. So while I will never stop being transparent, I’m going to experiment venting and telling my negative experiences to my journal instead of my friends and family. This makes me feel strangely uneasy, like I’m leaving them behind and that I won’t feel as close to people, even though it’s just one aspect of my relationships.
I’m ending this blog post with more questions than answers. I guess my biggest question is- How can people really know you if they don’t know both the good and the bad parts of you? Does this mean I have a belief that joy is superficial? Am I still authentic if I don’t tell the world when I’m having a bad time? It just feels like the end of a chapter that left you hanging, I guess it’s time for a new story.
Don’t forget to leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts!