Have you ever wanted to break open the emotional piggy bank and let everything out, but your afraid to because other people are watching and they might not understand, might take what you say or do the wong way or worse yet, use you as an example of what they should or should not be thinking, feeling, or doing?
Maybe I’m just too sensitive for my own good.
When I first started blogging, I let everything show. I was wearing my heart on my sleeve and everyone could see when I was bleeding to death, even those times I couldn’t see it for myself. The thing was, I didn’t think about how my words were impacting others. I guess hiding behind a computer screen made it all seem surreal. Yes, I was I was in pain, lost and confused and I needed some way to make sense out of it all and writing just seemed to be a natural way to do so… those cool, black letters sitting on the screen gave me a calm, rational way to look inside my own head. The problem of course is, others get to look as well.
I first began to worry about his when I thought I was acting like a puppy chasing my own tail, just going over the same ground again and again, but I still didn’t connect the dots.
Then one day I did. I mean I really, really did. I have seen others reference something I said or even an entire post and while it was amazing to see, I failed to appreciate just what was happening. There were people out there, real, living, breathing human beings who read my words and they had a large enough effect someone felt a need to answer in their own way.
That’s enough to scare the be-jebbers out of me when I let it sink in.
I understand the power of words, I know how helpful they can be when spoken at just the right moment. I also know how dangerous they can be and how much damage, unintended or otherwise, they can do when misspoken.
Once, a long time ago on a service far, far away; I was quite active in message boards and chat rooms. It was all very interesting. I met some great people and had some fun times jumping from one place to the next. Yet it didn’t feel real to me, not really, until I got into a singular conversation with a young lady and I made a terrible mistake.
You see, she confessed to having been raped when she was younger. We spent a good deal of time discussing this and the fact she blamed herself for what happened… I meant to tell her is wasn’t her fault, that she did nothing wrong… I typed away and hit “Enter” and then read what I had just sent…
“It was your fault.”
One stupid, thoughtless typo and I had just destroyed someone life.
I was horrified, I tried to explain, I tried to apologize, but how can you ever undo something like that? Simple. You can’t. Ever. I was able to work through it with her but it took hours, days, and even now I doubt the damage was ever undone in even the smallest way. Just thinking of it now, all these years later, still makes me sick to my stomach. We did stay in touch for awhile but eventually she faded away and I can only hope and pray is she was alb to get the help she needed and is living a happier life today. But I’ll never know for sure and I have to live with that knowledge for the rest of my life.
Knowing this, I am ashamed of the fact I again fell into a place where the words didn’t hold that same sense of danger as they did that night so long ago. One would think I would never forget a lesson such as that, but I did. When it finally came back to me, it nearly paralyzed me. I’ve been deathly afraid of opening up this way again, to show to you who read this that sometimes I end up fighting the same battles over and over again. To show there are good days, bad day, and some really horrible, terrible days when I find myself wanting to physically harm myself. I’m afraid to show the extent of the emotional scars I carry. The depths to which I sometimes fall. I know, we all know, life isn’t a perfect rose without thorns. It can be dirty and nasty and it can hurt you. Really, really badly. The thing is, I don’t want it to be my words which cause such pain. It rips my own heart to pieces when it happens and I can never fully forgive myself.
This has meant days when all I can do is link to news stories, or maybe reblog a post I think is interesting and some times it’s just a simple little poem to fill the empty spaces…
But it hurts my writing when I try to censor myself. When I try to polish off the edges of my emotions.
Sometimes what I think and feel is like walking across a parking lot covered in glass shards. Sometimes I am so overcome with emotions my face is soaked with tears… How do I convey such thing to you? I mean really… in the desert which is a computer screen, where words are truly black and white, without all of the inflection of a human voice to carry them….
How do I do this?
More to the point, how do I do this without causing harm where none is intended? How can I show you the hope I hold in my heart even when I am crying? How to I shine a light into the darkness when I am terrified of the dark? How do I show you… any of you…
That despite all the pain, all of sadness and fear, there is a reason to continue on. A reason to fight for a future which might never come, but never will unless we demand it?
How… how do I show you I wouldn’t want to do anything other than what I have, made the decisions I have made, walked this road I have walked, putting one foot in front of the other even when it seems pointless because I simply could not imagine doing otherwise…