I appreciate the insight and wisdom my friends and readers have given me throughout this two day stretch. It’s been wonderful and heart rending to feel your prayers and support and to know that I’m definitely not alone.
Blogging for me is a healthy way of venting my frustrations and finding the answers in my ramblings. I love that this is an outlet available to me.
It is also a way to connect with others in my community–and the larger community around me–who have been there, done that or who struggle right along with me. I love that this gives me a way of openness and honesty, even with the fear that some may not fully understand.
Sometimes my life story is brutal and vulnerable all at once. I cannot be real with people without them knowing the harder, darker parts of me. Sometimes, that includes the harder, darker parts of my family history too.
It’s funny. A lot of my fictional writing brings out those darker parts, but people don’t notice it because–let’s be honest–it’s just a story. I find however, that I cannot tell stories without parts of me seeping through on to the pages. It’s not always pretty and it’s not always laughter and rainbows.
It IS me.
I’m okay with that.
I’ve considered sometimes the impact of sharing parts of my story with others–especially when it includes my family. I try to be discreet enough so as not to tell THEIR story as if it were my own. I put pieces of their story in–told from my perspective–as part of my larger story. Again, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows for their parts of the story either.
A great example is the family in which I was raised. We aren’t the most dysfunctional family by far–things could always be worse, right? We do have our own crazy level of dysfunction however, and it shaped a large part of who I am today. I used to be ashamed of those darker parts of our story. And that was a huge part of the problem, I discovered. The more shame and secrecy, the easier it was to put on a facade for others. We were the family who smiled big and said, “We’re just fine” when we walked through our church doors.
In reality, we were isolated and alone in the mess. It bred fear and anger and a whole lot of bitter division that we could have prevented if only we’d reached out to others with vulnerability and honesty. I think that’s a problem in this culture nowadays.
We’ve gotten so accustomed to putting on a false front while inside, we’re dying for love and the freedom to be real. I’ve never been a passive person and that was probably why living lies was so grating on me. Inside I was shouting and hoping that someone would hear me.
Believe me, there are beautiful parts to my story and to my family’s story. I share those on here too because they are just as much a part of me as the dark parts. I do not mean to shame or condemn my family for a past we cannot change. I merely wish to understand my own present and learn how to become a better person in the future.
I grew up in a reactionary home. We fought loud and we fought dirty. The hardest part about it were the threats that we never knew for certain were true or not. Some of my siblings wised up and stayed out of conflict as much as possible. I was not so wise. I rose to the challenge and met my parents with harsh words and raised voice.
When I got married, the first year was rough for me and my husband in large part because he didn’t know what dirty fighting was. The first time he ever raised his voice to me, I laughed because I’d become accustomed to his calm and quiet nature. He was a peacemaker and avoided conflict whenever possible.
It was rough on me too. He was a stuffer and many of our quarrels started because of something that had bothered him for MONTHS before he finally felt brave enough to confront the conflict. Neither of our communication styles worked very well.
We spent a couple years working out those communication flaws and by the time I was pregnant with our first child, I was CONVINCED we had finally gotten closer to that happy medium we both wanted. We were working out conflict and while we didn’t always see eye to eye, we at least talked.
Then I had kids. The temper I thought I’d succeeded at controlling didn’t rear it’s ugly head until my second son was born, but it hit hard. I realized that there were points of weakness in my character that had merely been hidden by the fact that stressors were low and my husband and I had matured in OUR conflict resolution.
It’s a whole lot different when there’s a very sick baby, sleep doesn’t come easily, and another toddler needs my attention and love as well. Stress builds up and somehow, my patience levels were decimated again. It’s amazing what 24/7 care of tiny little bodies can do to a person’s psyche. My emotions were in flux again and the happy medium disappeared. I found myself falling back on old habits of reacting first, thinking later.
There have only been a couple times where I reacted at levels could induce a blog post like the one a few nights ago. My kids are usually happy, whole, well-loved, and energetic little beings and getting to that explosive point on my own personal volcano Richter scale takes quite a lot of effort–or rather, quite a lot of extenuating factors like insomnia, exhaustion, illness, etc. Those times are the times I most regret, because I know my tender little ones have been wounded by me the most in those moments.
I mentioned my father in the last post as part of my venting because those times are times where I do return to my childhood memories and feel the fear and pain again. I know exactly how my littles feel because I was there once.
I’ve “lost it” a lot more than a couple times, but never with the fear that my children and I cannot return to a healed, whole relationship again. I know–as I mentioned–that they are resilient and forgiving and thank GOD for that fact. I know that they will survive and that my repentance and apologies go a LONG way toward healing for them and for me. I know that God gives grace and mercy especially at my lowest and I also know that my children are growing up in a home where their father and I are working together to create a loving, calming, peaceful, joyous environment. We do have our dark parts.
We also have a Savior who shines light on those dark parts and shed his own blood to cover our dark parts with grace and forgiveness.
Brutal honesty, yes.
Shame and fear and hidden places, no.
That’s what my musings are all about. I welcome your insights and questions just as much as I love your encouragements and prayers. I can’t always promise a pretty picture, but I can promise that woven through my story–and my family’s story–is a Grace and Peace that surpasses all understanding.
Some days will be more dark than light. Most days will be stories of hope and healing and the love of a GREAT God uncovering and exposing those dark parts to Light and redemption.
I can never be ashamed of my story because it is a story of Life and Reconciliation and Overwhelming Hope in the Lover of my soul.