There’s a difference between shame and private.

The Minimalists

Do you ever start writing something and just feel, in the pit of your stomach, that it’s really not a good idea? I started writing a post here about shame and just felt very not chill about the example I was using. Delete, delete, delete. It’s easy to delete a post here before I press publish and sometimes just the act of writing it is helpful and publishing is pointless. Delete.

Very much harder to press publish and try to pull the words back in. The internet seems to have such an appetite for destruction. I can write til I am blue in the face about my writing, my life, blah, blah, blah…but I could write about the embarrassing photos that were sent to my parents and that fucker would go viral… Imagine, oh dear, I should have mentioned those damn things when I wrote about stuff that definitely would have been posted on social media if we’d had it back in our day. My so-called friends would not have hesitated to post pics of me and my boyfriend…How exactly do teenagers survive with social media…?

Growing up in the church means I know quite a bit about shame and I have experienced things that were not kept private but made to feel very shameful. I have also “experienced” some things that were kept very private and feel shameful now as they come to light years later. Things that were none of my business but have somehow wedged themselves into my consciousness and are now working their way to the surface like a festering splinter.

My Nanowrimo project for next month is going to be an unusual one. I won’t be trying to win (make the 50K) because I’ll be working on a really personal project and the second draft of The Circle (was called The Circle of Ashes/Ash, but the working title is now simply The Circle. Here’s my Pinterest board on the story.)

The personal project will see me writing about a certain events in my life that I can’t talk about with anyone. Perhaps one day I will talk to a therapist about it, but this is some stuff that only touched me because I was on the periphery. Stuff I saw, stuff I heard, lies that were told to save people from painful situations. It’s all very much in the past and I’d love to leave it there, so yeah, I’ll be writing it all down, get my hubby to read it and then burn it like an amputation.

I’ll be writing it in the format of The Bride Stripped Bare by Anonymous. There will be a “lesson” and some prose but other than that I am not sure what will come out in the process.

It might go a little something like this…

Lesson 1 There is no loyalty

She kept saying he had a broken heart. It was true but it wasn’t just that particular day that broke it. It’d been breaking for years. He was guarded, jovial, but anyone had to just look at him for more than a few minutes and realise that he was disappointed with life in general, and his life specifically. He used to do so much for other people and wonder why they took him for granted. That’s what people do. The more you do for people the more they expect. I am putting my own twist on the words here, but I am looking at him telling the story of the sliver of the man I was allowed to know.

No one could deny he worked hard but there is such a thing as luck, I don’t care what anyone says. He worked and other people benefitted and that’s what made him bitter, I think. He didn’t go Michael Douglas Falling Down. He didn’t go Jack Nicholson The Shining. He went sadly, quietly, inward and isn’t that the worst kind of mental illness?

hit the mat and get real, as Sharon Salzburg says. It’s up to you to sort your shit out.