Writing is the best medicine for a troubled heart. The heavy cargo you were lugging around is finally unloaded and the relief is palpable. Confusion and restlessness are replaced with clarity in your mind.
You release those pent-up emotions and come to terms with the traumas you grieved deep inside. You reach new levels of understanding and self-acceptance.
So, if WRITING was JUST what the doctor ordered, why was there an accompanying uncomfortable feeling that I just couldn’t shake off?
I mostly wrote of my parenting trials and often I was NOT singing my kid’s praises.
I wrote of the times I was so frustrated that I DIDN’T WANT to be a mother anymore, the times I DIDN’T LIKE my kids, the times I wanted to run and hide at an underground location where they couldn’t find me.
I wanted to speak my TRUTH and OWN it. Yet, it wasn’t easy to let my words see the light of day.
For I feared –
How would my kids feel one day when they read my raw words and it coursed through their veins?
Would anger and embarrassment shadow them from then on?
Would they understand where I, their mother came from or would I leave them more hurt?
My 11-year-old has always been very curious about my writing. He always tries to sneak up and catch a glimpse of this secret Inca text as I type. I have to repeatedly shoo him away.
One day my son came running and said to me,
“Mom, when I put your name in Google, it says you are a writer on Medium. You are FAMOUS!”
He was super excited that he was LEGIT related to someone famous.
YIKES!! THE PERILS OF BEING FAMOUS!
“You DO know you will be charged $100, if you are not a member and click on an article , RIGHT ?? “ I said to him in an Oscar Worthy tone, which he atonce believed.
Awesome quick thinking Tina!
Phew! I was safe for the time being, but knowing my kid’s nosy nature, I’m sure their pupils will be dilating at my words sooner than later.
My only hope is that they would come to understand that my words were about ME and MY mistakes and not about anything they did.
I always told my kids that the only way to move forward in life was to take responsibility for their actions. If I didn’t model that, how could I ever expect them to do the same in life?
This is me taking responsibility for all my parental shortcomings.
I am the one who messed up, NOT you.
Sorry for making you feel, you were responsible for my behavior… You are NOT, I am.
My words are my confessional, my apology as well as my love letter to them.
Writing about my parents…….Now, this is where it gets scary!
First, a little backstory.
I am the daughter of an English teacher. My mom tried hard to instill a love for reading in me since I was little, but I greatly abhorred it at the time. I thought how boring those people were who buried their heads in a book.
Fast forward 20 years later, I gobble up anything that has words on it.
So, my greatest wish is to see the look on my mom’s face as she reads my writing. Will it pass her high standards? Will she clap for her daughter ?
But at the same time, my mom doesn’t like to be even teased privately on a WhatsApp Family group with 10 members.
She once called me early in the morning NOT PLEASED, because I joked on the group that I was going to share a picture of her cutting her birthday cake in a nightdress. She actually looked perfectly decent in that pic.
She was petrified that I was going to carry through with the action and the whole group would see her in her nightdress.
So, let’s just say she won’t be excited to learn her daughter is a literary contributor to #FamilySecrets viewed by just a million people.
She will be hysterical and on the next flight to shut down Medium. If Medium suddenly goes offline, you know what happened. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
“You never air your family’s dirty linens.” mom always said .
You keep up the smiling facade, it doesn’t matter if your heart is bleeding inside.
You put on the sunglasses, hide the big bruise on your eye and make sure the show goes on.
‘What people think about you is more important than how you feel inside.’ was my mom’s philosophy.
Life was not kind to my mom, ever since she was a child. Maybe it was her upbringing and resulting deep insecurity that made her feel like that.
My mom is kind of an IRON lady. But I DIDN’T want her to be so TOUGH and impenetrable.
Mom, it’s okay to be vulnerable..You won’t be thought of as WEAK.
I understood that putting up a tough front was her defense mechanism for dealing with her harsh reality.
Yet, I wanted her to uncloak the 2 ton tough exterior weighing her down and just exhale.
Putting on appearances for my mother was taking a toll on me also. My closeted emotions weakened my inner foundation, for my happy outside front didn’t match my raging insides.
My floundering self-esteem attempted and failed to grow sparse roots on that crumbling foundation.
Now I realized why writing made me SMILE. My submarined emotions finally got a chance to surface and breathe life. Man, it felt good.
There is no greater healing for the soul than getting to be your most authentic self.
I understand my parents will be offended if they do read some of my posts.All the care and years they have put into me will come to mind and they will feel rightfully hurt.
Instead of gratitude, this is what their child returns? It did make me feel guilty.
My parents were not perfect. I carry the emotional scars from my childhood all these years later. That bruise faded, but the words got tattooed in my heart.
But I realize my parents did the best they could, considering the emotional baggage they themselves carried from their own wounded past.
I have been an imperfect parent myself. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. So, how could I point fingers at others, even if they were my own parents?
Years down the road, if my own kids decide to write about me in a poor light, it will STING.
But I have to realize, that they are entitled to those feelings. It is their personal truth and cannot be discredited. It will, after all, be of my OWN doing. I must accept and respect all their reactions big and small.
I hope they realize that this was my journey as their mom. It had to be told in it’s truest form if it was to touch someone else on their journey.
Being a writer DEMANDS that you always stay true to yourself, flaws and all.
It doesn’t matter even if we are 70 years old, WE ARE STILL OUR CHILDHOOD. Sohow could I write about me and not even hint at the big elephant in the room that MADE me ME?
Writing about my family is inevitable if I am to write, otherwise, I might as well be writing about daisies in the field.
In the end, all I can do is to write with as much sensitivity as possible while staying true to myself.
Now there are some people whom I would WANT to read my work.
Quiet and introverted people are often equaled to having no personality. As one myself, I have experienced this first hand from relatives, peers and even my own parents. We hold little worth, sometimes not enough to even merit a second glance.
We are just the background props, not the lead actors that people wish to read lines with.
We are the small fry, not the big leagues that the cool fish wish to swim with.
If we are quiet, that must mean that we are lackluster, antisocial, don’t know anything and don’t have anything to say, basically, we have no SUBSTANCE.
To all those cool fish who ignored me-
I WILL GIVE YOU SUBSTANCE, BUT CAN YOU HANDLE IT ???