For those of you who don’t know, I’m a writer of children’s chapter books (unpublished as yet), so I found it amusing that my counsellor should advise me to write about my feelings and experiences. She doesn’t know I write and she doesn’t know about this website. That side of my life is unimportant when I sit with her. I’m there to talk about my grief, not my writing. And I didn’t bother telling her. However, she’s the second person this week who has said this to me.
For me, writing is therapy. It helps me get the details straightened out. It helps me sort through the true facts and the nonsense my mind throws in there to confuse me. It also helps to relieve the pressure. By sharing the information, I’m off loading the stress and that’s good for my well being.
When I started this blog I did so with the promise (to myself) that I would be open and honest. That was before so many people I know (in real life) discovered the site existed. Now, I find myself holding back because I don’t want to hurt people and/or worry them. Yet that was a risk I took by making this “diary” public.
At present, I’m trying to work out where I stand on all this exposure. Will I continue to document our journey? Should I stop and take the suffering behind closed doors? When it was just strangers on the internet reading my words, it was fine, but now that family and friends of my entire family are finding their way here…I’m not so sure.
Having said this, everyone who has commented on what they have read here, have been supportive. The feedback has been positive. Family members, who live some distance away from us, tell me that they feel connected to us through my words. They now understand what happened during those dark hours through My Story, and they understand what my immediate family must be suffering. There is still so much more that I want to write about, but how can I be sure that no one will get hurt? Yes, people will cry and be upset, I expect that to happen, but when I say “hurt”, I mean really hurt. I would never intentionally do that to anyone. Writing is a way for me to release the pressure on my own shoulders, but in doing this I would never want to shift that pressure to someone else.
On the other hand, I have people out there who I want to reach out to. Unknown people. Families like mine. Teenagers like Barry. Parents like me. It’s important that the facts are shared and documented. It’s important that suicidal people know that there is help. It’s important to me to carry on with what I’m doing.
And this is just another example of where I’m trying to do the right thing by everyone. I’m told that I have to stop doing this, that it will eventually do my head in. I’m told that everyone else is quite capable of taking care of themselves; I don’t have to be there for everyone, all the time. I’m told that I have to look after me too.
I have to stop here, because now I’m started to confuse myself (again).