Today is the first day of June. It’s also the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and like any new camper, I’m terrified. I got an email from a high school buddy offering encouragement and a sorta “go get ’em” note and my heart soared because he’s just that nice. It wasn’t a “sorta” go get ’em note, it was a go get ’em note… I’m inserting sorta because I’m a mess about it. His wife won NaNoWriMo last year and he’s among the most honorable guys in the whole world, including my own husband who is truly the cat’s pajamas. My friend and The BreadWinner would get along well.

I think my soul has wanted me to to be a writer since before I was born, but my brain wanted to be one since I was able to spell.

I’m terrified because I’m totally changing my plans at the last minute. I think I want to write about myself instead of the two books I’ve already got in the hopper.

I talk to a lot of people and I tend to give a lot of advice. Most of it I follow myself, except the one that seems to be doing the most damage to me: living for other people.

I’m 44.7 years old and I’m staring down between the barrels of doing what’s gonna be nice for someone else or doing what’s gotta be done for myself.

So I’ll say this: I read a few blogs yesterday (they’re coming up in a sec) and they spoke to me like nothing else I’ve read lately. I have pain in my heart and those blogs showed me that it’s OK to let it out and to talk about things. Don’t worry: this isn’t a tell-all moment. Don’t expect me to tear the lid off my original family’s golden secrets, but I will say this: I am part of that system and I’m a bit messed up from it. I’ve reacted to stuff and danced on peoples’ heads and whipped around like a viper at people because of my anger.

One of my best friends in the whole wide world (I have 4 that I’m not related to) has told me time and again: if you’re gonna tell a story, better make sure it’s yours. She’s not talking about plagiarism; she’s talking about honor. She’s talking about boundaries. She’s talking about not paraphrasing for others on their behalf without their knowledge, input or consent. That would be wrong. And she’s completely right.

So I have to toe a very fine line here. I try to maintain that line whenever I write and I think I do a pretty good job of it.

I woke up this morning knowing about Camp. I was feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of doing anything that I wanted to do for myself on my own behalf. It’s hard to separate yourself from your parents and sibs. Very often when one of us would do something well, we would hear about which parent we got that behavior from – it was never a “God-given gift…” it was definitely from one of them or their parents. As related people in a single unit, this is natural: we all intermingle. But I know without a doubt that my older brother does what he wants because he likes it. I mostly do what I want because I like it, but I also hold back a lot because I’m afraid of disappointing my parents; and that holding back is like a pebble in a running shoe; it’s a small thing, but it really slows me down.

I’m not a fast runner anymore.

I’m 44.7 years old.

I have to remind myself this. Even now. My older brother reminds me of this frequently. It stinks. He’s right.

This whole thing is a stream of consciousness, it’s coming off my fingertips and my recall on earlier related thoughts is profound as hell so I think I’m supposed to keep going.

So, blah blah blah, I was feeling pretty low about myself this morning…. I go in for my annual pap smear exam in about an hour, so that’s gonna suck. I mean, really. I’ll stop there, but let me tell all the men out there, that your mom had to do this too, so before you get all, “man, I don’t wanna hear about that… ” you can go take a very long walk off a very short pier. Your mom had a vagina. You were very likely conceived via it. Many of you were born through a vagina (I said it again). I was not. I don’t know what I was missing, but apparently, it’s a big deal. My not being born via a vagina (again! this is fun!) however does not diminish my Self and before I go on any more about that (which I won’t), I will say this: it doesn’t matter to me. VAGINA VAGINA! OK, I’m done. Hey, let’s meet at Target and walk through the lingerie or feminine hygiene section together…

Anyone (this is about my mom here):  who is blessed enough to be able to carry a baby to term two years after a previous son didn’t live past three days and deliver those babies however she can is a rockstar to me. Four years after after she had me, she had another son and he’s still here. I love my brothers, I even love the one I don’t know; (true story): I talk to him sometimes.

My mother’s story is amazingly layered, and it’s not mine to tell. She has seen more loss and more tragedy and kept going to experience more, than I can ever imagine for myself. She is one of the strongest people I know, yet our relationship is fraught, because you can’t go over all those bumps in life without knocking over some people. Y’know what kills me? She’s OK with how things are; I mean, she would like us to be closer (and so would I – I just don’t know how, there’s a lot of stuff there), but she’s OK with it. The bottom line is that I love her and even though my life was hard (read on, you’ll see), she must’ve done a few things right or I’d be dead or in prison.

I woke up feeling like dog doo this morning because I happened upon a blog by a new FB blog acquaintance last night which truly humbled me. She’s great, she’s also very successful at what she’s doing. She’s got a thousand outlets and ads and followers and that’s all because I know she works harder than a bumble bee at it. Her blog is called DeBie Hive, and last night I was totally in awe. I saw her confess to something personal: that she had battled anorexia during a time in her life. I stopped reading it after the plug because frankly, I’ve found that kind of writing, those confessionals, to be sorta blech. It’s probably my borrowed WASP upbringing, a lá “We don’t talk about such things, dear.” I feel like confessions like that are supposed to just do what they do: drive interest and increase readership. But I returned to it and I read it and I’m glad I did because she’s still here here to tell the story and proof that there’s a way out of it all. I also accepted that my inability to deal with her confession means more about me than her: that I couldn’t allow a flaw in something and that denying it was better than allowing it. I had to get out of my head the idea that her confession was like a Jerry Springer show: there were no flying chairs or screaming people or crying babies. This was a simple and elegant statement about her past and I know it did her some good to come out and share it. This writer is a cyclone of energy: she’s a doula (they rock), she makes her own four kids’ clothes, makes meals from scratch, writes, has a lot of blogs, is in the process of writing four books and is well, amazing. I wrote her a note, not about the post, but about my newness to her site and my utter amazement I have with all her abilities.* Sheepishly I admitted to myself that I’ve no problem opening a box to start a meal and buying my kids’ clothes from a store.

*(We bloggers never really know if people read our stuff anyway when we post it unless they comment. We just hope they do. I have reached out to people I simply do not know on more than one occasion to let them know that what they’ve written or shared has touched me. I did it last month when I was writing about Ahimsa. The woman I don’t know, a PhD in music and ballet in Connecticut, wrote me back almost instantly thanking me for telling her how what she wrote, her master’s thesis, inspired me.  It’s little things like that, those things I’m perfectly happy to do, that can help everyone have a better day.)

I also read a blog by another great writer who’s got a terrific sense of humor, great timing, a wonderful sense of herself and a completely real outlook on her life. Her blog is called I Want A Dumpster Baby and it’s very funny and poignant stuff. She’s a happily (almost giddy) recovering alcoholic and she’s quite clear about it but there is no muttering and self-woe going on. She very much wants to have a baby with her husband and her blog is about her life with that as a mission. She is very honest about her situation and her overwhelming sense of gratitude about her life now in recovery. She writes every Thursday about gratitude and yesterday’s post was totally refreshing and completely inspiring that she’s so out in the open about it. No shame in recovery. No shame in her past; she is here to tell the story and be proud of who she is and gall dang, if that don’t just beat all, I don’t know what does.

Then I read another blog by a woman who calls herself the “incompetent hausfrau” and she’s funny too. She posted briefly, pointedly and succinctly the other day about her alcoholic mother  and the numerous violent and unsuccessful attempts her mother has made on her own life. I read with awe because she said at the end that she knows God loves her mother because her mother is still here and that the takeaway at the end is that God loves us all and that We Are All Meant To Be Here. I sighed and reflected on her post: I have experienced some of what she shared as a witnessing daughter to my own mother’s addictions, but I didn’t have the guts to say so because it’s not my story. But as I sit here and stare at this screen and watch my fingers type these words, I realize that just because it’s not my addiction and my pain that my mother experienced, I was involved; I do have a story. I am part of that story.

I am a survivor of and witness to gut-wrenching family dysfunction and suffering. I wasn’t raped or locked in a basement with no food or light. I wasn’t beaten every night, I wasn’t burned or cut, but I suffered emotionally; I was neglected and ignored, secondary to disorders and addictions and coping skills that never meant me personal harm but that hurt me anyway. The word “incidental” comes to mind; “unintentional grounding” (like in football) or “unforced error” (like in baseball); “benign neglect” is another phrase and these experiences have shaped me and made me efficient, indifferent, cold, hard, tough and strong (sometimes I miss those ways!). There is no getting around the fact that I was an encumbrance to a woman who was suffering mental disorders and a father who coped the best he knew how and did everything he could to keep us afloat financially and that meant working like a beaver every day and into the night. My parents are old now: my dad is 80 and my mother will be 78 shortly. They are both very bright – some of the smartest people I know. Mom has a great sense of humor, a bizarre strength that she draws from to keep her going yet not going enough to really recover and empower herself. Regardless of her disorder, there’s something emotional, spiritual holding her back, always has been because no one with her amount of self interest should not be as artistically silent as she is, and while I don’t know exactly what it is, I fear I have it too.  My dad is very bright as well, he doesn’t like to talk about problems, he thinks therapy is for other people; he has a very strong sense of his relationship with God that I can not boast for myself. I am envious of the peace he seems to find in Christ. I know it is available to me, I just don’t feel worthy sometimes of God’s love because I am still so angry inside.

The 1960s and 1970s were not a fashionable time to raise children. Women wanted their independence and men were fighting it. All my life I have heard from my mother that she chose marriage over a career on the stage; that she put everything on hold. That she never submitted her cartoons, some of them brilliant, to The New Yorker. We moved in 1981 to a 10-year-old  house in Virginia, “a kleenex box” as my mother calls it from an old victorian in Buffalo, NY. The house in NY is luckier for our departure as my parents are reluctant property maintainers. The fact of the matter is that when my parents moved into our first family house in Buffalo, I have been told that a neighbor told my mother that she’d “rather have clean blacks live next door” than my family. Ahh, the 60s in America. My mother still pines for that house. She still talks about the past and her choices as though some of them are still viable. I’ve had regret over not ordering the cheesecake or buying the red heels instead of the navy flats, but to spend your entire mental existence in the “what ifs” and “I coulda dones” is a recipe for a tumor, yet she continues with it. It’s hard to witness, but I have to figure out a way to let it go.

I have proof of that statement about the tumor. A few years ago, when I was in the midst of ACOA, psychotherapy and other fun spiritual and mental purges, I consulted on the phone with someone some of you might consider a quack. She’s not. Her name is Dr. Mona Lisa Schulz and she’s a medical intuitive: she’s a medical doctor with a practice in neurology and brain trauma and also a gifted psychic. I went to her on the recommendation of a friend after suffering for years with IBS. Part of my condition is genetic and part of it is emotional. I called Mona Lisa in July 2007 and she gave me the straight poop. No pun intended. She only wanted to know my age, my name and my gender and off we went. She did a visual scan of my body, my chakras and zeroed in on my 3rd chakra (I’ll write about chakras sometime later) located in the abdomen, which is our place/home of personal power, sense of self,  self respect and addictions. If you don’t wanna know about what’s going on between your spirit and your body, don’t contact her because she will absolutely tell you.

She said she saw irritation, intestinal inflammation but no blockages (“Ya got that right!” I wanted to say). She said she saw pain and cramping and discomfort. I was bowled over (almost typed “boweled” – no joke!); rapt with attention.  You don’t interrupt her when you’re with her on the phone, you listen and you write stuff down as fast as you can because this chick’s from Vermont and she went to Brown and she’s very high energy and she could see everything that was going on with me. She said, “I see a little girl with straight black hair and short bangs. I feel sad. She’s in a small room, like a closet, surrounded by and combing through bottles, boxes filled with jars, pills, vials, so much sadness. She’s about five. And she’s all alone, crying, too many bottles. Do you know this girl? Do you have a daughter? Who is this child? She needs help NOW.” It was me. She saw me when I was little. I used to have jet black hair. I have fair skin and green eyes. I looked like a tiny Disney Snow White. People were drawn to me.

I felt dizzy hearing Mona Lisa, her voice was hoarse and she talked so fast with a heavy New England accent. I was trying to keep up with the writing and get it all down. Like she was giving me storyboard for a movie. I had  some trouble composing myself. She asked me again, rather urgently, if I knew this child she saw. I “mm-hmm’d” into the receiver and she drew a breath and said, almost accusingly but with some tenderness too, “Oh. I see. That was you.” I said, “Yeah. That was me.”  She quickly picked up the pace again, “Whose bottles? Why were you in a closet? Were you in a closet? Why were you there?” I sighed. I couldn’t really talk. I didn’t want to go into it. “It’s private,” I said. She said, “No matter. While you’re not there anymore, and you are a 39 year old female, I can assure you that part of you very much is still there; doing something for someone else.” I said sighing, “I guess so.” To which she very abruptly replied, “And you need to get out or you’re gonna end up in radiation in 10 years.”

She said she saw me surrounded by melancholy. I was: this was at the mid-point of my psychotherapy Work and it was exhausting. I remember my parents telling me the summer I started in 2005 that I’d lost my sense of humor, that I was no longer funny. They sensed I was changing and as my therapist said, “When you change the [family] system, the system changes.” I was no longer hard, tough, cold, efficient. I was exposed, vulnerable, tired and soft. I think my parents hated that. I couldn’t let things roll off the back anymore, I had to put up boundaries, talk about my pain, allow my reactions, my presence as it mingled with memories or then-current experiences to be addressed.  The next thing Mona Lisa told me was that I needed to fulfill my destiny to be a writer. I had “to write again,” she said. I said, “What do you mean, again?” and she said, “M. C. I. What is that?” I was in corporate communications for MCI eight years prior. There was no way she knew this. She said I needed to get paid, to feel valued, but I didn’t care so much about the income, and I suppose I still don’t, but, I do need to write. And blogging has opened a new world for me. So here we are.

That was in July 2007. I’ve got five years to go before the ten years is up. I do not hate my parents, I do not despise them. But I do not enable, triangulate, entertain or cover for them, or be codependent with them. It’s HARD. Part of my moving on means I must forgive them. I do. I just wish it all that stuff I grew up with never happened. They say “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” I’d be OK with being a little weaker, frankly. The other part of me I’m working on is letting go of the guilt I naturally felt for hating what they did for so long. The guilt does nothing good at all ever.

Then last night I got into bed and started to read the latest book on my Kindle, Kristen Lamb’s “Are You There Blog? It’s Me Writer…” which is great for me right about now because it’s all about using social media to establish and connect as a writer. She says, when you’re filling out an application or paperwork at the doctor’s or someone asks you what you do, you say, “I’m a writer.” You just do. And you’re supposed to repeat that every day for like a gazillion times until it sinks in. I’m on “I’m a writer” #3. Kristen also has a great blog for this kind of stuff too. In fact, the one she posted most recently on perfectionism and living for ourselves has hit me in the solar plexus today, given that I’m trying to come to terms with having a story and not living for my parents. I want to be respectful. I want to be honest. I want to help other people (presumptuous I know) and I want to MOVE ON. I have tried for years to unload the baggage of my resentment and anger and fear and shame but it won’t go. It won’t leave. It’s like a water ring on a wooden table or a stain on the deck and so I think that (as I type this) the way for me to heal is to allow the water ring, allow the stain to just be. Stop trying to change it. I just went through my notes from that call with Mona Lisa and she talked about my hope that my mother will be well. Many things have happened in my mother’s life since that call to bring her to a healthier place and I’m grateful for it; it’s just that I’m still there, back in ’07. I guess I better get with the program.

I’m back from going to third base with my doctor. Apparently everything’s where it should be.

My hands are shaking as I type this and weakly sip from my mug. I tell people to live their truth. To shine their beacons, to come out and be proud of their stories but I’m a farce. I don’t do it for myself and I’m filled with such angst and such fear for doing it — that my dad will be mad (sorry dad) and that my brothers won’t speak to me (sorry guys) and that my mother will cry (sorry mom) but the fact of the matter is that I could relate to EACH and every one of those blogs written by women whom my ego said I shouldn’t. More likely, I wouldn’t relate to them. It requires a ton of humility and a ton of vulnerability to allow myself to relate to each of those stories. The things I wanted to say in their comments would’ve been tantamount to this post and that’s pretty hoggish of me. Plus I was tired. I will bravely link to them all in their comments with this post. I’d give them an award if I could.

But the fact is that I wanted to reach out to all of these women and hold them, selfishly, for a moment to feel something. Feel their promise, their enthusiasm, their optimism. I appreciate and can relate to each of them.

Regarding DeBie’s confession: looks and appearances have been very important to my parents, especially my mother. I had braced put on when I was a pregnant and frumpy 32 year old. When the came off, I went to show my parents. My mother zoned in on my teeth, removed her glasses for a better view and looked at them. She said, “Ahh, very nice. Now do something about your eyebrows.” I couldn’t believe it. Rewind 20 years to high school when I subsisted on ramen noodles and diet cherry 7-Up for about two years as I rode my bike 5 miles a day sometimes two times a day in all manner of weather. Both my parents were 20-30 pounds overweight but they were very interested in my never being overweight. When it got cold, I bought an indoor trainer and worked out that way. I’m 5’4.5″ (the doctor said so today) and I got down to 108 lbs. I had 12% body fat and I lost my period for a bit there. I didn’t tell anyone; I don’t know if anyone noticed. I was very likely at a healthy weight to begin with. I didn’t do the barfing or anything like that, but I abused myself: I told myself I was ugly, fat, gross and a disgusting pig. I saw that my friends who had dates were thinner than I was and my brother who had a girlfriend at college but who lived in the area told me about the diet cherry 7-Up. I can’t remember what made me stop, I think I just got bored with it. I didn’t see myself as “better” than I was before and I missed food.

That’s the odd thing about me: I used to smoke cigarettes, but I seldom bought my own; I smoked my friends’ and they were OK with that; it meant they didn’t have to do it alone. I wasn’t addicted to them, but I smoked them because my friends did. It was stupid to do, I see that now but it’s no mystery to me  how people can get addicted.

Regarding I want a Dumpster Baby: As for drinking, yeah, I was definitely into that. I drank like a fish on the weekends starting my junior year in high school and then through college and into my 20s. I never drank during the week because That’s What Alcoholics Did. I drove drunk. I even got pulled over a couple times for it, but I was written for speeding. The drinking coalesced with my weight loss pursuits because when I’d wake from a party the next morning I’d be about 3 pounds lighter from the dehydration. I remember seeing my mom’s myriad AA booklets lying around the house and mentally answering at the questionnaires: yes, yes, yes, yes, no, yes, mmm I dunno, yes, yes,

I was in trouble, but as typical of me, I skirted the edge just enough to not get worse. At my wedding, I wouldn’t drink because I knew that if I had more than the champagne at the toast that I would be toast. So I drank Snapples and water and Nesteas. I don’t remember a lot of my older brother’s wedding three months after mine in ’94 except getting very sick the next morning and that tears me up. I drank too much a lot. Then I got pregnant and it all stopped like a grand piano crashing on the pavement outside a townhouse in Manhattan. I am grateful for my son for that. I knew, and friends will attest to my saying this: The moment I have children, my life is no longer Just About Me. Some friends seethe when I say it, but the reality is that NO CHILD has ever asked to be born into a crappy home life. I never looked back at alcohol ravenously after my sons were born. I can’t say I never had cravings, I just know I didn’t address them. I am lucky in that I had no biological dependence on alcohol. Now I just have a glass of wine with dinner when we have steak; I don’t much like white wine. I hope and pray and remain vigilant that the rest of my life will be just as stable.

The thing is though (and if you’re still with me, you’re a wonderful person because we’re at almost 4,500 words), just because I don’t have … look, if I compare myself with other peoples’ stories like I almost just did, I’m not learning anything.

My baggage is mine and I appreciate you getting this far with me. I hope it wasn’t too painful and that you were able to pee if you had to after starting. If I press “Publish” on this, there’s no turning back for me. Kristen Lamb says to do something that terrifies you every day. This terrifies me. Heart’s pounding…

I have many friends to thank for their support, specifically friends from 1986 graduating class of Lee High School. And even the long-lost friends from all my paths in life from whom I’m estranged, they matter too. Like it or lump it, they taught me things too. And you new fans and readers, I thank you too. Do you know that I end every post with “thank you” for a reason?: it’s because I’m grateful you’re here.

Thank you.

About Grass Oil by Molly Field

follow me on twitter @mollyfieldtweet. i'm working on a memoir and i've written two books thus unpublished because i'm a scaredy cat. i hail from a Eugene O'Neill play and an Augusten Burroughs novel but i'm a married, sober straight mom. i write about parenting, mindfulness, irony, personal growth and other mysteries vividly with a bit of humor. "Grass Oil" comes from my son's description of dinner i made one night. the content of the blog is random, simple, funny and clever. stop by, it would be nice to get to know you. :)

31 responses »

  1. WOW. that is a hell of a lot for one post. You have such a strong voice and that is because you have so much to say as you ARE telling your story. You own it. You are the real deal. thank you for sharing a bit of me as well. It means a ton.

    • thanks, katy. i’m happy to share you with whoever comes across me. yeah, the post is a bit long; but i know that if i didn’t dump it all today it wasn’t going to get dumped at all ever. : /

  2. Beautiful. Thank you so much for your kind words. The real reason I finally wrote that post wasn’t so much as a confession for me, it was because I see a friend going down that path now. I wrote that as a private message to her, disguised as a tell-all. I hoped that she would read it and know she wasn’t alone. I’ve been through hell and back a few times in my life, and I know that part of why I’m still here and going is that I need to share those stories with others who may need to hear them.

    I didn’t start referring to myself as a writer until the day I overheard my dying father tell someone how proud he was of me, not for the career paths I was supposed to have been on and failed, but because I was a writer. I was a writer.

    I am a writer. So are you.

    You are amazing and strong and brave, keep writing.

    • thank you, i will. i feel like with this out in the open, i can do what i need / want to do now. i suspect this will hurt my parents (my dad most of all) but honestly, like his management of things when i was growing up, it’s unintentional. i have to grow up. I HAVE TO. thank you for being so inspiring. ❤

  3. Molly,
    Be brave. It doesn’t have to be great. You just have to get it written down. That’s the freedom of the NaNoWriMo process. It silences your inner editor because you just don’t have time to listen to it.

    Go back later. Make it great in the second and third draft.

    Read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. Read Stephen King’s On Writing.

    Remember that both of them, and every other writer you admire, started somewhere, anywhere … to finish, you have to be brave enough to start.

    Your High School Buddy’s Wife (and, yes, he really is that awesome)

    P.S. You don’t get to use this blog post for your word count! 🙂

    • Aimee! Thank you! I know you are right: be brave. I am and I appreciate what you’ve said. Writing this post was like a workout before meditation: I had to get some things off my chest, out of my system in order to move forward with what I’ve started. And rats: I wanted to count this post. 🙂 haha!

      • Just remember, the rest of it … anything that isn’t your dream … just YOUR dream, is noise. One day I will tell you about my noise and how I made it quiet down.

        Today, live your dream.

      • thanks, Aimee. I look forward to hearing about that. You’re right, I need to do what I can do keep the noise down. Now that I posted what I did, I feel free to move forward with an earlier piece I started in January. Eric suggested I throw that at Camp. 🙂

  4. Keep telling your story! Keep owning your baggage! Keep unpacking your bags until you can walk a little lighter.

    Not only did I read from beginning to end, I kicked my kids out of the room because they kept interrupting me. Hey, this was important stuff and I needed my full concentration so I could give you my full attention, and you deserve that.

    We all have stuff. Thank you for being brave enough to share yours. It’s hard to do and I admire you for it!

    • Thanks, Carrie. I have a headache! I re-read it now and it’s a little swervy itself, but it’s done. I’m not sure I drew a conclusion or made much sense, but no matter… That’s what follow-ups are for. 🙂

  5. Wow. First – I have seen you with the boys. You touch them, you hug them, you tell them you love them; you are not as cold as you feel you have needed to be. The depth of your love is visible and palpable. Second – your pain makes me want to come and squeeze all of it out of you. You are a beautiful, thoughtful person inside and out. Third – the beginning of this post made me think of a quote I gave my oldest for this week: ” Be yourself, everyone else is taken”. Oscar Wilde. Finally – thank you for giving.

    • thanks, CB! i will take a squeeze anytime. i have been tired of not speaking my truth, it wears on me. i feel like if i let it out, then i don’t have to carry it. the comment immediately below yours from the incompetent hausfrau nailed it when she talks about exhibitionism; my goal is to never exploit for my personal, emotional, tactical gain. it’s truth, that’s how it goes. if these things weren’t experienced then we wouldn’t have the stories to share and grow with each other. living in a vacuum has NEVER worked for me. 🙂

      and i love that quote, i love oscar wilde! and thank you for accepting what i’m giving.

  6. Aich. You made me cry. I’m so glad that post made such an impact for you. I’m still struggling with honesty in my writing, not telling the truth but being true to myself and real. I still hold so much back for fear of…unknown backlash I guess. I’m constantly torn about what I should write. Writing about my life feels like exhibitionism, yet when I do (some) people seem to be grateful for it. The longer I spend in the blogosphere the more I come to understand that we people need to quit hiding our true selves from one another and that we need to share our stories because it makes us stronger. Thank you for sharing, and it is better out than in, no?

    • you nailed it beautifully: “I still hold so much back for fear of…unknown backlash I guess. I’m constantly torn about what I should write. Writing about my life feels like exhibitionism, yet when I do (some) people seem to be grateful for it.” what you wrote last week gave me “real.” it gave me me. my experiences are similar to yours, but not with the steel / “hardware” that your weary and completely meant-to-be-here mom defied. and you nailed it again about not hiding our true selves. to wit: i’m not an ogre, my parents are not ogres. they had shitty upbringings themselves and far be it from me to accuse my own mom and dad of egregious faulty parenting when *everyone* in their social circle behaved similarly – if you were a parent in the 1960s+ and you drank, you were likely an alcoholic … when my mother was tense, her OB told her to have a cigarette and a drink… now our OBs tell us to breathe deeply and take a walk.

      the more in touch we are with who we are because of where we came from, the more attuned we can be to getting “out” which is much better. i’ll continue to be honest if you will! 🙂 i agree with everything you said. couldn’a said it better m’self, m’dear. 🙂 thank you. thank you. thank you.

  7. Wow! That is pretty much all I can say at the moment. Our (Rene and I) two blogs are basically tiny little snippets about life or humor or things that have no meaning to them what-so-ever. This blog entry was about everything. So much truth and honesty. It was amazing. I, like you, have a couple books “in the hopper” but I just cant seem to get myself to keep going. I am hoping that blogging will help me “jump start” my creativity. Thank you for sharing with us and thank you for being you! Scott

    • Hi Scott! Thanks for reading this one! How did you find me? I’m brand-spankin’ new to wordpress (I migrated from blogspot which was untenable and also not very writerly) and i’m hearing from people I don’t know which is great.

      This entry was insane. Insanely liberating, insanely daunting, insanely impatient, insanely assertive and insanely authentic. I just sat while my hands flew. It took about 2 hours to write and I know now, that it had to be done. My family (of origin) hasn’t commented on any of this which is nice because the reality is that it’s all true and my memory / experiences are through my filter. I know that it had to be done because there seems to be no holding back in my book that I am writing which is a semi-autobigraphical fictionalized memoir (RIGHT! RIGHT?!) but after the responses I’ve received and the apparent 20 shares of the post on FB (i did two to my personal wall and my Grass Oil fan page) I’m humbly certain it has reached many eyes and I know that I’m not alone in my suffering or experiences.

      You will keep yourself going, Scott, when you have reached the apex of your fear of living for other people. It was a big surprise to me the other day when I *did* realize that I’m 44.7 years old and that I’m still afraid of upsetting my parents. I pay taxes, I have three kids, I have a mortgage, a successful marriage, plenty of friends, my health and my gifts. Who am *i* to be saying, “live your truth! screw the naysayers” when I still harbored fear in my heart. It was time. Time to shed it all because guess what: my parents weren’t going to do it for me. I had to grow up. I say all this at great unintentional risk of insulting you, which I do not mean to do. I just know that I had had enough. I was, as I said, staring at the downward slope of the rest of my life and while my parents did “the best they could” that’s also bullturds because (and I didn’t go into this yet) I have chosen to live with awareness and authenticity and it’s WORK.

      I know you will finish what you start when you believe you have a reason to say what you wish to share. I didn’t think what I had to say mattered, and yet, here YOU are, telling me it did. Believe in yourself, Scott. The rest is easy. Stay in touch! -Molly

  8. I honestly dont know how I found you…but glad I did. I have been doing different searches on google trying to find some blogs on wordpress…because the search option has not been working for me. Alas…sometimes the hard way is the better way! : P

    Even your comments are better than my blogs…although I did start a new blog page with my poetry….and its at least better than my ramblings on nothingness. : )

    Sometimes…you just have to say “I Don’t Give A %#@*!” I think when you get to that spot in your life…you are able to communicate better, share better, and feel more open and free. I think I am too that point…but then sometimes I step back and say “wait a second…I do give a %$@*!” LOL

    The books that I am writing are both works of fiction. But doing a semi-autobiographical piece sounds like fun. When I used to blog…I would actually take real life instances and embelish them beyond recognition. My life however (like my favorite quote of all time says) amazingly is based on a real life story. So who knows! I will keep on keeping on as long as I am able.

    I will stay in touch…and you do the same. Thanks for following me. I hope you check out the better material though…not just the “stuff” on our main page! : )

    Take care! Scott

  9. Pingback: Update: NaNoWriMo, Confession: We Don’t Have a Flobie and Other Stuff on My Mind « Grass Oil

  10. Wow……….once again, your words struck a chord with me……..We all have baggage of some sort and many of us choose not to lose it or how to “deal” with it, because we are not sure how………I am glad that you are finding your way and I believe that others, through your words, will find their way too!

    Thank you, for sharing your story…………..

    BTW, happy 2nd day after Christmas 🙂

    • thanks AC! it was hard to share because it was a lot and i didn’t know where to stop. i just knew i had to get real with myself. i have a lot of baggage, but i’m realizing that some of it is just carryon and that it’s temporary. life is hard… we do this to ourselves as we get older, the “keeping it hard.”

      merry christmas +2 (is today the two turtle doves?) to you too! xoxo

  11. That was an inspiring article. I know that I have learned that there are some things we should just not share about ourselves and certainly not about others. We should be mature and responsible and work it out with the people that we have the discussion with or the issue with. We should not discuss anyone else’s business with anyone else, no matter what. It is best to honor what is told to us and watch what we say. I know that I have been guilty on most occasions of people telling me something and not thinking that they knew someone, but it does not matter if they know someone or not. Should always honor and respect the relationships we have and the privacies we are trusted with.

    • Yeah, I know what you mean, Laura.

      Sometimes I get a little twinge when I’m saying something or about to say something that hinges on gossip and if I have a moment to step back, I can pause and not say it. I have found that it’s always easier to not say something than say something I will regret and have to explain myself or backtrack later.

      Usually, if it’s not about me, I need to watch what I say… And usually I need to keep my trap shut. Hard to do sometimes….


      • Yes, that is so true. I get so stuck and scared sometimes and just focus on seeing things as a threat and start reacting without thinking. Not an excuse, just the truth.

      • The truth is never an excuse, Laura, and it’s so brave of you to say so about yourself. If you can try to practice presence and pacing yourself, and not answering right away, that would, be helpful.

        I learned a long time ago, that often the best opinion is no opinion. I had to work reeeeeeeally hard though, and still I find myself biting my tongue.

        “You don’t have to get out of the trouble you don’t get into.” Is an old adage around my house. The book I’m writing, Laura, talks about my own experiences, in a fictional setting, but with the goal of imparting self love and self-improvement in a lyrical and dynamic way. One day I will publish it. Your comments help me continue.

  12. I absolutely , unequivocally am eternally thankful YOU! are here and chose courage over fear and wrote! I have started and stopped a blog for years, and when I open it is as sad and grieving as I feel inside. Out of touch with itself as I am with my own story, a story which is coming out on paper from a pair of hands who NEVER wrote a thing for 40 years…what the fuck!? The me who I think I am is not a writer or a speaker, yet I’m writting and speaking…what the what?
    I guess “the truth will set me free” but it looks like in my case is going to kick my ass first
    love ya
    thank you

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