Recently an old friend from high school read my blog, surprised that I so freely expressed my feelings. It made me realize how much I’d changed. Thankfully.
I’m reminded of that today, still reeling from the drive-by shooting in our neighborhood and the varied reactions, particularly when I hear things said such as “I can’t tell my children about this,” or “I hope the press doesn’t report this.”
It reminds me of my mother saying “What happens in this house stays in this house.” I’m sure I’m not the only child of an alcoholic that heard something similar on a daily basis.
As an adult I learned that secrets hurt, that healing comes with telling. Perhaps that’s why I keep no secrets, at least about myself. I’m a pro at keeping those of others because I began keeping my mother’s at such an early age.
Our writing group has pledged to work on short stories to submit by January 15th and I’ve been struggling with this. Not because I don’t like writing short stories; I’ve several under my belt. I just couldn’t think of anything new I wanted to write about. I brought nothing to our last meeting and have been beating myself up about it.
This morning I wrote a short story about the drive-by shooting. And I sent it to a couple of folks NOT in the writers group to critique because I thought I couldn’t take it to the group. Why? Well, one member of the group lives in the house next to where the shooting happened and basically wants to forget it happened and get on with her life (her choice and I respect that) and another member of the group belongs to a neighborhood association group that tends to look the other way when crime issues rear up. And I address that tendency in the story, not necessarily in a subtle manner. I did not wish to offend.
However, I’m having second thoughts now. It feels too much as though I’m protecting my alcoholic mother all over again by not telling what’s really happening. I need to stay an adult. I’ve worked too hard to become one.
So, I’m telling.