Part of the reason I chose to name this blog “Butterfly Confessions” is because I wanted it to be a place I could bare all. I’ve always been a person who has struggled with the “should I or shouldn’t I be” transparent issue….and the struggle doesn’t come with baring my thoughts and emotions for strangers to see, it instead comes with wondering what those who are closest to me will say. I have no problems sharing myself with strangers, it’s easy and somewhat comforting to let them in through the door without fear of judgment or being misunderstood. I’ve always had a desire to help people…I’ve never shared my experiences, thoughts or feelings for vain, self-indulgent, narcissistic reasons….Showing people my struggles, my triumphs, my humanity, has always been born out of a desire to help others identify and recognize that they aren’t alone in what they are experiencing in life. Growing up with an abusive father and wrestling with self-esteem/self-image issues, wanting to end my life, and other things always had me wanting someone to hear my pain, understand my feelings…sometimes all I wanted was just for someone to give me some hope that I could survive and overcome. I was always looking for people who could be examples of “over comers”-people who survived the rough seas of life and made it to the other side….so when I first fell in love with and discovered the art of writing in junior high, I not only wrote to release and express what was going on within me, but also to document what I was going through so that if I came across a kid/person who was in the same boat I was, I could grab my journal, and say “Hey, I understand-I’m going through it too, you aren’t by yourself. Let’s get through this together!” My “friends” on Facebook often comment on how open and transparent I am with my status updates….and while I agree to an extent that discretion is wise when it comes to such things, and while I also do keep some things to myself, I can’t help but just share my life with people. Holding back (for the most part) is not something I’m good at. Growing up, my dad didn’t allow me to talk much, especially in public. I had to keep all of my emotions and comments to myself (at restaurants or in stores, people would often come up to my dad and ask him how he got me to be so well-behaved…some would even ask if I was mute or deaf…a store clerk even remarked that my silence was creepy lol)- At home and in public I lived behind an expressionless mask for most of my childhood and teen years…the only place I could (somewhat) be myself was at school, and when I left my dad’s at 17 I vowed I wouldn’t live like that anymore-all bottled up and expressionless…so that’s another reason I live my life “out loud” I guess…
But sometimes, when it comes to baring myself to those closest to me, I’m not as bold….I believe I struggle with being as transparent with those closest to me as I am with strangers because of how my parents and even some close friends have reacted to my writing or my spoken thoughts. I found that sometimes just because people ask “What’s wrong?” doesn’t mean they are equipped to handle, understand, process, grasp or even genuinely be interested in the honest, soul-baring response. When it comes to those who are closest to you, transparency can be a two-edged sword-as I always say and have experienced, honesty, especially brutal honesty, (if not tempered with a degree of love and tact) has a price-one that even when on the receiving end, I’m not always willing to pay….
But when I write, I bare it all-Once I recognized the treasured freedom that lies in capturing unfiltered, non-sugar coated words & emotions in ink upon blank paper, I knew I could never hold back with my writing ever again. I discovered that while I may be able to lie to myself in my mind about something, the truth is always told when held captive on a sheet of paper. It’s like the pen becomes a channel of truth serum-it takes what I may be trying to hide from myself and translates it into unabashed truth for me to read and digest, whether I want to or not-it’s there. Maybe for other writer’s it’s not the same, but I find freedom in this approach…..but having this approach sometimes has a hefty price tag and I’ve experienced it way too often when it comes to those closest to me reading what I’ve written. I’ve very rarely had an instance where someone I loved and trusted reacted positively to something I’ve laid in prose….well-if it’s something surfacey and light, yes, I’ve gotten positive feedback. But if it’s deeper, something more…revealing, well, I always get a negative reaction….and distance…and am misunderstood…and….rejected…
My father is just one example of many. In high school he discovered a stack of journals and papers I had hidden in my room. Some things I had written were just poems about God, my purpose, my life….others mentioned my struggles with self-esteem, depression, how trapped I felt, and my will to live-or not live… You would’ve thought I had written blasphemes the way this man reacted. Instead of recognizing the fact that his 14 year old daughter needed help and that his abuse was destroying me, he beat the hell out of me and told me how awful I was, and how God hated me because of the things I had written. He said I had no right to divulge my inner most thoughts and feelings on paper-said I was crazy and evil for expressing myself. Well, you can imagine the impact that had on me. He ripped up most of it in front of me…a couple of journals he said he was going to keep to “prove to people how crazy and horrible” I was, so they could see why he treated me the way he did, like telling me everyday he wanted to kill me. (Yes, my father was an insane person and a horrible parent-I know that now, but didn’t know it back then.)
So that pretty much started a pattern of people closest to me not responding well to my writings….
When I started writing this post I didn’t intend to go in this direction…my intentions in talking about “confessions” were to just give a little backstory on why I write on this blog and then dive into a…well…a confession lol…a startling revelation I made today while talking to and deciding to be very honest with God. (After experiencing what I did as a kid/teen with my dad, you can imagine why being honest with God is difficult and a process I’m learning my way through-but I’ve definitely found freedom when I am honest with Him, so, I’m working on it 🙂 ) But seeing as though I dove deeper than I intended I don’t want to “muddy” this post with the confession…I’ll save it for the another post.
Who knows? Maybe my intentions in writing this weren’t His….I’m an idealist, and I always believe that everything happens for a reason…so that being said, this might not have been the destination I wanted for this post, but maybe it turned out this way and arrived here for reasons only He knows… I’m okay with that 🙂