Things I’m Afraid to Tell You


I was invited to write this post by a group of bloggers who are participating in a series of posts called “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You”. The TIATTY movement was inspired by a post from Jess Constable of Make Under My Life and Ez of Creature Comforts. To learn more about the TIATTY movement, you can read Jess’ interview with Laura Rossi from the Huffington Post. You can also visit Robin over at Farewell Stranger to read other TIATTY posts as well. I’m honored to be a part of such a brave movement.

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I strive to be as honest and transparent as possible when I write here. As difficult as that is sometimes, I choose to do so because I really do believe there is a transforming and healing power in practicing vulnerability.

That being said, I think it’s time to admit that there are moments when I choose not to hit the publish button. My draft folder contains approximately 37 posts (yes, I counted) I’ve been too afraid to share with you and the rest of the online world. They are full of various thoughts, opinions, stories, struggles and victories I haven’t found the courage to reveal.

Why am I, a believer in transparency, afraid to share them? Because some of them make me question how people will respond to them and what they will think of me as a person. Because I honestly don’t want to offend anyone, or appear to be pushing any kind of agendas on anyone. Because I’m afraid of being viewed as intolerant because I ascribe to a particular belief or ideal, and I don’t want to be lumped in with those who share the same beliefs but are intolerant of others. Because I’m afraid of being judged and as much as I hate to admit it, there is a part of me that still wants to be accepted. Because I don’t want to be labeled something I’m not. Because I’m afraid of being misunderstood. Because I hate confrontation and sometimes just can’t handle negative or challenging comments, even though I do my best to. Because being vulnerable and putting yourself out there can be a lonely existence.

Even writing out that last paragraph has left my hands shaking. The things I’m choosing to reveal today has my hands shaking even more.

So what are some of the things, I, a person who’s blog has the word “Confessions” in it’s title, afraid to tell you about myself ?

*deep breath*

Forgiveness

I’m still struggling to forgive the man who sexually molested me. Therapy has helped me begin the healing process, but to be honest, I just don’t know if I’ll be able to do it any time soon, especially because he is such a close family member. I know I’m a Christian and should forgive, but I don’t even know if I want to or am even able to…maybe in time I will. I’m just not there yet. And while I’ve talked about it some here on the blog, I’m still very afraid to share the details of the abuse and how it has impacted me because I know my family may read it. I’m also petrified to talk to them about it. I hate confrontation, and this just makes me want to keep my distance and not bring it up.

OCD

I suffer from OCD. The more I learn about my bipolar disorder, the more I realize that I also I have OCD symptoms as well. This of course means I have to control everything, have a hard time trusting others, and it also means I have ruminating thoughts.

Since I was a child I have this habit where if I’m struggling with a painful event (past or present) or after a confrontation occurs, I rehearse what happened in my head. I pace back and forth and while the event or confrontation is playing in my head, I actually talk my way through it out loud, saying what I would have wanted to say, or confronting someone and calling them out for what happened….I guess you could say I act it out. I get totally lost in it sometimes, even crying and yelling.

I think I did/do this as a way to cope with the abuse I suffered in my youth and with other unresolved issues. I guess it helps me process things. I’ve been afraid to tell my psych about it. I don’t know what she would label it as-normal?disassociating? hallucinating? I just know I’ve felt “crazy” doing it and have never told anyone. Since I’ve been on medication and in therapy, it’s been a long time since I’ve done it, but I do still have ruminating thoughts about other things. I also get paranoid and become convinced people hate me or are talking about me. I have an obsessive need to have things in certain places, a particular order, and clean. When they are not, I get angry. With two little kids to take care of you can imagine how exhausting it is to live with this.

My Faith

I’m afraid that sharing my faith will keep people away from reading my posts and that I’ll be perceived negatively because, well let’s face it-Christians have been pretty ignorant, hateful, narrow-minded and intolerant lately…and I don’t want to be labeled as that type of Christian. I don’t want to come across as preachy-that’s not my style. While I believe in sharing the Gospel of salvation with others, I don’t believe in shoving it down people’s throats. That’s just not me.

And while I’m being so honest let me say that I used to be that kind of Christian. As diverse as I thought I was, I used to be the one who shoved their views in others faces and was closed minded.I was the one didn’t believe in gay marriage, or evolution or abortion, or things most Christians are opposed to. But…the past 2 years, my perspective has changed. My conversations with God on these subjects have changed and as a result so has my faith.

One thing God has reminded me of since last summer is that first and foremost, Jesus commanded us to love people-regardless of whether or not we agree with their beliefs, how they live their lives, or how different they are from us. This has changed my views on everything. This has drastically altered how I treat people and interact with others. I’ve become a supporter of gay marriage. I now believe in a woman’s right to choose what to do about a pregnancy. Actually becoming pregnant with Brennan made me change my stance on abortion-I definitely thought about it as an option when the doctor told me my results over the phone and his father bailed on me a week later. But I’m glad I chose to keep him. I adore this kid.

I believe in the Big Bang Theory, some aspects of evolution, and I don’t believe God created the earth in 7, 24 hour days. And yes, even though I’ve been taught that it’s wrong, I do live with my partner even though we aren’t married-because it’s what works and is what’s best financially and otherwise for our family right now….and the best thing? I have peace about it. I know I’m doing the right thing.

While I haven’t lost my faith in God, I have lost my faith in the church. I don’t agree with the hateful way Christians and Christian culture reacts to and treats other people, and this turns me off from being a part of a church right now. I’ve made a conscious choice to live out my Christianity by loving others and not judging or condemning them, regardless of what I believe because I believe that’s what Jesus would do.

My Sexuality

Ooooh. Yes. This. I’ve written about my experiences with hypersexuality before and talked about it being a symptom of my BP. But I never really elaborated on certain things. As I’ve gotten older, healed from the pain & damage of being sexually molested, I’ve finally, within the past year or so been able to actually explore my sexuality and what it means for me to be a sexual being.

I’ve explored masturbating and have enjoyed it. (A LOT) I’ve learned that while I’m not gay, I do find certain things about women attractive-like our breasts. Our sensuality. There’s just something about being a woman that I find incredibly sexy. Would I kiss another woman? I’d be lying if I said absolutely not. I know Christians aren’t supposed to talk about or admit these kinds of things but…I’m being brutally honest here.

I admire the hell out of women who fully embrace their sexuality, own it, and live it out. Because of what I was taught about sex and sexuality from a religious perspective, I used to have a lot of shame about my sexuality and my body. I always felt “impure” and dirty for the way I felt and for the fact that I enjoyed sex. I’ll even admit that while I enjoyed sex in the past physically, emotionally I didn’t. About 80% of my encounters were based off the fact that I was looking for love and acceptance. I thought if I didn’t sleep with my boyfriends they’d leave me for someone who would. But, I don’t think that way anymore and I’m finally at a place where I’m able to embrace who I am sexually…. honestly reading this post on BlogHer has helped me with this significantly. I feel liberated. Healthy. Confident.

Having More Children

I want to have more kids…at least one more. What’s stopping me or makes me afraid to admit this? Because I have a mental illness. An illness that requires I be on medication. I’m currently on a mood stabilizer that has shown in some studies to be associated with certain birth defects like a cleft palate. I have to take Xanax daily for my anxiety and an antipsychotic to control my OCD symptoms. I can’t take anti-depressants because they make my rapid cycling worse, so simply taking one of those during a pregnancy is out of the question. But so is going medication free during a pregnancy. Being bipolar puts me at a higher risk for developing postpartum psychosis-especially if I’m un-medicated. That’s not a risk I’m willing to take. I know that even with other therapies being med free wouldn’t be in the best interest of myself…or my baby. But what if I stay on my meds and my child is born with a birth defect? Is it fair to do that to my child? Could I handle taking care of them? Could I live with the mommy guilt I know I’d feel?

While studies have shown that bipolar disorder has a genetic component, they say that a child of a bipolar parent has a 15-30% chance to develop the illness. I already have two children I’m concerned about passing this illness on to. My family has a very strong history with mental illness-my grandfather is schizophrenic and many have suffered from depression. Is it fair of me to have more children knowing this? Is it selfish of me to do so?

I don’t know. I just know that my heart aches to have at least one more child….but I know I couldn’t go through another pregnancy un-medicated…or live with myself if my child had to suffer because of that decision.

So there you have it. 4 things I’ve been scared to share with you. There are more, but I’m limiting it to these four, and I apologize for this being a long post. I’m going to hit the publish button but know that I’m doing it terrified of what the response will be. Maybe it will be negative, maybe some of you will see all of this as no big deal, but I know that there will be some who will be shocked or uneasy about what I’ve shared, and be judgmental.

But maybe, at least for me, sharing these facts about myself will give me the courage I need to talk more about these and other topics freely here on ‘Confessions, as well as inspire you to be less afraid to tell others those things you hold close to your heart, or are afraid to be judged by.

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19 thoughts on “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

  1. I absolutely live the honesty in this post. It was raw, real and I felt like I was getting to know you again for the first time. I also see that we have similar issues and views, and that makes me an even bigger fan of yours. You have a beautiful soul, and I’m so glad that you hit the publish button.

  2. I wish I had something poetic to say, but I don’t. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for articulating many things I have felt – about the church, about a friend’s really nice rack, about ocd & ruminating thoughts. Just…thank you. I feel normal & whole & ok because of what you shared.

  3. I absolultly adore you! In a lot of ways you remind me of myself. The religion thing I understand completely. I always believed in gay marriage. Which is a huge reason I strayed from the church. I don’t tell many people that I’m Christian because I don’t want to be lumped with the other hateful judgmental ones. I did in the beginning worry about my posts, and what people thought, but I always go back to I started blogging for me. It’s a place for me to talk to someone anyone, no one and get things out of my head. Now that being said my older sister is the only family who reads. I write how I really truly feel and I don’t think people in my family are ready to hear it. I hope one day you will be able to share those posts. I would love to read them. For me I read others posts not because they are popular, but for inspiration. To know that in this crazy big world that I’m not alone with the struggles and hardships I encounter. You are an awesome writer. Remember that.

  4. Oh, my friend. I’m so proud of you for doing this when I know how hard it was. All of these things are beautiful and true and they make you who you are. Some might judge, though I doubt you’ll get a lot of flack in the comments. And those who judge simply don’t understand.

    I know what you mean about passing a mental illness on to your children. I wonder about that with depression. I would hate for my children to suffer from it, but at least I would understand and could help them, which is one good thing about it.

    There is nothing in this post that doesn’t just make me love and respect you more – for knowing who you are and for being brave enough to say it. Bravo.

  5. OMG! This is wonderful. Don’t you feel sort of freed? I would. But I’m not as brave as you.

    Each and every day, with every passing tantrum or mood shift, I wonder if any of my (3) boys may have my illness. If so? I’d be devastated because it could have been prevented by simply not having children. At the same time, I love them too much to see my life without them. That’s a tough point hanging in the balance.

  6. it takes a lot of strength to grow up with a certain religion then question your views and actually change them, you should be quite proud of yourself for being able to open up your mind like that. you’ve talked about a lot of difficult issues here today, i don’t think you’ll lose any readers, but if you do, they weren’t worth having anyway.

  7. I hope this post alleviated some of what you’ve been carrying around. I didn’t read the comments except for one line that jumped out at me, from Robin, and with which I could not possibly agree more: “There is nothing in this post that doesn’t just make me love and respect you more – for knowing who you are and for being brave enough to say it.” I’m with Robin. I am grateful that you posted this and hopeful that it gives others the strength to do the same–including me. I’ve been hesitant to be completely transparent on my blog for some of the reasons you mentioned. But after reading your reasons for why you feel it is important, I think I need to now. (As soon as I can find time to blog regularly again!) XOXO

  8. Everything you just shared made me like you even more! I’m so happy we’ve met, you are an absolutely wonderful person. I don’t think I will ever have the courage to share some of the things I’m afraid to say. There are so many similarities and things I can relate too. Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. For me, honest posts like this make it more okay for me to be my true self. I only love you more for sharing all this. I totally get the OCD talking out conflicts stuff. I do it too, especially when I’m not on medication. I never realized it was “crazy” until I got older. As a kid, it’s imagination, but as an adult, OCD. ::wink::

    I think it’s a natural part of human sexuality to want to explore and be curious about experiences other than the “norm”. My husband likes to say that girl on girl is hot because you know it’s not about procreation – it’s just for pleasure. He has a point. I read somewhere that engaging in sexual activity with another woman is the number three fantasy that women will admit to. But that’s just it – it’s a fantasy. Safe to think about and healthy, even. I give you the GIGANTIC LADY BALLS award for talking about it. With my aunts and mother in law reading my blog, I don’t think I could go there.

  10. I so appreciate your honesty. As brave as some have claimed my post is, I can’t imagine publicly writing about the present in this way. I’m a coward. The past is easy to talk about for me, but talking about who I am as adult, especially as a sexual (or lack thereof) being. is nearly impossible for me to discuss in my own bedroom, let alone on my blog. I am SO proud of you and am simply in awe. Go you!!!!

  11. I only wish I could be as brave as you & share such deep thoughts. This post gave me the chills (more than once). I suffer from OCD as well & have the ruminating thoughts & am totally convinced everyone talks bad about me. It’s not always fun living like that. To share what you shared here takes so much strength & courage. Much love to you!

  12. You are truly brave for sharing these truths. I wrote my post and I only skimmed the surface of what I was afraid to tell. There is so much more I want to say, but I can’t find it in me to say it. Yet. With time, I hope I’ll be able to.

  13. I love you just as you are. This just gives me more insight about you, beautiful friend. I too am terrified of passing along my anxiety issues to my girls. My therapist told me that I would be equipped to heal both of my girls deal with any anxiety or depression because I’ve been through it myself. I keep hanging on to those words.

  14. You are such a brave an awesome soul! I, too, have several IATTY draft posts. After this, I am leaning towards the publishings because I know how cathartic it can be. As a medical professional, I truly understand your decisions on childbearing and also your diagnosis. Everyday is a new day. You seemed to have embraced them and and now owning “it”! Continue to “do you”. You exude confidence and fierceness. Congratulations on your “release”. Peace and Blessings!

  15. Pingback: Things I’m Afraid To Tell You | Made More Beautiful

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