Thursday, September 17, 2009

Finding the Right Words

I just want to be understood.

This lifelong desire stems from so many different experiences I've had in life.

As a child, I was often told that my feelings were wrong. Unfortunately, as a child I didn't realize that feelings are not like facts and thus not so easily relegated into the right or wrong categories.

Then, there were all those times when I couldn't skillfully articulate just what was on my heart and used a word or two that completely changed the message I was trying to convey. I'm grateful that God gives us the Holy Spirit to correct this in our prayers to Him and that He knows EXACTLY what it is that I'm trying to spit out, but it doesn't always work that way when conversing with other humans.

I hate being perceived as something so contrary to that which I wish to be about. For example, I recently was told that someone close to me felt like I looked down on them because they didn't hold a degree, that this person thought I treated them as dumb and ignorant. It hurt me deeply to hear this - partly because that is so disparate from my values system, which is that we ALL have something to bring to the table of life regardless of our socioeconomic status, education (or lack thereof), religion, race, etc., but mostly because in this misunderstanding, another person was caused pain. I'm a lover not a fighter, and to cause others pain, however unintentionally, always grieves my soul.

Sometimes, this desire to be understood, and thus accepted by others and loved, manifests in a tendency to overshare. Sometimes I don't understand myself and share for the purpose of having another person weigh in. Related to my childhood admonitions that my feelings were so far off base, sometimes I share as a means of checking my reality.

But a sense of cautiousness has grown over the years. As I've tried to make sense of things on my blog these past few years my sharing has hurt those who are close to me. Unfortunately, as much as I've claimed it's about me and not them it hasn't helped.

So, I have been in a quandary lately about what to share, what not to share, and everything in between. The things that are big in my life right now, and likely to be written about, are probably not best to be shared on a blog as they concern my close relationships - and I'm trying to deal with that privately and avoid dishonoring someone I love by oversharing.

© 2009 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved


  1. It's a very tough line. Like you said, writing helps US to hash things out, but when read by those we are writing about can cause deeper chasms. Here's hoping for find a good balance for you. And, you can call me since I'm so far away and know noone in your life I can just be an ear!


  2. I know that you will share what you can and hold back what cannot be shared.

  3. you can share it with us, we bloggers are all mixed up assholes with so many issues we couldn't judge someone if we wanted to!

  4. I understand this so well. In blog life and real life.

  5. I feel you all the way on this one. I've shared way too much on my blog at times, I've hurt people badly and it's caused some serious pain to not only people I love but to myself as well. Eventually, I just took it off my main blog and started another because like it or not - this writing/feedback thing can be a major source of therapy. When I started the blog I write now, I decided that I would password protect anything sensitive. That said, I don't hide anything away from Colin and though he doesn't often read my blog, I still give him a heads up when I write something really deep.

    There are also the option of anonymous posts - either through a friend's blog or another site I know of with readership and where you can get some good feedback.

    I know this probably hasn't touched the point of this post, but I just wanted to let you know about some options out here :)

    Take care xo

  6. Oh . . . this is such a personal decisions and the good news is whatever you deside to write will be right.

    I find that sometimes when I write in short hand, or don't explain myself fully, people have become offended by my emails when I never intended them too. At least they told me and I could pick up the phone and call. Sometimes when we don't have the facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice... what we write doesn't come through as intended.

    Good luck!