What is it that makes people think that if you don’t talk about something, it (or they) will go away?
Present company included. For the longest time, if something came up or someone close to me acted a certain way, then I would do everything in my power to look the other way and hope that it will sort itself out. And the funny part is that it did, or at least I thought it did.
If there was some situation that I needed to address at work or at home, just look the other way and act like I know what I am doing. For God’s sake don’t ask what is going on or try to get to the root of the problem. That would be too much like work. (Gasp!) Eventually something else will come along and that first situation will not be so important, or even better, the situation takes care of itself and then I can stand back, throw my hands in the air and act like I knew nothing about it and none of the ramifications would be my fault. That was my MO, my modus operandi, my method of operation.
Didn’t talk about family issues outside of the house, for fear that “someone find out.” Find out that we weren’t perfect? That we have issues just like every family in the world?
And now Facebook comes along and I am sure that a lot of people that grew up before the internet age (yes, there was life before the internet) are just rolling in their graves because everyone’s dirty laundry is being aired for the world to know about. I was recently warned to be careful about what I put on Facebook, because people might find out stuff about me that could be embarrassing.
Every family has someone that is not “normal”. Maybe I am that person in my family. I have done some things in my life that I am not proud of, things that hurt my family and probably embarrassed them. It has gotten easier over the years to talk about some of them, but there are some that are just too taboo to even bring up. In fact there is a good chance that I am the only one that still thinks about them.
But one thing that I have learned very recently is that these things do not go away. They get buried inside and fester and wait, they are very patient. They build up resentments, either against another person or more often than not against myself. I had to do some very serious soul searching and get all of these issues written down on paper, and then talk to someone about them. There was no other way I was told, that if I wanted to start healing, then they had to come out.
Now I didn’t go off half-cocked and start telling everyone that would listen all of the sordid stories of my past, but I did find someone that I knew that I could trust and I told him everything. I talked about things that I had honestly planned on taking to the grave with me. It was a cleansing of sorts. It was amazing the amount of (self-inflicted) pressure that it took off of my shoulders, just being able to get it out, after almost 30 years of just trying to bury it.
What is my point? Just that we often condemn people for being different, for not being like us. That too often that person is just looking, crying out for someone to listen to them and to try to understand why they act like they do. We were just talking last night about a famous comedian who admitted that he often locks himself in his bedroom for days at a time when he is not performing. Robin Williams, one of the funniest men I have ever heard, committed suicide. They try to make us laugh, to feel good about ourselves, but who does that for them? I guess we figure that if we see someone acting a fool and cracking jokes, that he is happy. That might not be the case, at least it wasn’t in my situation. I always tried to put on a happy outer appearance so that people would not try to get inside, it just seemed easier that way.
I am as guilty as anyone for shunning people for being outrageous or eccentric or just plain different. And I need to stop judging them and maybe, just maybe get to know them a little better, to understand why they are like they are. I know how it feels to think that you are being shunned, so you try to be something that you are not just to get acceptance, just to fit in. And for anyone that I ever did that to in the past, I apologize.
So for all the eccentric aunts and uncles, for all the “Cousin Its” out there that are shunned or cast aside because you are not like everyone else, keep being yourself. You might not be the one that needs to change!