The Dark Time – a present-day footnote

When I wrote this post (The Dark Time), I was completely conscious of what I was writing, why I was writing it now, and that there was potential for gasps and strong reactions in my real-life circles of friends. You see, like I never told M until our relationship was in tatters, probably 99% of my closest friends had no idea as well. By placing it here in a public space they read is akin to just putting it out there on Facebook  … except I barely use Facebook and have not bothered to seek out most of my real-life friends there.

I am a good and loyal friend people can and do depend upon. My choice to not share this aspect of my childhood and life does not neutralize or negate my day-to-day dependability or character. I am still the exact same person you knew before writing and publishing that post. I have enormous faith in those I care for and love to be able to accept my reticence on the matter and to leave it alone beyond the generalized concern for my welfare and state of mind.

Truth is I feel fine about it, more certain that it was the right time and right thing to write. M and I had discussed it before I began and I had warned both my children it was coming, and as always all were/are loving and caring in their support of my writing. Probably everyone who has ever kept a journal or written a blog is aware that sometimes writing is more therapeutic and healing than talking. Such is the case here.

My life and times are the cards I was dealt at the hands of fate. If it seems harsh – and believe me, I have spent far too many hours feeling sorry for myself and wondering why my life is so difficult – I know everything is relative and comparing myself to others is a waste of my time. It may make me feel better in the moment, but overall its going to make me feel even worse to imagine more evil and vile things lurking out there today. While I no longer fear my personal boogeyman – he has been dead for 32 years now – I have a healthy respect for the sheer number of potential monsters out there waiting to strike someone else. To balance that, though, I have to be deliberate in my hopeful quest for better facets of being human, for kindness, compassion, beauty, and sweetness in the world I dwell in. Despair is a big, black, pit of ugliness waiting to swallow me whole. Every day I decide to get up and find a path away from it.

I often do not feel deserving of what I have, but I am genuinely grateful for it. When bad things happen to me, my knee-jerk is an immediate catalog of every offense I have ever committed that could have brought this to my door. The personal justice scale that lives in my imagination is always with me and I have yet to find a method that retires it once and for all. I am philosophical now; in the bigger schemes of mental health, there are far worse conditions. I never feel as if I am an optimist by nature, that it is more habit and practiced behavior to see that glass half full. Just because it does not come naturally to me does not render it insincere or disingenuous; I just have to try harder than a true optimist.

I am not courageous or anything else for writing about this slice of my history, although I appreciate the compliment and kind words. There were some hurt feelings yesterday, a few texts that were pretty hard on me. It was not my intention to hurt anyone.

I will say that the circumstances and details of my childhood will not be written about here, in this blog. This is where I live on a daily basis, and I want it to remain my happy place, where I can feel safe sharing and sorting out my day-to-day stuff. I like it here. I like the vibe I get to create and enjoy, the blogs I follow, the friends I have made. If and when I choose to start washing and hanging out the ugly, dirty laundry, it will be far from here, in a dark and as anonymous as possible blogging place. No, I will never announce it, never share the name or where to find it. Because those details do not matter, not here, not now, not to me today.

Today I am happy. Today I am brave. Today I am safe and away from all that. Free. Please understand and let it rest.

7 thoughts on “The Dark Time – a present-day footnote

  1. So this “There were some hurt feelings yesterday, a few texts that were pretty hard on me.” makes no sense to me if you mean others people’s feelings were hurt by your posting. Huh? How is this about them???? I’m sorry but really how…thoughtless, rude, etc. I should not be surprised – I once responded to someone who asked why I didn’t want children with the truth – I had an abusive childhood (I know monsters are real and look just like us), had no desire to parent a child and feared being a bad parent given my history. Since I had never had any desire for kids – I thought it was safer all around not to have them. I was told that was a dumb reason. Needless to say – our friendship quickly died.

    • SAK, I absolutely hear you loud and clear and I do not disagree. You note that I did not apologize, here or in conversations yesterday. I also understand that there are people who are completely clueless (THANK GOD!) about what is appropriate in this situation. I am confident this dust-up will blow over, and if it does not, well … thanks for a lifetime of memories. Both are among my oldest friends who knew me then and had no idea.

  2. You know I love you just the way you are. I know your struggle but I also know that you have fought harder than anyone I know to make sure that your children had a normal life. There will never come a point in my life when I judge you after all what happen was by no means your fault but the fault of a sick individual and the fault of those who should have protected you. But you already know how I feel. Don’t ever apologize for how you feel or how you have handled you life. EVER!!

    judy

    • But of course! It is double edged sword sometimes, particularly with very old friends who know me well and been such s huge part of my life. I don’t write for the attention. I write to share something and preserve the moment in time. They will overcome.

  3. I think what your friends are feeling is the result of a seismic shift in the relationship they had with the you they thought they knew. If/when they are smart enough to accept that, life will go on. But then you know that. I love coming here and reading your posts, Janelle. You are a straightshooter. I like that.

    • I am so glad you visit, Joan. It seems rather pointless to not be straight here, otherwise why bother writing anything at all? But I know what you mean and I am hugely flattered by your kind words.

      My friends whose feelings are/were hurt … it’s understandable and comforting in its way. In my mind nothing has changed; in their eyes I have transformed into someone else. Yet I have enormous faith – in them and the strength of our long friendships. It will all be okay.

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