After posting my first entry yesterday I had a thought provoking conversation with my good friend Jody. She told me how brave she thought openly share my story was. It made me ponder how I started sharing it in the first place. I came up with a couple reasons.
Reason #1: I have always written my story out. If you read my last post you know that I received a journal at a young age. I starting chronicling way back then and now it’s an itch I need to scratch whenever something strikes a spark in my brain.
Reason #2: The first time I ever told anyone else about what was going on in my family sphere, I had no other choice. It was sophomore year of high school. My boyfriend Justin, at the time, noticed my quite disposition that day and kept bugging me to tell him what was up.
Here’s what was up:
The night before, I went grocery shopping with my mother. We didn’t have a car at the time so we walked. This was normal for us. While shopping, mother put several items into her purse. She said we couldn’t afford everything (I later learned that she was just a kleptomaniac). In the checkout line two employees approached her, pulled her aside, called the cops and sat her in the office.
I remained on the line and checked out with the EBT card she gave me before heading off with the manager. I then left the store with a cart full of groceries. I didn’t know what to do so I carried all of the groceries home.
A gallon of milk, two gallons of ice cream, frozen pizzas, a case of soda, laundry soap, toilet paper and many other big bulky items.
It was more than I could manage. On top of the heavy, cumbersome load, the sky opened up halfway home. Soaking wet and carrying the groceries home I got splashed by cars passing by. Mom didn’t make it home until the next morning right before I left for school.
Needless to say I didn’t want to share this story with my newly acquired boyfriend. He thought my silence was because of something he did. After several periods of pressuring me to spill the beans I gave in. I felt so ashamed but he let me cry and it felt good. I told him everything. I even told him about the food stamps. Our relationship didn’t last long but our friendship remains until this day. He was even one of my bridesmen.
Reason #3: I promise, this one is shorter.
After telling Justin, I felt comfortable telling my closest friend Bobby some other things going on in my life. It felt good to have another person to confide in. I felt less alone.
A while later I was approached by one of Bobby’s friends. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, ” I never knew, Michelle. You are very strong.”
I had no idea what the hell he was talking about and my face must have suggested as much. He said, “oh, Bobby was just telling us some of your stories this morning on the stairwell.”
Needless to say I was furious. I also decided that if my stories were going to be told that I was going to tell them. They weren’t going to be used by someone else as a form of entertainment and I also wasn’t going to share them for pity.
My stories are mine to tell and I am comfortable telling them. I remember the first time I read a book about a character who had it worse than me. I felt less alone. So if my stories can offer something like that to someone else than I am thankful for that opportunity.
That’s my ramble for the day. Thanks for listening.