To you whom I have hurt:
I am sorry. Believe me when I say that hurting others was not my intention, and for that I am sorry.
I had been using writing as a therapy to work through my past, not dwell in it, but to speak to what I remember. I learned somewhere in some class that I probably had to take as a prereq learning about communication (shows how well I paid attention, huh?). In every situation, each person involved has their own perceptions; their own memories. These memories may or may not be the same as others, even those who witnessed the same events. Those memories may be a small fragment of what actually happened.
The words I write here are my own and are the truth as I remember them. When writing about my past, my childhood especially, it’s clear that some things stuck with me more than others. I imagine the same is true for each of you.
I do not dwell on things from my past, I do not wish to play the victim and I do not wish to hurt others by sharing my memories. I’m not a malicious person and I never will be. I write things out as they come to me and I’ve used this blog to work through many of my emotions over the years. Is that dull? Yes. Is it primarily trite? Probably. I’m not denying that.
My relationship with my parents has been something I’ve worked through, accepted, and moved on from. I cannot change the way I’ve felt about certain situations, nor can I pretend that those feelings have never existed. I have, however, been able to move past the way Young Aunt Becky viewed things and moved into my own feelings and thoughts. Are they always pretty? No. Are they always nice to hear? Again, no. But they are mine.
I accept my parents as they are now: a big part of my life. I live a mere seven minutes from them – BY DESIGN – and haven’t been happier. I see my mother each day and our relationship has grown immeasurably. Likewise with my father. Does this mean I don’t occasionally remember things as Young Aunt Becky saw them? Of course not.
Perspective and time means that I can see them for who they were: people who were simply trying to do the best that they could. I don’t begrudge my past as I once did, but I don’t shy away from talking about how I felt. My feelings about any given situation may not be the same as others in the same situation, but that does not invalidate them.
However, in seeing that I’ve hurt so many, I feel it bears mentioning that I did not wish to cause pain for anyone. I spoke my truth as I saw it when I saw it and, through writing it out, I was able to move on.
But I am taking responsibility for those who I have hurt and apologizing that I was the cause of such pain.
I hadn’t meant to.
At Band Back Together, we’re doing a Wall of Remembrance on October 15 for those who have lost a baby, child or suffered a miscarriage. If you’d like to us to remember your baby with you, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject OCTOBER 15.
The line will look like this: Charlie: Jana’s son born May 21, 2003 and died June 14, 2003 from late-onset Group B Strep.
Here’s the information Jana is collecting for the wall:
- Baby’s name (or names for twins, triplets or multiple losses)
- Dates and the cause of death (miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, heart defect, group b strep, etc.)
- URL to your blog or a post about your baby(ies)
- Your first name (if you want it included)
I will also be posting my own wall here just as I do every October 15. The Pranksters and I will always remember those whose tables are forever missing one.
It started back in January. While I’m not one to dwell on trolls, mean comments, or other such internet tomfoolery, because really, why waste the energy I could spend photoshopping my fake dead cat Mr. Sprinkles into inappropriate pictures?
But this comment came from an IP address in the area local enough that a family member could had written it. It said, in a comment dripping with patronizing condescension (forgive me for paraphrasing), “You’re an addict hiding in plain sight.”
I’ve been accused of many things on my blog (my favorite being “you’re not funny,” because I’ve only ever claimed to be funny LOOKING), but to be called an addict, after being accused of being a drug-seeker by the clinic doctor, that was, well, disheartening. Why?
There’s not a day that goes by that I do not worry I will become an addict. We adult children of alcoholics; we are four times as likely to become addicts, and well, both of my parents are recovering alcoholics, which I’d imagine would increase my own likelihood infinitesimally. I’ve written about it ad nauseum because it’s part of who I am. I’m not shy about hiding my past because I know we’re only as sick as our secrets and I do not wish to live my life shrouded in secrecy, pretending my past was a Norman Rockwell painting.
I cannot be the Secret Keeper. It is not in my nature and it is not something I intend to start doing now. Which is, in part, why I am putting back up the only post I’ve ever removed.
I do not know who made such a patronizing, disdainful comment way back in January (although I have my suspicions) but it was that comment that caused me to pull back inward, sharing with you, My Pranksters; my family, only things that could no longer hurt me. Certainly you could call me an assjacket when I put up a picture of my fake dead cat or ramble on about Mark Zuckerberg and his stupid hair, but none, not a single one would hurt. Not really.
But I played it safe for months, living a [redacted] life, only sharing the things that I thought would keep me safe. And I was right, they did. They also made me miserable.
There’s nothing I love more than coming here, spilling my guts to you, my family, and having a single person pipe in and say, “you know what? I feel that way too.” That’s why I do what I do. There’s little more powerful than knowing someone out there feels just like you do. That I am no longer alone in the universe.
And I’m sorry that a single thoughtless comment led to a mostly [redacted] life. Whomever left the comment doesn’t “know me, the real me;” YOU do. My Pranksters. My family.
You deserve better and so do I. It’s time to speak our truth. In the end, that’s all we have.
Aunt Becky: “Oooooh, I should make KEY LIME BARS tonight. It’s only 8:30 and House, MD is delayed and OOOOOO TASTY.”
Aunt Becky (wanders to the pantry): “OH I HAVE RICE TOO.”
Aunt Becky: “Who the fuck eats rice around here?”
Aunt Becky (pours Key Lime crust into pan and throws it into the preheated oven for 8 minutes): “I should take some Vitamin V to properly enjoy The House Experience.”
Aunt Becky: “I’m not sure how I like the new storyline. I think there should be more singing cats.”
Aunt Becky: “OOOO The TWITTER. I SHOULD TWEET SOMETHING PITHY ABOUT CELERY.”
Aunt Becky: “I am the celery pundit!”
Aunt Becky: “That’s PROBABLY the crowning achievement of my life. How pathetic.”
Aunt Becky: “I’m going to doodle ‘Aunt Becky Rules’ on the fridge. Certainly they ALL need a reminder. Perhaps THEN I can get my fake monkey butler Mr. Pinchey!”
Aunt Becky: “Celery is fucking bullshit.”
Aunt Becky (wanders outside to check on roses): “Full moon. Explains a lot. I should give the full moon a FULL MOON.”
(gives full moon a full moon)
Aunt Becky: “I hope my neighbors saw that.”
Aunt Becky (wanders back inside): “Wonder if House, MD is on. We’re not getting back together until he gets a haircut. Prison mullet looks like, well, Prison Mullet. Why can’t he be all Michael Scoffield hot?”
Aunt Becky (spies pan sitting back atop stove, timer blaring): “OOOO. SHIT. DID I ACCIDENTALLY NOT THROW THE PAN IN THE OVEN? I’M SUCH A FUCKING DUMBASS, SWEET BABY JESUS.”
Aunt Becky (reaches to grab pan): “I can totally pretend I MEANT to leave that out….OH BLOODY FUCKING HELL HOT FUCK GODDAMMIT.”
Moral of the story: when in doubt, use a test subject to handle all potentially hot items. Alternately, an oven mitt. But mostly a test subject.