Have you ever given some thought to the stories you are not telling through your blog?
We all have them. Stories of heartache. Stories of grief. Stories of anger. Stories of frustration. Even stories of joy, all of which go unshared. They are all part of our life’s journey – our stories. Some of us can share readily or get to the point of sharing. Some, cannot.
I still find myself in the later camp, for the most part. I do a lot of thinking about what I would like to say. I certainly have life experience that could be helpful to others, should I choose to share it.
Today, I give you a glimpse of some of my untold stories. You might never hear of them again, for I might never be ready to write more.
Cross Country Move
I could write about moving cross-country as an expectant couple with a five-year old to a place we had never been before, where we knew no one. I could write about all the great people with whom we made friends after our move, only to have many of them move away from us after our friendship had blossomed! I could write about all the family celebrations and holidays that were missed.
I could share about years of infertility…..something someone with three boys is probably assumed to know nothing about. Yet, we experienced the grief, hopelessness, and frustration – all feelings that accompany this sometimes elusive condition. Infertility is a condition that is largely not talked about even with close friends, and certainly not strangers.
Or, I could share about multiple miscarriages. The joy of being pregnant quashed by the empty sac of a blighted ovum, or the disappearance of the symptoms of pregnancy, over and over, again. If this happens to you, you will be told it is a very common occurrence. Still, it is not talked about. The grief over what might have been is carried within for many over their entire lifetime.
I could share about infant loss. As a former Level III NICU nurse, I have witnessed both the demise of premature and full term infants belonging to both strangers and people I consider family. There are no words. Believe me, the loss is there for the baby’s care-givers, as well. Early in my nursing career, I cried over many infants who were struggling or had died after being my “primary” patient for 2-3 months. I cried with the family and alone. Sometimes, if you can even imagine, a family’s grief over the loss of their infant is compounded by a cancer diagnosis, the need to remove a body part, or continued death and dying. How much can one be expected to take? Sharing? For some, it is not possible.
Healthcare System Abuse
I could elaborate about the problems with our healthcare system that no one discusses. It is not the lack of access to care that needs more discussion but the abuse of the system that exists on a daily basis. The few patients that utilize the system over and over for negligible illnesses without thought of payment or prevention. This rarely gets discussed but is one of THE biggest drains on the system of all. Please do not go to the Emergency Room with vomiting you have had for only two hours. Please. Please.
I could share about the frustrations or joys of having a gifted child – a truly gifted child – one that was misunderstood for years, but self-directed enough to take care of most of his own needs. Now, he flies with the eagles – achieving feats that only the top 1-2% of this country’s students achieve – only because he found (on his own) the right, supportive place. Still, this is overshadowed by the thirst to read about homegrown students who excel at sports. Yet, if the academic achievements are shared, it is boastful and crass. It is such the opposite with sports. Why is one talent held higher than another?
Athletic prowess is great, and entertaining, but surely will not solve the pressing issues of climate change, world hunger, or the lack of clean water. We still need great thinkers, – thinkers that think out of the box, preferably. Yet, our schools are still not adequately providing for those who do not “fit the mold” that exists in our classrooms. Some students remain frustrated and underserved. I love teachers, but we need to change our educational system. Sadly, many teachers and administrators are resistant to the changes that need to be made. We need to stop teaching to the test and teach to inspire curiosity, knowing for the sake of knowing, and the joy of knowing. We need to let teachers teach as most of them have the capacity and agency to do so, if we let them. Parents must be willing to parent and not add this job to the already full plates sitting before our teachers.
Student Advocacy or Lack Thereof
I have written about the anger I feel when I acknowledge that a teacher stole my son’s self-confidence and motivation early in his high school career by calling him stupid in front of his peers. Yes, I have written about that, but not the shame I feel when I want that teacher’s own children to be called stupid and treated in the same poor manner. Or, I could write about the frustration I feel when I know little was done to correct this type of behavior, despite it being brought to the attention of those in charge and being witness to the damage it has done, and the ramifications still being felt.
I could speak of the poor behavior exhibited by adults at public events. Rudeness. Blame-placing. Name-calling. Why do we not realize that until adults can model proper, polite behavior – we cannot expect our children to know how to act. This could be extended to bullying, as well. The bullying of our children will stop when adults stop modeling the bullying. Yet, it continues.
Make No Assumptions
So, what, if anything, am I trying to say? Just this. There are those who will tell you their stories and those who will not. Be careful not to make any assumptions about the lives of those who choose to stay silent. You do not know what path they have travelled, how bumpy the road has been, or whether they can empathize or sympathize with you because they choose not to share. Some things might be too private. Some things, for some people, are best worked through privately. It is the choice of those who have taken the journey. We all work through our life challenges in our own way – some publicly, and others, in a more private, sometimes uncommunicative, state. Neither is more right or wrong than the other, just the way it is.
Your stories make you who you are, it is up to you to share them or not.