Sufficient Unto This Day

April 22, 2009

Last week, I almost quit blogging. Almost.

I wasn`t going to say anything about it. If I had quit, I would have gone totally silently into that good blogless night. There wouldn`t have been a post angsting about whether or not to quit; there wouldn`t have been a post proclaiming some long goodbye. I was just not ever going to post again. Which, I know, is kind of douchey, but still.

I was not going to post again, because the imperative to post was hurting my heart and making me crazy in a week during which I felt, strongly, that I simply could not post, that it would be wrong to post, that it would be wrong, somehow, to even Twitter all the fears and anxieties that I was struggling to contain. I wanted to write, but my preferred forum for writing was closed to me, or so I felt. I ached to write, to write anything, even just 140 characters proclaiming my fear; my fingers twitched, desperate to tap messages into my phone as we circled Emilia’s bed in the hospital, as we fretted and worried and paced. I am so scared, I typed, I am so scared. And then my fingers retracted their message, backspaced, deleted, and I resumed my pacing, my worrying. What could I possibly accomplish, publishing my fear? And how hollow, how terribly, selfishly, hollow to whine vacantly into the void when others were living and sharing darker fears. Realizing darker fears, the worst fears. What would I be doing, to add my own selfish anxieties to that chorus of pain?

No pain is hollow, of course. Seeing my daughter slumped and incoherent, eyes sunken in dark sockets, skin white and hot, was terrifying and horrible and I felt my anxiety in every moment as a strangling hurt, a terrible pressure against my lungs and throat that threatened to cut off my breath. But that was only my hurt, my fear, and although I know that every parent understands how terrible that hurt and how horrible that fear, it was not the time to share it, it was not the time to reach out. It was simply not the time.

Which invites the question: is it ever the time? This is a rhetorical question, of course, because, yes, yes, there is always a time for expressing and sharing fear or anxiety or sadness or all of these together. If we never shared these experiences, we would not know that they are common, ordinary even. We would not know that pain is something that we all live through. We would not know that it is something that we share. And we would never be able to find community in and through our pain, if we didn`t express it, share it.

But doesn`t sharing the pain, sometimes, just exascerbate it? Doesn’t it become, sometimes, a sort of twisted indulgence, a way of lingering in an ache and prolonging the sensation of hurt, in the same manner as scratching compulsively at an itch, even though it causes us bleed? If I write my hurt, am I expunging it or clinging to it? And if I draw others into my circle of anxiety, does it serve to comfort all of us – by underlining how common the experience – or does it serve to discomfit all of us – by making the experience common, by forcing others to live it, vicariously? Do I want community, or do I want attention? Can these two desires even be distinguished?

My anxiety about writing through my fear last week reduced to these three concerns – that I wanted to write because I wanted to wallow in that fear, that by wallowing, publicly, in my fear I’d be forcing others to experience that fear (in a week when fear and pain were already in too great supply) and that my writing/wallowing might be construed as attention-seeking (look! look! I hurt too! come see my pain!) – and these conspired to shut me down. And so shut down I did: I unplugged my computer and disabled e-mail on my phone and resolved that the only writing that I would do would be with pen and paper and kept entirely private. And then I cried. A lot. Because blogging has, in the worst of times, been a lifeline for me, a way of working through the pain and fear of struggling with depression and with the challenges of motherhood and with the general anxieties and regrets of a life well lived and with the looming spectre of death. And so the thought of abandoning it – of being abandoned by it – was terrifying, gut-wrenching.

And so I decided to not decide. I would simply not write about my pain that week, and hope that I would somehow grow an ability write light-heartedly and humorously so that I might not be so often an agent for spreading dark and gloom across the internets. And then Monday came and Emilia seemed better and so there was something happy to say – Emilia seems better! - and so I opened my computer and said it and the universe didn`t collapse in on itself, so. Baby steps.

I still don`t know how I`ll handle writing about Tanner, whose condition is worsening, and about how I`m going to explain the fact of his inevitable death to Emilia (something that becomes ever more pressing with every question she asks about his disabilities), and about lost siblings and hurt parents and depression and darkness and faith and all those terrible, difficult things that seem to have become my stock in writing trade. I just don`t know. I do know that I will write about them, sooner rather than later, just as I know that I will, someday – later rather than sooner – stop writing this blog. But I`m not going to worry about those things now.

For now, I`m just going to keep writing, and see what happens.

You can tell me, honestly – is there such a thing as oversharing hurt? Do I do it? Do I need – do we all need – to bring less angst and more happy? DOES THE INTERNET NEED MORE UNICORNS? I think maybe.

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    { 103 comments }

    Rebekah April 22, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    I’m glad Emilia is okay. And I’m glad you are still blogging. I happened upon your blog almost a year ago and I check it daily – you’re one of my favorites. For one thing, you are an outstanding writer. And for another, I feel like I would really like you and enjoy knowing you if we ever met in real life. Because I only “know” you through your blog, I am writing this based on what I have read in these pages and I admire and respect your honesty, your genuineness, your intelligence, and your humor (you are one funny chick!). I appreciate your willingness to write about your life, both the pretty and the not-so-pretty times – it makes you that much more real. I like real and I enjoy connection when someone is willing to share the hard stuff.

    I wish I could express myself more clearly

    MOm April 22, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Twenty-five years ago when I clutched my daughter to my breast in response to the doctor’s, “She needs to go to the hospital,” if there had been e-mail and twitter and blogs and the world out there of people who care or are just curious, could I have written about it? I don’t know.

    I was lonely, I was afraid, I was desperately focused on my child. Would writing and sharing have helped? Did I need to work it out then, or did I need to focus on my child then, and work it out later? Some people are helped by talking and some are helped by curling up in a ball.

    I simply don’t know. I don’t know that any of us can know. We do what we do, learn a little as we go along and hope for the best.

    PS. She got better.

    Homeslice April 22, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    i’ve been struggling with some of this myself, especially after i ran across some really nasty posts by people ripping on so-called mommy bloggers for sharing information when their kids were sick, as if the very act of twittering “OMG my child is sick” made them a bad mother. so i can understand why you might shy away. for me, blogs are about and for the people who write them, so you do as you see fit. personally, i like it when bloggers i read talk openly about what is going on – because it allows people like me to offer little words of support, which can’t change anything, but at least make the day seem less, i don’t know, lonely.

    corrin April 22, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    In the end, you blog for you. So whether you document everything on your blog or keep it all inside, you’ll always remember the difficult times, so why not keep blogging and let the support roll in!

    Stimey April 22, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I am glad that Emilia is feeling better.

    As for the pain and the sharing and the wallowing…I think it is a very personal decision what you need to do or feel compelled to do. I find that when I am in pain, that if I wallow in it for a while, it helps. And when I blog about it and I get advice or virtual hugs or jokes or anything, it makes me cry harder for a day and then I feel better and I feel loved and that helps.

    I have not experienced, and hope not to experience, during my blogging tenure anything so devastating as what your nephew is going through. But for me, the support network that has come from blogging sustains me where the people I know in real life cannot. My online community understands what I need. My real life friends are wonderful, but they don’t have special needs children. My online friends do, and I need them badly.

    Your voice is a good one, and a smart one, and an engaged one. It’s good to have it around. As long as you feel like writing, I (and others) will be here reading. And when you’re ready to go, just let us know that you’re okay first.

    toddlerplanet April 22, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Hey. I’m the Queen of oversharing illness. I thought people would stop coming to my blog. I thought I was sharing hurt … but they didn’t stop coming, and it helped me to keep writing.

    Now I typically write about rainbows and unicorns and the joys that I am finally able to have, and very few people read that stuff.

    For what it’s worth.

    (And yes, it can seem perverse … but I think people really do want to help when a friend hurts.)

    Please post updates on Emilia? I worry for you….

    Ree April 22, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    More unicorns? No way. What we need is more people like you who are unafraid to be honest and open and air their fears so that the rest of us can feel that we’re not so alone in our thoughts and emotions.

    XXXX

    The Bodhi Chicklet April 22, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Yeah, I do think there is such a thing as over-sharing grief. But the onus is also on the readers. It’s one thing to write it and post it but an entirely different thing to be gobbling up every written word. It’s a different world we are living in with this instant communication and technology, takes some getting used to.

    V-Grrrl April 22, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    My first few years of blogging, I was more open, and now I’m like Maggie Dammit. I write around most of the Big Stuff on my blog. I take a lot to my private journal and pour it out there.

    I completely understand the dilemma between receiving support and receiving attention, of keeping perspective. *I* get tired of *my* struggles and the same old, same old from myself, so I know others must feel that way as well. It is hard to make the rounds in the blogosphere when it seems everyone is dumping grief and anxiety and insecurity on each other.I think sometimes it’s good to step back and take the raw emotion elsewhere, share it another way, or wait until you have time to process the experience a bit.

    Blogging is like any other relationship–people don’t want to know EVERYTHING that rattles our heads and hearts.

    Karen MEG April 22, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Catherine, I made a leap myself in the last few months in dealing with the most horrible time in my life, the passing of my Dad. At first I didn’t know how I could do it, blog about it, I mean…and whether it would somehow be perceived as a cheap way to get comments and sympathy… but in the end I don’t know how I couldn’t have done it. I did get comments and sympathy (and yours were among them) and it was reassuring, knowing that there were people out there who were really thinking about me and what our family was going through.

    Just words, yes, from people that I have never met. But human words, that gave me strength, and that continue to help me through my grief whenever I post about it.

    And that ain’t cheap. In fact, I’ve found the comments validate that my words have always honoured my father and my family.

    I’m glad you didn’t shut it down. And I am SO GLAD that your baby girl is better.

    Anonymous April 22, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    I am leaving this anonymously, simply because I don’t want for my daughter’s pain to be immortalized on the interweb- but we had one of those weeks too- high fever, weird symptoms and then… a kid that got antibiotics and was fine. It could have been so different. All of the tests that they made me hold her, screaming two year old fury have made me drink- to forget- these last two days. I need to forget. I am incapacitated by my grief over not protecting her from what needed to be done, but that is what I do, the greater good, etc. I feel you, it fucking sucks to see YOUR CHILD in pain, freaking out and worried about what might happen next.

    I am glad that you are back, and are still blogging. You fill a need in this world of writing.

    Anonymous April 22, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    I am the anonymous at 9:19 and I wanted to say that I missed it- that you worried about being an attention whore ( bad phrasing, but whatever, right?) You aren’t. I am not. I don’t think that you are oversharing, I think that by telling others, we lessen our load. I have told all kinds of family members and friends about having to hold my daughter firmly by the arms while they did a catheter, and I know that it wasn’t a “pain olympics” I just really want somebody to tell me that it is okay, to understand how freaking miserable that was, for her and for me. She walked away A-okay, and I am still shell shocked. I HATE IT. No unicorns. I found this whole bloggy world and have enjoyed it because now I know that I am not the only one that loses their mind and behaves badly, that loves their kid wildly and laughs at inappropriate times…. You are my friend and you never even had a choice:)

    Loukia April 22, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I almost feel like it is pointless to write this comment, because you have so many other great comments to read, but I will go ahead anyway…

    When my 3 year old was in CHEO with a very bad case of pneumonia and things kept worse and he needed surgery and a chest tube to drain fluid for 4 days and an oxygen mask, and countless IV’s and blood work and CT scans and xrays, I absolutely did not want to talk to anyone at all. Except my direct family. I pretty much hated the world and my situation and felt that it was a very personal thing, what we were going through. How could I just update my facebook status with my fear? There was nothing I could say, and even though I love to write, it did not help in those days. After, I could talk about it. But not during that nightmare. I guess we all deal with these difficult situations differently. Reading about your story and your fear, and others like you, I can relate, and I appreciate you writing them down, because after it was all over, I did the same. I did not take any calls, even, from all my friends who were concerned and calling me. I told my husband I did not want visitors. (We got visitors anyway…) Those 14 days were dreadful, and I just could not find any comfort in sharing my fear at that time.
    I’m glad you’re still blogging.

    Merrily Down the Stream April 22, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    I don’t know the answers to your questions but I am glad you are still posting. I would miss your wisdom and bravery. I have an award for you over at my place.
    xoxox

    M April 22, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I have never had to write or dread writing/talking about a serious illness with my children. I DO believe that writing is helpful, even carthartic, when dealing with stress and the unknown. Your readers want to be there for you. What I have found through the years and months of reading many blogs is that when YOU touch someone’s heart with your writing, then we NEED and WANT to let you know that we hear you, that we are here and that we want to know how you are doing.

    Hugs and welcome back!
    Sue

    Margo April 22, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    I think a writer has to write what ever is singing to them at any given time. It’s something I don’t think we always have control over. Sometimes the most painful things aren’t ready to be written about until years later. I also believe that a blog is whatever you want it to be… what is “oversharing” for one reader is most likely a lifeline for another :)

    Redneck Mommy April 22, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    The world needs more people like you, love.

    You know my thoughts on this issue so I will just thank you for all you have written over the years.

    Your words made it possible for me to put one foot in front of the other and to simply try.
    Never forget that, my love.

    KL Crab April 22, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Do what you need to do, when you need to do it. Unicorns have their place, but so does pain and honesty.

    I would guess that sharing on the interwebs can sometimes be easier than sharing IRL- because you can assume we have a little more distance from the immediacy of your pain. (Except for trolls-who can be callous in their lack of empathy.

    Be well and rest easy.

    Rachel April 22, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    There are days.
    when the crushing weight of the world, the impending darkness, the insanity the reality.. it all comes hovering in, threatening…

    I have been accused of having too many unicorns and rainbows. Of being, not real. Too happy, too *much*

    i don’t blog the pain, my choice.
    You write so much better.
    I feel, experience, heal and so much more in your writing, in Tanis’, in Lotus’, In Mishi’s. Y’all say it better, deeper, more powerfully.

    Thank you.
    My heart and prayers, they go to you.
    They are small, they are mine but they are everything.

    Thank you for your inspiration, for your beauty, your eloquence, your passion.

    Your silence would be deafening… but, it would be understood and respected.

    Haley-O April 22, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    I couldn’t quit either. I stopped everything. And then came back to twitter, came back to CMB, and ultimately came back to Cheaty Monkey. I couldn’t write about what I was going through — still can’t — and so I couldn’t write. But, not writing made everything WORSE. So, I came back. And am vowing no pressure. I will write what I can, what I want (even if it’s fear, anxiety, etc.).

    Aristotle said that tragedy served the purpose of Catharsis (it’s been a long time…)…. When you write about your pain and anxiety, you connect with us (your readers) on a soul level. It’s healthy. It teaches. It brings awareness. It enables us to support you. I don’t seem to have the words, but I do not believe there’s such a thing as oversharing hurt. I think it’s brave and it’s service to others…. Happy is good, but we have all the parenting magazines — with the glossy and airbrushing — for that, right?

    Texas April 23, 2009 at 1:07 am

    Yes, I for one think the internets need more unicorns.
    I have seen so much fighting and kicking people while they are down lately that I wonder if we are better off since we have the internets or if we are actually worse off than before they came along.
    With all our cell phones and twitter machines we rarely talk in person anymore and nealy never interact with people around us, especially strangers that we used to talk to in lines or at doctors offices, things like that.
    I read comments all over the place about people bashing mothers while their babies are struggling to live, bashing because identities are kept private, bashing because ideas are differing. So much hatred and bullying going on lately that it’s dragging us all down.
    I am not talking about your site, I am talking about the global internet situation of just plain mean that seems to be rampant lately.
    It can’t ALL be unicorns and butterflies, but they sure would be welcomed all over the internets once in awhile. And if people in general could be a little nicer to each other, that’d be great also.
    Just my opinion !!

    Bekah April 23, 2009 at 3:54 am

    Even when I write it is in a far more private forum than you’ve chosen. There’s a part of me that simply shies away from the reality of sharing that much.

    But even in my own journal, that quiet private place safe from virtually all censure because it is filled with friends who love me unconditionally- there are some entries that are too deep- too private- to share.

    I lock those away on a private setting… but I write them. I write them as though to that audience because even the thought that this time I might be willing to share by the time I get to the end is enough for the writing to be as cathartic as it needs to be.

    Do as you must whenever it happens, but this faceless person would miss your warm voice. =)

    Mary April 23, 2009 at 9:34 am

    I don’t know. I don’t have anything great to say, except that I am so glad Emilia is okay and I’m so sorry you went through that. My heart ripped a little reading your post. My little girl was rushed to the hospital 2 days after birth after having convulsions. It was a week in hospital of hellish testing and watching my baby get lumbar punctures, brain scans, EKGs, etc. Just like you, I shut down my computer and phone and didn’t speak to anyone about it, for many of the same reasons. To this day many of my good friends have no idea what happened that week and how it left a huge imprint on who I am.
    I do wish now that I had reached out and told people when it happened. I needed help and support. They would understand me better now and it’s harder to express it after the fact.
    Anyway, that’s my overshare for the day. More unicorns is a must, though. Life is tough sometimes, though, so no need to just be happy when it really just sucks. There’s something great about wallowing in pain, too. Most art wouldn’t exist without it!

    Loralee Choate April 23, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I almost didn’t comment because I just posted today in a pretty similar vein. Only I caved and bitched and cried. And I had guilt so I apologized all over myself.
    Then was upset with myself because I keep so.much.in.

    Should I have to feel the need to apologize for writing about my life? Even when the ratio of hard vs. rainbows is unequal?

    I think that everyone is so different with how they feel, cope and blog to answer you question adequately.

    If it helps you to write about difficulty, do it. If it exacerbates your pain, don’t.

    No one can feel as much pain and fear by listening to your story as you do. Not even close. So, I tend to think that needing to write out something and doing so is much more of a help to the author than stress on readers.

    There IS something to be said about people in comments exacerbating things when you are vulnerable, and that is something you have to weigh.

    Personally, I feel that more of the blogging world tends to shy away from sharing deep, tough, hard things. More often it seems coated with an impossibly happy, content,I’m fine, sunshiney veneer. Which is great if it is how they cope and deal.

    I DO NOT WANT NOR NEED THE PRESSURE TO DO THE SAME.

    It makes my shit tougher.

    I usually try (not hard as it is my personality) to make my blog a funny place. Even when blogging about hard stuff. Because there is a lot of hard stuff in my life.

    But it’s a lot of pressure. To find the unicorns. To be expected to do so while holding in your own just because other people have pain, even a LOT of pain, blows.

    I opt to release some of it on my blog to be capable of being more positive for my children and family.

    It helps me. They don’t have the option of clicking off my blog page. My readers do.

    I think there is room for blogging the hard stuff (even a lot of the time) if it helps and you need to.

    If people find it overwhelming, well…isn’t that what http://www.cuteoverload.com is for?

    Anonymous April 23, 2009 at 10:22 am

    It’s your blog, you should say whatever you want, whatever you’re feeling. If anyone doesn’t like it, then screw them.

    No Mother Earth April 23, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Some people would have no outlet for pain and sadness if it wasn’t for blogging. I say, share on.

    Joy April 23, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Haley-O said in her comments what I have been thinking about lately in reference to your blog – it teaches. When you share what you write, what you are feeling, and you explore the depths of your feelings and responses, and invite us into the discussion/debates with you, you teach. You teach empathy, and different ideas, and offer a way for people to possibly view a little bit of another perspective or two, or more.

    Over sharing hurt? I don’t know that that’s possible, among friends. Among people who choose to continue in a dialogue with you, through whatever medium. Among friends, we are allowed to obsess, a little, about what truly irritates us, and scares us, and delights us. That’s what friends do. And as other posters have said, we do feel like your friend even though you don’t know who we are. We choose to continue in this dialogue with you, because we care. And if you are getting too much over the top – you can count on a friend or two to gently point that out to you. And you get to decide if you want to stop, or continue.

    Do you need to consciously work to bring less angst and more unicorns??? Only if that’s what you need to write about. It’s your choice, your dialogue. I, for one, am happy to read about your angst, and unicorns, and everything in between… Don’t stop writing until YOU CAN’T write on this blog anymore. It’s not about us, it’s for you.

    I am so glad that Emilia is felling better. Happy writing!

    Adventures In Babywearing April 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Oh, I don’t know! And I am so intimidated by the size of most of your comments!

    But, I get this.

    Steph

    Colleen - Mommy Always Wins April 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    There is something VERY therapeutic in just writing something out. Whether you say it in a post, on twitter or never share it at all, it helps.

    Anonymous April 23, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I don’t know what to say about oversharing hurt, but as far as looming life issues are concerned, do your best to just take one day at a time. That’s all we got sista.

    Am so glad Emilia is okay.

    Anonymous April 23, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    I think there is such a thing as oversharing hurt. But it’s up to us readers to read or not. I read less of you lately because I can’t take sadness these days, but it’s my problem, not yours, one less reader (me) does not make a difference in your community, especially since I don’t blog, I just read.

    Amanda April 23, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    I think we write what we need to write, at least I hope we do. Can we get in ruts? You bet, but they shouldn’t lead to quitting, rather to renewal. I find your writing exquisite, joyous and sorrow-soaked alike.

    Wishing you joy, but not damning you for your sorrow.

    Alexicographer April 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    It feels terrible to say so, but the losses and fears in the blogosphere have helped me better appreciate the time I spend with my son this week (per one of the posts of yours that you linked to). How awful to benefit in that way from others’ terrible losses. But, it does drive home the message about how valuable our time together is and how little we should take for granted.

    No, I don’t think there’s such a thing as oversharing, really. Those who know you will want to know, those who don’t probably won’t show up, and those dealing with similar situations may (hopefully) stumble across what you’ve written and find it helpful. Or so I think…

    JCK April 23, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    I don’t think that you overshare your pain here. It helps. It helps others to see that they are not alone with their pain. And the connection is powerful.

    April April 23, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    i’m so glad you didn’t disappear into the night. and i hope emilia’s fully recovered and thriving. next time tell us… let us take some of the burden. that’s what we’re here for.

    Niksmom April 23, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I’m so glad to know Emilia is better; I look forward to hearing of her latest antics soon. :-)

    One of the things I learned very early on (and continue to re-learn) in my journey as a mama to a child with multiple special needs and who spent the first 7 months of his life in the hospital is this:

    My child’s disabilities aren’t any more painful for me than another’s might be. My personal pain is not deeper, more significant, or any more meaningful than anyone else’s…it is all simply *different* and sharing it is an important part of dealing with it. Knowing when and how to share it is useful but sometimes you just have to share it and trust that those who know you know you need their love to help soothe the hurt.

    I hope you won’t ever just walk away from your blog without letting *someone* know you’re ok. We care and we’d worry. Even if we were in our own pain. This I know.

    mothergoosemouse April 23, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    I will be more honest here in this comment than I dare to be on my blog: I don’t share the pain for fear that the responses (or lack of responses) will hurt me more.

    I’ll tell you over and over how brave I think you are. And how glad I am that Emilia is well.

    Kristen April 24, 2009 at 1:21 am

    I’m sorry to hear about the internal struggle you’ve been going through. I haven’t been around. I pulled a douche and just disappeared from the blogosphere for a while.

    Her Bad Mother April 24, 2009 at 8:29 am

    MGM – fear of responses (and, yeah, sometimes, lack thereof) is a big part of it. when I`m feeling raw, I can`t bear the thought of dealing with even the slightest snark. which is why I so often close comments.

    adjustmentdisorder April 24, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Write, don’t write, do whatever you need to take care of yourself and your family. I’m just glad your baby is on the mend!

    Karen April 24, 2009 at 10:37 am

    We’re all in this world together. Writing about your pain is a natural thing to do, just the same as writing about your happiness or your anger. It just means you are normal, that you are human. Like the rest of us.

    Keep writing. We are here because we want to be.

    KC April 24, 2009 at 11:39 am

    I just drafted a post about the early days with dealing with my daughter’s emotional meltdowns. I don’t know if I can bring myself to publish it.

    I write about my daughter’s selective mutism, because there’s so little firsthand stories about it. But I don’t want to bring out the really dark days, because I don’t know if it’s helpful for others to know how bad things got before they got better.

    I don’t know the answer to whether or not I’m going to publish that post. It’s very personal, but I know I get really heartfelt responses from other mothers of selectively mute children when I share some of the struggles we’ve gone through. They don’t feel quite so alone and consequently I don’t feel so alone either.

    I have never been able to share anything in real life. No one understands in my life, but online readers do, and I get support and encouragement.

    Keep writing I say. Disclose what you want. Good luck.

    Maia April 24, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    You do not overshare your hurt. I don’t know if that is possible, but I know that sometimes I feel that others are oversharing their hurt with me. I think that actually when we share our hurt it disapates (spelling?) some … at least when I am hurting/scared and keep it to myself it seems a lot bigger than if I share it. I am not sure that sharing is always the RIGHT thing to do (if we want to get into judgments).

    Anyway, thanks for continuing to write. Believe it or not, reading about your life (including but not limited to when you are hurting / scared) is very helpful to me and at times makes my own hurt/fears smaller.

    KC April 24, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    The other thing I forgot to mention – sometimes, when I do share some personal stories, it’s for the express purpose of trying to help others avoid some of the same traps I fell into. I write not just to get things off my chest, but really, hopefully my honesty could help someone else so that they don’t have to go through what I have and so they don’t have to feel so alone in dealing with similar issues. I feel posting personal struggles is not just worth it but actually needs to be done. Sometimes not talking about things means you won’t be able to help that one person (or more) going through similar issues. I think the whole purpose in life is to help each other through it. I think the internet is a great way to give and receive help, even if it’s just psychological support to each other.

    I honestly wish there were more people talking honestly and from the heart about family life and some of the more difficult aspects (illness, depression, etc). Not to joke about it, or ridicule it, but to realize that we all have our capabilities and our limits and they ebb and flow with the events that happen to us. There’s only one way out of this life, we need to help each other while we can.

    Sharing our personal stories thoughtfully, honestly, and respectfully is a good thing. Sharing ideas, advice and positive support for one another is a WONDERFUL thing. I would not know as much as I do now about Selective Mutism if I hadn’t been able to share stories with other moms through the internet.

    Peace,
    KC

    Mrs. Wilson April 24, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    I think that with this whole “community” thing – I think we need to support one another when that person is in need of support – and if you’re hurting, you should share your hurt (if you feel so led). When you feel like sharing unicorns, do so. When you’re hurting, share your hurt.

    That’s my two cents.

    abomo April 24, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    please keep writing. in a world that is so sterile, so separate, so divided – connecting with other humans by any means necessary is vital to our survival. IMHO. plus, on top of your tremendously gifted talent and blatant honesty, you seem like one cool chick I wouldn’t mind hanging out with on a friday night and talk about kids, life, love, loss, laughter…peace to you and your family…

    tinycandi April 25, 2009 at 12:10 am

    It’s your blog. You write for you. You write when you’re ready. If there are days when you can’t or don’t want to or need to or want to or anything in between…you just do what you can do when you can do it.

    I love reading your blog. It’s just…real…you know? And it’s inspiring. I actually started a blog entry after reading one of yours. And it took me awhile to get the “courage” to share that post with the world. But I did. And I was thinking about you…and your courage.

    I’m glad your daughter is feeling better. :hugs: And I hope you’re feeling a little better too, hun.

    Kim April 25, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Wow, so honest and so genuine. I just found your blog but look forward to reading more.

    Hollie April 26, 2009 at 10:23 am

    I have followed you for years. Rarely commenting.

    I think there are times that we simply do need to let the grief out and your family is going through a process. DOn’t overanalyze what you want to share and what you dont, you are simply on a path many wont have to take.

    You can never share too much. Watching a child die, is life transforming, when it is your own it changes who you are

    I know this from personal experience. As I watched my Sam die it was the hardest day of my life. The days before are now all a mesh. Even 16 years later it is hard because the memory is forever embedded.

    In the days ahead it is ok to break down, to close out the world, to regroup, to simply be. Some days will be better then others and when Tanner’s journey here is done, dont forget to celebrate the best of him, and to smile, and laugh, and enjoy yours because that is what they would want for you.

    Marinka April 26, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    So terrifying. I’m so glad that she’s better. I think that’s the flip side of the internet–I mean, it brings us closer and we laugh together, but when tragedy strikes, we all feel it. Maybe it’s not the internet as much as life. No man is an island and all that.

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