When we started to put the episodes around addiction together something came up for me while working on the podcast. Sue and I had so many conversations around addiction, the impact on families and specifically how it affected me. But you know what I realised was more important to me, was how do I express how I felt while considering how my words might affect Ken or Erica or Greg and all the people I love?
I’ve acknowledged before how grateful I am for Ken helping us with some details of That Night because I know it’s hard for him to revisit that. But he did it to support me. I also want to acknowledge others in my family who have found some of things I have talked about hard to hear, hard to re-live. I am so grateful that my family has shared those things with me and we have had long conversations around some very difficult topics.
But working on the addictions episodes has brought the issue up again. It was one thing to tell my side of a very public story that happened and was over 12 years ago. But when I tell my story about how addiction has affected our family, I’m also telling other people’s stories. Stories they are still living through. So it raises the question, what right do I have to share their story in telling my own?
Some of these conversations have caused me to reconsider how I tell my story. I have to respect privacy and most importantly I don’t want to harm those I love. But my story is still there to tell. It is hard to explain how the telling of a story, or just acknowledging the experience and how that made me feel, has helped me in my healing. So where do I find the balance?
In the telling of my story I’m trying to be as authentic as possible. I’m telling you how these events impacted my life. But just because I’m telling you about some things, there is no obligation to tell you absolutely everything, especially the things that might hurt people I love.. We all are allowed to decide what we want to share.
What I can tell you is that communication with those you love is so important. Talking to someone…. anyone… who will listen with kindness and respect is so important.Talking something through and listening to a different perspective has certainly helped me not take things others have said and done so personally. It is not always about me!! It is not always about my perspective.
But sharing my thoughts and feelings has made me feel that I matter, something I have struggled with. Having the other players in the story share their thoughts and feelings with me is so helpful in understanding the dynamics of the human condition and how we relate to others and the world. Thank you for your love and support.
When you look around the world right now so many of us are floundering, not knowing where we belong. There seems to be impatience and anger from some when faced with overwhelming circumstances. But there is also incredible bravery, kindness and empathy. Those are the emotions that I hope we will embrace in our thoughts, actions and speech as we move forward into this uncertain future and throughout this podcast.