I don’t want to hurt…

I don’t want to hurt my children, so I am not honest about the pain and anger I sometimes feel about being a parent.

I don’t want to hurt my parents, so I am not honest about the wounds from which I am struggling to recover.

I don’t want to hurt my sister, so I am not honest about the terrible hurts between us.

I don’t want to hurt other parents of kids with disabilities, so I am not honest about how much I wish that Carter was a typical kid.

I don’t want to hurt my in-laws, so I am not honest about . . . anything.

I don’t want to hurt my husband, so I am not honest about the ways that our relationship is difficult.

I don’t want to hurt my church family, so I am not honest about how disappointed I am that they don’t share their own difficulties more readily.

I don’t want to hurt Jacob, so I am not honest about how painful it is when he speaks to me the same way his dad does.

I don’t want to hurt Abbie, so I am not honest about how devastated I am by her rejection.

I don’t want to hurt Spencer, so I am not honest about the ambivalence I feel around my role as his stepmother.

I don’t want to hurt Carter, so I am not honest about how angry I am that he is ill.

I don’t want to feel embarrassed, so I am not honest about the anguish I feel about my weight.

I don’t want to feel your pity, so I am not honest about my depression.

I don’t want to feel your condemnation, so I am not honest about they ways I feel helpless and stuck in my life.

I don’t want to feel your judgment, so I am not honest about my opinions if I don’t feel like an expert.

I don’t want to be less than you, so I hide behind false notions of privacy.

If I believe that the truth will set me free (and I do), then I have become my own jailer.

And who have I protected?


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36 thoughts on “I don’t want to hurt…”

  1. So much love to you. Wish I could offer more than that or could magically do something to help but love will just have to do.

    Thank you for your honesty and know in (at least some of these things) I understand as much as anyone can.

  2. friend…we are so much more alike than you can know. I feel like I hold back on SOOOO much. even though people who know me or read my blog wouldn’t think so. People say I am so honest…but I am only PART honest. I get the advice of how to “fix” certain things, but I still can’t seem to do it. And then I am embarrassed.

    Again, I wish we lived closer. sigh…

    1. Is that the weirdest thing? People tell me I’m honest and brave, and I think, “Whoa. If you think THAT’S bad, what will you think if I tell you the REALLY honest stuff?” And I don’t exactly know where to go with that.

      And, yeah, closer. I think we’d close down a few coffee shops together.

  3. Most of this made me sad, but this little gem made me guffaw loud enough to startle the sleeping cat on my lap:

    I don’t want to hurt my in-laws, so I am not honest about . . . anything.

  4. Adrienne

    “I don’t want to hurt..” Yet YOU hurt so very very much. It is heartbreaking.

    I experience stuff similar to this. I can only keep my handle on it for so long, then the walls all collapse.

    I need to learn how to ask for support. It is hard for me to identify what I need as support. Do you experience that?

    Today Ben forgot his cell phone. He has to walk 20 minutes home from school and the cold triggers his asthma so he must have his cell phone. SO I drove it to the school.

    I was in tears about this.

    I cannot keep the visual of Ben in the snow, wheezing with no one to help him, out of my head. I feel guilty that I cannot find a way to leave work and pick him up from school.

    This makes me sick…

    It seems no matter what, I am always letting someone down.

    Sorry for the long rant.

    That is all

    1. I…yeah. Yeah.

      I can’t carry it around any more, so this is my attempt to start laying some of it down.

      I have to lay some of it down because I deserve better, and Carter needs more from me than I can offer if I’m poisoned by secrets.

      And you deserve better, too.

  5. You carry the world on your shoulders. It is a very heavy burden. I do not know who you have protected, but I know it has cost you a great deal. {{{Hugs}}}

    1. Thank you. Yes, the price is too high. I have to find a new way to balance privacy and honesty because hanging on to all this crap is killing me. Quite literally killing me.

  6. I feel for you my friend. Probably because I see myself here. It’s never easy to expose those true feelings. “I don’t want to feel your judgement” is a big one.

    You have shared much of yourself here. And maybe that is the start to setting yourself free. You are much braver than you think. And you have the gift of words.

    So glad you are back, Adrienne — Honestly.

    1. Thank you, Shanon. Yes, it is incredibly to expose my guts, but I believe in the power of truth.

      Or I THINK I believe it. This is me putting my money where my mouth is!

    1. But you know that by being here and bearing witness to my truth, you’re helping, right? I hope you know that.

      So much of my pain comes from not feeling like I’ve been truly heard, so for you to hear me is everything. Thank you for that.

  7. Much more ditto-ing from me again here today. Wish I could wave my magic wand and make all the hurty crap go away. I relate to you on so much here. There are huge parts of my story I will not/cannot tell because my husband (and his family) reads my blog. And that part involves him and so it is his story, too, and he is an extremely private man. But I still have a burning need to talk about it. Sigh.

    And you should know that your “partial honesty” is more honest and telling and truthful and helpful for us to read than 99% of the “true stories” that are out there in the inter-ether. You are a brave and honorable woman (perfect? no, but perfect is neither expected nor required, is actually boring) and you need to tell the voices in your head that tell you otherwise to shut the fuck up. Seriously. Much love to you, always.

    1. Thank you, Varda. Always, thank you. I can feel your love and support and appreciate it so much.

      You can tell those stories that you can’t write on your blog at Band Back Together, and you can do it anonymously. For me, for some reason, anonymous doesn’t help. I have to be exposed to heal (and I really hoped that’s not an indicator of some kind of weird masochism!). But for many people, writing and telling is healing even without a name.

  8. If any of us are being honest, none of us are really honest. Hope this sets you free – and inspires some others to follow your lead. Well spoken lady.

    1. Thank you! It will set me free, I think. I hope.

      People are always talking about online privacy, but for me, I have to change the way I define that. I can’t keep carrying all this crap around with me everywhere I go!

  9. That’s beautiful and, of course, sad.

    As I read it, I was hoping that a line near the bottom was going to say I don’t want to hurt me so … but it was not to be so. I guess the difference is that this is a piece that is not contrived and, as such, is not “complete” like a commercial poem.

    Ergo, it is in your moment, and it is perfect. I hope you hear this in only positive ways because I am writing with admiration and tenderness. Hugs.

    1. Oh, Karen, thank you. I want to get there, where I protect myself as fervently as I protect my children.

      Maybe someday, I’ll be able to re-write this in a different way.

    2. One foot in front of the other, the only way to get there, eh?! Even though I learned that lesson, or the start of it, some 20 years ago, I still work it everyday, especially with those closest to me. But I figure the stuff you are writing are signs that that is the direction your toes are pointing as you step and step and step. I also believe that sharing it with a set of readers who will hold you up with their words (and ignoring the trolls) will help to get you there.

  10. Great post, dear. In some ways I think each and everyone one of us have felt one or more of these lines in the past.

    And, if we say we haven’t…we’d be lying.

    Just know that you are loved – and as frightening as it seems – the people around you who love you too, would understand, as we do.


  11. Well put. Amazing actually.
    Thanks for posting this…it helps to see my feelings on someone else’s blog!
    And (this is not pity) I’m so sorry that you feel all of these things. I wish you could get a break.

  12. Brilliant and wonderfully stated, even if there is much sadness behind your words.

    We are all playing with this balance, though for some it is trickier than others.You can only put out there what you feel comfortable with, but know also that you have many supporters. ((hugs))

  13. I could’ve written all of that, so many times I’ve wanted to. Change the kids’ names and, yeah… So let me serve as another source of encouragement! I’m so glad I found your blog, you’re awesome 🙂

  14. i am so…just moved to read this. i am so sorry you hurt. YOU. not pity, just simple & deep understanding. i’m so stuck right now…& sometimes feel so alone. when i read your words i almost feel guilty b:c i feel less alone knowing there’s someone that feels it too. so thank you for your honesty. i hope in my heart that it helped to put it out there. & i send you so much love & peace, so much!!!

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