For a long time after the Ex moved out and we had decided that divorce was the way to go, I didn't say anything about it here. In truth, I didn't say anything about it anywhere for a long time. When I finally decided that I was going to have to pony up and talk about this thing, I was worried.
Not just about the vulnerability of seeing those words in black and white. I worried about the fact that I have never been secretive about this space. I've never been anonymous. People know this is me and when I meet people, I tell them where to find me online. I've always been proud of my work here. (Even when it's terrible, I'm proud that I'm keepin' at it.)
So. People would see what I had to say. People who know him. His family. His friends. And, well, him. He never read my blog before (which was always a little bit of a blow) but he could. I wasn't sure how to talk about things. How to say what I really thought and what I really felt without saying something that could hurt anyone else.
It's a kind of nightmare when part of who you are is the person who rips her heart out in public.
Eventually, I decided that my guiding light would be the kids. See, at some point, they are going to catch onto the idea of googling themselves and everyone they've ever met. And when they do, they are probably going to find this space. It might not even come to that. They may know that this is here right now and just not have any interest in reading it (or, you know, reading ability in Maren's case). And so everything I write, I write with them in mind. How will this feel to my girls in five years? What will they think of me if they read that?
Sometimes it's stifling, but mostly everyone needs accountability.
So, that's been my rule. WWTKT? (What would the kids think?)
I talk about my depression because I want them to see me seeing a problem and attacking it, even when the problem itself makes me feel like I can't. And it will not always be easy and sometimes I will fail, but they will always see me get back up again.
I talk about my reactions to the divorce because they need to know that it's okay to feel what you feel, not what people think you should be feeling.
I don't talk about their dad. Because... He'll always be their dad. No matter what went down between us. No matter what I feel or think. No matter what.
And that's usually a comfortable line for me. I don't really want to dwell on what was anyway. Especially not when I'm enjoying what is so very, very much.
But some days, days like today, I have a very blurry line. Where what I want to talk about is my feelings about something, my struggle with something. My life and my words and my world inside. But to talk about it, I have to put down some more scary words and these words are as much about the Ex as they are about me.
It's not something I can do today. Maybe next week or next month or next year. It's a story that needs to be told, and so someday I'll tell it. But it's not something I can do right now. But the story I can tell today is about a girl who can't decide which rule is the most important and knows she has to break one.
Don't talk about other people? Open up your heart and bear what's inside? Which one wins out?