…but a gift is still a gift.
It was recently suggested to me that, by posting such as I did the other day, I am effectively preventing any possibility for eventual reconciliation with my mother-in-law and her ilk. The specific phrase used was “airing dirty laundry in public.” And that does have validity; I absolutely have made a choice to share my experiences, my perspective, which happens to include my anger and hurt, in a public place. True, I’ve not included names, so I’m not exposing them to random discovery by their friends or workmates, but there’s also no anonymity. I only have one – OK, two, but the other one has been out of touch for a long time and doesn’t factor in at the moment – mother-in-law, and so it doesn’t take a math genius to put one and one together should you happen to read my blog and then happen to attend a gathering at which she is present.
I have two responses for this. One is that this has always been my spot to air my views. I have never pretended to be unbiased, never pretended that what is shared here is actual, objective truth. It is my truth, at least at the moment of writing, and I have shared all manner of facets of my personality and history here. As such, I document the things that happen to me – at least, some of them, the things that are on my mind when I sit in front of the computer. That includes the things that upset or irritate me, whether you’re a family member or an employee at the RMV. There have been times when I have opted not to share things, things that I deem too personal or sensitive or likely to blow over such that I won’t want a permanent record on the Innernets… that’s all my choice, and I stand by it. I have lost at least one semi-friend, and a handful of cliquish false friends, over time, because of my words here, and while I regret any hurt feelings I cause, I stand by my choices.
Which leads into my other response, which is, maybe I am wrong to have this public forum. Maybe I’m not sharing personal experiences but instead am airing other people’s, and my own, dirty laundry, for all the world to see. In a world of fluid ethics and flexible morals, one thing I know is that there is no such thing as one, true, objective, right way to behave. There are justifications for, and against, my actions. But what matters, to me, is that I stand by my choices and actions here. I stand by my words – not in the sense of, “Because they’re all right!” but in the sense of, “Yes, those are my words, and I take full responsibility for their impact.” No one but me carries the blame – or commendation – for the words I write, and I have never pretended that I didn’t really mean it, that those weren’t really my words, that I’ve been wronged and misunderstood.
So, for what it’s worth, here I be.
And the possibility that I might be damning any potential reconciliation by typing here? Well, on the one hand, this is the only means I have to air my views, as previous efforts to call or email have been rebuffed. So it’s here, or nothing at all; I’ll almost always choose action over inaction. And on the other hand, OK. I can live with the possibility that I’m being so unfair with my posts that I’ll never be spoken to, ever again. I still come out ahead in that equation, because I still have the love and communication of my husband and children.
By the way, did you notice the gift I offered in the last post? There was a reason for those words, a reason for the timing as well as the content. Did you see the paragraphs in which I enclosed an Easter egg of sorts? (If not, toss me a line; I won’t elucidate here because there is such thing as being too blatant… if the intended recipient can’t recognize it as a gift, I won’t draw a map… but I’m happy to clarify for others, should your curiosity be piqued.) I understand that the packaging will not be to the intended’s taste, but the underlying gift remains.