This is post 4 of 5 in my series called, MySpace is YourSpace.
Awhile back, I asked for reader’s gritty responses to 5 deeply personal questions. I created an email account so folks could log in, answer questions and email the answers to that same email address, creating an anonymous space for open, honest answers.
Below are the 4 ANONYMOUS and UNEDITED responses I received. The 5th is my own.
(I’m the long-winded one.)
Age Range: 30-33
“Not really, no. I’ve been lucky enough to have some people I could share with without feeling like I’ve been judged.”
Age Range: 26-29
Relationship: in a relationship
“several. the one that really eats away at me is that i met a man online and in the first phone conversation he got arrested while i was on the phone with him. i then kept in contact with him for 6 weeks while he was in jail for child support. when he got out, he convinced me to let him live with me and my children. i knew it was a mistake but i thought for ONCE i could fly by the seat of my pants. HUGE MISTAKE. he robbed me of money, property, yelled at my kids, cheated, made me believe i had mental issues, and took peices of my soul with him when i kicked him out. only 5 months in knowing one man ripped me apart. not a day goes by that i dont regret it. only a few people know he was in jail. its so out of my character to do what i did. im disgusted with myself and regret it constantly. i needed that true love story and he played me like a fiddle. disgraceful.”
Age Range: 34-37
“Yes, my secret shame feels like a glob of acid burning an elevator shaft right through the center of my soul. It keeps me up at night and runs me down all day. Sometimes I wonder how different I would be if I didn’t carry this.”
Age Range: 30-33
“Yes. I emotionally crushed my sister. I was young and did not have a healthy grip on my emotions. I am not a cruel person but it saddens me to say I was cruel to her. Very cruel. She bore the brunt of my personal pain. I took it out on her. Today we have an amazing relationship and oddly enough that causes that season of life to “gnaw” at me even more. She never quit loving me or being my sister. We have never acknowledge that I hurt her terribly.”
RESPONSE #5 – ME:
Age Range: 34-37
There’s an age old question, “If you could change anything in your past, would you?” Most seem to answer confidently, “No. Those things have made me who I am and I wouldn’t change a thing.” But, I’m fairly confident that 98% of us, if given the chance, would Marty McFly our way to the past and make a tweak or fourteen.
I’ve had less than glory moments speckle my past and have both reluctantly and purposely donned George McFly’s and Biff Tannen’s coifs from time to time. I’ve been the anxious victim as well as the arrogant perpetrator.
I’ve gossiped, I’ve teased, I’ve lied and I’ve cowered.
However, I’m not: A Gossip, A Tease, A Liar or A Coward.
My dad lived a life chained to his past. He allowed the mistakes of yesteryear to define his future. He couldn’t let go of his victimization or his perpetration. He couldn’t forgive and surely couldn’t believe anyone could forgive him.
I’ve had opportunities to share my mistakes and heartaches with others to help them through their mistakes and heartaches. That’s the main reason why I write. I don’t write because I think it will make me popular, wealthy. Nor do I think I’m more clever or well-written than the bajillions of others who paid a few bucks to buy their own website and run at the mouth about what they believe, think and feel.
I write about my life in hope that it will bring hope to others.
So, to answer my own question, short story long, No. I don’t have a secret that I need to let go of, because I already have. I’ve looked the monsters of my past dead in the eye and in the mighty words of George McFly said, “Hey, you! Get your damn hands off her!” They’re no longer the boss of me and I refuse to keep their secrets secret.
They don’t deserve the privacy or the authority.
It took some time for me to let the monsters out of my closet and I certainly won’t pretend that it was ever easy or pretty. But, once I grabbed a hold of the Truth about genuine love and true forgiveness; freedom most definitely followed.
We have the ability to breathe life into our past, allowing growth and life to flow or we can wear it like a badge of dishonor, forever giving it the authority to define who we are and what we deserve.
For me, I choose to breathe and I hope you will do the same.
What about you? Do you have a monster in your closet?
Do you wish you could go back in time?
Remember, you are not alone in this.