To share our innermost feelings with anyone who will listen seems the thing to do just lately. How do you do that though if you were brought up in the generation where you were expected to ‘just get on with it’ or to ‘grow a set’? How do you convey to a stranger your innermost demons when you couldn’t even tell those closest to you how you felt about them? Further more, should you?
This is a question I have been pondering more frequently lately, more so when I get sick like I am as I sit down to try and make some sense from my thoughts.
I grew up in a mining community back in the early sixties, my father was a Polish immigrant who came over from his homeland near the end of WWII. He had been forced to join the German Army at gunpoint, a fact I learned after his death in ’82. There were many aspects of his early life I knew nothing about simply because when he arrived on our shores he could not speak the language. It was a testament to his intelligence that he taught himself to read and write and speak our language enough so that he could communicate on a daily basis. I doubt I could do that today even with the technology at hand. The subtle nuances of the language of course were lost on him which was a pity because he could not tell us, his family just what he was going through, not that he would have, he definitely came from a background where there was no time for expressing of one’s feelings. It led to stilted conversations and miss-communication. I never got over his death and I doubt I ever will, there was so much left unsaid between us.
As I grow older and I see how society changes, the advent of social media has made it easy to share your thoughts with anyone on the planet, whether they are willing to listen or not. I see, on a daily basis at least one person who feels the need to vent either their anger or frustration with the world or their personal triumphs or battles. A personal life becomes less personal with every comment made. People know more about you every time you log on to your favourite social media page. My question remains, should we? Is it right to share what we go through or is it a burden to those who listen? I have my own demons that I battle with on a daily basis, some days are better than others and then there are the days when they all come out to play and it’s a struggle to just live. There are two reasons why I don’t share all this, one because they are personal, its my fight and I have always fought my own battles, they are what define me, my successes or failures, and secondly there are literally millions of people worse off than I am in the world and I feel it would be demeaning to their struggle to even mention mine. There is a line of thought that says ‘just because it’s not a big deal to you, doesn’t mean it’s not a big deal to someone else’ and I understand that totally, everyone’s fight is different. The older I get though I find myself relying more and more on those around me for support in my battles, this is not a sign of weakness but simply of getting older. No matter how many personal victories I face, I know this is one battle I cannot win.