That word. It’s a tricky one. It means so many different things to so many different people. What some people believe should be censored, others call free speech.
Personally I don’t believe much should be censored. I believe in the freedom to express one’s self verbally. Or through writing, art, music and film in the way they believe helps them explain what they feel and think. So much is open to interpetation in so many different ways.
Only in some extreme instances where it may cause harm to someone physically do I believe censorship should be involved.
This week there were two instances of censoring that I became involved in. One is rather silly, at least to me, because it involves saying words that some may be offended by but a good portion of the population will shrug off. It did not stop me from getting into a war online with some people who took offense to my very opinionated view on the matter.
The other was a bit more personal.
It took me a very long time to be able to show my writing to people. To trust my gut and my mind, to be able to show everyone what I might have to offer. It began here with this blog.
I had zero problem letting people in to things that may be deeply personal for me. But when it comes to issues or history that involves other people I’m a bit more hesitant than normal.
I wrote a piece last weekend. One I toyed with for a couple days. If you remember from a piece I wrote last week about insomnia I recognized that something was toying with my mind. A memory of some sort. The more I had been writing the more these memories I had been hiding away for a while started to push free and escape.
One day late last week I figured out what it was that was truly bothering me. And I wrote about it. Only I wrote about it in a roundabout way that caused some problems with other people in my life. I didn’t go into as many details as I would have liked, because one of my biggest faults is not telling people when they make me angry or hurt me. I generally take it in further and further until it eventually boils over and I explode a jumbled mess.
Some of these things I put in the past to stay in the past. And they have.
However, there were some issues that were somewhat related to this past that I have never quite forgiven myself for. Namely that I was not a good parent back in this time.
I was good enough. But I was alone with a child with what felt like little support around me. I was experiencing all sorts of new things for ME. Not just this child, but those which were all mine. Something I hadn’t had happen in years. They weren’t all rosy. And as some of these experiences began to sour I emotionally retreated. Which wasn’t fair to my child. I was “there”, but just not in the way that I should have been. And I think we both suffered a lot because of this.
Instead of writing about these details I skirted around them and instead focused on what caused me to retreat emotionally. Let’s just say I wish I had been a much stronger person back then, something which I am today.
I posted this piece very late at night(or early morning) and a few hours later upon awakening I decided to pull it. So I deleted it. It was too much for some close to me, and it was too much for me.
I don’t think I’ll ever truly write about those days again. I still beat myself up mentally every so often, something I’m working really hard to stop doing. I can no longer try to convince myself of what I could have or should have done. I only try to concentrate on what I’m doing now with my kid, which has us both in a much better place.
I also don’t want to ever censor myself again. Although I know that somewhere down the line I will ruffle feathers of friends and family with things I may write, I may hurt or offend someone without realizing it. I think at some point or another all writers have had that happen, it happens when you really start digging deep down inside.
Staying safe to please everyone all the time does no one any good.
However, there are still things I won’t go into here just because I do have too many friends & family on the opposite side of the fence as me. And those relate to religion and politics. I have enough issues this time of year trying to be in the same room as my dad and us not battling over our views. I think when those conversations begin my husband starts silently mouthing “stop” to me over and over. He knows the conversation is never going to end up going anywhere good.
I’m not even going to go into details over the other issue I previously mentioned . It’s not worth my energy anymore. I did however come up with a future character for a story because of that discussion.
The Good News:
After the breakthrough I started sleeping again. Full nights. I have all week. Except two nights ago when I waited up for J to come home from the city where he had played a show. I can never sleep until he’s home. So that meant I had 4 hrs of sleep because kid had to wake up so early for school. But yay, sleep!
My kids are in love with school. If you knew me last year then you know how horrible that year was for both of them. I’m not exaggerating, it was horrendous. I should be sainted after the crap I dealt with from her teacher and the numerous problems he had. I think I cried tears of joy on their last days because of how happy I was to see it all end.
So this year I was biting my nails wondering what would happen. C loves HS and so far so good, he has a great team working with him and he said the kids seem really nice so far. There was a minor teasing incident on the bus last week but the school was on it right away and the kid who did it felt horrible and made peace with C. I just don’t want a repeat of the last couple years. I don’t think either C or I can go through any of that again.
The brilliant part of all this is that the Dean told me they encourage kids who witness this stuff to report it. Which is how the dean got word of it. A kid on the bus saw it happen, told their mom and the MOM called the school to report the teasing incident.
I love this school.
Small fry has adjusted to all day school with no problem. She keeps waking up an hour early each morning excited to go to school. She’s met a couple of new kids and plays with her best friends at recess since she doesn’t have them in class this year. She absolutely loves first grade. It’s amazing. Also she refers to backups in the lunch line and the school lines as “kid traffic”. It’s really funny when she says it. And she LOVES her teacher this year, which is amazing. Last year she was convinced her teacher hated her and she found her frightening. 5 yr olds should not hate kindergarten, yet her teacher made that possible for my kid to do last year.
So I feel like this year could make up for last year. One more reason why I think I’ve slept all week.
This weekend I get to see two of my favorite dancers perform at a Cabaret club. I’m ecstatic about it. Well that and the fact that our sitter was a bit MIA this summer so this is the first time we’ve been able to go anywhere since spring. Alone. Yeesh.
Hopefully I’ll be back with pictures from that show. If I’m lucky!