“Own everything that has happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” – Anne Lamont
There are so many reasons why we keep it to ourselves. Why we choose not to talk about the things that we’ve been through. These include self-protection, feeling it is pointless, and because of messages we’ve picked up from our family.
Let’s break this down further ….
Because it isn’t a safe thing to do.
Because we’re afraid of being judged, shamed, or attacked further.
Because we haven’t got the emotional reserves to deal with being judged, shamed, or attacked further.
Because we haven’t got the energy, or mental head space, to carefully explain our side of the story (and, if necessary, ‘argue our case’).
Because we don’t think people will believe us (or even want to believe us)
Because we don’t think people will empathize with either our perspective, or experience.
Because we think other people will spread gossip about us, or will derive great satisfaction from thinking we’re in pain.
2. It’s Pointless
Because we don’t think it would help (and it may even leave us feeling worse).
Because we know other people aren’t good at handling pain and suffering. They can’t deal with it in their own lives, and they certainly can’t deal with it in other peoples’ lives. So, they don’t want to know about our heartache or trauma.
Because what we are going through is bigger than anything our friends have gone through (as far as we know). It’s beyond their experience and comprehension. They wouldn’t be able to put themselves in our shoes. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t really help.
Because we have picked up the message that: ‘What we go through is irrelevant to others’. Sadly, it’s a fact that many people are narcissistic, and are completed focused on themselves. So they don’t really care about what’s happened to you.
(Related to this) … Because we think there’s a reasonable chance that what we are sharing (which is huge to us) will be trivialized, downplayed, brushed aside – or ignored, by other people.
3. It’s in our Script/ Messages we’ve Picked up from our Family
Because we grew up with the message that you don’t share your dirty laundry in public.
Because we’ve picked up the message that we must never talk about (or betray) our family in any way at all – even if they’ve treated us badly, or have seriously harmed and damaged us. The family’s reputation comes before our own – and is more important than our pain.
Because we’ve picked up the message that our needs have been placed at the bottom of the heap; that we’re not the kind of people who are taken seriously, and so we can’t expect understanding and justice.
Because we’ve picked up the message that no-one wants to hear negative things or complaints. They only want to hear happy, positive things. (“When you laugh the world laughs with you; when you cry you cry alone.”)
Because we’ve learned that society expects us to bear our burdens alone. So, it’s weak or pathetic to need, or ask, for help.
These are some of the most common reasons for keeping our heartache and trauma to ourselves. Perhaps there are reasons you can add to these – based on your personal experiences …