Monday, November 4, 2013

Let's talk about "x"...

For new readers, please click here to follow this journey from the beginning. Here are the responses to question #4, well actually technically question #5 as the original question #4:  "Which of your nipples hurts more, the right or the left?" prompted a slew of incessant moaning and unmentionable responses, not to mention a rather uninteresting 50/50 split on right/left nipple chaffing.

So, onwards and upwards. The question at hand: "What's the one topic we should talk about more openly? Put another way, what's something you wish you could bring up more often but just don't, for whatever reason?"

A while back I shared that I had a hard time following the birth of my first child. (Click here for full story.) After the birth of my subsequent children, I braced myself for darkness to fall yet again. But it never did. That’s when I looked back at those first few weeks following the birth of my first and declared, “What the fuck was that?” Although never officially diagnosed, I think I had postpartum depression. Being a good, old fashioned suck-it-up-buttercup farm kid, I fought my way through it blindly. I never visited a Doctor, or shared my darkest demons with family and friends. No one talks about such things. How dare we admit to being sad following the birth of a beautiful, healthy child? That’s just not done. That would be weird…frowned upon, even. Looking back now, I find it surprising that more people don’t talk about it. But I can understand why.

What frightened me so badly? I was scared to death of letting my son down, and we had only just met. I was terrified of being that vulnerable, reluctant to bare my soul that openly at the risk of looking foolish...scared shitless that I didn't have all the answers. If I felt that way about something so fresh, imagine the horror of sharing feelings that have been left lying in a shallow grave for years?

Why the shame, friends? What does holding in our deepest fears actually do for us in the end? I suspect it's ego-related - a determined measure to save our pride, keep up appearances. I've heard it said that when it comes to being completely honest, our three biggest fears are loss of power, loss of personal brand (what others may think) or loss of a relationship. Over the years, I've fallen prey to a combination of all three. I can also tell you this - if you let these fears blind you, then you open the door to a much bigger loss lurking in the shadows. The loss of you - your breath, your essence, your soul. Don't do it. Don't hold it all in. We weren't designed to walk this path alone. We were never destined to be perfect. And in the end, what's the portrayal of a perfectly shiny veneer really worth to you? Particularly if the inevitable end result is a  big, steaming pile of bullshit. 

I hereby resolve to talk more openly about stuff that's bothering me. This won't land well on some people. But hey, fuck 'em. If they can't handle your blinding honesty then the relationship wasn't worth keeping in the first place. Because if we can't share these feelings and question their merit, explore our souls, learn from each, help each other, help ourselves - feel real, really real - then tell me please, what exactly is the point?

Here, forthwith, are the things you'd like to talk about more.

Our role as a rich country in helping those less fortunate. This is a humanitarian issue…we don’t talk about it enough. In fact, ever. I don’t think fortunate people should feel guilty, however we need to find more ways to distribute and give to those who don’t have anything. How is it that some don’t have a glass of water to drink, and yet we fill our bathtubs every night? How can our world of plenty have so many with nothing? Why don’t we talk about it? Instead we’re preoccupied with who got kicked off Survivor, or which girl The Bachelor picked in the end. It isn’t right. It’s not OK. We need to start talking about this.

Peoples’ “ists”. As in racist, sexist, ageist, homophobic. These are real, clear issues shared by many, all with a direct line to causing seriously bad behaviors and attitudes amongst people. When comments are made, these situations become taboo to acknowledge; nobody wants to judge. I think we should talk more openly and try to correct these “ists”.

How we feel about each other. I think it would be amazing to break down the “awkward” barriers and be able to be open with each other about how we really feel.

Sex. It’s the cornerstone of every species existence, yet perceived as a taboo topic amongst family.

Hurt feelings.

Grief. It’s impossible to put to words but it has to come out because it poisons your soul if you don’t.

How we REALLY feel without pissing anybody off.

How unhappy we can be with so much – what is wrong with the world?

Lately I am learning about vulnerability and shame. How we are all trying to hide our shame and how our egos and what the “Jones’s” are up to is keeping us from our true selves. It’s a journey I’m on, and would love to talk more about it. Millions of books have been sold on it, yet my “close” friends would think I’m crazy to about this. Ego and fear keep this subject to a minimum, in my world anyway.

Vaccinations for children.

How we really feel inside. I think most of the time we pretend we are okay, so that others around us feel comfortable.

I think we are too afraid to ask for what we want. Either we are too polite or don’t want to hurt feelings of look greedy.  I’m not sure. Even with our life partners, I think we are sometimes too apologetic in asking for what we want of need. And yes, that includes s-e-x.

Relationship issues.

Bowel movements.

The stress that parenting a teen has on your marriage.

Paranormal activities, specifically those people that see energy around them and can communicate with those who have crossed over.

Why women have such low confidence, and let jealousy come between us and other women. We need to figure this one out, and then figure out how to instill confidence and self-love in our children!

Failure. What true happiness is. This is a hard one. I don’t feel open enough to answer it honestly.

I am very personal and shy. But as a new mom, and young wife, there are so many questions I wish I had the courage to ask someone who is older and wiser. I wish I were able to share my heart without worrying about what people think.

What we love about people. We seem to always wait until it’s too late.

Mental health issues, particularly depression.

Anything related to sex or personal body parts. I still have a hard time talking about it, and it should be something that’s celebrated, not ignored.

Relationships. Of all kinds.


Mistakes from the past – at least the unresolved ones. I do believe that these should be hashed out, not that they’ll be resolved necessarily, but at least so that everyone can get all their shit off their chests!

Apathy and the ability to take action.

Miscarriages. I think it’s healthy to talk openly about the loss felt from a miscarriage, whether it’s early on in the pregnancy or near the end. It’s still a taboo subject and yet half of all pregnancies end in miscarriages. I think it’s part of the healing to talk about the loss and all the feeling that come with it.

What scares us and why.

Mental health issues. They exist and are more prevalent the more stress we experience. Why is the topic still so taboo?

The importance of faith in God, not religion.

Money. It is the root, in my opinion, of the breakdown of a lot of marriages. I learned the hard way.

The emotional and physical health of our elders, specifically our parents. I didn’t really know my parents until my dad was terminally ill, but on the bright so we were able to discuss prostates, colostomy bags and sexual health on a regular basis at the dinner table. It took facing death to realize that our parents hold back on how they are really doing and really feeling, I think in part because that’s their generation, and in part because I think they want to protect their children. They were just as scared as my sister and I, and ironically enough, it was refreshing to get to know my parents as adults…as equals. It helped me deal with the whole situation better because I knew more about how my parents were dealing with it. They get scared, they hurt, they have feelings, and they get angry with God just the same as I do, but I never realized it until it was almost too late.

Marriage, and how hard it is. Why do marriages fall apart? Why do some stay together? And not just stay together, but truly want to stay together. Let’s face it, “till death do us part” is a really long time.
How we really feel. I’m not talking so much at work, but at home. I know I’m not open (not sure why) with my husband about my insecurities, self-esteem, how some things he may do, or not do, makes me feel, and that’s really a shame. I do encourage my children to talk to me about things even though I can’t. I don’t want them to not open up. So far, it’s working. People are often shocked at the honest conversations my daughter has with us. We encourage it and always have. If we didn’t encourage her from a very young age, there is no way she’d be talking to us now as a teenager!
Equality. I used to bring it up all the time, however a lot of my family is very close-minded (slightly racist and definitely homophobic) and they change the subject as quickly as humanly possible. I think the more we talk about equal rights for all, regardless of face, social status and sexual orientation, it eventually won’t be that big of a deal.
Right now in public schools they’re talking about sexual differences, and how everyone should fit in a public school. Ever try to be different in a small town? No fun. Ever try to be different in a small Catholic town? Impossible! Although I have my own personal (religious) views on this, I think that it’s critical to teach kids (and adults) that we need to be respectful and tolerant and considerate of others, even if their choice is different than ours. I want that for my kids. Getting the guts up to address this in my small Catholic community is something else altogether.
I want to talk about having family night more often.
Sharing how we really feel. The good and the bad.

Health and society’s lack of, should be talked about more openly! People need to be accountable and take responsibility for their actions. It’s just too easy for people to be dependent on government, doctors and health care for their wellness.
My husband and I pretty well discuss everything.
I feel like society should be more willing to talk about the fact that whether we like it or not, the children that we’re raising today are our future.
Integrity, accountability, hubris, materialism and constant labelling that creates division in society. For example, the increase in obesity and inability to differentiate between needs and wants in increasing public debt loads.
What we really want out of life.
Inequalities in the world.
What it means to move off the farm and down the road a bit…we’re doing this at the age of 77 and 79.
Openly talk to children about sex and their bodies, and how their health problems are sometimes due to their eating and drinking habits. As a grandmother, it can be quite delicate talking of sex matters to teenagers.

Personal finances.
Everyone getting a fair share – how do you make that happen for your kids?
Drug use.

Dissatisfaction in my current job.
I think parents should discuss more money, budgeting and financial things with their kids.
 Feelings. Real feelings. Not what we think others want to hear. It’s hard to be assertive about this and not have it backfire.
 As a community, we should talk more about alcoholism.
I wish we’d talk more about the silliness of trying to fit in, and really, how stupid it is. We were made different for a damn good reason, and we should pay attention to that.

Never feeling good enough, or adequate.


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