I have struggled with this one and have decided to write about the Universal experience. What I have learned from this experience is that everyone has a story with some sadness and some happiness in it. Some of those stories might inspire me and some might inspire you. But everyone does have a story. Some things happened to me over the years no one knows about. Well, no one that would be reading this anyway. Other things some people know about and other things anyone with a brain knows about if they know me.
I spent a lot of time talking with a psychologist friend of mine about how much does one talk about. How much are you willing to let others know? And what are the blocks to friendship if you keep all your secrets from those closest to you. The conclusion of that discussion was basically that if you have too many secrets it puts you in a closet and you spend more time protecting your secrets than living your life. Somethings that happen to us just are not important in the big picture. Other things make us who we are.
In my life I found secrets to be exhausting. Being told by my parents the things that we could not talk about outside the house – job stuff, money, religion, etc. My mom would never talk about death. Even when her mother died I can see her going into her room I assumed she was crying and when she came out she never talked about Grandmother again. For some unknown reason she had been traumatized at a young age and just refused to deal with death. She avoided funerals and if forced to go she would get sick. The day of her Dad’s funeral she looked like death warmed over. She was now the oldest in the family. Not a role she wanted. I watched her walk down the center isle of the cathedral and she looks so tiny and frail with her Harris Tweed coat on. Even then I did not realize her fear of the funeral itself was controlling her.
I once got told off by a friend of the families for being a 12 year old jerk. He frightened me terribly since I had never been spoken to like that before. I never told anyone about that day. He really gave it to me and anytime someone starts to tell me off or just says they need to talk to me I flash back to that day. Strange to still be reacting to something that happened more than 60 years ago. That is the control of memories.
Indeed everyone has a story and I guess it is a good thing. Otherwise life would be pretty darn boring. Just wish for some of my friends their stories had been less tragic. But life isn’t fair is it?