Monday, May 11, 2009

Childhood and other misadventures

At first, when I was informed that when I write about my childhood that it comes across as "drama-queenish" and "Jerry Springer-ish" (exact words), my first impulse was to take a break from writing for a while, because the comments hurt me and suddenly made me feel very self-conscious about the things I write about. I felt a little raw and over-exposed and a little stomped on. So, I thought, "Well, fine, I just won't write anymore. Not for a while anyway. And if and when I do write again, I'll make sure to keep it all light and cheerful."

But I've been doing a lot of reflecting and soul-searching since those comments were made to me, and now I just feel the need to explain myself. Which pisses me off, because why should I have to explain/justify/defend myself on my own freaking blog?

Nonetheless:

I question the characterizations of "drama-queenish" and "Jerry Springer-ish" when I write about my childhood. What does this mean? Does it mean that it makes my childhood (and, I assume, other events in my life) appear to have been cheap and unseemly? White-trash-ish? Because if that's the case, well, then I've managed to convey the true sense of what growing up was like for me. Does this make some people uncomfortable when I talk about these things? I suppose it does. I suppose there are people who, even if they believe my stories, feel that these things should not be put out there for public consumption. Why, though? Because it makes YOU uncomfortable?

I can't help but think that those who feel uncomfortable with some of the things I write about have their own issues that perhaps they need to explore.

The truth is, not all of us spent our childhoods playing in organized sports and going to sleep-away camp. Not all of us were supported or assisted by our parents into adulthood. Not all of us had families that acted as our own personal cheering sections in life. Some of us got royally screwed. Some of us were laying awake at night listening to our alcoholic fathers beat the shit out of our mothers. Some of us were little kids who were trying to shore up our emotionally fragile parents and then suffering the brunt of their wrath at the injustice of their own lives. Does that make you uncomfortable?

See, the things is, I lived it, so now I get to talk about it.

Maybe the comments really meant that when I talk about this unpleasant stuff, it reflects badly on me. It makes me look trashy. I would hope that instead, it's a testament to my resiliency. That it speaks volumes about my ability to overcome a lot of adversity. I've been through a lot of shit, but here I am, living a good life, making good choices for myself, claiming my own happiness and taking responsibility for my life. I would hope that some people see that.

16 comments:

Maureen said...

I missed some of these posts but I don't think you have to defend yourself at all. Everyone has different experiences in life and has the right to express their feelings regarding those experiences. You obviously had a rough childhood but you came through it in one piece and now you're a great mom to your kids. That's really all that matters.

heather said...

Did someone just recently leave this comment? That is what makes me love your blog. You are real and honest. Who wants to read made up crap? My sister has a blog that is all about the 'love of her life' even though everyone knows she is unhappily married and always on the brink of divorce. Many people have been blessed with wonderful chilhood memories and parents but also many children weren't as lucky. I admire your honesty and courage to share your experiences with all of us. And it does speak volumes for what you have done with your life...on your own! Don't change a thing!

Kara said...

Know what? F that commenter.

Karly said...

Hey, your experiences are your experiences. Call 'em like you see 'em and people who don't like it, don't have to read.

The Beers Family said...

That really sucks that someone felt the need to belittle your blog and you life. I think you should be proud of all you have overcome and accomplished - by the sounds of it you have six great kids and a great husband - granted once again you seem to be facing insurmountable challenges but you will get through those too! You did not succumb to your childhood - you got OUT! Congrats!

Linda said...

Wow! That really sucks. This is YOUR blog- you can write whatever you want. Are you forcing anyone to read it? I like your honesty. Keep it coming.

Anna Alexandrova said...

I really like the Q&A. Keep it going!

New question (perhaps you've written about this before). How did you manage to avoid a C-section with the twins? And how did you guys survive the first few months after they were born?

Also the new pictures of the king, queen and the minions are lovely!

grammyof13 said...

Gramyof13 loves everything about your blog. Especially the honesty and forthrightness. I knew there was someone else out there like me. I tell it like it was - and sometimes it wasn't pretty.

Keep up the good work.& keep blogging.

Anonymous said...

Keep on writing about real life. You write so well and I admire your courage. You took and are taking the lemons and making great lemonaid. Someone HAS to write about things like difficult childhoods for the rest of us to know that we are not alone in having similar experiences in our pasts.
Sophie

Cheryl said...

Lisa, your honesty, "your call it like you see it", your grit combined with tenderness and vulnerability, and your most excellent writing skills make your blog a must read for me.
Be yourself. That's why you blog, and that's why we read it.

Chrystal said...

Ok, the only reason this is even remotely funny is because my childhood was similar enough to yours that your stories sound "normal." Alcoholics? Check. Running away? Check. Living with a relative? Check.

I watched TV to get my fill of what family life could/should be.

I think you're doing great.

Tricia said...

Are you friggin serious? Someone wrote that about your writing?!

That is plain ridiculous. I love your writing and your honesty.

Anonymous said...

One would hope that the people reading this blog are smart enough to know there are two sides to every story.

Anonymous said...

Only the ones who go through a similar experience can really understand the so many levels involved. Even if you and your siblings grew up in the same household, each person process, deal and is affected by every experience in their own way.

Your story totally resonates with my childhood. I was abused physically and emotionally by my parents. I’m still healing many wounds and know many scars will always stay with me.

Hopefully, all the people that comment here are smart enough to understand that even if there are two sides to every story, there is NEVER a reason or an excuse for ANY PARENT to abuse their child physically, emotionally or in any other way. NEVER, EVER!

JN

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to understand the purpose of Anonymous' post. Is it actually in defense of something?

And the way I see it, there are three sides to every story: both persons' perceptions, and what actually happened. Everyone, including you Lisa, and whoever is on the "other side of the story", have their views of what happened, and they are shaped by many things.

That being said, I ask you, Anonymous, to at least acknowledge--maybe even now realize for the first time (if that's the case)-what you yourself proposed in your comment--that for the "side of the story" you are apparently advocating or defending, it itself has another side--Lisa's.

Peace

Leigh Anne said...

i am sooo late on this, lol...what's ne though, haha. lisa, i want to tell you much of what has already been said...keep writing. tell your story. to heck w/ people who read & get offended...it's a free country.

i have never, ever thought you were trashy b/c of anything i've read about your past...i've always looked up to you...the way you seem to look adversity in the face and say "eff you"...you seem to always come out on top...at least that's how i see it. yes. you have bad days...but don't we all? (i rarely write about mine b/c then, my mom would call & annoy me. lol). but seriously...you are giving your children what you never had...b/c you lived that & you don't want them to live it. you're doing a way better job than i could even think about doing.