Over the past several months in my quest to deal with my own mental illnesses, I’ve been trying to write more. I wrote a lot when I was in high school, but afterward it fell to the wayside. I’ve always been told how well I write and that I should share it more, especially from my mother, who has PTSD and clinical depression. When I was about 6 to 14, she was mentally checked out. My dad worked full time, which left me responsible for taking care of my sisters and to cause as little trouble as possible. While I don’t blame my mom for what her illness did to her, it really screwed with me and is something that I am still trying to deal with (I currently have two whole therapists to help).
I recently started a poetry Instagram account, which my mother follows. I have yet to share any of the poetry that talks about my childhood, mostly because I’m afraid of hurting her. I know it kills her to know she missed so much time with us and how badly it affected us. I don’t want to bring that hurt up for her unnecessarily. But some of my strongest work is in that pile. Do I not share the work dealing with my childhood where she can see it to spare her feelings? Or do I tell her that this is something that will come up as a topic, remind her that I love her, and hope that it’s enough to help keep this from hurting as much as it could? I know she would be proud of the work but hurt by the contents. But I know sharing this work would help in my own recovery.
—Poking at Wounds