Be careful what you write

Hello Creative Writer,

The other day my mother called me out of the blue. She was quiet and stumbling over  her words, back tracking, taking long slow breathes.

“What’s wrong? Who died?” I asked. Finally she said.

“I was going through some boxes from the old house. I found a bunch of old stuffed animals of yours and some papers.”

“Ok?”

“Thomasa. I had no idea you were so unhappy.”

She preceded to tell me about something I wrote in 2013- a melodramatic lament about the woes of my life. I talked about my insecurities about my self worth and my future. I apparently said that I felt worthless- as though no one would miss me if I were to disappear.

Now, I have no doubt that I wrote that. And I have no doubt that at that moment I felt all of those things. 2012-2017 were very difficult years for me and my family. When I feel a feeling I can’t talk about -I write about it.

When I was much younger I kept very detailed daily journals- I thought one day I’d be so grateful to my past self for taking the time to chronicle my life. It’s been years- the writing isn’t very good I’m sure and I have little desire to read them.

But the thing about writing things down is as long as the medium you used still exists- so do the words. So my poor mother was crying because of sadness that I had dealt with and forgotten about 8 years ago. I didn’t throw my “pain writings” away and now I’m wondering if that was a mistake- how many others are lurking in old books and boxes waiting to be read out of context?

Unlike the stories I saved to floppy disk (I guess I’ll never see those again) my journals are still around and still accessible. Words have power.

I assured my mom that I was fine. That whatever events I’d written about were firmly in the past and to disregard any other writings she might find. She apologized, saying she though it was just a story until she’d read the first paragraph and when she realized what it was she wanted to find out what happened.

I also realized how forgetful I am. I don’t remember writing that- I don’t even remember the events that lead to me writing it. I guess that was why I kept them in the first place- I knew one day I wouldn’t remember and I wanted to.

Have you ever written something and forgotten about it? Has anything ever come back to bite you in the butt?

2 thoughts on “Be careful what you write

  1. Yikes! I routinely destroyed my journals as I wrote them, but a few fragments have survived. When I stumble across them it’s like looking into a stranger’s thoughts. I can’t imagine having to discuss them with my mother.

    Liked by 1 person

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