Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Why I overshare

Did you ever hear the quote: "The creative adult is the child who survived"?

I don't have any tattoos, but if I ever get one, it might be that.

In the past few months, three people have pulled me up for oversharing. The way I live my life in public makes them feel uncomfortable. I've had a think about why I do this, and have come up with three possible reasons.

First, because I didn't get listened to as a child. I had a violent father who I was too frightened to confide in, especially as he was the source of most of my problems. My mother was incredibly repressed and constantly busy, looking after my little brother, doing the housework and studying. If I ever told her anything, she would either say "Mm-hm" distractedly, or shut me down. She just didn't want to know, especially as she was busy pretending my father's abuse was normal.

My brother and were incredibly different and fought all the time, and never shared any of our innermost thoughts with each other. The kids at school bullied me throughout, and didn't want to listen to anything I had to say.

My mother, father and brother were all very quiet, very closed people. I don't know what I would have been like with a normal childhood - I'll never know - but I spent the whole of my childhood bursting with the secret of my father's physical and emotional abuse. I thought I couldn't tell anyone, otherwise he'd quite literally kill me. And I didn't think anyone would want to know, anyhow. So when I reached my teens and discovered that I could write everything down, it was a tremendous release and wonderfully cathartic.

Second, I wasn't properly socialised. Because my family was so abusive and dysfunctional, I didn't know what was normal. I did all manner of strange things at school, which led to the kids hating me and thinking I was freakish. I eventually outgrew most of these behaviours, except for the over-sharing.

Third, maybe it's the way I would have always been, irrespective of my family problems? I'll never know, but what I do know is that if people don't like it, they can unfollow me, mute me or block me. Other people do like me sharing stuff that other writers don't - it makes them feel less alone to know that someone else has gone through hell and survived.

And hey, all my drama saves you from watching EastEnders.