Monday, November 10, 2014
We all have things we don't feel able to share with others. We usually have at least one person we feel able to share almost everything with. And others we designate to know certain things we wouldn't with others, such as our fellow sickies know details others don't but are still left in the dark about our other secrets. And then there are secrets or topics only shared amongst two people, not known for the public.
So are we ever fully known by someone else? Are we ever not just alone together with our secret keeper?
That's how I feel lately. My husband and I are currently making decisions for our future that I don't yet feel able to announce as we are not in the final stages of decision yet. But I also don't know how to breach the subject with others yet to even let others in. And this weekend, as we draw nearer and nearer to being required to make our final decisions...the more it's hitting me. I hadn't released any major emotions attached to this matter as we made our unofficial decision together. Yet this weekend I have been flooded with emotions, crying spells, and grief. I don't believe I'll change my decision but the finality on a matter, particularly a delicate matter, can be heartbreaking as you close the door on other options. Saying goodbye to anything hasn't been my strongest skill.
And so, I'm alone together with my spouse. Caught in a perpetual limbo until a final decision is reached and allowed to be made known to others. Even then I feel confined to our secrecy, how to randomly tell others, many who likely don't really care yet I remain pulled to make known what is a huge part of our lives, a major decision for us.
Most who know me, likely think it's a matter I already have figured out and many who likely don't understand my stance at all - past or present but instead made their own judgments and assumptions. I did have everything figured out. But with life information changes, people change, circumstances change. And so our plans, dreams, and hope change.
This is an universal struggle. How many things have you struggled with disclosing to others? Things that another may or may not need to know yet you needed to let someone know. The pain of holding the information, the attached emotions within yourself almost bursting through you. The need to be understood, for empathy and support as you make your way through a difficult time, a difficult decision, and the difficult aftermath. We all need someone to share our experiences with, someone to help us through to the other side.
I hear this struggle within others in the forums. Especially related to close relationships with others. How, when, and whom do I tell someone I have an ostomy, my health condition, etc. A struggle we all understand and there is no right or wrong answer. We can tell all, we can tell none. It's within our rights, our power to tell whatever, whomever, whenever we want. And yet, we often remain in a secluded state. Fearful of reality, of others' judgments and misjudgment, of the unknown, and finality that disclosure brings. A finality that may or may not be in our favor. A finality that may be painful and heartbreaking. A finality that closes the door on other options.
Perhaps it's not really the disclosure we hide from, but the finality, what it means and brings that we are so timid about discovering. There's a loss with finality but there often is a gain as well.
Prepare for losses you may have, but also prepare for the gains and once you've found a place of peace...make your disclosure as you feel needed. Step away from being alone together into being together with others. It's okay to take your time and to feel right with your disclosure and your timing. I'm working on this presently and when the time comes, I hope you'll be together with me during my disclosure.
This is my life with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Short Bowel Syndrome. I was diagnosed with FAP as a child, underwent total colectomy at age 9. I experienced life threatening complications resulting in 4 more surgeries that year and developing medical PTSD. I had an ileostomy for 6 years before having it reversed into a straight pull-thru that also resulted in life threatening complications requiring an additional surgery the following year. In 2021, I required my 8th surgery to remove my gall bladder due to gall stones and FAP. This surgery exacerbated my at the time undiagnosed Abdominal Migraine which is now being treated.