4 Reasons I Can’t Tell You Everything
And why the writer in me wants to tell it all
Everything that has happened to me is a story.
I’ve always felt this incredible desire to share my stories in hopes that they might bleed into the fabric of your story and perhaps transform you because that’s what stories do — they transform.
But I can’t tell it all to you.
I really want to. Trust me, I do. I have some juicy stories that will make you feel all sorts of crazy. I have some heartwarming tales that will melt your soul up. I have some hot and steamy sagas that will light you up, inside and out.
But I can’t tell it all to you.
My day job won’t allow me to.
I chose to become a therapist several years ago and have started building up a private practice. I post my Medium articles on my website blog. My writer self is as important a persona as my therapist self. But there are some stories I want to keep private. While I feel like my story could help my clients immensely, the role of a therapist is meant to be neutral. Self-disclosure is done mindfully and in small doses.
It can be detrimental for some clients to know all. Not because I fear they will judge me, but because I fear they will compare themselves to me.
“Well, you got over your depression in a year. I’ve been in therapy for three years and haven’t gotten over mine!”
It can be toxic for certain clients to compare their “progress” to their therapist's life. Sometimes the less they know, the more beneficial it is for their own healing process.
Every story is different. Thankfully no two humans are the same. This world needs more individuals standing in their own authenticity. Authentic souls are what make this world the work of art that it is, one unique story at a time.
I like to write about sex.
Some of your eyes probably widened and you scooted to the edge of your seat on that one, right? You probably said, “Write then, lady. I want to read it. Don’t hide those juicy stories from me!”
Guess what? I’m not hiding them. In fact, I’ve started to share them on a pen name account here on Medium. You will probably find them if that’s what you’re into. They are not all erotica. They are real and raw and honest stories of my life. The reason I’ve started keeping that off of my personal account is two-fold. A lot of people that know me personally read my stuff. Some of them are likely exes. I like to respect their anonymity. I never use real names, but I do use real stories. I don’t want anyone I’ve ever been intimate with to feel exposed, uncomfortable, or even slandered.
If I was a sex therapist, maybe I’d share more stories on my personal blog, but I’m not. I’m also a single mom who doesn’t want my growing daughter to find my stories during her budding teen years and freak out.
Some things are just better left anonymous.
I’m a highly sensitive person.
Baring my dirty laundry can come with some consequences. Let’s face it, people are petty. They judge. We can blame it on the brain (some call it ego). It likes to categorize just about everything. I mean even as you’re reading this piece, you are having judgments (some call them opinions). There is absolutely nothing wrong with your brain labeling things. It’s a protective response based on your social conditioning.
But I can’t deny the fact that I’m sensitive. Words and vibes can hurt me as much as they can lift me up. It took a lot of courage for me to begin to share my stories online. There are some stories that I can guarantee will stir up controversy in some disgruntled souls.
I want to live a simple life. That means keeping some things private. You can call it a protective mechanism. I call it self-compassion.
I want to model healthy boundaries.
Not sharing it all is a healthy boundary. For those of you that read my writing regularly, you know I probably share more than most. Some people that know me personally have told me they think I’m brave for sharing parts of my story. Ironically, I feel a little cowardly for not sharing it all.
But perhaps I have good reasons (I’ve already named a few) for keeping some things secret. I think we all have people we are cautious about sharing certain parts of our life with — for good reason. It’s healthy to have boundaries. Not everyone we meet wants to know our life story. “Hey lady in the grocery line, have I got a tale for you!”
Creating healthy relationship boundaries is probably one of the top therapy goals. A therapist is meant to be a model for healthy behavior. An editor I once wrote for told me this, “I’ve worked with many therapists who have regretted baring it all online. It can be helpful to be choosy about what you share. Before you write a piece ask yourself if you’d want a client to read it.”
Every time I pick up my laptop now, I ask myself, “Is a piece I want to share publicly or privately?”
Part of me wants to be an uninhibited confessional writer like Shannon, Jessica, and Glenna, but like I tell my clients, it can be unhealthy to compare ourselves to others. Standing in my integrity as a human who is a writer and a therapist means I am choosy about what I share.
Writing any part of your story for the world to see is a bold act. Writing from a place of personal integrity takes courage. I hope to continue to have the courage to share and the integrity to write what feels honest and true to me.
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