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Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Elephant

This may be one of those entries people have no idea how to respond to and that's fine - I think I'm writing it more to hear myself talk. Please feel free to respond but don't feel obligated because Cate's losing her marbles again. Really, I'm not losing my marbles. I'm just trying to figure out what to do with them.

You know that saying about everyone ignoring the elephant in the room? Even though the elephant is completely obvious and there's no way you could possibly ignore it?

I have my own personal elephant that tags along behind me and it's hard for me to be comfortable enough to share with many people. I think a lot of people realize there is an elephant of some sort but they have no idea what it is. Just that there's something.

As an adult, I've only shared the details of my elephant with a handful of people. A few others have gotten just the most basic of information. All of them internet "folks" that I'm quite close to (well, minus one who had a kid and dropped off the face of the earth when I wasn't all excited about the *wiggle wiggle poo report*). And, really, that's fine. It's my elephant. I can share or not.

But I just realized recently, someone I thought I had shared with long ago, apparently I did not. And now it feels kind of awkward to me. This isn't just "oh, hey, did I ever tell you about the time I was in the high school cafeteria and milk shot out my nose?". It's more like "oh, hey, know how you always listen to me rant and rave about the gazillion issues I have? I have an elephant that explains about 99% of those and I kinda forgot to mention it."

Part of me wants to get it off my chest. Part of me really isn't up to talking about it in the amount of detail it would take to explain. A huge part of me is thankful for those few friends I've told because if I'm having a bad day, all I have to do is utter two words and they know exactly what's on my mind. No further explanation needed.

So what do you do about your personal semi-invisible elephant in this situation?

P.S. My elephant would be pretty pissed to be referred to as an elephant. But then, wouldn't we all?


C. Beth said...

I think you've just got to there any chance you'll regret sharing with the world? Sharing with one person at a time keeps you in charge of your story. Sharing with the whole blog means you're no longer in charge of it. That might be fine--only you can determine that.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...all I know about elephants is how to eat them...ONE bite at a time...I guess that's how you would get rid of one too.

TMC said...

That elephant might be easier to manage if you shared its management/care/upkeep with others.

Mrs Cooper said...

It's your elephant and how you choose or not choose to share it is up to you. If you don't share it you are still keeping that part of yourself private and that could be good or bad depending on the circumstances. I guess I'm really no help at all.

jabblog said...

Elephant or skeleton or demon - I think we all have them in one form or another. My elephant is only shared with my husband - I'll never share it with anyone else - but he knows when it's put in an appearance. In your shoes I'd stick with the few who know and let the rest ponder . . .

Princess Andy said...

people need to stop talking about elephants.

serious disturbing mental images of pachyderms stuck to your ass.

i don't care what it is and whether i'm privy or not...i trust that our personal conversations are honest, that is all that matters.

there's always going to be some things that are off limits to public blogging for everyone. even i have limits.

shocking, i know.

i <3 matter what.


Melinda said...

My personal rule is to not share anything online I would have a problem walking up to stranger and saying. So just decide if you are comfortable with a stranger knowing about your elephant. It really is a personal call.

That corgi :) said...

totally understand; I've had a few elephants in my lifetime that only a few (and not even family were included in that few) knew about. But I know how it is to want to be able to share it with others to get that emotional support. My advice. Start a private blog for issues like this and only invite those you feel very comfortable with knowing things about you. And then double check that list before you invite people to view it. It does change people's perspective of you sometimes when they read about elephants. (know that from experience when I had people reading my private blog).

if you ever need a shoulder......I'm here and objective and believe you me nothing you say would catch me by surprise or off guard. been there done that for too many things

hugs to you


SisterFriend said...

I think if you want to share the elephant with someone, you need to be in the right mind frame AND really trust the person cause that's one big elephant.

If you need a shoulder, mine has had lots of practice the last 24 hours.

Nessa said...

I personally don't care if someone has an elephant - share, don't share - it's an individual choice and I don't believe that "full" disclosure means you are honest in your dealings with people.

If keeping your elephant to yourself would harm another person in a real way (not just hurt feelings which would be their issue not yours) then you should disclose. Otherwise, it's totally up to you based on your comfort level.

Thursday Thirteen - Me & Music

lailani said...

What do you get when you cross an elephant with a rhino?

Elephino . . .

Elephants only get shared with those I trust a lot or complete strangers (blogland), strange huh? But that whole middle area is as grey as an elephant and I just don't trust those folks.

Grand Pooba said...

Well I think that's what's great about an anonymous blog, you can talk about your elephant without any concequences in real life. So I say do it, just get it out there, why not?

Jean Stockdale said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note. I do enjoy the Saturday blog. I am given to words, many many many words, and I enjoy the exercise of being concise!


2cats said...

It's your elephant to do with what you want. If you don't want to go into all the detail with this friend just tell her/him that you can not go into but to take it from you it is not a good thing.
Then figure out what to do with the elephant. Order the elephant to leave. I know easier said than done. I think I know this elephant and it is hard to do but it can be done.

blognut said...

I think most people have figured out who is my elephant and how it got there. And I can tell you that each time I've ever written a post that made reference to the elephant, I have cringed as soon as I hit "publish" and was then subsequently blown away by the amount of support I received from my fellow bloggers.

Only you know when/what to share, Cate. I will tell you this, though. If you tell it, there's no unringing that bell, but that is rarely a bad thing.

Lyndsay said...

I think we all have our elephants in some way shape, or form. Do share Cate, do share.