The fascinating thing about being honest about what I’ve been through and, even, what I’m going through is to see the reactions of those around me (and I mean those I actually see and mix with)! I don’t say much to work colleagues – far too dangerous as they all have their own ‘agendas’ to publicize!
But nowadays I really enjoy seeing the reactions – both positive and negative – of friends, neighbours and – sometimes – my relations – and then working out why they respond the way they do!
There are those like my sister-in-law who told me ” Don’t be silly, of course you weren’t” when I admitted I’d been close to taking my life. Despite the fact she wasn’t there the night I held the packet of sleeping pills and wondered whether to swallow the lot.
There have been those too embarrassed by my apparent openness to know what to do – they usually bolt!!
But when I get on to the subject of Life Coaching – this really sorts ‘the men out from the boys!’. I have to say most of the men (95% at least) cringe, look horrified, and quickly change the subject! One even said to me that Men don’t discuss feelings – and he’s about to embark on marriage no. 3!! And actually is a great friend and a really kind person!
As to the women. Well they broadly fall into two categories. Those who have open minds and those who haven’t!
Those with open minds are fascinated by what I’ve ‘put myself through’, ask loads of questions, want to know more. It’s great because with them I can talk about my experiences, confusion, the ups and downs and know I’m not going to cause them angst by doing so.
Those with close minds are much harder to talk to! They are uncomfortable with what I’m doing and appear almost scared that I’m going to discover something “I shouldn’t” – though what that is I’ve yet to find out from any of them! It says more about them and their own insecurities and fears than it does about me but has produced difficulties at times for our friendship. In fact with most I’ve now stopped telling them about it. Which is sad really as I have to pretend I’ve stopped going!
I’ve been accused of being hypnotised into imagining what happened to me at 15! (Wow I didn’t know Stephen had such powers – given he’d left me on my own when I decided to find the courage to tell him!)
I’ve been accused of continuing with Life Coaching when it was clearly not necessary! – Who are they to judge!
I’ve been told to stop wasting my money as it wasn’t doing me any good! Again how odd given how much happier I am!! Never mind what I choose to do with my money is – I consider – my business and no one else’s!!
And finally – and this is the best one. I’ve been told I need to stop navel gazing. Well in all that I’ve been through in the last 30 months I can assure you, dear reader, I haven’t once gazed at my navel!!