About my serious side

Not to break the spell or spoil the fun, but you've probably figured out my real name isn't Dummy.

The CTD Diaries is my playground. No one tells the truth in their diaries anyway so I figured I should find another place to get real, where the head lights aren't so bright. I originally thought this would be a good place to post my creative writing, but I think this is just a good place to tell the truth.

Monday, April 12, 2010

If You Really Knew Me . . .

When I lived in Hawaii I would often take my three sons and their little rugrat buddies to a place called Alligator Pond on Pounders beach where they would spend hours scooping up little damselfish with fishing nets and holding them hostage in left over laundry detergent buckets. On one occasion the older boys ran ahead while my friend’s four year old struggled along the shoreline lugging a five gallon bucket full of water.

“Want me to carry that for you?” I offered. So I did.

I carried it quite a ways down the beach before I noticed it was full of empty water.

No fish.

It struck me as pointless to be carrying a big ole’ bucket full of empty water all the way down the beach.

“Want me to dump this out for you? I said. So I did.

It made me think about life, because everything makes me think about life.

Sometimes we need to help others carry their buckets and sometimes we need to help them empty their buckets.

One semester, while I was a teacher at BYU-Hawaii, I decided to add a metaphorical bucket section to my curriculum. I began by asking each student to anonymously complete the following sentence:

“If you really knew me, you would know that _____________”

It made my eyes sweat to think on all the things my students were carrying around with them so I poured all of their buckets into one huge poem, because sometimes it just helps to share.

Grab a tissue because I’m going to share the poem here for all of you who need your buckets emptied today.

If You Really Knew Me

If you really knew me, you would know that nobody takes me seriously. On the outside everything is a joke to me, but on the inside I am empty.

If you really knew me, you would know that when I was nine years old I saw my cousin drown. I couldn't save him.

If you really knew me, you would know that I was raped when I was ten years old. Now I feel dirty and I hate my body.

You would know that I am recovering from an eating disorder.

You would know that I have a sexually abusive grandfather that ripped my family apart.

You would know that I regret working so much and not spending more time with my children.

If you really knew me, you would know that I want a divorce.

I suffer from depression.

I have a voice in my head constantly reminding me of my inadequacies and downfalls.

I lose hope often. I am discouraged. I yield to the screams of temptations. 

I was arrested for shooting my stepfather with a paintball gun.

 I got teased constantly as a child for being overweight. 

I ran in the face of danger. I hate myself. I suffer over the grandmother’s death. 

My cousin died of breast cancer. I was on probation for six months for beating up a kid in Jr. High. 

I don’t respect my father. 

I cut myself regularly to make myself feel. 

My cousin took his own life . . .

If you really knew me, you would know that I am sad. 

I am angry. 

I didn’t tell my father about my mother's boyfriend.

If you really knew me, you would know that I am heart broken and I don’t feel any happiness.

I'm thankful for the good folks over at Service Soapbox who are working together to make a dent in the world.


Just SO said...

Wow. You never really know what that person next to you in class, or behind you in the grocery store line, or on the next blog over has gone through...do you?
And that service soapbox rocks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, this was a thought provoking post.

and um, 12 weeks early? and rsv? You are amazing. Mine were only 4 weeks early, and have not yet had RSV (thank goodness).

Jo said...

I have a couple of If you knew me's. I suppose everyone does. Thanks for the moment of seriousness.
I adored meeting you and I am so looking forward to getting to know you better.

Sarah said...

I guess its a good thing we never really know everyone around us. I think if we did we would never feel a reason to go on.

Chandni S said...

The show If You Really Knew Me is great and focuses on student life.

The Songer said...

Your class should have been one of those required classes that everyone had to take, Specifically from You!

When reading the poem you could totally feel the burdens that they were baring, and imagine how much each of them was lifted in your class!