I sporadically share a lot on the internet. Lately though I’ve been censoring myself from sharing. I mean really I always have shared but when it gets beyond just making myself look ridiculous some family members have grown uncomfortable.
After pushing post, sometimes I think of deleting them, sometimes I do. More often I struggle with the more revealing pieces, not the silly videos where I look awful and am doing something like pretending to be a man masturbating in a park. It was all in the name of road safety.
At couple’s counseling a few months ago, with a counselor we love, she told me I do need to keep my husband’s feelings into consideration when I share. He’s not a social media person.
He has worked with many people in the public spotlight and is not envious at all of how much attention the person receives. My guy likes to lay low. I respect him for that and sort of think he’s a cool guy because of it.
I blurted out in therapy, but I’m an artist!
Then the counselor said, well you still need to think about his feelings and your kids. They’ll find these posts. Think about celebrity kids, they have no choice. Then I felt a little dirty.
First off, I’m no celebrity at all but here are these people who are trying to protect their kids from exposure and I’m exposing my family and feelings for what?
Because it’s cathartic. Though I do not talk too much about my kids and I closed my personal blog down in ’08 when the show started taking off, I became nervous about all I had written.
I spent so much of my youth very quiet. I became quite shy in social situations when I became about 12. I could barely talk in front of boys. Once at camp an older boy said, what, you think you can sit there, not saying anything and just look pretty.
I remember it gutting me.
I kept secrets about my family sealed behind my lips. And in their containment the weight and sadness that built up inside me consumed me more then not.
When I moved to LA I loved out easily people swore and shared their stories. It made me laugh. I was still pretty shy and then finally I just started sharing and opening up and laughing at myself and I’d gained distance from secrets and I began to feel myself changing.
Then ironically, I co-created Expressing Motherhood, I was the kind of person who would skip speech class and receive an F for my fear of public speaking was something that would leave me very scared.
On Veteran’s Day this week at my kids’ school some dads spoke about their time serving. The second father who spoke, an older father, talked about being drafted into the Vietnam war. My 4 and 3 year-old were starting to lose it and I was quietly making our way our of the sanctuary when I heard the speaker get quiet.
He suddenly could not speak he was overwhelmed with emotion.
I’m sorry, I never really speak of this, he said.
And he could not continue, he said it just meant a lot to him and brings back many memories. I choked back tears and handed my kids my phone as I just dropped to my knees as walking out at that time seemed incredibly rude.
The other men rubbed his shoulders and it was a profound morning for me.
I understand that even if he had been seeking counseling and talking about what had happened to him in Vietnam perhaps he would still be choked up but the fact that he said he never really spoke of that time and to see all the emotions overwhelm him, just made me think about the power of sharing our stories.
Getting them out of our systems so they don’t weigh us down in shame or sadness.
This is a turning into a long post. What am I setting myself up for an excuse to share more with you?
My struggle with anxiety is daily but so much better. The hardest times for me are immediately upon waking. I try to do a free Mindfulness audio recording and I also take .5 mg of xanax.
I recently switched my heart medicine to taking it at night in hopes I won’t be as sleepy. It is indeed making me less sleepy during the day but my body or mind is just a little nervous towards the change.
But with more water, way less alcohol(little to none wine, a glass of beer is my go to I feel like there’s less sugar) no caffeine, exercise, calling friends, baths, mediating and yes a little xanax I’m able to function and do so calmly.
I feel like I’m trying to undo some harm I have brought upon this house over the last few years. Due to my own rage and sadness. And those were feelings that have been with me since childhood.
Just because I left a house doesn’t mean I got to leave the emotions at the door.
I have sadness at too many explosions at my children over the last few years and am staying so much calmer. It saddens me that I did that but I’m hopeful with my calmness now(of course I occasionally slip) I will re-gain their trust.
Anger and anxiety are often dance partners I’m learning.
So, here it is 7:26AM and I’ve shared more then some would like but even if I don’t share my stuff is still here. Your stuff is there.
It’s just proving to be a more interesting and comfortable place to live when I share versus keeping secrets close to my heart and letting them eat me up.
Thank you to those of you who have emailed me with your own struggles with anxiety. It means a lot to me.
Southern California native, Krista Knott is putting her feet on the Expressing Motherhood stage for the second time in our next show, opening May 10th. Krista had heard about the show originally through a friend and decided to submit when the next round opened. She performed in Burbank, having only to walk down the street from her house to the theatre.
She is a free lance writer who works from home and says she is up late most nights. Her “day job” is mom. Her “paying job” is as the Managing Editor for The Bright Side Project, although if she could stay home and eat bon bons and watch soaps, it would actually be “a marathon of The Walking Dead and a bucket of high quality chocolate bars.”
When I asked her about her first time on the EM stage, she said “the first time I performed was a bit of a game changer for me. I spent years as a struggling actress/unpublished writer and to take these two aspects of myself (coupled with the inextricable role of mother) and mash them together helped me work from feeling like I somehow failed in my past life since I didn’t “accomplish” anything before having kids to reconciling that I am exactly where I need to be. And that I am worthy.”
Krista and her fiance Bryan have been together since 2006 and have two children, Finn (5) and Dash (1 1/2). She also has a 13 year old step-son who lives out of state but spends the summers with them here in SoCal. “His sister has full blown hero worship and his visits here even trump the excitement of Disneyland.”
Krista and Bryan have been engaged since 2010 and are pleased to announce they will be getting married on May 20th….the day after Expressing Motherhood closes in Los Angeles!
“We finally realized that, with two kids, we were never going to be able justify spending money on a wedding so we are taking our parents and heading to the courthouse on our 7 year anniversary. Our five year old daughter is, by far, the most excited about this. She is obsessed with brides and grooms and can’t wait to wear her own fancy dress.”
Krista says she walked away from her first performance in EM with confidence, friendship, camaraderie and validation. “I realized it was much easier to perform as an actress because I wasn’t having to completely be myself, you know? To stand up on a stage and tell my own stories, in my own words, was absolutely terrifying. And honestly the most liberating experience I’ve ever had.”
We’re so happy Krista is going to be back on stage at The Lillian in May.
She says “this time is a little scary for me because I’m sharing something personal, something with weight. And that’s exactly why I am doing it. I believe in sharing our scary truths. I’m just a little shaky about doing it while standing in front of a group of people and not from behind the safety of a keyboard…
…I’m looking forward to looking my fear in the eye and doing it anyway.”
Sarah Maizes is a two time performer in Expressing Motherhood. She’s the mother of three, a writer, performer and now children’s book author. Last year, Sarah offered to give us a copy of one of her recently published books for giveaway in Expressing Motherhood.
She sent me two copies….so, naturally, I kept one for myself. That’s natural, right?
On My Way To The Bath is a very fun book indeed. I would venture to say that the hilarious antics of the child in the book can hit close to home for most of us when attempting to give a child a bath or anything else, really.
Sarah has had great success with this book, and I can see why. My children have been obsessed with it for weeks. We read it over and over and over, in the same night.
What has been saving us (Or me) from the redundancy of reading the same book over and over again is my 5 year old son. First of all, he can read, so we take turns being the child and the mom in the book…and we get animated…we don’t just read the book, we perform the book for each other. It’s a lot of fun!
Last night, however, my son read the entire book to us on his own before bed.
Los Angeles mom Abby Kohl will be sharing her story with us in our upcoming LA show.
Abby Kohl is the mother of four wonderful children ages fourteen (Levi), twelve (Esther), eight (Abra) and six (Goldie). She has been married to her complex, loving and intelligent husband, David for seventeen years. They live in West Los Angeles.
Originally form the suburbs of Chicago, she has studied acting since she was a kid and has taught children’s theatre for the past 20 years.
Moms LA is run by two very supportive women, Yvonne Condes and Sarah Aureswald. Their site focuses on Life in LA, which can be a challenge for anyone, but especially for those of us trying to raise kids here.
Raising kids in LA sure is unique. Look at my husband urban camping with our son a few years back in the heart of the Hollywood hills. They made it until 8:30PM. Don’t try this on the 4th of July in the city.
My piece is titled “Choosing My Kids’ Religion.” Yes, a little nod to R.E.M. there. Now it’s in your head, here you go.
Anyways, for those of you moms treading through the tricky waters of raising kids in homes with multiple religions you might enjoy some ways we are doing it. This was a harder piece to write then I thought. I felt judged writing it in the solitude of my home office, ha!