No filter – unlearning self censorship

Today is 40 years since my father died from alcoholism and 295 days since my mother died, suspected to have taken her own life.

I’ve found it particularly hard to speak lately, in words and writing. But that got me thinking about how much I filter myself in general, particularly in this space.

Studying writing and communications at university taught me that words matter. It taught me to be careful, proofread, cite my sources and never, ever, ever write about my emotions. It taught me to censor myself, filter out the irrelevant.

Obviously, as those who’ve read Snakes and Ladders know, I can and do write about my inner world. But the Phd and editing process of the book just drove that self censorship in deeper. I published a sanitised and palatable version of me.

The fact that I couldn’t publish in that book was that my mother raped me. I couldn’t say it then because she was alive. Keeping that secret hasn’t been good for me and has tainted my relationship with the book. Her death has shown me how dangerous it is for people like me to keep secrets, keep that filter up constantly.

I am too broken to aim for academic, so I’m shifting the goal posts. I am writing my life and my recovery from my mother. With all the opinions and rants and possessions with power that go along with that.

I’ve started so many blog posts over the years that never go up because that perfectionism and drive to be serious and academic just wouldn’t let me hit post until they were good enough.

No more “good enough”.

No more “academic standards”.

I’m writing me here for you to read.

If it’s not cited, it’s opinion.

If I mention something and don’t give you a source, feel free to ask me in the comments.

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