From Tracie: Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

Monday, June 18, 2012

Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

There is a movement happening in the blogosphere. Jess from Makeunder My Life wrote a post called Things I’m Afraid To Tell You. Ez of Creature Comforts took the idea and ran with it (she has an extensive list of participant links), and the Huffington Post published a piece about it. Now Lisa from joycreation, and Robin from Farewell Stranger are keeping it alive.

The idea is to move past the the life and person we present to the world (especially in the online world where it is so easy to pick and choose only the best parts of ourselves to share), and share some of the things we hold back.

Are you wondering what I could be afraid to tell you? I've written about surviving childhood sexual abuse, what it is like to grow up with a hoarder, living with depression and anxiety attacks, my adventures in cooking (remember the time I gave myself food poisoning?), and on one particularly brave day I showed you my stretch marks.

I assure you, there are still things I hold back, although sometimes I want to write about them.

Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

1. I am super competitive.
I like to win. Even at little things like having the highest Bejewled Blitz score.
(Did I just link to a video post of my high score? Yes. Yes I did. Clearly I am not afraid to show you that I am a dork.)

2. I struggle with jealousy.
When something good happens for someone I love, I'm honestly happy for them. But underneath that, in the dark corners of my heart, I sometimes cry, "Why not me?"

3. I did not go to high school, and I have a GED.
At the beginning of tenth grade I got a migraine (it lasted for two and a half years, and is a story for another day). I had to leave school two months into the year - not that I was attending very much with doctors appointments and hospital stays.

I was sixteen when I got my GED. It was one of the worst decisions of my life. I have constant feelings of insecurity and inferiority, and when I think about that GED sitting in my drawer, it reinforces all those feelings.

Further reinforcing that are memories of the day I tried to join the military three years ago. I sat in an Air Force recruiters office, and as soon as he heard "GED," he said, "You are a drop out and a fucking loser. The military doesn't need you and we certainly don't want you. Get out of my office and quite wasting my time bitch." (That is an exact quote. His words are burned into my memory.)

No matter how much I tell myself he was wrong, his words echo in my mind when I think about applying for anything where I will have to admit to the GED, and I'm crushed all over again.

4. There are so many things I want to try, but don't.
Sometimes it is procrastination, sometimes it is a lack of motivation, a lack of funding, or I feel overwhelmed, but the biggest reason is fear. I'm so afraid to fail, I do nothing.

5. I'm afraid to tell you where I live.
I almost told you in November, but I was terrified to commit to the whole story, so I held back. In that post, I said, "My mind is not ready yet, to share that much of myself, but this is a start."

Writing is a part of me. It helps me. And my mind would return to thoughts of writing about where I live again and again, especially on hard days.

In March, I could no longer hold back the words, so I wrote one of the hardest posts I have ever written. I shared it anonymously on Band Back Together, still too frightened to own those words completely. (Oh, and the comments? They helped to heal my heart. That is the power of blogging.)

Today I am going to claim those words. My words. My story. My life. And tell you that I live in a hotel.

It is not easy, and it certainly isn't what I imagined I would be doing at 29. But I am aware every day how blessed I am to have my family together, and have a roof over our heads. I also know we are not alone, more and more families are finding themselves in this position.

6. I do not like Charles Dickens.
I feel bad because his books are classics, and I think I should like them. But A Tale of Two Cities is one of the three books I have not finished reading. After my twentieth attempt, I accepted that it was never going to happen.

7. I wish I could dance.
At least once, I would love to be able to do some super-fancy-awesome dance moves that would wow everyone in the room. What room that would be, I'm not sure, because I don't ever go anywhere where dancing happens...but if I did, I would like to have the moves and the confidence to get out there and be spectacular.


That's it. Seven things I've been afraid to tell you. I spent time this weekend reading through some of the other posts that have been shared, and they are incredible and empowering. I want to encourage you to follow the links at the top of this post, and check them out. And maybe write one of your own. I would love to read it.

I'm going to take a deep breath and hit publish now.

Are there things you are afraid to say on your blog?


  1. Bless you, Tracie. There's nothing here to be ashamed of at all. Good on you for having the courage to face the fear of telling these things, though. <3

  2. Thank you so much for your honesty. This post sings of courage and faith. The recruiter was a complete moron. The army would be lucky to have you.
    I have to apply for TANF tomorrow. I don't want to. I am ashamed. And if my mil wasn't paying our rent, we would be checking that box, too. I don't know exactly what you are going through, but I identify. It seems like the whole world is running out of money.
    Thank you so much for sharing so bravely. <333

  3. Oh you're so brave Tracie. #4? Yes, I can relate, absolutely.

    Thank you for sharing your truths, I know it's hard.

  4. I clicked through to BB2G and read your story. I'm so sorry you guys are struggling like this. I bitch about my 700 square foot house. I need to shut my mouth. Thank you for sharing this.

    On the other hand. :-) I'm a mom with kids. Kids who go on playdates and have playdates. And we schmooze with the wealthy and slum it with. . .well. . .people like us. And I'll tell you that I'd send my kid to your transient housing long before I sent him to some of the rich folkses homes I've seen. Will you watch over him? Yes? Ok. Will you make his stay meaningful on some level? Yes? Ok. Is there love and happiness and do you ask your child to say please and thank you? Yes? Ok. I'm not discounting the fact that a lot of people can and will judge you, but I'm definitely rallying for the people who will look past that box and judge you for the mother and person you are. Be careful--you'll end up with a hotel room full of kids before you know it. :-)

    I'm going to write my own.


  5. Oh, I forgot about the military thing. Seriously? I want to go punch someone. 100% their loss.

  6. Tracie! My heart goes out to you! I have worked with the homeless for many years, (and have been pretty close to it myself). They are some of the strongest and most amazing people I know. And although I am truly glad you do have a roof over your head, I hope that a pathway to a home you can call your own is near. Don't be afraid to reach out for help, that is why it's there.

    PS-I hate Charles Dickens too.

  7. The freedom of owning who you are, stepping out there, shouting it out and thinking, "There. Whoever is left standing, these are my friends."

    I've done the same, and yes...people fell away. And now the two left, my friends in real life...are my FRIENDS in real life.

    I'm still here, T, and always will be.

  8. Oh, comment disappeared.

    Wanted to say you are very special, and I love you.

  9. Our anxieties in life come from BELIEVING the lies grown by the world. It's all utter pollution. The GOOD in you, the LOVE in you, is the truth. And it's the only kind of truth you need to waste your time believing in.

  10. There are things I'm afraid of saying, too. Sometimes for good reason and sometimes for pride. I'm glad you could share these things. One day, I'll teach you a dance move. You'll rock it.

  11. I knew where you lived almost 2 years ago. I am honored that you felt safe enough with me to share that. I had to live in one for 2 weeks following damage to our home that required repairs we could not be present for. I hated it after 5 days. However you have LOVE and respect and a good man who does work and a daughter who is growing and learning more than many kids would. I love you. Ps. I hate Charles Dickens

  12. Here in Myrtle Beach there is a place called Alliance Inn for situations like you are in. They are little Apartments and I almost got one of those before they started to build the new ones for women with disabilities so I'll get to move in there. Two years ago, just two weeks before my 58 birthday if you remember I was about to really homeless in Texas. I was floating around from one persons apartment to another and when I finally got an apartment through some housing it was not the place I could stay. Sold/gave away everything I had and flew back to SC to my daughters which though they love the help with me and the kids, I so long for my new place to be ready.

    I agree with others here, this will be an experience your daughter will never forget and your determination to move ahead will teach her much. And like others have said, their children would be safer with you then in some of the best homes out there. Plus by watching you blog I see your daughter having an experience with you she would never have been able to have had things been "normal". Someday this will be a great book and learning tool for you to teach.

    Hugs and Healing

  13. Tracie, you are awesome. I'm so proud of you for owning your words and situation. And you know what? You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. I'm in awe of your candidness. I'm all teary and happy for you and the fearlessness you show here. I'm trying to find the gumption to share on my blog. Thank you for sharing and inspiring. <3

  14. Tracie, this took an INCREDIBLE amount of bravery. I agree with Teala, you have nothing to be ashamed of and I admire you even more now. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Sending you admiration and strength. I think you're lovely, and we are lucky to have you.

  16. Wow Tracie, that was compelling and I felt it in my heart. I'm so glad you've found this freedom in your writing. There are so many of us with similar concerns. This helps connect us all. For example, I had a problem with jealousy for many years. I've only been able to overcome it the past few years and I'm decades older than you. The fact that you realize the issue is a start to make it better. I can dance, in fact, love to dance....BUT I don't like Charles Dickens either! I love your honesty and your sweetness. Thanks for sharing with us! HUGSSS, T

  17. You're brave. I'm guessing because you've learned it can be liberating. And you know we are all more alike than not. I've told a lot about my inner life but there are things I haven't wanted to tell (until and unless they are in context).

  18. I think you are amazeballs and I freaking love you. For your honesty in this post and all the ones that came before it. And I relate to all of these, except the competitive bit. I lived in a hotel as a kid for many years and was homeless as an adult. I also have a GED. And then I got a bachelor's and a Master's. A GED doesn't mean we're losers, where we choose to take our lives after that and how we treat people determine loserdom, IMHO.
    Your writing is lovely and emotional and relatable. You are a tireless board member of the Band. You've raised a beautiful, smart reader and fostered a loving marriage. There is not a speck of loser in your DNA, yo.

  19. Tracie,

    First of all, I really don't see what is wrong with having a GED. It proves you know the material and have been educated properly in my opinion.

    That military *&)$er? He should be flogged in public. That was his personal garbage and I'm sorry he put it on you. Horrible! I do know how it feels, the same happened to me by our middle school Principal. Pretty much the same experience, so I know how that feels.

    Oh and jealousy? I got that one down as well. I finally told my sis-in -law that I'd always been jealous of her beauty. And then the skies parted! After that, we've been like peas in a pod. It liberated both of us and we understood each other!

    If you're ever in the Houston area, drop by and we'll turn on some music and dance our asses off!

    Love, Dawne

  20. You did it. So proud of you! This is an incredible post and it shows so much about how amazing you are. Wishing you and your family all good things.

  21. Your honesty is amazing and that recruiter needs to be kicked in his nutsack...if he even has one.

    I can only imagine how to difficult it was to share these things. I don't knew if I'm that brave yet.

  22. what a powerful post. I'm wondering now what I'm afraid to share. you have me thinking now. you're pretty awesome, ya know.

  23. Sending loads and loads of love and hugs to you. I think you're awesome. Seriously. I can't stress enough that GED's, hotels, one misogynist recruiter - all that doesn't matter. You have such a beautiful and brave soul, a beautiful voice.

    You know, I read Tale of Two Cities as my first Dickens novel ... or I may have read Oliver Twist first, not sure and it is very different from the rest of his novels. It was written towards the end of his life when he was much darker. But Pickwick Papers made me laugh out loud in public, and Martin Chuzzlewit made me want to become a better person, and almost every other one I've read (all but Bleak House and Mystery of Edwin Drood) has captivated me. I love Dickens. :-)

  24. I did not know of this blogger movement. You are brave to jump into it. I hope the post relieves some of the weight of those past events. I like the analogy of dragging our past into the future. Some past parts are better off left on the side of our road. Having been in USAF for 10 years, your story angers me. Even if the recruiter could not help you, he had no reason to insult you like that. I suspect he has a load of his own issues that he is dragging around.
    all the best.

  25. Brava. I admire your candor.

  26. You are amazing! Thank you for sharing with us!

  27. I will repeat what has been stated before: You are amazing. I like this exercise very much and may have to do it myself, if I can get over my fear.

  28. I love your honest heart and your writing and your constant and consistent encouragement of others. Know that you are enough. Every day. *HUG*

  29. You are enough, every single day. Thank you for being brave and honest and transparent and vulnerable. You are an amazing encourager and I <3 you *HUG*

  30. Tracie, your post touched me deeply. Thank you so much for joining us in this round of TIATTY, and for sharing so openly. I'm glad I was introduced to you and your blog! There are several things I can relate to: especially the insecurity and inferiority you describe with regard to your degree. I feel exactly the same way! I also relate so much to the fear of failure you describe. There have been many things I haven't tried, because of it. And even, if I do take up a new task/project, the experience is always overshadowed by the fear of failure. I'm sending much strength your way!

  31. I like jenna's words. You are enough, every single
    day. I love you very much and have always been delighted and inspired by your zest, intelligence, humor, and your ability to be a good friend. You are a writer, a teacher and a great mom. I would call you quite accomplished!

  32. I have a GED too! And then I went on to get two college degrees.

    It doesn't mean anything negative, it means you dedicated the courage, effort, work, and time to get your degree. Great job.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.


  33. I am late to the party, but I am so proud of you. I am disgraced, however, by that recruiter. Morally, he was wrong but he also wronged the force! My husband has proudly served as an Airman for over 10 years and yes, he has a GED. I'm so sorry that you were treated so disgracefully! As to the hotel... Girl, you do what you have to do. You love and are loved, heaven doesn't ask for proof of residence. I'm glad that you felt strong enough to share that for it is NOTHING of which to be ashamed.

    I was already proud to know you and I have seven more reasons now!