Questions from Melony Hill’s Writing for My Sanity Therapeutic Writing Workshop (@STMSBmore), held online.
• Name an activity you hate but pretend you like to stay in the good graces of friends or family. Why does it matter to you?
Sometimes the exchange of my kids with my ex is harder than I let on. Lately it’s been much easier, but especially when the divorce was fresh, it was really really hard. Old, angry feelings would arise and dominate every thought, making it tough to relax or even get through it at all. But I had to grit my teeth, force myself to relax, and smile.
It matters, because it’s important to my kids. They need the stability. They need to know that their mother and I are on the same page. They need to know that no matter what, they’ll be loved. They know that, and that makes it all worth it.
• How do you respond to insensitive or hateful comments in a group setting? Tell us about the time you failed to speak up or a time you did.
I get a ton of hateful comments in a lot of public settings online. It’s slowed down a bit this days, but it really used to bother me a whole lot. What people think of me is something I think about often, often in really unhealthy ways.
I remember reading that Martin Luther King Jr. used to save all the hate mail and death threats that he got in a box, and so I started doing the same. I created a separate Twitter account that was dedicated to just that, and I would post screenshots of the hate mail I got there.
After a while, it got really depressing, but a close friend reminded me that I also get a lot of other messages that are much more positive and kind, and that I should save those too. I created a Twitter account for that as well. And somehow, the good messages always outweigh the bad.