helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

Editing the past (part 2 of "deconstructing my life").

Scrolling down past my older journal entries to see if there are any comments, I feel acutely embarrassed by the ones that I made whilst significantly anguished - particularly the one about my mum and dad. Having to read that every time isn't pleasant at all. But I feel that it would be Wrong to delete it. So far, the only editing I've done of journal entries has been if they've been formatted incorrectly or if I've found typos - I haven't actually changed any content more than a few minutes after the entry's first been posted.

If I took that entry out, it would be editing the past - changing it to be more aesthetically-pleasing. That's what my mum does every day of her life - that's how come she's still living with my dad. If she truly remembered the horrors, she wouldn't stick around for the good times. Someone needs to remember, if only because of a vague sense of justice.

I used to wonder if people would believe my stories about my parents' relationship. My parents do something that we call "playing Happy Families". If they need to meet someone important (like Richard's parents), they'll dress up in smart clothes, put on fake upper-middle-class accents and present a show of togetherness. Even when my mother's got a black eye where my father hit her. I can see straight through the act, and at least one of my ex-boyfriends was able to. But most people can't, and so when I tell them what things are really like, they don't believe me. However, one day my father hit the roof while I was still living with my mum and had friends round. Tim and Peter actually witnessed one of his explosions, and it wasn't pretty. I feel sorry for them that they had to see that, but in another way I feel grateful that someone outside of my immediate family saw - that there is someone to back me up when I say what's going on.

Most people edit their pasts all the time. Most people want to appear to be somehow more special than they actually are. But there's a line that I draw between the kind of thing that's Okay and the kind of thing that's Not Okay, and taking out something just because it's embarrassing to read later doesn't seem right. It might be different if someone else was being hurt by it, but so far no one else is.

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