...that is indeed the question.
And unfortunately I don't have an old skull handy to chat to so I'll just natter on to you lot.
As most of you are aware by now, I'm pretty open about the things that go on in my life. I've been told by some people (ok, quite a few) that I share too much. This is something I do ponder from time to time and I'm sure that these people (ok, mob) have a point.
I guess I just feel that if I'm having a conversation and something comes up that I've had an experience with or has happened to me, I almost feel compelled to share. Otherwise it's like lying. Because anything I say from that point onwards won't be the truth. If someone says 'I've always wanted to catch a squirrel and dress it in Barbie clothes cos I think it would be fun' and then I say 'Yeah, I wonder what that would be like...' when I know damned well how much fun it is...well to me it feels like I'm not being honest about my opinion because I'm withholding certain information.
Christian on the other hand is very...selective about what he tells people. Not because he's secretive or ashamed or anything, but he's just always been a man of few words.
What got me to pondering tonight is that we were out at a movie with our friend Steven. We were chatting afterwards while standing outside the bank where I used to work and I said I hated being there. Steven said 'Oh yeah, you used to work there. I know you left but I don't know why.' To which of course, being me, I told the truth and said 'I slept with one of the ladies husbands.'
Slight pause, then a bit of a stutter.
'Riiiiiiight. Well, we knew something was up but I always assumed you had cancer or something. All we knew something was upsetting Christian and he didn't want to talk about it. I've always thought you must have had cancer!'
And that's the difference between Christian and I. My friends all know I'm a marriage wrecking slut who turned suicidal from her guilt because I told them about it. Christian's friends think I'm dying of cancer because he said nothing and they only had observations to go on.
I wouldn't say I'm closer to my friends than Christian is to his. And it's not that Christian won't talk about the whole thing. He's always been very supportive and open in discussions that we've had as a couple with other people. If it wasn't for the fact that he doesn't really talk much about anything I might have thought he was trying to protect my honour (or what little I have left of it). The only explanation I have left is that it's a personality thing and I just happen to more open than he is.
It's not just the affair that I'm open about either. I've always be open with people about my abuse, my mental illness, being bi, my lack of religious belief, my favourite colour, the fact that I went to a Take That concert, my inability to conceive children, my dislike of Tom Hanks, my cutting...if it comes up in conversation, I'll discuss it. It's not like I go up to random strangers and say 'I hate Tom Hanks' and run away; the subject has to be broached first.
But how open is too open? My mother hates the fact that I admit to things that are considered shameful. She does not like me talking about my affair, she hates it when I wear shirts that show my scars, she freaked out completely when she saw me kiss Flora on the lips, she tells me I need to get over my abuse and stop dwelling on it. My mother is nice I swear, I really do, but she just has certain issues about some things. I do have to wonder though if the problem lies with me? The things I do obviously make her uncomfortable and so if I become more closed about my life, it would obviously put her at ease. If I was less open, I would most likely make a lot of people more comfortable. Therefore is it logical to assume that the onus rests with me and I should be more tactful; less open; restrained; decorous; less me?
I hate the fact that I make people feel uncomfortable.