The things I don’t tell you

* The older my kids get, the less I talk about them in public. Their lives, while intertwined with mine, are not my story to tell. I make sure to ask them before I post an instagram or a tweet, or share a funny story. They always say yes. They are growing up digital natives, and don’t see any problem with sharing their lives with the world.

It means, though, that it’s my job to guard their privacy where and when their actions become part of my life.

Health concerns, difficulties with school subjects, the normal ups and downs of adolescent kids — all of that I don’t tell you, dear internets.

* I also don’t tell you all most of how work goes. I’m an air traffic controller, and I raised my hand and swore an oath to uphold the faith and confidence of the public in aviation. I can’t just randomly bitch about workplace irritations to y’all. I would be literally breaking my oath.

And when I’m training folks at work? It compounds that whole “oath” thing with the “reasonable expectation of privacy” thing. It’s not my place to tell you how well or poorly someone is doing in the three-year-long hellscape that is ATC training.

* I don’t talk about my health much. Because, well, it’s holding. There is no news on what’s wrong with my throat. I am on 20 mg of Prednisone every day, indefinitely. This enables me to talk, and eat, and mostly sleep.

My snoring has gotten a lot worse, and I might have a touch of sleep apnea. I, of course, think this is all my fault because I have gotten fatter since the onset of the throat thing. Other people have pointed out that 1) Prednisone makes people put on weight in ways that CANNOT be gotten rid of by exercise and eating less, and that 2) having a mysterious swelling throat MIGHT POSSIBLY contribute to snoring and sleep apnea and there’s nothing in my control about that. I still plod through my days secure in the knowledge that if I was a better person, more motivated, more committed, tougher, I would go back to jogging and running and just take a lot of painkillers. Tough it out. Other people have pointed out that I *clearly and manifestly* have some sort of bizarre auto-immune disorder, and that the daily chronic relentless joint pain that is not arthritis is probably related to that, and Not My Fault. But I keep thinking I just need to suck it up, do the work, lose the weight, stop snoring. And then the part of my brain that would tell anyone else this is a STUPID plan kicks in, and I do … nothing. Except wake each morning knowing that my snoring is my fault because I am fat because I don’t try hard enough to exercise through the pain. And then I have my first cup of tea and wake up all the way and remind myself that this is a STUPID line of thinking, and it can go fuck itself.

And I take my prednisone, and I hope that it continues as an effective treatment long enough that I can keep working, and I hope that my kidneys and liver hold out for seven more years until I can retire.

So, it’s holding. There’s not really anything to report.

* Editing projects, writing projects, publishing projects — can’t really tell you about those, either. It’s part of my duty, my responsibility, to protect the foibles of those folks making the art. (Not to hide anything criminal or malicious, obviously. But the normal, day-to-day problems of making deadlines, coordinating projects, making or not making changes? Those I protect.)

Those things aren’t mine to tell.


So, if I don’t natter on about those things, well, they are all still there, trucking along in the background. But they’re not really things I am going to chatter on about, here, in public.

I’m sure you all have things like that, too! Relationships, jobs, projects, hopes, fears. Worries. Things you are afraid to say in the light of day, because what if that makes the scary things real?

Tell you what, internets. If you want, you can tell me. Email me the stupid, scary thing you are trying to not say out loud, if you like. Or the thing you feel is too petty, or too self-indulgent, or too common.


What’s up with you, internets?


4 Responses

  1. FYI – the study connecting obesity and sleep apnea was retracted by the researcher and the journal that published it in 2009. The researcher felt Ge was being pressured to find a certain outcome and falsified data.

  2. I’m thinking. Thanks for the prompt.

  3. :reads post: Oh, excellent points. And the risk mitigation is a real concern.

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