Controlling the Narrative: How Much Do You Share?

Yesterday, I told my story. I told my story to someone who otherwise never would have known of its existence.

And I think I regret it….

Among my friends, I jokingly call him my “ATF Boyfriend”. But in reality he is just Wilson; a fellow ATF Org Member who I have been Facebook chatting with for the past month. I think I really could like him, but I haven’t even met him yet so I’m trying to keep it chill.

Yesterday, when Wilson and I were Facebook chatting, he asked me what song was currently going through my head. Immediately, I replied with the good and honest truth, a song that I really, really do like and is constantly running through my mind. Reverse by SomeKindaWonderful.

“Wow that is a really interesting song, I like it!” Wilson replied instantaneously. “I’m on this blog reading about what it means to different people”. Pleased that he liked my song I silently celebrated by mysteriously not replying for a premeditated ten minutes because yes, I still do that kind of shit. But, before the silent ten minute alarm could go off in my head, Wilson replied yet again.

“What does the song mean for you?”

Fuuuuuck… The way I saw it, I had three options.

  1. I do not fully answer, making it seem like I like the song because I somehow relate to the storyline of cheating and getting caught and look like a sketchy bitch.
  2. I tell him the partial truth, that I really love the word tantalized and sound like a total and complete shallow idiot.
  3. Tell him my story.

I weighed my option and then cautiously dived in.

“Ok, well in December I found out that the guy I had been dating cheated on me with three people. I cut it off, block him on my phone, Facebook, the whole nine yards and left the country for Christmas break. I never told him I knew. When I came back in January, he had heard from someone else and we met up to talk. He accidentally apologized for things I did not yet know about and the number went from three to six in a short, five minute conversation. Today, I know that number is well into the double digits so I guess I like this song because it’s a catchy, kind of angsty way to laugh at the stupidity of some relationships and experiences.”

  • Wilson: Wow what a shitty dude! I can’t get over what an idiot that guy was. If I ever see him, I’m going to punch him.
  • Sara: I punched him already. Oops.

It occurred to me later that this is the first time I have ever really told my “story” to a living soul. Mostly, my friends already knew and found out through bits and blurbs. I never had to sit down and explain it in one, single narrative. After I found the words to summarize all of this, many thoughts flooded my brain.

  • Is this a story I will have to explain to new friends that I meet in Mississippi who have zero knowledge about my life and history? 
  • Do I want anyone to know? 
  • Ok, so I told one person. Maybe I won’t tell anyone else, ever. 
  • It’s not even important or influential! 
  • Oh who am I kidding, this shit-show altered my life (for the better–eventually). 
  • Oh my God… What if I have to explain it to people I let close to me in the future to fully explain why I have trust issues?
  • Wait, who said I’m going to have trust issues about dating seriously anyway?! 
  • But let’s be real… 
  • I’ll never tell the story again. Fully. To anyone. 
  • But it’s such an interesting story… 
  • Fuck, does Wilson have some sort of pity on me now or see me as emotionally damaged? 
  • Ew. I don’t want to be seen or thought of as that. I’m fucking fabulous! 
  • I think I regret this… 
  • NO. It’s part of me. OWN IT. 

I’ve realized that this is all going to be part of the transition into starting over, starting fresh in my new life. How do I want to start my new life? I have control over my narrative, after all. I still haven’t decided if I am filled with regret or ownership over telling Wilson this part of my story. We’ll have to see what comes of it.


Sara Wildes

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One thought on “Controlling the Narrative: How Much Do You Share?

  1. 10centrain says:

    You were the third option on google when I looked up “reverse somekindawonderful cheating” because I was surprised nobody was talking about how much of a scumbag the narrator/singer/whatever is.
    Anyway maybe I was curious because the idea of this guy made me really mad, having experienced similar things as well. I know for me it still crops up as trust issues :/ I hope you don’t acquire any. Even if you tell the story to people in the future and you DONT have trust issues that would be much better than the reverse being true.

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