what’s the one thing you hope other people never say about you?

I’ve been pondering this question all day. And I’ve come to understand that the things we don’t want others to name, are the things of which we are ashamed. They are the traits we hate about ourselves, and have not yet owned, and hung on the laundry line for all to see.

Think about it. If someone accused me of discriminating against the colour red, it would be meaningless to me. The aspersion has no intersection with my reality.

But get a little closer to home, and my hackles might rise slightly. Accuse me of drinking too much wine, for example, and I may acknowledge that I often exceed the RDA, but I’m OK with it. I don’t like your implied judgement, but my own assessment of my alcohol consumption tells me that I’m healthy and not an addict. But it’s an area I keep an eye on, for the same reason I might bristle at your comment. We’re entering sensitive territory, but I don’t hide anything. I am not a closet drinker.

Last hug

But the thing I really, really don’t want to hear? That I abandoned my children in 1997, when I fled to the other side of the world.

Because, no matter how I sugar coat it, actually, I did.

Oh, I can justify the act (my life was being threatened, the elder two weren’t living with me, the youngest spent much of her time to emancipation here with me). But even after 15 years, the shame persists. I am only redeemed by the continued love and understanding and awesomeness of my three amazing children.

Tui, August 2011.
Jesse, August 2011.
Rhea & me, at Felix’s birth, August 2011.

I was, I believed, saving the only life I could save. But to pretend there was no major fallout in their lives, that they didn’t feel abandoned, is self-serving and just plain wrong.

I’ve named my shame. You can now accuse me, and I’ll not be defensive.


Leave a comment


  1. Oh Hashi, I am in the process of naming my own shame, something I am fronting up to this very moment. It has defined me for so long, and I have not been able to move forward because of it. I am acutely aware of what you are talking about. More than you know. I have not yet faced mine because of fear. Its real. Your fear was also very real. Sometimes when I question myself about how I let things get the way they are and I feel that burning shame, something usually happens to remind me that I would make the same decision again, and that it was not a selfish action, but in the best interest of those I loved. I am still unsure what that says about me, but I’m working on it. No-one should ever judge another until they have walked a mile in their shoes. I am glad you are putting that burden down, shit like that is way to heavy to carry. xx

  2. You are brave woman to save yourself. What if you hadn’t? Wouldn’t you have let down your children in a more real sense?

  3. Lola

     /  October 25, 2012

    Beautiful photos! I don’t people to think me hard to love. Or worse, unlovable.

  4. Wow. What a thing to admit/acknowledge! Now I don’t know you guys that well in the whole big picture, but I see kids who adore their mum, ‘mistakes’ and all. I really do admire your honesty, if we could all be as honest as this the world would be so much smoother! X x x

  5. Such a beautiful post! I love wine. I started drinking wine my senior year of college and haven’t looked back. I am often teased in my family for how much I drink and how I bring wine with me to events or get-togethers. But now that I am gluten-free, wine is my go-to drink and I am not ashamed at all by it! I know my limits and I’m healthier than ever, I have a strong appreciation for wine and have turned it in to a hobby I love to share with others!

    • Thanks for visiting, and commenting, Christina. I hope to see you round here again! *clink*

    • I’m of the wine club too, though that’s not my “shame”. For me, it would have to be that I’ve never really had to financially support myself 100%. I always try to remind myself that it’s a blessing that has allowed me to pursue interests I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. But it’s still hard to avoid that stigma, if you will.
      Really challenging topic, thanks for opening the discussion!

  6. Wonderful post, I have heard about some other people had accused me, but I never had the guts to face what they accused me, Maybe it’s my pride, maybe i’m on the state of in denial or maybe I just fear to face my own shame. I don’t know. I just don’t want to defend myself either.
    I just wish that one day, I could totally say, “I have face my own shame, you can now accused me and I wont be defensive”. Someday.

  7. klsprout

     /  October 26, 2012

    I didn’t take this writing prompt into serious territory, but I love the gentle honesty of your post.

  8. such honesty and transparency is a beautiful and courageous thing.

  9. An amazing revelation……you must be an amazing person….. Thank you.


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