11/01/2011 04:48 pm ET | Updated Jan 01, 2012

It is Time to Share the Shock

Sometimes a shocking episode from life's infinite collection of bizarre experiences knocks rudely on the door of your heart and your life.

Helloooo! You might answer, consumed with milder matters, more than likely amidst the stupor of your favorite denial strategy.

Sometimes it is possible to immediately identify what this outrage is and what it simultaneously means. At such a time, it may even be possible to instantly return, without missing a beat, to the road that is familiar to you and get back on track with what is recognizably sane and comfortable.

But sometimes, life presents something so extreme and unfamiliar, that after closing and locking the door in its aftermath, you find that nothing will ever be the same. Such has been the case recently in my life. Hence, these thoughts I offer.

It occurs to me that we live in strange, even shocking, times. And maybe I should add, times of strangers. There is a ghoulish censorship and silence among people who call themselves "friends" when it comes to traumatic experiences and feelings.

Don't get me wrong. I am blessed with over a handful of people who know very well what goes on today with me, as I know well their daily lives. I'm lucky.

However, I find it impossible to turn away from the reality of disconnection we are led to embrace. How are we led to embrace disconnection? We are scared to death by streams of television and radio commercials outlining our possible diseases and imminent deaths. There is no popularity, nor has there ever been, in turning to one another about how this terror impacts us or leads to sleepless nights, if we are under the age of, say, 80 years old.

Here's another example. No one likes to outline a negative narrative about family. Americans are supposed to belong to a loving family. Period. End of discussion, but it shouldn't be. Commonly, the truth in our families is checkered with grief, not a billboard for "The Happy American Family." People confide things every day to me, and I am astounded about how ashamed many feel with the truths about their own family conditions. Even in therapy, it is a long time coming for most people to reveal toxic family experience. Stand-up comedy aside, bad family is a societal censorship that is heavier than the image of the late Iron Curtain.

I wonder if human beings in this 21st century are wired to the public, "It's all good" personal promotion for survival reasons. In the past, I have been judgmental about the "It's all good" and "No worries" wallpapering of relationship design and construction.

Yes, I am a baby boomer. Guilty as charged, I do remember when simple truths were the necessary fundamentals of any worthwhile relationship. So laugh at my nostalgic vigor. I'm saying more than "it was so much better then." I'm saying it is time to talk. Time to expose the hurts and the angers over true personal abuse and injustices of all hideous varieties.

Not in a tabloid, reality show way. That's too cheap. This truth-telling I'm talking about belongs in personal relationships with trusted people. In other words, for a healthier you and a healthier society, it is time to share the shock.

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