When events happen in your life that become unbearable if unshared, who do you share them with? How do you decide?
I believe I make the decision based on "constructive" memory. What will the person do with the information? If the person will evaluate the information against the existing history and use it to construct clearer understanding, I can both share the information and value the insight or advice that results. If the person is going to respond as though this is the only important event and bad acts now call into question all previous actions, I can't. Sharing the information is then a destructive act. And, that "destructive" memory WILL be used as the primary basis of evaluation in the future.
Nobody in my life knows everything. I honestly don't think most of them can see that the "bad" things are usually the flip side of the "good" things. For example, I am really good at analysis and problem solving and those traits support my career in tech support. The flip side is that I can loose touch with my own emotions, be uncomfortable with displays of emotion, and appear cold.
The extreme of this example is LS. Everyone I know prefers to restrict her access to potentially derogatory information. All future interactions will be evaulated based on that informaton and those issues will never completely fade. I am now dealing with this and my choices are coming down to validating her or refusing to discuss it at all. My 50th birthday brunch has become "the Sunday which cannot be named." I am not allowed to refer to the incident as disappointing if she's justified it (to her satisfaction) and she's made (what she feels are) amends. I can't accept her (qualified) apology and appreciate her point of view without agreeing with it. I am now supposed to feel guility about having been disappointed. Seriously?
NOTES: SO = significant other / LS = little sister / MSO = Mom's significant other