5 Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

In 2012 a handful of amazing bloggers started what I’d like to 
think of as a mini-movement in the form of a post entitled 
“Things I’m Afraid to Tell You” in an "effort to pull 
back the curtain of our happy, pretty little lives". 

I hadn't thought much about this until I recently  met up with a  blogger, and realized  she was nothing like I expected, (but that could be just down to my poor perception).  Of course having the background I have, I started analysing this and I realized that  maybe it was because we spend a lot of time hiding behind our lovely shiny Pinterest images. I am as guilty as most, but I am concerned that because of this I am not being as authentic as I could be; thankfully those I have met up with have always said I was exactly as they expected;-)

So I thought I would share with you 5 things I am afraid/nervous 
to tell you, in an effort to be more transparent 
and so you can see the vulnerable me behind all the lovely images.

So grab a chair and let me let
you in on a few secrets ;-)

1- I've been estranged from my sister for 16+ years

Yes, you've read that correctly. I'm one of those people
who waits a long time, but when I snap there's no
going back (there are no big
fireworks or anything-just  a quiet and
permanent retreat.  My sister made my life a living hell
when I was younger (even though she is younger than me)
and on my wedding day when she insisted on playing the loving
sister, I decided that would be the last time. I've never gone back
on my word

2- I would never donate an organ..............to my sister

Ok, let me explain. Because of reason no.1, friends are
always testing me and asking questions like,
"but if your sister needed an organ, and you
were the only match, wouldn't you help her?"
The answer is an emphatic no; I would rather
give my organ to a stranger
(I don't believe blood is thicker than water)

3-I am terrified of nuns

This makes all my friends (and Hubs) roll about
laughing, but I honestly break out in cold sweat
when I see a nun. I think it stems from my time in
a Catholic school when the birthday cake my Mum
made for my friends was kept and eaten by the
the nuns (the reason they
later gave my Mum was that I had been
naughty that day).  When you are 7 years old 
you just can't assimilate that that could ever happen.
When I moved to Spain I heard horror 
stories of what the nuns did during 
the Civil War, and it only added to my fear 
and cold sweats ;-)

I once went to a fancy dress party where there was
a nun. I nearly had convulsions when
I turned around and she was standing 
behind me; honestly!
(I can hear you all laughing. I'm laughing
myself just writing this to you all ;-)

4- I always knew I would never have children

I have never been maternal enough to want my own
children. I love children and am godparent to many, but
I never wanted my own. Thankfully Hubs felt the same.
However, in Spain not having children is like
a cardinal sin. I've been told:
"you are not a real woman unless you have children".
"you are not normal"
"you are selfish-who will look after you
when you are old" (can you see the irony
in that one).
"what you are doing is a sin"
"why bother getting married?"

In the end I just gave up defending
our choice.

Friends are convinced it was losing
my Mum at quite a young age that made
this decision for me-maybe?

5-An Irrational Fear

In 2 years time I will be the
age my Mum was when she died (she
was very young at the time and so was I).
This age seems to have been etched in my brain
for the last 20 years. It is totally irrational, but
I just can't seem to overcome this fear.

So there you have it Lovelies-warts and all!

I would love to know what you feel
about the above, about showing our 
vulnerabilities sometimes, or whether
you feel our blogs should be a place 
of escapism where fears etc are not shared.

I'm really not sure; my blog is a miss-mash
of whatever takes my fancy much to the 
disdain of my business coach ;-)


  1. Blogging is an interesting pursuit....I think we all have a different view of what our blogs are and, more importantly, what we want to share on them.

    For some, blogs are solely personal and a place just to write about their feelings, emotions and lives, for many blogs are simply about life & style (or anything else they may be interested in) and for others it's a mixture of it all. Some bloggers never share anything personal whatsoever.

    I'd be surprised if any blogger shares absolutely everything though, we all self-edit to some degree....some things are too personal and also some things would just not be interesting to others. Or they're too complicated to explain. And sometimes there's a time & a place....and it's not always a blog.

    In some ways, our blog are a very good reflection of us and our lives....like our lives, they reflect the happier & more positive sides of us. Or the aspects we aspire to or are inspired by.

    For those who write personal blogs, what they write that day reflects what they feel at that time. The next day they may not feel the same....I guess each blog-post is simply a snapshot of life at the time they wrote it - a bit like a photograph.

    I think the main guideline for any blog is to share what you feel comfortable sharing - once it's out there in print, you can't take it back.

    I've met quite a few bloggers and they're always slightly different to the image you build up in your mind, some are totally different! But I guess that's the same as actors or journalists, you only see one dimension or one side of them initially.

    Interesting post :)

  2. Such an interesting post Vanessa...I too had an irrational fear; my Mother died at 52 when I was 22 and for all those years I had a fear that I too would die at that age, silly, irrational of course but a fear nevertheless. I am now the age my lovely Mum was when she died, the fear has gone but there is still a sadness of quite how much she missed...life can be so short...we must enjoy every second of it.
    A very thought provoking post...brilliant!
    Have a good week.

    1. TYSM Catherine. Yes it was very similar with my Mum and I; she was 48 and I was 23. Like you I feel she missed so many important milestones in my life. I'm hoping like you that my fear will eventually evaporate with time. TYSM for your lovely comments xx

  3. Dear Vanessa,

    I commend you for this post. Allowing our vulnerability to be seen takes guts. There is real beauty in being vulnerable. I decided at one point when my life began to unravel to get real. I just put it all out there. What I found was a community of Bloggers who embraced my realness and gave me comfort and support beyond measures. People can relate to realness. The fluff is fun but it's just fluff - no one lives a dreamy blogger life 24/7.

    Okay, so yes, I'm laughing about the Nuns but they make me a little nervous too. I thought I wanted to become one after watching The Sound of Music but my Mom told me I'd never make it. ha ha I'm to vain to where the head thing anyways - it would mess up the hair - and no makeup? I'd die.

    My sister is difficult too. We went through a period of not talking after some serious backstabbing she did. I recently realized that I had to accept her for who she is, shortcomings and all and life is short. My Mother's sister went to her grave without ever making amends and I believe my Mom has guilt over it. Anyways, I called my sister, she gave me a hard time at first but then she decided to just leave all the past in the past and start over. She has surprisingly been there for me in a way I never expected. Maybe someday, just maybe, you and your sister will find away around your problems and learn to reconcile. - No judgement here. I get it. Sometimes we have to cut toxic people out when it's not healthy. If you ever need someone to vent too shoot me an email.


    1. Hi Debby. So lovely to hear from you. I know you've been going through some difficult times yourself lately so really appreciate you popping over. Do you know something Debby, I have the utmost respect for people that can REALLY forgive; on small issues I can. But on big things I am still having problems. It wasn't so much my sister made my life hell, but she was so bad to my Mum, right up until the day before she died, that I don't think I will ever move passed that.
      TYSM Debby for your thoughts. You are an admirable person/sister/mother/daughter xx

  4. Oh my dearest Vannessa your post completely speaks to me yet again [ :) ]. I truly live by blood family does not one make. I had to chuckle about the nuns ... they can be a bit "over bearing".

    When i started blogging it was more as an outlet for me to deal with my recovery from my accident and hopes also that by sharing my experiences and journey it would help others. As i continued on and discovered other fabulous blogs about fashion and decor - my thoughts ran to back to the love of fashion I had known prior to accident. And then there were the cooking blogs ... over time I found my blog was a bit of a potpourri of things ... much like life , I guess. I started sharing more day to day kind of stuff. And my love for tea and handwritten letters.

    I guess everyone writes a blog for various reasons ~ some to vent or air out their not so pretty laundry; others to escape into a life they dream of; some to share their favourite hobby(ies)and passions; others to share their pain, happiness, struggles or journey; yet others use it as their creative outlet; etc... I think the reasons are endless.

    Currently, I'm taking a few steps to really evaluate the direction of my blog and it's content. As I continue to grow and evolve from pre-accident and post accident life ... what I want to share and write about changes too.
    Wishing you a fabulous week... xo C. (HHL)

    1. TYSM Celia. Like you my blog has always been about my feeling and ramblings at the time. I never plan by blog posts. But I felt ready to share some of my vulnerabilities today ;-)
      Have a lovely week C and can't wait to see the revamped blog xx

  5. Hi Vanessa...wow I am slightly awed by your honesty and I love that you shared. I think the more we share, the more empathy is expressed from the blog world. It's a strange thing. I know what you mean about meeting bloggers though - a really interesting experience. I do think a lot about the extent to which we present a view of ourselves on the blog that is not real. For me - when I write it sometimes comes from the deepest of places and of course that makes me vulnerable and is probably why so few of my peers in the 'real world' know that I blog. A really interesting post. Lou x

    1. TYSM Lou. I am very much an open book kind of person anyway as I know you are from your blog. I don' know why it just felt like the right time to peel back some layers to some of the wonderful women that follow my blog and always cheerlead from the sidelines.
      Thanks so much for popping over Lou. I know the last few weeks have been a little difficult for you + I hope everything is working out xx

  6. I hear you about people -- especially when people cross the line enough times. And once you cross that line when you've put up with enough, you can't go back. I usually try and let things go in order to "keep the peace" but that doesn't really do anything.....all that really means is "shut up and take the BS" and unless people have self-awareness and try to make amends, things will never change..... I have a long fuse and when it blows, it blows.

    I'm not the type who needs to be around my family all the time. It sounds horrible but I would rather not. I have some family members who have lumped me in the same box all my life (i.e. I'm the youngest in the family, so I never get treated seriously and there's other issues too) and I've never fit in with my family to begin with. There are some people I am closer with than others, so those people get my time and effort.

    Brave post - and very interesting! Everyone has their something.

  7. Vannessa, what a break-through this is. And, I love what the others have said. All very honest and heartfelt. I have 2 younger brothers who are inseparable with whom I've always been estranged. I'm the eldest. We absolutely have nothing in common. So I understand where you're coming from with your sister. It's sad, yes. But, for me, there is nothing more I can do and so I've let it drift away. My friends are my family. Seriously. I have so many good good friends with whom I have so much fun, so much in common, and so much support that I never feel I've missed anything. You wrote such a wonderful post, it makes me love you more. Sending love...

    1. Awwwh! TYSM Marsha. You are so kind. I'm like you. Life is too short to keep trying and expecting a different result (isn't that a definition of an idiot ? ;-)
      TY for your supportive comments xx

  8. Vanessa, we can only love you more for knowing more about you. You're right, we all have many parts of our lives and tend to pick and choose the parts we feel comfortable sharing publicly on our blog. For instance, I've always worked to make Ooh La Frou Frou a happy place to go to. It's a dilemma, then, when something happens in my life that's not happy. When I lost my mom the year before last, I didn't know how to handle that time when grief was all I felt with my happy happy blog. Because it happened just a few days after we had moved from our previous house into the condominium we leased for a year before purchasing this house (I was still in boxes), I handled it by simply mentioning on the blog that, because I was moving, I would be taking about a month off to get settled. That was true but it wasn't the whole story and I know that happens countless times with all of us. That was my solution to get me past the worst time and then I picked up the pieces and went on with posts a month later, without ever mentioning it publicly. But your sharing today only shows that when we do sometimes allow ourselves to share more about ourselves, it only endears us to those around us because of the vulnerability shared. You always post such insightful and thoughtful posts, Vanessa and I love them. You're a wonderful blogging friend. xoxo ~S

    SANDY M Illustration

    1. OMG Sandy you are going to make me cry as many of the comments have already! I so remember when you took time out to move. I had no idea it was because you had lost your Mum. Sometimes I find the comfort we get from people we may never meet is more authentic and genuine than from those we have a history with. The support I have had from my blogging friends, (especially you who has been with me from the beginning of my humble blog) , and many who I will probably never meet ,has on many occasions been more genuine than from friends I've known for years. Blogging friendships are a very strange (in a pleasant way) dynamic.

  9. We really are twins! I went to a convent primary school where one nun would drop the lid on my fingers if I hit the wrong note at piano lessons - olden days when harming children didn't involve a prison sentence! And my sister - persona non gratis for the last 8 years.

    1. Wow Tabitha! We really are twins except I must have pulled the short-straw because I got your share of the fat cells, but not your Bambi-esque legs and Rapunzel locks ;-)

  10. How sad about your sister. As a mum of three girls I would be mortified if they fell out. They have rows but luckily nothing lasts and the next day they are normal with each other as if nothing has happened which I am so thankful for. I always wished I had a sister and I am so glad they have each other and that they will continue to do so long after I'm gone. I'm scared of flying but try not reveal much more than that on the blog as it's just not that kind of blog, although I sometimes wish I did a secret one of inner most thoughts and feelings but quite frankly I don't have time!

    1. It's wonderful your daughters have that relationship Sharron, but I think that's testament to you too. My Dad created the monster that my Sister became by making her think she was far superior to everyone else. The irony is that now he needs her in old age, she's nowhere around. Instead I have had to come back from Spain to look after him. That's why I congratulate you, as many times parents create the battles/competitiveness between siblings (especially siblings of the same sex).

  11. I appreciate it when people talk about their lives even if it's not all hearts and roses. I don't really mention my own life though because my husband has asked me not to. Anyway, it would probably only result in my being locked up or arrested. Ha! I commiserate with you on your sister. I hate it when people think that just because you're related to somebody that means it's all a bed of roses. So not true! I'm glad you managed to sever ties with her. When other people's selfish behaviour impinges on your own happiness and mental health - they have to be cut loose.

    1. Amen SK! So agree with you. Hubs is also a very private person. So I always mention him (if appropriate) but I've never posted a picture of him (at his request).

  12. @Sulky - I completely agree re: family members. The worst is having to be around all of them at big family functions, it's like high school all over again!

  13. Thank you so much for sharing the "deep secrets" with us, Vanessa! :-) I've always liked you and now I know why. We are so alike. Just from this list, I'm the older child, have a "thing" about family and don't have a child. And I'm sure we have similar values and I would bet that you have a hubby that loves a lot! :-)

    Great post and I always love reading yours.

    Hope you are well, Vanessa!


  14. I adore your post. I for one... only return to blogs to which I feel a connection to the humanity of the author... otherwise I would never need to leave pinterest. I believe those of us who crave beautiful visuals... also have it within our souls... maybe even more so, to crave connection. In my world of blogging... it is the pursuit of beauty that has provided a point of connection with so many marvelous women, who I otherwisewould have never known.

    Blogging for me, in the form of an online journal... has been a path , after dedicating my life to raising children... has lead me back... to finding the me... that I had lost along the way. While traveling this path it has been my true privilege to meet, connect and bond with so many like minded souls. sometimes I feel like a blog evangelist... I think everyone could benefit from having one... because we all have our own story to tell. There can be so very much more to blogging than stats.

    1. Hi Tamera. I so agree with you. I NEVER in a million years expected blogging to have the impact it has had on me. I resisted doing a blog for a long time, but now would never look back.
      TYSM for your wonderful insights. I couldn't agree more with you xx

  15. What a great post, Vanessa. I feel as if I should write more, but I just spent an hour of my time getting my daughter to bed, and really wanted to just let you know I was here. And I totally respect your decision not to have kids. Again, great post.

  16. Dearest Vannessa, I always knew you were a kindred spirit, but today's secrets confirmed it. :-) I could hug you so tight right now. XOXO I am sorry your sister treated you so badly, but so proud of you for setting that boundary and sticking with it. Your well being is far more important than archaic ideas of blood loyalty. I too am estranged from my family. It took me a long time to find the courage, but I don't regret it for a second. I am not scared of nuns but I too break out in sweats and shakes with religious people in authority. I can't handle it. You are an amazing woman and I'm so happy to know you, even a little bit. I hope one day that we will meet in person. :-)

    1. Awwh Krista! Thank you so much for your lovely comments. In fact you led the way for me in opening up more; as you do so eloquently on your blog. Even though we have never met, just reading about your trials and tribulations made me FEEL I knew you better. So thank you for being one of the bloggers who showed me how to be more open in the best possible way xx

  17. I loved reading this Vanessa, and thank you for your honesty. My sister and I have a fairly difficult relationship so I can relate in some ways but I am trying less and less to "fix" it which strangely seems to be helping. And I couldn't help but laugh at your fear of nuns, I have them too (also went to a Catholic school and got hit by a ruler by one of them for playing in the flower bed).

    1. Dear Meghan. TYSM for your comments. It seems all of us that went to a Catholic school learnt more about punishment and aggression than we should have; how ironic.
      You are so right about stop trying to "fix-it". It was when I made the decision that no matter how hard I tried I was never going to a "normal" relationship with my sister, that I found peace with the situation. I wish you the same also xx

  18. Dear Van, I've never been much of a blogger fan, maybe out of shyness, but the truth is that I've never followed any, so I don't really know what I'm talking about. But since you went back to the UK I've popped over to yours a few times and I'm starting to like this invention, I've realised it can be an open window to someone's soul/life, with all that means. Especially today I can see the Van I know in your words. I've got to your blog after knowing you for so many years, after so many shared times, precious times, that "reading" you instead of seeing or talking to you seemed quite odd, but I think you've just won a new fan!
    Congrats! xxx

    1. OMG Elvi. Seeing your comment was so unexpected and your words made me cry. It just reminds me how much I miss our time together. Sometimes even a blog won't fill that personal void :-(
      I will call you xx

  19. Hi dear, I completely admire your fortitude and courage for sharing all these personal thoughts, I can't imagine it was easy. I don't think I could be as brave but I am inspired by this post. I never judge anyone on their hopes or fears, because we all have them in different forms. This post has brought us readers somehow closer to you and given us a better understanding of who you are. Sorry about your sister, I know of people with very similar sibling problems and sometimes the best thing to do is steer clear of them. Not laughing at your nun phobia..I have a polka dot phobia which is far more ridiculous lol. Thanks for your honesty!

    1. Wow!!! Sam a polka dot fear. Now that really did make me smile.
      TYSM as always for your unconditional support and lovely comments. I never expected the reaction I got when I wrote this post; I've an inbox full of e.mails from people who read the post but didn't want to leave a public comment, or who are estranged from a family member and didn't know how to deal with it. It's been amazing and very humbling xx

  20. What a beautiful post - and so real too. I am also one of those people who snap for real. I've estranged (toxic) friends.
    Girlie Blog Seattle | Cheap Makeup Reviews

    1. TYSM for stopping by. Don't be a stranger, come back x

  21. I've been thinking a lot about this topic these past few weeks. Everything seems so pretty, shiny, sparkly and perfect in the blogging / pinterest / instagram world that sometimes it's easy to forget that what we put online is not necessarily how our life evolve on a day to day basis. Blogland can generate envy and jealousy and feelings that you are missing out on something, or that your life isn't as good as the next girl's one. It is always important to remember that it's an embellished version of our lives, meant to inspire. I've already shared a few not-so-shiny stories about my life on my blog, but mostly, I want it to be a space that inspire people to seek out beauty in everyday life, so obviously, I'm not going to show off the dust accumulating behind my door, or the pile of laundry, or my bare face in the morning :) But I feel that it's important to share your doubts and fears to your blog friends, if only to let them know that there's no reason to hate you just because your life seems perfect :)

    I really loved learning something new about you, sweetie (even if I already knew about some of these things). I applaud you for your honesty and your ability to infuse even the graver things with a touch of humor!


    xx Ivana

    Macarons and Pearls

  22. I'm so proud of you for being so honest here. I love our little blog community and the very real people in it. I'm Jewish so I have no association with nuns but I do have fears when I meat people that remind me of my very stiff and strict elementary school teachers and principal. I guess it's all the same thing. I'm sorry you've had issues with your sister. Family should be the one safe haven in the world and often it just is not.

  23. I am speechless. You are one brave, courageous woman for writing this. I don't know if I ever could do it. You are an inspiration. You are amazing!

  24. Hi there, I am commenting for the first time here as I am thoroughly moved and appreciative of your transparency. I visit several lifestyle blogs similar to yours and wonder if they ever have any bad moments in life besides wondering what they're going to wear! I have a sister who severed all ties as well, with no communication with her for about 20 yrs. Just recently she has reconnected with the family and all is forgiven. Thank you for showing your human side, it shows your true beauty.

  25. Hi Vanessa,
    This very thought, the realness and transparency of my own blog has left me quiet lately. This is wonderfully brave of you. Thank you for sharing!! My blog started as a lark, I didn't intend it to become too personal, then all of a sudden it was. A disaster happened last year that shook me to my core. After holding it in for several weeks I finally wrote about it. The outpouring of support from my blog friends was amazing. I left the posts up for several weeks but because it involved my beautiful daughter, I took them down. Sadly, I did have a couple comments about "spilling my guts" all over the web...there's some in every crowd. I decided they were not my type of people and stopped reading their "glossy, fake" blogs.
    I won't share all the nastiness of life on my blog, but without honesty I might as well write fiction and I'm just not good of a writer! Congratulations on trusting us with your truths!!
    Have a beautiful day,

  26. Hi Vanessa, you are such a special person and very brave to put this out there. This post was written from the heart and these are the reason everyone loves you. When I posted that little note on FB the other day it was after we have chatted through email because I feel so blessed to have met you. You are right sometimes friends are better than family. I know this too. I had to giggle at your fear of nuns, I feel the same way about clowns. I will actually run from them and have. LOL I think your heart is so big that you would have made a great mom, but I commend you on your decision. I think it was an unselfish decision not a selfish decision at all. Your an angel Vanessa and a wonderful friend to many.
    Dee xox

  27. Hi Vanessa! I realized I read this post and thought I commented but I guess I didn't. I really loved how open you were with your readers. I think it's so important in blogland to keep it real. Even though I know others can relate to our vulnerabilities and ability to just be ourselves, because of the nature of my blog I find myself editing what I sometimes would like to share.

    There are a few blogs I follow that I simply adore but it is that shiny, perfect, too-good-to-be true image that both makes me come back for more to day dream a bit but also sometimes makes me wish things were a little shinier around here. ;) This year I've decided to only follow pages that make me feel my personal best. I really love a particular fashion blog but her outfits are so not relatable (for me anyway) as she wears Christian Louboutin heels and all sorts of really expensive attire. One outfit can add up to about $3,000 so while it's a form of inspiration I'm realizing what's best for me to spend me time reading and what's not. If it leaves me feeling worse about my own life, it's probably not time well spent.

    You on the other hand always have such lovely and thought-provoking posts and your blog is simply a joy to visit. Thank you for being YOU! XX Karla

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  30. This is a wonderful post, Vannessa, as evidenced by all the comments you've gotten, all supportive! I like the honesty, the realness. I believe if you are brave enough to have a blog ~ I'm not even 100% honest in my journal in case someone were to read it, and I don't think I could have a blog because people would read it! ~ you should be your true, naked self. If people don't like it, they shouldn't read it. I think it would be interesting for you to ask your followers to list one or two honest things about themselves that they don't tell people. For instance: I am a mother of two, and I have always wanted to be a mother. Since I was a little girl. I love my children more than anything else. However, every year I think (but do not say) that my ideal Mother's Day would be spend ALONE, away from my family, without my children. The very reason for Mother's Day I would like to not have with me on Mother's Day. I spend every single day with them, and some days they really test me, so on Mother's Day I'd love to go away by myself. I never do. I never even say it out loud. But that's how I feel. (I can say it here without fear that my daughter or friends will read it.)

    Interestingly, I am also having issues with my brother right now. After 49 years of being (I thought) close, and having a relationship so special I was sort of arrogant about it, he got angry and stopped speaking to me last year. I have tried reaching out to him, to no avail. I got one Facebook message from him, and it was mean and vicious and made me call into question our entire relationship based on the things he said. We still have not talked, and although he has agreed to come to my daughter's graduation party this weekend, I'm a little nervous about it. I believe our wonderful (I thought) sibling relationship is over, that this cannot be fixed, and that he does not even want to make things right between us. It is devastating to me, and I can do absolutely nothing about it. I am in the process of accepting the fact that I cannot force him to talk to me or work to fix this with me, and I have to accept that it just is what it is. But it is hard because I've always believed I was a good sister and a good person. He apparently does not.

    Thanks for letting me unload here. Hugs! xoxo


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