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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

On Privacy, Lack of Writing, and General Ramblings

Fall exhaustion has set in.

I love this time of year.  Well, when this time of year becomes what I expect it should be, anyway, which is to say rain, changing leaves, cooler weather, etc.  So far, we’re still hitting mid 90’s every day for our high and the evenings aren’t really cooling off sufficiently to make it feel like anything but late summer.  Still.  That dreaded dragging, that eternal fatigue is setting in.  It’s not really depression, but it’s similar.  Maybe it is depression but to a milder extent.  All I know is that I start feeling this distinctive need to find a warm, cozy place to nest and a longing desire to sleep for the next few months.

I really should have been born a bear.

The whole not writing thing is bugging me to a great extent.  I’ve been pondering why it is I feel so uncomfortable having the world at large reading me.  As one friend said to me, I should be writing for the people I don’t know, not writing for the people I do.  Not that the people I do know don’t count, but they already know and accept what is, or at least what they think is.  If that makes sense.  Honestly, I miss the “getting to know me” type posts, the parts where I revealed bits and pieces of me.  It was enlightening not so much for my readers as much as for me.  I started my blog for me.  I started writing for me.  I’ve always written for me.  It’s not that my readers don’t count, but they are more of a, well, byproduct, in a way.  Kind of like a garden that you invest so much time and energy into for the joy of building, but others stop by to admire.

There are several folks I know out there (know being a relative word) who stop blogging when what they have to write about may be contrary to popular (or their own reader base’s) opinion.  If they are aware that they are making an unwise choice or at least a choice their readers won’t like, they stop writing or even shut down their blog/journal entirely.  We don’t want people to see how human we are, and yet, that’s the reason our readers love us.  It’s why people relate and can go back and read and understand and love (or hate!) and, well, connect.  As soon as we present a perfect facade filled with only joy and understanding and correct choices and solid and true acceptance of ourselves and others, well, we start losing the interest of not only others, but ourselves.  What good is a fairy tale with a happy ending if there’s no strife to make the ending that much sweeter?  While it’s entirely understandable why people would want to hide the strife and ugliness of life, it’s frustrating and sad because we are denying an essential part of ourselves.  We are all multifaceted, and we should acknowledge and accept that.  We should admit our choices and imperfections, regardless of what others think.  Right?  Or is it too hard?  Does it really come down to the fact that we can only share the parts we have come to accept as imperfect?  Do we still cross out fat ankles and cover our crooked smiles and flop hats over our frizzy hair?

Or is it that we’ve revealed too much and there’s nothing left to inspire and stir up interest?

I recently read in someone’s blog recently that she would never censor herself and if she ever did she’d stop blogging.  The key to remember, though, is that she’s only had her blog for a matter of months.  Her blog is not an anonymous one.  Give it time.  She’ll start to feel either vulnerable, like playing strip poker and being down to just her panties and bra, or else she’ll just run out of things to reveal and become… mundane.  While we’d all like to believe we are each an endless font of witticisms and fascinating observations, not only do we all hit our dry spells, but, well, unless our lives are endless train wrecks of idiotic decisions and catastrophic bad luck, in the end, the day to day of our lives becomes… trivial.  Once that initial joy of exploration and the feeling of getting acquainted has settled, it’s kind of hard to keep things “fresh” and “new” and “interesting.”  Whatever those things may be.  I guess kinda like relationships in general.

Then again, when I first wrote online I had many of the same expectations and hopes.  I was writing on an unlinked page in a cryptic way.  I managed little snippets of mysterious half messages and clipped versions of full stories.  It was well before the age of “blogging” back when “journaling” was more the fad and I just didn’t have the time, energy, or heart for that much writing.  I didn’t expect anyone to read it, but with two small children and the computer as my only social outlet, it was easier to whip out Wordpad than a paper journal; took less time to type a few lines than to find a pen.  Then, well into my time with my writing online, I realized that certain people, (TDO’s ex girlfriend, as well as the new girlfriend of one of my ex’s) were reading my words with a frightening fervor, checking my page several times a day.  That made me very uncomfortable.  I’d ditched the cryptic by then, and had thrown in a much larger dose of myself, my real life, and the world around me.  I wasn’t sure I was ready or willing to share that much with those people.

That’s when the shift occurred.  Initially, I just started lashing out, writing things to bait the unwanted visitors into admitting that they were there or to ward them from stopping by anymore.  Then I closed down and stopped writing.  Then I just decided to pick and choose what I wrote, rather than just being open.  I was in the heat of a very nasty court battle and I just didn’t need my writing to stir up any more problems.  Still, it was frustrating to be imprisoned by such restrictions.  That’s when I moved domains, packing up and not moving anything with me.  I didn’t want anything that anyone could sniff out after I did move.  I started out tentatively, not really revealing much, but not directly hiding anything.  The funny thing is, even though I then had the freedom to write whatever I wanted, I didn’t really want to write anything.  I hate being anonymous, it’s not in my nature.  It defies the whole “getting to know you” thing, though definitely lends itself to an easier time of being open in some ways.  Gradually, I grew more comfortable in my writing again, but there are still a lot of gaping spaces, things I never touched upon, subjects I never broached.

Now I’m back to the place where I’m writing, but only for a select audience.  I’m hiding away behind my turtle shell, wishing for security that will never come.  After all, what is to stop you readers who have registered from sharing your login information?  Nothing, apparently, as I know at least one of you already has done so.  In the end, does it matter?  Was anything revealed that could hurt me?  Or someone else?  No.  Will making my private entries public change anything?  Not really.  I haven’t written anything “private” that couldn’t have been public, and in better days it probably all would have been public.  So in the end, it’s merely a control issue.  In the end, I’m just feeling vulnerable and feeling like hiding behind this farce of “security” which offers no such thing.

And why?  Why am I feeling so vulnerable?

Truth be told, I really don’t know.  Maybe because I went so many weeks without therapy.  Maybe because I tried reinvesting in old friendships on several fronts and was unable to rekindle them.  Maybe because I’ve had little luck making local friends.  Maybe because I am feeling lost and lonely and scared and just don’t know what I want to do.  I find comfort in therapy in writing.  It’s not only an outlet to just “let it all hang out” but a way to pick through fears and hopes and to try to make sense of it all.  But with so many fears wrapped around friendship (or the lack of) I begin questioning everything I write.  What if.  What if what I say turns those who are friends away?  What if one of the people I have been tentatively trying to make friends with finds this and suddenly decides to turn away?

What if I’m boring?

What if I’m stupid?

What if I’m not really as smart and witty and interesting and fun as I thought I was?

What if, in the end, I’m not worthy of friends?  What if what I want - to be loved and accepted and cherished and valued - is a pipe dream because I don’t deserve any of that?  What if I haven’t earned it, and never can, because I’m not good enough?

Yeah.  Pretty scary stuff.  Far easier to just worry that I’m not good enough but to hide away so I don’t prove it.

Posted by Liberty on 09/13 at 09:37 AM
Posted under: See-Through

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