Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October 2008

In Denis Johnson’s story Beverly Home there's a description of a man in a wheelchair; his body is wracked with spasms and he spends his days drooling and staring into space. The narrator tells us “No more pretending for him! He was completely and openly a mess. Meanwhile the rest of us go on trying to fool each other."

I've been hesitant to write much of anything in this blog for a number of reasons. Initially it was simply because there was not much to tell; I preferred the occasional photographic or musical allegory to get my point across. Then I wasn't writing because I was just too busy; school, work, etc. Lately it's been a bit more complicated. Writing has always been an outlet for my frustrations, a way to look my neuroses and my befuddlement in the face and somehow try to make sense of them. Last fall, when everything was falling apart, writing in this blog was one of the only things I could actually manage on a fairly regular basis. Eating, sleeping, returning phone calls – they became the stuff of other people's lives. I only wanted to see the evidence of my misery here on the blank screen. Narcissism at its most base level. In the end, though, my musings here became evidence cited against me. Evidence that I was unstable, scheming, manipulative, unable to care for myself or my child, unable to face reality. Matt often cited "that thing you wrote in your blog" as rationale for why I was a complete misfit. Another friend with strong feelings about being "revealed" in my writing or somehow linked with me kept a constant subconscious watch over the detail with which I was allowed to describe what my life was like. My family worried if I mentioned that I was sad or lonely, and I would get phone calls from everyone wondering if I was on the bathroom floor again, contemplating my options. Writing for myself started to take on the sad aspect of writing for an audience, and it was no longer helpful.

I tried to journal offline, but pen and paper and I have never really been good friends; I'm far more comfortable in front of the computer where the sound of the keyboard and the glow of the screen give me a sense of accomplishment.


Friends, family, people who might be looking for hidden meanings: I want to write here again. I want to try to work out some of the things about being me that make it difficult to get through the day sometimes. I want to comment on the things that make me smile. I want to examine some of the things that are wrong with me. Not to mention, you know, everything *wrong* with me. I don't want blogging to be the latest entry in the ever-expanding nomenclature of victimhood.

Completely and openly.

Is that possible?


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I read your blog through the period you're talking about.

I saw a woman processing the pain of the situation she was in--in what world is that not healthy? I'm assuming you may have been uplifted by the support you got from your readers--when is support not good?

I'm sorry that people used your outlet against you. I hope that doesn't happen again.

Rebeckah said...

I hope you can get back to writing too. Blogging is fun, isn't it? Encourage them to get their own blogs, and make their own new blog friends : ). They are the best kind!

lu said...

This speaks to my purpose in blogging. but I couldn't do it if it was not anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back. I've missed you.

I Hope So said...

i think it was nothing short of beautiful to watch you sort yourself out - warts and all - on your blog, and to be so open as to share it with us. i've gotten plenty of back lash for things i've written on my blog - about myself! - throughout the years. in fact, this post has made me aware of how trite and superficial my blog has been for a long time now, and i know that is in part due to the negative feedback (camouflaged as "concern") i've received.

i think when we are honest about ourselves it makes those close to us nervous. maybe because our lives are so intertwined that when we choose to face ourselves, it sort of forces others to face themselves. and they don't want to do that and so they shame us into feeling like we are doing something "bad" or "selfish" when we spill ourselves out.

i've often thought of blogging anonymously - hidden away from people i know in "real life". but every time i have seriously considered doing so, i remember that the benefit i get from blogging is becoming more real and authentic. and that can't really take place in hiding.

i've struggled with the idea of blogging-as-narcissism. but then i remember - narcissism is about being so ashamed of your real self that you have to construct a false, idealized self to keep from feeling the shame. honest blogging, on the other hand, forces you to dive head-first into the shame. therefore, i think that (honest) blogging might actually be one of the best treatments for our narcissistic traits.

the end.