Sometimes I think about closing down my blog. Maybe I will. Sometimes I feel like turning the comments off. Maybe I should. Sometimes I think about making my blog private. Perhaps that’s an option I should pursue.
Blogging can be very hard, for two reasons: First, it involves regurgitating my past, and second, stating my opinions and thoughts opens me to disagreement and criticism.
In some ways, I feel like this blog is the only place I can be completely open.
See, many of the things I say on this blog are things I’ve never actually said to my parents. Oh, I’m open about my feminism to my parents, but not about my lack of religion. They know that I don’t believe in spanking, but they don’t know that I don’t plan to homeschool, that I don’t plan to be a stay at home mom, that I don’t plan to have a large family, or that I plan to let Sally date in high school. I try to keep it that way, which means hiding who I am during visits, on the phone, and on facebook.
When I look down the road with my family, things don’t look so perky. When I put Sally in public school, my mother will be horrified. When I stop at only a few kids, my mother will be disappointed. When I choose not to be a stay at home mom, my mother will be appalled. When I let Sally date in high school, my mother will be incredibly hurt.
Now of course, I live far away from my parents and in the town where I live I am able to be completely open about my thoughts and beliefs. But the thing is, nobody cares. If I mention Christian Patriarchy, I get horrified stares, not compassion or understanding. If I discuss my upbringing, it just makes me sound like an oddball. If I discuss it too much, I bore people to death and am labeled as the girl who only ever talks about her past. And so, I try not to mention it. I try to act like everyone else and pretend that I didn’t just realize only a few years ago that I could have a career, or like I see having only a couple kids as being totally normal. It’s not easy.
And that brings me back to blogging. This blog has allowed me to state my thoughts out loud and in the open without fear. Here on this blog, I can regurgitate my past, think it through, dissect it, and better understand who I am today and why. Here on this blog, I can say what I’m thinking. Here on this blog, I can talk about these issues without worrying about boring people, because someone who is bored by the topic can just stop reading. Here on this blog, I can speak out against things I see as harmful in a way that I can’t anywhere else. Blogging has been very helpful to me in many ways.
However, regurgitating the past can be very painful because it means dredging through it again. It may be helpful to better understand what happened and how it affected me, but the process of digging through it isn’t always pleasant. It may be liberating, but it can also be debilitating. Sometimes I just want to pretend it all never existed. If I didn’t blog, I could separate myself from the crazy, ignore my experiences and pretend my past never happened. I could live my life the way I choose to and believe what I want without worrying about disagreement or criticism. Well, except for my family.
Then, once I go through all that, reliving the past and thinking it through, stating my thoughts openly in a way I can’t elsewhere, I have to deal with the possibility of negative comments, whether from people in Christian Patriarchy or from homeschool enthusiasts or from liberal Christians who think I’m a dogmatist because I don’t believe in God. Sometimes I want to blog just to get my thoughts out there, and I really don’t need people saying “you’re wrong you’re wrong you’re wrong.” I’ve heard those words way too often in my life, and I’d like to be able to think something and say something without hearing these words echoing around me. It can be very triggering, and my life is hard enough without that.
However, I realize that this is the internet, a public space. When you blog, you open yourself to a lot of criticism, and I’ve never banned criticism. People may disagree with what I write, and they have every right to. Words can be misinterpreted and people often feel able to say things they might not say in real life. I don’t want to seem dogmatic or like a censor.
So I’m at a loss on what to do. I realize that if I just wanted to get my words on paper I should keep a diary not a blog. And maybe I should I realize that when you blog, criticism comes with the territory. Perhaps I need to get better at responding constructively to negative comments, or, if they’re completely off the wall, just laughing and ignoring them. Maybe I need to find a way for me to read negative comments without them triggering me (because they do). Or maybe I should turn off the comments, or moderate them, or go private, or shut down my blog.
Maybe I’m just feeling down lately, I don’t know. I just know that sometimes I really, really hate blogging.
Note: If this post made you mad at me, or made you feel like I am simply touchy or am being dogmatic, please do yourself a favor and simply stop reading my blog. No one is forcing you to, you know.