Wednesday, 3 October 2012

No one tells it all

It is taking me a while to do this post, as I keep mulling it around in my head. It springs from  In this life's post, replying to a reader's comment chiding her for her comments about missing her offspring. I take up her comment that in blogging no one tells it all. And indeed we don't. We tell a a lot, but our writings are edited, for many, many reasons.

I wanted to comment on this post but could not summon up a considered response, and therefore thought to write a post of my own.  The on-line debate continued, but Isabelle has asked for no further comments, and thus I will pursue my thoughts here. Even though they are probably not particularly original, I wanted to disentangle and explicate some of my reactions.

In blogging we tell our stories. If the unvarnished and full accounts are to be written, it would be in a diary. But warts and all in a blog? No. Thus both strengths and weaknesses are revealed in this combination of public/private discourse.

You never know who reads, or who knows about our situations. I do not talk about my children's lives, other than in the most general terms, as our lives and relationships are our own business, and I know that casual remarks can be quite wounding. So I am careful about what I write.

There are things and emotions I do not express in my blog, or which I express in a cautious or guarded fashion. I guard and edit to protect myself, but, candidly, also to not display my worst and most negative and self-pitying characteristics. Generally I want to show myself in a positive light. But I also want to complain, to moan and groan from time to time. I tell no lies: but I tell my own truth. But the whole truth, all the nitty-gritty? No, I do not.

There were many times when I was tempted to write more about Dr P and the step-family, especially in the first year after his death, during which I endured an intensely stressful and difficult legal battle. Generally I tried to write with balance, and with some degree of impartiality. And, having spent months preparing affidavits, setting out in minute and documented details all the particulars of my life, my marriage, my relationships, my family, my finances, and having had to rebut lies designed to put me in a negative light,  to criticise and denigrate my character, enough is enough. It is time for me to look to the future rather than to wallow in the past. While at times I want to hit out, to flail, to reproach, I do try not to do so. There are times when it is best for me to just shut up.

I am now trying to recover, to rebuild my life, to be able to enjoy the good things, and to overcome the bad, the deprivations and disappointments. It is not easy. Thus from time to time I express things in my blog. To do so helps me to cope and to think again, to meditate, and, I hope, to be positive rather than negative. Blogging has expanded my world,  brought me into contact with many other soul mates. We are not alone, but reach out to each other. And the world keeps turning.


molly said...

107 BlucatiPersi, I just today read that whole debate over at Isabelle's. See what happens when I bury myself for the entire weekend in my sewing room? I had started a post about why I blog....I'm going have to do some revising. I think we're all looking for connection, for people with whom we can talk about what the whole business of being human, and in our case, female is all about. Of course we don't put it all out there. That would be a diary, as you said. Of course some of our burdens are too painful to share, but, knowing others struggle too helps us feel less alone.

There's so much pressure to keep a stiff upper lip it's good to have somewhere we can drop the pretense. We have to strike a balance though---Too real and they'll shut us down! Besides, if I want life to be all cotton candy and fluffy bunnies I can tune in to Disney!

It's good to count our blessings but the occasional whinge or rant is also good for the soul....Party on Persi!

molly said...

God bless Blogger and my efforts to prove I'm not a robot! Yes, 107 Blucati is just that, but it migrated!

Elephant's Child said...

I am a firm believer in 'give us this day our daily whinge'. Sometimes it is necessary for survival. But all of it? All of the time? No. It bores me to get stuck in a moanathon, and how much more it must bore the viewer/reader.
That said, I think you maintain a masterly (mistressly) balance between the positives and the negatives.

Relatively Retiring said...

Like many of us, I was deeply interested by the thought-provoking and challenging comments left by 'Mary' on Isabelle's blog, and I am saddened that Isabelle needed to close the door on it.
It does raise the question of 'why blog?' and I think we have all explored that.
I continuously question my own writing and motivations. I am a complusive writer but make very clear distinction between my own work and anything intended for public view.
I feel great connection with those whose blogs I read, even if I'm negligent about responding. (Sorry, Persiflage.) We certainly share so many common experiences and emotions, and there are times when it feels like a real friendship across cyberspace.
I hope we can all be as honest as seems relevant at any time, knowing that there are people out here reading and understanding.
I am protective of my family and friends, and would never post identifiable photos.
I try to protect others by not writing anything that could cause future upset or concern, which may make things a bit bland at times.
At the same time, I want to leave an honest record of some of my thoughts and feelings for them, and for others yet to come.....just in case anyone is interested.
I wish 'Mary' would comment on my blog!