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Friday Flasback – Letting family in is a double edged sword

standard June 27, 2009 3 responses

Friday Flashback is all about bringing to light some of my favorite posts from my archives to breathe new life into them. Some days it’s just good to remember that we have to stay true to ourselves as writers. This was originally published in December 2008.

Letting Family in is a double edged sword

I love that my family reads my blog. (Hi guys!) I know a lot of people go to great lengths to keep their families out, but I really, honestly, love that they check in on me on a somewhat regular basis.

That said, I’m not a person who finds it easy to open up to people in person, especially to my family. I like to maintain the illusion that everything is always hunky dory, peachy keen. I’m the tough one, the one you can rely on, the one who’ll put on her big girl panties and just deal so you can fall apart. I’d have to say that 90% of the time it’s not even an act, but trust me, you probably won’t ever know when I’m in the throes of the 10% when I am acting all cool and collected and melting down inside.

The only time I feel comfortable opening up is when my fingers are tippy tapping on a keyboard. Ask M! If I have something I need to vent about I do it over IM or over email. The words just flow better when they’re coming out through my fingers. They somehow always get jumbled up between my brain and my mouth. So I let lose on my blog. Venting to the Internet gets out all the stress and the angst, then I feel better and I can get on with my cool and collected life.

Are you seeing where this is going?

Right. If my blog is where I lower my guard and show my true murky angsty colors, and my family reads my blog, then they know that I’m not always doing awesome.

Now, when I started blogging, I really wanted to shut them out so they would never know about that side of me. Then I realized that having people know that I wasn’t Super Girl wasn’t a bad thing, and could even be a good thing, so I threw the gates open and let them in. And then I discovered the one drawback. These people, they love me (Oh, shush, yes you do.), and it turns out that they worry about me. So, every time I write about having a middle of the night meltdown, or about not getting any sleep, or even about depression, then they all call to see how I’m feeling, and I feel terrible for having worried them.

So then the one thing I really didn’t want starts happening, I start to censor myself before I write. I stop and wonder if what I want to unload will cause my family to fret. I agonize over how what I write is going to make them feel, I imagine how they’re going to react, and I discard great blog posts, fantastic topics, and tough emotions that I really should be sharing with the world both because it makes me feel better and because I know it helps people to know that they aren’t alone in the world.

The more I think of it I realize that the issue isn’t really that I don’t want to worry them, it’s that I’m back at that “I don’t want to admit that I can’t always deal” and that I’m hiding behind a smokescreen so I don’t have to confront my true feelings.

Well, guess what feelings, you’re busted! I’m on to you and I’m going to out you to the world. Heh.

And no, in case you were wondering, this is not a post about me being covertly depressed. Things are actually pretty good these days, if you ignore the fact that I still never get to sleep and the fact that my writing is bringing in close to $0 at a time when we need more money, not less. It’s a post about the challenges of opening up to the Internet when it’s filled with familiar faces. It’s a post about baring yourself to the world and then putting your clothes back on and looking your readers in the eye.

There’s still time to vote in the BlogLuxe awards! You’ll find It’s my life… in the Blog I’ve Learned The Most From category where you can cast your vote once a day until july 6th. Thank you!

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3 responses

  • It is hard to stay open. I’m glad you make the effort!

  • You captured some feelings I’m currently struggling with well (as usual). Great post. I want to know, though, how you feel it has changed your relatiomships – or if it has.

  • It took me 3 times clicking through to finish reading this. Sheesh!

    I agree! Although I do censor myself a lot. Mostly due to the fact that many of my husband’s co-workers read.

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