Blogs are enormously and unavoidably self indulgent. They can be lots of other things as well, and I might go so far as to say all creative pursuits are self indulgent on some level, so I do not mean to condemn them. Heck, I enjoy working on mine and I also enjoy regularly reading many of them. My blog is particularly confessional. It’s certainly not an original theme. I feel compelled to write because I find it personally helpful, and because I think life would be easier if “private shames” like mental illness, miscarriage, marriage trouble, and parenting challenges were destigmatized. I don’t have any delusions of grandeur that my blog, with its tiny readership, is going to engender this change. I’m just trying to add my two cents to the dialogue.
The problem is when I write about my life I am also writing about the lives of people around me. Certain family members have made it clear to me that I need to OK it with them before I post about them, and I am sensitive to that. Certain family members seem pretty cool with it. Out of respect for Z I ask him to read posts that concern him and our relationship before I publish them. He has been extremely generous about me airing our dirty laundry.
Yesterday I wrote a post that concerned marital hurt and how our fighting has evolved over the years. He was in his car for a long period, driving back to Syracuse from Ithaca for work so I read it to him in the hopes of getting the all clear. When I was done he told me for the first time that he was completely uncomfortable with me publishing the piece. He was very kind and said it was honest and fair, but he said it was too raw. He just didn’t want it out there on the internet. To me it was a pretty redemptive story, about the unavoidable fighting that happens in a marriage and how through a lot of work and self awareness on both of our parts we have been able to learn to fight constructively. That isn’t to say we don’t hurt each other big time, but we have come a long way in how we navigate that hurt.
We went back and forth about the post a lot last night. And we realized we were in a terrible position where one of us would feel guilty and one of us would feel angry not matter what the outcome was. I also worried that I had opened the door for my content to be censored. Z worried about the details of our life that he would like to remain private ending up on the web for anyone to find with a little digging. Ultimately he suggested that the specific story was not necessary in writing about emotional growth in a marriage. He said there isn’t just one way to do anything. At first I was dismissive, particularly because the piece was already written exactly how I wanted it to be. But then I cooled off a bit and understood he was right. The same problem can be solved in any number of ways. It will be a challenge, but I will try and rewrite the piece.
The balancing act of being true to myself while not making my husband uncomfortable in my writing seems a little harder. He was so frustrated last night he said he just wants me to post what I post without talking to him about it first, and let the chips fall where they may. Can you tell he hates confrontation? I don’t want to do that because I do respect him, and I want him to treat me with the same respect when it comes to other issues in our life. So I really don’t know what to do. Tomorrow I will try and rewrite the post. I will continue to write honestly about our marriage, motherhood, being crazy. But I have no idea how to strike the balance between writing with uncensored honesty and making those I write about comfortable. I’m unpardonably naive, but this whole blogging thing is a lot more complicated than I thought it would be.
T found Z’s old drafting brush and felt the need to brush everyone’s hair with it.