Thursday, November 4, 2010

Eating Blog-Flavored Crow

I've been blogging for over 2 and a half years now. GAH.. all that wasted time on the computer. Well, I guess it isn't wasted if it's theraputic for me and entertaining for someone else.

Go ahead. Laugh at me. It will make you feel better.

When I started blogging, I was all about KEEPIN' IT REAL and not holding back. I put my raw emotions out there for the viewing. And now, in retrospect, that was a good idea.

For the most part.

One post, in particular, was not good. I think it was constructed as well as anything else I've written.... with excessive ellipses... AND TOO MANY CAPITALS. YES I'M YELLING BUT I DON'T KNOW WHY. Anyway, the post was fine but my intended audience was the entire world, minus one. The minus one? My mother-in-law. I never meant for her to read about how I was pissed off at her. I never intended to hurt her feelings. I  said things in that post that I honestly felt, but was too much of a coward to just tell her. I could have found a polite way to bring it up. I could have been honest with her, just like I tell everyone else to do with their own family members. But instead, I wussed out and just blogged about it.

Then my mother-in-law found my blog. And I only knew it later when I read a post SHE had written on her OWN blog about me. Saying how she was hurt & confused.

Right there, my stomach bottomed out. My heart sank. And my filter came on.

I used to read blogs that had excessive fluff and I felt they were fake. Phony. Posing. And now I was going to be one of them. A faker. A phony. A poser. I hated that about myself, but if I could hurt my mother-in-law with the words I'd written on my blog, I knew that I had lost perspective about the difference between filtering myself and censoring myself. I didn't want to quit avoiding topics altogether out of fear that I'd make someone uncomfortable. That's censoring (in my opinion). But I did see the value in filtering myself so that I could keep saying what I wanted to, but just doing so with kindness and forgiveness and patience. You know - all the same junk I kinda want people to do for me.

I can't go back and undo what's been done. Now, I don't talk to my mother-in-law about my blog. We both kinda pretend it's not happening and I just try to avoid the whole topic of blogging altogether. I do wish she'd never read it but, more than that, I wish I'd never written it.

This post is part of MamaKat's Writers Workshop.
  2.) A post you regret publishing.

Texan Mama


anymommy said...

I've definitely been there. I think it's awesome that you wrote about it again and it says a ton about you as a person that you thought about it so much afterward. I always count on that - that I'm not a perfect person but I really care when I screw something up.

Amy said...

I definitely have to have a filter for my blog. It sucks sometimes because like you, I am all about keeping it real. But, I suppose keeping it real means different things sometimes.

I often think of Ree at PW. I can't imagine that her life is perfect and she never fights with her hubby from time to time but you never read that. Keeping it real for her means being honest about herself.

Having said that, there are still things about myself that I don't share with the world because of my varied readership.

Good for you for being honest after realizing you'd erred.

misssrobin said...

I love the way you differentiate. Censoring versus filtering. It can be a tricky line to find, but I agree that it is important. For me it is.

I want to be honest, but I don't want to hurt people.

A.Marie said...

This is why I love your blog; you make mistakes just like the rest of us, and you aren't afraid to admit it. You're my bloggy hero! :)

Angel said...

I started out with out a filter, but then I found out that some of my friends had found my blog and while I was venting I hurt one as well, so I have a filter now... although I don't have one on my relationship with my mother... I probably should but my blog is the only place I can honestly say what I feel in regards to her.

But as someone else said, you are human, so you made a mistake, it happens, we all do, I love the fact you not only own up to it, but are brave enough to share with the rest of us how you feel about the mistake

McVal said...

I definitely filter mine... For fear of that very thing. My mother in law lives with us... So she COULD find it, IF she knew how to use the internet functionally....

By the way - I blogged about your manicotti today!

Bridgett said...

Yes, I have a filter. Because when I didn't (I always had something of a filter because I told my mother and in-laws right away about the blog, but I did pretty much just say what I wanted otherwise), I got in big old trouble. There was this ex-friend and I wrote about how our friendship ended...she wound up blackmailing me, like FOR REAL, unless I took it down. It was a nightmare. I kept tabs on her URL for a while, seeing when she visited. EVentually, she needed something from me and I gave it to her without hassle (some things she'd left at my house) and she promised to leave me alone.

If she hadn't lived in Chicago, I would have gotten an order of protection against her. It was scary like that.

So now, being public is good for me. My pastor reads; lots of in real life folks read. I WISH my mother didn't, because she's a big problem for me (she's literally crazy: bipolar), and sometimes I wish my mother-in-law didn't, but in the end it probably makes me a nicer person. And I can always complain in person to Mike. Or my coffee friend Ann...

Jennifer said...

I like that term. Filter. I don't want to hurt anyone on purpose, but I do want to write about what is important to me or funny or makes me think or makes me mad without having to worry that someone is going to be offended. Sometimes that balance is hard.

Michelle Saunderson said...

I definitely filter. In fact, I have contemplating lately how old my kids have to be before I can blog about my ex. I am thinking the youngest has to be 18, so I have quite a few years. If you can hang on that long, my blog should get really interesting

Sturgmom said...

My readers are mostly family and friends, so I'm very careful with what I post. I actully refrain from doing more "promoting" (can't think of a better term) b/c my readership is largely people I know personally.

Miley (woman:confused) said...

When I started my blog, I didn't have or want any followers. Then, long story short, I showed my ex boyfriend my blog because we were trying to work things out and I had written some things that he needed to know about (about me, about us, about feelings, etc)

it's been a year and now I have to have a filter. He still reads my blog, we are still friends... but there are some things I CANNOT blog about... Like the guy who asked me out, the one I think is hot, etc. It would hurt his feelings.

It kinda sucks to have that but at the same time, if I wanted an anonymous blog (again) where I could rant and vent, I would just go create one.

Gigi said...

As you know, I blog anonymously (none of my real life friends know, etc), but even so, I filter/censor any way because you just never know who will find you. Of course, I'm just paranoid like that.

Anonymous said...

Man, can I relate. I pretty much lost someone who had been a dear friend to me for years because she found my old blog. I changed blogs because of it and lost a blog I love. I was pretty bitter at first, but now I am just full of regret. Not for writing what I did as it was completely justified (and it's my blog!) but for not just going to her with the stuff I was feeling, for being such a coward and getting caught talking smack behind someone's back. It's a fine line when writing this stuff. I do blog anonymously as well, but all it took was an email send from an email associated with my blog (sloppy) and presto, she found it.