Thoughts on thoughts

I mostly write glimpses here: snippets out of context, strobe-light moments.

They are my version of the truth, but they are incomplete, of course, so the impression they leave is imperfect.

I curate carefully for many reasons, some of which I have talked about before.

My rules for writing about people are:

  • No surprises (well, sweet surprises are okay)
  • No hurt

And that’s limiting enough because most people who I write about know my blog, probably read it (or could), and there is a ton of stuff in my head that might be surprising or hurtful, and which I have zero interest in discussing with the person involved. And many are momentary thoughts like ‘wow, you pissed me off’ that pass quickly, but which would be given a power and longevity that they don’t deserve when they are recorded in black and white on the page. So instead I bang them out in my private writing, maybe in an email to a friend, maybe in my journal that quietly keeps my secrets.

But that’s not all that constrains me here.

Some things make me feel vulnerable, and I hate that, so I am reluctant to share them. In theory that’s okay because obviously I don’t HAVE to share everything (goodness, how unfathomably dull), but I’m very aware that I’m presenting a very skewed view of me, my life, and what is going on with me.

My last post was true. And I know it sounds hot and sweet (which it is), but put into its full context, it’s also at least equal parts messy and selfish.

In context, it makes me feel vulnerable, but I want to write about it because it’s part of my history, and it’s still swimming around in my head in different ways.

But the full story is not owned just by me, and while we own our lives and our history, the line where it overlaps with someone else’s (because it must) becomes problematic when as well as exposing my life and vulnerabilities, I am exposing theirs (even if nobody knows who they are, THEY know, and words have the power to wound).

I keep thinking of a quote from Bird by Bird:

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.

― Anne Lamott

It makes me laugh every time I read it. But for my own well being, I’m waiting for him to let me know if he wants to read what I write before I post it so that it doesn’t leave him feeling exposed.

___

Edited to add: I realise on re-reading that the quote implied that I wanted to write about someone who had behaved badly: that’s not the case. Well, fine, sometimes it is, but not this time… *smile*.

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14 Comments

  1. Awesome quote I’m stealing it and trotting it out at the first chance, probably claiming I said it too
    Coug

    Nope I have no shame

  2. Curious quote you chose. It seems to conflict with your post and feelings.

    I love that you draw a careful line. It says a lot about you, and in my mind that is good stuff it says.

    Happy new year!

    greg

    1. Heh. The quote *does* conflict (hence my edited addition there!). I like it as a contrast: it’s a valid point of view that both amuses me and makes me think.

      How many authors have written an autobiography or barely disguised fiction that was brutally honest about those in their lives who they thought poorly of? While people may hate it when someone does that or criticise it (as is their right), it’s interesting to me what that means for bloggers who write about their own lives in public. It’s a common discussion that bloggers have with themselves and with others, and the ethics of it is somewhat blurry.

      Some people firmly believe that it’s completely unethical to write about anyone without their permission: that it’s a breach of their privacy at best, illegal at worst. Others argue that if they are anonymous and the people they write about aren’t named, everything is fair game.

      Then there’s me: sitting in the middle between ‘anonymous and not’, where those I write about can read about themselves here. It’s not about exposure (though I’m not fooling myself: If someone works hard they can probably figure out who I am, who my partners are, who my friends are… all that), it’s more about being good to the people I bring into my life because they trust me. And I want to be worthy of that trust.

      I do draw an imaginary line between ‘those who read’ and ‘those who don’t/won’t/will never’. I can still hurt the former with what I say here. In the latter basket are momentary interactions with strangers or old loves who are long past and whose names I may not even recall.

      IF my first submissive had not recently been in touch and I had felt like writing about him (for the record, a couple of stories here ARE about him), I’d have put him in the ‘won’t/will never read’ basket and gone to town given it was so very long ago. But we are talking, he reads this, and I am very aware that he might be uncomfortable with me sharing my thoughts about our current interactions.

      Phew, long comment. Thanks greg, and happy new year.

      Ferns

  3. Honesty leads to feelings of vulnerability, fear and pride. It always will.

    Honesty is the ultimate rollercoaster, because you’re fated to ride the preconceptions, ignorance, pride, and cruelty of others.

    I’m a tall and serious (apparently) looking gent with little sense of humour. Just imagine if my family and friends found out that I’d spent new years day listening to:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM3J8AdRBZA

    I cannot excuse or explain this, I can only state that this is true.

    Yours emotionally,

    Robotihumbug

    1. *smile* I applaud your honesty in admitting that you spent your day listening to Faith Hill. I hope you sang along as well, belting out the chorus, maybe dancing?

      I’m not sure I understand why you think that honesty leads to feelings of vulnerability, fear and pride. Why those three?

      Often the first two, sure, but why pride?

      Ferns

      1. Tapping your foot with your thumbs in your waist band. That’s the way to celebrate a pop-country new year. Doesn’t matter which waist band either – jeans or simply underpants – because in the judgement free world of your own home we’re all free to enjoy awful music and awkward rhythmic motion.

        Anyhoo … pride and shame seem to be related, and honesty reveals the things we take pride in and feel shame about. And the same feeling, or event, or interest can cause feelings of both pride and shame dependant upon context (particularly time and company).

        Conflicts of pride and ego are scary things, and I think most of us are rather more concerned about coming off badly in these than we would care to admit.

        Some people lie because they’re basically arseholes. Others lie out of a desire to defend themselves, and protecting their pride.

        Honesty makes you vulnerable in many ways, and being honest takes courage and a willingness to get hurt.

        I’ve rambled way off course now. I don’t know where I was even going now.

        Here is a music. It’s … not Faith hill:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWjVQlSruY8

        Yours,

        Dilettante with a keyboard

      2. Thank you for coming back with more information and with your Shania Twain (I’m seeing a pattern here…). Also, I would consider line dancing an acceptable option in the country dancing department (still with fingers hooked into the waistband, natch).

        I understand better what you mean now, and I agree with a lot of it. I appreciate you coming back to talk a little more about it.

        Brené Brown did a couple of great Ted talks about vulnerability and shame. Worth a look.

        Ferns

  4. “I’m waiting for him to let me know if he wants to read what I write before I post it so that it doesn’t leave him feeling exposed.”

    Please, write freely about me, and our experiences together. These will always be your perspectives on our story, and from those my own insight will grow.

    Every word you have said to me has helped heal and reawaken me. Don’t stop now.

    1. Hello there, and welcome *smile*.

      I like the nick you have chosen very much: Sweet. I might start using it also since ‘my first submissive’ is rather long and unwieldy, and you should have a name here.

      Thank you for your encouragement. I’m so glad there is positivity in it for you. Our conversations to date have been fascinating for me: our disparate experiences of our relationship are so strange.

      I see you’ve left comments elsewhere also: thank you.

      Ferns

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