Someone in my real life got angry about something I wrote in this blog. I changed the name I used in that blog post but I have a feeling that’s not going to be good enough for him. What can I do? I feel very strongly about being open and honest in this blog and not censoring myself. I feel very strongly that I do not need anyone’s permission or approval to write about them.
This blog is meant to be about my own personal experiences but no (wo)man is an island. My life is affected by the people in it and I can’t tell my own story without telling some of their story as well. I think one should be considerate of other peoples’ feelings and safety. I wouldn’t want to post anything that would cause someone intense distress or put them in danger. But you know what? I’ve had experiences in life that have caused me distress, that have jeopardized my physical and emotional safety. Some of those experiences occurred as a result of the people who object to my blog.
It is therapeutic to me to write about those experiences. I know I could just make my writing private but sharing my writing with others is a big part of what makes it so therapeutic. The things I went through were hard and took a toll on me emotionally but they were made infinitely harder by the shame I felt over them. I was so ashamed of the things I’d done, the things I’d been through, that I wouldn’t tell anybody about them. I was so ashamed of myself that I wouldn’t even talk to or associate with people, I cut myself off from my friends. Shame has been such a destructive force in my life and it feels really good to now be so unashamed that I’m willing to share some of my deepest darkest secrets on the internet for the whole world to see.
It’s not just about me either. I hope that in sharing my experiences I am helping other people. I hope I am letting other people who have struggled with similar issues know that they are not alone, that they do not need to be ashamed, that they do not need to be afraid to share their own experiences.
Writing has given me a sense of purpose in a life that was lacking purpose. It’s become a hobby of mine and I’d like to turn it in to a career. Writing is an art. If you’re always worried about hurting someone’s feelings and offending them through your writing, your writing will suffer for it. I went to a book talk a few months ago in which someone in the audience expressed that fear and the author giving the talk ripped in to her for it.
Situations like this make me wish I was better at writing fiction but even fiction tends to be based on real life experiences.