Sunday, December 10, 2017

Blogging Difficult Stuff

A couple of posts ago I commented on how some blogs are very much the public face of the blogger and cut out anything which may detract from the relentless middle class bliss of the life portrayed there. On the other hand I have just now been reading a blog (I won't reference it for the simple reason that the purpose of this post is about blogging difficult stuff rather than that man's own blog). The writer alternates poetry and his efforts to learn cookery in his fifties with some extraordinarily painful stuff about his own alcoholism, and the circumstances of his divorce and accompanying estrangement from his adult children. In true former-alcoholic style he blames himself and his drinking for this - my own impression is that his relationship with his ex-wife was fucked and the poison messed up his relationship with his children. Additionally his ex-wife is actively blocking his attempts to see his adult children who are therefore not even being given the option to make up their own mind whether they want to see their dad at some time in the future.
You can readily see that this blog is the exact opposite of the 'public image' type of blog. THe author of the blog has made the decision to reveal all sorts of things about himself in some rather painful detail. That said, since it is published appparently under his real name, of course it is possible that if his daughters look for him in the future they could find him that way. While I'm sure this blog reveals all sorts of things about me to the dedicated reeader, I have made my own decision to try to avoid posting too much painful stuff in too much detail. It is the blog of my witchcraft, which incorporates aspects of my life, but there are things I don't want to go into in too much detail. I was very pleased when I got a comment a while back from someone saying that my post about the difficulties in my relationship with my mother had been really helpful to him. That was actually what I wanted to happen - it wasn't about me, but I know that when your family is fucked it is impossible to talk about it in the face of the families faking unity and happiness around you.
I have even more screwy stuff which I have tended not to post about here because it doesn't have a name. In fact I'm rather jealous that that guy can talk about being alcoholic (although I don't think he does actually use that word) because it has a name. As a fellow addict (although mine is to smoking) I can recognise when someone is getting to terms with their own substance and the way they talk about it.
I was thinking about that last night because I went to my work's Christmas dinner. I haven't been to one of those for years - this is one of the few workplaces I've had when I haven't cordially loathed everyone, and in fact the one person I can't stand threw a hissy fit and didn't turn up. At the end of the evening one person (who doesn't smoke) asked another person (who also doesn't smoke) if she had a fag he could cadge and I was so jealous. Simply for the reason that I can't smoke like that, I have a proper addiction going and can't have an odd one.
Now on the other hand I can have a drink. I have a little drink in the evening, which I consider part of civilised living. Actually the real reason is that that is part of my rebellion against my mother, who would think that that is alcoholism. I'm not an alcoholic - I recognise an addict's relationship with the substance and I just don't have it with alcohol - I can take it or leave it and am also watchful that the amount I drink doesn't increase. The fact that quite a lot of my life is actually dominated by doing things in a way that would give my mother the screaming abjabs would suggest that she still has a huge hold over me, but these various things are now my own way of life and I'm not ever going back to, say, eating my evening meal at 5pm.
As usual I've drifted off the subject of this post, but my point remains, that if I wanted to expose my own 'stuff' to the world I could, but I don't want to. I suppose the subject of this blog is neither about presenting an ideal life or humiliating myself by revealing my own neuroses in public. It's more about what I have learned from making peace with my own inner demons and how other people can do that if they have the will to. That bloke has just chosen to do it radically differently - although like vegans who feel compelled to tell you at length about it, it seems people who've screwed up their lives while drinking them stopped also feel compelled to tell people about it. My concern with how much I reveal would be more that I want to avoid an impression of falseness while also not publicly revealing things which I don't want every Tom, Dick and Harry knowing. Perhaps it's a balance I will never get completely right - perhaps nobody who blogs ever gets it right...

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