Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pouring my heart into your hands

I'm struggling to know where to begin. I need to open my heart, speak freely as I have always set out to do here. Yet what I have realised, in the last week or so, is that I have never spoken freely, because I was always conscious of what I was holding back...

While mulling over these thoughts, I came across some excellent posts in the last week, touching on the same themes. The first, and truly the catalyst for me, was lovely, wise, sad Smiler of From Smiler, With Love. Her post, "After the fifth break-up it gets easier" touched on the impact her blogging had on her relationship break-down, and how the honesty she brought to her blog became a double-edged sword in someone else's hands.

Her post opened a window in my soul, and shone a very bright light in, a searing light. I commented:

"I am pondering my own situation at the moment and you have given me food for thought.

I keep a blog, love it and the extended community I am becoming a part of with a passion, and treasure the opportunity to explore my thoughts and re-kindle my love affair with the page.

I don't talk about it with my husband at all. We have a troubled marriage, and a beautiful small is a very difficult time, and I have NOT been talking about it, even when I have been incredibly miserable. And wondering if I should. Or could. I want to talk about how I'm feeling, but know how he would react should he find out. Yet I feel that I'm not being fully honest and myself, which is one of the things I seek most to do on my blog..."

And suddenly - there it was. My truth, out on the page for others to read. And my conundrum - because while I haven't been talking about my unhappiness here for you to share (and there will be some who will read this and think that is the right thing to do - that there are lines that should be drawn, especially between a husband and wife), I also haven't been telling him about you, this blog, and this strange place we inhabit where I can consider some of you friends even though we've never met, and I perhaps don't even know what you look like.

I feel like I've been dishonest and disloyal to everyone. Okay, that may seem a bit extreme, and maybe it is. There are very real issues here of discretion and loyalty and privacy, and I understand all that. Two more posts I read explored these ideas even further.

First, Motherscribe (one of my treasured new friends from NaBloPoMo) wrote "Blog posts are little snapshots into our lives". She examined the feelings triggered by another (wise and wonderful) blogger Mrs G. in her post "Boundaries, Anyone?", who concluded with the question: "What are your feelings, reader, about the boundaries of blogging? Is your blog open to the public or your immediate family? Do you occasionally tip-toe or do you feel it's your life, your blog, your story to tell in whatever manner you choose...warts and all?"

And there I've hung myself. I've done neither. My blog is basically known only to those who have discovered it for themselves. One or two friends are aware that I have a blog, but are not (yet?!) caught up in the phenomenon themselves and therefore don't appear to have looked for it or read it. My best friend and my mother both know I blog, but I haven't volunteered the link and they haven't probed. My husband would both love to know about it, so he could search it for reference to my innermost thoughts and how I portray him (and us) to the world, and hate it as an incredible invasion of privacy plus flagrant exhibitionism - almost as if I stripped naked and draped myself on the front fence. And in some ways he would be right...(and yet, funnily enough, I haven't been guilty of either - until now.)

I don't know what will happen in my marriage. I feel as if we're coming close to a turning point, but I'm really unsure which way that will take us. What I do know is that there are certain things I need to do for myself right now, for my sanity and my well-being.

This blog is high on the list. It's by me - it's mine alone. It's about me - I choose what I reveal and who I am when I am here...or at least I thought I did. It's for me - it's writing practice, and social network, and emotional and mental outlet. A safe place to lay my thoughts out on the page. Hearts and hands to catch me when I fall (isn't that right, Smiler?).

I had to tell you this. I don't intend to turn this blog into a griping misery, but I do feel I will be letting more of my personal feelings in, and perhaps that snapshot into my life might be a little frank. I also think I'll be letting a few more of my loved ones in on the action. I think, to be wholly and truly myself, I have to stop keeping parts of my world separate, and let them meld and mix as they will.

But I still have to draw a very big line. I do not choose to talk about this with my husband. I have had enough of self-censorship. He is not entirely comfortable with who I am in the real world - he is not ready for the me he would find here.

You are.


tiff (threeringcircus) said...

What a wonderful soulful post you have written.
I agree, when I started blogging it was just for me, an outlet for things.
I have had times when i was not sure about disclosing things but find these posts bring out the wonderful support network that we have in our community.
My husband reads my blog. He also knows how I feel about the support I gain through blogging and the reasons why I need it. Basically it is because, fo alot of the last twelve months, he has been a silent party to our life. A person seperate, living with my family.

I am definately ready to know the real you, although what I know of you so far is beautiful.

mountainmama said...

Thank you, Tiff...lovely woman! I knew my heart would be safe in your hands.


Smiler said...

I'm honoured to be an inspiration for you to seek out your own truth. Because ultimately for me, that's what it's all about, all this writing and questioning. I defend my territory fiercely as far as that goes - if I feel someone, anyone, trying to encroach upon it or question why I even need to seek to begin with, or try to put me in a box, I usually run for the hills. Or lately I've simply taken cover by spending all my time here, in front of my screen.

You wrote: "He is not entirely comfortable with who I am in the real world" and that makes me cringe and feel a little bit sad for you both. I've not been married (yet - if ever), and one of the reasons I've never taken the plunge is expressed in that sentence. I wasn't willing to compromise who I am, or to be made to feel like there was something wrong with me by any man. I do enough of that to myself.

It's not always easy to live by the choices that we make. I suppose being in a committed long-term relationship can't be easy, and then being alone for the most part isn't either. Each have their pros and cons. I suppose the secret is figuring out what is most important to you.

Mind you, I really shouldn't be giving advice to anyone. My life is far from what could be called ideal.

I've been spending so much time online and now I'm realizing I've spread myself too thin - have made great friends and acquaintances but just can't find the time to be everywhere and relationships, be they in "real life" or online, require time to develop but also time invested into them.

I don't know where I'm going with this. I think you've done the right thing to take a chance and express a little bit more of YOU. I can understand you keeping this from your husband, and personally I have no problem with being kept as a secret, none at all.

We're all just trying to figure things out as we go, right? There is no ultimate answer, it's all about the journey, and it's just nice knowing some of our traveling companions are more or less on the same page as we are.

Mrs. G. said...

Virginia Woolf insisted that all women need a room of one's own. And this, clearly, is yours.

Tell it, girl!

Red Dirt Mummy said...

I have nothing deep and meaningful to offer. I just wanted to say that I'm very glad I stumbled across your blog, you light up my days and I'm very honoured to be able to read your blog and have you share your thoughts and feelings. I'm glad that you have a 'safe place' to do that in your blog.

I'm thinking of you and wishing you well, whatever road you take.

Cecily said...

Thanks for sharing mountainmama... life is sticky and tricky isn't it? I get my husband to read the posts that mention him. Only once has he asked for a post to be removed, and as I wrote it in the heat of the moment, that was probably advisable. My problem is with my brother - my family of origin is a constant influence (isn't it for all of us?!) but my brother does not cope at all with the things I write about my Dad and our home life. Occasionally I edit at his request (or again, if I wrote in the heat of the moment) but mostly I write what I want... I realise that isn't always fair on my Dad and I don't know what the solution is. Because as you say, it is our space. But is that just selfishness? Hmmm, not sure.

Anyway, may you and your husband find a space for honest and open discussion to work through your tensions in a way that is good and helpful for all.

Anonymous said...

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