Defending this Space

When my friend told me she thought I shouldn’t blog here, I didn’t get upset. Of course her email upset me but I didn’t feel that knee-jerk need to defend myself, or my blogging. That was my first clue that she was wrong, just fundamentally off-base, about the whole thing. From the moment I read her words I knew they weren’t true.

And yet she was very articulate in expressing her opinions and she made some interesting points. I have certainly posed some of those questions myself, so I didn’t feel it was right to just ignore her concerns.

Instead of writing my response I turned to all of you. I am forever indebted to you for your insights. You reminded me once again how intelligent, thoughtful and well-written you all are. I am honored that you come here to read my words, to watch me muddle through this thing called life.

So back to the email, and your responses. I already knew that my friend was wrong but hearing your takes on the whole thing just made me feel… understood and validated (a common theme here to be sure). After so many recent attacks by people in real life, on who I am and how I deal with my issues, it was incredibly helpful to know that I’m not deluding myself by coming here for support.

Here is a little bit of what I wrote to her in response to her email:

… I must disagree with your belief that my blog is causing me harm, that it is a detriment to me in some way. Writing about those things that are difficult to me is not indulging my depression or anxiety, it is helping me process and deal with it. Blogging does not make me think more about TTC or anything else that I write about there, it helps me get it out, so I don’t think about it so much.

I hope you realize that my blog is not a reflection of who I am, or how I live my life. It is ONE PART OF ME. I go there to reflect on and let go of aspects of my life that I struggle with. Writing there helps me to move past those things. And if it seems like it only makes me obsess more, it is because I would be obsessing otherwise.

I didn’t even start writing my blog until I was almost done with my first TTC journey. … Not writing during that first year trying, and during my ectopic, did not make either of those things easier, in fact I believe they made them harder. Going though that alone, not having anyone who understood, was terribly difficult. One of the few things that brings me peace when I worry about losing another pergnancy is knowing my blogging community will be there for me to help me through it. It is literally the ONLY thing that brings me comfort.

I really can’t describe to you in words how much my blog, and the people who read it, mean to me. Writing there is the first time in my life I’ve felt wholly and completely accepted and understood. It is the first time I didn’t feel like a freak. …

It’s clear to me that I can’t convince you that my blog does not hinder my ability to navigate these things. I just hope you can understand that my blog is not a representation of who I am, it’s just one part of me. And being able to write about that one part openly, instead of having to hide as I am forced to do with EVERY SINGLE OTHER PERSON IN MY LIFE (except Mi.Vida) is incredibly healing. It might seem like I think about TTC obsessively, it might seem like I don’t celebrate the happy parts of my life, but that is simply not true. I do those things with everyone else, I celebrate Isa and I speak of all that good that is happening with my friends and colleagues and parents and Mi.Vida. I don’t talk about the stuff on my blog with anyone, except for the people who read my blog. And I assure you that the release I get from saying those things there, from having people understand when it stings a bit for my cousin to so easily get pregnant again, when it takes me I know-not-yet-how-long again, instead of berating me for being selfish or jealous or cruel, is invaluable.

I have taken breaks from my blog, two and three week breaks here and there. Sometimes they are nice, sometimes I’m dying to write. But never have I ever felt it would be in my best interest to walk away. And I won’t walk away now. But I will always know your thoughts on the matter, and I will take them into consideration in the future, if it’s appropriate.

There was more (a lot more) but I want to be respectful to my friend (even though she is no longer reading my blog) so that is all I will include (I’m also saving you all from reading another 800+ words). I think it is a good representation of the points I made and how I feel about the whole thing.

The final installment of our communication was an email from my friend. Things seem to be better between us and she claims to better understand why I blog and what it means to me. The truth is, I don’t need her to understand, because I do and I feel good about my participation in this community. I truly believe it helps, and doesn’t hurt, me and my pursuit for greater happiness.

10 responses

  1. I might have to use your response when I explain toy husband how important my blog is. When I moved spaces after my SIL found me out I was sad to have lost sonny readers but I still wanted to write because I knew someone out there would help me when I was falling and down and understand me better than anyone in my real life

  2. You did a wonderful job explaining the need to blog. I’m sorry you had to defend it, but I hoped it also helped you. You are a strong woman and you are doing what you need to in order to take care of yourself. Nothing about this journey is easy and we need a safe space to share our frustrations, despair and agonies. I’m glad you didn’t have to give this space up and hope it had become safe again. Xoxo

  3. So glad that your explanation actually led to your relationship with your friend improving instead of making things worse. It sounds like she really does want to understand and help you, even if she’s not going about it the right way.

  4. Glad to hear that your communication with your friend helped you both to better understand where each of you were coming from. You have been in my thoughts and prayers.

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