When I closed this blog last year I had some idea of why I felt that was necessary, but mostly I did it because I was having difficulty managing the stress I felt when I thought about people reading my words. That seems silly because my purpose in writing in the first place was to allow myself some privacy (writing under a pseudonym) while expressing things I have hidden for most of my life. The blog was to aid my therapy progress, to allow me a voice, to let me say the things I've felt were unacceptable, while allowing me the creativity to just be me and to talk about whatever struck my fancy. For quite a few years, the blog was exactly what I intended.
I suppose the problems began when I met some of the people who were fellow bloggers and who read my words. As time passed, I became increasingly aware that I was no longer free to express whatever came to mind. There was oversight, and people who have learned to care about me would follow up; I might have to explain myself or admit that the words spewed all over my blog had no concrete foundation, but simply expressed how I felt in the moment--and that moment might be completely PTSD induced.
The problem with this is that my feelings are misleading. They really don't represent who I am at the core, nor do they last forever. For instance: For three months I was convinced that DJ did not love me. I was a convenient dinner stop, but he had no interest in sharing his life or important people in his life with me, nor did he have any interest in what was going on in my life. And during those three months I built up wall after wall against my own son.
Eventually I reached a point where I began talking about it. I told Adam of my belief that DJ had no interest in me and that he really wouldn't care if I disappeared. At that point I spoke of these things with emotionless conviction--as though I was talking about the weather and this was just pleasant, meaningless conversation. Naturally, Adam was deeply concerned. He told me I was completely wrong at which point I played the, "How many times have you known me to be wrong" card. Adam believes I know almost everything in the world so he backed down immediately, but I could tell he was upset.
A few weeks later that particular bout of PTSD nonsense subsided. This was aided by a few visits from DJ where he simply spent time with me. Adam swears he didn't tell DJ of my delusional beliefs, but it doesn't really matter. The truth is, in the moment when Adam and I talked, I truly believed every word I spoke. DJ no longer cared about me, did not respect me as his mother, and had no interest in continuing a relationship with me. The scariest part is that I was in the process of protecting myself from the pain of those beliefs, which meant I was working on detaching myself emotionally, from DJ--and he had no idea I was experiencing this.
What does this have to do with closing my blog?
I recognized last February that I was feeling insecurity and stress every time I posted. The content of the post made no difference in how I felt after publication. I felt judged. I was certain the majority of people who read my words were inwardly mocking my failure at life and thinking it was high time I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I felt this in spite of the fact that some readers left encouraging comments filled with sympathy and kindness. I had no understanding as to why they would take time to do that, which seemed only to compound my stress and panic.
So one day I decided my blog was no longer serving its purpose. It wasn't reinforcing my therapeutic work. It was no longer providing a forum for me to talk without judgement. It was, in fact, a place which seemed to exacerbate my more irrational PTSD symptoms, leaving me feeling insecure, unsafe, and self-conscious. On that day, I wrote my final post and closed the blog. I wrote again on the anniversary of my one-year-with-no-flashbacks because I felt compelled to share that with people who had walked with me throughout the past six years. They had seen me fight those nasty episodes for a long time. It felt right to share with them that small victory even though I knew most of those who would be interested were long gone and wouldn't even see the post. Sometimes one writes a post not to current readers, but to those one wishes were readers--or perhaps I'm the only blogger who does this.
As 2011 came to an end, I found myself wishing to write in my blog again. Many of the paranoid PTSD symptoms had subsided. I was having moments that felt level and healthy. I wished once more for a blog where I could talk about the anxiety of PTSD (Running with Butterflies) and one where I could discuss everyday living--one which showed me to be a three-dimensional being who doesn't immerse herself in the emotional whirlpool of PTSD, but actually has a life which is rewarding and beautiful.
And so I began writing once more. I can't promise that shades of PTSD won't seep into my posts here, nor can I promise that I'll never be self-pitying or self-indulgent. I can't promise that the posts will always be upbeat or comedic or entertaining. But this is my blog. This is where I talk. Recently I've felt again that my voice--the audible one--is present too often; in short, I've begun to talk too much. So I think I'll save that for my blog. One doesn't have to watch as the listener's mind wanders, or hear the disinterest in the listener's voice. No one personalizes what I'm saying and in doing so, causes my point to be misconstrued. No one cares if I meander to different topics or speak too quickly or if I talk about something inappropriate. It's my place to say whatever I wish.
And the beautiful thing is this: No doubt, if someone passes through, I'll be judged and found wanting. However it's likely that whomever finds me thus will not comment about it, so I'll never really know. And as I'm writing once again only for me, it doesn't matter if someone finds my words inane or irrelevant. I need to talk; I need a voice; and if the words I need to say are distasteful or inappropriate in a live audience, I'll save them for my virtual world.
I refuse to be silenced by my past. I refuse to be valued by the abuse in my life. In the past six years I have recognized that I, Samantha, have always been someone delightful and aggravating and loving and annoying and conflicted and amazing. That's unlikely to change. I need to be the person I am. Those people who wish to keep company with someone like me will continue to do so, but even if that turns out to be no one, I will express myself right here--in the place where I originally stopped hiding and finally began speaking.
If you're reading this, I hope you'll feel free to speak here, too. And if you're not, well, probably you already know everything I have to say.