Well, to be honest, it really depends on what you mean by that question.
Because the truth is, no, I don’t. I know it seems like it – most people would be like, “Your private life is up for public viewing”, which isn’t an incorrect statement.
But I also carefully craft, write and manipulate exactly what aspects of my private life I put on here.
I’m able to write about how I’ve been hurt in the past, because it doesn’t hurt me the same way, not anymore – and largely, it doesn’t hurt at all, not anymore, and definitely not the way people seem to think it does.
I can see why it’s easy to assume that if you’re writing about something, it means a lot to that person, but honestly, that statement has always confused me. The only stuff I can put on here is stuff that I’m legitimately okay with sharing, which means that it doesn’t affect me the way you probably think it does. I couldn’t put it out there if it meant what it meant to me at the time.
There are so many things that have been happening in my life that I deliberately choose not to talk about.
In fact, in some ways, it’s kind of obvious – almost no one knew that Scott had cheated on me at the beginning of our relationship – because I really don’t tell everyone my feelings.
In fact, that’s a major issue as to why I have PTSD – because I close off.
I struggle with talking and opening up, but I don’t have that same problem with writing. With writing, everything makes sense, everything flows, and everything changes.
For some reason, despite the fact that I only really use anecdotes to enhance a story and to raise awareness about certain issues, or for something that has (at least, in my opinion, some form of a greater purpose – even if that greater purpose is to remind people of simple things, like it’s okay if you have a friendship break up. It’s normal. You can see it for yourself, because you aren’t alone, and doesn’t follow the same greater purpose as my “Why I Didn’t Report” and “Stop Blaming Women, Make Men The Problem” posts, I’m still often criticised for “telling everyone my feelings”.
It’s not the first time it’s been said, and I’ve frequently heard or seen comments made by others when women, in particular, blog. Usually such a fact is met with derision, spite and hate.
Hell, look at Taylor Swift. I relate to her so well because it’s like her songs speak to me. It doesn’t matter who she’s singing about for her, it’s what it matters to me, which is something Taylor says at all of her concerts. (Seriously: Not all of her songs are actually about her heartbreaks. She’s said more than once that a lot of the songs she has sung on her Speak Now album was in relation to a friend’s feelings, not hers. And the ones that are hers, all hers, all her inspiration, all her heartbreak, she works really hard at trying to make sure they relate to everyone. I know most of ya’ll don’t like her, including literally most of my best friends, but I love her.) She is frequently destroyed by the media, rightly or wrongly, for “oversharing”.
And I don’t understand why we keep trying to tear people down – especially women – for “telling everyone their feelings”.
Even if someone is using a website to document their feelings, who are you to judge? Perhaps that helps them heal.
Perhaps it’s something they need.
You can judge Taylor Swift – some of the judgements are more than fair – but her song writing helps me. It grounds me.
I’m grateful, because even if you see it was problematic and oversharing, Taylor Swift was someone who I felt made sense to me ever since I heard Love Story. (I’m not getting into Taylor’s politics or anything on this one, just feelings and sharing.)
Perhaps, for many creators like me, there is a larger purpose: To help others, and let them know they aren’t alone, while try trying to meet the criteria to become a published author. (Which I achieved, by the way, and You Know You Want It.)
I know that for me, each post I write, every single time someone says that it helped them, that it meant something to them, I feel like I’ve achieved everything I ever wanted.
Regardless, I think we need to stop dictating to others what you find acceptable or not, especially in regards to sharing. There are so many creators – bloggers in particular – that I stumble across, daily, who give so much of themselves to help (whether it’s to help themselves, and they’re writing only for themselves; or if it’s to help everyone), and it’s not an easy task.
B, from Getting Through Anxiety, constantly writes about how debilitating her anxiety disorder is. As someone who has an anxiety disorder, anxiety isn’t easy to write about. It’s something that I don’t think most neurotypical people can understand. (I also feel like I need to give one of these Bs a different nickname.)
And yet, alongside writing and publishing her books, she’s still writing about the positives that come alongside anxiety, always stating that it’s the small things that matter.Or Rae, my person, from Bookmark Chronicles? I’ve seen her torn down more times than I can count because she’s not just a woman.
She’s a Black woman.
You can pretend like that doesn’t matter, but it does.
I see it all the time: Rae and I can make the exact same comments, and I can get away with a lot more (and am listened to a lot more), because I’m a white woman.
If I’m very aware of this fact, do you really think this fact has somehow missed Rae?
I’m not her only white friend, and I’m certainly not her only white follower.
And yet, her posts are always clear. Despite the bullshit Rae’s subjected to because of race, she always comes out swinging.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve only described two powerful creators that I know, and fuck me, you don’t think what they’re doing is brave and strong?
Today, alone, I had the incredible pleasure of stumbling across The Patchwork Diaries, after Kelli (the creator), liked and commented on one of my posts.
Her work is outstanding.
I’m currently reading her post That Moment, which has major trigger warnings, and the fierceness behind her words is just so powerful.
Will, who doesn’t have a blog, but has the page Men Yelling Indistinctly, is a fantastic ally. He raises awareness, and has made sure that even though he created the page, women and trans women are mostly at work, and he makes sure that everyone knows that, because he wants to be an ally, not another man telling women what they should do.
That’s just amazing, to me, because all of these people listed and more are tirelessly working to air “their feelings” to make the world a better place.
And you can judge that any way you want to, I guess. You either will or you won’t.
But I think that makes someone fucking amazing – someone who is willing to just “tell everyone their feelings” – for some stranger, to provide comfort and empathy and hope.
So yes, in some ways, I also do tell everyone my feelings.
And damn straight, if you ask me how I feel, I’ll tell you, even if it’s to say it’s none of your fucking business.
Just check the comment section of any post anywhere, ever, and you’ll see.