Openess and privacy

I’ve been wishing to blog my therapy session but once again feeling guilty about how open I’m being. I wonder if I’m hurting anyone, or being inappropriate. If Ron did read what I write, would he be upset? Obviously this is all from my point of view, and some of it is misremembered or approximate.

Luckily my readership is small, and I don’t go looking for more readers. I also keep this blog anonymous, including where I live. However, there are tentacles linking me to a few people. I’ve met two friends through the blog, IRL. I’ve mentioned it’s existence to a few people I know without giving an address or name.

A few years ago, when writing a different blog, I gave a friend a link to it. We’re no longer friends. In the meantime, this blog got a lot more personal. I’d be uncomfortable if I thought he read it.

I talked about the blog quite a bit with R, and he was supportive of the idea. I wonder if a determined search would bring it up? When I do a casual google search, my blog doesn’t appear. I don’t spend a lot of time trying to find it though. If R read my blog, that would be bad. I was open about some feelings about him that were personal and private.

I will never write about people I know read this except in the most general terms. And mostly, I don’t describe friends’ dilemmas, or much about my work situation.

But I’m being very open about an intimate experience.

Writers do that actually, IMO. You write about what hurts, what is next to your heart. But usually in more disguised form.

I find the benefits of writing here great. Getting things down in written form tends to make it seem more manageable. Then I value the interaction with those kind souls who take the time to comment and share their experiences with me.

Somehow writing privately is not the same. I want someone to read I suppose. I want to communicate.

Some bloggers who are lovely writers, and whose blogs I enjoy, have written about the ‘badness’ of exposing one’s weaknesses, troubles and failings. It’s not emphasizing the positive, it’s embarrassing oneself. It’s Oprah in blogging form, a kind of degraded emotionalism. Or something.

This is exactly what my mother would feel.

So since that is the case, it can’t be true.

OK, I feel better. I’ll likely continue on with my evil ways.

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16 comments
  1. Bourbon said:

    Seems to be the week for analysing why we are blogging and whether it is a positive/negative thing. Before I forget: on wordpress there is a way of blocking your blog from being used in search forums at all. Then you won’t need to worry about someone searching for your blog that way. My mother too was always of the opinion that if you tell anyone, anything about yourself it is bad – you are an attention seeker… whatever. That was her way of making sure I didn’t tell anyone about what she was doing behind closed doors I’m sure. I go against this now. I am very open to people via my blog. I am not good at being open in real life talk so the blog is sometimes the only way people can determine what is really going on. I also am concerned about my T coming across my blog especially as when copying and pasting a post to her the title of the blog stayed linked with my blog. I sent a frantic message telling her to delete the email right away but I only have her word that she did so…. keep sharing. I understand the need to have people listen to what you have to say. After years of having to be quiet it is nice to just be heard. Good thoughts your way xx

    • Ellen said:

      It does seem to be the week for that! Our mothers are the same in that way then. As telling someone or being emotional was the bad part – not the really awful things that happened. I also am not very open IRL. Yikes, sending the email to the T would also freak me out. I bet she did delete it though.

      Thanks for the support Bourbon.

  2. aallegoric said:

    I’ve been struggling with the same issue and feel sometimes guilty of the way I’m portraying my therapist. So I can totally relate to your thoughts. Do you know that you can index your site in the privacy settings? It’s supposed to block out search engines. Although I’ve done that, I still like having readers that communicate with me either via likes or comments or even e-mails. Keep writing and try not to worry too much (easier said than done though I know)… I like your blog. xx

    • Ellen said:

      I don’t recall you even saying one negative thing about your T Allegoric. Hmm….I do know about the privacy settings. I might do that. I really enjoy the back and forth also. I’ll offer you the same advice you’re giving me then… šŸ™‚ Thanks for the kind words.

  3. Yup, same here. I changed the URL of my blog to shake off some readers that were giving me anxiety. I also made it not searchable by google. If the worry stays with you, you can password protect your posts, and only give out the password to people you want to read….

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, it’s an option. Thanks OBD.

  4. The reason I started writing was because I was so sick and tired of being silent. I had kept so much so secret for so long and it began to feel like I was hiding out of shame. It isn’t my shame to own. I do try to keep my identity disguised, but I am aware that if someone knew me well enough, they would be able to identify the writer as me. On the other hand, most of the people who know me that well also know about the blog.

    I made the decision to not only tell my T about the blog, but also to give her the address to it. I don’t ask her to read what I have written, but I have found that things that I have written about show up in what she says to me. At first I was really nervous about doing this, but I have actually found it to be something of benefit to me. Even though I tend to write a lot to her by e-mail, I write in more detail in my blog, and she really comes to understand what is important to me through reading what I have written.

    I have spoken with her about the difference between truth and Truth. Sometimes things will appear in what I have written in a way that isn’t exactly how it was said or how it happened, but it serves to help support conveying a greater Truth that I want to share. Saying this helped me to feel less worried about getting the details down 100% accurately.

    The only people I think might be harmed from stumbling across it are my parents. The chances of their looking at a blog, never mind a blog about sexual abuse are astronomically small, thank goodness!

    Good for you for paying more attention to the positive things that the blog gives to you, rather than your fears. It takes a lot of courage to do so!

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks for sharing your experience Cat. Interesting. Personally I like the freedom of not worrying about my T reading what I write, even though he knows all about this stuff anyway. Interesting you find it helps your therapy to share. I have found myself, that sometimes emails I write to the T can cause misunderstandings, though often they are very helpful. So I think sharing blog posts would be even worse for me.

      Good point about truth….Thanks a lot for taking the time to share this with me.

  5. Ruth said:

    When I started my blog I sent the link to my counselor and discussed it with him. He told me to be careful to not get overwhelmed. He was right, sometimes feedback and the stories I hear from the heart break of others is sad. But I learned that the benefits out weight the difficulties. I enjoy how your share your journey. I remember well the struggles of the first few years of counseling. I hope what I share encourages you. I some times worry when I write a comment that you might be offended. On my own blog some of the blogs where I share when I messed up are some of the most frequently read. I decided that sharing the rough days along with the smooth ones let other people know that everyone has rough days and that’s just part of living.

    • Ellen said:

      Hi Ruth, I feel the same about blogging – sometimes other people’s pain does make me feel bad, but the benefits outweigh the costs.

      I have never been offended about anything you have said to me, very strange that you might think so. You are very gentle, plus you tend to draw on your own experience, which is very helpful. I get an awful lot out of your point of view!

      Thanks

      • Ruth said:

        I appreciate knowing that. You are amazing.

  6. I like the idea of little “t” truth versus big “T” truth… that is very valuable to me. Thank you, Cat’s Meow. I wonder if this is causing some current stress because you are unhappy with how therapy is going, and doubting Ron’s abilities to work with your parts, yet seem to have (so far) been unable to completely communicate this to him, at least to your satisfaction. So maybe this is a sign that what you are feeling in your heart (and in your writing) and what you are saying to him are so far apart.

    • Ellen said:

      Could be Catherine. He gets a particular look on his face when I mention the blog, so that spooks me a bit. Could he have seen it? I’ll maybe ask him about that next time. Cheers

  7. Harriet said:

    I blogged about my therapy, and my life, for almost 4 years now, and it had its pros and cons. It was mostly helpful to have people read it and give me feedback, but some people were argumentative and made me feel bad. I also gave my t the link to my blog and that didn’t work out very well. He doesn’t read it, unless he is doing it in a way that doesn’t show up in my stats. For a while I got paranoid and password protected the blog for fear someone I know in real life would find it, no one knows about it except the people I’ve met through the blog and I’ve only met a couple of them in real life. Also no one in real life knows about what I was going through while I have been in therapy. Eventually I had to cut way back on writing because it was preventing me from talking in therapy, it was like I processed everything through the blog and then had nothing to do in therapy. Looking back now, I see that as a sign that something was wrong with my therapy. As for Ron, I don’t think you have ever said anything bad about him, you just express your feelings. I have never gotten the impression that anything you’ve written about him was negative.

    • Ellen said:

      Some comments have disturbed me also at times. I know you took exception to one I made on your blog Harriet. I find people are coming from such different places – it is difficult sometimes to be sure I am not impinging. But I think either you simply offer encouragement, “hugs”, and leave it at that, or you risk saying what you really think. It can be a dilemma. Lately I simply no longer comment if I think the person is off on a path that I don’t share. As I’m sure is the case with my blog also.

      I hope you return to blogging about therapy because I was interested – but only if it’s helpful for you.

      I’m glad you don’t get the impression I’m negative about Ron. I’m not, but we do have our ups and downs for sure.

      Thanks for commenting!

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