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The reason I’ve been silent.

February 26, 2010

Last week, STBEH called me and asked me if I had written anything about him on my blog recently, because one of my friends e-mailed him some kind words about the divorce. He wouldn’t give me any specifics about the friend or the words, except that I “just don’t get it,” and, boy, it really must be difficult for him, putting up with me. Something like that.

I supposed it was my previous entry that did it, so I e-mailed it to him, saying maybe that was it, and I was sorry, but I didn’t think I maligned him in any way, I was just being honest.

And of course he was mad. And we had the same argument about my writing that we’ve had a million times: it hurts him that I write about him, but I feel that my experiences are my own to write about, and he’s a pretty big part of those these last few years, the most formative years of my life, and so I inevitably end up writing about him. I feel pretty confidently that as long as I’m honest and try to keep from saying anything especially nasty about him, I should be able to continue to write about him. But he’s a rather private person, and he dislikes details of his life being broadcast on the internet.Which, honestly, is pretty understandable.

But why he ever married an aspiring writer is completely beyond me. Maybe he thought everything in our marriage would only go well, and I’d say only the utmost loving things about him, whenever I did write about him or our marriage, which, hopefully, since I love him and respect him, wouldn’t be that often.

Obviously that’s not how it worked out. To our chagrin.

I ended up telling him I’d just never write about him again on my blog. And then I spent the next while simply not writing at all. One of my least favorite things in the world is ignorance, and I’m keenly aware that when I write I can’t help but reveal my ignorance. I don’t know everything. I never will. And if I wait until I do to write, I’ll never write. No one ever would write. It takes courage to write in the face of these things, and incredible vulnerability, and sometimes someone comes along and sticks an arrow right in the middle of that vulnerability, and it hurts. Bad. It takes a while to recover from that.

But the fact that it’s a friend of mine who called me out on my ignorance, and not even to my face, but to my ex-husband, in an attempt to commiserate about what a pill I am. That hurt even more. And the worst part is that I don’t even know who the friend is. He wouldn’t tell me. So now I suspect everyone. I’m hurt by everyone.

I’m not sure what it is that pisses people off the most about my story. That I had an affair? That I felt it was okay to divorce my husband because I feel he doesn’t love me the way I deserve to be loved even after I told him about the affair and he still wanted to be married to me? That I refuse to look at the whole situation with an incapacitating amount of regret or guilt? That I still find beauty in my terrible, reprehensible actions? That I’m willing to share that beauty with others even though they may only see the terrible reprehensibility of my actions?

A couple of days ago, a good friend of mine posted a video of one of my (our) favorite writers chatting about writing. I saw said writer at a reading a few years ago, where I told her that what I love best about her writing is her honesty, and how does she do it? She told me then that it’s really not in anyone’s best interest that I become a writer, and it is tricky, figuring out how to write about the characters in our lives. And that most often I just have to go with my gut. And also maybe let the people in my life read what I write about them before I publish it. But I don’t have to. It just depends, really.

In this video she spends a lot of time discussing this same question. And she says something that has inspired me to once again put words down and share them with people, regardless of if they think I’m incredibly ignorant, or selfish, or stupid, or silly, or frivolous, or any of the terrible things I sometimes think about myself, the things that I hope to God no one ever thinks of me. But they still do.

She said, “I need to tell the truth as it’s come through me.”

This is my truth. I’m sorry if it offends you, or bothers you, or makes you uncomfortable. I’m still learning. I, hopefully, will always be learning. But these are the things I know right now. It’s not much, but it’s something. And it’s mine.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2010 2:33 pm

    Here’s what I wish more people would understand about blogging: it’s not actually the truth. It’s the truth through the author’s eyes. The people that we, as readers, meet, are not real – they are caricatures of themselves. The author, too, isn’t even real. The author let’s you see the parts of him/herself that they want you too, and don’t let you see the other stuff.

    Everything is based in reality and truth, but falls short.

    And that’s OK.

    Really. The person who thinks that blogs are True is ignorant at best.

    Hurt feelings be damned, you’re allowed to express yourself. As long as you’re trying to not offend people, you’re trying not to hurt them, that’s good enough for me. And it’s good enough for most of your readers, I promise.

    This is coming from someone who’s been blogging for more than six years, and I’ve had my fair share of people misunderstanding what I’ve said, or reading between the lines (or, oh my goodness, the boy from high school who I had a huge crush on found me talking about it and I nearly died). People (readers) need to get over themselves. Blogging is about you (the author), not them. In blogging, the world revolves around YOU. Embrace it.

    And please keep writing, even if you move the blog or hide it or go completely underground and journal with a pen and paper – you owe it to yourself to work out in words what you’re experiencing, thinking, feeling, changing. (Aspiring author that you are, I doubt you’ll ever stop writing. Anyone who tries to get you to stop does not have your best interests in mind.)

    That was supposed to be a lot of love, my comments, and not a rant. Big hugs, that’s what I was going for (and maybe a punch in the nose for anonymous friends).

  2. carl permalink
    February 26, 2010 3:00 pm

    Great post! Keep writing. There is somewhat of a cleansing that comes from writing the truth.

  3. February 26, 2010 4:57 pm

    I’m glad you are writing

  4. February 26, 2010 5:12 pm

    i can’t stand ignorance either. it grates on me and i’m always nervous i will look or sound ignorant in some way. and for the record, i have never thought of or viewed you as ignorant. not ever.

    i wonder if STBEH simply thought that after marriage you would change into someone he hoped you would be. from where i sit, so far away, that’s what it appears to be.

    my friend sent me this quote earlier this week, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway

    don’t stop writing, and don’t apologize for your writing. it belongs to you and it’s your truth. and it’s beautiful.

  5. February 26, 2010 6:11 pm

    Keep writing, and hopefully your friend will come forward so you guys can talk it through. I know that feeling of suspecting everyone and it sucks.

  6. February 26, 2010 6:46 pm

    I just love that you keep writing. You have to; it’s who you are. You’ll never know it all, and you never claim to. I admire that you acknowledge that fact and that you write about the process of your evolution as a person.

    And for the record, I don’t think you’ve ever said anything particularly bad about STBEH. I think you’ve given us a pretty balanced view of your relationship.

  7. February 27, 2010 3:31 pm

    for whatever its worth, I think you have been very respectful of your ex on this blog, you only talk about him in regards to yourself, never mean spirited or sharing any information other than how it directly relates to your world.

    please don’t stop writing, and never apologize for your writing. You are a wonderful writer and this blog belongs to you and it’s your version of your life and as readers we understand that. and your life is beautiful, and we are lucky that you share 🙂

  8. February 28, 2010 7:22 pm

    From where I sit, it seems that you’re consistently harder on yourself than you are on STBEH.

    I’m jealous of your bravery. I’ve been wrestling for a while with some swirling thoughts that until now I’ve avoided writing down. Your post inspired me to give it a go. We’ll see what happens. Worst case – the swirling goes away.

  9. MrX permalink
    March 5, 2010 10:53 am

    Put yourself in his shoes. What if he had a blog and wrote about you and what you did all the time? What if he thought “but I didn’t think I maligned her in any way, I was just being honest.”

    You might be upset. You even wrote that, “he’s a rather private person, and he dislikes details of his life being broadcast on the internet.Which, honestly, is pretty understandable.”

    Maybe by not writing about him and respecting his right to privacy, it will help give him back the dignity that he lost when your marriage fell apart.

    No one is asking you to lie or to stop writing about how you feel, but you’re more than the sum of your past.

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