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On Privacy and Vulnerability


posted by Susan Dominikovich on , ,

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I am acutely aware of how much I have not posted lately.  By that I mean there's been plenty to post and plenty which hasn't seen the light of day.  So I am writing today and my plan is to be vulnerable about why I am being so private.

A conundrum.  A catch 22.  A paradox. I am not a Doctor Who fan for nothing you know.

The crux of the situation is that for most of my blogging past, I have written knowing that anyone could read it.  And that was okay because I would never really know who my readers are and I wasn't actually writing to be read in the first place.  Quite simply, I have always written because the words needed to be expressed.

If you're a writer, you'll know what I mean.  The words that start to form themselves somewhere in your heart and begin to swell and well up so that by the time they get to your head they have already found ways to escape through your fingertips.  Whether anyone actually reads the words is secondary.

Since my last post I have had those welling up of words experiences but I have held on to them.  I have refused to let them escape.

Some bloggers whom I follow and admire have written on this.  They have written about the right and in fact responsibility to keep some things sacred, especially when it involves family members.  That made me think about myself and my natural instinct which is to let it all out anyway.  If you want a definition of "wears her heart on her sleeve" follow me around for a day.  Honestly, if you meet me for the first time and we have coffee, you'll probably hear MY LIFE STORY in a nutshell.  If we meet again, you'll get the expanded version.  But we probably won't meet again because my intense vulnerability can be a little off-putting.  Just a little.  Okay, a lot.  But I get this now.  Twenty years as a Canadian living in New Zealand (where the people are a tiny bit reserved) and I finally get this.

So now it will be at last our third coffee together before I start to embark on MY LIFE STORY.  That's a promise.

But as far as blogging, I struggle to know where the line is between being vulnerable and keeping things private.

You see I have a friend who went on a very dark journey and she took her Facebook friends on that journey with her.  Oh it hurt.  It was crushing but I was glad to have felt even a fraction of what she went through.  Glad to think that I was walking the journey with her alongside so many others.  Glad for her sake that she was not alone, not for one second.  I admired her vulnerability and I championed her for it.

But am not sure I could do the same.

I love that you anonymous people come back to this place and I know without hearing that the words on these pages can inspire, encourage, motivate, challenge or even just make you laugh.  

The problem is, you're not all anonymous anymore.  The problem is someone reads this, not to be inspired, encouraged, motivated or challenged;  someone reads this with the intention to hurt me.  

So quite naturally, I do not want that person to know anything about me.  Nothing at all. Nada.  My vulnerability has been exploited and I have been violated.  I guess it's a bit like having your house broken into.  And discovering they've gone through your drawers.  

Ew.

Until that moment you were quite trusting and often went out without even shutting the doors. Now it's lock-down.  Keypad entry.  Alarms wired.  Because now you know for sure there are some very ugly people out there.

Someone ugly has gone through my drawers.  And I am in lock-down.

That is the risk we take when we blog and write.  We put ourselves out there.  But I am working through it at the moment, to decide whether or not I can ignore the invasion and carry on, or do I in fact need to find a different way.

Please be patient as I figure this out.

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