People often ask me, why do you blog? People often dismiss blogging as self-centered, or just an attempt to grab attention. People sometimes say that my blogs are written to please others, not to help myself. Some people even say that my blogs aren’t true. So, today, I want to set the record straight. And to those who sneer and judge, I never intended to change your mind, but it’s sad that you have read so much about me and cared so little. But I accept that, and refuse to be concerned about it, because I’ve learned, through all my struggles, that I can’t please everyone, and sometimes I can’t even please anyone, but ultimately I need to stop trying, because all those efforts to please others only cut away at my own self image, my own self satisfaction. In fact, what I was being asked to believe was that my life and my story was not worth the attention of others, that the abuse I suffered was my own problem, and my own fault, not theirs. That the tears I shed should be shed in silence, not openly. That I should feel shame and contempt for myself, and let myself be judged, and sacrifice myself to the opinions of others.
I don’t keep a public blog just so I can be publicly shamed. I don’t share my story just to grab attention. I don’t post to Facebook so that my friends can show sympathy for my plight.
I post because I’ve been hurt, and telling my story helps relieve my suffering. Opening myself up feels good after years of repression. Making my fears public makes me feel more capable of saving those fears. I don’t write for others, I wrote for myself. But I’m glad to share it with others. Some of my friends need to know that I didn’t abandon them, I abandoned myself. My family needs to know that I kill myself not because of my childhood and upbringing, but rather despite their care and love, that my wounds happened despite their best efforts, and that my desire to kill myself is not rooted in them, but in me. I write as a public apology to all those I’ve harmed while harming myself, to all those I’ve left behind while centering on my own selfish concerns and habits, to all those that have wondered how their friend could so suddenly take a turn and disappear without warning, without sadness, without looking back. It wasn’t you, it was me. Trite as it may sound, trite as it may be, I mean it from the bottom of my heart. I’ve never stopped loving those I’ve encountered, those who I’ve been proud to call my friends, those who have stood by my side, and, yes, even those who abandoned me, bewildered at who and what I became, fearful for their own selves and reputations. I don’t blame you for leaving me behind while you rose up and claimed your lives, earned your degrees and became successful and important. I blame me. I would not ever have wanted to stand in your way or hold you back. I’m so proud of all of you for pursuing your passions, for excelling in your studies and for making a name for yourselves in life, leaving an indelible mark in history declaring that you stood there, that you became a better person and that now you are bettering and even saving others through the virtue of your actions. I am so proud of what you’ve become. I hope that I played some small part in your success, and, even if not, I hope that someday, in some way, I can contribute to your success and help propel you forward. Your accomplishments are a shining beacon of hope to me every day, a tale of redemption and proof that glory exists and is not just visible, but achievable. And whether I ever achieve what you have accomplished, whether I ever become who I initially set out to be, it doesn’t matter, I’m simply proud of you and happy for you and wish you all the best in your careers and your lives.
So, no, I’m not writing to gain your sympathy. I’m not writing to ask for your help. I’m not writing so I can become a charity case. I’m writing because it helps me heal, I’m writing to gain (back) your respect and, whether or not that ever occurs, I’m writing to show you, and show myself, that out of all my difficulties and tragedies, I too am human, I too have learned from my many mistakes and I too will someday, somehow, in some way succeed. I’m writing to regain my life. I’m writing so I can have a better tomorrow. And I’m writing so that just maybe, just possibly, that in some small way, measurable or not, I can show someone else that not only have I stood in their shoes, not only have I suffered like them, not only are they not alone, but despite all my sufferings, despite all their sufferings, I have hope in my heart that my life will not be one of suffering but rather that joy exists, is tangible and is achievable, no matter where we come from or who we are.
I’m writing, ultimately, not for an audience, though I’m happy you’re here, I’m writing not to gain sympathy, though your kind words do help, and I’m writing not to ask for help, although an outstretched hand is always welcome; I’m writing because it helps me heal, it helps me recall the tragedies I’ve encountered, it helps me to face my past and my fears and it helps me to write it down, to put in print what has for so long only been nightmarish memories, and to force the recollection to reveal itself so I can close the curtain on it, for what I hope is for once and all.
And I think, to an extent, I’ve achieved what I set out to accomplish. I’ll keep writing, because there’s always more to be told, because every day is a new day, with fresh hopes and fresh challenges and because my mind requires the structure and organization of typed sentences and phrases and paragraphs and poems. I’ll keep writing because I know that someone out there, someone I’m sure I don’t even know, is reading this blog, is seeing themselves in my stories and is helped and given hope by my continued survival.
So sneer all you want. Perhaps I’m writing because I’m self-centered. But that’s exactly why I write. This blog is for me. I encourage you to look through the peepholes and see what you might find, but I’m not writing for your pleasure, satisfaction or commendation. I’m writing because I feel better when I do. Slowly but surely I can release the memories from my mind and move on in life, freed from the burdens of the past.
So, thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope you will accept my apologies, I hope you may learn why events happened the way they did, and I hope that you, one of you, will see that your struggles match my struggles, that there’s no need to go it alone, and that you have a friend in me whenever you need to talk. No matter what, I know I’ve changed my life, and that’s good enough for me.