Jealousy, honesty and the dark side of blogging

sleeping_with_the_enemy

I was raised by a narcissist just like the guy in Sleeping with the Enemy. That time of my life probably didn’t help, but fuck it. What one of us didn’t have some sort of childhood drama that screwed us up in some way?

I give myself exactly thirty minutes to say this. Then I publish. Screw it.

I woke up thinking a lot about stuff, as I tend to do these days. I’m a thinker. No – I’m an over-thinker. I think until I drive myself crazy, and then I think some more. My mother said she could tell I was a little philosopher from the time I could form words.

It’s all good to be a deep thinker, but when you don’t have the confidence to just say what’s on your mind, it can get pretty irritating to be in your own skin.

I stopped working at the end of last year. I’ve been working my ass off for the last several years, and I welcomed this time as a hiatus and a time to switch gears. I thought blogging would be a nice thing to do during this time, but as it turns out, not having to dress up and put makeup on has left me hanging out in the darker corners of my mind.

I never really knew I could be a jealous person until I started blogging. I read funny bloggers – and I know I’m not funny in writing. I read honest bloggers – and I can’t seem to summon the courage they have to tell you how I really feel. I read bloggers that are sweet and have a pure life comparatively, and I know that I’m sweet too, but that I’ve also struggled with a fair amount of shit, and that’s the part of me that wants to come forth. I had a rocky childhood, and I’ve struggled with sadness for a very long time. In fact, I don’t really remember a time that I wasn’t just struggling with myself. I’m leery of whining about things in the past. I always told myself that it’s useless, and in a way, I think it is.

I had some time on my hands yesterday, as the unemployed do, and I got caught up in JennaMarblesΒ videos. Girl is hilarious. People love her because she’s no one but herself. She’s also managed to not become a caricature of herself after becoming famous, and that is a quality I truly admire. I think most people can’t handle fame. They can’t handle all the hangers on, and they implode. They create a situation, whether consciously or unconsciously, that destroys everything they’ve built for themselves. They come crashing back down to that same person they were before they were famous, and it’s often a very needy person – a person that thrives off the attention and validation of others.

So, I started this blog to shed the very hard, crusty happy-person shell that inhibits me from feeling truly free. All those people that talk of anxiety…they often don’t say why. Some think it’s a chemical condition, but I would venture to say it’s because we’re taught to not trust ourselves. We’re taught to not say this and act that way – all for approval from other people and outdated institutions.

I’m so TIRED of seeking approval from others. I really didn’t think I was these past few years, but I am. I’m still trying to make everyone around me happy, and then I get the bright idea of trying to get approval online with people who don’t even know me. They don’t know my laugh, my smile, or my ability to listen and help others see the beauty in themselves. I try to reveal myself through words, but I’m not always good at it. It’s because I’m afraid, people. I’m so darned afraid of what you’ll think of me.

I felt the need to write this blog within thirty minutes, without big or funny words, because I’m the person that sits there until three in the morning editing my shit. It’s crazy – who am I doing it for?

I do love writing and blogging, but something has got to shift, or I need to stop doing it. My favorite blogger to date is Opinionated Man. He’s unassuming, he’s smart, and he blogs just as it comes to him. That’s what I want to do. I want it to come from a real source. Not my ego that thinks things to death and whispers doubt into my heart.

I’ve just hit my 100th post. I don’t have a ton of followers, and I don’t promote myself at all. I don’t Twitter, I don’t have a Facebook page, and most of my friends and family don’t even know I blog. The next posts are going to be how I really, REALLY feel. And some of them will probably will still be tried and trite, admittedly.

Blogging for me was a way to break out. It still is. I was good for awhile, but then real people with thinking minds started following me. And I cowered.

No more.

To all of you following me, thanks for reading my rant. Perhaps you see yourself in this, and perhaps you don’t. Either way, it’s ok.

Ok, I’m within my time frame.

Publish.

37 comments

  1. Mmmmm, vulnerability and strength. I approve : )
    and i definitely see some of myself in what you write. Thank you for the opening.

  2. I enjoyed reading about how you feel. Interestingly OM has had a lot of issues with jealous bloggers of late. It’s sort of ironic that your favourite blogger is one who is most often challenged by people who cannot handle his success, and he also has bouts of semi-breakdowns due to this problem. He is a blogger I enjoy following also. And well done on making it within time.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed reading this, Conrad. Yeah I’m not surprised OM deals with jealous bloggers..I just like that no matter what, he keeps it real. Thank you for acknowledging me beating my time, btw! It’s an accomplishment. πŸ˜‰

  3. I would venture that your need to seek the approval of others may (not being an expert) be a manifestation of an unconscious desire to win approval from your narcissistic father. Early childhood influences can be far more profound that we realize.

    I would have to say that this was a refreshingly courageous post. If you can forgive my mischievous sense of humour, I approve. };-)>

    Candid introspection can be daunting, and we all have a capacity to self-deceive to some extent, but at the same time it can be so liberating. Cower no more.

    ❀

    • I’m sure your theory is not far from the truth. Thankfully I was five when I met him, so the early years were protected. It may also be due to the fact that my generation was told they could do anything if they just put their mind to it. That can drive a person crazy, always striving for something more and thinking they need to be somehow special. It’s kind of a waste of life.

      Candid introspection is daunting because I ask myself why I would do it instead of just journaling. Things is, there’s value in sharing here. People are exchanging stories about their most insecure and often most embarrassing moments. It’s cathartic, it’s kind of like sitting around a campfire, and it’s serving a need that we lost to industrialization: community. Our culture sorely misses community.

  4. webpatser

    For some strange reason, reading this post backwards (per alinea) I better understand what you are trying to say πŸ™‚

    • Hmm…maybe because I thought spontaneously as I wrote, and I reached the realization at the end, just as you did. It wasn’t a planned post.

  5. I can’t think of anything remotely profound to say… But I would love to get to know the real you.

  6. I love this post. It’s real, unassuming, raw, honest, vulnerable and incredibly direct. Your points are poignant and I have no doubt they resonate with most who read them. Take it easy on yourself. Blog for yourself, and the rest will happen naturally. Rock on sister.

    • I really appreciate your encouragement, Tracy. I do need to chill when approaching it all…why we feel the need to mentally torture ourselves is still a mystery to me…and sometimes an entertaining one, I’ll admit! Thanks for reading. πŸ™‚

    • I wish I’d waited until Tracy had commented. Now that’s profound… And like she said Jami, just keep doing you.

      • Tracy does have a way with profound. πŸ™‚ Thanks again for your encouragement Sean, and I will break out of this fear with some perseverance. I found your last piece to be inspirational for that exact reason, btw.

    • What Tracy said. I personally love when bloggers break down the fourth wall, as you’ve done here. It’s so enticing to know I’m not alone in my strange obsessions. I’m excited to see what you write next! (But NO pressure.) πŸ˜‰

      • Thanks for that, Jennie. It’s been shockingly therapeutic to read about other people’s experiences, and I feel happy that you identify with some of the things I mentioned (even if it is over our crazy obsessions ;)). I feel fortunate to have come across such an open group of writers, and you’re all great entertainers, too. To me, story telling is one of the greatest arts.

  7. I saw myself in this post… lol πŸ˜‰ Oh you meant… ok I get it. πŸ™‚

  8. You don’t need my approval, but you have it anyway.

  9. Pingback: Can bloggers develop real friendships? | Evolution

  10. Great post. Love the way you over think – because it provides comfort to myself… knowing that I am not the only one (one of the things I really do love about reading through others writing)..

    I also really enjoy OM’s writing and have followed him since almost the beginning of his writing here on WordPress. We disagree on most things, though despite his big head I almost always win any perceived arguments… lol I mean.. *coughs coughs* discussions!

    Of course it helps, that us women are always right! (even when we change our minds and stuff)

    It’s great that you have come to a place where you are attempting to write without fear of what others will think.

    I too tend to go through and edit to try and make bloggies perfect, though that is generally more due to an OCD thing that anything else. I feel anxious when things are not organised in a certain way.. I;ve got so much stuff in my posts that makes me look like an idiot I’m kind of passed it now.. lol

    Surprisingly people still comment and engage with me, which i feel pretty blessed to have! The same will happen for you…. those who cannot accept that we are all different with differences of opinion are probably not the ones you wanna be hanging out with anyway, right?

    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    ML
    x

  11. Oh hell yes I over think. I also enjoy over thinking about over thinking! It’s quite a pleasant past time, I can really recommend.

    OM – yeah I like reading him, too because he just releases it all right there on the page. It’s refreshing to me. I like the edit the living daylights out of things…but I’m getting better. Progress.

    I appreciate you acknowledging that it took a little courage to write about my fear…because fear is kind of a biggie in my life, and it’s a priority to release myself of that. Certain people reading this would snort and say haha she said that years ago, but I’m not going to lie and say I had some sort of cathartic release. It took years to build up, so it’s not going away overnight. And I sometimes feel like an idiot too when I post a lot…but aaah fuck it, right? What’s the worst that could happen.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, ML! It’s pretty cool to be supported when you bare your soul a little online. πŸ˜‰

  12. Great read! I wanted to touch only on the part where you mention you coward after people started following….You’re honesty is what captured us. So don’t cower. There is not enough honesty in the world if you ask me. We all have fears, facing them is what sets you on track for greatness. don’t worry about what people think that’s what makes blogging so great, you never have to see us. πŸ™‚ I think I only have maybe 2 followers lol but I know a lot more people are reading. Be YOU and speak openly. I think you may surprise yourself.

    • I say this to your comment: you are an angel. Thank you for your encouragement to be myself! I was scared to post this blog, but it’s been worth it. Thanks for the follow, too! Let us rise up with our imperfect selves, honestly baring our souls to the world…or at least to the world of WordPress! πŸ™‚

      • It’s still a world of some sort right? lol it’s hard to put yourself out there. So, “high five!” and thanks for the follow πŸ˜‰ I like imperfect and tainted, makes for the most amazing stories lol

  13. Meghan B

    Oh man, I can’t even tell you how much time I’ve spent reading other blogs, perusing other websites, videos, pin boards, etc. and thinking, damn, why didn’t I do THAT instead?! So easy. Also…kind of pointless. So I totally relate to this. Oh, and I’m a bit of a Twitterphobe myself, and it’s probably going to stay that way. Thanks for opening up and sharing this!

    • I’m so glad you were able to identify with this, even if for something we may not enjoy. I just read the little book Steal Like an Artist, and maybe you would enjoy it, too. It reminded me that we are always influencing each other, and as artists, we get our inspiration from all around us, including other artists.

      Thanks so much for reading Meghan!

  14. So I wonder has your blogging changed since you made this post? πŸ™‚

    • Hey OM – Yes it has, quite drastically actually. The fear is much less, although it does still crop up (deeply rooted, after all). Odd that you comment today, as last night I took down a couple of posts about very personal dreams I had, not because of other bloggers, but because they were insensitive to real people in my life (who read my blog). I didn’t think about how it may affect them that until I really put myself in their shoes. I’ve only had one other post I made private after posting (which again was just too personal for me to handle in the end).

      I am still working to find my true voice. I realize that the journey of doing so is the whole point.

      Thanks for asking. πŸ™‚

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