It’s been 3 years and honestly, I forgot about this blog. It helped me sort through some issues when I was in university regarding family and angst thereabout, serving as an anonymous medium to send my thoughts out into the ether. For a little while, it served excellently and I was happy as can be. But then, my mother got a hold of the blog (she was as supportive as I was embarrassed, which is to say extremely), and I was Freshly Pressed and suddenly we had some major traffic. Which was wicked cool! Don’t get me wrong – I was encouraged and it was all very exciting. But then, an acquaintance (in real life, mind you) asked if I had written that crazy piece on Freshly Pressed about deeply personal issues no one would want an acquaintance to know because it sounded like me? Ya. I dropped this blog like a hot sack of potatoes, went on with life and promptly forgot allllll about it. The things you leave behind, right?
And then, time went by… I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with some really fantastic organizations. I work internationally, primarily with INGOs and NFPs (development sector). I’m about to embark on a new job in a new country, about which I’m utterly thrilled and anxious (another new language to learn, oh my).
Which brings us to today
I was sorting through some personal emails when I clicked on ‘spam’ for the first time in a while and low and behold – WORDPRESS COMMENTS. From just last week. I could not believe this site still has traffic, and people are responding to my words. It was like a time capsule opened and had grown this dynamic ecosystem in years of isolation. I was shocked.
Well, I needed to approve the two I saw for sure. Both were emotional. One empathized with a post. The other sharply condemned a post. But both posters shared opinions and stories that I felt deserved to be visible on the page. They were important perspectives, and I wanted to sign on and approve them.
I didn’t even have my password anymore. I had to get a new one and go through the admin troubles. Finally, I signed on and found the page with comments and WOAH. I signed in to find a backlog of comments needing approval spanning 3 years and lots of stories. Obviously, a few of my posts touched some nerves.
I’m not going to respond to each one individually – that would take serious time. There were primarily two categories of comments, so I will respond in bulk to each type of poster.
On the one hand, there were people who stumbled on the blog and related to posts about me writing to my father in deeply personal ways, and were generous enough to share their own stories. To you, I say thank you. It’s been 3 years of reconciliation and I will post a follow up, as many of you asked for it. But even now, very much at peace with my situation, I was deeply moved by your words of compassion, empathy and encouragement. Thank you, and I hope you are all doing well now. Keep writing. Keep sharing. It is therapeutic.
And then the other hand. As I reread one post, three years older (and hopefully wiser), I will admit to some cringing. I remember writing it late at night, feeling upset and confused, and quite confident very few people would ever read it. Please keep in mind, I HAVE NOT and WILL NOT share all the details about my family situation. There are a lot of complications that still greatly upset me and I can’t write down. So, picture me in a dormroom with a lot of mixed emotions and full confidence it could never come back to bite me (youthful folly), writing this. And it got Freshly Pressed. So, lots of people read it. And while some people responded empathetically, many didn’t. You can read the comments to get an idea (I’ve approved them all, except obvious spam). To those who commented critically, I say thank you for sharing and putting the situation in a different perspective. I could try and explain by saying it was hyperbole, or that I didn’t mean it literally, or that I unintentionally used offensive examples in explaining a fair feeling, or that my feelings were real but not fair, or that they were real and fair… the list could go on. In truth, looking back, I don’t think it’s as simple as any one of those explanations. It was a mix. Nothing is simple right? There’s a grain of truth in everything, and I think that grain was present when I wrote that post. Looking back three years later, I understand why it upset people. And I’m sorry to have misrepresented or belittled any experiences. That was not my intention, and I am grateful you responded to call out what needed calling.
In any case, I’m back online. And maybe not for too long. Maybe not regularly. But, maybe here and there I’ll put up a post or two. No promises. But, I will continue approving comments. Because a lot of people put a lot of themselves into these comments, and they deserve visibility.
Thanks for following.
p.s. Probably won’t do pictures anymore… Too much effort.