I have a question: At what point do the stories of my past stop being my stories to tell, simply because they feature someone else in a less-than-perfect light? (Which, by the way, is the light that all of us live in - we are all perfect in our imperfection). When do I have to stop telling my tale to placate someone else? When does it become their story and not mine? These are honest questions, and said with true concern, because I really do want to know where the boundaries lie. It is very easy to hurt other people when you're writing about your past (or present, for that matter). It is very easy to write something you think is innocent, honest and open and have someone else take offence. I've done it several times now (never, ever with malicious intent). And I'm starting to wonder if the friction it is causing in a couple of my personal relationships is worth the outlet that I have here.
A blog is a public forum. It is a place where anyone in the world can end up and read what you have written - not that very many people in the world actually read this blog, but people from all over the globe have stumbled upon it and read it. It is perceived as a public space ... whether it is a particularly popular blog or not.
I envisioned this blog as a place where like-minded people would see themselves in my stories. A place where people would see that we all have similar issues and that anything from my daily life to my struggles with my past would be familiar and comforting. And it has been very gratifying to me to get positive feedback from many of you and to have as many readers as I do. But in some ways it has simply brought up feelings that cause others pain. (Even in writing this post I am changing my words and censoring myself to try and prevent hurting anyone).
So where is the line? Do I censor myself to spare feelings (well, I already do that, but I haven't been doing it to others' standards), do I jeopardize relationships to try and spread understanding and speak my truth, or do I continue to walk the tight-rope in between the two and sometimes fall off either side - either by hurting someone's feelings or not telling the story the way I think it should be told? Or do I drop the blog altogether so as to spare any further hurt?
And that brings another question to the fore: How much responsibility do I need to take for how other people feel when I speak the truth (at least my side of it)?
I have rules now, imposed on me. I have people I cannot mention. This is odd to me, because I really do feel the truth will set you free, but I'm willing to do it to spare feelings (plus, some people don't want to be free). Thing is ... I really didn't think I said anything that was unfair, untrue, or even at all damning. I was just telling my truth ... but I guess it isn't really mine to tell after all, at least not the way I want to.