Saturday, 15 January 2011

It's what's inside that counts

It's not the skin, it's the 'nana.
I've written this post so many times in my head now. It basically comes down to the fact that in trying to protect people, myself included, I have hurt myself and apparently hurt them too. 

Shame is also involved though. Big fat shame. My own shame. Shame that started off as a response to being cheated on two years ago, then warped into shame at my own emotional response to being cheated on, then ended up as shame again in response to a conversation I was never meant to hear and which marked the end of my marriage. 
Divorce Cakes a_005
Public vs Private is another element. My marriage ended on 1st October so my life now is not very similar to what it was on, say 30th September. I have been using twitter for maybe a year. I've been blogging for about six. And while my blog started off as almost a personal diary it changed and become more private after I got married. Except of course now I am not really married. Except I am legally, just not practically. I am meeting new people and doing different things, but Pooch is through his own choice still reading this blog and my tweets. And so while what happened and what has happened since is something I want to refer to he's not comfortable with that and thinks it should be kept private. 
Can you be private when the juice is sweet And the secret is crimson?
This week has really been one hell of a week. The kind of week you just don't want to have too often. Work pressures, an argument with Pooch, all underpinned by PMT such as you get let off murder charges for. And one of the things that made it worse was my mistaken efforts at shielding others from the truth crumbling in a quite spectacular fashion. If I had just been honest about the reasons for my marriage breakdown then I wouldn't have had the stress of it all coming out recently, and wouldn't have felt the isolation I have felt by keeping things from people, even though I realise this was self-imposed. 

So what should I do? This is my blog and I'm starting a new life which is, I assume, going to involve dating and the rest. Last night I went to a friend's house for dinner. It was a low key chill out thing for both of us since he works long hours and socialises hard during the week and I was just burnt out after the week described above. 
This friend and I had a few rebound type encounters in December but we were both clear that it was just one of those things and so that side of things is over. Pooch knows this but he does not like any mention of this friend. But if I spend time with someone and something that I want to blog about happens, how much should I consider Pooch's feelings and not make any reference to it online (which seems to include not tweeting at them) and how much should I just get on with it? 

Pooch is not going to be happy about me putting this much online, but I am increasingly feeling like I'm approaching a point where I might want to try out dating. I'm not there yet, but I think in another month or so I will be. And I don't need the stress of living a double life and trying to remember what I've told to who. So...this is it. Stage 1 of this whole process was when I moved out and was in a state of shock where eating and sleeping went haywire and I just couldn't believe what was happening. Stage 2 was when I accepted that the marriage was really over and started making serious plans for the future. Stage 3 is now. I am single and I'll be blogging as a single person from now on. That doesn't necessarily mean the content of this blog will change at all, but it does mean I'm not going to censor myself from now on.
I won't be doing it with the intention of hurting anyone, or scoring points or getting revenge. I'll just be doing what I've always done - which is blogging (and tweeting) about my life.


KnittyLynn said...

My first marriage ended in divorce. It's horrible. It does feel like such a public failure. But what is weird when you stop and think about someone else's divorce, you don't think of it as a 'failure' so much as one of those things that happens. Try not to be too tough on yourself.

As for blog content, everyone has a choice to either read or not read your blog/tweets. It's a CHOICE. You alone can choose what your want to blog/tweet about.

Hang in there.

Katie said...

He can choose not to read here. You can put as little or as much on here as you like, he lost the ability to have any impact on that when you both decided the marriage was over.
You are entitled to date other people, and you are entitled to tell us about it. Don't feel guilty about moving on.

I also struggle with the "what to post" dilemma, though in my case it's very work related, being a teacher has it's disadvantages!

Eleanor said...

Lixie - Pooch is responsible for his actions - if he choses to read your tweets/blogs knowing that they may upset him, that's his choice and problem. YOU are not responsible for someone elses actions.

L said...

It can't be easy for you, but like the other people wrote, it is about choices and responsibilities.
Keep writing!


It's a tricky and almost constant negotiation in our house - how much to reveal online. K objects to even being mentioned on my blog or pictured but when I leave him off for too long people start thinking something is wrong! I try to respect his wishes as much as possible. He doesn't use facebook or twitter and uses aliases on forums etc (only football related, nothing interesting). But I do find it hard to leave him out of my blog posts entirely since he is an important part of my life. Indeed, I broke 'the rules' just this week by putting a picture up of him this week, albeit without naming him with the photo.

This difference in our online habits reflects very different personalities. I'm much more extrovert than K and that's as apparent in our offline/real world as it is online. I have a personal rule that I wouldn't post anything online that I wouldn't be happy telling someone in a pub that I'd only just met. Since I am very chatty and usually open with people that leaves me a lot of legroom but there are limits to what I'm comfortable revealing.

We're the first generation to really experience this phenomenon and I often feel like the 'rule book' is being formed around our experiences. Already I see friends of mine changing how they use facebook or their blogs because once your parents (or children) are web literate and may read what you've written the way you write changes...that's what has happened for me since starting my blog anyway.

I think part of the problem is that it is much easier to share good news than bad but if you do that then the picture you are building up is very one sided and feels, to me, fake. A bit like those round robin letters that people send at Christmas which only talk about the good stuff that happened to their family that year...

I'm a bit tired and not expressing this as well as I might...all I can add is that rules on how to conduct oneself during a marriage breakdown have only really appeared since divorce became more socially normal and widespread. We don't have any universally agreed rules for the situation online yet and can just muddle along making mistakes and learning as we go.

Good luck.

Daisy said...

It's up to him if he reads it or not, surely? It was one thing when you were married but now you're a single person again so it's up to you!

Becky said...

I totally agree with what everyone is saying. I think your blog has always been about your life as you are experiencing it - it would be a real shame if you felt you had to start censoring yourself and honestly - I think that in the end you might end up feeling it wasn't worth it and the blog would become more of a stress than a pleasure. This is your place to come to share what you wish to share and to be yourself, totally - no-one can dictate to you what you can or cannot put on here.

On the subject of protecting others during a break up that is a really difficult situation, I have a relative who has recently been through a rather messy breakup where widespread cheating was involved - she has done her best to protect others that were involved in the situation and I have to say that it has done nothing but add hugely to her stress levels. She recently let it all go and just started to look after herself and she is now a changed woman, back to old self with all that stress taken off her shoulders, you can physically see the difference in her. I guess what I am trying to say is, look after yourself, you are your number one concern, it sounds horribly selfish - but what is wrong with that every now and then ? as long as you aren't hurting anyone else, look out for yourself and let everyone else take care of themselves for a while.

Heather said...

Firstly, {{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}. Divorce is a minefield.

I can only echo what everyone else has said. If Pooch doesn't like what he reads, why does he keep reading it? You have been scrupulously fair - if anything, more than fair. If he doesn't like reading about the divorce, he shouldn't have cheated on you...

Good luck with the eventual dating. You are such a lovely person, I know there's someone good out there for you!

(Thanks again for the ENORMOUS parcels of yarn - there will be a lot of warm people up here thanks to you!)

suse-the-slow-knitta said...

*your blog, your rules.*

As long as you don't break any laws or incite riots then this is your space.

If people/persons don't like what you post then they shouldn't read it,duh.

Enjoy your freedom Lixie, you've earned it.

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