Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I have Part 2 & 3 of the MIL saga written and ready to publish but I'm hesitant. I think I will end up publishing them, just to complete the story, but I want to take a step back for a bit...

I came into work Tuesday morning anxious and upset, unable to concentrate on anything. So I just sat and furiously wrote out the events of the weekend in 3 parts, trying to purge all my frustration and sadness through my fingers onto the screen. It felt pretty good. Reading over the details reinforced my belief that I was in the right, and that I had every reason to be angry and depressed.

But now that the words are out there, I wonder what my real intention for posting about this is. If it was just to release my emotions, why did I publish it? Couldn't I just put it in a journal never to be seen by anyone? Why place such raw ugly honesty where the world can see? And poorly written, at that! These words are not going to entertain or educate. They aren't designed to encourage one to think or grow. They are reality. Yup, these posts are like reality television. And I HATE reality television and have never ever watched it. I have no interest in watching other people's trainwreck lives. Why am I contributing to this phenomenon, adding my own side-of-the-road freakshow? And why defile this lovely space, that I have created to record and store my thoughts and ideas, with such ugliness and hatred?

Am I looking for support? Possibly. I don't have many readers, but I've been touched by the empathy and thoughtfulness of the comments and emails I've received here. Sure I could talk to some friends about this, but I really didn't want their pity and "I told you so's". I certainly don't want my family to know---imagine what my parents would think! They might try to DO something, or talk to her...which would worsen the situation immensely! So yes, I think a lot of the reason I posted was to get some sympathy, or empathy, or maybe some advice on how to cope.

The other is that I want to have a tangible reminder, when things are going OK and I think "Oh, she's changed! That was just an anomaly! It's not so bad!". I want to be able to read these words and remind myself how terrible this weekend was and ensure that I will never subject myself or my children to this kind of torture again. Because these things have happened before. It's been long that I thought things really HAD changed. But no. Some people never change.

In thinking this through I've realized how much emotion and thought are likely behind all the blogs and posts I read, and that for everything I DO read, there may be a couple of saved drafts that never see the light of day. What someone reveals about themselves is usually very carefully filtered---whether on a blog or in real life---and we should never assume we know the whole story.


  1. I think you've listed some excellent reasons to pour your feelings out on a blog as opposed to in a private journal: empathy, advice, solidarity in the trenches of dealing with MILs (I have a troublesome MIL, too!). I write for many of the same reasons and it really does help.

    I also don't think that you're contributing in any way to the kind of cesspool that is reality tv (which I admit to watching on occasion--a total guilty pleasure). Blogging might be somewhat similar to reality tv on the surface, but most blog writers' descriptions of reality are more honest, only mediated by the writer (and maybe by the reader, who imposes her own ideas on what you're reading)--there is no producer or advertiser imposing a narrative on the so-called reality. But otherwise, blog writing in general and your writing in particular is much more complicated than reality tv could ever be.

    I also think that it's true, a blog is carefully constructed, even when the writing is honest and true to reality. I, too, have some posts that I haven't shared for various reasons--they're too petty sounding or too trivial to bother posting. But for the most part, my blog and (I assume) most of the other blogs I read seem very real and make me feel less alone.

  2. Thanks for the thoughtful comment & reassurance Rachael. As you may have guessed, I am an overthinker. And you're right---I already feel less alone in these struggles. I read somewhere recently that one of the longest distances in the world is the one between having no one to talk to and having one person to talk to, and I definitely think having this blog is helping me bridge that distance these days.