Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why Do I Blog?

This is something I've been analyzing for some time, and there really are no easy answers.

I've been keeping a journal since I was a preadolescent. It started out, of course, as a handwritten project, and I would write my deepest, darkest secrets in it. And being that I had a pretty effed-up, unhappy childhood (I know, I know . . . boo hoo), there was plenty of deep, dark stuff to write about. I quickly discovered how absolutely cathartic it is to put feelings and experiences to paper, and I've been hooked ever since. Sadly, my handwritten journals from childhood no longer exist. There was a time in my early adulthood when I panicked about the possibility of somebody actually finding and reading what I wrote (which is hysterically funny when you look at how public I make all my rantings and ravings nowadays), so on impulse, I burned everything one afternoon. Up in smoke, all gone. It makes me sad now, because I wish I could go back and read what I used to write about.

Based on that fear that someone would find me out, I stopped journaling for quite a while. Several years later, I got my first home computer, which happened to coincide with the slow, painful implosion of my first marriage, and I began journaling again - this time on the computer, using password protect. Later, my marriage came to a very ugly end, and as part of that whole scene, my husband-at-the-time took my computer (as well as lots of other stuff) when he was issued an order by the court to remove himself from our house so that I and our son could take possession. He took my computer and jacked with it. Shortly after the final break-up, he died of a drug overdose, and my computer, as well as several other items, were taken by the police and kept for a number of weeks during the investigation into his death. By the time I got my computer back, it was useless. Whatever my ex-husband had done to it had rendered it unusable, and I couldn't access my journal.

So, another of my journals gone for good.

Over the next several years, during the course of the first few years of my second/current marriage, I kept a few pregnancy journals. I think I actually still have a journal somewhere on the desktop computer downstairs which is password protected, but damn if I remember what the password is.

Then, a couple years ago, I discovered blogging. Journaling with an audience - now there's a concept! And it's funny how desperately I used to want to keep all my thoughts and feelings that I journaled about a secret. Now I love the feedback I get. I look forward to getting comments on my postings. I spend more time than I care to admit searching out sites and registering my blogs in order to build readership. What's up with that? I'm sure there is something completely and utterly exhibitionistic about it. I'm sure any psychologist worth his or her salt would have a field day with it. But there it is.

And honestly? I feel wierd saying this, but I believe that on some level my blogging has made Michael and me closer because it's allowed him to see into my head and heart in a way he never did before he started reading my "journals." I know that he's not always thrilled about some of the things I write about, but he's pretty tolerant for the most part, and even supportive on occasion.

The truth is, though, that I do compartmentalize my blogging. I have this one, in which I write about all the day-to-day crap - sometimes serious, sometimes humorous. It's a fun little outlet. My other blog, Finnian's Journey, started out as just a way to keep updates about Finn's progress in a central place for friends and family because after he was born and had surgery and was in the NICU, I was just too much of an emotional wreck to deal with phone calls and emails. At that time, I had no clue that there was a whole Down syndrome blogging community. I had no idea that my blog would come to mean so much. And now, 7+ months later, I can't let it go. I love the people it's introduced me to, and I love how theraputic it still is for me to write about the experience of being a parent to a child with Ds. Then I have a private blog, one which nobody but me has access to, where I go to rant about stuff that's just not fit for public consumption. Another form of therapy for me: an unloading, a purging, a getting off my chest sort of thing. I can say anything I want there without worrying about offending someone. I actually don't write there very often, but when I do, I always feel better. Then, of course, when Michael was recently diagnosed with cancer, I started a separate blog about that road. It's also private, but someday, when Michael is well again and we come out the other side of this, I will share it with him if he wants to read it. Not until then, because I don't want to censor myself as I chronicle this experience.

So there you have it - that's why I blog. I guess.


heather said...

Very interesting...I have also kept a journal since I was 9 and felt like it helped me through the difficult teenage years when noone understood me or acted like they cared. It was a place for comfort and an outlet. I also have a private blog that is for my eyes only. It is where I can write anything I want and not worry about what anyone thinks. It's usually when I am frustrated with Gavin and just need to vent. He just recently asked me about my 'other blog'and I wonder if he knows how to get into it now since he knows my email and all the passwords I ever use (and I forget to sign out all the time). It defeats the purpose if he can see it! :)

Our Little Family said...

Lisa, we don't know each other, but I've been following Finn's blog as soon as I saw it on pg.org (where I used to be fairly active). You are such an amazing mother and writer and I always look forward to checking in to see what's new (wow, this is sounding creepy! I swear I'm not; check MY blog!).

I'm also going through a slow, implosion of a marriage and this post just spoke to me. I've turned my daughter's blog into a journal of sorts; perhaps I should start another one... Hmmm. It's incredibly freeing to journal and since my typing is faster than my writing, I can organize my thoughts more quickly.

Anyway, you're an inspiration and keep on blogging!


Qwin said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that Hollywood did it again! An upcoming movie "Miss March" is using the r-word.