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The Vulnerability Caused by Blogging

Posted by Mand , 22 March 2014 · 143 views

I realised that the last poem I posted has left me feeling vulnerable. Very VERY vulnerable. Its a funny thing, but when I write, I do so for two reasons. One is to get my thoughts down, to get coherence to what Is happening within me, so I can look at it and help myself gain insight into my healing, and this weird journey I find myself on.
 
The second reason is to help others, to reach out to others, and to - hopefully - strike a cord with others so that I don't feel so alone, so different, so very.....wrong. And of course, I realise that it is this second reason that leaves me vulnerable. Because this is me needing external validation. Needing someone else to say "Mand - it's ok. I hear you and I get this too".
 
But of course, this can backfire. When I check my blog, and see that people have viewed it and nothing is written in response, a little piece of me cringes, and my irrational head starts whispering in my ear..."See, you are so wrong, I knew you were wrong, You are disgusting, You deserve to feel so alone, so wrong, because you are. Even people on here can sense it...." and so it goes on.
 
This is also true when I post - and my post gets 'ignored'. It happened to me the other day. I had clearly posted in the middle of a discussion that was going on between members who knew each other, and that discussion has continued on around my post. There has been no response. And so, again, a little piece of me dies some more, my heart sinks. More proof, if ever I needed it, about how 'wrong' I am.....
 
But I know, I understand, that others might just not know what to say. They might have been triggered by what I have put. They might not want to respond because it speaks to them so much, they are scared because what I have put might be forcing them to re-evaluate themselves. So I have to stop personalising everything. I am not the centre of the universe, rationally I know this, but this doesn't stop my irrational brain from punishing me. As if I haven't been punished enough over my life, it seems my subconscious likes to continue this pattern.....
 
 
Heigh ho. Enough of this self centred indulgence. Sorry all. My processing is odd at the moment. It is a very hard thing I am dealing with. I guess I should be kinder to myself. But as we all know, sometimes, being kind to ourselves is the hardest thing to do.......



No need to apologize for how you feel and by having the courage to be honest.
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FlashedForward
Mar 22 2014 02:14 PM
Mand, hi.

But of course, this can backfire. When I check my blog, and see that people have viewed it and nothing is written in response, a little piece of me cringes, and my irrational head starts whispering in my ear..."See, you are so wrong, I knew you were wrong, You are disgusting, You deserve to feel so alone, so wrong, because you are. Even people on here can sense it...." and so it goes on.


I don't think it's your "irrational" head; I think (based on pondering sociology recently) that it's the universal process of human socialization. We're essentially our innerness. We progressively negotiate in and with our social circles which aspects of our innerness we'll permit to reach our outerness, and under which circumstances.

Most people accomplish most of this innerness-outerness negotiation no later than the end of the first stage of adulthood (e.g., by the time they settle in careers, choose spouses, etc.). Some of us face having to accomplish this innerness-outerness negotiation much later in life. We've been coerced into carrying secrets (never-negotiated innerness). And our innerness-secrets are made of precisely the stuff that our societies are afraid of knowing, let alone negotiating.

I suspect your fellow Pandoran when she/he doesn't reply is often enough feeling as you describe feeling. I know that's often true of me.

I suspect, also, that off in our 3-D worlds, any number of the never-abused feel as we do when they hear about our pasts and our present struggles - the innerness-truths we disclose often throw them upon their own unmastered innerness-truths.

Wishing you well,

f/f
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intrepidshe
Mar 22 2014 04:29 PM

Mand,

 

I go through those same feelings. We were ignored and devalued as children. I get triggered around this issue pretty easily. I love your blog posts and I learn from them. You are so courageous and helpful to me. And, you have often responded to my blog, with very comforting and encouraging words.

 

I don't think this entry was self-centered indulgence, it was courageous speaking of truth and sharing more of yourself. I really admire that and I aspire to be this open.

 

I hear you, Mand. And I feel honored to get to see your vulnerability . . . which is actually your strength, your hope, and your heart.

I can relate to this. I have two blogs (one on Pandy's and one at BlogSpot), and myself have posted things that have been time-consuming to write and/or hard to share, and received no response. Remember that P.A is a huge, huge place, though, and that as you say, people can feel support for you even if they don't write anything. I know that I've read and loved plenty of blog posts myself and left without leaving a reply -- often, it's a matter of simply not being able to reply to everyone.

Which is one reason I like the new "like" button -- it allows you to give validation even though you're not quite sure what to say.
Thank you all. Yes, I like the like button too. Being aware if how I feel, I try to never read a post or blog without leaving a response, even if it is just a 'like' or 'words fail me '
I'm really glad you wrote this, because it helps me to understand what you and others need. A lot of what I wanted to say has already been said, but I wanted to say a couple of things about my experience. Often when I read I cannot articulate what I want to say and I am wary of getting things wrong, of misunderstanding the person who wrote, or of saying something that is inadequate - something that does not acknowledge sufficiently what has been said. This is particularly true with poetry, as I do not 'get' poetry (and I feel really bad about that - as if I should just 'try harder' and then I would get it). So often, if I click on a blog post and it is a poem (and I hadn't realised), I come straight off it without reading it - the 'views' count will go up. As it happens, that poem you talked about, I read straight after you posted and, actually, I DID get it and found it really moving. But here the complicated brain gets in the way. Because I read very quickly (which is perhaps why I generally don't 'get' poetry), I had absorbed it within a few seconds. But I felt I couldn't post that, because I knew you'd just posted it, so, to me, to post so quickly in response would be to show I had not given your writing the attention and time it deserved. And by the time I could have posted I was back in the 'but I don't understand poetry' mindset which meant that any comment to me would have felt lame. That's all about me - sorry - but I wanted to say it in case it helps you understand one person's (inadequate!) response. This post is really helpful, because I understand now that you (as an individual), amd others, would prefer a response (if I've understood this right) of, in effect, 'I've heard you, and even if I can't help, or say something more, I am thinking of you' - a few words or an emoticon. Funny, really, as it's 3am here and I can't sleep and was just thinking about this post and you (you see, I read this quite a few hours ago and didn't answer then), so got up to write this. Anyway, thanks for reaching out, for being open. :metoyou:
PS sometimes when I comment on posts, like above, all of the paragraphing vanishes so I'm left with a dense block of words and no spaces in between. Sorry!
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intrepidshe
Mar 22 2014 09:58 PM

"Often when I read I cannot articulate what I want to say and I am wary of getting things wrong, of misunderstanding the person who wrote, or of saying something that is inadequate - something that does not acknowledge sufficiently what has been said."

 

Me too, Susanna. I worry so much about hurting someone inadvertently.

Thank you for such a well thought out response Susanna. It was very interesting and most insightful and helpful. I feel less irrational (at the moment anyway !!!). I know what you and intrepid mean. Sometimes I read something and I am aware I must be careful in my response as it is clear the writer is in great pain and is bearing their soul. Sharing their vulnerability. And I don't want to cause a deeper hurt. (And the paragraph thing- that happens to me too- annoying isn't it?!)
2 quick things I've just discovered too:

The 'like' button doesn't (always?) appear on the mobile site - which I mostly use.

And, I just discovered that if the paragraph thing happens, if I go back and edit the comment and redo the line breaks, it works! Or it did on another post I did anyway!

Mand, everything you have written in this post describes exactly the kind of thoughts I have had about posting and I'm pretty sure we have all been through it.  However, I am one of those people who drops in to read without always responding, for which I often feel bad, but the reasons are many and rather complex.  Susanna has already explained some of them very eloquently, so I won't re-cover that ground, but here are a few more which may not be unique to me either:

 

I have never been the kind of person to whom other people turn for comfort because I don't know how to either offer it or receive it.  Being here and working emotional "muscles" that have atrophied is like learning to walk.  Some days I get my balance and do quite well, and others, I just fall over and carry on crawling and those are the days that I sit quietly and watch and learn how other people do it.

 

Sometimes, I read something and it touches a chord and I start responding, only to discover that I might just as well write "ditto" under the previous person's comment, which makes me feel awkward and superfluous, so I delete it all.  Other times, I realise that my response is mostly about MY experience (like now), which makes me feel selfish and insensitive, so I delete it and rather say nothing.

 

Sometimes, what I read expresses the most awful pain and trauma that lies beyond my experience and then I am wary of commenting because I have this idea that I am, in a sense, not "qualified" - I have not earned the right to dip my oar in and I might well bungle things through my incompetence.

 

Finally, I work from home, so I drop in on Pandy's during the day the way other people might step outside for a quick coffee or cigarette with a friend, just to remind myself that I belong somewhere.  And since my social style is one of reticence, it stands to reason that I mostly just listen because I am often without words.

 

I myself wonder about the multiple views on my posts and the comparatively few comments, but I reason that, for so many of us, watchfulness and silence have been "standard operating procedure" for much of our lives and it is hard to break that pattern.  So I try to comfort myself with the knowledge that, for someone on Pandy's to witness my truth, it is not always necessary for them to speak it.

 

Thank you for so bravely confronting your vulnerability, thus making it possible for people like me to confront our own.

:metoyou:

Allegro - you are so wise. I am the opposite. People have always turned to me. I am a true extrovert. Although when struggling, I sit on the periphery and watch. So I can feel safe. I guess I am judging people by my standards , and that is unfair. It is ok for people to read and say nothing most if the time. Because my blogs are written mainly for my benefit. To help me. It was just what I felt I was saying in my poem (Circling) was so very honest and emotional for me, I needed reassurance. So it is making me wonder about when I should blog- what I should do. If I am blogging and it is do painful for me, should I do it? I also understand when you say "Sometimes, what I read expresses the most awful pain and trauma that lies beyond my experience and then I am wary of commenting because I have this idea that I am, in a sense, not "qualified" - I have not earned the right to dip my oar in and I might well bungle things through my incompetence." This is when I tend to put "I have no words" or "I hear your voice". Having a voice, on here, it's so very important. I am glad you feel a part of here. I glad to be your friend on here. You are important to me. You help me. And I hope I help you too. Take gentle care (((safe hugs if ok)))
Allegro - I felt very moved by what you wrote. Beautifully put - and I've done all those things too!

Mand - I had one thought, which is that you could put some kind of 'standard' comment on your blog - I think there is a description option? - in which you could say what you have here - that you write for yourself but you get a great deal from positive/gentle/whatever feedback even if it just a couple of words. Some people put 'hugs always welcome' too. I don't put hugs unless I am sure people accept them because I view mostly on the mobile site when I can't see people's signatures (where they might write 'no hugs') in the main forum. I am wary of making people feel bad.

And if you are writing something like your poem, if you put something at the top of the actual post like - I'm writing this to reach out and would really value/welcome comments - that might help too. Of course it's when we're feeling most vulnerable that we feel least able to do that, often, but it's just a thought.

What a great post this has been - I've learnt so much! Thank you!
Sorry Mand - started writing, then switched to the main site so I could see your blog better but submitted my comment because otherwise I'd have lost it, and now have edited! Hope it makes enough sense now.

It was just what I felt I was saying in my poem (Circling) was so very honest and emotional for me, I needed reassurance. So it is making me wonder about when I should blog- what I should do. If I am blogging and it is do painful for me, should I do it?

 

I was just a couple of months into therapy when my first T asked me to ponder the question "What do you believe you are worth, discounting what other people think about you?"  I could hardly understand the question because it was very hard for me to even recognise that they were two different things.  Today, I understand, but I still can't answer.  I don't believe it is healthy to be completely impervious to what other people think - that way lies sociopathy.  However, it seems to me that my T was suggesting that healing might involve liberating myself from the need for approval.  Duh!  As if countless self-help tomes haven't said that a million times!  I just never related that kind of pop-psychology to myself.

 

What I'm getting at is this: Blogging and receiving generous affirmation is so necessary for helping us deal with our insecurities. But, perhaps blogging and receiving a painful lack of response could be seen as a powerful tool for self-analysis and measuring our own strength and how much progress we are making in our healing.  I'm not sure if I even believe this, but today is my day for looking for silver linings :)

 

:hug: :hug:

Thank you Susanna, that is an excellent suggestion and I shall do that in future. I'm glad I posted it- it has been most insightful and many others appear to have found value in it. And I nearly didn't publish it because I was worried I was being a demanding , whiny little kid.......
:) :hug: :hug: to you if ok!
Yes, hugs are ok. Right back atcha if ok too. (((Hugs)))
Allegro- that is an excellent way of viewing it. If I post and feel vulnerable, and there is no response, to use it as a self evaluation exercise of my need for validation from others.... Brilliant. You are a genius :-) (((grateful hugs)))

I couldn't possibly respond to every post I read, even from people I know and cherish like you, mand.

When I have nothing to say, I say nothing.

 

I'm not saying I don't understand the need for feedback, but I guess I figure someone else will do it, and if not, never mind. The person might post again later and gets loads of comments. I figure why should my input or lack of input make a difference? Could be a middle child thing. Or a guy thing.

 

Separation anxiety may be playing a role here, where the community is the mother substitute, and the 'child' mand needs regular assurance that she is still there, that the child is not abandoned. That seems cold in print but it might hurt to read. Sorry if so.

 

I'm not planning on going anywhere, by the way. And I'm pretty sure you've got a lot of others here that you are stuck with for the longer term. If we here are mummy and you are the little one, then darling, Mummy loves you and even if she's not here right now, she'll be right back.

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