I GHOSTED YOU, BUT I AIN’T DEAD
I am happy to report I am not dead!
I had a deep-seated need to disengage from my blog as well as from a handful of email buddies I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up along the way. Honestly, I ghosted everyone online. I know it’s mean. Sorry, I could have easily just spent a few minutes with a short note, but I kept thinking, “I’ll post something this week.” And then the weeks went by. ONE ETERNITY LATER. . .
I am still unsure. It was like a switch went off and nothing about my anonymous online life interested me. I am not sure exactly why. I think it was a multitude of factors which I will go through. I will try to be a better “online friend” and at least share that a hiatus is self-imposed and nothing bad is going on.
One of the influences of my growing disinterest is that I was having this increasing feeling of being exposed and vulnerable. If you’ve read most of my posts you know me as an exhibitionist and vulnerability addict and one who is an over-sharer. In fact, I think that was the very fuel that kept me posting. But suddenly, it just didn’t give me the same reaction. I wasn’t feeling exposed and vulnerable in a good way, but in the way that every post created a darker cloud of being susceptible to attack or harm.
To be clear, there have never been any outward threats and this feeling I had was mostly just in my head. 99.9% of comments and emails and interactions as a result of my blog have been positive. You all have been great, comments are overwhelmingly positive, and the handful of email buddies have been great to interact with and get to know in a more meaningful one-on-one way.
Maybe it’s part of a mid-life crisis? I started having this overwhelming need to protect the lifestyle I cherish and for some reason, I began viewing my blog as a threat. I even considered deleting it, but Mike encouraged me not to “go nuclear” and give it time. He was very reassuring and that means a lot to me given he is the one that is the privacy hawk and I am one that lets information flow like a sieve.
I am not sure what triggered my need to become so insular, especially when I am a lifelong over-sharer. There are several things I can point to that all contributed to this hiatus.
- I received ONE nasty comment from an anonymous person. Typically I understand their perspective and look at it as an opportunity to respectfully disagree. But this one triggered a “mama bear” type of reaction that made me want to not just defend my lifestyle but wrap my arms around it and run away saying, “Mine. Leave me alone!” I’ve always accepted that my lifestyle is abhorrent to many people. But for some reason, it suddenly mattered to me that they were attacking it. It made me feel very protective of what I have. What I have is amazing to me. I cherish it and would never do anything to knowingly undermine it.
- The next thing was my post about one million views as well as discovering I made list of top sex bloggers. I was like #360-something out of 500.As for the million views –
- I never started out with a goal to have lots of views. I needed an outlet to organize my thoughts and think more deeply about my life. It is amazingly therapeutic to have to think through and write what is meaningful to me, question my own motivations, and question whether the outcomes are truly fulfilling. And being so bold as to put it out there for people to scrutinize actually added to that therapeutic value.
- The increased views made me start worrying about being a “poster child” for any one aspect of my life. A swinger, a submissive, a nudist, bisexual, polyamorous , etc. It was as if I recognized that if someone has a problem with one element of the various terms that label me, they use it to reject the others. I’ve written before that I don’t like writing much about nudism because I do the nudist community an injustice as many outside the community who don’t know better think it is about a bunch of pervy kinksters. Then I started thinking maybe I do the same for bisexuals, or those who are poly, or those who are submissive, and so on. I don’t want to be the fodder for the ignorance that is out there that fuels someone’s disgust for particular lifestyles.
- As for the sex blogger list – it was on Kinkly (a fantastic website!). At first, I thought it was cool (and I still do). I’ve known about it for about a year, but suddenly, in combination with the one million views, the one negative comment, etc., it began to bother me. It elicited that bad exposed and vulnerable feeling.
- The “final straw” and probably the biggest catalyst to my ghosting everyone was that I was becoming increasingly aware of how lucky I am. Call it a mid-life crisis moment! Not as in a real crisis, but as in a taking inventory of what I have and appreciating it immensely! I am largely worry-free in my life other than first-world problems.
- My biggest lifetime worry has been about my special needs son, and as it turns out he has far exceeded every expectation regarding his self-reliance. My other kids are doing well. My marriage is incredibly strong and rewarding. I get to love two amazing people in my marriage! Our network of friends is full of close and rewarding relationships, albeit with some unique elements! My prior post was about the potential powder keg of living an open lifestyle with several couples – yet we have navigated it well.
WHAT’S THE UPSIDE?
I think I started hearing myself repeat one of Mike’s often repeated phrases when it comes to sharing details of our lifestyle with others. “What’s the upside?” While my blog is sufficiently anonymous, I’ve been more forthcoming with some personal details in some of my email friends I’ve met via this blog. While I feel all of them earned my trust, it started to nag at me that maybe I am getting too comfortable with sharing certain details about myself. But anything I shared was always with Mike’s approval, and he is the privacy king! But as some of those online relationships evolved and headed to actually meeting them, I thought, “Why upset my apple cart with this wild card? I have everything I need and adding another stick of dynamite can ruin what I have.”
I also started feeling like my blogging would be taking time away from living this life I’ve built. Why blog about it when I could be living it? And this was compounded by several things that have made my free time much more scarce (I hope to update you on those things, such as me working part-time!). It truly got to the point that in order to consistently blog I knew I would have to take precious time away from something else. I simply didn’t want to trade that time for blogging time, especially given the online world wasn’t exciting to me in any way.
So what changed to prompt my post today?
I CAN BALANCE
I realized I’ve been blogging for almost four years and have easily balanced my over-sharing nature with the needs for privacy (and Mike is ever watchful to ensure that stays in balance).
IT FEELS GOOD
I still feel a therapeutic benefit from blogging. See, I told you I am a bit selfish. It’s about what I get from my blogging, not so much about what my readers get. Sorry, just being honest, but I think everyone who blogs must first do it for themselves.
I NEED TO GET OVER MYSELF
Come on, this is still an obscure little blog that is not going to change the worldview for the worse regarding human sexuality and kink. In whatever small way I know the net impact of my blog is positive. Sure, it’s likely masturbatory fodder for some, but hey, everyone’s got needs! As for me, I need to get over any thoughts that I am portraying everyone who fits into any one (or more) of my “labels.” I am portraying me! And I need to portray the exhibitionist-over-sharer that I am as much as I do any other aspect of myself.
I provides me a sense of validation to know what I write appeals to certain people (my kind of people!). Kink is such a personal topic and can come with all sorts of negative baggage. I hope my blog can help normalize sexual exploration. To me “normalizing” things is what all blogs do. They normalize and humanize our individual experiences, whether they be about something as salacious as kink, or as simple as shopping, baking, clothing, or a day-in-the-life. Blogging connects us and validates us in ways other media can not.
We learn people are more than the sum of their parts. We learn that underneath a particular avocation, kink, or interest, they are not a swinger, a submissive, a nudist, a bisexual woman, or a polyamorous wife. I am just a much those things as I am a mom, a mom of a special needs child, a neighbor, a friend. THAT’s the part of blogging that excites me. That I can illustrate you can be all of that and NONE of that defines you. What defines you are the relationships you forge with others, whether family or friends, or even anonymous online friends.
The written word leaves a lot to our imagination. I know for the blogs I read the blogger becomes a living character to me. They only share snippets of themselves and we are free to fill in the blanks to create a complete “character” that becomes our friend. I like the idea of being one of those friends to you. It intrigues me to know what blanks you fill in about me. Hey, I heard that. Come on, I am not into THAT kind of kink.
While I doubt I will blog with the same intensity as before, I do plan to keep blogging. I hope I can be a better online friend and not one who ghosts you again. One thing hasn’t changed. I can take a topic that can be covered in a few paragraphs and I end up writing a short story! Being non-succinct is just one of my endearing qualities! (so I have to tell myself).