Blogging as Therapy for the Abused/Bullied: Beginning to Heal from Richard/Tracy Stuff
Oddly enough, my blog stalkers finding this blog seems to have been a blessing in disguise. For two years, I wanted so badly to tell them how I felt, how badly they’d treated my husband and me, that it was bullying and abuse, that I did not deserve this after all the kindness I’d shown and how much I’d put up with from them, etc. etc.–and Richard just how badly I missed him just the same.
But I felt there was no way I could do it safely, without getting beaten up or worse. I didn’t know if I could trust mutual friends, and didn’t want to tell them all the gory details, or who I meant, fearing they wouldn’t want to hear it anyway. You know how mutual friends tend to not want to get involved.
And my own friends/family did not know them, and could not do a thing to help, could not intervene. They also had no clue what it was like to deal with traumas of this sort, without resorting to trite cliches that did nothing but make me feel at fault for having emotions, for not being able to turn them off at will.
Through blogging I could lay everything out, from beginning to end, without boring or annoying my loved ones. Only those who really wanted to would read it; no one would feel they “had” to.
If anyone did read it, I expected it would be people who had been in my shoes and wanted the validation and comfort of reading that others have been there, too.
(That’s how I felt when I found Joyful Alive Woman’s blog about her narcissistic best friend, especially since such stories were much harder to find than stories about narc family/spouses.)
Sure enough, this blog has been such an outlet that I no longer post much of anything about it on Facebook, or talk about it at home.
I also missed running home after services and writing Richard an e-mail about all the things happening at church, since we went to different ones.
Nobody else could appreciate it from the same vantage point he had, being from a similar background and having seen me through the conversion. I’d sit at my table while everyone was leaving to go home, feeling sad that I couldn’t tell him what had just happened.
But now I seem to have Richard and/or Tracy’s rapt attention. Whatever I write, whether it’s the next day or a week later, unless they have no interest in the topic of a post, they read.
I have four trackers going, and glean all the information I need, to know when and what they read. I have found all sorts of codes for IP blockers and could now conceivably block them, but decided to just open it up and let them read it all without worrying anymore.
Now, I just let it all out. It’s my chance. All they have to do is say, “I’m sick of reading this,” and ignore it all completely. But they don’t. Nobody’s forcing them to read, but they choose to keep coming back.
Since I have their attention, sometimes I rant, sometimes I rave, sometimes I mourn, sometimes I ponder.
Because, no matter how much all people take their problems to their friends, family, and whoever, what we really want to do–what is truly satisfying–is to take the problem directly to the source and tell them what a complete a**hole they’ve been.
Though, of course, if you want to keep the relationship, you do it more civilly and tactfully….
If they choose to ignore the truth and not work on how they treat people, if they choose to continue bullying me rather than repenting and making peace, it’s their salvation at stake. They have to make that choice; I can’t choose it for them.
But I have told them what they’ve done, so it’s on their hands what they do with it, not mine. They themselves have admitted to losing other friends besides me, because those friends couldn’t handle Tracy anymore.
If they want to keep losing friends, that’s their choice. But they can’t keep blaming those friends for feeling traumatized, angry and/or damaged.
I finally get to say what I really feel about politics without fear I’ll lose my friend, because, well, that happened already anyway. I even find it oddly satisfying that I can post about my church happenings and he’ll read it again…..
I know it keeps me connected to him, and that’s dangerous emotionally. I know he’s shown every sign of not being the friend I thought he was, of me being duped with the gullibility and naivete that have served me ill time and time again throughout my life.
But sometimes I dare to hope that he still cares. I don’t know what he’ll do with the outpourings of my heart, if it’ll lead to good or if he’ll rip my heart out again and twist and squeeze it until it turns to dust, like the Evil Queen does to hearts on Once Upon a Time. All I do know is that I know it’s dangerous, and that I do it anyway, so I own it.
And another thing is, I finally had a chance to stand up to my bullies. I told them to leave me alone, gave them the terms if they ever wanted to speak to me again.
I told them they were bullies. I did not hide in a corner, afraid to tell, but told my husband, friends, family, the police and priest what was going on.
Actually, except for the police I had already told all these people two years ago what had happened before, but now there were more things to tell.
The blog stalkers knew I told my priest, seeing me go up there after they did; the policeman told me that I’m doing nothing illegal and they can’t sue me for talking to my priest.
Their threats are baseless; they would get laughed out of court, and fined for wasting the court’s time. At first I felt scared and intimidated, but over time I gained strength to stand up for myself and not let them scare me. I’d been scared for far too long already, and that’s just what a bully wants.
My anthem has been “Bully” by Shinedown. Telling about how you’ve been abused and bullied is crucial, because abuse thrives in silence, in the shadows. Telling takes you from being a victim to surviving, to eventually thriving.
It may even save you from worse, because if the bully carries out his threats, everyone will know who did it, and he knows this. If you’re threatened with physical violence, tell the police.
Many of my blogs these days basically go into more minute detail on some topic I already covered in my stories of what all happened, so it’s not as if they’re reading anything new, but it’s for people who want to read about those specific topics in general.
Like the other day, when I saw in my stats that somebody in a library in some other state, read my page on abuse against husbands. Based on the search term, I bet that was an abused husband looking for help, using a library so his wife wouldn’t find out. It warmed my heart to think that I might be helping this man.
I’m so driven by the topic of abuse of all kinds, and wanting to stop it, that one of my oldest friends keeps urging me to turn it into a profession.
I’ve long since written off Tracy as a lost cause, and don’t want her back. But if there is any way at all to break through Richard’s hard heart, I know I have tried it. I know I have said all I needed to say to them both. And while I still have moments when the anger flares up, I feel the angst starting to depart…..
I went back to Prozac Blogger’s blog the other day, and found an announcement that he has finally healed from his father’s abuses, that while he’ll keep the blog online for others who need it, he’s doing a new one on happier topics.
I also discovered a few posts a few months ago about directly confronting his father and cutting him out of his life–that he has “won.” (“I Won! or: How I dealt with my father,” which I can no longer find, even in the Wayback Machine. 😛 ) Gee, could there be a correlation…..
So what festered for two (really, four, because there were so many things Tracy did back then and never apologized for) years in my head, I’ve spent the last six months finally getting out to the ones who put it there.
It’s like when I told my husband a dream I’d had, and he interpreted it as, me wanting to tell them to take their crap back. Many people warn against confronting abusers, legitimately because it can be very dangerous. But even so, it can be healing, so many others say go ahead and do it.
It’s just like when, in the past several years, I read over the copies of some letters I’d sent to abusive exes, and discovered that even if I did not then have all the knowledge I now have of abuse, I still confronted them with everything I needed to say.
Even though they reacted badly, I had this proof that it had been done, which suddenly released me from the feeling of unfinished business. Since I had directly confronted the abusers, rather than just writing their actions into stories, journals, letters and forums–all forms of communication which were to others, not the abusers–I could feel peace at last.
Though I could still do the other forms as well, the chief need had been fulfilled.
….How odd. It looks like, yesterday, unless somebody else is now matching their domain stats in one of my trackers, which is highly unlikely because nobody else ever has, they found my Mammoth Cave page through a Google search….Did they even realize it was mine?
[Update 7/26/14: In those days, my stalkers were the only ones showing up in my Google Analytics with the Network “mcore.” This seems to be AT&T’s mobile core network. Through a new category added to Analytics recently, the “User Bucket,” I was finally able to discover whether this reader of “Mammoth Cave” was my stalkers. No, it was not. But all other hits from “mcore” were my stalkers.]
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn But that’s all right because I like the way it hurts Just gonna stand there and hear me cry But that’s all right because I love the way you lie I love the way you lie Rihanna/Eminem, “Love the Way You Lie”
I’ve pulled some quotes from the Net about blogging used as therapy, an intensely popular pastime this past decade:
Research has long backed the therapeutic value of diary-keeping for teenage girls and boys. But according to a new study, when teenagers detail their woes onto a blog, the therapeutic value is even greater. Blogging, it seems, can be good for you.
The study, published in the journal Psychological Services and conducted by Meyran Boniel-Nissim and Azy Barak, psychology professors at the University of Haifa, Israel, found the engagement with an online community allowed by the blog format made it more effective in relieving the writer’s social distress than a private diary would be….
In all the groups, the greatest improvement in mood occurred among those bloggers who wrote about their problems and allowed commenters to respond. –Pamela Paul, A Blog as Therapy for Teenagers
Self-medication may be the reason the blogosphere has taken off. Scientists (and writers) have long known about the therapeutic benefits of writing about personal experiences, thoughts and feelings.
But besides serving as a stress-coping mechanism, expressive writing produces many physiological benefits. Research shows that it improves memory and sleep, boosts immune cell activity and reduces viral load in AIDS patients, and even speeds healing after surgery….
Unlike a bedside journal, blogging offers the added benefit of receptive readers in similar situations, Morgan explains: “Individuals are connecting to one another and witnessing each other’s expressions—the basis for forming a community.” –Jessica Wapner, Blogging–It’s Good For You
When a 24-year-old woman who called herself “90DayJane” launched a blog in February announcing she would write about her life and feelings for three months and then commit suicide, 150,000 readers flocked to the site….
Few, however, questioned why she would share her deepest thoughts and feelings with strangers online. In the age of cyber-voyeurism, the better question might be: Why wouldn’t she?
…Roughly 12 million Americans have blogs, according to polls by the Pew Internet and American Life Project in 2006, and many seem to use them as a form of group therapy….
Writing long has been considered a therapeutic outlet for people facing problems. A 2003 British Psychological Society study of 36 people suggested that writing about emotions could even speed the healing of physical wounds:
Researchers found that small wounds healed more quickly in those who wrote about traumatic personal events than in those who wrote about mundane activities.
But it’s the public nature of blogs that creates the sense of support. Reading someone else’s blog can be surprisingly beneficial….
“Blogging can create an instant support system, especially at a time when you might not have the energy or resources to seek out people who’ve shared your experiences,” says Mason, author of “No One Cares What You Had For Lunch,” a book on keeping a blog interesting. –Anna Jane Grossman, Your Blog Can Be Group Therapy
Some people have all the time in the world to have therapy sessions to talk about their feelings with a shrink who constantly asks about their “mommy” or “daddy issues”. Don’t get me wrong, I believe psychiatrists help a great deal in solving serious problems that their clients have.
However, everything does not require a professional to solve problems that persist in our lives. We sometimes just need to let it all out, whatever it is that bothers us.
Here’s something you can actually do to air out your issues – blog.
What I have learned from blogging is that it gives you time to reflect on the things you are writing down, giving you a clearer perspective on the real underlying issue. –Margaret Keely, How Blogging Can Serve as Therapy
The Internet is now teeming with some 15 million blogs. Although the medium first drew mainstream attention with commentary on high-profile events such as the presidential election, many now use it to chronicle intensely personal experiences, venting confessions in front of millions of strangers who can write back.
Nearly half of bloggers consider it a form of therapy, according to a recent survey sponsored by America Online Inc….
“I think it’s a way of validating feelings. It’s a way of purging things inside of you,” said Judith HeartSong, a 41-year-old Rockville artist.
As a child, she kept diaries filled with anguished accounts of abuse hidden under her bed, she said, but now she posts entries on the Web. –Yuki Noguchi, Cyber-Catharsis: Bloggers Use Websites as Therapy
David Sax once joked that I use my blog as cheap therapy. He was right. I use this space to unload all the angst, worry and pent up emotions from my life in the restaurant. From my personal life too.
It feels good. More than once I’d be tossing and turning in bed only to find relief at my keyboard. Not like that. Well, yeah, like that and by blogging too. –Zane Caplansky, Blogging as Cheap Therapy
One woman’s fight to divorce her narcissistic husband, here on a blog.
“Through sharing my personal battles in the California Family Court System, I have created a support group for thousands of women to share their stories and receive advice,“ states Tina Swithin, creator and founder of One Mom’s Battle blog and Facebook page.
Like most independent bloggers, Tina began writing without an audience, a clear direction, or an understanding of her potential impact:
“I began my blog for personal reasons. It was a way for me to purge the emotions and stress resulting from a horrendous, high-conflict divorce. I was tired of burdening my friends and family with my fears, vents and frustrations, and I sensed that they were equally tired of hearing about it.
What started as a simple online journal has turned into something healing, empowering, and sometimes overwhelming in a positive sense. To date, I have had almost 150,000 views on my blog and the numbers grow every day.” –Paula Carrasquillo, Can Facebook help us heal? | Washington Times Communities