My blog stalkers seem to have backed off on their threats some time ago, though they still show an avid interest in what I write. I’m not real sure why they’re so interested.
But I don’t want to restrict what I write just because they’re watching: Where is the catharsis in that?
No, I can, instead, hope that somewhere along the way, I may be getting through to at least one of them. And in the meantime, it is actually reassuring to know that I’m not “talking behind their backs.” No, I want them to see it, too.
What I went through was a very traumatizing experience, being caught up in somebody else’s abusive marriage, and then chewed up and spit out because of it, catching quite a bit of abuse myself along the way, shattering my trust in the good nature of people in general and shattering my faith in God. (The story is here.) And such trauma does not resolve itself overnight.
My blog is for venting, a safe place to go where people don’t feel they have to come up with something to say or comfort me, where I don’t hear people’s trite little phrases that do nothing to help, but only hinder the victim’s healing, as the victim starts thinking, “What’s wrong with me?”
Nothing’s wrong with you: You just have a lot of work to do and there’s no magic pill (except maybe Prozac) to fix it.
When discussing with colleagues this idea of “blogging as therapy,” a common reply was that this really is nothing new. For as long as people have been writing, they have used it as a form of cathartic self-expression. Personal diaries and journals are a good example.
Psychologists and other mental health professionals also have long noted the value of “bibliotherapy” in which people specifically use writing exercises to address and resolve problems in their lives, or simply to enhance their personal growth.
But there’s an important difference between blogs and bibliotherapeutic writing. Blog communities actually combine features of personal journaling and support groups.
People write to express themselves and their problems, but they also read and react to others who are doing the same. The blog enables much more social interaction than a diary, which traditionally is a strictly private, self-reflective affair. –John Suler, Blogs as Therapy
It’s true. I should probably be less concerned about what I write and how people might perceive it. Nobody has to read every single post. Most people just read one or two that fit with their keyword search. Even my blog stalkers don’t read every single post.
No, this is not just therapy, something to lock up in a diary and put in a drawer. I didn’t want to just leave my story in a drawer, any more than I wanted to leave my college memories sitting in private journals.
No, it’s a chronicle of pain, depression and clawing one’s way out of it, the good days and the bad. And as such it may have use for others, just as I use the blogs of others who have dealt with abuse and narcissists.
I think I hamstring myself and my healing when I think too much about whether or not I should post something. Even my bad days could be of value to others.
By allowing writing to be a cathartic act, you are taking the first step to better introspection.
Posting this writing in a blog, knowing people will read your words and react to them helps you get past your own judgments and work towards better self-awareness.
Blogging is one way to ease up on yourself, not be so harsh on your shortcomings, and instead see them in a more objective light.
Blogging can be a truly revolutionary act, because it can allow you to better know yourself.
Blogging has become popular because it has allowed many people to work through their problems through the written word in a public forum. –Nicole Beck, Why We Love to Blog: Blogging as Therapy
In the abuse blogs, one blogger–mulderfan–says her therapist recommended she blog about her experiences.
As written by Brighter Than Before,
One of the purposes of writing this blog has been to document my recovery, and to recognise the ups and the downs.
I’ve tried my hardest to write honestly and openly, and while this has been made more difficult by the knowledge that [my abuser] reads my blog, I have tried to put that fact out of my mind and move forward on my own terms.
I’d be lying if I said it had no impact- who really wants to share their struggles and vulnerabilities with their abuser? But regardless, I have made up my mind to continue to do what I set out to do.