Blog Counseling

I have lots on my mind.

Sure, the laughter, humor, wry observation. But also some other stuff, too.

Angst. Fears. Worries. Issues.

And here in the blog world I have an excellent venue to vent those same things. So why do I hesitate? Why do I fuss about whether to go “public” or not? I’m sure there are many of you out there that have wrestled with this same question.

The case for staying “private”, meaning I share only with myself—

Private allows you to say any damn thing you want… IF your medium of choice is secure (e.g., 128-bit encrypted and password locked files)

I can fully vent what’s on my mind… in my gut… without fear of rejection or derision

The downside to “private”—

The only feedback mechanism is myself… but, since I’m already jaded and biased by being in those life situations which give rise the angst, fears, issues, et al, of what value is my own feedback on my own thoughts? Other than time (and, to a major extent, attitude), there is no validation process. Nor is there a refutation process. Both processes are needed. I need feedback of whether I’m a raving lunatic who’s going off into space or whether I’m just a tortured soul who’s really heading in ‘more or less’ the right direction, but need help getting there.

The case for going “public”—

Public allows that external validation or refutation.

Public allows me to access insights and opinions (yours) that would otherwise be unavailable to me. I’m guessing many of those, whether I want to hear them or not, would be of value to my resolution process.

The case against going “public”—

Other than raw numbers of comments, there is no assurance of the validity of those commenting on you. Yes, I would tend to believe 10 people all agreeing on a certain thing; but tend to discount a split vote… even 70/30.

People I don’t want to know my secrets could find this site. I do realize I’ve put enough clues out there that anyone who knows me can determine who GnuKid really is. And ‘Family Secrets’ are aired. I’ve not said anything contentious… yet. But if ‘discovery’ of the GnuKid happens, I face the wrath of family. [ed. Note: And is it ‘bad’ that I can share things with the blog, yet not with family members who should have my full confidence?… {heavy sigh}]

And, a true unknown, would I end up losing my internet friendships/readership because I’d gone ‘emo twit boy’ on them and scared them away from visiting my blog? While a blog should be for the writer’s benefit, let’s be honest… we need to feel the love from others.

Yes, there are mid-ground options… seeing a ‘real’ counselor for example. But for the money paid to access those ‘professionals’ (said tongue-in-cheek, having run into a few who weren’t that capable) does not always justify the results achieved. Especially when it seems the only service offered by some of them is the trite phrase, “…and how do you feel about that?” Hell, any of you would gladly do that in the comments block for free.

So, I’m getting to the point where my hesitation needs to be beaten senseless; the need to bare my soul exceeding the need to remain private; and to rely on my nascent internet friendships to help me guide myself to a happier life.

…and off we go… I’ll see how brave I am in the future… or how much Scotch I’ve downed… as to opening up here…

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18 Responses to “Blog Counseling”

  1. azahar Says:

    Boy, you’re weird. 😉

    I reckon that you can’t please everyone all the time and so fuck em if they can’t take a joke (really just Divine Ms M tough talk – I tend to be very oversensitive about how people ‘interpret’ me).

    Meanwhile, you can be both public and private on your blog. You can always use the ‘password protect this post’ option when you are writing about something that isn’t for everybody’s eyes. Then you’d just have to email the password to everyone on your bloglist. If you only want to avoid the prying eyes of family and work colleagues, then this would be a one-off thing and everyone here would know the password for your private posts.

    “seeing a ‘real’ counselor for example”

    Perish the thought! We’re not only way cheaper but you’ll almost always find someone ‘on duty’ 24 hours.

  2. Dolce Says:

    Go for public every time. You don’t strike me as an arsehole. And only arseholes really get flamed out here in the ‘sphere. Risk it. The rewards are usually good. And I should know. I emo all over the place, all the time. Like a bad makeup job in the rain.

    Think of this as a kind of public therapy. And there is *always* the delete button! 🙂

    And who cares if your family finds this. You can always say you were writing fiction for blog hits. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

    As for “real counsellors”. They’re a good call if you’ve got stuff. But I seriously find that if I share the big scary, hectic stuff here, and no one falls off their chair and runs screaming into the night, then I’m usually one step closer to dealing with it anyway.

    Now, lie down on ze couch, GnuManz, und tell uz everythingz….

  3. Rob Says:

    I guess I’ve been surprised, somewhat, to find there is often benefit to laying something out there for “fresh” eyes to look over and offer a viewpoint or opinion from a completely different angle. The synergy of diversity.

    So, there are benefits. Just need to work up enough courage to overcome the hesitation once you’re alright with having things like this in the “public domain”.

    Just remember: Once it’s out there, it’s out there. No recalls, takebacks, or whatever.

  4. azahar Says:

    “No recalls, takebacks, or whatever.”

    No edit button! Since when?

  5. daisyfae Says:

    i started blogging to ‘get the words up’ about my family, my legacy, promises made that i’m unsure i can keep… but it quickly became something else. those “random neural firing practice posts” that i hoarked up just to buy time and get into the habit between dredging up memories and issues? i started to enjoy those…

    even more astonishing? the “resonance” it stumbled upon in the blogosphere… diversity, yes. but deeply intelligent humanity. supportive humanity… and i was drawn into other lives, found connections that are real, and deep, with lightning efficiency.

    there are some things i am unable to write – since the kiddies are reading. but it doesn’t mean i won’t go the “private” option. reluctant memsahib</a just wrote about “public vs private”. Her issues are different, but it’s a well-stated discourse… as is everything she writes!

  6. Parenthesis Says:

    Hmm. I was suitably miffed about a week ago when a co-worker and co-blogger almost outed me during a conversation with the boss. It was all good and well for her to give him her blog address, she quit and worked her last day Friday. However she had to tell him I blog too, and well, it’s on his agenda to figure out which of the bloggers on her blog roll I am. So I get these arbitrary e-mails and phone calls with “you’re x, right?” Luckily there’s not much on there to give him any real clues, but still. I can so relate to daisy’s comment above, about being drawn into other people’s lives and finding connections, sometimes you guys out here are more real than, well real. Go the password route, that way you can still get stuff off your chest, without potentially hurting someone or causing offence.

  7. silverstar98121 Says:

    I believe I’ve already offered the option of one public and one private blog, or different blogs for different things. But then I only have five of them. I usually work out my angst on The View from the Bottom of the Shaft Nobody in my family reads my blogs, however, even though I have given a couple of them the URL’s. But I understand some of the paranoia. Bottom of the Shaft migrated over from LiveJournal, where a “friend” read it and emailed me all the time making me feel stalked. Said friend is now deceased, not because of that, but I feel safer.

  8. thegnukid Says:

    To All – Holy Crap, all of your comments give me a warm fuzzy…i feel very validated and emboldened…thank you! i am not fucked up, per se, but need to feel less so…

    azahar – i really like that “on duty 24 hours” part. and the password protect is good to know. But i’m thinking if this will be of any value, i need to be totally uncensored in my thinking and writing. and, yes, i am weird, thank you very much for noticing!

    Dolce – “…and who cares if family finds…” yeah, well since much of it will be on them… but you’re exactly right. At the tender age of *mumble-mumble* (51), i’m still learning to think what i need first. and, no, no real ‘stuff’… just the usual soap opera of life kind of things. and can i designate you my official ‘arsehole alerter’ if i ever go over the edge? [grin]

    Rob – yep, i’m growing a pair as we speak. i think this will be a good thing. none of you seem like psychopathic twits, just folks who have life issues along with the rest of us… the ‘fresh eyes’ have appeal to me

    Daisyfae – yeah, that resonance thing… i don’t always feel it, but when i do – – damn… to the core. skimmed memsahib’s post… definitely worth a detailed read… that resonance thing again

    Parenthesis – yep, you captured an underlying fear… but i’m still leaning to the ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ thing sans password. i think most of the fear of causing offence is in my own head. everyone i’ve met on line seems to understand, or at least able to forgive the occasional arsehole moment

    silverstar – another good thought, the double blog. with the paucity of time available to me, though, i may end up going as far as i can on this one and, only if necessary, start another… and remind me never to stalk you… i’m not taking any chances [chuckle]

  9. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    thinking of you.

  10. kyknoord Says:

    “emo twit boy” has a nice ring to it.

  11. thegnukid Says:

    reluctantmemsahib – welcome to The Wilds. visit often and set a spell. And thank you… again…

    kyknoord – yeah, i sort of like it. it may need a self-important title in front of it… Emperor, Sir, Grand, Duke… i’m taking suggestions

  12. Dolce Says:

    Done! But me suspects me arseholealertamonitor will be gathering dust.

  13. daisyfae Says:

    @dolce – careful where you aim that thing… our president would have alarm bells going off 24/7!

  14. leavingevangeline Says:

    Hey gnukid! I’ve been meaning to leave a comment, and this post is right up my alley!

    I have a habit of writing and publishing posts…then going back to hide them…then republishing them…and hiding again…on and on. I think the nature of my blog…and never knowing “who” might be there causes me to second guess myself.

    I do write freely. I feel comfortable to do so because no one knows who I am. However, sometimes I freak out and hide my things!

    I love the eyes, comments, advice of strangers..but I fear that someone I know might find me.

    My family? They would disown me. My friends? They would tease me mercilessly. My job? They would fire me once they realized I was blogging all day! LOL. And the one the blog is for? That is my greatest fear, and my greatest hope.

    All in all though, I think it’s way more worth it to “go public” and share your thoughts with the world. You never know who you might change…or who might change you.

    (Sorry…very garbled comment.)

  15. thegnukid Says:

    leavingevangeline – welcome to The Wilds…ride the range awhile… uh-uh, not garbled in the least… coherent, actually. my family would ridicule me… my friends? mixed bag with some support and some *snort*… the IT Nazi have already infiltrated work and i can’t access my blog from there…

    i’m still on the road to believing this will be a good thing… like you said, i may change myself or even change another… that’s a good thing

  16. leavingevangeline Says:

    Thanks! I will definitely be around…reading…lurking…commenting!

    This will be a GOOD thing. For sure!

  17. Java Says:

    “And is it ‘bad’ that I can share things with the blog, yet not with family members who should have my full confidence?…”

    I was watching a movie the other night and a young boy was sitting with a young girl. They were talking, and he said to her something along the lines of, “I tell you things that I could never tell my family”.

    I remember thinking at the time how odd it was. Because, most of us out here are more prone to tell friends or lovers so many things we would never tell our families…yet our families are supposed to be the ones we’re closest to, right?

    I think it’s a safety mechanism. Our families can also be our strongest, and sometimes, most hurtful critics. Prone to mishandle our confidences. Friends, lovers…and yes, strangers…are apt to be more understanding, more supportive, less critical. More accepting. “Safe”.

    Isn’t that what we all want in the end? Acceptance without criticism or judgment? Families are good for the things they can provide, but they can’t provide everything.

  18. thegnukid Says:

    Java – welcome to The Wilds. yeah, it’s something we all do and recognize emotionally that it is the right thing. it’s that damnable logical side of me that thinks otherwise. my problem is listening to both sides… nonetheless, you make excellent points and i’m glad you stopped by with them. thanks

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