Things I’m afraid to tell you.

By bonnie, 3 May, 2012

Recently I saw a tweet by Ez of Creature Comforts, mentioning a blogging challenge with this topic and asking other bloggers to participate. Without knowing much about it, I replied that I wanted to do it.

As I approach it, it doesn’t feel as simple as it was to sign on to in a moment. The challenge was inspired by Jess of Makeunder My Life who wrote this post. This got me thinking about bravery and sharing and that question… what is this thing I’m doing on the internet, blogging? Why? For Who?

You see I’ve been doing the online journal thing for almost 16 years now. I had a Tripod site. Then Geocities. Then OpenDiary. LiveJournal. Blogger. WordPress. Finally, my own site. But something happened to me along that way. I swung from incredibly open, personal and letting it all hang out to locking up it tight and trying to have a respectable website, about stuff. That became the thing right? No one wanted to read a blog that was a diary anymore, people who did that were attention-grabbing, needy whatevers. Suddenly it became harder and harder for me to navigate how much of myself to give online. Wanting to maintain a blog, wanting to always be writing about things that weren’t about me. And that isn’t a bad thing. I kept writing.

I started publishing my lists, things I liked, things I care about deeply. Art, politics, food, books, movies, geeky things. But I’ve left a lot out. I’ve started (even before this challenge) to think about how to re-integrate some of the parts of me back into this blog.

So since we are telling secrets today, here is a list of most of the things I’ve been leaving out. I may or may not tell you more about them later:

- I have PCOS and a great deal of my adult life has revolved around healing and symptom management. A great deal of the most difficult and painful parts of my life have to do with this disease and hormonal imbalance and most people have never even heard of it.

- I want to talk more about style, clothing, but it’s complicated being a fat woman and having a lot of mixed feelings, difficult times and frustration with my style, my body and the way that intersects with pretty much the entire world.

- I am angry often. I am full of rage often and also heartbroken when I think too much about specific cases of injustice, cruelty, torture and pain due to oppression, waste or apathy and neglect – things mostly I can do nothing about. I know everyone does this sometimes, but I easily get … obsessive and irrational. I have to disconnect from reading news too often or it jeopardizes me being able to function in the “normal” faculties of my life and schedule. Sometimes I don’t feel that it’s irrational and wonder if the disconnect is actually making me crazy.

- I have a love/hate relationship with my cats. (Not the dog. I just love the dog. I feel terribly guilty about this).

- I used to write and perform poetry. I got good. I started competing in poetry slams. I got selected to be on a team. I did ok for a while, but I started to freak out about being on stage in front of people. I started to freak out because of the amount of loathing of my own body I carry around with me and have for most of my life. I didn’t even really admit to myself that this is what it was about, but irrational fear just consumed me. It was crippling. Not my actual body (which is strong, somewhat active and capable of many good things), my hatred of it’s appearance, stopped me from doing this particular thing because I was afraid people were not hearing my words. I was afraid they were just seeing and not listening. I was afraid of being a joke.

- I don’t talk about my immediate family. I’m still not going to. *

 

*I will, however, talk about my brothers frequently and completely aside from any family situations. They are amazing human beings, two of my best friends and I would choose them to be part of my forever people chosen “family” over and over again.

16 Comments

  1. Amy says:

    Thank you for posting this. I completely understand where you’re coming from with the stage fright. I used to be a singer/performer but started putting on weight in high school and the bigger I got the less comfortable i became on stage. For some reason knowing someone else gets it is comforting.

    • bonnie says:

      Hi Amy,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m still trying to find my way back to being comfortable sharing my work with people, whether it’s poetry on stage or something else – I’m trying to be hopeful that I will get there again. I hope you will too!

      -Bonnie

  2. Jill says:

    I totally love that you said these things…thanks for sharing, I don’t feel so alone! :)
    I want to talk more about style, clothing, but it’s complicated being a fat woman and having a lot of mixed feelings, difficult times and frustration with my style, my body and the way that intersects with pretty much the entire world.

    - I am angry often. I am full of rage often and also heartbroken when I think too much about specific cases of injustice, cruelty, torture and pain due to oppression, waste or apathy and neglect – things mostly I can do nothing about. I know everyone does this sometimes, but I easily get … obsessive and irrational. I have to disconnect from reading news too often or it jeopardizes me being able to function in the “normal” faculties of my life and schedule. Sometimes I don’t feel that it’s irrational and wonder if the disconnect is actually making me crazy.

    • bonnie says:

      Jill – Thanks for leaving a comment! I love the amount of people telling me and other bloggers that reading this blog challenge is helping everyone not feel so alone. It’s such a positive thing to be able to share fears and see how often others can empathize and relate!

  3. Amanda says:

    When I get mad about being chubby, I just tell myself that lots of skinny people don’t like how they look either. Nobody really likes how they look, everyone wants to look like someone else. But on most days I’m just going to be OK with eating good food and on days when I’m mad at myself for not being able to wear the clothes I want to, I eat better on those days. I’m hoping it’ll even out at some point but I’d rather expend energy being fat and happy than fat and sad. :)

    • bonnie says:

      Ahh, yes. Body image issues is something that is certainly not exclusive to one shape or size. I think that’s something that I hope improves in our culture overall, but in the meantime it’s helpful to know how many of us can relate and are just trying to do our best to be happy and live good lives that aren’t focused on shame/pain/obsessing.

  4. Amanda says:

    And no that’s not all I got from your post, but I do relate to it. :)

  5. Brandi says:

    I remember the poetry you wrote. It was so good. You have such a talent for it. I think you should do it again, if you still want to, that is. But you shouldn’t let what in your head about your appearance hold you back. And I will admit that I’m totally saying that but that my perception of how I look holds me back too. I struggle with it every single day. In some ways, I am disgusted by myself, by my weakness, by the pain that I allowed to overtake me enough to put on the extra weight I have on me. One of the reasons I’m not dating right now is because I really want to work through this, I want to learn how to love my body because I don’t think I’ll ever be in a truly healthy relationship if I don’t learn how to do that. I’ve been with guys — and stayed with them — because I thought I wouldn’t be lucky enough to find someone who wanted to be with me again.
    And I used to be angry too. I’ve learned to combat that as much as I can with hope and a determination to be part of the solution to the problems that are out there. But right now, I kinda feel like I’m failing because by the time I get home for work, all I have time for is caring for myself and working on the projects that I know I need to work on to get to where I want to be.

    I’ve rambled. Bonnie, I think you’re a beautiful, amazing, generous woman. I’m so glad we’ve kept in touch all these years, and I don’t think you should let anything hold you back from doing the things you want to do. We both have obstacles we need to overcome but we can do it. I believe in both of us.

    • bonnie says:

      <3 Thank you for this. And you know I feel the same way. I think we are both in a big "evolving" stage in our lives, it will be interesting to see what develops over the next couple years and where we both end up.

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