A Private Conversation

Recently, I find myself in a bit of a sticky situation.

I’m an extremely controlled, private person.  I compartmentalize my life, personal, work, writing, family, etc… each has it’s own clearly defined place, extremely specific and isolated.  The parts don’t mix, there’s no overlap.  And I almost never discuss personal things in public, or even in private usually.  Private thoughts stay private.

compartmentalized s

The reason that I started blogging was so that I could express, discuss and write about all those inner most thoughts and feelings safely and honestly.  I made this blog as anonymous as possible so that I could say absolutely anything without worrying that anyone in my real life might find out about it.   There are no links between my real life and this blog.

But things have changed over the last few months.

I met Ann through this blog.  She knows me, we’re in a relationship, and she reads my blog… so, all the sudden I have a connection between my real life and my private writing.  Part of our relationship is actually based on the fact that she has read my absolute deepest, most secret thoughts for the past four years and isn’t turned off.  She’s read all those things that I would never have told anyone in person and still likes me.  Yet I’m torn because any posts that I write online could impact my real life, it’s not anonymous anymore.

What’s also weird is being in a relationship with someone who writes about it.  I mean, I read her blog too and she’s very honest and forthright about what’s going on in her head.  Sometimes it almost feels like I’m invading her privacy, as though I’m reading my lover’s diary every night.  There’s also the comments and dialog she has with her readers every day, it’s like listening in on Ann’s private conversations with her friends.  She’s popular, way more popular online than me, so she is always having in depth discussions back and forth with her readers.

When she writes about our private conversations I don’t mind but then I’m conflicted over what I should write.  Were she not connecting my online and real lives I’d have been posting tons of personal, deep internal monologues… but now I’m fighting my natural urge to keep personal things personal because I don’t want them to affect my relationship.  She can write whatever she wants, but knowing that’s she reading my diary every night influences what I write in it.

And all of this puts me in kind of a weird spot, wanting to vent, to write, to get these things off my chest and yet Ann’s going to read it.

We just got through this really difficult patch and I really want to write my perspective on the how and why and back story… but I also don’t want to drag us back into the middle of the rough patch or restart old arguments.

Let sleeping dogs lie, right?

So, what do I do; write meaningless posts about how much I hate facebook for the foreseeable future or pretend that Ann isn’t reading and write what I want to?  In real life, I wouldn’t hesitate to tell Ann any of my deepest thoughts, worries, concerns… but things have changed and I feel like I can’t post those same things publicly because “Public” actually feels public in a way that it never did before.   There is someone in the world who can bridge those artificial divides that I created.

Before, the blog was completely anonymous, I mean no one in my personal life knew about it, I could write whatever I want with absolutely no worry that Johnny Id and me would ever be connected… now there is someone who can connect those two and everything feels completely different now.  It feels like I need to be more careful because anonymous isn’t anonymous anymore.

It’s a little frustrating and I’m still trying to adjust to the new reality in a way that let’s me move forward.  I’m sure I’ll figure it out, but for right now it feels really awkward and plastic compared to how it felt before. I don’t want to change what I’m writing and yet how can I not be influenced by the the one and only reader that matters to me?  And how do I write about the most important thing in my life right now, our relationship, without it actually affecting that relationship?

I’ve never been in this place before, it’s… new and interesting.  And confusing at times.

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12 thoughts on “A Private Conversation

  1. *dusts off fingers*

    Ok, buckle in mate, I’m going to get on my soapbox 😉 -said in my best outback australian accent-

    I get what you’re writing. I totally do. I have the same trepidation about writing about stuff in my blog knowing that Loki reads it. But as uncomfortable as it makes him and as much as it pushes his limits in regards to what went before – it is what is real and true.

    And to be honest, the only person that’s now invaded your private life and reads here is Ann. And to be fair, she’s pretty awesome and I have no doubt that what you write here is going to change or impact on her in any negative way.

    At the end of the day, we’re all made up of the good, the bad and the ugly. We’re pretty unicorns that shit rainbows with glitter bombs that sometimes slice people up. But it’s who we are and really you should totally write what you want because this is your space and I’m sure Ann loves to climb into your brain as much as the rest of us voyeuristic bloggers.

    So hope you come to some kind of neutral ground in your own mind and go back to writing about whatever it is that you want 🙂

  2. Hey Johnny. I wanted to weigh in here because I wanted to state this “publicly”. From my perspective, I use my writing as a litmus text of whether I have been completely honest with you in real life. If I’m going to write that I’m hurt and angry about something, I know I need to tell you that. We started out having shared everything and being totally and fully honest with each other. I don’t want that to stop…and the more there is a disconnect between what I really think (as in, what I would blog about) and what I tell you…the bigger the divide gets.

    You have an awesome perspective and brain (Sharn is so right!) and you can’t deny your readers just because of me 😉

    • Lol, yes. All three readers would be totally devastated by me censoring myself. 😉

      I’m going to try and keep pushing through those boundaries in my head, hopefully it doesn’t get us in trouble.

  3. Johnny – I felt the same way that both you AND Ann felt. Granted, my blog relationship was short lived and not so serious, but I went through the same things in my head. I wanted to be honest and open and use my blog for all the reasons I started my blog. On the other hand, I didn’t want to write anything that could set off NameWithHeld (but it happened anyway) to be jealous or upset. I can only imagine it’s not easy to find the balance. But, the more you talk about it and through the situations, I’m sure you will find the right balance. People want to hear from both of you and you are now providing an entirely different perspective on blogging that we are all interested in!
    For me personally, I am struggling with the same things both of you are…and I am entirely curious to understand how you work through the variety of emotions and situations! So, keep up the good work!

    • I’ll do my best, but no guarantees. It goes against some pretty immovable issues of mine to post inner-most thoughts in a place where they’ll be read by someone in my real life. We’ll just have to work through it as best we can.

  4. I went through this a bit a while back when my BFF and were connecting outside of the blog. We write about each other now and then and it feels fine and not awkward at this point. But I get what you’re saying about not knowing if you should censor yourself or not. I say don’t. Just write what you feel and try to let go of what she thinks about it. I see her encouraging you to do that as well. I think that’s awesome.

    • It’s awesome that she’s encouraging me, but it’s my own mental filters that I need to try and loosen up. It’s not easy, but I’m going to try. Thanks for the feedback. 🙂

    • I’m working on it, it’s a process. Hopefully I can find a middle ground that works for everyone, including the readers.

      Thanks for the input. 🙂

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