Nov 082015
 

I wrote the other day that writing is like breathing for me. It’s something I do to stay alive. Something I can’t not do. The fact of my writing is not evidence that things are easy for me, or that things are going well. It’s evidence that I’m not dead yet.

Similarly, the topics about which I write are poor indicators of my internal psychic landscape. Sometimes, of course, they reflect what I’m thinking about, where my head is, where my heart is. Other times, though, they don’t. Other times, the topics I choose are designed to take me far from what’s truly consuming me. They’re chosen to distract me, to allow me to go on when it otherwise would be impossible.

I’ve written a few times about the difficulties of getting to know me through this blog, of the vast portion of psychic terrain that’s structurally excluded from here. I rarely write about my family, except insofar as I write about my role in it. I rarely write about my feelings about people, other than my sexual feelings. By reading this blog, you might well be forgiven for imagining that I’m a sex-obsessed pervert who thinks of nothing else, who is amoral, even sociopathic.

I can’t stop you from reaching those conclusions. I’m not even, honestly, all that interested in trying to stop you from reaching them. All I say is this: if those are your opinions, you’re incorrect.

In the years before I wrote this blog, I often was out of control of my life, ruled by my desires, ignorant of, or indifferent to, the impact of my actions on others – on those I loved, and on those I hardly knew. This blog has served, continues to serve, a vital purpose for me. I’m not perfect. I still lose control of myself from time to time. But this blog, my writing here, is a lever I use to lift myself out of the depths, to channel energy and emotions that simply will out into more productive, or, at least, less destructive, endeavors. Sometimes, alas, what I write here hurts people, either because of what I say or because of what I don’t. I wish it weren’t so. It’s a cost of my having developed this particular way of staying sane.

And if that has affected you, or someone you care about, in a negative way, I’m terribly sorry. I implore you: if what I write causes you pain, please don’t read it; if what I don’t write about causes you pain, please don’t look for it here, because I may never give you what you seek. And the fact that I don’t is information not about what I’m feeling, what I’m thinking, but instead, about how I’m coping.

Which is, after all, what I’m doing, what we’re all doing.

  13 Responses to “On writing, in moments of distress”

  1. I have never thought this “By reading this blog, you might well be forgiven for imagining that I’m a sex-obsessed pervert who thinks of nothing else, who is amoral, even sociopathic.” far from it, you have always come across as someone using this space to explore themselves, the good, the bad, the angels and the demons. It is what makes you such a good blogger.

    Mollyxxx

  2. I totally agree with Molly. I’ve read through a lot of your archives and I’ve always been impressed with your honesty. You’ve tackled the hard stuff, you’re open about who are, were, want to be. But never did I think that this is all you are. Blogs, especially sex blogs, are never a complete look into someone’s life or personality. Honestly, they’d be rather mundane if they were.

  3. I never thought you presented yourself as anything other than a man trying to find balance.
    I wanted to thank you. About a year ago we had a very brief coordepondance that has lead me to find the peace I now have on WordPress.
    I saw how you were able to write and be honest, even about things you regretted. I now do that daily and I’ve learned so much about myself. So …thank you.

  4. The first thing I felt while reading this was indignation that anyone might have reached out to you and complained; I wanted to puff up big and looming, shove you behind me and teach this person the basics in Internet manners. But then I figured you might think it was overkill.

    The thing is, N., it makes me sad that you feel this post is necessary because I think, “Someone is trying to
    co-opt this space from him.” It’s yours and yours alone and anyone short-sighted enough to base long ideas on you from this little sliver of your life might never understand the strange complexity of anyone who puts themselves out there in this way.

    I’m sure you have it all under control but I couldn’t help but feel protective of you for both you and the rest of us. xx Hy

    • Thank you, Hy.

      Here’s the thing. This isn’t about someone trying to co-opt anything. I understand that I’ve been necessarily somewhat opaque about just what I’m saying, to whom, but the bottom line is this: there are people I care about deeply who know about this blog. And sometimes, when they are suffering, they perceive what I write here as somehow evidence of my not being moved, not caring, about their suffering.

      This is wrong, of course. But understandable. I feel no anger, or judgment. Only sadness. It’s of course very complicated. 🙁

  5. Is it, though? Is it understandable? I think of your blog as a reflection of what you are feeling in a certain moment or after several certain moments. I’ve never considered it as the full and total reflection of YOU. While I may know a little about some of your sexual shenanigans, I don’t know YOU. Which I guess is an attempt to say that I am confused that anyone would personally interpret what you write here as anything other than your experiences and thoughts and feelings about a few particular episodes in your life. A person would have to spend considerable time to read between the lines or otherwise infer that you are trying to hurt someone.

    I don’t know. At the risk of sounding unfeeling, I’m not sure such a reaction is all that understandable.

    • Yes. It is understandable, to me. Suffering often makes the rest of the world harder to see clearly. Certainly, for me. Have you never had the experience of being tired, irritable? In those states, the world looks different to me. It often seems people are behaving badly when, in fact, they aren’t, when, in fact, I’m the one whose behavior, perceptions, or both, are off.

      When the suffering is hundreds of times worse than fatigue, or hunger, or garden variety irritability? Then the world starts to look like it’s organized against me, like everyone wants me to suffer more.

      That doesn’t make my perception correct, but it does make it eminently comprehensible.

      In this instance, a clear view of me might be prevented by others’ suffering. I’m sympathetic to that.

      But I have to keep writing.

      • I think we’re talking about two different things. Yes, how we react to things depends on our mood, our suffering, our personal circumstances. Obviously, non? What I’m saying is that sometimes people can hijack a writer’s feelings, internalize them, and react to them as if those feelings are directed at the reader.

        I see what you’re saying, and you’re right, but that’s not what I’m arguing.

  6. Being transparent before the world is what writers do…in so far as they are able. Regardless of how you started, you are a writer.

    It’s really awesome that you understand the effect what you do or do not write may have on the people that you love. It’s good…really, to want to protect and encourage and help…but you know who you are and to be who those people you care for need you to be, you need to do this…as you said…to cope.

    I hope that this piece helps to bring healing to those who may have suffered because if what they felt you should or should not have shared. And that you continue to be transparent, regardless, for your own sake.

    Be well, N.
    KW

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