Have you ever been reading the site of someone you know in real life, and wondered if there weren’t some things they probably didn’t mean for you to read? I know there are some people who read my sites, who know me and see me in person, and I’ve often wondered whether there are times like that for them. Certainly, I’m not really ashamed of anything I write on-line, I would do it anonymously if I was really worried about it. At the same time though, I know I’ve probably written things that I might not really want that particular person to know. It’s sort of a confusing mess sometimes isn’t it?
For example, I usually write about a people I know or work with in very generic terms, but give enough information that someone who knows me well would be able to figure out who I was talking about. Most of the time that’s fine with me, there’s probably nothing I would write that I haven’t already said to that person, but I still get a vague uneasy feeling when I think about people who I deal with on a regular basis reading any of my sites. Let’s face it though, it’s this site that gives me the most uneasy feeling, because you just never know how someone’s going to handle the subject matter.
But that’s ok. I accept that this subject matter isn’t easy for everyone to read about and I’ve found that most people I know in real life don’t really come here that often even when they know about the site. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s because there are simply things you don’t want to know about the people around you, or if they feel like by reading here they’re intruding on a part of my life that I don’t sit and talk to them about. It’s certainly one thing to read about the very personal thoughts of strangers on-line, it’s quite another when those same people are in the office down the hall, or someone you see at social events. There’s a certain line that’s crossed, and not everyone is ok crossing that line, and I wonder if that’s not actually kind of a good thing.
I think there’s a very good reason why, as a survivor, there have been very few people outside of a group therapy situation that I’ve sat and really talked about being abused, and surviving abuse with. Most of those people have been very, very close to me. Family, my wife, my very closest friends, etc. It’s not a topic of conversation around the water cooler or lunch room at work, and, frankly I don’t think it would be a welcome topic of conversation in that environment because you have to cross a line of intimacy that you only cross with the most intimate of relationships. Sometimes your most intimate friends also happen to be people you work with, but in general, it’s still something you don’t talk about around the office.
Over the years, I’ve dealt with many people who know about this site, and yet have never taken the time to read much of it and who’ve never mentioned to me if they’ve read it at all. I’ve often wondered why that was. It seemed to me that this was the sort of site that would spark many questions among people who knew me and found it, but it never does. At first, I thought that was because they were uncomfortable talking about child abuse in general, but I’m starting to think that’s not it. I don’t think talking about child abuse makes them uncomfortable, I think it’s talking to me about the specific abuse that’s uncomfortable, because they don’t feel it’s proper for them to assume that intimate of a place in my life. Maybe that’s ok. Maybe that’s really the way it should be, Lord knows I spend plenty of time trying not to pry into people’s personal lives myself. Maybe reading this site feels like prying, and maybe in a way, it is prying.
Then again, maybe sometimes people really need someone to pry in order to open up and feel less alone in the world. How do you ever know?