Why do I write?

When I was a senior in high school, a friend introduced me to DeadJournal. It was my first and only outlet at the time. I knew my mother would never allow it, so I created it in secret. I wrote very obscure posts about my pain. I never wrote anything specific, for fear of my mother finding out.

And sure enough, my mother walked into my bedroom one night and searched my computer. DeadJournal popped up. She interrogated me, asking what it was. I told her it was an online journal I was looking at. She flipped. She told me I was not allowed to write about feelings. I was punished, thankfully less severe as I would have been had she seen what I actually wrote. But I never wrote in it again.

That journal was supposed to be for me. It was my opportunity to write how I felt, and that was taken away from me. Just like everything else was taken away from me.

I started writing after I ran away, because I knew my mother wouldn’t be able to take that away from me again. I could write what I felt, without anyone telling me what I should or shouldn’t write.

I didn’t go into this blog expecting anyone to read it. I did it for me, as a way of getting things out that I held in for so long. That was the purpose.

Along the way, a lot more people started reading my blog. Mostly strangers, and people who started out as strangers that I now have come to care about. And then people from my real life started reading. Then I wasn’t so anonymous. I couldn’t hide in my writing anymore. I was exposed. I learned to be okay with that, because people were supportive. In some ways, it reconnected me with people from my old life who were forced away from me by my mother.

Even with all of that, my writing never changed its purpose. I wrote for me. I write for me. If you don’t like it, don’t read what I write. If you feel the need to decide what I should or shouldn’t be writing about, don’t read it. This is my writing. This is my life.I write about my struggles. I write about my PTSD and DID. I write about the things that affect me.

I don’t write about my morning coffee. I don’t write about mundane shit. That doesn’t affect me. My writing isn’t sunshine and rainbows, because I’m not sunshine and rainbows. I’m not here to make anyone look good. I don’t even make myself look good.

I don’t want to hear anyone telling me what I should write. I will not be controlled again. This is MY space. If my mother ever came to me and told me to stop writing so negatively about her, I would tell her to fuck off. Perhaps she should have not done the things she did in the first place that led me to write in such a way.

This sentiment applies to anyone who thinks the same. If you want to read my writing and be supportive, rock on. If you want to read my writing and criticize, you can go away. I have enough to deal with already.

Now, since I got that all out, I have a dilemma.

My therapist asked me last session if I thought it would be beneficial for her to read my blog before our sessions. On an intellectual level, I understood her reasons for suggesting that. I wrote about my issues with communication before. It’s still a problem. I can write much easier than I can speak out loud, even with my therapist.

My therapist knows about this blog; she has since the beginning. But she told me in the beginning that she would not read it, and I was okay with that. I didn’t really think my writing was all that substantive back then anyway.

For some reason, when my therapist brought it up this time, I had a strong negative reaction. Perhaps it was the timing. I have recently been dealing with some people who feel the need to dictate what I should and shouldn’t write in my blog (hence my mini-rant just before). I think I may have transferred my anger about that onto my therapist.

I know my therapist is not out to criticize or judge my writing, or even my life. But I feel like I am losing my safe space a bit. I started out being able to write whatever I wanted, and now I have people in my life trying to change that. What if I wanted to hide here? What if I wanted to write something really horrible? Can I do that without receiving backlash?

I trust my therapist more than any human being, past, present, and probably future. I have told her things I would never tell another person, things I would never even write about here. But what if something came up that I didn’t want to tell her? I wouldn’t have a place to put those thoughts anymore. I’d have to keep them inside, like I did for most of my life. I don’t want to do that anymore.

On a realistic level, I see the benefits. On an emotional level, I feel invaded.

I just want to be able to hide. But do I really need to?

Changes

I am going to have to make some changes to the blog.

I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to go about this just yet, but I need to disconnect my blog from my identity. I need to be anonymous, if you will.

I don’t want to stop writing. I’m a talented writer and my writing has helped so many people.

I don’t want to privatize my posts because so many of the thousands of visitors to my blog are able to access it because it is public.

I don’t want to censor. I don’t want to hide who I am. But I almost feel like I’m being forced to if I want to get where I want to be.

Six Weeks

It has now been six weeks since my escape.  I’ve made it six weeks.  In some ways, it feels like time is rushing by me.  Six weeks?  I just got down here!  Where has the time gone?  I should be further along by now.  What am I waiting for?  But then, when I really sit back and think about it, I’ve done a lot in six weeks.  I’ve managed to keep a job for the past two weeks.  I managed to meet a few people and possibly make a few friends.  Yes, I ended up being hospitalized, and yes, I had a breakdown on a bus in the middle of the day.  But I came back.  Both times.  You can’t choose when and where your PTSD will affect you.  I can’t wake up in the morning and say “You know what, PTSD ain’t gonna bother me today!”  That’s not how it works.  The day can be going great and BOOM.  Flashback.  It just happens.  That is life with PTSD.

It has also now been five weeks since I started this blog.  I started this blog not really knowing what to expect.  I wanted to write about my journey, about my escape from a life of pain into a life without hurt.  I also wanted to give others a glimpse into the world of mother-daughter sexual abuse and how it has affected not only my past, but my present and my future as well.  So many people are afraid to speak up about it.  I was afraid, too.  But I’m not anymore.  As much as I want to spread awareness of MDSA, I cannot expect people to understand an issue if there’s no one there to speak up about it.  I need to be one of those people.  And I will be.

I did not go into this expecting my blog to reach so many people in such a short amount of time.  Within five weeks, I have over had over 200 visitors, and over 1,000 views.  It means a lot to me.  Even if someone has only read part of my story, I hope that part has stayed with them.  I am especially grateful for those that have continued to follow my story, and those that take time out to comment, even when I may not respond back.

I have also noticed, in the little over a week that I have been writing about my battle with a dissociative disorder, my followers have more than doubled and my visitors have increased significantly.  While I went into this originally planning to focus on MDSA, I also plan to write more on my journey with DID.  I believe this blog will be changing, just as I am.  And it’s for the better.

I also noticed, in reading over some of the comments and going over my recent posts, that I’ve let my recent issue with dissociation overtake my emotions.  I intended this blog to be hopeful for others, and instead it became the opposite.  I lost the sense of hope I had before.  A DID diagnosis isn’t going to change who I am.  I can’t let it change who I hope to be; that isn’t going to help others.  For all of the shit I’ve been through, a diagnosis will not change me.  I let a label define who I was and who I would be.  For that, I apologize.

To end on a good note, tomorrow marks the final day of my undergraduate career.  I have two papers due, one of them being my thesis.  I haven’t really worked on them much (procrastination seems to be a characteristic of any college student regardless of age), but I have actually passed the classes even without the last assignments.  All of these years, I have always been about perfection.  This last year, I have been on academic survival mode, doing whatever I can to get by and graduate.  I’ve been hospitalized five times (four for psychiatric, one for pneumonia) in the last year, I’ve juggled multiple jobs, and managed to plan my escape AND move all while continuing to go to school year-round.  And you know what?  Through it all, I still managed to get a 3.9 GPA.  I will be graduating with honors.  I did it.