"Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?”
― Kurt Vonnegut
I am censored.
I am censored not by the police and not by the government but I am censored nonetheless. Two people who have been closest to me are the ones who have said to me, "DO NOT write about me." Even though I don't use names in my blog, there are people who are (or, rather, WERE) very close to me who don't want to appear here.
I think it's odd.
I won't write about these two people. I won't write about any of our shared experiences. I won't write about anything they've said to me or done with me. I am referencing them here right now because no one on earth has an idea of who these two people are. THEY know who they are, of course, and they're going to be MAD that I'm even writing this much, I would guess. But perhaps they no longer read the blog. After all, they were incensed when they saw themselves here (one person had real references and the other one imagined), so I would assume that the oblique references right now are KILLING them.
We all see ourselves differently than our peers see us. When I look at myself, I see someone who is irrevocably screwed up. I see every single one of my flaws and I rarely see the good in me. Others look at me and see both my flaws and the parts that make me good. Still others only see the good parts. Perhaps those two people were afraid to see which parts of them I see.
I asked another friend permission to write about her. She thought what I wrote was funny...and true. She shared it with her family members. They thought it was funny. No one was hurt by it. My intention is never to harm. I only want to tell the truth as I see it. Is that wrong?
I suppose the truth can be hurtful. Sometimes, our actions are less than noble. Sometimes we hurt people we don't intend to hurt. But this blog has become an amazing gift that I have given myself. It has freed me to explore layers and nuances of my experiences in a way that is unlike any other. It's scary to bare your thoughts in a public forum. But it's also freeing. I explore my own selfishness and weird quirks out loud and, in doing so, I bring light to the parts of me that I didn't even know existed: I can be more thoughtful and kind than I knew; I can be more fair than I thought possible.
Why wouldn't someone close to me want to be part of this experience?
The only thing I can think of is fear. In bringing my own truth to light, I would potentially expose their truths. And maybe they are afraid of their own truths. Or maybe they simply don't want to see their truths the way I see them. Neither of them are aware how much it pained me that they excluded themselves from this blog. Neither of them understand that by excluding themselves here they are effectively excluding themselves from my life.
I read something recently (and I would attribute it here but I can't remember where I read it) about a person who went in to see a movie. The movie was about his life and he was the star. He saw himself exactly as he was. But then, he went into another movie and it was about his mother's life. In it, he was a VERY different person. He was sometimes rude and insensitive. He went into another movie and it was his best friend's life. Again, he was almost unrecognizable to himself. People see us differently than we see ourselves. It is sometimes painful to see yourself in the eyes of someone else. I know it can be very difficult for me to accept certain truths about myself...but I am fairly brutal with myself and always willing to accept the worst about me.
Is it unfair of me to want to write about EVERYTHING? Am I being insensitive to their feelings? I don't know. I'm still working through that. All I know is this: I gave each of those people my whole heart and I would have never put them in an unflattering light. I practically have made it a full-time hobby to make fun of myself...not others. Well, at least not others I KNOW anyway.
I realize my tongue is cutting sometimes and my so-called "wit" can be acerbic. But I wouldn't hurt the people I care about...at least not intentionally. I guess they didn't want an unintentional barb to whiz through the 'net.
So fine. I won't write about you. Or you. But I hope you'll know that this means that there will be forever a part of me that is closed to you. Here's where I throw in the "na na na na boo boo" chant, I think. Because hurt begets hurt, doesn't it?
Add your name to the list if you don't want to see yourself here. Or, even better, help me understand why you WOULDN'T want me to write about you.
(I am so sticking my tongue out right now...)