Monday, June 17, 2013


I've tried to get this blog going several times, only to get irritated and hit 'delete'. Sometimes I think the problem is the Blogger/Google connection or writer's block, but it all comes back to Privacy. I'm big on Privacy, which is difficult with the way social media has evolved. It used to be that a person could create an anonymous screen name using anonymous web-based email and pour their heart out into the aether knowing their secrets were "safe" with strangers uninvested in one's life.

It sounds crazy, I know. How is it easier to tell it all to complete strangers than to talk to beloved friends and family?

I guess it depends on a person's perspective, which is borne of their experiences.

I come from a highly intelligent, highly dysfunctional, alcoholic family. My grandfather is our beloved patriarch as well as the source of most of our insecurities. He's fading into old age now, but back in the day he had a sharp mind and a tongue to match. Saying something he deemed stupid, tripping over one's own feet, or gaining too much weight made one a target. He rarely missed, and the hits could be brutal.

He passed this on to his children, who passed it on to theirs. Almost all of us are witty, sarcastic, snarky, and capable of brutal verbal eviscerations.

Most of us are also sensitive artistic types and not at all immune to criticism and harshness, regardless of appearances

It was a tough way to grow up. I don't know what would've happened to our family if he hadn't sobered up and mellowed out.

Strangers, on the other hand... Strangers usually can't find the chinks in my armor. If they do, it's easy to blow off a lucky shot because they don't know me and I don't know them. In the grand scheme of things, some random trolling jackass is Nothing to me. In person or on the Internet, it's just no big thing to take shit from a Random Passerby. They're either banned and blocked, toyed with, or blasted, depending on my mood.

I can be a real bitch. I would apologize, but I'm pretty sure I would have died many years ago without that particular defense mechanism. I've had to wrangle a lot of bullies, and some of them were at the dinner table at every holiday.

But now the Internet has changed, and I Don't Like It. Google insists on having a person's real name, and attaching it to everything they touch while signed into their ever-growing services. Blogger used to be blissfully anonymous, but now Google wants their share too or else it won't allow a blog to be fully functional.

[I'm half expecting to get an email from Google, telling me that Mama Bedlam isn't a real name and I need to pick another. That's okay. I'll deal with that when it comes so long as my main account is safe.]

When I first started this blog I tried to keep it light and silly. When someone who knows me reads that line they're probably going to roll their eyes and laugh. I do have my moments of silly, but they're hard for me to find. I spend more time being quiet and serious than is good for me. I think too much, spend too much time in my own head, and don't let enough people in to help me lighten up.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm an introvert. Specifically, an INFJ, for anyone who is interested in the Myers-Briggs personality types.

Being an INFJ can be terribly tricksy... Sometimes I want nothing more than to be left alone with my thoughts, books, or projects. There are days and weeks on end when the stress of the constant noise and activity of a household with three children, a husband, and an aging dog is enough to turn me into a screaming bitch-queen. It can be torturous to me sometimes, and can trigger anxiety attacks even though these are the people I love and adore beyond anything I can describe.

But then there are days when I have so much to say and no one to talk to. I don't make friends easily, though I keep the ones I have for decades. Interestingly, some of my closer, more beloved friends were once Random Strangers I met through one of those anonymous blogging sites. (Oh Xanga, how I miss the good old days...)

I guess that would be the biggest part of why I'm so determined to start blogging again. I blogged for years, sometimes multiple times a day, and it was lovely. Writing was one of the things that soothed my soul.

I sometimes have trouble Talking to people - especially when it comes to that part where you're supposed to "act normal" - but writing? Writing is easy. Writing allows for edits, re-writes, deletes and backspaces, and best of all... PAUSES. I could stop and sit here, staring at the wall for half an hour and nobody would know unless I was a goof and said so. Nobody has to know how many times I delete and re-write and edit a sentence, and somehow that relieves me of the pressure to speak perfectly... Which is kinda funny, because if I feel the need to tinker with a blog for more than tweaking a phrase or fixing a typo, I delete it and walk away. Seriously, everything I've written to this point is more or less train of thought. Writing is fucking JOYOUS compared to trying to properly arrange the thoughts in my head before they slip out my mouth in a stunning display of awkwardness.

I don't blog to be popular or entertain people. Good thing too, 'cause I'm just not that good at it. I blog because it's easier than journaling with pen and paper, and because if I keep too many of my thoughts to myself they get jumbled and confusing and I feel stifled, and feeling stifled makes me pissy. Nothing good ever comes of me getting pissy, so for now I will label this "Therapy" and practice breathing.

~ M.

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