i've got really bad cramps and lower back pain from my period, and i had a very upsetting phone conversation last night, and i spattered oil all over the stove while making dinner. this did not make me happy. getting ripped that second asshole... i just don't need to be leaking in that many places, yo.
oh, and they shut off my cable. for no reason. and i wanted to watch Gideon's Crossing to cheer me up.
here's what was upsetting: i was told in no uncertain terms that what i write, what i put in my journal, the fact that i have a journal at all, the fact that i make it public, is Wrong. i have no right to be expressing myself, most certainly not in this fashion. and it is no one's business to know what's going on in my life. strangers are not allowed to know that i exist, that i have a life, and that it is less than perfect.
needless to say, this made me a little defensive. in the face of tears and invective, i tend to get rather coldly analytical as a way of protecting my emotions. to some people, this comes across as unfeeling or unresponsive. of course, when you can't get a word in edgewise, it also seems that you're unresponsive. and i got called on that as well. i finally snapped and said - i get it. i got it the first time you said it. i got it the second time, the fifth time and the eighth time. stop repeating your point as if i were an idiot child who doesn't understand English. and yes, you most certainly are treating me like an idiot. i was unceremoniously dismissed shortly after that.
i really don't have a problem with people critiquing my writing; there isn't too much ego attatched to the words once they go out there. but to tell me i have no right to write at all? come on... and that's really what the baseline comment was. it started as 'you have no right to talk about me, and you have no right to talk about _____, and to describe this problem is wrong, and to talk about this issue is bad...' - as if somehow we had timewarped back to the 50s, where problems of all shapes and sizes were swept under rugs that had to have been the size of the Gobi desert, because admitting to any sort of personal foible just wasn't done. that just doesn't seem healthy, to me. denying the existence of a problem doesn't solve it, or make it go away. i'm not saying you need to take out full page ads in the local paper, but talking about things that bother you is certainly healthier than suppressing them.
what i write about here are my opinions and experiences, how they affect me, what i've learned. i write about things that i would tell my family and my friends. i say things here that i would gladly say to someone's face. there is nothing underhanded or meanspirited here. i may rant or vent, but i'd do the same if you and i were sitting down over a cup of coffee. and while i do talk about quite a few things here, there is a level of self-censorship, because there are a number of things that just don't need to be talked about here (recovering WASP, don't you know).
what i write about here is my life. My. Life. mine. me. how i see things. and i'm sorry - you have no right to tell me that you have more right to my life than i do. if you don't like my opinions, then don't read them. you know, like that old joke - "Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I do this." "Then don't do that." participation here is voluntary.
i do not want to lose a friendship over this. truly, if i step back, i can say that in the long run, it is important to me to maintain the friendship. but, ohhhhhh... right now? right now, they can kiss my lily white ass until they drop. i'm mad, i'm hurt, i'm insulted, i'm defensive, and i'm just a touch protective of my life and my right to create and write.
interestingly, this little fiasco did point out to me that i've been applying varying standards to different people. some i know how they would take a certain story being retold, so i don't need to ask. others, i check with and give them first refusal because it's not clear to me if they would feel uneasy about me describing a particular event. and others i don't ask, not because i don't care, but because i know they will never read this. and truly, that isn't fair. so, with bated breath, i made a few phone calls today. to each person, i explained this project, and what my personal standards for content are, and that they occasionally make appearances here, under fictional names, or as a particular role, and did they have any reservations about that? to a person, they all said 'it's your life - write whatever the hell you want.' one person i talked to last night after having been reamed out said that, while they were uneasy about a few things, they had great respect for my writing as art, and would not ask me to change anything.
i hadn't realized i was carrying a burden until it was gone.
so, where do i go from here? i'm going to keep writing. and i'm going to keep having Opinions (oh, my!). and if you read my journal, you'll certainly be treated to most of them. 8) if you find them amusing, or thought provoking, or just interesting, i hope you'll keep coming back to visit. if you don't, no harm, no foul (no socks, no shoes, quoth Eddie), and no need to come back. i won't be offended. and as for the person who told me to pound salt... well, they've pretty much asked to not be a part of my life, at least not here. so be it.
and the sweetie of a tech support person that i got ahold of last night, 4 minutes before my show was about to start, agreed that cutting off my cable when my bill wasn't past due was just wrong, that the bill isn't due until next week, that there was no warning of any kind, and he reconnected me (no surcharge) about 20 seconds before Gideon's Crossing started. you know, if i had been yelled at and missed my show, it would only have been bad.