This may be the hardest thing I've ever done. Well, not really. Not even close. But it's sure not easy.
The blog has brought me a lot of happiness. It's added a new dimension to my life. I've made new friends, learned a lot and, most importantly, found a way to write regulary.
I have a blog problem.
Before I left for Seattle (where I still am) I told Tim (my "boyfriend") about the blog. He was surprised, curious and not particularly happy about it.
The night before I left town, I showed him the blog. He insisted and I couldn't say no. Everyone else has seen it and he can't? He didn't think that was right and I had to agree.
We also had a "big serious discussion" about our relationship.
The outcome of the big serious discussion? We're "pausing." Whatever that means. When I get back to DC, we get to have another "big serious discussion." Love this! Not.
The reason for the pause should be obvious, but here is the shortest possible summary:
He thinks I deserve better than this--I should be with someone who can give me his full attention. (No argument from me, but I enjoy all the time I spend with Tim.) My view is that I don't know if this is a good situation for him while he's trying to resolve his marriage stuff. We were both thinking about splitting but we couldn't quite do it. Maybe we won't have to, but I'm getting mentally prepared for it. Great way to spend a vacation.
Tim: We can't go backwards but I don't want to stop. I'd like to pause. Can we pause?
Jamy: Sure. I guess so.
Tim: We'll talk when you get back. Ten days can be a long time.
It sure can. In the rain. With Mom. While catching a headcold. And when spending many hours revising the blog.
Ah yes, the blog. Tim's not happy about it. If it were up to him, you wouldn't be reading our conversations or know anything about him. If I'd asked for his permission to write about him, he wouldn't have given it. Ouch. Yet he understands how important the blog is to me. That it is my outlet, my main venue for self-expression. Not to mention the free therapy!
I'm not very private. I keep some secrets, but not many. But I know that Tim is private. I hesitated to post about him from the beginning. I've been careful about what I've written. But I have given many details about our interactions and about his life. And friends of mine read the blog so it's not actually secret. It might be better if all of you were strangers. The dozen who aren't strangers are more of a problem than the hundred who are.
I tried to make him more anonymous (without being asked). I offered to take posts about him down or move the whole thing somewhere else--make it invisible. I offered to stop writing about him. I felt very, very bad.
Funny, my worry about Tim reading the blog was that he would think I was nuts when he read about my fears, doubts and hesitations. But that didn't bother him. What bothered him was being seen--how the writing showed him to the world. I worried that it would change the way he saw me and he was worried that it would expose him to--you. Except for not being happy with me, he sees me the same way because, well, I pretty much have told him most of the things I've written about and he gets that this is a journal and not exactly, precisely how I feel about things. I, however, did not come close to anticipating how it would make him feel to be written about--probably because I would not have felt the same way.
At the risk of violating his trust even more ('cause who knows if he's reading. I asked him not to, but I'm not going to forbid it. That seems as wrong as any other decision I've made.), I'll repeat some of our conversation:
He said, "...there is sort of a competing interest here between my privacy and your...desires. I wouldn't have consented to it, but it's important to you and I won't ask you to take it down. What bothered me the most was that your friends were reading about us. But then I realized that you would tell them most of that stuff anyway."
"Well, yes. I was going to point that out..."
"You tell Pele everything."
"It's true. But I tell Pele more than I tell other people. But she likes you. Everyone likes you. You're likeable!"
I'm not sure what to do. Keep writing about Tim? Cut him out of the blog? Paraphrase him instead of quoting? Fictionalize like crazy? Change the focus of this site?
It's not like I can't write whatever I want and not publish it. And don't think that's not happening.
I feel like I'm letting my scores of readers down. But that would be vain. It's just...I love your attention. I am vain! I love having your feedback, even when I fight with you. It's like one big, happy, dysfunctional family. (You know who my favorite fictional family is, right? The Addams Family, of course!)
Tim said it himself, "It's like reality tv, but interactive." True. I also hope it's at least a tiny bit more dignified. And funnier. Heh.
Grateful for: time to think.