Why Blogs and Bloggers are Not Stupid
Because you have all been so incredibly kind, supportive, encouraging, complimentary and accepting of a stranger who basically just insinuated herself into your midst without really being invited, I want to offer an explanation.
A couple of years ago, my husband and I took on a project that resulted in two years of pure hell. I won't go into details, because it doesn't matter anymore. We've put it behind us. We chose to take with us all the good; to keep in touch with the multitude of truly kind, generous and supportive people we encountered and to leave all the hurt and negativity in the past. That proved to be easier said than done, particularly since certain individuals persisted in following me around for no other reason than the for the sheer amusement of harassing me. I found that I had some residual hurt and bitterness that I needed to exorcise before I could move on.
Some of these individuals had been blogging, and suddenly I had a target for all the anger and frustration that had been building. Because of the nature of the situation, I had been largely unable to defend myself, or my husband, or even my children (who were not, as one would think, off limits) from them. Many times I had no choice but to sit in mute astonishment as they told outrageous lies and assassinated my character and that of my husband.
To assuage the feelings that naturally arise when one is made to stand under a metaphorical tree with an apple on their head, I did what I do best...I used my words. And I won't lie, it felt good. Many of the early pieces I wrote were directed at specific individuals, and not truly representative of my thoughts about blogging in general. Truly, I did not mean for them to ever be viewed by anyone else but me, my husband and a handful of loyal and supportive friends who had stood by me through the entire ordeal.
But you know what? It worked. As my fingers flew over the keys and the words poured forth in a torrent, I began to feel better. It was the catharsis I needed to move on. And I did. I rediscoverd my voice, and my joy of writing, which I had all but abandoned during that period of struggle. My writing, though still occasionally irreverent, stopped being so cynical and sardonic and began to focus on the good things in my life. It was then that I knew the tide had turned, and that I was really going to be okay.
It all sounds very dramatic, doesn't it?? It was. Drama. The internet is built on drama.
Realization was dawning, and I began to understand the appeal of blogging. But though the old me was slowly emerging and I had let go of the acrimony, I still held a largely dim view of my own sex because of the experience.
But you all changed that. How?
It started with a post by Reluctant Housewife whom I did not know, linking to and expressing her enjoyment of a post I had made. I was stunned. I was touched. I read her blog and it was not stupid. I read some of the links on her blog roll. They weren't stupid either. They were funny, and intelligent, and genuine. And wonder of wonders, they were not sniping at each other. They were writing about stuff that we could all relate to, and they were supporting one another. Laughing and crying and commiserating and rejoicing with one another. I was encouraged, but not entirely converted.
Then, out of the blue, Mom101, whom I also did not know, nominated me for a Perfect Post Award, which was something Lucinda and Mommak put together to honor fellow bloggers. Not only did she nominate me, but she emailed me to tell me how much she enjoyed my writing. My astonishment was threefold. First, that a woman who was a stranger to me had reached out in kindness. Second, that other women were doing something positive to bring women together. And third, that even when we disagreed, it was done (mostly) with respect and maturity.
After that, I found myself being welcomed into a group of women who were so smart, so funny, so talented, original, unique and genuine that I could simply could not hold onto my enmity and disappointment. I felt that my faith in womankind had finally been restored.
When Her Bad Mother was recently made the target of a vicious attack at the hands of someone who fancies themselves very clever, (I won't link it, because I refuse to pander to such a shameless and pathetic bid for attention)I felt her pain, and I felt that faith being shaken again. But the response to her dilemma was so overwhelmingly supportive, that instead of crumbling into a pile of disenchanted and disconsolate rubble, it was reinforced with the steely strength of sisterhood. Bu yah, baby.
So now you know my story of how I found myself again, how I found all of you, and how in so doing, I found out that Blogs and Bloggers are most definintely...not stupid.
Thank you all.
(Oh, and...you can be sure this will garner some interesting comments, undoubtedly anonymous. Feel free to sit back and watch. It's sure to be good entertainment. Kind of like Jerry Springer.)