Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What Are You Blogging For?

I've noticed that as many bloggers come to the end of their blogging road, usually shortly before writing their final goodbye post or unceremoniously abandoning their blog altogether (by the way, that is super frustrating), their posts start to consist of a lot of rambling-out-loud about the point of blogging.  They wonder what they had hoped to get out of having a blog and they wonder if they've achieved it.  Or they realize that they just don't have the time to do the blog justice anymore.  I also commonly see IFers and baby loss mothers who feel like they should stop blogging or at least start a new blog that marks the delineation between being an infertile/grieving-childless parent and being a parent.  I believe this sometimes stems from some subform of guilt because they've finally succeeded where others still have not.  Sensitivity to one's audience, if you will. 

If the last paragraph seems a bit judgy, I don't mean it to be.  I really do understand when people decide they are done.  Or when they just don't have the time anymore.  I often feel guilty when it's been a few weeks since I've been able to update.  It's disappointing for the audience, but audiences, after all, can be somewhat fickle.  For instance, now that I am all pregnant again and stuff I sometimes avoid the blogs of other baby loss mamas on days when I feel really anxious about the pregnancy or when I've awoken from another birth defect nightmare that morning (you know the ones).  This happens more with the baby loss mamas who have had very recent losses than the ones who lost babies around the time I did 6 years ago.  The recent loss bloggers can just bring it all screaming back for me some days because their grief is still so fresh and raw to them.  And I'm a baby loss mama!!  Sometimes remembering is a positive experience for me, but when you are 13 weeks pregnant?  Sometimes it isn't.  The sad thing is that the bloggers I avoid on days I feel more sensitive are the ones that could probably use my support the most.  After all, I am 6-plus years away from my loss and in some ways, ways I never would've imagined when Matthew had recently died, my life is better than I ever thought it could be.  I went back to (and finished!) nursing school when I never thought I'd even be able to stomach entering a nursing school or a hospital ever again.  I had my full-term healthy baby girl in a way that was safe and doesn't give me nightmares.  Jerry and I fricking made it.  That by itself seems like a miracle some days, and at the very least it's an accomplishment.  Ever google the statistics for relationships that endure the loss of a child?  The odds were/are not in our favor.  And....we are brave/stupid enough to try again. 

Yes, fellow bloggers, readers can be fickle.  Readers will stop reading your posts because you've annoyed them or stirred some emotion in their psyche that they can't/don't want to deal with right now.  Of course there are really loyal readers too... And I follow many blogs that I am convinced the writers could never do wrong in my eyes.  They seriously couldn't throw a post up on their blogs that annoyed me or made me want to stop reading.  I heart them. 

I've kept a journal since, I don't know, junior high at least.  I don't pick it up and go through it like a photo album or anything, but I still have it.  A few months ago, I spent a bit of time reading back on my 12 and 13-year-old emotions.  Honestly?  It was pretty embarassing.  There was an awkwardness to both the writer and the subjects that I have no desire to relive.  Most of the events are things that I obviously felt were significant enough at the time to warrant a journal entry, but I have no recollection of the events now-- even after reading the entry.
But somehow my preteen diary seems-- even in its embarassing awkwardness-- to convey many of the bigger issues I was struggling with during those years.  Knowing I was forcing myself to fit in with a crowd that I didn't really have anything in common with at all, but not knowing how to be an individual and just be myself without worrying about what everyone else thought (because you will never make them all happy anyway, Younger Reese).  Wondering when I would finally grow some boobs (never, Younger Reese, stop holding your breath.  Well actually, pregnancy will do a fair job of it but they won't be the fun, bouncy, made-for-a-triangle-bikini-top kind.  So yeah.  Just move on.)**.  I do think the memories of the issues and emotions have some importance in my life today, especially as I raise my own little girl.  And a surprising amount of the issues are very much still relevant to my adult life.  Like the negative relationship I have with my father.  Or the roots of my never-good-enough mentality.  Or the way I still often feel like I don't fit in.  Yep, it's all there folks.
I switched to journaling on the computer because I can type faster and with less hand cramping than I can write.  Then I started a blog because there were so many cute ones out there.  I love when I feel as though I've made a connection with a fellow blogger.  It often makes my day to receive a comment.   But the truth is, I don't blog for anyone but myself.  For me, blogging is simply a way of marking time, of keeping track of things I want to remember. To that end, I don't feel like I'm doing a good enough job (A shrink would point out here that I chronically do not feel like I measure up and these feelings may therefore be a result of my unstable emotional self rather than an actual crappy job at blogging). My blog has never had a goal other than a way of writing about the issues I am struggling with and the simple comings and goings of my everday life.  If I wanted total privacy I would stick to journaling, but I've kept my anonymity here as much as I can.  Sometimes during nursing school I felt frustrated that I couldn't just post about whatever crap The Nursing School from Hell was putting us through without giving up my anonymity, but I am glad I didn't do that now.  I want the freedom  to post about whatever I freaking feel like.  Yet, I don't think I am utilizing that freedom.  I don't think that I am managing to convey many of the bigger issues I am dealing with as I inch frighteningly close to 30 and attempt to have another child.  Issues like the negative father relationship, my fears as a mother, or how much I am questioning my spirituality.  Sometimes I wish that I was the author of a blog that was endlessly positive and optimistic, an inspiration to anyone who stumbles across it.  I've read blogs like that and that is awesome (but don't act too perfect or I'll remove the bookmark.  Seriously, I will. I'm fickle like that). It's just not me. 
Inspiring is not the goal here.  This will probably never even be a blog that can be put under a specific label:  mommy blogger, foodie, design enthusiast.  Nope.  Here, I just talk about whatever I feel the need to talk about.  I just want to move a bit more towards talking about the things I struggle with and the things I want to remember.  It's not important to me that I post weekly pregnancy updates (Is it just me, or are those kind of a snore?  I'm too bored to write them anymore.)  It's important that I post about my last days parenting only one child.  It's important that I post about how I struggle with depression sometimes and have so far managed to avoid medication.  I want to continue to post about Matthew and the aftermath of my loss.  I want to talk about my pregnancy fears and my hopes and dreams for my daughter.  I hope that people read.  But if they don't?  Oh well.  And if you are related to me whether by blood or marriage, please leave.  Immediately.  This place is not for you.  It's for me. 
**I can't resist this one.  One entry from when I was 13 recalled me to one humiliating bus ride home when one of the older high school boys grabbed a copy of the junior high yearbook that had been handed out at school that day and started flipping through it, loudly commenting on all the pictures.  When he got to my photo he loudly mispronounced my name and called my picture "ugly" and proceeded to make several other unflattering comments about my appearance. He may or may not have known I was sitting a few rows up.  I assume he probably did.  I ducked way down in my seat and my little friend sitting next to me pretended she hadn't heard.  I was humiliated.  Reading that entry, I wished so badly that I could travel back through time and tell my 13 year old self this:  that in 7 years that same jerk-off from the back of the bus will run into you in a bar (which if you can do math you will realize that I was at illegally.  Yay me!) where he will beg you and then your friends for your phone number.  It will take him nearly a month to talk you into giving it to him because you will recall the bus incident and act extra nasty to him for a while (as he deserves).  He will deny any recollection of the bus incident.  He will tell you that he had a crush on you back when you were in high school, but he was too afraid to approach you then.  You will date him for nearly two years and then YOU will dump HIM.  Don't bother going home and crying.  I'd call that a win. 


  1. I blog for me. Sometimes people comment and I'm all 'oh wow! Someone is still there' but really it's just a place for me to throw out everything in my head. I sometimes go months without blogging and then pick it back up again.

    Recently in April a friend of mine lost her 22 month old daughter to Leukemia. Somehow she came across my blog and started at the beginning and read every post.

    She told me it helped her. That's why my blog will stay. Even during my silences

    1. I completely agree. How awesome to hear that your story touched someone else after their own loss! I definitely believe that the sense of feeling you aren't alone when you lose your child is priceless. Often I will read a post by another blogger and know that I have felt the exact same way.