Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Best Blogging Experience I Have Ever Had

Writing my divorce story was a very positive experience for me. I had never before written the story of how my marriage ended, nor had I written about how and when my mother got sick. I did not know how it would go over, blogging about something so uncharacteristically sad, but once I started I could not stop. And your comments were incredibly moving and helpful and encouraging.

The piece about my mom and my stupid bottle was the first time I have ever ventured to write anything about her death.

Here is the plain truth:

Mostly the reason I don't write about my mom is because I honestly don't know where to start. It would be easy to write about all the happy times, and even easier to write about all the funny times.

But what about all the bad times? The crying times? The cripplingly depressed times? The I-can't-believe-you're-doing-this-to-me times? I could pretend to be lofty and say that, looking back, none of that matters anymore. But that's not true. She made a lot of horrible mistakes as a mother, and I made a lot of horrible mistakes as a daughter, and we did not have the time we needed to get past that.

We had some more work to do.

And let me tell you (although it is heartbreakingly evident that many of you already know) -- it is very hard to resolve a relationship with someone who isn't there.

I would love to paint an only-joyous portrait of my mom, because that's far more pleasant, and she absolutely was joyous. But I stop myself from telling the happy stories because to only tell those is dishonest and revisionist. At the same time, I also stop myself from telling the bad stories because that's not what I want to remember, and because it seems unfair to give my perspective without her having any opportunity to pose a counter-point.

I don't want to hurt her feelings.

I have worked and healed and come a long, long way since the hospice a hundred million years ago. But I have been reluctant scared to write plainly about any of it, or that, or her (the good and the bad). And then when I got up the nerve, for no reason I can pinpoint (although I do think it has to do with moving in with Ish), I went and wrote about the hardest thing I can think of.

(It can only get easier from there, right? Gotta start somewhere?)

And you know what happened?

The single worst thing that anyone could possibly have said about me, to me, did. That anonymous poster below? That was the single scariest comment I could ever receive. It was, in fact, the thing I feared hearing most in the world.

And I'm...it's...okay.

Your response has totally, unexpectedly overwhelmed me. I didn't know how many of you had similar experiences. I am so happy you have been willing to share them. I have been harboring this guilt, along with the but-I-did-the-right-thing-right? question so deep inside for so long, I could have sworn I was the only one in the universe who felt it.

I am actually grateful that the anonymous poster said what s/he said, because it forced the real issue to the forefront. And your responses have meant the whole world to me. The good does outweigh the bad, about a million times over.

For years, I've needed to hear the things you've said, and I didn't even know it.

Thank you. Thank you for reading and thank you for being honest and thank you for being kind.

You've changed my life.






(I will be thanking each and every one of you in the comments below, too. Please bear with me.)

31 comments:

  1. I'm new to the blog world but I've been reading yours for a while now. I don't know how I stumbled upon it but I'm glad that I did because I love it! You are so candid and it's refreshing.

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  2. You know, I just said two posts ago that I read your blog every day but never comment because I have nothing to say and this is my third comment to you in three days. You've turned me into Chatty Kathy here.
    Anyways, I'm glad that you got the point that all of us were trying to make. I started my blog three years ago as an outlet to my everyday stay at home mom's life where nothing ever really happens. I put it out there like you did and had gotten a few readers who always gave positive response. Then one day, some ass happened upon my blog, and was moved to leave a comment instead of just moving on to one more their speed. S/He told me that I was a horrible mother to my three children since all it seemed that I did was sit my fat ass on my computer and blog. That stuck with me for a long time. Then I wrote a post about it and my faithful readers, some I considered my friend who I had never laid eyes on, said some really great things that they knew to be true and I finally got it. I needed the reassurance and I became thankful for that negative comment too for all the good that came from it.
    I'm glad it did it for you too.
    And I really do love your blog. You're one of the first ones that I check everyday.

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  3. Ya know, I had a turbulent relationship with my Mom through the years. Those memories stay with me for ever......but today (and I use that lightly as, tomorrow a whole new bunch of feelings surface) I choose to look past them. I have come to understand my Mom more, after her death, than I ever chose to see her, in life.

    I'm astonished to see that you are grateful for the hurtful comments. I don't think I could be so forgiving, but would aspire to find that strength you have~

    Once I stumbled upon your blog, I went through all of the archives and read the divorce story. I thought you did such a wonderful job, making me feel like I was there with you in the floor crying. (That's amazing!)

    Angel

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  4. Kristy,

    I don't think you realize how much sharing what you share helps others. I'm in the process of losing my father to ALS and believe me when I say, we have some serious shit to wade through. I've been afraid to bring it up (still am) but your story makes me see that I have to do it now. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your courage and honesty.

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  5. Yay! Good for you for seeing the good in all of this, I admire that ability and strive to "be" like that as much as I can. :o)

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  6. I've always admired your openness and honesty here, as I've said before. I think that the shrill, petty anonymous commenter (and others who've trashed you similarly in the past) was probably reacting as much out of jealousy for your capacity to share as for any other reason.

    Keep up the good, honest writing. It's worthwhile. I say that as someone who has very few spare minutes these days yet will ALWAYS stop and read you the moment I learn you've posted something new.

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  7. On the last post I didn't comment; not because I don't share the sentiments of the masses and think that the anonymous commenter was undeservedly harsh, wicked, and most of all cowardly (I do think this), but most of all I didn't comment because I cannot even begin to know what you went through, having not been through it myself. So, I'll just comment on what I do know: You are incredible brave and strong for posting both of these posts, and many others that you have in the past. You touch people's lives in an extremely positive way by your engaging content, witty humor, and just by being 'real' and being 'you'. And the way people choose to take it - good or bad - seems to be much more a reflection of them than you. So - from me - who hasn't been through anything you have been through in any way, shape, or form - thank you! Your courage and honesty is inspirational.

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  8. I got chills reading your post. Thank you for being brave enough to share all of this.

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  9. I appreciate your honesty, it took a lot of courage to write that and even more to respond to "anonymous". So glad I could witness your "best blogging experience ever" Have a great weekend!

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  10. all familial relationships are complex, which is one of the many reasons why premature death is so painful - it feels the relationships have not yet run their course. My father nearly died 14 years ago and then decided to tempt fate again recently. I cannot imagine how different my life would be today if he had left me when I was only 19.
    I don't know how I found your blog but I devoured your divorce story when I did and it planted a seed of "maybe I should write my story" and very recently I started that journey. Writing can be healing. You may not be ready to write about your mother today, but when you do, as you can see you have a supportive audience waiting to read it.

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  11. You made me cry. AGAIN!

    But, that's a good thing. Your thoughts today remind me of why I blog in the first place. I can't even tell you how many times I realized that I was not alone to face my battles because of my blogging sisters. We remind each other that none of us are perfect, and that's ok. We all make mistakes, we all have regrets, and none of us are alone in it. And although your relationship with your mother was never resolved into perfection, maybe your words can remind some of the rest of us to resolve those relationships that we can.

    There's never enough time to make sure it all works out "right" with everyone. And, as someone said above, all family relationships are complex. It's not like you can have a single conversation that solves it all in an hour. Sometimes it'll take a lifetime to figure it out, and even then it's still complex. All we can do is learn from our experiences and allow ourselves to move on.

    And, honestly, K? It sounds like you are finally allowing yourself to move on from the feelings you've been harboring. Writing is good and healthy and healing.

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  12. "But that's not true. She made a lot of horrible mistakes as a mother, and I made a lot of horrible mistakes as a daughter, and we did not have the time we needed to get past that.

    We had some more work to do."

    Oh my gosh. I could have written that statement.

    My Mom and I had this "love/hate" relationship going on most of my life. I tried so hard, so many times, to work it out.

    I lost my Mom 5 years ago this coming April. Like you, we had some more work to do. I will always regret that we were never able to work it all out.

    Thank you for sharing your feelings, Kristy. Your honesty and openness are helping me finally heal.

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  13. I cried when I got to your blog on Sunday and read Saturday's post. I cried again today as I read the comments and stores that people shared regarding Anon.

    And like Lizzy, it has been nearly five years since my "love her/hate her" Mom died; the way she would have wanted, but BAM alone, on the floor, while I was 40 miles away, at home with a new baby. I still dream about her at least once a week.

    But I digress...

    I can't imagine that it's ever easy between mothers and daughters or even between significant others. So we look to the world around us to learn from our wrongs and to share our strengths and find a way to get through each day.

    Kristy, your blog is a very new, but significant part of my life. I admire your honesty and wit. And I look to you to laugh, to learn, and to commiserate. Thank you.

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  14. I thank god everyday that i found you, not in a stalker way, but in a 'im not alone or so weird' way. thank you for writing about the hard stuff because unfort it is what comprises so much of everyones lives. (but thanks for the mountains of giggles too!)

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  15. I'm at work (shh-hh...) so I can't read all the comments to your previous post, and I haven't read any of these, but I will say this: I <3 you and I <3 your friends.

    I bow down to how you handled anon 11:19's comment.

    But... maybe anon 11:19 did you a favor. S/he challenged you with your biggest fear, and you won. S/he's still a despicable fucktard, but it sounds like you're free from that guilt now.

    Funny... the inadvertent kindness of Internet douchebags. (Your friends are much more creative in their epithets. I loved reading them!)

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  16. Oh, Kristy, Dear...I was so happy when i came home and opened up my computer to check your blog. I was honestly nervous that the incredibly ASSinine Anon 11:19 had some horrible power over you that would have kept you from sharing your stories with us. i'm truly relieved to see that my worries were for naught. Please continue to enrich our lives with your funny and clever tales!
    xoxo

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  17. I am so glad you could find a silver lining in the negativity caused by a troll. It is so wonderful how all your iifs have rallied around you.

    Sadly, I think that the anonymous poster would have spewed bile anywhere he or she happened upon. I really don't think it was about you. He or she is harboring some guilt or dissatisfaction with his or her own life, and we all saw the result. Unfortunately you were the one to have to deal with the negativity. I hope that all of the good vibes flowing your way have truly counteracted those of the anonymous poster.

    Keep writing, you are doing us a service. I mean who else would post a photo of their own badly bruised ass? You are one of a kind and we love you.

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  18. Geesh, again with the comments. This is my fourth already. I just wanted to say that I just finished reading your Divorce Story. So many things got to me but the one thing that made me bawl was the picture of you as a child with your mother. I looked at the look on your face and realised it was a look that I've seen on my babies faces many times. It really was a beautiful picture.

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  19. You are so brave to put such personal, painful details about your life 'out there', even if this is your space. I am always moved by your writing and your honesty in telling your stories, even if they aren't all sunshine and roses.

    Thank you.

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  20. oh thank you sweet baby jeebus! i was so worried that anon would have rattled you to the point of no return. because that asshat might have sent me over the edge. i am thrilled at how you chose to look at this situation with anon, to use their shitty, miserable comment and our responses to heal the pain of losing your mom a little more.

    personally, i am still so raw, hurting so much at the loss of my mom almost 2 years ago. and you give me hope, kristy. divorce, loss of parents, moves across the country, accepting new jobs, etc. have all made you who you are today. and who you are today is a wonderful woman that i am truly grateful i found a while back through jestertunes.

    i know when people call you "brave" and "strong" you probably shake it off. (i say that because i never can appreciate when people call me brave for something. something like, oh i don't know. living???!?!) but kristy you are brave for putting your writings out there. and you are strong for putting the effort into working through anon's cruel comments. i'm incredibly proud of you.

    still wishing you nothing but the best,

    hellohahanarf

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  21. Funny how it all works out, huh?

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  22. your honesty here is one of the things i admire most about you, k. i'm thrilled the nasty comment didn't quash that.

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  23. Kristy, I've read your blog for quite a while (since the fireman post), and I want you to know that I don't just read it because you're funny. You are funny. But you are also brave and strong and true, even, and especially, when you feel the exact opposite.

    Sometimes, people do need permission to go. Sometimes they do stick around because they don't want to miss out of the party. And, regardless, never let a stranger second guess a decision you know was right.

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  24. No, thank YOU for sharing part of yourself with us. It is a strong and courageous thing to do, and you have a gift for it.

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  25. Your writing is touching and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heartbreaks.

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  26. Kristy - I'm glad this has helped you.

    It actually helped me too. I've been carrying a heavy, depressing load around since last September. Reading your experience and those of other commenters has helped me to unpack a little bit of it. Thanks.

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  27. I know what you mean about the moisturizer. Years ago I stole a bottle of bath gel from my grandmother's house, so I would be able to smell her after she died. She still hasn't, and I have the bottle hidden in my drawer.

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  28. anon 7:32 - i don't even know what you're talking about. so i'm deleting you.

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  29. Kristy- I know this post was about your mom and I'm terribly sorry for you loss and what you had to go through. I read your divorce story from the link and I while I am again, terribly sad for you, ours stories are very similar. I was a bit older when I was married and have been divorced for a few months, so am still feeling it, but had my world fall apart at the time I got divorced. I'm slowly picking up the pieces day by day. Your story gives me hope and is reassuring, so thank you for sharing.

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  30. I too struggle with what I was left with after my Mother died in pretty much similar circumstance. Now...16 years later I have more of a love/hate relationship with her memory because I understand her better and boy am I pissed at her some days now. You are an honorable person on so many fronts but for taking the high road and turning one's "anonymous" unkind and self righteous comment back with an appreciation defines honorable. IMHO it is nothing but a coward to post such comments anonymously to avoid the backlash.

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  31. becky - hellohahanarf11:20 AM, March 09, 2008

    just wanted to let you know that you are a huge part of my inspiration to start a blog. granted jester has been beating on me to get one up and running, but i think these posts about your mom are part of what kicked me over the edge.

    thanks for always being there for us, kristy.

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