Blogging 101

I hurt someone I love very much with this blog and my thoughtless writing.  I shared personal information about her and hurt her.  I shared parts of private conversations and painted her in a bad light.  It was not malicious or intentional, but it was hurtful and wrong and worst of all.. public.  I told myself I was okay and not sharing confidences because she had said I could write anything I wanted about her in my blog and that she was never going to read it, and the things I shared I shared after she’d told another person… but that’s bullshit.  That’s all bullshit.  It’s total and utter bullshit.

Her telling her close person things is not license for me to tell the blogisphere because “now it is out”.  That was really thoughtless and ridiculous.  I should absolutely have known better.  Some things are private. I know that may sound ridiculous on a blog of this nature.  I talk about private conversations and sex and love and feelings and all kinds of private stuff here all the time.  BUT.. that’s okay when it is MY PRIVATE INFO, not when it is someone else’s.  Also, the people in my life that I talk about okayed me talking about love and sex and relationships, not every aspect of their lives.

OK.. but I share private info about my partner’s sex lives and conversations and feelings here too.  I asked them for permission and received it before I shared stuff here, but that’s not a blanket okay.  Just because someone knows I have a blog about love and sex and relationships and ok’ed me talking about a dating situation they had doesn’t mean that they are now okay with me sharing absolutely everything about them.  It’s one thing for me to choose to talk about what I am feeling or doing and entirely another to talk about others.  MY INFO IS MINE TO SHARE AND THEIRS ISN’T.

I was writing a blog about feeling relieved and a blog about some hurt feelings I had.  I could have talked about both of those things without sharing details about others.  I could have sent them to her and had her okay if she wanted to share the things I shared.  I could have called her and talked about the posts before posting.  I could have done any number of things that would have been better. 

I made it hard for her to feel okay about going to certain things because there may be a person there who has read the blog and could know who she is.  I hurt her feelings and broke her trust.  I embarrassed her and betrayed her.  I did not do it on purpose, but the damage is still the same and still bad.  The part that compounds this is that I did it on a public blog.  And worse, this is not the first time I’ve wrestled with the whole public blog thing.

In the end, with my stuff I chose to accept the things that I was putting out there and to keep being honest even if I found it embarrassing or upsetting later.  But the thing is that I am the one writing it.  She isn’t choosing what is put here and was the victim of my sharing.  She didn’t decide she wanted to share that to get it off of her chest or in hopes that it would be useful or part of a story she is telling.  She didn’t get the choice that I did.  She told her friend things in private and her friend chose what things to say and said them with her own hurt feelings entwined.  That’s shitty.  That’s really shitty.  I like to think I’m not an asshole, but I was here. 

I don’t know yet how I am going to address this or make amends moving forward. I think it’s pretty clear I’ve ruined our friendship and that I’ve lost that.  I’m not sure I’ll even get the opportunity to make peace there or to make direct amends.  What I mean is that I’m not sure what to do about this fucking blog.  It’s important to me and I love writing it.  I love the damn thing, but it’s clear I need to have a much better way to avoid hurting others or I need to kill it because it’s costing me people I love.

Of course one thing would be to not post anything I wasn’t okay with absolutely all parties reading, whether they read the blog or not.  Obviously I should do that and will if I write more.  Another might be asking if people would like to okay any blogs they are mentioned in before I post them.  Obviously I also need to be much more vague about others and maybe not post blogs with a lot of feeling until after a cooling off period.. maybe a day or two?  I don’t know.  If I keep writing this, and honestly I do want to, I need to learn a lot more about how to protect others and how to avoid anything remotely like this ever happening again. 

This has cost me dearly.  Things I said were not as clear as I’d like them to be and that’s the trouble with writing.  I didn’t think enough. I know the blog isn’t really that anonymous, especially since we’ve been to polycamp.  I think at a minimum I need to radically change a few things about others and privacy and this blog.  I also need to talk to the people in my life and have a very clear and much better understanding about what is and is not okay to share here. 

The absolute worst part of all of this is that I hurt someone I care about.  I made things hard for them and they don’t need any more hard things right now.  Even if I get a change to apologize, and even though I’m retooling the blog and deleting ANYTHING like that, I can’t take it back or change that it happened or undo it.  It’s out there.  I guess this one I’m definitely sharing as a warning and as an explanation.  I want to promise I’ll kill this blog, but that’s bullshit drama too.  I love this blog and want to keep it.  I have to find a way to keep it that doesn’t damage those around me though or I’m not going to be able to justify its existence.

11 Comments

      • I’m going to give them mine if that helps:

        If it is not you don’t share without at least warning the other person.

        Change names, always.

        Never write anything that you would not say to their face sober (this is an important distinction for some people).

        Before you hit publish wait a day. Re-read and if you feel uncomfortable either change some details or do not publish.

        Show what you have written to those you mention if possible, before you post.

        And despite all of that someone will still get mad at you. Own up to what you wrote. If wrong, apologize and make amends. If right, change nothing other than an explanation of why you did what you did.

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  1. Pingback: Building A Better Blogger: What You Share Can… | Speaking Out on Blogging

  2. Well, I’m of the opinion that you should be able to write about whatever you like on your blog. Otherwise it fails as an outlet for your emotions, which is one of the things I use my writing for. Of course you should skew specific details but it isn’t like most people are going to be reading your blog trying to decipher things about someone ELSE. I guess when you tell your friends about your blog that does make it harder. There is a reason I blog anonymously. Still, I say there is nothing for you to apologize for. You are just working out your feelings through writing and she doesn’t have to worry about it if you are not handing out names. It’s like trying to tell someone what to write in their diary. I will add that I’ve never seen you say anything on here that I think people should have reason to be angry with you for disclosing.

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  3. In the small amount of blogs that I have time to read, I’ve seen this come up multiple times. It is difficult to share ourselves and our struggles without including something personal about someone else. And share we must – to heal, to vent, to move on, and to learn about ourselves as well as others. And to help others learn. It is possible that the person you hurt will learn from this, and not a negative thing. I’m not saying that they would learn to not trust you. Also not saying you are untrustworthy. Ankoku1331 has some great “rules to blog by” that I don’t think are constrictive to our need to blog (share).

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