Thursday, July 9, 2015

i'm sorry


Someone pointed out that something I wrote is lacking in sensitivity and they were right. It brought up a bunch of thoughts and I want to take some responsibility here.

Jon Ronson, the author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, likens the power of shaming someone on the internet to 'We are toddlers crawling towards a gun.' His thoughts are really interesting and will not try to paraphrase them, as you can google if interested. Shaming is the last thing I am interested in doing here, but the point is that words are powerful, more powerful then ever.

I love writing, I love telling stories about life, both the fun and the sad. I hate changing names because real names are so great, but I always change the names to protect both the innocent and often the guilty. If I need to out the guilty I can do it in a court of law, yes? Once I change the name I figure I am free to write, right? Not exactly.

So I wrote a piece where I visited the hell of my youth, and wrote about the horror I was programmed to become, and the joy of avoiding that fate. I write about that topic a lot because there are so many incidents. I love to write about how low I have gone on the ladder to remind and inspire, to help and uplift.

So I posted the piece and it included an unflattering description of someone whose name I changed and who maybe 7 people on the planet would know who I was talking about. The piece was really all about how unflattering I was. The ending description of several words was written to reflect my state of mind, how black and white and ridiculous obsession is. However, if the person who it was about read it, it would be hurtful, which was not my intention at all. Still, I wouldn’t want to read a line about myself like that. I did not do a good job expressing my thoughts and thus published something thoughtless and unkind.  I apologize for that. I edited the piece.

When I traipse through the hellish part pf my coming of age story, I am going deep inside and because this blog written daily, on the fly, (after the 2 kids are in bed and after the dishes are done and the lunch is made and I have a few minutes left in my day), it is imperfect. That is part of the beauty for me. I try to take full responsibility for all of my actions in these stories and sometimes i fail.  Anyway, I really appreciate being reminded to remain sensitive to the other players in my story who just happened to be there. I write this just because.

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