Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Vulnerability, shame and the Internet

I've had friends and family question why I put such personal things on the internet. And that's a tough one, because obviously the content in this blog is very personal. Ultimately, though, there are thousands of people who blog about recovery from illness; about grief; about other challenges that they face. Perhaps that's personal as well, but I do wonder: do those people get the "why do you blog about that?" sorts of questions that I quite often do?

I found a great post online today, in which a woman discloses her experiences of abuse. And she talks about why it is important for her to tell the internet. You can read it here. Since she is a public figure in certain spheres of the blogging world, for her, it's a way of humanizing herself and showing her vulnerability.

For me, posting here is about reclaiming space and a voice when I've had so much taken from me; it's a way of clearly saying that there is nothing shameful about my experiences, and no need for it to be a secret, even though it still hurts me to talk about it in any way other than writing it down. This is a space for healing, a space for vulnerability, and a space for thoughts and for change. It's a way to say that there is no need for secrecy. By sharing things that many people would say are shameful, I am taking them and making them no longer shameful. They are what they are, and what happened has happened.

I am careful about who I tell, at times, because people pry and ask questions at inappropriate times. I am careful because of my safety. That is why I am anonymous on here; unless you found this blog through me, you wouldn't learn my name from it. But nothing about that is because of shame. Shame implies that one has done something wrong. There are things in my life that I am ashamed of, but being a rape survivor is not one of them. Surviving is about the things in my life that I did right.

No comments: