But why? Why do you blog?

Why do you blog?

Sometimes people ask me “why do you blog?” The question is a loaded one; why would you share that amount of your life online? Why would you share your family in that way? What do you have to gain? The sub-questions abound, sometimes with a hint of curiosity, sometimes a hint of judgement.

So here’s the thing.

I used to write anonymously online in a private forum. It was a space recommended to me by our paediatrician, a place to share our lives in those early days after diagnosis and seek support from others going through the same thing. It was a space I felt safe in; private and locked down. A space no-one from my circle knew about, I kept it close to my heart. A place to share those bits and pieces that were too big to stay in my head.

The writing was raw and emotional; often full of fear, hurt and tears. But those typed words made me stronger, helped me to process it all and introduced me to ideas I would never have found otherwise. It was a place I celebrated gains with people who truly understood how hard won they were.

It was a positive space; I made connections with others that still stand today. Those ladies were my first taste of an autism community, a support group outside of my family.

There came a point in time where, very dramatically, as these things seem to go, that those messages were no longer private. Someone intent on hurting my family, hurting my daughter and for reasons I will never understand or forgive, took it upon themselves to hunt me down in that space, there’s no other word for it, and share those pain-filled messages.

They took them, those private messages, from my anonymous profile, they printed them, then shared them with others. Others who didn’t understand, couldn’t understand. Those messages that were never meant for their eyes, they took them and made them public.

A line was crossed and there was long lasting and wide reaching implications. Repercussions escalated an already difficult situation to another level.  I felt like every piece of my privacy had been violated; stupid and naive as I now know that sounds.

So, for a while, I retreated. I locked down my personal Facebook page and used twitter for business purposes only. I deleted and blocked people ruthlessly and stopped writing.

Over time, the initial shock subsided and I realised I still craved that connection. I missed writing. I missed having that space to share our experiences with, to get support and celebrate with. I missed having that feeling of relief having poured it onto a page, exorcising out of my head and being able to move on, lighter and more confident.

So, after discussions with my family, and boundaries set that we felt comfortable with, a blog was born. But this time I made a promise to myself; I would never publish anything I wouldn’t stand by, I would never write something I wouldn’t be ok for others to read and to share. Sometimes that means posts don’t get published. Sometimes it means the stories are lifted to remove the detail. Sometimes it means knowing I may have to defend my position.

But with each and every post, I say fuck you, to those who thought their actions would stop me from writing, for thinking it would silence my words, for judging us, for taking away my safe place and making me defend my right to communicate. Every post makes me stronger, even if sometimes pulling those words out is exhausting and the results are lacklustre.

And that’s why I blog.

Thank you to every single one of you who has come along for the ride; supported me, supported us and given me the courage and the strength to hit publish.

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  1. Woman, I love your strength x
    Caroline recently posted..Calamity JaneMy Profile

  2. Great post. I’m so glad you have this space. I’m very sorry that happened to you. It makes me sad that there are people like that in the world. What must be going on in their minds to do that and how do they justify their behaviour to themselves?
    Thankfully for every mean spirited person there seems to be many more utterly wonderful and generous ones. I hope you continue to be surrounded by the latter.
    Take care,
    Katrina x
    Katrina recently posted..Why hire a Consultant when Social Media is FREE?My Profile

  3. Love you. That’s all. xxxx

  4. Yes, say Fuck You, say it loud and proud. Your every word is filled with grace, strength, vulnerability and beauty. No doubt that your heart is in the right place.Why anyone, especially those that are meant to be close to you, would want to destroy that is totally beyond me. So yes, say Fuck You 🙂 xox
    Jane (@jatosha) recently posted..#LovingtheLikeMy Profile

  5. Excellent post! I’m so glad you’ve found a place you feel safe to share your life, good times & bad. I’m sure many of your followers, like me, are so happy you do. It’s dreadful to hear someone would go to such lengths to be so cruel! There are days I feel lost in our situation & that’s usually when one of your posts will appear in my email & they’re always so funny, challenging, honest & uplifting. Thank you for your bravery & I hope that your writing continues to bring you joy & strength.

  6. So sorry that happened Renee x
    Carli recently posted..I like to mowMy Profile

  7. Karen Reid says:

    I’m sorry that happened to you, what an awful thing to do. I’m glad you decided to write again. And yes fuck you to those who tried to take it away from you

  8. I am sorry that happened to you. But love that you came back to it. You write with such love and strength. xox
    Naomi recently posted..Birthday cakeMy Profile

  9. Man! People can be so shit! But you are awesome – write away gorgeous lady xx
    Michelle @ Raising Will recently posted..The art of sleepMy Profile

  10. I also have had the same experience, after the death of my first baby, born quiet, I created an man group to fill the needs if what I was looking for- a safe place to share and not be judged. It worked well. I had one rule. You can say anything you like about your own grief, but you can never judge someone else’s. it was set to private, you must apply to join. I was also naive. I thought that would protect me.
    It did not.
    I was hunted down, exposed, violated, and I left my sanctuary. I have often had the urge to blog for the same reasons- my own. For me. And for how my words shared can help others.

    I have only found this blog. To you, our fearless blogger, I say thankyou. Thankyou for not remaining under lock and key, trapped by fear from the assholes of the world.
    And to the assholes, I also say, fuck you too.

    • Oh Trine – how heartbreaking for you, I can’t even imagine how hard that would be for you.

      Thank you for coming by my blog, and sharing your story with me. And for sticking around and leaving me such gorgeous comments this past week xx
      Renee recently posted..It’s been one of those days…My Profile

  11. Oh Renee – I am so sorry that you went through all of that. I don’t understand why people feel the need to go out of their way to be nasty to others – I just don’t get it.
    I’m glad that you have found somewhere to blog and feel comfortable in.
    I started off blogging as a place to hold myself accountable for my exercise and weight loss. Over the past couple of months it has turned into a ‘Try to stay sane through menopause’ blog !!
    Take care and have the best day possible !
    Me recently posted..Not A ClueMy Profile

  12. Good on you Renee! Well done for re-gaining your strength that others have tried to knock down. You are a true fighter & an inspiration.
    Katie Jeanne recently posted..Workshops for SurvivorsMy Profile

  13. Congratulations for returning the biggest EFF YOU that you could! I’ve been in that place too. And I had a choice, like you. So I decided to come back with full force and blog under my full name. No more hiding, no more wins for them as they stalked me around the internet and use my words against me (in order to pick apart a grieving mother… I haven’t words for how callous that was).

    You are now being held accountable with your writing and, to me, that is the most perfect place to be. It brings out your best. Big love to you.
    Kirrily recently posted..Insensitive infertiles: When online sharing can trip us upMy Profile

    • This is exactly what it is Kirrily – the writing makes me accountable. It makes me be careful with my words. It forces me to process and think before I write.

      And I am glad that you are also sharing, online. Or we would never have met!
      Renee recently posted..It’s been one of those days…My Profile

  14. the self-righteousness of some people in our lives who will tell us they “mean well” when they do terrible things is sometimes so difficult to understand and bears an absurdity that is almost laughable.
    I applaud you for publicly blogging in spite of it.
    I have my personal reasons to be on my guard and it interferes definitively with my ‘connectivity’ .
    People like you, more than those ‘i show&tell all and have no care’ blogs inspire me to try find my balance and write and connect again..
    nikki recently posted..L’expert – c’est moi! You know best for your child.. but you don’t know everything.My Profile

  15. yay to that, I love your words, they often give me encouragement even though my situation is not necessarily the same.
    ‘Different strokes for different folks’ I wish more people would be accepting of that.
    Mandy recently posted..Creamy Cauliflower Soup RecipeMy Profile

  16. DOG ACT!
    People are so shit! It never stops surprising me that people do that sort of shit and I am so sorry that a safe place was violated for you! Urgggh
    I’ve never seen you publish anything harmful or hurtful and I am so glad you keep writing!
    Hannah recently posted..Digging Holes And Other TalesMy Profile

  17. There are some horrible people out there that either don’t think about impact their actions will have or just don’t F* care. Those people only think about themselves, are haters and are hated. In a way I feel sorry for those people as they will never understand how to appreciate life.

    So sorry you had to be on receiving end of someones selfish act. It causes unnecessary stress that you shouldn’t have had to deal with. Glad that you have been able to move on and enrich our lives with your beautifully written words.

  18. After I get over how nasty some people can be, I’m then left wondering where do they get the time? I mean really, I can’t get through what has to be done, let alone the nice-to-do’s, so doing the down-right-bitters never enters my head. Give me some spare time and I’d much rather a glass of something and the latest Breaking Bad. Or a sleep. Sleep, mmmm.

    I digress, as usual. Your bravery and wisdom here is not just inspiring, but purposeful. Please keep on blogging, and letting us share your stories. x

  19. Hi there!
    I’m a new reader, having found you through the Writers Centre award page. Congrats by the way!
    I’m so sorry to hear that the space you once found so therapeutic was used against you. That makes me feel distraught on your behalf!

    I really do think that only people who blog and read blogs ‘get it’ in terms of how wonderful the blogosphere can be. Blog on!
    Neen recently posted..52 lists – things I find relaxingMy Profile

  20. thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this. I have stories inside me (and now secretly hidden in my iPad) I’m was afraid to share. It’s time I took that step. Thank you

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