Recently, Q (in his effortlessly comical and insightful way) left the following comment on my post, Recipe For Success that really struck a chord with me. He said:
Jonsi, do you remember the comment I made long ago about some friend's
of my first wife that would stop themselves from leaving a bar if they
had not danced on the table? I mean a vacant empty bar. And how you
would hear them later discussing their hi-jinks and how they brought the
roof down. (dancing on the table). It was forced and methodical and
pathetic. It's so pathetic it really merits no effort from you/us. Not enough to dilute you and your life obsessing about them. I
know it's hard to stop. The people I speak of were just about total
strangers to me so I wasn't invested in them like you are here. They're like a pop corn fart in the wind. They make their one cheek sneak of a noise and then they are over.
Ah Q, once I got over laughing at your shrewd choice of analogies, I was struck by the truth in your words that I am, in fact, obsessing. Your comment got me thinking about the purpose of this blog and how long I will continue blogging for. I had to stop in my tracks and ask myself: Is this blog doing more harm than good? What will be my course of action if NMIL and crew find this blog? Is the time I spend either blogging OR looking for subject matter for my blog hurting me or my loved ones? Do I, in fact, spend too much time thinking about my husband's fucked up FOO? Do the benefits of continuing this blog outweigh the benefits of discontinuing it? And, how long will I continue to blog for, and when will I know it's time to stop?
I know that there will come a time when I'll cease writing about all of this. I may stop abruptly one day, or it may be a slower process, but someday, I will stop writing here. (Although, for the record, my plan is to always keep my blog up and open for anyone to read. Though I may stop writing, I do not intend to remove any blog posts. I've seen comments from far too many people, thanking me for sharing my story, to take it away from countless others who could happen along someday seeking solace.) I know that I'll continue to keep my own records of what goes on with DH's FOO, just in case we need to involve authorities, but there will definitely come a day when I'll stop putting everything up here.
I thought about my reasons for blogging. Currently, there are several motivations that keep me posting:
1. I write for me, because writing is soothing for my soul and because I feel most comfortable describing my feelings by way of the written word. I decided to write for an audience because, after stumbling upon my dear friend Upsi-Pant's blog, You Don't Have to Dance For Them, I found solace there and thought maybe I could do the same thing for someone else. I also wanted to expose DH's family for all their cowardice, hypocrisy, and evil. I wanted the world to know what they have done because I believe that truth is the only way out.
2. I feel that it's important to find information about them, to talk about things they've done, and to point out very precise examples to my husband, who is still very much trying to fight his way out of the dysfunctional pile of crap they've been shoveling on him his whole life. I think, how best can I accomplish helping DH open his eyes to their abuse? How can I get him to truly See the extent of the damage they have caused? How can I get him to understand that he must change his own behaviors in order to stop their legacy? My answer to all of these questions is that, as long as DH is still in the midst of this revolution, I have to be right there in the thick of it with him. I almost feel a duty to find all this stuff, show him, talk about it, and blog it out. I feel that I can also show this blog, as evidence, to my children, when the time comes that they want to know WHY.
3. I have a history of obsessive thought-patterns. I've been that way for as long as I can remember and don't have any recollection of truly trying to stop. My obsession with DH's family is the perfect example: The obsession with his family has led to a compulsion to find them online because (I justify that) that's the best way to learn what they are doing and what attempts they might make in the future to find or hurt us. I feel I spend too much time looking at their various social networking accounts. I also spend too much time trying to find things about them online; it's not impossible to find clues about them on the internet, but it can be time consuming, very much like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Though I often tell myself I'll ONLY perform searches for them online when my babies are sleeping, I don't always accomplish this and there have been times when I've sat at my computer, typing posts, or looking at their social networking sites while my kids are playing or watching a movie. I often justify it by saying that they are busy and that they don't need me right this very second. But, when two minutes becomes a half hour or even an hour, then that's a huge problem. I do not want to be a mom who is too preoccupied, by anything, to pay attention to my children. I do not want them to grow up feeling like I'm there physically, but I'm not there emotionally.
I don't feel bad about my first two reasons for blogging. I do feel bad, however, about the third. I know that the original source of my obsessive patterns of thinking come from my father; who developed the same mechanism (one of many) as a result of his dysfunctional upbringing. Although I have seen him work at it his entire life, it is a battle he'll have to fight forever. I certainly didn't get it from my mother, who has never, in my recollection, displayed obsessive thinking or compulsive behaviors. I do own this particular problem as mine, but have spent far too much time justifying it to do anything real about it. Mulderfan talks often about getting off the "hamster wheels" in our heads. I've been thinking about that phrase a lot recently, sadly coming to the realization that I have been running a marathon on that damn wheel of mine, and eventually my heart will give out. There is no benefit to obsessing, nothing good can come of worry.
Step one, for me, is being honest with myself. Brutally honest. I have to answer the questions I outlined above about my behaviors and decide for myself what needs to be done. I am not ready yet to stop blogging, but I think I will set a new rule for myself: that blogging will ONLY happen during nap times and at night after my babies are all asleep, and that I will stop checking my emails or browsing the internet when my children are awake. Period. If that doesn't work and I still feel that I am obsessing, then I will have to re-evaluate my thought-patterns and behaviors again. I will have to force a reality-check on myself, because that is no one else's responsibility but my own.
And, in the end, Q is right. These people are nothing more than pop-corn farts in the wind. They aren't worth my time.