Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

I must be mad

So this is it: I’ve finally joined the ranks of those who are compelled to talk to whoever will listen.

Right now I’m a groundhog peeking my head out from the dirt. So far, the air is smelling just fine.

In the back of my head, I hear my mother’s voice telling me, “Keep your business private. Whatever happens in the house stays in the house.” That was so long ago; now I see I was growing up in a psychological Las Vegas.

When secrecy becomes a way of life, you become a slave to your insecurities. Believe me, I know. I’ve been there.

So, yeah. This is the beta. This is the preliminary breakthrough, the prerequisite reawakening. Soon it will come. Like peeling an onion, the layers will be revealed.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2009.


Comments on: "I must be mad" (34)

  1. Well, I made it to the beginning of your world. Let me tell you…I love what I have seen and look forward to a long friendship, and sharing of writing with you sweetie!

  2. […] When I started this blog I said that this was the “beta” version because I had no idea where this was going. Now I have tacked on the “2.0” to my blog […]

  3. Wait… you and I had the same mom? “Never put it in writing.” Well, that’d be all well and good, but Mom, you encouraged me to be a WRITER!! Were you TRYING to create a paranoid schizophrenic, there, or what? LOL

    The key, I’ve found, is discretion. Define your own personal boundaries. For example: I keep OTHERS’ confidences like a priest; I don’t write about the “intimacies” of my marriage. But if it’s part of MY life, it’s MY story, and if you don’t like me writing about it, you shouldn’t have included me in it – kind of like being a journalist with a conscience. I would never maliciously embarrass anyone – family or friend or enemy. But my mom used to use this touchstone: “[you/they] might want to run for President one day!” Really? Y’know, if you’re going to run for President and anything I’ve written embarrasses you that badly, then (a) you did something to be deeply ashamed of and my account probably isn’t “breaking news”; (b) you need to grow a spine, because the media can probably dig up better dirt than I can; (c) you need to be strong enough and have enough sense of humor to say, “Yep, that’s my mom – what a character, eh?” Or you just shouldn’t go into politics at all. I thought I raised you better than that. 😉

    Glad you had this breakthrough, Sweepy Jean. I would never have met you, otherwise!

    • I’m so glad we met, too, Holly. This blogging thing has opened up many doors for me. I feel very much the way you do as far as how I handle other people’s information. The thing I love is that as personal as our stories are, there are always parts of them that others can relate to. ❤

  4. I don’t hesitate to write about anything – especially if it might offer a lesson for others. Or a laugh. My only rule is that I not describe others in ways that would cause them any negative emotional reaction. So … I usually speak only of myself, but if I must include another, I try to find a way to make the other person unidentifiable.

  5. I am trying to make sure that people I talk about can’t recognise themselves. Just like yours, my Mum doesn’t understand the point of a blog. I suspect she is a bit jealous…or maybe it’s a generation thing!

  6. Ha ha – we must have all grown up in the same house!!!
    Its something I’ve struggled with exposing myself and my vulnerabilities – since I started with my website this January, its been liberating, its like i’ve become me at last. Not hidden behind the barriers of my past. The fear of being vulnerable is something that I dont think goes away entirely but in its place becomes our own inner sense of comfort in our own shoes.
    Look forward to your onion peeling.

  7. Hi Adriene –

    There are many personal things that I will not write about or not prepared to write about at this time. As a father, a brother, a son, some things shouldn’t be made public since there are other souls to consider here. I believe that is what your mother was referring to. Keep your private “at home” life, at home. Now here is where this gets interesting. Is there something that you, or I, or any of us, have to share that can help someone? Now where does one draw the line between personal made public, in order to assist a brother or sister in need! 🙂

    • You make a really good point, Brian. It’s really hard to balance what’s good for other people (by keeping quiet) against what is going to be freeing for your own soul (by speaking out). And is speaking out to help others always good for you? Thanks so much for your thoughtful response!

  8. I see blogging as my form of self-therapy. That being said, my Mom never really tried to stop me and understood that writing, being one of my passions, would help me a lot. I don’t write unless it’s ‘personal’…and everything tends to be personal, doesn’t it?….I mean if you think about it, what you write is YOUR perspective, YOUR thoughts, YOUR feelings, in essence, your life, YOU. Even when we write about other people, it’s YOUR personal views, beliefs being brought to the fore. This is why when I read others’ blogs and comment, I keep in mind that this is their take on things and that I’m not reading a newspaper or something written by someone imposing their beliefs on me. A blog site is the author’s universe. As the author, you’re not forcing anyone to read you not take your views. Mutual respect needs to be maintained and sometimes, we just need to agree to disagree. Long response, sorry, but that kind of sums up my philosophy, whether I blog about my self or others. As long as I’m being true to myself and my intentions are pure (not out to destroy someone), then all is well. 🙂

    • Our philosophy on this matter is very similar, Joy, that everything is personal because in the end, all we know is what we can perceive with our senses. And being true to yourself is everything!! ❤

  9. An excellent subject. I was brought up to “Never air your dirty linen in public.” That said, my mother would do just that whenever she could so everyone knew everything about her life. Unfortunately, she shared more negatives than positives. I tended to clam up more until I started in AA, and then I found it easier to share though I still held back. It was only when I began writing that I found a release. In blogging, I’m a little more careful as I don’t want to infringe on other people’s privacy or their feelings. As someone said, we have to show respect, but isn’t that what we should do in life as well?

    • Our philosophy on this matter is very similar, Joy, that everything is personal because in the end, all we know is what we can perceive with our senses. And being true to oneself is everything!! ❤

  10. How cool to imagine how that groundhog self of yours stretched out into the sun and climbed right out!! =) So glad you started to blog, Adriene! =)

  11. My mom always encouraged me to write! She always said “Pour it out on paper! Always more refreshing and relaxing than doing so verbally!” So good to know that you were off to a strong start, and continue to be so. Love your posts and it has been so amazing knowing you in the blogging world!

  12. I like the groundhog analogy. For me, it was a bit like fishing: tossing something into the lake, wondering if it would be of enough interest to attract attention.

    Of course, I’m stepping up to your groundhog hole a couple years after you took your first timid look around! Thanks for the quick trip to the “early days”.

  13. […] choose, as a piece of me goes into each one I write. But if I have to choose, I’ll say it is I must be mad because it was my very first blog post and a huge leap of faith for me. The decision to write it […]

  14. How nice to see how far you’ve come since this 🙂

  15. I always wonder why others take to blogging. I wouldn’t have to be honest, but it’s a new age requirement for writers – have an on line presence. I finally came around to the idea but only after i struggled with voice, BUT decided I could only be me. I checked ‘let it all hang out’ because I will tackle any subject that is relevant to me at the time if writing. I use my blog as a writer’s journal. I know I am not supposed to do that, but since I am not a famous author-yet, I figure it’s my corner of the world to do what I want.

  16. It is difficult to strike the balance between writing what you feel and hanging others out to dry. But discretion is called for when it involves others, in my opinion.

  17. What a great beginning. And an interesting journey to boot!

  18. […] And spill I do. I’ve talked about how I’m trying to overcome indoctrination in the code of silence, how race has played a part in my life, and my issues with abandonment. Probably what plaques me […]

  19. Hey Sweepy! I missed this post as I was just getting on the blogging bandwagon around this time. I do tend sometimes to let loose on my blog, but not so much on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook. If I do, it’s about creative or personal aspirations and not too much about my personal or dating life. Some things should be kept close in my opinion. I think within a blog I feel a bit more comfortable than on social sites. I feel more protected. Even though it’s still online, it’s a space I create and have control of. When I see people sharing their most intimate details (sex life, arguments, party life etc…) on Facebook and others sites it makes me feel like I’m intruding. I think some people go a little too far with this. Great post!

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