Friday, June 3, 2011


I've been in something of a quandary lately regarding just how open a person ought* to be in the age of Facebook and instant information being at the ready with a few clicks of a mouse.

*said level of openness gauged by the fact that colleagues, church members, old friends you really have no intention of being truly intimate with again, etc can know pretty much whatever you decide to put out there in 2.5 seconds flat thanks to Google and/or Facebook.

It's been said by many a blogger that blogging is a much cheaper alternative to therapy, and I'd count myself in that chorus.  I've rehashed old wounds, sought validation, and fixated on the scars left behind via this medium.  And I've loved it.

But Facebook came along, and in my attempts to pursue the commercial blogging route I posted my blogfeed on Facebook.  It garnered hits, for sure.  But suddenly, people reading were no longer random connections on the internet - no, there were my Sunday pewmates - many of whom I didn't go past the "Hi, how are you?" depth of conversation while face to face - and fellow do-gooders - many of whom could be potential references or employers - reading all about my sordid past, my marital issues, my inability to balance a checkbook, etc. and then two things would happen: 1.) These people, who I knew fairly superficially, would come up to me (face to face at church or via post/msg on blog/FB) and suddenly know all about me with me knowing little to nothing about them - and lopsided intimacy pretty much sucks, y'all; it tends to generate pity.  2.) Other people did NOT want to know these things and thus began to avoid me.  And that's not awkward at all, right?

So then I started to question myself.  Have I just shot myself in the foot with all of these confessional posts?  Have I become one of those people who is TOO open?

And cue the music...I begin to hear the Newsboys asking me:

Why you holdin' grudges in old jars /  Why you wanna show off all your scars? / What's it gonna take to lay a few burdens down?  / It's a beautiful sound....

Scars are a funny thing.  Most of the time, they go unnoticed, but every now and again, they might itch and beg for attention, drawing your mind to them.

They, like most things in life, can mean very different things with a shift in perspective; scars can signify victimization and burden us with baggage, or they can remind us of battles from which we emerged victorious, stronger, and bless us with gratitude.

I find that I cycle through these two perspectives, and that sometimes, the latter one can resemble the first when we get stuck on describing the battle.  A lot of my writing after I faced my own mortality two years ago fell in this category...

In the end, I decided to own my scars and to count them as mementos of triumph versus reliving all the bad.  But here's the pretending I don't have any scars, i.e. not acknowledging them, robs me of opportunity to witness just how far God has delivered me.  So I will continue to write - albeit more cautiously with respect to who my audience may be.

Sidenote - an appropos exchange with the kids re: scars:
Middleton: Mama, Special K says you have thousands of scars!  Do you?
Me: Well, I wouldn't say thousands...
Special K: Would you say hundreds?
Me: Hmmm...I'm not sure.
Middleton: well, which ones doe you have?
Me: Well, I have my scar from surgery, two scars from the chest tubes, two from the pic lines, one on my neck, the time I had stitches as a kid....
Then as my shirt rode up and I caught glimpse of my crepe paper belly with lines of silver all over it, I laughed.
Me: You might just be right, Special K.  I could have thousands of scars.  They're called stretch marks, and they all remind me of that special time when you were inside my belly!


  1. Aww, that last line is so special :)

    I look at my stretch marks with so much disdain sometimes (likely after watching shows like Real Housewives, other times I just throw up my hands and surrender to them ... they ARE pretty magical scars with tons of history.

    Also, I can relate to what you wrote about the blog privacy. I was really disturbed by how many people actually read my blog but never let on to my face. And it's not like I was blogging really personal stuff but if I did it felt like the elephant in the room when I was sitting down with these people.

    A bit hard to explain, but I do understand completely.

    I'm just happy you've made a new home, fresh starts and all. I've always enjoyed your journals in good times and bad.

  2. I struggle with this too. I want people to see me as I really am and I'm not perfect.

    I feel you!