My husband was reading my blog last night just before we slipped under the covers for a stupid movie and some cuddles. The stupid movie and cuddles only happened after he played one more game of Black Ops and I was nearly asleep, but it truly is the thought that counts. Plus, I have it on good authority that only a selfish bitch would stand in the way of her husband reaching prestige again. So, Johnny is reading this blog when he turns to me and says, "It doesn't bother you that the people we know here are reading this?"
Now, this could mean one of two things.
One. Johnny is bothered that the people we know here are reading this blog. Or
Two. He really wants to know if I am bothered that the people we know here are reading this blog.
You have to know Johnny to understand that he could only mean number two in this scenario. (Oh, that makes me laugh so much... "he could only mean number two!" YES!) Or maybe you don't, friends. Maybe your menfolk are the same as my Johnny. He just means what he says and says what he means. There's no hidden meaning or secret agenda. He honest-to-God just wants to know if I am bothered by the idea of people I know and see where we live reading this blog.
I guess, I never really thought about it. I mean, I know folks read my blog. The website will get close to 128K hits in March and not all of those hits are from people looking for a free sample of deodorant or my latest recipe. (Although, I did just post my lo mein recipe and it is to die for.) Some folks are looking for a ride on the Crazy Train over here on Mother Blogger. It's who those folks are that I never considered. I guess I think of my readers like some men think of the people who populate their porn- nameless people they will never know.
Now, don't be offended by that comparison, friends. I make that comparison with love and no judgment. I swear to God, I just never seriously considered that people who know me now, where we live, would be reading this. I imagine there is some force field keeping the bargain hunters on that side of the website while I work out my crazies over here. Johnny wasn't talking about people I would "know" through the frugal blog or even my CovNews column. He didn't mean facebook folks or via email friends. Not people we knew back in the day in Satsuma and Mobile or people we knew in Biloxi or more recently, Danielsville and Elberton. He means people I see as I go about the busyness of living. Johnny means our band parents, his students, our neighbors, his family, our wave at each other friends, his co-workers, my volunteer buddies, the parents of our children's friends. He means people I know in real life.
I felt so embarrassed, so naked all the sudden. I suppose, in my head, I had this filter set on the world wide web. Everyone that lives in Covington, Georgia just couldn't read my Mother Blogger bullshit. They couldn't see me like that. They'd see the column and the sweet mama and they may even get a peek at my crazies, but only what I wanted to show them- the nice, positive outcomes version of mental illness and soul work. Not this. Not me, standing in the middle of the school yard in my underwear, holding a Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox and a busted up satchel. (For the record, I did have a hand-me-down, dented Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox and a busted up a satchel at one point in my early academic career, but I never really had the naked at school dream. I just figured some of y'all had, so I was just tryin' to make y'all understand the whole vulnerable vibe I was going for there.)
Come to find out, my readers aren't like nameless, faceless porn stars. They're the people that pop up in my everyday life and I need to get a handle on the idea that I've let them see my deepest, darkest crazies. See, if you read this and don't comment or email me, it's like it never happened. I keep forgetting that these words go out there and anyone, anywhere can access them. I imagine the closest they get to me is just east of here in the big city of Atlanta.
Johnny asked me that question because this isn't some hypothetical situation. This is not a drill, Beth. People know I'm insane. Not just because I act like it sometimes, but because I've openly declared it right here in this blog. People are bringing up what I write here in casual conversations with my husband and my teenager. I can't help but feel embarrassed for them, even though they both tell me how proud they are of me. You have to know Johnny and the teenager to truly understand they really don't care if anyone knows how bat shit crazy I am. I'm more worried about them weathering this storm of mama's crazies than I am about what folks are saying to them about it.
Johnny and my teenager don't care who knows what or what those people might think because they really only have one version of themselves they give to people. They are who they are no matter who is watching. They are real. I know that working through this insanity will help me heal. This healing will lead to realness, that level of authenticity I want for my own life. I may live with purpose. I may live passionately. But it is the realness I crave.
Even though my life is crazy and weird right now, it's still my life. I put it out here because I know intuitively that part of being real means being who I am in an arena where people from all the segregated corners of my journey can be present. I have no choice but to be this thing that I am. Prescriptions, breakdowns, oatmeal pies and all. I need to throw this madness out where it can see the light of day because it won't be so easy for it to crawl back in later on when things start looking normal again.
Even though, the people I see everyday may be reading this blog, I'm not going to cover anything up and pretend like nothing is going on over here. If you know me in my everyday life and you're reading this blog, don't ask my husband if I'm feeling better. Crazy isn't like the flu. I'm not going to recover after a round of antibiotics or bedrest. You may have been raised to not talk about such things in public, so I'll give you an easy out- I'm insane. I'm on meds. I'm in the middle of a very long journey. You can send me well wishes like I have a head cold or you can stand beside me and let me know you may not understand, but you got my back. I'd rather you stand beside me, but if you can't do that, it's cool.
So, Johnny, my love, I am finally ready to answer that question of yours. No, it doesn't bother me that the people I know here are reading this blog. Because this is me up close and personal. People here can read this to be supportive and we can love them for it. People can read this and identify with it and start their own healing process. They can read it because they are douchbags who want to gossip about how your wife is insane. It don't make no never mind to me, because you taught me I only have to be myself. I'm going to make like you and the teenager, baby, and I'm gonna just do this thing called life as the real me. Peace, B.
March 28- Yogata Get This Blue
O.P.I.'s India collection (natch), my swap meet rhinestone flip flops, and my drag queen size 11 feet.
I'm starting to fritz last night because it finally hits home that I have to go back to the crazy doctor today for my follow up appointment. I ask in my super-manipulative-but-he's-so-on-to-me voice for the recent issue of People magazine. This means a trip to the Stewart Holler Mall (read: the Dollar General). It also means Johnny will have to put his pants back on which is asking a lot of him on a Sunday evening, but I saw that Brad and Angelina were on the cover of this week's People and I loves me some Brad and Angelina and their Coat of Many Colors family. I made Johnny promise he wouldn't tell anyone he was getting a People magazine for me, because it is such a guilty white trash pleasure of mine. I mean, it's a step up from the National Enquirer, but not by much. Anyway, I swore myself off of all the stupid magazines like Us and People about a year ago because they fill my soul with garbage and I'm working hard on getting rid of the garbage. Ugh.
I also ask Johnny to bring home several other items that are bad, bad, bad for me, but oh, so good in preventing a full blown Beth meltdown. I scanned the list briefly before handing it over and it could either 1.) be a check list for developing type 2 diabetes or 2.) mean I have a sour cream deficiency because no one needs sour cream & onion dip; sour cream; and sour cream & onion chips. The sour cream & onion food group would be well covered, but I'd need something from the crack rock for fat people food group- Little Debbie oatmeal creme pies AND a movie size box of Nerds.
Johnny came back home with everything but the People magazine, which got me really, really worried that I would have nothing to do besides talk to my family while I pretend to be normal before I binge on the aforementioned list of crap. Plus, how would I know what was going on with the Jolie-Pitt family? I mean, I haven't read a single People magazine report in over a year and they must have adopted at least one, if not two, more beautiful babies in that time and I need to know what brands those kids are wearing and what steps Angelina and Brad are taking to give them a normal life. Doesn't everyone think like I do when it comes to Brad and Angelina and their beautiful United Colors of Benetton family?
With no People magazine, I looked briefly at the positive coping skills I've learned on this healing journey- writing, meditating, and walking. Nah, says I. If I can't get lost in a gossip rag, I'mma eat my really bad food and go to sleep. And that is just what I did.