The reason that turmoils in the Force over at shadesong
(meaning also shadesong_nexus
as well as 'Song herself) often mean me posting long, rambling, philosophical, and/or indignant things is because she reminds me no little of myself. Not because my childhood was hellish (it wasn't), but because we're both survivors with a penchant for text-based introspective recovery process, and we do it in public. Also, I have a friends list creeping up on as prolific/diverse/large (she's got 641 friends-of; I have 201 friends-of at the moment (it was 202 a bit ago, and 199 a bit before that); I recall when she was boggling over having 200 people reading her). So, I deal with no few of the issues she deals with, though sometimes on a smaller scale, or a less intense scale. shadesong
and I both have an uncommon twist on a relatively common coping mechanism: we write in order to process things, but for many reasons, instead of keeping our journals on paper, or private or friends-only, we leave large chunks of them on the internet, public, where anyone with the access and inclination can read them.
I was finally able to articulate to myself one of my primary reasons for doing so.
I grew up alternately believing that either everyone thought like me, or no one did. I started out thinking, as so many of us do, that of course everyone thought like me: if they understood me, they had to know what I meant, and how I'd gotten there. More slowly than some, I came to realize that I was not just individual (I'd gotten that bit early), but different
. Not everyone remembers things like I do. Not everyone thinks so fast. Not everyone can translate matters of religion between a Mormon fundie and a Good Little Pagan Girl and leave everyone satisfied with the translation.
I don't deal with things the same way that most other people do. Not everyone else is as highly self-aware as I am; not everyone started their introspection as soon as or before age 10. Not everyone kept records of what they were up to inside themselves.
When I have something I have to figure out, the first thing I do is get down and write about it
. I can write pages upon pages, detailing the event(s), if any, and every possible corner and wrinkle of my thoughts, associations, and reactions that I can figure out. Then I scoop up the details I wasn't able to think of on the first iteration, and sop out or reiterate reactions. After all that's done, I start looking at the impact on my life -- is this going to change anything with my important relationships? How does it work into my schedule? I re-read the past material and see if anything new hops into view, then I record that as well, and note down any similarities to situations others are having, or similarities to fiction. I speculate on how it's going to turn out. I'm reminded of a past situation that had some similar elements, and I search back through my journal for the exhaustive detailing that happened there, and I come up with a comparison, and I share any of the insights I may have had on the past situation in the interim -- if there was any resolution, or anything else that comes to mind. I chatter with friends, and I just keep going over and over things, recording the results at every step in my journal. I'm paranoid like hell that I'm going to lose my mind and forget things; the level of forgetfulness that comes with having an ordinary mind is just something that I cannot cope with. If I feel myself grasping for memories, I turn up the volume on the posting.
I post in detail with frequency for myself. I leave things public not so much because I want the attention, but because I don't mind it, and I think that if there is any way that what I have to say about my own experiences might help others, then I want it to be accessible to them without my having to research them and trust in them enough to admit them to my confidence and my friends list. I don't usually court attention, but I bask in it if it's given to me from a source I don't mind attention from (and there are enough good people out there that the occasional cracknut is dismissable) and I don't have to go out of my way to get it. There are certainly things that I post for audience -- this is, in part, one of them -- but my minutiae are left as-is because I am a Nobody who is Public -- like a Frog. I might like to be a Somebody, but I fear it would take too much of my time, and make it necessary for me to pay attention to people I don't feel like spending my time on, and that I don't think that I would like.
There are lots of things I pay attention to, and lots of things that I don't consider worth my attention. I consider my friends worth my attention, of course, and I consider ways to make people's lives better worth my attention, and there are things that amuse me...
I am genuinely curious as to why there's so little in the way of drama on and associated with my friends list. I mean, I have people with stuff happening in their lives -- unhappy romantic situations, people not getting along with other people, kid moments, medical fun, parental shit, biological hazards... and yet, I fail to have anonymous assholes making pricks of themselves in my journal to the point where I have to disable anonymous commenting on a regular basis, and I doubt that the people who have fallen off my friends list over the years have clubbed together in an "I hate azurelunatic
and everything she stands for" effort.
Part of that is probably due to not starting out with enemies in the first place. I've made an effort to avoid BJ, we've avoided letting the biological hazards know that LJ even exists (my aunts and grandmother and sister (who are not hazards) know about this, but certain other people's relatives, like That Woman
, are kept away from here), and I don't go into other people's journals or communities on purpose to stir up trouble. For the most part.
I know I've alienated people. My grammar-bitch posts drove one couple off my friends list, and I make no secret of thinking that anyone who mangles the English language in any number of ways that I'm peeved about sounds like an idiot, and those who choose to do so on purpose are sounding like morons, not sounding cute. And when garnetdagger
attacks, she doesn't pull her punches, or her gut-stabs.
But I don't know what my magic secret against turning into a nexus of drama
is. Anyone who has insight, do feel free to share it, because I'm probably too close to the issue to see the glaringly obvious.
I have surmised that there's a deeper well of he said/she said going on over there than I really want to touch with the proverbial Shrimpy-onna-stick. I know from my experience in other communities (lmbujold
's e-mail component) that when there are two people faced off furiously against each other for reasons that no one else can quite discern, when they're having their battle loudly and furiously in a public forum, people will take sides, and people will defend the friends who have never done ill to them regardless of how they may be behaving to others in public or in private
because they believe (wrong or right) that their friend would never champion an unjust cause. And when it comes down to quibbling over details and flaming and communicating in non-public channels and then flaming about it some more, then there's really not much to do about it but have quiet words with all of the participants and call pizza on it as loudly as possible. But the gulf between the combatants will rarely, if ever, heal...
My power is mediator, communicator, airer of issues, gatherer of your side/my side/truth.
I have reason to believe that I discourage drama. I haven't the foggiest how I do it, just that it tends to avoid me. If I wanted to court drama, what would I do? If I wanted to discourage it further, what would I do? If I'm doing it so well now, what am I doing?