Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

I write lots of personal stuff on the internet because I want to. Including my essay about Colby. I don't plan to stop.

Sharing personal stuff with other people is a priority for me, and I am not willing to not share. I don't regret sharing personal things with people who have betrayed me. I may regret that if we lived in some idyllic world where almost everyone was trustworthy and I had chosen the few people who weren't, but when I'm faced with the choice of sharing with an untrustworthy person and not sharing at all, I will ALWAYS choose to share.

I will never make friends at work as long as you're giving me advice. You've drilled into my head that I can't share anything personal in the workplace. The people I work with are very nice and I would like to make friends with them, but the only chance I have at that is to get everything you've told me out of my brain. YOU are the one holding me back from being myself at work - not Colby. It would be different if my main focus in my personal life were something else - if I was involved in community theatre or on a dance team or something, and that was what I wanted to tell everyone about. But my focus at the moment is writing, and I can't answer the questions, "What's your book about?" or "What's your blog about?" without revealing a lot about myself. And yet those are the things I'm focused on right now, so I'm absolutely not okay with holding back when people seem interested in discussing those things with me. Not okay at all.

It really hurt me when you kept talking about being responsible for your own happiness and how you only get one life and it's not a dress rehearsal. I understand that this philosophy is good for you and part of your own healing process but you really made me feel like I didn't have the right to grieve or recover after Colby, like there wasn't time to be upset and I had to just move on really fast. I know you regret not seeing Colby for what it was when I applied, but I feel like you never truly accepted what my issues with Colby were. You and Dad are a lot like the students who hurt me. You made it worse my not letting me be upset when it was over.

I do BDSM. I'm keeping it a secret because I'm scared you'll think I'm not a feminist anymore or that you'll think my boyfriend pushed me into it. I'm not sure you can accept that I have always had this interest - I think you'll think that I've been brainwashed by the patriarchy.

I have a BDSM sex blog on the internet. It is open to the public, but I am careful about not revealing my real identity or location. I will never tell you about this because I know you'll be disappointed in me. You'll think I've hit rock bottom and I'm just using my writing skills for this because sex sells, because it's the easiest way to get noticed, not because I actually want to write about my sex life. You will feel creeped out at the thought of other people masturbating to what I've written and you'll be worried about my safety. I want my blog to become popular, and it upsets me that if I do reach that goal, I won't get to celebrate my success with you like I always have.

I do BDSM with a friend other than my boyfriend. My boyfriend is fine with this, and it's been working fine for all of us so far. I know (from how you've judged other people) that you'll tell me this can't possibly work and that someone is going to get hurt and you'll be really disappointed in me.

Sometimes I have a really hard time telling you what's going on with me because more and more of my personal life - good and bad - is falling under the realm of things I can't discuss with you.

I'm not okay with most of the trade-offs I've made in my life - all the fun things I've missed because I felt forced to be a good student. But I understand the risks of all the things I just listed above, and I accept them. I care enough about all of these things that I am accepting the risks and trade-offs that come with them. Not that I want to miss a promotion at work because I am open about my personal life, but talking about my personal life is more important to me than getting the promotion, so it's a risk I'm taking.  I have a lot of support from my friends, and I would have never entered some of these things without that support.

Back in high school, you always told me that if I was ever in a bad situation, like at a party or something and I needed you to come and get me, I could call you and you'd come get me and I wouldn't have to explain what happened and I wouldn't be in any trouble for it. I appreciated that so much. I knew that most of my friends would get in trouble - most of friends didn't have parents who would do that for them. But the difference then was that I was sincerely never interested in getting drunk or trying drugs - if I had ended up in a "bad situation" where I needed to call you, it would have been by accident. I wouldn't have gone back to the same type of party the following weekend. I know you'd still be there for me if I got into trouble because of something I shared at work or posted online or if someone started harassing me because of my sex blog, but you would expect me to have learned my lesson and stop doing it. When I got in trouble for that Facebook post at Colby, you never accepted that I wanted to be able to talk that way and my main problem was that I couldn't do it anymore. You never accepted that I was not willing to limit what I shared at college. If I got harassed on my sex blog, I know you would never accept that I wanted to continue writing it. I know you want to know what's going on with me and you want me to come to you when I have a problem, but I can't do that with a lot of things anymore.

I love you more than anyone else in the world and I wish I could still share everything with you.


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