Thursday, December 4, 2014

Why I Deleted My Old Accounts

The reason I deleted my old Facebook account when timeline started was NOT because I felt ashamed or embarrassed by what I wrote in college. I am not, nor will I ever be, ashamed of what I wrote. That stuff was all a true reflection of what was going on. The reason I deleted my old account was because I did not want to have such easy access to what had happened at college because it hurt me. It hurt me to have such easy access to what happened back then. Not how I reacted - what happened. I didn't want to keep reliving it. I do wish I had those records now, but they were too painful to keep at the time. 

The reason I deleted my online journal was again, NOT because I was ashamed of what I had written. I did that because my online journal contained a lot of false positives. False positives meaning that I wrote a lot of positive, hopeful entries that were NOT a true reflection of what was going on at the time. And I'm not talking about accentuating the positive, or only writing about true positive stuff and just not including negative stuff. I'm talking about convincing myself that things were great when they were not okay at all. I was experiencing a lot of cognitive dissonance, or lying to myself, and convincing myself that everything would be fine. I had the expectation that college would eventually be fine once I got used to it and did not always admit to myself that some things were just not okay with me.

Some entries made things sound good when they were actually really bad. Some entries just had false hope about things getting better. Some entries accurately reflected how I felt at the time but directed my feelings at the wrong things. I was so scared to admit the Colby was the problem that I often made it sound like I was just having a bad time in general but that I did like the school and wouldn't be any happier if I left. Some of the entries I wrote when I was really depressed sound like they are about absolutely nothing. The two reasons that I eventually deleted my online journal were that:

1. It hurt me to read that false positive stuff even more than it hurt to read true negative stuff. It sort of felt like watching someone about to step off a cliff and not being able to do anything to warn them.

2. I was absolutely terrified that anyone who found what I had written would use it against me, to try to say, "See, you did have some fun times at college," or something like that. No one I knew at the time believed me about how horrible everything was. Not one single person. I was already having such a hard time convincing people that my experience was real. Letting them read journal entries that sounded like I liked Colby would have destroyed everything. If I couldn't trust anyone to believe me about what happened, who would ever believe that I could have actually written something positive that wasn't true? So no, I was never ashamed of anything I wrote in my journal, I was just afraid that YOU ALL would use it against me to claim that my experience wasn't really as bad as I've said it is! That's the main reason I got rid of my journal years ago. I couldn't take that risk.

Hmm. Now that I have trusted friends who understand that cognitive dissonance happens, I might be interested in sharing some of those journal entries (they are not online, but I have printed copies). I think it would be an extremely deep bonding and cleansing ritual to actually trust someone to read those things and believe me when I say that that's not how it happened.

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