Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Private? Public? Just thinking out loud here...

Wondering.  I'm wondering about going private on this blog.  Here's the deal:  this blog is a really great thing for me.  It allows me to not only record certain events in my family's life, but also to process and digest and even get feedback on so many thoughts, ideas, and circumstances that happen in my life as a mom.  But, I'm realizing, (yes, perhaps a bit late) that once I put something out there on the internet, (SPOILER ALERT!) IT'S OUT THERE ON THE INTERNET!!!   

I am a naturally gregarious person.  I'm an ENFJ/T, if the Meyers-Briggs means anything to you. While I am intensely private about some things, I also like the fact that I am a very honest and open person.  I truly think that by being real and honest about who we are and what we struggle with it can help others.  But what about when it comes to being honest and open about... our kids???

I know that I have benefitted greatly by reading other adoption blogs.  From the paper chase to following families who have been home for years, I have learned and grown and benefitted from what they are willing to share.  But somehow I tend to write thinking that the only people who will read this blog are:
A.  People I know and trust intimately.
B.  Fellow adoptive family bloggers who I don't know in person, but who I share this incredible story with and therefore they become people who I know and trust intimately.

But the reality is... once it's out there... it's out there.  I have been in situations in the past 6 months where (totally innocently!) someone I know mentioned something about our story (that they read on my blog) to someone I don't really know all that well- and the person who I really don't know asked me about some piece of information that I felt was too private for this random person to know.  But... it's my own fault!!!  I wrote it and put it out there!  No one to blame but me.

Here's the deal.  Avé has been really processing some things in her past.  I know she is just 3, but that girl is smart as a whip and has a deep soul.  She *gets* what she has been through.  She has finally started to grieve all she has lost, which I know is a very good thing.  But while I am really longing for some advice or even just camaraderie over some of these events, I am really, really hesitant to share what is really going on at any depth because of what I mentioned before.  In addition to all that, it's totally HER story.  Who am I to put HER intimate details out there on the internet for just anyone to read???  But at the same time, I feel that I have benefitted from so many adoption blogs that really share the whole truth, maybe I should return the favor-  maybe I should just put it all out there.

Or... maybe I should just make this blog full of the light stuff and leave it at that.  But I know myself.  That won't hold my interest for long and eventually I'll abandon it all together.   But yet I hesitate to make this blog private simply b/c, well, because I don't read private blogs.  Terrible, I know.  Even the ones I have been invited to read.  It's like remembering that password is just one more thing for my brain to hold on to and it just doesn't happen.  So... there's that.  I'm afraid if I go private no one will ever read this blog again and then how can I bounce ideas off all of you and hear your opinions on how cute my girl was on the first day of school???  (note to self: GOTTA post those first day of school pix asap!!! this is getting ridiculous!!!)

So.  I'm wondering... And I'm asking.  Fellow bloggers, what do you think???  I know many of you have struggled with and wrestled out these same issues.  If you have it all figured out, please share what helped you come to your decision.  If you are struggling like me, share your thoughts on what you have come up with so far.  HELP!

PS- is it possible to make SOME posts private and others not???  I looked around a bit on blogger, but it looks like you have to be all or nothing.  Thoughts???

15 comments:

Charissa said...

I vote for public and transparent. Join a Yahoo group to talk about the private stuff. Or Wordpress has the private posting option. Maybe you could just switch. Private blogs are a pain to keep up with. You'd lose a lot of readers, even if they do love you!

Lori said...

Gayla, I have experienced the same post-posting trauma or regret! I've even gone back and removed some of my posts. What I've started to do is save the ones that are more therapeutic as drafts, just for me and for posterity. Make sense? Not to me either. ;0)
I would miss your blog IF you went private, supposing I'm not on the list, since we really don't know one another in person. You have to do what is best for your daughter. Good luck choosing!

Lori said...

Gayla, I have experienced the same post-posting trauma or regret! I've even gone back and removed some of my posts. What I've started to do is save the ones that are more therapeutic as drafts, just for me and for posterity. Make sense? Not to me either. ;0)
I would miss your blog IF you went private, supposing I'm not on the list, since we really don't know one another in person. You have to do what is best for your daughter. Good luck choosing!

WildFlowers said...

i'd say keep it public if you want more readers; like you mentioned going private is sorta a hassle for readers. i do recall reading a blog somewhere that was public but would periodically have a password protected post within it. i have seen many bloggers decide to go private, not get the readers they once had or decided they wanted to re-open their blog again. it sounds like trial and error. you either will like it private or you wont. i have thought these thoughts before too but decided to keep it open and just be cautious of what is within my content. like you said, we think we know who reads it BUT obviously others we dont know of read too. live traffic maps prove that. if you want to continue sharing, just rethink or reread your poasts before making public. doing your own screening of it before posting may help relieve your concern.

Kimberlie said...

I know what you are going through. I used to be a lot more honest and transparent on my blog, as in how hard some times as a parent and how my kids (precious though they are) drive.me.insane. But I quit posting about that so much because people who aren't adoptive parents, and don't get it, think that you can't really handle parenting when really, you are just looking for an outlet for frustration and maybe some cyber hugs of people who've been there before (not condemnation from those who haven't walked a mile in your shoes).

I do protect the really private stuff of my kids. There's stuff, no matter how much I want to share our experience, I will not do. But I can speak about grieving, loss, etc in terms of general behaviors because others usually have great advice for how to help me help my kids through it, and sometimes my honesty about the yicky stuff helps another mother know she's not alone with her kid's yicky stuff.

I would be bummed if you went private but I would make sure to write the password down somewhere I'll remember it, because I sure do love reading your blog! :)

Kimberlie said...

PS - just remember, no matter what your daughter does, says to you, says about you, it's not really about you. She loves you so much! It's so evident in the twinkle in her eyes and the smile on her face.

Gayla said...

Kimberlie- That PS was EXACTLY what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you.

And THAT is why I don't want my blog to go private.

Sohailah said...

Interesting - I have been thinking about this VERY thing, recently. I have taken off a lot of my personal stuff, for that very reason. It freaks me out when I realize anyone could take a picture of me from the internet and crop my head and put it on a picture of a naked lady and try to destroy my life. And my name is in my BLOG TITLE.

So, I think maybe stay public, but keep your discerning sensor lit - that's what I'm trying to do.

love you!

Anonymous said...

I don't have a blog but I LOVE to read yours! If you went private I'm afraid I would lose you!! I love the advise and stories we are newly home from Ethiopia and I don't think you know how much you help others!! STAY PUBLIC PLEASE!!

Love,
Lucia

Deena / TEAM MARQUIS said...

I totally agree with so much of what you said! I have such a hard time filtering what I write on our blog. I want to be transparent and truthful, but I also realize that people that I know read the blog and will know things that are not necessarily always positive. I love that you want to share the truth about adoption without watering it down. I am currently struggling with how much to share re: our daughter's history. I feel like telling most people that her story is not something we are going to discuss, but then I think...I want to share it with other adoptive people because they "get it" and can help offer insight into what we might be going through...tough decisions! When I look at our blog, I realize that it is very "fluffy" - I would like to be deeper, but I am a little too hung up on what the world (some of whom will not "get it")might think.
I hope you keep your blog public, but would be happy to memorize a password to keep reading if you would allow me to do so :)

Sylvia said...

I'm like Lucia - I don't have a blog but have so appreciated reading yours - your honesty and helpful insights. I would love yours to remain public, and would miss you if you went private, but would understand and want to say thank you and God bless you all as a family. I'm appalled that people wouldn't understand how much a privilege it is to read blogs and feel part of and pray for family situations,and they need to be sensitive. I think we need to be more careful what we share either verbally or on a blog as they get older. Would appreciate being given a password, but would understand if not as you don't know me.

Heidi Jo said...

i think about it ALL THE TIME. then i think about all of the fantastic people i've gained something from over the years, that wouldn't have been able to access my blog! i don't know either. maybe you'll get a big enough response to this, that you can make it private---and let people know to CONTACT you if they actually read. then then can be added.

Tricia said...

I can sympathize with not being able to feel free to put certain feelings and facts out there in many respects due to concerns over privacy. But I admit to loving the ability to share in your experience b/c we have just been Gladney-approved to bring home a toddler girl, and I appreciate your insight, wisdom, etc. It is also just such a joy to see pictures and hear about Ave as we think about and pray for our own sweet girl. Thank you for blogging!

Kate said...

Gayla, i think you should stay public, because blogging for adoptive families is such a ministry. And I love the way you write. But, for the more personal posts, you might consider saving them as drafts and even emailing them (or not) to a list a people who you do want to give the inside scoop to and receive encouragement from, etc. I think there is always a way to write honestly, and in a way that is honoring the person at the center of the situation. I think you do this brilliantly already :)

Mark and Heidi said...

Gayla, I struggle with this same thing. I even created a seperate blog thinking that I would use that one to write about the real stuff, and use the original one to just post fluffy stuff. Hahahah--little did I know that I would barely have time to read blogs let alone keep up with two of my own!

Anyway, I agree that being open and honest about ourselves is one thing and doing so about our children is another. I have chosen, for now at least, to stay public and pretty open with our life but I try to proof read thinking about how the boys would feel about what I've written.

If you choose to go private you might want to consider moving to WordPress, which does allow you to mix public and private posts. You could leave a refering link on your old blog so that people could find the new WordPress blog easily. Whatever you decide, I hope to continue following!

XOXO,
Heidi

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