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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Things Even I Can't Say

Welcome to Pour Your Heart Out- if you need more info on how to participate, check out THIS post. But it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out. Please grab the PYHO button or link back in your post if you are participating.

Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)

Click HERE to find out how to participate.


I spill it all on this blog, right?

I mean, that is my tagline.

And I do get really personal on here. Not just on Pour Your Heart Out days, but on a regular basis. I've talked about how hard marriage can be, my parenting struggles, depression, body image issues, sex, and more. I'm not afraid to talk about controversial issues like religion, breastfeeding, surrogacy, or working mom/sahm.

But, there are things even I can't say.

Or won't.  Because either it's not my place or it simply isn't something that needs to be said.

The easiest decision for me to make was not to blog specifics about where my family lives. Though I realize that if someone wanted to dig, they could find out, to me, it doesn't make any sense to announce the names of my boys' schools or details like that.

Another thing I don't really blog about is money. I don't feel the need to discuss money on here. Sometimes I'm tempted, when someone gets some weird idea about how much they think I must have... where that idea comes from, I haven't a clue.

I also won't write posts trashing someone else. Let's be honest here. Though the blogosphere can be a really supportive place, we're not all going to agree on everything. And while I don't see a problem with posts where someone writes an opposing viewpoint, there is a big difference between that and a personal attack.  Also very real: not everyone loves me. There are people whose opinions I strongly disagree with. But, I can ignore and not bring drama here. Those people aren't worth it and I refuse to drag any of you into any of that.  It doesn't mean I don't get hurt sometimes and whine on skype to someone why is so-and-so so mean? I've seen blogwars happen and that is not something I ever want to be a part of.

And then sometimes, what I want to say isn't my story to tell. So, I don't tell it.

I found out something about a relative of mine two weeks ago and it completely tore me up. Not anyone who lives in my house, but someone closely related. Someone who did something I find completely repulsive. And part of me wanted to vent and rant and get support from all of you: because I KNOW that all of you would agree with my judgement of the situation. No doubt in my mind that even a single one of you would say that what was done was okay. Yet, it's not my story to tell.

I have a dear friend going through something really tough right now. I'm scared and worried for her. But, until she gets a better handle on what is going on and until she decides that she's going to share that with everyone, it is not my place to open my mouth.  Even knowing that y'all would rally in support: it's not my place. And even if she decides to share her story, and even though her story affects me because I am her friend, it's still HER story and not mine.

How do you decide what you will say on your blog and what you won't? 



Blogger Heather said...

I censor myself a lot. I just don't want to say something that could be construed the wrong way or hurt someone's feelings. It is a struggle.

September 21, 2011 at 7:03 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

You have no idea how perfect this post of for me this morning!! I have Two different loved ones struggling with two separate issues that have me tied in knots. news of two people I love going through two of the worst things we could imagine.

I would love to write (because it's my therapy) and have others chime in, but you hit the nail on the head. They are not my stories to tell!

If it's any comfort I will pray for your loved ones. God knows!

September 21, 2011 at 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! This post is very eye opening. I have to say, I am impressed with what you will and won't do!!

September 21, 2011 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

I agree with you and admire that you do this. I very rarely talk about other people on my blog for the same reason you mention, my story, my opinions, my feelings are the only ones I have a right to share with others. I wouldn't care to read a blog post in which someone told my story as though it was their right after all. Too many wrong assumptions can be made that way.

September 21, 2011 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

It's great to know there are still people out there with morals.

September 21, 2011 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger jen@its all about me said...

I usually reveal anything to personal about family, especially family drama. I have this little place in my stomach and when i get that feeling there, then I hit the delete. I am much more open about myself. But with others, there has to be boundaries. It's the right thing to do, I defiantly agree Shell!

September 21, 2011 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger jen@its all about me said...

That would be "Don't" reveal..sorry!

September 21, 2011 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I completely agree with you, there are some things that don't need to be said. I don't think that I'm censoring myself - just knowing when to shut my mouth (um keyboard?). I tend not to write too much about others on my blog because it's not my place.

September 21, 2011 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Pretty much like you said, I try to make sure that what I'm telling is MY story to tell and not someone else's. I also try to make sure I stay true to what my blog is all about; it's mission, so to speak.

September 21, 2011 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

SO....as someone who has a toe in many different areas (education, mommyhood, twinland, and special needs) I tend to have an opinion on a lot. I WISH I would have created fake names for my kids. But I didn't know any better. When I'm going to be really opinionated, I try to "preface" blog about it or "post" blog about it - because NO ONE is perfect. Sometimes the things I wonder if I should blog about are the ones that the most people care about. Maybe it is because more people relate - or more are angry. I love your guidelines. Kristen

September 21, 2011 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Alison@Mama Wants This said...

There are so many things I don't write about on my blog by choice. I don't even touch on some of the things you do (religion, marriage, sex etc). I'm too mindful of who MIGHT read it, and words CAN hurt. You have the right of it, sometimes, there are just things that are not our place to talk about.

September 21, 2011 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

Someone on Mom Loop commented that they don't tell about things that are about someone else's story without their permission. I think that is a brilliant idea.

September 21, 2011 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger The Woven Moments said...

When I write about my kids (who are very young) I pretend they are teenagers, looking over my shoulder. I ask myself, "Would 13-year-old Peanut be ok with this picture? Or this story being shared to the world?"

I can't tell you how many times I've had to change my writing based on the answer to that question!

September 21, 2011 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Definitely don't mention specifics of my life, Will's school and where exactly we live. Same thing for jobs and such. There are just some parts of you, you want to keep to yourself and people need to respect it.
Hope all is okay with your friend...

September 21, 2011 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

I don't share specifics either...no names of schools, towns or last names and I have to think long and hard before sharing anything because my blog is networked through facebook and shows up on my personal page. And there have been many times I have regretted that fact because there is so much I can't share for fear the wrong person will read it.

September 21, 2011 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

I was feeling very censored earlier this week. I had a bad day at work, and well, I just don't blog about work. It's not a good idea (unless your Dooce and then you totally strike it rich after blogging about work, but that'll never happen to me).

I try to hide personal details about our lives because, well, they are personal.

I also try not to blog bad things about other people, because, well, who wants that out there on the internet for the world to see??

September 21, 2011 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year said...

I struggle with this too and think it will only get harder as the kids get older and their stories become more personal and more "their stories" and less MY stories.
Other than that, I don't talk about the town we live in, (although if someone really wanted to find out they could) extended family or friends (unless I get permission first). I don't put pictures of other people's kids on my blog, I don't use the name of the company I work for, and I try to keep general work stuff at bay as well. You know, in an effort not to get fired.

September 21, 2011 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year said...

PS. i hope everything works out for your friend and for the situation with your relative.

September 21, 2011 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger January Dawn said...

I have so many things that I would never blog about mostly concerning my immediate family (siblings, in-laws) because as you said...it's not my place and as much as I feel the craving for support when it comes to...their situations (as you said it does affect me because I love them all dearly) I won't go there. It wouldn't be respectful and simply wouldn't be right.

September 21, 2011 at 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Galit Breen said...

I'm sorry that there's so much swirling around right now.

I love what you wrote about knowing your boundaries, what you'll write about and what you won't. Such an important part of knowing yourself as a blogger.

I decided early on that I wouldn't write anything that would hurt anyone else. even if it's part of my story, or would help me write, or would make for a relatable post.

Long comment, yes? I'll stop now. Thinking good thoughts for you and yours!

September 21, 2011 at 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Sharon at Momof6 said...

Before I even started my blog, I thought a great deal about what I would and wouldn't share about my kids. I feel that even my kids stories are not my stories to tell at times. Three of my six joined our family through international adoption, and while I write about that topic and discuss family adjustments, I do not share my childrens' personal stories.

I also have friends that have dealt with some huge issues in their lives... and sometime I have wanted to write about it- write about the pain you know a friend is feeling because her child is very sick... but writing about it feels like a betrayal of trust and of friendship. So I won't.

The hard part sometimes is that you feel like you are a being a bit less of yourself online, because you are holding back some pretty big stuff in your life.... but I think that is a worthwhile trade-off, to stay true to your values about what you will and won't share.

September 21, 2011 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Tara R. said...

We must have been on the same wavelength this morning. My submission was about writing a post I instantly regretted and the consequences of that post. I'm not sure if I'm any wiser today.

September 21, 2011 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

When an idea enters my mind, I take a moment to think if it's my story to tell or someone else's. If my supporting cast includes other family members or friends, I usually use a initial.
My biggest bit of self-awareness comes from that feeling.
Usually if I debate pressing "post" then I wait. Click out and come back to it at a later time.
That usually works well for me.
I don't talk religion, politics or money.

September 21, 2011 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger Jenn [ Crippled Girl ] said...

I guess for me it's more about keeping with the online-identity of myself that I want. In real life I'm a f-bombing, dramatic, over-the-top screaming at everything, crybaby. Online I want to be cooler, calmer, and more reflective than off-my-rocker crazy. Even if its just a false sense of sanity, it's helped prevent me from posting things I shouldn't.

September 21, 2011 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger angela said...

People in my RL read my blog, so I am careful about what I post. I don't post about my in-laws, not only because they read, but because it would hurt Ryan. He is a lot more private than I am, so I also don't discuss our sex life.

I'm also with you on exact locations and telling stories that aren't mine, even if they do affect me.

September 21, 2011 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

I'm with you - I don't share personal details about my life like names of my kids or their schools. But i someone dug, they could find out.

We all need to set our own boundaries before we start writing. I don't like drama so I won't write something that will start it. Difference of opinions, yes, but not hurtful drama.

September 21, 2011 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

Also, I'm sorry about the stuff you're dealing with about family and friends. I understand you not blogging about it because it's not your story to share.

September 21, 2011 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Renegades said...

Being respectful of others while blogging is the descent thing to do.

September 21, 2011 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Jessica {Team Rasler} said...

There are so many days when I wish I had an anonymous blog like you do, but I see that even so there are always limits to what we can write about others' stories. My rule of thumb is first to only write things I would say to the person's face. Second is to really think about whether that person would want the story being out there. I had to censor myself a lot when my nephew got sick, for example, because my sister was very private about it. Once they started putting his story out there themselves for fundraising, it became easier for me to talk about it on my blog, but even then I do it indirectly.

This is a tough issue, and I'm sorry you've got these two weights on your mind right now. I wish you could share them to let them go a bit, and I so respect you for deciding not to.

September 21, 2011 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

I think as a rule I would probably stay away from posting about other people until I had their blessing. I posted last week about a family from my church who is struggling with their mom having a brain aneurysm. I asked the family before I posted because I just thought it was the right thing to do...but I wanted to share their amazing Faith in God!!

A while back there was a big blog-storm about Jenny from In Jenny's Kitchen losing her husband suddenly and I posted right away, but then I wondered if she maybe wanted some time to grieve before the world knew all about it!! That may be a little different because she posted it on Twitter hours after his death...likely hoping for prayers and support.

I will say a prayer for your friend that whatever she is going through she will have Faith in our Lord that he will get her through it!


September 21, 2011 at 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Denelle @CaitsConcepts said...

There are a few things that I have written for prompts that I have not allowed to remain a permanent fixture on my blog.. I went back and made them private once the linkup was over just because I don't want them sitting there as a reminder.. or for people I know that I didn't share it with to maybe stumble across at a later date. It felt good to get it out there, but I don't always want it to be so far out there... if that makes any sense. =)

September 21, 2011 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Cindi said...

Just what I needed to read today Shell. Finding myself having to either massively censor my blog or, deleting it all together because "others" are mis-using it.

September 21, 2011 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

I had some stuff going on this Summer with my family that I so badly wanted to write about it, but I kept waiting and putting it off until I felt I could tell it. I didn't write about it when it was all going on because I know that there are people who I know personally that read my blog and I didn't need them reading that and then running their mouths. I chose to wait until most of the issues were becoming known to our personal friends, and then wrote about it.

But most of the time, I won't write about serious personal issues because I don't want someone I know personally reading and then gossiping about me or my family. It happens.

September 21, 2011 at 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Location and names are highest on the list. I haven't the need to talk about religion or politics, but I tend to stay away from them so as to not invite crazy hate into my world. I talk about money, but not in specifics; typically it's in the "I wish I had money to buy such and such thing." I am, after all, a tech nerd.

I hope everything that's going on resolves quickly and with the least amount of anxiety as possible.

September 21, 2011 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger John said...

My rule is that, whatever I write, it has to pertain to me. I have friend & family situations that would make great blog posts, leading to thorough & provocative discussions in the comments.

But these aren't my stories to tell. So I write them but never hit publish . . . my "draft area" is like my private journal. I feel better taking these complex issues and organizing my thoughts so that I can see them before me. It allows me to better "put myself in their shoes" (even if I don't feel better about said person's actions when I'm done) and helps me sit down & talk to them when the time comes. But, I'd never air something like that (when there is a large number of dick joke posts on my blog, it's usually because something real heavy is going on behind the scenes).

September 21, 2011 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Krystyn said...

So many times, I want to blog about the extended family, too...mistakes they are making, silly things they are doing. But, it's not my place..so I totally get it!

September 21, 2011 at 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband and I have an agreement that if I write anything about him, I ask first before publishing. I am careful with what I share on the internet. Though some folks feel at ease using the world as a diary, for me, privacy is more important. I won't write anything that could be sensitive about anyone without permission. I try to keep it positive and think: would I publish this in a magazine? If not, I don't on my blog. It helps keep me at least semi-professional. Interesting post!

September 21, 2011 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Katina said...

Hmmm, people IRL know that I blog and come up to me all the time and tell me that they read my blog. I did not think about keeping myself hidden although I probably should have. Soooo, because people IRL know who I am, I ALWAYS have to filter or watch what I say--lots of things are just not my story to tell. Great post

September 21, 2011 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

I know the feeling...sometimes I have certain things I really want to blog about...but I realize that it's not the time or place. I guess it's just a judgement call.

September 21, 2011 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger mama marchand said...

This is a tough topic for me. I feel like I have to censor myself a lot because I know a lot of "IRL" people read my blog. There are a MILLION things I want to talk about ... the hubs' job and how stressful it is, how people suck, the frustrations I have with my in laws, my childhood ... but I know that the fall out is not worth it AT ALL.

So, if things are rough, I try to put them in a non-specific way ... still letting my blog readers know that I'm going through something but not going into full details. It's tough!

September 21, 2011 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Emmy said...

I definitely censor some as all of my family reads my blog and while at times it annoys me and I would love to just rant and rave about different things, at other times I am grateful as sometimes I need to be reined in and be more charitable and Christan.

September 21, 2011 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

I think this is a hard thing about blogging - when something is consuming you during a given time and it's all you can think about. BUT YOU DON'T WANT TO/CAN'T WRITE ABOUT IT.

I have some pretty strict boundaries and sometimes they're hard to follow! Mostly it's privacy stuff, like you mention. Plus because I head an organization that have a handful of people who read my blog, I can't bring anything from that into the blog.

Make sense? Some weeks it's harder than others though. I know you get that.

September 21, 2011 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

I try and be careful about what I post. I try not to post anything that could be hurtful to anyone else. Once something is out there in cyber space it's pretty much impossible to take back.

September 21, 2011 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger JamieAnne of A Dash of Domestic said...

I understand why you keep some personal information... well, personal. I do too. Since I'm still a new-ish blogger (my blog is 6-months old this month!) I am not sure where my line is yet. There are things that are just too private. There are also things I am not sure I am ready to share with the whole wide interwebs.


September 21, 2011 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger finallyMom@blogspot.com said...

oh i struggle with this, too- especially like today, when i really need to get it out of my heart. it's tough to decide what to put out there. tough and scary sometimes since there is SO MUCH crazy out there on the interwebz. heck, i still have yet to pick up a book i won from a blog contest b/c i won't give out my real home address to anyone!

September 21, 2011 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I talk about anything on the blog, because none of my real life friends know about it (well I shouldn't say that, the girls on my message board do, but I met them online, so it's different).

September 21, 2011 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Just Jennifer said...

As much as I feel my blog is MY space and I should be able to say anything I want, I do there are boundaries. I'm not comfortable talking about money IRL, so why do it on my blog (I did ONCE and regretted it)? Don't talk about my sex life cuz that's really personal and I don't think my husband would appreciate it. I am not showing pictures of other people's kids on my blog. And I can't say anything negative about people in my family cuz several of them do or might read it.

I guess I try to focus on myself and what matters to me specifically.

September 21, 2011 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I agree whole-heartedly. There are some things that are not our stories to tell. You know when it is okay to blog about something.
If you ever need to vent (rant and rave), i am always here for you. :)

September 21, 2011 at 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. Wonder said...

I'd love to let loose, but I have family reading my blog and since it would be stuff about them or that I have kept from them, I can't say those things.

September 21, 2011 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Kristy said...

I have wanted to vent so bad before about a couple of things - things at work but I don't dare and my husband and I try to be careful. With work, I will share touching stories about kids I work with and change all identifying information, but I simply can't play with danger and rip on the adults I work with.

September 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

I am careful about what I write on my blog. My family knows about it so personal topics involving them are off limits. I'd like to think that I still keep a level of morals in mind when I write. It is hard though because a lot of things I'd like to put out there because I know I'd get the support I need.

Sorry those close to you are going through this. I hope it gets better for them soon.

September 21, 2011 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

I also don't get into money on my blog unless it's about how I save money (interesting tips and that kind of thing). I also don't blog about my husband's school or any drama that goes on there, because like you said, it's not MY story to tell.

September 21, 2011 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Ashley - My Front Porch Swing said...

It's tough to keep those boundaries intact sometimes, and it's different for everyone. You do a great job with keeping that balance. Love you girl.

September 21, 2011 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I just grappled with this a minute ago. It's hard for me to decide in moments because I'm so open on my blogs and instinctively share those raw and vulnerable moments which could include other people and situations.

But one rule I really try to keep: don't share anything about anyone/any situation that I wouldn't just say to the person face-to-face or would offend them.

I admire how you're able to be open and vulnerable and yet set boundaries on what to say. You do that so well!

September 21, 2011 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger alicia said...

Very cool concept. Wish it didn't coincide with my WW. Boy do I have things to say. lol.

September 21, 2011 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger The Mommyologist said...

There is definitely a line that has to be drawn, that's for sure. I've also had to hold back more since more and more people know about my blog, etc.

September 21, 2011 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Mama Zen said...

I just try to always keep in mind that someone could be hurt by something I write. That pretty much keeps me away from some topics.

September 21, 2011 at 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

Other people's stories that aren't mine to tell are definitely off limits.
I also censor posts about friends...I once wrote a post about my one BFF and in the post I mentioned that she had been my rock...well my other BFF read that and took offense and thought that I didn't view her as a BFF...gah...childish BS so I had to go back and reword the entire post.

So I rarely ever talk about my friends on the blog.

September 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

It's always a fine line to cross. I made a promise when I first started blogging that I would never say a mean or hurtful comment about anyone ever and that I would protect the names of the innocent (or not so innocent...) as the case may be. But I respect your decision not to open up the floodgates where this issue is concerned. Though I'm sure your friend would appreciate all the support she would likely receive from the blogging community she'll come forward with her news when--and if--she's ready.

September 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger RoryBore said...

That's why I love ya Shell...you're not just a pretty blog and good read: you got ethics and morals and such!

I don't use my kids real namesm, although I post pics....but I just like the nicknames anyway. I don't fear a reader coming to my house, so my location is listed. I don't know how many friends of family read - but I would never post anything that would unduly embarrass or anger them anyway. If I talk about an issue - it will be tempered with love too.

And you're right, when it's your blog - it should be your story to tell. That's why we keep coming back - for you.

September 21, 2011 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger MiMi said...

Friend, I totally get this.
See, I actually linked up today. It was a hard post to write, something I've been putting off, but I hope will ultimately help both myself and other parents.
I censor myself all the time with things about my kids on my blog. I don't want to share things that could embarrass them. I want to be respectful of them.
But I shared today. I think in a respectful way. I hope.

September 21, 2011 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Mercy D'souza said...

The things I've avoided are things relating to my husband that I know would bother his family if they were to read about them.
Last year something happened that I desperately wanted to talk to someone about, mainly just to vent, but I don't have any close friends here and didn't want to write about it for fear of hurting someone. I had to work through it on my own and it still bothers me, though not to then extent it did then. In that case, I just had to think of others feelings before my own.

September 21, 2011 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger crazedmama said...

I learned my lesson a few years ago when I had an online journal. I didn't think anyone read it, even though it was public, I didn't advertise it to anyone. I wrote about a friend in it, nothing bad, just telling his personal story.. well, guess what? His girlfriend found it and forwarded it onto him. He was soo not happy and I ended up deleting my account. I now just decide what to keep private and what not to keep private. I don't give out the names of members of my family, or my exact location. I don't bash anyone personally, or tell other people's private business. I've just learned to shut my mouth some times!!

September 21, 2011 at 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer S said...

I censor my self a lot. I never know who is reading my blog. Plus there are just things I'm not comfortable putting out there. Also I don't want to betray a friend just for a post.

September 21, 2011 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Helene said...

How ironic that this is what your PYHO was about today. I have a PYHO post that I wrote a few weeks ago regarding a situation with one of my kids which was very upsetting but I was hesitant to publish it. The fact that I was so undecided about it left me with the realization that it wasn't meant to be published (at least not right now). I also realized that part of the healing process in certain situations is just getting the story out of your head and onto paper (or computer, whatever). So even though I haven't published the post (and probably never will), it served its purpose, which helped me to resolve the emotions I felt about the situation. Geez, does this make any sense? LOL!

So yeah, I understand about the whole censor thing. Sometimes, even though we feel passionately about certain things, there are times where we need to keep it to ourselves until the time is right.

September 21, 2011 at 1:40 PM  
Anonymous tracy@sellabitmum said...

People think I share so much on my blog...but I am highly censored. Highly.

September 21, 2011 at 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Devan @ Accustomed Chaos said...

Deciding what to write on my space is a struggle of mine. I prefer the things i write to be my story & i worry about what my kids will think when they are old enough to read it - so i try not to share things about them that might be too embarrassing. its hard because i feel then that i am not letting people get to know the real us - but trying my best to do that without potentially upsetting them.

it's hard!

September 21, 2011 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Kir said...

I worry all the time, about stories I will tell, how I'll be perceived if I give in to the stories of my 20's or to tell family stories that are not mine alone.

I also think about very controversial stuff but never decide to write about it, while I think it would bring more people to my blog, I don't want the drama.

Plus I never want to hurt the feelings of anyone I know and love , whether it be here in blogland or in my real life. I have a lot of people who "know me" who read my blog and I don't want to hurt those relationships.

Some days I wish I could just write another blog, an Anonymous one and just spill it. HEAVEN.

what a GOOD POST, I'll be thinking of this all week now.

September 21, 2011 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Venassa said...

I find I don't spill too much on my blog anymore because I don't like to vent about personal problems that have to do with others. I feel that'll just hurt or upset someone if they find out. And people always find out. So I limit myself to not really saying anything negative about anyone in my life.

September 21, 2011 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger The Mommy Therapy said...

This is such an interesting topic. I'm not overly specific about certain things about our location or my kids' information. I try not to filter my emotions too much, but like you, won't share stories that I don't think are mine to share...unless I have been asked specifically to do so.

I know a lot of bloggers change their kids names or post photos, but I guess I never thought of that when I started so I haven't gone backwards.

Interesting to think about though. Great post Shell!

September 21, 2011 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger HopefulLeigh said...

My rule is I can write about it if I'm comfortable with my family knowing this about me or if it's about someone, if I'd be comfortable saying it to their face. If not, then I take a friend out for coffee and process it face-to-face.

September 21, 2011 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger Courtney K. said...

I have to be really careful about what I say on my blog because my husband is military. Not only do I have to worry about the whole "national security/keep our troops safe" thing, things that I say may impact his promotional ability down the road. So I'm pretty wary of what I write when it comes to OUR personal lives (what goes on in our marriage, his bad habits, etc). And like you said there are some stories that just aren't ours to tell. I think you have to factor in the simple question of whether or not someone would WANT you sharing something about them...is it something they would share themselves? Great post!

September 21, 2011 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I have to censor my blog more now than ever since I'm a nurse. Obviously, I don't tell about patients or give any kind of specifics about the hospital that I work for but it's more than that. I have to be careful about expressing my opinion because some people think that they have the right to read, and judge, what I say on my personal blog. It's very irritating, but it's the age of social media so I have to do what I have to do. I'm changing my blog anyway...so it will be good :)

September 21, 2011 at 3:54 PM  
Blogger Joann Mannix said...

This was a great Pour Your Heart Out, Shell.

I have no problem spilling out just about everything that happens to me on my blog. But the key word there is, me. My life is so much more than me, though. And that's where my censoring comes in. I have teenagers who certainly don't want their personal lives splashed across the internet. And even though some of their issues are the biggest part of my world, I will not do that to them.

Nor will I disparage anyone, no matter what.

I won't bring up finances, either, or politics. I'm not out to create drama in my part of the blog world, so anything that might do just that is off limits.

It's amazing how far reaching a blog can be without even being aware of it. My husband is considering an acquisition with a certain company. Recently, at a lunch with the president of this company, the president mentioned he'd googled my husband and had come across my blog. I gasped when my husband was telling me this, thinking about all my tampon stories and such. Luckily, the president humbled me with his praises. But it definitely could have gone the other way. It makes me think more about my content these days.

September 21, 2011 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

One more thing to love about you:

You know where to draw a line.

As hard as it may be not to spill emotions here (especially ones that affect you deeply) I admire the fact that when it's not your story to tell, you won't use someone else's in this place.

And I know the temptation is there. Not because we want to stare at another person's tragedy - that's shameful. But because we are hurt ourselves; and we want support, too. And also, we know we could garner support for someone we love.

And yet.

It's not our story.

I've had a couple of weeks of tragedy around people in my life - and it felt weird to carry on making comments and posting and tweeting and being funny and flip and silly when I was hurting.

But I also couldn't say anything. Because it's not my stuff to tell.

So I get this. And admire you.
And I think you are doing the right thing.

Your friends and family are lucky to have a safe confidante in you.

Very, very lucky.

September 21, 2011 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Tonya W. said...

I love this, Shell. I wrote about this recently too and I completely agree with you. It's my blog, my small little space on the Internet, but some stories just aren't mine to tell or they are too personal to share. For the most part, I am an open book, but there are a few things going on in my life right now that I will NOT write about... my in-laws, my IVF stuff, my marriage, etc. I'm just not ready yet or able to get the words out.

September 21, 2011 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger Christine Siracusa said...

I felt really weird not participating in PYHO today so I had to come by and say hi anyway. And I'm glad I did. I think all your guidelines are fantastic and honorable and reasonable and true to who you are. It is hard sometimes to resist a good vent but sometimes, especially when we (the bloggers) are not the MAIN characters in said rant, it really is best to resist. It can be a tricky line to navigate.

September 21, 2011 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

I do censor some things on my blog. Knowing that my family knows about it and there is a chance they'd see it, I can't write about certain topics. I won't write to offend others or put us in a position that makes us too vulnerable. But what I do write is honest, and from the heart. I would love to write about certain things because I know the support would be just what I'd need, but sometimes I just can't.

September 21, 2011 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Lourie said...

It's a tough call. I try to keep my blog neutral. Even when I am griping. Sometimes I wish I had a totally anonymous blog. Other times, I am fine with the one I have.

September 21, 2011 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

What an interesting post. I've drawn some lines for myself, but I think it's different for everyone. Like Lourie, sometimes I wish I was completely anonymous, so I could be open about whatever I wanted, though not in a mean way.

September 21, 2011 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Afrodita said...

That's a very good question. I just go by this rule: is it affecting my life? is it inspiring me to write about it? then I'll go ahead. I might not -which I usually do- reveal their name, but I will make sure the story is told through my eyes as I see it.

But I totally see your side of not doing so. I just don't know if I'll be able to keep it inside my head without affecting me.

-mama and the city

September 21, 2011 at 8:46 PM  
Anonymous A Mother's Thoughts said...

That is such a great question. I guess I write alot of "my opinions" on things. I rarely speak of someone in specific, and if it is someone in specific then I am ok with them seeing it. Non of my close friends or family know that I write, (except my inlaws, who don't read this anymore) and I like that. It makes my feel like I can be less sensored and yet, I try to talk about things that hopefully is not attacking anyone personal views. I look at my site more as a forum, and I hope that my readers feel the same!

I hope that both of your situations, get worked out or eve better work themselves out! Nothing worse then baring the stress of problems that can't be fixed or solved without bringing other people into it! You are a great friend and I am sure that everything will work out!!


September 21, 2011 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I don't get too controversial on my blog. I mention my faith and how it applies to my life, but I don't get preachy. I'm open about the city/state I live in, but I never mention the names of the kids' schools and I don't post pictures that show the names.

As far as other things, if I have a twinge of a thought that the post might hurt someone, I get a second opinion. If I want to talk about something that's not my story to tell, I try to tell the part that is mine vaguely and focus on how it affects me.

Interesting post. I'm giving a presentation on Monday about privacy and social media.

September 21, 2011 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger championm2000 said...

After being gone from blog world for a while, I have had some time to reflect on blogging and why I do it.

This post speaks to some of what I have struggled with recently as I found myself straying from my original purpose of blogging.

Now, I think I am clearer. My blog is the story of us--things I hope my kids will one day look upon as our history. What I post should be something that matters to them, tells them something about their mommy, how much they were loved, etc...And, when it comes to writing about others, I always write assuming they may read it (or my boss might).

September 21, 2011 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger Rach (DonutsMama) said...

I like to be honest on my blog, but at the same time, I do hold back a little about certain things like you do. I try not to talk specifics about my family (parents, siblings, in-laws). I feel like I don't want to drag them into my blog if that's not what they want--especially if it's not something nice. It's hard sometimes to know where to draw the line. I don't think everyone has to spill it all. But what they do tell, I like it to be authentic.

September 21, 2011 at 10:42 PM  
Anonymous molly said...

Oh boy. I am very open with MY life and very taboo subjects on my blog. But I know my sisters feel uncomfortable being talked about and my husband doesn't want much stuff about our marriage on there. So I steer clear of those subjects.

I also try not to get political. That's just not my bag, baby ;)

September 21, 2011 at 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Megan (Best of Fates) said...

I usually use a delicate equation, always measuring how much of the story is mine and what my horoscope was in the local paper.

September 22, 2011 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger Peeper said...

Yes to all of what you said. Except the city I live in. Seriously, I have like 3 people who actually read anything I write on a regular basis and they all know where I live anyway.
I don't have strict guidelines but an internal compass. Sometimes it points me true north but other times I end up with phone calls and serious conversations after a post. But I'll never rat anyone out or be mean or unflattering. Nothing good ever comes from acting like that -be in on the internets or IRL.

September 22, 2011 at 12:49 AM  
Blogger The Anecdotal Baby said...

I, like you, believe in being honest in all of my posts. I try to keep some things anonymous for the protection of my family and myself, therefore I, too, don't release the names of my husband, daughter, family, friends, etc... Because I believe in being completely honest, I post things that I am willing to own. I believe if you're going to say it (or post it) you should know that anyone can find out what you've said and you should be ready to own it. I am real. I try to keep it real on my blog. If I have to sugar coat, I don't post. If it's not my own story or experience, I don't post... unless I've been given permission. If I'm not ready to accept opposing viewpoints, I won't post. Really, if I'm not ready to own it, I don't post it.

September 22, 2011 at 1:39 AM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

I invent most of the stuff on my blog--it's all my hopes and dreams. If I wrote about reality, I doubt anyone would come over!

September 22, 2011 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger toi said...

I try to focus on myself, husband and baby in my posts - my personal life. I don't write too much about what other people say or do that I don't like, because my blog would not be my sacred place anymore.

September 22, 2011 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I censor myself quite a bit. For me, the biggest reason is my oldest and the fact that she could read my blog at any time. So if it is okay for her eyes then I post it.

September 22, 2011 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Mom of 12 said...

I try to keep my blog positive for the most part. I don't think people want to hear me complain all the time. That said, I still slip into a pity party once in a while. My sweetie wanted us to stay anonymous, but with my son's new-found fame consuming half my life, it's hard to keep that in line. I even got my first hate-call which was pretty disturbing. I don't fight with people and I don't slam on anybody. But that's how I try to live my life, so that isn't too hard. I so love having bloggy friends and knowing you are all out there and so supportive helps me stay happy.

September 22, 2011 at 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Theta Mom said...

Blogging & privacy will always be at the forefront of what I do. My blog used to be all about me, but as the storytelling became more about my kids, I took a step back. Once you hit publish, it's out there. Forever. And I never want my kids or someone else in my life to be upset about something I said. So, I remain as authentic as I can be - but with a filter, because privacy is the one thing I'm not willing to risk.

September 22, 2011 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Erica@PLRH said...

I try my best to keep my blog PG-13. I also avoid talking about my job specifically, religion, money, and politics. Mostly because I don't feel comfortable talking about those things in general.

My best friend's life is FULL of redneck drama and it's such awesome blog material. But it's her story, not mine.

September 22, 2011 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Healthy Mom Project said...

It's tough trying to figure out what to say and what to leave out. I guess it's just a personal decision. There have been plenty of times I've wanted to write about things I couldn't, but that's just part of blogging.

September 22, 2011 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Hope your family issue works out and your friend is okay.

I always start posts and then quit them. Well, maybe not always but alot.

September 22, 2011 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Tina @ Life Without Pink said...

In the last few months I have really censored myself. I realized a lot of people read my blog that I never knew they even knew I had one. There are so many things I would want to write about but dont.

September 22, 2011 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger KSK said...

I hope everything works out for your family & friend!!
I censor myself a lot... I have to keep in mind my parents (which I don't really censor for them.. they know me!), my in-laws.. I don't want to be TOO mean about Jerk Face! And then my very conservative grandparents read my blog.. plus other family and friends that have mentioned reading my blog..

September 22, 2011 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

While I love making new friends and being "real," I feel zero obligation to share private details of my life. I don't think that makes me any less of a blogger, I just see my blog as more a fun outlet (sharing the good/happy/inspiring stuff) and a business. I know that's not popular and isn't going to get me on Babble's top 50 but it's the truth and apparently readers and sponsors are ok with that. My husband is a managing director at a top investment bank, I have an established career, and my son is going to a conservative private school. I try to be as cautious as possible and recommend that to everyone unless you blog completely anonymously.

September 22, 2011 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger Hines-Sight said...

Little slow this week on my reading. Great words of wisdom, I think.

September 23, 2011 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger Dolli-Mama said...

I completely agree, you have to have boundries. I know what you mean by "Not my story to tell". Sometimes I struggle with that, I want to tell stories that aren't mine.

I don't blog about my husband. If I have something short and nice to say, I say it. Other then that I don't put my marriage on my blog. Mainly because my husband is such a private person, I don't want him to be upset or offended that I shared something, even something good.

I don't blog about inlaws. Never. Not even good stuff. You never know what will set someone off. :)

September 23, 2011 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Brittney said...

telling others peoples story has got me in trouble from time to time, and I've learned that if it doesn't have anything to do with me then its not my place. However, I have shared something the past few weeks that isnt necessarily my story to tell but it affects me and i havent went into detail about her but ive went into detail about how it makes me feel.. does that make sense?

September 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

Sometimes it is SO hard for me to not talk about certain things that go on in my life but I know that nothing would be gained from me talking about it. Of course I do email and talk to some people about them which helsp.

September 23, 2011 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger The Empress said...

This is exactly why I keep coming back to your blog, for the past 20 mos.

Because of your ethics.

For me, if it would cause embarrassment to my children, I won't publish it.

September 23, 2011 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Lady Jennie said...

I know how you feel. When we're hurting over someone else's situation the natural desire is to want to tell our blogging friends because this community really is tight-knit. But I don't do it either - not if it's not my story to tell. Also avoid blog wars. I checked out a tweep new follow and discovered her blog was all about trashing bloggers so I unfollowed right away.

I don't post about sex because my husband wouldn't agree and I don't have to worry about money because no one has any illusion that I have any ( ha ha ).

September 26, 2011 at 7:26 AM  

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