Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Was Destined To Alienate My Family

Continuing to take a pounding, the writer writes. Knowing that somewhere, someone is reading who is bound to be seriously pissed off or bound to tell someone about what they read here who is going to be pissed off. Either way.

I'm so tired of feedback on my blog. ( to be clear: not talking about commenters. talking close to home situations. ) I am feeling pounded into the pavement. Maybe I should simply post naked pictures of myself and strings of random curse words in front of a symphonic soundtrack and drive away everyone until I can have this space back to myself, in the big black eye of the internet.

Look. I told you when I was growing up, if you don't want to to be immortalized in words, don't be a fucking asshole!

And this: I promised you a rose garden. No one ever promised me one, that's for fucking sure. I never got one either, until I dug the dirt up with my own bare naked hands and teeth and made one.

As it is, I'm leaving out everything. And everyone who was there knows this is true.

List of Things I Am Not Writing About That I Want To But I'M NOT:

details. paragraphs. entire chapters.

I can't demand anything. I can keep it real though. That's what I do best. And what is real, right now, is that I'm letting you, and you, and especially you know that I'm going to keep writing what I write the way I write it. I'm really saying this to myself of course. A mantra. A reminder. Slightly desperate. I can't be quiet NOW, for godsakes. I made it out of the endless winter and the reason I did was because I had a voice in writing.

All the way up. All the way out.

Dave Eggers wrote it.
Sylvia Plath wrote it. Anne Sexton wrote it. Erica Jong wrote it. Henry Rollins wrote it. Ayelet Waldman wrote it. Anais Nin wrote it. Henry Miller wrote it. Anne Lamott wrote it.
Write it, damn you! Write it! What else are you good for? -James Joyce
A Serenade for Solitude said...

Amen. Keep it up Maggie. Do your self justice! I commend you for your authentic bravery. It's not always so easy being honest, but you must write what must be written. xx

Anonymous said...

And this is one of the reasons I've chosen to write with a nom de plume. Although anyone who really knows me would guess who I am.

Writing under your own name is way braver.

Like you, I've managed to leave out So. Much. But I get that if my family read some of my archives, they'd be terribly pissed at me.

What's a girl to do? Especially when writing is therapy, a release. Something that helps create a balance.

Heck, even some of the people who don't know me have taken umbrage at some of my recent posts. But they don't seem to get that I'm not writing for them. I'm only writing for me. For my sanity.

I feel you. I get it. Keep writing though, you have to. xo

SJ said...

Holy shit, honey. What happened?

michelle said...

f*ck 'em

use your words


Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Say it, Maggie. Write it, Maggie. You go girl. That's why we love you. Your work is genius.

katiecrackernuts said...

Write on baby. Close your comments, how's about that. Just close 'em.

Anonymous said...

just write for yourself...

Maggie May said...

thank you ladies THANK YOU. your voices mean so much to me.

Maggie May said...

michelle- what a perfect headstone for a writer

she used her words

Elizabeth said...

Yes. Yes. Yes. Molly Bloom said so.

Drax said...

Besides, they're "just words."

Lone Star Ma said...

Keep at it!

Mwa said...

Amen! And I love you! And fuck yeah! And you go girl! And screw them! You are so right. x

Ms. Moon said...

Yes. It is best to get them outside of ourselves where they cannot hurt us any more.
Love you.

Corinne said...

Your writing is YOURS. Your story is YOURS. No one can take that away from you, or cheapen it.

Sara said...

I struggle with this too: it blows up worse from time to time. My therapist (who is wonderful and an eating-disorder/women's issues specialist, but who is also my mother's age not a writer) asked, after the last blowup, "why don't you just keep a journal? Then you can write anything you want in it and no one will read it, no one will get angry or misinterpret it." But it's important to have a reader, I think, it's important to insist that THIS existence is an important one, a valid one, that this self--female, mother, lover, writer, fucked up human, is valid. It's what I would want Jonah to believe, and feel free to do: write himself into the world as he is, not as he is supposed to be.

We still have very particular ways we believe women should behave, especially women who are mothers. You can be a Jersey Shore hoochie when you're 20, but write about the mess and muck of everyday life, the difficulties of motherhood, the realities of sex past the age of 20, the hard work of staying afloat?

I told my therapist that I feel the need to keep insisting, in the best and whole-est way I know how, writing--that my self is okay, that my story is an important one, and that my story (your story, Maggie) is part of a secret, untold story shared by countless people who desperately want to hear it told. Keep writing, and know you are not alone in these public/private struggles.

Hannah Stephenson said...

It is clear that your goal isn't to hurt anyone with your writing. It is telling that when some see themselves in your work, they don't like what they see there.

Sorry to hear about the tension here. I would describe you as a very compassionate writer.

Petit fleur said...

Oh Maggie,

I believe this is every writers greatest fear and blockage... Having to deal with the fall out of people close to you about what you write and how... You are so brave to keep going and keep writing and keep being exactly who you are.

A quote by Einstein comes to mind: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

There you have it, straight from a grand master of violent opposition and a kindred spirit.

Hang in and write on through it. You are good for so much more, to be sure. But that isn't really the point, I just wanted to say it!
Love you, love your words.
xo m

Angella Lister said...

this is where i am this summer maggie, and i so admire you for insisting, INSISTING, dammit, on your right to write what is true for you. i am trying to find my way back to this. you are the beacon, lighting the way. thank you, dear maggie, we all need your voice, your example, your words.

C.M. Jackson said...

one word starts a fire...keep at it..c

Annie said...

Hi Maggie,
Writing is validation and catharsis. You are a gifted writer, and like Hannah says, you are compassionate. When you allude to difficulties in your childhood family, you have always held back. I understand that completely. Even though I write with a pseudonym, my childhood family does not know about my blog, and I've asked my husband and son not to read me, I censor so much. But I say enough, and I say what I need to say, and it has helped me (while leaving out the "details, paragraphs, entire chapters"). Keep writing what you need to say. And use your own best judgment, what to publish, and what to keep private. You don't have to tell us everything; but everything you do tell us, in your stories, poems and essays, is honest, brave, and beautifully written. Thank you for that.

T. Clear said...

And Maggie May Ethridge IS WRITING IT.

Go Maggie.

You are my inspiration in the Land of Truth.

Annje said...

Yes, write it!
It reminds me of that Sharon Olds line, from my favorite poem of all time (I go back to May 1937): "Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it."

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