So, it would appear, from today's Times, that blogging about my family will bring the four horsemen of the apocalypse galloping across suburban Brussels to knock on my blue front door. They're long overdue anyway - it's been ooh, days, since the last Waffle catastrophe. Bloody horsemen, you just can't rely on them, terrible timekeepers. I suppose they're always stopping off here and there to wreak carnage or spread pestilence or some such.
I can't, try as I might, get as paranoid as perhaps I should be about blogging. I don't know, maybe it's the drugs. I seemed to lose all my inhibitions about sharing the various ghastlinesses that have characterised the last few years as soon as I started taking anti-depressants (again). I'm exactly the same in real life as I am on line - I've lost the ability to self-censor. I tell my boss that my job is boring and that I don't work hard (and also that everyone assumes he has a mistress - OK, I was also drunk at this point and there were other things said that even I will draw a veil over). I told Matilda what my bonus was yesterday, which is supposed to be the kind of information you guard with your life on the corridor of ennui (I got it terribly wrong, nearly causing a terrible scandal. I don't do numbers. I ended up scrabbling around in my desk drawer bleating "I'm sure I can find you the right number! It was on a post it note in here somewhere!" as Matilda, scandalised, plotted her resignation). I told my other boss when I got pregnant two years ago which he REALLY didn't need to know.
I kind of welcome this new openness and vulnerability. I shared nothing, and I mean nothing, for the first thirty odd years of my life, despite several bouts of therapy. I would have lengthy, knotted dialogues in my head about all sorts of stuff, but none of it was ever articulated. I was virtually mute. The CFO was frequently driven to distraction by my monosyllabic utterances, from which he was supposed to parse whole torrents of tortured emotion. It's good to be able to say "no, I am not fine, I am not coping", even if many unfortunates who were only asking out of politeness find themselves edging away after a few minutes with a wild desperation in their eyes. It's a sort of Emma perestroika and it makes me feel a whole lot saner. Not to mention the extraordinary, thoughful and supportive things that people have said. Especially people here. I've said it repeatedly, you're way better than therapy.
Why am I not worried? Firstly, because I honestly believe I am serving the welfare of my children and my partner by expressing myself here. I have not chopped anyone into small pieces. No duct tape has been used for nefarious purposes. I shout less. This is all a direct result of blogging. Part of the reason blogging is such a release (yick, that sounds sexual, sorry) is tied up in the fact that the CFO is french and we speak french to each other, and my children still, damn their eyes, talk to me in french most of the time. Ok, I can do it. Actually I love it most of the time, but this is not my mother tongue and there are concepts, jokes, verbal gymnastics, shared cultural references that are part of who I am that get no outlet in my immediate family. I express that stuff here, and god, it does me good. I'm not as frustrated. I might still get tongue-tied when I want to talk to the CFO about something a bit nebulous and abstract, but I can show myself that I know what I mean by writing it down here.
I think all this boils down to: better in than out. Poor long-suffering readers may disagree. But how can I regret something that has brought me friends, sanity, endless laughter (and, uh, forty odd suggestions on how to rehydrate)? The things I want to read, moreover, tend to be those that draw me in with some kind of personal, or emotional content. I put myself at the very open end of the blogging spectrum, certainly (though I always hold up Motherhood Uncensored and Lisa, and a handful of others as franker even than me), and I know I cross boundaries that many have set for themselves in the way I use this space. What do you think? Do you have a set of rules you follow in what you write about and what you don't? Am I DOOMED (cue Beethoven's Fifth)? I am, aren't I. Go on, you can tell me. I've already put the kettle on for the horsemen anyway.