No more blogging about support group

I hurt a person I blogged about in my previous entry, by blogging about something she said at support group. She regrets it. I regret writing about it. She meant no harm. I should have known that blogging about it might cause harm. I also should have known I was not under attack, so why did I use this forum to give her a hard time? We are at support group for each other. We all are hurting in one way or another, or we wouldn’t be there.

This blog is supposed to be about a lot of things: an outlet for me, an homage to Mom, possibly helpful to others who might learn a thing or two about expecting the unexpected. It is not about being a bitch to other caregivers (or at least from here on out, that is my declaration).

I do allow myself to complain about the financial difficulties that I occasionally still encounter and I certainly felt free to complain about the administration of Mom’s previous facility when she was kicked out.

I also strive to maintain others’ privacy. But I failed on that point, too. I think I felt safe about writing about that particular support group session because there were only three family members there, and the rest of the attendees were nursing students. Well, I am busted instead. So support group is off limits, unless I want to blog about what I say at support group. Feel free to call me out if I break this new rule of mine.

And to my fellow caregiving daughter: I am sorry.

7 comments so far

  1. arborfamiliae on

    You’ve touched on something that I have struggled with too. How to write a blog about the most intense, significant experiences you have without invading the privacy of or offending others.

    As a pastor, I’ve been with people through all varieties of experiences–death, insanity, immorality of the worst kind. In those moments, the most amazing things happen. Even though those times involve intense pain and struggle, they also reveal the incredible strength of the human spirit. Being a witness to those moments is a powerful experience.

    I’ve often toyed with how to write about these experiences without compromising the privacy of others. But I haven’t figured out how to do it. There are too many interconnections in life and the internet is a much too interconnected place.

    Someday, after I have perhaps moved to another city, after perhaps many of the relationships I currently have are over and many people have died, maybe then I’ll write about my experiences. Or maybe I’ll write anonymously (even then, I’m always afraid I’ll somehow be found out).

    The urge to write and to share these intense moments that I’ve been a part of is strong. But the desire to keep confidentiality at all costs is stronger. Nevertheless, the tension is always there.

    Thanks for the post. It takes a big person to say you shouldn’t have done something and to apologize publicly. I appreciate the things you share in your blog. They resonate deeply with my own experiences.

  2. momsbrain on

    Thank you, arborfamiliae. I am considering this particular episode a lesson learned. I want to protect confidentiality and I want to do no harm to others. Including my mom. Sometimes I worry about how she would feel about this blog when I write about something potentially embarrassing to a person who has a “normal” brain. But I really do believe that the change in behavior associated with Alzheimer’s does not have to equal loss of dignity. I hold Mom in higher esteem than ever before in my life, and I hope that comes through. Thanks for commenting.

  3. margaret massey on

    Ditto what arborf. said. I started out trying to be completely anonymous in my blog writing, and not sharing it with friends and family for that reason. Then I felt like they were out of the loop- had no idea what I was going through, and I wanted them to know.

    Since letting down my guard and opening up my blogging identity more, I’ve found I blog less and censor more. Not necessarily a great thing. It’s a really hard balance.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. JenniferJayhawk on

    It is a tough, emotional, private, fine line we all walk.

    I so appreciate you honesty Emily. I think you are doing an amazing job! No need to beat yourself up. I have had my family ask me to delete a post off my blog.

  5. momsbrain on

    Meg and Jennifer: Thanks for your support. The emotional component can complicate things, that is for sure. And my comfort with being “out there” doesn’t necessarily mean some that I write about are comfortable with that. I used my brother’s name in a headline once and he felt a little funny about it. I am always open to learning, and this was a big lesson for me!

  6. patwhite67 on

    Emily,
    Your deep caring of your mom always comes through for me as well as the sadness and hurt of seeing the disease take from her. I understand what it’s like to grieve the many losses as you are doing.
    I also understand what you are saying about wanting to spend some quality time with your mother without having to compete with Mr. R.
    You are a very brave person and loving daughter to your mom.
    I too think about whether my mom would approve of my blogging about my experiences with her. I will say that your blogs have been a strength to me, and I thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  7. momsbrain on

    Hi, Pat-Thank you for your kind comments. I am comforted by your descriptions of your visits with your mom, too. I can imagine you speaking when I read your blog, and it has a calming effect.


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