I Knew the Risk when I Bought the Ticket

I received an email from a person that reads my blog. It was apologetic in nature, although I am not sure this person has anything for which to apologize. Still, I appreciated the sentiments in the email. The reader then vowed to not send anymore feedback unless I asked for advice. This stimulated my thinking trying to realize what I felt in regard to the whole blogging relationship and what goes on with bloggers and readers. I think there is an understood dynamic there that states that the blogger blogs and the readers comment. The vow of "silence" seems a bit out of place, although I appreciate the gesture. I do think that people should follow their own preference.

At any rate, here is the edited version of my response. I am including it as addendum to this comment I left two posts ago:

"I know some of you mean well with your tough love approach. However, to be quite honest with you, there is an appropriate time for that kind of help and it is usually after an appropriate grieving period takes place.

I promised myself that I wouldn't take it personally. That is why I removed those posts. However, as I am still working through it, I am sure I am going to post more of what is exactly on my mind. That will also include any feedback to your feedback. If it offends, do like me and don't take it personally. Depending on how life is for you now, you should be able to handle that better than I can.

In addition, the man up and get over it thing is filed away. I understand the point of view. Try this: wouldn't it be nice to think that you might be married to someone who takes his/her marriage as seriously as I do? Just a thought."


The following is just a follow up that was inspired by the email I mentioned at the top of the post:

First of all, I know that I am not the only one with problems. I am sorry for all the hardships that everyone has gone through. I know that I am not the only one that faces serious challenges. I hope that I didn't come off that way.

What I want to say now is not meant to be accusatory in nature. It is a general statement about how I feel about some comments that I have read not anyone's particular comments, per se. I am really not interested in who said what and I am not really sure about it now, anyway. This may not even apply to you at all.

I don't mind comments. I don't even mind advice. The only thing that hurts is advice that sounds cold and unhelpful. There is an old bit by comedian Steve Martin. He states, "I can teach you to have a million dollars and not have to pay taxes on it. First, get a million dollars."

Some "advice," in particularly the "man up" - tough love advice, is just like that. Sometimes, directions to a destination must start out with "you can't get there from here." This is one of those times. The "man up" advice just perpetuates to someone who is struggling and already feels like a failure to feel EVEN MORE like one. It tends to make one remove everything from the whole conversation because even more feelings of failure just can't be endured at the moment.

However, there are other comments that are encouraging and supportive. Even though no solution is offered, the "being there" feeling is sometimes enough to get someone through another minute in the day. Sometimes, that is all one can hope for.

That is really all there is to it. It is not for me to say how anyone should comment and that isn't my intention. I have no rules for my blog. Actually, I have been fortunate that I seldom get an overtly hateful comment. I know others of you have. Comment any way you want and I will deal with it the only way I can. Thank you for being patient with me.

I also want to thank Jaquandor (who was not the emailer in question listed above) for reminding me of the value of REAL blogging (my term, not his). He even gave me an award for it. Thank you, Jaquandor.


Chris said...

It's a fine line deciding when to offer advice and when to just share a shoulder.

I hope you find your peace.

Anonymous said...

In my humble opinion, now is the time for us to simply be here for you as best we can. There will come a time when advice will play a part, but... I just feel that you're probably still in an enormous state of shock and grief, and... a virtual hug and - as Chris said - shoulder is what would help you the most right now. xoxo

Jodi said...

Well, you know where to find me if you need me. I say a prayer for you every day.


Ari said...

Ohh, hm. I'm a little lost, I guess. I'm not sure what you're going through, but I hope things get better.

You know I've always relied on the thought that even when I'm at a really rough point in my life, when I think I can't do it, I realize I have to. Think of all the people that have a seemingly perfect life, where nothing ever goes wrong. What a boring life that would be. You'll pull through this because you have an inner strength inside you. You will do it, become even more brilliant and better. That's what I think anyway.


Kelly Sedinger said...

Shucks, you're welcome! (Although I'm not sure I'd call what I do "real blogging" -- if navel-gazing were an Olympic event, I'd be bunking down in Beijing as we speak. ;)

Michelle said...

Nice post, Jeff.

I agree with Chris - it is a fine line. What I have found also is that each person has their limits set at their own personal level and what seems kind advice to one person might be seen as intrusive by another. Tricky stuff!

Michelle said...

therapy, Scottish style...

redsneakz said...

Uh, Jaquandor sent me :-) Okay, well, so I found you on his blogroll.

I assume that you're going through a divorce. My advice to you is this: people's advice is in general well-meaning, well-intentioned, and utterly useless. It's impossible to know what is going to get your back up, what is going to cause wave after wave of grief to wash over you, what is going to cause you to melt in tenderness.

Experience it all. Embrace the sadness, embrace the grief, embrace the anger, and then, embrace the change in yourself.

Jeff said...

Thanks, folks. Support is greatly appreciated although it kind of makes me feel funny (and weak). Still, it is better than ticking me off. ;)

Ari: Yep, I removed some posts. I understand your points and agree for the most part. As far as perfect people being bored, at this point I think I would rather be bored. :)

Michelle: I don't know what to say about that video. :)

redsneakz: Thank you, very eloquently put.

Everyone (Chris, Steph, Jodi, Ari, Kelly, Michelle and my new friend redsneakz): I think you guys are terrific for supporting, and keeping a check on me. It is amazing, really