“Emotional upheavals touch every part of our lives,” Pennebaker explains. “You don’t just lose a job, you don’t just get divorced. These things affect all aspects of who we are—our financial situation, our relationships with others, our views of ourselves, our issues of life and death. Writing helps us focus and organize the experience.”
Our minds are designed to try to understand things that happen to us. When a traumatic event occurs or we undergo a major life transition, our minds have to work overtime to try to process the experience. Thoughts about the event may keep us awake at night, distract us at work and even make us less connected with other people.
When we translate an experience into language we essentially make the experience graspable… Making a story out of a messy, complicated experience may make the experience more manageable.
“…one day they may be talking about how they feel and how they see it,” he says, “but the next day they may talk about what’s going on with others, whether it’s their family or a perpetrator or someone else. Being able to switch back and forth is a very powerful indicator of how they progress.”
According to Alice Flaherty, a neuroscientist at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, the placebo theory of suffering is one window through which to view blogging. As social creatures, humans have a range of pain-related behaviors, such as complaining, which acts as a “placebo for getting satisfied,” Flaherty says. Blogging about stressful experiences might work similarly.
So, it seems that I might as well blog about the whole sorry mess.
After all, it’s become very clear that I’m not going to get any satisfaction any other way. And I’m told I need to figure out some way to “deal with it” on my own.
So for now at least, this is it. And it seems to be helping, so I expect to continue with it as long as I am feeling a benefit.
What do you want to bet that if anyone in my family ever reads this blog, suddenly those rules will change? That I will be told that this is an unacceptable way for me to deal with this? That those who have washed their hands of me like Pontius Pilate will decide after all these years — YEARS — that they DO need to get involved? And those who have now refused to discuss the situation with me any further will suddenly have an urgent need to lecture me about what I shouldn’t have done?
Maybe they should go and say those things to Joe and Susan first.
Or maybe it is simply too. fucking. late. for. that. Maybe they will just have to find a way to deal with it.