Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Blog Therapy 101

When I was a little girl I used to write in a diary every night before I went to sleep. It was a sacred and secret ceremony that began with pulling my tv-week-poster-wrapped diary out from under the mattress (surely no-one would ever find it there). I then snuggled into bed propped up on my Abba pillowcase, and placed The Magic Faraway Tree on my lap, with my diary resting on top, ready to be opened with the small gold key that hung on a piece of red string around my neck. I would sit there, poised, with my chewed HB pencil tapping against my lip, contemplating what I would write for the day in the four lines I had available in my five year diary.

The first year I wrote in this diary was 1980, which means this diary has been with me for 33 years, one of the few possessions I have from my childhood. I lost the key after the second year and had to cut it open at the side, which was heartbreaking because my secrets were no longer private, they could be read by anyone who found the diary. The funny thing is, that looking back now, those 'secrets' were so ordinary, so mundane - and downright hilarious to my teenage daughter who found the diary a few years ago.

In 1980 I was thirteen. My mother had run off with a travelling salesman the year before, and my dad moved in with her best friend, Dot - my wicked stepmother who loved nothing more than making us kids miserable. I was painfully thin with a mouth full of chunky (they were back then) braces, I cried all the time and was bullied at school. Despite all that, the above page, May 7, was pretty uneventful for three years in a row:

1980 - We went shopping. Krishna (my sister) and Mark (my brother) spent their money ($7). I would have written this because, of course, I hadn't spent mine yet!
1981 - Colin (the travelling salesman) rang up and said that we were to fly to Sydney on Saturday afternoon at 5pm (to visit our mum)
1982 - Talked to Skinny (major crush on him) and new boy in science. The guys talk to me more now that my braces are off (my major obsession then, what boys thought of me). Holidays start tomorrow (no yipee, just the facts :)

See what I mean? How mundane but also how precious to look back on my childhood self as an adult, to read what I was thinking and be taken back to that moment in time. Just as writing in my diary was a form of therapy back then, somewhere I could write about the bullies and bitches and share my crushes, I have realised that my blog is a form of therapy for me now.

It is like my diary, a place to record my thoughts, my theories, and my memories, to reflect back on in another 36 years. Only this time, I am able to share my secrets with others, I don't feel like I have to hide them anymore (although that's what made my childish thoughts so candid). Other people, my family, you, and the worldwide web can reflect back on my life too, and offer help and guidance along the way. Just like visiting a whole room of therapists all at once :). Talking about the floods is making my acceptance of them easier, sharing with you my steps to regain my love for my home and land is making me realise I need to do this to heal, to stop being angry with my home and circumstance...and it's working...unbelievably so.

When I look back on where I started my blogging journey, I am so proud of what I have achieved, just as I am proud of the little girl who took the time to record her thoughts for herself to share with her older self. I wonder if she would be satisfied with what I have become?

If you blog, do you think it is therapeutic? Did you ever keep a diary when you were little?

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