I got a comment on my last post that read: You’re back and pro-f-ing-lific! Don’t know whats gotten into you but, I love it.
I was totally thrilled to see that at least one of my billions of adoring fans was still reading my stuff. You know, I feel like I’m coming back and I’m glad that someone else noticed. As far as the “what’s gotten into me” part, the honest truth of the matter is that Mom died and I can finally post here freely without worrying about what she’s going to think.
While she was still alive and had Internet service, Mom was literally obsessed with my blog and according to reports from my sister and niece, there was a time when it was practically all she could talk or think about. Of course, she was the not so elegant star in several posts, so one could understand her being consumed with thoughts about what I might write next. The thing is, as soon as I found out she was on constant stand by waiting for my next posting, I stopped writing about her or anyone else in the family.
Her obsession, however, continued.
Apparently she read the posts about herself over and over, and even though years passed and I removed all family-related postings from Southern Discomforts and she and I hashed the entire incident out time after time (once we began speaking again after a 2-year hiatus), she just could not stop obsessing about the fact that I had written about her … or let go of her anger about what I wrote.
Knowing she was out there, waiting for me to post something unsavory (but true, god dammit) about her was one thing. I could totally avoid writing about that stuff. But, when I found out that her obsession had spread from focusing on posts about her and the family to every thing I ever wrote, I froze up. I had a tiny Mom in my head constantly scrutinizing every word I tried to write, every story I wanted to tell, and effectively shutting me down from creating much more than the occasional “Why I Love Brooklyn” post and even then, I hated the idea that she was there waiting for it to show up.
In spite of the fact that I’ve obviously got no problem sharing my stories with the billions of potential readers who could stumble across my little domain at any time, I had a huge problem with my Mom reading my online journal. As a kid, she would dig through my room on a regular basis and read any and every thing she could find – diaries, notes from friends, cards – and would then punish me for things she’d discover in them.
We had an ongoing fight for years about whether she was justified in stripping me of all privacy (my words, obviously) and she never gave up her, “I’m your mother. I can do whatever I want,” stance. So, when I heard about how engrossed she had become in my writing once again, I just couldn’t separate her reading my published work on the blog from her violating my privacy by reading my diaries as a kid.
Now, believe me, I see how fucked up this is and how much it sucks that I pretty much waited for my mom to die before allowing myself to write freely and honestly again. It’s obviously not how I would have chosen it to go down, and it certainly wasn’t planned, but facts is facts and the honest truth of this particular matter is that some of my best material comes from my worst experiences.
Prepare yourselves for greatness.