The Price of Blogging

Me at 8

I don’t make any money at blogging, but it’s cost me a lot. Several months ago, an old flame requested that I remove a post. When I refused, albeit compassionately, he ended our connection.

Now it’s my father’s turn.

I shouldn’t be surprised. It was only a matter of time before he joined others who visit my blogs each month.

…Though it did take him three years.

…And there have been countless phone calls, gifts, letters and emails sent directly to him that were evidently unseen, unheard or at least never acknowledged.

Apparently “a friend” sat him down to show him my words, the ones specifically about him.

I scan my brain.
What have I written that includes my father?

There’s the piece about the divorce. (Yep, that would be hard.)

Then there’s the one from childhood. (That one is kind of nice.)

There’s the poem about spanking. (That would be rough.)

Nothing else comes to mind, but then again, I’ve published over a thousand pieces in the past few years so I open my laptop and Google:

Kelly Salasin, father

And I’m surprised to see how little there is.

Just then, my teenager enters the room, and so I ask him:

10507997_607276816053570_297492840_n“Do you think I should just remove all the post that reference my dad?”

(If anyone knows the burden of being related to a blogger, it’s a sixteen year old.)

“No,” he says, and then adds in my defense: “They belong to you; they’re about your life.”

Still, I feel bad. I know it’s a challenge to have a memoirist in the family.  And what will happen when my book comes out? My father may  never speak to me again; though it might be hard to tell because he talks to me so little anyway. I guess I should be satisfied that I have garnished some of his attention… that he’s actually reading my work; hearing how I experienced my childhood; even feeling it.

The Star, Aquarius, Tarot art by Thalia Took

That’s a good thing, right?

Why does it feel so bad?

Why do I sit in bed, late into the night, staring out at the stars, feeling orphaned–again?

“I wish Mom was here,” I say, but then I retract it. She’d be reading my writing too. There’s an entire blog  inspired in the wake of her untimely death.

I guess I could have waited until my dad died to write anything that included him; that way he wouldn’t have to experience what he calls: my  daggers.

But they’re not meant to be daggers, they’re meant to be warning signs for others: Don’t spank your children. Don’t forget about them in the middle of a divorce. Don’t abandon them when you have a new family. Don’t think that your 30 or 40 or even 50 year old daughter doesn’t need her father. Doesn’t want him. Doesn’t love him even though he has hurt her.

As a lifelong advocate for children, I feel it my duty to speak up. In fact, I’ve been like this since I was a child. Some of the biggest fights I had with my father were over my sisters; and before that, speaking up for myself:

“That isn’t fair,” I’d say, and he’d banish me to my room.

“Why…” I’d say, and he’d leave me in the car while the rest of the family went sightseeing.

“I’m too old to be told to go to bed,” I’d say, and he’d threaten me with his size. (I was 18.)

The truth is that he was the one who taught me to speak up. To be candid. To be bold. To be forthright.

“If she thought she lost her father at 19, just wait…

This is the most excruciating thing that he said about my writing.
This is what pings in my heart.
And this is what reveals the most… about me.

It’s taken the loss of my father’s love, the awful threat of that loss–again–to make me realize what my life is all about; and silence is a price I won’t pay for anyone’s love.

Kelly Salasin, January 2012

ps. Though not a week goes by without the blessing of a reader’s appreciation, I sincerely offer this to those my words have hurt:

If I have harmed you in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, please forgive me.

If you have harmed me in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive you.

May you be safe.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

And

May you live with ease.

(the Loving-Kindness Meditation)

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12 thoughts on “The Price of Blogging

  1. there are consequences for all actions. His as a father , yours as a blogger and on it goes. what are ya gonna do? (this may sound caviler but it was surrounded with knowing depth of the tears i just cried for you.) <3<3<3<3<3

    Like

  2. Inspire indeed.

    One of my greatest writing heroes said “Writing honest nonfiction is the hardest, truest thing I know how to do.” Blogging, I’m finding, flays you open wide on the asphalt for all to see. Is that the lesson, the honesty?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The only things we truly really own are our thoughts, memories, and persepective. They are yours to do with as you choose and you so generously share them with your readers. As a parent, I realize that the most important perspective comes from my children. No matter how much I can try to make something be memorable in the way I want, they will remember only in the way that they choose. Sometimes their “distorted” view makes me laugh, sometimes it makes me sad…but I always try to respect it. It’s a hard thing to do and will certainly be difficult later on when they tell me of all the mistakes I made along the way. They do that already so I am ready for the future Thanksgiving revisits of “remember when mommy….” stories. Having those blogged would be difficult to read but I also believe that we need to stand tall and take responsibilty for our mistakes and I would be thankful to know what my children were thinking and feeling about their past.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kel – I could never be as brave as you and for your courage, I thank you, as I’m sure do the many, many, MANY people you inspire with your words. I’m sure that as many people as respond to your blogs there are twice that many who are changed by your words and you just never hear about it. There is great power in your words – in the truth – your truth – and if the truth hurts, well…. I don’t know … maybe that’s someone else’s problem and not yours. I, for one, would miss your voice and I think it would be a shame for you to censor it. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Come on Kel. You are asking us if you should stop blogging about the significant characters and events that shaped your life and your perspective. That’s like asking us if you should stop being you! I say please don’t stop. Someone tells you your honesty hurts, but mostly it inspires, moves and helps. You have a special gift that comes from a beautiful heart, mind and soul. Everything will work out.

    Liked by 1 person

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