The dangers of blogging

As a writer, I write a lot. And one of the things I do, as a writer, is blog. This I do for many reasons. When I started out, it helped to write fast, refine my style, sharpen my humor, and it also made me realize a LOT of things about the subject matter on which I blog.

I blog about:
1. My experiences in the Mormon Church growing up
2. My family, although they remain unnamed
3. My children, who have “pseudonyms”
4. The Mormons around me, because I still live in Utah, and much of my family is still Mormon
5. Stupid things that people do
6. Stupid things that I do.
7. Absurd conversations I have with Birdman (he’s the husband, with the pseudonym).
8. The books I write.
9. The books I give away for free.
10. Did I mention stupid people?

In the past year or so, my blogging has taken a shift. I have insulated myself a bit, and also experienced some life changing experiences that altered my outlook. But it doesn’t matter. I still get attacked for my beliefs and the fact I am willing to say them outloud. And I have taken to not responding, or responding in a way people do not expect.

I learned a long time ago that if you act nice to the “Mormon” haters (being the Mormons who hate anyone who criticizes them or even dares to talk about them with a differing viewpoint), then you get attacked. It’s as if they sense weakness, and know if they prey upon it they can drive you back safely inside the fold and shut you up.

Of course, being me, this did not work. I started just telling it how it is. I did this with the pyscho dance moms I had to work with as well, because if you don’t say it in plain language, with no equivocation, they find loopholes, and they find cracks, and they weasel their way in there.

A direct writing style does not always work the best, because it can be misinterpreted. Many, many people find me “angry.” I hear this constantly. I am not angry. I find it amusing that I tried to leave the Mormon Church and after a long haul got a letter telling me my whole family was removed, just to find out a year or so later we were back on.

So what do you do at this point? If you are ANGRY, you hire a lawyer and fight back (although don’t count on winning, or if you do, count on winning, but having no money left and living in your car. If you still have your car.). I’m not angry, so I didn’t fight back. I also don’t want to live in my car, so I didn’t fight back. (That Church has money, as we all know.)

And frankly, why? I don’t consider myself Mormon. I don’t go to church. I don’t pay tithing. I wave nicely at the missionaries but will not “talk” about “THE CHURCH” with them. I feel a little sad for them because they are so young and far away from home, but it’s the journey they have chosen, and I wish them luck. Tough job. Especially here in Utah. Can you imagine opening your mission call and discovering you have been called to serve in UTAH? Or IDAHO? Yeah, that would be a big bummer.

Still, they smile and are nice, and I feel for them. I have daughters about their age, and I wouldn’t want people being rude to them, so I am not rude to the missionaries.

Wouldn’t an angry person get angry at being accosted by young missionaries all the time? I even had two chase me one day, when I was briskly walking. I let them have it then, but it was more of a “what do you think you are doing chasing a woman? You could get hurt or even shot? What if I had been carrying?” It was a mom speech. And a past experience lecture. I don’t like being chased down by people I don’t know.

But it’s not an anger at Mormons or Mormonism. I am “over it” as one of my relatives said. I am LONG over me. I haven’t ever thought I was “all that” but have long acknowledged my faults and mistakes and little faux pas. I’m opinionated, loud, boisterous, and love me some Grey’s Anatomy and McDreamy.

I read too much, use my computer too much, get anxious when things aren’t going my way, and get the “feels” way too much. I have a tendency to cry at the drop of a hat, and miss my mom, who died seven months ago, so bad I feel like there’s a big hole in the middle of my stomach.

Feeling is painful. And I feel. I don’t like hurting people, although I don’t like them hurting me, either. When they attack these days, I stop and sit back and think, “Now why did they do this?” For the most part, it stops me from slashing them up with my word sword. It’s a dangerous weapon, I know. But if I do it, they will “feel” it, and then they will come back for more, because when you start to “feel,” no matter how painful, you have to do one of two things. Either make the “feels” go away, or make the reason you “feel” feel terrible. Neither of these is a bad quality. When we “feel” we learn. It just doesn’t always “feel” great.

So, I continue to blog. I talk about things that other people don’t want me to talk about. And I see things the way other people don’t want me to see. I rejected the rose-colored glasses years ago, because they make you numb. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms. Black, dark, twisty, can be beautiful, as much as a aquamarine-colored sea on a tropical island. Both make you “feel.”

I “feel” therefore I blog.

If you “feel” something after reading my blogs, I have done my job. I will apologize in advance if you feel something, including hurt, anger, hatred, or arrogance. But when you stop feeling, you are dead or numb. That is death, and it’s cold and isolated, no matter the beauty of the view. Walking death. You don’t see what is going on around you. All you see is YOU, and how the world appears to you.

I suggest borrowing someone’s shoes and walking a mile or so in them. Never be afraid to say I’m sorry. Think a moment before you respond. But most of all, feel. Envelop the emotions coming from another and “feel” with them. It might hurt, but it makes you know you’re alive. And once you are not numb anymore, you see the beauty in almost everything.

You feel. Welcome to the “feels” revolution. We are glad you joined.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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