Have I gone too far?

I don’t know. I’m feeling some conscience pangs today at my decision to go so public with all of this. Let me just explain what’s going on.

Something happened today that forced me to look at this whole situation from another perspective: his. Here I am, as a private individual, finding it therapeutic to be open about my situation and my feelings, but am I taking his situation and feelings sufficiently into account? Possibly not.

I couldn’t actually have foretold that his attitude would be to say nothing publicly for the time being, but I’m beginning to understand it. I can’t decide whether this is a good thing or not. His internet presence is much more closely tied in with his professional base than with his private life, whereas I divide my public and private personae between different areas, with most people only having ready access to the one OR the other.

I posted a picture of him on Flickr with a quotation from a sad, wistful poem about mourning that I thought aptly matched the sadness of the current situation – it’s been a favourite of mine for years, and it was an obvious choice under the circumstances. At the same time, I thought that since it was quite an intimate item, I’d allow it to be viewed by my Flickr friends only, and not just by any contacts, let alone the world at large. I did it again as a therapeutic measure for me, a chance to get some feelings out in the open as well as a chance to post a lovely picture of him taken a few weeks ago.

As the day wore on, I got a couple of comments on the picture. People not knowing quite what to say, but deciding (wisely) to comment on it as a photograph, no more, no less. It became quite clear to me that they felt a bit awkward at being confronted with the item as it was, and it got me thinking, too. I have removed the quotation in the meantime, simply because it was making ME feel uncomfortable. Here’s what it was, though (as I feel justified in putting it on my own private webspace):

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
(W. H. Auden)

I’ve also received an e-mail from a friend including some good arguments why “he” (I don’t plan to use the quotation marks in general, I’m just trying to distinguish between the e-mail friend and the ex) wouldn’t or shouldn’t necessarily go public with an announcement. I still feel it’s necessary and justified, but my friend’s comments enabled me to see it more from another perspective.

Anyway, it’s late now. Just wondering if any of you have thoughts on this. I know there are people out there who are much more experienced bloggers than I am, and who maybe know more about the ethics…


Filed under Up close and personal

6 responses to “Have I gone too far?

  1. Kelly

    I think the picture and the quote being up are between you and him as to what’s “acceptable”.
    Everyone else should just keep their opinion to themselves. (Ironically I’m giving my opinon?)

  2. P.

    A colleague told me yesterday that he heard you were no longer part of the family. He was just stating what he had read online, and I didn’t think much about it. Regarding your post though I think it may be relevant.
    I’m not implying an answer to this post with my comment; I just thought you’d want to know. I don’t know much about the ethics in the particular situation nor do I know how or if what you wrote affects him, so I’m not in a position to take sides.

  3. Dan

    Both your flickr accounts and your blog are to do with as you wish… I know you are posting things as therapy for yourself. I wanted to comment on the photo as it is an excellent photo, but I also wanted to be sensitive to your life at the moment. So far I don’t think you have gone to far… you have not said anything spiteful or hateful but merely represented your feeling in a healthy manner. I think that is good.

  4. Ilse

    I agree with what Dan said and don’t think you’ve gone too far. So far you’ve used this blog to represent your feelings and how you cope with the situation.

    Though I can understand your dilemma about going public while in the mean time trying to take into account the feelings of the other party involved. Given that you probably have a large group of mutual friends, some of which he might be involved with in a professional way, doesn’t make it any easier to decide which information would better remain private and which you can share with ‘the world’. Being aware of this dilemma will probably already help you with making the ‘right’ decisions.

  5. Xeni

    I am not going to take anyone’s side and I also don’t want to defend anyone’s behavior. I think it’s best to stay neutral in such a situation (because, if not, that could come back later bad to oneself if situations change) and just provide advice from someone who is not biased with an outside view on the situation.
    I understand your situation and how you want to cope with it. Many people want to just shout out their pain and share it with others, me included. This is not only a relief, it has also therapeutic value in talking about your feelings and letting them out and not just swallowing and burying them deep inside, where they could always come up later.
    Let me tell you, you are not alone, although it feels like it in this moment. It is always comforting to me when I am in a difficult situation. There are uncountable people in this world right now who feel exactly like you. And most of us had to go through bad times already and learn how to survive these situations. The good news is, that it makes you stronger for the next time when something bad happens because you already know how it feels and how to cope with it. Already the Dalai Lama said if we would live all life long bedded in cotton we would never learn and improve ourselves. I think I read this in his “The Art of Happiness” 🙂
    To why Chris behaves like he behaves. Well first, some people might want to deal with such a situation different than others. Some do not want to talk about it at all and distract themselves with lots of work. This behavior might reflect to someone as being cold hearted and not carrying. Second, referring to his still cheerful way on Twitter & Co., the online community that has been built around him through his work, are mostly people who are interested in the same field and are potential(!) costumers. Any form of negative publicity, especially about his private life, would make them feel uncomfortable and maybe worse, not want to take his service. I remember a friend years ago, who lost one of his most important customers because of his then girlfriend, and now ex, because she didn’t consider the consequences of her actions. He had to struggle a lot afterwards, it was a huge cut in his finances . Remember, my friend then and Chris now are both self-employed. You have to work hard on your own success to get money into your pockets. That is not always as secure as a 9 to 5 job at a company, where you know you get your paycheck every month. Self employment is sometimes a 24 h job, I speak of experience.
    It is positive, that you try to have a clear view of the situation, although it’s very hard to step outside of the ring to get an overall view it. It is most of the time the attempt to find the answer to the question why and it can become from time to time a very obsessive quest. So beware, I know what I’m talking about! 😉

  6. jasonconga

    Sister D,

    There is no right and wrong answer to this situation. As the person who didn’t end the relationship, you generally are more free to express your feelings than the other person. Most likely he felt it was a private matter and it would resolve itself naturally which of course there is nearly nothing natural about human interaction. I guess if you were to get a response from him that he was bothered by something you did, you can respond to that directly but otherwise, you are trying to deal with a situation.

    Glad though, that you’re expressing yourself. These things shouldn’t stay locked inside, perhaps a journal would have sufficed 10 years ago but with friends all over the world, this is the way to keep them updated, especially when you think of your life as not being purely your own but as an entity that others care about as well…


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