I feel odd writing this because it’s something I want to discuss (hence
the whole writing thing) and yet don’t want to be pointing fingers or
telling tales at someone else’s expense.
So here’s my attempt to have it both ways.
In the past couple weeks it’s come to light that a popular blogger who
wrote about spanking, her marriage and domestic discipline / punishment
over the past several years has basically been creating an elaborate
fiction. Though I didn’t read her very often (and therefore the site
wasn’t linked from the Punishment Book) I’m on another list with some
people who were very regular readers and feel upset / betrayed and all
sorts of other negative feelings.
My own reactions surprise me. Normally when a work that was supposed to be "real" turns out to be fiction, I have a sort of "you pays your money, you takes your chances" attitude toward it all. Basically, I tend to think if a story is a good story, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s "true" or somehow "real" or not. That’s not what creativity is about for me.
And too, I certainly understand why someone who is lonely and alone and unhappy would find it tempting to create an ideal relationship and even and idealized self. I mean, I’ll cop to having gone onto IRC as other selves. And "Mija" of course, isn’t my real name. I’ve posted questions to forums under other nicks when I felt too embarrassed to use my "real" scene name. I’ve attended Shadow Lane parties as Annie, Marianna and as Mija depending on how I was feeling that weekend. As I’ve discovered that authors I like were posting stories under multiple identities (including mixing genders) I’ve generally felt pleased and amused.
What I’m trying to say is that usually I’m not a stickler for "truth." I can even be convinced that 100% autobiography is as rare and impossible as 100% fiction.
In fact, none of us can possibly write the entire truth of our lives. Even when I try and write an exact account of an event, Pablo will remember it differently. And of course, we never can write everything. Nor, in my opinion, should we try. Pablo and I used to get a little freaked out sometimes by people writing to us via The Treehouse talking about how our "perfect" relationship was exactly what they wanted in their lives. And we’d be shaking our heads and just saying "if you only knew." Because, of course, things aren’t perfect all the time. In fact, as in all relationships, they’re hardly ever perfect. But we don’t write stories very often based on the bad stuff. At first we felt like we should, but jeez… who wants to live like that?
Probably someone. But not me. Not us.
In writing The Punishment Book, part of what the other authors and I were trying to do was show a little bit of the hard side of all this. That it isn’t easy or perfect and doesn’t "just happen." At least not in my experience.
And that gets me back to how I felt at discovering that a "real life" domestic discipline blog was really fiction.
I felt annoyed. Because, well, it was a blog that made it seem like the author had it all together at least in this one area of her relationship. And as I’ve wondered at my feelings, so different from my usual ones, I’ve had to admit that one reason I didn’t read the blog very often was that it made me feel jealous and frustrated. Even though I know such things are wrong, I was comparing myself to her. If she / they could do it, why couldn’t I / they? I’d wonder if maybe in 20 years time our relationship would be so easy, discipline so natural and familiar.
And now I know it wasn’t true. She doesn’t have it all together. There isn’t a "they." Maybe that means WIIWD will never be easy. Maybe it never should be.
I don’t have an ending for this. Except to wonder what, if anything, you think.