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Some people golf to release stress. Some people eat. Some people shop. Some go running. Some garden. Some yell and scream. I write.

I have always, always processed my feelings, my thoughts and the things that happen in life through writing. It is how I make sense of the world. And, right now, it feels as if 10lbs of weight have been lifted from my shoulders simply from the telling, the writing of a part of my story. The problem is, this story does not belong solely to me. This story also belong to my daughter, to my son. It also belongs to their father.

When I started this blog, I did so fully intending to write about the rebuilding of my life, leaving shadows that merely hinted at what I’ve been through and the things I’ve dealt with. However, as I have worked to find myself, to find my voice, I have discovered that the some of the details of the past are intrinsically woven into the history of my future. I cannot be authentic and honest about where I am going without revealing where I gave been.

Yet, it is not only my story.

My children are not reading, will not read, have not been invited to read my blog. They understand I use it to vent, to process, to express myself, to search for my voice. They are okay with it as long as I do not use their real names. Likewise, I stay away from Tumblr because that is where my daughter vents. And she is free to say whatever she wants regardless of whether it is beautiful or ugly, flattering or devastating. It is the place where she vents, processes, expresses herself and hones her voice. My son processes things through his music and he nearly always shares. And he nearly always makes the ugliness in our lives beautiful. (Except the time he was really upset and composed a song entirely of tritones. But I digress…)

I have also not shared this blog with family or friends. However, a very good friend of mine, someone I greatly respect and is dear to my heart, ran across my blog. This friend read the whole thing and admonished me for it. My friend, who I do believe is sharing this opinion out of love and concern, encouraged me to remove all references to my children and their father as well as real photos of us. This friend believes that although it is truth, although it is my story, although the kids have said it is okay as long as I don’t use their names, one day they may not be okay with it. One day they may regret, be angry, upset that I have not only shared my story but have also shared theirs.

So, I ask you as experienced bloggers, as parents, as children, as people with stories who also process in writing, as teachers, psychologists and artists, as human beings to weigh in on this. I am not looking for validation. I am looking for truth and opinion. I am looking for stories and ideas.

How has your blog affected your relationships with your family and friends? How do you handle sharing stories of your life when they include other people? Do you use your own name to blog or do you use a different one? If this is something you struggle with or have a solution for, please weigh in.

Thank you so very much for reading & following my blog, for being part of the conversation, for being part of my cyber life. ❤