Between reality and virtuality

by tamarjacobson

8. תמרי 24.5.08 132

Quote of the day:

I think some people really don’t want to read the thoughts of people they know well.


Recently a friend of mine talked about some discomfort she was feeling between getting to know me in reality, and reading my inner rumblings and ramblings on my blog. It got me to thinking about who I am when I am being me. 

It is so much much easier for me to express myself in writing than it is to talk about myself with friends or family. The difference for me is clear. Most of the time I am convinced that I take up too much time and space. Indeed, I am constantly afraid that I am a burden. For example, I often find myself saying to people things like, “Please don’t feel like you have to come if you are too busy.” Or, when I was in Israel a month ago I left a message on a friend’s voice-mail saying something like, “I am here and would love to see you if you feel like it or have the time.” It is as if I leave an opening for the other person to get out of having to spend time with me. Some people have misunderstood those types of things that I say. They feel as if the double message I extend to them means that I am not sure if I want to see or invite them over. In the latter instance, my friend was astute enough to hear the insecurity in my message, and ask me what I had meant.

When I write, however, people have the choice to read what I write, and/or reply to me. It is almost as if I am freed of the anxiety of being responsible for the burden that is me. Mostly, when people comment on my blog posts, reply to letters or emails, or react to my articles or books, I am often a little surprised that they cared enough to take the time, and make the effort. Indeed, I am always grateful. I do not take reciprocity, or gifts of other peoples’ time for granted. Indeed, any relating-to-me crumb thrown my way will be most valued by me. 

I have a friend who always tells me what he feels and thinks about my behavior and/or our relationship. It is not always easy to take because some of the things he says hurt me. Especially when they are true and hit home. However, I have come to appreciate him deeply. His honesty is true friendship. He is constant and true – always there. As he says, “I’m still on the other end of the line.” His friendship is unconditional. But mainly I appreciate him because he relates to me. 

It seems that silence confirms for me that I am, just as I feared, a burden, and not worthy of the other person’s time. 

Of course, through years of therapy, reflection and self-alteration, I am becoming stronger and more confident. I am definitely not as pathetic as I might sound in this description of how I understand myself. I think the writing Tamarika is different to the in-the-flesh Tamar. In the former, I have courage and insight. And with the latter, I am more vulnerable, afraid, confused, and complex. 

On the other hand, I am probably a combination of all of those all the time. 

One thing I do know about myself is that I love relating to others, even though my interactions are not always clear or positive. I love listening to and observing, really getting to know people. And I long to share all my frailties and strength, complexity and vulnerabilities, even though it terrifies me to the core and opens me up for awesome hurt and rejection. I struggle with that aspect of relationships more and more as I gain the courage to open myself up. For, now and again I am surely hurt and rejected, because inevitably there are those who are not comfortable with my level of intensity, or who have felt just as hurt or rejected by me. 

In point of fact, I do not know why people read my blog – whether they are friends, family members, or passers-by. In fact, I have no idea really how many people or how often they stop by. I used to care a lot, and there are times especially when I am feeling vulnerable or having an out-of-confidence moment, when I wish more people would read or comment. However, mostly I write because I want to express, nay, need to express myself, process a thought, idea or feeling.

And, if someone should stop by, take the time to read what I write, and make the effort to share a comment, I am often a little surprised, and always most grateful.

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: On the road again