Also, they polished it to fit with their editorial style and content, which I can understand and support!
Here is my original version, in case you're interested--it reads more like a journal entry. :)
The Pros and one Con about Blogging your Divorce, take two:
I’ll start off with the one big Con I can think of:
1) Your ex may discover your writing and attempt to enter it into evidence in hopes of discrediting you, or showing that you are a dishonest, [fill-in-the-blank-with-something-negative] person. Example—I was blogging about family life to share with friends near and far, having started once DD1 was born. Towards the end of our marriage, I would only hint at things through general statements, i.e. “It’s been hard at ‘chez jane thrive’ lately, but I’m hoping and praying we will be okay.” At the time, I was absolutely hesitant to share our “dirty laundry” to the world, I could barely admit what was happening to to myself or my close friends, let alone the internet-sphere.
His attorney attempted (but was denied) to enter into evidence my blog entries—i.e., things were “not that bad,” and I was making up all the incidents about the abuse. Right. Like I’d make up that he dangled DD1 by the ankles as an infant and screamed in her face, handled the babies roughly out of anger, or pushed, shoved, kicked my children. Choked the family dog and threw him across the room. Broke the children’s toys in anger, just because they happened to be sitting on the kitchen floor. Slammed cabinet doors shut in the middle of the night—over and over again, so loud that he’d wake up baby DD2 and I, all because he was angry there was no cold soymilk in the fridge. That he screamed and swore at DD1 because she dropped a grain of rice on the floor and she cried so hard she threw up. Or that he threatened to put a bullet through my head and murder DD1 in her sleep.
This Con can get remedied—I think probably in other ways than what I have done, but I chose to return to public blogging with a moniker.
The rest are Pros for me:
1) First, I closed my blog and posted details of the contested divorce process to only subscribers (my closest support network—friends who I’ve known for years and years and years). It was so very helpful to write it all out—an escape valve from my very pressured heart and head space, and to receive support and comments from my closest people. It helped me work through my fears and anxiety that many know a contested divorce where custody is in dispute can bring. Some days, when I think about how he moved out in 2011 and the TRO and the nasty court battle that followed, I scratch my head and wonder how the hell I got through all of that. I can’t believe it. But I did, and one of the reasons I did was that I was able to write therapeutically about the process and garner support from the people who matter most.
2) Later, after the divorce was over and as I was embarking on a new life, I realized that maybe it was time to start blogging publically (but with a moniker, see above). That maybe, through all the different craziness that I experienced, and the new crazy that I’m dealing with in the post-divorce world, I might be able to help someone else out there. Surely, I couldn’t be the only one who faced what happened to me, or maybe there are others who are in the same place that I was three years ago, contemplating how to protect herself and her children. Maybe those people might be looking for support and advice. Maybe I could connect and offer similar support that my friends had so kindly and generously shared with me. In fact, my very first blog entry when it was a “closed” blog--I reposted on my new “public” blog here. I had made some guidelines on how to parent and how to deal with an awful, contested, nasty divorce, and when I re-read it years later, I thought it sounded relevant, at least I hoped so. And I was so honored to have it displayed at BlogHer, and saw that 1,000s had read it, and my heart warmed that I reached to the world and maybe helped someone.
3) Blogging about life post-divorce as a blended family has also been therapeutic and helpful. So many issues have come up—the abusive ex manipulating my children, my new husband who loves us all so much that he hates seeing us getting hurt and wants to rush in an “fix” things (but, he can’t…see here and here), my kids loving the ‘fairy tale’ wedding, but also wondering how they all fit in now (they fit in perfectly, but they are still figuring this out). I’ve made some connections with people in similar situations, and I’m thankful for that. One of the things about divorce and post-divorce is that I think it’s very easy to think that we are all alone in the struggle, overwhelmed with anxiety that is clearly appropriate for the situation and while it might seem that we are isolated, and while I would absolutely never wish this kind of scenario onto anyone—at the same time it’s so very comforting to know we are NOT alone, and that there are people out there who can support and empathize with the situation.