Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Secret Lives Of Bloggers (And ALL Human Beings)...

I receive many private emails about the things I write here on CHEESE. The majority of those emails are comments readers choose not to make public in the *comment section* of this blog or questions they wish to ask me privately. Some of the emails include details about the reader's life that are sensitive in nature, yet there is a desire for me to *know* them on a deeper level...to have access into their world that, for a reader's personal reasons, they do not wish to share among the masses. Some of the emails I receive are filled with anger or dislike about things I write...these are usually sent "anonymously" to me. And still, other emails I receive are full of personal questions about ME...answers I do not readily disclose in this blog for various reasons.

When I first started writing BRAINCHEESE, now almost 3 years ago, I spent a great deal of time mulling over my rationale for attempting to take on such an *unusual* task...public disclosure about my life while living with Multiple Sclerosis. I carefully weighed out the personal benefits I might receive as well as the hopeful benefits of sharing my experience with such a large, public audience. My goal has always been (and will continue to be) to provide a public forum for those dealing with Multiple Sclerosis in which there is education, common bonding, and a sense of community provided in what I have tried to mask behind humor and honest self-discovery. So often, those of us with MS, have found or FIND ourselves feeling alone and frightened with this unforgiving disease...I have tried to systematically tear down small portions of that barrier via common themes and agendas.


When I write ideas on CHEESE, I do so with the same approach I am trained to take when dealing with psychiatric patients: Self-disclosure should only be used IF it is helpful in providing example through experience to an individual and NOT done as a means of self-promotion or narcissistic gain. If you've ever been to a therapist, you've probably been told the standard line in response to personal questions asked of the therapist..."We're not here to talk about me (therapist), we're here to talk about you." This is because the power of projection is so important in the therapeutic alliance. By limiting self-disclosure from the therapist, the client is allowed to assume whatever attributes/roles the client chooses from their own subconscious and *project* these images onto the therapist. This *projection* provides a road map of sorts into the thinking processes and behaviors of the client that might otherwise not surface if clouded by the realities of the therapist...and the therapist is then given access into the hidden or unconscious life of the client to hopefully gently guide the client on a path of clearer understanding.


OK, so psychobabble aside...I write in the style I do here on CHEESE so that YOU, the reader, might find YOURSELF in the postings and pages. And, occasionally I write as a simple form of outlet for myself, always trying to be mindful of the impact my words might have upon the reader. I want to believe this approach is far more useful to us BOTH than simple diarrhea of the mouth. LOL


I always smile when I receive an email from a reader, who poses many personal questions of me or writes their email with an obvious hidden agenda. I have even received emails from readers "challenging" me with ideas such as a disbelief I am even *real* or that I do not have Multiple Sclerosis...these emails fascinate me on many levels. I recently received an email from someone I actually have had contact with OUTSIDE of the Internet community who discovered my blog by pure accident, asking me why I am not more "authentic" about the many faceted aspects of my personal life? "Why don't you ever talk about such and such or THIS part of your life in your blog? Don't you think those topics would ALSO be of benefit to your readers?" This person has known me in another arena for a few years and has, therefore, had privilege to the *other* parts of who I am outside of the Internet community. The question arose that perhaps by NOT "going there" on other specific topics, I am somehow NOT being honest or real with my readers?


What I will say in response to this question/statement is, NONE of us ever really know another. We may *think* we do, but we do not. Every human being walking and breathing on the face of this planet has unexpressed desires, agendas, motives, and facets of their life that another person can and will never know or understand. Human beings are both quite complex and also very simple and we often attempt to hide behind BOTH of these truths...our complexities and our simplicities...in our efforts to grow and to survive. When others claim to "know" me, I can only say with great certainty, that claim is FALSE...even among those I spend a great deal of time with in my personal life. There is absolutely NO WAY for me to verbalize or demonstrate for another the complexity of my life experiences (or yours) via a blog, direct communication, or behavioral demonstration. And yet, the SIMPLICITIES of my life are cause for celebration in a general consensus among us...my most basic feelings are something EVERY HUMAN BEING SHARES AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER IN THEIR LIFE. And these are the ideas I attempt to keep as clear as possible in this blog.


My friend's email DID spark an unusual idea (like I don't already have THOSE most of the time?!?) and I decided to do a bit of *beta testing* (I just like using the words *beta testing*, but I have no idea what that really means) about my modus operandi behind WRITING this blog and also my theories of projection. What I have devised is a little *test* for you, my preciouses! That's right, this is ONLY a test...if this were an actual BRAINCHEESE emergency, you'd be instructed to blahty, blah, blah blah. LOL


So, here is how the "What Do You Think You Know About BRAINCHEESE?" test goes...I have constructed a serious of questions in sections about my private life (or the secret life of a blogger). Each answer is assigned a letter or symbol and each question correctly answered will construct a sentence with these letters/symbols...a VERY IMPORTANT SENTENCE, that I will want you to RESPOND TO "if" you can answer all of the questions correctly. Once you have completed the questionnaire AND have constructed the final sentence, I would ask you to provide comment or personal email with your RESPONSE or THOUGHTS about the VERY IMPORTANT SENTENCE. Oh, and by the way, I will NOT be providing the correct answers to the questions here on CHEESE.


Dear Lord, I have way tooooo much time on my hands! Here goes:


Question #1:


B. I drink alcohol.

D. I smoke cigarettes.

F. I have sex with strangers.

M. I abuse illegal drugs.

N. I have a gambling addiction.


Question #2:


A. My favorite color is black.

O. My favorite color is lavender.

I. My favorite color is green.

E. My favorite color is blue.

U. My favorite color is yellow.


Question #3:


G. I am right-handed.

Y. I am left-handed.

T. I am ambidextrous.


Question #4:


P. I vote along Republican Party lines.

O. I am not a registered voter.

L. I vote along Libertarian Party lines.

S. I vote along Green Party lines.

T. I vote along Democratic Party lines.


Question #5:


U. I identify as a lesbian.

R. I identify as transgendered.

V. I identify as bisexual.

W. I identify as heterosexual.

A. I identify as asexual.


Question #6:


J. I have a two year degree in nursing.

K. I have a diploma in nursing.

L. I have a four year degree in nursing.

M. I have a master's degree in nursing.

N. I am an adult nurse practitioner.


Question #7:


C. I was raised in the Methodist Church ideology.

E. I was raised in the Baptist Church ideology.

N. I was raised in the Church Of Christ ideology.

F. I was raised in the Jewish faith ideology.

M. I was raised in the Lutheran Church ideology.


Question #8:


T. My cultural/ethnic ancestry originated primarily in Japan, Ireland, and Germany.

G. My cultural/ethnic ancestry originated primarily in Britain, Native America, and Russia.

O. My cultural/ethnic ancestry originated primarily in Ireland, Germany, and Native America.

I. My cultural/ethnic ancestry originated primarily in Germany, Norway, and Italy.

". My cultural/ethnic ancestry originated primarily in Greece, Ireland, and Poland.


Question #9:


C. I currently live in an apartment.

D. I currently live in a condo.

R. I currently live in a house.

W. I currently live in a duplex.

O. I currently live in a commune.


Question #10:


T. My primary financial charitable donations go to the United Way.

W. My primary financial charitable donations go to Habitat For Humanity.

B. My primary financial charitable donations go to The Sierra Club.

H. My primary financial charitable donations go to NARAL.

M. My primary financial charitable donations go to The MS Society.


Question #11:


P. I have been diagnosed and continue treatment for MS, Diabetes, Depression, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

E. I have been diagnosed and continue treatment for MS, GERD, Hypertension, and Depression.

R. I have been diagnosed and continue treatment for MS, Bipolar Disorder, Hypertension, and Osteoarthritis.

A. I have been diagnosed and continue treatment for MS, Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder, GERD, and Lupus.

S. I have been diagnosed and continue treatment for MS, Renal Insufficiency, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Heart Murmur.


Question #12:


. I have had coronary bypass surgery.

! I have had gastroplasty surgery.

? I have had electroconvulsive therapy.

... I have had bowel reconstruction surgery.

" I have had cosmetic facial surgery.





16 comments:

Kelley said...

So, I've only been following you for a short while, so I have no idea about the questions about you. However, I have to say that I really respect you a great deal and hope to follow in your footsteps, as far as standing up for the rights of all of those w/ MS who possibly cannot afford their Ty infusions, etc.

I hope to get to know you better as our journeys continue. I really want to be an activist, as I am one of the "fortunate" ones who have MS to a lesser degree (at this point) and still hold a full-time job and good health insurance (although those bastards have raised the copay on my Copaxone to $150 a month).

I watched my mom lose her job and identity to MS (she was an RN for the state) and swore I would not travel down that path. So I am determined to become a vocal activist for MS.

I SO totally respect your blog and stance on MS issues, and so glad that you are here for me to read and gain strength from. Thank you!

Please comment on my blog at will, so I can improve it!

Peace,
Kelley
http://kelleysmsblog.blogspot.com/

BRAINCHEESE said...

ALL Y'ALL:

My dearest preciouses, Lisa and Jen, have both left a comment about this post...but their comments will remain unpublished for now. They are too cunning and wise in their puzzle problem-solving AND didn't respond to the final statement found in the answers to the questions (When good girls behave badly...isn't that a TV show?!?).

If you comment with alleged ANSWERS to the 12 questions above, your comment will remain unpublished for now. However, if you comment about the STATEMENT found when answering the questions above, I WILL post your comment here in this section. Confusing enough???

Play nice, peeps!

BRAINCHEESE

Webster said...

As I said in my E-mail to you, I don't really know you that well, but what I do know, I like. You seem like a person I would enjoy meeting in person, though I would probably bore you to death. I doubt I could keep a conversation going long enough to finish a latte.

My problem is I can't remember where I was going with a thought long enough to get there. Recall is also a problem, which makes sharing my thoughts on the last great novel I just finished an issue. Without tracking and recall, discourse is pretty much shot.

Hope you are doing well with the snow! You got dumped on, but I just got a dusting.

Blindbeard said...

You crack me up! I've missed coming here, being caught up in too many problems of my own. But I'm back now (hopefully for awhile). I don't know any of the answers, but if you do live in a commune, I'm moving in!

Jen said...

Okay,Brain Cheese---

Only messing with ya, but seriously: how can I possibly really know anyone if I can't BE them? I feel that I know enough about you to enjoy you but not enough to know what it's like to be you day-in and day-out. I'm surprised daily by the strange, true things I learn about people. But sometimes I like a little mystery--- it keeps me interested.

Here are some more things about me:

5. I used to have short, platinum blonde hair back when I was 21.
6. I don't like blogger awards-- they imply that some people with MS don't deserve a medal every day they wake up and face the challenges of MS, whether profound or subtle.
7. I have a minor in fashion buying and merchandising (?!) Don't ask.
8. I didn't vote in the 2004 election because I didn't want GWB, but I didn't want that Frankenstein-head John Kerry to be president either.
9. Bill plays accoustic guitar and we amuse ourselves by singing along. Our favorite tune (currently) is Madonna's "La Isla Bonita." Really. We're trying to rig a way to film it and stick it on our website.
10. My absolute favorite color is green.

pb said...

Geez, you are sneaky, and yes, you do have too much time on your hands.

Jim said...

I do learn alot from reading your posts. This is the most interesting post. :)

LISA EMRICH said...

Ok, miss Cheese, my response to the statement - please define the term "know" then I might be able to answer. Humphf

Bubbie said...

Fun!

Becky said...

and how do we know anyone on line???

I see you as the person you type as....now that sounds strange...but you know what I mean

harkoo said...

I am ashamed. I have been reading you for 3 years and I just got a jumble of letters defining what I thought was YOU....Who are you Braincheese? Please publish the people who were the cleverest and got you.....Joyce

harkoo said...

I am ashamed. I have been reading you for 3 years and I just got a jumble of letters defining what I thought was YOU....Who are you Braincheese? Please publish the people who were the cleverest and got you.....Joyce

Spaz Attack said...

um..can u repeat that?
I thought we were just voyeurs into your world as an overacheiving, neurotic,insecure, smug and oversecure,asexual who sleeps with strangers without any recollection, who shoots herself up with Mountain Dew, who complains and whines to her Intenet Doctor, then brags how she's going to IGNORE advice coming from Internet Doctor, but then Panics, listens to and follows the advice coming from her Internet Doctor, but who above all else is funny, witty, scared and lonely like the rest of us SPAZEs..oh yeah. you're a passionate advocate for the underdog. Other than that, Who gives a flying friole?

harkoo said...

Damn it..I am iced in today so have no choice but to take this test over and over again. Third time,still no resolution....lots of vowels and consonants that make no sense. This much I am sure of: You are from the Midwest, You lived in texas so love southwestern foods and stuff, you once had a lover but no more--does that make you asexual for the time being?, your sister is difficult but you love your niece and nephew, you take nice pictures, you work in mental health and love your patients, you say you live in a bat cave to remain incognito so your unstable patients can't find you, you love your cat, I don't have a clue what charities you give to, you have more friends than most of us, You are very stubborn, Other than that, I give up and hope someone out there finds the magical clues!

harkoo said...

Day Number 4---I have learned by now what NARAL and GERD is and am thinking they might apply to you..you never discuss politics but I can't imagine you would be stupid enough to be a republican and a Bush lover-- I am stuck on yellow as your favorite color but tried to lure you in when I met you with my purple door. You gave up alcohol but you might have tried other substances out of curiosity. Oh, I am seeing my projections now...ooops. You have had depressions so you might have had ECT therapy at some point. Lisa is real smart and I think she is getting what you are trying to say to us--And you might have found a new love and that would be nice but would you ever tell us? I think you are just what I needed you to be when I found you online--ooppps PROJECTION! (Oh no... Have I been talking to a male prisoner with lots of psych books with a fetish for women with ms in w/c's all this time? )

harkoo said...

Day Number 4---I have learned by now what NARAL and GERD is and am thinking they might apply to you..you never discuss politics but I can't imagine you would be stupid enough to be a republican and a Bush lover-- I am stuck on yellow as your favorite color but tried to lure you in when I met you with my purple door. You gave up alcohol but you might have tried other substances out of curiosity. Oh, I am seeing my projections now...ooops. You have had depressions so you might have had ECT therapy at some point. Lisa is real smart and I think she is getting what you are trying to say to us--And you might have found a new love and that would be nice but would you ever tell us? I think you are just what I needed you to be when I found you online--ooppps PROJECTION! (Oh no... Have I been talking to a male prisoner with lots of psych books with a fetish for women with ms in w/c's all this time? )