I have been writing Shell Shock Serenade for about 4 years now. During that time many changes have taken place in my life. I managed to stay clean and sober through the entire 4 or so years by the Grace of God and One day at a Time. I became a Christian a couple years ago, I openly acknowledged that I had been raped and actually forgave my rapists. I have been brutally honest about my suicide attempt and have written a very frank and graphic account of that horrific day. My relationships with Kim and my family have grown and blossomed, I have endured and am still enduring major medical challenges but it finally looks like I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I continue to use this blog to grow Physically, Psychologically, Emotionally and Spiritually by sharing my experience strength and HOPE here...one itty bitty day at a time.
There have been many more changes as well, far too many to list here but one I would like to add is that in that time the readership of Shell Shock has grown quite a bit and the people reading it now have expanded from people mainly with addiction issues, survivors of suicide, rape, Depression, etc to a wider more mainstream variety of reader. Many people from my church, for example now read this blog and I would guess that many of the mainstream, newer readers here don't really know why I started Shell Shock Serenade, what it's really about and why it is as important as ever that I write openly and honestly about all aspects of my life.
The original premise for the blog was to realistically write on a day to day basis what it was like for this one recovering addict/alcoholic...warts and all. First and foremost this blog is a recovery blog that then became a suicide survivor blog, a rape survivor blog and now also focuses on spirituality as well as any other subject that pops up from moment to moment.
As I just mentioned above...The original readership were primarily people who were hurting...struggling with addiction or loneliness, rape victims or suicide survivors. People from all over the world read Shell Shock Serenade and I get a ton of feedback from people who were hurting in one way or another telling me how surprised they were to find they were NOT alone. It is very humbling, my fine reader friends...when you are told that what you have done, by baring your wounded and tortured SOUL for all to see has brought someone some solace, some HOPE and encouraged them to keep on plugging through their pain. I'm still blown away when I get those messages.
But I don't get them if those people cannot trust me. if i do not have credibility. I cannot modify, bend or change in anyway my feelings...I have always written what I felt...if I started to sanitize it people would know right away. For one I would start looking like I have LESS flaws...that would be a dead ringer right there. I have to be free enough to make a fool out of myself if that's what it takes. But I won't call people out by name, humiliate or hurt anyone. Often if I say a person's behavior was hurtful to me what am I really saying? The fault could be entirely my own. I could be prejudiced against churches (which is in fact true...or it was. I was terribly biased and resentful of church and church-going Christians. I have been very open about that. As a matter of fact...my latest posts are tame compared to some of my early writings about organized religion and especially my feelings during my childhood.
Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that some felt I have unfairly criticized people and used this blog to do the communication dirty work for me. Honestly People....it never happened nor was it ever my intention for it to happen. In that individuals defense he has never really read the blog (only individual posts that I and others had sent him), has no context nor any idea of what I write about here and who it is geared towards. Once that was explained...he backed off the accusation, somewhat amazed about what it is I actually write about...most are shocked when they read the level of openness and honesty in these posts.
And honestly that's OK and understandable....he was forwarded my post without context by someone who was concerned about what they were reading and that it may reflect poorly on myself and the church. I tend to look at this kind of thing as a positive opportunity instead of a reason to get angry because it has given me this opportunity to write this post which I am afraid is long over-due. And that one is definitely on ME!
The fact is that I still have that same hard-core readership today who finds their way here looking for the harsh, uncensored TRUTH about addiction and healing from Rape and Suicide. In addition now we have added whole lot of newer readers who come in with a more casual day to day interest concerning, perhaps a different kind of subject matter, probably more spiritual in nature. What they must do is try putting one's self in the place of the hurting and the LOST to try and understand what it must be like to think & feel that kind of fear, hurt, doubt and pain. Then perhaps they'll understand that I cannot change the way I present certain aspects of this blog...it has to be a true feeling or thought. That doesn't make it right...God certainly knows I have been wrong before. But in this particular case...that doesn't make it wrong either...it just IS what it IS: one fallible human beings feeling at one point in time. No malice, no vengeance...NO ANGER.
I sincerely hope this post this afternoon has spread some much needed light on the subject and I hope any misunderstanding has been cleared up about first & foremost, who I am writing for and why. In the future friends....please know I am always open to questions and criticism if you feel I have crossed a line somewhere along the line.