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On Being In A Crisis

Sometime after announcing The Separation Heard ‘Round the Island and learning that certain persons read this website, I lost my willingness to write about anything that meant anything around here. It would certainly not be the first time I’d ever seriously considered closing shop and reopening under a pseudonym buried deep beneath a million anonymous domains. The only reason I can think of why I haven’t done that is that I don’t like the idea of giving anyone the power to make me run away and hide.
I just have to accept that if I am going to open up and be honest here, there is a chance that people are going to take that as their invitation to tell me what they think I’m doing wrong in my life and what, in their opinions, I need to do to improve myself daily and get back on track. Nevertheless, I am going to grit my teeth and bear it, even when those opinions come to me in the form of a five page written letter that says things like, “You are in a crisis,” “Don’t lie to yourself by saying you aren’t lonely,” and “Stop trying to control your husband.”
And while those love letters hurt, sadden and anger me because those individuals know very little of what is going on and form opinions based on a few paragraphs and photos I’ve posted online and perhaps even a little bit of gossip they might be privy to, I am not going to fire back a list of reasons why I think they should be less critical and be more supportive and understanding, even if they really do think I’m in a crisis. It just amazes me that someone would think it was totally okay to write to me about such things when they’ve never written to me before to say hello and see how I’m doing when they didn’t think I was in a crisis. I, for one, would feel totally uncomfortable scrawling a five page opinion on matters of the heart to someone I only saw in passing every now and then. And even if I felt I just HAD to get a few things off my chest, I might go with a more subtle and caring approach and say something like, “Hey, I know we’ve never really talked before, but I just have to say I’m thinking about you and if you want to talk, I’m here.” You know, the way a real friend might.
That is, unless you are my therapist. Because, as my therapist, I’m paying you to tell me what you think I need to do to improve myself daily. But I would hope that a five page letter in the mail is not on billable time.

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17 Responses

  1. Annalynn says:

    Josie –
    I’ve been in your shoes – feeling so exposed while you are still trying to sort out your personal life. There are times in life when you have to take a step back from others – away from their opinions, their judgments, their prying eyes – and regroup. At the end of the day, you determine how life’s experiences (both good and bad) will shape your life. You can use these experiences to give you a better understanding of yourself, human nature and bring you closer to truth –your truth.

  2. John says:

    Josie –
    You are an amazing person, having your life so exposed and public but being able to be honest and open about the person you are. I’ve been keeping up with your life for such a long time because (1) I’m away from Guam and you have a very nice way of bringing home to life for me, (2) you are intriguing and interesting as a person, and (3) the personal things that you discuss and work through so publicly are helpful in their own way for others like me. I noticed less of that lately, and I miss it! But you are right to recognize the difficulty that raises for you, and so all of us respect your privacy but many of us do want to be helpful in any way we can. Just let us know … even if all we can do is provide words of support and encouragement, I’m here!

  3. Christine Lalaine says:

    I’m sorry you received such a hurtful letter. People who write those kind of letters aren’t necessarily malicious, they’re just ignorant about certain things in life. People like that expect that if they were put in your situation, they would have acted differently than you did(thus the judgemental attitude). Unfortunately, the only way to challenge that preconceived notion is for them to experience a similar situation and find that the choices that they thought they would have made are not as easy. “Forgive them for they know not what they do” comes to mind.

  4. JP says:

    I’ve never written before but I hope I am speaking for all of us anonymous readers to whom you bring a bit of Guam warmth. When I first read about what happened I was dreading that you would lose your sense of humor and warmth and the page would degenerate into a vitriolic monologue about what happened – or worse, would disappear.
    That it has not, and that you have not, I am sure, takes more strength than I can imagine. Please know, that while some people only see the bad, there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of us, who pray for your happiness and perseverance – in silence. Close your eyes, I am sending you a mental hug right now!

  5. resuri says:

    the things i love the most about living in a small community are the same things i hate about living in a small community.
    the good news is there is a solution to your dilemma and it’s fortunately firmly grounded in guam culture. it’s called the bitchslap.
    i’m sure the sentiment is widespread, but speaking strictly for myself, i totally have your back.

  6. Hi Josie. Since you are open, you don’t have to expend one ounce of energy pretending to be someone or something you are not. It is what it is. You are who you are. Be proud of yourself. Enjoy your life.

  7. fabmimi says:

    i can totally relate. lucky for me my thoughts aren’t as public as yours (since i have like, 10 people that read my blog). it’s hard sorting yourself out when you are so exposed. it’s times like these when you learn who your true friends are and what you are capable of. i commend your strength.

  8. Cristina says:

    I’ve noticed that you don’t post as often as you used to, but I still enjoy visiting your website, looking through your photos and reading about your hiking/diving adventures.
    If that person mails you again – send that crap back to sender. Crumble it up a little too 😛

  9. brent says:

    shutting this down, would make the world a little less special. although we would understand if you did. take care of yourself first. there have always been those who think they know what we should do, and how we should live our lives. poop on them! until they walk in my shoes, they have no say. we support you, whatever you want to do! you are a specail person. they can’t take that away from you. 🙂

  10. carolyn says:

    i’m sorry i told perez hilton about your personal life. i had no idea he’d do a full-scroll post about you! (…and you don’t wanna know where he paintshopped his white sploosh either). on the bright side, you now have a tag between jennifer aniston and kelly clarkson.
    but for real? lame. that’s REALLY weird, 5-page-letter writer!

  11. joel says:

    Hey Josie…I’m just GLAD you’re not closing shop.

  12. Julie says:

    Babe, it is no secret that I love you, but one of the things I love the most, was that when you thought I might be in crisis, which I certainly WAS, you invited me out to dinner. though we had only met just once. and now look at us. you deserve more five page letters thanking you for that. and for the record, i am damn proud of you and how you are handling yourself.

  13. christine says:

    actually, you should be commended for the way you handle yourself online. there’s no bashing, no cursing, no backstabbing of any kind from you. and if you hadn’t said so, i think any random reader here would think that you’re living the good life. or at the very least, not going through the crisis that you’re facing. in my opinion, you’re carrying your cross very well.

  14. Allison says:

    Hey, I know we’ve never really talked before, but I just have to say I’m thinking about you and if you want to talk, I’m here.
    I’m a plagiarist, yes, but at least I use good sources. It’d take too long to copy and paste everyone else’s comments, but know I feel the same, all the way over in Virginia, from someone whose relative you used to work for. Yeah.
    Maxing out my mental bandwidth with good thoughts to you on Guam (that’s an original Allison Rutter quote),

  15. tricia says:

    I don’t know you personally, but I feel as if I do from the warm, funny and insightful passages you post on Latitude13.com. Maybe that’s why this person feels he/she has the right to tell you what’s the what, because you give so much of yourself on this Web site. But please don’t let one wackadoodle spoil it for everyone. You’re a bright spot on the Internet, and it’s not just because you have so many beautiful pictures of Guam. You bring a little bit of island charm to cold, cold New York City!
    Keep your head up high–you’re doing fine!

  16. Trudy says:

    “that which doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger” seems to have truth in it. Doesn’t seem so at first, but yea, there is truth in it.
    But…in case you need to get away and have a great craving for good Mexican Food and a strong desire to see Mickey Mouse, Josie, I am here for you with a couch that has your name on it!
    (and as you read this…”Josie’s on a vacation far away!” goes through your head!)

  17. Roel says:

    Well said and well written. Know one in this world has the power to change you or to be who your not. In this world where you can live in a cyber world and be lost forever. I takes guts to show the real you and true feeling. Who you are and the person inside of you is a lot stronger than you really think, after all. If you can inspire people from other places in the world that don’t know you. Imagine the friend that are close to you. You’er not alone, true friends don’t talk about you, we listen.
    “A little nonsense, now and then, is relished by the wisest men” Willy Wonka

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