August 25, 2006


Loose Ends: Links & Secrets

I know, I know. I never got back to my "linkomania" posts. I guess I just got distracted and ran out of time. So those bloggers who have linked to me don't think I'm totally out of it, I've just put up some new links on my sidebar. I put a little "*NEW*" next to them. There are some great blogs among these newbies; go check them out.

I'm going to make my final decisions about the secret-sharing space and try to get something out there in cyberland by Monday. So, I'll give you the link then, if Blogger let's me. I really appreciate all the feedback I got about the idea, both on comments and via e-mail. Some common elements in the feedback included the words empowering, freeing and release.

Another common element was the idea of secret-sharing being cleansing. One commenter talked of sharing secrets as having the ability to "cleanse and help heal deep infected wounds." Others think of secret sharing as a way to take a load off, emotionally speaking. One commenter described the process as to, "shed the weight of guilt and shame."

Everyone seems to agree that the space needs to feel safe. One commenter went so far as to say it should be "sacred." I agree that this is the feel I would want.

Logistically, how do I go about setting it up to accomplish these goals? I thought about doing it as a blog carnival (and one commenter suggested just that). But, I don't want the constraints of a lot of deadlines and submission forms. I also think going through Blog Carnival might take some of the safety factor away. Message boards were mentioned. Quite frankly, I don't have the time and energy to moderate a full-fledged forum or board. This is a huge undertaking that I'm not geared up to handle at this time.

I think I'm leaning toward setting this up something like Poetry Thursday. Here, a group of bloggers gets together and posts poems on their blogs around a certain theme each Thursday. When their poem is posted, they comment on the Poetry Thursday blogspot and let everyone know they've got it up (kinda like a meme).

One commenter made the elegant suggestion that our secret-sharing space could be an either/or choice of posting anonymously or not. I really like the idea of at least giving bloggers the option of "coming out of the closet" and revealing their identity, if they so choose. This goes along with stopping the silence and erasing shame and stigma. I understand, however, that some may want to share, but are not ready to attach their name to the secret revealed.

So, what I'm thinking of is a kind of hybrid of a Poetry Thursday or meme-type posting. For those who want to be linked and identified, they can simply comment that their secret is posted at their blog. This will be especially handy for bloggers who have long secrets, using a lot of words. For those who want to be anonymous, they can simply select "anonymous" on the Blogger comment form.

To ensure further safety, I will keep comment moderation activated at all times, of course. As with my regular blog's comments, no spam or attacking commenters can get through my approval process. Also as with my regular blog, I'll set this up so that commenters can make comments on other poster's secrets shared in a supportive-only manner. Kudos, congratulations, comfort, compassion and "way-to-go's" will be allowed. Heated debates and unsolicited advice will not be permitted. We want this to be a safe, sacred secret-sharing environment.

Any other last-minute input before I put this in place? Do y'all still think this is a good idea? Just to help soothe over the "starting-to-share" jitters, I would start the posting off with another one of my own secrets. Okay. Deep breath everyone; we're going to do this!

Hi Marj! Yes! I do think it's a good idea! It sounds like you have all the right components to make it really successful. Is the theme going to be specifically survivor related secrets, rather than any secrets as in postsecret?
Hey, SD--thanks for the feedback! No, unlike Poetry Thursday, I don't think I'll limit posters to any particular theme. I just want to give people a place to get whatever they need off their chest. (Unless, of course, visitors start telling me they want that.) I do, however, want to make it a very safe, supportive place for survivors to share. I think survivors (especially those with PTSD and/or dissociative disorders) have some special needs that I want to be sensitive about. And, as I mentioned before, this won't be a place for people looking for "bragging rights." I anticipate more sharing about the feelings and aftermath following trauma or what someone had done TO them.
Wow, that could be a really powerful and meaningful thing to do.
I sure hope so, Dr. Deb. Thanks for your support of the idea.

I didn't know how to email you, so I'm leaving a comment instead, although I'm having a hard time formulating my words. I just read your survivor accounts on your main webpage while searching for survivor resources for a post I'm writing as my return to the v/blogosphere. And I'm just sort of stunned that you've come so far. I mean that in the best way possible. Right now, I guess I don't even know what else to say, but I have such intense admiration and respect for your work with survivors, being one yourself, and I'm always so encouraged and amazed by women who can tell their stories. I only recently told mine, fully, for the first time in therapy, and that alone was such an enormous weight to have lifted...well, I just think you're so fucking cool. I don't have any other way to say it today. Thanks for totally kicking ass and making a space for others who are healing as well. Your story is a triumph, and I'm so appreciative of your openness and so excited by where you are today. Going to stop gushing now and go to a queer BBQ and process with some allies, but I hope this finds you well. Thank you for helping others as you help yourself. That is priceless.

Hi Marj,

Is it Monday yet? Great idea, let me know if you need any help. Maybe Dewy can pitch in. :)
wed be inthat also

I think it is a wonderful idea! I was wondering myself how you had all the energy to do this! This makes sense, and It really is a way for others to explore other blogs then on their friends list. Me personally I love finding new blogs, but at times am overwhelmed where to start. Your list has how many links? All my blogger friends are the same. So this allows one to explore, and ultimatly the ones who have common interests. Great idea!
B: I hope you don't mind that I published your comment (even tho it was kinda like an e-mail message). I just really needed that feedback today. Thanks so much for your kind words. I've had a rough week and I just really appreciate the support and encouragement at this time. Comments like yours really help me stay motivated. You've helped me more than you could ever guess. Thanks! :)

PS: I'll be heading over to your blogs to see what you're up to. Kudos on the T sharing--always tough, always a great accomplishment! Blessings and best wishes to you.

I like the idea of sharing instead of confessing. Sounds much better.

Poetry Thursday sounds great. Kinda like the cat carnival or friday's ark. they are both weekly sites with contributors from all over.

I'm in.

Brian: Wow! Somebody's actually looking forward to this?! Yay! Thanks for the offer of help. It's kinda like my book, tho. I even told my twin sister the same thing on that project: It's something I need to do by/for myself. (And you guys thought I was just being all altruistic and everything. hee hee. Seriously, I truly believe that, when we help others we help ourselves, too.)
Sa'de: I would be most honored to have you join in. You all would be so welcome in this sacred space. I already think that you and all in your system are amazing in your courage to share and stop the silence.
Mysti: I hadn't thought of that aspect before. Leave it to you to come up with another new and helpful insight. Thanks! I'm really getting excited about this! A little scared--but excited! :0 :)
WW: So glad you're going to join us. I checked out the other two blogs you mentioned. The Friday's Ark was similar to what I had in mind. Thanks for giving me some more resources to reference. The only thing I haven't decided about yet is whether or not to make this a weekly posting. I think not (at least at first, anyway). I think when people want ot get something off their chest, they may want to have that happen right away, and have that validated right away. I guess I might have to move it to weekly if it becomes too much work for me to handle. I guess we'll see.
hey Marj!

I think that this sounds like an awesome idea. If you need help with anything let me know. Id be more then happy to help you with anything. I linked you on my sidebar also.. hope you dont mind either.

Love your ideas on secrets. I just posted on that today myself!

Cassandra: Don't mind the link, I appreciate it. Thanks! Any way you can spread the word on this new site, will be most welcomed.

Jennifer: Thanks for visiting. I'll be over to see what you've got to say on the subject (may be after tomorrow, after I get this new site set up). Thanks for the comment.
(I'm pasting this from my in-box, because after I "posted" it, it just disappeared into cyberland):

I checked out the "tellsecrets" blog...don't like it, not one bit! Something feels very "off" to me there. There doesn't appear to b any explanation of how to have a post put up there, and the posts all seem to be in the same "voice". Maybe it's just a creapy feeling there. :P

Warrier: Thanks for helping me check it out. I definitely want to do whatever I can on my new site (I should say OUR new site, because I want this to be a group thing, like our Carnival Against Child Abuse) to make sure that visitors feel comfortable and don't ever get a creepy feeling. Very important, yes? Yes!
Warrier: I had exactly the same feeling about 'tellsecrets', they do have the air of being written by the same person or copied from somewhere else! Talking of which there were also postcards originally seen on postsecret there. What someone made 2 identical copies of their postcard and sent it to two sites? I doubt it somehow!
SD: I thought the PostSecret card was weird, too. I promise I'll get back to you via e-mail today. I'm a little distracted with trying to launch this secret site of my own today. We'll get ya all set up for the Blog Carnival, too. Talk to you soon.
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