I first set up this blog in early February of this year and within days it had been visited over three hundred times. That would probably gratify some people, but it frightened the hell out of me. I felt hugely exposed, very public, very vulnerable, and I did something in response to those feelings that I think now I ought not to have done: I put it on private so it couldn’t be accessed. I went on to blog elsewhere on the web, on survivorsconnect.wordpress.com – an online leaderless network of prostitution and trafficking survivors, which publishes contributions from women all over the world.
I will always contribute to survivorsconnect; it is one of the most worthwhile endeavours I have ever come across on the internet, and it is evidence that the internet can be and is used for worthy reasons. I would encourage everyone reading this to visit that group-blog. However, in the ten or more weeks since I put this blog on private, I have come to realise that I did so purely out of fear – fear of exposure, fear of bullying, fear of having no control over who would contact me and what they would say when they did. That, in short, is cowardice, and I am more than a bit ashamed of caving in to it. Fleeing in fear never serves anyone, unless you’re outnumbered in a violent altercation where it is the only commonsense thing to do!
I have resolved that the right thing to do here is to put this blog on public again, write from my thoughts and from my heart, and let the cards fall where they may.
I would like also to explain some of the reasoning behind my fearful reaction: I have been writing a book about my experience of prostitution and everything I witnessed and observed during that time. That book took me over ten years to write and I finished it in January of this year. When I finally finished the book I felt like a woman standing on the top of Mount Everest, just looking around. It was a wonderfully uplifting feeling, but it didn’t last more than a couple of days. In no time at all I began to feel bereft, directionless, and at a loss as to what to be doing with myself or how to express my thoughts and feelings, hence the decision to begin the blog.
I think that I was not ready for the interactive nature of an independent web-log. I had never considered myself a blogger; I had never thought about the immediacy of the internet or about how the gap between writer and reader is closed so much more tightly in this context. After ten years of my writing just being between me and my computer, now all of a sudden it was between me, my computer, and whoever else happened along! It felt something like walking down O’Connell Street buck-naked – it was a frightening level of exposure and I shied away from it.
That was the wrong thing to do by the cause to which I am committed, which is to tell the truth about the injurious nature of prostitution. You cannot shed light on the abusive nature of prostitution from a position of fear.
Fear is a natural human emotion, but I don’t think we should allow it to exert its restrictive power in negative ways, so I won’t be doing that again; and so this blog is back for good, regardless of its outcome or what feelings it might provoke in me.
If any of the original readers from back in early-Feb are reading this I hope they will accept my apology and explanation for what was most likely experienced as my rudeness. I resolve never to give in to fear in that way again, and I will upload the articles I’ve written since in the coming days. My book is currently being considered by a number of publishers and I will update on that as soon as I have any news.
Thank you so much for reading; some feedback would be nice.