The Issue of Full Disclosure

A few months ago, someone sent me a lengthy email message regarding something I had written about his wife on my weblog. He was outraged at the personal nature of the entry. I had written about a very embarrassing experience I had with her while she was my girlfriend, over two decades ago. Shortly after our breakup, the man who wrote me married her. Now, after all these years, he came across my aforementioned entry and was infuriated. He said that if I didn’t remove the entry, he’d make a lot of trouble for me. Oddly, that isn’t what affected me the most, though.

The man missed the point of my entry entirely. In other words, I failed to sufficiently convey my feelings about an incident that left both his future wife and I emotionally scarred for the rest of our lives. In addition to that, the man mistook my entire weblog as a means for me to brag about my sexual conquests and to make myself out to be a very good person. However, that was not the intention of this weblog. In fact, I thought I had gone very far in explaining quite the opposite.

I am not a proud person. I have done horrible things in my life that can never be undone. The primary reason I began this weblog was to reach out to my estranged son, Cameron, to let him know that I am thinking about him always, wondering what he’s up to and if he is okay. These words will hopefully survive long after I am dead and buried, through mirroring them on archiving sites. I don’t want the only story told about my first marriage to be replete with errors and disingenuous storytelling, which is what my ex-wife has presented. Even though much of what I write clearly implicates me as the predominant cause in that marriage’s failure, I want the truth out there. I believe that she might have used me as a scapegoat for all her problems that followed our time together. After all, I was the first thorn in her side, and she might have developed a habit of blaming me from the beginning. In reality, our marriage wasn’t as bad as she’s probably made it out to be.

Someday, I hope that Cameron’s heart will open up enough for him to realize that I have never had anything but love for him and that my numerous attempts to have a relationship with him were always thwarted by his mother. I can take most of the blame for that marriage’s demise, but the culpability of withholding visitation from me afterward lies solely on her shoulders. She did what no decent mother should do. She alienated her son from his father, strictly to seek revenge against me. Revenge for what? I have no idea, only speculation. I think that she might have taken every lousy man that she’s read about or seen on TV over the years and identified him as me, thus making me out to be some horrific ogre. The truth is that, while our marriage did have problems, things weren’t that bad. We could have solved our marital issues, but we were too young and stupid to realize that.

Another reason I began my weblog was to make an accounting of my life happenings, a sort of tell-all about someone who isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things. My open-book policy got me in trouble quickly, though. The husband of another past girlfriend wrote to me a few years ago and said that he had a problem with what I wrote about his wife, which were things of an intimate nature. He asked me to remove my remarks about her, because he was concerned that would-be employers might pass her by for a job opportunity, after searching for information about her and coming up with my remarks. I fully understood his position but wrestled with the notion of editing myself. I came up with the idea of changing her first name to a nickname I called her by. This satisfied her husband, and the three of us remain friendly to this day, occasionally exchanging email messages. In addition to that episode, I had an old friend of mine voice his disapproval with what I’d written about him. With him, I decided that it would be best to edit my remarks, not just to avoid ill-feelings on his part, but the comments had no significant relevance to the entry that contained them.

I’m sure I’ll offend others, as I continue to build this weblog slowly. “Slowly” is the key word in that sentence, as I haven’t done any substantial writing on the weblog in a very long time. That is why I’m getting in trouble with this latest guy and his accusations that I’m trying to put forth my “sexual conquests.” The reason I wrote about my girlfriends first wasn’t to brag about anything. If you read the stuff I wrote, the opposite is true. There’s a lot of self-loathing in those entries. I have a lot to be sorry for when it comes to being a good partner. The reason I wrote about my girlfriends first was actually that those happenings put a date for other future entries to be based around. You see, I only write about things that I’m sure occurred. I don’t write about foggy experiences. I remember who I was with in certain years, so that is where I began. I planned on, and still do, to write more entries based upon those dates. It is easier for me to remember happenings when I think about who I was dating at the time. In that manner, I was going to build my account of past happenings. Unfortunately, I became less interested after those entries and haven’t written much since. If they were buried amidst hundreds of other entries, they’d be less noticeable, I’m sure. I guess that’s why this guy felt I was trying to put forth myself as some sort of Casanova.

I agreed with the man who is now married to a girl I dated a long time ago. The understanding we came to involved having me mark the entry about his wife as private. That way, only people who register for my weblog will be allowed to read it. I like this arrangement because I will soon be looking for a job and there are some embarrassing remarks I’ve written on this weblog which I wouldn’t want a potential employer to read about me. Consequently, I’ll probably be marking other entries as private. It isn’t that I’m overly-ashamed of them. To the contrary, I feel that the truth is of great importance, like “the truth shall set you free!” It’s just that I don’t want anyone to make a cursory scan of my weblog from a search engine and only read the negative items. And there are indeed plenty of those! I really should make an effort to write more positive things. Sadly, I’m not motivated to write when I’m positive. Hence, the over-abundance of negative things contained in this weblog.

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