How Being An Honest Writer Turned Me Into An Asshole

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I am an insensitive person. I don’t know if my insensitivity is the result of childhood bullying, family resentment, brain chemistry, or if it’s just a personality trait I’ve always had, and always will have. I rarely cry. I make incredibly offensive jokes without caring about who they offend, and I struggle with feeling empathy for other people in any way other than intellectually. Essentially, I’m Hilary Clinton.

At the same time, I am an incredibly honest person. I don’t steal. I rarely lie. When asked for an honest opinion, I give it. I’ve learned that if insensitivity is my “yin” than “honesty” is my yang. It is because of my insensitivity that I am able to say and do honest things without worrying about who I offend, or if it’ll somehow bite me in the ass. The two fuel my crass sense of humor, and it’s my humor and truth that make me a unique writer. Those traits are what inspire and enable me to publish content about my deepest insecurities and hardships in a way that is relatable, funny, and genuine.
I’ve received messages from people who have thanked me for talking about family, addiction, sexuality issues, and depression. Those messages have led me to believe that by being honest I am doing something good. But I also know that my articles have made family members cry. My articles have made friends and acquaintances question my intentions, ethics, and characters. One article even inspired a family member to comment to inform me that I am selfish, spoiled, and narcissistic. And that those were my good traits.

 

I try not to reflect too much on what I write, and the hurt it may or may not have caused. But it’s becoming harder and harder to not think about it. The truth is that part of me likes airing out dirty laundry; I get a twisted sort of satisfaction from revealing family secrets and realities that I’ve been forced to keep hidden for so long.  I enjoy the power that comes from writing and publishing, and using a platform to speak about and for people who do not have the access or knowledge to combat all the things that I have to say.

oT an extent, I know that what I am publishing will hurt someone else, but I do so anyway by convincing myself that sharing my story will help others, or serve as cathartic and justified retribution. Sometimes I worry that the insensitivity and tactlessness of my publishing says something else about me; sometimes I worry that I write and crucify others because I believe that my stories and writing will bring me praise and affection that I’ve always desperately wanted.  The reality may be that I don’t care who I hurt as long as it brings me closer to my warped dreams of fame and recognition.

As a writer, I rely on emotional truth. My stories are not always completely factual because memory is an incredibly subjective thing. What I’ve begun to realize is that without anyone providing a counter narrative or refuting my stories that what I say and write is by default accepted as objective truth, which is something I’ve never truly thought about. I can’t help but wonder where the truth ends and my hurt begins. Maybe I need to be honest with myself and accept that my insensitivity and honesty often comes from a place of hate that I’ve tried my best to keep buried. Maybe I’m still an angry, disappointed, and traumatized kid on the inside, and maybe I haven’t been able to forgive and forget as much as I told myself I have. I write what I believe to be truth, but I often do so without providing a sort of balance. I portray the darkness of the truth, but leave out any light.

I write humorous and spiteful jokes about my family, but fail to include the moments that highlight their positive traits. I try to justify it by saying that it’s all in good humor, but others hardly see it that way. I know that they’re often right.I try my best to mask my indifference and insensitivity with humor and “perspective”, but the most honest truth I can tell is that I am not as honest as I want to believe. I write neatly packaged articles that include epiphanies and moments of acceptance that have never truly existed. I write about a reality I think my readers want or need to believe in- a reality I want to convince myself I’m a part of. I guess I need to accept the reality of who I am-I am an angry, bitter, hurt person who has a long way to go.

I am sorry for the people I’ve hurt by sharing my thoughts. I apologize if you feel that you were misrepresented. I’d say it wasn’t intentional, but that would be dishonest in many cases. From now on, I won’t write articles that delve into the lives of people who haven’t given permission. Like any good egomaniac- I’ll keep the attention on me. Maybe things will be better that way.

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