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Self-Disclosure

I started this blog as a way to put Brene Brown’s claim that vulnerability leads to connection to the test. I believed it in theory but now I have empirical evidence that it works. But self-disclosure is still scary.

It’s still a challenge to write about myself in a way that doesn’t out all of the people in my life who have not chosen to be vulnerable. So I try to talk about myself without blaming anyone else for my problems–in public, at least. Which is a good approach to life in general, I think.

It’s still hard to be open about my weaknesses, although people’s responses have been positive. I freak out a little when people remark on how honest a post was, because that means I said something that they probably wouldn’t have shared about themselves. But mostly I take it as a compliment.

There are still some posts that I have the urge to take down.  I haven’t done so yet, because then it will take me longer to get to 100 posts. Luckily I have enough posts that only the most dedicated readers will find them. And if they like my blog that much, they probably won’t judge me for them.

I still haven’t told clients about my blog. Partly because I’m not brave enough, but also because therapy needs to be about them. Usually they come to see me because they don’t have anyone else who will give them their undivided attention. If I were to say, Hey you know what? I wrote a blog on that very same problem. Here’s the address, that seems a little self-serving.

It’s hard to draw the line between unburdening yourself and burdening someone else. The best part about blogging is that I don’t have to feel guilty about unburdening myself because if you’re reading this, you have chosen to give me your undivided attention.

And for that, I am thankful.

About Christy Barongan

I didn't know it at the time, but I wanted to be a psychologist so that I could figure out how to be normal. I think many people come to counseling for the same reason. What I've come to learn is that feeling good about myself is not about trying to be normal. It's about trying to be me. But it's a constant struggle for me, just like it is for everyone else. So I thought I would approach this task with openness and honesty and use myself as an example for how to practice self-acceptance.

6 responses »

  1. Self disclosure is very scary. I really do think it helps though, and saying something that nobody else will is probably more helpful than you'll ever know. I think it's refreshing to see someone share something that I have been thinking… it makes me feel not so alone.

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  2. Thanks, Savanna. I believe that most of us are thinking similar things but are afraid to say them.

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  3. I agree, it's a very hard act to balance, especially in your position. I think it is often easier to blog in an honest manner when few people from “real life” know about it; otherwise you end up scrutinizing every little thing that you think of writing, to the point that your real thoughts about the matter don't really get addressed. I had spoken briefly about the fact that I was blogging about mental health to my therapist (back when I had one) and she was very supportive of the idea and was glad I was trying to help others. But I hesitated to tell her the web address. I couldn't help but think that was crossing a line. She didn't ask for it, so I figured it would be too forward of me to tell her. I didn't want her to feel like she HAD to read it it, ya know? And I'm sure it's like that for you as well, though you are on the other side of it. You don't want your clients to feel obligated to read it, and then if they do you never know how they will react to it. It could make your work with them more effective, or it could hinder it. And you would always be worried about whether you were revealing something you shouldn't to your clients. But please know that you are doing a wonderful service to us out there that don't know you in person. You have a gift of helping others, and it shines through in your writing. I am very grateful to have found your blog.

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  4. Thanks Amy. I always appreciate your comments. I have told my therapist and psychiatrist about my blog because I talked often about wanting to write a book. I had no problem telling them to read it!

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  5. Although I am by no means a Therapist or Physiologist, For as long as I can remember, even as a young teenager, people or friends and acquaintances have often to come to me to tell me their problems and for me to just listen to them. Many were often quite younger so I had a little more life experience then they did. I also had five kids and had been married for quite a few years so I was able to offer parenting and marriage advice based on my own experience. When I needed advice I often would look for books or articles to read pertaining to the advice I needed. There were many times when I would be going through things and I handled it by secluding myself to my room, not excepting any visits of phone calls from my friends because I didn't want to seem weak to them. They often thought I was upset with them until my husband would explain to them that when I was going through something I didn't tlk to anybody. I always wanted someone who I could talk to more than anything.

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  6. Thanks for sharing. I have learned to accept that being able to listen is a skill that not everyone has. So it's hard to find people who can do for us what we do for other people. But I'm going to keep looking.

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