Bigsley the Oaf

Self-Censorship and Fear / The State of Things

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on November 15, 2013

I want to write without fear or self-censorship. I used to pride myself on my ability to be open and clear in my communication. I was unafraid to say what I thought – to express my most intimate and treasured feelings out in the open. Now, I cache my feelings in oblique references and cryptic poetry. Let’s start with whyThe reasons are numerous.



I separated from my wife, J, in June of 2012. I took a great deal of the guilt for this onto myself.

For one thing, I had willingly entered into marriage fewer than 3 years before. To desire a break means to break my vows. If I broke such vows, what do vows even mean? I broke a promise – one of the most sacred promises that humans make to one another, a promise that many have fought and died to be able to make. To think on this, even now, takes me to a place which is very dark and heavy. I must consider whether I have the strength to make vows – whether I have the resolve as a man, as a human, to weather the storm of unfortunate circumstance. For a long time after we were separated, whenever we spoke, J would ask why did you marry me? It is a question that I still have a great deal of difficulty answering.

For another thing, I was to blame for a great number of the problems that arose in our relationship. I had some difficulties controlling my substance (ab)use. I was not always open and communicative. I was occasionally drawn to other women – we had an open marriage, but we never actually negotiated the meaning of this.

For another, in many ways J was very good to me. I’m not going to paint a rosy picture of our marriage, because it was a very difficult and, in many ways, diminishing thing. But she was good. She was sensitive to my interests. She took care of me when I was sick or sad. She supported me in seeking a career which was fulfilling. She tried very hard to make me happy.

The guilt I feel with respect to our marriage and its end has led me to a fairly active form of self-censorship. I am currently dating someone, but it is difficult for me to write about publicly, for fear that it will cause J any anguish.


On the flip side, my current relationship with Z has made me feel somewhat claustrophobic, publicly. Even writing about it here causes me some anxiety. Even writing about the above causes me some anxiety.

There is a certain degree to which my writing is exploratory. What I write certainly reflects my truth, but it also reflects a striving to find the truth. I am with Zizek on this one. It is always better to try and state our truth, and fail, than to let it fall by the wayside.

But exploring my truth in the gaze of one who I love is a painful process. E.g. I’m worried about what I wrote above, about Jen. I worry about stating my positions too clearly. I might want to marry Z, one day. Knowing that I’ve broken my vows before, will she trust them? Writing this makes me feel extremely vulnerable.

Even outside of analysis of my marriage, I worry sometimes that what I write will offend Z. We have some very stark differences of opinion/worldview (e.g. I am against voting and she is very much for). What if I write it all out, and she reads it, and then she hates me. I think this is conceivable – e.g. if I wrote something sexist (in the anti-woman direction) or racist (in anything but the anti-white-people direction) it would be rough waters ahead. Ultimately I’m less afraid of this than explorations of my feelings, though.

My Work

I am sexually weird. I use substances. I have anarchist leanings. None of these are things that an employer particularly wants to be associated with their brand. Even in the case that the employer is really cool and down with many of these things, they might do the cost-benefit analysis and decide that it’s too much of a liability. Now that I’m friends with something like 25-30 of my coworkers on facebook, I no longer think of it as a safe space to post things I really care about.

I think that the main form that my self-censorship takes with respect to work is that I don’t share “crude” materials as much as I’d like to. I limit the number of articles I post calling for the overthrow of the U.S. government – I don’t post much about my personal drug use/exploration – I don’t talk about the weird kinky sexy stuff I’m into – I don’t post erotica – I don’t talk about porn or sex work – etc.

Not to mention that I can’t write about my job. I mean, I spend 40+ hours/week there, with those people, not to mention my commute. Most of my interactions happen with my coworkers. But I can’t say anything, can I? What’s even appropriate to say?

The Government

At least once in the course of writing the following I thought “I wonder if anyone at the NSA is going to read this.” I’m very very afraid of our government. I’m afraid of disappearing in the night. I’m afraid of dying of “natural causes.” I know I have no power, so they probably don’t care, but I have no idea how powerful they are/what they’re capable of.


I’m worried about writing too much about my family, for fear that they’ll read it and feel disrespected.

No One

Sometimes I don’t want to write because I think no one will care what I have to say.

What do I want to Write About and Why

I want to write my truth. I want to write it because I believe I see things clearly and starkly. I want to write it for people who feel like me. I want to help, I want to help, I want to help. I don’t know how to connect with people very well all the time, and I don’t know how to help in material ways very well, so maybe I can help by sharing. Maybe someone will read something I write and feel less alone.

I want to write because I have all this shit in me and nowhere to put it. I’m so used to just getting it out there, feeling my emotions, doing my fucking thing, but with the long list of people who I’m afraid of offending/spooking/whatnot, I just don’t end up saying it. All my friends are busy + they don’t want to hear me kvetch.

I wanna just write a bunch of things which make me feel afraid to write. I don’t want to be afraid to write anything. I’m just me. I’m flawed and weird. These fears I carry are reflections of ways I don’t accept myself.

The State of Things

I love Z. So much that I can’t believe it’s true or possible. It makes me crazy. She’s sick right now and it’s making me mad with worry. When things are good they’re so good, when things are bad they’re so bad. We’re different, but fit together well. We fight, but it always ends OK. She’s wonderful and alive and connected and intelligent and exciting. She shows me things and teaches me things, every day. She knows how to love and be loved.

I am angry that my grandparents won’t die, already. I’m sad that they’re dying. I’m sad that my mother is stressed about them dying. I’m angry at my aunts and uncles for not supporting my mother by taking care of my dying grandparents. I feel guilty about not living closer to home/not seeing them more. I feel guilty about not calling my grandmother when she was in the hospital. When I think about it it feels like I’m looking in the mirror and there’s a demon and I look away.

Work is fulfilling and interesting and challenging, every day. I love going to the office because I get to interact with such a fantastically intelligent, sweet group of people. But, I think they have blind spots. And, I think the culture is somewhat toxic. And the commute sucks. I’m afraid that it’s turning me into a boring person. I’m afraid I don’t have enough time to be myself, to explore my shit. Everyone there works too much.

I miss Jen, sometimes. I don’t miss being married to her, I just miss her. I miss her sense of humor. I miss eating breakfast, together. She was such a big part of my life, and there’s still a hole where she was. It’s going to take a long time.

I worry about money. I worry about being addicted to substances. I worry about my health. I worry about getting fat. I worry Z will stop loving me. I worry that my friends will leave me. I worry about G.S. I worry about dying alone. I worry about living the last years of my life alone.

I worry about never finding my place in the world.

Everything’s a goddamned mess! HAHAHAHAHAHA


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