Thursday, April 24, 2008

Restraint of Pen and Tongue

Step 10 says "We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." In one of my 12-step books, I read something about "restraint of pen and tongue." In another book I learned this acronym: T.H.I.N.K. before you speak. Ask yourself "Is what I'm about to say (or in my case, write) Thoughtful, Honest, Intelligent, Necessary, and Kind?" If not, don't say it.

Why am I posting this little Step 10 workshop? I just received a LOVELY (can you sense the sarcasm) email from my ex that is mean and hurtful. There are people he knows who read this blog and report to him about it. I believe it's these same people who anonymously comment about my "bitterness" and his status as a victim.

Sometimes it gets to me. Sometimes I let it go with an exhale and a smile. Sometimes, I work really, really hard to exhale and not copy mean messages here for all the world to see. Sometimes I get nasty right back. I try not to, though, because it ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS bites me in the ass and I get it back tenfold. It's hard because I'm pretty fricken awesome and creative at nastiness. Sometimes, I need to THINK, THINK, THINK before I respond. Sometimes, I have to work really, really hard to show restraint of pen and tongue. Today is one of those days.


  1. Hey-- and Pete and I howled for a whole evening. Looks like some of your anonymous comments (and maybe some of the emails you get directly from people you know)would fit right on that site ;-)
    Hang in there.

  2. Hi Julie
    Like your site a lot, consider yourself added to my google-reader :-)
    Sorry the x-person is giving you drama.

    Good luck with the book.


  3. Here's an idea- probably not original, but it just came to me.

    Write out what you really want to say and then burn it. You'll feel better, but there won't be any blood shed or bodies. :)

  4. Thanks for all the tips, Liz, Maggs, and Anon. Just writing about it without really writing about it really helped. Passive Agreessive notes made me laugh and just the idea of lighting things on fire was good, too. Is that a bad thing? :-)JK
    Lazy J

  5. Isn't ex-bashing on your blog passive aggessive? You might want to consider that your children read or may read your blog someday, how very sad for them (and you).

  6. You know what, Anonymous?

    I am learning to show restraint of pen, tongue, and the email send key with the ex because he's the father of my children and I don't want them to suffer from our OVERT antagonism. With you, however, I have no such obligation.

    MY blog is MY vent, MY place, MY book, MY haven. If you want a sappy, life is beautiful all the time, I love everyone website, this is not it, nor does it pretend or promote itself to be. What you refer to as "ex-bashing" helps me to be a spiritually and physically healthier person which makes me a better mother. I share my feelings (all of them--bad, good, boring, whatever) to get them out of my head where they poison my thinking and my reactions to people and the world. If you know someone, anyone, with or without a chronic and progressive neurological disease and an ex-husband who asked, "What about me?" when I was hospitalized waiting for the premature and dangerous birth of my son, who does not feel anger or frustration and the need to vent sometimes, you should probably nominate them for sainthood. Or perhaps you should nominate yourself! You are so clearly without fault since you feel completely justified in visiting my blog and criticizing me for expressing my feelings and overtly suggesting that makes me a bad mother. You know what? This is MY blog. If you don't like my OCCASIONAL anger, feel free to delete my URL from your bookmark list and have a nice life. Turn the channel, change the station, hand up the phone, hit the back button. You have a choice! Isn't America grand?
    If you just like arguing or provoking, then...BRAVO. You win. I lose. Move on.
    If you have MS or love someone who does, there are a list of blogs on my home page that deal with MS that may be more to your liking. Perhaps they will be more up your alley. If you want general medical info about MS visit the National MS Society Web site at

    I'm open to feedback which is why I don't choose to screen my comments. Perhaps you are not the same "Anonymous" commenter who has defended my ex in the past and criticized me for "ex-bashing." If so, you are probably saying, "What the hell crawled up her ass?" If you are the same person...hmmmm. I guess you have a right to be judgmental but how very sad for you and YOUR children. Don't worry about my kids and my conscience. Worry about your own.
    Lazy J.