[Previous entry: "Admin update: NCFM audio"] [Main Index] [Next entry: "Learning more about internet harassment"]
09/28/2002 Archived Entry: "A fresh start"
The last few weeks have been interesting. The blog has suffered from neglect because of a sharp shift in the focus of my writing away from politics onto more personal matters. The shift springs from several factors intersecting at the same time.
"The Debates of Liberty" -- the culmination of many years research and work in 19th century individualist-anrchist history and theory -- was delivered in absolutely final proofed/indexed form a few weeks ago and is coming out in November from Lexington Books, a branch of Rowman & Littlefield. At this point, I doubt if I will ever write another book-length work on i-a again. Just articles and essays.
An anthology arguing against a National ID has just been delivered to McFarland Books by Carl Watner. (It will be another book listing "with Wendy McElroy" on the cover.) So that one is also completed and slated for publication sometime next year.
I will be finishing my overview of the history and theory of individualist feminism in the US in the coming months. As with i-a, I don't expect to write another book-length treatment of i-f in the future. Working at ifeminists.com, the FOX News columns and other shorter pieces will absorb whatever intellectual energy I have in that direction.
In short, there is a sense of completion in some of the most important areas of my career as a writer. Moreover, "The Debates of Liberty" will be my 11th book (either written or edited by me) and I am pleased to put down my book-writing pen (so to speak) for a while.
Meanwhile, another saga in my life continues and accounts for my shift in focus every bit as much as the "resolutions" listed above.
For years -- almost two decades now -- my husband Brad and I have been dealing with the stalking tendencies of a former boyfriend. Breaking off all contact for over a decade, moving to a different country, eliminating mutual friends from my circle... Nothing seems to stop the harassment. Tho' it does change. Now it is done with faked emails, through his best friend, or other methods that provide him with plausible deniability, etc. And certain gambits have been abandoned. E.g. posting on public lists about entirely-fictitious affairs I'm supposed to be having has ceased -- undoubtedly because Brad became angry enough to seriously pursue a lawsuit for libel and defamation. Indeed, since I turned over the helm to Brad on this matter, the harassment has become more cowardly/anonymous -- again, undoubtedly because my husband does not share my compunctions about revenge and justice through the legal system. (Tracking ISPs across the Internet does seem to me to be a waste of his Ph.D. in computer science but, then, he is *that* angry at the constant, continuing, malicious harassment of his wife.)
I am forced to deal with the situation. For years, the anger I have felt at being falsely and publicly accused of a myriad of sins has been a source of great energy to me. Since I chose not to respond to the charges -- except once through a lawyer -- the trick was to redirect my anger. There are at least two books I would not have finished in the last three years if I didn't have the wellspring of energy it provided to draw upon. And, as I said, I am made to deal with the situation again.
So I will deal with it on my own terms. Which means writing. Which means being honest and remembering aspects of my past I have preferred to forget. It means becoming more personal in my work -- a shift I now welcome as a clean departure from the more theoretical writings I've just completed.
There is so much to write about...
For a few years now, a remarkable phenomenon has been unfolding in my life. A circle of women who have been damaged by this man have been helping each other to understand what happened to them and to move beyond it. My general approach to painful episodes in my life is to push them into my past and forge ahead, not looking back. With this situation, I was forced to look back constantly because the harassment never stopped: it only achieved plausibile deniability.
So...several women with whom I should not be on speaking terms have become good friends based on our developing ability to trust each other in discussing painful areas of our lives, areas which overlap one with the other in our respective lives. One woman is a girlfriend from whom I was alienated for years because the "ex" bragged to me about their "affair" -- an affair I now know never happened but was manufactured as a way to distance me from a good friend who was critical of him. Another is the woman who followed me in being his "live-in" or unofficial spouse. I like the hell out of both of these ladies.
I would prefer not to deal with the past. As I said, my approach is and has been to throw it over my shoulder as a dead-loss, dead-weight...and move on. But I am not permitted such luxury. And, so, I think the energy I feel from being harassed is best used in chronicling the remarkable phenomenon of a circle of women who should (by conventional wisdom) hate each other and, yet, have come together in a positive fashion to heal. Our thoughts, our relationship, our evolution. (I can hear both the women mentioned cheering loudly as I type this: one of them is yelling, "ABOUT TIME!") I don't know what such a chronicle entails. A novel, a non-fiction book, a screenplay...Brad favors the latter. I don't know. But the blog can be the beginning of whatever evolves.
As I said, I am at something of a turning-point in my career. In the next few weeks, I will be thinking through the next few years of my writing career. (Thank God! all other aspects of life are smooth.) My blog can be a record of the thoughts and progress on trying to make something good come out of the malice and ghosts directed my way. Making the record public serves at least three goals: 1) I must become comfortable with public statements if I am to write the material I wish; 2) I want the women I'm writing about to have access to my thoughts at their convenience so we can talk; and, 3) it makes everything more real.
Best to all,