Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Reflections

Several readers asked my opinion about Patty’s recent confession. For those just joining us, she admitted that many of her true life stories were largely fiction. She outlined a variety of other transgressions, but I feel no need to detail them here.

My take on Patty is slightly different than others I’ve read. It’s easy at this point to trash her. But I honestly admire her work. At her best, Patty’s spanko art and stories are truly superior. She was both prolific and original. As an author myself, I know how special that is.

Patty, along with a small group of others, inspired me to want to become a spanko blogger. I never copied her style, because I can’t. But I did seek to emulate her relentless drive to produce a quality product. For that, I remain grateful.

I consider Patty a tortured genius. We don’t despise Vincent Van Gogh or Jackson Pollock, even if perhaps they deserved it. We appreciate them for their contributions to art. So it is with Patty. I sincerely hope she finds peace and contentment somewhere down the road.

- - - -

As for questions of identity and authenticity, I am still inclined to take people at their word until they give me cause to believe otherwise. This episode certainly rocked me for a bit. But I refuse to surrender my faith in people because of a single incident. It’s just not fair to everyone else.

As with many things, we learn and we go on. Ultimately, we will each believe what we choose. And that’s precisely as it should be.

- - - -

During much of the past week, I had relatively little contact with the Internet. I was busy helping my daughter as she delivered into the world a delightful, sweet little baby girl. Holding this tiny angel in my arms granted me a very different perspective on life. The experience forced me to re-evaluate my priorities.

Even before I read Patty’s confession, it occurred to me that perhaps I spend too much time typing words into a computer and too little time actually living my life. I have a wonderful husband with whom I adore doing almost anything or nothing at all. We are allocated only so many days on this Earth. As much as I can, I want to make them wonderful.

- - - -

One aspect of Patty’s story that hasn’t generated much discussion is her description of Internet addiction. She was drawn in by the flood of support she received. She became so enamored with the adoration that she ultimately began to manufacture tales designed to bring more. Year after year, the lies grew until she felt as though she couldn’t escape.

My situation is quite different, yet I too hear that siren’s song. I love your positive comments and e-mails. They nourish my soul and validate my work. I truly want to give you a product you will enjoy and one that makes you want to return for more.

As an author, I crave nothing more than dedicated readers. In my job, most of what I write is boring technical manuals without a byline. Here, I have the opportunity to write for well over a thousand people every day. I find that a thrilling opportunity and a genuine challenge.

Patty’s post was a wakeup call for me. Am I walking the same path? Could I become so addicted that I lose sight of myself, my values, my family, and everything else in my life? Will I have to someday choose between truth and popularity? Now those are scary questions.

My knee-jerk inclination at this moment is to walk away, or at least step back a bit. But I won’t do anything rash.

- - - -

As I’ve discussed before, all spanko bloggers walk a fine line. If we are too open, we risk public embarrassment, stalkers, or worse. If, however, we hide ourselves as completely as Patty did, reality itself may elude us. I want to hope there remains a little room between these extremes.

My goal for this blog is to inform, entertain, and enlighten. To accomplish this aim, I must be willing to show you a part of my life, but I cannot share it all. I frequently find this arrangement frustrating, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it cannot be any other way.

- - - -

For the record, my name really is Bonnie. I said in my first post that my stories are true, save a little artistic license in the telling. I’ll stand by that statement. When I post fiction, it is clearly labeled as such.

I don’t know if I’ve added clarity or further muddied the waters. Either way, I’m ready to get back to something a bit lighter (like a crop, for example…).

23 comments :

SmartNnaughty said...

Thanks, Bonnie, for your thoughtful post. I missed most of the fireworks. But I can tell you this (as quoted by the youth pastor at my church): hurt people HURT people. So for everyone hurt by "Patty's confession", know that she is hurting more.

Most people are simply doing the best they can under the circumstance. I think we all need more grace in our lives because LIFE IS TOUGH. My job is to offer a hand to a fellow person and not to judge them. Still I am called to be discerning.

Personally, I am indebted to Patty for helping me to take a look at myself as a spanko and for helping me find the courage to start my own blog. Her heart and spirit show a very special woman. Her actions are simply a reflection of her inability to appropriately deal with the pain in her life.

Just my opinion.

SNN

tboneslagirl said...

Thanks Bonnie for this post. Not that you have to clarify your position for us on your blog.

I to am the type to take people on face value. Was I shocked by what she confessed? Yes, I was.

You eloquently put into words the exact same things I was thinking about when I read her confession. In the past month I stepped back from my blog. I realized I was spending to much time creating and not enough time living.

Thanks again Bonnie for your wisdom, insight and humor. Contine the good work.

Lisa said...

Bravo Bonnie, I couldn't agree with you more. I too was inspired by patty along with you to start my own blog. Thank you for highlighting the darker side of what patty had to share. Internet addiction is a very dangerous one because it sneaks up on you. The fact that she was willing to admit and share that with her viewers took great courage. Thank you for acknowledging all aspects of her post. Congratulations on becoming a grandma and you have always had a very informative and fun blog to read. Enjoy your granddaughter and don't worry about your blog. It will be here when you have time for it.

SpankedMinx said...

Bonnie,

Life is for living. You have to do what is right for you always & forever ( although you would be sorely missed) but I'm sure a step back whilst you consider it all wouldn't hurt a fly. I'm also sure that you are intelligent enough not to let it cross over to affect you & Randy. And if it ever did then yes then it would need to be considered.

Babies are only babies once!

Lots of Huggggggggggggggggggggs

Minx x x x x

CeeCi said...

Thank you for this insightful and sensitive post. I think Patty's confession will have reprecussions for a very long time. I am sorry for her, sorry for her pain and the waste her life has been for what has obviously been a very long time. She found the courage to own up to her mistakes, may she find the courage to end her addictions before they end her.

And on a much happier note...Congratulations on the birth of your first grandchild. As Minxy said, they're only babies once! Find as much time as possible to watch her grow and help her experience all the beauty the world holds.

kitten said...

I agree with ceeci - your post is a sensitive and insightful one. I have been reading several spanking blogs for awhile now, and have seriously considered creating my own - but I know how internet addiction can consumme a person. I am content to read and comment - You are right Bonnie - there is a time to simply step back, enjoy the real life around you, and bask in the love of family. These blogs are entertaining, informative, and a place where like-minds can go to feel safe, comfortable, and be among friends. As long as we keep that in perspective, it will be ok. Congrats again on your granddaughter - precious aren't they?

thevikingswife said...

Bonnie,
While I don't agree with you take on this situation. You said it nicely. I find it unforgiveable to fabricate death and illness and accept money and support without letting people know it is fiction. I have often been on the battering end of Patty's fits. Even after that I still read because I was amazed by her ability. I just learned to keep my mouth shut as to not get yelled at. But for me this has been the last straw. I hope she does find help but I want no association with her.

thevikingswife said...

Also....Blessings and Joy on your new granddaughter. Enjoy this time.

Paul said...

Hi Bonnie,
congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter, may she live a happy, healthy and useful life, I'm sure that you will help to put her feet on the right path.
Do take the time to enjoy her, grandchildren are a blessing.
Thank you for your compassionate and insightful post on Patty.
I'm sorry that so many people were hurt by her.
I think it's time to take a step back from that hurt and realize just how much she must be hurting.
Bonnie I pray that she gets the help that she so badly needs, and that her wonderful talent isn't lost.
Hugs,
Paul.

dwcmike said...

First and foremost, congratulations to you and Randy on becoming grandparents. It is such a wonderful feeling, our first grandchild is now one month old. It was also fun receiving cards from friends and family who are already grandparents, something I had never thought of doing before.[consider this your happy grandparent card]
Second, I agree entirely that any blog writing cannot replace living, and life always comes first. I make no attempt to post daily, and you should contemplate doing the same.
It is unfortunate to read about Patti, I have not visited the site in quite some time. There are too many blogs, so I read only three or four every few days. I wish Patti well, with no bad feelings whatsoever.
I do not write fiction, reality takes up enough time. My goal is to encourage the F/M lifestyle for those couples who are interested, by recounting our lifestyle. It is identical to the M/F, except the spanker spankee roles reversed.

Bonnie, my wish to you: Stay well, stay happy, and be spanked as often as your love affair wants and needs.
bottoms up
Mike

poiesia said...

Dear Bonnie,

My apologies upfront for my rather frank comment. Your post is a very thoughtful and touching post and I thank you for writing it. It helps me, just now. I just found out about it and have written my own thoughts, such as they are.

There is the opinion that her stories and artwork *helped* so many and it all should be brushed under that soothing excuse. I'm not so convinced. The issue of her talent was never at question; rather there is the larger question which begs to ask: how ethical were here actions? We were asked us to be drawn into her life, apparently for no other reason than attention and positive comments. So were people really helped? How are people truly helped by looking at a fictional life -- left to wonder why it was unachievable in their own lives?

What I find appalling is the deliberate manipulation of people's realities. Plus, the most troubling thing for myself was to witness the feverish, sycophantic responses with no allowance for naysayers, no discussion and certainly no questioning. We became sheeple --uncomfortable to think about that, isn't it?

There is a lesson indeed in all of this. Unfortunately, the lesson learned might not be the one that is meant to be learned. What I learned is that now everyone who has a blog is suspect, including me. I learned that there is deception in NOT coming out in this kink -- but there is potentially greater deception in choosing to come out. I learned that people's voices can be silenced, and that commenting may be more self-serving to our egos than is good. I learned that the power of our fantasies is huge -- so huge that it can devour us.

It did her.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how I feel about this whole thing. I hve gone to Patty's blog several times and yes in a way I was always amazed that she had the prefect husband who know how and when to spank and just how hard she needed it (perhaps a little jealous as well) something that my husband of many years (25) still has a hard time knowing all the time. That being said I do feel sorry for her why did she feel a need to have this other life and was everything a lie Is fred real or is that a made up person. I did give her credit for admitting her"problem" but what lead ehr to do so. she could have just closed down her blog and live her life as she pleases. I wish her well I hope she gets the help she needs and finds the love she is seeking.
Patricia

Bonnie said...

Everybody - Thank you all for sharing your insight. I'm still not entirely certain what I think about this whole mess. Patty was, it seems, the very definition of ambiguity.

I knew I'd stir up some strong feelings with this post, but it seemed worthwhile. Thank you all for being intelligent, civil, and insightful!

Smart - I want desperately to be generous and understanding. It seems the right thing to do. I wonder though how warranted that sentiment is.

LA Girl - Hi! It's good to hear from you. I was wondering how you were doing.

I am coming to recognize that all bloggers probably need to step back at times. As I said, this episode was definitely a wake-up call for me.

Lisa - Thank you!

Minx - You make some very good points. Sorely missed? :)

CeeCi - I truly want to be charitable toward this person who is obviously in pain. Yet I cannot completely dismiss the harm that Patty left in her wake. Perhaps this chapter must simply remain enigmatic. Maybe there simply can be no tidy answers.

Kitten - Despite what you read here, I wouldn't for a moment dissuade you from starting a blog. This experience has been marvelous fun. I've met many wonderful friends and gained insight I would not have otherwise acquired.

The key, it seems, is maintaining perspective.

VW - If I had those experiences, I'm sure I would feel as you do. I didn't see that side. Perhaps, in retrospect, I looked away. Thanks for sharing your insight.

Paul - After all is said and done, I too wish for some satisfactory resolution. Thanks.

Mike - Thank you.

Poiesia - I highly value your opinions and they are always welcome here. You ask questions for which I have no comfortable answers.

When people say they were helped, I believe they mean that Patty's example (however false in hindsight) emboldened them to come out to their lover and embrace this part of themselves. I have no doubt there are success stories that follow precisely this pattern.

The matter of suppressing dissenting views that both you and VW mention, I agree is troubling. Had I spent more time reading her comments, I would have known that (but I'm glad I didn't!).

Looking back, it always struck me as strange when Patty would complain about all of these people constantly writing her nasty comments and sending threatening e-mails. In six months of operating this admittedly smaller blog, I have yet to receive the first unpleasant comment or mail message. People may take issue with what I say or ask me an odd question, but I have yet to feel upset or offended. What, I wondered, could she have done to generate all of this animosity? Now I have my answer.

Patricia - I too remain ambivalent. I've asked myself those questions too. I would start to read one of Patty's rants and then press the back button. When I returned in a few days, everything was fantastic again. Very weird.

As I said, I'm ready to move on a lighter topic. Thanks!

Janeen said...

Not disputing anything that was said here, but I don't doubt that the hatemail was real. Her counter is over 4 million! Mine is only at about 150,000 and I have received 7 or 8 nasty comments two of which were left in the comments section of my blog.

A lot of good points made here, and it was a great post Bonnie. :)

The Pink Wench said...

Bonnie,

I agree with what everyone has said, what is disturbing is that I don't believe any of us that read her blog, can really know that anything she said or continues to say is true. But there have been many mentally troubled people in this world that have mislead us whether for good or evil, it is a cruel awakening when we discover their deceitfulness.
I am sorry for the people she has hurt, and sorry for her addiction. Her tales of life with Fred were great fiction, I will truly miss them.

Pink

A Nawty Mouz said...

Wow! Not having followed Patty's blog, I really can't comment on what has transpired with her. I appreciate SmartNnaughty's comments regarding what pain and issues she's probably dealing with. And, I can also appreciate that she has left a lot of damage and confusion in her wake as well.

Your post, Bonny, stirs up so many different thoughts as you touched on so many different things.

What continues to show in your writing, is exactly what you demonstrate here, a willingness to examine yourself and to consider who you are. Your writing is a reflection and an expression of yourself (as is true of anyone).

There will always be people who misrepresent who they are and their deceptions will add to the doubts that we have about ourselves and others. This is not confined to blogs, but everywhere that we encounter others.

I read somewhere recently, a blogger lamenting that she was not telling the 'whole' truth. A comment was made, on the line of, it is sometimes prudence not to tell the whole story. (And, see, I am hedging, because I don't quite remember. It might have been said here or at a neighboring blog.) There are so many issues and degrees of what is the truth. This is not meant to treat lightly the misrepresentation of truth or fraud, either.

ok, see, you now you've got my juices flowing. I am going to continue this on my own blog. Look for the link back here, when I do.

Bonnie, you're a sweetheart and blessings to your family and the new member.

PS: Yay! I found what I remembered reading. Audacia Ray's post "Writing and honesty" on WakingVixen.com is an execellent post and comments. I had it bookmarked for comment.

Bonnie said...

Janeen - I suppose with heavy traffic comes a corresponding supply of malcontents. Patty just always seemed to have a much worse problem than anyone else I encountered. On the other hand, if someone did send me a really nasty message, I would delete it immediately and never say a word. Mentioning something like that on the blog would simply encourage more.

Pink - Hi! I've been wondering where you'd gone. I hope everything is all right. It's great to hear from you!

Nawty - I am definitely entering a reflective period. I have to ask - what is this life and what do I want it to be? I don't yet have the complete answer, but I do know the right question. I cannot allow myself to wallow in paralysis by analysis. At the same time, neither can I continue to wander blindly forward.

One place you may have read about a blogger lamenting her inability to share the entire truth was right here. I just pondered that question a couple of weeks ago. With all that has transpired since, I may yet reconsider my position.

Have a great weekend!

alice said...

This is a great discussion. I've written at my "open" life blog for more than three years, but just recently decided to post a "private" life blog. This has given me a lot to think about as I wonder how much to reveal and how much to conceal.
I, like you, clearly state if a post is about a fictional event. I am enjoying your site and blessings on the baby. -alice

Bonnie said...

Alice - Hi! Welcome to MBS. This has been an interesting, and I hope, helpful discussion. By necessity, it's a bit heavier than most topics I present here.

My situation is precisely the opposite of yours. I maintain this blog where very few people know my true identity. As I've discussed before, I often yearn to explore elements of my vanilla world as well. I'm admittedly a hard core spanko, but that's not all I am.

However, readers come to this blog for spanking fare. Feeding them other things would seem to violate the purpose of this blog. I wish I could stir up a tasty blend in the style of CeeCi, but I'm concerned the result might lack coherence. Imagine, if you will, My Bottom Smarts (and Sometimes Crafts).

I toy with the idea of starting a vanilla blog, but I already feel as though there aren't enough free hours in the day to do justice to this one. Besides, I would want to invite both RL and cyberspace friends. Sooner or later, someone would inevitably reference MBS and suddenly I'm a whole lot more "out" than I ever intended to be.

Thanks for visiting, Alice, and have a splendid weekend!

tulsa said...

This is the best post that I've read on the whole Patty situation. I wasn't a regular reader of hers, I guess I just never hit on that one post that really spoke to me and inspired me to look for others.

I don't think you're on the path to internet addicton, just because you do have a loving family and people in your life that you care about, and I think that makes all the difference in the world. I love my blog because it's an hour away from the real world, sort of an interactive book or something, you know? It offers support and fun and a place to vent, and that's it. A really great tool, you know?

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I have a feeling that I'll be sneaking around here for a little while :)

Bonnie said...

Tulsa: Thank you. You're welcome here any time!

agiftofgrace said...

Hi Bonnie! Thank you so much for your post about Patty. I read the original confession and the following posts but not the comments, and I admit it rocked my world. I found myself actually saddened by the discovery that Fred was not her real life husband more than anything.... yanno, it's just the thought that the ideal Dom is out there that is comforting. *smile*

I think the birth of a grandchild is usually the occasion of re-evaluating one's life... at least it has seemed so for everyone I know. And while this IS a spanko blog, I hope you'll sometimes tell us how the baby is doing.

BTW, thank you so much for welcoming me earlier. Blogs are a relatively new thing for me.

miss kitty said...

Congratulations on your new granddaughter! Gotta love that new baby smell... I wish her peace, happiness and a long and productive life.

(BTW, you don't Sound needy or neurotic in your posts; you come across as a friendly person who likes to share her kink.)

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