Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I just got pummeled.

Yesterday I published an utterly inappropriate post. I basically ranted about how much I hate people. What kind of loser does that? Me, I guess.

The weird part is that I don't hate people at all. I love them deeply! One of my favorite things in the world is to sit down with someone over lunch and pepper them with questions about their life, their dreams, God's call, everything! Electricity courses through my veins as we imagine what could be. And really, it doesn't matter to me if they're weird or not. I'm weird too!

So when I go back and read something like what I wrote yesterday it's pretty obvious why it would make someone (or everyone) surprised/hurt/defensive/angry. I regret publishing it. It should have remained locked away in a journal someplace, filed in the bad attitudes section.

I feel like a total jerk. I'm slowly becoming aware that more people are reading this blog than I realized. Many of you have taken a deep personal interest in what's going on with Danielle and me. You've prayed for us. You've loved us. You've encouraged us. We've felt it and it's carried us! Thank you!

The problem is that I'm so filled with shame and self loathing that it's physically painful for me to be in the room with people I don't know. My chest tightens with anxiety, and I'm constantly afraid of someone I don't recognize sprinting up to me and yelling in my face. But it never happens. It's all fear, insecurity, and lies.

I've only been loved. So for me to write such a condemning blog sounds like the diabolical opposite of all the love and grace I've received. It's like the guy who was forgiven a huge debt but won't forgive the other guy who owes him a pittance. Hate that guy! He belongs in prison!

But the reason I wrote yesterday was not because I'm a diabolical man. It's because I'm a hurting man. It's not that I don't want to talk to people, it's that I'm afraid to hold a conversation with anyone in public. If someone is talking to me, and out of my peripheral vision I see people approaching, my heart jumps into my throat and my bones start shaking. What will they say? Do they hate me? Are they planning to humiliate me? Are they going to ask me invasive questions about stuff I'm not ready to talk about yet?

It's because of these fears that I live in constant paranoia when I'm walking through a grocery store, office building, or park. And it's the same reason I have been getting way too impatient with people lately. Just yesterday at church I practically dragged Danielle out of a conversation with her mom because I saw silhouettes of people in the distance. I thought for sure one lady wanted to confront me. Did she? Probably not.

I'm not making excuses for myself. What I wrote was mean and simply not true. It was a reaction in fear, not an actual description of people. I'm so sorry. If I hurt you, or caused you to wonder, I am so SO sorry.

Just because I'm hurting doesn't give me the right to lash out. I thought a vague sort of emotional dumping would be OK because I wasn't singling out any specific person or type, but instead it seems to have resulted in everyone feeling slapped.

In the last 12 hours I've received several comments, ranging from somewhat negative to extremely hurtful. I took down one blog altogether for fear that I would hurt my family. When I get comments like I received, it wakes me up to the fact that something in me is not right! And I want to repent.

But it also makes me more afraid. I wonder who hates me. I wonder which face in church is secretly seething about my narcissism. It's ironic, because now I realize that that's essentially what I made people wonder yesterday. "Does Matt hate me? Am I one of THOSE people?" I guess this is another helping of my own medicine. It sucks. I get it now.

Now I don't know what to do. And I'm stuck with all sorts of decisions. Do I take away my mean posts? Do I delete the harsh comments? Do I stop blogging altogether? I don't know. I just don't know.

When I started this blog I had no intention of offending people. It's not what I meant to do. It was supposed to be just an empty stage where I could shout at cornfields.

But now I feel watched and judged. And the writer in me wants that. This blog is helping me develop a passion for writing and I feel Destiny in the mix. I want to improve and feedback helps me like nothing else!

But I also feel unsafe. Like there are angry people out there, and that I'm too tender to handle it. My skin isn't thick enough right now. Pretty much anyone's words penetrate to my heart and fillet me open. Just because I can fashion cohesive sentences and passionate arguments, doesn't mean I'm prepared to absorb what I put out. I guess that's not fair though, huh?

So what to do? I HAVE to be able to be honest. Even if it's fleshly sometimes. But I CAN'T wallow in sinful attitudes either. And I don't want to.

This is me apologizing. This is me confused. This is me not trying to sound eloquent. This is me at 2:48am, sitting on the couch. So sorry. So sad. And so hate-able. Please forgive me.


  1. Personally, Matty, my suggestion from six years of blogging is this: do not allow anonymous comments. If people cannot post something and sign their name, they have no business posting it. It is your blog. It is your space. No one is making them read it, if they feel you are XYZ. And there is no edifying going on, no accountability, when someone can slam you and write disparaging comments with anonymity. It's just lame. I do (now, for the time being) allow anonymous comments on my blog, mostly b/c my blog forum is stupid and hard for people to comment unless they have a specific LJ account (unlike here, where you can use about 6 different kinds of accounts to comment, or simply your name and url) so there is no reason for allowing anonymous comments. It's not helping you, and it's not helping the people leaving hurtful words. Don't allow them to speak into your life unless they can put themselves behind their words. If they cannot, why should they be allowed a voice into your life?

    Just my 48 cents :P


  2. Thanks, Matt. I appreciate your honesty and humility. Posts like this that help people know the rest of what's going on in you are what make the other posts come off right.
    What you write about here is basically why I don't blog anymore. The only way blogging is interesting or fun is if you shoot from the hip and just spill it all. And that means saying it wrong sometimes and offending people sometimes. And getting annonymous comments. Some people can handle this. I can't. My skin is too thin to survive in blog land!
    I hope that you're able to find a way to do it though. It seems like a lot of people are being encouraged and challenged by what you're writing. And it seems like it has been really good for you. Plus it's pretty darn entertaining.

  3. Matt, I don't think that your post for the day conveyed that you hate people. Not really. Sure, apologize to the one(s) that wondered if you were talking about them, if when they approached you to offer encouragement, were you thinking that? But in no means feel bad about the anonymous list maker had to say, because I can guarantee he/she feels those exact same things and has anger issues of his/her own. Not one of us reading your page are perfect, and if we were all honest, there is at LEAST one person that each of us individually knows that makes our skin crawl.

    Keep being honest. The beauty of your honesty is that when you see someone's toes have been stepped on, you apologize and try to clear the air. Keep healing and allowing all the thoughts and processes to work. Anger is in the healing stages. The trick is to not stay angry. You are doing ok. Keep blogging (you could call it journalism), keep processing, and keep being humble. (Yes, I said humble. If pride were an issue, you wouldn't be apologizing or pouring out a lot of other things. The anonymous list maker is corn ice cream. Just sayin')

  4. Without having read the previous entry that made everyone mad, I'd just like to say that I miss the pivacy of your imaginary cornfield. Not that I wish you would rant on everyone... It's just that all the brutal honesty has been refreshing (I think I tend toward hypocrisy), and I don't want that to be lost in an obligatory filter now that you know there's a crowd where the cornfield used to be. I think this blog can help foster honesty, and that's more important than the feelings of a few people who have never experienced the emotions you're describing.

    Philip W.

  5. Matt, I agree with JEN. It is easy for "anonymous" to be very negative and harsh. People who love you will sign there name, search you out and speak words of life into you. I think, taking your entire blog into account, you are writing what many people are actually thinking. Most of us get the jist.

    However, when you decide to write things for public consumption, you need to remember that it opens you up to all sorts of feedback. This is where the "thick skin" must come in to play. I always tell me children "don't write it down if you don't want it read." That goes for a journal, a blog, a diary - ultimately someone will read it. So if you're going to regret it, don't write it.

    Stop living in regret. Part of the purpose of your blog is to write your true thoughts and feelings. Maybe you want to put a filter from your mind to your keyboard! But once you write it, let it go - I think that would be good therapy. And get used to the fact that not everyone will like you, what you write, what you wear, etc, etc, etc. It's just part of life. Apologize when you need to and move on.

    I've appreciated your writings. I even enjoyed Baby Blog #1!!!


  6. I think Jen makes a good point. If someone doesn't have the guts to put their name on a post, their opinion probably isn't worth hearing.

  7. Thanks so much Jen, Sarah, Mrs. Guthrie, Philip, Joann, and Bethany! Your perspectives and advice keep me thoughtful, encouraged, and challenged. You all rock! Plus it's nice to have your back patted after a sucker punch. Thanks! :)

  8. Hey Matt! Its stalker chick. lol...please see my blog on perfection. News break, buddy, you're not perfect. None of us are. But that doesn't mean you're not God's kid. That you're not deeply loved. I touch way more people with my blog than I realize also. It led me to post something a couple of weeks ago that rained down TORRENTS of condemnation on my best friends' heads. It was awful. I took the post down and issued a public apology. Eventually that came down too.

    It's never easy balancing personal/public and how much is too much to reveal. I didn't take your post personally, and I think the majority of your readers did not either. The ones that do, need to relax and take on the mind of Christ. Love you where you are at, not where they want you to be.

    I have a saying that gets me through those rough times: "In light of eternity, HOW important is this?" Telling you, its like a magic attitude adjuster.

    Enjoy Maia, and have an awesome week!

    BTW: your writing is brilliant, and you definitely have a calling.

  9. After reading this blog, I just feel to remind you that God's approval is the only one that matters. You're accountable to him - not to people who read your blogs.

    And your identity is found in him, too. You are not what you do, or the things you write, or the thoughts you have. You're his son. And he loves you, and he's proud of you. :)

    That being said, I was talking with Shawn a little this morning and we chatted about your blog. I thought his words might be encouraging to you.

    Duan: It's really hard to be absolute honest.
    me: It is
    Duan: He has been absolute honest. I love
    that. Who doesn't have problems?
    me: Seriously
    Duan: It's brave to write things out and face
    them like a man.
    me: =)
    Duan: Matt is the man!
    me: lol i think so too
    Duan: And his hair is amazing!
    me: hahaha
    Duan: I just saw that! Just like a celebrity

    Here's to strength and tough skin from the one who can give it!

    Love ya,

  10. i thought it was an interesting entry depicting an ability to at least understand the view from the other side.

    i also figured there was at least a bit o'sarcasm laced in amongst the lines.

    and as commented on an earlier blog, it's a country of free speech.
    u write like u put thought in ur words. as such, there should not be any need for apologies.

    if u r instead, writing without thinking, then SHUT UP!

  11. hey it's Adele ^_^ I went through really similar stuff this past year in China and the 1 thing i came to realize was being honest and open is something we were created to do. God wants us to open, honest, and vulnerable. So it's how the world is suppose to work and it's the only way to get healing and become the person you know you want to be, to live life the way you know you desire. So keep it up! It's hard, and you feel so on the edge and all someone has to do is poke you and you'll fall. Be honest and be transparent 'cause that's the life you were made to live ^_^

  12. Matt! I really admire you for doing this. The blog. Being willing to be open, honest, and raw. And every time an entry comes up that other people might not like, I know I can't judge you at all because I've thought the exact same things. Or even if I haven't, I know they're true things going on in your mind and I completely understand what you're saying. It's refreshing to know that I'm not alone when I think un-kosher stuff like this. I really respect you, Matt.