I’m back after a long silence. I managed to paint myself into a corner with this blog, and it took me a while to grow my spine back. ;o) And obviously I love to mix metaphors.
Here’s what happened: I love this blog, and when I find someone online who resonates with me, I am pretty casual about revealing my real identity to them when I give them the URL. That was a mistake with one particular person who I soon found out was as close to evil as I’ve encountered in years. She has a scant film of charming, quirky normality over a deep pit of toxicity. If she’s not a covert narcissist, I’ll eat my hat.
Once I saw her go after some friends of mine online, I realized that sooner or later she would get around to hammering me. Particularly after I called her a flapping twatwaffle online for her maliciousness. (Whoops.)
I’ve always been brave and honest and sometimes reckless like that. Haven’t always been cunning enough to identify a false friend in advance and to adopt a defensive position.
So it has taken me months to decide to come back to my blog and just let the chips fall where they may if she decides to act like the pissy bitch I fully expect she will be. Here’s where I am today: I’m going to continue to write it anonymously, but it won’t ruin my life if every word on it goes public. It’s truth, and it’s been healing to me to pour out my thoughts and feelings here. If the bitch “outs” me, then so be it. Life will go on.
I have had several reasons for writing this blog anonymously:
- I’m a quasi-public figure in my work as a member of the media; it would be easy for my readers to conflate my personal views with my professional judgment, and my personal anguish with my professional competence. HOW I’M HANDLING IT: I am telling myself that I need to be me, even if some people see my authenticity as something to attack me about. My new mantra may be: “This is MY life.” I’m going to prioritize myself and my life over my job. I can get another job.
- There are also personal reasons: I have children who are online a lot, and I don’t want to burden them with learning an adult-level dose of reality about their mom’s pain and anger and depression, if they should happen to stumble across this blog. HOW I’M HANDLING IT: They are big girls. I wouldn’t go out of my way to cause them pain, but we are separate people and this is my life. I can’t protect them from everything. And I need this.
- It would hurt my husband to read this blog. I write it anonymously because I have no desire to hurt him with my words, thoughts, or feelings. HOW I’M HANDLING IT: I think I will just tell him I write an anonymous blog on very personal topics, so he’s prepared if my anonymity is ever broken.
- I’m vulnerable. I’ve been through some difficult issues lately, and it would hurt to be the focus of criticism or mockery. (Plus, you KNOW how male trolls are about any outspoken, upset or angry women online. They crucify them.) HOW I’M HANDLING IT: I’ve decided that I’d rather hurt and be real, than be comfortable and smothered in silence.
- My extended family has pigeonholed me as a scapegoat, and if they found my blog it would stress me to hear the pushback from them, because they have a totally different view of my childhood and my adult life than I do. (To them, I was a “spoiled brat,” not a desperately unhappy and angry child in a chaotic alcoholic/codependent home.) HOW I’M HANDLING IT: Here again, I’ve realized that I only see them at weddings and funerals these days, so I really will survive if I have to tell them to go piss up a rope. They don’t define me. They don’t determine how I think about myself. They don’t get to tell me, “That’s not who you are. That’s not what you’ve been through. Here, let me explain you to yourself. You apparently don’t know yourself, but we do.” …….. This is a hard fear to ditch. But I am going to face it as well as I can if it happens. Writing this blog feels IMPORTANT for me.
- I went through two serious periods of ostracism in my life, and going through that again would be painful. So I have to work at allowing myself to be authentic, warts and all, EVEN ANONYMOUSLY. Because when you’ve been through trauma, writing a “real” blog can feel like taking off your clothes and walking outside. Freeing. AND terrifying. HOW I’M HANDLING IT: Going ahead anyway with this writing. Metaphorically taking off my clothes and walking out the door. And continuing to walk.
Brené Brown has been something of an inspiration for me as I’ve tossed around the idea of scrapping or continuing this blog. Here’s one of her videos that talks about bravery and authenticity. Music has also helped me find courage.