A while back, when my sisters were still fighting (and oh, what a miraculous, fragile peace has somehow bloomed there, and oh, what a frightening and vivid relief it is), one of them found the other's blog. The blog in question was semi-anonymous, in that I knew about it, and her husband and some friends, but she never really said to anybody "Hey: I am writing a blog - Why don't you come check it out?" Well, through some confounding sort of linkage that I am unclear on, the blog was discovered by the sister she was arguing with, and, of course, there were some ... unflattering things posted about her there. Later, in one of my many, futile peace-brokering discussions with her, she brought up something that had been written in the heat of anger, saying "If you can write something like that about someone, can you really love them?"
That discussion has had two clear impacts on my blogging - First, I've become more frightened than ever that some casual linkage, forgotten signout, or dropped conversational hint, will bring my anonymity here at NTE to a close. It's a terrifying thought for me, since I know that as myself, without the slim protection my pseudonym provides, I could never be this honest. Aside from the fact that I've opened up hidden parts of myself and shared a lot of things here that the people in my life would be quite surprised to know, I've also written more than one post in the heat of anger, said some things I would regret if they were read by the person they were written about, and what I've written would be sure to hurt some feelings.
Which brings us to the second impact - that fear of being found (which I know I must be, eventually, and here I am, coming up on 6 years blogging) is acting as a very real barrier to the honest writing I've accomplished and been proud of here. I find that I'm stumped, wanting (as always) to say what I want to say, knowing that it's my truth (even if it's only my truth in that moment, and changes immediately afterwards), but temporarily lacking the courage to accept the consequences that will come about when my anonymous bubble is burst.
The clearest example of this is the sister who already knows about my blog, and has (thankfully, sweetly, fabulously) kept it to herself for however many years she's been reading: I know there are times when I censor myself - what I'm going to talk about or not talk about, how I'm going to say it, whether I add the pros to a piece that started out more as ranting compilation of cons - because I know she's out there, among my proverbial audience. (Even though, in all honesty, I've seen her Google Readers - she has two! - and I'm pretty sure she's a zillion posts behind.... Hi SisterJ: How's January of 2013 treating us? Did we survive the Zombie-pocalypse? ;) )
Between this element of self-censorship - the fear of how others will feel about what I've said about them - and the fact that everything I want to talk about lately is all part of a big sticky, jumbled up mess that my brain just laughs at instead of trying to make sense of, I was pretty sure that I was going to be shutting down the blog - at least for a while, and maybe permanently.
It was not just that, though: It was everything - It was because every time I come I see that the footer banner is 2 years out of date, and I'm sick to death of the color scheme, and I don't have the energy to re-vamp the whole thing right now. It's that I've already said everything that could ever be said about the power of books and the suckiness of living with chronic illnesses, and I have maybe 7 readers, and aren't they sick of listening to me already?
It was a lot of bullshit, really. A lot of excuses I was letting myself get away with, because I was too scared to come here and say I was scared. That I'm stuck: again: Still. (seems like) Always. It's the reason that my last post was the easiest, and most honest thing I've written in months: because the reasons not write, not to post, not to share are always there, and wouldn't it be so much easier if I just gave up on talking to the world-at-large (on my very small scale) and just tucked it all back inside again?
(But also: Absolutely.)
So I'm afraid: what of it? I'm nearly terrified of pretty much every single thing my adult life has thrown at me thus far - why should this be any different? Maybe the fact that it's getting scarier is a good thing? Because I'm doing things I ordinarily wouldn't do: Putting down truths that are hard to think, let alone write. Taking my time when I need it, even as I feel the rest of the world speeding forward without me. Letting shit go, if it doesn't matter, and not letting shit go, when it does. Being a fucking grown-up, when you come right down to it.
So that's my plan: keep plugging. Don't let the bastards get you down! Lots of cliches about overcoming obstacles!
And one way I'm going to be doing that is by setting very real, publicly posted goals: Not letting myself get away with all the excuses.
Which is one reason I'm excited to be hosting my very first every Disability Blog Carnival, should ya'll be interested in contributing/attending/watching from afar. It's going to be on September 27th, and - since I was always the kid in school who liked a little bit of a framework - I've decided to provide a non-compulsory theme to help out those who feel they want it: Being Seen. It's something I'm struggling to work out for myself, so I figured I'd ask how you all are handling it - How do you want to be seen? How are you seen? Do you feel invisible? What aren't people seeing that they need to see? Are you looking for a way to get noticed, or are you hoping that nobody will?
Please don't feel like you have to stick to my theme, though: if you've got something to say, I will find a way to make sure it's included. Since I don't tweet, and my FB is obviously off-limits because of anonymity, you can either leave a comment here with your e-mail or a link, or you can send it to my e-mail (link above). Looking forward to all the entries, and on being back here, in my space, saying what I need to say.