Friday, April 22, 2011

My Struggles With Blogging and Anonymity

I've struggled with the idea of separating my blog for awhile now. Part of me wants to keep it semi-private, while the other part of me want to announce it and shout it from the rooftops. Its that open and closed part of myself that annoys me the most. Generally speaking, I am a private person. I keep my shades closed and I hate the sound of someone knocking on my door. Online however it feels different to me. I know for many people on the spectrum, the internet provides that anonymity that they crave. The problem is, I realize its false. I am not a secret. In a matter of clicks you can connect other profiles to other sites, and bam! My identity is pretty obvious and I'm easy to find. I can be found on thousands of websites in one Google search. I've had an online presence since 1996 and I can't just wipe that away. I don't even want to! But sometimes I struggle with blogging about things that feel private. Maybe its because I creep on my neighbors online. (and everyone else I know.) Maybe its because I can't get over how open other people really are. Or maybe it's simply that people don't give a shit?

I see you..
Do you know how easy you are to Google? Do you realize that I know everything about you? I've told people that I looked them up before. And I was shocked. Flabbergasted really! To hear them nonchalantly say, "Oh ya?" And that was that. Oh ya?! Seriously? I just told you that I stalked you online. I know where your work, your home address, your phone number, and I know that you hate  your mother in law and you had sex last night with an ex boyfriend that's the most hideous creature ever born on earth, but that you're desperate and horny so that doesn't matter. I know that you can't pay your rent, but that you bought a new car. Oops. Never mind. The new boy toy bought you a new car, you just sleep with him to keep him making payments. And the day I found out you had a freckle on your inner thigh right next to your va-jayjay was the day I realized I knew too much. My cup of coffee every morning, and a click to see your latest post.

But back to my issue. I told you that I stalk you and you don't care. Now I'm left wondering if I'm in the minority. And how can I feel two opposing things at once? I want a blog. I want traffic and visitors, and even yearn to reach out to people, especially other mothers that have a disability or are struggling with a mental or neurological disorder. And yet I'm extremely private and, yes.. I'll say it.. paranoid. I think you're a social worker hired by DHS to spy on me and report back how many diapers I didn't change immediately after the baby peed in them, and how many dinners are cereal because I'm too frazzled to cook dinner. Or maybe you're just a family member. ... except I don't have many of those I talk to. Wait, that's worse. Maybe you're one of the ones I don't talk to! I keep you out of my life because I don't want you in it. But here you are, reading my every thought I put here. And short of making my blog completely private, there isn't anything I can do about it. (though I suppose if I was willing to move my blog elsewhere I could utilize IP blocking but that's besides the point.)

So just exactly why do I blog again? I seem to be nothing but a contradiction in every sentence. I confuse even myself. I learned years ago to write down things that confuse me, so here it goes.

I am blogging for several reasons. I will list my reasons. They are in no particular order of importance.
  1. I want to preserve memories and thoughts about my life and my family's, as well as save pictures and videos.
  2. I want to write down my struggles and successes as a parent with a disability. 
  3. I want readers to be able to connect with me. As strange as this sounds after reading the above paragraphs, I want readers to get to know me in a way that most people don't. I want them to be able to relate in some way and share my journey through life.
  4. I want people, women, and parents to be able to find information about Autism, ADHD, Anxiety Disorder and other various issues that I have first hand knowledge about. I want to be a source of information and also entertainment. Because lets face it, my life is chaotic and crazy! 
  5. I want to be more consistent in my delivery of this content so that my readers will always have something to keep them entertained. 
  6. I want to find comfort and healing through this blog, by knowing that everything in it might be public knowledge. I want to eventually feel okay about this. So in part, I consider this an important part of my personal therapy. 
  7. I would like to make millions of dollars in revenue by delivering highly entertaining content.  
  8. I want to enjoy myself while writing and have a place that I can feel free to share what I create.
  9. I want to be able to share my graphic designs, photographs, poetry and stories with a larger audience beyond my husband and kids. 
  10. I want to accomplish something bigger than myself.

So why have I written this today? Well, I realized that its taking a lot of energy to try to separate what I want to write about my life in general (like a journal) and what I want to educate people on. (autism, ADHD, etc) The two really are intertwined. I cannot take the autism out of my life, any more than I can take away my natural eye color. I can mask it but its always really there in my DNA. So I decided against separating my journal type blog, from my autism blog. Who am I? I'm a mother, and a wife. I'm a woman with autism, and anxiety disorder. I'm a mother to several special needs children and I have a husband with ADHD. I'm Pagan, but struggle with integrating that into my life on a daily basis now that I have children, and find myself hating that in order to be understood I have to box myself into the category of Wicca. I'm an ex Christian, abused by their dogma and brought down by the holier than thou believers. I believe in co-existing with other religions. Christianity I've found for the most part, does not. I'm a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and emotional, mental and physical abuse in my teen years and adult life. I'm an recovering self mutilator (cutter) and quit smoking cold turkey 4 years ago. I've been incorrectly diagnosed with quite a few things, and finally after years.. correctly diagnosed. I spent years on medication that I didn't need to take.

There are so many different things that make me who I am. Its not possible to fit them all in this paragraph, or separate them into different blogs to target different audiences, even though that's what gets the best traffic. (most websites tell me anyway) What matters is that you all know I'm about as diverse as it comes. Marching to the beat of my own drummer, is the best sentence I could use to describe me. And best yet? No one else even hears the beat I'm marching too. (and they're all marching the other way lol)

Please know, if you read old posts you might find that I tried to use various pseudonyms to conceal my identity, or my children. The problem is, I find that extremely impersonal. (which I should like right?.. wrong.) I have this need to connect with readers, and that connection can only be done when I'm telling the truth. No matter how awful it might be. Anyone that truly knows me in real life knows that I value truth over anything else. Even if it hurts. So I think I have this real need to convey that to my readers. No matter what parts of my life need improvement. No matter the mistakes I've made. No matter how imperfect I may be, I am always going to be honest. Without honesty, what do we have?

Though my life might be entertaining to read, and my issues I deal with every day.. well, I don't often hear stories quite like mine. Other times my posts can be depressing. Sometimes they might make you angry. Maybe you feel pity. Maybe you hate me. Maybe you love me. At the end of the day, I know I wrote the truth and hopefully so do you. Its that connection that I'm really reaching for.

So please, when you read my blog; try to remember that I'm writing it for many purposes. If you know me in real life, (online friends don't count here, sorry!) please do us both a favor and don't tell me you're reading my blog. Stalk me if you'd like, but lets keep it a secret. If I've written something about you and haven't concealed your identity, then by all means let me know and I'll rectify that immediately. (and then I'll pretend that you never told me you found my blog) Sometimes when I'm writing (with honesty) I don't remember to leave out those details. Because to me, the details are whats important. But rest assured I never put full names and addresses or anything crazy like that. For some reason I just have a real hard time changing peoples first names. Its almost like I cannot tell the story with fake names or it changes everything for me. I spent so much time trying to remember who is who, and what name I need to use for what person that the whole thing I was trying to write is lost and the moment, gone.

In a perfect world, no one that I know will ever find this blog and I can remain a wonderful mystery person. I'll have a million followers and become insanely popular. (and make those millions) I would be happy with a handful of loyal readers, and people that honestly can connect with what I'm writing and know that what they read is real. This is me. This is my life. Enjoy the ride.


  1. Thank you so much for following me on GFC, Twitter and adding my link to your blog roll! I feel so honored!

    I can tell you this, you are NOT alone in feeling this. This is my struggle everyday! I am very private person and here I am blogging away. I do feel conflicted about this at times, but I also want to share, inspire and connect with moms. I've found it to be a release of sorts, I've also found friends too, something I didn't expect.

    Why, just today I said to myself, I wasn't going to be concerned about having a consistent genre. I can wax poetic one day and have new report-like post the next day. Every post speaks about the way I am.

    However, I do believe making good choices about what you share online is extremely important. If a post makes you uncomfortable, then don't share it. If you stick to that,you'll be able to flourish as a blogger!

    Looking forward to reading more!


  2. By the way, do you have Google Friend Connect? (GFC) I would love to be able to follow you.

  3. Hi Hannah! You're welcome! I'm enjoying your blog and wanted to share it. :) Thanks for your comment! And you're definitely right. There are things that are appropriate to share and things that are not. I think that line has always been blurry for me. I can remember my opening line when meeting a new friend as a child was, "Hi, my father sexually abused me." At the time, as sad and hilarious as it seems. LOL I had no idea that it was considered taboo to talk about no matter how true it was or not. (sadly it was true) Many potential friends walked away quickly, and many parents gathered their children up and forbid them from playing with me. I was "the weird girl" and "the girl that crys."

    So many things in life are done on a subconcious level, especially in society. Those rules, as hard as I try.. don't come naturally to me. It presents as a challenge since I have children to guide as they learn. So I approach it like I would anything else. I Google it, and research answers so that I can help them learn those unwritten rules. (and sometimes we have fun giggling about the things society says are important)

    Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone when I blog. Its helpful to know that in general, others struggle with how much to share, and what to share. Because most of the bloggers I read sound so confident that I would never guess they struggle too.

    I now have Google Friend Connect and would love for you to follow me. :)