I’ve been obscenely absent from this blog as of late; you may have noticed that my few visits have been fairly detached and breezy. I’m going to take some time to speak plainly about the reasons for my distance.
I’ve been more open with you on this platform than I’ve been with anyone else, in any other medium. I haven’t been at all subtle about my family history and my personal connections to things like domestic abuse advocacy. I appreciate all of you who subscribe, read, visit and leave comments here. You are all fabulous, and I’m so grateful for the time you invest here.
A big part of Women’s Studies (one of the degree programs I’ve pursued in college) focuses on Speaking Your Truths. Feminist discourse is largely narrative, and it’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable sharing my narratives. Combining my interests in creative and academic writing with my Women’s Studies “Speak Your Truth!” dialogues has been a really helpful and therapeutic experience.
But what happens when the subject/source of my personal tragedies finds all of the truths I’ve spoken? Do I delete everything? Do I make this place private, approving only a select few to participate in dialogues with me?
You probably know my feelings about Facebook. I had one for about a minute. I don’t like it. I think its security settings are too confusing and lax…not to mention the bizarre superficial relationships the format fosters. As I’m sure you’ve gathered, security and privacy are tantamount to my personal wellbeing. But I am, as we all are, a social being. I love interacting with my friends, with the strangers who have found my blog and become friends, with the world at large.
I like G+ very much. It’s a good platform with security and privacy settings far superior to its competitors. Unfortunately, I made a tiny slip-up which has led to my general absence this past month. Months ago, I posted a link to this blog on my G+ page…and somehow made it public, not private. I guess you can see where this is going. My father found me on G+ (though I really don’t know why he’s on it) and, this being the only public link…well. I immediately removed the link, but it was a bit late in the game.
I have had no association with the paternal side of my family since I was sixteen. In fact, I don’t even consider that portion of my biology to be my family- they haven’t been included on my family tree for years and years. Removing these incredibly harmful people from my life has made my life happy, fulfilling and positive in a way I’ve never known before. My childhood and early teens were wrought with fear and emotional trauma…all the things I don’t like to talk about because I don’t want you to think I’m a crazy person. It’s only been in recent years that I’ve realized I’m not responsible, not crazy, was never the one with mental instabilities.
I am remarkably well adjusted. I am healthy. I am happy. I legally changed my name in the last step of dissolving the unfortunate ties of genetic circumstance. I have a right to own my identity, to live the life I have chosen. I have a right to my physical and mental health. I have a right to my happiness.
I’m not going anywhere. I am not going to delete this blog; I won’t erase my words. I love this blogging platform and the readership insight it provides (yes I can see when you’re searching for my name, my blog, etc). I notice when I mention my Twitter in a blog post and you create an account the next day. I’m smarter than you think.
Dear friends, I appreciate you and I welcome you into my life. But if you’re here reading this knowing full well that I have chosen my health and happiness over society’s idea of a family unit, know that I see your presence as just one more invasion, another unsurprising broach of privacy, a typical refusal to respect the wishes of anyone outside yourself.
Finally, a brief word about the culture of internet “stalking”: I find the term startling, as stalking is much more serious than our casual usage implies. But you know what I’m talking about…the urge to peek into the lives of past, present and potentially future friends. I implore you to stop. I’ve never felt the desire to check up on the people who have left my life. I think that we should honor the periods in which we revolved around each other, existed in the same spheres. When that time ends, when you’ve broken up, you have to move on out of respect for the other person and for yourself. Live your life. Let others live theirs. If you’re reconnecting with someone, and you know the other person would welcome this renewed relationship, then by all means. But please, be aware of our right to privacy. Respect others. Respect yourself.
I’m still a bit uncomfortable. I feel monitored. But I’m not going anywhere.
See you soon,