July 22, 2010

I was reading someone else’s blog and came across her reasons for starting her blog anonymously. She has since ‘come out of the closet’ and the blog is no longer anonymous. She stated that one of the reasons she started her blog and shared it with real life friends and family so that they would know what she she was going though. That makes sense. But she was protecting her identity and not revealing any identifying info so others – presumably strangers – couldn’t figure out who she is. That struck me as a bit odd. Mostly because that’s not my reason for maintaining my anonymity.

I remain anonymous for different reasons. I don’t share this blog with friends and family. If I did I wouldn’t be able to use it the way I do – as an emotional outlet and a place to vent about people I know IRL. It’s really more of a journal. Which likely means it will never become popular or make it on anyone’s list of Must Read Infertility Blogs. And I’m OK with that. It serves my purposes. It acts as a journal for me and it’s also a way to share my experience with others who may be having similar experiences. Through blogging, and twitter, I’ve discovered other women who are going through the same things. It makes me feel less alone. So maybe this blog can do that for someone else.

As for identifying information… there are about a zillion clues to my real identity contained in this blog (although I suppose you wouldn’t pick up on some of them if you don’t already know me). I don’t work that hard at remaining anonymous. I don’t use real names so that all our identities are somewhat protected (I really don’t want to out Right Guy – that’s not my place and he’s a private person). But if someone were to try and figure out my real name, I don’t think it would be that difficult and I don’t think I’d care that much. I think I’d have more trouble with friends and family reading this blog than ‘strangers’ finding out my real name.

I wrote those paragraphs a few months ago and have had this post saved as a draft ever since. At the time, I had an original feeling of needing to explain my choice in remaining anonymous. But after some reflection, that feeling passed and just didn’t quite resonate with me. So the post has been sitting in the ether, waiting to be either deleted or expanded. Well, today, after reading Keiko Zoll’s first installment of A Belly Full Of Fire I decided I needed to finally revisit this topic. Because I’m torn.

I would really like to Take The Pledge issued by Resolve. I am open to my friends and family about my infertility (although I can’t say I’ve shouted it from the rooftops). And I have no problem using my real name to advocate for infertility issues. But I DO have a problem with using my real name on this blog. And I feel that if I’m going to do it, I should do it ALL THE WAY. Dilemma.

What to do?

  • I could start another blog/twitter account under my real name and use it for advocacy and this one for venting. But that seems silly. And if I’m going to be a health advocate I would have to do it for not just infertility but also lung cancer and other senior/caregiving issues. And who has the time?
  • I could remain silent but that seems irresponsible. Although, there is also a part of me that feels like I’m too old. I feel like the ladies with POF in their 20s have a much better and bigger soapbox to stand on. I suppose I’m still dealing with feelings of guilt that I simply waited too long. Which is really not rational given that my symptoms, masked for who knows how long by birth control, started at age 34. It is also not rational given that I did TTC with my ex-husband when I was 28. Back then I had endometriosis and it turned out he had an abysmal sperm count. But somehow I still feel ‘judged.’ I still feel like everyone thinks I just put off having kids to further my career or something. And that wasn’t it AT ALL.
  • I could start using my real name on this blog/twitter. SCARY.

I guess I need to deal with all the aforementioned guilt first. Ooh, what fun. ::sigh::
I suspect this guilt runs much deeper than I’m even aware of. Even the name of this blog, Fox In The Henhouse, is a (not so) subtle nod to the guilt I feel that I somehow caused this. Because I am the Fox. So I’m essentially accusing myself of stealing my eggs. Boy, am I a piece of work. 😉 Again, good thing I have a therapy appt in a few hours.

Anyone got any advice on overcoming all this crap and just going public?


3 Responses to “Anonymity”

  1. Oh how I know how you feel! I’m the same exact way: my family and closest friends read my blog but NO ONE else. Not my co-workers or neighbors not even my sister in law. I don’t want anyone to know except the people I want to know so I remain fully anonymous on my blog, too, and Twitter. Yes, you can probably discern who I am if you live in my city or know me. But I doubt that many people are actually reading my blog that live here anyway.

    It’s so tough. I like the safety of anonymity. I like the privacy without being so private. And I like sharing with others. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having an anonymous blog or Twitter account. I think it’s totally OK.

    Don’t stress too much!

  2. loved your post. I think discussing the issues openly and publicly is more important than discussing your identity. The important thing is that your blog and your twitter still raises awareness. The things you’re going through and discussing have an impact whether you sign off with your real name or not

  3. barrenlazza Says:

    Hi Foxy

    I’ve just been catching up on your blog – you are so good with your regular write ups! I have dropped off as my work is consuming my life at the moment but still like to see how you’re getting on.

    I think anonymity is something to embrace. As Holly above says, your blogs are therapy for you and helping others who read them. It doesn’t matter that we don’t know anything else about you and in fact that gives you the freedom to be totally honest.

    My husband and friend Zara are the only people who know about my blog & I won’t tell anyone else for the above reason.

    Even though I haven’t blogged for ages, I can see people are still reading my old ones. It’s the same with you – keep blogging as lots of people are reading them despite not knowing who you are!


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