Sunday, March 27, 2011

Would The Real Glowless Please Stand Up

Before last weekend I could count on one hand the number of people (other than friends and family) who knew the person behind the blog. Who knew my name. Who knew Map Guy and Tricky's names and what we looked like.

Now, there are what can only be described as lots, and for reasons I'm yet to fully understand, it scares the shit outta me.

I'm not so completely full of myself that I think anyone I met even noticed my name tag or could recall my name five seconds after meeting me (to the vast majority I'm still nameless) and I'm not so vain to think that anyone besides me actually gives a shit.

So why am I still struggling? I should feel liberated, shouldn't I?

This blog was my cocoon. I was safe inside here; growing; developing. In to what, I'm not sure. The word 'writer' gets bandied about quite a bit on the Blogosphere but I'm definitely not one of those or I could have thought of something a little more descriptive than 'lots'.

Being anonymous meant there was little chance of any repercussions. If no one knew me, I couldn't get hurt. I could divulge my deepest secrets and it wouldn't matter.

I was Glowless; a persona; a character. Sure the real me was there, she came out in glimpses; but she was hidden under many layers like a Bloggy Babushka.
As Glowless I stood at the top of my Blog mountain, shouted "I'm a nutter" and was applauded for helping to break down the stigma of mental illness. Now that I'm 'out' though, I'm afraid to write. I'm shying away; censoring myself. I'm scared to say what is really there.

My friends, who are already familiar with the many skeletons in my closet, have stood by me in spite of them. Maybe because of them. But the newer friends? The ones that don't know my sordid past? Will they run if they see it here? The real me?

If they know how broken I really am, surely they will leave; relegate me to the 'Too Hard' basket and be on their merry way, perhaps looking back once to cast a pitying glance at the chaos that is my life and shake their head in disgust at the girl who can't get her shit together.

I know that people who leave when it gets hard aren't real friends. Part of me wants to be the bigger person; let them walk away. Even give them the finger and say good riddance. But there is that other part of me, the part that I wish wasn't there; that little corner of my soul that still yearns to be accepted. To be liked.


I have the words "be authentic" ringing in my ears. But how authentic? Where is the line between moderation and censoring? Between privacy and secrecy?

This shit just got real and I have no idea what to do.

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Glowless rocked the Aussie Bloggers Conference thanks to

34 comments:

  1. You're even more crush-worthy in person! Totally get where you're coming from though. School Mum's found out I'm me, in a blog manner of speaking, and now they all know who writes what - so I have to be very careful about what I say about school type stuff. Apart from outing my crap parenting skills and all that.

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  2. Oooh, I can't wait to find out all about the skeletons in your closets! Seriously, though, the past is not real. Only the present moment, the now, is. And in the present moment you appear to be a very kind, generous and funny girl.

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  3. I get where you are coming from Glowless. I too am struggling with Mental Illness and PND and have mentioned so on my blog, then I found out that people I know in real life found me in the bloggesphere and I got a little stage fright that they where reading it. I have only written about my PND a few times (and I have nowhere near the following you have!) but I have decided not to stop writting about it. If I have a bad day I will write about it because it helps me to vent. Writting clears my head even though I aint that great at writting! Mental Illness and PND are nothing to be ashamed off and more people need to speak out so there is more understanding of the illness. It will also help others who are struggling but are to scared to speak up and get help.
    Please don't sensor yourself for fear of what others think. In the long run you will be lose out.
    Hope that makes sense!

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  4. I can relate.

    My "authenticity" comes out in dribs and drabs. Sometimes in a great big wave.

    But you know what? People care about NOW. How are you NOW? How do you make them feel TODAY?

    It is scary. But liberating too.

    xx

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  5. Most people IRL don't read my blog. Well, I kind of hope they don't anyway. I'm a bit 'warts and all' and I don't know how a lot of them would take it.
    The Boofhead 'outed' me to his family last weekend by telling them I was at a blogging conference. The fact that he had to educate them in what a blog was, makes me pretty sure they don't have the capacity to google "tenille blog", so I figure I'm safe there.
    I was saying to Kirrily last weekend that it was strange to meet people who read my blog. I write/blurt, hit 'Post' and send it out into the faceless ether. People respond, but I only really know them through a comment box. Confessing your deepest and darkest to someone face to face? Well, I only do that to one person at a regularly scheduled appointment.
    I'd like to tell you not to worry, not to be ashamed of being who you are because we all have our idiosyncrasies, but I know it isn't as simple as that.
    Still, don't worry, and please don't be ashamed of being who you are.

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  6. I'd come back for honesty that makes me feel slightly awkward than shallow fluffy-ness any day

    Your blog is wonderful.
    x

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  7. I say who cares what people think. You cannot keep them happy all the time and people will judge for all sorts of reasons. Let it go, don't worry about it and keep writing the way you want just for you. We will all still love you and care for you. I was so glad to have met you and think you are gorgeous and intelligent and awesome. It does not matter what you have been through for me, we all have had our challenges and as long as we are trying to be our best and working through things then that is all we can ask for. Don't let it stop you from moving forward or from sharing what is in your heart. Blog for you and set yourself free. Naomi x

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  8. You can be authentic and still censor. That's what I took away from the conference. It's what Magnetobold said in her talk.
    Just put out what you want. People we come and go, it's the nature of the blogosphere. But you will always be fabulous. Always.

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  9. Caz (thetruthaboutmummy)March 27, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    I hate it when people give to much advice - but regardless here is mine!! Maybe just go easy for a few days and give your head and heart time to let things settle and re-adjust to your new more known status. You're a fabulous blogger - I love to read your stuff :O)

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  10. It was an absolute pleasure meeting you. I get what you mean and while I am out there part of the way, there are parts I keep to myself. You write what you want to write, your true supporters won't care. I can't help but think of Lori, she wrote because she needed to and the blog community was right behind her. All the best xx

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  11. I think your blog is wonderful - and I think that probably reflects you as you are (even if not the whole you).

    It's still your space to reveal as little or as much as you want to. (With the key word there being you!)

    Take your time and decide what you are comfortable with.

    Just saw your tag "stupid me" it made me smile. I think you are many things but stupid is sure as hell not one of them!

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  12. Most of us have some past moments that we are not proud of. For myself, I'd say there isn't much you can say that will make me judge you, because I am far from perfect, too.

    But it is up to you whether to tell the world about it or keep it quiet.I agree with Lucy and Naomi below, you can be authentic now, you can still be discreet about the things you don't feel comfortable about.

    And there is always anonymous blogging on other people's blogs if you want to share an experience that you think others can benefit from, but you don't want to do it on your own blog.

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  13. Just be yourself !
    Be proud of what you are doing - your blog is great.

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  14. I think the real "glowless" has already stood up! Your honesty with certain issues certainly does help others. But it is confronting to bear all, especially when you are revealing personal information. When I started my blog I also thought about this a lot as I knew that to do it justice I would need to reveal some very personal issues about the death of my daughter. But if my blog was to serve its purpose, which ultimately was to help others (as well as myself), then I decided I needed to bear all. This is also difficult as I give a lot of parenting advice....so I have had to threaten my children within an inch of their lives to behave in front of the school mums who I know may be reading my blog! (no, not really)!

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  15. I get where you're coming from but I think you should (try to) forget what people think. You are wonderful, your blog is awesome and so many of us won't run, we're here for the long run and want to hear your stories, we want to hear your heart - the good stuff and the bad. We want to hear what you want to write. xo

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  16. I get what you mean about the anonymity of it all - I reckon that I wouldn't be anywhere near as honest in my writing if I had a lot of people I know IRL following my blog. I have a few friends following who I don't mind baring all to because I know they won't judge.

    I think that if I met someone IRL who I had gotten to know through their blogging that I wouldn't care what they wrote afterward. They are still the same person, you just happen to be able to attach a name to the face. Besides, I'm pretty out there in what I will say in person and I'm sure that comes through in my writing. I know that I have insecurities about what I say and how I say it, but I figure that if people don't like what I say or how I say it that they can bloody well piss off.

    I have never suffered from depression, but I watched my mother go through it and my husband was in the midst of a depressive episode when we met and for much of the first year we were going out. I don't and won't judge something like that. After all, it's not like you get a choice in having depression in the first place. How you deal with it is your choice and if people don't like the way you choose to deal with it, refer to the last sentence in my last paragraph. I love your writing and I hope you don't feel like you have to hide away now that you have met a lot of people who follow your blog. I'm sure no one will think any less of you for simply being yourself.

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  17. You said something that really touched me on my blog last week. Now it's my turn to try and give you words of comfort.
    Do NOT shy away.
    People who run off when you share the darkest parts of you? They don't deserve you. Are they really people you want to associate with? The one's who are so self centered and dark is only something they're allowed to share and ask you to support and give to them but you cannot ask for the same thing in return?
    I understand your feelings about your blog. That was my fear and why i did not go. That me putting my face out there to so many people in such a short span of time would cause me to reclude, and fast.
    But please push yourself. Try to blog like those people are not reading. Forget about them, and write. If it's small, it's a start, it's something, and then hopefully you will slowly fall back into your usual routine :)

    I understand about people leaving you when you share your secrets. I never share mine because i cannot think of a person who hasn't pulled away from me, ignored me or up and left me once revealled. It's a heavy and dark thing to carry around alone and i can only offer you a sholder and an ear that would happily listen without judgement or hate. No matter how dark your secrets, i'm tough and pretty hard to scare away.

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  18. Don't be frightened of revealing that you are broken and have a past that has not been all sunshine and rainbows. I know that I certainly have aspects of my past that would not be comfortable sharing online and the great thing is, I don't have to. Sometimes things come up and when they do that's okay, but generally my blog is about what I am thinking, feeling and experiencing today. (even when that isn't all sunshine and rainbows either).

    You are awesome. I'm so disappointed that we didn't get to talk more at AusBlogCon2011 and i can't wait for 2012 so that we can sit down and have a good chat. Until then, I'm looking forward to getting to know you better via your blog. I promise not to shy away when you deal with the tough stuff if you promise not to shy away when you find out the real truth about me. Deal? :-)

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  19. I've met you - I know some of the skeletons in your cupboard. I may not know them all, but the lady I know as 'my new friend Glowless' is awesome, and I think I love her ;)

    Whoever you were in the past is in the past, the past may resurface occasionally but that doesn't mean your new friends will walk away. They'll help you pick up the pieces and move forward again.

    Love you lots xoxox

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  20. Thank you so much, Amy. I couldn't reply directly to you because of the Facebook sign in so I'll do it here. I swing between two extremes - when I'm having a normal day I want to be the one who talks about mental illness, who says 'Look at me, look what I've been through, you can do it too" and when I'm sliding in to that pit of despair I want to run and hide. I don't want anyone to know. I suppose this means I'm slipping down right now because I'm afraid to share. So maybe I'll write when I feel like this and edit/publish when I feel strong. Thanks again.

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  21. Thanks, Jessica. This is one of the things I wonder about because I normally write with tongue planted very firmly in cheek I think anyone who comes here and finds something different will be put off and bugger off. Part of me doesn't care at all what my stats are but I feel I have to keep track of them for my sponsors so it's an ever-present number in the background. This is reassuring though, so thank you.

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  22. I didn't know anyone actually read the tags! Thank you, AFW, as always you have wise words to share.

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  23. I spotted the "stupid me" tag too. You are certainly not stupid. It's ok to write how you feel and if you are unsure you can post it later when you get more confident, as you said. Your followers love reading about your journey. Any one who is not wanting to read stuff about it can just stop reading. That's the brilliant thing about the internet, there is still distance between you and the person reading it. By the way, I'd go so far as to claim that none of us really have our shit together.

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  24. Amy@New AdventuresMarch 28, 2011 at 4:16 AM

    One of the oldest blogging dilemmas in the book - i think if its something you think will drive people away in droves, then dont blog it ( unless you want to ). Call it selective censoring - we wont know that you've conveniently left something out. We'd be none the wiser!

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  25. That said though, if there are things you don't want to share you don't have to. Don't ever feel like you must tell the whole truth. I censor while being honest. My parents read my blog so I can't write about childhood or me wanting them to let me be an adult or stuff that I know will hurt their feelings. Likewise there's good things I don't share, such as marital bedroom antics etc. I wish I had an anonymous blog sometimes too so I had more freedom to hide behind an alias. But then I'd always worry people would find out it was me. Sorry this comment is going nowhere.

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  26. Just keep doing what you are doing baby xx

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  27. I think we all have skeletons and stories to tell that might shake up a few people.
    True friends in the blogging community will join the queue of those cheering you on for being authentic and honest. I loved meeting you .

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  28. Donna @ NappydazeMarch 28, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Your babushka analogy is perfect for so many of us who feel the same as you. We all have layers, it just depends how many we want revealed. I applaud you and your bravery and only wish I had the courage to write as truthfully as so many do. I'm far too scared to reveal all my hidden depths, but I'm coming to terms with that. Its my version of being authentic I guess.

    You are gorgeous Glowless, so many agree to that!

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  29. someone who wants to be a real friend, won't care if you're a nutter or completely sane - they will want to be your real friend because of who you are - insanity, craziness and all!

    real friends, even new ones or those in the making, love you despite your skeletons and because of them!

    fitting in is boring [believe me i know!] - sanity is overrated. being normal is well normal. us, the crazy people have much more fun, we don't take things too seriously.

    just keep doing what you're doing and the ones who love you will be by your side regardless....

    ~x~

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  30. The Babushka comment made me realise, that even though I thought I was being so "real" and "authentic" on my blog, I wasn't really. I've been only sharing a part of me that I haven't in the past - the part that needed airting out. I realise now that there are whole layers of me that I haven't even touched on in my blog. And now I'm gonna start peeling them off and laying them out for display. Hope you can join me...

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  31. The past is what made you who you are now. And by the sounds of things, your alright! :)

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  32. I really feel for you for feeling so 'broken'.
    I adore your blog and no matter what you do with it, I think it should be for you - saying what you feel like saying, no more, no less. Maybe that means some days you will feel comfortable saying more, other days may be more private.
    Some readers may wander off if they think the going is getting a bit tough, but that's no reflection on you. At the same time many readers experiencing similar pain get enormous benefit from reading about depression and darker issues. But that doesn't mean it's your responsibility to write for them if it's not something you're comfortable with.
    Whatever you do with it, I can't see how you and blog could ever be anything but fabulous.

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  33. You will find your space with all of this. You will. It won't always be comfy (think Pat Benatars pointy cheek bones) but it will be you. I grapple with this too. There are a few IRLifers who read Segovia and that freaks me out a little bit but mostlly i just am gonna say what i need to. It's my blog. But the other day my son's kinder teacher asked me what my blog was called.....i fudged an answer/mumbled.....i drew the line at the kinder teacher reading it! xx

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  34. fuck authentic. be whatever you want to be on your blog. Authentic and raw are a couple of bandwagons rolling through bloggyville right now. Get on if you want to but only if you want to.
    I love you all the more now that I've met you. Maybe that's because I'm a nutter too? maybe. You're only broken in a glued back together really well kind of way.
    I'm the opposite of anonymous on my blog. which is why I didn't buy a ticket to ride that authentic bandwagon. anywhooo. just wanted to hug you and say no one thinks you're broken. I couldn't even see a crack. (now that just sounds rude)

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