Saturday, July 11, 2009

regarding anonymity

i wrote this post about a month and a half ago and couldn't decide whether to post it, which is funny, considering the content. i decided i would.

i had a moment this past week. a moment when i decided to shut this blog down. it had nothing to do with this blog, per se, but with another blog, and actually another, too. you see, somewhere along the way i developed the unusual habit of following blogs of sick people, most frequently sick or dying babies. (this is not a habit i recommend). but it starts with one recommendation--hey, you'd like this blog; this blogger is like you; her kid's like yours--and so i follow her blog. then that blogger mentions another blogger's sick baby; a click, and i'm a faithful follower of hers, too. and one blog leads to another to another to another. it's addictive, at least for me. maybe, at least, you can see how the habit builds.

it's a little like reality tv (which is scary), a little like a virtual support group (perhaps even scarier), a little like an online prayer team (more defensible, perhaps), a little like avoidance of my own life (no comment). and a lot unhealthy, i think, at least for me, at least most of the time. i have enough of my own work of mourning to do, i think, that i don't need to lose sleep crying over other people's sick and dying babies. and as for praying for them, well, i can't say i'm all that faithful to do that. so much for my defense.

back to my moment.

this week, for the second time (and this time much more dramatic than the first a few months ago), one of "my" blogs was revealed to be a scam. one of "my" sick-and-dying babies who was so sick that she died never really existed. it's a long story. but the short of it is that in the process of outing the scammer, several (apparently) good and decent bloggers, mothers themselves of sick-and-dying-and-deceased babies, were dragged through the mud.

i am not linked with any of these "celebrity" bloggers. though i might have been, if i had ever gotten around to sharing a link like so many others do--hey, i'm like you; you'd like my blog; my kid's like yours--and like i've sometimes thought i'd do. that is the way to drive traffic to one's blog, after all. right?

which got me thinking about anonymity. and blogging. and blog traffic and comments and links and who reads this stuff, after all.

it's been a long time since i've been anonymous. if you've followed this blog and perhaps even found your way here from there, you'll understand why. lots and lots of people have walked through the last three and a half years with me and my family, through the last six months with me in my grief. the most obvious (and incredible) result of this opening of my life has been an unreal outpouring of love and support. if you've read that other blog, you've gotten a taste of the tremendous blessing it has been to share my life with so many. and there's so much more beyond what's recorded there, so much more than i'll ever realize, even.

but one thing this journey hasn't been is anonymous. and i confess that there are times when a little anonymity might be okay. true, sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name (sing it), but sometimes it's nice when nobody does, too. in my life, that doesn't happen all that often anymore.

since i've continued blogging, you'll understand that i have obviously not chosen anonymity after all. but this week's blog scam and the junk that surfaced along with it got me thinking: why, indeed? why take the risk of sharing? why expose the cracks?

i can't say for sure.

what i can say, though, is that if i don't expose the cracks, i won't have help filling them. isolation works well for a little while...that is, until i want to share a laugh. or a tear. or have a little help filling a crack. or gain a little perspective. or learn something.

i don't know why you read this blog or any other, for that matter. i have no plans to go hunting "traffic", no desire to ever join the ranks of the celebrity bloggers. but i won't shut it down either, i think. i won't pretend the cracks are completely sealed, and i won't hide from the risk of inviting people in.

hear me say this, then (now, again, while i really am saying it, as i not infrequently back away from it): you are welcome here (again), in my story, in my life.

1 comment:

Meredith said...

I saw about that blog and the scam. I almost emailed it to you. It is heart breaking.
That said, the risk of opening up seems greater than the risk of being exposed.
Your grief is not a fraud, and neither is the support you've received. Cracks are good, and every time you share one, you inspire others to stop fearing theirs.
Just my thoughts on the matter.