17 November 2009
...and we're back
Blogger, oh, Blogger. You irritate me so. I'd love to be able to take this off of Blogger and use my own domain, but my html skillz are not good enough for that.
I'd been toying with the idea of doing what I have heard called a "flock" a friends lock for a while; I don't know who y'all are out there, reading my missives, rants, recipes...of course, most of y'all don't know who I am, either. I kind of liked that arrangement. If I wanted invisibility, I'd keep a paper journal, after all. I have many faults. Self-centered, diva, control freak...I know them all. Narcissism figures in there pretty large. Someone who really thinks that the world gives a damn about what they think and feel, that's the type of person who keeps a public blog.
Who reads a random blog? Anyone, really. Someone Googles Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's quote that contains the title of this blog, stumbles across something I've written, reads it, likes it, comes back. Or you're one of the people who I have trusted in real life enough to share the url. Or you like that randomocity of that "next blog" button at the top of the screen. Who are you? You are everyone, anyone.
I am a 34 year old married woman who works full time at a job she loves, knits, has a beautiful circle of amazing friends, a family she adores. I'm your sister, your friend, the woman behind you in the check-out line at the grocery store, the woman next door, the person on the mat next to you in your yoga class. Everyone and no one.
I've fretted over some random person figuring out exactly who I am and "outing" me. Why? Really, I don't know. Nothing I've written here is against the law; having an anonymous blog isn't a crime. I was worried when I first started writing that my employers at the time wouldn't really appreciate my point of view on certain subjects. They wrote me a paycheck; I kept quiet in public about my opinions. Being a faceless, nameless person on the web allowed me to say some things that I really wanted to, but couldn't, in the world. Then there was my fascination with an actor and a TV show; forum posts live forever, and some of the things I wrote on fan forums are not things I'd want my grandmother to read, let alone someone I worked with. Having "Lucy" connected to me; well, it'd be a little embarrassing, really. Add to all of that the fact that I have written extensively about my journey with mental illness...and "a little embarrassing" speeds past "a little" and straight to "mortifying".
A nebulous future potential employer may choose not to hire me based on my mental illness if they read what I've written here; sure, that's completely illegal, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't happen. Mental illness is still so poorly understood that many people think mental illness = dangerous. Most people who have a mental illness are normal, functioning members of society. They are your neighbors, your sister, your friends, the woman behind you in the grocery line. Look around. At one time a few years ago, it was estimated that one out of every 5 Americans were taking Prozac. That's 20% of the population. Out of 10 of your friends, two of them. We don't talk about it. We don't advertise it. I'm NOT ashamed, but much like the military's Don't Ask/Don't Tell, I feel no need to shout from the rooftops that I have a mental illness.
We are everyone. We are no one. We are out there. We shouldn't need to be silent.
I did the flock partially while trying to change the Blogger template, but also because I was worried that someone in particular had "found" me. I unlocked it for the same reason I started writing about my mental illness; I sought help because of another blogger. Maybe one of you will do the same; recognize yourself in a post and decide to stop suffering in silence. If one person does that, then my potential embarrassment is a small price to pay.
I am anyone. I am everyone. I am no one. I am your sister. Your daughter. Your friend. Your neighbor. Who are you?