This time last year, I clicked the button to make my blog public. I’d had it private for almost four months, and didn’t know if it was ever going to be public.
The issue was privacy. The premise of my blog is how a mother with anxiety handles life when her child starts to have panic attacks.My daughter Talee wanted to be sure that her real name wasn’t used. I completely understood, and of course, would honor her request.
I’d heard of authors using a pen name, but had no idea how to deal with this situation. I didn’t want to feel like I wasn’t telling the truth. The whole point was to be open and honest. I wondered if any other bloggers wrote anonymously, and if so, how did they do it?
I read tons of blogs, searching for my answer. Thankfully, I found it. One woman wrote about her daughter who has autism, and used pseudonyms. I modeled some of the structure of my blog to hers.
I’d written about six posts while it was still private. I asked Talee (now in her early 20s), if she wanted to take a look at them, and she did. I sat next to her, as her eyes were fixed on the computer screen, reading stories about life when she was a little girl.
I was surprised by her response. Her eyes welled up and she couldn’t seem to stop the tears.
“Talee, why are you crying?”
“I didn’t realize this is how you felt when I was going through that. I never thought to think of it from your perspective, as a mom. It’s so sad.”
Talee told me she was proud of me, and that my stories could help others. That was the turning point. She gave me her blessing, and that’s exactly what I needed.
And so it began. Private to public.
I hoped people would read, but didn’t expect much. I was intimidated. I wondered if what I had to say was important. Will anyone really care? Soon I met amazing and supportive bloggers. They cheered me on and helped me grow as a writer, as a person, and as a mental health advocate.
When I look back on the posts I wrote this year, I see it as a form of a diary. Personal thoughts are documented, ideas I never dreamed I’d express.
Even though the names on my blog are fictional, the feelings and experiences are all mine. It’s important to me that readers get to know the real me, while I manage to keep my family’s anonymity.
I’m grateful to occupy a little space here on WordPress. I’m thankful to my fellow bloggers for reading, commenting, and encouraging me. I’m excited to see where this next year takes me!
First image courtesy of: See here
Second image courtesy of: See here