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Greetings, world! I thought I ought to provide a reason for my anonymity. At first, I was just going to blog without publishing my name or my photo, but I feel like I owe my readers a bit more of an explanation. Also, I occasionally see comments mocking people who choose to be anonymous online, so I realize that there’s a need for those of us who stay behind the scenes to explain our perspective.
First off, I really love the folks who don’t blog anonymously. It’s really fun to see some of my favorite writers posing with their home-cooked meals, or cute pets, or beautiful backyards. It adds a sense of connection that I’m not sure can be achieved as easily by words on a page (even if the font is super cool). Also, I think that the convention of calling oneself Ms. Bloggername (especially the cutesy couples names, Mr. and Mrs. We’reSoCute – gag me with a frickin’ spoon) is particularly annoying. And now, that’s what I’m doing! Look how far I have fallen.
Originally, I thought that I wouldn’t blog anonymously. Or maybe I could just post pictures and not reveal my “real” name (no, Ms. Rich Novelist is not what’s on my passport). But after thinking it over, I decided to do neither of those things.
There are a lot of excuses I could give for this decision. Female bloggers are subject to a large amount of harassment online, our employers might not be thrilled with this blog (though I doubt it), and Mr. RN doesn’t really like the world at large knowing the intimate little details of his bank account. But those are all tangential to my real reason for writing under a silly name.
Several years ago, I experienced verbal and physical abuse. At the peak of the abuse, I ended up on the street in the middle of the night with a phone that had almost no battery life left. I’d (literally) run away from the person who was screaming at me, calling me the worst things I’d ever heard, and throwing large and heavy objects at me. It would have made a lot of sense for me to call the police right away, but I was so scared and shell-shocked that this didn’t even occur to me. I just sat down in a random person’s yard several blocks away and went through the contacts on my phone, hoping that someone would answer and pick me up. One of my relatives only saw the call later that morning, after I’d gotten away (but my phone’s battery had died), and went looking for me. Unable to find me, they called the police.
A lot of things have happened since then. Though I did contact the police as soon as I found a way to charge my phone (since they were looking for me), I didn’t press any formal charges at that time. And I’d like to think that I’ve mostly recovered from the experience. But that was after a long stretch in which I blamed myself, regularly had trouble sleeping, and started to cry whenever I tried to talk about what had happened. Heck, I still avoid talking about it, which is one of the reasons I’m surprised I’m even writing this blog post. I’m sure that if I have a child, I’ll have a little extra layer of overprotective-ness after this nightmare.
The abuser and I were living very far apart for years, and that certainly helped. I told myself that we’d likely never be in the same place at the same time (America is a big country, folks), and that was comfort to me. Recently, I learned that the person in question has moved to the city where I live. I’m almost positive that this has nothing to do with me, and they have not attempted to make contact. However, when I imagine this person seeing my picture on the internet, I feel scared and sad. I’m not ready for that. I’m not sure that I ever will be ready.
Also, I’m not really sure what this means for me – besides the fact that I won’t be posting pictures anytime soon. Does this mean that I can never go to FinCon? Do I need to not meet with other bloggers in person, as that might reveal where I live? Heck, should I seriously reconsider my desire to write a blog? I’ve already decided to keep my published books and my blog entirely separate, though they are logical funnels in many ways – someone who reads my blog might well buy one of my novels, and vice versa.
I don’t have many answers right now. In time, things may become a little clearer. Until then, I’m taking what seems to be the easiest course and avoiding the person who might still pose a threat.