I am Her. She is Me.

I never intended to write about my personal life on a public blog. I’ve mentioned before that I created a Twitter account so that I could comment on blogs that I read and follow the authors on Twitter. Eventually I started tweeting as well and suddenly people were following me back. They became more than just a vague writer of words I enjoyed, they became real people. Along the way I met lots of people superficially, totally open about who they are, others who keep their identity secret from everyone.

I’ve always journaled as a way to work through my thoughts and emotions. (The ennui from my college journals makes me laugh now.) At this point, I can’t remember the impetus that finally pushed me to start making some of my writing public. Overall it’s been very positive for me. It’s rewarding to hear that my experiences resonate with people for whatever reason. It’s good for the ego to read comments. I’ve made some connections with people and even call some of them friends now.

Through all of this, I’ve remained anonymous to all but a handful of people. TN is unaware of my alter ego and that has been weighing heavily on me, which is actually why I have only posted sporadically since January. When I first started the blog, I didn’t feel guilty about it at all. It was an outlet for me and me alone. I didn’t and still don’t view it as a bad thing. He and I are independent people and have both had a web presence for a long time. We both have online friendships from the multiple groups we participate in and they are every bit as real as the friends we see in the flesh.

I know opinions are varied about whether it’s healthy to maintain a secret identify in a marriage. (Go ahead, you can tell me what you think.) Those opinions are all valid, but every relationship is unique and I don’t think it’s that clear cut whether it’s good or bad. I don’t think I’m rationalizing it. Maybe I’m just good at seeing shades of grey . (There are very few things I see as black and white.) In my own case, NDG was an outlet when I needed it. It was a source of fun and friendship that I couldn’t get from my real life friends. It was a place to test my voice, to gain the courage and strength to reveal my true self to TN. It’s the place where I finally got the courage to talk about the abuse, to own what it did to me, to take back the control that it held over me.

And yet, NDG has been weighing heavily on me. My writing is honest and real. I don’t write fiction on here. I’m not ashamed of anything I’ve written, but I have been wondering how TN would react if he knew. He’s a very private person so I’m sure that he would be bothered by me sharing so much of our personal life. On the other hand, he’s also very rational and would (hopefully) recognize that I have been very careful to protect our identities so there’s really no way anyone could know unless I told them.

During a conversation with a friend yesterday I said that there’s a part of me that just wants to shut it all down and move on. Sometimes Twitter is just too much, too fake, too perfect, too much drama, too many unsolicited dick pics. I haven’t pulled the plug because I do see the positives that come from it as well. It’s been great exposure to perspectives that have helped me accept myself and my desires. The sex positive community has been tremendous for my own self esteem and identity. I know that writing and sharing about my own childhood abuse has had a profound impact on my recovery. I’ve established some real friendships with real people that I never would have encountered otherwise.

In short, the lines between these online friends and those in real life are getting blurrier again and instead of freaking out about it this time, I kind of want to just step out from behind the veil and be me. Not to all of Twitter, OMG, no, but to the people I truly admire and respect and trust.

***

I wrote the above yesterday. Like I said, it’s something that’s been weighing on me and ultimately, I think this dual identity has been contributed to the writer’s block that has plagued me for months. As our relationship has improved, it’s been harder to write. In some ways, NDG was created as an outlet for my frustrations. I’m not the same person I was a year ago and I struggle with what to write. (I’m so NOT a sex writer. I try, but it all ends up reading like a user’s manual. Insert Tab A into Slot B. Blech.)

I didn’t realize just how much it was weighing me down until this morning when I read a DM from someone I greatly admire. He has given me good advice, he’s been supportive and encouraging and I absolutely consider him to be a friend. As I read his message, I burst into tears and had a big, ugly cry. Not because I was sad or hurt, but because he made me view my alter ego situation in a slightly different perspective and that made me realize just how great the burden has become.

Just like yesterday, I still say that I have no regrets for creating NDG or for anything I’ve posted on here or Twitter. TN and I have made so much progress in our relationship and NDG absolutely deserves some credit for that. Without this outlet, I doubt that we’d be where we are or that I would feel so healed.

I am Nerdy Dirty Girl and she is me. I’ve finally realized that she’s not really an alter ego, she’s an extension of myself.

Perhaps it’s time to share that with TN.

 

 

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45 thoughts on “I am Her. She is Me.

  1. What a great post! You are such an excellent writer! My opinion, sometimes in marriages somethings are best kept secret. But then we each have a different story so it may be your time to share! Only you can decide 🙂 I’m here for you!!

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  2. Wow…so powerful. You have been one of my best friends online for what feels like forever. I always love your writing and you always hit a chord. The two pieces of you are definitely both you. And I love both of them. Hugs to you!

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  3. I have a bunch of thoughts about this, the first being that having this sort of secret is a big deal and I can 100% understand both the choice to keep it to yourself and the burden it places on you. Neither is simple or easy. I can also understand that while ‘deleting NDG’ is the obvious solution, unless you (me/anyone) is game-playing a persona online, it IS you, the friendships you make are real, the exchanges you have are genuine and over time, it would feel like deleting a part of yourself.

    As someone who writes a ‘not-really-anonymous’ blog, it’s very different to write about someone who knows that you are writing about them and reads it. And to reveal it to them after the fact can be difficult, not least because they might feel betrayed both by the fact that it exists as well as by the content itself.

    I’m not saying it’s a bad idea to do it, but I DO suggest you re-read everything with TN’s eyes and try and see how it feels and be prepared for his reaction. And once he knows, your writing will become something different because ‘how he will feel about it’ will underpin every word you write from that point on: it’s a very different voice and it changes things.

    Ferns

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    • You pretty much nailed all of the thoughts swirling in my head. I can’t delete NDG anymore than I can delete my past. The real relationships I’ve formed here are part of what makes me want to come clean. Fantastic people that I want to get to know better in person, people that I know would get along well with TN. At times that feels terribly selfish because it opens up the very real possibility that he will be devastated by this. Other times it seems like the most logical, honest thing to do. Obviously I’m not done pondering this. Thanks for your insights. I appreciate them a lot!

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      • Most welcome :).

        The other option is that after you’ve re-read it through his eyes, you can delete anything that you think will be hurtful or harmful in some way. It can be argued that that’s then a NEW kind of deceit, but may be worth considering.

        As a note, when I first started my blog, I was in a relationship. He knew about it from the start and so there was no issue with me writing whatever I wanted about him and us, but I made a rule for myself that there would be no surprises and no hurt in anything I wrote. I didn’t want my blog to be some passive-aggressive way of telling him things that I hadn’t already said to him directly. It was easy, our communication was really good.

        But now I’m single and I keep to that rule with regard to men I meet (most of whom know about my blog), but it’s a lot harder because if I have a bad date, or am ambivalent about someone new, or want to just have a momentary bitch, I can’t talk about it because that’s not something I will bring up directly with them and it would be horrible and unfair to put it out in public.

        All of that to say that my blog is carefully curated now and there’s much I don’t/won’t’can’t share, and boy is it frustrating! NDG will change when TN knows about you, when he is looking at you, when you have to consider him in everything you write. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, but a thing all the same.

        Ferns

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      • I already struggle with self-censorship sometimes so knowing he’s reading will definitely change my writing. Lots more food for thought here. Must go think. 🙂

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  4. Intriguing and interesting post…
    Speaks to the part of me that both wants to write more personally online and yet somehow is unable to beyond a point – bloggers like yourself who open themselves up as much as you have (based on what few posts of the recent ones I’ve read) always give me a sense of awe because despite over a decade as a blogger, I’ve only on the rarest of occassions come close to opening up like that.
    Partly I suppose it’s because I’ve not been an anonymous blogger for many years now. Perhaps starting an anonymous one might be the way to go? Who knows.
    But kudos to you. And yes, the internet being the melting pot of humanity that it is, there’s of course the ones that make you want to scream and run away – but there is also so much positivity and the ability to connect to and learn from people that one might never have gotten otherwise.
    I hope you sort out your dilemma soon.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started and abandoned several blogs over the years. This is the only one that I’ve stuck with. I’m sure that being anonymous is one of the reasons why that’s the case.

      I agree about the positivity. Most days I can focus on that. Thanks for reading!

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      • Yeah, I was on blogger first, was anonymous for a while but got little real traction.
        Was in and out of it, then migrated to WP and it’s been better.
        Still no real commenting or such on my blog from too many folks, but at least people read and like and the other bloggers (like yourself) are a more interesting community than I found on blogger before I left.
        Cheers!

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  5. I haven’t been following long but I like your writing and the ‘gritty’ style. Decisions of the heart are always difficult. Becoming one again could open up so much more.

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  6. This is so thoughtful and wonderfully written. Thank you for writing this. I am enjoying getting to know you better.

    I too keep a lot of who I am and who I pretend to be online, separate from my spouse. It weighs on me as well, at times, not because I feel I am doing anything wrong but she is very private and wouldn’t approve. It’s hard to be who you want to be/need to be in one area of your life when it contradicts another area of your life. It’s hard to honor your partner’s needs when they run counter to your own. I showed my whole face recently because I am proud of myself and want people to know me but I still maintain my pseudonym. That’s the best balance I can strike right now.
    Please let me know if you ever need help.

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    • It is strangely comforting to me to know that others struggle with this balance as well. I so admire that you show your face. I don’t know that I’ll ever have that level of comfort, but who knows? Thank you so much for commenting. xx

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      • It is my pleasure. Thank you for writing about this. This world is weird to me. In regular life, I would say let’s get some coffee or a beer and chat but I don’t actually know you in real life. I am glad I could provide some comfort.

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  7. Best of luck in sharing the news with him, when I began blogging my husband fully supported me, and even in our separation (which turned dark and ugly – a sharp contrast to our fantastic marriage) he gave hesitated approval for all posts but the last two – those I had to post for me and me alone.

    Being a relationship and them knowing you write changes your audience once they gain awareness. I began to write very differently when the person I wrote about was reading (which he did starting about year one).

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  8. I have a lot to say about this because I’ve been in exactly this position. With my TN (The Neighbor) we were together for 2 years before I told him (so, slightly different there), but eventually as Hy grew more and more important to me and our relationship improved I felt like he had to know and I’d have to suffer whatever consequences might come.

    In my story, it was all fine. He didn’t give two shits (and he’s an extremely private person, too). He trusted that I kept him as safe as I could and we moved on. My writing changed, imperceptibly to some probably, but it did change. I had always written about my heart and when he and I were struggling I was open about that. I couldn’t after.

    The last year of our relationship when shit was going down I was filled with anger and resentment that I couldn’t express in my safe place. I think there’s a happy medium of disclosure and privacy for things like this, like, TN (your TN), I have something important to tell you that’s been weighing on me, etc but you keep the URL private until the dust settles. That way you can remain NDG in all her glory, bc as Ferns pointed out, a non-anonymous blog is an entirely new struggle (and not the least bit fun, in my opinion).

    Pardon this analogy, but in the end, much like euthanizing a pet, you will know when the time is right to tell him. haha Morbid, I know, but seriously, things will align and you will know just what to say and when. Whether or not it’s a big disaster is really up to him, but you guys have much more than just some fleeting romance between the two of you. I have faith that y’all will power through this. xx

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