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On Privacy

As I’m typing this post, I hear a sound from somewhere nearby. The first thought that crosses my mind is that it is my little two year old buddy. He has been my constant companion for days now but it’s not him I hear. He is with his parents this morning. My second thought, which quickly follows the first, is that Andrew is moving around upstairs. But no, my son is safely up in the air, en route to sunny California. Ari sleeps soundly on her pillow, not even an ear twitch. Then I realize that the sound was probably much farther away, having been heard through an open window in my house. And more importantly, I realize that I’m alone.

For the first time in over two months, I am in my house all alone (save Ari, of course). Finding the time and privacy to write has been a challenge. The combination of a constant presence of other people and the lack of a place to go (due to work being done around the house) has resulted in my lack of writing. I love my family and the work needs to be done but boy, do I need some time with no one around so I can just sit and let the words do whatever they want.

But there is more in play than just a lack of private space/time to write.

“I’m a very private person. I find it very daunting to have to give private parts of myself away to people, you know?”    –-Emily Browning

When I began this post, over a month ago, it was inspired from two conversations I had with people I am close with. Although both delivered their messages quite differently, I was surprised to hear the same thing from both. What it boiled down to was that since I preferred to not share my blog with them, the reason was because I was keeping something secret from them, hiding parts of myself from them.

Their perception gave me pause. It triggered two different responses in me. One was defensiveness. I felt that I had to explain myself but I couldn’t give a complete explanation. Is that confusing? Let me see if I can clarify it- if someone who really knows me were to read my blog, they would not find out anything new about me. There is nothing written here that I haven’t said to the closest people in my life time and time again. (And I did explain this part to both people.) What I couldn’t say was that one of the reasons (and there are many) that I don’t want people I know in my day to day life reading what I write is because I don’t want to hear what they have to say about it. Now, before you rush to say that you are sure they would be very kind and never criticize my writing, let me tell you that is the exact reason why I don’t want them to read it. I want the sincere response of people who are reading what Kat writes. If they choose to comment, that tells me what I might want to know. I don’t want to hear from people I know patting me on the back and complimenting me because they know how hard it was for me to have them read my writing  and they want to be encouraging. Okay, maybe I sound slightly nuts about right now, but that’s the truth. It’s not the only reason but it’s a biggie.

Then there is the second response triggered. This was a comment thrown out in anger? possibly- “Well, you know I could find your blog if I wanted to.” And that is why I have not tried harder to secure time to write. Because I was well aware of this small fact. To be completely honest with you, for days I was frozen with my mind racing wildly from one thought to another, trying to decide whether I should delete everything from my computer after transferring it to completely different location along with deleting Dandelion Fuzz and starting fresh under a new name all around. Yup, fight or flight was set into motion. And if I didn’t sound nuts before, I’m pretty sure I do now.

Here’s the thing. Privacy is a big deal to me. And my writing means everything to me. I am so protective of my words. When I started thinking about writing a blog, I thought about it for a long time. Then I created a blog under a different name but didn’t publish it. After that I started thinking about it again and researched which platform to use. When I finally created this blog, it began as just my name. Dandelion Fuzz didn’t get its name until I participated in the Blogging U classes. Needless to say, it took me many years to get to this point. Pursuing my dream of writing has been a very slow process. It has forced me to step out of my comfort zone but it has been a good thing.

So I need privacy to write. It’s imperative that I have a private space where I feel safe and uninterrupted to write. Also, I need the emotional space and freedom to write without fear of someone lurking in the corner trying to discover something about me. If you know me…..really know me., then you already know me and you also already know that this is not the way to find out something you might not know because the loss of my trust threatens the ease in which I might share things in the future.

I understand their curiosity but I am hopeful that the integrity of our relationships will be more important than snooping to realize that I wasn’t hiding a thing. And going back to the Emily Browning quote above- any private parts that I have not shared with someone are not going to be shared on a public blog.

As for the future of Dandelion Fuzz? I do want to hold on to it. I don’t want to start over again. I guess that remains to be seen.

What are your thoughts? Am I too paranoid? Or nuts?

Have a good one!

-Kat

17 thoughts on “On Privacy

  1. I encouraged all my family and friends to read my blog when I first started blogging. In fact, for a few months, they were my only followers who actually left comments and likes. Then, as my blog grew, I saw less and less of them. Now, I occasionally get asked, “how’s the blog going?” which I take to mean “I’m not reading your blog, anymore”, but that doesn’t worry me. There are certain subjects I won’t write about (e.g politics and religion), but I’d also not write anything that is personal to them. What would really upset me more than anything else is if they saw a nasty comment aimed towards me on my blog. However, because I choose to moderate all comments first, they are very unlikely to ever come across any without also seeing a response from me.
    I don’t think you’re being paranoid. Do what makes you feel most comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I kept my blog a secret for a long time because I was using it primarily as a mental health outlet to find support and share ideas with like minded souls. Eventually I felt like I was hiding something from my partner and decided to tell her about it. Initially, she was curious but I don’t think she’s ever read one of my blog posts. Maybe she has, but I have no knowledge of it. I think it’s perfectly fine to want to keep your blog separate from your “real world” life. I totally get that you don’t want them to read it and write supportive comments just to make you feel good. You’re here for genuine sharing with unbiased readers who are going through similar things in their lives and only want unbiased comments without feeling like they’re just being nice. On the other hand, I also see why your friends feel left out of a part of your life and how that might hurt them a little. I’m always surprised when I tell someone that I write a blog and they don’t inquire about how to find it and want to read it. It makes me wonder if they don’t think my writing would be very interesting and that actually stings a little. It seems like there is no way to make everyone happy so you just need to do what is right for you. While this is a public blog, it is ultimately up to you how public you want it to be.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Shawn. I do appreciate their interest and don’t want them to feel left out but quite honestly, they wouldn’t be reading anything new here. At the end of the day, I write for myself. “You’re here for genuine sharing with unbiased readers who are going through similar things in their lives and only want unbiased comments without feeling like they’re just being nice. ” And this really gets to the point. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ok, I am going to play Devils Advocate (with the utmost respect), because I am puzzled by this. Remember, this is only my thought, and is in no way any criticism of you, or any decisions you choose to make.

    Kat, you have amazing things to say, points of view that should be shared and discussed, and you demonstrate your compassion and empathy towards those that don’t fit into the conventional viewpoints of the world. You should be proud that your words trigger thoughts in others, that they are curious about what you write, and perhaps you might inspire them to write something that they haven’t been able to articulate vocally to you.

    It is each persons right to decide what they choose to share. However, and I say this gently, if you open a “store” to the public, how can you then ask certain people not to enter it, or even seek it out to see what it has to offer?
    You have said you have no secrets from your friends about the content you write, so it is natural that they would want to read the words, because they are your friends. They know you share your words and thoughts with strangers each time you write, so it is understandable that they wonder why you don’t want to share with them.

    Perhaps some of the answer lies in the words you wrote: “What I couldn’t say was that one of the reasons (and there are many) that I don’t want people I know in my day to day life reading what I write is because I don’t want to hear what they have to say about it”. You write that part of this reason is that you feel they will not give you a genuine response, yet I would contend that you pre-judging them and are denying them the chance to support and nourish you with their comments, when you give that privilege to complete strangers.

    I do understand not wanting to talk about stuff, writing is often much easier to do as there is no verbal back and forth, nor gathering the thoughts, you can go back and revise and hone your words to your satisfaction. Often physical talking just wears me out, as my thoughts ramble all over the place, but it is a price I will pay for the joy of having someone interact with me and my thoughts. I am not a writer, I am a scribbler, but it seems to me that if you choose a public forum to write in then surely it means you want your words to be read.

    You have brought joy, understanding and support to many through your blog. I am certain that you have inspired many to rethink their judgemental nature, to enter into discussions they may not have ever imagined they would have. You have given courage to those who needed it to stand up and say “I am not who you think I am … I am ME”. Most of all, you have demonstrated love, unending love, for your child, your family, and the LGBTQ community.

    Yours are words and thoughts made to be shared, all over the world. It would be a great loss, a great sorrow, if you felt that you could not share them any more.

    with deepest respect and admiration.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for taking the time to respond, Claudette! I really appreciate what you said. I totally get what you are saying and in all honesty, I’m not as hidden as it might appear. I do have a Facebook account under this name and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that I’ve been suggested as a friend to many of my friends because they have been suggestions to me on my Kat account. One of the pictures that I regularly use is one that I had shown them and asked if it looks like me and they said yes. The reason that I don’t want to hear what they might say is because they are already incredibly supportive and nurturing and a million other positive things I don’t have time to list. I have their support and love and I don’t need their “Good job” to keep me writing. The reason I’ve been able to write at all is because they were always supportive and respectful of my need for privacy.

      I know that the day will come when more people will know me by both names and I hope that it can be when I’m ready.

      Gosh, thank you so much for your kind words. You don’t know how much they touch my heart. So much of my motivation comes from a desire to reach others- especially people who might be experiencing the same things I was. Claudette, thank you again- this response means so much!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m really glad that you did! So often it’s the comments made that push me to look closer at what I wrote and how I feel. And your response has me thinking- which is a good thing! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t share many personal things or deep thoughts on my blog, because it’s just for fun and entertainment for me and any readers. The only ones who will very occasionally read a post is my daughters. They know I have one, but they’re so busy with their little ones, they rarely have time. My husband never reads it, or even asks about it, but he sees me sitting here typing away every day. Now, if there were ‘in real life’ people who might be searching for gossip, or wanting to criticize whatever I had to say, then it would be understandable not to want them to read anything at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kat, I know exactly what you mean – the only member of my family (that I know of) who reads my blog is my husband – and even then he just dips in and out of it. This is my third blog, so although a few of my immediate family avidly read my first blog three years ago they just lost interest and dropped off along the way in the years since, and somehow I’ve not made a big deal about blogging here. I think of it as my personal space rather than my private space – on my blog I’m nobody’s daughter, nobody’s wife, nobody’s mother – I’m just able to be me, Ruth, and that’s a very precious thing to me. But I do feel guilty sometimes, as if I’m keeping a big secret from them, and that does worry me slightly… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ruth, I like the idea of it being personal space instead of private. I’m going to have to give that some thought. 🙂 It’s funny because my one friend said that she didn’t push me about my blog because she just accepted that it was part of me that she wouldn’t know. That’s when I felt guilty- even though I really don’t share anything that she doesn’t already know anyway. I guess the entire topic just struck a nerve.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that the people who love us don’t like the feeling of being excluded from a part of our life that is… well… apart from them 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t think you’re nuts. From one anonymous blogger to another, the anonymity can be freeing. I have some people who know who I am/close relatives who follow my blog, and I do find myself filtering what I say, in the knowledge that they will read it and it may become fodder for discussion, whether I want to discuss it personally or not. And, as you said, sometimes I’m not asking them what they think about what I think. Sometimes, I’m just saying what I’ve got to say. It’s clarifying, to speak your truth and to capture your moments.

    Liked by 2 people

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