The Last Post

Do you know that film scene where a young woman dressed in a pencil skirt storms out of her boss’ office steaming with anger, yelling “I quit!”? Well, I don’t think I would ever physically be able to do that, to be honest, so here’s my equivalent: dear readers, dear followers; I’ve decided to stop blogging. This is my final post.

When I started blogging, my most important goal was to break the silence surrounding sexual abuse and mental illnesses. I wanted to share my story because no-one should feel alone. I wanted to show how sexual abuse and mental illness happens to normal people; people like you and me. By remaining anonymous, however, I’m not getting any closer to that goal. I’ve told quite a few people around me about the blog, but it’s not the same as actually being open. People now know that I was abused, but that doesn’t mean we ever really talk about it. And many people don’t know about Articulate Ana. My family still doesn’t, for example, and I’m still terrified that they will find out.

I’ve pondered a lot on whether I shall or shall not remain anonymous. For me, the question boils down to this: do I want to be Articulate Ana? I mean, I am, of course; but is this the identity I want for myself? Do I want people to know me for the blogs I’ve written? The answer is a definite no. It’s a definite no for several reasons.

First, my blogs are pretty one-sided and sad. The abuse happened, but so many other things (happy things) happened in my life too. Sometimes my life is a struggle, but other times it’s not. Yet all I write about is the struggle and the painful memories. It makes sense, if you look at the goal of the blog. But writing about the hard bits only created an identity of suffering, of a victim. It’s an identity that I do not want for myself. If my abuse and my eating disorder define my identity, how should I ever let them go? My goal is to get unstuck, not to get stuck in the abuse even more.

Apart from the identity issue, there’s also the issue of ‘focus’. In order to feel better, I need to concentrate on things that make me happy; the abuse is not one of them. For example, I’ve been sewing a lot since recently, and it makes me so much happier compared to writing about my abuse! I’m making things, creating things, new things, beautiful things! Of course, writing is creating too, and I do enjoy writing. But when the content of my writing is misery, than certainly a big chunk of the reward gets cancelled out. I want to focus on things that make me happy, without feeling the pressure to write about the things that make me sad.

Finally, there’s the issue of privacy. I’m fine with people knowing the stories of Articulate Ana, but would I also be fine walking down the street knowing that anyone I run into may know I was sexually abused? No. Similarly, I wouldn’t want every stranger to know whom I slept with, or to know how many times a day I go to the toilet. It’s simply none of their business. And the same goes for the abuse. Privacy is not a matter of being ashamed, it’s a matter of respecting yourself. There are things that are private and that I will disclose only to the people who are worth it.

And therefore, I quit. Not quite as dramatically as that girl in the movie, but abruptly nonetheless. Thank you so much, all of you, for reading and commenting on my blog. It’s been a truly valuable experience to connect with you! I wish you all the best. May you be happy and healthy, and surrounded by people you love as well as by people who love you.

Ana

14 thoughts on “The Last Post

  1. I’m so sad to read this, and while our journeys are very different, I think I understand at least a little about what you mean. I’ve been wondering a similar thing myself, especially a little while ago, about calling it a day because I couldn’t actually be open (which was the goal) enough. I’m still not there yet. I can’t bare my soul and have those I physically know ‘in the flesh’ know about my stoma, stomach-related issues, mental health and everything in between. I just can’t. I can’t even open up fully on the blog about some personal health issues, which I had wanted to do in order to be able to reach out to those women they affect, because I know I’ve put my photo on that blog. It’s very hard to be open and not open at the same time, to want to make a difference without it affecting your identity or changing how you or others see you. I’m glad you have made the right decision for yourself (even though I’d like to try to convince you to stick with it because I’ll miss reading your posts!) You should be proud of everything you have achieved with your blog; you’re not dramatically quitting or giving up on it. It has simply run its course and now you will find another direction to go in. I hope you can nurture your soul and heal and move your life forward in a way that suits you. Sending best wishes and a hug your way. Please don’t be a stranger! xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PS. I couldn’t quite say what I had wanted to say there and I realised I’ve almost compared what you’ve been through to my experiences. That wasn’t my intention. I simply wanted to say I know the feeling of hiding vs being open. Please take care and know that your readers will miss you.x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Invisibly Me, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I will absolutely definitely continue to read your blog! Indeed as you said, we struggle with quite different things yet we seem to think alike a lot of the time 🙂 One of the lovely things I got from my blogging adventure is all the people I met and the stories I read. I’m really happy I found yours. And, you know, maybe I will at some point start posting positive things here. Or just irregular updates. Who knows 🙂 I’ll stay in touch through your blog! Love, Ana

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I will miss your blog too, but it’s heartwarming to see you identify what your need and want and be able to follow through. You can always pop back if you need to- even if just to update on the lovely life stuff that’s happening out in the real world! Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks My Quiet Roar! Indeed, I can always pop back in and post something fun or happy 🙂 Or sad, if needed. Either way, I’ll certainly keep following your blog so you’ll see me around. Take care, all my best, Ana

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  3. I understand and hear why you are stopping. I do hope it is for the positive reasons you mentioned and not out of a deep need to internally isolate, that is, isolate even in a crowd. I trust your judgment though and am glad to have had the opportunity to read thus far.

    I am completely anonymous. Only a few know I have a blog but everyone else has no idea where it is or who I am. I’ve only shared with 2 people and both of them are out of country and know my story anyway. I make it anonymous and public so that I can freely bare my soul. It would be the only way I can do that.

    Reasons for my blog:

    My brain is quite frazzled but when I write I am able to sort through the chaos and gain understanding and insights to my own thoughts and experiences.

    A huge motivator for me is for people to read and know they are not alone in these thoughts and feelings. I felt alone for many, many years – time before blogs and time before I was aware of blogs.

    It’s a community of support that I don’t get offline. It’s my “talking journal” where I write and get feedback, as well as encouragement, from people who really do understand. From blogging, a blog I had many years ago, I’ve gained some wonderful offline long lasting friends, the ones out of country that I mentioned.

    My hope is that you got out of your blog what you wanted even if it didn’t reach out to the audience you wanted. I have many readers and few commenters; my hope being that they read and feel understood.

    Be well and if you ever choose to start a blog again, please stop by so I can follow and support your journey.

    Like

    1. Dear Lexy, thanks so much for your support throughout my blogging journey! Your reasons for blogging are very valid as are your concerns regarding being able to write freely. I will keep following your blog, too! All my best, Ana

      Liked by 1 person

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