Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dear Anonymous,

Anonymous.  Websters Dictionary gives this definition...
1.  of unknown authorship or origin
2.  not named or identified
3.  lacking individuality, distinction, or recognizability

It's an interesting definition.  The first two definitions given are what I would think of if someone asked me what "anonymous" means.  The third definition definitely made me think.  Lacking individuality.  Hmmm...

Over the course of a year and eight months I have written almost a hundred posts on this blog for all of the world to see.  During this time I have not lied.  I have not held back my feelings (for the most part), and I have not censored myself (once again, for the most part).  Everyone who reads my blog knows who is saying what is written here.

I have put myself out there for everyone to see and hear.  The good and the bad.  The sad and the happy.  The embarrassing and the not so embarrassing.  I have put my heart, my feelings, and my deepest thoughts out there for anyone and everyone to read.  I say things on occasion that most people wouldn't tell to their closest friends or family members.

However, recently a few people have chosen to comment to some of my blog posts anonymously.  I am not talking about the people from internet land that I've never met before.  I'm talking about people who know who I am and I know who they are.  But, wait!  I DON'T know who they are.  At least not this time.  I'm willing to bet, though, that if they would have signed their names under the comments left on my blog I would know exactly who they are.

That, to me, is disrespectful.  It is cowardly.  Here I am putting my thoughts and feelings out on the line all the time, but those of you who post anonymously cannot respect me well enough to take claim to the things that you are saying to me in return.

Why is that?  You already have the benefit of hiding behind a computer screen and not having to say it to my face or on the phone.  In addition to that, you are able to type it and walk away, not having to deal with my response immediately like you would if it was an online chat. 

The thing that makes it even worse is the subject in which the anonymous posts were about.  They have all been in response to posts about friendship, or lack there of, in the face of chronic illness.  I was posting about my feelings regarding friendships and how they've been affected by my drastic life change, this fun thing I call mito.  I was posting about how I feel; about how the actions of my friends, or lack thereof, makes me feel.  Most of what I was saying was that I was lonely; that I hadn't heard from many of my friends recently.  I did not automatically blame it all on my friends, either.  I did point out my faults when it comes to friendships with someone who is chronically ill.

What bothers me is this... After posting about being lonely (and mentioning going into depression again), why would someone who obviously knows me post anonymously?  Why, if you care as much as you say you do, would you post an anonymous comment on my blog instead of reaching out to me as "Susie Smith", my friend and/or someone who cares about me?  If you truly do "try and try" why in the world would you feel the need to post it anonymously?

If you really know me... I mean REALLY know me, you would know that I don't believe in things that I cannot see, or touch, or hear.  Everyone does show love differently, anonymous.  You are correct.  However, for me, it does need to be shown.  If I never talk to someone or see someone or find out in any other way that someone cares for me, I do not believe they care for me.  That's great if you feel that way.  I don't.  Actions speak louder than words.  That is something I say all the time.  However, you are not only saying that actions aren't necessary to show love/care, but words aren't either.  Well, I'm going to whole heartedly disagree with you there.

The two anonymous comments I received within hours of each other said two different things about calling, texting and/or emailing.  One of you said many people call, text or email because that's what they feel comfortable doing.  The other said that people don't call, text or email because they don't want to bother me. Interesting. Well... in response to the first comment, if you would have read the post "A bad case of the lonelies" you would have read that that's exactly what I was wanting.  In response to the second comment.... well, I guess all I can say is "bother me".  To quote myself from that same post (the one you commented on, in fact)... "But the fact that she called would make me feel better by letting me know that she's thinking about me and cares enough to check up on me." You say "when you feel good, make the call."  However, as I said in that same post, I sometimes go through weeks and weeks of not feeling well.  Does that mean that I don't want to hear from my friends?  If you have a friend or family member in the hospital, do you avoid calling or visiting because you don't want to bother them because they're not feeling well?  Or, instead, do you call or visit to check in on them and let them know that you're thinking of them and are there for them if they need you?  

When I posted "A bad case of the lonelies" I was not in a very good place (as pointed out by the comment that I was heading toward depression again).  I will admit... that post served two purposes.  One, to discuss the effects of chronic illness on friendships and other relationships and two, to possibly reach out to my friends to let them know how my life was affecting me at the moment.  To then get two anonymous comments which, whether intended or not, served to point out the things that I need to do and believe.  The part about caring about me is not well received as I have absolutely no idea who is saying it.

A couple of people have also mentioned to me recently that they are also busy with their own lives (jobs, kids, etc. etc.) and that I need to realize that.  I don't know what gave you the idea that I don't realize that.  Is it the fact that I am asking for a phone call every now and then?  Or was it the part about making plans to get together every now and then?  Oh, I know... it was the request to hear from my friends in some way (text, call, email, whatever) more often than every 2 months.  

I haven't been sick my entire life.  I know how busy life is when you have 2 kids, working 50+ hours a week, AND training for a half marathon.  I've been there... remember???  However, I do know that sending an email or text just to say "thinking of you" or "how are you feeling today", or calling while driving home from work to say a quick "hello", is definitely feasible more often than every 2 months.  Especially since you are obviously not too busy to read my blog and take time to respond.  If that is asking too much of you because of your "busy" life, then I think I will move on from our relationship.

So, you'll have to understand (actually, you really don't have to, but it would be nice), that if I haven't heard a word from you in months and you can't even sign your name to a comment that explains how much you supposedly care about me, I'm not going to believe that you care quite as much as you say you do.  You may not have to "see it or touch it", but I do.  

So, Anonymous, you continue to go about your lives feeling good about our relationship, whatever that may be, because you show love by thinking about me and praying for me, but not in any ways that would make me aware of that love.

I am going to be thankful for my friends who realized/recognized that I was having a difficult time and reached out to me to tell me how much they care, and signed their names at the bottom... better yet, there was no signing involved because when I answered the phone when they called I knew it was them, or when they stopped by I recognized their face. (If you are one of those people... Thank you and I love you.)

Anonymous, please take a moment to read the post below this one, "Explaining myself... again".  Really listen and try to put yourself in my shoes.  Once you've read it once or twice, think about the point of writing an anonymous comment... especially one in which turned things around on me.  After explaining how sick and lonely I had been and how nice it would be to hear from friends, do you still think that the best thing to say is that I should be the one reaching out to friends?  Do you still think that posting an anonymous comment was the best route to go when trying to tell a chronically ill, depressed person that people care?  People care so much... they just don't want me to know their names, or have to take any time out of their lives to show it in any way.  I should just FEEL it.  I should just KNOW that people care about me without any proof what-so-ever.  Yes, that COMPLETELY makes sense!!!  (as always, I really need someone to invent a sarcastic font.)

To everyone else, if you've gotten this far, I am now moderating my comments.  I wish I didn't have to because I feel that everyone should be able to say what they want, even if I don't agree.  What I don't want is anonymous comments from people who know me personally.  If you have something to say to me, and you know me personally, sign your name to the comment.  If you don't want to sign your name to it because you don't want the whole world to know, email me your comment instead.  However, if you try to comment on my blog anonymously and it's obvious to me that we know each other personally, I will not post the comment.  Everything else will be posted.


Stacy Cowan said...

Hmm....I'll keep my comments to myself on the anonymous posters. I don't really have anything nice to say on that subject....towards them...not you of course. However, I do hope you know that Jeremy and I do care for you and your family and you are frequently in our thoughts. I, myself am not good at staying in touch at all times, but it is something I have and will continue to try and work on. Plus, once I have this better be prepared to be STALKED!! :) Just kidding! :) But, do expect visits from Baby G and I! I've already programmed your address into my GPS! :) I know it's easier said than done, but try not to let some of the people get to you. Seems to me as they are not worth it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mighty mama. It's my habit to post anonymously when I don't know the blogger. If I have offended in any way I am truly sorry. I just watned to reach out (via the net) to someone who seems to be in pain and I hoped my comments would be helpful. It is possible you were talking about someone else but in case--I do apologise.

I will again recommend moving on b/c the people you are trying to make your point to won't get it for a variety of reasons but it shouldn't drag you down farther than you already are. Focus instead on the relationships in your life that are positive and try to move on from the ones that are not.

Robin said...

I am okay with people I do not know commenting anonymously. I thought that I had made myself clear in my post that it was directed toward people commenting anonymously that I know personally. This is a statement from my post... "I am not talking about the people from internet land that I've never met before. I'm talking about people who know who I am and I know who they are."
I apologize if I didn't make it clear enough. I appreciate you reading my blog and I appreciate the advice. Trust me, I am doing my best to take it.