Wee Pause for Station Identification

Last night as I was going to sleep, my phone beeped. Normally, I put it on “do not disturb”, but somehow I had managed to forget.

The notification was Twitter, informing me that someone wanted me to know that I was an apostate, and not deserving of the title “Mormon”.

Well, that’s okay, I guess. That’s what Twitter is for. But it gave me cause to pause — am I, could I possibly be, an apostate? Nobody has ever used that term to describe me before.

More importantly, I asked myself if last night’s post had been inappropriate or inconsistent with my obligations as a Mormon and as a human being.

This blog is not a high-traffic, lay-it-all-out-there-for-the-world-to-see, high-and-mighty kind of a place. This is my place, where I write under a pseudonym about the things that make me feel vulnerable. It’s a therapy blog. A place where I can contribute to the conversations that are happening without jeopardizing too much. Nothing I say here is anything I am ashamed of – this is a place where I can be how I feel. No one blog post weighs significantly more than another – they are all just snapshots that must be viewed together in order to discern the whole.

If I want to make a public sort of a stand, I have other forums where I can do that. Here, I can be angry. I can be sad. I can be hurt. I can be discouraged. I can be hopeful. I can mourn. I can swear.

In this age where nothing is anonymous anymore, I’m glad to have the protection of a pseudonym. It doesn’t work anymore to print out pamphlets and nails them to doors. That’s not how thoughts are spread. In this day and age where the internet connects us all, a simple google search of a person’s name can strip them of the things they hold dear*.

Last summer, April Young Bennett publicly decided to no longer blog under a pen name in a bold assertion regarding the importance of authenticity. Less than a year later, her priesthood leader required her to remove her writing from the internet or lose her temple recommend. We all lose.

Last night, I was angry. My post reflected that anger. Anger isn’t always rational, but it is a part of the human experience. We live in a world that tries to whitewash everything. Infertility blogs exist in perfect counterpoint: they make the argument by their mere existence that life is a tapestry of rich hues and various textures, not meant to be painted over.

*I do try to make sure that even though I write under a pen name that I say nothing cruel or abusive. Sometimes people use false identities to screw other people over, or to call them crude names. I’ve always felt that was wrong, and I have no intention of following a pattern like that.


One thought on “Wee Pause for Station Identification

  1. Ugh, I’m so sorry that you had that experience. What that person said was not okay. Whoever they are, they have no right to be judging or accusing or throwing stones. They don’t know your heart, and who are they to say you don’t deserve to call yourself a Mormon?? I wonder sometimes about what I post on my blog (and sometimes I find myself wanting to go back and edit) but I feel the same way as you that my blog is my space to be me. It’s a place where I can be authentic and real, and I really write for my own benefit more than for any one else’s. You’re so right that we all lose if we are not able to speak up about the things we care about, so just keep being you and saying what you need to say!


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