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.