Have you ever been someplace where you were there, but not really?
I used to do that a lot. When our family would get together with all of the aunts, uncles, and cousins at my grandmother’s house, I never really wanted to go. I would be the only female grandchild present and I would have loved nothing more than to stay home with a book or my piano to play.
I loved it when the family was out of the house and I was alone. During my junior high school years, I would raise the lid on our upright Baldwin piano, perch my book of Beethoven Sonatas inside, and play as hard and loud as I wanted until my heart had been appeased. That’s how I released the anger and frustration in my life....through my hands.
I was also terribly shy and didn’t want to have to talk to people. Just let me sit in a chair in the living while the “boys” were all outside playing and the “girls” were in the kitchen preparing the food. Neither place nor role felt comfortable, except for the world of my book. Fortunately, my mother recognized my need. I was allowed to read, as long as I were in attendance.
Since then, I have learned from my aunt Nancy that she (and others presumably) saw me as being pretentious and believing myself to be better than “them.” Sure, I didn’t speak with the typical Oklahoma twang. I didn’t so much appreciate the finer points of a gathering of women which reached beyond serving the “boys.” In actuality, I was extremely shy and experienced a bit of social anxiety.
So what does this have to do with being someplace, but not?
Very recently, I’ve received some emails from a few readers who are wondering how I HAVE BEEN DOING? [Linda, you’re not the only one to have noted my silence of late.] Imagine. People actually see me as a person who exists beyond this blog. Thank you.
Do I really have a voice any longer?
If you’ve visited the blog, you may have noticed the widget in my sidebar which leads to pieces I’ve written for TheHealthCentralNetwork’s Multiple Sclerosis Central website. Yes, I write for them as an independent contractor, making me a freelance writer.
You may have noticed that most of the posts recently have been of the technical nature, not so much personal. Although I do try to include a personal tidbit or two buried inside. Well, my assignments have been technical in nature this month. So that’s what you’ve seen.
One of the other writers said to me earlier this year that I needed to change my online behavior because I “represent” Health Central out in the blogosphere. Srsly? Except for a very few occasions in a comment at new blog (which was extremely awkward to do), I do not go around saying, “look at me, I write at HC. Come read all my stuff.”
So what do I do? I just put it out there.
If you choose to go read and comment, great!! If you read there and comment here, great!! (...although my producer will never know how much attention “I” bring to them.)
Ok. What about the title of this post? - Why Am I So Angry?
I have been frustrated with what I see going on in our MS Blogging Community. Rather than using a blog and comments to share ideas, express ourselves, and provide information and support, there are some who are exploiting the commercial aspect.
There is one such gentleman who will not promote anything unless there is something in it for himself. I listed his site in the appropriate spots within my pages and even made an adjustment as requested. (No, I’m not going to say who this individual is.) He once “borrowed” a list of links which took me hours to compile as a resource. But when he starts to “promote” shared resources now, where is my mention? Nope, not there. Well, maybe I do need a nifty graphic or logo.
This same individual (guy #1) is now promoting guy #2 who has a distinct financial motive on his blog (one which benefits his “guru” directly). How familiar is guy #1 with guy #2’s blog? Has he perused the content, ads or links? Maybe not.
Well, guy #2 in poor taste made the move to quote a portion of a comment I left at a dear friend’s blog. When trying to clear up any confusion, I left a comment on the post which was later deleted. So I left the very same comment again, also deleted. Hey, if you can’t allow contrary views to exist on your blog (as long as they are not rude or derogatory), then perhaps a blog platform is not the appropriate medium for you.
Then there is a new persona who has hit the world of Twitter and Facebook who wants to help folks achieve a platform of wellness. She has come on very strong in a promotional manner, complete with shiny website, videos, and webcast. She was looking for people on Linked-In who expressed an interest in multiple sclerosis. Upon finding me, she requested I join her network and then suggested that I contact her if I had any questions about my MS diagnosis and what it means for me. Okaaaaaay?
So everywhere I turn, it seems, I am bombarded with personas who reek of insincerity in our online MS Community. That makes me sad and angry.
As a result, I have been sitting quietly trying not to stick my foot in my mouth (which I most certainly have done with this post). I have been reading my book (the blogs) and listening to the discussions, but not putting myself into the mix.
Hey, Linda, Kelley, Jen, et al. I still haven’t shed much light on what is really going on in my world. LOL. Perhaps I’ll have to ease back into viewing myself as a real person instead of an online persona - Health Central Writer, Carnival Glue, and Welcomer of New Blogs.