I am learning more about being myself on the internet.
This is a something that I want to bring into balance, just like other aspects of my life as I’m healing. I don’t ever want to stop creating, thinking, and feeling, but as a Real Adult™ now in a professional job, I have to think more critically about what I’m saying.
Last year, one of my blogging friends was turned down a job offer because she wrote about struggling with depression and faith.
“We just really want to have someone who is in a better state emotionally,” the recruiter finally told her.
“I suddenly wanted to wipe every godforsaken word I’d ever typed off the internet,” she wrote months later, noting that honesty has a price.
I don’t ever want to stop being who I am, not even for a career that I always wanted. My fellow journalists tell me that as long as I write about faith/religion that it’s probably fine and now even prominent journalists tweet their political opinions all over the place.
But there’s more.
When I moved back here two years ago, I decided to try church again. I’d moved 1,000 miles away from my family partly because this was the only church I thought I might be able to trust.
I still didn’t speak openly around them for about a year. I watched them, guarded. All those wounds from the cult started surfacing.
“Will they guilt trip me into attending Bible studies?”
“How will they react if they don’t like my politics?”
“Do they judge you if you sleep in some Sundays?”
I hadn’t seen any of these behaviors in them, but my past gave me no reason to trust “church people.”
Over and over, for reasons I couldn’t explain, they welcomed me into their community. They missed me if I was gone, but there were no guilt trips or shaming under the mask of “being spiritual.”
I wrote about how many times I’d wanted to die for World Suicide Prevention Day and four people came up to me on Sunday telling me that I was brave and other young people in the church needed to hear they weren’t alone.
This would have never happened in the fundamentalist churches when I was a teenager. There might have been some chats with the pastor about your “sin” or “lack of faith” but you couldn’t just talk about the fact that you’d been suicidal more times than you can count and say that you were okay spiritually.
These people love me when I agree with them and when I don’t.
I’ve even met some communists and anarchist homeschoolers members of my church, which is fantastic. This kind of theological diversity can’t thrive in a judgmental atmosphere.
I’ve written a lot more about this. I’ll be posting about it soon.
I’m still writing my truth. I’m just separating my private and professional life, but I’m also freer now to express myself than I ever have been.
In the meantime, enjoy a few anonymous Tumblr posts from 2015 that I didn’t feel safe to say publicly at the time.