Disclosure on Enclosure

“We are who we pretend to be, so we must be careful who we pretend to be.” — Kurt Vonnegut “Mother Night”.
I’ve had some interesting comments on my article about “Enclosure” that deserve some discussion – mainly because I’m surprised that some people are in the same situation that I am.

Sagitaria writes:

I’m not especially kinky myself, but I can relate because even though I’m using a pseudonym and am completely anonymous, I still hold back from posting some of my most personal thoughts and feelings for public consumption. Whether because it wouldn’t fit the image I’ve created, I don’t know.

This was in response to my concern that one of the groups in which I post seems to be overwhelmingly “vanilla”, and I’d found that this made me hesitant to initiate non-vanilla topics.

For some value of “vanilla,” obviously.

And echoing my own thoughts was Val, who wrote:

I can relate to the “enclosure” concept…
Although I blog only [semi-]anonymously, I find myself trapped by self-censorship ALL THE DAMN TIME; yet that’s one of the reasons I STARTED a blog in the 1st place!?!?

I’ve been perusing other blogs and I’ve noticed a few comments similar to those above, but I think that Val nailed it above: Her blog was supposed to be her freedom from self-censorship, but almost two years of journaling have made her more, not less protective of the impression that she gives to others.
Yes, that’s funny, isn’t it? Despite the anonymity of the internet, we develop personas and become so attached to them that they become virtually indistinguishable from our actual selves. I’m not talking about keeping our names hidden to avoid trouble with our families, friends, jobs, social networks; I’m talking about the way we – I – have invested so much ego into these electronic facias that those personas end up being just as closed off, hidden, private as we are at home or at work.

About Tom Allen

The Grey Geezer Dauntless defender of, um, something that needed dauntless defending. Dammit, I can't read this script without my glasses. Hey, you kids, get off my damn lawn!
This entry was posted in coming out, Communication, Disclosure. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Disclosure on Enclosure

  1. 2amsomewhere says:

    I wonder if part of the problem of achieving personal enclosure is the fact that we are not totally static creatures. While there are aspects of ourselves we know and have known for some time, I believe there are others parts that we are in the process of discovering and perhaps parts that we are afraid to explore because it entails an intolerable level of anxiety.

    For the parts that we are in the process of discovering, it may be some time before we even have the awareness to put it into writing, and then when we do, we realize that it somehow contradicts what we have said in the past, so we are afraid to reveal it to our audience.

    I think our tendency to compartmentalize has deep roots in our formative experiences. While they vary from person to person, they usually stem from some combination of events that led our childhood minds to believe that our well being depended on hiding parts of ourselves from others. Although discretion has its merits when interacting with society at large, I think we run into problems when we convince ourselves that these hidden parts are something that are so inherently bad that we need to hide them from our most intimate relationships or maybe even ourselves.

    In recent years, I have become convinced that revisiting and analyzing our childhood is of limited use in moving toward enclosure. Think of a car damaged in an accident. The body shop technician may spend only a fraction of his time thinking about how the car was damaged this way. His concern is identifying where the damage is and what actions are necessary to eliminate the damage. Likewise, absolute knowledge of why we compartmentalize won’t solve the problem of actually dealing with the anxiety that stops us from achieving enclosure.

  2. elise says:

    The reason I started my “secret” blog was for the same reason as many of you which is to be free of self-censorship. So far, I’ve been true to that. But, my blog is still a baby so we’ll see how it goes.

  3. Cat says:

    I try not to self-censor but a lot of the time I regret what I post. I don’t delete it but the idea that I would consider it says I have a long way to go to achieve the freedom I hoped to.

  4. joeflirt says:

    I like many others started out free from self censorship. Then something funny happened along the way. I built up some friendships along the way with the “regulars” that visit my blog. So much so that now I probably have more “virtual friends” than IRL friends.

    As such, I have now started to be concerned about what these people think of me. And hence, started to worry about what I reveal.

    I still manage to break this from time to time and let loose, but on a whole, I know I am still holding back.

  5. Val says:

    Wow, I’m flattered to be thus featured!
    Who knows, maybe I’ll pick up a few new readers to supplement my “vast horde” of approx 3 or 4, heh heh…
    Then again, I’m toying w/the idea of starting a new, REALLY anonymous blog where I can let the *%$#@! fly…
    (Talk about some deep dark S/M involving my ex & a host of other real & fictional characters?!?)

  6. Pingback: The Edge of Vanilla A Different “Self Enclosure” «

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    My online friends propose this link to use -[url=http://www.geocities.com/westlandus/top10.htm]TOP10[/url] – As for me, I think life is now!!!

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