Okay – my chums – I have something pretty important to say, so sit back and relax for a little because this might be a long one. I’m going to start by offering an apology: I’m sorry I’ve lied to you, and I’m sorry it took me so long to confess this.
Since starting this blog, you all know that I wanted to remain anonymous – partly because I don’t really want to face judgement from my family for sharing things with “strangers online” – and partly for the sake of diplomacy. I knew going into this that I would be writing about my flatmates, our filthy kitchen, the fact that they never emptied the bins, and all of the little things that wound me up about them. I knew that should any of them find themselves in the highly unlikely scenario of finding my blog, I wanted to make sure that it couldn’t be traced back to me too easily because if they found out I was writing about them, it would make living with them much harder.
About a month in, someone noticed my twitter thread was attached to this blog at the very bottom and they noticed that the name on the account was Robert, which isn’t my name.
As to why the name on the account was Robert is a long story, so please feel free to skip this paragraph if you don’t want to read something too depressing. In high school, I was picked on and bullied by just about everyone for just about everything, and I knew that a lot of the bullying went on behind my back on social media. My parents had prevented me from having Facebook in the hopes that this would shield me from the worst of it; we were all working on the idea that if I didn’t read or see what was being said, it couldn’t hurt me. There were days when I would contemplate self harm; I would want to scratch and claw my way out of my own body just for a little peace from it all, and then one day I just got to curious. I knew most of the snide comments and bullying remarks were made on twitter, so I created an account but I needed a name that couldn’t be traced to me. If I were to accidentally like or follow someone with my own name, that would only add fuel to the fire so I used a fake name that would allow me to silently observe what was being said about me, rather than being the centre of attention. The name I chose was Robert: my middle name.
That was the twitter account I used for the blog and I never bothered to change the name because it was serving the same purpose: a kind of anonymity. But now, having moved into a studio, I don’t need to hide behind that name anymore. In truth I feel disconnected from you all – I feel disconnected from my writing – and sometimes I feel downright lonely, so I hope that in removing that name to hide behind, I can start to reconnect with all of these things. And, if someone I know finds the blog and comes to me, I’ll just tell them that I have some amazing readers who I know will pick me up if I’m having a bad day. Besides, the odds of anyone finding this blog are quite slim as it is.
So, from now on, you can call me Sam.
(P.S. please forgive spelling/grammar errors. I’m writing this post on my phone before I go to bed and I’ll be fixing it all in the morning before work!)