Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Not So Anonymous

Anonymiss from Bing



“Can I read what you just wrote?” my daughter asked.

“Sure,” I responded.

I handed her my laptop.  She read a page from my work-in-progress and said, “I love this part.”  Then she looked confused and asked, “Who is Elsie Amata?”

My heart sank.  I had forgotten about the header at the top of the page.  When I first became serious about writing my book, I decided I’d publish it under my pseudonym.  I created the name but never had the courage to make it public.  That was until a few months after I started my other blog.  Then, I added it to my profile.  My mistake was not removing it from rough draft of my novel.

So, when my daughter read my work-in-progress, she also saw the pseudonym I created for myself on the Internet.  I never thought it would be this blatant of a mistake that’d get me exposed.  Instead of telling a complete lie to my daughter, I told her a partial truth.  I let her know that I was planning on releasing the book under an alias.  We bantered back and forth about how silly that was and she told me she wanted me to publish it under my real name.  I agreed it was a great idea and I’d think about it. 

Then, I deleted my alias from my novel and did an Internet search.  As it turns out, I’m pretty easy to find.  The question is, will she look?  Knowing her the way that I do, I’d say the answer is no.  If I had made a big deal about the name, she would have looked.  Since I didn’t, she moved on from it.

It made me think about what life would be like if the kids knew about Devin’s sex addiction.  They know about my coke addiction twenty years ago.  They know I attend a twelve-step program and they’re proud of me for it.  But, how would they feel about Devin’s addiction?  It’s not quite the same.

Two years ago, we were in a position where we thought we had to disclose to them.  I was being stalked by one of his affair partners and she was threatening to contact the kids.  Back then, it seemed like a good idea to tell the kids.  In hindsight, I’m glad we didn’t.  Devin is still working on himself right now.  He has too much healing to do before he is able to share his addiction with them.

I think, in all honesty, they know something is going on with him.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that mom and dad both started going to meetings at the same time.  Mom actually calls her meetings, “meetings,” dad calls his meetings,  “the boy’s club.”  They pick up on the twelve-step lingo we use from time to time. 

I understand Devin’s position completely.  He feels the children will lose respect for him as a dad.  A role he has a hard time with as step-dad on some days.  I also understand it’s his addiction to share, not mine.  When he’s ready to disclose it to the kids, I’ll be there for him.

Let’s just hope I don’t accidently give it away first…being anonymous ain’t that easy.

~~~

ETA:  I woke up with a migraine.  I'm heading back to bed.  I'll be back later to comment and visit blogs.  xoxo

41 comments:

  1. You just never know how kids are going to react. It's possible, like you said, that they already know, or suspect.I wouldn't worry about her finding out. Just stick with your plan and tell her when you're ready.

    And good luck on staying anonymous. I'm not good at it, every member of my family has found my blog at some point in time... :)

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    1. I think you're right. I think I'll stick with my original plan and let Devin be the one to disclose his addiction in his own time. I am hopeful they don't discover either one of my blogs but if they do, I know it's because they are supposed to for whatever reason.

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  2. You've done an amazing job keeping it from them so far. Way better than I would have done! Lots of authors have released books under pseudonyms. Stephen King did it years ago, using Richard Bachman.

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    1. He's the one I thought of, JoJo. Maybe one day, I could release my books under my real name like he did! That'd be pretty awesome!

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  3. Maybe when they're old enough. If the situation makes you. But even if they discover, I don't really see anything shocking about it... they will take it normally.... it's nothing criminal or anything similar.

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    1. I think my boys are old enough. One is out of the house and the other is in college. I think the only thing shocking would be the affairs. But, you're right, I believe they'd be more accepting then we give them credit for.

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  4. I agree with Remembering Grace. Stick to your own timetable and tell her when you're ready. Trust your instincts :)

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    1. I think telling Peanut now would change how she thinks of him, but in a good way. It would help her understand some of reactions to certain situations in the house. But, again, waiting until he is emotionally ready is best for us.

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  5. I write as a cat but use my own name, hmmmm not very wise thinking there anonymity wise huh? haha best to let him tell them indeed when/if he wants to. Hopefully she won't look, I'd be too curious even at that age and have to go looking.

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    1. Hatt is your real name? I thought it was an alias because it rhymed. You bring up a good point. It very well be that he may never want to tell them because he is so ashamed and embarrassed. Or because he fears losing their respect. Fingers crossed she won't check...

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    2. Yep, I use my real name to get my fame haha no alias for me. I just checked too and yeah you pop right up, hopefully she won't look

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    3. Yeah, I'm thinking she's already moved on to bigger and better things in her teenage world.

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  6. Kids are smart. They're very intuitive about their parents. I'm sure they have an inkling of what's going on. But the details...yeah, that's up to you and Devon to share when you're ready, if ever. Some things are also meant to stay between a husband and wife (and shared anonymously on the internet. LOL).

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    1. Another good point! There are certain things that should remain between a husband and a wife. Just like arguments shouldn't be had in front of kids, neither should the cause of those fights be revealed - if that makes sense. It can make the kids feel like it's their fault. Sharing he has an addiction is one thing. The details of what he did is another. I just share that with you guys. =P

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  7. I've had to explain "Al Penwasser" to my kids.
    Yet another reason for them to think their father is insane.

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    1. Hmmm, so now I wonder if Al is your real name or not. I just thought Penwasser was German because wasser means water. ha ha

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    2. Not his real name, the cat saw his real one and knows it is a false claim

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    3. I "came clean" a few weeks back in a repost. My "secret identity" is about as secure as our emails.

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    4. Well, well, well. It seems I'm not the only one hiding behind an alias. However, I don't have my behind sitting on a toilet on my blog either.

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  8. I don't know how old your kids are, but that's something to take into consideration as well.

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    1. That's mostly why I keep myself hidden behind an alias. My daughter is still young. The boys are older and would understand better than she can right now.

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  9. Kids are smart. They probably know something's up. However, as mentioned, certain things are best kept between a husband and wife. If my parents had past sexual problems, I don't want to know about it. It's not my business. As long as they're happy and working on things, that's all I care about. I'd rather hear it in vague terms (we had a relationship problem, but we're working on it), and more than anything, the important message is that whatever's wrong is being worked on and things are improving and working well. Kids would rather hear that than "dad has a problem" any day.

    Also, nothing wrong with using a pen name in this day and age. Worse comes to worse, your book takes off as a raging success and you can reveal your identity when your kids are much older. I'm too immature for pen names. I'd probably release our next book under "Ron Farthammer."

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    1. Yeah, I don't think I'd want to know about my parents problems in full details either. It'd be way to much for me to handle as a kid. Even as an adult, I'm not sure how much I'd want to hear. My mom dated a guy after my dad died and she overshared once, it nearly made me vomit. I think it's all about how things are presented to the kids too.

      I'd still buy your book, even with the name Ron Farthammer. ha ha

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  10. Tough one but I think disclosing them to your children when your hubby is ready would be best ~ As you said, its his addiction, his challenges & concerns, so let him be the one to determine when to tell the children ~

    I hope you are doing better Elsie ~ Take care and have a good week ahead ~

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    1. I think having them know I attend a twelve-step meeting is a good way for them to be prepared for when/if he discloses. Maybe he'll decide soon, maybe he'll decide it's something he'd rather not tell them at all. Only time will tell, I suppose.

      I'm feeling much better. Thank you! Have a great weekend!

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  11. hope your head is feeling better...it is hard to know when kids are ready for these things...or can process them...i am sure when he is ready they will listen...it might sting as we oft put our parents on a pedestal but it will make him human as well....

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    1. My head is doing much better today. Thank you. I think, for us anyway, our boys would be ready. They are pretty much grown up, in the sense that they are over 18. Our daughter is still in school. I'd rather not expose her to it until he is entirely ready and comfortable. I agree with you as far as them seeing us as human. I know they appreciated me telling them my story and making my apologies to them.

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  12. I suck at being anonymous because I forget I am suppose to be and use my name again, I hope it goes better for you

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    1. I always figured your name was Jo-Anne Meadows. See how naive I am! =)

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  13. being anon isn't easy at all is it. i've made some uh...mistakes but nothing made my stomach sink like a rock like when I first started blogging and an old x found my blog and said he knew it was me. yikes. there was nothing to do but tell the truth.

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    1. No, being anonymous isn't as easy as it seems. When my hubby's AP found me, I was shocked! Especially when she found me on Facebook. That floored me.

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  14. I think in my head that it was a wise option not to tell the kids, it's also very intelligent of you that you told the outright truth about it being a planned pseudonym , the best way of going about staying anonymous, absolutely brilliant because it didn't make a big fuss and didn't raise any attention to you that might cause her to Google it.

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    1. That's my hope, Matthew. I'm hoping her interest was quelled enough to keep her from searching me out. I'm fairly certain she's moved onto better things in her teenage life. I'm sure she's bored by it by now.

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  15. I totally agree with your reasons and for a while I did the same but now I'm out and proud:D

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    1. ha ha - I'm so proud of you, Fran!! I can see the confetti they threw in your honor!

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  16. I can't even imagine.. Why not use another alias entirely, though?

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    1. It's funny you mention that, D. (Yes, I'm calling you D now.) I actually did start thinking of using a different name. And, I may still. But, and yes, there's a few buts...I have a kind of sentimental attachment to my alias. Also, even if I change it, it can still be found through old comments, and how will everyone know who I am when I release it? I'll just be some random person. Not Elsie Amata. That would suck. No one would buy it.

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  17. Sorry about the migraine. Hope it is passed by now. Hard thing about all this Internet stuff. Kids are pretty smart though, they know when things aren't right. Hang in there.

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    1. Thanks, yes, the migraine is gone today. Yea! Kids are wicked smart. They all knew back in 2010 when the poop hit the fan. I felt it was best back then to be as honest as possible and let them know we were having problems and going to counseling. They seemed alright with it because we were working as a team.

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  18. Ugh! That's hard. I'm sure she woudn't think to look, because as far as she knows, there's nothing to that name, except as what you want to use when you publish your book. So she wouldn't even think that there's anything to find.

    I completely understand him not wanting the kids to know. It's a tough subject to explain and obviously very personal. The kids probably wouldn't even want to hear about it, you know?

    Darn migraine!! Hopefully it is good and gone by now.

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  19. Here's my opinion and you may not agree...but I believe that the sooner children learn about the harsh realities of life the better. Although, there are certain things that need to be left unsaid. It's up to you to know which ones can be disclosed.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.