Anonymity Doesn't Make Honesty - Safe

I don't even remember how I first stumbled upon EP, but armed w/an undergrad pysch major, I immediately saw its therapeutic value. I resolved to use EP as a vehicle to:
1. compare my sanity
2. test my limits of introspection
3. glimpse the lives of others
4. gauge my relative morality

While I initially resolved to write here with absolute abandon and honesty, I've noticed an interesting phenomenon. If I write a particularly edgy or personally excoriating story, and no one comments within 48 hours, I experience the silence as societal distaste. I feel I have overstepped some boundary of acceptability and feel shame. I am then compelled to delete the story.

I also erase stories when I feel they are attracting too much of the "wrong" attention. Okay, I know this is weird but -- even if I have a few aberrant or fetishist fantasies, I'm loathe to accept into my circle those who have ONLY such interests in their profiles. Somehow this impacts my self-image and makes me feel like a "bad" person. I have to backpedal quickly lest the invisible hordes of EP members brand me as "twisted", "corrupt" or "dirty" and the sort of person THEY don't want to associate with.

Amazing to me really -- that I should care what people I'll never meet think of me. But there you have it. My experiment in total honesty has failed.
Colormevibrant Colormevibrant
46-50, F
9 Responses Aug 1, 2010

You make me think! (I like that)
I do try to be honest and respectful at all times while I am on EP. I try to express the feelings I have on all topics and sometimes this does attract some interesting replies but EP allows me to search myself and to go through my mind to see what has been left abandoned in the corners.
I guess total honesty will not work in a public forum. Even in a private one we have to be a bit careful.
It would be wonderful to find someone who can be open to all and understanding. I hope you can find such a person, heck, I hope we all can find them! What a great experience that would be.
Thank you for sharing this.

You're too kind, really. But I'm not sure your response above is referring to exactly the type of honesty to which I was referring. By no means am I advocating the type of "honesty" that manifests itself in being rude or hurtful. I'm speaking more of the type of honesty that reveals hypocrisy. For example: sharing interests in children, faith & altruism -- at the same time one shares stories about **** sites, infidelity & deviant sexual behavior. Because most of us aren't aware of whether others share our deep, dark, corners, we don't ever reveal them in "real life." I was hoping to do so here -- but find that EP in many ways mimics society. So if I post deviant stories, I get primarily deviant responses -- and vice versa.

I believe understand. It is true that sharing the "dark parts" of our minds will definitely attract trolls/etc on these social sites.
But we all have many sides to our personality. If we find a friend that is able to accept us this way and we are able to share all these feelings/thoughts it would be something to cherish.
I often envy women because they seem able to share so much more with each other than men do. I am sure they do not share all but their friendships seem to be deeper.

Well said. I am very tempted to delete as I'm not "popular" which is a bit fascinating in itself. Strange. But I'm trying to resolve my issues so I've promised myself not o delete.

Don't know how I missed this for so long. Thanks for your comment! Hope you've stuck to your guns on the deletion ban! :-)

Thanks for commenting pookiem! You're real people too! :-) I'm going to have to get back on that story-writing ball. I've been slacking!

I agree pretty much with what all of you are saying. I also fell upon this site, like so many others before me and they'll plenty more who have yet stumbled into EP. I was looking up the meaning of a dream for a relative, Googled dreams or meaning of... something like that, and just picked one, clicked on it and not only did I get an answer for him, I found a little place to hang out in that is NOT Facebook. I have nothing against FB but to me it's just somewhere to keep up with family, a couple of High School friends and see pix of grand babies. I've met a quite a few great people but have also gotten 'fanned' by ones that I have nothing in common with. I don't get why they want to be a friend with someone who travels in a different type of circle. So, I don't think it's necessarily what you post, especially if the groups you are in don't reflect that. <br />
I'm far from being a prude, don't judge what others may enjoy and I'm sure I could pick out a few groups where I would have fit into about 20 years ago. But that was a different time & place in my life. And now I have found myself in a place that I always thought would be as good as it gets but realistically thought didn't exist. Hey, nobody's life is perfect but it is my definition of the word. I really couldn't ask for more. <br />
As for being out there with your stories/posts, thinking you were out of line since no one commented, I'm fairly certain that is not the case. I haven't posted anything about my past, my postings have been mainly humor/jokes & Inspirational and some have no comments at all, however, I see that they have a lot of visits so I think that some just go thru & read, then move on to the next. I've done that as well but I try to at least give a rating or like. I don't always have a comment at that time.<br />
To sum all this up, just do what suits you at the time. If people don't like what you write, it's OK, and try not to take it personally. There are a lot of folks on here and unless this is all someone does 24/7, most of us have to do other things. I think they call that real reality in real time. Very interesting comments everyone. I enjoyed reading them. You are real people.

I'm new here, so this experience is new to me... It's frustrating to read something good, have a lot of good feedback, and then read it all in the posts that are already there. And, it seems kinda' lame to just say, Yeah, what he said. <br />
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I've been very restrained for most of my life. Upon reflection, though I don't feel at all victimized, I see a pattern that could be explained by: to hobble him maximumally, do these things; you'll get the most mileage out of the smallest efforts if you hobble him this way. I'm not saying that there was any evil intent, by any seen or unseen being, just that you could connect the dots that way. That just fascinates the hell outta' me.<br />
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Now I am all for letting it go. Maybe that's why I'm in art school? When I was getting a two-year degree I used to tell folks it was so I could learn to color outside the lines. Now that I'm about to get a four-year degree I'm coming to understand that I've ALWAYS been a color-outside-the-lines guy who was restrained, like an elephant with a rope, by bad, limiting ideas. I could write a book about how we limit ourselves, in all sorts of ways. It's like some holy cause for me now to get people to cast off their shackles. Respect other's boundaries, their real boundaries, not the insane, namby-pamby, fearful, ridiculous boundaries of political correctness, and LET LOOSE!<br />
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I stumbled across this site while looking for something else. After reading some pretty racy stuff, like Ms. Vibe was talking about (and, in fact, something of hers), I thought this would be a place that I could really let loose and be myself (though that would mean no pics of myself and taking pains to protect my identity, in case I wanted to be attorney general one day, or something). I think that when we do that, at least it's been my experience, we get it out of our systems and don't want to do it as a lifestyle or anything, it was just energy that needed to be expressed/released. That's one of the great results of doing morning pages -- you have the permission to go ANYWHERE, and believe me I have. Then, for the most part, the energy is discharged and forgotten.<br />
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I bet, Mz. Vibe, that if you satisfy your curiousity about most of your fetishes you'll lose interest in them. You may come up with new ideas... ;) But, finally, if there is no pain that no one wanted, what's the harm? Maybe to be exposed? So, you could come here or somewhere else. I was thinking, when the internet was new (am I showing my age yet?) that this would be a great oppty for exactly this, and it would contribute to the overall mental health of the world.<br />
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Please forgive me for being so prolix. I should be installing software and looking after some client issues; probably why I'm spending time online. Plus, I'm hoping to catch a friend.

What kind of bait are you using? Just kidding. I enjoyed reading your post and I wanted to color outside the lines, so I did. People who are a little left of center usually want to do that and they are also my type of people. I like to say that I suffer from ADD &amp; DGS. That would be Attention Deficit Disorder and Don't Give a S**t. Anyway, that was my 2 cents worth. I just couldn't pass up the "bait" statement. Sorry.

I can't figure out exactly how you earn the 'red dot' but it supposed;y indicates your profile is more adult than some of the others. *shrugs* I'd give you a yellow dot if I could :-)

Huh! Scoobs, what's the deal with the red dot? One of my friends has one and I can't figure out why. Do I have one too? I just peeped your profile and don't immediately see one . . . Can I have a yellow dot (she asks hopefully) ya think?? Yellow's my fav color! ;-) <br />
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oh, & thanks for the comment & helpful hints!

It didn't fail. You just got an unexpected result. (someone much smarter than me said that but I can't remember who.) A lot of stories get comments based solely on who's online when you post them. If your friends are active and push your activity off the front page, things get over looked. And one thing I do with 'non-mainstream' type stories are I post them as friends only blogs. I don't feel so open and vulnerable that way. I just kind of went through something similar. They redid the profile and all of a sudden I have a red dot and it took me a while to figure out it wasn't THE red dot but still it kind of upset me. Oh well. I hope this wasn't too disjointed.

I do that all the time. :)