Several people have asked me why I went on TV and the radio if I wanted to be invisible, as I said before. This is a fair question. I appreciate those who have asked it nicely, in a spirit of curiosity. To those who have asked it as part of an attack on my intelligence or sincerity, I am glaring in your general (virtual) direction and wagging my finger at you. (Yes, I am actually sitting in my bedroom glaring and wagging my finger.)
I wrote this response to the first person who asked the question, and I post it here in the hope that I will not have to address everyone individually.
I did not write this blog to get attention. Yes, I knew there was a possibility that people other than my friends and family would read it, but I thought it was a small possibility. I knew that anyone who found the post would know exactly who the senator was. I left out his name naively hoping that fewer people would stumble across the blog during searches (or whatever methods people use--I still have no idea how random people found this).
When I wrote a couple days ago that I wanted to be left alone, I meant it, but I have had a change of heart.
In his essay "Self Reliance," Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.--'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.'--Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood."
When I first read "Self Reliance" during my junior year of high school, I thought Emerson was an idiot who was trying to justify his fickleness, but now that I have a few more years of life experience, I see that he was right. Someone who does not change her mind as she acquires new information and experience is foolish, indeed. In the past few days, I have acquired information and experience at an alarming rate and am, therefore, justified in changing my thoughts about the attention I am receiving, as well as about many other matters.
Furthermore, my desire to be invisible is a maladaptive coping skill I have developed in response to a severe anxiety disorder that I have struggled with since the age of 5 (or thereabouts). It is called avoidance, the hallmark of anxiety. My current psychotherapy focuses on overcoming avoidance. This week has given me many opportunities to face my fears (like speaking in public) rather than run from them.
Additionally, every criticism I receive gives me a chance to practice my assertiveness, another skill I am working on.
As so many people have been supportive, encouraging, and complimentary, I cannot respond to you individually, though I would like to. You've helped me find courage somewhere in my trembling soul and given me more hope for what the world can be and what I can be. Thank you.
Current song: "Leaving New York," R.E.M.