My Transparent Costume

We’re less than a week away from Halloween! If you had to design a costume that channeled your true, innermost self, what would that costume look like? Would you dare to wear it?

Today’s Daily Post prompt is curiously timed. Not more than two weeks ago I literally took the mask off of my blogging identity. Had I thought it through a bit more I suppose I should have had some big build up to it and revealed my true self on Halloween, like some genius writer I know.

In January of 2011, I launched Stuphblog to little fanfare. Frankly, I’m not even sure I was excited about it. I was two weeks away from becoming the father of a third child and blogging was really just a way to kill time while I was at work.

I knew at that time I was going to blog anonymously, and choose the moniker Twindaddy with which to represent myself online. That was a name I embraced long ago in the days of Yahoo chatrooms and AIM, inspired by the fact that I’m a very proud father of twins. And without much forethought, I chose a stormtrooper as my gravatar because Star Wars. Eventually, one particular blogger addressed me as a stormtrooper and not a blogger, and that’s when I began to embrace the role of being a stormtrooper online, figuring it added a bit of intrigue to my online persona. Which it did.

twindaddy-twoguns3

Twindaddy, as depicted by Goldfish, whose art you should check out and purchase.

Removing my virtual mask is something I struggled with for years. My anonymity was important to me in some ways, but a hindrance in others. For instance, my dear Rara at one point submitted my work to an online publication, but it was rejected because they wanted a name to attach to any pieces they published. Evidently, they didn’t believe Twindaddy was an actual name. Philistines. At any rate, I was unwilling to remove my helmet at that time.

Last year, when I began fundraising for AFSP, my anonymity came into question. AFSP does not allow you to raise funds anonymously and I risked people finding my true identity by linking my anonymous blog to my personal fundraising campaign. I did it anyway, figuring people would hopefully assume that Scott was some other dude, and not a man hiding behind a stormtrooper mask online.

Things have changed in the past year.

I now know that depression is something I’m stuck with for the rest of my days. My doctor at one time believed my depression was situational, catalyzed by my impending divorce. He dismissed me when I told him I had been diagnosed as manic-depressive when I was 13, and assured me that the things I was suffering were typical of someone going through a divorce. He told me that he wanted me to come off the Prozac he had prescribed me in one year’s time.

When my prescription ran out one year later, I stopped taking the pills, obviously, since I didn’t have any more. It was a disaster, to say the very least. After many hurdles, I was able to get back to my doctor and he put me back on Prozac.

I’m feeling much better now.

I realized at that point that I should probably stop hiding my diagnosis from the people I know in real life. I had blogged extensively about my depression from behind the mask, but perhaps only one or two people I actually know outside of the blogging community knew my troubles and read my blog. So I decided to take the plunge and remove the mask. I shut down my old blog so I could start afresh. I figured I could do my small part to help remove the stigma from mental illness and get people talking about it. The less afraid we are to talk about mental illness the more willing people will be to seek treatment for it, and that benefits everyone.

Plus, I figured blogging transparently might help me eventually get published somewhere. Hey, you never know.

So here I am, without the mask. The costume of my true self is that of a 37-year-old man with 14-year-old twin boys and a 3-year-old toddler, who suffers from depression and has been divorced twice because he makes idiotic decisions because he listens to his heart instead of his brain. But at least I have a sense of humor about it.

Does my costume frighten you?

 

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About Twindaddy (330 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

52 Comments on My Transparent Costume

  1. Not at all, darling — and thank you for the shout out (by the way, I reference that bit from Night Court all the time).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your costume is not scary. Good on you for helping to remove the stigma. How are the people in your non blogging life dealing with finding out about your depression? Are they supportive?

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  3. I think it suits you well, and I like it 🙂

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  4. Ahhh, there’s a sort of freedom to being solidly you, without any mask, don’t you think? I understand why some people blog anonymously and agree – I also think that as soon asthey feel comfortable that it is a positive step to “come out”. Congrats Scott – I like this new you. .

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  5. It’s nice to meet you Scott!!!!!

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  6. I like this costume. And you’re very brave. Maybe some day I can be transparent. It might stir up problems, but it would make so many other things less complicated.

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  7. But what if you’re still not who you say you are? What if you’re really Kenyan Muslim Socialist??? I demand to see your birth certificate!!
    🙂

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  8. I can’t imagine maintaining two personas on things like Facebook, Twitter, etc. to do the social media side of blogging while trying to maintain anonymity. Ugh. Life is complicated enough without that extra work.

    That said, now that I’m rejoining the corporate world (starting a new gig Monday) I may need to rethink what/how I say on social media, knowing a simple google search would serve all that information up. Something I need to noodle on some more in the coming days.

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  9. Hi Scott!
    I saw your post title yesterday and was immediately intrigued because I even thought, “Hmmm…he just took off his mask. How ironic!”
    I absolutely love that we know who you are and to have a face with a name. Maybe it’s natural human curiosity, but from the beginning I wanted to know the man behind the storm trooper. Not scared of your costume at all 🙂

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  10. Be who you are that is all that matters. Kudos for your courage, you have many supporters.

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  11. Your costume doesn’t scare me. 🙂 & I’m glad you decided to lift the mask.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 🙂 you are very brave indeed.

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  13. I think you’ll be happier in the long run.

    I used to not let anybody know me for fear they wouldn’t like me. Then I figured out that nobody had any opinion about me … Now some folks know me and like me, some don’t like me. But either way, it’s based on the real(ish) me.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Nothing scary about it. Brave? Yes. I believe you will be able to reach so many people as the real you. I’m proud to know you and pleased that you’re here.

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  15. I remain behind a pseudonym. I do it so clients / employers and others who could find my personal story and political leanings and use them, all or some, against me. My blog is the one place I am free to be absolutely ‘me’. Oddly, my pseudonym is not entirely a made up name, but part of my real name just not entirely. I do not use my complete name in Facebook either, unless someone knows me, they would never find me.

    I think you did the right thing Scott, brave and daring.

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  16. We all blog for different reasons and sometimes it’s necessary to be anonymous. But then we all have to take off the mask at some point.

    Good to see the man under the helmet.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Not frightened in the least. The stormtrooper mask always did a bit though but that’s just because I’m such a wuss. 😉 I came out of the closet some many months ago and found it very liberating and now I don’t give a shit who finds what I write. If they don’t like it they can lump it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not worried too much about it affecting my personal life. I’m more worried about my professional life, such as it is. Companies evaluate people over here using Google and Facebook…

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  18. No, actually not – because we already knew you before we saw your face. Well, we knew what you told us, of course. I feel like a face and a real name reveals less than what you write on a blog.

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  19. No! Your costume does not frighten me – although a truly transparent costume would embarrass me & probably frighten me quite a bit! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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