It’s amazing how many of today’s big stories dealing with truth and disorder have something to do with identity, isn’t it? That’s no accident.
I write now in defense of Healthy Place blogger Natasha Tracy who, we now know, writes using a pen name because of the stigma of mental illness. This has caused backlash from some of her readers that is unfortunate, but understandable.
But when Tracy admitted that she uses a pen name when writing about her disorder because of the stigma associated with mental illness, she hadn’t prepared for the controversy that would ensue.
Tracy posted “Losing Credibility Because of Your Mental Illness,” about stigma associated with bipolar disorder and similar conditions, early on March 15th. Within hours, the story had 2,000 views and close to 40 comments, some supportive, but many indicating readers felt betrayed and angered by the news.
It breaks my heart to see so many broken hearts. It breaks my heart that the world is such a place that people like Natasha feel they have to use a pseudonym. It also breaks my heart to see people lashing out negatively at her. When someone gives so much of themselves, and they do it to help other people, it’s not appropriate to tell them they are not giving enough of themselves. She is giving all that she possibly can, and that should be enough for everyone. If she were being intentionally malicious, it would be worthy of criticism, but when someone is pouring out everything they can pour out for you on a daily basis, it’s not okay to ask for more. She gives 100% of what she can give and 100% is enough.
I blog in my own name for a reason. Identity has a spiritual component for me, as a Catholic. I am not what anyone else thinks I am. I am what God says I am. It’s important for me not to be afraid of misrepresentations and misunderstandings by other people who do not define me because I consider that my home is not in this world, but in heaven. But not everyone is in that place with me. Natasha Tracy gives everything that she is able to give, and what she gives is worth a great deal. Please don’t expect more from someone who gives so much.
Follow Natasha Tracy on Twitter. She has important things to say about Bipolar Disorder, even though I sometimes disagree with her. The world is big enough for her.