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The Great Compartmentaliser

Food For Thought Friday - #F4TFridayI am, generally speaking, quite open about all aspects of my life; be it my interests and hobbies, my mental health, my sex life, or my general views on life, the universe, and everything. Having said that I don’t necessarily share every aspect of me with absolutely everybody.

This is less apparent in everyday (“real”) life, although the things I share with clients won’t be the same as what I share with colleagues. There may be some overlap between what my colleagues know about me and what my friends and family know, but there again, there will be differences.  Even within my most intimate circle of friends and family, different people will know different things. Sometimes this will be deliberate on my part, but mostly it will come down to the fact that I haven’t told somebody something because it just hasn’t come up.

Online, things are much more divided. There is a PG/family friendly version where I discuss most things that are appropriate for a general audience; my hobbies, my views on topical issues, my favourite cat videos and general observations on humanity.

Then there are my Cert-18 sides; the sides that talk more openly about sex and mental health and their particular implications for me and how I deal with them.  I don’t separate these because I am ashamed of them (although there may be negative implications if I were outed) but it’s just that these are topics for a more focused audience. My boss, my mum, my close friends don’t really need to know my views on D/s or when I last had sex. Similarly, when I talk about mental health, not everyone in my vanilla circle, or even the kink/sex blogging community wants, or needs to hear me go on about it.

As with “real” life, there will be elements of overlap. I cannot completely divorce the separate elements of my personality from each other because, at the end of the day, they are all parts of me and all of them go into making me the person that I am. I do, however, try to channel my output appropriately. Just as there are things that I wouldn’t discuss in front of children, there are things that those who follow me may prefer not to read. Granted, I’m forcing no one to follow me, and the unfollow/mute/block buttons are there for whoever wants to use them, but I like to give people the option of knowing as much, or as little about me as they feel is appropriate.

If you’re interested in my everyday life, follow my vanilla account. If you are interested in my views on sex, but would rather not have my darkest thoughts intrude upon you and possibly be triggering, follow my kink account. If you gain strength from shared experiences of dealing with the very worst that a mental health problem can throw at us, by all means, follow my darker account. You are free to follow any/all or none of what I choose to share about myself.

I appreciate that, perhaps, my way of sharing is somewhat complicated, but it works for me. I do occasionally get “Oh, is that you? I didn’t realise…” when someone discovers that my Jekyll and Hyde approach to twitter accounts means that there is more than one of me but, as I say, it works for me.

So yes, I probably share pretty much everything about me, but just not all of it in the same place. Sometimes you just have to know where to look…