I want to talk about something that really is important to me. Recently on a message board on AOL, I was accused of lying about my life, that it was unbelievable, or I basically exaggerate my life for attention. Sometimes I wish my life was fiction. I have seen these talk shows trying to solicit guests with sound bites that say "If your life is stranger than fiction call now." I often think I should call.

I know that many people use alias online and on their journals. I do not however. I am not concerned with stalkers, thieves and weirdos knowing my name or even the proximity of where I live. I do not live in fear nor do I have anything to hide. I try to be as up front and honest online as I am in real life. This is a personal choice, and I have given thought to the risk. I'm sure many see it as foolish.

I have been on the news, many radio programs, had my picture splashed across the front page of the paper, and did a talk show about my brother's murder and disappearance. Being in the public eye makes you accessible to all the good and bad in the world. Tim's murderer(s) are still out there walking the streets of my home town, and after a year of knowing that I stopped living in fear. For a long time now I've stopped doing interviews, stopped speaking for Victims of Violent Crimes, because I have a family and I do not want anything to take away from that. It wasn't because I didn't want people to know me or that I was afraid someone would come after me.

My closest friends often say that if they did not know me they would think I was a liar. I would have to say the last ten years of my life have not lacked excitement and I have never suffered from boredom. I remember last year after my mother died that I told my family that I wondered what it would be like to have a "normal" life. I've tried very hard to establish that "normal" life or at least the appearance of one. Sometimes at night I lay in bed and think this is a dream, and that I will wake up in my parents home as a teenager, hearing my brothers voice, and thinking that I am late to school. If anything I need therapy to understand my life.

Of course anyone can believe I have this wild imagination and that I have sought out to come online and make up this persona. People may think I am really this strange girl with no life who dreamed this all up for the desire of attention.

My hope is that people do however, see me for me, who I am, what I stand for, and accept that as bizarre and as crazy that it is that my life is real, here, online, and in my "real life". In the meantime I'm going to keep expressing myself, and living the life I have to the fullest.