April 14, 2024

Laney Goff

Social Sesh: My Divorce Story and the Unseen Struggles of Living Publicly


Influencers face a unique dilemma: How much of their personal life should they share with their followers? The lines between the personal and the public are often blurred if not entirely erased. My journey through a tumultuous period of my life, which resulted in a divorce, exemplifies the challenge.

2020 was the year everything changed for me. It marked the beginning of my career in social media, a realm where I found not merely an audience but a community. Instagram, a space for making connections, became my platform of choice as a social media expert—and my online business flourished beyond my wildest dreams. Success was sweet, with monthly earnings that most people only dream of, all from organic growth and genuine engagement.

Yet, beneath the surface of this digital success story, a storm was brewing in my personal life.

The Hidden Struggle Behind the Screen

As the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, my life took on a complexity I hadn't anticipated. Juggling the demands of a booming online business with the realities of being a full-time mom to two young children was challenging enough. Add to this the fact that my husband was an essential worker, away at his office daily, and you can imagine the pressure building within our home—and within me.

Our marriage, already on shaky ground, began to crumble under the strain. Despite the smiles and the snapshots of our family life that I shared with my followers, our reality was far from the picture-perfect scenes on their screens.

Sharing My Truth

By November 2020, I found myself at a crossroads. The decision to separate from my husband and move back to my hometown was monumental, not just for my family but also for my online persona. My absence on social media hadn't gone unnoticed, and the shift in my environment sparked questions from my followers. Their concern was palpable, and their DMs were filled with words of worry and support.

The idea of discussing such a private matter publicly felt inherently foreign, almost invasive. I struggled with the discomfort of exposing my personal strife to thousands of followers, most of whom I’d never meet. The act of sharing instilled a visceral sense of vulnerability, a stark departure from the curated content that defined my online persona.

The Weight of Vulnerability

Making the announcement brought a whirlwind of emotions. On one hand, it was liberating to lift the veil on my struggles, to no longer pretend everything was perfect. On the other, I felt like I’d crossed a forbidden invisible boundary between my public and private life. The outpouring of support that followed was overwhelming and heartening, yet part of me wrestled with whether this openness was worth the discomfort of exposing my personal woes.

To this day, I remain ambivalent. The support from my online community was a beacon during one of my darkest times, yet I can’t fully shake the unease that came with such a public disclosure of my private life.

Even now, four years later, a flurry of emotions resurfaces when I observe other content creators navigating their own personal crises in the public eye. I empathize deeply with the dual pressures they face—not only the personal turmoil of situations like divorce but also the heavy responsibility of sharing such news with a vast audience of strangers. It’s a poignant reminder of the stress and complexity that comes with life in the spotlight. It illuminates the delicate balance between transparency and privacy that public figures must manage.

Reflecting on the Journey

Looking back on this journey, I’m struck by the paradox of social media—it's a space where connections are made and communities are built, yet it also demands a piece of ourselves that we may not always be ready to give. The experience has taught me the value of boundaries, the importance of self-care, and the need for authenticity in a world that often prefers the veneer of perfection.

As I continue to share my life and insights online, I do so with a newfound appreciation for the power of my voice and the impact of my choices. The journey is ongoing, a delicate dance between the public and the private, the shared and the sacred.

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