Some days, blogging is one of the best things that's ever happened to me. It's allowed me to have an outlet - a place to dump all of my feelings, fears and anger. It saves my Mom and my sisters from having to sit on the phone with me for hours. It's given me a place to vent and cry and mourn. Writing has allowed me to connect with people in a way that I wouldn't otherwise. I'm a real homebody - but let's face it... we all need to connect. And when you're a special needs parent with a thousand questions and maybe hundreds of answers - it's crucial to connect with others. Gavin is only 5 1/2 so trust me when I say - I learn from others way more than I teach others. The things that I've learned from readers of this blog - or writers of other blogs - have been, in some cases, life changing.
This blog has been a place where I share all of our experiences with regard to all things "special needs" in the hopes that others can benefit. And when I receive comments that it's helped - or you learned something - or you were inspired by Gavin - it makes me so happy.
This blog has been a place where I have shared all of our experiences with infertility, miscarriages, stillbirth, high risk pregnancies and post partum depression in the hopes that women (or men!) out there feel less alone. And when I receive comments that it has - or when I receive an email from someone sharing their darkest hours with me - I feel so privileged.
This blog has been a place where I have shared my parenting methods. My health issues. My most personal moments. I share all of this always with the hope that it will help someone, touch someone, inspire someone or teach someone something new.
Isn't there always a but?
Blogging can be a depressing place. There have been nights that I've cried to my Mom on the phone (as 42 year old women do, right?) about a nasty comment or two. She always says, "Well, Kate, you put yourself out there!" And she's right. But she's wrong.
To me, this blog is so personal. I consider it like inviting people into my home for a cup of tea and a chat... with the occasional forced slide show presentation of pictures of my kids. I don't get political... I don't say "this is how you should do it" about anything... I just write about my life.
But when you're a blogger - it's kind of "open season." And I don't think it's fair.
If you write that you don't spank - you get mail from people saying you're judging people who do.
If you write that your son had a febrile seizure and it was the scariest moment of your life - you get a comment saying "Give me a break. It was a febrile seizure. You're so dramatic."
If you write that you do anything special or extra for your kids - you get mail that you're a helicopter Mom and are screwing up your kids immensely.
If you write that you like to pick up your son from preschool with a cold glass of milk and a cheese stick ready for him in the car - just because you think it's sweet! - you get a comment that you're spoiling him and he will be screwed up immensely.
If you write about a terrible experience at a public place watching a mother verbally assault her son - and share how it affected you - and express your opinion that it just wasn't okay - you, yourself, will be called on the carpet. You didn't do enough, you should have mentored her (with your two kids with you), you should have helped her, you should have reported her... and you sure as hell shouldn't have "judged" her. When you write that you had sympathy for the little boy - you didn't have enough sympathy for the Mom. Suddenly, you're the mean one.
If you write that you support the elimination of the word "retarded" from circulation (much like the "f" word and the "n" word that you don't hear as much at all anymore!) - trust me, you will get all KINDS of comments and mail. I don't even want to go there now.
Oh, and if you write a blog at all - you're an attention whore. You need constant validation. If you monitor comments so nasty ones don't end up in your blog about your own life journey as a Mom - you're a narcissist who only allows comments that flatter you.
Basically, you can't win.
Basically, if you write anything on the internet - it is open season to criticize, debate, take issue with, insult or demean you. It's not just me - it's all bloggers! Heck, there's an entire website (probably more - but I only know one) thats sole purpose is to judge, criticize, poke fun at and insult bloggers. One of my friends writes a wildly popular blog and as much as I learn amazing things from the comments people write under her posts - I feel like I have to take a Valium before I do. There's always one or two or more really nasty comments that get me so upset. I don't know how she handles it as well as she does - she's much tougher than me.
I shouldn't be so sensitive to these things. But I am. I don't like confrontations. And I get my feelings hurt way too easily. Especially when I put my life out there and someone harshly judges it instead of just, say, rolling their eyes in the privacy of their own home and clicking the little x box to leave my site. Not everything needs to be an argument. And not everything needs to be picked apart and analyzed. I feel sometimes if I don't share something in the "right way" that it will then be taken the wrong way and my point will be completely lost. It's a lot of pressure.
Can you imagine sitting in someone's kitchen over a cup of tea - listening to them tell you a story about their son's first (and hopefully last) febrile seizure...how they truly thought (truly) that he was dead at one point...and how it was the single most terrifying moment of their lives? Then can you imagine snapping back, "Are you for real? It was a freaking febrile seizure. You are the worst kind of parents. This kid is going to grow up a derelict because of your smothering."
Anyway, blogger bullying is on my mind tonight. Nothing happened - it has just been on my mind. I don't get it.