Friday, August 14, 2015

anonymity, online stalking & bullying, authenticity & more

Recently I had my first experience with the joy of internet troll-dom in the form of an anonymous blog commenter. I've been blogging for ten years now off and on and it wasn't until about two weeks ago that I have ever set my blog comments to not allow anonymous comments. It's never been a problem for me. I process carefully what I want to say and how I want to say it. And its worked very well for me and will continue to do so.

It probably comes as little surprise to know that the comments were left on my post where I shared my heart and my story about the ending of a friendship. In the comments left, I was called to task about my statement of wanting to live beautifully and authentically. The person felt that their perusal (which honestly feels a bit eerily more like online stalking) of my Pinterest justified this. And it wasn't even my pins/repins, but my likes, as the ones that were quoted were never in fact things that I had pinned.  And trust me, I feel silly even typing these words, as the thought of being literally spied on online by such silly means is completely ridiculous.

I was questioned as to if the pins (sarcastic and snarky in nature) I'd liked were my idea of living authentically and beautifully.

My answer is two-fold:
AUTHENTIC: not false or copied; genuine; real. 
  1. Yes. Striving for authenticity in my life means that I be genuine and real in how I feel. If I'm angry, I am perfectly allowed to be angry. If I am hurt, I am allowed to be hurt. If I have been in unhealthy situation, I can talk about my experience. I can express how I feel. So without a doubt, allowing myself to feel and express myself honestly is authentic. 
  2. There is a difference between re-pinning something and liking it. One that I feel is silly to have to point out and explain. When I re-pin something, I'm saying that I personally want to share it actively with all of the people who follow me. When I like something, it can be for any one of many reasons... because it made me smile. Because it made me chuckle. Because it's a friends post, etc. I have a sarcastic and snarky sense of humor and sometimes things that others may find objectionable are funny to me. I don't have to apologize for or try to change that in myself.  It is who I authentically am.
Had these comments not been left anonymously with the intent to discredit or hurt me without personal repercussion, I would have posted them and responded to them there. And my one, heartfelt and carefully composed post would have been my only mention at all of the whole thing on my little piece of the web, left to quietly fade off of the first page and generally be forgotten.

I did respond on Pinterest. I pinned (not liked) an e-card that said something along the lines of "Your anonymous comments on my blog really put me in my place" and within minutes there was a new anonymous comment on my blog, snarkily saying something along the line of "but they got my attention *wink*" Yes. Leaving a comment on a blog is what you do when you want the authors attention. To which I responded with a note that I screen capped and pinned.

I've also since removed all my liked pins as I will not have a simple click of a heart be held against me and as a tool to perpetuate drama, abuse, harassment and hurt. I will no longer allow myself to be bullied or harassed by this situation and anyone in it or who has placed themselves within it, in person or online. The madness has got to stop... and this is only the latest in several months of different bullying and harassing tactics done by grown adults within this situation. No more.

It's an odd thing to know that a person, maybe more than one person, is watching your online activity to this degree. Trying to decode, and apply everything said to themselves or the other person in the failed relationship. BUT, it's an invasion of privacy and honestly it's creepy. And as of tonight's posting of this blog, I have received emails that I had requested a Facebook password reset, which I did not request, most likely meaning that the person or persons doing this are trying to gain access to login in to my Facebook account. It's stalking and ultimately, it's a weapon of control, harassment and bullying. And trying to break into my accounts is probably not legal. Especially considering the fact that the person or persons doing this are doing it for the person that in this whole scenario, pulled the online plug on me first by blocking me on facebook and severing the tool that we used for communication the most.

I understand the curiosity of it all when a relationship ends. Are they saying things about you? Are they better without you? Are they worse? I have no mistaken assumption of privacy online. It doesn't exist. I just hope that adults would make better and healthier choices. Trust me, I fight the urge everyday to check up on things and answer those questions. But I don't. Because it is toxic and unhealthy behavior. And I don't surround myself with people who will do it for me and report back either. Because my tribe consists of those who won't participate the drama, the pain and the disfunction of it all. A friend is not someone who goes looking for bad news to deliver to your door.

I will say this... 
I don't think my former friend is the one who is doing this.
I hope and pray that I am right. Because when I agreed that the friendship had run it's course and said that I was done trying as well, I wished her well and I meant it. I still mean it. 

I am still healing my hurt, I still have anger at what was done to me and the grief of a loss of a friend and a promise of forever. Authenticity and beauty in life is not always sunshine and roses and only nice things... often times it is raw anger, ugly cries to no one and snarky thoughts that we go through to get to the other side of pain. 

Authenticity and beauty in life is not stalking, harassing or bullying anyone intentionally. Ever.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

when you call my daughter fat...

We live in a day and age where we are told on a second by second basis how we should look, what and who we should compare ourselves to, and we inevitably fail to live up to those standards and expectations. We are told that our value as people, especially women, is based upon numbers that tell us that we pass as acceptable, healthy, beautiful, and worthy of love and acceptance.

Well, FUCK that to hell.
Today, when I picked Roslyn up from school, her head was hanging a little low and she walked to my car slightly hunched over, a concerned look across her face. I asked her what was wrong and she told me. A boy at school today had called her fat. I asked her if she thought maybe he was talking to someone else and no, he looked at her in the eye as she was walking by and told her that she was fat. 

And a seed of insecurity was planted in that moment. 

Because when you call my daughter fat...
You tell her that she is less than. 
You tell her that she is unworthy. 
You tell her that she is not beautiful, or healthy.
You tell her that she should not be happy. 
You tell her that the worst thing that someone can be, is fat. 
You make her not want to dance because she has to wear a leotard that day. 
You make her not care about her dreams, and instead care about you. 
You also tell her a lie. 

And you tell her who you are, someone who is bearing an ugliness inside of them.

I am fat. My whole life I have struggled with hating myself. I still struggle with that hate on a constant basis. Apologizing for who I am, the space I take and for those who may have  to even look at me. There are still days where I don't want to leave my house because of how I have been made to feel about how I look. I've canceled or failed to make plans because of how I look. 

I remember the playground and the taunts that came with being overweight... the cries of "Miss Piggy" to the oh so clever "You're fat!". By the time I was 12 I was in a constant cycle of starving myself to making myself throw up anything that I would eat and taking caffeine pills to combat the fatigue I felt from the pure nightmare-ish hell I was enduring as a child.

When I was pregnant with Roslyn and found out that she was a girl, one of the first thoughts I had was a prayer that she didn't genetically take after my side of the family, but Drew's when it came to her weight. When I should have been dreaming of all things pink and mama-daughter moments, I was praying that she didn't get my legs. Because I didn't want her to spend her whole life hating who she was and what she looked like. I wanted more for her than what I dealt with growing up.

I am angry. 
I am angry that that boy lives in a world where he has learned that the quickest and surest way to hurt a girl is to tell her that she is fat. 
I am angry that she believes him and spent 15 minutes crying in my arms, not wanting to go to dance and wanting to quit all together rather than wear a leotard today.  
I am angry that she thinks she needs to lose weight at 10 fucking years old. 
I am angry that with two words that boy planted an insecurity and self loathing in her that can be next to impossible to remove.

I've spent ten years as her mother teaching her how to be a good person.  To be kind, to be caring, to be respectful, to be helpful, to be courageous and to be loving. Teaching her that body shaming of any kind is unacceptable. Teaching her and telling her repeatedly that she is a strong, amazing, healthy, wonderful, smart, talented and loving girl... a good daughter, friend and person- and with two words, a boy can dim her light and make her believe that what I've told her she is is not true.

We have to STOP this nonsense and shaming. 

We have to stop tearing each other down and focus on building each other up. Tell someone that they're beautiful, that you love their shirt or their hair or their shoes, tell them that you admire their intelligence or their humor or their talent. Say ten positive things out loud for every one negative thought you have. Because just as you have the power to ruin a day, you also have the power with your words to make a day.

Please... our daughters lives and happiness depends on it.





Wednesday, August 5, 2015

34

Wow.
I woke up today with more notifications on my phone than I can ever remember. So many people taking time out of their precious and busy lives to wish me a happy day. To make me feel loved and important. To make me feel celebrated.
And I feel so incredibly celebrated and loved. Much more than I deserve. I am beyond grateful and beyond blessed because of each and every one of you and the gift that you bring to my life.
34... I'm ready for you, I am grateful for you and I won't take you for granted.
Thank you all again... I am humbly blessed and full of gratitude.