I’m trying to put into words the emotions I’m feeling. I’m trying to process what I’m in my head about. I’m trying to figure it all out – when it’s actually impossible to do just that.
A total stranger was an aggressor, threatened and attacked me all because she didn’t like the result that was handed down in an FB group I run. She broke the rules and suffered the consequences – as every person before her did.
She started messaging me while I was doing my children’s bed time. Incessantly my watch was buzzing with more messages. It was the end of a long day. I wanted to relax. But picked up the phone to try to mitigate the situation – though my gut said leave this till morning. Regrettably it escalated to a level of epic proportions. She sent incomprehensible paragraphs – then gave me an ultimatum, reinstate her or her lawyers will sue me.
I was so utterly confused. Had no idea what was going on. Tried to keep my cool. But I was repeatedly attacked and harassed. She told me what an awful person I am. And how my time is done. They’ll be after me. I’m only hurting my own cause.
My entire public platform is being open, honest, sharing, connecting, normalizing and supporting. This woman told me she felt sorry for me. That I’m awful. Crossed the line. And screwed myself. She didn’t stop attacking for close to 40 minutes. And she got in my head. And I couldn’t shake it.
This was shortly after last week when someone a “friend” used my daughters near drowning to condemn me as a mother and the decisions I make.
Now I realize I put myself out there. I’m a virtual public figure in the fertility and mom internet and social media space. Hardly an influencer – but a name people have come to recognize as a connector and supporter. Ultimately this woman clearly has more going on, on her side – and this doesn’t actually have anything to do with me. But it felt very personal. And I take things to heart when there is no ill will intended.
This was all happening when I found out that my parents no longer have a place to stay when they planned to come visit to help me with my kids. So I’ll be alone each day with the kids for a month. It was a whirlwind of emotions.
I know people are so on edge. Terrified for their lives. Their children. Uncertain of what’s next, what to do. People have a lot more time to be on social media. Many are using it for good. But behind the safety of a screen – claws come out, no holds barred – and things have begun getting dirty.
I want to empathize with this poor woman – because it’s clear that she actually needs real help. Her diatribes and rants and threats did not come from a sane clear mind. And though I have thick skin and can take a lot – I’m also very sensitive and get personally affected, truly hurt – when someone hurts me – especially with intention.
I’m trying to wrap my brain around it all right now. I want to let it go. And not stay in this icky place. But the way she spoke to me was actually abusive. And hit deep.
I guess I’m just hear to say – words carry with them a lot of weight. And behind the screen it’s very easy to throw them around in a vicious way. We are all so on edge and so vulnerable right now – attacking people who are good, kind and truly whose life goal is to help people – is just abhorrent.
I do feel bad for this woman. Her anger is clearly displaced – but that doesn’t take away from the affect it’s having on me.
I cried this morning in a low grade panic attack. Half assed by bike ride while on an anti anxiety because I desperately needed to not feel and to calm down. Now I poured myself a cup of Baileys while sitting on my hammock in peace. The children are watching Frozen (obviously). Nathan is working. I am getting 30 minutes to myself to process and To write. I realize this will not be one of my most widely read pieces. But I needed to get it out.
I just wonder how we can all recover from this. I see friends in moms groups armed to the teeth. I see lots more snipping at home among married couples. I see anxiety with how to manage our kids for another year like this. Arguments about schools, masks, personal rights versus the collective. It’s all so exhausting. And we all think we know what’s best.
It’s all too much for each of us to handle. I don’t think – for the first time ever – I have a catchy ending.
I think we all just need to be so much more careful in how we treat each other. I’m a little broken now because of a stranger who took her internal struggles out on me. The same thing happened last week with a “friend” who has been projecting and resentful towards me. Perhaps if we can take time to truly look inward to understand what we’re reacting to – how we’re communicating – what our true intention is – maybe we’ll be in a better place.
Also, wear your fucking masks. And above all else. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. Get the fuck out and vote.