This was the title of a blog post written about me and my family by an internet troll. It might have been called “An Ugly Heart.” Thankfully, my google searches no longer pop up with this post. This mania resulted in a major shift of my work. By mania, I mean harassments, threats and cops.
And I let it break me.
Years ago I was an avid blogger in effort to accomplish two things: First, to express my feelings and thoughts about being a new step-mom to my daughter who has Down syndrome. Secondly, to reach other moms who were going through similar things, so we could both know we were not alone in the struggles that is motherhood. And I loved it. Connections were made, my writing was improving every day as was my voice. The process of sharing my journey so vulnerably allowed me to see beyond my feelings and find clarity by the end of any hard moment I was writing about.
Then that vulnerability was exploited.
An internet troll is someone whom you don’t know and randomly comes across your social media site and blasts you and brings along an army of hurting, angry people.
One morning I woke up finding that I had become a bit of an internet sensation. Emails, comments to my blog like I had never gotten before, messages on Facebook… Each one more awful than the next. Words and phrases like “cunt,” “bitch,” “kill yourself,” “you’re a terrible person,” were used in these messages. Even Mr. Sexy and our families and close friends received disturbing messages like this.
I easily found the blog post. This troll did have a bit of a following. Enough to completely disrupt my entire family. I was named, called out, links shared for strangers to find and harass my family.
All because I had the audacity to share my story publicly.
How. Dare. I.
At the same time, in the midst of the chaos, I continued to receive another kind of message. Wanna know what these people had to say?
Thank you for validating my feelings.
Thank you for sharing your story because now I’m not alone.
I’m sad that I wasn’t able to go on with my story at that point in time. It was about 6 months before I dared to open my blog back up – it took weeks for the messages and comments to stop coming in. It wasn’t the same, though. I tried to write through shaking hands and sweat covering my entire body. I clicked the post button a few times… and eventually just stopped.
Over the course of years followed by what happened, I allowed many naysayers to stop me in my tracks of doing my work. A church friend told me I’m sinning in my new job where I get to help women with their sex lives. A close family member let me know how embarrassed they were for me for what I was publicly writing about. Whom I thought was a life-long friend turned around and disowned our friendship. Not to mention the opinions of strangers.
I needed time to heal.
I walked away from church. I was afraid to have any kind of friendship. I drank too much and wrote too little. My marriage struggled. I didn’t have family to lean into. I had me, my God and Mr. Sexy and our kids. And I came out the other side.
Every day I ask God for courage.
Courage to show up as I’m led to. Courage to share my story. Courage to speak truths I know deep in my soul. Courage to be disliked and liked all at the same time.
I truly believe in the power of story telling, whether it’s in the midst of the storm or years after. Every time your story is told, you have a new perspective on it. You allow someone else to glean an affirmation for their own lives. I encourage you to practice sharing your own story. Maybe it’s writing. Maybe it’s a phone call to a friend. Maybe it’s Instagram or a Tik Tok video. These are all avenues to share you stories and touch someone else’s life. How powerful is that?
Let’s stay connected!
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