And neither are you.
A year ago my life was violated in a personal way. Strangers were telling me there was something seriously wrong with me and that I needed psychiatric help. Some pleaded that Mr. Sexy and I give Marie away to somebody else. Others threatened to come to my house.
I did feel like something was wrong with me. Did I share too much? Was I wrong in my struggles? Perhaps I even deserved the poor treatment.
Today I went to visit one of my favorite blogs that I have been missing this past year. Wifessionals I was floored to find out that she had been bullied off the internet. I have not had a chance to catch up on any of her posts from this last year but I can’t imagine her posting anything that should result in so much harassment.
Part of blogging, to me, is building a rapport with the readers. I would say trust may be built as well. However we are in a broken world where trust gets broken over and over again.
During my own bloggy-bully chaos I lost a friend whom I thought was one of my very closest friends. She was a good person; someone I felt completely open to talk to about the darkest difficulties I was facing. She took it all in stride – or so it seemed. After receiving a nasty message about me during the chaos it didn’t take long for her to quit returning my texts to have play dates or go out for coffee. Soon I realized I hadn’t seen her facebook status updates and saw that she had deleted me as her friend.
Around that same time I received a long (I mean looooong) facebook message from someone who referred to themself as a “stranger.” Well, this person wasn’t a stranger. I met her through the friend who had just deleted me off of facebook and this “stranger” and I had conversations through facebook before. You could see the history with her looooong message.
It’s true though, we were basically strangers as we had never had a real conversation before. Apparently someone told her about me (I have a strong suspicion who) and my blog and my daily struggles with Marie. “Stranger” felt so passionate on the subject she decided an email with her own sob story was the best way to help me out. It went something like this:
I had a child with a disability who had seizures all the time. My life sucked. I hated my life. I hated my child. So one night I decided to ignore him in his room and he slept in really late the next morning. When I went to check on him I found him dead because he had a seizure and suffocated in his pillow. Now I am devastated at the loss and I don’t want that to happen to you too.
Maybe this tactic of random emails from “strangers” works for some people. But honestly I can’t think of a scenario where this works. If “stranger” had been a blogger and shared her blog post, her story would have had a completely different impact. I probably would have read this story and appreciated the hardships “stranger” faced. Instead “stranger” pointedly shared way too many personal details in a personal message to me. For me. Because I needed to know all those details.
Real relationship happens when we can meet someone else’s needs. To know those needs we have to know that person. My needs were for a friend who would take me out for coffee or invite me over so I could have a breather from my motherly duties and vent. Needs change though. Mine sure do. The only way to be aware of those changes is to build a relationship. That happens with time.
Random way-too-personal emails are not relationships.
Hate mail is not how you help someone. In fact, hate mail makes a bad situation worse.
There is a time and place for encouragement from strangers: facebook, blogging, a text (which would mean you know each other on some level).
But not an overly personal sob story from one stranger to the other. I’m sure “stranger” meant well. We all do. We all want to help. So what if the best kind of help is step back, keep your eyes open, and pray.
I wish all the blog haters had prayed for me instead of harassing my family and friends.