Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Honeymoon is Over

Way back, at the end of February, on Day Two of this baby blog, I had written "Hey! I blogged! And no one commented that I was an idiot and self-loving! I think I'm going to be OK! Gee, I'm glad I finally worked up the guts to start a blog. This.is.awesome.!"

Well, that lasted, what? 30 odd posts total.

I deleted a post I had up for a few hours yesterday. I had poked fun at living with a teenage son. I adore him, he is my first born, my life began with this boy, but life with someone this age can be funny. I had written some dialogue tidbits, of what it's like, all tongue-in-cheek, about mornings with a surly 14 year old. For me, my life coping skill is humor. If I can find a way to make it funny, I'll be alright.

The first few commenters realized the jest of it all, and smirked along with me, wishing me luck. But, then, the comments turned, and they criticized my son. Another commenter told me few bloggers can write, and I was among those that can't. Yet another felt it pressing and urgent to let me know that she had read the past posts, and they were a waste of time and about nothing. Now, when I visit a blog, and see something that I can't relate to, I just "X" out. Nice and quiet.

My gut reaction was alarm. I didn't want that post up anymore. My son is fantastic, the best there is...what were they saying? So, I deleted it. Then I went to bed, developed a migraine, and spent an hour laying in bed this morning. Do I just take a break? Do I just stop, say I tried it, not for me? And then I thought of all the fantastic people I've met because of beginning this blog. I had to think of that. I also began this blog for me. I really do like to blog.

And my take on life is different, in the same way that the commenters way of providing feedback is different.

Perhaps these commenters think that I actually think I'm an Empress. I don't. Or think that I'm bragging that I have an empire. I don't have an empire. I am a woman, who stays home with my children during the day. I work evenings for a caterer, so I can be home during the day with them. I have a house, with a small backyard; no empire.

Do they think that I imagine myself a fantastic writer? I don't. I am not an English major, I graduated in Special Education. I take care that my posts are literate, and I prepare them, I don't type off the cuff. What I have learned, in my life, is that humor saves me. And kindness unto others, saves me.

Without an excessive amount of detail, I will just say a few things. I feel rushed bringing up these issues, but the commenters have made me think that perhaps I've been misread, with my "Empress" title. I am anything but.

I grew up in the proverbial unhappy household with a verbally abusive, sarcastic mother (let me tell you, those commenters put her voice right back in my head) and the parental suicide. All of my siblings and I have developed a sense of humor to cope with this. People tell us that we are funny, we make them laugh. It's as if we are survivors of something, which, in fact, we are. I work hard to bring humor into our home, and make our children laugh, because I grew up with a mother that did not laugh, or smile, or talk to us, or make eye contact. I'm trying to make up for a lot.

With my traumatic childhood aside, I am now an adult who also has lived through alarming situations that each have shortened my lifespan with every occurrence. Each of my pregnancies were high risk, and I was hospitalized and on bedrest with each one. Despite all these efforts, we have children who were all born early, and each were in NICU, unable to breathe on their own. Once we survived the bedrest, and the preterm labors, our children then developed serious food allergies and asthma. We've come too close to some very serious turn of events in Emergency Rooms that I don't even like to remember. I treasure every day that they're here because of how hard we worked to get them here, and keep them here.

This is all part of my life, but I've forgotten about all these life happenings, until now. This is what I'm from, I don't think I'm an Empress. I'm just joking along, because if you don't laugh, then you'll just stay under the covers.

So, all this to say: I won't close up the blog. The mean lady did come knocking at the door. But so did all the really great friends I've made. So, I'm sticking around. So what if I can't write. Big Deal. It's not awful stuff, it's literate. And from now, I will place a disclaimer at the beginning of my post stating that I love this particular child I'm writing about to the moon and back, but I'm still going to tell you what he did today.

Now, please excuse me, while I go bury my face in their hair. Because I love them, they are everything to me, and I want to be sure they know that.

32 comments:

  1. Oh, don't let the trolls get you down! Sometimes they just come out of the woodwork, like...um...stinkbugs...

    And don't apologize. You are a decent writer and an obviously loving mom using your sense of humor to survive the teen years. Last I checked, that wasn't against the law. And the post in question certainly didn't cross any privacy boundaries (which is usually the problem when parents blog about teens).

    My mother was an angry, verbally abusive depressive also. She was desperately unhappy, something I can more clearly see now that I am older. When my kids complain about me, all I can think is, "Hey! They don't know how good they have it - My worst day is as good as one of my mother's best days!"

    So I guess I can thank her for lowering the bar. But seriously, I feel for her now. I really do. She missed out on being able to love her kids. What worse thing is there?

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  2. First of all, you are a VERY GOOD WRITER! Sorry about the all caps, but I really mean it. People online can be cruel - even more cruel than the cool girls in high school - but there's also some great women out here.

    So I'm glad you're not giving up.

    Humor is the best coping mechanism in all the world. Without it, I know I would have dissolved into a puddle of nothing years ago. You just keep on doing what you do, and those of us who understand where you're coming will laugh (and cry) along with you.

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  3. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence would realize that you write under the name of Empress as a moniker and nothing else, that it is a humorous, harmless and well meant representation.

    Also anyone with any sense for the written word would immediately see that YES YOU CAN WRITE AND WRITE WELL.

    I am so sorry this happened to you - I had just one of those rogue commenters visit me a few weeks ago when I wrote (in pure fun) about my husband and his lack of DIY skills. I was SO upset about what she wrote, until I checked out her blog and saw that she was quite clearly of and in another world from mine.

    So don't let this affect you or put you off doing something you enjoy and which you are good at, which is this blog.

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  4. I agree with the other gals...I would be sad if you gave up. Don't let the one bad apple spoil this for you. If we can't approach the difficult days in our life with some tongue in cheek humor, we're all doomed.

    Hang in there :)

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  5. UGH!! Sometimes I hate people.

    Even when people have disagreed with me on my blog, if they do it with respect, it's fine. And I try to do the same for other blogs. It's called human decency.

    People who comment just to be mean are reflecting their own insecurities. I mean if they felt okay about themselves, they wouldn't NEED to let you know what they "really think." It's pathetic.

    You, my friend, are NOT pathetic. Don't stop blogging. I'd miss you.

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  6. Hey Empress, did you notice that you had made the "Regular Reads" list on my sidebar? This is a highly prestigious position as I am slow to "follow" someone and even slower to publicize them as a regular read.

    I only do it for the ones who are FABULOUS writers, who have tons of HUMOR, who write about REAL ISSUES and who don't take themselves too seriously - folks after my own heart.

    Now that you have been so singularly honored, you'll have the confidence to stick your tongue out at the ones who are obviously dull and a little dense and take themselves WAY too seriously. (grin)

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  7. You don't need anyone to tell you that you write well. You already know it. And the people who come back over and over to read here know it, too. I haven't been reading here very long, but I've enjoyed the posts so far.

    And I thought the post about your son was funny and real.

    So tell the trolls to smooch your donkey and keep writing and stop worrying about it.

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  8. I rarely get critical comments (I know! I'm so special!); but this post here is how I handled one of them (and really, that person was not a troll - she was truly concerned about something I wrote).

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  9. I'm really glad you're not giving it up. I never would have imagined that anyone would read your post (that I was lucky enough to be able to read before it was deleted) and not see the humor in it and then feel the need to negatively comment on your post. I really hope you continue to post honestly about the funny things that life throws your way, because I for one am quite entertained! :)
    One little suggestion...maybe you should approve/disapprove comments before they're posted? Just a thought...
    Here's to many happy bloggin' days! :)
    -Lisa

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  10. Okay, after just submitting my comment I realize that you do approve comments before they're posted, oops! ;)
    -Lisa

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  11. Hi There..I just followed you with the new blog..Im still working on it and adding things..If you could tell peeps about it and get them to follow I would appreciate it..and Ill let you know when You will be starring..!!

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  12. Hello there. I ddin't read the post in question, but here is my two cents for what's it's worth. A blog is first and foremost YOUR place to vent, write, emote. I would love to think if a reader has nothing nice to say they just move along, but we know it doesn;t always happen. Try to take it with a grain of salt. Hit dlelete if you have to!
    Hugs from your newest follower!

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  13. My Darling Empress! Don't listen to those people!!! I love your blog and reading it is often the highlight of my day.

    Bad Commenters. Bad.

    Keep writing and sharing and we'll keep reading you!

    --BB

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  14. OK ... I LVE the name of your blog- Hey, I'm friends with a Goddess ;-) And, my son's name is Maximus- not Max- but Maximus!! And, hearing another mother say that they love thier child to the moon and back makes me stomach do flips ... heck, I worked a long day today and tonight, I will probably sleep with my son becuase I too, love him to the moon and back- lovely site my dear!! I am following you now ... hope you can stop by my place when you get the chance ;-)

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  15. I knew immmediately that the title Empress was tongue and cheek. IMMEDIATELY. I am so sorry that someone criticized you or your son. That is so wrong. I do know that when you put yourself out in cyberspace that that is a risk you are going to have to accept. Crazy people have internet access too! lol. Stay true to yourself and everything will be alright. Do NOT take anything personally. Just remember, readers don't actually know you so they aren't really criticizing you specifically but rather are criticizing the blog. I support you no matter what you choose, but the most important thing is your mental health girlfriend!
    P.S. I love the line "if we don't laugh, we'll just stay under the covers"

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  16. It's so obvious that your tone is facetious and jovial. Don't give those trolls another thought. I have a friend who says this all the time... "Eff 'em." Except he doesn't say eff. This is one of the most appropriate times I can think of to say what he says. So here I go.

    Hey Empress. Eff 'em. Eff 'em all if they don't get what you're about. We get you. Focus on us.

    xo

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  17. P.S. Thanks for so many kind words about my blog. Come for vacay any time! I think yours is fun, too. :)

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  18. I'm sorry that you had a bad experience! :(

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  19. This is my first visit to your blog so I didn't read the post you are referring to.

    I've found that there are just nasty, strange people out there in the world who pop up every once in a while. I try not to let it bother me (but it does. shhh!) and I hope you don't let them bother you either.

    Your blog is your personal space and you can say whatever you want about whomever you want. If people don't like it they can Click Off!

    PS I'm your newest follower.

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  20. That's bizarre! You must be getting some attention and this can be good attention, even if it is bad, because I've never gotten those nasty people on my blog...er...yet..Oh crap. Now I will.

    Don't listen to those people. write what you want and let those who don't like it stick it where the sun don't shine.

    Wasn't that nice? :-) You'll be on my blog roll soon....I have to update it again! :-)

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  21. I am sorry I missed this yesterday because my guess is that it was a great post. I have been lying in wait for someone to be nasty to me and it hasn't happened yet but probably will. Some people can't control their "ugly", don't let it get to you. Don't be afraid to be yourself, it's your blog, your feelings, your life, and your (Wonderful)sense of humor. Just because someone is not capable of "getting" it doesn't mean you aren't getting it right. Delete them not yourself!

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  22. Illegitimi non carborundum. Glad you stayed.

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  23. Don't stop, don't stop, don't stop writing! Obviously there are a ton more of us that enjoy your writing and humor than don't. And as you said, what's up with having to make cruel comments? When I come across a blog I don't like, for whatever reason, I simply "x" out as you said--it's really all that's needed. Cheering you on from here. . .

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  24. Oh, I'm so sorry that you've had to deal with that. I don't understand people at all and I'm glad that you didn't give it up. I'm also glad that I've found you. From what I've seen, you're a very witty, talented writer and I am looking forward to reading more! :)

    And how dare they criticize your son! Want me to beat 'em up for ya?? Cause I will...

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  25. I am so sorry that I missed this post. I am so sorry that someone made a choice to put you down. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
    It might shake you to have a comment such as that, but don't let it break you. I believe that opening your heart to a blog is opening a dialogue. We don't always agree but we do need to respect someone's space. I am amazed that people feel so emboldened to be so rude as they think they are truly anonymous. There is a lack of civility in this country and it is getting worse.
    I personally found your post about your son was hilarious. Having a sense of humor is an essential tool in the parenting arsenal.
    I think that those who would make snarky comments about your son or you or your 'empire' (because we all have one, we are the empress of our own domains) is just plain not worth your time.
    Keep on keeping on!
    Enjoy the day!
    Erin

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  26. Newbie here, and I didn't read the original post. But I have a 14-year-old son myself, so I can relate. (Um, even if I didn't actually read it.)

    Anyone who doesn't get it should be forced to sit in a dark room listening to speed metal and huffing Eau de Teenaged Boy.

    You're a gem.

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  27. When I told my husband about the first negative comment that I got he said, "Congratulations! Welcome to the internet! You are out there in the world and people are finding you - and some of them will be assholes. It's a good thing."

    I have come to agree with him. It's better than making a noise that no one hears, with tumble weeds blowing through my blog.

    You are a lovely writer. You do not owe explanations to anyone about your life or your writing or your name or anything else. Your education is not a factor - there are plenty of people with degrees in writing who can't string a sentence together or share an emotion. You are not one of those people.

    I hope you will continue to write because you love it and it brings you joy and it is yours. Critics be damned.

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  28. I'm sorry to hear that you've received mean comments! As someone who's taken 3 years to share her blog, I can totally understand the courage it takes to not just write but to let people into your life in that way. How sad it is that you need to explain to people where you are coming from - that you have had some tough knocks - so that they won't resent you. Your humor in the "Empire" and all of that definitely comes through, and there is no arrogance in that at all. People who need to put others down are typically unhappy with themselves in some way, and if they can't feel happy on their own then they need to punch someone else to get that happiness. How much better it is to deal with the tough stuff through writing and humor. Since I just found your blog I am looking forward to reading more so I am glad you will continue to write! (PS I think you write wonderfully!)

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  29. Oh my girl, I don't know why people can be so ugly. Can someone tell me why? Sheessh!

    But I am so glad that you did not stop!! xoxoxM

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  30. Hey sweetie! I'm so sorry to hear that this happened to you, but I think it's important to mention that anyone who takes the time to say something clearly hurtful and mean on another's person's blog has major issues of their own. Obviously this person is trying to work out their own stuff on you. But, trust me when I say that you are an awesome writer, a gifted blogger, and most of all--a beautiful person, friend, and mom. I adore you. And I'm so glad to see that so many other wonderful bloggers rallied around to support you. You deserve it! XOXOXOX

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  31. I'm glad you decided to keep blogging too. I had to visit after I saw your profile bio because I thought it was hilarious.

    If you can't laugh at your emperorlings who can you laugh at?

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  32. Thank you, sweet Susan. Thought your post today was nothing short of AMAZING. All in caps, too.

    So nice to find your blog, can't wait to see more.

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