Hey guys. Today I want to talk about something that's come up recently in my life, but has sort of been an issue on and off for most of my life and something that most of you have probably dealt with at one point or another.
Before I get started, I just wanted to say thank you for being here. Your reading and sharing of my content supports me and gets it into the hands of more people. So thank you!
I want to talk about bullies. I can't say that I got bullied a lot when I was in school. Of course, there's always going to be some kid who makes some rude comment here in there, or finds a reason to make fun of you, but I can't say that I was subjected to serious bullying as a child. I didn't really experience bullying until adulthood, and it really got bad when Christian was born. That's when it really laid it on heavy for me.
Of course, a lot of the bullying was because of Christian, but they were targeting me. I was the one that they came after, because Christian wasn't there in front of them. It was usually online where they had some anonymity where they could hide behind a keyboard.
I know that anybody who follows me has heard this story before, but for the sake of those of you who haven't, I will recap sort of what started my life in the public eye. It actually started with bullying. It started with a girl that I knew of and was friends with on Facebook. She had been making snide comments about Christian or about my parenting on many of my Facebook posts for a while, and I'm just the type to ignore stuff like that, and move on with my life and not give it too much thought.
But she kept on and she kept on and she kept on until I finally just kind of blew up. Now I want you guys to know that blowing up for me is very different than blowing up for a lot of people. I really don't tend to lose my cool too easily. I'm a pacifist, the level head, the cool, calm and collected type in most situations. I really don't tend to say too many outlandish things or curse people at people or anything like that. Blowing up for me is really honestly finally saying something at all and standing my ground. It also a lot of times includes me simply walking away from situations that are harming me. (I tend to have a high tolerance for those situations too)
So, one day when Christian was an infant I had posted a picture of him after a meal and made a comment about how he was eating really well and called him a chunky monkey. I mentioned something about how much food he'd been eating recently, and I made the comment because with Christian's birth defect, eating was a real challenge, for the first six months of his life. He had a feeding tube placed when he was four days old, because there was no bottle he could take, he couldn't nurse, and there was no other way of feeding him. So he had a G Tube surgically placed at four days old that was already very difficult and traumatic for all of us. Imagine handing your 4 day old baby over to a surgeon. Yeah.
Then the feeding tube was sore and painful for the first six months of his life. The granulation tissue around his tube did not heal well and was red and tender and angry for a solid six months while doctors told me that feeding tubes don't hurt and his didn't hurt. But literally every time I would take off a onesie and barely graze his button or his feeding tube, he would scream. It obviously hurt and I was helpless to fix it. But that's another story for another day. Throw in 23 year old me trying to learn how to use a feeding tube on a tiny infant while I'm terrified. And then he lost so much weight in NICU because doctors would only feed him when they thought he should eat and not when he gave hunger cues that he had to be put on calorie fortifier, all while I begged them to let me feed my own child. So, suffice it to say that we spent a traumatizing six months trying to get Christian's feeding situation under control.
Learning how to give Christian the proper nutrition that he needed, learning to keep him healthy and thriving was not easy for him. My kids don't do "easy."
So, back to my Facebook post, the fact that Christian was eating really well, that we were getting into a routine, and that things were progressing, the way they should have been, was a reason for me to be happy. So when I posted this innocent post on Facebook, saying, Look at my Chunky Monkey, something to that effect, I was sharing my moment of happiness, since they were so rare at that time.
This acquaintance that I mentioned a minute ago took offense to that post and commented and told me that I was going to make my child fat if I didn't stop sticking a bottle in his mouth every time he cried. I had to laugh at first because Christian had never taken a bottle by mouth in his life, and one of our biggest challenges with a feeding tube was that when babies are hungry, they cry. And when babies cry, their stomach muscles tense up. And when babies with feeding tubes stomach muscles tense up, food won't go down their tube, and then they continue to be hungry. And it is a perpetual, awful cycle. There is a way to overcome that issue, but at the time, I was so new at feeding tubes, that I still didn't know. So it was just almost comical to me that she would think or accuse me of sticking a bottle in Christian's mouth every time he cried, when I literally had to do the exact opposite and did not have that luxury. When he cried, I had to console him first, then I was able to feed him. I had to really watch his hunger cues and try to catch him before he got too hungry.
And so I finally had enough of this girl. This was probably the fifth or sixth unkind comment that she made to me, so I removed her from my friends list. I didn't say anything to her. I didn't chew her out, although she probably deserved it. I didn't even know her in real life, so there was no need for a confrontation. I just removed her from my friends list and moved on with my life. Well, she did not move on with her life. When she found out that I removed her from my friends list, she messaged me with severe indignation that I had unfriended her on Facebook, and said all kinds of horrible things to me. Not limited to but including that I was a horrible mother for ever bringing Christian into the world, and that if she had been Christian's mom, she would have aborted him because that's the loving thing to do.
It was, again, comical for me to hear somebody say if you love your child, you should have killed him before he was born, but here we were. So that's when I finally decided I was done keeping my mouth shut with her. I chewed her out. I told her how ignorant she was and I went on about my business.
A while later I made a video that I put on YouTube where I included this story about this girl telling me I should have aborted Christian and that I was a horrible mother for not aborting him. That's the video that went viral and started my public influencer career. I always laugh when I think back knowing a bully who was trying to create frustration and heartache in my life actually created a springboard for some amazing things for me.
Since then, we have experienced plenty of other bullying with social media and being present on social media
Just this week, I posted a Facebook reel that went viral. I'm new at Facebook reels but I'm getting it. It's somewhere around 16 million views last time I checked. What that means is that everybody with an opinion is going to come out and they're going to tell me their opinion whether I want it or not. And it's Facebook, so they can. Fair enough. We all know the art of keeping your mouth closed and scrolling on by is a lost art anymore, but that doesn't mean I'm going to take them seriously just because they can talk or type.
So this week, I've had people, grown adults, make comments on Christian's appearance, call him an "it," or something similar, and more. Think of the most horrible thing that they could say about Christian, like they wish he was dead or something to that effect, and that's what I've been told this week. The funny thing about all of these bullies is that they always have fake profiles. They don't show their face and their profile picture. They don't put any of their information online. They also think that they're really proving a point.
I just find it humorous that they always hide behind their computer screen to do their bullying. Every bully I've ever known has hidden in one way or another. Another recent bullying experience that I have experienced that actually didn't involve Christian involved my career. There was somebody who was really jealous of me and intimidated by me, so they did everything in their power to sabotage me. They lied about me. They made up things about me. It was awful to deal with, but I think just as awful as dealing with the bullying was facing the fact that there are adults in this world who actually act like this. It's disheartening to say the least.
It often feels like it doesn't matter how much good I put out into the world, it's always going to overcome by the bullies and jerks of the world.
But a certain scripture comes to mind. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21. I'm certainly not always the most kind. I get grumpy. I have bad days, but I know at the end of every day that I was not a bully, that I didn't step on others to get where I wanted to go, that I didn't take advantage of those more vulnerable than me. I know that it counts for something.
I also know that while there are many bullies out there ready and willing to step on whoever they can, there are many others just like me, putting good out into the world, working to overcome evil with good.
So, here I am again, just pouring my heart out to all of you just to say thank you to all of you who are striving every day to make the world a better place, who are working to spread the love of Jesus and to overcome evil with good. And to the bullies of the world, we get it. People who love themselves don't hurt other people. Love yourself.