When Facebook Sucks

25 Sep

Well…WTF? Really? ANOTHER person that wants to bash on facebook? Why? Is there a point to this? Is it to hurt my feelings? Is it because they just don’t think about what they’re writing before they hit “post”? Maybe they speak a foreign language and what they typed in their language was super sappy and nice and then facebook messed it up and translated hate. No. That’s probably a little far fetched.

Why?

When I started this Oli page back in December of last year I never thought anyone would really be on it. I invited my facebook friends, told my mom about it, and that’s it. The only reason I started the thing was so that I wouldn’t annoy my friends by publishing my blog every day.

(Gasp.)

Everyday?

Yes. Everyday.

Back then I used to publish a blog post every single day. Back when I was writing Oli’s story. But then I got caught up in the whole facebook page craze. People that I didn’t even know started liking the page and reading the blog. I became more and more afraid of the people that I didn’t know that were reading my words, seeing my pictures….judging my girl.

At least that was my fear.

You know what?

People WEREN’T judging my girl.

People were LOVING her!

So I gained some confidence. I grew bolder. I started posting more, sharing more. I even posted a picture of Oli without her prosthetic eyes in.

Holy crap that scared the daylights out of me!!

But no one told me that it was gross. No one told me that she looked scary or ugly.

You know what people told me?

They told me the truth about Oli. They told me what I already knew.

They told me that she was beautiful no matter what.

They told me that no matter how her eyes looked, she was gorgeous.

They told me that no matter how much she struggled, how much progress she made, how much she didn’t make…that she was perfect.

People just reinforced everything that I had already believed about her.

As time went on and more people found the page, I would feel that fear again in my heart. That fear that stems from the day that Oliana was first born. The day that the doctor looked at me with ice in his heart and blackness in his eyes and announced that my daughter was NEVER going to look like everyone else. When he met my tear filled eyes will a flat dead look in his own and the words “She was born without eyes” rolled off his lips, that fear took hold deep in my chest and has never fully receded.

I’ve learned to deal with the fear. I’ve learned what my own truth is and how to handle situations with other people who may not find Oli as perfect as I do.

But every once in awhile, when I am sitting high up in myself, a single hurtful comment about her sweeps me into one of my lowest, darkest valley’s. It sweeps me to the deepest part where that fear thrives.

Facebook is a strange thing. It’s both wonderful because there are so many people and stories that leave me feeling full of hope, inspiration, and admiration, and it is hateful, hurtful, and awful. Because there are lots of both types of people in the world.

In my everyday life it’s easy to surround myself with love and support. Even going out in public has become less of a traumatic event. When Oli was a baby I used to hide her in her car seat to avoid the stares and the hurtful comments about her eyes.

I’m sensitive. What can I say?

A 6 year old? Not so easy to hide in a car seat.

And I don’t WANT to hide her anymore. Oli has taught me that beauty really does like INSIDE of us and not on the outside. I’ve learned to avoid the stares. I’ve somehow learned to decipher curiosity from the judgments. I KNOW she’s beautiful and that’s all that matters.

On facebook? I can’t just avert my eyes. I can’t unread a comment. I wish I could. I wish that “ban” button came with an “unread and erase from memory” button.

But it doesn’t.

So I get upset.

I get upset, not even with the people who choose to make fun of or hate on ME. I’m an adult. Not everyone is going to like me or agree with me. That part I’m okay with. It stings, but I quickly get over it.

It’s when people start saying hateful things about my daughter that I can’t just get over it.

But here’s the thing… Here’s the truth…

There are SO many people that LOVE Oli. That have nothing but positive, hope filled, lovely, AMAZING things to say about her.

Over 2600 people that do nothing but become inspired by her.

I let 1 person get to me. 1 person who had something negative to say about her.

I let that 1 person take away all of the good in one single instant.

I let all of my hard work become undone in a moment of time.

That’s sad.

That’s pitiful.

That makes me even more angry!

No.

I posted on facebook that I was going to take a break from the page for a bit to get my head back on straight. I do need to do that. I need to remember why I started this blog and the page.

I started it not to win everyone over. Not to become popular. Not for compliments or anything else.

I started it for Oli.

I started it so that I could share her story and maybe reach one other person going through the same thing.

I started it so that someone else out there may not feel so alone.

I started it to give other people hope. To let other people know that anything is possible if you just don’t give up. If you believe in yourself and believe in your children.

I started it so that I could show people that you don’t have to use your child’s diagnosis as any excuse NOT to do something. Use it as an inspiration to do EVERYTHING.

Thank you for reminding me of that with all of your comments tonight.

Thank you for reminding me to get my head out of my ass, and to stop feeling sorry for myself.

Thank you for reminding me that I shouldn’t let one person stop me from doing what I wanted to do with this thing.

Tonight really through me for a loop for two reasons.

One because that comment just totally caught me off guard and two because all of the support that you guys have given not just Oli, but me too.

I couldn’t believe it when I picked up my phone and saw over 100 people had commented on my status.

And every single one of them was telling me not to give up.

So I won’t.

I never have before and I sure don’t want to start now.

I never ever want it to be an option for Oli to give up just because something is difficult. I don’t ever want to set that example, so I won’t do it here. I won’t do it anywhere. I have to lead by example and one way to do that is to just keep moving forward.

Here, we put one foot in front of the other and just keep moving forward.

Some days that’s all you can do right?!

Thank you.

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31 Responses to “When Facebook Sucks”

  1. Quinn Fekete September 25, 2013 at 2:07 am #

    You are amazing! You and Ally inspire me every day and I would crawl through fire to defend your beautiful children as I would my own. Because you’ve allowed me to love them. Because you let me see them, and you as part of our family. And as part of us, we laugh with you, we cheer with you, and we get angry with you. I’ve been crying tonight, so saddened that you would were hurt by such an ignorant hateful person. That those words were directed at our beautiful girl. Take your time. Know that we are here when you need us!

  2. Pascale LeBrasseur September 25, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    I don’t see you on Facebook, only here but I do understand what you are going through and I am happy to know that you have many fans out there that lifted your moral when you needed it. Keep writing, keep sharing your story. Some people are hurtful for no good reason. We can’t erase what we read but we can certainly move forward while they stay somewhere behind…

  3. Marlo Whetsel September 25, 2013 at 2:15 am #

    Every time I read a post I feel uplifted. EVERY TIME. And, in the last few years, I have needed a lot of lifting. Thank you for pouring your love for your children out for the rest of us to read. You have taught us to see past the “issues” to the person that is there. And, I am not just talking about our children, but humanity in general. We love you.

  4. Sabrina Cash September 25, 2013 at 2:23 am #

    Shannon, I’m so proud FOR you & your family. You have overcome some feelings, emotions, & circumstances that could keep lesser women (and men) down for a lifetime.
    I adore your mom & love to tell you how overwhelmingly proud & full of respect & love she is for you!! It’s such a sincere thing to see in her when she talks of you & the kids.
    I hate that there are such craptastic “others” in this world but “others” just make the good folks all that much better. Much love & super blessings to you guys 😀

    • mommyhasissues September 25, 2013 at 2:33 am #

      Thanks Sabrina. Craptastic. 🙂 Love it!
      And my mom is awesome.

  5. Heather Lightfoot Withrow September 25, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    I missed that diss… maybe that’s a good thing for me. Totally understand what you mean about blogging so someone else out there will find Oli’s story and not feel so alone. I’m always looking for blogs of kids like my son. I’ve experienced antagonistic comments about some controversial cartoons I drew a long time ago. I did pause, just like you’re saying… but you have a wonderful story that can’t be kept under wraps. Keep on blogging (when you reasonably can)!

    All my best,
    Hex

  6. carrie September 25, 2013 at 2:52 am #

    Shannon… no matter what you and Seth are doing an awesone job!!!! No words can express how I’m feeling right now. I feel sad and very mad at the same time. I have known Seth and Julie and Ginger since grade school age and also from swimming. You all have my thoughts and prayers!!! Don’t let stupidity get to you. You know you and your ohana the best!!!! Keep up your head!!!
    Much ♥ and Aloha, from NC

    • mommyhasissues September 25, 2013 at 2:58 am #

      Thank you Carrie. 🙂 I do know them best. I shouldn’t let those people get to me.

      • carrie September 25, 2013 at 3:04 am #

        Yes u shouldn’t. .. u don’t have to justify Oli’s condition! I’m just still so appalled that people (adults) don’t think b4 they say anything. I know I don’t know u personally. But as you can tell if your from Hawaii… we stick together.
        Have a good night and have a glass of wine tonight! 😉

  7. Marie Henderson September 25, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    You brought me to tears! You are one strong woman. Thank you for not giving up and letting one asshat ruin everything. ❤

  8. Anonymous September 25, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    Yay! So glad you will continue posting your adventures with Oli. You have made me laugh and cry and take another look at my own life. I look forward to your posts every day.

  9. Mary Gubbels Oneski September 25, 2013 at 5:33 am #

    I found you through The Crumb Diaries and have fallen in love with Oli and your family as much as I have with Logan and his. Thank you!

  10. Dean B September 25, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Glad to know that you’re not giving up! =)

  11. Cher September 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I too am glad I had not seen the comment…or more specifically the ‘who’ behind it. My fleshly, ugly-just-as-the-person-who-wrote-that side tends to show and then I regain my composure and realize that more often than not…misery loves company. Nay, they thrive on it. If I am to be the change in this world, I need to change how I react to the awfulness the world puts out there. Easier said than done…until you take step 1 and then you take another step and before you know it you just finished that race you said was ‘easier said than done’. I applaud Oli, you, and all those who support Oli whole-heartedly…but, and I have a hard time saying this even to myself, who could possibly have the love they need in their life when they put those things out there against a beautiful child? Yep, I said it. I feel bad for the person who posted such awlfulness. If there is anything I have learned about your blog it is this…everyone deserves love. But not everyone has access to it. You have given sight, and pardon the pun, to many of us who are blind. If I want Oli to be loved (and I do!), then don’t I have to be willing to love those I deem unloveable?? This gives me a win-win situation. If I extend love and it is received Yay! And if it is not, people tend to back away from kindness-they flee…because it makes them feel uncomfortable. Win-win. 🙂

    • mommyhasissues September 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

      I completely agree. As much as I want to be mad at and hate those people ultimately I just feel sorry for them. Thank you Cher.

  12. Jennifer Jespersen September 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Please pleas please don’t despair. People are cruel & whether through Karma or God, whatever you believe, they will answer for their transgressions. I am one that you have helped. My daughter was born with a deformed temporal horn that created an arachnoid cyst that caused epilepsy, migraine, autism, sensory issues. I have found strength from both you & Oli – please keep strong. You are a pure soul with only the purest motivations portrayed through your honesty & love for your family. God bless you & your family, you are in my thoughts & prayers. Om Tara Tutare Ture Soha – mantra for strength, liberation, & so much more. Namaste ❤

  13. Erica Dienst September 25, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    I simply can not believe that anyone would ever have a negative thing to say about Oli. I am so proud of you for doing this for both you & her. I know it has not been easy for you. Keep on doing what you are doing. Remember one thing you aren’t doing this for the handful of people who are so miserable in their own life that they have to be nasty to you about Oli. I thank God that Oli is able to see only the good in people. I love you & Oli & am so proud of the progress you have made! Don’t give up…ever!

    • mommyhasissues September 26, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      Thanks Erica. 🙂 Congratulations by the way.

  14. Lois C Fitzgerald September 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    All I have to say is this: ditto to all the comments here and the ones on FB – we all LOVE YOU!!!!

  15. lyn b September 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    You are amazing and you know all of this is true! Love you!

  16. Janet September 25, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    Shannon you are doing an awesome job with all your children. Everyone is right you can’t fix or change stupid. It’s easy to just make a comment on the internet without having anyone reply face to face. Love you all

  17. ksbeth September 26, 2013 at 2:20 am #

    i am so sorry this has happened to you. some people are just cruel and stupid and there is no other explanation. you and oli are amazing and don’t give up due to someone who will never understand or embrace who you both are, special gifts to the world. peace, beth

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