So you may or may not have seen that my son Harry has a craniofacial condition which means he has a very unique face and our journey had a rocky start (read about it here). I am a very proud mum both of him and his twin brother Oliver and, as all mums do, I love sharing photos and stories about our days. Sadly, some people (for the purpose of this blog we’ll call them trolls although I usually call them much worse) feel that it’s acceptable to call my boy some truly despicable names. I won’t repeat the horrendous things I have seen but it’s made my blood boil more than once. In the early days, my partner and friends told me simply not to read them (but how do you know they’re awful until you’ve read them?!) or delete them. My mum (qualified reiki master and spiritual witch –meant as a term of endearment there mum) would advise me to send them love and light but to be honest what I wanted to send them was the evacuated big breakfast of my dog after a long walk.
At first, the comments still played on my mind long after I had read them but now I feel that I’m a little better at dealing with the abuse from the one cell amoebas…sorry, trolls so I thought I’d share my thinking and see if it helps anyone else.
Know they are the minority
First, you know you’ll read them (in the same macabre way that we stare at a road traffic accident out of curiosity) but afterwards make sure you read the comments either side of theirs. If they left their comment recently then I guarantee you’ll have more positive comments to counteract theirs. THEY are the ones you read three times. NOT the crap that the keyboard warrior has posted. If their comment was left a little while ago then sit back and enjoy reading the other posts that jump to your defence. At best it will give you something to laugh at (like the reply to the troll who said that I should have aborted my son. Reply “I heard that’s what your mother feels”) How I chuckled. At worst, it will restore your faith in people and prove in black and white that where hate goes, love follows with an army to kick its ass.
See it for what it is.
Second. Ask yourself, is it true what they’re saying or is it bullshit? I can tell you already what the answer will be. I know it’s not always easy but as the literary great T.Swift says “haters gonna hate. Shake it off” They have attacked you from behind a keyboard. They don’t know you and don’t care about you. If that pond life can detach themselves, then so can you!
Third ( and maybe most importantly so maybe this should be number one) DON’T RESPOND. I have typed an essay of a reply before now (in capital letters for extra oomph) only to read it back and think simply one thing. This is what they want. If I reply, they win. On what planet are you ever going to let them beat you? If anything, their comment will have brought other (more positive) traffic to your post so in a way they’ve helped. I know, I know, they’re tosspots and I really shouldn’t say anything nice concerning them but it’s true. There are only ever two things you should do with their contribution. Delete and block.
Have pity…or don’t
Maybe they do need some understanding and pity for what is clearly an unfulfilled and lonely existence but they’re not even getting that from me (Sorry Mum). Nope I refuse to give them any head space at all (well, maybe a bit but then I think about everything I’ve just said and move on with my life enjoying a happiness they’ll never know)
I hope that helps. If, after trying my tips, all of the above fails then I suggest getting a dog. A big breakfast, a long walk and an anonymous envelope can do wonders for the soul. So I’ve heard.
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Charlie, I’m astounded that there is people out there who have nothing better to do than ‘troll’. Anyone who knows you, knows what a wonderful Mum you are to your two lovely boys. Be proud of yourself & your boys, hold your head high and ignore anyone who has any negativity towards your lovely family x x
Thanks so much Kyra. My boys havent turned out too bad (most days) so my head is high 🙂 x
Charlie, I was truly heartbroken to read that you have had to face and deal with such horrendous comments. I am new to your blog and have found your writings about your beautiful boy and family, to be truly inspirational and just as importantly, positive. As a mum of a child with additional needs, I have taken so much strength from how you are all managing daily routines! I say this ‘tongue and cheek’ as daily, mundane tasks, can be the most hardest to get through.
Keep going and keep posting- please! Sending lots of love your way, from a complete stranger x Stephanie x
Awww Stephanie thanks so very much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it and if I can help Mums like us realise that the tough days do come, but they pass, then thats priceless to me. Wishing you so much love and happiness on the rollercoaster of your own altered life. Glad to hear that you’ll be sticking with us on ours 🙂 x
It’s the best way to deal with the small minded idiots. They have nothing else to live for, other then spreading hate on the internet from behind their keyboard. They are the kind of people who could never say it to your face, but will do so from the safety of thier computer monitors.
Yes thats very true. Spineless and weak. I have no room in my life for that 🙂
People that have nothing better to do but prove their own life is empty. Much love to you and your gorgeous boys xx
So true. Many thanks 🙂
I know it’s hard to ignore all those nasty comments, it’s not easy especially when they are talking nasty things about your baby. Just ignore . There are so many more of us who follows your blog and Instagram and love seeing you boys. They are just perfect , just the way they are. You are a amazing mother, and you always do the best you can . And that’s enough. Xoxo
Thanks so much for your comment. All I can be is all that I am and its served us well so far. Just keep swimming 🙂 x
There are some nasty, sad people out there Charlie. You are a strong amazing mum and your boys are both beautiful. Fab blog xx
Thanks loads Kellie. Really appreciate it xx
Hi Charlie, these idiots don’t deserve your head space or time. They usually throw abuse about on blogs because they are cowards. Your mum, has the right attitude. It’s a Buddhist thing that releases you from any anger. Leave the abuse on there faces. To respond is exactly what they want. karma is a bitch beleave me. In the meantime, remember what a incredible mum you are. Your amazing boys and the lovely man that stands by your side. Then there’s us an army of supporters. haters are sad and irrelevant. You have put your feelings down in black and white. Don’t give them a platform to answer. Turn the page. Carry on being the amazing wonderful family you are. Love to you all xxx.
Thanks for your wonderful words and yes, Mum is always right 🙂 xx
Great advise and amazing response to something that has been playing on my mind . I never saw the comments . I saw your comments saying you deleted them . This made me feel so sad for you and a world where there are such horrible people in it . But like you say there are far more good than bad .
It is what it is. I always expected children to react the way they have at times but I have to admit that I was shocked at first with the comments from adults. Now, I just delete and block 🙂
Charlie let me say this.. If there is one thing I’ve learnt in this life its that nasty people often save their nastiest comments and opinions for themselves. Rise higher and blow some light and sparkle their way…they need it! You are doing a remarkable job as a mum. Continue to inspire others and shine bright xx PS: high five to you’re mum too!
Many thanks to you Hayley! 🙂 I’ll be sure to pass that Hi 5 on too xx
I am learning as I go which I often find is the best way 🙂 C x
Thanks so much for your comment. I’m really glad that you are enjoying the site! Its great to have you with us 🙂
Thanks for your comment. I am really glad you enjoyed it. I hope you stay with us to read more 🙂
Thank you so much for your openness about this topic. This is absolutely great advice. I am a former teacher and too many times I saw issues similar to what you described happen in the hallways. I would step in but who knows what happened when I wasnt around. I have to tell you that I learned so much from the individuals that were being picked on. So many of them had a heart of gold.
Thanks so much for reading the blog and taking time to comment. Its so true that often, those who are subjected to bullying and judgement have the best heart Cx
Recently me and my family have been the target of an online bully/troll/tosspot which got so bad we ended up having to go to the police.
Trolls and internet bullies are the worst, I genuinely do not understand why or how people find joy in hiding behind a keyboard and bullying people online. Chances are they wouldn’t utter a word in real life!
Keep doing what you’re doing, you’re fab! Xx
Thanks so much! I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve had such a tough time. I hope its all been sorted now! C x
Terrible that you have had to deal with Harry being attacked in such a way.
Social media has such potential for usefulness, but it seems that many people are so unhappy in their lives that they see it only as a tool for projecting hate.
I’ve been fortunate not to experience trolling in such a disgraceful way… and I’m so sorry you have.
Thank you for sharing this.
Thanks for your lovely words Cx