Monday, March 25, 2013

Opening Comments

I don't know whether I am feeling especially brave these days, or whether it's just the right time, but I have made the decision to open comments on my blog again.  Of course, they will still be moderated, which means comments come to me first and then if they are acceptable, I post them. Pretty much anything is acceptable, except for trolling.  Trolling is essentially trying to gain attention for oneself by insulting or demeaning others on the net.  It's being a jerk on the internet, just because we can.  And it thrives in  anonymity.  The trolling comments that I have received on the blog have been all the more disturbing because they come from people who seem to know me.  I stopped comments because I was in a vulnerable place, and dealing with the comments were too upsetting. I was dealing with a lot of loss, including the death of my mother, and sadly not everyone respects these times in our lives.  I'm in a different place now, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

I do want to be very clear, though.  I welcome comments, even ones that disagree with me or have questions.  I have no problem with anonymous comments, either. Almost all of the acceptable anonymous comments have come from people who have made themselves known within the comment, but that's not even necessary.  What I take issue with is the use of anonymity to hide aggressive, insulting, personal attacks.  These come from people who don't want discussion, don't want to learn or understand.  They want to hurt.

One example is an anonymous comment that I received on a post called "Some Thoughts on Anti-bullying Day". The comment simply said, "It takes one to know one."  I didn't allow it to be posted.  The idea that someone who can identify the fact that they are being bullied automatically becomes a bully is absurd.  I have some idea where this comment came from.  I was told that one of the ways that I bullied my abuser was by calling him a bully.  Apparently telling someone who is physically harming you that they are bullying you is a criminal offense.  This is not a comment that has been thought about, or is open to discussion. It is angry, defensive, insulting and ridiculous.  It's a bully's response to a victim who stands up for themselves. It's not worth posting.

Please know that I love hearing what you think.  The vast majority of my readers have been smart, compassionate, open and friendly.  You guys literally rock.  I am open to hearing and listening to all kinds of ideas and everything you might have to say. I covet any suggestions that you might have that will help me be a better person, Christian, blogger, mother, friend...I pray that my heart for God, and for you comes through in these posts.

I have been told that the reason people who post ugly comments want to remain anonymous is because they are afraid that I will "come after them".  I guess, in one way, they are right.  If they write things that further hurt or damage victims of abuse, I will address it.  And it probably won't be pretty.  Spewing hate-filled, incoherent, mindless insults will probably be called out. Maybe not, though. After all, what can we do with a comment like, "it takes one to know one" except roll our eyes and hope that the comment came from an angry 12 year old and not an actual adult?  If "coming after them" means disagreeing, arguing, using actual facts, incidents and Scripture to back up positions on faith and human relationships, then yeah, that might happen.

Sometimes it feels like this issue and these people take up way too much time and space here on the blog. But then I think about the countless stories of children, teens and adults who have to deal with bullying behavior everyday.  These things are opportunities to address the issues that surround bullying.  They provide examples, and give us the chance to work through methods of dealing with them.  More importantly, they help me understand the emotional, physical, spiritual and social impact that bullying behavior has on victims as well as on bullies themselves.  I really do feel compassion for people who only know how to deal with disappointment, sadness and difficulties with anger and aggression.  I have been there, and know how that feels.  I appreciate the freedom that God offers me in these times, in learning how to set healthy boundaries, to walk away from abusive behavior before I get too angry, to talk openly about these issues and to live in a community of support and love.

It may be that I am feeling overly confident, and will end up shutting down comments again at some point.  If that happens, so be it.  I can be kind with myself about these things.  But for now, if you want to leave a comment, by all means, go ahead.

Peace out.


Diane Laplante Grimes said...

Wow,I have always loved reading you Kel and i'm very proud to know you,i remember a very shy teen who had a hard time standing up for herself well it's plain to see that girl has grown up to be a very strong independent woman:) love you bunches

Kelly said...

Thank you so much, Diane. I remember that teen too. Ah, the difference that God and a couple...okay, three decades make,huh? I consider it a gift to still have you in my life, as my sister in Christ as well as in life! I love you bunches, too!

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