words

I’ve had my share of snarky comments here in Sluiter Nation.

Usually someone who disagrees is pretty good about being respectful, but every now and then I get people (trolls?) who are just mean.

My policy is to delete them if they are being vulgarly disrespectful, or to ignore them if they simply have a differing opinion and have been sort of rude about stating it.

I guess as a teacher I see my share of grumpy attitudes and bad days.  I know there is usually a reason behind it and I have learned not to take things too personally.

This past week, though, I got a nasty comment that I couldn’t ignore:

I am fairly new to your blog. I’ve been reading and following you on Twitter for a couple weeks now but in that time I have noticed that your husband is kind of a saint. There seems to be a trend that you fall apart about anything and he is the one who is always taking care of your kid. You seem to lose your mind when, heaven forbid, you must deal with him. There are always tweets about Court doing this and that with Eddie and not many about you doing things with him. What exactly do you do? This past week there were tweets about you practically losing it with your kid and you just wanted your husband to “come and deal with him”? What in the world are you going to do with two kids?

At first Cort and I giggled about this comment.  He wanted so badly to leave his own snarky reply, “FINALLY, someone sees what I go through!”

And oh my goodness did my readers come out with their honey badger teeth showing!

I did end up responding (you can go back to the post if you want to see the whole thread. I don’t want to use this space to requote all the comments).

One of my lovely readers pointed out to this commenter that I suffer from PPD/A.  But the commenter seemed to know that already:

New doesn’t mean I don’t know much. Usually when I find a new blog I will go back and read to the beginning. Yes, I know about her anxiety. I’ve dealt with PPD and PPA, I’ve just never seen someone use it as a reason to push parenting off on their spouse. Its funny when you don’t leave positive comments you automatically don’t read the blog “at all” Quite opposite, I’ve read the blog and that’s why I said what I said.

This is when things worried me.

Not for me, but for any of my other readers who suffer from depression or anxiety.

Now, I can’t imagine anyone who has read my whole blog from start to finish (um, I’ve been doing this for five years) would honestly think I “push parenting” on Cortney.  In fact, I am confident that is not how this blog reads at all.

And I am confident that is not how our life is.  Because I live my life.  But I don’t share it ALL here.

Cort and I are an excellent team.  When he has suffered in the past, I was there to keep Sluiter Nation together and running.  And he does the same for me.  And we rejoice in our blessings together.

So this comment didn’t send me into a dizzying spell of “oh my God!  How WILL I care for two children???”

Because I know how I will do it.  With the help of my husband and family and friends.

What worries me is that this woman, who says she has “dealt with PPD and PPA” would come to my blog and ask “What in the world are you going to do with two kids?”

That she would question the fact that I have support.  Am I supposed to be doing this all on my own?  Hell no, I’m not.

I work full time, am 9 months pregnant, have had fierce antenatal depression with this pregnancy, and I have a two-year old.

Am I not allowed to “lose it” sometimes and want help?

Yes. I am allowed.

YOU are allowed too.

Do not ever EVER let anyone question your need to reach out.

Is Cort never supposed to parent?  Is it all supposed to be me?

No.  NO.  It is not.  We are a team.

Long before becoming parents when we went through his dad’s cancer diagnosis, treatment, and death I assured him we were a team.  When I suffered through the miscarriages and couldn’t bring myself to get off the couch, he rubbed my back and bought me ibuprofen and giant pads and told me would get through it together.

Maybe this commenter doesn’t have the support system I have.

Maybe she is still suffering.

That is the only explanation I can think of for a comment to a fellow Warrior Mom like this.

source: newagejourney.com

I hope she gets the help and support she needs.  We are all here.  We have been through it (and are still going through it).

It’s ok to ask for help.  It’s ok to not be able to do “it all”.

If anything, this comment (that I read after a weekend of severe anxiety) pulled me out and reminded me that this time? This time I am ready.  PPD/A might show up again, but I have the support this time.

*************

Speaking of mental illness, I have a poem published today on Every Day Poets called “Sticks and Stones.”  I would love it if you would jump over and let me know what you think.  It’s my first time being published anywhere for my creative writing.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a high school English teacher, college adjunct instructor, freelance writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. wow, Katie. I didn’t see the first tweet or post and I’m almost glad I didn’t. I mean really who do these people think they are? Along with making a broad and completely wrong assumption about how you live and parent?

    I think that you dealt with this in such a classy way and that if your heart was hurt by those words, it’s understandable.

    I don’t know anyone more honest, up front or clear about your life…just that you share so much of it with us is admirable.

  2. The hardest thing to remember when this type of thing happens is that it is never about you. It is about the other person, and issues she is dealing with. I have an interview with a psychologist about this coming up on The Mom Pledge Blog next week.

    That doesn’t meant the words don’t hurt. That we can dismiss them and move on. We all know that is far easier said than done. You took the opportunity to reflect on those words, for which I applaud you. And for showing compassion. Because that really is what people who do these things need. They are hurting.

    You, my friend, are doing just fine. I have no worries about you. Sending you mad love! 🙂

    • Wow. I could not have possibly said this any better. While we can’t necessarily determine how each reader will take our words, readers have to understand that even reading a blog from post one to current does not give EVERY aspect of our lives. Words hurt, but when we respond thoughtfully, considering all that could be going on with the commenter’s life, we do ourselves a disservice by responding in kind. That you took the time to think about her words and their non-significance (because they are wholly wrong) is a tribute to you and you have my respect for it. I do believe the commenter is hurting (that or she is simply ignorant to how her words came across; I don’t actually believe that is possible, though). Hopefully she came back to read this response.

  3. I have tears reading this. You are one classy, classy lady, and I’m thrilled that I found your blog. It’s five years too late, but here I am.

    I, too, deal with anxiety and depression. I didn’t know you suffered until today’s post, which makes me even more drawn to reading your words.

    I think you have a beautiful family, and I know that your new addition will be amazing. Best to you!

    -MM

  4. Word to your words, Katie. You are not alone in this fight anymore. And with Cort by your side, you never were.

  5. I read your blog a lot, but don’t comment much (not that I don’t want to…but usually I’m just reading “on the fly” so to speak). But this post today, it speaks so loudly to your character. That you are able to reach through the “snark” and be genuinely concerned, and reach out to all of your readers to say that it’s okay to ask for help…it just shows what a big heart you have. Kudos to you, & good luck to you and your growing family!

  6. I missed the other post and tweet and comments, but WOW Katie. I’m glad you & Cort were able to giggle about it, and you two DO make a great team. Hell – hopefully this chick doesn’t read my blog or tweets, she’d probably be calling DHS on me! (and I’m a DAMN GOOD MOMMA!! as are you!!) I’m hoping too that this chick does get the help & support she needs, as I think everyone deserves it (whether a PPD/A Warrior or not – we all need help at times!) sending lots of love and hugs your way! You keep on rockin’ lady – you do it well. xo

  7. I don’t suffer from depression and I still “lose it” occasionally. There were days when I was pregnant with my second that I would come home from teaching and really need my husband to do a lot with our son because I just couldn’t deal with how tired and hormonal I was. Now that I have two babies, a 2 to and 9 mo and I stay home, by the end of some days, I’m done being mommy for a little whole. It’s life. I can’t imagine a mommy not feeling that way at least once in a while!

  8. First of all, the important thing here: accolades and acknowledgement of your writing talent.

    That, I’ve been aware of since my first read here.

    As for the commenter: some people have no filter, no compassion, and feel that everythign they think they must vomit out.

    You know you don’t need her approval , right? And why she didn’t just click out, I don’t know. She’s not in your inner circle that she needs to worry about you, and she must like your blog b/c she keeps returning.

    I would say that for some reason she thinks she needs to say whatever is on her mind, even if it isn’t supportive of understanding.

    I used to have a neighbor like that that: I finally told her how she sounded. She was surprised. She had no idea she came off like that.

    But she hurt me deeply so many times, by telling me she handled more than I could ever handle.

    GOod for her, right? I can’t handle that much. It’s just who I am. And my husband helps me A LOT and I am grateful for it, b/c with my depression and anxiety and panic: I can’t do what the average woman does.

    And I know this.

  9. You are so right. When people says something mean it usually means they have a need or pain of their own. But to see it when you are being attacked says a lot for your heart and also for your mental well being. This is beautiful.

  10. You go girl. Well spoken. I’m so proud of how you handle yourself and your blog. You are a strong women who is loved by many! Love ya sis.

  11. My goodness, what an incredibly compassionate and thoughtful response.

    I’m proud to know you, even if it’s only via readership and FB.

    Because this just makes me feel so good for the world, that there are people like you in it.

  12. WOW Kate! I’m sorry for that…she can’t possibly pass judgement on how you are going to handle two kids without at least walk a day in your shoes. That’s just too harsh. I feel sorry for someone who have the time in the world to do this. You handled it with grace, my friend. Chin up and I’m sending you a big big bear hug!

  13. This was very well said. I think part of what makes writing so therapeutic is you get to get out all the nagging stuff and then be done with it and focus yourself back on your family and getting it “all’ done. A lot of people forget that blogs are just a tiny smidge of real life and are often a place to vent so you can go back and be wonder woman with a smile on your face. That commenter obviously didn’t understand that. I think you do a wonderful job and I love reading your blog.

  14. I love your heart and I love that it is so apparent here in this post along with all the other posts. You are a wonderful mother and are blessed with a wonderful husband who actually *GASP* Co-parents.

    Keep doing what you’re doing… you have an amazing little boy who says you two are doing it all right.

  15. I’m always surprised by comments like that…what is the purpose in leaving them? It’s not a disagreement over a method of parenting or a diet or a philosophy or clothing or….anything. It is nothing but an attempt to tear down the original writer, an “I’ll tell them what I think to put them in their spot.” It’s mock/feign concern. It doesn’t provide any sort of help or ideas on HOW to manage parenting with depression and TWO children, all it does is (try) to insult the writer. And I don’t understand why anyone would take the time to write that. And I’m sad they felt they needed to.

  16. I rarely comment but HUGS to you and great post! 🙂

    We all need help sometimes and it’s clear to me from reading that you love your family. You admit to your faults and difficult times, and your husband is there like you would be there for him when he needs it. That’s an amazing thing. Wishing you all the best! Hopefully you enjoy today’s snow day.

  17. Excellent and classy response. Love you! xo

  18. Well, I also was thinking “What do you do?” since on top of everything you already do you have yet to conquer world peace….do you think you get on top of that please? in all seriousness, you addressed this pooey comment in a classy way and I can’t believe that someone would leave that on your blog. She obviously doesn’t know you (which I think you are you in your writing-since I really know you in person I feel as though I am a good judge of that) and comments like that come off as just mean or condescending. Keep it up girl! You are wonderful and you do have lots of support…not just here but in real life too : )

  19. Your response to Melanie was thoughtful and kind.

    (Especially since you didn’t even tell her she spelled Cort’s name wrong. Guess she’s not as careful a reader as she thought…)

    Hang tough. And when you cant?
    Cry with us.

    XO

  20. Confession: I don’t read what other people comment. So I was totally oblivious to this commentor.
    I just want to say that they have no idea how you live YOUR life. We ALL post things like you do on the twitters…isn’t that what it’s for mostly…bitching…oh it isn’t…damn.
    Anyways, don’t let anyone make you feel bad.
    You know what goes on in your life.
    They don’t.
    So vagina.
    xoox

  21. Wow it takes a lot of love and strength to look beyond a mean comment and be able to truly use that comment to help others. Keep doing what you are doing, as you are helping so many of use to see the light. Take care and have a ridiculously good day!

  22. It’s better to acknowledge our limits than cross them and do something we’ll regret. Sometimes that means one parent or spouse does more. Much more. But in a marriage where everyone strives to give 100% instead of keeping score at 50%, it works and works well. I’m glad you have support and are aware of your limits. It makes you the best kind of mom, wife and friend.

  23. I always say I don’t wish ppd even on my worst enemy, but its stupid ignorant snobs like these that make me change my mind. If this woman really lived a day in our shoes, she’d understand our struggles.

  24. So, asking your spouse to step in when things get a little rough is “pushing off parenting”? Good to know. I thought he helped me bring the children into the world and was responsible to help. Would she have said the same thing in a work environment and you “pushed” off work onto a co-worker because you have a lot on your plate? If we can’t ask our spouse for help, who can we ask?

    I’ve had a great pregnancy and a sucky one. The sucky one my husband had to step in a lot because I couldn’t handle it. And he was happy to… why? Because he loves me and we are a team.

    I think you handled it great!

  25. You my dear, are a stellar example of class and dignity! Bravo.

    The high road is nice – and I do consider it the option to seek first. But, unfortunately, some people only understand the mud. And in this case, I’d be more than happy to sling some for you!

  26. Katie, I love that you handled this commenter with power and strength – we have to remind ourselves that’s what we;re supposed to do. It’s what we;d teach our children to do!

    But what I love most, is that you turned into a chance to reach out and remind, we’re okay, ask for help, you’re not alone, to anyone who is listening.

    Because that, my friend, is the true essence of who you are, and that, I admire. (so much.)

  27. Depression, no depression…. we are PARENTS! We are allowed to lose our shit and why should the husbands be spoke about like they come in and rescue the situation? They are parents too. Sure, do the majority of them carry the majority of the load? No, however they are in this too. I don’t read you the way this commenter did. I also don’t see your tweets as anything other than a normal mom venting some frustration from time to time. Normal. OK. Needed. My opinions.

  28. What a lovely way to deal with a confrontational situation! I am new to the blogging world but am so pleased to find you. From what I know so far, YOU are a wonderful person. So proud of you for not letting a not wonderful person bring down your spirit. I am looking forward to following!
    ~Julia

  29. Slow clap for Katie.

  30. I totally did not see that comment! As someone who has known you personally for most of your life I can tell you that you are a fabulous person and mother!!!!!! I am so glad that you have gone from being my little sister’s best friend to being one of my dearest friends! Love you!

  31. I second what all of what these lovely people have said. It is unfortunate that you received that comment, but in a way it became an opportunity to remind yourself that you are very strong and resilient. Way to turn lemons into lemonade (another one of your strengths!). It’s a good reminder that no matter what comes down the pike you have an enormous support system in place. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with relying on friends and family to help out.

    You are loved. And soon you are going to experience what it feels like to have love multiplied even more! XO

  32. What I’m wondering is what is up with your Project 365 posts that cause so much controversy? Seriously. First the pacifiers and now this. Who knew that photos could be SO AWFUL?!?!? 😉

    In all seriousness, well said. <3

  33. Haters gonna hate!!!

    But really, I see the opposite when a fellow mom posts about a mini-breakdown or whatever; if she is making it through this, maybe I can, too.

    I believe that more of “us” feel that way than Miss Judgy-kins way.

    Seriously, haters gonna hate.

  34. It is very hard for many to remember that we only publish a small portion of our lives on our blogs. We are here to support and educate, not to belittle and badger.
    A comment like that should never have been left for you.

  35. what.a.bitch.

  36. Kudos to you Katie for dealing with the commenter the way you did – with class and courtesy, quite the opposite of what she accorded you.

    We moms would be so grateful if we all had a husband like yours – so ready to pitch in when needed (and when he wants to quite willingly!).

  37. I am very proud of you and the way you chose to deal with this. Brava!

    Your response to Melanie was thoughtful and kind.

    Ad shame on HER!!

    xoxo

  38. Carolyn says:

    Great post, but I got here for a totally random reason. I was hoping “words” was a reference to the Snowmen episode of Doctor Who. I am such a geek. One who’s struggling with a Portal of Power cake and found you in the comments here: http://www.themarthaproject.com/2012/02/23/say-my-name-fondant/