Social Media – A World of Strangers

Social Media – A World of Strangers

Social Media plays a big part in today’s society connecting people around the world, making the world seem smaller, on the other hand it certain things can get a bit out of control which leads me to the topic of bullying on Social Media

Bullying on social media seems to be quite prevalent these days. Why is it that some people think that they can say whatever they want to other people on Social Media, without thinking about the impact of what they say.

I know I have written a blog about the topic of bullying on Social Media but I believe that the more we speak out about it, the possibility that maybe it might stick that bullying – even on Social Media is wrong,. Just because a person may not physically be in front of us doesn’t give anyone the right to say to another person whatever they want without consideration of that person.

I’m on Snapchat a bit and it seems that lately I’ve been hearing a bit from certain “high profile” social media personalities about what they are being subjected to and I’m actually a bit relieved that my “following” has nowhere near the numbers of those that “follow” them. For if I was subjected to some of the comments that are thrown their way, I’m not sure if I could cope so huge props to them they are keeping up with their social media presence, when it could be easier to just throw in the towel.

Just because you may follow a person on social media and in cases like Snapchat know a bit about their life doesn’t mean you know them. Relationships can be built via social media but if there hasn’t been true give and take, positive connections, then all we are – are strangers. Would you want a stranger to just randomly come up to you on the street and say something to you because they disagree with something you are doing; that’s what is going on it seems when bullying is taking place on Social Media. Its often excused by the idea “I was just giving my opinion” Don’t get me wrong sometimes an opinion can be helpful. However, when it puts someone down then its not so helpful, and didn’t need to be shared.

A person may not think they are bullying but maybe before commenting on a post/snap we think these things:

  • How could it affect the other person
  • Would I want it said to me, if I was in that person’s shoes
  • What is the reason behind the comment, and
  • Would I say it to the person’s face

Within social media, tone of voice is not always portrayed, and often we need to think before we press “send”. There could be times when the comment is innocent yet someone could interpret it wrong, in that case we should be able to explain/apologise if need be. If someone posts something that’s not specifically aimed at anyone, yet someone takes offense then it might not be the original posters intent and if so, that poster shouldn’t need to apologise, an explanation might do if that’s what the original wants to do.

This is not a cookie cutter world and people are different so will act/say/do things differently to others and just because a person may reach out and ask for an opinion we can at least be nice about it and not have the other person feel attacked. If a comment you want to post is not positive or at least neutral then scroll on down without comment. Just because you may disagree with a post doesn’t mean you need to comment.

If you do make nasty comments and the other person responds to it in a way which makes you feel attacked, either ignore it and move on or privately message the person and ask them why they responded that way

Life is hard enough without us tearing down one another. There’s enough negativity and bullying in this world without people adding to it via social media.

Music Soothes The Beast

Music Soothes The Beast

Within music there are many different genres and sub-genres that appeal to different people, people from all different walks of life, there are those that are into hard rock, some that like classical and some that like pop music. There are probably those that like all genres. My preferred genres of music would most likely be contemporary country and pop; my husband on the other hand likes rock.

These genres do have a more melodic rhythm and when I’m feeling down it helps me as often it calms my anxious thoughts and helps me to think clearer. When even the positive and uplifting words of friends can be shrugged off, this genre of music speaks to my very soul. When I can’t find the words to express how I’m feeling certain songs express it for me.

However, when my temper gets the better of me and I need to release some anger I go for a drive with music by Pink blaring and that’s like a release valve and eventually my anger cools down. My favourite Christian artists would have to be Amy Grant and Twila Paris for when I need that softer touch. Amy Grant’s song “Don’t Try So Hard” is my favourite song at the moment as it is a reminder that God’s grace can’t be earned as it is freely given. There are also songs that I like to play when I’m missing my baby girl that we lost like Eric Clapton’s song “Tears In Heaven”, and it allows me to feel what I might otherwise keep pushed down.

I’m not a good singer but I love to sing along to songs that express how I feel but can’t get the words out myself, often I sing in the car or when I’m just around Hubby and the kids. When I was a kid I had another kid say to me “You know you can’t sing” which at the time was very hurtful and actually stopped me from singing at all for many years; but as I loved music too much in time I decided to not allow those careless words to stop me from doing something I love.

Music has always been like a security blanket for me. When I listen to music and sing along it opens me up more than anything else, I like to sit down and get lost in a good book but music is the one thing that helps keep negative thoughts at bay, or at least allows them to flow safely away without affecting my life.

Not Always Mind Over Matter

Not Always Mind Over Matter

Anxiety

In this fast pace world we live in with all the opportunities available; and all the talk of tolerance and acceptance, Anxiety and depression still seems to get a hard rap. Those with Anxiety and/or depression are told to “harden up” or “you just need to keep busy” or “Think positive”. These are nice statements and are most likely said with the best of intentions. Sometimes though its not as easy as that.

Sometimes you can try to “Think positively” but it can be a battle, even when you have a great support network; turning off negative thoughts can seem impossible. How anxiety or depression is portrayed can differ from person to person. How a person gets through it at a particular moment can differ from person to person, what works for one person may not work for another.

A person with anxiety can get anxious over what may seem a trifling issue; however the workings of the persons mind can be in overdrive. Sometimes it feels like anxious thought/feelings and common sense are battling each other and you really want common sense to win but that can be a hard outcome to achieve.

Those with Anxiety/Depression sometimes seemed to be deemed as weak, however that can be further from the truth that you know. When a person battles with Anxiety/depression daily they are actually quite tough with every day that they don’t give in to the Black Hole.

The attempt to always seem happy can be a battle as well, when you are smiling and laughing on the outside but are screaming on the inside; or when you’re spiraling downwards but you are afraid to let people know so you work even harder at putting on a happy face; some may do this through being comical.

A person who’s affected by anxiety/depression needs support and not judgment. They need to feel supported and that they are not a burden when they ask for help. Sometimes people dealing with anxiety/depression won’t ask for help either because they feel ashamed, or they don’t want to burden others. When you offer help let it be genuine and selfless and not about you earning “Brownie Points” so to speak.

 

More Prose than Poetry

More Prose than Poetry

This “novel” is me truly opening up and baring more of myself than I would normally do.

When I was younger my literary outlet was writing poetry I’ve found in that I was still able to hide from myself. I don’t know when it started but I would try to be who I thought people wanted me to be and in that was very rarely myself. I put on a mask so much that I think I forgot who I was.

I was bullied at school so became very introverted my my self esteem was very low, I became the type of person that wanted to please people and never disappoint – which I now find interesting as in life I have felt disappointed by people and sometimes it wasn’t the other persons fault.

I grew up in the church and for some reasons thought I had to be this little christian girl – but really I didn’t know what that meant, I could spout out many bible verses and I was the kid who because I felt lonely would say “I’m not alone, I’ve got Jesus”

I remember one night I prayed that I just wanted Mum to be happy – previously that year she had attempted to take her own life – the next morning my Grandparents came and told me that Mum had passed away; she had succeeded (if you can call it that) in taking her own life. I was 14 when this happened and I started going back to church again as I felt that’s what my mum would have wanted, I felt like I was the one responsible for my little sister and brother and to pick up where mum left off. In doing this I think I forgot more about me.

Being a teenager is hard enough, but when you’ve got to go through those years without anyone to really guide you. The next year when I was 15 I had to change schools, the year after I had little choice but to move out as my step-mum and I did not get along, so I moved in with my Granny who’s an awesome woman, but my life felt so topsy-turvy and I felt so alone even with the family around me.

By the time I got to my early 20’s I was starting to feel a bit normal and could manage; or so I thought, I still was not being true to myself which also meant that those around me didn’t really know me either. When I first met Rob he thought I was some “holier than though” girl, and in a way I was though it was more of a way for me to hide my low self-esteem from not just those around me but to myself as well.

Go down the track a few years and Rob and I are married and expecting our first child, however at 20 weeks we find that she is not likely to live. By 42 weeks I went through a traumatic birth  and Zoë  was stillborn, and I felt let down by God, by friends, by myself. I was angry at everyone including myself. My self-esteem took such a beating that it took a while for me to be truly happy again.

A year and a half later we had our first son and my self-esteem started to slowly come back. Then 20 months later our youngest son arrived and it took a long time for me to bond with him and I almost hated myself for it, but eventually things turned right. Now last year we had our gorgeous wee girl who I feel so protective of and would do almost anything to make her happy.

Even after all this joy I am still having to work on my self-esteem and that fact that I struggle with anxiety. Most days I can keep it in check but there have been times when things just feel too much and I almost break. One thing I think I was good at was pretending that everything was fine – because aren’t I meant to be happy, after all I have beautiful children, am married to a great guy and have some pretty good friends.

Even though I have all this, there are times when I feel alone – not all the time of course but in those bad moments it feels really bad.

Lately I’ve been focusing on positive events like the first birthday of my precious wee girl who when she smiles brings so much joy. One thing I’ve tried to do is to not let my boys get worried when I have my bad moments as I want them to be as carefree as possible. I want them to not grow up too fast.

 

Your Story is Yours and No-One Elses

Your Story is Yours and No-One Elses

Honestly I find it interesting how over a couple of days I can have a number of blog post topics running through my head but then when I write it down it turns out different from I thought.Photo 2

Anyway, I was talking with a friend today and we were talking about our lives and how we had both had difficult times but in different ways. That got me thinking about hardships and how they are subjective; for example what one person goes through can seem worse or even better than someone else’s hardship.

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I remember my parents telling me a a kid when I didn’t want to eat a particular food that there’d be starving children in other countries that would love to have what I have, and that’s true.

There are things I wish my kids could have which they don’t yet they also have things that other kids may wish for. What we are going through at the moment with my husbands medical condition is difficult, but there are probably people out there who are alone and wish for a family, there could be those that couldn’t handle everything my family ‘s going through and they might throw in the towel.

Often I may not be in a situation to give financially but there are other ways to give. I can give to others my time or if there is a need my kids old clothes. Or if someone has a particular skill set that could be used to help someone out.
photo 3

If someone is going through a hard time sometimes all they need is a listening ear, or just to feel that someone cares. In my opinion the worst feeling in the world is to feel like no-one cares, to feel isolated, to feel lonely. Words can sometimes feel empty; but selfless actions, a listening ear or a hug can mean a whole lot.

 

Child milestones – Subjective

Child milestones – Subjective

Often in mum/parenting online groups I see that the topic of milestones are raised, “when did your child do this/that” I have found that amongst my own children that milestones are very subjective. My boys are 20 months apart and when it came to the crawling/walking milestones they were pretty close in age when they reached them. When it comes to being toilet trained however – my eldest boy Jason has taken longer, he still wears pull-ups at night; whereas his little brother Alex has been dry at night for about a week or so now, but still chooses to wear pull-ups.the-kids

My 7 month old baby girl is already crawling, the boys didn’t crawl until they were around 10 months old and then walked around 17/18 months old. Jason was on solids at 5 1/2 months whereas Alex didn’t take to solids until about 7/8 months. Little Miss Rylee is slowly getting used to solids but as she still has the tongue reflex its still a bit of a trial.

When Jason was crawling his friend who’s a few months older wasn’t crawling yet, his friend though started walking before him.  Miss Rylee has a friend who’s 8 days older than her and is sitting up unassisted quite well yet not crawling whereas Rylee can’t sit unassisted.

When milestoevery-child-is-specialnes are reached is determined on the child themselves, yes we may be able to help them to get reach them however it is still up to their abilities as every child is different, so unless it is known that a child may have difficulty reaching a particular milestone more often than not a child will eventually reach it.

Comparing children I’m guessing many parents are guilty of whether it be between a child and their siblings or a friend’s child, I’m having to work at that with my own children and I’m hoping that I’m slowly ceasing the comparing.

One of the reasons for the comparisons is that we as parents want to be doing whats right and if our child isn’t doing what another child is doing then we may doubt our abilities as parents. In my opinion if we compare our children to other children whats to stop them from comparing themselves to others when they are adults.

Whether it be adults or children we just need to do the best we can and focus on our own particular strengths and gifts and not feel envious of the strengths and gifts that others may possess.

not-a-race

Best Friends or Bitter Rivals

Best Friends or Bitter Rivals

After our eldest son was born, I knew I didn’t want to stop there; I’m a strong believer that children need playmates. Only children may work for some people but I didn’t want that to be the case for my boy. I also realise that it may not be possible for parents to have more than one. I felt that my son would be better off with a sibling. So almost 2 years later along came his little brother.

I enjoy (most of the time) the relationship the brothers have. Our eldest boy has a big heart and loves to help his little brother, his little brother seems to want to do what his big brother does – but he also seems to enjoy “tormenting” his big brother. At the moment the brothers share a bedroom and sometimes it seems to flow smoothly, other times its like World War 3.

My eldest boy likes to have time by himself sometimes but it can be a fight to get that across to his little brother, sometimes my big boy tries to dictate how the brothers play and because of his little brother’s strong sense of independence it can turn a little bit rough. If the eldest insists to much on how their play should progress and pays no attention to what his little brother wants, then instead of words physicality ensues to get the eldest to listen to the youngest.

I’m not sure if this physicality is because they are boys or if its an age thing. What is interesting though is that the physicality could seem quite bad but once its over they are best friends again almost as if it never happened.

In having sons I’ve learnt that sometimes I have to step back and only interfere if things are getting completely out of hand – after all I don’t want them to kill each other 🙂

Within a day my sons can go from being best friends to bitter rivals then back to best friends many times. The one thing I hope is that they always have each others back and no matter where life takes them they will always know they have each other.