When I first started writing posts I pretty much did it for a release because my life felt so tough. I felt so disconnected from everyone that I needed to find a tribe who could understand and help me with what I was going through.
Since then, I have learnt how to format posts, understand key blogging terms and have grown a bigger audience than I ever imagined possible. If I’m honest, I only ever thought my mum and my bezzie mates would ever really read them – how wrong I was!
The blog has grown organically and has led to many new exciting experiences and adventures such as meeting my MP to discuss the campaign to get PDA better supported, to speaking at key events and even reaching the finals for two awards.
The Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages all have received such positive communities that it really does feel that I have connected with some wonderful people too.
However, I have often considered, when will be the time to stop writing?
Will there come a point that it’s best to just move on – I mean after all, I don’t want to sound repetitive and keep droning on about the same things like I’m flogging a dead horse.
Will I run out of things to write about?
Also, there have been huge gaps lately, with the desire to write but lacking the time or energy to even formulate my words in a post. I often think about the age that my children are reaching and whether ethically it is the right thing by them to discuss their needs and experiences online.
So many things that always stay in the back of my mind, but today, I seriously questioned whether it would be the right time to call it a day.
You see, I have received negative feedback and dealt with trolls, it kind of goes with the territory. The comment below depicts how many SEND writers can be attacked by individuals who will probably never be able to understand the message we are trying to give. The name and message was removed instantly without any discussion in order to eradicate any more online hatred and I hope that this will not cause too much upset to readers to reflect upon:
But that’s ok, you see, it’s not personal.
Although there are many who judge and make our lives worse, these (like the comment above) are the ones we are trying to target.
By writing and being social influencers we can drip feed information with the hope that eventually we can alter social ideologies. This may only happen over many generations but it is a start nevertheless.
It will take many, many people to make that happen, there is no need to start targeting one individual. It is also the reason why the name has been removed from the screenshot – I firmly believe two wrongs will never make a right.
No, this kind of ‘trolling’ I can handle, along with the negative review I received on Facebook also this week, I simply responded with empathy and concern. I’m not here to be argumentative, I don’t believe it gets you anywhere. The person who has felt the need to express such anguish must be coming from a place where they are very unhappy and perhaps at their wit’s end.
This time, it has become personal.
I have experienced online targeting from someone who has seemed to groom me – throwing compliments, asking for advice, offering to donate money to the PDA community etc. This person even managed to find my phone number and call me whilst I was at an event and knew where I was. It was at that point that I felt it was best to cut my communication with them. I queried what their intentions were and whether it was for the best as the boundaries had been overstepped.
Only, their efforts have turned for the worst and have now involved abusive comments, as well as threatening me with information that would suggest they have spent a HELL of a long time researching me, including my name and who I was married to, even the field I trained in – the list just goes on.
I’m not the only person they are targeting and I think they may have befriended many of my friends too. There are others in the PDA community who have also experienced some online attacks from this person – although at this stage, we really are unaware what is driving them to be doing this, or how far they intend to go.
This has caused huge uncertainty and apart from blocking the said individual there was nothing else I could do but to notify the police (as have others) because the threats being made feel too concerning.
So, today I feel unstable, and I wonder is this, the blogging thing, really worth it?
I have spent a lot of time pondering today about whether it is worth continuing with blogging if these can be the trials and tribulations that can possibly go with it.
I question, is it worth bringing unnecessary attention to our family, or the headache that I don’t really need right now – life at home can feel tough, I don’t need to add anything else into the mix.
I have spent many hours discussing it and still come back to the same conclusion that the good that blogging brings will always outweigh the bad. I admit that I would be lost without this outlet at this moment in time.
Also, it doesn’t feel right that I should be made to quit.
I think about the tribe I have online; the friends who keep me lifted when I need it the most. The comments from families who have said that my words have really connected with them back. The advice that I also get from parents and professionals because I have chosen to talk about our experiences online.
I also think about one of those earliest situations when my daughter was being also discussed online and it was through the power of this blog that we turned the situation around (see early post Warrior which explains this in depth).
Overall, I think about the pride it brings to my children too, when I hear them tell other children they meet, “we have our own blog you know!”
My eldest daughter always asks me to post pictures on the blog, especially when she wants to tell the world that she has enjoyed something or has achieved something too! She says she is famous in the PDA world – a positive acceptance that she is autistic and offers her own sense of self-identity.
I think the question has really answered itself.
To blog oh yes … to blog.
That is my answer.
*The lovely officer I spoke to today sent me this guide for keeping safe online, it is something I thought would be a good thing to share, particularly as it has guides for adults and children too – here is a quick link.
That’s very scary to hear. I’m sorry you have experienced this by helping others. It took me a very long time to ignore the critics and you will never ever reach them all. Some people live off the hatred and they are to be pitied yet ultimately ignored. Blog for the people like me who just don’t feel so alone in our journey. Just knowing you are not on your own (when it can feel like you really are) is enough sometimes to get us through another day. I’m so glad your children also love and are proud of the blog. Thank you for what you do. If you struggle to blog don’t stress we will all still be here another day or the day after. Much love and gratitude. I hope you get the problem sorted. X
Thank you so much, lovely to read and either way, I hope to be able to stay in contact with many of online connections as we do help one another. It is that relationship that I find I need too. Thank you once again x
Thank you so much for a lovely and warm comment last night, it is much appreciated. Your words are so true, we must pity them and ignore the hatred. Thank you 😍
Goodness me! I am SO sorry you have been faced with this. Totally unbelievable and unacceptable. I hope it can be resolved quickly and you can feel safe once again. You have done SO much for our community and really don’t deserve this. Please do continue if you can but only if you feel comfortable doing so. Your safety and that of your family must come first. Sending much love and strength. Xx
Thank you so much lovely, I have pm’d you this morning xx
Don’t let the bastards pull you down. These people know nothing of your life and don’t wish to. They aren’t worth the energy of your concerns. It can be very tough putting yourself “out there” and you are right to question the wisdom of exposing yourself and your family to the Internet and public abyss! That said, the bottom line for you as an exceptional writer is whether you make a difference, even if it is to just one life. And you have. And you do. That is your real motive, You want to be the “magic wand” that makes it all go away, the loud voice so that people don’t feel alone or isolated, to share your personal experiences so that people can positively identify with you and not feel they are the only ones. That is why you do what you do. Yes, as time goes by, you have to be mindful of exposing your family to the public eye. But you are not seeking “celebrity status” or attention, You simply want to make a difference to those who live this “different” life. Keep that at the centre of your motives and celebrate your success at doing just that. There are very few people who will genuinely congratulate you for your innovation, your creativity and honesty. There are far more who will want to drag you down. Be strong. Of course be vigilant. But most of all, don’t be stifled by anyone. If you don’t shout for what you believe in, no-one else will. ❤️
From one warrior to another … your words of wisdom are always appropriate, thoughtful and with experience that help other families. I’m grateful for your comment on here, always in the background, offering love and support to other SEND Families. We are lucky to have you rallying the troops! Thank you once again, much love, Danielle xx
Please keep blogging and keep shouting about PDA and the struggles and the triumphs. We’ve got your back!
Ahh thank you for your continued support, it’s always been appreciated x
It would be devastating if you were forced into quitting! Unfortunately, in the public realm, there will always be those that like to throw stones. You are a true beacon of light to all of us that understand. Keep doing what you do but remember that your family comes first so stay safe.
Thank you Lyn, your words are much appreciated. I hope, as a fellow writer online, that you don’t become targeted by this person as they have done similar to other PDA spokespeople x