Monday, October 15, 2012

And then one miserable troll ruined the whole thing...

So, I haven't been doing a great deal of actual blogging lately because, well, I have a toddler and a baby. I have been doing a lot of mental blogging, hoping to get back at the physical blog soon, and I've been the recording the beautiful, crazy and funny moments with my two little guys as well as formulating more content heavy, opinion/experience/discussion type posts as well. The little moments aren't making it to the blog because of the aforementioned busyness. The other types of posts aren't making it for the same reason, as well as a few others.

I love to write and I have a lot of ideas and opinions, some of them good and interesting, many of them not so great and pretty conventional, and a few that are maybe a little controversial. That anyone reads my blog at all is such a lovely surprise to me, and I appreciate every single person who does, because it feels really really good to have people interested in me and my amazing sons, but in a small way it can also feel a little stifling.

When I want to say something less cute/less positive/less conventional, I stall, because I can usually think of a few people who might be offended, and usually I can think of those people by name and relationship to me, and I don't want to hurt any feelings or damage any relationships. (This makes it sound like the stuff I'm not saying is really heavy - it probably really isn't.. somewhere more in the range of like "people who litter are assholes", when I might know a litterer or two).

So I'd been thinking maybe I needed a side project, or just to be more bold, or maybe to stop blogging all together, and then this morning the answer was forced on me anyway.

I used to work in a place where I encountered many different people, with many different backgrounds, many who had different struggles they were dealing with while trying to participate in the community. Mostly I was privileged to get to work with people who wanted to help and offered their skills with enthusiasm and positivity. On the other hand from time to time, as all supervisory jobs do, my job included "disciplining" some of the same people.

A few months before I left for my maternity leave from that job, I had to ask an individual not to return to the building. The incident was handled professionally, the individual was quiet and not particularly difficult to deal with, and the whole thing pretty much faded into the background of my day to day working life.

Until one day, after my mat leave was over and I had decided not to go back to work, I was contacted by my former supervisor to let me know that the organization had started receiving disturbing emails about me from that same individual. Emails with lots of ugly words and ideas, and allusions to my family and accusations about my behavior (wild accusations, like, laughably wild). The police were informed and the individual was warned and the whole thing was weird, a little scary, and then in the past. That was about a year and a half ago.

On Saturday evening my Dad, through his business website contact form, received the same email, from the same individual. For whatever reason after all this time, this person was angry with me again, and had gone to the trouble of seeking me out, I can only assume, through social media.

These emails aren't threatening, and I have no actual reason to believe that this person is dangerous, but I certainly have reason to be cautious about what I'm putting out into the world right now. This person lives in my neighbourhood, he knows I have kids and he knows what I look like, and he's an angry guy.

My gut tells me that actually he is just an angry troll. The type who wouldn't step out from behind a keyboard even if I confronted him directly, but I can't go on my gut alone, and I have two really good little reasons to be cautious.

So for the time being, my blog is going to be protected so that only people I know can read it. I can't begin to describe how frustrating this is for me. Because while I'm not that scared of this guy, and I'm not convinced he's a real danger, I know I need to be careful and that makes me so angry at him. Something I really enjoy has to stop because of a stupid, angry, crazy email.

I know that this step alone doesn't really hide my internet presence (I know that the internet never forgets and anyway, I'm still going to exist on other social media spaces) but it preserves the privacy of my posts going forward and allows me to continue to document my life with my two little guys as I chose, without worrying about who is reading. I know that this is going to mean fewer of my friends and family reading - having to log in to view my blog will probably be one step too many for almost everyone except grandparents, but I guess that's what's got to happen for now.

When I started my blog I did it because I was fascinated by the whole world of blogging that was going on with mums, a whole new community to me, and I wanted to experiment with getting involved. I did it because I wanted a space to vent and brag and share. I did it because I wanted a space to get my thoughts out of my head and onto the computer. For the past two and a bit years, it has done that for me. At the same time I've realized that I'm probably never going to be much of a participant in the mommy blogging community and that, as I mentioned earlier, it can actually stop me from getting my thoughts out into the world sometimes, and maybe I want a little something different.

So, as they say.. when God sends an insane, vaguely threatening email, he opens a window (is that it?). So yes, this guy and his anger is taking away my ability to participate as a "mommy blogger" right now, but it's also giving me an opportunity to create a new space on the web that's more about me, and less about this one incredible role I play. I haven't exactly decided what shape that new space will take, but it's coming, and soon I hope. Because it feels good to write, and because I like sharing with people this way, and because, fuck him, you know?

Whatever it is, I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, consider yourself among the Meagan approved non-crazies, and if you'd like, keep reading along as Oliver and Emmett keep growing like beautiful, hilarious little weeds. And thanks for having read this long winded post, and every other long winded thing I've spewed out over the past two years.  It's meant a lot.


  1. Hey Meg... There's so much I want to say but since I'm in a car in Maui I'll leave it to a) I hear you in terms of the ways blogging can be inhibating (hence my own inconsistent presence in the blog world) and I wholeheartedly respect your choice here regarding awful troll man. B) thanks for including me in your circle of non-crazies and c) looking forward to reading about your two littles AND to seeing what you get up to next. I love your writing.

  2. wow. how horrible. i actually have a messed up story similar to yours but it happened to my obgyn! people are so screwed... and will work relentlessly to destroy others' happiness just out of spite, anger, jealousy.
    on a positive note: wow. again. i kind of love the privately blogging you even more than i loved the publicly blogging you. this is an awesome post. your writing ability and thoughts are the top two reasons why I love your blog and this post highlights them with extra bright neon yellow. can't wait to see what you have in store for this crazy webbed world!

  3. ugh... you poor thing.
    I'm just waiting for the day when something similar happens to me - I mean I take people's kids away sometimes; I'm pretty sure I'm NOT they're favourite person and 9 times out of 10 they have addiction and/or mental health issues which only makes their behaviour more unpredictable.
    thank you for inviting me to join your private blog... I feel so honoured.
    BIG HUGS! xo

  4. Hi Meg - I've been missing you so was glad to see a post pop up. I'm sorry you're having to deal with all this. I worry about the same thing happening to me some day down the road since I work with some folks that have mental health issues and are living with really shitty life circumstances. I worry they'll come along my blog and see a life of privilege and feel angry and resentful toward me.

    I also get the whole inhibiting factor that comes with having your blog public. I've thought about shutting my down and starting something private, but I think I'd miss the connections I've built with strangers and the mindless link-ups. I've thought about starting a second private blog, but I know I don't have the time. I don't know what the answer is.

    Regardless, I'm glad you're still blogging and didn't decide to give it up completely. I hope that, with time, this issue passes. Much love my friend.

  5. Made the cut! Amazing! I'm a big fan of your blogs and I *swear* I was just thinking the other day "hmm, haven't seen a post from Meagan in a while... wonder what's up with her and the boys??"
    I love your positive spin to this otherwise bitch-of-a-story; looking forward to reading all about it!

  6. Wowza ... that is so shitty for you! I think you're taking the right steps and approach to this whole thing. I've learned never to underestimate people like said troll. There's no "because" to that ... as in, "because of this or that". Just something I've learned and thought I'd impart. Glad I made the cut - your blog is the best doctoral studies procrastination around! At least I feel like I'm reading something interesting!!!


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