Dear Anonymous....

I found this pic here
 One thing that was important to me when I started this blog was sharing modern birth stories.

I really think that women NEED to hear birth stories, especially positive ones and triumphant ones.  Seeing the wide range of experiences, emotions, outcomes, and choices is genuinely helpful and confidence building.  I wanted this blog to be a place where women could find modern birth stories that spoke to them and helped them on their journey.  

I shared one such story yesterday.  It was, as you can read, not an easy birth story but still wonderful in many ways. 

I was disappointed to see today a really nasty comment directed squarely at the mother who wrote the story.  It was signed by the famous "Anonymous." 

Oddly, I find him/her everywhere.  The anonymity of the internet seems to make him/her bold and somewhat ruthless. 

My initial reaction was pretty ruthless too!


Luckily I wasn't near a computer while I composed a barbed little post in my head in response to this person.  Because, you know what, it really bothers me when somebody listens to the birth story that a woman shares and mocks it. 

Birth is a sacred time.  It impacts women so deeply that they will tell these stories over and over again.  It WILL change them.  This is not something you can opt out of.   Birth is powerful no matter how it is experienced. 

So, it bothered me that somebody could be mean to this mother.  But my reaction towards Anonymous in anger was wrong too. 

As I thought ugly thoughts in my rattled little head, something else crept in.... advice I heard a long time ago. 

I remembered my mom telling me of a time she was really struggling with anger towards somebody who had been mean to her.  She talked to somebody who she trusted to give her counsel and that person, after listening to her story, recommended something unexpected. 

He told her that maybe anger wasn't the best emotion for somebody who was being mean to you.  No, maybe the proper way to react was to feel pity for that person.  He counseled that somebody who was mean is somebody you should feel sorry for.  They are angry.  Their anger hurts them, but you don't have to let it hurt YOU. 

When somebody lashes out at another it is often because they have been hurt themselves.  The easiest thing to do is to get offended, to get our guard up, and to hit back.  That was my reaction.  That probably isn't the best thing to do though. 

We should feel sorrow for that person, that Anonymous commenter, who felt compelled to disregard a mother's feelings on the birth of her baby.  They are angry enough for themselves.  That is punishment enough. 

It is really sad that somebody would take a birth story, an intimate and open account of a vulnerable time, and make fun, mock, and insult the mother who was brave enough to share it.

But I feel sad for them, the mean ones.  They hurt themselves.  They miss the beauty.  They find the ugly.  They are their own worst enemy.  We don't need to be their enemies too.  They have enough of those when they look in the mirror.  


momto5 said…
i haven't read the birth story in question, but any story someone is willing to share should be taken as sacred. it makes you vulnerable to open up and share a piece of yourself like that.
all that aside, what you just wrote is just beautiful and honestly made me teary. it is truly sad when someone can only see the ugly and be hateful. life is so amazing when you open up and listen with a kind heart.
That is really sad.

Have you considered disabling anonymous comments on posts that may elicit more of them? I just recently learned that blogger allows you to select the types of comments you want to allow on a post-by-post basis. May be something to consider on certain posts, for the sake of the mother writing them.

Your post was great. It takes a lot of integrity to think through anger and be benevolent towards those who don't deserve it.
Mama Birth said…
I just disabled all anon comments- I am not sure how to do it per post on blogger- It weeds out the psychos though-
AmandaRuth said…
It's hard to put yourself out there like this everyday... you touch so many mama's in a profound way - don't forget that.

It's unfortunate that one or two loonies comes out of the woods to comment in a disrepectful manner due to their own insecurities.

Personally, I harbor forgiveness in my heart for them - and then move on with my life. I get tons of these comments on my blog lol. IF I let them get to me I would probably jump off a brigde tomorrow.