Friday, January 24, 2014

Negativity on YouTube and Bullying

     I have been making videos on YouTube for over three years.  A question I get asked frequently is why I started making videos in the first place.  I started for two reasons.  The first reason is because I wanted to document my journey of trying to get pregnant after a full year of trying to conceive without any success.  The second reason is because after seeing everyone I knew in my personal life, able to get pregnant easily, I felt really alone.  I felt like no one understood my heartache, until I found the "TTC Community" on YouTube.  When I realized that there were a ton of women going through what I was going through it was comforting.  I wanted to be that comfort for someone else who may be enduring something similar in their life.
     Over the past three years, I would say that 99% of my videos, I have left emotion out of it.  As of lately, my videos have just been myself describing pregnancy symptoms I've been having.  However, my most recent video I decided to upload showed raw, in-the-moment, emotion.  It showed my hormonal side of pregnancy.  It showed my vulnerability.  And it showed that I am human.  And I have never, on any other video, received such rude and negative comments.  I've also never been bullied via YouTube, until now.   I was told I would be a "shitty mom because I sweat the small stuff", I was told that I am "immature", and that I am a "drama queen".  I'm sure there will be more comments like this, but the video has only been up for two days.
     I thought about disabling the comments to this video so that people couldn't get the satisfaction of trying to hurt me with words.  But when I took a step back, and looked at the big picture and took the personalization out of the equation, I realized what an opportunity this is for me to address this type of behavior from people.  I'm blessed to have reached a platform of people through YouTube and I'd like to take advantage of that my making a video that addresses such a commonality among social networking sites.
     To begin this blog addressing those who went out of their way to say hurtful things, I'd like to first say that hurt people, hurt people.  And in all honesty, that makes me sad.  That means that person comes from a line of hurt and it just is going to continue to cycle until one day someone decides to stop that cycle and better themselves.  Unfortunately, I can't change the way people treat others.  I can only pray for them, and so that's what I do.  I'd also like to point out that the people who chose to say hurtful things to me, are in my opinions, behaving cowardly.  I'm not trying to use that word derogatively, but I can't think of another word that describes a behavior such as this.  The comments were left by people who don't have a channel of their own, who would never have the courage to put their personal life out there in the public eye to face judgment and to be scrutinized.  When I put videos out there for anyone to view, I knew that there would be people that didn't like me, disagreed with me, or oppose my view.  That is fine, in fact, that's wonderful.  It means that we all are made up differently, we aren't robots, we can think for ourselves.  The problem for me is that when people choose to disagree with me, oppose my view, or simply just do not like me, they usually leave comments to disrespect me.
     I welcome constructive criticism and helpful advice.  I have no problem with that at all.  However, when someone goes out of their way to disrespect myself or any of my subscribers I will not tolerate it on my channel or in my life in general.  Those people might get away with that type of behavior in their personal lives, or on other social networking sites, but it will not be tolerated on my channel.  And thankfully, with the grace of God, these people are not affecting my life in a negative way.  It inspired me to write this blog instead.  I know there are children, teenagers, and even adults that this type of behavior would affect them, and that is why I'm using this platform in hopes to reach them.
     The only other thing that I would like to say to those of you reading this, is that if there has ever been a time in your life where you have been disrespected or bullied, I want you to know, that it wasn't personal to you.  The people that try to hurt you are struggling with something in their own life, whether they are being bullied themselves, or maybe they are insecure about something, or maybe their home life and relationships are toxic.  Whatever the case may be, that person has some type of issue or issues that they are struggling with.  When they see an emotional, or kind side of you, they tend to use that as their advantage point and "attack" when you are most vulnerable.  Do not let this type of behavior from people harden you into a cold emotionless person.  I've realized that the more I have put myself out there and the more I share, the more people I relate with, or can relate with me.  This has encouraged me to be compassionate with others, to encourage others, and support others.
     I am not perfect, I don't pretend to be.  I have faults and weaknesses, just like you do.  But from my side of the computer screen, I don't bash other women/people for choices they have made or opinions they may have.  If anything, that helps me to learn more about the person and broaden my mindset to other views.  I'm excited to make a video, addressing this topic and this blog.  And though I will never change the behavior of those who will continue to hurt others, I hope to provide comfort to those who also have been hurt by disrespectful individuals.

Healed People, Heal People 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Finding my own balance...

     I think my most important piece of advice I could offer to anyone that is pregnant is to stop listening to everyone else and just be in the moment with yourself.  I think most of my stress this pregnancy has come from the idea of what I should or shouldn't be feeling based on other people's opinions and experiences.  Every single pregnancy is different, every mother's body is different, and every single baby is different.
     I also think that it is completely okay to admit that pregnancy is HARD.  And a lot of the times, it SUCKS!  No matter how long you have dreamed of getting pregnant, whether or not the baby was planned,  and no matter how old you are, pregnancy is difficult.  I had failed fertility treatments and I prayed and prayed for this child, but I still have the right to complain that pregnancy is not glamorous, and it's really hard sometimes.  Sure, you'll hear the women who say, "Oh I just LOVE being pregnant!" and they seem to never complain about anything.  But I'm sure those women feel fatigued, nauseated, or fat at some point in their pregnancy.  And then you'll hear those women that say that they hate everything about being pregnant.  I believe I'm somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.
     I have no problem admitting that I hate having to go pee all the time.  Honestly, I wake up between 5-8 times a night to use the bathroom.  I also hate feeling restricted in terms of my level of activity.  There are times when I want to pick up my nephews and squeeze them, but I can't.  Or just wanting to go for a hard run to work off stress and I can't.  Of course people will say that I can do those things.  But in my head, I find reasons why I shouldn't.  I would not do anything to jeopardize this pregnancy.  So if to me that means no running, no lifting, etc, then it is what it is.
     I have also been underweight my entire life.  So now, seeing my body change is difficult.  I LOVE my big belly.  I wouldn't change that for the world.  However, I feel like I gained weight in my chin, like my face looks fat, and other people say they don't see it, maybe they are being nice, or maybe they don't see it.  However, I don't feel like myself and I don't like that.  And more than anything, I hate when people point it out.  Yes, I have had someone tell me my face looks full.  That made me like crap.
     I do love that when I'm sitting alone, thinking about upcoming weeks, and having my miracle in my arms, that I'm never actually alone.  I LOVE when he moves around and I can feel those punches and kicks, reminding me in the sweetest way possible that I am a mommy.  And with that being said, I LOVE being a mommy.  I love knowing that I am someone's mommy.  I think about the way I look at my mom, from when I was a little girl til now, and how much I love and need her.  I think about the sacrifices she made for me and how grateful I am for her.  And it overwhelms me in the best way possible to think that I am that person to someone.
     I also love how much I am in love already.  I haven't even met my son yet, and I already am in love with him.  He is a piece of heaven, gifted to me, from God.  I can't even put that in words how incredible that is.  And more than even that, I love how close I feel to God.  God chose to me mother this soul  The idea that God trusts me to do that, makes me feel so loved by God and has only strengthened my faith in Him.
     To wrap this up, I just wanted to encourage pregnant women to enjoy their own personal experience in their own way and complain when you want to if you makes you feel better.  Sometimes you just need to get things off your chest, like, "UGH!  I feel so fat today!" or "My skin is so gross!".  But then also don't forget to cherish the things you do enjoy!  Like when your husband runs out to get you a hot fudge sundae from McDonalds...or when someone says, "Wow your hair look amazing" or "You are seriously glowing".  I think it's perfectly fine to find your own balance.