“I’ve had enough.” Ok. I didn’t say that out loud. I said it in my head because I was by myself. My heart was slowly pounding. I say slowly because it had been a weekend buildup. Three days, really. I typed and deleted. Typed and deleted. Posted and deleted. I learned later it wasn’t quick enough. People have screenshot game they must take a course for. I imagine they hang the certificate on the wall, next to all of the trophies they received as children simply for participating. But I can’t really be a hypocrite now, can I? I’ve learned how to screenshot from the best. Fun fact: I didn’t know how to screenshot before becoming a mom! See how much my life has improved?!
My Facebook inbox glared at me. Yes people. Welcome to social media.
It was Sunday night. My husband, probably the only person who actually gives me rational, sane advice devoid of emotion, was out of town for a bachelor party and I was on my third or fourth beer. Anonymous Baby (AB) was sleeping, and I was still dealing with the aftermath of a vaccine post from Friday morning on my blog — a careless share.
If there’s one thing you learn quickly in an online mom group, it’s that you have your pro-vax people and your anti-vax people. The same can be said for views on circumcision and even those who have extreme views on breast milk versus formula. You cannot write the word “vaccine” in a mom group without a “debate,” a.k.a. grown women insulting each other online.
I knew this. Why I shared a vaccine related article on my blog that day? Sheer laziness. Lack of coffee. Stupidity. You name it! I barely skimmed it, but saw it circulating, thought it was a sad story… and there you have it. Now, I made some nearly fatal mistakes — the first: 1) “Anonymous Mommy” made a mistake, and, up until this point… I had never made a “mistake.” I was the voice of “perfect.” That’s not me being arrogant, it’s simply the unrealistic expectation that people placed upon my blog, the content and my opinions. 2) I didn’t check the source! It was a totally blind, un-researched share and I was scorched for it. 3) It was the weekend preceding people trying to repeal SB 277 (the CA Vaccine bill)… apparently. Whooopsie! 4) I tried to save face and claim it was some stupid social experiment so people would put away the pitchforks. 5) That backfired.
Soooooo, people were, um, angry. Like hadn’t-seen-a-Snickers-bar-in-their-life angry.
I popped open my next beer and tried to ignore all the screenshots sent my way capturing threads of rage-filled comments about me. Many comments were from women I wasn’t even aware existed, but then there were the comments from women who had been AM’s most ginormous fans up until this day. I had known most of them only online, having been invited into their small Facebook group a few months earlier. I had offered them support when they complained about their dating lives, complimented them when they were having a down day… pretty much I was a generally decent person toward these women until the day I shared a vaccine post I didn’t write. That was the day they swore to loathe me with every fiber in their being.
I was tired. I was beat down. And on top of it all, I was impulsive. WAS? Am impulsive. It’s one of my best and worst qualities. My worst when I allow others to trigger my impulsiveness. In this case, my anger and exhaustion after a weekend’s toll of binge hate-filled threads about me had taken its course.
I had announced I was deactivating my blog and, on sheer principle, I had to follow through. At midnight, “Anonymous Mommy” was set to disappear from Facebook.
But, we’re certainly getting ahead of ourselves, aren’t we? We haven’t even talked about the beginning of Anonymous Mommy, and here we are, already in the middle of the story...