Blogging 101: Day 11 has arrived. My task for the day, make a prompt personal. Publish a post in response to your own, personalized take on a blogging prompt. Today’s ‘Daily Post’ writing prompt is…
Community Service. Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, your neighborhood, your family, your colleagues — is guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.
In light of yesterday’s events, this is going to be a uniquely different response than this same prompt would have inspired a mere 14 hours ago.
In 14 hours, my post I Killed HIS Baby has received 232 views, and is rising by the minute. My stats are blowing the roof off of my blog. My followers have more than doubled in the last 14 hours. My blog visits have quadrupled. It is quite overwhelming, to say the least.
The way I see it, my ENTIRE “community” has read this blog post. My reaction? That is all there is to tell now.
Honestly, this is NOT the post that I would have wanted them all to see. In fact, it took me half the time that this post was published, to gather up the nerve to share it on my personal Facebook page. A thing I do with all of my posts. This was the scariest thing I have ever written. I was terrified of all the harsh judgements that I would face. I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to handle the terrible criticism that would come my way. I wouldn’t be able to handle the truth.
I held this secret in for so long. The few select people that knew, also knew that it was something that I never talked about. I did tell the guy that I had dated afterwords. But, I didn’t really tell him. I told him a one sentence fact. I did not share the feelings that were behind that fact. I didn’t tell him the torture that was in my heart. The same with my husband, he knew what I had done. But, not really, not how it had changed me.
I knew that it was better that they hear it from me than from someone else. The rumors had went around town. Of course, I denied them when anyone asked. Who in their ever loving mind would openly admit that they did something that awful? But someone I dated, someone I was attempting to build a life with. I couldn’t lie to them about something like that. I couldn’t ever tell them the full truth either. I couldn’t tell anyone the full truth. I couldn’t face the terror of someone looking at me the way that I looked at me.
Then… I told all of you.
I did a terrible thing. I expected to be met with many responses that boiled down to, “Well, no shit you feel like you do. You deserve to feel the way that you feel. You killed your kid you wretched cold hearted bitch.”
The outpouring of love I received instead, was overwhelming. The responses that so many complete strangers in my “community” left me, they gave me the strength that I needed, to share this on a media platform that would reach so many people, that knew the face behind the story.
I needed to share this story. I needed to get it out of me. I know that now. But, that is not what inspired me to post it. I needed to let people know that the fathers that do want to be fathers, they deserve every right to be heard that women have. They have feelings about this too. Strong feelings. Hard feelings. It is not just women that have to deal with the consequences of the decision to abort a child. Men have to deal with it too. They have a voice too. They should have the right, if nothing else, to have their voices heard too.
I knew that I couldn’t get that point across to all of you, without telling you what I had went through. What I had done. There was no other way. I needed to do this. The men in the world deserved for me to do this. I felt that I owed them that, if nothing else.
I also needed to warn other women that are in the spot that I was in. When you’re going through it, when you are faced with that decision, you are told that when it’s done it is all done. Taken care of. Solved. No more worries. Like, it had never happened in the first place.
That is NOT what it is like. Women need to know that. They need to know that there is a lifetime consequence to the decision they are facing. They deserve to have ALL the facts before they decide. I knew I could give that to them. They deserved to hear the truth.
I knew that it would be horrible. I knew that I would face criticism, hate, the truth. I was terrified. I was so scared to face what was coming to me. But, I knew I deserved it. There were so many people that deserved to know the truth, including that baby’s father and his wife, it was my bed that I would have to lie in. It was time to face the music.
I knew that this post would very well end my blogging “career”. Who wants to hear what a murderer has to say? Who wants to hear the words of someone that is so incredibly ugly on the inside? Who wants to hear from me, after they know who I really am?
Every comment that post received. Every re-blog. Every like. Every person who followed my blog after reading that post. They may never truly know how deeply the effect of their seemingly small gesture impacted me. It warmed my heart to tears, over and over again.
I commented on that post, “Not a one of you are as mean to me, as I am to me.” That single sentence speaks volumes. But, it only speaks volumes because of all of you.
Not a single person judged me. No one persecuted me. No one hunted me down to stone me to death. No one even hinted of the words I so terrifyingly anticipated.
You looked at me, into my soul, into my truth, into what I am on the inside. And then…
You embraced me!
That is community. That is the definition of community to a fault. You saw my ugly, and you loved me anyway. The humbleness of that is something that I will never be able to fully express to you.
A part of me knows that I am not the awful, ugly, cold hearted person that I feel like at times. A part of me knows that I’m a good person who learned from a bad decision that I made. A part of me knows that I am doing the best that I can do by spreading my story in the hope that it will help others avoid the same pain. A part of me knows that I did the best I could, at the time, with what I knew. A part of me knows that the voice inside of my head telling me all of these awful things about myself isn’t completely correct. A part of me knows that self criticism is the worst criticism.
That part of me isn’t always there though. The other part. The mean part. The judging part. The self criticism part, can be a whole lot louder. So loud, that it makes you feel completely alone. I felt tormented by a pain that I couldn’t share. A voice telling me that I deserved this torment. And, it was my voice.
I felt so alone. But then… you were there for me.
Many of you commented about what a great thing I have done. That I have the power to change the world. That I am changing the world.
But, no, that is what you have done. You didn’t judge me. You didn’t hate me. You didn’t throw me to the wolves. You have embraced me, when I was alone and scared. You have shown the entire world the definition of community and what it looks like.
I may have given people the tool to share that might prevent someone from making the same mistake that I made. It might make someone think a little harder each morning to remember to take that pill. It might keep one more expectant mother out of an abortion clinic. It might give one more Dad the opportunity to have a voice.
But you! You have given people the community that they need to see to open up and speak about their fears, and their hopes, and their demons. You have given everyone who happens upon that post what they need to have the courage to speak up.
My task was to write the post that I wanted my community to see. I guess, in my eyes, I did one better. I wrote the post that I didn’t want my community to see. I was “supposed” to define my community, so that I may discover the post that I wanted them to see. That was the way I interpreted the prompt. But, I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t define my community. You did that for me, when I was too alone to do it for myself. That is a gift that will echo through the blogging world for many years to come.
You have changed the world.