Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: Crumbling

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Crumbling


Following on from my post yesterday evening, An Open Letter To Trolls, which I wrote at about 3 am after getting a few nasty comments - I was feeling a bit down.

I'd had a bit of a shit week anyway you see - I'm not doing very well at the moment.

When you read a persons blog you tend to only see the positive side - even a blogger like myself who likes to share the down moments as much as the good ones, there are still plenty of things going on behind the scenes that aren't shared.


I'd been building myself up to write a post this week about how low I've been feeling since Noah was born - I filmed a video (Which you can see above) because I thought it might somehow help to document my feelings and get them out - it didn't, but then I thought perhaps I'd use that video and write a really honest warts-and-all post about how much I'm struggling with my body confidence since having Noah.

I'd been finding it difficult reading a few posts about peoples post partum bodies as so many of them seemed to ping right back into shape, and I've done anything but.

So I thought I'd put my experience and feelings out there, even though it made me very uncomfortable, because I thought it might help someone like ME if they came across it.

I took a load of photographs of all the parts of my body I'm most uncomfortable with, and I wrote a post about how I was feeling - how I felt when I looked at those images and how I wanted to feel, and how I was trying to combat it all.

I took that post down off my scheduled list today - along with a number of other posts that I no longer feel comfortable sharing.

But I decided I would still share the video - more because it proves a point I'm trying to make.

It demonstrates how low I'm feeling right now - I'm feeling probably the lowest and most vulnerable I've ever felt in my whole life.

And so when I started getting those comments, I wasn't in a place that I could handle them emotionally in the way that I'd want to.

I couldn't shake them off, hold my head up, rise above it, or do any of the things you're supposed to be able to do.

I went to sleep after publishing my open letter post, and I woke up this morning feeling a bit glum like I always do these days but better overall.

Then I looked at my notifications and saw that I'd had a load more crap thrown at me while I'd been sleeping.

More anonymous nasty comments, AND a few comments on Facebook too which DID have the persons account linked.

I seem to not only be dealing with anonymous people leaving nasty messages about my kids names, my lifestyle and so on - I also now seem to have incurred the wrath of a load of newborn photographers for daring to write about photographing my own baby for fun - all hurling insults about my lack of photography skills (when if they'd actually read the post they'd have noticed I said I've only had a camera for 5 months and am a total novice who just likes taking snaps - that I'm not trying to be a sodding professional in any way! Considering the work they do, they seem a pretty nasty bunch of people who I'd not want my baby around actually...)

I emailed the account holder today and explained how she'd made me feel. I'm afraid she bore the brunt of how ALL of the messages had made me feel but it needed to be said - people need to take ownership of the words they use and the feelings they inflict on others.

I've been thinking about it, and I know why these messages are something I struggle to deal with.

I've mentioned before about being bullied throughout school, never quite fitting in, always feeling like a loner - and the thing is, those feelings never really go away do they?

Not for me, they don't.

I can get on with most days just fine - I can be happy and make jokes and be silly and enjoy myself - but deep down I always have that nervous feeling that nobody likes me. I always feel that things I do aren't good enough. I always feel like an outcast and a loner. I always feel less than everybody else.

Because once you've been made to feel that way once, it just never leaves. It's always whats at the core of me.

It's funny actually - quite a lot of the people who made me feel that way back then are on my Facebook friends list now or have been in the recent past until I deleted them - imagine that...these people who have so greatly impacted my self confidence and self worth to the extent that even as a grown up mother of two I still feel worthless thought we should be "face book friends" - they thought it was all in the past I guess, or maybe they don't even remember.

Because it meant so little to them - it was just a few little sniggers at my expense - but it has crushed my self confidence to the extent that 17 years on I still can't escape that feeling of worthlessness, shame, & loneliness.

And so thats why - when these comments are thrown at me on here, when my abilities are mocked or made fun of, when people criticize my choices - I can't handle it like a grown up should.

I crumble.

So it's made me realise that I shouldn't be doing this.

It pains me because I loved doing this - I've put two years of my life into it, I've worked hard on it, I loved having it as a space for all my memories, I've made some lovely friends and I even managed to make a really decent living out of it in the end.

And giving it up means I'll have to go back to working, and I won't get to stay at home with my kids like I wanted to - like this blog enabled me to.

But I can't deal with it right now.

I have obligations already in place to companies I've made agreements with that need to be fulfilled, and I have a month of posts already written & scheduled as you can see...



 so those will go ahead (aside from the personal ones I choose to take down) - but that will be the end I think.

So there you go....you win.

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33 comments:

  1. Oh my love. I am so sorry you're feeling like this. It's not fair. I hate that some narrow minded people can bring one person down. I really hope you find some peace my lovely, and I hope this doesn't have to be the end of your fabulous blog. xx

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  2. If I was within arms reach I would come and give you a massive hug, but I don't, so you can have a virtual one instead. I hate bullying in any form and it is something I won't tolerate. Ive been on the receiving end and it is not nice and you do have to find a way of dealing with it in your own way, we are all different and will all have oodles of pieces of advice for you, but it is only you who can, when you are feeling up to it, hold that chin high, put those shoulders back and in that amazing scouse accent of yours (come one Aveline) tell them exactly where to stick their view, advice, comment, abuse, trolling. Until then I am sure we will all be here for you, want to say a few things back at this person for you xx

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  3. Don't give up, they will win! I didn't see what was said, but you are good at what you do. Don't let some spineless bullies get you down.

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  4. I am so sorry to read this post. I only just started reading your blog a few days ago and I am really enjoying it. Like you I have two boys, the youngest is 10 weeks tomorrow...so similar to your gorgeous little man! I am not bouncing back and still weigh almost as much as my husband. All I can say is treasure your family and your health and know that there are people out here that know where you are coming from and how you are feeling. Much love, Anna xxx (www.annatestadoro.com)

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  5. Oh Hayley I'm so so sorry that these awful trolls have made you come to that decision. I've always loved reading your blog! I just can't understand how ADULTS can be so awful!! Sending you a huge hug my lovely. I really hope you come back xxx

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  6. Do NOT let them win Hayley. Could you get someone else to monitor the coments? Or alternatively leave them for the world to see just how bloody awful they are. I'm sure a lot of us would have some choice words for them. Hoping this isn't the end, just a little break xxx

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  7. Please don't let the bullies and negativity win. You're so much stronger and better than that and them, I know you are. I'm sorry to hear you're having such a hard time. Please try and remember that you won't feel like this forever. Try and focus on the things that make you feel happy and push the other things out. You have so much to be happy about. You're an amazing lady and a fabulous Mummy - focus on the good things about yourself, because after watching your video, it seems like you're ignoring and dismissing all of the great positive points to you. You just need to try an alter your mind as it seems to have got itself into a bad place - you are not hideous, no one is laughing at you, it's just your anxiety telling you that. Anxiety is a bitch and it's a demon on your shoulder, it makes you think things that aren't true. I know because I get like it too - like you know. Find a way to put it back in it's place. Deep down, you're so much stronger than this lovely! xxx

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  8. Hayley I can relate to you on many levels one of them being my low self esteem. This is my thought process - I have had a long week I feel so down I am so fat I hate being fat - I will have a Takeaway it tastes nice its a treat I love it - Then it happens all over again!!

    If you ever want to talk I would be happy to.. I also suffer Anxiety. I have come along way but I have put on so much weight recently I hate eating out I feel people are watching and thinking "Oh look at that Fatty eating. I bet that's all she does!" I am even scared to catch up with friends and family as I know they will be thinking to themselves "Blimey she has got fat!" I wish I had the answer but I struggle myself.

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  9. I couldn't watch your video because my little one is sat here and i didnt know what you would say. However, I have read your post. I haven't commented on your post before but now feel the overwhelming need to offer you some sorts of words of comfort. However, I'm rubbish with words! This then made me think that I won't bother commenting. However, you said on another post to the trolls that how do they know that their nasty comment won't be the straw that broke the camels back. Well I believe that works in another way too: This comment could be the one that helps you feel better and more supported and if I don't leave it then you would never know!

    I totally get why you want to quit though. I stopped using the internet to document my child's life because somebody who didn't know me used the info I put on there about my child in a bad way. I stopped sharing there and then. I still feel violated and edgy as a result.

    Anyway, don't let these horrid people define you as a person. You are stronger than them. They don't know you. They are the ones with the low self esteem because they won't even share their names. You are better than them.

    Sorry about the waffle. As you can see, I'm totally rubbish with words. Lol

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  10. So sad to read this post. Only just found your blog and thought it was lovely! Can't believe people would go out of there way to say such horrible things. =( x

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  11. just a quick message to say I hope you feel better soon! :) You will get back to your normal self just give yourself time. It sounds like you need to be strong within yourself before you embark on a weight loss program, so start small and try not to be so hard on yourself. You should talk to your partner too, im sure he would comfort you and reassure you. You also need to talk to him about the take-away buying (after all his influence comes into it too!). The best advice I have for weight loss (I have lost over a stone recently) is, in terms of exercise walking works for everyone. Walk with your kids, walk to the shop, I even walk in my living room with my Wii fit while watching tv with my bf (get a pedometer to measure this, you can get one for under £10). Food is obviously a bit part to play in weight loss too and everyone has to find something what works for them, I found the website Nutracheck (£8 a month) useful because you type in your weight/height/general activity and it works out exactly how many calories/fat you can eat a day and still lose weight (and if you eat one naughty thing you can still finish the day on a positive note by eating slightly less for the other meals, so all isnt lost). Good luck xox

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  12. Women are supposed to support and empower each other, not bring each other down. I really feel for you Hayley. There are some really cruel people in the world and I wish they would all just fall into a black hole. I haven't got back my pre-baby body & probably won't for quite a while if at all. I am on anti-depressants & anti-anxiety meds to help me cope. My son is 3. It has taken a long time & counselling for me to be able to talk about my problems. The fact you share your life publicly is commendable. I think you are so brave. I know a persons blog is like another child, they nurture it & watch it grow, so it must be very special to you. If at all possible could you get someone to help moderate comments so you don't have to read them? That way you only see the nice, positive comments instead of the trolls? I don't really know how blogging works so apologies if that's not an option x
    I don't even get why people are bitching about your kids names?! They are perfectly normal names imo. I have heard some cracking ones since becoming a mum, that is the mums decision & no-one else's business.
    I could rant for hours but I have to get my boy ready for bed.
    I will be thinking of your boys tonight. Hoping they have a mummy who realises she is beautiful because she created them, has nurtured them and given her all to them. Love to you Hayley xx

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  13. Don't give up. You're a beautiful woman inside and out and the window of internet space you allow us to peer in to brings genuine smiles to others. I feel this post will actually help a lot of people too (some good from the bad) So... trolls... stuff this in your pipe and smoke it!
    *hugs hunny* xx

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  14. Don't let them win, have a break and come back stronger. Your doing a great job xx

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  15. Please don't let them win. I absolutely love your blog, and I know how crushing it is when people say nasty things. I was bullied at school and since then I've always struggled. I have experienced the nasty side of blogging too, but you shouldn't let them win. Your a amazing person, and you worked really hard on your blog. Don't give up now. Lots love! xx
    Steph | www.raisingemily.net

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  16. I've only been following your blog for a short while but I love reading your posts and seeing your family grow. My husband and I are hoping to start trying for a baby soon and I find your heartwarming posts incredibly inspiring. As you've said, you like to show the ups and downs of daily life and be honest with everyone. I think you're wonderful and incredibly brave to keep going as long as you have whilst receiving negativity from others whilst already feeling low. I'm not very good at inspiring words but I really hope you do not stop doing what you so clearly love. I understand it can be hard when others are mean but the beauty of IT is you can delete the cruel words and block them where possible. Eventually they'll get bored. I know it will still hurt but ignoring them is the only way you can feel ok. Don't let them win. Keep posting about your life and the amazing products you get to test and tell the world how you feel. Don't be afraid of others. Just be you and you will be loved. Sorry for rambling. I hope you're ok. Samantha x

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  17. Aww! Hayley! I've just watched the video and wanted to send you a big virtual hug! You look so sad and miserable. I wish there was something I could say or do to make you feel better about yourself. I never even noticed your teeth until you pointed it out! People are not pointing and laughing. I think you look fine. I wish I looked half as good as you! I have no advice I just wanted to send some support....

    I really hope this isn't the end of you blogging....Yours was one of the first blogs I religiously read! I don't always comment but I do read....There's always going to be haters out there who are probably jealous of your perfect little family....Sending big hugs and love xxx

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  18. So sorry to hear you've been the target of such horrible people. I hope you've got some real life support. I can't understand why people do it, especially when they must realise how hurtful and damaging it can be for the recipient. I hope you decide to continue with your blog. Can you block these people in the first instance?

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  19. Hello You Brave Lady!, If I could reach through the Computer screen & give you a hug I would. This too shall pass lovely one day at a time xxx

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  20. Oh Hayley I just want to jump through the screen and give you a massive bear hug :(:( i'm so sorry that these nasty vile people have made you feel this way..you don't deserve it!! To have someone kick you when your already down is the worst. I struggled SO much after having Lily, I barely left the house for 8 or 9 months and I really understand what you're going through with your post partum anxiety. We'll sure miss you around here, I adore your blog and your gorgeous family and I hope at some point you feel well enough to return but I understand that you need to take some time out for yourself. Try and talk about the way your feeling to people around you if you can, there's know shame in admitting that your struggling and I wish someone had told me that sooner.
    Chin up hun. xxx

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  21. I've just watched your video and I completely understand worrying/struggling with a postpartum body. I gave birth to my daughter a couple of days after you had Noah (who is so adorable!) and I have been struggling with my postpartum body too. I wasn't prepared for the changes that had happened to my body, I too looked in my wardrobe and either looked awful or actually couldn't fit in the clothes. It was so hard to get my head around, I have a very wobbly tummy, stretchmarks in places I didn't know I could, I've gained a fair amount of weight and it doesn't seem to be in a hurry to go. So I understand where you are coming from and I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. To try and make myself feel slightly better about my body I bought some new clothes, which didn't mean I had to try and squeeze into my current wardrobe. I know that may seem obvious but it really helped me, so I thought I'd share just incase it would help you too.

    The internet can be a horrible place sometimes but it can also provide a fantastic support network. You're not alone with any of your feelings.

    Helen x

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  22. Oh chicken. I wish I could give you a hug because you certainly need one. *hugs* xxx

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  23. Oh lovely - this has just appeared in my bloglovin feed and I couldn't leave without commenting. There are some truly mean people in this world - who knows what goes on in their head? They are jealous as you have had such a strong voice whilst they have hidden anonymously. Sending higs your way xxxxxx

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  24. Oh Hayley, I am so sorry to hear and watch this. I really want to wrap you up and give you a big hug. I have been exactly where you are (minus the trolls). I completely get what you are saying about weight and diets but as someone who has three children can I just say you are utterly exhausted, you are right at the worse part. You've had broken sleep for so long now, they use it as a form of torture because it IS soul destroying. I know how hard it is to see but I promise things will feel better soon. I felt exactly the same after my second baby and I think it was because I felt I had to be super in control - super mum and that's bollocks because I've learnt that there is no such thing as super mum, we are all just trying to survive and scrape through. You are doing a fabulous job, you look great, your kids are gorgeous. I think it's time to be kind to yourself. I work for myself too so I KNOW you'll be working more hours than anyone should during this postpartum time and dealing with all the stresses of that as well as full time childcare for two small children. I promise this time will pass and things will feel better. If taking a break is what YOU really want then go for it but if it's because of the poor excuses of human beings that troll, clearly because their lives are so miserable, then F*&$ them and come back bigger and better when YOU'RE ready. I used to be a Teacher and I can say 100 % bullies only bully because their own lives are crap.

    Body image wise, I have felt exactly as you described so many times. Now my kids are a little older and I get reasonable amounts of sleep I am trying to get it in perspective. No I'm not the illustrious size 10 I want to be but equally I'm not the heffer I have in my mind. You look lovely, all the things you are thinking are not true. When I look at you I think 'Bloody Hell, she looks like she's coping incredibly well with two such small children, I wish my hair was as long and nice as hers, I wish I had the confidence to wear such a cool head band, I like her taste in clothes and never, not once, have I thought about your weight (you're NOT fat by the way, I know you won't listen to this because I don't but you most definitely are NOT fat). I am trying to talk to myself in the way I would talk to my friends. I bet, like me, you are lovely to your friends - will do anything to make them feel good about themselves and let them see their positives. So why don't we do the same for ourselves.

    Please be kind to yourself, dont push yourself too hard. I love your blog, you write brilliantly and you deserve lovely things xxx
    With love
    Gemma xxxxx

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  25. P.S. I also think 'Damn, she's got good eyebrows'. Very jealous of your incredible arch xxxx

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  26. Awww...I just found your blog on Bloglovin' and scrolled through a few past posts and was really looking forward to "getting to know you" a little better. I hope you will take some time for yourself and reconsider. You don't have to give it up completely forever - maybe just take a little private time to work on yourself, and then reevaluate (and possible return to blogging). I'm really sorry you're going through this. :(

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  27. This makes me sad and angry. Sad because of how it's effecting you - I can relate to the whole crumbling situation when things get tough, instead of being able to handle it like a grown up, that does REALLY effect you and your confidence, but to have so much going on already in your life only to have these internet trolls butting in, that made me really angry for you. How DARE they make you feel this way! How dare they write these comments and messages to you.

    What is it to someone else what you do with your life, or your children's names. They are your children, you named them those names - that's all that matters.
    And as for those photographers messaging you because your pictures aren't up to their standards, who the flip do they think they are?! This is your space on the internet, you're a parent with two young kids - you take pictures of your kids that you wish to share with the people who like to read your blog, family and friends. They don't HAVE to be professional, you're a mother taking pictures of her children, creating memories that you can look back on in years to come. Not every moment that you snap of your kids needs to be done professionally and those who are criticising your pictures are absolute IDIOTS for doing so.
    They will not get much work out of emailing parents and telling them the pictures they take of their own children are poorly shot, so basically if you're not a professional don't bother. Really makes you want to book them - giving them hard earned money AND spend time with your children, NOT!!!

    The video broke my heart, :(
    Anxiety is a horrible thing to live with, but I can't imagine how it must be to be a parent and having anxiety, it must be tough even if you've got people around who understands, it's hard to understand those feelings yourself which makes you feel worse. Stupid vicious cycle.

    I really hope you start having more good days soon Hayley, if that means taking yourself away from the blogging world then that's what you have to do, you have to put yourself and your health first.

    I'm sad to see you go and I hope one day when you are in a good place you decide to come back, but if not I wish you, Jon and the kids the best life possible. xxxx

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  28. Sending lots of love xx You've got so many worries at the moment that all of the negatives come to the surface don't they and then spiral out of control . Maybe write a little checklist and for everything you've completed , tick it off and feel great :)

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  29. I just want to send you a massive squeeze and hug xxxxx

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  30. Aww how sad! :,( I hope you feel better having made this difficult decision, you have to do what's right for you and your lovely family. Wishing you all the best and a brighter future xx

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  31. Hi Hayley,

    I don't know if you remember me, we used to penpal (before I had children, when I actually had time!). I came across you quite recently on here but been a "silent reader".

    But I couldn't leave this entry without commenting as I watched the video & you seem so sad :(

    Of course I'm not going to say don't feel sad, because that won't make things better! What you're feeling is so valid because it's how you feel. It's horrible to have such insecurities (I have a lot too), & to have them take over your life, particularly when you want to be enjoying your lovely newborn baby & your gorgeous toddler. I imagine your hormones are still going crazy since having Noah, but it might be worth speaking to a doctor you trust about how you feel in case it is more than baby blues.

    I imagine no-one is looking at you & laughing or talking about you - most people are worrying about how they themselves look or how they're acting & what everyone else thinks. For what it's worth, I think you look fantastic by the way :)

    xx

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  32. I am so sorry for how down you're feeling and for the negativity from those horrible, cruel people. Be kind to yourself and don't be scared to ask for help and more help from friends, family and professionals. I hope things improve for you soon. You look bloody great to me btw! Xxx

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  33. Oh Hayley I want to give you a massive hug! I love reading your blog and I am so sorry that some horrible people have been so cruel and made you feel the way you do. It sounds as though you're suffering a lot with low self esteem and anxiety too which I'm sure is so so hard to deal with. You are so strong, and I'm sure that by taking life one day at a time you can battle your way through this. You are a brilliant mother to Tyne and Noah, and you are so lovely and I think you look great! I really hope that you can work your way through this and that things improve for you very quickly xx

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