The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

An Ode to Social Media

On Wednesdays I like to participate in the #BeWoW blogging that Ron of Ronovan Writes sponsors. So on Tuesdays I start thinking of what I would write about while I am driving to and from work. I ask myself, ‘what made you feel wow this week?’
I don’t always have an answer. But this week I did.
This week Social Media has made me feel Wow!
I know that sounds odd…social media can be quite ugly and insidious. But sometimes it functions as I believe it was designed, to create connections.
We have only been on social media since the end of December, and joined as a means of promoting our blog. What little we have learned about blogging has come from the internet, and for good or bad if you want to have any traffic on your blog you have to utilize social media. So we joined Twitter, made a Facebook fanpage, and I created a personal account as well.
I’m not going to lie, it has changed my life.
Not in a profound ‘I found God’ kind of way or anything, but it has definitely opened my eyes to a lot of different things.
I have learned more about causes I was interested in. I have read some damn fine writing. I have made friends, and connections with real live human beings with real stories.
And they have connected with us.
As we have said before our blog is being written for us (no offense fine readers). We needed a way to regain some control over our lives and our emotions after that power was taken from us. Our family had alienated us to extended family and made their version of the mess public. We sat in silence, only close friends knowing the circumstances for almost four months. Then we decided to speak, not knowing what to expect as a result.
The result has been connections. New connections fostered by social media, old ones revived.
I remember the first interaction, it was from a neighbor that recently had experienced her own personal tragedy. She messaged me offering support, telling me of similar family struggles and just plain offering an ear if I needed it. At first I felt awful. When she was going through her tragedy we were so caught up in our own mess that I never reached out to her. I thought of her often, but never did. Maybe if I had been on Facebook then I would have, either way she didn’t care. She still wanted me to know she was there for us.
There have been numerous other reconnections that have resulted because of social media.
The former good friend that had drifted away read our post and picked up the phone, disregarding the lack of contact for years and said ‘I know you, this isn’t right. Stay strong”
There is the Dad of one of AK’s teammates who periodically emails us to remind us that they are there reading and supporting even if they are not vocal on social media.
The friend/neighbor we run into out of state at a dance competition that greets us with a big hug, then later leaves one of the most touching comments on a post.
There is my 7th grade BFF that comments on our blog with such clarity of the situation that it is refreshing.
The friend I run into at Walmart, that I’m reluctant to speak with because I look as much a mess as my life. But she hugs me, tells me she’s been reading and that even if she or others haven’t publicly commented they are standing with us. They know us, they know S and this isn’t right.

The other friends that don’t really ‘get’ blogging but consistently show support through ‘likes’ or shares.
I could go on. The number of old and current friends that have reached out to us to offer love, encouragement and support because of social media is astounding.
Then there are the people that have contacted us because they have read our words and are experiencing similar things, they say we are helping them. That blows me away.
Last but not least are the connections we have made with fellow bloggers.
True, I have not ‘met’ these people, but I have read their stories, I have formed connections with them. They have inspired me and left me in awe of their talent and their strength.
After the posts my husband wrote this week he was faced with some hateful messages from family. In addition to discrediting his words, they also tried to say some of the comments left by people on our blog meant nothing because they don’t know us, they don’t know them. They are just random nobodies with no relative credibility to the situation.
I call bullshit on that.
These people are REAL. These people have LIVED.
The very fact that some of these amazing bloggers even take the time to read our work humbles me.
When Sandy Ramsey comments on Tony’s post that she is giving him a virtual standing ovation I feel faint. That woman is a fucking SURVIVOR. If she comments that, I believe that she means it, I believe she understands.
Christine Carter is a sweetheart and a very spiritual person. I believe she knows right from wrong. When she says she sees a behavior as appalling, I know it is true.
When people such as Jen, Gretchen, Sarah and Erin share their similarΒ  stories with us we know they understand and truly empathize.
When Darla, Crystal, Kimmie, Starr, Lisa or Henrietta reach out to lend support with words, tweets or comments we do not think they are just doing it because they have to, they mean it.
Ray is suffering the heartbreak of being estranged from his children. He regularly reaches out to see how I am, and is always quick to remind me he believes I have a good heart.
So maybe we have not met but that is no reason to say these people are not credible, or genuine in their actions toward us. If anything they have more credibility because they are REAL. Their life experiences supersede many others.
I know I most likely have left someone out, please forgive me. We love and value you all. I do not care if I’ve known you my whole life, or only virtually know you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Your love and support get me through the days that are dark.
Even if that is all done virtually, through social media.
It still makes me feel pretty #WoW.
I hope I can help you #BeWow too

Updated: April 8, 2015 — 1:18 pm


  1. I love this post so hard I want to print it out and read it everyday to remind myself of WHY I started blogging and writing in the first place.

    I began because I had a story I couldn’t tell. I wrote because I hurt and I needed to bleed the words onto paper. I STUCK WITH IT because I connected with other survivors and strong people who have been through all of the tragedies I have, people who have become friends that lend me their strength. I keep at it because of the readers who write me to say that my words changed them, or helped them in a time they thought they were alone.

    There is still so much of my story I can’t tell, but I’m working on it through a memoir and a companion fiction novel – because I need to write it, even if I never publish it.

    I get why you started, and I understand your reasons. I feel the pain, albeit differently than you and completely different situations, of losing children. I feel the isolation and the fear of telling the truth while the world is fed vicious lies and all you want to do is get out of bed every morning and breathe and try to find a reason to keep on going when there seems to be nothing left.

    I don’t comment often – but I read you guys. You are such an amazing set of people, you really are an inspiration to so many people. Even if we quietly stalk and read – you are reaching folks. You are so strong.

    I am close to writing a novel on here and bringing myself to tears, but I just wanted the two of you to know I’m in your corner and I get it.

    Sending you so much love and light.


      Thank you so much Starr! You can write us a personal novel any time you would like. So appreciate your understanding, compassion and support. <3

  2. Love you and your amazing heart, plus I am a big supporter of the word – insidious


      Insidious is a fierce word, isn’t it??
      I am a big fan of you too!

      1. I keep reading this post and loving it over and over again! I am so honoured to be a part of a village of bloggers that are so lovely to be around. There is something to be said about my Facebook feed being filled with love, rather than the negativity it once loomed and all of that is because of bloggers like you!


          Amen Darla!!!

  3. You do….help me I mean – works both ways :o)

    Thank you C, for the mention, for your honesty, and your friendship πŸ™‚

    Kimmie x


      My pleasure, it is the least I can do πŸ™‚

  4. I feel the same way!!! I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty intensely introverted (though many are surprised to learn this). I find social media is comfortable socialization for me because I can connect with people deeply without having to interact with them in person. I suspect I am among a crowd of people like this. And the bloggers in our circles do not write about superficial matters (always) so we can connect in a meaningful way. My blogger friends are my REAL friends even if other people don’t get it. Oh, and what’s your name?


      I suspect you are right about that crowd of people! I think it is an inherent trait in a lot of writers. Just adds to the uniqueness πŸ™‚
      I know you tend to correspond with my husband Tony mostly on the blog. I am Christina. Thanks for connecting with us.

  5. I wish I could absolutely hug you. You have no idea how much this means to me right now, today, for a bunch of reasons.
    I also have to say that Starr’s comment and Sarah’s were particularly important, too, because they both speak truths that are mine. My blog was originally a desperate attempt to make sense of something that I couldn’t really sort out any other way. The people, the connections, the support that I’ve received through it have been amazing.
    Aside from that, my blog is pretty small and silly and probably crappy. But whatever you find there is all real, all the time.
    Thanks for thinking of me, really. Sorry I haven’t been around much lately, but I’m here in the shadows.


      No one ever thinks of you or your blog as crappy, or in the shadows. You are a wonderful, intelligent, calming presence that we all feel whether you are visible daily or not.
      I will always take hugs (you don’t live THAT far away), and have them for you as well. Even if they have to be virtual.

  6. Just because your family doesn’t UNDERSTAND our connection doesn’t make it any less real. I have made some truly valuable friendships through blogging and social media and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Here’s to many more shared feelings,laughs and tears,my friend. And PS yeah, Sandy is a freakin warrior.


      Exactly! And I truly value each and every one of them! Thanks Jen!

  7. I dunno. I’ve been blogging for 11 years and only barely getting noticed even now.


      You are noticed and appreciated!!

  8. I know what it feels to be on the outside and it hurts. You wonder if people even knew you and what a good heart you have. Others predjudices and judgements are really only their perception of the situation. They are not on the inside, living and breathing it.

    If you need to talk, Im a phone call away.
    You are always welcome in my home, if it helps you connect to Boston easier.


      Thank you Jackie. You have always had a special place in my heart that has never been tainted by any thing I may have heard. Please know that <3

  9. I am real AND I do know you.


      I love that comment Amy, enough said!

  10. Personally, I feel blessed to have *met* both of you and have so many times wished I could just reach through the screen and hug you . . . I think God chooses the best people and puts us on a path where we are destined to come across each other πŸ™‚


      I am a big fan of fate and destiny Crystal. I agree completely! Thank you. I am going to figure out a way to make a giant group hug happen πŸ™‚

  11. Oh, how I just LOVE all the support and connections you have been embracing through social media and your blog!! I read this, and it brings me to tears with joy because I know how much you need and deserve to be heard, and people are LISTENING.

    There are real life people who can touch your heart, and virtual people who are JUST as real and invested because relationships are built on trust and communication- both of which can happen through this place, whether near or far in distance.

    I’m just so glad you thought to seek an outlet for you guys to share your story, and I believe the community supporting you is a powerful strength you can draw upon!


      We are so thankful for this community and wonderful, caring insightful people such as yourself Christine.

  12. I have to tell you, I am completely blown away by that statement about me. You have been such an incredible supporter and to me that is a priceless gift. If something I said gave you that same feeling of being cared for, respected, and supported then I am very happy.
    Looking at your WOW list I have to tell you that you have made some pretty great friends and connections. I ‘know’ many of these people and they are indeed fine human beings.
    As are you, my friend.
    I think that people sincerely underestimate the relationships that can occur online. I have met some of the most creative, intelligent, and thoughtful human beings on the planet since I started blogging.
    They are a blessing indeed.


      You should not be blown away at all. You are amazing. Finding you and these other wonderful bloggy friends has been a blessing indeed.

  13. This was one of the biggest surprises when I first got into blogging. The connections I have made have truly changed my life and I am so thankful that I first hit that “publish” button. It has definitely changed my life!


      It really is amazing isn’t it? We are so thankful we took that leap!

  14. It can be bad at times but when needed social media is a great tool to help people =) #pocolo


      So true!

  15. I really enjoyed your post and I agree social media can open out the world to you. I live in a rural area and have a few mobility issues so don’t get out often. I love to “chat” with my internet friends and I have had so many laughs over the years. I did not understand why someone would blog at the start, but went along with it to please my niece lol. Now I love it and would so miss it if I could not blog. Not saying I am great but I am having fun. Thanks for sharing I loved it!


      It is all about fun and self satisfaction. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  16. I agree social media is great for connecting people. My best friend and I live in different cities so it’s a great way to keep in touch. I’ve also made a few blogger friends recently too which is amazing as I was feeling a bit like an outsider for a while. Also the support networks that are formed are worth hanging onto too. Long may it continue.

    Fiona xx


      I know what you mean about feeling like an outsider-so many bloggers belong to established ‘networks’. But I found that if you put yourself out there, they eagerly welcome new friends.

  17. Being part of the blogging community is amazing, I’ve made some great friends along the way and love being inspired when I read other blogs too.


      So true! We have learned so much in a short period of time.

  18. I’ve just been reading your story. I can’t imagine what your family has been through and I’m so happy for you that blogging and social media have helped you reach out to an understanding audience and you are able to communicate your thoughts, feelings and the situation here. One day your daughter will read it all and appreciate it and understand. I have friends who first displayed signs of mental illness at 17/18 years old. It’s already tough enough being a teenager but depression on top is another level altogether. It does change people but it can be managed. At least she is safe with her grandparents and I hope you can work it out together. Look forward to hearing more #pocolo Xx


      That is very sweet of you to say Elizabeth, thank you. The late teen years are a tumultuous time, you are right. That is why for almost a year and a half we thought we were just dealing with an angsty teen instead of an ill one.
      Please come back soon πŸ™‚

  19. Social Media has offered a different kind of community connection to so many all around the way; it’s lovely to benefit from it, isn’t it. YOu give support through and others do the same. I don’t know your story but it’s lovely to know you’re finding a way through and knowing support from so many in this global village of urs through the tool of social media. #PoCoLo


      I like how you phrased that, ‘a global village’. Thank you for stopping by!

  20. Forgive me for not commenting sooner! I did read this last week, but it was late at night and on my phone and I’m horrible at typing on the phone!

    I am so glad you’ve found so much support and love in our blogging community. It’s one of the best and most unexpected side effects of blogging! And I’ve come to view so many people here as very very real. I know I am much more my authentic self through my writing and as a result with the bloggers I interact with here. I think most of us share things here that we can’t so easily say out loud. And all of that creates powerful bonds. A year ago I would have scoffed at the idea of making “friends” with people on line. Now some of them are among my closest friends. And the whole thing has been incredibly healing. I hope that you continue to feel love and supported and find healing in this strange but beautiful community!


      Thank you so much Gretchen, you are right very powerful bonds can be formed! No worries at all on when you comment, we are honored that you do. πŸ™‚

  21. This is such a great post. People really are quick to look at the negatives of social media and this just sums up all that is good about it – it really has helped in so many ways. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x


      So true, that is why I wanted to sing the praises!

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