A mom friend of mine, in reunion with her child for some time — yet estranged, wrote me and shared that her child had performed a surf by comment shooting on herÂ blog. The emotional bullets came in the form of a nasty comment left for her.Â Fortunately, she has comment moderation enabled, a fact that her child may not have been aware of.Â She did not approve the comment but was naturally upset and effected by it (most likely achieving the goal of the sender).
My heart ached for her. She has not heard from her child in quite some time (child’s choice, not hers) and to receive such vitriol on her blog, in a comment, was painful. Not surprisingly, she and her experience have stayed with me the past few days. I have been carrying thoughts of her around with me much like a school child does their backpack. As time permits my mind reaches into that backpack and ruminates on her situation, what I would have done, what others would have done, how it feels and more.
Does a mother respond to such behavior or is it best to ignore it?
If this has been a pattern for your child, for years, (attack, friend, pull back, attack, friend, pull back, attack, attack, attack), how do you handle it?
Is it a distorted cry for attention and connection or truly a vicious attack and an attempt to hurt the mother?
How does a mother NOT respond back to the child?Â I know for certain some part of my friend wanted to reach out to her child immediately. Clearly the child is hurting and it is a natural instinct to want to comfort your child. But what does one do when that comforting is not wanted or worse yet, the comforting you extend turns into abusive exchange?Â Isn’t it best to ignore?Â If you have been attacked by your child repeatedly (verbally or in some cases, physically) how do you make the decision between fight or flight?
Ugh. Just so awful on so many levels.
I cannot imagine being faced with the idea of reaching out to your child, thinking that maybe, THIS time, they are ready for reunion and might want to really talk and connect while balancing the very real fear that this time your child might actually act on their threat to kill you.
If you have experienced this, what have you done? If not, what do you think you would do?
I can offer that while I have never had this level of commentary from my daughter, I have had difficult electronic exchanges. After our last (nearly two years ago), I told her I would no longer correspond via email on such delicate matters.Â Too much is left to interpretation, lost and misconstrued in online communication. I gave her my phone number again.Â In the future, for me, difficult conversations will NOT be conducted electronically.Â
I saw that now, I feel that now, but what would I feel if I had gotten that nastrygram delivered to my blog? Might I feel differently? Its been two years since I heard from her. Would my overwhelming desire to connect cause me to violate my own personal policy?
What do you think? What would you do?