Peel Zoo – fun for the whole family.

School holidays and weekends are always great for trying new experiences. We ventured out to Peel Zoo in Pinjarra which was about 30 minutes from where we live.

The staff were very friendly when we got there giving us a map and telling us about the day’s free activities they had on that day. They accept the NDS companion card so parents like me who have a special needs child and need an extra person, the extra person is covered for free on the companion card.

As you walk in you see the ferrets and several tanks on display with different reptiles. The front area when you walk in also has tables for public use to have your lunch or a rest.

As you walk round there are several areas you can go into and see the animals up close. We went and fed the kangaroos. Cuddled an alpaca or two. The dears, sheep and goats were pretty friendly too. The walk in Avery was a huge hit with the kids but I wasn’t to comfortable with the birds landing on me haha.

There are free activities held throughout the day. Abi’s favorite was getting to hold a snake. The staff member seen how much Abi loved holding the snake and when the line died down invited her to hold the snake again which made her day.

After exploring and seeing the animals we went for a short walk to the restaurant across the bridge and sat down and enjoyed a meal with the kids. The setting was beautiful with a big bridge and beautiful grassed area the kids loved exploring. It was a great way to end the day’s adventure.

We will be going back again for sure as it was a huge hit with everyone. Best of all I discovered on the website they do annual passes.

So when visiting Mandurah/Perth take a trip out the the friendly Peel zoo for some great animal encounters everyone will enjoy.

http://www.peelzoo.com.au

School holiday activity – The Pirate Ship Mandurah

School holidays are in full swing and we are loving it. We are trying to fit in a few big activities this break. So we decided to be Pirates because we rrrrrrrr. We took some time out on The Pirate Ship Manduarah : https://pirateshipmandurah.com.au/boat-cruises/pirate-cruise

Waiting on the jetty as the ship docked ready for our pirate voyage Abi’s whole face lit up as she yelled PIRATES at the top of her lungs. The other kids in line were just as excited as we were ushered on board by our pirate tour guide.

The ship is full of character with the pirate flags and a big kraken painted on the front. The staff are amazing and from the very first moment you get on the boat they set the mood and have everyone (parents and kids) entertained. There are pirate jokes galore. They provide dress up stuff for the kids and even I got a pirate hat.

The ship departs every hour between 10-3 every day during the holidays or Thursday-Sunday during the school term and sails between the mandurah canals. We were treated by some of the bottlenose dolphins swimming next to the ship for all to see. There is a large pod of dolphins that live in the canals so there is a good chance of seeing them during the pirate tour.

It is a great and affordable family outing for all to enjoy. So when visiting Mandurah get your tickets and enjoy being a pirate on the pirate cruise arrrrrrgg.

Sensory overload what is it?

You may have heard another parent use the term, a teacher or even a doctor, but what is sensory overload? The general definition is: difficulty focusing due to competing sensory input. It can consist of symptoms of extreme irritability, restlessness and discomfort. With an urge to cover your ears or shield your eyes from sensory input. Abi has been in sensory overload since the weekend as when she is anxious her senses get heightened and anything from the vacuum cleaner or the neighbor mowing their lawn a few houses down can send her into meltdown. Due to this I took some time away from social media and screens while it settled. As screens due to the blue light can stimulate more so our home (her safe place) has been a calm quiet environment which has helped her calm down. We have also spent a lot of time out doors as the beach has a very calming effect on her. I write this blog piece about sensory overload from my perspective as a parent of a child with ASD who has sensory sensitivity issues. I also have sensory sensitivity to certain things also. I hope this blog gives some clarity and information on the topic that may help someone.

What causes sensory overload?

In children with autism ” bright lights, loud noises, unfamiliar surroundings and situations can cause sensory overload. All of these can create stress—and sensory overload—for kids with sensory processing issues. It can also create anxiety over situations that lie ahead. That’s especially true if kids aren’t prepared or are worried about unexpected things happening.” Even with all the preparation everyday things like going to school or work(for adults) can be a battle. For Abi we have lots of things in place like a late start, no uniform until shes in class and settled.

Working with the school we have attempted to remove the main triggers we have found so far. The truth is though that the build up to school sends her into overload due to anxiety with environment and tasks. Also after school when she gets home she may meltdown as she has had to process all these new tasks. With sensory overload its important to pick up the triggers to reduce anxiety which escalates the sensory issues. It is up to the parent and those around to pick up on possible triggers and to try reduce the triggers where possible.

Under and over sensitivity to sensory input.

A person can be under or over sensitive to sensory input. For example “many people on the spectrum can be hypersensitive in some ways (can’t bear loud noise, for example), but ALSO hypo sensitive in other ways (need to feel motion or physical sensation in order to feel calm).” Some may be adverse to touch where others want to have big squishy hugs its not a one size fits all kind of scenario. In my experience my child if out and about cant take in when her names being called. This is due to her taking in all the small noises we don’t notice. It is competing sensory input with all the noises, then calling her name or asking a question she either dosen’t hear or cant process, between all the different noises her brain is trying to process. Some say in instances like this it is selective hearing in this case it is sensory overload which is very overwhelming and can cause meltdowns, stiming or for her to cover her ears.

Where can you get help for Sensory Processing disorder or sensory processing issues?

There are a few options. Working with an OT and psychologist can be very beneficial to have an individually targeted plan made for the person affected. Also having those around the child or adult taking note when the person is being affected and knowing the signs of raising anxiety due to the sensory sensitivity. Going to your doctor and talking about your symptoms will help as they can refer you to local specialists.

I have attached some helpful articles and a quiz below if you wish to do some further reading. Keep in mind both neuro diverse and nuero typcal people can be affected by sensory processing. So it can affect anyone of any gender, background and age.

Helpful articles : https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/sensory-processing-issues/sensory-overload-anxiety

https://www.verywellhealth.com/autism-and-sensory-overload-259892

https://www.healthline.com/health/sensory-overload#causes

Do you think you or your child may have SPD ? this questonaire may give you an idea on whether or not to get checked.  I got 53% as I am sensitive to certain things.

[Self-Test] Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) in Adults

The truth of being a parent and getting older.

Gone are the days of ballin birthday party’s with 100 of your friends, the more people the better. Gone are the days of simple responsibility now filled with keeping a small human alive, happy and well rounded. The truth is as you grow older people grow apart, friendship circles get smaller and people get forgotten.

Friday was my 33rd birthday and the night before it I cried and the night of my birthday I cried. There is no shame in that. I had one of those what the fuck moments that happen several times in a persons life. It was the realization of being 33 and feeling forgotten by the world.

As I have shared some of my story I will give the gist of it. I got pregnant while in a unhealthy relationship. During the pregnancy a lot of friends disappeared into the back ground as I was pregnant and had complications I wasn’t the free spirit friend anymore that would meet friends out to socialize at the drop of a hat. I was sick, sore and tired all the time trying to keep it together. So people stopped contacting me checking in and frankly these people hadn’t really cared about me. They liked the fun me not the sick pregnant me I was now obsolete which meant people I thought had been my friends weren’t really.

I then had a prem baby that needed regular appts ,again people that had been there during my pregnancy started disappearing as they “didn’t know what to say” or thought “I needed space” which basically meant I was in the too hard basket.

When my daughter was 4 months old her father left and years of family court began which I can’t get into but had to cut some of the ties left. This then made my friendship pool smaller and I also met new people through single mum’s groups and re connected with friends that had kids I had lost touch with.

At 2 & 1/2 my daughter was diagnosed with autism and yet again more people disappeared from our lives. We also met other family’s like ours going through similar hurdles with therapies and getting their child on track to the best of their abilities.

The past few years I have gone through a lot. I have lost touch with a lot of people and had to cut people out of my life. I have met new people but maintaining friendships with other parents is hard to line up schedules. Life as a parent of a special needs child is complex.

I think this is what led to my what the fuck moment. On my birthday the only person that called me was my mum who I went to lunch with. She was the saving grace for my birthday. There were no presents to open and even though Facebook reminds everyone very few people contacted me via msg to say happy birthday. I felt forgotten.

I could do the standard perfect life blog or instagram post saying how perfect everything was for my birthday. I think that would be unjust as I’m not the only person/parent that feels isolated and alone sometimes. So many people like to pretend their life is perfect or fabulous and don’t share the lows only the highs. This gives people unrealistic expectations of the life they want to achieve when looking at social media. Like hey that persons life looks perfect when in reality its only what they allow you to see as they aren’t willing to be vulnerable. I think there is beauty and strength in vulnerability. To really celebrate the good things you also need to embrace and work through the low parts and not be afraid to speak your truth.

I’m not the only person that has these what the fuck moments about how did my life get this way. Don’t get me wrong I love my child and the life we have together but, for a well balanced life it’s a balance of family, friends, hobbies and work. It is like doing a puzzle without a box filling in the pieces working from the outside in and realizing that some of the corner sections are missing pieces. I did have dinner with 5 fantastic friends on Saturday night which was fun. I looked around the table and appreciated each one of them for making time to celebrate my birthday.

At 33 that’s where my life is, feeling forgotten by the world. I had 5 people that came to celebrate with me, which I appreciated but at the same time felt sad how small my friendship circle had gotten. I rarely get out and feel cut off from the world a lot of the time. In moments of sadness I look for the positives, I had 5 friends to celebrate with me. I have an awesome mum who took me for lunch and an amazing daughter who is happy to eat cake and sing me happy birthday any day of the week.

Among all the positives I still thought of the puzzle that is my life and the different sections of Family, work, friends and hobbies. The family section of the puzzle was filled in and that gave me a proud feeling to have such a strong family base.

The work section of my life puzzle according to society is missing as I can’t currently work while focusing on all my daughters therapy stuff. I believe it has a few pieces though. I’m a Personal Assistance without pay and crazy hours for my adorable daughter. It’s rewarding getting her on track but I need something for me in the future and that’s not selfish it’s having a dream and ambition to set an example to my child to follow her career dreams.

The friend section of the puzzle has some solid pieces but I also feel has some pieces missing. It is something I need to work on to try get more balance by trying to find more time to socialize. We are by nature social creatures we get lonely and its important to have time to catch up with friends.

The hobbies section of my puzzle is a section of my life I love with writing and following my dream those pieces are slowly materializing.

So with all the sections together it’s clear for me that being a parent and getting older isn’t simple. We are all trying to find balance. We all have different hurdles in life and at one point or another we get sad that our lives feel unbalanced as we struggle to put our life puzzles together. So now my birthday and wtf moment has passed I’m writing, reflecting and sharing with other parents to say it’s ok. It’s ok to have sad moments, it’s ok to have wtf moments and it’s ok as you get older to question everything, so you can work towards a better balance.

In the harder moments reflect on what the reasons are for being sad and the things that got you there. Then instead of letting it break you or keep you down, learn and use it as strength to work towards your happiness and figure out the next pieces to go in the puzzle of life to make you happy.

Coming out from between the pages and letting my creativity flow.

I have written about my love of reading before. So what made me take the leap to write a book? What a big jump it is from my passion of reading and constantly devouring books like some crazed bibliophile.  Books have forever been my escape from whatever is going on. To lose myself between the pages of a book and enter new places and worlds. The truth is I have been through more heartache and trauma than most do in a lifetime in my 32 years. These things I have lived through, these life experiences, made me want to have an escape to channel the emotions that came with them. How better to channel them than through a creative outlet like writing. It allows a writer to escape to wherever their mind takes them and to take others with them on that journey. To put the emotions into scenes with characters in any place and time of the writers choosing. I also do this with my blog series life’s a journey sharing some of these life experiences.

I am taking my time and slowly tackling writing my book. This isn’t something that happens over night I have had the idea for my book for many years. The past 2 years or so I have been doing the research needed as it is historical fiction meaning the places , clothes, plants all the finer details have to be correct for the time as well as location of places. I have done short stories, poems, essays, blogs and creative writing projects through uni but never a book. This is a challenge and goal I have set myself.

Over the years I have read thousands of books and always come back to fantasy, history and historical fiction. My book is based in 839-843 AD in what would one day become Scotland. It could be classed currently as a mix of historical fiction and fantasy as its based loosely around events that happened and also folklore.  I am doing allot of research to ensure everything from the animals and scenery of the time are correct. I want to do what my favorite books do, take readers into the story, set the scenes so it takes them away into that place and time. Jean M Auel did it beautifully in The Clan of the Cave bear. It is evident how much research she did of the time with the knowledge of plants and animals that went into it but the research on how they communicated to make the characters more 3 dimensional to get you to understand them on a deeper level.

A lot of authors get inspiration from history. George RR Martin was inspired by the battle of the roses. The War of the Roses was a series of civil wars that were fought for control of the throne of England. It was fought between two rival branches of the royal House of Plantaganet, the House of Lancaster, associated with the red rose, and the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. These civil wars were fought between 1455 – 1485. Reading his books and watching the series it becomes clear the inspiration he took from historical events and he weaved it into magic that captured the intrigue of millions of people.

Some authors are even inspired by other stories. Sarah J mass book A court of thorns and roses was inspired by Beauty and the beast. It’s a much more grittier version to begin with then transforms into something you wouldn’t see coming. The second book in the series was inspired by Hades and Persephone. Every writer is an artist and sees one story that can be transformed into something else or can make something from nothing and make it enthralling.

Sometimes it just takes that spark of inspiration. For me my passion for history and missing my homeland inspired me to research many years ago. As I read more it came to me. The idea of the story, the times in history I wanted to work round. As read about the time period I also read about the folklore of the times of the Sidhe and wulvers. Before I knew it characters started to come to mind, a story to re-write history.

For more on my upcoming book as it develops stay up to date with my blog. As I delve more into the story write and then re write I will post up info on characters and bits and pieces of the story.

Life’s a journey – part 3 – The NICU Bubble

The first time I held my daughter was everything. I wanted to sit there holding her and looking at the perfection in my arms forever. Take in every second of her little noises, the feel of her soft newborn hair and that intoxicating baby smell. The moment didn’t last forever it lasted only a few minutes before the nurse advised they had to get her back in the incubator as she cant regulate her temperature. My baby I had been waiting to meet was here, but life had changed from what I had planned, I thought I would have the perfect birth then take her home. She was now being taken off of me and put back into the incubator. As they took her off me and put her back I was sobbing. It was like a vital part of me was taken away, my arms still in the shape of holding her, I was simply told I needed to go back to my room and rest.

I didn’t want to rest I just wanted to be with her. It felt wrong so wrong to even be in a room down the corridor away from her. Being wheeled back to my room at the end of the corridor I could see into the other rooms of new mothers with their babies, happy family visiting. I was put in a room by myself, I think as the staff thought being around the other mothers and babies would upset me. It was a catch 22 I didn’t want to be alone but at the same time it was upsetting seeing them all when my daughter was in the neonatal unit behind closed doors. The unit only allowed parents and staff in no one else was allowed to protect the babies from being exposed to more people and risk of illness.

My daughters father left to go home and get me some things and I sat in my room and called my mum. The painkillers I had to be able to get into the wheelchair and see my daughter were wearing off already and I called my mum as reality was really sinking in. I poured my heart out to her about everything that had happened and my Mum booked her and my dad on the first flight they could get and organised with her work for time off earlier than planned. I told her my fears of how small my daughter was, that I had almost lost her and that she would not be aloud to leave until she hit 2kgs. With being 1.72kgs they were unsure how much she would drop before gaining again. My Mum said everything she could to reassure me but I blamed myself. I felt my body had failed my child. She was hours away from dying and if I hadn’t spoken up she wouldn’t have made it. My body wasn’t providing what she needed. Even though I had done everything I was suppose to, never ate anything I shouldn’t, never drank, had pregnancy vitamins. I had done everything by the book to give her the best start and yet my body had failed at its task and had put her in danger.

My cousin who was also my doula came to the hospital after work with a lovely home cooked meal knowing I would need some good food to comfort me. She sat with me for hours and we talked through everything that had happened and we discussed breast feeding. So we called the nurse to get what I needed and in walked the nurse that had done the birth classes my partner and I had attended and finished only weeks before hand. She recognized me straight away and smiled “you’re in a bit early aren’t you?” I explained what happened and she got some plastic syringes to collect the colostrum that my body was starting to produce. I was so glad to see a familiar face and being the funny person she was she said “lets teach you how to milk yourself” this made me laugh for the first time in hours. My nurse and doula showed me what to do and thus started my breast feeding journey that ended up lasting 2 years.

Days passed and I spent every moment I could up in the neonatal unit. Even after I had an allergic reaction to the drugs I was given and had to stop my painkillers. I still persevered through the surgical pain and kept walking up the corridor to my daughter. I sat with her through every blood test and heal prick, through every change of the nasal gastric tube. I even went through the night every 3-4 hours for her feeds. Even though she was getting fed through the tube every second feed I attempted to breast feed to work on her latch the alternate feed. When she was tube fed I pumped and pumped. My milk came in quick and fast and stayed golden yellow for a lot longer than normal which meant she was getting what the nurses called liquid gold. My nipples weren’t as great as my milk. My daughter being so tiny couldn’t latch properly and I was in toe curling pain every feed, every pump and my nipples began to crack. I was told how amazing breastfeeding would be but the pain lasted for almost 6 months and I just kept pushing through wanting to give my daughter the benefits from the breast milk no matter the cost to my body.

At day 3 we got to give her, her first bath. It was a team effort and the nurse showed us what to do. I was still in a lot of pain standing so her father took over and did her bath. I watched in awe as he cleaned her up and I helped as much as I could. He went to work not long after and I had to deal with the first poo explosion. Now for such a tiny adorable baby she had some power behind her. I seen her little face contort and stepped aside just on time as poo went across the small area we were in, not hitting the floor but the wall and chair across from us. I was grossed out but slightly impressed she managed that. It made me more careful when I changed her knowing she could projectile poo across the room.

It was a relief when my parents arrived from interstate and having that extra support. At day 4 the hospital said I would be discharged the next day as they needed my bed. This meant I would be going home without my baby. I thought it was hard being down the corridor from her never mind being 40 minutes away. That night and next day I didn’t leave her side held her as much as they would allow as she needed the steady temp from the incubator and had to go under the lights a few times as her jaundice levels went up and down. Her father visited intermittently as he was finishing his honors thesis and was still working so my parents came down every day and waited for me while I went in and spent time with Abigail.

On day 5 when I was discharged I silently cried all the way home. We had a late dinner together and my daughters father held me as I cried for hours telling him about how I felt I had failed our daughter.

I got up through the night to pump so I could take in the milk to the hospital every day. I never really slept properly. Everyone was up at the crack of dawn and my parents took me down every morning and afternoon and my daughters father took me when he could around work and finishing his thesis. Every day she was weighed sometimes she would have a small gain and the days she had dropped weight it felt like we were getting further away from ever getting her home. The days felt like an eternity. While she was there time was tortuously slow.

I was there for the morning and lunch time feed then would go home some days to try rest then be back for the evening feed. It worked out I could be there for 4 feeds a day my parents just waited patiently for me, always being there in case I needed to talk to them and lean on them for support.

I hated it when the staff changed her tubes and listening to her little screams. It was horrible to watch but knowing it had to be done as breastfeeding took a lot of energy from her and the tube feeds didn’t. I cried with her every time and held her tiny hand and stroked her little face to try reassure her mummy was with her through it all.

The days melted into one another the sleepless nights, the pumping, the trying to feed and wanting to never let go of her. The feeling of when I got to hold her skin to skin and then the pain all the way to my soul when I had to go home and leave her there. It got harder and harder. I watched other families come and go some for a few days some for almost a week. Seeing their happy faces when they got to take their little bundles home. While I was stuck in the NICU bubble as I pumped and fed and living cuddle to cuddle with the endless empty nights of missing her. The nurses were amazing they could see the affect it was having on me they were always supportive always listened.

At around 2 weeks they spoke to me about coming in and staying for a few days on the ward with Abigail. While there she had to have consistent gains for a few days then she could come home. That night I was so excited when I went home It was the first night at home I felt hopeful and happy. I packed some stuff so I could go stay and early the next morning I got a call saying she had a drop in weight so I would not be coming to stay. I was shattered, the hope that we were close to getting her home was gone and I felt we were back at square one. My mum also had to fly home for work and left my dad with me so he could drive me back and forth to the hospital and help out.

That day visiting was the worst I wouldn’t be staying and spending the night with her. Instead of going back and forth twice a day I couldn’t stand even that small gap so I was dropped off in the morning and would not go home until after the 8-9pm feed.  This was my new normal. I didn’t want to go home at all it was getting harder to leave the longer she was there. You would think it would get easier but It never did while she was in there.

After almost another week passed I got the call I had hoped for. I got a call early saying they had a bed and they were going to take her feeding tube out and take a chance on us and put us together on the ward. She was slow to put on weight but was maintaining her temperature now and was almost 2 kgs. The hope being she would hit 2kgs while I was there. It felt like all my christmas’s had come a once. I grabbed my bag still packed from before and my dad and daughters father took me upto the hospital to stay. I got settled in my room and went and got my daughter in the plastic bassinet and wheeled her down proudly to my room. We were so close to freedom from the NICU bubble we had been in for 3 weeks.

That first night was heaven being with her. I kept being told the first night with a newborn was the hardest but this was the first time I had ever had her with me constantly, no walking down the corridor leaving her in the neonatal unit, no going home and leaving a piece of me. We were together finally and I was not missing a second. The first night was bliss but the first weigh in the next morning she had not gained she had not lost anything either. It was crushing I kept thinking they will send me home and I will be away from her again. The nurses stayed positive and told me to keep doing what I was doing.

The second night felt like I was on borrowed time until I was sent away again. The second morning on the ward she had a very small gain but it was a gain. They said I could stay another night and depending on what the weight was the next day would be the deciding factor on whether we went home together or I would be sent home without her to try again another time. My dad had to fly home that night as his flight was booked around when they thought I would stay the first time thinking that Abigail and I would have already been home. That night I held on extra tight to every second I had with her. Took in her little face and smell of her as if to burn these moments into memory.

The next morning I was so anxious when they wheeled the scales in, I closed my eyes and hoped with every fiber of my soul she would get to come home. They placed her on the scales so gently and I looked at the nurse as her face lit up. “Shes gained and its a big gain” those words were everything. I knew we were getting home and we were going home together. It was over, it was finally over, this dark cloud of the unknown was shifting and we were going home. I cant even begin to describe the relief I felt. For the first time in weeks when I cried it was happy tears.

Those 3 weeks she was in neonate it was one of the hardest things I had to go through. The pregnancy was hard with all the pains and bleeds. The emergency C section was hard not knowing if she would make it. The hardest thing out of all of it was the 3 weeks Abigail was in the neonatal unit. The quiet, the constant of being stuck in my own head blaming myself even though it was something I had no control over what had happened, took its toll on me more than anything. While she was in there I had constant well wishes from friends but they always asked when is she coming home. Every txt message every phone call took a piece of me and made me ache with the not knowing when I was getting to take her home.

After going through the experience I want people to know It is so important to support friends and family going through the NICU bubble after having a prem baby or baby with complications. Be there and listen but never ask when baby is coming home, as they will shout it from the rooftops when they are getting to take their baby home. They don’t need the added stress and heartache that comes with constantly being asked. Bring them home cooked meals and things that will comfort them. As behind all those photos and smiles of new parents on social media are fears for their newborn and the not knowing when they will all be together. The lonely nights of being away from the little life they created they ache to be with. It is an extremely hard and lonely time. It is a time where both parents are at great risk of post natal depression. So support them. Even once babies home if they want visitors help them after such a traumatic time. Do some dishes for them, cook some food, help take some of the load off them.  Even when they get home it will still weigh on them after going through such an experience. Supporting your family or friends that go through this experience shouldn’t stop when they get out the hospital as its a long road of healing after and they need a good support system.

 

Online bullying, time to Think.

We all hear story’s of online bullying. Scrolling through our feeds there are instances we come across everyday , whether it is someone throwing shade and trying to be sneaky about it ,or someone directly attacking someone for all to see. It’s a common occurrence but it does not make it ok. It happens to people of all ages. School children unable to leave the bullies in the playground as it now follows them home because of today’s technology. It happens to adults also whether its someone from work or social group and sometimes its a complete stranger in an online group you have never even met.

As a community we have to call out bullying behavior in a manor that doesn’t attack but points out the behavior and making it clear it is not ok. Bullying can happen to anyone at anytime online. As a society it seems to be an epidemic on the rise as people hide behind their screens. It removes some of the human factor typing it into a screen rather than doing it in person.

The past few days I have seen 2 major incidents of blatantly attacking someone online. Both instances involve adults. The first incident I read was about Constance Hall. She had a piece written about her by Perth now that had about 1.6 thousand comments attacking her. The admin clearly weren’t caring or monitoring the abuse on their page. She also addressed it on her page calling out the bullying and the fact it’s never ok. She should never have had to do that. The site should have monitored what was going on and been proactive to not support that behavior.

The second instance was in an unexpected place, an online dog group for my dogs breed. I will refer to them as the member and the elitist to protect identity. One member had an oopsie unplanned litter. She by no means planned it. Her female dog was meant to be sterile and shouldn’t have been able to get pregnant. An elitist in the group went on the attack tearing her down trying to link her with puppy farmers and all sorts of nastyness went down across 2 groups. The elitist purposely tried to take down someone that had done nothing wrong. They felt it was their right to try destroy this persons reputation within the group and her self esteem as she is against cross breeds in any situation. The member with the pups responded explaining the situation which was perfectly innocent and the elitist acted like it was her life’s mission to attack this innocent women/stranger for everyone to see. It was a case of online bullying where someone could have scrolled on but instead decided to go on the attack over something that had zero bearing on their life.

When people act this way it says a lot more about the attacker and their sense of entitlement and self importance as they feel they have the right to try attack another. They seem to lack empathy and either don’t understand or care of the possible long term consequences of their actions. They just think they are right so they must say what it takes to damage the other person.

We live in a generation of keyboard warriors hiding behind a screen. It’s not just the younger generation some of the worst cases of online bullying I have seen recently have been from people in their 50s and even 60s. The worlds going mad with self righteousness and the feeling they can say things and attack people online they wouldn’t normally as they don’t have to see the person. They don’t see the tears the sleepless nights of the psychological damage inflicted. They just word vomit nastiness onto their screens then switch off and don’t give a second thought to the person on the other end of those words. There are memes about a generation of people being offended and that they should “toughen up”. Keep in mind 10 or 15 years ago we didnt have smart phones and our issues following us home with no escape or safe place. So why don’t we change people talking about a generation of people being offended, to a generation that thinks before we speak, type a response or comment. So before posting something think …

T – is it true

H – is it helpful

I – is it inspiring

N – is it necessary

K – is it kind

This acronym has been around for a little while and it’s something we should all refer back to before saying something that could potentially cause harm to someone. Being online we either need to THINK or keep in mind we also have the ability to scroll on or have a friendly debate without any venom thrown in. So here’s to a new generation of THINKers xoxo