I’m feeling a little low as a result of an incident that happened yesterday. It’s playing on my mind and, as I’m a sensitive little sausage, I am probably making more of it than is necessary. So, I’m doing what all good bloggers do and writing a post about it!
But this is part of the issue; sometimes sharing too much can come back to bite you on the bum.
A couple of days ago, The Hubby and I went to Small’s nursery parents’ evening. Whilst there, we had an opportunity to look at the book they keep, featuring photographs and notes about the things she has been doing. So, we’re looking through the book and I turn the page and a rather rude word jumped out at me. I might have snorted. The Hubby spotted it too and said, “take a photo, that’s funny!” So, I did. Of course, it wasn’t really a rude word, but a perfectly innocent one that, thanks to an unfortunately too-short ‘l’, looked like something that should never appear in a young child’s learning record.
So, fast-forward a couple of hours and I’m updating my followers on the Facebook page for my other blog about how parents’ evening had gone. I thought they’d find the unfortunate handwriting amusing like we did, so I attached the photo to the post and just asked if anyone could spot why we had a little giggle to ourselves.
Quite a few people did spot it and did find it amusing. There might have been a couple of comments about the handwriting. Nothing rude. Nothing to identify the school or teachers. There was certainly no malice and no intention to mock from my point of view.
However, it clearly got someone’s knickers in a twist. I had a phone call from the Headteacher yesterday lunchtime. I dread when the phone rings and you know it’s school (what’s happened? Does it need medical attention? What has she eaten that she shouldn’t?). But, she reassured me that Small was fine, nothing to worry about.
She then proceeded to tell me that a parent had called her to let her know that I had posted something on Facebook that the parent felt was mocking a teacher and it made them feel ‘uncomfortable’. Really?
Part of me wanted to say that I was so sorry I was making other parents feel uncomfortable, perhaps they should just try not reading my posts if they’re of such a sensitive nature. (I didn’t.) I replied that I thought I knew which post the parent was complaining about and that I certainly wasn’t intending to mock anyone. I was not asked to take it down and the Head said she hadn’t seen it (hmmmm!) but I did offer to remove it because, frankly, I hate confrontation and I have a good relationship with the school. We need to have, with Small’s additional needs, we need their support. I’ve sung the praises of the school many times. I’m certainly not bothered that the Head called me; she has a duty to question things like this and I’d expect her to do the same if I had a legitimate complaint.
What I’m struggling with is that someone I know, someone who follows my page, and knows quite a lot about my child and our autism journey, felt that they would rather ‘grass me up’ to the Head than come and speak to me first! They didn’t even need to do it face-to-face – I am contactable via Facebook, or this blog, or on Twitter… Send me a message! Let me know that my post could be misconstrued and perhaps it needs editing or removing. We could have an adult discussion about it.
I have no idea who it is. So that means I suspect everyone. Going to pick Big up yesterday afternoon was awful; I walked with my head down so as not to make eye contact with anyone in case it’s them. Someone caught my eye but didn’t smile or wave as usual – it must be them! Or perhaps it’s this person because they know that person? My mind was whirring. It has bothered me all night – I was awake in the early hours and now I’m exhausted, which makes the paranoia worse. I’m sad that whoever it is couldn’t come to me first, and I’m sad that my post and the resulting comments may have been misconstrued and have upset teachers!
My blogs are very important to me. I need to write stuff down to get it out of my system (which is why I’m writing this now) and I know, because people tell me, that my blog helps others in a similar situation to know that they’re not alone. I think that’s amazing. But last night, I was *this* close to jacking it all in. I wanted to delete my page. It actually hit 1500 followers last night, which is a huge milestone for me, but I didn’t feel like celebrating.
I’m scared to write now. I’m scared to write openly and honestly in case I inadvertently offend someone and yet, my being open and honest seems to be why people like what I write. See how that messes with my head?! I am concerned that someone I know, perhaps even a friend, doesn’t feel they can talk to me and I’m worried that the school will now be watching every word I write.
This is the danger of writing about yourself, your family, your life. I don’t know if I can any more.