Friday, April 4, 2014
Two Friday's ago I was getting everything ready for Brylee and Kaden's swim meet. I had dropped Branson off at the gym and I had packed snacks and towels and a whole duffle bag of warm over-clothes for my swimmers. I threw in the stroller and the little girls jackets and then when I had about 10 minutes to wait for Scott I sat down and checked my email and blog traffic.
I found a link to a website I didn't recognize. It was some kind of social website for teenagers. I clicked the link and my heart sank into a horrible sick pit in my stomach. There on the page attached to a profile of a stranger was pictures from my blog of my children. One child in particular, he was posting as himself and the other 4 as "his" siblings. I felt sick.
To say that I was horrified does not even do justice to how I felt.
I immediately closed my blog, its all I could do in the 10 minutes I had left. All through the swim meet I forced my self to smile and function but all I could think about was getting home so that I could try to do something about this nightmare. All night I felt that at any minute I might throw-up or pass out, I felt literally sick and I was just barely holding it together.
As soon as I had all the kids in bed I went straight to the computer. Little did I know the bad news would get worse. Not only had this person created a profile using our pictures on the teen website he had also created two other profiles on two additional social media websites, all of "his" posted pictures were taken from my blog. This person was thoughtless enough to also use my kids names. It took hours but I finally was able to file a report on all three accounts. And then I had to sit and wait and hope that the reports would be read and action would be taken as soon as possible. I did not sleep a wink as the worry kept me up.
And then I started praying. Desperately. My heart was breaking at the thought that my actions- my blog-was the reason that my children could be in danger. Physical danger or danger of damaged reputations all because I have chosen to share their lives for the last six years.
I felt devastated.
It has been almost two weeks now and all three accounts have been closed. I can not find even the smallest trace of them now. I am so thankful for that and for the fast response of the websites. I have come to terms with the fact that I can never blog the same again. All these years I thought that blogging and sharing my testimony and ideas and faith was a good thing. I worried about the privacy aspect but felt pretty safe in sharing my life. All of that has changed. Something I loved doing will have to be eliminated or done drastically differently than I had done before. I am sad.
At this point I am not sure how I will go forward. I have a bedside journal that I write in consistently but it does not record the family memories and record that I have kept here, only private thoughts and impressions. I am not sure that there is a safe way of blogging. Even with a private blog I see that pictures could still be taken. And a blog without pictures just would not tell the story as well. The record would be incomplete with out them. I am praying about it so we'll see.
In the meantime, I am remembering to be so thankful for this record that I started way back when Ella was a baby. I knew I loved to write and so I loved President Eyrings advice to write down each day how I had seen the hand of the Lord in my life. It is a beautiful talk called "O Remember, Remember" from the October 2007 general conference. I took his advice and started a blog. I do not regret all the good I have recorded. When I look back I just weep at the blessings I have saved and recorded and can "remember" because of this blog. I am however regretting sharing it so publicly as it has now put my family in danger. It is such a shame.
I am also so thankful for the friends who have read and loved my blog right along with me. I have been the recipient of some of the nicest comments and I am so grateful that good has come from my blog and from my willingness to share my testimony. I know that good has come and in the end the good will always trump the evil.
For now, there is this...I still believe in it with all my heart.
"What could you do better for your children and your children's children than record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Begin today and write your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies and the angels may quote from it for eternity." President Spencer W. Kimball