Leave of absence

I really want to share the story of why Facebook has now been deleted from my phone and my social feed disabled on every computer I own…

If I’m being honest, lately, hasn’t been awesome. Not that there has been anything specifically ‘wrong’ per say, but my schedule has been abnormally chaotic and my anxiety through the roof. All of this combined, leaves my skin paper-thin and everything I see/read/hear pierces that vulnerable layer and some days, the pain is just too much to tolerate.

Social media feels like a ‘trigger’ for me. It’s a wonderful space to keep up with friends and family and an absolutely invaluable tool for my business. However, I have a love/hate relationship with it. While its benefits far outweigh its faults, sometimes my anxiety riddled head just can’t walk away from it; even when I know it would be much better if I did.

Case in point, the article that has finally caused me to take a ‘leave of absence’ from my personal presence on Facebook.

The other day an article titled “Pets Are Not Children, So Stop Calling Them That” (I’ve linked to it there so feel free to read if you haven’t seen it yet. Plus this post will sound even more nonsensical if you haven’t read it; granted the title does sum up the main point quite nicely) was quite popular online. Numerous friends shared this article, all laughing about how funny it is, how ‘true’ it is. People called it adorable and hilarious. Tears blurred my vision while I was reading it but they definitely weren’t from laughter.

What so many people read as funny I can’t call anything other than self-righteous and entitled. I know that many will disagree with this statement, and that’s ok. But what isn’t ok is this person calling people out solely for the titles they use within their family unit. M.A. Wallace notes, “I have two children, and when I meet people with pets who equate their experience to mine, I don’t know how to react.” You know how you should react, kindly. Why? Because all that person is trying to do is have an amicable conversation with you. No, they’re not delusional and under the impression that their pet is actually like having a human child (however some humane societies make you go through more of a process to adopt a pet than anyone I’ve ever know has had to go through to give birth to and keep their own child, but that’s a conversation for another day). They are simply trying to find something through which they can relate to you, because their family unit is different than yours.

More days than not I’m meant to feel ‘other’ or incomplete due to the fact that my family unit looks different than those of so many of my peers. That hurts, but now, I’m being criticized because of the titles we use within that family unit. It seems that no matter what I do it’s never going to be considered ‘right’ and always miles away from ‘normal’.

With all of the mean-spirited articles and anger out there, why, for the love of all things good, does someone have to write a hate-filled article criticizing the names we choose to use within our family units? Telling my dogs to go and sit with their ‘Dad’ does not undermine the Dad of human children. It’s just a title we’ve chosen to use within our family. It’s one of love, not disrespect.