Blogging can be a very strange profession, and the internet is a weird and wacky place.
I’m certainly no stranger to hate mail. I receive a fairly regular (though thankfully not overwhelming) number of angry and negative messages.
99.99% of these are from men who disagree that women traveling solo (or traveling ever) is a positive thing. And for whatever reason, I get a lot of strongly worded attacks on American women in general.
… I also receive a lot of frighteningly sexually aggressive messages, but that’s a different topic.
I wish this was the only “Dick” pic I received
Most of the time, I can let these undesired emails, comments, and messages roll off my back. I forget about them easily, and sometimes even laugh about them later.
This time was different.
Earlier this week, I landed in Detroit for a 24 hour layover, to take in the city and more importantly to visit with my sister.
That same day, I began receiving a deluge of diatribes explicitly attacking every reachable aspect of “me” including my looks, my weight, my intelligence, my purpose in life, my future ability to be a mother, my relationship… and eventually: my safety.
For the first time in the history of this blog, I was threatened with violence. Vehemently. Repeatedly. Graphically.
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me, because it did. Badly. I felt so anxious and upset that I couldn’t properly concentrate on my time with my sister.
And that makes me even more sad and frustrated, because my time with my family is so precious and seldom and cherished.
I wasn’t being fully present with my sister, because I was so in my own head going over the frightening threats that had been made against me.
So, what to do?
For now, take a step back.
On Sunday, I land in Israel for a family vacation with two of my FAVORITE people: my husband and my sister.
I refuse to be a person that allows some anonymous nobody to rob me of my precious time with my family.
Because of this, I’m going to take a break from this blog and my emails until I get back from my too-rare family vacation on September 11.
I won’t be going radio-silent, though!
You’ll still be able to join me on Instagram and Facebook (where it’s much easier to block creeps from butting into my fam time). I’ll be sharing my experiences real-time on Instagram Stories, and a daily recap on Facebook. Please do stop by and say hello, because it’s people like YOU that make this blogging thing worthwhile.
I don’t give in this easily — I won’t be waving that white flag of defeat anytime soon. I’ve got a blog post coming in HOT on September 11 about responding with love in the face of hate. But right now, I need to have love for myself, and my family.
If you miss me terribly, I’ve got a huge backlog of articles (over 200 at this point!) just waiting to be read. You can check them out, organized by country, HERE.
and in the meantime, I’ll be refreshing my jiu-jitsu take downs.