Would You Feed the Trolls?

My publisher asked me to write some guest posts to go out to high profile blogs in the run up to Become the Best You being relaunched this week. I dutifully did so, even though time is sparse and it always takes longer than you think to write these things. 

I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to feature on the prolific self-improvement site Steven Aitchinson, and wrote a post about the main things I did in order to turn my life around.

For those of you unfamiliar with my story, I’m the survivor of a dysfunctional childhood. I was abused in many directions and left home at 15 after a punch in the face. I spent the following decade in self-destruct mode; drinking too much, partying too hard and doing things I’m not very proud of right now.

Exactly ten years ago my life was literally in tatters. I was living in Cambodia, mourning the loss of my family, whom I’d become estranged from earlier in the year, slowly losing the plot. I’d written myself off and deemed that I was too fu**ed up to see a normal existence on my horizon. 

When I finally hit rock bottom in 2006 I realised that it was on me change my life. I needed to make peace with what I’d been through as a kid and truly move forwards. This was never going to be a possibility with my family in my life, and I stand by my decision to cut ties. I know it was the best thing I ever did. 

I genuinely do not hold grudges, and have no animosity towards them. Those that have read my book will know that I don’t bad mouth them at all. I understand why they were the way they were, but I also know there isn’t a place for them in my life. After years of playing the role of parent to your own mother the charade will drain you of your energy and destroy your soul.  It certainly did me. 

I wasn’t expecting to receive such negative comments on my guest post. I’m wondering whether the main commenters even bothered to read the entire article, or whether they just read the five sub-titles. I definitely don’t think they checked out Become the Best You or looked at this here blog of mine.

Some of the comments were lovely, and one of them is utterly heartbreaking. A 56 year old woman has walked away from her family in the recent years after all this time of trying to fit in and never being accepted.

I always thought I would lie firmly in the camp of not feeding the trolls, but the writer in me just can’t not respond. So this post is for you LJ Scott, and any one else who thinks I’m the dysfunctional one!  

Click here to see the full guest post and comment thread. 

Would you feed the trolls?


20 thoughts on “Would You Feed the Trolls?

  1. Thanks Jo, so kind of you to say that. You’re totally and utterly right about stomping over that bridge and letting the silly old trolls chat among themselves. They certainly aren’t worthy of conversation, I always knew that, but I felt compelled to say something here on the blog. It took me by surprise to be honest!

  2. Oh you, I read this with tears running down my face a few weeks ago. What a gorgeous thing to say Vicki, thanks so much. Silly old trolls have been well and truly forgotten about now! Thanks for commenting here and on the other site xxx

  3. What a lovely thing to say Leigh, thanks so much. I haven’t looked at the comments since, but did have a tiny sneak peak and saw that the share number had gone up, which surely would have annoyed the trolls more than anything else 🙂 xx

  4. I know deep down it’s all because of their own ill feelings about the son who walked out on them, but it stung too much at the time to not respond at all. I think any OTT negative projection in life is a statement about the person projecting and not what/who they are projecting about… thanks so much for stopping by and your kind words x

  5. What a lovely comment to leave Vicki and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head by touching upon the thing that no one else seems to have addressed: the fact that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. Some of us are lucky enough to feel that we both want and need our families in our lives but there is no question in my head that Reneé did the right thing – there is absolutely nothing about the status of ‘parent’ that transforms anyone into a ‘nice’ or ‘good’ person.

  6. Woah Renee – when you read it – it leaves you with a kind of barage of anger. I’m not surprised you named him. I think that you have every right to talk about whatever you like and I personally really enjoy what you write about and will be buying your book for that very reason. You are an inspirational writer and an inspirational mum. Have a lovely weekend with your family as it is today. x

  7. I think it’s very telling that the person in question later has a rant about their own son leaving the family. This tells you all you need to know – they are bitter and messed up at their own failings to keep their family together, and so take it out on anyone in remotely similar situations. You always find this with trolls, the issue is always within them, but they project, project, project and try to justify their own failings by being nasty to others on the Internet.

    You are strong, inspirational and ultimately did what is best for you. That is all that matters.

  8. Hun you are an inspiration. Your posts are amazing, you are a very talented writer, and such a caring person too. It takes strength to do what you did, a lot of it, and I admire you for being able to write such honest posts. xx

  9. Oh my goodness. Firstly – I’d tell them to learn how to spell!

    I completely understand they are hurtful Renee – how can they not be. But you are awesome, you rock, you are an inspiration to me and so many others. I would starve these trolls, they are making judgements based on a snapshot of your life and are just trying to rile you. Lots of love xxx

  10. This is the comment I have left there and am doing so here my darling Renee. Please rise about the thoughtless comments which are merely others self-projecting, with no real insight to your own situation.

    ‘An utterly empowering post Reneé Davis, you are an inspiration to all who know and love you. The ideal scenario of course, is not to have to walk away but your family sadly gave you no other option, you did what you did for self preservation, to focus on yourself and your family, to survive and ultimately thrive. Knowing you as a friend, writer and mother too, your children are testament to your incredible personality and love for them, your big heart, your unconditional love, your talent and generosity of spirit. It is important for all to note that we all have boundaries, parents are just people, as we are, and sadly some of those relationships are toxic, however much it troubles our own and others’ notion of what family should mean. I am proud of you. All my love, Vicki x’

  11. Good Lord above! There are some nasty people out there. It’s tricky not to rise to it, isn’t it? The main thing is that you did the best for you and have a wonderful ‘new’ family that give you joy. Only you know what you went through and what it took to heal you, the trolls can think what they like but your truth is the one that matters. Stay strong and stomp over that bridge – it really upsets those trolls!

  12. For someone like that to make such a comment based on the very little she knows about you (or life I suspect) it shows such a level of immaturity, lack of emotional intelligence and fundamental intolerance of anything outside of her own experience. Try not to waste any more thoughts on this person – you know that you’ve done the right thing – for all concerned. There are a lot of people out there who think that you are a strong, positive, brave, inspirational person and that is something you *should* dwell on and feel proud of. Hugs Xx

  13. I will never understand why people need to be so unpleasant. Great article as ever, and totally unfounded comments – as I hope you know. I totally get your quandary about feeding the trolls though. There’s that almost overwhelming sense of injustice at being misrepresented which can only be put right by having your say! I reckon you’ve handled it just right here – I very much doubt they will be bothered to come and read your response, but you have still stood your ground with the people that matter so it’s the best of both worlds. I guess you’re going to have to get used to taking the rough with the smooth now you’re a published author! 😉 Still very exciting xx

  14. I think you wrote a brilliant post and there were lots of people who were won over by you.

    Reading between the lines, it sounds like those who were negative had sad stories of their own, which would influence how they responded to you.

    Don’t ever forget how amazing it is that you brought yourself out of those tatters of a family, and how hard you have worked to give your kids the best they could have. If everyone followed your example. we would have no more problems in society.

  15. Good grief, just read the comments! It always amazes me what people say from the ‘safety’ of their laptop… Don’t feed them lovely, not worth it, you’ll never change their opinion and you’ll just tie yourself in knots trying. I’m so sorry you’ve had to read such negativity, huge hugs x

  16. Blimey just read it all and so tough. I am not sure how people can judge when they are in your shoes. I am so sorry you have had a tough time, it is amazing you are reaching out trying to help others Renee.

  17. Nope, I wouldn’t feed the trolls. That would be giving them some credit when they clearly don’t have any idea about your past, what you went through and why you had to make those decisions. Just ignore all of it!

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