Socia Media…a Blessing & a Curse

Social media. It can be a wonderful way to learn, create, connect, etc.. But if used incorrectly can cause quite alot of damage. We all have heard about celebrities tweeting out harsh words only to retract them after public backlash. How about those pictures and videos one thinks would never make it to the internet? There is a reason why elementary schools teach kids about internet safety. Now can someone teach the parents??!

I’ve dealt with my share of X’s internet mishaps, and unfortunately so have my daughters. It’s one thing to learn about your spouse’s affinity for internet porn and late night sex-cam websites. It’s another to have your spouse forget to turn it off before your kid decides to use Dad’s computer to print out her English assignment. Kids these days are very computer literate. They know how to use Google history to find the school website they used the day before, so if you’re not internet savvy enough to hit the DELETE button after your searchs for “escort services” and “college aged companions”, then maybe you should learn!

I say this after a tough week. X spent a few days at the house at the beginning of the week and then this last weekend before heading back to empty out the apartment he was court-ordered to leave. In those days he slept late, attempted to find contract work (remember he lost his job?) and make dates with the (pseudo) age-appropriate women he is attempting to meet on Match.com. He went on three dates this last week, and for some reason didn’t think it would bother the girls to mention where he was going. In fact, I think the words were “Sorry I can’t drop you at a friends because I don’t want to be late for my dinner & movie plans.” OK, maybe that’s harsh of me….but it would have been better if we’d actually discussed dating rules and how they affect the kids BEFORE they occurred. My bad…I guess I didn’t realize he couldn’t wait a week before feeling the need to find someone else to take care of him. Did I mention he’s living at home? How does that work? Do you tell your date you’re still living with your wife and kids on the 2nd? 3rd date?

Little bit of bitchin’…back to my story…
Said spouse decided to get a Facebook account a few weeks ago, and right beofre heading out to one of his dates our daughter sees a “do you know this person?” on her FB. Click on it… and she sees her 56 year old Dad’s 15 friends, all 20 year old strippers, bartenders, bouncers, etc.. Now I’m not putting down any profession…let me be clear. But when a 56 year old CMO’s only friends are 20-somethings he met at “the club” the red flag goes up. And did I mention he’d also friended the actual strip club and a few late night adult sex groups to boot?

OK, I blew up with this one…

Did he know that his kids would see this?
Did he know our family would see this?
Did he know potential employers would see this?
His Match.com ladies?
Heck, how about my mom that has a habit of stalking people on FB?!

No, of course he didn’t know because he didn’t understand how Facebook worked. It wasn’t one of his late night sex websites, closely guarded with fake user names and passwords. It is used to CONNECT & SHARE! He was appologetic and told me he deleted everything. Funny thing was, the following night my boys and their cousins had to find out what their Dad was up to as apparently he didn’t believe me and left things as is. The boys shut him down.

My son once asked my why, if I know his Dad is sick, won’t I do everything to help him. I’m finding that all the talking, yelling, begging, pleading, educating won’t help someone with addiction. They have to hit their own rock-bottom. And their rock bottom might be alot lower than what you may think it is. There comes a time when, after trying your hardest you have to let the chips fall. The hardest thing is watching it affect the kids. I continue to do everything I can to protect them but I realize that there was a reason he lived so far away for the last year. It was the only way he could hide his addictions. Now that he’s home (temporarily) mistakes are going to happen, chips are going to fall….and all I can do is be ready with the broom & dustpan.

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2 thoughts on “Socia Media…a Blessing & a Curse

  1. This is so unfortunate for you and your children. As long as you are there to give your children guidance and moral support in this craziness they will get through this.

    I remember one of your post said his family were not helpful when you first asked them to help your X. What do they say now?

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  2. I should have made myself more clear. X’s parents have always been wonderful to me as the kids and I have spent more time with them through the years than their son has due to his travel for work. They just don’t know the details of what’s happened so they can’t really help. Plus, I feel so uncomfortable about getting cornered I pick and choose our conversaations carefully. My therapist, and also my therapist friend, both told me that it’s not my place to tell X’s parents how horribly he has treated me…that NO mother wants to see their son in that kind of light. They say I have to be patient for things to come out on their own. Believe me it has been extremely hard because I’ve always been so close to his mom. I don’t know if this is the right thing to do or not, but it’s the advice I was given for now..
    As for the comment to “lean on my own family”, that was said to me by my SIL’s husband, who used this platform for getting out all the hatred and animosity he had for my husband and our family over the years. It’s funny how things come out that way….X has always been the “golden child” of his family so I think this was a “stick it to me” moment. One I will never forget as that comment he made was only one of many comments he made that night as I begged X’s sister to help X. She has since tried to help him, but only knows what X wants her to know. That’s the downside of mental illness..

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