I plan for Mother’s Day about six weeks out, give or take, and this year was no different.
And then I saw an email from a big newspaper columnist, Aisha Sultan at the St. Louis Dispatch — a REAL newspaper, as my late stepmother Robbie would say.
So I prepared for an interview, not expecting too much and not reading too much into our very nice conversation. (I try not to get ramped up, or wonder if someone thinks I’m crazy, or angry, or…you know.)
And then it seemed that the conversation was so interesting to Sultan that her column became focused solely on Toxic Mom Toolkit, the book, the Facebook community, and the blog and that was a very, very good thing. (And scary.)
At the same time, Mother’s Day led a lot of newbies to our sites and I started receiving Questionnaires from Guys, from far-flung places and full of juicy stuff, and that was a really good thing.
So I started thanking Guy Friends of Ours and printing their stories out on paper and highlighting lines while I watched Game of Thrones. With a yellow highlighter and a six color pen I drew comparisons and found common threads and that got me very excited about the book I’m doing for men about surviving and thriving after growing up with a toxic mom.
All along I was putting up pre-Mother’s Day warnings on Toxic Mom Toolkit on Facebook to get enough sleep and said eat your vegetables like I always do. I know the drill. I’ve helped our community brace for Mother’s day since 2013 when Toxic Mom Toolkit hit Amazon a few days before Christmas.
Did I take my own advice on sleep and vegetables? Not much.
Did I have other big things going on in my family at the very same time? Oh yeah.
But isn’t that the way life always is? Everything at once. And then someone from a big metropolitan city in Canada, messaged me, saying, hey, did you see this American newspaper column all about you? Oh, you mean the one I thought was running on Mother’s Day, but was actually a Thursday column?
So that was exciting – to think – I have this big surprise for Mother’s Day Sunday. Oh wait. No, Thursday, three days early. It’s like a plot change and it’s all good and happy and wonderful for me – not to mention possibly reaching people who really need Toxic Mom Toolkit – so I just got up early and stayed up late and responded to every single comment and watched my Facebook data swell and crest at about triple the normal activity.
And then the personal emails started. Like this one from a blogger I featured:
“Thank you so much for what you do at Toxic Mom Toolkit. It’s so nice not to be alone. Especially as Mother’s Day is approaching! So much of what you say speaks to my situation.”
Mother’s Day came and we all survived by posting supportive messages and images and sticking together. I only had to ban one toxic mom all day.
And just as I was about to turn off the laptop late Sunday night, this came in from a Friend of Ours in London, sent to me privately, to be posted on Facebook:
“I finally walked into a police station yesterday and reported historical physical and emotional child abuse at the hands of my TM (toxic mom) yesterday. The investigation is going to be quite long but I’m interested to know if anyone here has ever done the same?”
Which reminded me that this isn’t a hobby blog for me. It’s not about pushing book sales (although, please do buy one or ask your branch Librarian to order it for you.) This is about real people’s real lives and family relationships and it’s important.
As I said, I plan for Mother’s Day about six weeks out, give or take, and this year was no different.
Until just this evening, while checking my email when I saw a note from a very cute guy I dated for five minutes decades ago. (I wish it had been longer.) He’s known me from 35 to 60 and my stomach still flutters when I see his name.
His mother had just died. Did he ever tell me she was really toxic, just terrible? Could I send him the Guys Questionnaire?
And then I thought I better mail him a book. In a plain brown wrapper. First thing, tomorrow. Right after the I finish the bi-monthly bracelet mailing.