Where The Orange Rhino Went, Part 1: Internet Wins

A little more about why I disappeared from The Orange Rhino…as you read this vulnerable, unedited, quickly written story, please remember…You all know that I am brutally honest with you – about my ups, my downs, the in-betweens and that I share my stories and random thoughts in hopes of inspiring you, making you feel less alone, and helping you on your own journey to stop yelling. I do not do it for pity/attention/or to make you think terribly about me. Story below will clarify why this statement is here. Anywho, onwards…

* * *

When I started The Orange Rhino, my confidence in sharing everything was fine. I felt okay doing that. I knew it helped others not feel alone. Then my book came out and some not nice things were said about me / my struggles and that confidence took a hit. Big time. I think one of the things I read somewhere was, “Wow, she is really screwed up.” Another one, “she’s just a mom, no degree.” (That comment needs a whole post dedicated to it. Is there really such a thing as “just a mom?” Um….no!) Numerous people (who didn’t even read my book) jumped on the yelling less bandwagon and backhandedly bashed me for not being able to completely stop yelling and how ridiculous my goal was in the first place (to go an entire year.)

People made judgments about me without fully knowing my story, my insights, my conclusions. I had been completely vulnerable – and okay doing so – and then I got shamed/slammed/insulted for being so.

I am proudly an Orange Rhino – a parent who when provoked, calmly charges forward with confidence and warmth and not harsh words – but I don’t have the thick skin of a Rhino.

The personal attacks were very hard to receive. That is an understatement. Some days I cried. There is one that I don’t share that still bothers me – how many years later? Words hurt, folks. Period. I know that big picture, I could ignore these words. They were “just words” and I knew my truths. But, the words hurt so much that made it hard to access that mature part of my mind, the confident part of my mind, the determined go get ’em Orange Rhino part of my mind (as my mom calls it.) I would cry to my mom and she would said, “What would The Orange Rhino do? What would she say?” I couldn’t even access it. I didn’t want to.

I went from being excited to be The Orange Rhino to not wanting anything to do with it. The Orange Rhino went from a positive place for me to a negative one.

What didn’t help was that there were several other difficult things going on in my life so I didn’t have the energy to challenge myself to think like The Orange Rhino. So all the negative comments I read, they just kept churning in my mind. They became imprinted. I never fully processed them or accepted them so that I could put them behind me.
I have tried over the last six months or so to process the comments because I was tired of them renting space in my head and because I wanted to somehow find my way back to being The Orange Rhino. I made progress, because, well, here I am.

But here’s the thing…those comments? They weren’t verbal. They were posted on the ever-loving-Internet forever to be seen, forever to be accidentally stumbled upon in a google search. I can’t escape them.

Which brings me to yesterday.

I have been trying to do some Orange Rhino stuff and it is hard for me, because again, can’t escape the comments. Yesterday, I stumbled upon one of the comments, the most hurtful one. Immediately, negative thoughts raced through my head:
Maybe I shouldn’t have returned?
Maybe those people were right?
Maybe they are better than me?
Maybe I don’t have anything to offer?

(Insert insecure comment here: you might be thinking, for real, this is her response to some negative comments? The answer is yes, being publicly shamed for being brave and being you, sucks.)

I felt my body shrinking at the computer. I suddenly felt tired. I wanted to just stop and give up and walk away. Fortunately, I needed to do just that because my kids needed to be picked up I got into my totally awesome minivan, and the radio came on. And I kid you not, the lyrics that belted through the radio?

“I’m unstoppable…
I’m invincible…
I’m so powerful…
I’m so confident…
Yeah, I’m unstoppable today
Unstoppable today
I’m unstoppable today
Break down, only alone I will cry out loud
You’ll never see what’s hiding out
Hiding out deep down
Yeah, yeah
I know, I’ve heard that to let your feelings show
Is the only way to make friendships grow
But I’m too afraid now
Yeah, yeah
I put my armor on, show you how strong I am
I put my armor on, I’ll show you that I am

I’m unstoppable ”

(Song: Unstoppable by Sia)

I mean, for real?! This song came on and started at the precise moment when “I’m Unstoppable” was first heard?

I never read the lyrics until this morning. And holy shit. Did they hit hard.

So here I am. Afraid to share, but armor on. I will keep trying to charge forward with confidence and be strong and share – because I want to. I truly want to. I will have ups and downs. That is life.

But I’m Unstoppable.

I won’t let negative comments take me down.

(Okay, I don’t totally believe that. But it came off of my fingers tips so clearly my mind WANTS to believe that. So I will try to. Perhaps you can too?)

I’m Unstoppable. So are you. You want to stop yelling at your kids? I believe you can. I believe it is possible. I know it is possible. You are Unstoppable.

Thanks for reading,
The Orange Rhino

(Apparently fighting amongst siblings who are now awake is also Unstoppable so off I go…no editing, just hitting Post because otherwise, I never will.)

“Yell Less, Love More: How The Orange Rhino Stopped Yelling at Her Kids – and How You Can Too!” available on Amazon

Audiobook coming January 2023!  Pre-order available
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