I've been contemplating on a post like this for a while and finally decided to do it. I've been a part of the military spouse community on the internet for at least 6 years now...from Myspace to Facebook. In the beginning of my "myspace days" I will admit, I was a pretty big bitch. We had our group where the new spouses would come in and we would literally attack. I won't say all the things we did, but we were horrible and looking back I'm ashamed of my behavior. I'd like to think that I'm making up for all of the stupid things I did by helping spouses now.
I realized quick that I was really hurting people, that words did hurt. Not only was I hurting others, but by continuing the negative behavior, I was hurting myself as well. The more negative I was to others, the more negative I became in general. Thank God I woke up and saw the light. I came to my senses and realized that wasn't the way I wanted to be and picking on others wasn't what I wanted to be remembered for.
When I was new to the army life, I had awesome spouses who helped me and showed me the right way. That is what I decided I wanted to do. I wanted to help, instead of harm, especially since my husband is making this his career. So about 3 years ago, I started my Facebook Page - *Army Wives Do It With Hooah* and this blog.
Lately on Facebook I have been seeing more and more pages that bully military spouses pop up. There is a pretty popular page called "Overly Sensitive Military Wives". - this page, in my opinion, DOES NOT bully spouses. I bring this up b/c I know people will say something about it. In my opinion, this page simply laughs and pokes fun of the military spouse stereotypes...military spouses are poking fun at themselves on this page. It's all in good fun & humor from what I see. Especially since the creator cleaned up the trash.
There are other pages though that are just horrible. I won't name them b/c I don't want to "advertise" for them but I will say some of the things they do are just embarrassing. The people who run them are spouses and some even serve. For those who run these pages and serve, where is your integrity? Where is your honor? Don't you have better things to do?
I have seen people who run some of these pages betray friends and people who trust them simply to try and be one of the "cool kids". This is why a lot of spouses are cautious about seeking help or adding others to their profiles. They don't want to end up as a target on one of these BULLY pages. Yes, I said BULLY. In my opinion, if you are specifically targeting people to publicly humiliate them, you are being a bully. I don't care if their pictures and the stuff they post are public or not, it's bullying.
Before someone says, "Oh Jamie you're hypocrite, look at this thing you have done, or when you did that thing there." - Yes, I have done some messed up things, I admit it. The difference between me and the ones I speak of is that I recognize the wrong I did and I'm trying to do the right thing.
The people on these pages are the ones who make military spouses look bad, by their actions. The people who they bash and bully may have done something wrong, but they aren't purposely going around being cruel to others. "OMG she wore her husbands ACU top in a picture where she was trying to be sexy for him! The HORROR!!" - Instead of blasting the woman and calling her names and telling her how unsexy she looks, you could just leave it be. Do you think that by now people haven't heard all you have said already? Are they affecting your daily life by doing this? I would say no, but obviously it is affecting your daily life since you feel the need to rag on and on about it on a Facebook Page made for bullying.
I can say from experience that constantly involving yourself in negativity will slowly destroy you. That is why I made a change. My life is so much better for it. I have so many things going on that I could be bitter and angry about but I refuse to let that consume me. I do not want to be a negative person all the time.
For those who come across these pages, I suggest ignoring them completely. Don't "like" them,, don't comment on them, don't go there and post and tell them how dumb they are. That only increases their popularity. Instead, focus on the communities that HELP spouses. Spread those Communities around.
Here are some GOOD pages that HELP and SUPPORT members of the military spouse community:
Army Wife Network
Army Wife 101
MANning the Homefront - Military Style (for the male spouses)
Real Housewives Military Style
Warrant Officer Spouse Support Network
Homefront United Network
Military Men Do it Better
Married to the Military
These are just a few. If you have other ones that are supportive, feel free to share in the comments. I want to help build the morale of the military spouse community. I'm sick of seeing other try to tear it down because they are unhappy with themselves. I believe that as an "older" spouse, meaning having more than just a little experience, it is my duty to helps those new to our community. I honestly believe that the more positive we act and respond, we will eventually take the power from the people who try to keep us down. =)