A Reply To The Critics (Trolls)

trollOne of the downsides to going ‘public’ with my MS blog are the trolls.

I’ve always been reluctant to use my real name; not for some precious reason but simply because my mum has the same name and there’s not many of us Stenslands in the UK. It’s a Norwegian surname (thanks, Dad!).

The major criticism I’ve had is that my blog is facile and ridiculous.

Ok. This October, my blog will be three years old. I don’t know many blogs about MS that have lasted that long. My blog charts my ‘story’ from being sacked for having MS, through diagnosis, through finding a new job and all the emotional ups and downs an MS diagnosis brings.

I have also always refused adverts on my site, despite numerous requests. Fair play to other people who do that, but it’s not for me. I pay my own hosting fees (not a small amount) and I cover all my costs. My blog is pure and simple. And I hope my message reaches those who can take comfort from my own story.

Trolls are nothing new. If they had half a brain they could even be intelligent. I had a particularly nasty one on Twitter a while back. She spewed bile about me for some reason. What she could not have known, and probably wouldn’t have cared about, is that she aimed her attack during a particularly difficult period for me. Well. I hope she’s satisfied.

Anyway, trolls won’t stop me blogging the truth about MS. It’s not pretty, it’s often funny, it’s crap and it’s hysterical.

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40 thoughts on “A Reply To The Critics (Trolls)

  1. I don’t even bother reading troll comments once I realize its a troll, just delete. and that goes for any social media. if they had half a brain they might sometimes write something witty bu they don’t, they just sound daft and repetitive

    • stumbling in flats says:

      So, so true!! This particular troll targeted everyone I followed on Twitter. It was pretty nasty, calling me every name under the sun.
      I’ve just had quite a lot of emails berating me for being simplistic about MS. Which I don’t think I have ever done. Especially, when I read back through my book.

      • don’t think you are simplistic on you blog, truthful about how MS is effecting you and your family, but not simplistic. And really MS can be simple (symptoms and relapses etc)for some people, for others its not. I find usually the people that complain about people having an easy time with MS, (if thats even possible) or bitter and jealous of something. but thats my 2 pence :p

  2. Lucinda says:

    Ignore the ignorance of a few nasty people. I discovered your blog whilst going through the absolute terror of waiting to be diagnosed and read on through the first year of pure grief and reading your down to earth, witty and honest account of your own experiences with MS helped keep me sane and I felt less alone. I still look forward to your blog popping into my inbox. Keep blogging, keep well and ignore the few and unimportant haters Xx

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Wow! What an amazing and lovely comment, thank you so much!
      I hope you’ve come to terms with MS as best you can?

  3. Lucinda says:

    I am definately dealing with it better, managing ok on Rebif with only a few minor relapses this year. I’ve 3 teenage boys, a hubby, two cats and a dog to keep me sane (or drive me insane!) especially the one doing GCSEs, nightmare haha! Love and best wishes, Lucinda xx

    • stumbling in flats says:

      And I only have one Teenager going through it all!
      And one kitten, lol.
      How do you do it???

  4. tony cardis says:

    Yours was one of the first things I found when first diagnosed. Don’t stop you bring a little bit of sunshine to a MSers day โ˜€๏ธ

  5. Siรขn says:

    Your blog and book have been a great help to me over the last few months – you sound so human!

  6. Lucinda says:

    I muddle through the madness most days or hide in the bedroom with coffee and maltesers when it gets too much!

  7. Gail says:

    Grrr to these faceless people. Myself and my partner are just coming to terms with the MS diagnosis following a horrific 4.5 months in hospital /rehabilitation in Rookwood. you have helped with my understanding and always given me a laugh, which in the darkest of times we can get through this, no matter how much we stumble! Keep up the good work – there’s a G&T on me if we ever meet! Gx

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I’m really sorry to hear that and hope things are looking brighter now?
      Would be great to meet up, just drop me an email!

  8. MSRocket says:

    As others have said- ignore. I enjoy what you do and definitely agree it is “your story” and you have the right to tell it in your own way. Saying that ๐Ÿ˜‰ you can’t dismiss all criticism as mere trolling! Your writing is superficial in a sense and never really digs deep into the heart of living with MS- the real gritty stuff. The tone *is* entertaining rather than provocative or inspiring or brutally honest or deeply moving or shockingly personal but that’s not a bad thing? What trolls aren’t saying is that you are very succinct and your descriptions of those things that only a person with MS can known are on point and great! Your writing is fun, entertaining and humorous – no there isn’t much gravity or substance or intellect to it which I’m sure you know anyway- it should simply be enjoyed for what it is, variety is the spice of life, not every piece of writing is going to change the world or has great literary merit but is worthwhile even if it’s simply enjoyed by a few – a lighter take on things is needed sometimes especially when there’s so much doom and gloom with this condition. At the end of the day you’ve written a book for yourself and I’m sure it’s done you alot of good- more people should self publish and i admire you paying for your own domain and book, more power to you!! you’re happy with it and that’s all that matters- ignore trolls, they probably haven’t even read it!I have and I didn’t put it down you can see you have so much support on here.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I don’t dismiss all critics as trolls, far from it. I’m always open to criticism, but nasty emails are a different matter.
      And I agree, my writing is not intellectual and has no literary merit. That’s not why I blog. That’s why I’m taking an MA and hope to progress to a PhD ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Tricia says:

    Why they do is, they are sad little nobody’s, where you, HELP people. THANK YOU xxxx

  10. Peter says:

    Trolls keep our lives interesting … They are trolls so when you see one kick them to the curb … Please don’t stop writing your blog there are more human beings appreciating your hard work then there are trolls in this world ….

  11. Judy Epstein says:

    More power to ya!

  12. Archie says:

    always informative. nearly always witty. sometimes profound. and honest. there will always be trolls who derive some sick kick from their activities and unfortunately, you are an easy target for them by blogging. the rest of us appreciate your input.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thanks Archie!
      There will always be trolls I guess. I just delete them from my inbox after reading. And crying a little, lol.

  13. People write nasty things about you? Why? If they don’t like what you say then don’t read it! I really am shocked. I was thinking about starting a blog myself, now I’m not so sure. I don’t think I could take it. Bless you, I love your blog. Thank you for making me laugh.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Don’t be put off by the trolls!!!
      I had a particularly nasty one last year, really vicious but loads of people supported me.
      It’s easy to hide behind a keyboard and they’re bored cowards.
      Please start your blog – I can add it to my blog list!!

  14. Carol says:

    What is wrong with people? I really don’t understand the need for people to be so nasty to somebody writing a fantastic blog about a horrible disease. I LOVE your blog and as a person with RRMS I find it very helpful and humorous. I always love it when I see the email notifying me of a new blog post! Please ignore these nasty trolls and keep blogging knowing that there are so many people gaining comfort from your writings xx

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thanks Carol!
      The gist of it is that I’m not serious enough about MS. But we know it’s serious!!! I just try to show the lighter side of life and show that life still has to go on, GCSEs and all!

  15. JohnB. says:

    All I can say is that whenever I see a new message from your blog in my inbox my spirits lift a little. As to trolls, pay them no heed. They are poor damaged souls, writhing in their negativity and worthy only of pity. You, on the other hand, have a positive influence on many people (including me), so please keep on blogging. We are not expecting Tolstoy, just one person’s thoughts on getting through another difficult day with a smile on their face.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you so much!
      Can you imagine me blogging about MS in a Tolstoy style?? Gah. Could be funny though!

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