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It’s Time To Grow Up – Jaclyn’s Open Letter to the Haters in Online Public Forums

When I got settled in at work this morning, I had an email from a listener. Here’s what it said:

“I’m not sure if this has been addressed or noticed but you are taking one heck of a beating on (a forum/chat website)! I was just wanting to let you know before it gets way out of hand! So if you would take a look ASAP and hopefully you can say what you have to say! This is Owensboro and I know how one rumor can ruin your whole career and/or life!”

Now, I think most of us can guess what site this ridiculousness is on, but I don’t promote adolescent behavior and I won’t start now.

Needless to say, I am not at all happy about this.

I am SO sick of adults acting like kids! How can we expect our children not to bully others when we are being bullies ourselves? It actually makes me sad to think that the best thing someone has to do with their time, is to talk about a complete stranger. In this case, I am the complete stranger that they are talking about. The funny thing is, I’m pretty sure none of these people know me. Heck, they’ve probably never even met me, but seem to be experts on MY life.

I hate the trend that our culture is in the middle of right now. I hate that people, excuse me, cowards are allowed to go on the Internet and completely bash another person. When did it become ok to purposefully hurt someone’s feelings? When did we start accepting those spreading vicious and normally false rumors about someone else? Why should I repeatedly teach my daughter to “Love One Another” when no one else seems to think that way?

Here is what I found when I visited this site and the things said about me:

There are several things that I take from this. I think it’s interesting that these people don’t even use their real names. I mean, how cowardly can you be?!? Trust me, it doesn’t take a brave person to bash someone that they don’t know while using a fake name! When I first read through these, I’ll be honest… I found myself almost crying. Key word there is almost. Just about the time that the tears were ready to roll out of my eyes and that lump was right there in my throat, I realized something…. I WILL NOT let these strangers who don’t know me at all, effect the way I see myself. I WILL NOT allow the cowardly behavior of sad individuals question my life and the decisions that I’ve made. With that said, here are my favorites:

“She is the reason I refuse to go to the Big O Music Fest.” Hey genius, I was the second act on stage at the Big O… you could have just gotten there a little late. But instead, you missed a great show!

“Her voice is like listening to diamonds cutting glass.” Wait!! You have diamonds?!? I love sparkly things! Drop those off at the station for me if you don’t mind!

“Is she the one who always talks about her kid?” Ummm, yes, that’d be me. My daughter is the most important piece of me and if your children aren’t that important to you, I feel sorry for you and them.

“She sounds like she’s in the 8th grade.” Oooh…I LOVED the 8th grade! I was a cheerleader, on the Homecoming Court and got 2nd runner-up in the Miss Kentucky Teen Pageant! Thanks for the memory flash-back!!

And then there’s this…

“The reason she doesn’t talk about her husband is because she cheated on him them left him. Now she gets ‘fall down’ drunk at the bars. White trash.”  Some of you know this and some don’t, but I’m getting a divorce. I didn’t put this information on the air for a few reasons…. I didn’t want to, how do you really bring that up, I didn’t want to have to deal with it and most importantly, it wasn’t fair to my soon-to-be-ex and his family. Did you really know that this is, by far, the hardest thing that we have ever gone through in our lives? Did I need to show you my feelings on the days where I would have to coach myself through each talk break, not to burst out into tears? No, I didn’t have to do that and I’m glad that I didn’t. My job is to make your day a little brighter and to go by a little faster.

Since this has been going on, I have heard just about everything about myself. Some of my favorites have been that I was dating a Tennessee Titan and that last summer, I was dating Jake Owen. Now, let’s just lay it out there… if I were dating Jake Owen or a professional football player, I’d be shouting it from the rooftops, ha! I have heard things that have made me question who I am and what kind of person that I’ve become. But, I can tell you this… I have NEVER done any of those things and am not an ounce of who THEY say I am.

I am, however, a great Mom. I am someone who cares more about how others perceive me than I should, I always have and work everyday to dismiss that ignorance. I am someone whose family means more to me that I can express here. I am, at least I hope I am, a good friend and listener. DO NOT attack my character. You will not win. I will never let you affect who I see when I look in the mirror. But, y’all are really giving it the ole college try, huh?!? Ha!

Oh and this person…

There are several problems with this one. I’m pretty sure if you were to ever to see the LoCash Cowboys in person, you’d be the first to ask for an autograph or picture. Calling them “No Class Cowboys” really says something about your integrity doesn’t it? You have no clue the amount of charity work that they do, you’d be embarrassed for saying that if you did. Looks like you posted this on Christmas Day. Really?!? You wanted to bash someone on Jesus’ Birthday?!? If you didn’t have anyone to spend Christmas with, you should have let me known. I would have gladly taken you home with me, so that you wouldn’t have to be alone. And, then there’s the issues with you posting as “Jaclyn Graves”. You see, I actually am Jaclyn Graves and impersonating another individual is frowned upon in our legal system. As a matter of fact, my attorney would like to speak with you. Call me here at the station and I’ll get you his number.

Now, my mother has always told me, “You’re not going to like everyone and everyone is not going to like you.” Not liking someone is not the issue that I’m upset about. You can not like me, my voice or what I talk about and that’s ok. But, blatantly disrespecting me isn’t.

This childlike behavior that we’re seeing such much out of adults needs to stop. You are hurting people. You are affecting people’s lives in a negative way. How would you feel if you were on the other end of it? Today was the first and last time that I will EVER look at that website. I know who I am and am proud of that. Are you proud of yourself?

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