After the hateful firestorm from my HuffPost Parents piece on Tuesday, my courage and fire were shining bright. So I wrote a follow up piece. HuffPost ran it just a few hours ago.

I sincerely hope I did us justice.


Has the Internet Killed Compassion?

I have been writing about my journey of recovery from anxiety, depression and infertility for almost two years now. The Huffington Post has run many pieces for almost a year of that.

Writing publicly about my struggles means several things to me:

  • Continued healing for myself.
  • Helping others to feel not so alone in their struggles.
  • Offering help and support for those who choose to change their lives for the better.
  • Ignorant and hateful comments from people who don’t show up themselves.

However, I have never had a response like I did on my last piece. Within 10 minutes it was a firestorm of hate, judgment and hurtful words.

Continue reading at HuffPost Parents here.

27 thoughts on “Is Compassion Online Dead?

  1. hannahlkuhn says:

    Hateful was the right word! Keep surviving.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope compassion isn’t dead. But sometimes I wonder……

    I absolutely love your response to the haters. A lesser person would have responded with equal hate, but you chose the high road. Kudos for that!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I know it isn’t, we just need more of it, especially online! Thank you! Justine


  3. fayinfide says:

    I admire your ability to rise above and use these comments as your motivation to continue getting the message out. It is something I cannot handle, but am so very grateful for you. Thank you for sharing your story publicly

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I will keep shining! I have to! Justine


  4. Lesley Pyne says:

    Hi Justine, I tried to post on Huff Post but not sure it went!
    Thanks again for keeping this alive & being motivated by what others say. As you say their comments come from their truth and not ours, and to be honest I feel sorry for them if their hearts are so closed that they can’t understand what it’s like to be in our shoes.
    Asa fellow warrior I’m with you and support you 100% in continuing to speak our truth. And as you say, ‘let’s shine brighter’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lesley, Thank you so much for your support and friendship and especially for rallying around me with this!!! Much love, Justine


  5. raphaela99 says:

    All my love is with you, my beautiful and courageous friend. Thinking of you and sending warmth from our Australian sun. You have touched so many lives. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ Justine


  6. Elisha says:

    Ugh! I hate the negative comments!


    1. These were just terrible! Caught me off guard, just blew up so quickly!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Elisha says:

        every time I get one on my blog, it ALWAYS catches me off guard and it takes awhile for me to catch my breath again. It’s awful! I am so sorry you have to deal with these comments but the bigger the audience the more comments you will receive….which it is good to have such a large audience 😉 And I know that you are strong and bold enough to be able to endure the bad with the good. xo

        Liked by 1 person

  7. thesmallc says:

    Thank you for being our voice. I am not a mother, and although I saved my eggs prior to chemo, I am super scared. My feelings are often minimized by many regarding the subjects of motherhood and fertility. I am also told what I should do.

    I def. think we’ve lost a sense of sensitivity because of the internet. There is no thought process and people feel they can just say whatever they please.

    I loved the way you handled these attacks. It is sad and unkind how some people judge us and feel the need to beat up on us because they don’t understand what we go through. There is no excuse for this.

    You keep your chin up! You are helping many.


    1. Thank you so much for these words, they mean so much! I will keep speaking and writing, it is my calling! Thanks again! Justine

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Mali says:

    You are not alone! The Huffington Post commenters can be very cruel. I had a supposedly Christian person comment to me, “I thank God this woman was unable to reproduce.” Nice. And of course the many “just adopt” comments. Sigh. So I am very sorry you’ve been through this. As you say, it says so much more about the heart of the commenter than it does about you. And yes, the internet has, if not killed compassion, definitely contributed to an increased nastiness in public discourse, all hidden behind anonymity and a computer screen. The good news is that you got far more positive and supportive comments, full of gratitude and love, than negative or malicious comments. Hopefully, with the work that you, and so many of us, are doing, we might one day start to get the message through to wider society that our lives are legitimate and important, and happy.

    I do need to say though that I think saying (on such a public forum too) that we will never be at peace risks contributing to some of the stereotypes about sad, bitter childless women. Stereotypes that we are all trying to disprove. Like you, I found a deep contentment and happiness a few years after my losses (and learning I’d never have children), and now, 12 years on, I can say that I am at peace. I will probably write a bit more about what I think this means on my own blog, because you’ve got me thinking. (I love people who make me think – so thank you.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mali, Thank you for your thoughts, I appreciate them. Just because at peace is not in my vocabulary of my recovery yet, does not mean I am bitter. But you are right, there is a risk of this perpetuating the stereotypes about us. Please send me your piece, I’d love to read it and add to mine if that is okay! Justine


      1. Mali says:

        I hope you didn’t think I was calling you bitter. I certainly would never use that word to describe you! I meant that the “haters” would use that word. Actually, so would those who like to think they’re compassionate, but make no effort to understand. That’s the stereotype – that we’re all bitter. Sigh.

        My piece was several years ago – Huff Post featured a number of bloggers who have no kids for National Infertility Week 2012 (I think). This was my piece –

        And here is my blog post that links to the other No Kidding posts from our community of bloggers featured that week.

        It was so great to feel that our voices were being heard, as they are now too through your columns. I can’t see the comments on either my post or Nicole’s – maybe they’re locked and hidden now. Which is a good thing, because as you can imagine they were not … as a whole … uplifting. (No kidding!) I summarised the various comments here – I’m sure you will recognise the themes!


      2. Oh I know!!! I am so glad to continue to find, build and feel the love from our community. Thank you so much for sharing these links! J


  9. I was late to the party, but was completely taken aback by all of the hateful and ignorant comments on that post. As usual, you handled it with grace and made an attempt to educate despite the hateful and nasty comments. It’s very disheartening when your struggle is challenged by people who have no idea what its like to live through infertility. I’m so sorry that it turned out that way, but please remember that you are making a difference in this community and your rhetoric is being seen and heard by a huge audience. You are brave and inspiring 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jessica,

      It has been interesting, especially since HuffPost somehow and for some reason removed some of the most hateful comments… I’ve emailed them about it but no word yet. Thank you for your encouragement, support and friendship!!! Justine


  10. nikihathorn says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your piece. I am currently battling secondary infertility and am hoping for a happy outcome, but there will only be so much treatment that I can take. I am open to adoption, but I don’t believe my husband is and I respect that completely. Our story could look very much like yours and so I THANK YOU for being so brave and for not letting all of the hate and lack of compassion get to you. That is EXACTLY why we need your voice. This place of infertility can feel very isolating. My faith has also grown stronger in this struggle, but I don’t think I would ever come to a place of peace with it. Also, thank you for your words about those struggling with secondary infertility. Coming from someone who did not get their happy ending, that means a lot that you would acknowledge that this struggle with secondary infertility is also difficult and worthy of compassion.


    1. Niki, Thank you so much for taking the time to write this comment. It means so much! Sounds like our stories, though different, are very much the same! ❤ Justine


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