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Not in Kansas anymore.

I don’t know how I have made it this long without running into this problem. And it’s not even really a problem, it’s more of hurt feelings. I have been on “da webz” since 1998. That’s when I made my first foray into this brave new universe. With this amazing technology, I also found forums and chat rooms. That was the beginnings of what we now consider Social Media.

The relative anonymity of sitting behind a computer screen allowed many barriers to come crashing down. Suddenly it didn’t matter if you were popular in high school, if you wore the right shoes, or you had money. All that mattered was that you liked green shirts, and I liked green shirts, and we both belonged to “Green Shirt Lovers” group in Yahoo. We could bond and form friendships over what we had in common rather than be judged by what we didn’t.

And I loved it.

In the 13 years I have been hanging out online, I have apparently been an anomaly. I have found support and friendship at each turn. Forums? Chat rooms? MySpace? Facebook? Twitter? And now Google+. At each stop, I have found and maintained relationships that continue to this day. They are nothing short of amazing.

Maybe that is why this bothers me so much. Recently there have been a few unkind things said about me. I don’t know if I was meant to see them or not. I rather think I was. The remarks were made by people who have a limited glimpse into my life and have made some negative assumptions based on that.

I try to live each day to the best of my ability. I treat others as I wish to be treated. I do my best not to judge anyone. I try to have sympathy for those in need, and joy for those overcoming. I know we all have off days and we all have amazing days. When I make a friend, I am a friend. I will be your greatest champion and biggest defender. I will stand beside you in good times, behind you when you need support and in front of you when you need protecting. That is who I am.

To know that someone out there thinks unkindly of me really bothers me. I am trying to let go and move on, but my feelings are still hurt.

Do you ever run into this? How do you handle it? Advice?



{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Wife of a Sailor July 3, 2011, 7:35 pm

    I’ve run into it. And I pretty much have to tell myself that if they say things like that then they must have a pretty poor life to resort to belittling others.

    But it still hurts. And it’s just another scar (albeit a minuscule one) on my soul… but those scars make me unique and beautiful.

    • Allison C July 4, 2011, 12:05 pm

      That is a great way of thinking about it. šŸ™‚

  • Photina July 3, 2011, 7:44 pm

    I have come across that several times with the unkind things. It bothers me for a while each time it happens. I have learned to let it go because I remember they don’t know everything going on. And if they want to be nasty and write cryptic messages without coming to me then I really have no use for them in my life. I have recently cut ties with people who were bringing me down on the web and it has been the best thing. The backhanded facebook statuses or pointed comments weren’t worth it anymore, even when I knew them in real life. Don’t let them get to you. People seem to have more balls online/over the computer than real life. You are better than that.

    • Allison C July 4, 2011, 12:06 pm

      I keep thinking that I should do some “housecleaning”.

  • Jen July 3, 2011, 7:55 pm

    First of all, it kinda pisses me off that you are going through this. You are so sweet and kind. I read your blog, your twitter, and am in awe of you as a person. I’m pretty closed off, socially, but am SO glad to have actually met you in person (and keep thinking, we should meet up again). I dont know why some people feel the safety of sitting behind a computer gives them the right to be a douche.
    If someone hurts me, I have anxiety over it. I dwell. Healthy, no? I wonder if I did or said something to bring it on. I blame myself, then get pissed. Eventually, I try to let it go, but that takes me some time. Some time to decide that I don’t need someone poisonous in my life. That they don’t deserve the power to hurt me. That I won’t give them that power anymore. I can get to a place of forgiveness – for my own sake – but I can never forget, and things are never the same with that person. If they are someone I interact with online, I close them off. Hide? *click* and in some cases *block*. If they’re someone in my real life? I change their contact name in my phone to “don’t answer”.

    • Allison C July 4, 2011, 12:04 pm

      Jen, I want you know know that I was honored to be your first Tweetup. šŸ˜‰ And yes, we NEED to get together again soon.

  • Robyn Elfie July 3, 2011, 8:10 pm

    AH, but it is not as true now as it used to be – that we could be anonymous and simply like green shirts. Think back and you will surely see that from the early days of social media to now we share our lives on a much scarier level. We send photos and videos of our lives, our homes, our families with just a few keystrokes. Our “Green Shirt Lovers” see a much more complete picture of our lives and who we are than ever before. Maybe then it didn’t matter if you were pretty or had money or didn’t, but now days online life is becoming much closer to IRL.

    Yup – I have been repeatedly hurt by ugly, harsh, unkind things said to me and about me on the internet – Twitter, FB, blog comments etc. I think it matters more how I handle these remarks and those who make then than what they actually SAY. You are very open, blindingly honest in detailing your challenges and how you and Just Plain J deal with them, so of course you are wide open to the small minded and mean mouthed in this webby world. Part of the reason I follow you and cheer you on and support you is the fact that you carry yourself with such elegance and dignity while dealing with ferocious challenges. Don’t ever change that dear one – don’t let the small mean ones get you down.

    • Allison C July 4, 2011, 12:11 pm

      When I first realized that something was not quite right with Faith, I turned to da webz looking for information and support. What I mostly found was “If you are good enough, your kid will get better and life will be all sunshine and bunnies”. And that made me feel like crap. Obviously I wasn’t good enough because she wasn’t getting better. And I was even getting sick. Man, I was a total failure. I want others out there to know that we all have bad days along with the good ones. And that we may never make our children better, but we can help them be the best they can be. And that it is ok to hate changing poopy diapers.

      Thank you for being part of my cheering secion. ((HUGS))

  • Nancy July 3, 2011, 9:46 pm

    I’m so sad this has happened to you! But I have a feeling we all get slammed now and then on social media. When it first happened to me I was honestly shocked – someone who I didn’t even know snarked off at me for no reason, and I felt hurt. What had I done to deserve it? Well, NOTHING! That’s what I finally realized – that I had done nothing to deserve the comment and that the comment said more about the snarker than it did about me. But it was a while before I went back to that site.

    These days, I have more practical solutions. The social media sites I know of all have mechanisms to block annoying and/or hurtful people, or anyone you just don’t want to hear from. Use these mechanisms! Most sites also have reporting mechanisms you can use for the morons who just go too far. I’ve used the reporting to good effect and gotten a few people kicked off social media sites simply by forwarding their comments to the site’s overseers. Sometimes it takes a couple of days, but the folks who run these sites don’t want hurtful, biased, or other negative stuff going on any more than you do, and they will do something about it when it’s brought to their attention. No social media site wants to be known as a place for flameouts, bigotry, or hurt feelings. So, please don’t be hurt. There are idiots in the world, that’s just life. But do something about it when you feel it’s gone too far – you’ll probably save other folks some grief. And, I gotta say, it’s really done my heart good when I’ve reported some moron, and looked them up a few days later, only to find them GONE. Best of luck!

    • Allison C July 4, 2011, 12:14 pm

      I have been reluctant to block and I don’t know why. Maybe I am still so anxious to be liked that I hope they will turn around and say “Ooops, we were wrong, you ARE a nice person”. I need a backbone transplant. šŸ™‚

  • Lupie-sis July 3, 2011, 10:23 pm

    My first instinct as your friend is to “put up my dukes” and take care of whoever is saying negative things about you. I know firsthand how that feels, and it sucks. However, I also know what a wonderful person you are, and I am so very fortunate to call you friend. I am one of many, and we greatly outnumber the few who think they know you but really don’t. Therefore, they really don’t matter and they should not have the power to affect your life in any way. Insignificant, like the speck of unidentifiable poo on the bottom of your shoe. Treat them as such, and focus your energy on the many people who love you. We don’t have a whole lot of energy to spare, my Lupie-sis, so don’t waste what little you have on them. They are totally NOT worth it. Much love, my hero!

    • Allison C July 4, 2011, 12:18 pm

      L-S, I love you. Do you realize we have been friends for almost 30 years? Thank you. From big hair and boys, to parents and lupus. Just…..thank you.

  • To the Nth July 4, 2011, 9:13 am

    Sometimes people forget that there is a living, breathing human being with real feelings on the other side of that computer screen. Cruelty like that always makes me think of this Penny Arcade comic (warning: contains colorful language). I try not to let it bother me, but guess what? Hurtful words are hurtful, and the fact that they were on the Internet instead of being said to one’s face doesn’t make them any easier to brush off.

    • Allison C July 4, 2011, 12:20 pm

      That made me giggle. And it is so very true. Thank you for sharing. šŸ™‚

  • Lindsay July 16, 2011, 8:40 pm

    Allison you are AMAZING!! I knew you dealt with a lot but after reading your blog I had a much better idea of just how much you go through. Every time I think of you as a mom and a woman I think of how incredibly strong you are to handle what life has presented you.
    It is disappointing to learn that people have said nasty things about you. When I am in that situation I remind myself that person is probably unhappy with her own life and instead of changing it she likes to badmouth others to make herself feel better.
    Surround yourself with people you enjoy who encourage and support you. Don’t be afraid to block anyone!!!!

  • The Animated Woman July 31, 2011, 8:29 pm

    Hey Allison, it sounds like you have a good grasp on who you are and what you’re about. So there’s that….but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt or heal immediately. It’s true that you need to protect yourself, but remember, the world needs sensitive people like us. I drew the Pickle Weasel cartoon cuz I’m just not thick skinned enough to turn it off; those hurtful words tend to linger and make me want to crawl into a hole and hide and never show one of my drawings again. I desperately need to laugh and to feel like I’m in control even if it’s via a strangely shaped green woodland type vegetable creature.

    Please take some comfort in knowing that you are not alone.

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