Thursday, November 3, 2011

Abortion. Smoking. Leaving your kid in your car. HCG dieting.

Surprising to find these four things lumped together.

A childhood tune "One of these things is not like the other..." runs through my mind at a rapid pace.

I have been an active online socialite for years - hopping from blog to forum to fan page. And until recently have never been aggravated enough by internet people to up and leave.

Because my membership has been deactivated (at my request) I have not been able to respond or rebuttal the mudslinging that has been going on regarding my self-removal.

It is keeping me up at night. And so begins - this blog.

My side of the story - in case you are interested - is that a simple request was blatantly and disrespectfully ignored. I no longer have access to the threads - so I'll be paraphrasing instead of quoting - but the gist goes something like this: are too smart for this! (meaning, if you choose to do this, you are obviously stupid)
...if someone opens up a thread about abortions or leaving your kids in the car and then requests nobody comment - of course people are going to comment! (meaning, my choice is so wildly dangerous that a comment is necessary for my own well-being)
...if my friend told me she was going to start smoking to lose weight - I would absolutely speak up about how wrong I think that is! (meaning, you are not smart enough to make your own health decisions. Here, let me make them for you.)

The inflammatory comments have multiplied - as has the support of said forum for the woman left standing by the cheese.

In the end - making a painfully long story short -

My offense is not taken in what this woman said. Not even when her "research" wouldn't equate to a drop in the bucket of research I have done.

My offense is not taken even when some of the moderators of the forum publicly supported the vocal protesters (yes, plural) claiming their remarks were clearly born of love and concern.

My offense is still not taken when friends of mine are left feeling attacked and alone should they attempt to stand up for me. (Sad as this makes me, I can only fight my own battles.)

My offense lies in this very simple statement -
It is not what she said, or how she said it. It is where she said it, that offends me.

I realize that a public forum and public thread leave me open for judgment and criticism. It is human nature to critique and compare differences. But this particular online world had previously felt like a circle of friends. A loving, supportive, unique circle of friends. A place in which one could be different and still be spoken to with respect. A place where a friendly request was taken to heart.

In other online forums - there is not such familiarity that I have experienced. In other forums, my request to have my thread be one of support and genuine desire to converse on our struggles and triumphs with HCG would have easily been trampled in the line of trolls waiting to have their turn at tearing me and my outlandish ways apart. But in this one forum - a simple request, between friends, has previously been held sacred. And maybe there would be snickering, tsking, or gasps as they read my HCG support thread. But - I like to believe that most of the ladies in that forum would aim to honor my polite request. To allow me and my fellow HCGers a sacred place to lend advice and celebration and happiness.

And if the urge became too strong - one couldn't hold their opinion back any longer! - to then have begun their own HCG-bashing thread would have been completely fine by me. In fact, when page after page of poster agreed that HCG must be a scam, I felt no need to comment (though my membership was still technically valid) because I have nothing to offer an HCG-bashing thread.

And finally - when the last straw landed - and my friend was torn to pieces (oh yes, I even saw some of the comments a few made before revising and rethinking their hasty-worded replies) and several moderators sided with the woman whose spark set fire to the kindle... I knew right then and there that this was no place for me to be.

This was no longer a place of support.

This was no longer a place of love.

This was no longer a place of friendship.

And so I fled - not wishing to further the insanity, I did not make my leaving public.

As these things go - my absence was noted. And I'm made even more flabbergasted by the many responses of posters who do not see a problem with my request being so hugely ignored.

Person to person - it was rude.

Internet person to internet person - it was standard.

I'm sad to see my once-hailed forum has sunk to "standard."