The end of an era.

I feel miserable. I’m not even sure how to describe what’s wrong. It has to do with the forum. I went back there, and as soon as I was there, I felt attacked. No particular reason, but I’ve created a fear response with the forum. That was why I felt attacked. It’s not that anyone was really attacking me… not yet.

But my nervous energy soon turned to anger, and I started sending angry PMs to the main participants in the recent thread from hell. I sent one to someone who I used to be friends with. I said, “Do you know what a pot-stirrer is? Why are you doing that? Don’t you want peace?”

She wrote back and said that she’d asked me long ago not to contact her again, and that she’d report me for harassment if I replied, and that she’s blocked me everywhere she can over the years.

Holy shit. Usually I know it when someone’s my enemy. I must not have gotten the memo.

I’m flabbergasted, to say the least. And it probably goes without saying that it made me feel worse. All I can remember is that she and I used to be friends, and we disagreed over some stuff, but nothing major. Then the forum went to hell for the first time  almost two years ago in early 2019 (the second time being recently), and I couldn’t cope with what was happening. She sent me a PM, but I couldn’t cope with whatever it said, because I knew it must have something to do with the drama, and I was going under really fast. I never opened her PM. I emailed her and said, “I’m sorry I didn’t open your message. I couldn’t cope with all that was going on.

Ah-hah! I searched my email. I must’ve blocked this from my memory. (Trust me, that’s not too surprising.) After the last incident in January of 2019, I emailed her thusly:

I just sent NYC Midnight an email asking them to remove me from the forum. This is crap. I don’t understand why you’re backing this verbal assault upon someone (who, for the life of me, I still can’t identify). It’s wrong. It’s grandstanding and getting up on a high horse, and it’s not okay. I’m through. I try not to treat people that way. It is a lynch mob. And that’s not cool.

I think I emailed her because I was going under and couldn’t hold on, and I believed her to be behind a lot of it. And her response was:

You made your point clear in the forum – there is no need to reinforce by sending your spite to me privately. I’m sorry that you couldn’t be bothered to read the post or understand the thread before attacking people.

If I can interject here, the whole thread was about attacking a nameless person who allegedly gave insensitive criticism to people about their stories. Everyone piled on, and no one would say who the target was. I feared the target was me (it wasn’t), and I fell apart on the thread.

I hope that whatever is causing you to be so attacking, hostile, and unreasoning resolves for you quickly. When it does, you owe several people – *especially Nick – apologies. I won’t be responding to you again until that occurs.

Best of luck to you.

I guess she spent a while thinking I’d apologize? [Eyeroll.] Nick, whom she referenced, kept grandstanding and essentially preventing anyone from working through the issues. I added him to my “list” but I blocked out that Nixie hated me.

I was talking to the aforementioned unidentified person, and she thinks I’m overreacting. She keeps telling me that people like to be mean, and it’s human nature, and why can’t I accept it? (She somehow handled being so accused a lot better than I did when I thought it was me, but she knew it was her. Am I emotionally weak in this regard?) (That was how we became friends–she told me, “It’s not you, it’s me.”)

Is this true? Am I overreacting because of how I have no capacity at all to deal with all this drama? The guy who runs the contest seemed to imply the same thing when he emailed me. He said, “Sometimes negativity occurs on the forum,” and I’m like, did you not read the whole thread? Negativity is akin to pessimism. But bullying people, being snarky, and deliberately jumping in to make things worse are all horrible behaviors. Negativity is a bad outlook. But it’s also a very euphemistic word to describe the cruelty that occurred at the forum.

So now I’m trying to explain to my friend why I need to leave the forums, that when things were going well a while back with my NaNoWriMo and 3-day Novella threads, it lured me into a false sense of complacency in which I thought the forum was a safe place.

I was so wrong.

I need to accept that my days on the forum are over. I can’t work with hostile, snarky, cruel energy. It doesn’t mix with who I am. I can be that way. I’m not saying I can’t. (See the above message I sent two years ago in early 2019.) I’m just saying that when other people live in a world of it, I can’t expose myself to it because it corrupts me. It’s over. My time on the forum is over. And it’ll be okay, I hope.

I don’t do forums. I just need to accept this. There’s something about the group dynamic combined with internet anonymity (or at least the physical distance of being behind a keyboard, even if people know who you are) that creates a situation that’s not healthy for me. I just can’t continue to do forums, this one or any other one.

I fear time will pass and I’ll want to go back to the forums. I’m shaking my head at myself over that. Oh God, protect me from my own optimism and don’t let me return. Ever.

6 thoughts on “The end of an era.

  1. When these uncomfortable and hurtful things happen to us, all we can do is recognize it and vow to do better in the next time. I feel you Meg because I’m a sensitive and giving soul who has gotten myself hurt by people not understanding our interactions in the way I should have. You’ve set in intention and asked to not be brought through this again. Learn from it, protect 5hat sweet heart of yours and when enough time has passed you’ll move on. I’m sending you lots of happy 🌈 and love to enjoy your weekend with my friend ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, and thanks for the happy rainbows!! Rainbows make everything better!! I agree about my intention!! I think that’s good of me to do!! Thank you so much for your support!! I’m sure I’ll feel better soon!! Well, I’m feeling better already, but I probably just gained a pound from my good friends Ben and Jerry. Oh well! 😮

      Like

  2. I’m just speculating, since I don’t go on forums, but it seems like that kind of anonymous space is likely to have disagreements that grow bigger than they ever deserved to be. It sounds like in both instances, you waded in trying to put out the flames, but it just ended up fanning them. If stepping back and letting these things die out on their own isn’t an approach that works for you, continuing to use the forum seems like it would likely lead to the same kind of thing again at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. I can’t stand to see people mistreat people. I saw an episode of Frasier recently on Hallmark where Frasier witnesses his dad get bullied by his dad’s employer, and Frasier tried to intervene, but the episode devolved into, “Don’t involve yourself Frasier, it’s none of your business, I can handle it,” but in my opinion when you’re forced to bear witness to bullying, it becomes your business for that reason alone, and it’s not the sort of thing that people should look away from. And so I need to leave the forum, because even if I were to stay on the sidelines 100%, it still upsets me that people think it’s okay to be this cruel. I get being angry–I get angry a lot–but I truly can’t understand the sick thrill of enjoying watching other people fall apart. (They were bragging about it and how entertaining it was, and I’m not exaggerating.) It sickens me, and I have to protect myself from now on, and if I ever go back, feel free to come here to Louisville, find me, tie me to a chair, and disconnect my internet. Gracious saints. I’m truly through.

      Liked by 1 person

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