Back to the Tough Chicks on the old bully boards, the original group I first pinned that label on. I’m going to have to backtrack here a bit in order to capture what went on with this colorful bunch. I’m not even sure where to begin. My main concern is being able to write all this out without breaking down. I wish I could just say, “They were mean,” and be done with it. But I will do my best to piece together what I remember and the few things I saved. At the time it was happening, I hadn’t planned on writing a book.

Funnychick was still up to her old tricks, being mean to me yet sweet to everyone else. I tried to warn the others about her but they wouldn’t listen. Part of the trouble was that not everybody was there for all the things she said to me. And when I tried to relate it in a post, it just lost something. But she’d be all nice to others, ending her messages with good wishes such as “You have a GREAT day!” It made me sick. I’d go through spells where I’d read her posts if I was feeling strong, and not read them if I felt I couldn’t handle it. I’d do that with others as well. I could only take so much.

Sometime in the spring, I remember her telling a Canadian guy named Freedom_Nearby how cute he was. “You’re so darlin’” she cooed. And it was true, he WAS “darling”. He had a very nice selection of photos which he rotated for his profile. But I never said anything in the beginning, because I didn’t want him to think I was coming on to him. Freedom and I had met in January, when he struck up a conversation about cooking. We had several interesting discussions about fish. He said how he couldn’t believe how “normal” I am. “I like your profile and stuff and think you’re pretty groovy,” he said. I was quite surprised to later find out he is gay—not that I have a problem with that, it was just I didn’t know. I discovered this when I saw his posts on some gay stories and his sexual orientation became apparent. So then I was able to comment on his pictures without fear! He knew he was cute, too, and it was all in fun.

Freedom was stunned when he came across a post one day where I had blown up at Funnychick. He had never seen me use bad language and thought that I must not be who I said I was. I tried to tell him about her and what had gone on the past few months, and how it was not like me to swear, but I don’t think it did much good. He wouldn’t listen. Neither would the few other guys on those older stories, including Owner_Androidsdungeon, Sammy, drmweaver and Robert. It drove me nuts how she had everybody wrapped around her little finger. Couldn’t they see what a b-word she was?

One day Robert asked me to email him, saying he had a question. So I did, and he said he wanted to know if I ever had any personal experience with marijuana or getting in trouble with the law. I had posted the story about Tim and the pipe before, but was happy to tell him, since he obviously missed it. I also told him how I had blown up at Funnychick again, and how bad I felt about that. I tried very hard to be as honest and sincere as possible in my email to him:

“It happened this afternoon. It’s my fault; I should never have read her posts. I swore I was never going to read them again, that I would just leave when she showed up, but another poster and I were chatting and she joined in and somehow I ended up reading one of her posts, and one thing led to another, and I exploded. It’s all there on the HIV pot board, where she started attacking me and my religion and doing everything she could to try and trip me up and make me look bad. Just trying to turn the tables around to make me look like the one in the wrong, to get the focus off of her and her pot smoking. I tell ya, that woman drives me crazy. I never swear in real life yet she has caused me to say things online that never, ever come out of my mouth. I know I shouldn’t let her get to me, but she has a way of twisting and distorting and just being so mean to me that I lose control. She has attacked me for everything from my weight loss story, to my religion, to my sex life, just EVERYTHING. And yet she is nice to everyone else, and I’ll bet she’ll have you wrapped around her little finger, and make ME look like the bad one. But just remember, Robert, I am the mature 48-year-old woman with morals and values, and she is really the one in the wrong, although it may not seem that way at first glance, especially if you read our posts out of context. I don’t know what else I can say to you; you probably won’t believe me anyway, but at least I tried to tell you and that’s all I can do. I just have to learn to stay away from her. I’m almost glad for my blowup this afternoon, because I got to see her for what she truly is. And I know she is just not worth it, to get so upset over. Well anyway, sorry I rambled on and on. Hope that answers your questions. Feel free to write again if you want. Take care, Cindy.”

I remember that incident well. I had stopped talking to Funnychick for the time being, but she disguised herself under a new ID, “blessingsaplenty”, in order to get me to discuss the oral sex issue. I fell for it, not knowing it was her at first. She did her best to hurt me, calling me a frigid prude, telling me that almost all women perform bj’s, “including preacher’s wives”. I told her I did not appreciate her telling me these things, and that she was purposely trying to make me feel bad about myself. Eventually I realized it was funnychick and stopped talking to her. Shortly after that, I was on another board, and somehow the subject turned to how the LDS religion feels about oral sex. I was not real clear on that, hadn’t given it much thought, actually, since I didn’t consider this a religious issue for me anyway. But some of the women were pointing to links where the church is against it. I found other links where the church had softened its stance. In any case, I concluded that while the church may frown upon this practice, one will not be excommunicated for engaging in it. But Funnychick just kept taunting me, bringing things up about my religion and what I do or don’t know about it. I ended up reading some of her posts, nicely explaining a few things to her. I have never claimed to be an “expert”; I am not a trained missionary and not one to be able to quote scripture verses, etc. I have never tried to “push” my religion on the boards. I just to answer her questions to the best of my ability. But no matter what I said, she twisted it around, trying to make me look like a fool, gloating that she knows more about my religion than I do. Finally I got so worked up I exploded. I was extremely upset and crying, did not appreciate at all what she was doing to me and told her so. I would never try to hurt someone like that. And then, rather than apologize, she laughed hysterically. She thought it was hilarious that she made Cindybin lose control.  

This was not the first time Funnychick had said something about my religion. I remember her and Fuschia talking about me in the spring, where Funnychick said something about how I “wear a kick me sign on my back” for joining the church I did. This was in reference to how my husband is a nonmember, and by me joining a church where one of the beliefs is how families can be together for eternity, I was purposely “hurting myself”, knowing that I would not be eligible for this blessed covenant in the afterlife. I was so mortified when I read that post, I didn’t even respond. I tried to put it out of my mind, but I never was able to forget what she and Fuschia said about me. I couldn’t help but remember how Funnychick had told Izzy that she thought it was rude for people to make fun of others for their religion. What was she doing to me, then? And did she know me? Did she know how I came to join the LDS Church, what led me to believe what I believe? Did she have a testimony as to the truthfulness of the Gospel? She had absolutely no right to assume things about me, when I was simply trying to do the best I could under the situation I was in. It was an extremely rude and hurtful thing to say.

As if this weren’t bad enough, Funnychick did a search for my name and found a bunch of posts I had made on Lowcarb Friends, lifted them and posted them on the Yahoo boards in order to make fun of me. These were posts from the “lobby” section of Lowcarb Friends, not the “Playground” from which I had been banned, so they were only on the topic of lowcarb, nothing else. Yet taken out of context, she found all kinds of things to ridicule. I explained myself on a few of them, but the rest I just let slide. I couldn’t believe how mean she was. It was all a game to her. And yet the others thought she was just wonderful.

I still doubted she was real. Nobody could be that mean, I kept saying. I was actually hoping she was a fake. “And if she is a fake, it’s a cruel joke,” I said. But I saw enough of her posts on other boards and to other people where I eventually became 99% sure she really was who she said she said she was—a woman in her 30’s, blissfully married with “three great kids.” She sometimes appeared on the main boards, with serious posts and staying on topic. I saw a nice, long post about her home-based computer business and how she likes this because she is able to stay at home with her children. She also talked to the Tough Chicks about taking care of her mother-in-law, I believe. Some of us filled out a “getting to know you” survey, and her answers seemed sincere and genuine.

One time, after she had been making fun of my pictures and how “absolutely drained and pale” I look (attributing this to my lack of carbs), I got mad and told her that I am NOT pale, that if anything, I suffer from annoying redness, and that it didn’t show in those pictures because I had worn makeup to cover it up and also because perhaps the brightness or resolution helped disguise it. I confided to her that I was not happy about this facial redness, that I got tired of people asking me how I got sunburned or telling me that I had “raccoon eyes”, and that I used to have such a light complexion people always told me I “looked like a ghost” and since getting older I had just the opposite problem, and it was very frustrating. She recommended a face cream or makeup that she had heard helped with that condition. With all the energy I could muster up, I thanked her. It was little things like this which led me to believe she actually was a real person. Not only was Funnychick real, I believed most of the other Tough Chicks were real as well. And that scared me.

Chapter 16
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