The Tough Chick list kept growing. Sometime probably in the summer the women on the bully boards had formed a private group called the Tough Chicks Clubhouse or something like that, where they posted to one another in addition to the news stories. I was not invited. Silver became one of them, flattered at the thought of being called a “chick” at her age. Hummy was part of it, too. How could they act the way they did? How could they be so mean? I was determined to tame them. And I was doing it out of love and concern. After all these months, I had grown attached to them. A couple of times I told them that I loved them. Even though they drove me crazy much of the time, I really did care.

But try as I might to show my love, my posts were becoming angrier and angrier. They drove me insane. In the past, the worst I’d said to Fuschia was “Go puke on yourself.” And even that was bad for me. But now I as using language I thought would never come from my fingers. Sammy joked that when I got mad, I “typed like a trucker.” I kept explaining that swearing was not like me at all, and I’d vow to never do it again. But they wouldn’t let me forget it and then that would make me even madder. Funnychick and Internet Fake Tree said they were contacting the local newspaper to let them know about my posts. They were purposely trying to hurt and humiliate me. Funnychick said that if my husband found out the way I talked, “it would be the end of your marriage.” Well, for the record, I had told Mr. Bin several times about the language I used online. All he did was roll his eyes and say, “See what those boards have done to you? Stop going to them. They’re all idiots.” Then he went back to reading his newspaper.

Those women purposely taunted me. One night Fuschia did a search for my name and found a Jane Asher group I was in. She posted the link to it and told the others that it was a wealth of Cindybin posts. “Enjoy”, she said, as if anything I had to say in that group would be SO ridiculous they wouldn’t be able to keep from laughing. Another time, the subject of standardized high school testing came up, and I confided that I received a very low ACT score in high school. I didn’t know why it was so low, I said. I guess I just didn’t do very well at those things, even though I got fairly decent grades. Of course, Fuschia and the others made fun of me for that many times. I would NEVER ridicule a person for something like that!

Another time, I had been on a board with my old pal Freedom_Nearby, saw that he had a new picture up, and complimented him on it. Later I found a post from Fuschia on another board about how “Cindy was flirting with a gay guy.” The story was a rather serious one, and Fuschia was trying to imply that my “flirting” was inappropriate in itself and for the subject matter. Silver replied to Fuschia how terrible it was that I had done such a thing. I was so mad! I yelled at both of them, saying that there was nothing wrong with telling Freedom he had a nice picture, that Funnychick had said he was “darling” and nobody said a word to her, and that it’s impossible to “flirt” with a gay guy since he wasn’t interested in me anyway, and that so what if it was a serious story, people can post all kinds of off-topic subjects on any story, that’s what the boards are all about! But leave it to Fuschia to spread rumors, and to Silver for believing them and agreeing with her.

Fuschia, Kristclear and some of the others would purposely use crude language for my benefit, spelling out the a-word in their “LMAO” acronym (as in “LMAssO”). One day Fuschia was telling us about her little boys returning home from a trip somewhere. “I actually missed the little schits,” she said. Funnychick still did not swear, but she made up for it in meanness. Another mean woman on those older stories, Gunship Owner/Colorado Pioneer, started threads entitled, “Cindy’s jealous of my t*ts!” This woman, who claimed to be a new mother and a nurse, came onto one of the current stories I was on and posted, “Have you given a blowjob yet?”

These were the type of ladies I was dealing with on both the older stories and the new ones. I was fast beginning to lose my patience with all of them. “What is wrong with you Yahoo women?” became one of my most often used phrases, usually in all caps. Sammy eventually used it as his favorite quote on his profile, attributing it to me.

I’m not sure when this happened—it all tends to be a blur—but one evening, after I had had a long discussion with the Tough Chicks about how upset I had been over the hurtful posts regarding bj’s, Internet Fake Tree posted a new subject directed at me, describing what a great orgasm she had last night from engaging in oral sex with her husband. I saw that and just broke down. After all I had told them, all I confided in those women how hurt and upset I was from the insults they and others hurled at me, how bad I was feeling about myself, and she said something like this. I blew up at her, told her I was crying and shaking, that I couldn’t believe she said that. As with Troll-to-Troll when he made the comment about my “poor husband”, I half-expected Internet Fake Tree to offer an apology. But all she did was laugh. Hysterically. Many times. I was so distraught I left the boards for a number of days, and except for rare occasions I stopped reading her posts altogether. I know there was one time she tried to ask me a question about collectible dolls—I saw the post directed to me in the subject line—and I almost replied. But I simply could not forget what she put me through that night, so I ignored her.

Sometime after that, Robert joined in with the Tough Chicks and began making fun of me for the bj thing, making me feel like an absolute freak, like there was something “wrong” with me. I burst into tears. All I could think about was how nice I had been to him, how I had sent him that long, sincere email, we had posted song lyrics and things to each other on the boards, talked about the Beatles, and this is how he was treating me. He was a bully just like the others. I went ballistic and called him every name in the book, including an f-ing f-er. I was just out of my mind with rage. I didn’t know what to do, how to express the anger and hurt I felt.

I later told Hummy how I had exploded at Robert and what horrible language I used. “Did you apologize?” she asked. That was all she had to say? No comforting words, no reprimand for Robert? Once again she overlooked the mean things others said. She and Robert were such a pair; they had been friends for years and flirted away. I remember one time she said “SIZZLE!” in response to his post about it being hot in there since they both arrived. He was so sweet to her. So why did he treat me so mean? I had always been nice to him! I barely even knew him, except for knowing he liked the Beatles! What did he have against me? But I decided to be big about it and offer an apology. It didn’t help, because he made fun of me several times after that. I had to quit reading his posts as well.

Other men on those old bully boards were mean as well. I used to have pleasant conversations with Mr. Scayf about food. He had lost a lot of weight through exercise and controlling his portions, and had many misconceptions about lowcarb eating. He tended to side with the Tough Chicks who made fun of the “Chrissy Snow diet”, and teased me about worshipping Suzanne Somers (which I did NOT!). But he never got vicious, until one day he talked about a pie he made, and I mentioned a lowcarb recipe I used where there was no crust. Then he turned mean and said all this stuff about the “wacky diet” I was on, and that it was ridiculous to make a pie with no crust, all you need to do is control your portions, blah blah blah. I tried to explain as calmly as I could that I don’t LIKE crust anyway, and that I wasn’t going to force down crust if it meant gaining weight, and that I DO eat carbs, I just limit it to whole-grain oatmeal in the morning, that that’s all my body can handle now, and that there was nothing wrong with making lowcarb pie with no crust, it was delicious and much healthier. But he was cruel. He cussed at me, and joined in with drmweaver making fun of me for the bj thing. As did Sandfs, a man in his 50s who spoke lovingly of his little grandson. Here was a grandfather putting down a woman like me, calling her a frigid, selfish, lazy prude, all because she didn’t have it in her to perform a freaking BLOWJOB. I hated all these men. I yelled at them, told them how this hurt me and made me feel like crap, said I felt sorry for any woman they ever became involved with.

Scruffydog from Alaska joined the boards later in the summer. He was crude at times, but respectful to me, thank goodness. And then there was Sammy, who had been mean to me for months—not about the bj thing, but about the marijuana issue and just giving me a hard time in general. But he finally turned around, admitting he had been “brutal” and that he was sorry for what he said. I was touched, and accepted his apology. While it took me a while to truly trust him, he eventually became one of the few Internet people on both my Messenger and email lists, or my “inner circle” as he called it. Long-haired Sammy and I were different in many ways, but we were alike in many ways as well. I think we knew what subjects to avoid in order to maintain our friendship. He had a calming influence on me, I felt like I’d known him forever. We posted silly things to each other on the boards, and had fun playing online checkers (although I’ll never forgive him for almost always beating me!). Sammy proved to be a great comfort when the Tough Chicks caused me so much angst I had to leave the old bully boards for good.


Chapter 19
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