August was a horrible month. Absolutely horrible.

Toward the beginning of the month, the young mother bully from the main boards, Wilowdream (who also went by “cindyknowsall”) formed a Yahoo group called “cindystoughgirlrantings”. In the description, she wrote:

“We all love the pathetic Cindy troll! So share what you think is the funniest of her/his rants! Please post the post she is responding to and then her/his rant! And let’s all have a laugh!”

Hellokittie and others were in this group, making fun of me, calling me a hypocrite and all the usual insults. I joined the group and yelled at them. I just couldn’t believe they thought I was a troll. Didn’t they know how hurt I was? How would they feel if someone said all the things to them that they and others had said to me, trying to make them feel like crap? Wouldn’t they swear, too? I told them that I didn’t casually swear but had only used those words because I was so hurt and out of my mind with rage! It didn’t make it right, I knew, but there was a huge difference! I yelled and yelled, lost control and cussed some more, and finally they banned me. So I couldn’t even stay to defend myself. What cowards.

I tried to confront Wilowdream on the headline boards, but she would post nasty things to me and then put me on ignore. I remember a night she was telling one of her friends about how she wanted to lose some weight. Wilow could tell by reading her friend’s post that I must have said something about weight loss. Since she couldn’t read what I wrote, she said to her friend, “What’s she talking about? She’s making fun of my weight, isn’t she?” Oh, that made me so mad! But this is what she thought about me, that I would make fun of a person’s weight, when I had spent months and months chastising people for doing that!

Obviously by now I had started to blow up on the main boards a few times. The trolls there posted links to these posts, in order to hurt and embarrass me. And I WAS embarrassed! I tried to explain myself, but it was hard to do in short messages. I needed to write a book. I did my best, though, hoping people would understand. There were some who never thought of me the same, however. One guy named Steve confronted me out of the blue, said he saw my post where I cussed, and started in on a rampage about all the horrible things he wished upon me. He said he thought I was different, that he had stuck up for me in the past. He did not cuss, but called me a witch and other things. I replied as fast as I could, telling him that I never swear in real life and that I only started swearing on the boards out of sheer anger and frustration after being hurt so bad from months and months of abuse, and I felt terrible about it. Couldn’t he tell by my post? How did he think I was supposed to feel when a young woman studying elementary education tells me my husband is going to hookers? I thought it was clear that I had reacted out of being provoked. Did he really think that I just go around cussing like it’s nothing? I said I was very surprised at what he said, and that it scared me. We had a few more exchanges and he softened. I thought things were fine between us after that, but he brought it up again and it was never the same. Another guy who had posted nice things to me saw that link as well, and just like Steve, confronted me out of the blue. Only he used very bad words and was as vile as could be. It was downright creepy. I tried to explain myself, but he disappeared, never to be heard from again. I think these guys thought I was really a man or something, and were just plain embarrassed that they had been nice to me. I shattered their image of me. 

Pixie was there when a troll posted a link to one of my blowups. I think it was the one where I had yelled at Hellokittie for saying my husband went to hookers. The others on the board were shocked that Cindybin had used such language. Pixie, however, stood up for me, saying that she read the thread and saw that I had been provoked. I was so glad to have Pixie as a friend. We were still emailing, and I thought she was just the neatest lady. We talked about all kinds of things, our families, hobbies, holiday plans, and of course the boards. I sent her a little video of me waving, and she said I looked so friendly, she almost felt like waving back. I saved and printed up all her emails, and raved about her to my friends and husband. One time Pete asked me something about Pixie, trying to get a feel for what she was really like. She tended to be more serious sometimes on the boards, and I think he may have thought she was “stuffy” or a troll. But I told him all about her, what a nice lady she is, how she is against drugs, how she had to raise her two boys alone but is happily married now, how she battled an eating disorder and drug addiction, etc. After that, Pete was quite friendly to her. It made me feel good.

What did not make me feel good was the constant taunting about bj’s. I learned to avoid certain people who never let up about it. But there were trolls who made up a new profile every other day and tricked me into reading their posts. I remember one morning I came across a new story where no one had yet posted. One of the fun “games” people do on Yahoo is try to be the first poster. They’ll post “FIRST!” and hope that nobody got there before they did. I took a chance and said “First!” and was pleasantly surprised that I actually earned that title. Then someone came along who I did not recognize, I opened up the reply, and it said, “Have you learned to give your husband a bj yet?” Sometimes I ignored these posts and went on with my business, sometimes I left in tears, other times I blew up. That day I blew up, said something about how I hated this guy whoever he was, he made me feel like crap, I cried all the time about this, and that I wished I had never come to Yahoo. I left after reading Madjackcal’s message to me, which said, “Don’t let it bother you.” It was good to know there were still some nice guys around.

Rugtoad was someone I thought was nice; we had known each other since I came to the boards, had friendly debates about lowcarb and marijuana. Early on I encouraged him to post a picture of himself, which he did. In fact, the picture included his wife and their young son. I complimented him on it, saying how pretty his wife is. Over the past months, during all the bj business, I got the feeling that Rugtoad didn’t understand my point of view on this, that he thought I felt oral sex was “dirty” or something, and that those who engaged in it were “bad”. So just to clear the air, I asked him about this one evening in August. His reply was much worse than I had expected.

“I just think you like your pedestal WAY too much,” he said. “Sorry, I’m just sick of hearing you tell people they’re evil because of a couple things they do in the bedroom that you don’t approve of. It’s one thing for you to disagree, but you somehow live in a sheltered world where you think that sexually liberated people are the minority. Either way, no hard feelings. I just think you’re a troll. Don’t bother responding, I’m leaving.”

I was so upset I didn’t know what to do. He had obviously left, so I couldn’t reply to him. All I could do was email. Luckily we had emailed a bit before, so it wasn’t a problem. I wish I had saved what I wrote, but I’m sure I said something about how he had everything all wrong, that I don’t think I’m on a pedestal at all, and that I feel just the OPPOSITE, that my self-esteem is about as low as it can be these days due to all the hurtful remarks making me feel like I’m a freak. I told him I do NOT think anyone is “evil” for engaging in oral sex, that all I have said is I believe it is too difficult for a woman to perform a “full-fledged bj to completion” so to speak, that this is too much to ask of a woman and is not really what sex is about for them, and it doesn’t mean she is sexually repressed, and that I have only been trying to DEFEND myself from all the hurtful comments from those who tell me I’m a frigid, selfish, lazy prude whose husband is going to hookers. How did he think that made me feel? I said that I would never make fun of a woman even if she never wanted to put her mouth anywhere near a penis for whatever reason, be it religious or that it just doesn’t appeal to her, that I was very hurt by what he said, that he was making me feel terrible just like the others were, and that I couldn’t believe he thought I was a troll after all we had corresponded. “I have always been nice to you, I complimented you on your picture and said what a nice family you have, and this is what you say to me?” Rugtoad attempted an apology, but I was never really able to forgive him. He went too far, and I stopped reading his posts.

Even Dana and some others were still making cracks about things being “too aggressive and demonstrative,” a reference to what I had said about bj’s months ago. Oh how I wished I had never said anything about that! But I was relatively new to the boards then, and never thought it would go this far.

Even so, all this talk was tame compared to what the Original Tough Chicks were up to.

Chapter 20
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