It must have been a day or two after my run-in with Funnychick that I was on one of the main boards, I believe it was a Saturday afternoon, and “due_in_february” showed up. I had seen this person before, and it was obviously a troll. They had a picture of a naked pregnant woman in their profile, and some of the regulars and I had once noted that it was only August and if she was due in February, she would barely even be showing. So I knew it was a guy behind that profile, just out to cause trouble. When I mentioned to others on the board that this pregnant person was not real, Gardenia_1009 said to me that she agreed it probably wasn’t, “although it might be, because look at all this”, meaning the craziness or whatever on the Yahoo boards. I laughed and replied about how that’s true—the boards can really get crazy. I had seen Gardenia before; she was a mother and did some volunteer work, I learned. It was nice to have someone “normal” on the boards, I thought. I was in a good mood that day and Gardenia was adding to it.

Well, then someone complimented due_in_february on their picture. I replied with things I usually say when topics of that sort came up, which is how women need to have a sense of modesty and shouldn’t post naked pictures on the World Wide Web. Of course there were the usual, “But she’s proud of her body, there’s nothing wrong with showing it off! It’s just a nude body! We are all born without clothes!” posts. I said that this was not a real person anyway, but that even if it were, it’s still not right. “There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your body,” I pointed out. “But there is a time and place for everything and we shouldn’t splash it all over the World Wide Web and other places for all to see.” I was calm and still in a good mood, not looking for any trouble. I was just stating my opinion.

A few more people argued with me, and I again calmly stated my opinion that it is inappropriate for a woman (or a man) to post nude photos of themselves on the World Wide Web. Gardenia replied to me, I opened up her post expecting some words of support, but what I saw was her calling me “a troll and a bore”, and some other mean thing, I can’t remember what. I just could not believe me eyes. I thought she was nice! I had been nice to her! She was a mother and did volunteer work! All I was doing was nicely stating my opinion and not saying anything far-fetched or troll-like in the least! Why did she say that? How could she think this of me??? I just snapped, unable to believe that yet ANOTHER Yahoo woman who I thought was nice and normal turned on me and acted like I was some kind of loon. I had been under so much stress from the past weeks due to the bullies, I lost started in on a cussing tirade. I “lost it” again—on one of the current stories at that—and hated myself.

I wrote about it in my journal the next day. “I am just so disillusioned,” I said. “Is there not one single person on Yahoo who is normal? I never swear in real life, and if someone had told me when I came to Yahoo a year ago that I’d be using profanity and having all this hatred and bitterness, I wouldn’t have believed them. But I just hate these women!”

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, the next day Funnychick made a post where she casually mentioned something about how her she and her family were sitting around the kitchen table saying their prayers, and then taking turns saying something good about one another as they usually do. I was aghast. All I could think of were the things she had said to me, especially recently about me wearing a kick-me sign on my back for joining the church I did. I was still absolutely fuming about that remark, crying and losing sleep over how anyone could be so mean, and upset that nobody stepped in and said she was out of line. I couldn’t help myself and told her I could not BELIEVE she said prayers and did all this Christian-like stuff, after all the things she had said to me.

Silver then replied: “Cindy, let’s use a little of Sam’s logic here. What right do you have to question the spirituality of anyone when you act like anything but a Christian? Your behavior yesterday on this and the Health board is not exactly the actions of one who would be thought of as a devout Mormon. Frankly, I was embarrassed for you and this time you can’t blame the Tough Chicks because none of them were around when you started your little tirade regarding that woman posing nude while pregnant. Before you go and criticize someone else, you need to examine yourself.”

She was referring to the blowup about the pregnant woman’s profile, obviously. I did not know Silver was there, but she was. Or she arrived later and saw my posts. I was furious and soooo hurt that Silver said that. Here she was saying I should not criticize other people, when Funnychick and the others did nothing but criticize me? She had said NOTHING to Funnychick’s cruel post about my choice of religion and my doll collecting. But she attacked me over some misunderstanding on a board where I had started out simply stating that it’s inappropriate to post nude pictures. I was so upset but tried to explain as best I could about what happened. Couldn’t she read for herself and figure it out? Did she really think I was chastising a pregnant woman? That person wasn’t even real!!! Couldn’t she see that I had been upset because Gardenia, who I had been friendly with, suddenly turned on me? All I was saying was that it’s inappropriate for women to post nude photos on the World Wide Web! Did she disagree with that???

I really got into it with Silver. She made a post saying that “trolls have one purpose on the board and that is to disrupt reasonable debate on any topic.” So she thought I was a troll. I blew up, said how everyone had been so mean to me, I told her to tell that to Funnychick who lit into me about my weight loss story and all the other mean things she said about me wearing a kick me sign on my back, and how she made fun of my pictures. She should tell this to Funnychick and the others, including Silver who have been so vicious to me, I yelled.

“I was never vicious with you,” Silver said. I could not believe she didn’t even REMEMBER what she had put me through on the boards when we first met! Here I almost had a breakdown that evening, and it hadn’t even phased her! I made a long, angry post yelling, “YOU HAVE BEEN VICIOUS WITH ME!” I don’t have the post but I saved the draft I wrote up on my computer. It’s all in caps and filled with foul language, but the gist of it is that I told Silver how that night we first met, she accused me of having a victim mentality and that I couldn’t hold up my end of an argument, all because I said that pot is against the law and that even if it were legal most parents would still raise their kids to stay away from drugs! “THAT’S ALL I SAID! AND YOU LIT INTO ME LIKE I WAS A PSYCHO WOMAN, PUTTING ME DOWN! YOU HAVE BEEN VICIOUS TO ME! I WAS NICE TO YOU AND YOU ATTACKED ME!” I yelled. I went on and on, and finally ended with a rant about how she should tell Funnychick not to criticize, not me. “SHE CLAIMS TO BE A CHRISTIAN AND SAYS PRAYERS AROUND THE TABLE, AND YET SHE SAYS ALL THIS CRAP TO ME!!!!! AND YOU ALL THINK SHE IS NICE AND COOL!!!!!!!! F*CK YOU ALL F*CK YOU ALL F*CK YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!I AM NOT A TROLL!!!!! YOU F*CKING B*TCHES I AM NOT A TROLL!!!!!!!! SAMMY KNOWS ME, WE HAVE EMAILED AND TALKED ON WEBCAM AND HE KNOWS I’M A REAL PERSON WITH REAL FEELINGS, AND MY FEELINGS ARE GENUINE!!!!!!!! I AM NOT HERE TO DISRUPT ANY REASONABLE DEBATE, YOU F*CKING IDIOTS!!!!!!!!! FUNNYCHICK AND THE OTHERS ARE THE ONES YOU SHOULD BE YELLING AT!!!!!!!!!”

I believe this was the time Silver went back and looked up what she said, I guess, and then said something about how “Okay, so you believe drugs are bad because they’re against the law,” and that she believes they are bad for other reasons, and then went on to tell me about her nephew or someone who had been on drugs and how they affected his life. I sympathized with her nephew and said that yes, I AGREE with her that drugs are bad for those reasons, NOT just because they are against the law! Why couldn’t she see that? It’s not good to use drugs, period! Silver then asked me a few questions about my son’s mission (he had returned recently), and I answered her nicely. I was still leery, but I thought maybe she finally understood where I was coming from. I still can’t get over how naïve I was.

Chapter 22
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