Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Shoo Buzzards


I haven't quite been myself here since I got back from vacation. Something happened in J-Land while I was gone, and I wanted to make sense of it and my feelings about it. But, work has been keeping me too busy to really pay much attention to it. But, the continuing drama of it has begun to weigh on my mind and hinder my joy of journaling. As such, I am going to do what I believe is best for me to do. To talk about it, get it out of my system, then hopefully move on. However, by talking about it I also fear I will only add fuel for the fire of the drama so I've pondered whether I should or not. So, I decided I would talk about it without mentioning names or giving links to anyone. I ask that if you know about this situation you won't mention names in my comments either.  

You see, a journaling friend of mine had some strange comments left on her journal by a relatively new journaler. It is my understanding that it made her feel uncomfortable and maybe like she was being harrassed and/or attacked by this journaler. She chose to ignore this other journaler because if you've been around long enough you soon realize that it is usually the best response. And, you know what? It's a free world. She has the right to ignore someone if she wants to. The perceived harasser took offense at this response and proceeded to post a public statement to her on his own journal. He has since deleted that entry as well as others related to the subject. But, because of his entry (that could have been easily perceived as an underhanded attack also) other journalers decided to band together and block him. Also, their right.

Before I had left on vacation I had befriended this new journaler. I thought what he was doing with his site was impressive for someone who had just started journaling. His sense of humor was a bit off-color and he spoke in a way that required the reader to read between the lines to understand what he was saying but I didn't mind because it just made me think a little harder when I read his stuff. When I heard that he had been blocked by a group of people that I admired, it invoked memories of an incident that occurred while I was a member of the "Church." I really wasn't sure how I should respond. Intially, I thought he had just been misunderstood and once I had a chance to review what had occurred maybe I could mediate a reconciliation. Or, at worst, explain myself to all involved parties and hope they would accept my decision to carry on a relationship. In the mean time, I tried to encourage the journaler just to move on with his journaling experience. After all, J-Land is a large place, what a few people think of you really doesn't matter a hill of beans.

Well, it seems I gave the wrong person the benefit of the doubt. Personally, I now believe making journaling friends was never on his agenda. I won't pretend to know exactly what his motives were or are, although I do have my suspicions. But, where they have carried him now is in my opinion over the top and somewhat scary. I too have since blocked him from commenting here.

This is the first time I have blocked anyone from my journal. However, I chose to do that of my own accord because I began to feel like he was using me as a pawn to advertise his subversion because he knew the objects of his attacks read my journal also. And, honestly, after all that has occurred here in J-Land, I think ignoring the drama kings and queens is the best policy. It's the group decision that set uneasy with me. I may write why in another entry sometime, but who knows where the wind blows my mind when I come to my journal to write.

So, that leads me to what I wrote in my very first entry: "I've kept personal journals for years but never would have shared my thoughts with the world.  I doubt my delirious musings will attract much attention so I guess that's why I feel safe to post them here. And, if they do attract some attention, it could prove interesting."

When I started my journal, I never in my wildest ponderings thought where it would lead me - what exactly "interesting" would entail. There have been some crazy kind of crap happen, too much to even begin listing.  There have been several times where I was only a hair away from deleting my journal. What stops me from packing up and going home? I'm a fighter and a survivor. I refuse to give up. This is MY space in the vast cyberworld and no one but me will dictate its existence. Okay, maybe AOL has some rights but only because I first agreed to them. And, I believe that the good still far outweigh the bad.

It doesn't mean that being attacked, ridiculed, maligned, or witnessing people attempting to do the same to my friends doesn't hurt. It doesn't mean that I will stop being cautious about what I reveal here. I am always aware of the fact that there are those out there who will lie to me about who they are in order to achieve some demented personal agenda. It doesn't mean it doesn't anger me. Often times, what I don't understand has that affect. However, I believe that in all situations I have choices. I can change my attitude or I can change my situation. Since I am refusing to change my situation, I have decided to change my attitude. I won't allow it to hurt me anymore. Actually, I find it quite amusing. Yes, I laugh at it and those who choose to conduct themselves from a negative energy source. I won't feed their negative energy by allowing it to upset me.

I realized today that there are two kinds of people who come upon the J-Land scene, those who are negative and those who are positive. By their actions, they are easily distinguishable. Those who are negative come on the scene creating all kinds of drama in order to attract attention to themselves. Those who are positive aren't concerned with attention because they are too busy giving to others and/or minding their own business. Lucky for me I have had the great fortune to meet a slew of positive people. They are what keep me here. In addition to the wonderful blessings I've received from other journalers, I have a place to express my creative side as well as regurgitate my spleen like I have tonight. I thank each of you, new and old alike, for your kindness and support that you show me through your comments and emails. I feel like I can never say it often enough how grateful I feel for all that you give to me. Thank you!

Disclaimer: The above cards are from Brush Dance's inspirational card series called "Wild Women." They are a hoot! I bought mine at Target but apparently you can buy them on their website too. Oh, I altered the card on the right to say 13, since I'm not quite yet 40 and it is a lesson that I thankfully learned early on. :-)


hunybea4him said...

I guess we are so used to the positive that when the neg comes up here and there it is a shock to our collective system we have going on here in J~Land.  For the most part I have had fun with all the goings on and only been deeply hurt once.  Not bad for a year of blogging I think.  Sorry there is more drama going on and glad this time I am out of the loop lol.

These are our places to vent and write as we please, we shouldn't have to be so gaurded with our thoughts here since often we are gaurded off line with them, thus the draw to the writting in a journal.  I rarely am apologetic in my postings for showing my POV and there is always that little box with the X for those who dont like it.

Keep on Keeping on!!
Much Love,

readmereadyou said...

I wrote a whole comment that didn't go through......So, I'll start again. I think you handled this with great finesse. I'm not good at recognizing a person who isn't good for me in person but when it comes to writing, I can see who I like and who I don't. I did comment on the person's journal you speak of.....once or twice. I knew something was off and I left that one for good. As for comments, I block nasty people but I keep the criticism. People can do that but if they are using vugarities or taking cheap shots, I block.
I enjoyed your first entry. Unfortunately, mine was awful but it's stuck there because of the "Hall of Fame."

dymphna103 said...

Robbie  I am glad at times I am ignorant of such thoings.  I know it happens out there ans I feel sorry for those who are attacked.   john

alphawoman1 said...

As always, you are the voice of reason.

barebytes said...

I like the way you state your opinions and feelings. I must be one of the lucky ones or maybe i'm blind to what's going on around me. I've found so many positives here that I honestly don't waste my time on the negitives. I know that there are times that moods take over us all, but I think others realize that and are easily forgiving those times. But I've run into those negitives too and just letting them go has become easier than a battle of wits. BTW, thanks for sticking it out here, you have become a valuable asset to the rest of us here.  Hugs Lanny

donah42 said...

I have been in your position as well & had to learn the same hard lessons. I am the type too who tries to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and I've been burned. I'll probably continue to be that way though because that's who I am. I've been tempted to delete or go private too, but those feelings never last. I'm stubborn too:) The good here so outweighs the bad...
Love you Robbie!

greenheart21469 said...

For a few seconds there as I was reading, I thought you were going to explain why you were deleting your journal--glad you're not.  I have a feeling that the drama kings and queens of the cyber-world are the same people who must have drama in their "real" lives.  I guess they haven't realized yet, or may never realize that everyday life has plenty of drama.  Keep up the great entries.

mlraminiak said...

Sounds like there was a little dog poop out there to clean up!  As, usual, I have NO idea what you're talking about here...but I admire your stance.  I don't really go out into J-land at large, so I don't encounter a lot of the hijinx that go on.  I've only ever blocked one commentor from my journal, and that was very early on, before I learned that the same people who spew ugliness on the message boards occasionally come here to crap on us.  Now, I just leave those comments ON my journal.  Everybody can see how stupid they are.  Lisa  :-]

freeepeace said...

"I laugh at it and those who choose to conduct themselves from a negative energy source. I won't feed their negative energy by allowing it to upset me."  Great reminder.

Robbie [whoops - names] I mean, Poster of Robbie's Ruminations, this is beautifully articulated.  I believe we all need to trust our own instincts and take it from there.  When I remember that, I don't get caught up in the drama.  And it feels so much better.  Keep doing what you're doing.  Your journal is a good reflection of you.

ladydriversammie said...

You're absolutely right Robbie.  You have the right to express yourself here and I think it's great that you do.  You seem to be a very thoughtful and kind person, always conducting yourself well, even towards the people who have made you angry.  I think it would be a shame if you ever let the bad eggs run you out of J-Land.

I just think of the journals like I would a real community.  There are bound to be people who disagree with me or that do things that make me angry.  I can't run away from them in real life, so I don't try to hide online either.  Ignoring them usually does seem to work better than anything.  They only want attention, and are going about getting it in the wrong way.  When they get no response they usually go away, eventually.

Anywho, you know all that.  I have to say I was a little confused when this all started, because the email I received about this person was lacking a bit in details of what he had done.  I'm all for banding together but I like to know what exactly I'm banding against.  Still, I admire the person who sent me the email and the one who was being bothered, so I did a little research on the situation and found out a little.  I just decided to leave it be, since I'd never had any reason to come in contact with the person who was annoying them anyway.  I did think it seemed strange that he had a link to you in his J, so this clears that all up...thanks for that.

How did I get to rambling in here?  Sorry about that Robbie, lol.  Sometimes you just have to stick a sock in my mouth so I'll shut up before I beat a situation to death!


ryanagi said...

Yes indeed...I sometimes feel a little out-of-the-loop, but most of the time that is a good thing, apparently. I don't post on the message board either. I just have this sneaking suspicion that I wouldn't WANT to attract attention to my journal from that source. I am much happier finding nice folks like you and the "target" in your above rant. So glad the "nice" far out-weighs the "nasty". :-) -B

heartsingr said...

It's definitely true that the positives of this community outweigh the negatives.  The vast majority of journalers are positive, and I, too, am blessed to have met them.  This was a great entry.  I'm glad to be blissfully ignorant of the situation that spurred your thoughts, though.


danielled1 said...

Very well said.



derasta said...

I agree with what you said about being 2 different types of people in J land the postive and negative types...there are many good people here and I've made a lot of nice friends...however there are a few bad seeds and thankfully they are found out soon enough..

judithheartsong said...

very good entry Robbie, there are so many good people here.... and when the good and kind people band together and protect one another it is called family. I have been so saddened to watch this situation and the way it has deteriorated. By the time anyone threatens anybody, they should not be here. I am open in my journal, but I am very careful who I let close, and I have been fortunate so far... but I know that could change tomorrow.

There has been a core group of people (yourself included) who have supported me and loved me from the start.... and those include the good people involved in this mess. You all have helped me and supported me, and I in turn have tried to be respectful and deserving of the kindness that has been shown. You tried to show kindness to someone who turned out to be something other than what they appeared to be... as did some others, even while I was concerned for you all. Just as our journals are our place to 'be'... whatever that might entail, everyone has the right to associate with whomever they please... and to NOT associate with whomever they please.

This has been bothering me too, but I look around this community of wonderful souls and I see people who reach out to me, and support me, and love me, for all my flaws and weaknesses. And I support and love and care for people as well. That is very much about family to me, and it is precious.

Great post Robbie, I have said it before privately to you, but I am so glad to know you and think that you are a positive and loving person here. I am fortunate to call you my friend.

karensull12 said...

I'm totally out of the loop of this one, but am happy to be out of the loop.  I don't know what to say except that it's important to trust your instincts with these things.  When things start feeling wrong, more than likely THEY ARE WRONG.

indigosunmoon said...

Spoken like the true gentlewoman you are.
We are all so much better than this situation
Robbie.  I too have blocked "said" idiot from
my journal, and it was the best thing I ever did.
That person is the one and only person that
is blocked.  Together, we will stand tall against
this crazed person.  Hopefully the situation
will just fizzle out soon.
Much love, and hugs to you!

st0rmwhispers said...

I absolutely adore the attitude on the "altererd" card....

sepintx said...

I thought you gave the person some excellent advice. The whole episode has been somewhat troubling to me as the person never seemed to focus on their own talent with a camera. And there is talent there.

I made the decision fairly early on to block as I photograph the same kinda jungle and I was worried about some kinda drama in my comments. I figured it was new to Journals comment jitters and soon they'd focus in on their content.

Never happened.

plieck30 said...

That odd title "Shoo Buzzards" got my attention, but I have no idea what you are talking about and don't guess I need to know. What ever it is, you got it told as always. Paula

babyshark28 said...

I have read your entry, and I understand it all. It is well articulated and really.....honest, open and full of love.  Which, when you think of it, is a difficult combination.  I did choose silence, because I don't like drama myself.   I think it's the best route for this situation.  
I am way too empathetic sometimes, sometimes I NEED to draw lines. (I like to play "Switzerland" you know what I mean?) It's nice to have family who are made of fire, so I can weigh the difference against my lacking of it. :)

deabvt said...

Great essay, Robbie.

slowmotionlife said...

Several points to address here.  One, I liken our journals to our homes.  If someone writes something that offends you personally, or makes you uncomfortable, you have the right to exclude that person from your journal/home.  That's what they make locks AND the block button for.  It's not something anyone takes lightly, I think, but it's there for a reason.  

Everyone has different experiences with each other.  I've had situations in which I've decided to continue being friends with people, even when I had reason to believe they might not have been fair to another one of my friends.  In the end, all you can do is trust your instincts and do what's best for YOU.  Giving someone the benefit of the doubt isn't a fault - it's a gift.  

For the most part, I think that all types of journalers - both positive and negative - can get along here in the community.  It's only when fights break out between the two that upsets me.  Most journalers are just here, doing their own thing, having fun, etc.  But some choose to tear them down - I don't get that?  Why?  What would be the point?  How does it serve them?  The only thing I can speculate is that maybe they don't want to look INSIDE themselves, so they have to look outwardly to find something to talk about?  Some people thrive on this stuff... I personally drown in it.

I can't think on it too much.. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.  I have to do what's right for ME by not letting it have a place in my life.  Or my journal.

merelyp said...

I am so glad you got this out of your system.  But don't ever chastise yourself for trusting -- it may sound naive, but it is what keeps you able to bounce back.  sort of Anne Frankish, I realize...
but I believe it with all my heart.
the buzzards are gone.  no carrion comfort here.

ginskia said...

Hi There,

This is my first time here and I found you since I notice that you go to some of the journals that I also visit and I can tell how nice you are.  I am very sorry that you had to deal with all this negativity.  I just don't understand why people have to leave offending comments in someone else's journal.  I honestly feel that if they don't like the journal they don't have to read it.  I also tend to gravitate towards journals that tend to be "different" since I like people from all walks of life, but when they start the harrassment and embarassment, that is where the line has to be drawn.  I don't know who this person is off course and it is good that this person is blocked by a number of people.  I also never understand what is gained by harassing someone else.  

I see that Journal Land has mainly great people here and I have met a lot of wonderful people, but as the phrase goes "It only takes one bad apple".  You are an intelligent lady and I am sure that you will not let this make you give up your journal.

God Bless,

robbush6 said...

I'm all for freedom of expression. But when the FreakShow derailed over in my journal and left his stench behind through comments, he crossed the line. I didn't block him, nor did I delete the comments. All I had to do was threaten to call Nurse Ratchet. He went peacefully.

Still, the betrayal of friendship and trust stings.

xzasporated1 said...

You rock!  Very well said.

~~ jennifer

andreakingme said...

I don't feel like being The Bigger Person this time. I say you-know-who ought to be hanged up by his you-know-whats.

lamove04 said...

Hey Robbie-- coming to this late, via Aiibrat and Scalzi... great entry.  A troubling situation.  I'm the type to normally root for the misunderstood.  This situation has been troubling to me, as I was right "in the loop."  I have taken myself out of the loop, but the whole episode made me sad.  --Albert