I got a forum b*tch slap, and it stung …..

Kennith often talks to me and tries to remind me that blogging and forums are not reality.

Kennith is a spreadsheet guy.  If you can put it on a spreadsheet, hook it up to a pie chart and point to it with a laser pointer, he really gets turned on.

Emotions and “soft skills” are not his forté.

He is not unemotional – he cries every time he looks at images from the 1994 Rugby World Cup (he saw the advert last night for “team of a million” and I am sure I saw a tear run down his cheek).

He just does not feel an overriding urge to talk about “what is on his mind or how he feels”.   For what ever reason, he is able to process his stuff internally and quite successfully.

I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with him because he prefers not to chat about his stuff with a few dozen strangers.

I am suggesting we are designed differently.

I like blogging.  I like forums.  I like chatting about my stuff.

I like listening to other people chatting about their stuff – however I do draw the line at your child’s teething patterns, and your lack of sleep because you do not want to implement a workable sleep routine …..

The rather over-used cliché of “it is cheaper than therapy” does apply when it comes to blogs, and especially forums.

I use forums as a daily tool.  Sometimes to my benefit.  Sometimes to my detriment.

Sometimes I have a total po&s collapse and behave like a tw&t – sometimes, but on most occassions I try to behave well and comment with respect.

One of the problem with forums is that (me included) are not experts or professionals, and we are not dishing out “scientific” advise.  We are dishing out opinions based on our experiences.

About three weeks ago I had a real desperate moment.  Like the type that needs chronic medical intervention, and possibly a man with a large needle that gets plunged directly in to your heart.

My way of solving these problems is to take it to a forum.

My ‘normal’ forum really just was not geared up for the type of chat I needed to have because, well, it really is just not that kind of forum.  (It is a lovely forum, and I really heart it a great deal.)

But I needed something different, or maybe just a different level of input.

I found another forum which is an international one and really geared more towards people with mental illness/depression/stuff.

I really should have been a bit more weary when the word “crazy” was used in the forum’s name, but being blindly unawares I merrily stumbled into this forum, and had my little “breakdown, and someone please offer some assistance based on what you have been through…..”

At no point do I want to slate this forum as it really is great, and no doubt has assisted a lot of people not to swing from a rafter or jump off a building.  It is crammed with people with sage advise, and people who need it.

… the thing with forums is that there are newbies and there are people-who-have-been-there-too-long.

Newbies are all bouncy with energy and are all chatty and often a bit melodramatic, and granted often need a slap to bring the sense back to their rather over-inflated sense of worth.

On the other hand the Oldies/Dinosaurs on this particular site, have probably seen it all, heard it all, and taken every script available (as have most people who have been on a forum for a long time, you kind of start becoming the cranky old granny who lives next door who complains about dogs sh*tting on your lawn ….. you sort of sigh rather weakly when a newbie comes along because, well, you have seen it all …..)

Let’s just say they are just a bit well, jaded, and maybe “do not suffer fools or newbies or people on the verge of having a total break with reality” well and do not really take cognisance of the tag “handle with care…”

I came out with an issue that for me was a huge issue – you know when you know that it is a problem, and at no point are you trying to deny the issue, but maybe someone else had been through something similar and can offer something in the way of guidance.

Fekn hell!

To say I got ripped apart and stomped on might be an understatement.

I might also be a tad over sensitive …. I might.

It felt like I had literally been hit in the head with a spade.  I physically felt attacked.

My ears were ringing.  My heart started racing, and I felt absolute dread, as a few posters had taken my situatino and my need for a possible solution/guidance and turned it into a field day.

I try to console myself that they were trying to be truthful and not hurtful and actually just mean.  I try to console myself.

My normal forum is all “cyber hugs” and “smiley faces” – this forum was “The Omen” meets “The Terminator” and in case you turn your back we will give you a bit of “Scarface” they don’t do frkn cyber hugs.

I actually cried – but bear in mind I am feeling quite low and totally “naked and vulnerable” right now, so i do actually cry when the milk is spilt.

I learnt a very quick lesson in forum etiquette and not running where angels fear to tread.  Another was, er, keep your head down.  Do not step out without a helmet and a filled script of ante-anxiety medication on standby.

Do not assume people care about your sh&t because really they have more crazy sh*t going on, and they are actually on medication.

I really stood there in cyber space whimpering and I had a good cry – in my toilet cubicle at work – magic moments those.

I was quite traumatized, and then this lone little voice in the distance stood up and said:

“I admire **** for sharing what is, by all appearances, a very sensitive, painful aspect of her life – a longstanding one in which she’s sought help and is actively seeking further therapy.

I won’t name names, but several members crossed the line from helpful and/or constructive, to antagontistic and just plain, well, douchy – imo.

Anyone of us could, if we chose (I know I certainly could – I can be witheringly  sarcastic and mean spirited when the mood strikes me – it’s sort of what I’m famous for in real life) enter into any topic and tell (insert member name here) to just grow the fuck up and stop doing “x” – but I don’t think that’s the point of this website, or, at least I didn’t, I could, of course, be wrong.”

Clearly my need for affirmation is rather huge right now.

I really really can’t tell you how much it buoyed me to have this lone voice standing up for me, as opposed to what felt like I had just been beat up by the school bullies.

It has not been the huge declarations of support and encouragement that have struck a chord with me as powerfully as the very small, yet sincere ones that have made my soul <sigh>.

So my lesson today is : If you think someone needs a bit of support, stand up and offer it, do not sit there quietly and think “it’s cool, they will be fine” — they just might not, and sometimes your little “hey chick, thinking about you” can mean the world.

<I know this is not a well worded blog post and a bit scattered.  Third week of new meds, I am feeling very scattered at the moment.>

Leave a comment


  1. I’ve only found one forum I enjoy and even there I don’t hang around all the time – I don’t want to get involved in all the drama 🙂

    That said, I’m so glad that one girl stood up for you – it is sooo good when there’s that lone voice speaking out for you

  2. Bevan

     /  July 13, 2011

    ahem, 1995 rugby world cup
    I remember Kennith bawling his eyes out at the pub that night of the final. I was there to pick up the pieces. And Celeste, you were there to witness the unfortunate aftermath in your flat.

  3. I have been on forums for many years and this kind of thing is actually almost a right of passage.

    If you can survive the first bitch slap you will survive the forum!

    Sorry though – I know it sucks and it does hurt. I have shed a few tears about this aswell!

    • reluctantmom

       /  July 13, 2011

      I try to wear my big girl panties … but some times the elastic does get a bit worn and they slip down …..

  4. So this is exactly why I am not on forums. I have not found one I liked and that felt as supportive as the blog community. Maybe I am just not looking at the right ones.

    Sorry you have been bitten – we love you over here.

  5. Will stand up for you any day of the week. You inspire me.

    • reluctantmom

       /  July 12, 2011

      Until you meet me, then you might also want to beat me in the head with a spade …… not an unusual response it seems …..

      • You might think so, but I share your awkwardness. Lets put said spade to good use and bury people with our quirky-ness.

  6. Shame hun. I agree with Tash, stick with us!

    Even if we are all smiley faces and cyber hugs. xxx

    • reluctantmom

       /  July 11, 2011

      You are a good girl Charlie Brown, you are a good girl!

  7. Janine

     /  July 11, 2011

    I belong to a few forums, one is mostly all SA women, one is almost all British women and another, although it is called International, is mostly American women and I often find that if I want to say the same thing to all 3 forums that I need to change the wording around a bit. We might all speak ‘English’ but we all seem to understand it differently. Especially when it comes to sarcam and humour. I hope that maybe it was a case of misunderstanding (on their side) and they are not really that evil, but if they are, give us the website and I am sure we can virtually go beat them up for you… Hope you start feeling better soon. x

    • reluctantmom

       /  July 11, 2011

      Janine, I think that was what I learnt, that this forum is not like other forums — and like I would change the way I dress/communicate depending on my audience, this might be one of those situations where I needed to be better at “reading the mood/culture” and I wasn’t – and thus got smacked — like b*tch slapped!

      I will put it down to a learning experience. Initially I was sc*red sh*tless to go back to the forum, but then I sucked it up and crept back 3 – 4 days later ….. because also I did not want to walk away with this “they bullied me away” thing. A bit of confront your fears sort of thinking.

  8. I think you are like, the queen-bee of the SA blogging community. You are the most popular, most loved, most everything. Like you are in matric and everyone else is in standard 6. We all know you and how awesome you are and where everything is coming from, as we know your history (well, the bits of it that you expose here).
    To stand in front of a room of strangers and tell them very emotional stuff is incredibly brave, regardless. Stick with us. Those other girls are obviously mean if they managed to say ANYthing negative about you.
    PS Tell me where to find them so I can go beat them up. Alternatively, I will post them dead hamsters as Noah’s collection dies off. I am super bummed that ‘those girls were mean to you’. I wish I could punch them in their stupid faces. Bitches. All of them. Fuck em.

    • reluctantmom

       /  July 11, 2011

      Thanks Natasha …. you make me laugh, because you are ludicrously hilarousl!!! Funny girl.

  9. A reminder to us all to be more vigilant in our comments as well!
    I hope you do not attach that much weight to the comment!
    She might have been in a bad place as well!
    (Strange how much weight the comments of a stranger carries! We DO need each other more than we think!)

    • reluctantmom

       /  July 11, 2011

      I wish I could tell you it rolls off me like “water off a duck’s back” but I really would be lying. I totally take everything personally ……. I know, I do realise how difficult this makes my life.

  10. Sharon

     /  July 11, 2011

    Forums can sometimes be a very scary place when you’re hurting or vulnerable! I’ve actually just done a blog post about conducting oneself online!


    • reluctantmom

       /  July 11, 2011

      Something about great minds thinking alike …. clearly ……


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