Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mommyjackers

I don't think I've ever had an entire post about how someone else makes me feel.  I typically am willing to give people more than one chance to change my opinion of them.  I know that when I start off a situation on the wrong foot, I like to have a chance to fix that mistake.  I know that not everyone will like me all the time, and for the most part I'm okey-dokie with that.  I know that in relationships, you will have times when you don't like that other person at all and have secret fantasies about hitting them upside the head with your shoe and then shoving it in their mouth (You don't?....Hmmm, my bad....Maybe you just need to get out more...)

Anyway, most of the time, I get over my miffed-off-ness at someone and try to look for the good in them.  Quite often, the person I'm miffed at has NO IDEA that they've gotten on my bad side.  I don't just call them out in public.  I go home and vent to my hubby, or to a really close group of lady friends I have who live all over this country.  I know that what I say won't go further, that they offer up either a "you're right, she's a dingbat" or a "I think maybe that just hit you the wrong way today".  I don't talk to them just to get a yes-man (or woman) response.  I NEED people in my life to keep me in check.  (I used to have a younger brother who thought that was his sole goal in life:  to keep me in check.  Since he grew up and moved to another state and got married and is a dad, he's dropped that role, so I've turned to others to fill it.)  After I've calmed down from the encounter that ticked me off, I generally think about it and decide that either A:  I was right and someone was a dingbat, or B:  I turned a molehill into a mountain.  It's saved me a ton of apologizing over the years, and I've been able to turn to God to change my attitude so that I'm in the right place when dealing with others.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO THE TOPIC AT HAND:  MOMMYJACKERS!!!!!!!! 

I belong to a website that is a support group for women with PCOS.  It has been tremendously helpful for me and has led to some really close friendships with women I've never met in real life, but have bonded with over health issues.  The site has a forum for discussions and features several boards, from teens to singles to women who are trying to conceive (TTC) to pregnancy, mommyhood, and beyond.  You're free to comment wherever, but generally, it is considered polite to not talk about how crappy you're feeling while pregnant with baby #5 on the TTC boards or the Pregnancy Loss boards.  To me, this makes common sense.  I am free to read threads on ANY of the boards, and I do read a lot.  I have even commented on something on the mommy boards, if I could offer my insight or to keep up with a fellow cyster whose children were overcoming difficulties.  But in general, I keep to the boards for women TTC and those who have lost a pregnancy.

What is upsetting to me is that for the last several months, we have a group of mommies who seem to be on this site all the time, doing nothing but stirring up a hornet's nest of nastiness.  They seem to be of the opinion that being online allows you to not filter anything that you say.  They are fountains of wisdom, never needing any advice from anyone, but willling to dispense it to those of us who are less fortunate and suffering from humanity.  (OK, that was really catty, but they never post anything that isn't sarcastic or demeaning)

Here's how they're operating and why it's ticking me off:  They visit a thread of someone who is TTC.  Most women in this group have at some point in time wanted to throttle someone that they know who is going out of her way to try some stupid idea to get "un-pregnant" (ie, early labor, complaining 24/7 about the evil inside her, saying "good thing you can't get pg, that kind of thing).  We never actually say these things to the person, but need to vent in a safe place.  This site has, up to the last few months, been a safe haven to vent these thoughts and feelings.  And until recently, the discussion has usually included some yeah, we get that too's, some maybe you just mis-heards, some how awfuls, generally a mix of responses, as well as advice on how to deal with dingbat people and get to a better place in your struggle with infertility.  I have been on both sides of the thread--angry at dingbats and a voice suggesting that something might have been misconstrued.  I've also given advice.  This has been how things have worked, and everyone has generally respected everyone else.

Until the mommyjackers arrived.  These are women who have struggled with Infertility.  Or say they have.  No, there is not a badge to wear for how long you have struggled, but generally I have less patience for the woman with three children who is just 24 than I do with the woman who struggled for 7-10 years to have her one or two children.  That's just me.  Anyway, it seems that every time a woman vents about being mad at her friend Fertile Myrtle, the mommies attack.  They claim to just be "giving the facts", or "being sarcastic", but in reality they are bullying the TTC women on the site.  So much so, in fact, that several women have left.  Which is sad.  These women jump all over the woman with the original post and tell her she needs to be more compassionate b/c pregnancy isn't all roses and rainbows.  And that she wouldn't complain about Fertile Myrtle if she'd ever been pregnant, but you know, you're not.  Then anyone who steps in to defend the girl is slammed by them.  They then veer off topic and bash women who haven't been pregnant yet.  On one thread, the poster had gone through a miscarriage and was having a hard time with her friend, Myrtle, being an absolute dingbat while pregnant.  They told people who were agreeing that sometimes being around babies is hard to go get counseling and get a thicker skin.  Then brought up the "if you'd ever been pregnant, you'd understand" card.  The TTC board implies that you DON'T have children, or have suffered recurrent miscarriages, and need the support of others who have been in similar situations.  

My close friends who recently had children have all struggled for years with IF. They give sage advice, even if it doesn't always agree with the poster's point of view.  There is a vast ocean of difference between disagreeing with others and bullying them with clubs made of words and superiority.  I find it sadder that those women who should be standing beside you and lifting you up are the ones kicking you when you're down.  It's not cool to bash others, it doesn't make you smarter, or cuter, or sassier.  It makes you look like a jerk.  If you've survived and made it to the other side of infertility, the side with children, you should be the biggest cheerleader for other women, helping them to see beyond the day to day.  You could be passing on what worked for you, how your doctor helped, things like that.  Instead, these women with ENTIRELY too much time on their hands spend their days verbally bullying women who are already in a vulnerable place and take away the safe place they thought they had.  It's just making me sick. 

I don't go to that site all that often anymore.  The bullies keep bullying, and even when they're called on it, they keep doing it.  They've been reported, and call the reportees thin-skinned.  My close friends and I now talk via F.B, because it's safer and we can vent freely.  I try to support the ones being bullied, but have stopped trying to be the voice of reason b/c I am tired of being harassed as well.  I'm just tired of meanness and the "mean girls" mentality.  I don't know how people can be that mean.  It bugs me. A LOT.

Thanks for sticking with me.  I don't have the answers, but I needed to vent, and since I can't on this one site anymore, I thought here would be the next best.  Can anyone tell me what the appeal of being a "mean girl" is?  And why have these women not grown up?  And if they're this mean to others online, how are they to the people they know in real life?  I worry for their husbands and children.  That level of meanness just scares me.  I don't have any answers, just needed to cycle my thoughts.  I need to keep praying for those women, but there are times I don't really want to, they're so mean to others.  Heaven help me, but I need some ideas on how to fix this.

2 comments:

  1. I will NEVER understand women like this. If I had been lucky enough to make it to the "other side" as you call it, of IF, I would be rooting for everyone still struggling; because I KNOW the hurt and turmoil you go through battling this disease.

    I have had friends who've never gone through IF say rude/mean things; which I have often dismissed as ignorance, because, after all...they have no clue. Fertility came easy to them (for example, my friend who cried and screamed because she didn't get pregnant on cycle #1...but did on #2 *le sigh).

    BUT, for those who have endured IF, how can they turn around and act like those who have never "been there"? I will never understand. NEVER. I know that many of my friends from Soul Cysters and the like have gone on to get pregnant and have their babies. Many of them did/are doing a lot of the things that would make them cry into their pillows while they were struggling with TTC. But I forgive a lot of it, because God knows I'd be happy and proud too if I made it to the other side and wanted to show off my child.

    It's a tricky topic to breach, and I don't get it half the time; but I'm sorry you and others have been bullied. It's just not acceptable - at all - no matter what their "excuses".

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