The treatment I had received on the board and the thread devoted to picking me apart had sent me in to an emotional tailspin. I was constantly upset and agitated. I felt nervous, worried and anxious. I was overwhelmed by anger and despair. I perseverated on everything that had been said about me and everything I had said. I contemplated what I could have said differently and what I would say in the future.  I was unable to concentrate or focus on anything around me and I kept getting distracted, as my mind was elsewhere. I was frequently shaking, flapping and gritting my teeth.

My family noticed this and asked me what was the matter but I couldn’t bring myself to tell them. I found the whole thing too embarrassing and shameful. When I was brought to my psychologist and my psychiatrist for emergency sessions I couldn’t bring myself to confide in them either. My medication was adjusted.

Bernadette was upset by the way I had been treated on the board, especially by the way Marcia had treated me and she was upset that the moderators hadn’t done anything about it. She sent one of the moderators a message asking why they were okay with Marcia personally attacking me and accusing me of lying with no evidence to back it up. She received the following reply:

“There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of the board that you don’t see-messages between moderators and between moderators and other members. Nobody got off scot-free, it just didn’t get dragged in to the public arena. If Marcia wants to start a thread throwing a fit over the things that were said to her in private that would be her prerogative and you could find out exactly what went down. As she hasn’t done that, you’ll just have to trust that the moderators are doing their best to apply the same rules to everyone as fairly as possible.”

Gee, it sure was nice of the moderators to give Marcia the dignity of privacy. Too bad they couldn’t afford me the same dignity. You can see what a great job they were doing of applying the same standards to everyone.

That Thanksgiving I went to my sister’s house to celebrate, where I was exposed to more family members asking me what the hell was the matter with me. This was supposed to be a day of thankfulness and celebration. I knew that in the grand scheme of things being targeted on an internet message board was not that big a deal and that I had plenty in my life to be grateful for but with the emotional turmoil I was in, I wasn’t feeling very thankful or festive.

Then, just when I thought the situation with the forum couldn’t possibly get any worse, it did.

2 thoughts on “When Online is out of Line: A difficult Thanksgiving

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