Monday, August 5, 2013

Revelations ... Or Why I NO Longer Belong to A Tribe

I've been relatively quiet the past couple days, there is a lot going on here at home. Things that at one time I would have shared with my online family. Unfortunately, an online family is one of the biggest fallacies anyone could ever imagine. These are people you only know online through social media such as Facebook or Twitter or what they write in their blogs. Some, you may have even met a time or two, but mostly haven't spent any amount of time really getting to know. I've often wondered who is this I'm calling friend? That point was brought home with a vengeance over the weekend of July 26 - 28th, but more on that later.

This post is probably going to be full of rambling thoughts and somewhat incoherent. There is so much going on and I want to share some of it. First, contrary to recent popular belief, I am exactly who you see or read online as well as in real life. A week ago, I was called sister, today that same person called me a drama queen. By definition a drama queen is "Someone who turns something unimportant into a major deal. Someone who blows things way out of proportion whenever the chance is given". Ask anyone who *truly* knows me face to face (and here again, I'm not talking about meeting over lunch and knowing who I'm dealing with, cause BOY was I fooled) has spent any amount of time with me if I am a drama queen and they will heartily laugh in your face.

Yes, I get emotional, yes I am passionate, and YES I get angry and do stupid things. But drama queen just doesn't fit. At. All.

Next up is passive aggressive. Yep, I've also been called passive aggressive. And the urban dictionary has that as * A defense mechanism that allows people who aren't comfortable being openly aggressive get what they want under the guise of still trying to please others. They want their way, but they also want everyone to still like them*. Hmmm, I looked in the mirror just to be certain and I found nope, this one doesn't apply to me either.

Passive aggressive behavior is running rampant, rampant I say! And the ones that are behaving this way have no idea it is they who are actually exhibiting the same kind of behavior they are so quick to label someone else with. And I'm here to tell you, writing a blog entry, or a status message calling some one their shit without naming names is NOT being passive aggressive. If that were so, then all ya all's bitches would be passive aggressive.

Let's see, next is hypocrite. The Urban Dictionary defines this as *Someone who says something that even (s)he disagrees with. A person who is the exact opposite of what (s)he is. Anyone who discriminates against people or things that are just like them or that they do.

*Oh we love and accept everyone and everything!! Unless it does not agree with what they think, and especially the fearless leader who throws a freaking full blown temper tantrum if you dare challenge their opinion or call them out on their scathing hatred for anything that does not agree with them.* Yep, that my friends is about as close to an example of being a hypocrite as I can find.

And the icing on the cake is: Saboteur. Urban dictionary defines this as "A person who often engages in sabotage. Often being sabotaged by someone else. Someone who commits sabotage or deliberately causes wrecks." Just to be clear let's add the definition for sabotage: "Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening an enemy through subversion, obstruction, disruption, and/or destruction." Now, there is a wild and crazy story making the rounds on the inter-webs, and I will admit it is true...partly. However, as usual, an action was taken WAY out of context and hysteria was born. Here's what really happened, but seriously, I could confess to murdering the Pope here and it wouldn't make any difference to those who follow the crowd and have already made up their minds. But just in case there are some who would like BOTH sides of the story before they rush to judgement, here goes...

Some say I had a disagreement with a couple ladies over on Facebook, that isn't the case. I posted a mini rant on my Timeline that many took offense to. OK, that's fine, I don't try to please everyone. These same ladies unfriended me over said supposed argument. Again, OK, no big deal. Now here's where the *real* story comes in. Truth is, I was more than tired of the catty, scathing, judgmental, backstabbing goings on of more than one individual. The accusations of copyright infringement (at this point there was none, but once someone makes up their mind that's all there is to it), the bitching about "the athame I saw in a picture of her altar looks like the ones I make and I didn't make it for her", and "Vickie's making Tarot bags and I already sell them" (note to anyone who cares: I make Tarot ENVELOPES not Tarot pouches with a drawstring closure) and the constant bitching because someone else just doesn't measure up the the lofty standards of a few select individuals. And I posted in a public forum about how fed up I was. (Yes, this was wrong) I also *unpublished* a Facebook page that was linked to my personal account so I could figure out how to unlink it, before moving away from it. At that point I wan't going to do anything else, I was going to leave quietly. But then the attacks came, cloaked as concern for the bigger picture. After dealing with the *why did you do this?* and *put it back and let us take it over*, I also chose to change the password on the email account for said group, again, until I could figure out how to unlink it from my personal account. At this point I still meant no harm and didn't want to damage anything.

Ahhh, but then the holier than thou all knowing jumped on the bandwagon and accused me of sabotaging an entire years worth of the project, ruining the project and threatening to sue me for loss of  income from some of the people who may or may not be involved in the project. By the time this version of the tale had made the rounds I was worse than pond scum to many. After the accusations and threats I DID delete both the Facebook page and email account. By this time I was DONE with the shit and walked away. I feel no shame or remorse for my actions. Does this make me a saboteur? Maybe... do I care? NOT ONE BIT!
Moving along here, I'm back to rambling so try to hang with me. This does have a point somewhere.

Some people feel lost without the sense of having a tribe to belong to. I admit, for a very short time, just about a year, I was looking for a place to belong. When I found what I thought was my little corner of heaven, I quickly found it was more like a piece of hell. But finally I *belonged*, I had *friends*, I had ... the Pagan Pat Robertson... that's right, or maybe it was more like Jim Jones. After I stopped drinking the Kool-Aid I woke up and realized, I didn't like the popular crowd in high school. What the hell made me think I'd like them as adults?

Now this next part may seem a bit off track, but hang on and I'll tie it into my thoughts. There is an increasing number of people in the Pagan community, who for one reason or another find themselves in a leadership role and shouldn't be in that position. Many of these people began as a regular Joe, hanging out on Facebook, writing blogs, forming groups (some of these groups have even sprung up across the U.S.) and doing everything they can to *help* the community. Once they begin collecting minions, they find they need more and more and more. You get my drift. They begin to see themselves as all powerful, but in reality they are just power tripping on their own imagined importance.

Once you get to the point of self described importance, you feel you have the right and ability to judge those who don't measure up to you. You become a danger to the community. Become a liability instead of an asset. Much like a dictator, a vastly intelligent dictator, because not only a dictator, but one who makes everyone else LOVE them, LOVE being manipulated by them, LOVE throwing themselves at them, and LOVE  slamming other people to get their approval.

And Goddess PLEASE! Do Not EVER make a mistake, because even if you do take full responsibility for your actions, you will never be forgiven, only tolerated until you just can't take anymore and walk away from the dictatorship. Except, leaving a dictatorship always has repercussions you could only imagine before you took that fateful step away from the madness. When you do find your way back to sanity don't be surprised when those you walked away from need to publicly create some bullshit drama about it instead of telling the truth. Oh, yeah... and it will always be your fault, never theirs.

My point to all this mess is simple, at least to me it is. The need to *belong* is deep within us all, and we are constantly searching for our family, tribe or group. For some, they will fit in nicely because they are the followers. But for others like me we won't fit in for very long, when you have more than one leader or *Type A* personality in any given situation, it rapidly goes to hell in a hand basket. I've known for most of my life I am not a person to follow along blindly in any given situation, and I am sorry I let me get lost in someone else's obsession to climb to the top regardless of how many people are stepped on along the way.

I was warned ... but I chose to ignore the advice all because I wanted to belong, I paid for my disastrous decision and now I'm through trying to be part of the *in crowd*.


  1. I totally get where you are coming from. I'm not a joiner either though there have been times in my life when I tried to be part of a group. Humans are pack animals after all. Sounds like you escaped a cult, and what you described sounded very much like a cult and their reaction only underscored that. Count yourself lucky. As for the page (which I never saw or know anything about) that you unpublished and ultimately deleted, if the others were so upset, all they had to do was re-create it and if it was attached to your account, then it was yours to do with what you wanted. And the crybabies who were mad because 1. you had a thing that looked like the thing that they make and they didn't make one for you, and 2. you were making bags for tarot cards...WTF? there are probably hundreds of people making those things but you aren't allowed to because you know someone who does? You are well shed of people like that and should not care a rat's ass what they think or say about you. people who know you know who you are. and who cares what people who don't know you think.

  2. Ellen, I had never thought of the situation as cult like until I left. But you are correct. It WAS very much like a cult with one person calling all the shots. Thanks for your comments, they are greatly appreciated.

  3. *Tips my hat and winks*

    You already know how I agree, but there is one thing you said that I want to talk about.

    You said that it was wrong of you to vent in a public space. I disagree in a way. Our own pages, blogs, social media..all of those...are there for whatever we choose to use them for. I have been silent for months because no matter what I posted, "someone(s)" had an issue with it. Someone thought it was an over share. Someone thought it was stupid. Someone would never post that themselves.

    I let myself me influenced, I drank the Kool-aid when I should have been my actual self and told people who had a problem to get bent and not read my words if they did not like them.

    We need to stop letting "someone" ( anyone ) DICTATE what we post on our own pages. If I am pissed off and want to rant, I have that right. If I am sad and want to cry all over the place and bemoan my life, I have that right. If I am on top of the world and want to shout it from the rooftops, I have that right too. If I wanted to stay a private and reserved person, I would not be on social media at all.

    My life, my words, my pages, my choice.

    If others do not like what we have to say, they have the option to not read them. We should never allow anyone to tell us what we can and cannot post about our lives.

    All those carefully cultivated online personalities are just smoke and mirrors. One day someone will turn the fans on and bring a big hammer. It always happens eventually.

    Jim Jones. How effing perfect is that? I want to throw a little Charles Manson in the mix too. Oh yes. I said Manson.

    <3 <3

  4. Bella you KNOW I love you and you have been an inspiration through this entire thing. If it wasn't for you and a few more people who actually went through these same exact things I could swear I had been dreaming for the past 18 months or so.

    It's not so much that I shouldn't have done the rant in a public place, because the rant was done on MY FB Timeline. What was ill advised of me was bringing my anger to a public venue that had other more far reaching consequences.

    I was warned they were frauds and phonies, but I thought I could make it. I should have listened to the ONE person who has never ever given me bad or harmful advice. And I'm not talking about Jimmy here either, although he did question quite a few things. Seems I need to follow the words of those who have more experience in astral travel and have *seen* things before they manifest.

    And yeah, I like your Charles Manson... fits perfectly with Jim Jones, LOL!!

  5. It was a real shock...but they say hindsight is 20/20 lol.

    It is hard listening to other people at times, especially when you are still immersed in the situation. It scares people to have something like that thrown at you, when you are not ready or even unable to see it for what it is.

    It is not an easy process. There is so much hurt, and confusion and wondering what you did wrong, then anger, and finally just acceptance and realizing everyone involved is much better off.

    I am choosing to look at it now ( since all the volatile emotions are over ) as they were there when I needed them to be at that point in my life, ( and hopefully I was there for them at some point )and then my needs and their needs changed, and it was best all the way around for things to happen they way they did.

    Everything happens for a reason, even if I am kicking and screaming about it the whole way LOL.

  6. We haven't met, but I do know exactly what your talking about. I see it every day online, and am regularly contacted by people asking me not to unfriend them because they have been thrown out of a group we share because of a mistake. It totally infuriates me that Admin refuse to take responsibility for each others behaviour, while holding court over their "lesser" members. I have left so many groups for such behaviour it is getting ridiculous, and you have been far more polite about all this than I would have been.
    It is after all Harvest season...when we reap what we have sown. I think they may have forgotten this even if we haven't.
    Tis my humble opinion that you have done the right thing by getting out of this group in time to celebrate with honesty the New Year to come. Blessed Be little sister :D XXX

  7. I’ve read this post a couple of times. Okay, more than a couple. There is so much in it… Some of it, I can’t discuss critically because I have no background information on it. But other things I understand completely, for I (like many others) happen to be a bit of a freak when compared to everyone else. But I never saw it as a bad thing—I like been alone at times or joining when (and if) I feel like it. Even when I’m in a group, I kind stay around the edges. Not sure why, but I’ve always been like that. And I like it.

    I took a long time to reply to this post because I wanted to understand why it left me with a sense of loss. I think I’ve figured it out. I agree with most of what you’ve written here—there are all kinds of fake people online, who will take advantage of over-trusting individuals, who would hurt without reason, who would lie without purpose or with purpose only they can understand… And, my gods, do I ever agree with the bit about making dumb mistakes; I’ve made a few myself.

    But I disagree with the concept of online family being a “fallacy.” I think that the issue is that like face-to-face families, the former comes with a world of trouble. There are people out there who let us care for them, and as soon as they see an opportunity, they punch us right in the face. Off line relationships aren’t all that different, I think. Maybe malice coming from the latter is easier to detect?

    I met the man I’m going to marry online. I met my best friend (of more than fifteen years now) online, too. And some of the people I care the most for in world happen to be friends I’ve met online. I’ve also encountered some destructive pieces of dung in here, but I think there is balance.

    It feels good to say/type these things. And I bet if felt good, for you, to do the same. On a last note, I think it would be nice to look at the good friends—the real ones—we make in social media, and count the not so good ones as the shit that must be shoveled before getting to the treasures. Be well, Vickie.