19 May 2010

Feeling under attack by three trolls

Recently I disagreed with one comment someone made after a blog post, and suddenly I feel like I'm under attack.

Most readers have done nothing but offer kind and supportive comments when needed, and challenged me when that is appropriate. But if someone challenges me, that does leave him/her open to also being challenged. It goes both ways.

It started with my posting about how happy I was with my first year of grad school's GPA. Someone without a link calling herself "Ig" posted that I should remember a GPA is just a number, too. I replied in my comment section that I felt that was taking away the only thing I felt good and positive about. I was so proud of that achievement I wanted to share with my friends and fellow bloggers, and now it feels like ashes in my mouth. It feels like nothing, the one thing I felt I accomplished this year. Now I'm sorry I ever mentioned it.

Then M and Trish felt the need to get into the act, calling me defensive and that I couldn't handle criticism (because of the recent comments another troll made about my blog glamorizing eating disorders - which most of my regular readers have either written or tweeted me that I do not do that in any way, but instead describe the pain and problems that come with having anorexia.)

Okay, first let me explain the picture of me with the NG feeding tube. This my blog and I put it up there for me as a reminder that I did not want to fall that far again and to show what having anorexia can do to you - it isn't pretty. I put it up there solely for my own visual reminder to try to stay in recovery. I have removed it since some people obviously find it offensive.

Now my posts in the past six months have not been positive because of my relapse and the reasons behind it. I became involved in proana websites and wrote about them in the hopes of alerting others to the lure that these dangerous sites can have, and also how the sites helped contributed to my relapse.

It is really unfair for someone who hasn't regularly read the posts of the past six months to come in and then lecture me about my attitude toward things such as comments. I think I have always been fair and have allowed comments to stay up that other bloggers would simply delete and then move on.

But I am not going to continue to defend myself to people who won't leave a name or link, who feel they can breeze in here and fan some flames and then waltz out again. It is too triggering and too upsetting for  me, particularly in light of the fact I am in PHP right now and am really really struggling.

I am fine with people challenging me, telling me they hate what I write, saying I'm wrong, etc. But please do me the courtesy of leaving a link so I can clear up a misunderstanding, or at least returning to see if I answered your challenges, etc. I don't like "hit and runs" where someone scoots in anonymously, writes something upsetting and then scurries away. That is cowardly and from this point on those posts will be deleted.

I have to stress I am really struggling right now. I am really hurting right now, and my motivation and drive for recovery is about at zero. I can't let a few trolls push me lower than I already feel and right now I am feeling ultra-sensitive. Anyone who has gone through the refeeding syndrome will understand that.

I started this blog for me, and feel like I shouldn't even have to write this post. I love that many people read it and follow it, and I would hate to have to close it to invitation only. I love the feedback I get, and then reading the blogs of other people who leave their links on my site.

But I must protect myself first and not internalize the comments of three people who haven't even tried to get to know me and my writings more in depth.

I will stress: I have to protect myself and whatever attempt at recovery I can make. That has to be first and foremost in my life, not defending every word I write and every picture I post.


Splinteredones said...

You need your energy elsewhere just now hon. Cowards you don't know, who are just trying to engage somebody? Dickwads plain and simple. Breathe. Talk about it and how it makes you feel. You're in a great place for that!

Frugalista said...

Wow...drama! I went back and read that post since I hadn't read all of the comments. My objective opinion is that the initial comment about your GPA being a # was not intended to diminish your accomplishment or take a jab at you. But on the other hand the reference was to you and not me and everyone is different and so that just so happened to be the way you took the comment. This is a public blog. Comments are enabled so the door is opened to comments and you are open to have opinions of those comments as it is your blog. That is just my 2 cents. But I can say that in reading your blog I don't feel that your blog glorifies ED's. Quite the contrary. It is scary. This whole "trigger" debate will never end but ultimately it is your blog and you are just discussing details of your illness-not offering tips or promoting it. You can't control possible effects it may have. Hang in there!!! This too shall pass. And I hope you get everything you need out of treatment.

Eating Alone said...

Hey I don't have the time right now to read those comments. But I say ROCK ON with the GPA! I was so happy for you when I saw it. I can't believe that you did it going through all the crap you've been through in the last few months. I was so proud of you. Just my 2 cent's. Don't ever let some one take that away. Be proud!

bananas said...

Hi. I've never commented on your blog before. I'm sorry you're struggling. I'm sorry anonymous people have upset you to this degree. People can be hurtful but it's human nature, I think. Hang in there & try not to let people (especially people you have no investment in, and have no investment in you) get to you like this.

Your GPA is something to be proud of, by the way. It's not like they give away good GPAs -- that takes hard work.

Anonymous said...

don't listen to the 100th power (I am thinking in exponents since I am taking basic math at college--long story don't ask ;-)) to anything other than your doctors and counselors and those that support you. You certainly don't glamorize the ed, you write about it in a haunting and heartbreaking way, the way a writer--which is what you are--would. You know a lot of descriptive words and you use those words. Plain and simple.

Concentrate on yourself, and your treatment. Know that there are far many more out there that support you and that are pulling for you! And most of all, praying for you. I just felt a disturbance in my spirit about 5 minutes ago and I wonder if that was a signal to pray for you. if you have to, feel free to make your blog private. You have to do what is right for you and what is best for your treatment.


lisalisa said...

I have yet to recieve that kind of harsh criticism on my blog, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. Tia from "addicted to aspartime" has been burned several times by someone "Anonymous". Some people thrive on conflict and maybe that is what is going on. Don't give them the time of day. And don't let them take over your blog! I have a feeling they won't be back. But maybe comment moderation is in order, just in case.

Hang in there!

Jessi said...

I'm sorry you're feeling so down. Recovery is hell and anyone who has never been through it couldn't possibly begin to understand. You are incredibly strong and brave, even if you don't feel it right now. If the picture of yourself with the feeding tube helps you in any way put it back up...this is for YOU! ED's are asses, you in no way glamorize them. You're honest. Pure, plain, and simple. Stay strong sweets!

Anonymous said...

Different people have different thresholds for what is triggering. For me, my threshold is relatively liberal. There are people with very conservative thresholds. When I am around them, if I know this, I hold my tongue a bit more and respect their threshold. But this is your turf, your blog, and the threshold that should be respected here is yours. People with more conservative thresholds have just as much responsibility to respect more liberal thresholds as I do to respect their more conservative thresholds. My saying things they find triggering on their turf would be me disrespecting a more conservative threshold. Their claiming that your more liberal threshold means that you are glamorizing or encouraging eating disorders is them disrespecting your more liberal threshold. It happens both ways, I'm sorry you had to be on the wrong end of this. Sometimes is is easier just to be with people of similar thresholds.

For the invitation only part, I think that is pretty appropriate. I know you don't want to cut this off from anyone who might benefit or cut yourself off from the community of support you find here, but I think it makes sense as a temporary measure. I would hate to see you have to go through this again while you are struggling more. I think it is okay to say, "I can't handle this right now, so I will prevent trolls from coming 'round until I am more ready to handle it." Right now I think it is probably more important that you take care of yourself than whatever keeping your blog open would do.

"Just a number." That is complex. Minimizing it like that is a device that lacks nuance. GPA reflects how hard you worked in school and, to some degree, your intelligence. When it is higher than you expected, it is a boon because you see that you have underestimated yourself. But weight is also just a number. The weight number can also reflect how hard you worked and can also be an achievement. Both can be taken to excess, through single-minded obsession or treating that number as a reflection of self-worth. Neither is a measure of self-worth. It sounds like you have taken the weight number obsessively as a measure of self-worth, have pushed toward achieving an "acceptable" number in unhealthy ways. It sounds like you have worked hard in school, but in a reasonable, healthy way. Furthermore, I suspect that weight, while an obsession, is not a true priority for you and that your education is a priority for you. The weight number needs to be minimized as "just a number" to take the power of it away. The GPA, while still "just a number" and not indicative of your worth, is something you can take pride in and celebrate.

You are fantastic.

Zena said...

I umm stupidly responded to this post on your "awards" post but would just like to echo what everyone else has said...and I just want to scream this fact "GPA'S ARE NOT JUST A NUMBER LIKE WEIGHTS ARE, GPA'S REFLECT HARD WORK AND INTELLIGENCE, WIEGHTS MEAN NOTHING, THEY HOLD NO VALUE, GPA'S ARE NOT JUST ANOTHER NUMBER, SO ANONYMOUS DUMBASS, GET A F-ING LIFE!!!"

Do you think that was loud enough??

Love, Tara

Jessie said...

I honestly have no idea why people decided they needed to jump all over you for your response to that one commentator. In my opinion it was pretty inappropriate. This is your blog and you made it clear that you found the comment offensive and that should have been the end of it. I understand that people can make whatever comments they want but really that doesn't mean they should. And I'm always astonished by the self-righteous way some people just breeze in and make sweeping comments about what's wrong with a person based on the three paragraphs of their blog that they've read. But the truth is that this is their problem. It's not yours. You're right--you don't need to waste energy on them. You need to focus on you and doing what you need to do for yourself. And your GPA is much more than a number--it's something you worked hard for and you should be proud of. Email me if you ever need to talk--jessie.hyland@gmail.com

K8B said...

Hi Angela,

I'm sorry that someone upset you. Your GPA is excellent and is great even for someone not struggling with an ED. One way to think about the comment made is that Ig was trying to help you accept that even if your GPA wasn't as high as it is it wouldn't matter. Being alive is what matters, not what we achieve. Perhaps Ig was trying to remind you that a preoccupation with numbers (as is common in ED) isn't healthy and to not let your academic work become something else to beat yourself up about. I can remember being distraught when I got a 2:1 and not the 1st that I was so very close to. !5 years on and it doesn't matter! I have a job I love and a great family. That 1st would not have changed anything.

I also remember deciding at 19 that I had to give up anorexia because I realised that I wanted more on my tombstone than 'She weighed 90lbs'.

Recovery is hard and I tell my students that to someone with anorexia, refeeding is like being asked to hold a huge, spider three or four times a day when you have severe arachnaphobia. You can substitute that with a person's own phobia - and we all have them!

I sincerely hope that recovery works out for you.

With love and kindness


bananas said...

p.s.: why don't you just turn off anonymous commenting?

Sensory Overload said...

I'm sorry you are experiencing other peoples need to be cruel. Try to let them be and they will hopefully just stay away.

You offer such wonderful insight in your truths and I genuinely value it all. Nobody can take away your success, do not give the trolls that power.

Sending positive thoughts to you as you go through a process that is challenging. May you feel support in every direction you journey.

Thank you for sharing all you do. It's immeasurable to me.

Be well.