Just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in – UPDATE

My memoir update yesterday unintentionally sucked me over to the widow board. It seems I spoke too soon about being forgotten and unread by patrons there.

Somehow someone got it into her head that I was using actual posts from the board to tell my story. Why would I use someone else’s words? Aside from correspondence between Rob and I, my own early blogging, and things I posted on the mommy and soap opera message boards I belonged to, everything I am including is being written now.

Is it so odd for a memoirist to use what amounts to her own diary entries to chronicle a period of time in her life? Perhaps I don’t understand the genre.

In any event, I don’t even have the posts or private messages from my widow board days to draw on because I had myself completely deleted well over a year ago. Rob saved a lot of his stuff including the things we exchanged, and he asked me repeatedly if I really wanted to erase everything I had written there. But I am a shredder. I don’t save old journals or diaries. At one point in my late twenties, I had a stack of spiral notebooks chronicling back to my high school days and I destroyed every single one. Because it was drivel. Just like most of what I wrote on the widow board.

I have only recently begun to save things I wrote on my mommy board but only because I can go back as far as the month before Will got sick and actually re-read the posts I wrote during those first crazy months and then the years of care-taking. I decided my daughter might like a record. 

I can only suppose it was my comments about the love-sick widow who cyber dogged Rob which got me into trouble over there. The comments were typical of a flaming. It’s interesting to be flamed on a website you don’t actively participate in and mostly by people who don’t even know who you are or the axe the original poster feels its necessary to continue grinding. But I don’t have those private messages or emails because they weren’t sent to me. I just know of them through my early emails with Rob. It’s an incident which helped build the friendship between us that went on to become much more.

The post itself only came to my attention when my blog stats went wacky. Hundreds of hits and when I traced the link back – there I was.

“This is going to fuck my stats for the month,” I groused to Rob.

“All publicity is good, remember that,” he told me. “Don’t worry about it. It’s just penis envy.”

My husband is a wickedly bad person in a very good way.

But rest assured widow boarders, no one’s actual words – such as they are – will be immortalized in my memoir. My story is mine. The board is just the place where I met Rob, whom I fell in love with and subsequently married thus bringing me to Canada. Events a bit too big to leave out of the recounting of my journey.

Added Update:

I appealed to one of the board directors there. A nice woman really but this was her response which she posted on the thread despite the fact that I have stated – repeatedly now – that I am not using post or pm’s. I didn’t keep any of them. 

It is in clear violation of ywbb guidelines.




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How did my life – my journey – which predates my time on a message board and continues long past it, end up ALL ABOUT THEM? This is my life. Where were they when my late husband was vegetative for months and months and in a nursing home? Where were they when I was all alone taking care of a dying nearly blind man with dementia while holding down a full time job and raising my baby? How does my remarriage and moving to another country affect them? 

And the kicker is they are acting like I have a book deal signed, sealed and delivered. 

This is my life. I will write about whatever parts of it pertain to my journey. Rob is the only decent thing that came out of my time there.

I haven’t violated any rules. The OP came here looking to stir up things for her own amusement whatever she may claim.

10 thoughts on “Just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in – UPDATE

  1. Holy smokes! I am stunned at the velocity and venom.

    For a time, YWBB was probably a life saver for me. It degenerated a loooong way down from there as the months wore on, and I am glad I no longer need it.

    I did come away from there with a few precious items, including some dear unmet friends.

    I am amazed at your ability to stir up trouble in absentia and inadvertently, Ann. You are clearly a very powerful diva. Good thing you use your powers for good and not for evil. Right?

    Yeah, I don’t get it. Apparently I suck as a writer and no one will ever read my memoir but people who wouldn’t even rate a mention anyway are upset because I am going to publish sacred postings of the board which I had the admin there delete well over a year ago. I am at a loss to explain the stupid that goes on there, but really wish it would stop intruding on my life.

  2. Welcome to members of the YWBB:

    Regarding my prior comments on this blog post. I have re-considered those statements and as they may be construed as inflammatory in nature and, as I have full editing privileges on this blog and am in no way, shape or form censored by the blog owner, I have voluntarily withdrawn them.

    Further regarding this thread: Ethical? Legal? You be the judge…

    The OP on that thread did not have any information regarding the nature of the memoir when they wrote the above post. But, as Ann has already emphatically stated, she is not using anything from the bulletin board web site. She is creating an original work.

    Since the initial post, the subject thread has devolved into a desultory set of flames.

    And, as the subject thread has now taken on the aspect of cyber-stalking and harassment I am posting, for your benefit, some information from the Department of Justice Canada website on this subject:

    1.6 Cyber-Stalking and Online Harassment

    Criminal harassment can be conducted through the use of a computer system, including the Internet.10 Although this type of conduct is described in various ways, not all such conduct falls within Canada’s definition of criminal harassment. For example, “cyber-stalking” or “on-line harassment” is often used to refer to (1) direct communication through e-mail; (2) Internet harassment, where the offender publishes offensive or threatening information about the victim on the Internet; and (3) unauthorized use, control or sabotage of the victim’s computer.11 In some cyber-stalking situations, criminal harassment charges may be appropriate; however, depending on the activity involved, charges under sections 342.1 (unauthorized use of a computer), 342.2 (possession of device to obtain computer service) and subsection 430(1.1) (mischief in relation to data) should also be considered. Activities that can be considered cyber-stalking can include delivering threatening or harassing messages through one or more of the following:

    * e-mail;
    * chat rooms;
    * message boards;
    * newsgroups; and
    * forums.


    NOTE: Formal request has been made to the admin to remove the offending thread and failing a suitable response to this request petition will be made to the board to intervene in this matter.

  3. (Couldn’t help myself–had to go read the flames) Hey, I would trip over myself to read your story. Glad you are moving on strengthening, creating & entertaining.

    Thanks. I don’t mind if people go and read there. I don’t care about that place anymore or anyone there. Why should I? I am going forward though. I need about 6000 words to hit the 50,000. I am glad to hear that you’d like to read it someday. Maybe you will get to. Who knows.

  4. Hey, cool! Maybe i should go out to message boards and piss people off to get my stats to jump! Really is amazing that there is such paranoia and fear… you’d think – especially given their circumstances – they’d have more important things on their minds… Trippy…

    Yeah, well, you should go read it now. The jackals now have a flaming thread to entertain themselves with for the holiday weekend – which was the OP’s intent all along. The board was too quiet I guess and flaming always livens things up. I have put in a complaint to the admin there and to one of the members of the YWBB board. But I doubt anyone will do anything. The saddest thing is that I actually have friends who still post there and because of the toxic atmosphere, they won’t speak out for me. And all the others who rubberneck – and know it is wrong – will read and say nothing. Nothing ever changes at the widow board.

  5. Oh, I wasn’t implying that it was okay at all. It’s asshole behavior. But those are the only reasons I can imagine anyone caring.

    Widowhood doesn’t always make people better and more compassionate. I think it makes us more ourselves, whatever that was before it happened. The people at the board that seem most troubled to me I’m almost positive were troubled before they lost their partners. Bereavement just exacerbated those qualities.

    It certainly doesn’t. Someone even wondered why Rob was trying to protect me. Can you believe that? I wanted to post “My old husband used to stick up for me too. Didn’t yours?”

  6. I think people care because a) they like drama; b) they are inherently combative, and c) maybe, in the case of the widdas, it’s nice to have a concrete target to focus your anger on; the universe is just too big a target to think anything you do can hurt it back as much as it hurt you.

    I get that. But it’s not okay to lash out blindly or with intent just because you are hurting. I know I did some of that myself and perhaps this is karma, but it’s just not okay.

  7. holy. crap.

    that’s just batty – if not incorrect… no wonder you left that board. i’m sure it serves a purpose, but so do intestinal worms…

    And it’s totally throwing off my stats. I am angry. First, I get misinterpreted, then semi-slandered and finally re-exposed to a place I don’t want any real ties with at this point in my life. Rob reminds me that stupid can’t be fixed but can it be made to leave you alone? Some people need lives in the worst way.

  8. I guess it has not been my impression at all that you were intending to mine the YWBB’s other members’ posts for YOUR memoir. I read Anja’s post about it, and I really do think she misinterpreted what your intent and process is, worrying people there at the board unnecessarily. It isn’t getting that much play, as of yet. Given the flame wars that have happened in the last year there, the commentary I read so far was pretty mild. I hope it stays that way.

    I hope you won’t worry about it.

    A recurring problem there – the “misinterpretation” but something the OP has done before with things people have blogged or commented, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but I was. Why does anyone there still care about me or what I write?

  9. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it. No one’s holding a gun to their heads and making them do something against their wills.

    Jeez, if they’re THAT worried about it, maybe they should copyright their posts. Or better yet, keep your words off public domain so they can’t be used at all. Stop posting altogether.

    But what can you do? You’ve said no one’s going to be quoted, so there’s no issue there. And when it IS time for someone to write a memoir, they’re free to re-create as much or as little detail of their lives as they see fit, so it’s not like any of the boarders get a vote anyway.

    Ah, flamers! I remember when I was young and stupid, too. 🙂

    Thanks. You know the feeling, eh?

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