Friday Update on The YWBB Mess – UPDATED

So it will be no surprise to my dear readers (as opposed to the gawkers from the YWBB) that my blog was transformed into a circus sideshow in the latter half of the week. I protested but to no avail.

Apparently it is fine for the YWBB community members to post inflammatory, and untrue, things about me, but I – who am not an active poster there at all – am supposed to just lie on my tummy and take it up the arse, patiently and with a measure of humility no less. It makes me think they really have forgotten who I am after all.

As long as that thread remains part of the record there, I will continue to protest, and I will maintain the links to the YWBB in the pieces I have written about the incident. I didn’t ask the instigator of this drama to link me.  This is her issue. Nor did she ever ask me for clarification of my memoir plans if she had concerns. She read something that wasn’t there, over-reacted (a common trait of people there) and took it upon herself to “protect” the board before re-checking her facts. Such a selfless woman though, don’t you think? Leaping to the protection of a bunch of people who I either never knew or barely interacted with if I did. Regardless of her motives, and she has caused trouble on the blogs before with “tattling”. The damage is done and not within my current power to remedy.

I still don’t know where anyone got the idea I was using posts from there in my memoir, but though I have reiterated until I am sure my dear readers (and the more intelligent of the gawkers) understood I was not using posts nor do I even have any in my possession the drama raged through until Thanksgiving duties doused some of the interest. 

My good friend, Sal, stood up for me there. A few other folks – one of whom is a perennial victim of the harrassment squad there herself – tried to step in to deflect the gang bangers with humor. Humor is the only way to quash flames at the YWBB. You know the board has had enough when the jokes start. I suppose I get that no one there can really call out the vicious without becoming targets too because those people just can’t see past themselves and will never admit they are victimizing people out of frustration with the short-comings (real or just imagined) of their own lives. It’s annoying, however, and reminds me of the time I spent working with middle schoolers. Reason thy name is futility on the YWBB.

In fact message boards in general are probably places only for people who lived their best years as teens. Those of us who grew up and prefer adulthood don’t seem to get on well in that kind of a hothouse atmosphere. It’s high school without recourse.

All in all, I lost nothing and may have gained a few new readers while losing the remaining links I had on most of the die-hard widow blogs, not a bad thing because most of them post at the YWBB still and carry links to their blogs in their signature lines. I really don’t need to be that exposed.

I lost a bit of memoir writing time but am now 4000 words from the 50,000. I am at the best part too – Rob and I admitting our feelings and are planning to meet. Yeah, I know, the widows find this duller than a great thaw and can’t imagine anyone wanting to read about two widowed people meeting on a grief support board, falling in love cyberly and overcoming international boundaries to live pretty damn happily. God, what a boring fucking story. But my plans are unchanged and maybe I should be more optimistic because if I really wasn’t capable of writing and publishing a memoir – no one would have cared in the first place.

I still plan to track down contact information for the two women who founded the site. I think they bear some responsibility for what goes on in their name basically. It’s not enough to say the board is unmoderated and yet demand those who are harassed there to just take it silently. If you found something, you need to own it. One of the women is a 9/11 widow and I will be criticized for criticizing her because there is a public perception that somehow they are less deserving of widowhood than the rest of us, as if it was forced on them and we volunteered. I don’t really care anymore. I also contacted the admin, the webmaster and am going to track down the ISP and report the incident to them as well. In Canada, and in recent U.S. court cases, there is precedent for seeking redress when someone uses social message sites to intimidate and harass you.

Thanks to all my friends who showed their support through their comments. You are wonderful people and I appreciate your friendship.


Pending discussions with my legal representatives, and contact with the administrators of the YWBB/Young Widows Organization, I will not be commenting publicly on the YWBB matter at this time.*


*As of Sunday, November 30th the thread was completely removed at the YWBB and links to that site were removed from posts here.

13 thoughts on “Friday Update on The YWBB Mess – UPDATED

  1. apparently nothing has changed,,,just went through the same thing you discussed…people suck. The two plus members think they own the site and can dictate whatever they want..sorry to bring this back up, probably the same people you dealt with..

    1. I am sorry to hear that and for the loss that brought you to the board. There is a small contingency (and they change a bit as some “older” widdas finally move on) that hasn’t much focus beyond the board and they meddle, pontificate and sometimes even harass when they see someone(s) acting in ways they don’t approve of. Ignore them. Widowhood is not a contest or process or anything they might tell you it is. It’s a tragedy that happened to you, and you will find your own way just like everyone else does in their own time.

      As my husband Rob says (a widower too whom I met on the YWBB), “Who cares what a bunch of busybodies on a message board think about you or how you dealt with your grief and how you decided to rebuild your life.”

      And he’s right. They are strangers – and not kind ones if I remember my vintage widders – and they have issues they are avoiding by entertaining themselves at your expense. Just my opinion, but don’t give them the satisfaction.

      Good luck to you on your journey.

  2. Annie, Rob: Now that there is a new week, I do want to apologize for stress that has been inflicted to you. That was not my intent. I am quite positive that you won’t believe me, but again, it was not malicious or hurtful towards you. I thought (and still do) that writing about situations regarding others, without their permission was not quite ethical. We differ in that opinion, that is fine. I did not see and understand why your blog is so important and your writings, but that is quite apparent now. So, for sure my apologies regarding that. Again, I did not mean to upset you, it was a concern for other people’s privacy, from a time that they might not have been at their most rational behaviour. Whether you accept this olivebranch doesn’t matter. If I didn’t mean it, I wouldn’t have written it. Good luck on your book and having buried both my parents at a young age, I can understand your hurting. Take care, Anja.

    I appreciate your words. I am not violating anyone’s privacy. You would have known that had you simply asked.

  3. I have been notified that the thread has been removed. So, you have your way. Should my name appear in your memoirs, (and I am sure it won’t), then I will proceed with legal action. Anja.

    Duly noted.

  4. Annie I’m so sorry some petty people are making your writing life miserable. I’ve had some similar situations on message boards and stay away from them now. I hope your situation gets resolved, but even if that happens, for me the whole experience left a bad taste for a long time. I hope that doesn’t happen to you. Continue writing your memoir I think it sounds fascinating and that the comments about it sound like sour grapes and jealousy. That’s what happens when your life gets better, some people don’t like you for it. They’re jealous of your success or happiness. So sad.

    Thank you for your supportive words. The worst part is being forced to participate. There continues to be no resolution, but I won’t give up.

  5. You win, if that’s what you’re after. I sent this email, early afternoon to YWBB:

    Anja here. Membership 11094.

    I started a thread a few days ago, regarding an ex-member of the board. I read on her blog that she was going to write her memoirs and mention names/situation regarding the YWBB.

    I put up a post, nudging people to take a look and decide for themselves, whether they had anything to worry about.

    If you feel the need to remove the thread or remove me from the board, I will accept that.

    She is threatening legal action and it was never my intention to slander her, all I wanted was people to be aware, should they have something to worry about.

    I had slowly eased back into becoming an occasional participant on the board. But I guess now my time is really up.

    Again, I ask you to remove my membership. If for one or the other reason, you are not able to, I understand, for sure.

    Thank you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving,
    my name

  6. Annie, my formal apologies. You want my computer IP number, I will give it to you. Pammy…have you forgotten I sent a card to you and your husband, in his GreenCard quest? Anyways, here with I retract my comments, made on the board and my public apologies. Anja

    Thank you for the apology. However as long as the thread remains up on the board, this matter isn’t resolved as the possibility of damage continues. I would suggest you contact the board admin and have them remove the thread completely. It is your thread; they might comply. If the thread remains, I will continue with legal action.

  7. Annie
    I just stumbled on all the hullabaloo, I am heart sick to find that YWBB is still a leopard with the same spots and the same people causing the same old tired problems.

    I applaud you in your efforts to find someone to take responsibility for the bashing, I have long been a proponent that this toxic board needs to be moderated and hiding behind the self moderation, be kind and nice to each other blah blah label is pathetic and needs to be addressed. There are too many emotions and people with small lives that frequent that board to rely on the goodness of mankind to take care of the poison the rains down on that board.

    It serves a purpose, initially, but when you have people who insist on hanging around that board for years after the good for them has been done, people who have so little in their lives to sustain them that they must cause trouble for others who have moved on or dare to question the theories and practices of the select few who deem themselves the moral compass of YWBB, well then there will be problems…and if you have no administrator who is willing to step up and stop some of this then it will go on and it will get worse.

    Good luck in your memoirs and if you want to use my name I am secure enough in myself, my womanhood and widowhood, and my situation that I would be nothing but flattered.

    I wish you luck on it all.

    Take care

    We are working on the responsibility issue. Thanks for sharing your take and your support. I appreciate it.

  8. The last statement from P!NK on her song/video “So What” might be an appropriate response to the furor.

    I like the contention about message boards, high school and teenagers- sounds about right.

    I don’t know that Pink song and I have responded too much to the furor. I am going to let lawyers do the talking now.

    High school, I took that lying down. I am glad it is in the rear view now. Thanks again for your support.

  9. i saw the psychosis of the message board behavior a few years ago when i tracked several NASDAQ stocks… people are empowered by anonymity. hope you can get this behind you. good luck!

    There are a few things we need to discover before continuing but this blog is like my work space. It’s my platform for my work right now. I have people searching for me by name since some of my work has been syndicated. I don’t need the petty behavior here. I got mad which is just what they wanted and played into their hand a bit too much. I am calm now.

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