The other day I had one of those experiences that is illustrative of something entirely different. I was going to vote on Super Tuesday, an incredibly frosty day here in the Virginia Piedmont. As I got out of my car at the polling place I could see one lone campaign volunteer chasing people around the parking lot in the most obnoxiously forward fashion to button hole them about his candidate, Ted Cruz.
I knew one thing, no matter who I was voting for I did not want to be stopped by this guy and waste time. I had a full plate that morning, visits to the lawyer, banker, post office and getting some real estate documents notarized, so once he ran for a voter I zig-zagged away from them, rapidly making for the side door of the polling place. I was almost there when I failed to notice the curb and fell like someone suddenly yanked my feet out from under me. When my head hit the pavement I let out a string of profanity so loudly that Mr. Volunteer ran away from me. Others helped me up, while he pretended I did not exist. Perfect. That is exactly what I wanted.
No real damage done, except to my personal dignity and I had a few bruises. The thin disks in my neck didn't much like it either. It was painkillers for the rest of the day, but I got through it and did what needed to happen to run the family.
There are a couple of good takeaways from that experience for me. First, that some folks are far too sensitive about things, like cursing. Butt hurt pearl clutching only harms yourself. We were talking about being too sensitive this morning at No Longer Quivering.
Recent scientific studies have shown that people that vent their frustration or pain that way are usually much more honest, they have bigger vocabularies and they tend to deal better with pain and health challenges. Not that I'm advocating throwing around the F-bomb in front of little kids, just that it's not the end of the world and there are a few benefits to that behavior.
The other important thing that popped to mind is that you really shouldn't have to work that hard to stay away from folks that make your blood pressure rise. I should have just breezed past that guy without giving him the time of day. He has no power over me. I gave him too much power by my actions.
If they really bug you that much there's a solution. Stay away from them. Especially on the internet, click off their websites if you feel yourself becoming upset. Lord knows I've run away from enough fundamentalist websites, GOP candidates websites, some Democrats websites, pro-vegan websites, anti-vegan websites, dolphin sex websites, doll collector websites, you-name-it websites. There are some things that just are not for you, are only going to make you feel bad about yourself or annoy you that you have to man-up and click away from without reading more than a few words. Do it. You'll feel better for it.
Everyone keeps sending me a link to a minor-league Quiverfull blogger by the name of Melissa. I keep seeing Melissa all over the place because she's one of the bloggers that has tried to garner extra hits - clickbaiting - by mentioning NLQ and Vyckie Garrison repeatedly. In a very critical fashion I might add, but that makes perfect sense because Vyckie is the big bad Atheist of the Year who sums up everything a hard core Quiverfull momma detests. Melissa has made her hatred of Vyckie very clear on her blog.
I don't have time or energy to debate or quote everyone that tries to come up against our little site No Longer Quivering. When I quote people for the Quoting Quiverfull feature I try to stick with the biggies, the more major influences in that particular world, the Nancy Campbells and Michael Pearls of this world. Sometimes I will quote some of the lesser known cultural enforcers who have at least a few followers, like Vaughn Ohlman and that vile awful misogynist Biblical Gender Roles. I go after the dangerous people with actual followers they are influencing. If I can get one person to think about the deeper issues or have a reader realize that they are not the only ones suffering from leaving a high demand group then I've done my job.
One thing I have noticed with Melissa is that she's fighting with a huge group of people. She's angered people at Get Off My Internet, some homeschooling forum and the place we've had problems galore with - Free Jinger. That's a lot of fighting to maintain, and a whole lotta bitterness behavior and attention going on. I know what that feels like because back when I still gave a fuck what others thought of me I'd had my own head-knockings online. It can be painful, particularly when this is the first time you have encountered significant pushback in a world that usually pats you on the back and reinforces your inner beliefs.
I know she is hurting. So.... see above and get the hell out of those places is what I'd tell her if I could! You'll be much happier for it. Stop caring so much what others online think of you.
Also I need to correct a few inaccuracies in her blog - Vyckie Garrison, myself, and No Longer Quivering are in no way affiliated with any of the above places she's fighting with. We've had our own issues with them in the past and they are not attacking her blog because Vyckie told them too. I feel kind of sorry for her for having raised their ire like that.
Having that much power over an online group is sort of frightening from what I've seen. It tends to not bring out the best intentions or actions in people when they go into a lynch mob mentality.
I tend to view those places are necessary for those that post there. It allows them a forum to vent about whatever they dislike. Some of them need it, it's their best outlet for the frustrations they deal with. But that doesn't mean you should be dallying there.
To answer another rant of hers I'd like to point out that while she's carrying on about hating Vyckie and hating me (no, I'm not one of Vyckie's 'cohorts' - I am the admin at NLQ - there is an important difference but I doubt Melissa can tell the difference between those two) that the post she's so incensed about is one involving me asking why it's a common theme in the Quiverfull world that women do most of the labor involved with raising the family. Never did I say 'All Christians' like she's claiming. I know no one in my current church living that way. But both Vyckie and I can attest to our former lives in Quiverfull that women doing everything actually is how many Quiverfull families work - unless like the Duggars they get the kids to do all the hard work. It's a column I run every week asking the readers about the distinctives of Quiverfull and/or Evangelical Christianity. Most of the time I know the answer before I ask, it's constructed to engage readers not for the writers to gain knowledge. It frightens me that someone with such a complete lack of reading comprehension is homeschooling her children.
We have never quoted Melissa or said anything about her husband, no matter what she is saying on her blog.
Stomping your feet and running away is never going to be judged as mature, loving or Christ-like. Again, Vyckie is not connected to the people Melissa is obsessing over. Name calling isn't very Christian either. And Christians wonder why people aren't rushing to join the church. It's because of attitudes like those demonstrated above.
There's more, but my right hand is playing up again. So I'll close. But, seriously, if she's so outraged by so many things it would benefit Melissa to simply stay out of those particular websites, including NLQ. Unless she's up for expressing in the comments why she thinks we're wrong, in a no personal insults way. I am curious. Vaughn Ohlman is the only Quiverfull person I've run across actually open to discussion and debate that does not go into personal insults, who will at least discuss ideas. Too bad more are incapable of that.
But I've had even less time to reply since November and the onset of this bout of MSRA. Today I'm struggling to update NLQ and this blog because my right hand is swelling, red, itchy and awful again after almost healing up. I'm dehydrated and it's likely I'll be back in the infusion center for IV meds and rehydrating by the end of the day. Just waiting to hear back from my infectious disease doctor right now.
During those months of my physical problems I was aided by the men in my family who've stepped up to keep NLQ running and strong. They've done it all and if my hand is any indication they might have to do it again. I am so grateful for the help. You guys rocks.