Ahhh, 2015. The year of bullshit.
Normally, I don’t ever swear in posts. I don’t like to because, well, my mom reads my blog sometimes and I don’t want to get yelled at. However, that’s pretty much the only word I know of to use to describe this year. I also don’t ever talk about my feelings, unless it’s sarcasm, but that’s all this post is about. A big pile of barfy feelings. You can click out now if you want to, but I’m going to talk about some things I’ve never talked about before that are important to me. I’m not very good with introductions, so here we go.
I was bullied.
This word is becoming so overused that it’s starting to lose meaning, and it seems people don’t know that a stating a difference of opinion is not actual bullying. If you google bullying, a lot of different variations come up but the general consensus is that bullying is where someone uses superior strength to harass or intimidate a weaker person. It took me a long time to come to terms with this, because I am NOT a weak person. But, it’s not a matter of strength. It’s a matter of imbalance.
Again, this is hard for me to write about (barfy feelings) and even really think about because it’s so ugly. I swore to never talk about it in an online setting because what happens on the internet stays on the internet. However, with the upcoming new year is upcoming changes in my life, and one of the themes in the books I’ve been reading is to talk about feelings (barf) and issues. I don’t do this. My best friend once said that there are two types of people. Peaches and Coconuts. Peaches are easy to get to know, don’t have a lot of barriers, but tend to have some things they keep very close to them and don’t talk about, aka ‘the pit’. Coconuts have a very hard shell to break through, but once you get through you reach the good stuff. My coconut shell is miles thick.
I got into blogging because I love nail polish and I love creating. I love computers. I love being able to interact with people all over the world. Then it turned sour. I was bullied by another blogger. I call it bullying because this person used their social influence in the community to try to bring me down. Not once. Not twice. Not even three times, but so many times I started referring to them as herpes…just when you think they’re gone they pop right back up. I lost friends. People blocked me. Brands dropped me. Brands I was talking to, setting up a relationship, stopped emailing me back. My blog was linked on their blog. My work information was posted on their blog. Everywhere I turned the first few months after that I saw the effects of what happened. I stayed silent.
I was told to write something, to retaliate, to fight back. I didn’t, because it I didn’t think it was worth it. The people I cared most about knew the truth, and that’s what mattered. I thought that if I ignored it, it would just go away because that’s what we’re taught, right? It didn’t. It hurt me, a lot. The harassment didn’t get better, and it started to get worse the more I remained silent. I was part of a community post that this person was also part of. I remained professional and followed through with everything, but that level of professionalism wasn’t returned. This person blocked me, but I am in several blogging FB groups where I could see repeated comments about the situation. I couldn’t be a part of several fan groups because this person was an admin of them. I was told by some makers that this person told them not to work with me. I tried to get into a blogging community, which I met all the requirements for, but I was told no because ‘of the situation’. I was added to a FB group, but was immediately kicked out by the other admin because ‘of the situation’. Do you know what that’s like? To be shunned by so many only because they took that person at their word? The things that were said about me, the things that were said that I did, are so opposite my personality and life that it was almost comical. Almost.
It still didn’t stop. A group of lovely people in the community banded together to get me one of my unicorns. I wanted to publicly thank them, so I wrote a post about it. The majority of the people on my list suddenly became blocked by this person and it turned into another storm. This person took to other groups that were removed from the nail world to say how much they were being bullied by me and ‘my group of minions’. That they were tired of the constant harassment and were considering getting a lawyer. The constant harassment. From me. Me, who had been blocked by this person for over a year. All because I wrote a thank you post. It’s bullshit.
During this time, I wanted to make some ‘real’ friends, friends I could do stuff with at nights or on the weekends, or whatever. I’ve always been an active and outdoor type of person, so now that I was moved in to a new place I started looking. Happily, I found several people I knew from the nail world already in the city I moved to. One of them seemed to enjoy the same stuff I did, so we became friends. We went hiking together, camping, exploring, checking out new places to eat, etc etc. She started to confide in me things about her personal life and I was there to listen and to be a good friend, because that’s what friends do, right? But, I could never get over a nagging feeling in my head that something wasn’t quite right. The stories seemed so outlandish. The things she told me didn’t coincide with what I knew as a health care practitioner. The slight insults here and there, the subtle digs. The way she seemed to isolate me from other people, and would constantly buy me gifts. The way it never mattered if I was busy, if she had a problem I was expected to be there. The way she never asked me about ME, or if she did know something about me (like my test anxiety) she would spin it into a negative light.
Like I said, I was trying to make friends. I didn’t want to lose someone who I could count on to do the same things I was interested in, even if I didn’t feel 100% comfortable with her. I became more wary of her than I was normally of other people. I started to question her, then question myself because COME ON, JENNE WHY CAN’T YOU BE NORMAL (this is a constant battle to me). Then, one day, she told me a story I knew was a lie. I was tired of trying to constantly believe her in my heart when my mind was slapping me in the face. So, I googled her. What I found, well, everything I thought I knew about this person was a lie. I panicked. What does one DO in that type of a situation? Our mutual friends, people who had know her for over 6 years took her for her word. And here I was with a bomb. This couldn’t be real. In my panic, I kept searching. It had to be a joke, right? It wasn’t. I dug more trying to find something, anything, she told me that was true. It just brought up more lies.
I sat on this information for two weeks before I talked to anyone about it. Mainly for selfish reasons. I didn’t want to be the cause of ruining friendships. I didn’t want to be a part of another nail world scandal, because a lot of people don’t care for the truth. The truth is boring. People want the drama and I knew this would cause a lot of drama. I was still building back relationships from the bully-gate scandal. Who would believe the truth from me if they already considered me a liar and a bad person?. After some struggle I decided to take whatever fallout I had coming to me in order to protect those that I cared about. I approached a mutual friend, who I knew had the same doubts as me, because we had talked about them before. It was awful, because I hate seeing people get hurt.
We didn’t know how to deal with it. We didn’t even know what to do with the situation. I made an appointment with a counselor who specializes in the type of behavior I thought she was displaying, because I wanted to be guided in how to approach her. As gently as he could, the counselor basically said “there is no point’. A few more weeks went by. My mutual friend I an decided it would be best to just directly confront her, say our concerns, and go from there. We didn’t want to talk about anything in the online community because we felt it was more personal. Let’s just say the ‘meeting’ didn’t happen, everything was exchanged via text, and there was a lot of stress.
The day after it happened, in early October with me being less than a month into my new job, I get a phone call. I excuse myself from work to take this call, because it was from the police. I was reported for threatening and harassing her. So, here I am, just started out in my new job, worried about my friend and tried to talk to her about it and she called the police on me and our mutual friend. I felt gut punched. Like I said, I am not a weak person but this shook me. Luckily, the officer shared our concerns and said that he couldn’t get a straight answer out of her when he asked for more information. He told us just to cut all contact with her. I did. Deleted her and blocked her on every outlet that I knew her on. I hoped that would be the end of it. Yeah, it wasn’t.
The phone calls and emails and texts started. Asking me why I was such a horrible person and how could I do that to her. She was telling people she was fired from her job and lost her health insurance because of what we did. She told people that we had it out for her and were trying to destroy her and she had welcomed us into her home and her life. She told people that I was trying to ruin her business. She told people she was going to hire a lawyer to get me fired, and that I broke my oath and all HIPAA laws by digging into her background. Googling someone doesn’t break HIPAA laws, folks. The other things I figured out by using my own noggin. So, not only did I have to explain to my new job about why the police were calling me at work, I had to have multiple meetings with my boss and their bosses about the situation so they could be prepared for something if there was an investigation opened. How’s that for making an impression? Then it hit the nail world, and we all know the aftermath of that. It’s bullshit.
So, I did what I do best in these types of situations. I retreated. Yes, the friend betrayal is something I’ve had happen more than once. This is also something I’ve been really struggling with, because the repeated instances of these things happening, where I think someone is a friend but turns out to definitely NOT be a friend, is too high. Maybe I have a punchable face, I don’t know. Maybe I’m just a jerk who treats people poorly so they want to give me a taste of my own medicine. Or, maybe what the truth is, is that it has nothing actually to do with me. I am a kind person. I go out of the way for my friends. I treat people with respect. Do I make mistakes? Absolutely. But none of my character flaws or mistakes mean I have to put up with people who try to bring me down. It’s time to change that mindset.
That’s the reason for this post. I let those two people take some of my joy. After the last situation happened, I didn’t go into my nail room for weeks. I would look at my nail polish and just get overwhelmed, discouraged, and sad. I had no joy for it anymore. That was my fault. I’m not going to let what has happened to me in my time in the nail world distract me from doing what I love to do, which is paint my nails and be artistic. I said in the beginning that I was ok with my friends knowing the truth even if I looked like a dog hating harlot in the nail community. That’s mostly true. I don’t like people believing lies about me, especially if there’s something that I can do about it. That’s why I finally wrote this, as a way to let things go. Apparently it’s good for you, again according to the books I’m reading about feelings (barf). I’ve chosen to not name the people because they don’t deserve any more screen time, and after this post I’ll never speak about what has happened publicly again. It’s done and over with, and they’re joy suckers.
2016 is my year.