I have to take a break from my regularly scheduled programming to put down something personal.
This doesn't apply to most of my readers, and it's a message to some of my friends. Others will probably read it, and some of them will be people who do not deserve the explanation. It's not for them. It's for people I care about.
The thing is, I'm incredibly used to disagreeing with people. I have had long time friends disown me because of my political views or because they have opinions about my lifestyle. I have strong opinions on just about everything and I'm outspoken and I'm passionate about them. I've grown accustomed to it, and it is easy for me to sit back and let someone hate me because they're not adult enough to realize that differences don't make the world a terrible place, they make it diverse. It's okay, for me, to sit back and just let people dislike me because they disagree with me or think that I'm over the top. I'm me, I'm not changing, and I'm happy with myself.
It's another thing entirely to have no power over those people's lies, and to have to watch those you love be fed untrue rumors and then see them start to believe them. Lies about me.
See, all of my regular readers have heard about my love/hate relationship with birth boards. I can't keep myself away. Glutton for punishment? Maybe. But really, I think it's more about having a social life, and people to turn to when I'm suffering from pregnancy and my facebook friends and family are suffering from HEARING about my pregnancy.
I've been on countless boards. I started out on BabyCenter 7 years ago when I had my first baby. I was a naive little 21 year old girl whose husband was in boot camp. I knew nothing about anything. I had no stance on breastfeeding, circumcision, vaccines, cloth diapering or so on. None. I was scared and excited and overwhelmed. When I joined then, I read a lot, but contributed very little.
Through my second and third babies, I surfed through other sites such as letsyaddayaddayadda.com and chatterscene.com and thebump.com. Babycenter was by far the best because, while I love to talk about pregnancy problems/joys/excitement/tmi's/mucus plugs and cervical mucus, I prefer the ability to talk about other things as well. Real life. Play games. Food Porn. (You know about pregnant women and their food.) The bump is very strictly pregnancy related. Chatterscene requires 500 posts before you can even join specific groups. Very difficult to make friends, and yadda is ridiculously catty.
When I was pregnant with Teague (#4) I created an account for Babycenter. It was Braeleighof4. My outspoken nature earned me some friends and some enemies. I received one warning for making a personal attack on another member. I own up to it. It wasn't right for me to call her the name I did. But I'm human and flawed. It was the only warning I received. My friends, I thought, were genuine. So we made a separate facebook group. I wasn't friends with everyone in it- just about 5 or so of the women in it. There were around 29 all together. Unfortunately, without the girls who were out to make our lives miserable on the birth board, the women in the facebook group turned onto some of their own. I was one of them.
From there, they attacked everything about me. They stole pictures of my children and mutilated them on photoshop. They attacked my religion. They gave my phone number to some of the women on the birth board who severely disliked me. So, I was forced to block them. I blocked them all and changed my privacy settings.
That was two years ago.
When I became pregnant this time, I resisted the birth boards at first. But I'm lonely. I have four children and one on the way. My wonderful husband works two jobs out of town and is only home one day a week. I have friends in real life, but not a lot of money and many of them live far away. I also had (have) a subchronic hematoma. That's something I have never had in any previous pregnancies, and I'm worried about it, so I needed support. I up and joined the BBC again. March 2013, even though I'm due the first few days of April. My babies always come early.
However, in order to protect myself and my children, I used an alias. I went with JuniperSnap because I love the name Juniper from Benny and Joon the movie. I put my settings to private, and refused to join any facebook groups.
Of course, as I said before, I'm me, and I'm not changing. So, my strong opinions earned me several people who didn't like me. A few weeks after joining, at the beginning of August, I was given a warning because a woman with the character Butthead from Bevis and Butthead was telling me how ridiculously stupid I was for wanting to circumcise a boy child, and I asked "I wonder if there's a reason you have Butthead as your profile pic."
It isn't technically a personal attack per guidelines. (Yes, there are a lot of loop holes by the way you phrase your comments.) From there on, I was careful. However, the same girl with the Butthead profile changed her name to something else, and made me a target. It was obvious to the whole board. She started making private messages to many of the people who were becoming my good friends and telling them I was a troll. (A troll is someone who posts just to get a rise out of people. THey often have multiple accounts and aren't who they say they are- as in they may not even be pregnant, may not have the number of children they say, or so on. THey lie. This isn't to be confused with aliases as the one I was using, because BBC actually vehemently cautions AGAINST using your REAL information- names and places and so on. ) It's also an immediate banning offense for those who call troll against other members.
Being upset about the harassment going on, I contacted the moderators of BBC. I told them that this particular member was saying that I was fake, and wasn't who I said I was, and that she was messaging people who were my friends and trying to convince them of it. I said that I just want her to leave me alone. I also told them that 2 years ago, I had a different screen name, but due to other harassment issues, I had made a new one this time so that I could be anonymous and that I haven't used the other account in two years and didn't plan on using it ever again. The ONLY account I was using was JuniperSnap.
I was banned 24 hours later. There was no warning. When I contacted them, they said that any account made under the IP address of my computer would carry over any warnings I have had.
The warning system on BBC is complicated. You can be banned immediately for some things, or you can have half a dozen or more minor offenses and they are supposed to judge based on that. But the warnings never go away.
So, I responded and said that I have two warnings then, and they are extremely minor, especially considering my prominent stance on the birth board and how many times people attack me viciously. One of them was also over 2 years ago, and the time between my offenses should be taken into account.
They finally responded with the notice that having multiple accounts for any reason, even the one that I had to protect myself, is a banning offense effective immediately upon discovery.
But guess what. They didn't ban the girl who was calling me a troll, and she also had multiple screen names, which she changed after the Group Owners posted about personal information being discouraged and her screen name was her first and middle name in real life.
So, babycenter moderators are not only leaving the rules up for interpretation and banning those that shouldn't be banned, but they're hypocrites as well.
I'm not allowed there anymore. I can read the threads from my computer, but I can't get on. It says the site doesn't exist if I try. And there are many threads just blatant and out in the open that show the girl who got me banned talking about how I don't have the children I said i have. Telling people who I cared about that I am not even pregnant. That she has figured me out and that I'm a liar. The only thing I lied about is my name. Here i am. On my blog. Read it. Look at the pictures. These are my babies. My family. THIS is me. Nothing was different except for the name.
Now who is lying?
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