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Sunday, July 20, 2014

And The Banned Played On

There's this thing we talk about in Christian circles.  A little catch phrase for when things are looming above us....seems so big we can't possibly tackle it.  "Facing Our Giants" is something we talk about a lot.  You know the little dude David, quite sure he could kick Goliath's tush, not because he was strong and able, but because he had faith in the Lord.  That kind of faith is so empowering because really, we all have those giants.  Not the hairy, scary Philistine kind, but just normal, everyday people and situations that threaten to overtake our peace.

And so I was banned from a group I really enjoyed being a part of.  And it makes NO sense.  I mean, I can't get my mind around it.  My friends are shocked.  *I* am shocked.  But it's the same old story.  Girl World.  Play nice, play fake, do not TALK about anything and it will all  be okay.  And I already knew all this, but what shocks me is how this is coming from a person/people I looked up to as righteous and I realized it was so wrong to put ANYONE on a spiritual pedestal.  I just figured if I ever wronged someone who was a Christian, we'd talk about it, resolve it, have communion.  This whole shunning thing is beyond me.  They can have their group and pretend everyone in it is all happy and well and not human and all that, but what KILLS me is another Christian treating me this way, treating ANY sister in Christ this way. No dialogue at all?  Nothing?  No words, no even TRYING to sort it out? I just can't even (hahaha, Amber....that's just for you right there...)

And so I gave it up. I gave up the idea that this could be resolved.  I am crushed, not because I really care about the group,but because of how this was handled by people I always felt like....were so much better than me.  That loved God and loved people who loved God, but in the end, loved the faux peace that came from pretending it wasn't happening.  So I put it to rest, only after...(y'all know me...) I wrote a letter that wasn't even read to a person involved.

You see, poor Jamie took over the email while I was grocery shopping. He thought the whole thing was silly, but wanted to help me out because he's that kind of guy.  He got the same responses over and over again, more and more maddening "If she broke the rules, it's okay....we forgive her."  It couldn't POSSIBLY be that I didn't and that the reason they couldn't get to the bottom of it was because the messages that "broke the rules" were deleted by the mods before anyone could verify what they were.  I always say when you have two totally different stories from two different people, you have to ask yourself who has the most to gain from lying?  In this case, it wasn't me :)  I didn't say something ugly about a group of people who are following a book I am helping promote and then pretend I didn't say it, only agreeing to apologize in private.  I am just the girl who called it out because it was wrong.  It still IS wrong.  Like Jamie said, "You need to moderate a group? Fine.  Moderate.  That doesn't mean gossiping about the women who are posting in private.."  I am still really uncomfortable with a group of women moderating another group of women who are sharing very personal information about their weight and weight loss journey talking in private about those women, but hey, that's just me.  I think it's unloving, unkind and unethical.  But then, again, I'm a total troublemaker that way ;)

And so I sent my last word to explain MY position...and to give that person a chance to examine my side and prayerfully consider that maybe, just maybe...this Momma who stood up to that moderator might ACTUALLY be the wronged on and I know...oh I know...that creates a bit of a sticky problem when a person you like and is doing something for you has done something wrong.  No one wants to deal with that, but unfortunately, that's what being a grown up is...and so since my message wasn't even read and we've heard nothing back from anyone...and the group is still hidden from me....I will use this blog to say my peace.  This is the letter I wrote, all names removed because it's not my intention to call people out, just to get  IT out because what happened to me is wrong....And it will most likely happen again.

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Person who is involved, Oh my. What a mess. I was following the messages between you and my husband and feel like I'm trying to untangle a big ball of lace weight yarn after my cat got into it. There are some GLARING misunderstanings happening and my poor husband was trying to sort through it all for me. I do not expect a reply and quite frankly if I got another "Let's just all be friends" sort of reply, I would cry. I am so hurt that this is happening. And stunned. I cannot use that word enough. First, I did not try to sell or start a group to sell anything. This is making me batty. I said, yes in public, "I wonder if we should have a group for (product being discussed) consultants that love (book) to talk shop." THAT IS ALL I SAID. How on earth can that be construed as trying to sell anything or saying that (book)somehow endorses a product? Please examine the logic here. A group, that wasn't even yet named or formed, for consultants....trying to sell? To whom would we sell to if we all sold the product? "Talk Shop.." was that somehow misunderstood as shopping? Talk shop=talk business. I truly felt like I was saying "Hey, y'all....this topic is really bothering people, so why don't we take over to that booth over there..." Next thing I know, I am being pinged for soliciting. I was not removed from the group after this went on. As a matter of fact, everything in question (that had nothing at all to do with (products being discussed) at this point in the thread) was removed and it went along fine. It wasn't until I replied to the private message I got saying I understood how hard it was to moderate, but I felt like lying during all this was not okay...then I was banned. When I refer to lying, I am referring to the mods saying they deleted messages that were solicitous. They never existed in the first place...and the mods know this. It was a measure to justify the actions of deleted the "shark" messages...when other members stated they saw no spam, the moderators explained that's because they were so quick to remove them. No. Just no. I was on the thread the entire time and there were no solicitous posts. And the "quick to remove" is an interesting choice of words seeing as how the moderators left the private message up for a good 5-10 minutes without realizing it was there. There was nothing being hurriedly deleted for the good of the group, I can assure you of that. What WAS deleted? My post saying "Was that supposed to be a private message? Are we being discussed in private? I am really uncomfortable with that..." A public reply to a pubic post, but the mod doesn't get in trouble...only the member who says something about it. That's interesting isn't it? I would like to point out that yes, I understand the moderators volunteer their time and that is a lovely service. However, let me also point out that every single contributor to that forum is also a *volunteer* Every single person that encourages, gives ideas, solutions, recipes, answers to questions....WE ALL "volunteer". That word should never be used as a free pass for bad behavior or being above the law and that is exactly what is happening here. This has been said many times over in this situation..."She volunteers..her time..it's hard..." I understand. I really and truly understand,but I can't get on board with the idea that this is even part of the conversation when it comes to behaving badly. Your volunteer called the members in that thread a name. She then posted that publicly when it was intended to be private gossip. The exact words were "Like sharks to chum...I called it didn't I?" Can you understand how uncomfortable it is knowing that things you post are being discussed, in an ugly manner, by people you don't even know? I do accept her apology to ME, and it was a very sweet and humble apology, but I do not think it's okay that only went to me and was done so quietly. She owed an apology to way more than one person. That is not "drama." That is righteous behavior. Next, "threatening to blog..." I am sitting here thinking, really? Me? A Threat? ME? Melissa? If you only knew. If you knew me...my friends upon reading that last night in our own private discussion thought this was FUNNY. I am not "that girl." I think the phrase I used may have been too familiar "I am so upset about this I even blogged it.." Very common place in my life. It's a measure of how excited, upset, happy or sad I am about anything. I WAS blogging about this. That was my confession to her "This upset me so much I am even blogging it..." That was me pointing out how strongly I felt, not a threat? I am not sure how on earth it could be one....I mean....what exactly is threatening about that? I am just so...shocked. I mean I am really just shocked. I think we can all agree that there has been some huge inconsistencies in understanding and getting to the bottom of this. That tends to happen when evidence is destroyed before a neutral party can examine it. I tried to discuss this with the moderator,but when the misdeed was brought to light, she fled. I don't understand that way of doing things. To me, there is no "drama" in discussing something until a resolution is reached. For me, especially as a Christian, "Hug and make up" is not acceptable. We are called to repentance each and every time we sin. This person, while I am sure is lovely (I am not calling that into question, my children are the most lovely creatures on earth....They are my soul...I still spend many hours of my day bringing them back to righteousness as is my duty) has done wrong, and done wrong while representing (book) My banning was because I addressed it with her (in private no less....I was not banned for my public comments. She did so only after the private message) I saw the messages bounce back and forth once I got home from my grocery shopping last night and I wasn't sure if I should send my own message or not, but I had to this morning to speak my peace. I am not going to say "Ohhhh....how cute....let's just hug....let's make up...peace, peace, peace..." Do I want peace? Absolutely. But the sweeping under the rug so the room looks pretty is not my way of doing things. Let's actually clean up the mess. I am aware of the no soliciting policy. I didn't solicit. I told a mod in private I was so upset that I was blogging (she banned before she asked to see that and also blocked from further discussion with her. She completely just blocked me.) My crime? I called sin, sin. I didn't break the rules and I think once everything is examined, you will see that. I have been pushed out for standing up. Had that private message calling us sharks not been posted in public, all of this would be a moot point. So essentially this situation has the member who stood up for the other members banned, and the moderator still able to moderate. I hope you can see the huge injustice in that. It wasn't *until* I stood up about this comment that all the other accusations came to fruition, which is....concerning. I feel like I do with my children. I ask about what they did wrong and instead of a straight answer, I am given the 15 things the other child did to deserve what they got. I find it interesting that when you got involved and asked about what was happening, now all of the sudden there are all these things I've done. Were those an issue, enough to be BANNED, you'd think I would have been talked to about them prior to us contracting YOU. Were they? Nope. Only when we asked you was I able to face my accuser. I have been a (book fan) since it was offered in (magazine it was offered in) I have followed the Facebook group FOREVER. I get most of our recipes and tweaks and hacks for the plan from there, so I am asking for the ban to be lifted. This ban will affect my being able to stay on this and show it to others and I am horrified that someone's pride is being allowed to steal something precious away from my family. I am praying fervently that your moderator can see how her actions, a small thoughtless irritation, has caused such a ruckus. Grace abounds, my heart is soft towards her, but in love, I will not say "Oh it will be okay, let's just let bygones be bygones..." However, she has to bring this to the cross. We can talk about who did what and what was said until the end of time, but at this very second the Lord knows our hearts and who is truly in the wrong in this situation. I think we should all really, really think on that truth and how none of the specifics matter. They truly don't. We all love the Lord and this hurts His heart. I forgive her for her comments to me, but until she can admit the dishonesty in representing my actions, I can't forgive that because she hasn't asked. Instead of facing that, she banned me.... This is truly the last word I'll speak on the matter. I already know your position and that this had to be frustrating for me. Should you wish to reinstate me, I would be please. Should you not, I will mourn that loss and bring it to God. Only He can soften hearts and that will be my prayer. Thank you for reading. I would appreciate no further reply as I really do feel everything that needs said, has been said. With hope and love,

Me (and yes, in hindsight I feel SO stupid for saying I am blogging about it but a certainly didn't see it as a threat because I knew that I wasn't blogging specifics at all, or trying to call anyone out...and like...only 7 people read my blog LOL so the thought that saying "This is so upsetting I am even blogging about my feelings on it.." was a threat was weird to me, however, I do see where it could be taken as that and well, I get it but I knew what my intentions were and what I meant and had I been asked, I could have cleared that up.  Fascinating thing about DISCUSSION...it tends to do that clearing things up thing quite nicely.  Shutting down and refusing to communicate tends to do the opposite and that is what the mod did.  Blocked me.  For asking to discuss it...Awesome.  Also her apology was not THAT sweet. I read it once, thinking oh that's nice...but then I read it again and basically it was "You have to understand I VOLUNTEER....for up to 8 hours a day...and so I was tired and grouchy and I am sorry if you thought my comments were directed at you....they weren't."  Okay, so another straight up lie because when the comment appeared, she had copied and pasted the entire thread, so there really was nothing left to interpretation as to who she was speaking about......I hate "I'm sorry YOU felt that way apologies....")

Anyhoo, so I am moving on and moving up.  Got a lot of praying to do for those involved because a lot of selling out on beliefs in order to keep up appearances is happening and that is never good.

So I'm banned.  I'll deal.  And move on I will....

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