An Angry Reader

When it first started I answered a couple. Then more came and I decided to wait until he was finished. I popped over to his blog and did some reciprocal reading.

Nothing about this journey has been easy. I have found a great deal of support here. I have found others with the same experiences; some are at the beginning, some are at the end, most of us don’t really know where we are.

I’ve been called brave by a few. Today it had to kick in. A new reader, “a British sinophile who lives in Victoria, Australia”, was greatly disturbed by the content of this blog. He left comments on five posts.

Post #1, Access to Adult Material

I think you are being horribly unreasonable to this guy. It’s “private information”, not “adult material”. Besides, you maintain a hate-blog entirely devoted to him!

And in the hula-hoop incident, he didn’t hurt your daughter. She hurt yourself.

Your blog posts, if they’re genuine, make you look mentally ill, which will weigh strongly against you when the courts decide custody for the children.

Be brave and approve this comment on your blog.

14 visitors, 59 views, 32 views from Australia

14 visitors, 59 views, 32 views from Australia

Gross generalities carry no weight with me. The entirety of this blog is not hate nor devoted to Donkey. Angry Reader didn’t even read the entire blog. There are 182 publicly published posts. By the time his lunch hour was over there were only 59 total views.

Plus, rants are much more respectable with correct grammar. Yeah, I went there; low blow.

I did approve this comment, but not to be considered brave by this man. I approved it because adversity, disbelief, and disrespect are what domestic violence victims and survivors encounter more, I think, than we encounter support. We support each other here, but out there is bigger, angrier, and blamier (I made up that word – blame – ee – er).

I did reply to this comment, but not to convince this man: He was horribly unreasonable to me. The blog posts are genuine which is why they are important. The courts have already decided custody for the children, and I’d wager to think you’d agree with them.

So he answered:

I feel very sorry that living as a loving family hasn’t worked out. At least, not yet.

If that really is too difficult for both of you to manage, then judging from your blog posts (and nothing else), the kids are better off with the father.

How are the kids going to learn how to love, and how to start their own families if all they learn is from you two?

I was one of those kids. Trust me, you are both hurting them more than both of you could possibly imagine.

Living as a loving family? If that really is too difficult to manage? At least, not yet? Is he suggesting Donkey and I need to reconnect and become a loving family? Fuck that. Donkey crossed the point of no return. I left, and though I have regretted that at times it isn’t leaving that I regret, it’s leaving without a police report, it’s leaving before he put me in a hospital or a coffin, that I regret.

Then he left two more comments on the same post:

By prolonging and intensifying the battle, you’re hurting your kids even more. They will one day resent both of you for this.

and

You said… “I will never get custody again. Because the judge decided I lied about being abused and used that “lie” to limit their exposure to Donkey, I am detrimental to their well-being and unfit to raise them. It isn’t a lie. I had a bad lawyer (horrible, shouldn’t be allowed to practice law).”

It’s right there. Black and white. Please admit that you’ve done wrong. Correct your mistakes and slowly work your way back towards being a loving mother. The kids want that.

Taken out of context, anything can me made to sound like whatever you want. What Angry Reader is quoting is an answer to the question “What did your lawyer say?”. Pretentious, me thinks.

Post #2, Behavior in front of the children

Angry Reader said:

Do you realise how much all of this (the courts, the videotapes, the blog, the book…) is hurting your children? My comments probably sound like lunacy to someone in your position, but if you’ll be kind enough to let me explain, I think you are both making some seriously selfish errors.

Be kind. Email me.

So I answered:

Do you realize my children are 5 & 3? Do you realize the destruction ripping them out of their home and sending them away from the only family and home they knew? Do you realize the pain from keeping silent about all of this?
I understand how this can feel threatening to some people, but I’m not being selfish with this. This is not an error. This is breaking the silence on domestic violence. This is sharing my story so others can feel less alone. It’s showing how terrible it is. It’s showing that there is life after abuse.

So he questioned and judged:

Did he actually ever violently abuse you, as you say? I’ve trawled through your blog and still find zero evidence of violent abuse.

So I suggested he keep reading. There is a comprehensive list of what I have discussed thus far on the “What he did” page. Clearly Angry Reader trawled, but worse, this particular comment demonstrate his ignorance on the dynamics of domestic violence.

Being abused doesn’t require violent abuse and it doesn’t require physical attacks; it requires using fear to control another human being. There are 7 forms of abuse recognized by the Courts of the United States: physical attacks (includes rape, though rape usually gets its own treatment), emotional abuse, control, intimidation, stalking, neglect, and economic deprivation.

I did not engage him any further except to ask him to stop reading. I felt like it would be pointless because his point was made.

Post #3, This whole entire ice cream sandwich is mine

How is this “abuse”? The only thing being abused in this story is the poor old tub of ice cream.

This is what they call a “frivolous lawsuit”, i.e. wasting the court’s time.

You’ll get punished for using this in court.

Stop wasting your kids’ university fund on acts that give them immense emotional pain.

Not that you care, but I have spent a total of $3,250 in legal fees. Compared to some totals I have read out there, this is pennies. There have been two lawsuits: the Custody Determination/Dissolution of Marriage (filed by Donkey) and the Motion to Amend the Final Judgement (filed by Donkey).

For another grammar low-blow, I won’t necessarily “get punished for using this in court”, because using this in court is part of presenting my evidence and it’s up to the judge to decide if presenting evidence is punishable. I could get punished in court for using this, this being the public display of the email exchanges between Donkey and me. It was at this point that I considered saying, your grammar is deteriorating; please calm down.

Post #4, Smash the Mental Glass

If this is true, then he sounds like an ass.

It is true, and he is an ass.

Post #5, Another lesson in the learned book

The act of putting these messages online is despicable. Private problems deserve a private response. Only public problems (e.g. what the President says and does) can have a public response (e.g. being discussed on the internet).

To which I responded Donkey can take that up with his attorney. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

This is where the benefits of a supportive community come in. Three people have added their voice and responded to Angry Reader. This isn’t to say this is the only time I have felt this community come to my side. I have heard from several readers that they appreciate this effort, this exposure, this honesty.

lookingforward

Despicable, eh? You don’t think abuse is a PUBLIC problem then? Only a private problem? In case you haven’t been paying attention here, James Kennedy, Donkey is abusive in more ways than just physically. What you have here is abuse, plain and simple. You also have her response to it, as it unfolded. Suggesting this kind of thing be kept private makes YOU just as much a part of the problem as Donkey.

genext13

You comment on her discussion yet you read it. Obviously you do not really have a problem with this being on the Internet. She is right don’t read it if it is a problem.
Melanie, get it out. That is the only way you can ever get on with your life. I sympathize with your plight and apologize for this species of male. If I may make a suggestion, allow yourself a set amount of time each day to get this venting out then try meditation. Sending you love and light.

Wife Goes On

Never stop speaking your voice and your experience. Violence and intimidation and hurting children will never stop until we make people listen – especially men politicians and judges – the world is not a nice place and neither are most people in it.

Six months ago something like this would have paralyzed me, but I have spent the last couple of months in intense personal reflection, and this will continue for many more months. The result is a resolve to continue to fight domestic violence, to understand my position in this battle, to see my mistakes then and now, and to grow into a stronger and feistier me. I got boots, baby.

I have put Angry Reader into the comments moderation box. I know I have the option to blacklist him, but I don’t know that we, or he, would benefit from being cut out completely. This kind of reaction to domestic violence is common. Refusing to acknowledge that here is cutting out a big part of our battle, but I don’t want him to have the freedom to release his wrath on my readers without first considering the value and implications of his comments.

And now, I think it’s time to put up the rest of the 3,498 word list.

Advertisements

49 comments

  1. Eesh. I’ve had a few angry commenters, too. I generally approve them, say my two cents in return and leave it at that. Sorry you are getting comments like that. They are the anomaly.

    1. This is the first time really. I had someone tell me I should be more careful, but that was more concern than a plea to change my evil ways. It was very upsetting when these comments came in, but they weren’t objective or an attempt to engage in a discussion, so I did him like I do Donkey.

      1. Ha! That’s good, get all the practice you can!

      2. I’d hate to think you’d let someone like that effect you.

        1. It did, but not for long. I just pulled out my “I feel awesome” dress for work instead of the pants and sweater I had out already. It worked too. By the time I arrived at work I wasn’t shaking anymore and I started writing.

          1. Atta girl! 🙂

  2. I’m not much of a hugger, or personal space invader, but I wish I could give you a hug. You’re doing great!

    1. You did give me a hug, a great big comments-of-support hug. Thank you!

  3. I had a few of those angry readers, but never as dedicated as yours. Don’t let ignorant people make you feel less than what you are. A strong women who loves your children.

    1. Angry readers are no fun. I hope he has decided to move on. I did count my blessings with this though: he’s one, we are many.

      1. Exactly! More of us than him.

  4. Wow! Number one this is your site and you have the right to say whatever you want. Number two he is obviously bitter towards his parents and taking it out on you and number three, wholly judgement on his part! Can we say narcissist…Oh man let me at him! How dare he speak to you like that! The last thing you need is more abuse and judgement, non the less from a stranger who hasn’t walked in your shoes!

    1. You take Angry Reader and I’ll take Dr. Ass. Together we’ll rid the world of meanies!
      I do feel a bit like I took the brunt of his bad day. Thanks for being with me on this!

      1. you’re on! let me at him! lol

    2. You are right. This person is not just a victim of abuse of his own, to whatever extent, but he seems to need some counseling to come to realistic terms with what he went through. Not unlike anyone who has ever been in a codependent or abusive dynamic. Secrecy and shame are the core values of abuse and codependency and he seems to trade off between trying to make you experience both as a result of both your blog and your actions in your perswonal life. When someone tries to make you feel something, particularly shame, it is because that person is not willing to face it in his or her own life.

      1. that’s exactly it!

      2. I did notice he only focused on the suffering of Donkey and the kids like I hadn’t and am not. The kids are suffering, no doubt. Donkey is too, but it is of his own making. The kids can be protected from this blog when they are of reading age. They are protected from our hate now. Donkey and I converse civilly in the children’s presence. Were we still together, the hate and dysfunctional relationship would be our daily existence.

  5. Lotsa hugs and good on you for standing up to this guy!

    1. I just did him like I do Donkey. He should have expected I would, considering.

      1. very true! lol it will be interesting to see if he shows up again…although i hope not for your sake!

        1. If he does and doesn’t turn his tone to respectful, he’ll be the first entry in my blacklist box.

          1. for sure! but sic a bunch of us women on him and he may find he won’t last ha!

            1. I’ll bring the pitchforks if you bring the torches.

              1. Now we’re talking! This is sounding like more fun all the time!!

                1. Now I kinda wish I had put a picture of a pitchfork with the post.

                  1. ahaha! that would have been funny!

  6. Gracie More · · Reply

    Keep writing, keep talking… keep shouting it out. You are right in documenting as you do, sharing your experiences as you are and relaying the realities of abuse as you have been. I am sorry that you have such ignorance to contend with along the way too… but if there is any ‘positive’ to it, it should inspire you to continue showing one of the worst forms of abuse, of which is often the most overlooked and misunderstood… clearly proven by such ridiculous, offensive and ignorant comments made!. What you have been through and continue to suffer should never be underestimated. Even as i have read through your blogs, i still have the pit of my stomach turn every time i do and it angers me hugely… not because of what you write or how you write it or why you write it, but the fact you are still suffering it and it is so hard to see where it will end… but rest assured it will. I sympathise with everything you have been through and the injustice that surrounds it. It is ALL too familiar and sickening, hence why some cannot get their heads round it as it doesn’t ‘fit’ with ‘what should be’ or ‘how things are’ in the ‘real’ world of the system and abuse. I HAVE walked in your shoes, pretty much step by step from what i have read so far…. and for anyone who hasn’t, do NOT let them bring you down, it is hard enough and you most certainly do not need to justify to anyone, why you write or what you write…. I wish you all the best

    1. I will keep writing, I will keep talking, and this post is exactly how I shout it out. I will not be talked to like this. I have Donkey for that. It also shows me how I’ve grown and where I still need to grow. That reader was wrong. He didn’t read everything, but acted like he had. The more I think about it, the more I think he has an ex who feels the same way about him that I do about about Donkey.

  7. Me thinks you have a Troll! “Question: What Is an Internet ‘Troll’? How Should I Deal With Trolls?
    Answer: An internet ‘troll’ is an abusive or obnoxious user who uses shock value to promote arguments and disharmony in online communities. Named after the wicked troll creatures of children’s tales, an internet troll is someone who stirs up drama and abuses their online anonymity by purposely sowing hatred, bigotry, racism, mysogyny, or just simple bickering between others. Trolls like a big audience, so they frequent blog sites, news sites, discussion forums, and game chat. Trolls thrive in any environment where they are allowed to make public comments.”

    We are all in this together, dear-heart.

    1. Troll indeed. He has disappeared as quickly as he appeared since I made it so all his comments have to go through me first.
      We are all in this together. I’m glad I have supporters like you! Thank you.

  8. you probably recognized some things about this troll that caused your hackles to stand high. Aww…just read this article. It sums things up quite nicely 😀

    http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/weirdwebculture/f/what-is-an-internet-troll.htm

  9. I’m not sure if the link was posted. I’m going to try again as it apparently disappeared. Read it. You’ll recognize some things about the troll.

    http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/weirdwebculture/f/what-is-an-internet-troll.htm

  10. Sounds like this troll was raised in the same patriarchy and misogynist culture as Donkey. I hate to admit it, but so was I and so are most men. Thank you for shedding light on our ignorance and privilege. Your line “adversity, disbelief, and disrespect are what domestic violence victims and survivors encounter more” reminds me of how rape victims were/are treated when they come forward. I have been a part of this patriarchy for too long. I just want to let you know that I am sorry. Sorry that you have to deal with trolls and donkeys. Sorry I didn’t help put a stop to this earlier.

    1. Thank you. You are helping to put a stop to it now. I get the feeling when I read you that you see there is a cycle that needs to be stopped. I mean, you’re promoting Peace for goodness sakes, and practicing it.
      Though some of this can be stopped on the social level, meaning people can stop accepting it through their silence on it, but the work requires the individual misogynist to work too and that is an uphill battle with no gas, no ropes, and no tow trucks.

  11. I think this type of garbage was in the stars this week!!! I am late to the game on this one because I had to step away. Some nasty trolls became tiresome for me. I am finished trying to explain myself to people who generally aren’t interested in changing their point of view. They’re just interested in getting us defensive. It’s an abuser’s game and I am taking myself out of it. I was accepting, commenting, and then deleting. In the future, I will just delete. I refer these fools to specific posts and then wish them luck and the block their fucking asses from commenting again. Losers lose things including their right to comment on my blog. MY blog!!! Hehe! You’re doing great, Melanie.

    1. They want to take their bad day out on us because they think we are vulnerable. Wrong! That’s why I did him like I do Donkey. You want to tell me I’m despicable, then I’ll show everyone why you are.
      I saw pretty quickly what was going on. Eventually I told him to stop reading. He hasn’t appeared since. The worst part of it was I was ready to attack him back for his blog for giving away the endings of the books he reviews. But, maybe because I’m not a narc, I decided that would be rude and pointless.
      And, you’re right. You blog is yours. My blog is mine. I do actually get to claim complete control over it and that kind of s-h-i-t isn’t going to fly here.

  12. I wonder if this Angry Reader didn’t get dumped by someone and now he’s out to blame all women? It must be their fault, it could never be the perfect guy! Ugh. Good for you for standing up to the jerk. The only good thing about it is at least you know he’s a troll. It’s when our supposed friends say stuff that it can dig down deep. But don’t let this guy get to you. He’s seems like an ignorant jerk.

  13. Le Clown · · Reply

    Melanie,
    So… After 3 months… Did Angry Reader ever dropped by again? I’m kind of craving a follow-up post. Or am I just being petty?
    Le Clown

    1. Yes, actually, but not with anything significant. He left a couple of one word comments, so since that doesn’t add to the conversation or give me post fodder, and since I don’t respect him, I deleted the comments without approving them. If he is still lurking, he’s keeping his mouth shut.

    2. P.S. You’re not being petty. Had he continued, I would have done another post, but with a more clever title.

  14. […] I don’t do trolls. Anyone who negatively lashes out at anyone speaking out will be deleted and promptly reported. If they are persistently aggressive, I’ll do them like I do Donkey and unleash the fury of the support system in place here. Just ask Angry Reader. […]

  15. I was directed here from Zoe’s blog. She mentioned angry reader and I had to look. I won’t say what I think of the comments you received, other than to say that someone has either not dealt with domestic violence or is in denial.
    Thank you for speaking out,
    Scott

    1. Scott, Thank you for taking the time to come over from Zoe’s blog.
      This particular person did not have empathy when commenting and reading, and released some frustration on me, but thankfully he has stayed away, mostly, since this. I do hope that someday he realizes the severity of abuse and the harm such comments can do.

  16. Some people are a mystery, and not the good kind either. Best to simply throw them back into the stream whenever one gets caught up in the net. You have every right to speak out about domestic violence. Doing so is amazingly brave. Blogs like yours give the rest of us a chance to compare the wounds and try to make sense of what happened. This guys comments really sounds like he’s speaking for your donkey (I call mine, the Alien). Don’t be discouraged. These jokers don’t speak for us.

    1. I like your stream analogy. That’s so fitting.
      Alien is such a good moniker. They really aren’t from this world, are they.
      This guy did sound just like donkey, like all donkeys. I am glad I am able to speak out. I know not every one is, and the more of us who can, the louder we will be and soon enough more and more people will listen and we can increase awareness and work towards ending it.

  17. To me it seems that Angry Reader is just really sensitive to the subject as he was a child of two parents caught up in domestic violence, like myself.

    I think he has never really thought his experiences through and he should consult a therapist to make sense of what he’s been through. What he is actually doing is just getting angry at something that he doesn’t understand — and he obviously hides behind a lot of laws and regulations, which is just pussy-like behavior.

    I wish my mother left before it got out of hand (instead of waiting 25 years for my father to find someone else and then move on), I wish my mother had the guts to go out and public with her stories.

    In the eyes of the child, me, that would’ve shown courage and I would’ve learned what courage was. I had to learn what courage was, when I was 27 years old, after being stepped on a 1000 times.

    One courageous act of my mother would’ve changed everything.

    1. I agree that Angry Reader has some issues to work through. I didn’t tear apart our home when I left, my ex tore apart our home when he attacked me.
      I do hope that someday my children do understand that what I did and do is courageous. I am glad that you did finally learn what courage is, even if it took 27 years – it is a lesson hard learned and hard forgotten.

  18. It’s a shame you have to deal with such comments. Everyone handles their past experiences differently, but they are not entitled to attempt to impose their views on others like yourself. Well done for being brave and responding with such grace and reasonableness. The voice of this one anomaly does not negate your courage. xx

    1. It is a shame, but thankfully he is the anomaly. I haven’t had much of this, and for that I am thankful. I am also thankful I was able to handle it without flying off the roof on a broomstick.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. 🙂

speak loudly, donkeys are sleeping

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: