Tuesday, April 03, 2007

For the Record

I'm pretty certain that only one person involved in the situation actually reads this, but I'm going to write about it anyway.

There are a handful of online forums that I'm registered and active on. You can't be a part of everything though, right? One particular forum, the one I am most active on out of all that I visit, recently had some server switching trouble that resulted in some really annoying downtime. During that time, as I understand it, three other members made great use of the chat room, with the occasional participation of one of the administrators. When the forums got back up and running, again as I understand it, these three fine ladies decided that they missed being in the chat room and asked the administrators to set up a section of the forums just for them to get down with their chatting selves. I also understand that they occasionally still met in the chat room or with a group instant messenger or something like that.

I was noticing people's post count going up (I keep an eye on it because you reach a new level with a certain number of posts and it's fun to see what the next level is, and I had the #2 highest post count, second to aforementioned administrator, so it was really fun to be the first to see what the next level is. Doesn't mean anything, just fun.) but no one was posting anything. So the administrator told me that they had a secret forum all their own and do a lot of posting there. That answers that question.

For reasons beyond me, about 2.5-3 weeks after the creation of this exclusive area (I'm not entirely sure of the exact time), I was invited to join them. I'm really not sure why. I don't have time to be in a chat room or on IM, I don't have kids or significant others to talk about (which I was told seemed to be much of the conversations), and I'd never spoken to any of them outside the regular forums excepting the two board administrators. Why they thought of me at all is still baffling.

I don't really like exclusivity, I never got along with the cliques in school, and it's impossible to discover an area of a forums that only a few people have access to and not think of it as a clique (unless it's for administrative purposes like a moderators section or something, or planning a trip and making a section for those involved. That's different. A section that exists solely for the purpose of a few people chatting is a clique.). Maybe they didn't realize that's the impression their little group gave, but it is. They call it a 'sisterhood.' That's great that they've built up that kind of fellowship. I no longer speak with the last person I called 'sister.' I actually wasn't going to join from the beginning, but I ended up getting kind of backed into a corner about it. Someone had posted a 'we're glad to have you here' message for me before I actually said yes or no, and it would have been exceptionally rude of me to say no after that (since everyone had the impression of me saying yes).

So, I tried to contribute. I quickly learned that they were still chatting in the chat room or on the IM and a good 2/3 of what was posted to the forum was a continuation of a conversation not the beginning of one. Having no time to be in chat or on IM, it was very clear that everyone else had some prior knowledge to things and I was just there. It's like being invited into the clubhouse to watch the secret handshake but no one was going to bother showing me how to do it. Maybe it's easy to forget that not everyone there was there since the beginning. I got tired of reading things that everyone else knew about, and then it once again made me wonder why they wanted me there at all.

I sent the person who invited me a message thanking her for doing it, but I felt like I wasn't really a part of their group (if it all started from talking in the chat room, then I really wasn't a part of their group), and that I would remove myself from it. Now they can have their private space back and talk about last night's chat or whatever and don't have to worry that there may be someone who doesn't know what's going on. I don't think they ever thought of that anyway. So, for you ladies who probably don't read my blog anyway, I had no idea what was going on 9 times out of 10, and after I joined, things just carried on like they previously had. That's not a fun way to spend ones time so I removed myself from the situation before I started to get angry about yet another post that required being a part of a prior conversation to understand.

I regret that they all seem to be mad at me now. I am not angry with any of them, and I am not bitter about it. It just wasn't any fun not being part of the group, so why be there in the first place? I'm sorry they're upset, as I'm sure they didn't realize the 'secret club' impression they give off. But now they can keep it to it's origins and I won't have reason to be annoyed at not being a part of it. I never should have joined in the first place, and that's my fault for not going with my gut.

Who ever thought that someone could write so much about something so insignificant? I guess I never really thought people would be upset about it either, and I'm sorry to have been the cause of that.


Anonymous said...

I know that you dont allow comments without approving them, but since I do know that you are going to be reading this, I wanted to respond.
It was never our intention to make you feel weird, or stressed out about the whole private forum, and although i cannot speak for the others, It was never my intention to make you feel like you were out of the loop. For that, I render my sincerest apologies. I guess that my interest in having you join was that you were a long time member, and we all wanted to get to know you better. Obviously, we didnt think about what our posts would say to you. Yeah, we have a good repore with each other, but we wanted to include you in that as well.
I harbor no ill feelings towards you either, and my only regret is that you did feel so out of place. We dont consider this a clique, just a private place where we dont have to edit what we want to say for the entire world to see - or for when we were unable to meet in IM or in the chat room.
Like I said, for that I apologize


Willow Goldentree said...

I am sorry.

You are beautiful. You are deserving of all the joy and good things that life can bring you. You are worthy of friends you can trust, who will listen when listening is needed and help when help is needed. You belong in the company of love and sweetness. You deserve it!

Fyrecreek said...

I need to clarify a few points.

This is about my perception only, because my perception is all I have. Whether the impression that I get is true or not, this is how it felt to me.

I mentioned that everyone seems mad at me now because I didn't feel like part of the group. This seems to be a true statement so I'll make it so. Everyone is mad at me now. I'm so very sorry that they feel angry because I didn't choose to share my feelings with virtual strangers. Yes, at the time it seemed like a better choice would be to step out and let them do what they were doing than to try to get them to change for my benefit, so that is what I did. Apparently my perception of it as I've outlined has really hurt them, because that's not the truth. That's fine, it's not the truth, but it is as I perceived it to be. If you are color blind and purple looks blue to you, that doesn't mean it really is, but it's going to look that way to you.

So, instead of being invited into an awkward situation, it seems I've created one because of my perceptions. And while the point of this blog was, in the off chance that some or all of them actually read it, to let them know in the best outlet I have what I felt and why I did what I did about it. It is not a reflection of them as people and it doesn't mean that I'm angry with them or have anything against them or don't feel like associating with them. I'm starting to think it was just the wrong time. But now, it's been blown to a point beyond what it was or was intended to be.

Despite what I say, the perception they have of me seems to be not what I was trying to do at all. Maybe it's only fair, because I didn't ask them to change and therefore didn't give them a chance to do so. What was meant as a simple 'remove myself from an unfavorable situation' was perceived as 'I don't like you.' All I can do is say that is not the case at all.