The Clubs That No One Wants to Join
And then it turns out that it was a hoax.
Considering that no one sane wants to be infertile, happily chooses to lose a wanted pregnancy or a child, there sure seems to be a lot of people who want to create fake blogs depicting these situations. A lot is an overstatement, but it certainly seems like a lot if you’ve been around the ALI blogosphere for a while. I linked to two stories in that last post on being a frier (“sucker” in Hebrew); there have been more than two.
I still believe, for the most part, that the majority of damage is contained in the moment. You feel foolish for expending emotional energy on a fake story, but I’ve seen this community weather a few of these by this point, and this one was small potatoes compared to one several years back which went on for considerably longer, the blogger deeply entrenched in the community. Her news appeared many times in the LFCA, her blog was on the blogroll, she participated in community-wide projects, commented liberally. She was known by many in this corner of the blogosphere, and her hoax brought out a lot of anger.
So I watched us roll through that, and like so many times when we say that an event has changed the community forever, the statement is both true and somewhat false. A community is never static, so every person entering or exiting changes it. Every moment changes it. But this particularly community is also a tough community who came together with a purpose — to trade information and support. And that need doesn’t disappear just because someone chooses to exploit us. Therefore, we come back together again and again to fulfill that need despite people performing acts which distract us from our goal to be there for one another and to weigh in with our thoughts on the emotional side of infertility and loss (as well, sometimes, to discuss what worked for us).
There was a blogger a while back — LisaP — who changed my life. She has since died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but back in 2006, she read my blog and noticed things in my story that reminded me of her own. So she emailed to ask if my doctor had done a clotting panel, and a few appointments later with a hematologist, I got my probable answer (and possible solution) to my early losses.
That, to me, is the ALI community. We watch out for each other, we hold each other accountable for what we put into the world, we hold each other up, we give each other ideas. I stick around to get that and to give that. My goal in life is to be someone else’s LisaP, to have them think fondly of me once I’m gone and say, “that woman changed my life.” And to be completely selfish, I’m here because you all get me through my day. Even the stuff I don’t blog about. Sometimes I don’t even need the communication; I just need to know you exist and you’re out there. And other times, I need the hug or the conversation or the advice. So I hopefully give and I definitely take. And then the hoaxes come along and they are a distraction, but they ultimately don’t deter me from what I want to do which is the give and take.
The people who do this suck, plain and simple. They see hurt and exploit it. They see kind hearts and exploit them. They want care in the same way that we all want care, but they steal it instead of asking for it. And like all thieves, emotional thieves make us feel unsafe because if they can take our tears, take our attention, take our empathy, what else can people take?
There are really no good words with these sorts of things. But know that the people out there who have my trust, you still have my trust. And to everyone hurting today from this, you have my hugs.