Sunday, 24 October 2010

Two sides to every story

It’s not all beer and skittles, this online life. One of the most difficult things to come to terms with, I think, is that if you raise your head above the parapet, people think they can publish what they like about you.

For legal reasons, there’s only so much I can say on this for the time being.

But for those of you who believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt until they have heard both sides of an argument, I hope you'll take the time to read what I can tell you.

1. Sometimes, earlier in the year, you hear things about someone, who you like and think you get on with, and you ignore the things you hear, because you try to take people at face value. You think it’s unfair that person seems to be getting such a hard time, from so many people, when all they’ve ever been is nice to you. But a little bit later you hear more things, from different people, and you think ‘uh oh’. And then you hear even more things, from even more people, and you start to wonder if you’ve been naive. And on it goes.
2. Sometimes you discover that the person in question is indeed not the person you thought they were, when out of the blue a bit of banter turns quite unpleasant and you are on the receiving end of their vitriol.
3. Sometimes you and that person stop communicating for a little while and you wonder if it’s a good idea to be involved in the event they’re organising, but you’re aware your name is connected to the event and people have emailed you saying how much they’re looking forward to meeting you and you wonder what to do for the best, because the last thing you want to do is let anyone down.
4. Sometimes you think ‘it’ll blow over’, and a few weeks later you go away, thinking you’ll sort it all out when you’re back, and you have a lovely time and make new and really quite fabulous friends.
5. Sometimes you return from your lovely break to discover your dog has had a bad accident and needs £850 worth of emergency surgery and meanwhile the previous nonsense hasn’t blown over, in fact things have taken a decidedly alarming and increasingly bizarre turn.
6. Sometimes you think after a heated phone call and email exchange that you and the person concerned have sorted things out and are moving on, maybe not as friends but at least as colleagues, which is good, because you have so much to deal with right now.
7. Sometimes you discover the next day that the person concerned, despite sending you an apology in writing the previous day, had done something behind your back a few days earlier which you can’t quite believe but which makes you very cross because it could damage your livelihood, which is how you pay your bills (including the vet’s bill).
8. Sometimes you feel so overwhelmed by all this and the things going on in your personal life, too, that you have a rant on someone’s blog.
9. Sometimes that blog owner tells you to ‘go f*** yourself.’
10. Sometimes you feel that you’ve had enough of all this nonsense, and you know deep down you can no longer be part of an event you really wanted to be part of, but still you don’t want to let anyone down.
11. Sometimes more people, who you have never met, perhaps sensing you might be vulnerable, decide to have a go.
12. Sometimes you resign from something you were going to be a part of but you decide not to make a big song and dance about it because you don’t want to spoil it for anyone else, so you write a very polite email to all the organisers giving them your best wishes for the event and you feel relieved and hope people will understand.
13. Sometimes you go to another big event and you meet lots of lovely people and you think how lucky you are to know them and they restore your faith.
14. Sometimes you feel attacked, and you lash out on twitter, and that’s your right, because you are being honest and you have nothing to hide.
15. Sometimes you discover another blogger who apparently feels she can take the moral high ground has set up not one but two fake blogs and you start to feel a bit sorry for them.
16. Sometimes you return home on a Saturday afternoon to discover someone you have never met but who a month before had emailed you asking for the truth about what happened has blogged about you and you read comments written by people who don’t know you and have never met you, and never will, but for some reason have decided they don’t like you and will use any opportunity to have a go without ever trying to understand your side of the story, because they just don’t care, and you think... ‘meh’.
17. Sometimes you think why did the dog chew that wire, apparently it’s really important for setting up the Wii.
18. Sometimes you think that the last thing you want to see is Ann Widdecombe in a pair of purple hotpants.
19. Sometimes you think it’s a scandal what the Tories are doing to the NHS.
20. Sometimes you think: real life is more important.


  1. 'real life' IS far more important, you're right. The sooner some people realise that, the better.
    Give your dog a big cuddle from me and my yellow lab, Candy xxx

  2. Ah Liz. It's sad when people mix up blogging with real life isn't it? And even sadder that some people will blindly believe everything they read just because someone's written it. On with real life, then, my friend x

  3. I'm still new to blogging and so I've only become aware of the really strange ways some people behave when the hide behind a computer screen. My OH calls them 'keyboard warriors'. Not sure about the warrior part but its half put me off blogging, I've become very unsure whether or not to continue if this is the kind of thing that goes on.
    You're absolutely right though Liz, nothing is more important than what happens in our real lives.
    I've never found your blogs anything other than honest and a great read. Hope it all blows over Liz. These people are not worth it. If they couldn't say what they've said online to your face in the pub then they're very sad people indeed x

  4. Such an emotive post which made for very good reading.

    Sadly many people who we perceive as friends turn out to be the opposite, which is particularly sad when we have built up a relationship (albeit online) with them and shared in many personal situations.

    Unfortunately people will always believe what they read, as they often only see what they want to see or what their friends are telling them is accurate. Thankfully the people who matter take the time to hear both sides of the story and make an informed choice, or else stay out of what's happening.

    You are so right in that real life is more important than online though often many true friendships start as online aquantainces. I'm sorry that you have been through such an awful time.

    Sending you lots of love and hugs, and sending you dog big cuddles and lots of get well wishes from me and my four legged friends.

    Laura xxx

  5. I've seen all this from afar... I thought blogging was supposed to be fun ... are people really taking this so seriously.. I read the other blog too... pretty shameless if you as me .. sad ...

    Best away from them my love x

  6. I just can't believe all this is blowing up...6 MONTHS later. I can barely remember what I did yesterday let alone things that happened 6 months ago.

  7. I am a relative newbie to blogging and missed a lot of the discussion (thank goodness.) Must say I never know who actually knows someone and who is a virtual friend - everyone seems chummy. However, I understand where you are with this, having been involved in a support group for sometime and needing to leave because battlelines were being drawn and I wanted no part in any backbiting. Whatever the rights and wrongs of things, sometimes you just have to move on. x

  8. Point 20 should be the mantra of blogging.

    How IS your little doggydog doing these days?


  9. Lordy! Sounds like you have been through it. Lovely dog, by the way. I'm sorry for his and your pain.

    Just walk through this particular Hell very quickly (think I've misquoted Churchill)

    Alternatively, have a fag xxx

  10. Liz,

    Unlike others who appear to have been given a very one-sided story, I do not have just one side of my brain and I am impressed by how reasonably you have attempted to put your view across, meanwhile comments on that post continue to thank the poster for the "clarification." I'm a bit confused as to how it is a clarification when no-one has been given a right to reply and one person's version against several other people has been believed. Perhaps if you were to set up a forum and put your point of view, you might be able to build up a core of people to believe everything you say. But I'm guessing you don't have the time. I'm sending you a hug because you deserve one, you deserve a lot more hugs.

  11. I am a little lost .. but my reaction to this is beware of what I call women who sound delicious to begin with and turn out to be talking Honey Coated razor Blades... sometime the sweetest talking people are just evil!