Well, I’ve gone and stuck my head into the lion’s mouth.
I signed up at CafeMom. I’ve been avoiding it like a creepy ex-boyfriend the last few years. It seems like every time I’d poke around over there, I’d come across something that made me want to stab myself in the eye with a salad fork. I’m now at a place, however, where I could use some input on specific issues, so there I am.
I’ve joined groups for home schooling, autism support, pagan moms, alternative moms, fibromyalgia and crafting. So far everything seems okay, but I have to admit I hold my breath every time I venture into those first two categories. I keep waiting for something to make my head hurt, you know? (Note: it didn’t take me long to find it.)
It’s been so long since I’ve ventured into general public spaces – spaces not set up for specific types of people. P-Mag and Tumblr are about it for me, so I’m used to most of the people I interact with having the same basic principles (like, say, tolerance and a strong distaste for slut shaming).
No matter how much I tell myself to stay away from anything other than my snug little space, I still find myself looking over to the right column, which lists active posts from all groups – where you can find polls on whether gang members should be allowed to keep their kids, or screeching tirades on why there is no – and she means NO! – reason to not learn English. I tell myself to stay away (hell, even run away) from that side of the screen, yet I keep going back, and keep breaking my hard and fast rule: stay out of the comments!
I’ve already lost track of how many replies I’ve started, only to come to my senses in time and hit the back button. I probably should admit I’ve also not been able to stop myself and have gone back and deleted a comment I made to a post – an open letter from a Christian to non-believers. It was repugnant and hypocritical, in hindsight the kind of ignorant bullshit that doesn’t even deserve a reply.
Well then”¦ I took a break from writing this and went poking around the site some more. Wouldn’t you know it? There was bullshit afoot. I replied to an open question on curing autism, and some asshole attempted to shame me as selfish for believing my son does not need to be cured of anything.
It’s not 100% horrible (50% tops). There’s some good information about homeschooling and curriculum. There are some interesting lessons in the pagan/witchcraft section. And craft groups are always interesting and inspiring (hot damn I found someone who makes autism awareness jewelry that doesn’t involve a puzzle piece!).
I know a big part of my unease (fear?) comes from the fact that after five years of hermiting, I’ve forgotten how to be a social person. How to make friends. How to be someone other people want to converse with. I’ve forgotten how to be comfortable socializing. And there I am, jumping feet first into a large group of all kinds of women, many with whom I share only the most superficial of similarities.
Hell, there are times I feel awkward and out-of-place here, and y’all are a wonderful bunch of accepting and accommodating folks. (I’m worried you might discover that, in truth, I’m neither very bookish nor very clever, and what happens then? Guess I’ll find out since I just outed myself.)
If I feel that way here, how bad could it get there? Maybe I should reconsider the not hermiting thing? Except that’s just the fear talking, and the only way I know how to deal with fear is grab it by the ears and beat it to death.
What, what, what have I gotten myself into? Can I get myself out?
Well of course you can, Miss Melodrama. It’s just an online social site.
But here’s the thing: part of my goal for the new year is to get my ass all the way out of the hermit shell. That ““ along with the aforementioned need for advice and information ““ means I need to linger a while and see how it goes.
So I guess I’m there for a while. And if any of you are, too, feel free to look me up. I’m BluntlyBlue, and I’ll be settling my nest over in the corner, close enough to be social, far enough away (I hope) to avoid the trolls.