Cafe Klatch

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.

CafeMom logo

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.

By Brenda

40-something-something stay home mom, floating somewhere between traditional and strange. I’m addicted to music, making things and my computer.

16 replies on “Cafe Klatch”

It is just awful. Earlier today someone was throwing around the 80% divorce rate bullshit. Jfc 20 seconds on Google and I had five articles to debunk that shit. There were only a few who called bullshit on it, most were hollering “oh it’s higher than that!!”

It seems 95% of the people there are totally invested in the A$ “poor me” narrative. Ugh.

I’m already starting to question what more I can possibly learn from them – and is it worth it to have to wade through so much garbage to find it?

Almost every parent I’ve met runs up against this sort of thing, and they either sink into it or someone stood up to it and intrigued them into finding out WTF this “neurodiversity” and “acceptance” thing is. It sucks so much that so many parents out there who only have stereotypes to go through when they first find out their kids are autistic end up finding only stuff, much of it BS, that can only confirm fears. THere are legit hard things about being autistic, and I’m sure my mom would say legit hard things about raising someone who is autistic. But going by some of these groups it’s all doom and gloom, and the reality is soooo different.

I keep wondering if I have the spoons to stay there and try to be a voice of reason. Then I remember how much it takes out of me to fight with the heteronormative crowd, and I think “nope.” These folks are way worse than the anti-gay crowd.

The first time I read a “why can’t I just have a normal child??!!” post I thought I was going to either throw up or reach through the screen and slap her. My temperament is just not suited to to the task.

I belong to a few support/discussion groups for parents who have adopted internationally, and I had to leave one of them because the judgment of other mothers was so brutal. I applaud your bravery joining an autism support/discussion group. Stay strong, sister.

I applaud you, for there’s no way I’d have the stomach for something even called ‘cafemom.’ ‘Cafeparent’ maybe, but there’s just nothing good that could come out of me being in such a space. Luckily I do have people in my job-network-online-friends (a.k.a. facebook) who also have non-crappy views of autism, home schooling, etc., although it is also a mixed bag of religious and political mud to wade through…

(and I’m not terribly bookish myself, but I figure I make up for it in tech-nerdiness)

I’ve been actively participating for about two weeks now and another thing I’ve lost count of is how many times I’ve decided I can’t stand it another second and need to delete my shit and run for the hills.

Honestly, if I had a better network of human resources (man, that sounds wrong, doesn’t it?) I probably wouldn’t stick around. People suck, and never more so than when they are in large groups and able to hide behind “anonymous.”

Well said. And people wonder why I’m not all googly-eyed and attached to my computer like it’s an oxygen tank. I love/hate (in this case the latter) the ability for anyone who has the ability to type to be able to say whatever they want, judge others, and even cause serious distress to another human being who was not asking for it while not even having the decency to let them no who you are. Who the FUCK is anyone to judge another person’s beliefs or choices, especially on a site that’s meant to be helpful. This, along with my inability to really get into anything technological for an extended period, is why I visit a total of maybe five websites on a regular basis.

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