A Note on My Previous Post, “A Knitters Career Expressed in a Week.”

I just wasn’t prepared, just wasn’t ready to handle another attack, nor controversy, nor any hiccups in our plans.

This last month was a brutal one. First the hurricane, which drug on for about a week, and a week without being able to sell is disastrous for us. Then this whole incident involving one our previous foreign correspondents on our show. She confided to me that she was tired of doing things for other people and that she wanted to do a spin off show.

“Sounds good. Wish you wouldn’t go, but if you feel that will make you happy and whole, then I support you completely and will be here if you need anything,” I said.

Then just after that I started receiving screen shots of her totally trash talking Phillip and I in other groups, and what is worse, she had enlisted SO many of our previous supporters to do the same. She pulled them from us with deceitful stories and lies. That hurt. That hurt so much, because I had considered her a friend. I had considered all of them friends. So, when I found out, I cut her out of my life completely, blocked her. That is the sensible thing to do, I tell myself. Don’t fight back, don’t lash out, just cut ties and be done with them. We allowed these people into our lives on personal levels, and they used those attachments to hurt us. And I never saw it coming.

Apparently, that insulted her. She would  not tolerate being ignored. So she and a friend of hers pulled together people who have no idea what was really happening to flood my Mad Man Knitting facebook page with nasty comments. Again, I had never heard of any of these people, but saw them all coming from one particular person’s facebook post where they asked people, that again had never heard of me before, to go and leave hateful messages for all the world to see.

I was up at 4am, saw dozens of them, and spent the better part of that morning deleting them, blocking them, and basically refreshing every 30 seconds or so to see another bomb dropped. Then they went to Ravelry. As if this situation had anything to do with Ravelry. But, needed another forum to let other knitters know that I was a monster. In one thread that was praising my hurricane posts, they showed up again, bitterly swinging the topic around to fit their narrative. Thankfully, one of the moderators stepped in and used the “Don’t be a jerk,” community policy to delete their comments.

We weren’t so luck with Ebay. Yes, they had taken one of Phillip’s Strange Friends that they had purchased and decided to list it for sale. Nothing wrong with that. However, the description of the item said nothing NOTHING about the actual Strange Friend itself, but instead was a defamatory paragraph of insults that went well beyond libel. I immediately reported it. Nothing. I asked others to do the same. Multitudes of people reported the listing, alas to no avail.

I tweeted ebay and told them that this was unacceptable. You should not be allowed to make money off a product simply by trash talking the creators of the product and use your listing NOT to describe the product, but to again find another way to spread more vitriol through the internet.

We saw our sales plummet, we saw our numbers increase to this blog, only through search engines, and again, more nasty comments were left here that I deleted. She found a way to flock people into an attack simply by what she said, with none of it being true. That listing stayed up for 5 days, with no help from Ebay who told us that their reports are done in the order they are received. I’m sorry, but if you have multiple red flags against a listing, I imagine there is an algorithm out there that says, “You should look at this one asap.” It finally sold for twice what Phillip sold it for, as she used her defamatory listing to find some sense of compensation. We didn’t promote her enough, she said. She wasn’t making enough money off being involved on our show. I never offered anyone money, but promotion in return for their videos.

I should have been more prepared, should have been less trusting, but that isn’t what I do. I genuinely love people and help whenever I can anyone who needs a hand up. I don’t have much myself, but what I have I’ll happily share with you. And I never mentioned this whole incident publicly because I didn’t want to give her the war that she wanted. To me, it would only fuel her publicity, it would feed a rage that would linger, when both parties should have just walked away and said, “Have a nice day.” Rather than fighting back, I coiled in and watched so much of what I have to rebuild OVER AND OVER AND OVER being stripped again.

And all of this stress got me really sick. A bad episode of bronchitis that has robbed me of my appetite, my sleep, and my constant burning desire to excel. It has made me worthless, tired, unable to function as I usually do. And a week on, it is still fighting  with me.

We weren’t selling anything. Book sales dropped, teddy bears dropped, Strange Friends dropped. And we saw ourselves skidding towards disaster. And throughout this year we have been relying on all of those teddy bears and book sales and Strange Friends to keep us afloat while Phillip looked for work. He finally found a wonderfully paying job, but he’s not going to see a paycheck for  few weeks. So we weren’t able to pay the electric, until at the last minute someone stepped in and said they would take care of it for us. It wasn’t a loan, it was payment for dinner and a couch to crash on when they come around this way next year (They’ve come twice already, it’s not like its a total stranger).

We still haven’t paid rent. And I don’t know what I’m going to do about that either. I don’t have much to sell. And I don’t know what to tell the landlord. I really don’t. I am so beat down right now that I…..I fear this is all completely finished.

Even the most resilient people get beat down sometimes. Even the strongest have to walk back and admit they’ve been hit too many times to wonder why they keep going in the ring.

I don’t belong to the knitting community, I don’t think I ever did. But, I don’t think about them very often. I think about THIS community that I helped build and nurture, of knitters and non knitters alike, who just wanted to find something bright in an increasingly shadowed world, who looked for softness when the world turns hard on you, who sought the warmth of a virtual hug, snug only in written word against a cold society that betrays you quickly. I wanted to be that voice. I really did. But, it gets harder and harder to make proclamations of optimism when all people want to do is destroy you for their personal empowerment.

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25 comments

  1. Sometimes you just want to smack people, and then smack the people who raised them that way.

    Repeatedly.

    With a rotting fish.

  2. Kepo your chin up you can be strong then this don’t let them beat you . Let everyone know what’s happening and show your a fighter xxx

  3. My prayers for you. For health, for rent, for Phillip and the new job, for friends you can trust. Global prayers for wherever you need them.

  4. keep the faith – remember – what comes around goes around. and good for you not to stoop to their level – which is below the gutter. — sam

  5. What kind of warped satisfaction does a person get out of such attacks? She must be very disturbed indeed.
    But that other people follow her lead without reflecting is even worse! Isn’t this stalking or hate campaigning or something? Can she be sued for that? In Europe we call it “Reputation murder”, and it is indeed punishable by law.

  6. Gregory, despite small-minded people who are mired in scarcity mentality and fear, the Universe is infinite. Do not give up. You are bigger than this and greatness is your destiny. You have succeeded in so many ways and success is truly a habit. You will continue to succeed because it is a habit that has taken root in your very soul. Whatever you need, when ever you need it, for as long as you need it is at hand. Have faith in the strength you have forged in the fires of your experience.

  7. You are an amazing individual. You welcome people into your life. When they in turn are horrible to you, you show your strength in your openness and vulnerability. Your true supporters are still here for you and you will gain incredible strength. It stinks you are in a valley of disparity right now, but in time you will rebound with amazing resilience. Sending love and prayers.💜

  8. Gregory, I personally have not been one to get involved in these little/big groups of women. They are nasty little bitches at times. I have been stabbed in the back far too many times to mention. I do enjoy reading your messages each day and seeing what you have made. I make things for craft fairs and family/friends. I do have a little store online but don’t give it as much attention as I should. Gregory, Stand up, shake off the bitches bad karma and repair as much of the damage as you can. Block as many of them as you can. Then get back to work! You cannot let them beat you! The real people in your life will see them for what they are and blow them off or like me never even know what’s going on until I hear it from you. Stand tall! You and Phillip will make it through this and come out the better one’s because you have love on your side and people who care about you!

  9. My father always said, time wounds all heels. Please go to a quiet place, breathe in light and peace. You are loved and admired. This too will pass.

  10. I, for one, appreciate being able to come here and read about your successes, your thoughts, and yes, your sturggles because you make the effort to help yourself. You don’t go out there on the internet and try to destroy anyone. You have been more forgiving than I would be (there aren’t enough rotten fish available to dump on these people, let alone smack them with). You have been an inspiration, Gregory, both you and Phillip. You soldier on, knitting and crocheting and now Phillip’s job, you’re not out there taking from anyone. I haven’t had the same scale of nastiness you have, but I have stopped helping people unless I have investigated them somewhat. I don’t have a Facebook presence, I’ve come to the conclusion after watching other friends deal with hate attacks, porn bombs and other unsavory things to have seen that Facebook is just a magnet for cruelty, so I only interact on it with family and friends, real friends whom I’ve known for years. You don’t deserve the load of crap this woman is dumping on you. I think we, as a society, have fallen to a point where we really need to recreate it and no longer allow or ignore the haters, regardless of their focus, the hate is just wrong whether it’s political, racial, gender-based, whatever, the hate is wrong and the people who insist on spreading it are wrong too. Stay strong, both of you. You’re in my prayers.

  11. Mental illness is no joke. There is nothing wrong with your judge or character, there is everything wrong with certain people. I’ve learned (the hard way) that there is no way to take irrational behaviour that seemingly comes out of the blue and make it seem rational.

    My heart aches for you and Phillip. You shouldn’t have to deal with ANY of this. I wish I could pay your rent for the rest of this year and years to come to at least take one burden off both of your shoulders. I hope you’re able to feel the love of all the supporters here for you. ❤

  12. So sorry you are experiencing all this hate. I do not get folks like this at all. May your body and your heart heal, may rent show up magically, and may the way forward open up.

  13. A few years ago I was very active on a large online knitting and crochet forums. It didn’t take me long to realize that there were some terribly unkind women on there. The yarn snobs who would attack others for using anything but the most expensive wool yarn. They had a section where you could discuss other topics and the healthcare debate was going on at the time. There were a number of liberals who would absolutely vilify anyone who didn’t think that Obamacare was the best thing since sliced bread. I was pretty horrified at the behavior. I kept thinking “What is wrong with these people?” I stayed active for a while but now, at this time, I haven’t been on there but maybe twice in the last year or two. Who wants to see that? People have way to much time on their hands if they need to be that determined to follow you from venue to venue just to make your life miserable. That is a sick obsession. Hang in there Gregory. There are still those of us who love your writing and look forward to every post!

  14. I agree with that last comment. It’s a sick obsession; and it smacks of stalking. Obviously this person has serious issues and you are convenient targets. You two don’t deserve any of that. There are a lot of people out here that do care. The best thing you can do is cut the negative ones loose to follow a separate path. Remember this quote: At any given moment, you have the power to say, “This is not how this story is going to end.”

  15. I always hope that people are better than that. I am often disappointed but I don’t let that stop me and I have a feeling you won’t either. The world is full of decent, kind individuals who would lend a hand. The nasty noisy folks will fade away.

    In the meantime, remember that you have a lot of people on your side.

  16. Oh hun, you do belong. Not to the group of knitters who are cruel and harsh and awfil, but because knitting isn’t about that. (Not that I classify myself as a knitter, I’m a crocheter who dabbles in knitting.) Those people don’t understand the meditative nature of fiber arts. The finished project is great, but it’s about the journey, about the peace and awareness of self that happens when you are working on something. And you hit that spot on in your blog posts. Your teddy bears and Phillip’s Strange Friends are ambassadors of peace and love in very trying times. Please don’t ever believe anything they say and please don’t ever give up.

  17. You are a knitter. You therefore belong to the knitting community. End of story. For every person that has run amuck cyber bullying you, there are many more who truly appreciate you and the way you write about knitting and the human condition. And many who don’t know about you but approach this art the way that you do. Please don’t give up. You are loved.

  18. I have been following your blog for years, not sure how many. You are an inspiration to so many. I am saddened that someone is so mean spirited that they would organize the attack that you have experienced. I hope that you can move the negative things aside and remember all the wonderful bears that have been a symbol of your accomplishments. By the way I just love Phillip’s Strange Friends, one should never have been used the way it was. One day I will have one join my home. I am holding positive thoughts and wishes in my heart for you and Phillip.

  19. The knitting community is comprised of people who knit, not just those who use high end yarn or can knit fantastic lace and intarsia. My favorite thing to knit is washcloths, yes washcloths and a time or two they have save my sanity. So you keep knitting and keep being your authentic and kind self. That is what will save you and pull you through.

    I know it doesn’t seem like it right now but those hateful people will find some place else to spread their haterade and forget about you and Phillip. In the words of Taylor Swift, “Haters gonna hate.”

  20. We’re still here.

    And, it’s all because of you two that I finally got up the courage to ask Mechiel to teach me how to crochet. It was something I’ve needed to know how to do to finish my weaving projects; but have put off out of fear. Fear of failing. You and Phillip are superheroes. At least to me.

    Thanks for everything you’ve done.

    Have yourself a great day!

  21. So sorry to hear of the craziness that you’re experiencing. If I were in the same position, I’d look into a legal way of shutting down the disturbed woman and her followers. She’s defaming and libeling you and must be stopped.

    Is there an address I can send some yarn to?

    Susan Louise

  22. So sorry about all the B.S. that has been going around you all. Sending plenty of hugs and love to you both! Put those onions in some chicken noodle soup! Hope you feel better soon and that Phillip’s job is going well!
    ~Z~

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