It started back in January. While I’m not one to dwell on trolls, mean comments, or other such internet tomfoolery, because really, why waste the energy I could spend photoshopping my fake dead cat Mr. Sprinkles into inappropriate pictures?

But this comment came from an IP address in the area local enough that a family member could had written it. It said, in a comment dripping with patronizing condescension (forgive me for paraphrasing), “You’re an addict hiding in plain sight.”

I’ve been accused of many things on my blog (my favorite being “you’re not funny,” because I’ve only ever claimed to be funny LOOKING), but to be called an addict, after being accused of being a drug-seeker by the clinic doctor, that was, well, disheartening. Why?

There’s not a day that goes by that I do not worry I will become an addict. We adult children of alcoholics; we are four times as likely to become addicts, and well, both of my parents are recovering alcoholics, which I’d imagine would increase my own likelihood infinitesimally. I’ve written about it ad nauseum because it’s part of who I am. I’m not shy about hiding my past because I know we’re only as sick as our secrets and I do not wish to live my life shrouded in secrecy, pretending my past was a Norman Rockwell painting.

I cannot be the Secret Keeper. It is not in my nature and it is not something I intend to start doing now. Which is, in part, why I am putting back up the only post I’ve ever removed.

I do not know who made such a patronizing, disdainful comment way back in January (although I have my suspicions) but it was that comment that caused me to pull back inward, sharing with you, My Pranksters; my family, only things that could no longer hurt me. Certainly you could call me an assjacket when I put up a picture of my fake dead cat or ramble on about Mark Zuckerberg and his stupid hair, but none, not a single one would hurt. Not really.

But I played it safe for months, living a [redacted] life, only sharing the things that I thought would keep me safe. And I was right, they did. They also made me miserable.

There’s nothing I love more than coming here, spilling my guts to you, my family, and having a single person pipe in and say, “you know what? I feel that way too.” That’s why I do what I do. There’s little more powerful than knowing someone out there feels just like you do. That I am no longer alone in the universe.

And I’m sorry that a single thoughtless comment led to a mostly [redacted] life. Whomever left the comment doesn’t “know me, the real me;” YOU do. My Pranksters. My family.

You deserve better and so do I. It’s time to speak our truth. In the end, that’s all we have.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

59 Responses to Family Ties

  • Meg says:

    *hugs* welcome back Aunt Becky. We love you no matter what you post.
    Thank you for being the awesome you!

  • kateanon says:

    I shrunk back when I got a hateful comment AND when I noticed a visitor so close it made me worried. I applaud you for getting back out there. it’s hard.

  • tilly says:

    You know I love you. I am proud of you, and thank you so much for coming back. Those nasty commenters? I’ll just kick them in the taco.

  • Kathy Miranda says:

    Much love to you Becky. I’m glad you’ve recognized that they are full of elephant shit and are back to doing what makes you feel good and in turn does wonderful things for all of us. XOXO

  • Heather says:

    Don’t make me drag my scrawny ass out there and kick someone… cuz I would. For my Aunt Becky.

    But only for you. I’m a lover not a fighter. ;)

    You rock. Take that, Troll Living Under the Bridge.

  • Poppie says:

    People suck, truly. Keeping it real is the best revenge.

  • Paula says:

    I, for one, am proud to be a Prankster and a part of your extended interwebs family, and would definitely be part of your taco-and-junk-kicking crew against nasty commenters.

  • Glitter.

  • Denise
    Twitter: acctodenise
    says:

    I am so glad that you are opening back up. We Pranksters are always here for you and we love you.

  • krlr says:

    GOOD for you!
    Illegitimi non carborundum
    (sounds fancier in latin!)
    I’m so thrilled you’re back.

  • The Mommy says:

    Welcome back, sister! It never ceases to amaze me how mean (I mean really, REALLY mean) people can be when they talk through their fingers (and I don’t mean THAT finger…). I actually have a blog post in the works about it – I would much rather spread bloggy love than bloggy hate any day. Can you believe there are entire sites (ENTIRE BLOGS BY OTHER MOMS) dedicated to hating ONE blogger? Yeah, me neither. But it’s true. I have occasionally THOUGHT a mean comment but I won’t stoop to that level and actually write it – because no one’s perfect. Well, you know, except me and you. ;)

  • Lynda M O
    Twitter: Lynda M Otvos
    says:

    Let me start by saying I have no blog which is why I need to ask this question: Do the many positive comments (I think you get for posting) ever outweigh the negative remarks that get thrown at you ?~? From the sidelines it looks like the ratio leans much more heavily in the approving side yet when a contrary comment occurs bloggers take it harder. Am I being understood here, Pranksters?? The question feels awkward to me but it stands or I’ll edit myself to death. Thanks for your input…

    • The Mommy says:

      Here’s my thoughts (and I’ve never had a negative comment because I’m really, really boring and I’m OK with that): Bloggers who get negative comments generally put it all out there – heart and soul – and the last thing ANYONE wants when they make themselves vulnerable is to be ridiculed and criticized or down-right hated on. THAT’S why I think the negative are so hard to take. And I believe most wouldn’t have the cajones to say the mean-spirited crap in person. Which makes it even harder!

  • Jenn3128 says:

    Aunt Becky, I applaude your bravery and courage. I haven’t told my family that I have a blog because I’m not strong enough to hear the hate that I know will come my way. Maybe one day I’ll be a big, strong girl like you!

  • Pete In Az says:

    Guess what?

    I’m an addict. I’ve been clean for seven years this month.

    I’d like to think that, if someone offered me some right now, I’d walk away. That’s what I’d like to think. The reality? I don’t know. So, I guess I’m still an addict.

    I seriously doubt you are one. From what I’ve read here I see you as a strong person who would be able to walk away. I seem to remember reading that, even when things got scary, you didn’t succumb. Also, you are very aware of the consequences of such actions. So, I think you’ll do fine young lady (I’m older then you, so I can say that.) in spite of what some Internet Idiot says. Or types.

    Now… Everyone, Outside and Play!

  • I became a blog reading monster only a few months ago and it’s the sense of “someone else thinks that and feels that way” that has simultaniously brought me comfort and stolen a hell of a lot of my time!

    I really admire your honesty and openness.

  • **standing ovation**

    I hate censoring myself and find myself doing it way too much. Good for you stepping back in the light. Also, you have a gazillion followers and even more fans. That a-hole commenter? Probably not even a cat to scratch at his back door…

  • Tracie
    Twitter: fromtracie
    says:

    Becky, welcome back to the light. The darkness of redacted living sucks.

    I am SO proud of you for putting that post back up and being true to yourself, your feelings, and your childhood.

    Flinging glitter all over you!

  • ChiMomWriter
    Twitter: chimomwriter
    says:

    You are a beautiful, amazing person who doesn’t need to be edited, glossed over, or airbrushed. It’s ALL of the pieces who you are that make you the awesome Aunt Becky, not just the cat pictures. But the cat pictures help.

    The critics are energy sucks. You do so much good on a daily basis for your friends, your Band, your Pranksters and your family. The rest can suck it.

  • TheBeerLady
    Twitter: TheBeerLady
    says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to decide which is more painful – being criticized/attacked by total strangers, or being criticized/attacked by the people you love.

    Don’t let the bastards get you down, babe. Regardless of what other people think about it, you are entitled to your own feelings and opinions. A very wise friend told me once “Perception is reality,” and everyone gets to have their own perceptions.

  • Brooke says:

    You’re amazing, Becky. Welcome back. Much love!

    I’ve done the same, in a way – I took the things that hurt the most and put them on a new blog to protect not only myself but my family and friends from the comments that may be drawn as a result of sharing my sadness. I’m not ready to bring it all into the light, but at least I’m sharing somewhere, I suppose. Hopefully someday I can channel your strength and be open with all my followers. http://www.invisiblefinishline.blogspot.com

  • SherryH says:

    Ugh, ugh, ugh! Definitely a troll, and shame on them! Double shame on them if it’s someone you know, because in that case they’re a coward to boot.

    Thank you for being who you are, Aunt Becky. Thank you for putting yourself out there, and not just the pretty, shiny parts but ALL of you. I’m sorry to hear that some people are such asshats about it. I’d say to just ignore them, but easier said than done and it’s not for me to tell you how you should react. I’ll just say that I’m here rooting for you, and behind you every step of the way.

    Hugs if you want them, and thank you for being you.

  • don’t let the haters define you…only you can do that (well, and me)

  • Heather says:

    {{Hugs}} to you. You have and continue to be an inspiration to me. When my story becomes too painful or too hard to tell I think of your strength and it inspires me to continue. I’m sorry that one asshat hurt you and made you pull back in such a dramatic way. Welcome back to no holds bared blogging.

  • Never let anyone take your voice.
    You are a haven for many with your blog and the band … anyone undermining your worth, when you have been instrumental in uplifting so many …
    Don’t give them a voice.
    They are not deserving.

  • Dianne says:

    Keep your head up!!!!! We all are addicted to something in life. It could be drinking, drugs, shopping………. there is always something we cant or dont want to be without.

  • Leslie
    Twitter: itsmelsc
    says:

    I’m Leslie and I’m an alcoholic. Take that, coward commenter!
    Love you, AB.

  • KellyAnn says:

    I’m glad you’re back, Aunt B. We missed you.
    For what it’s worth, there have been several times when your writing was the only thing able to kick my ass out of The Hole. I’ve been in The Hole quite a bit and it’s a really shitty place, so thanks. Your courage gives me courage.

  • Heather says:

    YAY FOR PRANKSTERS! I am proud to be one too, and glad you’re back to bare honesty. I hope it gives you some peace, and that the people who seem to want to hurt you can learn to keep their unwanted opinions to themselves. Hugs.

  • Joules says:

    I am really glad you put that post back up. It was just so honest and real as well as being such a lovely tribute to your uncle. You don’t have to keep anything in a closet for anyone. You own your life and have the right to share it with anyone you want. And I’m so glad you choose to share it with all of us.

  • Sooz says:

    DAHHHHHHHHHHHHLIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGG….thank you for letting us know what happened and having the courage to say “NO MORE!” fuck those haters and keep on keepin on….LOVE YOU LADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  • Raven says:

    I would NOT keep reading you if your posts weren’t extremely amusing, sometimes heartbreaking and usually an eye opener. I’ve recently had some unflattering remarks made about my character and I had to remind myself that 1. I AM NOT what that person said I was. 2. I have never liked that person anyway. So, why worry about it? 3. I have friends and family that love me just for me and the rest can go f&^k themselves. I love reading your blog. Please don’t let one d-bag make you think that you aren’t awesome…cuz ya are!

  • Marta
    Twitter: marta28
    says:

    Thank you. Thank you for not being redacted any longer. Than you for puttin the post back. Thank you for not hiding in the shadows. Thank you for not deleting those fb comments he left. Thank you for standing up for yourself, for the truth and I hope you know we always have your back. I go back home to chicago a few times a year, you let me know when I need to go track down someone and have a talking to with them. We love you!

  • Caroline says:

    Aunt Becky, point the right way and I will stomp that askjack into wall paste.

    Never, never, never stop being you!

    I have your back. I’ll be hurling kumquats at the haters.

  • Alexis
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    Dear Auntie Becky,

    I’m fairly certain that if we went back a few generations we would find a common ancestor. Your realtive is such a troll asshole that he or she has to be related to my troll asshole relatives. My main troll relative hasn’t bothered me much lately because my mom ratted him iut to his lDS mission president for trolling obnoxious comments when he’s only supposed to be emailing his parents. At last there was one good thing that was accomplished in the name of the LDS church.

    Regarding controlled substances, just because one likes Vicodin more than one likes pain does not make him or her an addict.

    your niece,
    Alexis

  • HUGS I love you! And I’m glad you’re back. I am sorry that you had to live in fear. But we your family of Pranksters love you and we know the real you.

  • katrina says:

    What the hell is wrong with some people??? You, Aunt Becky ROCK! “..if you can’t say something nice…..keep your fuckin fingers off the keyboard….”

  • ginaomgee says:

    Coming out of lurkdom to tell you how much I admire what you do by being so honest in public. Keep doing what makes YOU happy. You need to write and (well at least me) need to read it. Everyday! And I’m close enough to come give your troll a fistful of STFU if needed ;).

  • a says:

    Dude, that sucks. I’m sorry someone was able to change your whole life for over 6 months with one little remark. Glad you’re not going to let that happen any more. Good luck.

  • Swanny says:

    Confronting and shining a light on the truth in our lives is the only way to stay honest with ourselves. As the child of an alcoholic, I’ve always been open with everyone when discussing my father’s ups and downs. Even though I’m there when he needs me, I refuse to own his problems. It’s not for me to be ashamed of the life he’s made; I’m making my own, using his as an example to myself and my kids of what not to do. Best of luck Aunt Becky. It’s like Oscar Wilde said: Life is too important to be taken seriously.

  • Tracy says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty and constant willingness to put yourself out there like you do. You’re an inspiration, and while I rarely comment (hello, lurker!), I wanted to let you know that your posts make a difference in all of our lives on a daily basis. Thank you for being you!

  • Mona says:

    I have nothing but love and respect for you. You are one of the strongest people I have come across on the interwebs.

    I talked with you a bit about this, I think, at your panel at Intervention, but it’s amazing how one negative comment can make all of the positive ones not seem to matter as much.

    Just remember: those who count know the truth. And also remember: family is a lot larger than the folks we were born to.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

    <3
    Mona
    (Fuzz's friend)

  • JennJenn says:

    What the FRACK is redacted????????????

  • Sarah says:

    Aunt Becky –

    Wow, this hit home. I too had a really inappropriate and hurtful comment posted on one of my previous posts a few months back and I let it affect how I was speaking (writing).
    Well, it caused me to become censored, boring and not ME.

    But, not anymore. Eff ‘em. Seriously. My experience has been, if someone takes the time to seek you out, say anything at all (good or bad), they are jealous.

    Good for you for coming back to “you” !!! Thank god you are who you are because I enjoy your blog tremendously!!

  • John says:

    Dearest Aunt Becky – we love you.

  • Lauren Elyse says:

    <3 <3 <3 times a million.

    My cousin pulled that kind of bullshit about me & my husband being addicts because sometimes we treat the pain of autoimmune conditions with opiods… in truth, she's had 3 trips to rehab him the past 2 years. And every accusation game just before another trip to rehab… hmmm…

  • nicki says:

    I applaud you for spilling your guts. People don’t realize how vulnerable our blogs make us. We want to be genuine and real and as soon as we show our human side, people jump all over it with assault! I also applaud you for pulling back when you felt you needed to. You protected yourself just as you would if you saw an angry animal standing in front of you. I am glad you feel safe enough to come back out.

    My professors tell us all the time that when we write publicly, we open ourselves up to criticism and when someone responds to our writing in a negative way it is because it somehow threatens them. It also means that we are important because someone is threatened by us. People who mean nothing to us don’t threaten us…at least not enough to take the time to write a nasty word or two.

    It is such a shame that people would rather throw hurtful stones then take the time to evaluate their own lives and take interest in WHY they feel they have to throw stones to begin with!

    I hope you continue to be yourself and be comfortable with who you are!!! We love you!

  • Fringe Prankster says:

    I am a Fringe Prankster because I come here, read what you have to say and rarely comment on anything. However, I have yet to read a post of yours that doesn’t get right through the wall around my heart and touch me in some way. (It’s possible I have just been a Remiss Prankster while you were busy protecting yourself and missed out on many of the Zuckerburg slams. Totally valid, by the way.) Your words actually seep through the cracks in my facade and smack me in the face, saying, “See???? There are people out there who feel like you! You may suck in a lot of ways, but you are not alone.”

    I am the spawn of addicts, married to a recovered (recovering if you’re gonna get all 12 step-y on me) addict, who is keenly aware of ANYTHING that might be considered addictive/excessive. If I watch TV, I worry I might be addicted to CSI. Had to go to the store three times in a week for something basic and ended up getting Hello Kitty erasers at the checkstand? Probably due to my shopping addiction (not actually a joke- my #1 avoidance technique). Perhaps I am grasping at relate-ability here, but I know you will not judge.

    Two of the most humiliating moments in my life:

    1. After a surgery, my hubby took all of my pain meds (happy to say that is no longer an issue!). I had to have a second surgery, and knew he would likely do the same, so I asked instead of pain pills for something that would help me sleep. My doctor got all “this is drug seeking behavior” on me and thought I just had some mental issues that were keeping me from sleeping. I felt it was probably more due to the muscles they had sliced through with a scalpel, but I’m no doctor. I just play one on TV. And on TV, fucking surgery doesn’t fucking hurt so I wouldn’t need your fucking pills anyway. But yeah, I am an addict, and a crazy one to boot.

    2. I work out hard (we can cover a possible exercise addiction later) and after a particularly hard workout I had some blood drawn. My doc called me in to discuss “my results.” He said I had to be an alcoholic, because elevated liver enzymes ONLY occur in alcoholics and people with Type 2 Diabetes. We argued, he stuck to his guns. I consulted the interwebs, and was vindicated. My liver enzymes were elevated because I had torn muscle fiber floating around in my bloodstream and my liver couldn’t process it. Suck it hard, you pretentious ass.

    So there. I have commented more in one post than I have in years of trolling. And I am grateful for you and the Pranksters who have your back so hard they are willing to cross state lines to kick tacos for you.

  • Virginia says:

    AB, you’re so brave. I’ve been kind of forced into being a ‘secret keeper’ for my family over the past 10 years, and I hate every second of it. I would love to start a blog, but have been holding back because I don’t see the point of writing it if it’s not authentic, while ‘writing authentically’ would lead to some serious family drama. Good for you for standing your ground in the face of mean comments and potential negative reactions. I love that you share the *real* you, because the *real* you is wonderful! Please don’t ever stop the ‘balls out’ nature of your blog, doll, because that is what makes it something truly special that people like me relate to! That and the bacon…

  • Laura B. says:

    Hooray! I read that post when it first went up and was sad to see it go, especially because I didn’t see anything all that wrong with it. It’s stuck with me all this time because it’s so TRUE. Also, a very good reminder that the smallest thing can make a big difference to a kid. And I bet your great-cousin’s family is so glad to hear you remembering him fondly, not pussy-footing around him the way so many people do in the wake of a death.
    Hooray for great-cousins and hooray for you being back!

  • Jennifer June
    Twitter: theladyslounge
    says:

    Somebody commented on my blog that I was a miserable woman with no sense of humour who did nothing but complain about how much I hate being a single mother.
    Despite knowing how ridiculous the comment was. Despite the fat that humour is the only tool have with which I can express/live my hardships without throwing myself in front of a train.

    It left me creatively (writing) paralyzed for months.

    Some commenters are miserable. Some are ignorant. Some people are plain old mean. A lot of them are just dumb don’t get it.

  • Melinda says:

    Rock on. Nothing else matters but the love and admiration we all feel for you.

  • RealityTC says:

    My feeling on family: We are not The Borg & we will not be assimilated. See also—Don’t worry mom, it’s nothing that twenty years of therapy didn’t fix.

    I applaud you. If you can’t live in your personal truth, then what’s the point? The rest of us will try to outlive the key players before we release our book. :)

  • Kristin
    Twitter: dragondream
    says:

    Welcome back sweetie!

  • FNJerzeeGrrl says:

    How fucking awesome are YOU?!?! Buh-bye troll babies. AB is back and you’re insignificant! That said, I completely get how a well aimed passive aggressive comment can derail someone. Good for you for getting back up on that blog-pony!

  • Jeni says:

    I so appreciate you and your blog. Your honesty definitely helps me feel less alone. You put in to words so many things I have experienced and/or felt. Lots of love and THANK YOU!!!!

  • NTE says:

    I have (thankfully!) only had one negative-troll-like comment in the six years I’ve been running my blog, but I remember it almost word for word. And I remember how hurtful it was just to know that I was telling my truth, and someone was using it as a weapon against me. It definitely made me think twice about what I was saying, knowing it could be used to hurt me (and that’s not even counting the fact that I blog anonymously just so that I can say things that I don’t want the people in my offline life to hear.) But I’m glad you’ve decided to stop censoring yourself ~ I’m glad you’re reclaiming your space.

  • Triplezmom
    Twitter: triplezmom
    says:

    You are such an inspiration to me on so many levels. Trolls are jealous, petty and terribly unhappy people and I’m so glad you’re standing up to them. The unicorn bearing cupcakes will be arriving soon, AB.

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