Today’s post is going to be on the long side.
I apologize, but I had to include a few quotes to assure accuracy.
My “new” blog holds suspicious comments for moderation.
Yesterday, the site held a rather mean-spirited, hurtful, comment sent on the post I wrote titled Six Years.
Those of you who have followed my journey these last few years know the anniversary date of my accident is always an emotional time for me.
Apparently, someone was angered by my emotionality.
Of course, like any Internet Troll …
They hid like a coward behind an attempt at anonymity.
I don’t usually give publicity to people who are assholes, but I’m going to share “Voldemort’s” comment.
Here it is:
You know what I think? I think it’s all in attitude. Stephen Hawking is confined to a wheelchair. He can barely move at all. Unlike you, he’s truly disabled. Does he spend his days complaining? No, he spends them solving the mysteries of the universe. I’ve met a few paralysed people in my time. They all love life. There are some artists who are paralysed and continue to paint. How does your struggle to hold a camera look compared to that?
I’m sure you’ve had some tough times because of your chronic pain, but I can’t take you seriously at all when you act like a drama queen on the internet for attention. There are people all over the world who would kill to have your problems. People who would give anything to have a life as near perfect as yours, in which the only real struggle you face from day to day is having to go to physical therapy and experience pain. There are some people with chronic pain who don’t get excellent medical care like you do. Keep that in mind.
Face it, there are people every day whose lives are destroyed, who lose everything that they love, and who still manage to heal and find meaning in life. Given all that, I think you can learn to live with your chronic pain. You have more than enough to work with. So start working.
Apparently Voldemort didn’t realize that no comment is 100% anonymous … not even when you pretend to be a Harry Potter character.
The first thing I did, of course, was look at my stat program to see where the comment came from.
This is what I found:
|Host Name:||Browser:||IE 8.0|
|IP Address:||188.8.131.52 — [Label IP Address]||Operating System:||WinXP|
|Location:||Tustin, California, United States||Resolution:||1024×768|
|Visit Length:||26 mins 23 secs||ISP:||County Of Orange Gsa Information Systems|
|Jul 31||06:57:14 PM|
|Jul 31||07:23:37 PM|
When I saw the comment came from Tustin, I had a few suspicions as to the author.
Next, I googled “County of Orange Gsa Information Systems” because that is the owner of the computer/s who sent the message.
This is what I found on their website:
Workforce Management Solutions
Partners In Diversity, Inc. is a certified small business, women-owned and operated staffing service offering a full range of employment solutions. We service the California marketplace providing temporary, contract placement, temporary to hire and direct hire alternatives. We tailor our outreach methods to provide employment solutions for our client’s specific requirements serving our diverse community base. We specialize in disciplines ranging from office clerical and administrative support to professional and engineering personnel.
Partners In Diversity is founded on the principle that successful business partnerships are built on compatibility, trust and mutual respect. Our approach is to thoroughly understand your business objectives and achieve your mission goals. The purpose of our team is to produce positive results that will enhance your business and foster long-term business relationships. We are committed to building relationships that are characterized by honesty, always respecting our clients and the employees that we serve.
Next, I looked at the “Contact Us” tab on the above website and found this:
Arlene Apodaca………………. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Harrington……………… email@example.com
Frances Martinez…………….. firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Sanchez …………….. email@example.com
Chris Harrington…………….. firstname.lastname@example.org
Since they were “inviting” me to contact them, I did.
I sent an email to all of the above people informing them their IP address was tracked to an Internet Troll.
My email to them began:
This email was sent to me by someone using your IP address.
That means it was one of you, or one of your employees.
I suppose “Voldemort” wasn’t expecting to be tracked down?
There are a few things I’d like to get off my chest in regard to the Voldemort comment.
They are as follows:
• Voldemort, you picked the wrong day to fuck with me. I just wasn’t in the MOOD for it.
• Now let’s take your comment and address it:
You know what I think? I think it’s all in attitude – Voldemort, some of it is attitude, but not all of it. Some of it is the disability. Some of it is the amount of pain. Some of it is the length of time a person has been disabled or lived with pain. Some of it is a person’s personal life/situation. Some of it is also the amount of support a person has in their life to endure terrible circumstances. The one thing that is absolutely certain, however, is that no one REALLY knows what someone else’s situation is like. Not their doctor, not their physical therapist, not even their spouse …. No one should judge, because no one else can possibly KNOW what it’s like except the person going through it.
Personally, I’m quite proud I’ve had a good enough attitude to get me through eight surgeries and all they’ve entailed.
Stephen Hawking is confined to a wheelchair. He can barely move at all. Yes, Voldemort, there are MILLIONS of disabled people in the world. It’s sad. Every single one of them could use an understanding person in their life. None of them could benefit from the type of comments you sent to me.
Unlike you, he’s truly disabled. Do you know me? Maybe you have met me or known me at some point in my journey? Maybe you “think” you know me from reading the small portion of my life I make public on my blog? Who are you to presume you know about my disability? Guess what? There is not ONE person who has been there every step of the way with me. I was the only one in the car when it was hit. I am the only one who wakes in the middle of the night in a cold sweat from the memories of crunching metal and screeching tires. I was the only one at every single doctor appointment. And all eight surgeries. And every single agonizing physical therapy appointment – there have been hundreds of them. In fact, there have been six YEARS of them. I am the only one who knows how bad the pain is. I am the one who has to figure out EVERY FUCKING DAY how to do things with my non-dominant arm. Who the hell do you think you are to judge anyone else? There are thousands of disabled people who don’t have a single outward sign of their disability. Shame on you.
Does he spend his days complaining? Well, I don’t know. Neither do you. He certainly has a right to if he wants, doesn’t he?
No, he spends them solving the mysteries of the universe. And maybe he complains the entire time. You don’t know, do you?
I’ve met a few paralysed people in my time. They all love life. Yes, well, I ALSO know people who have been paralyzed. ”All” paralyzed people don’t love life any more than “all” non-paralyzed people love life. You’re very quick to make assumptions and generalities, aren’t you? Personally, I’ve never met anyone happy to be paralyzed. For most people (disabled or not) life is better than the alternative. By the way, being paralyzed is not the only type of disability.
You also seem to be implying I “don’t” love life. If you knew me, if you looked at even a few of my photos, you’d know I do.
There are some artists who are paralysed and continue to paint. How does your struggle to hold a camera look compared to that? I think it is a very good comparison. Except, professional cameras are damn heavy and made for people with working right arms. It might be a bit harder to do what I’m doing. I’m not sure. (You see, I don’t try to compare people’s challenges because I really have no way of knowing what someone else’s life is like.) It’s certainly very difficult to hold a camera and operate it with just your left arm. Have you ever tried it? I suggest you tie your dominant arm to your side for a week, borrow a professional camera and give it a go. Of course, if you are left handed you’ll have an advantage. Cameras are made to be used with the right hand/arm. I primarily use my neck muscles to work mine. It’s very painful to hold a heavy camera with neck muscles that aren’t intended to be used in that way. Of course, using a camera is just one aspect of my life. Blow drying my hair with one arm is very difficult also. Doing dishes is difficult. Cooking is excruciating. There have certainly been a lot of days when I wished my arm was paralyzed or lost in the accident. At least then I wouldn’t be in terrible pain every minute of every day.
I’m sure you’ve had some tough times because of your chronic pain, It’s very generous of you to acknowledge that possibility.
but I can’t take you seriously at all when you act like a drama queen on the internet for attention. Oh, Voldmort! You’re making some big assumptions here, again. You’re assuming my writing isn’t genuine and heartfelt – but it is. Every word of that post was … well, REAL. I write because it’s therapeutic for me. It makes me feel better. It helps me process this journey I’m on. I’m an emotional person, and sometimes I get … emotional. I don’t get a bonus paycheck when I write a serious post. In fact, I usually see fewer readers when I write from the heart. I do it anyway because it helps me get through what I’m feeling. Does that make me a drama queen? Well, apparently you think so.
There are people all over the world who would kill to have your problems. You know nothing about my problems. Absolutely nothing.
People who would give anything to have a life as near perfect as yours, in which the only real struggle you face from day to day is having to go to physical therapy and experience pain. Again, you know nothing about my life – although clearly, you think you do. Your presumptuousness is astounding. Also, it’s quite clear you have never experienced pain for any length of time.
There are some people with chronic pain who don’t get excellent medical care like you do. Keep that in mind. There is no amount of care, in my experience, that makes the pain even *begin* to go away. Am I grateful to the excellent doctors and physical therapists who have helped me? Absolutely. I have said so, repeatedly, right here on Twenty Four At Heart. I don’t think any of them have ever doubted my gratitude. If you think it’s easy for me to pay for my medical care (which I will need for life), then you are even more ignorant than your comments imply.
Face it, there are people every day whose lives are destroyed, who lose everything that they love, and who still manage to heal and find meaning in life. Yes, there are. Many people travel difficult paths. (I wrote about that very thing on the two year anniversary of my accident.) I have never professed to be the only person with a struggle in life. Everyone struggles in different ways. I’ve never professed to have “the most difficult struggle in the world” to deal with either. I wrote about my feelings on the sixth anniversary of an event that changed my life. Many of my readers also live with pain, and appreciate knowing they aren’t alone. I find it a bit sad that sharing those feelings triggered anger in you.
Given all that, I think you can learn to live with your chronic pain. Well, I’m glad you think so. I feel so much better now that you’ve given your opinion. By the way, I HAVE been living my life with pain (for six years now).
You have more than enough to work with. How do you know? Again, you presume so much. (By the way, I’ve been working over 12 hour days for the last eight weeks. Not that my work schedule is any of your business.)
So start working. I’ll start by thanking you for providing me with outrageous blog material with your very rude, insensitive, comments.