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Lalucas's Links
MARCH 21, 2009 9:39AM

Wrote Myself into a Corner

Rate: 24 Flag

In response to a nice letter from Sally Swift, I decided to let you all know what is going on with me. Believe it or not, I post this at the risk of losing my job.  Yes, there are extenuating circumstances for my absence which were brought on by a post that is now deleted from my blog.  Here is my letter to Sally (with additions) about what has happened:  

Hi Sally:
Thank you for the warm welcome. I would LOVE to be here with you all on OS, but I have written myself into a corner.  A while back I blogged a story on OS telling the tale of a day in the salon when my former hair stylist announced her wish that President Obama would be assassinated. I think you commented in the thread so you may recall the storyline?

Anyway, I foolishly talked about my broker and former office mate in the comments section in a manner that has since set up a HUGE problem for me in my office (and portions of my county). In result, I have a broker and office mate who are not speaking to me as well as two others that are "watching" my blog to make sure that I do not write anything remotely controversial...

I would LOVE to come back, love to write about the stories of people suffering through this real estate situation, but there is no easy way for me to talk about the current economic situation without a political slant. More importantly, I cannot expose customers' personal stories to the world without their permission. It is hard to tell a meaningful tale without giving details that might point to a certain customer and their private situation. A  generic is not specific enough to paint a picture about the sorrows of the people all around me.

 As long as I stay in that real estate office and/or live in this county, I cannot write anything on Open that would reflect my political or socio-economic biases without consequences. It is expensive to be an agent in my office, paying for all my own signs and advertising materials. After the huge investment I have made to "brand" myself there, it is cost prohibitive to have to start over in a new office just now. So I hang in, hang on, and try to stay out of trouble.

I miss everyone terribly; it is really sad for me to be away from OS. There is a sense of freedom and community here that is so often lacking in the "real" world. One of the local people's comments to me about writing here had to do with the lack of "reality" to it. Why would I bother to share stories or write my personal thoughts for all the world to read -- why not just talk my "friends"?

For me,  friendship is about relationship that allows a free exchange of ideas, a sharing of feelings about things easy and hard, with a person or group of "like-minded" people that are listening to and will respond to the important details of life. For me, a friend is not just someone with whom I may cohabitate on a daily basis.

Friendship is not formed sharing tiny stories about job tasks, the weather and cute pet tricks. I write and comment on Open Salon as I feel I have found (for the most part) a cross-section of humanity with whom I can share my thoughts and feelings, my beliefs, hopes and dreams.

In return, I can expect a meaningful response. Whether the response is supportive, or presenting another point of view, I can count on the fact that a position will be taken on just about any given topic. I am tired of small and socially acceptable chit chat. Like a diet of junk food, it does nothing to nourish my brain or soul.

I did share with them, while we were still speaking, that  just because we write on the internet, does not mean that some of us do not meet from time to time behind the scenes. Many of you are more "real" to me than those with whom I interact on a daily basis. Of course, certainly much more interesting and sympatico...:)

So, thank you, Sally, for taking the time to contact me. I will come over to say "hi" on your blog. I miss you and so many others. Maybe I will sneak out a post to see if the Confederate spies are still watching me. I am soooo over being boxed into a corner by good Christian people, who have turned into nothing more than right wing conservative bullies...(Oops, there I go, again, tempting the fates).

All the Best,


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I've wondered what was up with your absence, too, Lisa, but just figured like so many of us you were struggling with economic issues. I see that I was partially correct. It is unfortunate that reasonable people cannot disagree about all sorts of issues without it devolving into personal animosity.

I can also relate to having to deal with people in my community who are hostile to my politics, etc. Although Jackson proper is a something of a haven from the worst intolerance, the suburbs are all full of small-minded conservatives who go ballistic if you disagree with them on political or social issues. The people on OS are very REAL and many of us have gotten to know each other well enough to consider ourselves friends. Just as I have considered you a friend, Lisa, from pretty much the beginning of our "meeting" here on OS.

Hang in there. Maybe you can create an alternate identity like others have done here?
Thanks, Susan, I consider you a friend as well. Those of us lucky enough to have participated in beta were privileged to a private version of Open Salon that in itself was a wonderfully unique and freeing opportunity. Our relationships were formed outside the eye of the public -- our support and sharing existed under the scrutiny of only several thousand people - not millions (?).

I miss our time in beta, although for the most part we can easily find each other. Now that we are open, I have to be careful since I work with the public. Not quite financially independent enough to walk away from my profession, as much as I would like to do something much less stressful!
Lisa, I would very much miss your presence and your posts and I have an idea that I will PM to you.
Just stumbled on this post ..

This is a tough situation and I feel for you. No one likes a big brother or big anything looking over our shoulders.

How about waiting a few weeks and signing on with a new identity, new location and start writing again.

Just a suggestion ....
Thanks, John and John. It is the use of my photo that most galls my broker and office mate. They do not want to be associated with me in result. Using an avatar and an anonymous location might just be the ticket. I have one set up, will have to send the "new me" around soon...!
John Boni took the words right out of my keyboard. We miss you.
Lisa, I too have missed you. Your posts are important missives from a "reality" so many of us are fortunate enough not to live in. None the less real, however. And, yes, your online friends are real, too. They really care about you. I wish we could just teleport to some neutral location, sit, have a beverage of choice and talk the night away. But consider it done if we ever have the chance to meet IRL. Julie
I was going to offer a suggestion, too, but it seems others already have. Hope to see you back soon.
Well, duh, I sent you a PM reply before I saw this post. So I'll share my end of our latest correspondence too, with one edit:

Oh boy, Lisa, I'm really sorry to hear about this. I remember the post well, thought you did a great job on it. People will read their own issues into any post, believe me, I recently found that out the hard way!

Couldn't you create a new persona? The OS platform is much improved, I bet Kerry would let you change your name on your blog or you could just start a new one with a pseudonym. MR X did that after getting spammed. His blog is now called X X X in case you didn't know.

I totally understand your work situation and know you've got to protect yourself but wow, it seems wrong to "censor" your writing, at least about things other than your office. We'd sure hate to see you disappear and lose your unique voice here all together.

Can I just hear an AMEN?!
Thanks, Cartouche -- I am sure you know the flavor of some of my encounters as a fellow Floridian.

Hello to Julie, ktm, stellaa & again to Sally -- I really DO miss you all. I teared up just seeing your support here in the comments. Since my beta friends came here today, I will share that our own Liz Emrich warned me about giving out too many details in my posts and comments. She was correct -- we are now public enough where I will have to think before I spew!

I can probably do fine keeping lalucas and just choosing an avatar. I am looking for something with a For Sale sign, of something that looks slightly realtorish. Most people in my area would not put two and two together from lalucas and I rarely use the name of my town. Central Florida is a BIG place!

I just like to have my face out there -- I am always appreciative of that from others. Will have to learn the art of compromise on this issue...Thanks, again, good to hear from all of you!
You join a long list of writers persecuted for using their craft to air political views. It's not a bad group to be a member of - if uncomfortable. It takes a certain amount of gumption to do what you did and I admire you for it. We've missed you here.
Thanks, Sandra, but gumption implies a certain forward looking view toward the consequences that escaped my little cranium that day. I was so upset that I wrote it exactly as I lived it. That story just poured out of me onto the page...

Funny thing, that one of the people who may be lurking about is doing so because the people I described are her customers. She herself has been a victim of racial profiling and all kinds of other hate crimes due to an extremly dark tan -- a color she chose to acquire through hours in a tanning bed. So, I am totally confused by her response.

It doesn't matter, however, as the fault for all lays with my writing, not the initial horrifying event...

Loved your latest, by the way -- amazing how our experiences of our mothers can scar us straight into the later portions of our adulthood...your influence on your darling little step daughter will leave a wonderful impact, I am sure!
I can so relate to this Lisa. I keep struggling with what to write about and reveal regarding teaching experiences and usually end up not including those posts out of fear of the risk. I'd like to write a book, too, but have simply not been able to figure out a way that honestly addresses the problems without castigating a bunch of people and a bad system, all of which puts my job at risk. Anyway, good to hear from you. I'll be looking between the lines for the new you.
I've missed you too, Lisa. Get a new name! Tell us what it is, of course ;) but it makes me sad to think of you not being able to write. For your sake, and ours...
Wow, Lisa. This is awful! I wondered why you weren't around as much any more. It's despicable to me to see that censorship is alive and well, even in places you'd least expect it. Have you considered writing under a pseudonym and only letting your friends know who you are? I can't imagine having to watch every word I write for fear of retribution. Many hugs to you.
I think it is shocking that you are going through us but like sandra said, you are in the best of company. This is why I don't post under my real name. I've had people cyber bullying and stalking me for nearly 2 years now. I will never, ever risk that again.

These so-called Christians literally make bile rise in my throat. They are nothing of the sort. I've always hated hypocrites and cruelty above all else and they qualify in both categories.
Hi Lisa,

I've been on and off OS the last few weeks, but have noticed the absence of your thoughtful and supportive comments and your posts. I'm sorry that expressing yourself has brought you so much trouble and pain.

I empathize. I recently lost a potential new client because he "could not work with a Socialist." Not a big deal, as I have enough other work for now, and was considering the new guy more as a favor to a friend. But still, it made me realize the public nature of my posts and potential consequences. On the whole, I think I would rather not work individuals who can't separate political or other disagreements. And my family already considers me a little unhinged, so I'm not terribly worried.

But then, I don't have to face these folks on a daily basis. Hang in there.
go for a new persona. don't use a photo of a person. don't give a location. and PM your true friends and tell them who the new persona is.
And the definition of a "socialist" is anyone not to the right of Attila the Hun? This kind of juvenile thinking makes me furious. I have some conservative-leaning friends and we agree to disagree (after we've done yelling at each other for a while). But we enjoy the battle.
Wow. I missed the post you deleted, but sounded like a doosie, (doosey?). You are in a tough place to be right now. (me, too) Office politics suck. No getting around that. Hang in there. Better times are on the horizon.
Another vote that you re-sign in under a new persona. Privacy is a very tough issue especially if you are trying to be honest about your writing.
Don't want to lose you as a contributor here.
And to anyone who might be lurking here making sure lalucas or her so-called friends aren't straying from your ever so morally upright path... c'mere and buss a kiss on kitty's tush.
Hey, everyone -- thanks for all the support! Lainey, I am with you. All the best stories are about real people, entities that other beings might recognize in the telling of the tale. I suppose we need to figure a way to tell the story as well as protect the innocent. I am not that good at it, but might give it a try very soon!

Donna, we've been buds from the start -- thanks for being here!
Same to you, Lisa -- I am behind you even in my absence. I have a group of OS friends I keep in my thoughts and prayers. If my wishes could make it so, all would be well!

Lisa (rocks), I am sorry to hear about your loss of a client. You and I are in the same boat -- my office mate's comments were that she didn't want her reputation ruined by associating with me. This was not about our business, but about my political convictions. To her, I say, "Fine, be a good Christian...!"

So, yes, Caruso, you can invite them to kiss your tushie -- go to it!

Voicegal and Emma, I have made a decision to go partly anonymous, but had to work today...will get to it. In the meantime,
Michael, try a search of "Klan Daddy's Daughter" just might find it lurking about without comments...Yes, spies, I just don't care for anonymity or being told that I cannot write about what I see and hear!

If you deserve my respect, you will have it and more. If you want to assassinate my President, to hell with you! If you don't like the mirror I hold to your face, either don't look or change what you see?

(OK, and yes, I have had a glass of wine or two....)
Lisa, I've always looked forward to your posts, and am gratified when you take the trouble to comment to something I've written. It's a shame your honesty got you into trouble. Not surprising, but a real shame nonetheless. If you start using a pseudonym when blogging, something I think you should consider, please let your OS friends know the new name!
Lisa, add my voice to the chorus of those that miss you terribly. We have that bond from the beta days when we all go to know each other. OS has certainly and necessarily evolved, but part of me misses that more intimate time. Your voice has always been about empathy and honesty, which is so counter to those few people around you who are determined to make your path an uneasy one. Please let me know via PM when you get your "other" person online here. I miss you terribly.
Thanks, Barry and Steve -- you two have always been of my favorites. Or, as they say in "The Shack", I am particularly fond of you. ;)

This weekend is bringing things to a head in my sad little heart. I had a long talk with my husband who also gave me a pep talk about my career and his support of me for same as well as other things. I have needed that.

Work is a hard place for me just now. Not only trying to get some closings on the books, but just being daily forced to endure an atmosphere where I am thought of as an outsider, with strange discordant thoughts. In the face of that, OS could be as it always has been for me a place where I can be myself.

I could get lost in the companionship of OS, however, as I did for just about four months in 2008. Four very happy months, but not very $$$ producing times...what to do? Be with people I enjoy, adding my own personal views for a world much more warm and welcoming? Or, to chase the Almight dollar with those that would prefer I cease to exist? Ummm...putting it that way....

All of you that know me, will understand that my office is forcing any joie de vivre that I can muster for working in the war torn housing sector right out of my mind and heart. Without your support, as well as my husband's, I don't know what I would do. As always, I am filled with thanks for the support of my OS friends. XXOO-->~~ See ya'll soon!
Lisa--I'm not a big fan of using pen names--I think writing under my real, legal name helps keep me civil and honest--but I've got an alternate identity that I also post under--anything related to my job, friends, or family that might cause problems, that goes on that blog. It's more to protect people I know than to protect me. Since I have a very unusual first and last name combo and am from a small town, changing other people's names isn't enough to really protect their privacy. People can connect the dots all too easily.

My bio on the pen name blog states that I blog elsewhere on OS under my real name and the reason for the second blog's existence. I highly recommend this for anyone who posts under their real name, uses their real picture as an avatar, and works in sales of any kind.

Best of luck to you.

Thanks, Leeandra -- that is a great suggestion!
Happy to hear from you. Wondered where you went.
Hope to read more when the "new you" arrives!
When I first got here I was advised not to reveal my locale or picture. Too late for that. Nothing has happened to me yet, but I stay away from any topics that are political. I live in the Confederacy too. And I drink red wine. Maybe it goes with living here. Fortunately I work in a very liberal environment, although amongst the very blue.

I'm posting because I am sorry for what you're going through. It's just not right. But, a lot of things aren't.

Can somebody tell me who were among the original beta group, how long did it last, and how were you selected? I think it would explain a lot about the friendships here on OS.

Lisa: am I missing something here? Isn't this post, the comments and the honest replies going to drive the same people right up the wall?

I would think that you might want to get rid of this post too, if it is not too late. Otherwise you may just be unconsciously sick of all the BS and are planning some other work venue. But your post doesn't read that way.

Whatever you do come back in one guise or another. Liberace and Elvis are both still open. ;-)

Yes, Monte, I am unconsciously/consciously flirting with my fate...I have not been in the office lately, don't want to go. I need to think of something else to do with myself as I am supremely unhappy just now. Cannot get myself back in the flow of this business. Maybe when it becomes slightly easier, that is a more normal housing market, I can go back to what I was doing. I am not enjoying the atmosphere at all just now...
kitehlips -- thank you for wondering about me -- have I known you under a different name? If not, thank you for thinking about me.

denese you ask a great question! I believe that some of the betas were asked to join OS from their participation in conversations on Big Salon. I was on Glenn Greenwald's site alot before OS, but I think the invite came after I started talking about the overt sexism of the male talking heads on Joan Walsh's blog. I am not sure how everyone else came to be here.

I joined as member number 1313 == UGH, although 13 is my husband's favorite number. I am not sure where we are now, but I think we were around 3500 members when we went OPEN with OS.

In the beginning, when OS was just a glimmer in the ether's eye, with less than 2500 writers in the group, there were less than 200 posting with regularity. The participants were here by invitation only, like a small writer's club, so we were able to talk with more freedom back then. When the site went completely OPEN on the internet, some people left, but most of us stayed.

During the "beta" stages, we got to know each other fairly well. We had some/most of the same issues that we have now -- who were the cool kids, people with hurt feelings when they didn't make the cover, etc...We didn't have too many trolls as most of us that joined OS were remarkably compatible in spite of any real differences that we might have socio-economically or politically.

There is a more diverse group now, more political viewpoints. We also have more celebrity writers in our midst, which I enjoy. I still have my strongest relationships with those I know from beta, and about a twqo dozen more that I have met and enjoyed since going open. Most, but not all, of my best OS friends have commented here and for that I am appreciative.

We worked through lots of issues and emotions during this past election. We became a small community of "friends" I believe through the fact that there were a limited number of members. Now, we are a HUGE internet "community" complete with stalkers and other unsavory characters. Not as intimate, not as safe, but still functioning.

Thanks for asking, Denese, it was nice to meet you!
The decision to use my name precluded my writing about educators (Martha's still employed as one) except the stories of my being a substitute, way back when. When I wrote about our state representative and his rude response to a letter, I heard small town gears turning. It's a tough call, being honest to the Nth degree, or pulling back just a little. I've enjoyed your posts for many months now and if you do decide to become "la_elvisse" from "the Yukon," slip me a PM, okay? (PS: I have a brother who secretly checks in for more ammunition but we're perfectly compartmentalized.) Chin up, be well and good luck.
Thanks, Stacey. I have taken off my picture and removed my location. I think the perception is that someone local could come across something and say "Is that about me?". Without a location, my name, or a picture, hopefully, we can get beyond this and most of you will still know me...that is the current plan, anyway!
The muses tempt the fates, story old as time. Weren't you peeking 'tween the blinds with a Loiusville Slugger at the ready a while back? I'd pick you for my team any day, kid.
Thanks, old gold -- yes, that was me! ;)
We miss you around here! I always appreciate your kind and supportive comments. I am sorry you are among people at work, the salon, and in your real life that don’t let you express yourself… though you know I understand that, too!

I hope that you can continue to be a part of this great community, either with your new avatar or a screen name.

I hope the recession isn’t hitting you too hard. I’m wishing you the best!
Lisa, I got all excited when I saw you had a post up. I've missed you also. This is sad. Are there other things that you could write about so you're not throwing the baby out with the bath water? It's good to see you.
Thanks, Mary and Sue! I am going to write a "breaking news" post as soon as I have the rest of the "facts". Weird things DO happen in my neck oif the woods..Good to hear from you, too!
I miss you too. Sigh.
I've been here. I just lost a job for similar reasons. I have no regrets. The place was totally toxic and I was better out of there. Sometimes life comes and removes us from situations that are untenable. Could this be happening for you?
I've been here. I just lost a job for similar reasons. I have no regrets. The place was totally toxic and I was better out of there. Sometimes life comes and removes us from situations that are untenable. Could this be happening for you?