Thursday, June 18, 2009


My heart is breaking.

It doesn't help that I'm seriously PMSing right now, but something very precious is being ripped apart and all I can say is that I am heartbroken.

A year ago next month, we created a lovely thread on Topix called the Introvert Quorum. We chatted about our boring introverted lives. We chatted, mixed each other imaginary drinks, shared good news and bad. It was a warm and supportive place.

Occasionally, a troll would pop in. We would ignore it and it would get bored and go away.

Then, a reg or two would pop in. We would acknowledge them, scold them for bothering us and they would go away.

Then another reg would pop in and then another. Only now when we would ask them to leave, they would argue - kicking up a fuss. We became frustrated and started spending less time in sweet companionship and more time annoyed by the invaders.

And then our IQ thread was pulled. For absolutely no reason. We were heartbroken but not defeated. We created a new Introvert Room - but it had the same problems as the first.

So we created an alternate Introvert Offshore thread, away from the Tribune pages, while leaving the Introvert Room thread active to act as a decoy. We thought this would solve our problems.

But alas...

We felt free in our new space to discuss the issues in our lives, including personal issues with other posters. Should we have discussed other posters in that forum? No. But we were shocked when that exact poster showed up and started posting on our "secret" Introvert thread.

I lost it. I was enraged that this person - who I had always been friendly with - could show such blatant disrespect for our wishes. And I was not alone. Several of the innies joined me in my ire. A flamewar began and burned over Topix and Facebook and onto my blog.

I posted a letter to this person, apologizing for my ititial over-reaction to his posting, but have never once received an apology for the nasty things he has said to me. In his eyes, he is blameless. He has even thrown my apology back in my face, claiming it was nullified by the actions I was apologizing for.


I do something I regret.
I sincerely apologize for it.
But my apology is meaningless because of the the thing I did in the first place.

Someone explain that to me.

Anyway. So We hash things out - I assume. We leave him alone and he leaves us alone. Until, out of nowhere, he posts a snarky email about A - on a thread that she isn't even arguing on! - and I become angry again, asking him why he can't leave it alone. The flamewar erupts again.

We do some things that perhaps we should not have done but we were pushed too far by this person who acts like we are unreasonable and "too touchy" when most of us know the truth about him and the disgusting things he has done.

His response: to out our most recent secret Introvert thread.

Now the ONLY way he could have found this is to have gone looking for it. This is a seriously disturbing action by a man who has already shown his obsession for a certain member of our group.

And now the group seems to be falling apart.

And my heart is breaking.

And I hope this asshole is happy.


A Reader said...

You could:

1. create a facebook page, call it the "introvert quorom" or whatever you want, and only let friends in.
2. Create a yahoo group
3. Create a blog or some other page for your posts.
4. Create a place on topix using different names only you all would know and not mentioning Introvert. Do this for a year/until things boil over.

These are just a few that occur off the top of my head.

Is the possibility of being found by topix readers who know you all by EEE, A. and etc part of the thrill?

Jay_Lee said...

Maybe that is what he wanted....


EEE said...

People seem to be projecting their own idea of fun onto us.

I don't know how clear we can be: WE DID NOT WANT TO BE FOUND

Topix provide a very easy to use format for instant communication - logging out and using other names would have defeated the F ing point.

There was no "thrill" to the innie room. In fact, just the opposite.

That was the fucking point.

Cat said...

While not a fan of jerks, said jerk does have a kind of point.

You didn't learn your lesson the 1st time around. Even if it wasn't labeled and had to be hunted for it WAS posted in a public forum. You only had the illusion of privacy and you tried to hide it out in plain sight.

Public IS public and hunting for it may be easier than you think. Google is all powerful. I found the original Introvert Quorum a year ago when somebody posted something about me. I wasn't looking for it, I was startled to find it.

But I found it by Googling my username for a different purpose (Topix isn't the only place I use that username), and up popped a post containing my name that was totally unknown to me. You better bet I investigated. Mostly out of curiosity.

I chose not to publicly "discover" the thread for my own reasons, but I tell this story to say to you again - you only have the illusion of privacy when you post something in an unsecured public place. And you somehow didn't learn this when the jerk chimed in the 1st time.

And yes, anything you say and do in public - even if *you* consider it a private gathering can be called to light, used against you, etc.

If you want to keep it private and be secure, do the yahoo group thing. Leave the regular Innie Room up on topix and allow it to be a place where you can talk about some surface stuff, and invite people to the private group (which you can lock up so tight that people can't even see who the members of the group are much less what the posts say) if you feel comfortable with them being there.

EEE said...


Yes, I KNOW that Topix is a public forum.

But we had asked the person in question to leave us alone and seeing as several of us were "friends" with him in other venues, we rather expected him to respect that.

But he did not.

I can only assume that he was stalking one of us in particular for fear that she would "out" him for some inappropriate emails and one very very inappropriate picture he had sent.

But she never did. Never told any of us.

At least not until things became heated. I personally did not find out until AFTER I went off on him (the rant I have since apologized for repeatedly and had said apology thrown back in my face)

And now you all know. This creep sent a picture of a dingle with the "you'll never know what you're missing" (or similar) to a woman who had asked him not to email her again.


Cat said...

I see your point - mostly.

My point is that you describe the group as starting to fray and breakup due to it's new hideyhole outing by Le Jerque. And that would not have been possible if the hideyhole weren't publicly viewable or commentable on by Le Jerque apart from it's existence.

However if you check Le Jerque's very 1st blog post - you may safely assume one of 3 things.

1) He is a consummate liar/manipulator.


2) Somebody has either hijacked or imitated his accounts and done things "as him" which were not him.


3) He has a serious case of Multiple Personality Disorder.

EEE said...

I wish I could assume that #2 is correct. I am always very surprised when people disappoint me.

I try to give the benefit of the doubt whenever possible.

But in this case it is highly unlikely. Dare I say: impossible.

His words from that post do not match his actions moving forward.

He did not let sleeping dogs lie and when we struck back, all hell broke loose.

And for the record - we DO have a private yahoo group etc. But not everyone can access it from work.

We get that Topix is not private but we expect a certain amount of respect from those who "know" us. Trolls are another matter. We expecting nothing but crap from them.

Bella said...

Seeing as how the dude sent a picture of his weenie to one of you'all, I'd say there is ZERO chance of his ever leaving you alone. He's obviously getting more out of it than you realized.

You apparently know this, but I'd say your TOPIX private (not) chat days are over.

But surely this will not cause your group to disband. If you are all great friends, the group will survive.