Friday, March 6, 2009

Toxic Trauma Drama at the WLS Ranch

RESPECT...a very important word in life. And here's a couple more...

Compassion, Empathy

Don't we know what these words mean anymore? The fact that so many people simply forego any hint of the golden rule just blows me away. So many dish it out but certainly don't want the same in return. Forums, boards, and blogs are sometimes a vast wasteland of disrespect and anonymous bullying.

The squeaky wheel so often gets the grease because so many boards don't have a lot of structure. It sort of reminds me of the old West...Cowboys and Indians...before Marshall Dillon rode into town...... pretty much whatever you can get away with at the expense of other's feelings just so long as you bulldoze your point through because you have to prove how right you are and how wrong someone else is. It is not a place for the weak at me.

Yup, go ahead and call me a Pollyanna. I'm just plain worn out from toxic trauma drama on forums, boards, and blogs....well wherever it is.

I'd love for the moderators to put a little icon before each of the applicable threads that says TTD.

As weight loss surgery people we are already very vulnerable and after a lifetime of negativity due to obesity, I don't understand why we must continue to pile more anxiety upon our already stressful lives. The other problem is that it starts (usually) with a post that isn't so bad but it's where it goes that gets dangerous. (sorry Dad for the language but this is a bland representation of reality)

Alice: I like orange and I can't see why anyone would like red...I mean what are you thinking?

Betty: Well I like orange too but if you like red, you're nuts.

Cheryl: I like red, orange sucks and you can go to hell

Betty: Cheryl, you're a freakin' bitch!

Dawn: Betty you're freakin' bitch because I've liked red longer than anyone so you don't know crap!

Alice: Don't call my friend Betty a bitch and your surgery type sucks too.

Cheryl: You're fat and I'm at goal

Betty: I can lose weight but you can't fix ugly

Truth be told we all have a right to like orange or red. We can agree to disagree. In the meantime a newbie comes to the board looking for some real support, something that might save their life. So....newbie goes away, newbie loses out on good info OR newbie joins in the fun and never figures out how to fight the demons that are the reason for their obesity because they are too busy picking the "right" side. If you HAVE to be right, you HAVE to make someone else wrong.

The other mega fall out is just as potentially harmful. The veterans give up. Why would they want to stay? Their exit is a two fold tragedy. You lose some valuable experience and maybe I'm wrong but I'm thinking you might want someone to hang around that knows something. The other unfortunate part is the fact that veterans lose out on continued education and the all important accountability factor.

Stress causes us to trigger our food addiction (or other addictions) so what do we do?.....we jump right into ramping up the demons. Some people are perfectly unaffected and can play this game but so many are not. I have watched this first hand and I've seen several women sit and eat all day when the toxic trauma drama starts.

Are we our brother's keeper? Maybe...I mean...

I know I can't save the world but I can lead by example and do the best I can to keep my eye on the prize. Each time I take my eye off the prize, I am veering off course...and not walking toward the goal I want more than anything else....and when I participate I also help others veer off course too.

For me...the veterans are the parents in this community and when we fight it is just like the parents arguing in front of the kids. They are already coming in new and vulnerable and when we fight, we just screw them up a little more and feed the monster disease of obesity and addiction.

I'm saying the serenity prayer a little more every day.

If we really understood it, we'd get out of the business of stressing out and getting all pissed off over totally insignificant things that we cannot change. Life isn't fair but there's no use in wasting energy on things we can't change when we still have so much to do to work on ourselves. Since I am no where close to doing it all just right and until I figure out a way to do that, I don't see how I can spend time trying to tell others how to act. I certainly don't appreciate someone telling me how to act so I'm pretty sure no one else likes me to tell them they're doing it all wrong.

And then we have trolls....the ones that do it just to start a fight. We have aggressive trolls, passive/aggressive trolls, famous trolls and anonymous trolls. They start a fight for the fun of it and then everyone gets involved over an issue that was fake in the first place!!

I've been really active on the boards for almost 8 years. I have learned so much in those 8 years and the online support forums have figured out things that some of the bariatric programs haven't even begun to cover.... but for the life of me it is almost more than I can take sometimes when my WLS brothers and sisters start butting heads over things that don't matter.

Call me a dreamer...but I still hold out some hope that it can happen one day...

but until then I'll continue to do my best to offer support and help to those that want it and try my best to avoid the toxic trauma drama.

So fight if you want...but for now I'll just continue to answer to Pollyanna, Goodie Two Shoes, Naive Girl, whatever....

I'll be the one sitting in the corner singing Kum ba yah.

p.s. Here's the great recipe for life that I posted before.


1.Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Talk to the God of your understanding about what is going on in your life.
3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today. I am thankful for______________'
4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
12. You are not so important that you have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
17. Forgive everyone for everything.
18. What other people think of you is none of your business.
19. GOD heals everything - but you have to ask Him.
20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch!!!
22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________.
Today I accomplished _________.
24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
25. When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings. You'll be smiling before you know it.

26. READ 7 AND 14 AGAIN!