My inner masochist…

I don’t know why (well, I do, which I’ll explain later!) but I decided to stop by Mumsnet this morning. God I wish I hadn’t. What vitriol!

I do love forums. I like knowing what other people think. Often, it’s a lot like I think, but it fuels my inner rage from time to time. My first forum love was the BB5 one. I’m not a fan of Big Brother at all, but this series captivated me. I mostly liked it because I loved Nadia (as did the population, hence the winning vote) but I was also stunned into car-crash-watching mode with Michelle Bass, in that she’s pretty much everything I dislike in people: shallow, vain (yet insecure – a heady mix!) jealous, bitchy, pathetic, whingey. I watched BB6, hoping for a re-run of it, but it wasn’t as good, though BB7 captured my interest. After that, it just didn’t cut the mustard. Still, I liked the C4 forums, since they largely voiced what I felt. It’s good to know you’re part of the morality zeitgeist.

I’ve also been a regular on a couple of mental health forums, since I was diagnosed bipolar – and they really also show what idiots there are on the planet. People who want to be bipolar, over-concerned partners, including one sad-sack who drove me to such distraction that I left the site for good. She spent an enormous amount of effort moaning about her ‘mate’ (not partner, not even really a friend!) and getting a lot of attention, and not listening at all to anyone. I did make two excellent friends from here who really supported me, and I learned a huge amount!

Then it was on with the forums about France, most of which confirm the kind of English people I can’t stand and I hope not to meet: those who won’t learn English, think they are entitled to benefits, want to buy cheap cheddar and moan about absolutely everything. I don’t often go on them now, as it’s just the same-old same-old.

I made the mistake though, of thinking I’d find a little bit of support on mumsnet. I don’t often post – I’ve never posted on that site – more often, I just read and digest. However, I thought I was opinionated. Not so. I try to moderate what I say, and I’m bipolar and a Sagittarian to boot. Not so Net Mums. Vile!

An example:

“I’d choose my words more carefully IIWU, otherwise what you say makes you sound immature, selfish and cold. “

Oh, right; don’t take your own advice. I’d choose my own words more carefully IIWU, because you sound like a judgemental bitch.

The responses to various threads are ‘you’re unbelievable’, ‘how dare you…’ and so on. I also hate the cliquey shared-world ‘DP’ and ‘DSS’ and so on. WTF is a ‘DSS’??! I’m guessing dearest step son, but could equally be demon step son. They go from berating a step mother for not being enough involved, then supporting a mother whose child’s step mum wants to go to his parents’ evening.

Speaking as someone caring for a child who is not her own, I thought this site was utterly abysmal and totally ludicrous. Step parents get it in the neck whatever they do. I did think about ‘defined’ roles of parents etc, but then I also thought the ‘blended’ family is a big, huge kibbutz-like thing when it works well, (like my own is and always has been) I never disobeyed my step-mum, I accept that she will give them more attention than she gives us, and rightly so. Everything she does is an added bonus. Likewise my step-dad. Nobody said they should end up with a load of ungrateful kids just because they loved someone. Nobody said they should be involved in our life like real parents. Yet Brenda. my step-mum, is a real true friend of mine and I love her dearly. She is sensible and rational and makes my father complete. John, my step-dad, is a wise being who struggles to understand the ‘human’ side of people sometimes, I think, but he and my mum make the best couple. I hope he makes her as happy as she deserves to be. My parents just weren’t meant to be together. As they’ve aged, they’ve become even more opposites, united by one thing alone: us.

I’m glad my parents are happy and loved and treasured as all people deserve to be. It makes us better people.

And to hear, from scornful mums on Mumsnet some ‘step mum’ dos and don’ts, I’m horrified. I can’t believe they can be so rude to people who need support. It’s everything that’s wrong with parents. They think their children are the be-all and end-all of a family. They aren’t. They’re part of a unit. The family unit. They aren’t little princes or princesses. The step parent doesn’t have any real need to be involved, should they not wish to. Judgement spewed forth like acid eruptions and in terms that were totally inappropriate from ‘mums’

I can only assume these are the sue-them-all-my-child-is-the-centre-of-the-universe-don’t-tangle-with-me bubble mothers who drive around in Range Rover Vogues and live in a complete bubble of self-entitlement and manage to hold paradoxical views in a way that goes way beyond hypocrisy.

Bah, mumsnet, bah to you. Yay to step parents. It’s the dirtiest of jobs at times, and the most rewarding at others.

5 thoughts on “My inner masochist…

  1. Oh, yes.

    While you were there, did you happen to stumble over any posts by people who described their childbirth as less than painful.

    I accidentally did once, and all I could picture was a crowd of vicious, post-natal mums beating their way through the offender’s computer screen to bitch slap her.

    So anyway, my own piece of unsolicited advice to the universe today is:

    Whatever you do, don’t go to a general parenting forum about stepfamily issues.

    Stay silent, and you will watch deserving people who are struggling to do their best with difficult situations (after all, they are asking for advice!) get slammed.

    Speak and you will get slammed yourself.

    General parenting forums are frenzies of self-righteousness and deliberate hurtfulness. It’s so ugly.

    If you ever want to seek or offer stepfamily support, you really need to go to a stepfamily-exclusive site, to avoid all the trolling mummies with chips on their shoulders.

    Try your national stepfamily association and see if it runs forums. They often need you to register and be approved before you can read or post, but once you’re in they are the most caring and supportive and understanding forums in the world.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog, by the way. I’m really enjoy your writing!

    1. Yours too… I think I have a lot to learn and enjoy from yours. I shan’t be making the mumsnet error ever again. I can’t believe how much they bitch to each other and about each other! It’s like a feeding frenzy in a piranha tank!!

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