[This was originally a Facebook post.]
While the whole Weiner scandal is funny (and my son got into a giggle fit today when Jeff and I were talking about it and he heard the name Weiner), it has brought up some bad memories for me.
Two years ago this month, I was subjected to sexual harassment in an IRC chat (a bunch of people together in various channels in a Web chat).
They said foul, lewd, disgusting things to me and then told me to post a pic of something private [my genitals]. I refused. I only stayed as long as I did because a friend was in there and you can only chat with people in IRC who you can find online at the same time as you.
The kicker: These jerks were *friends*, *friends!* of a couple that Jeff and I had befriended online and who came to Fond du Lac a few years ago to find a better life [Richard and Tracy].
Richard saw the whole thing. Then Tracy came into the chat, I thought she’d chew them out, but instead she started laughing and joking with them!
They told her I was being a b**** because I wouldn’t post this pic; she said, “You know how hobbits are.” (My Web handle refers to hobbits.) Then she started planning with them a get-together at her house!
A year later, they still hung out with these people online, still occasionally brought them up in conversation, still talked about get-togethers with them.
I was disgusted by this, thought they should have cut ties with these people right then, but only asked Richard, my “BFF,” to stop bringing them up around me.
Not only did he say no in a nasty e-mail, but he complained about things like, “You mean my wife can’t mention J– in conversation?” etc. etc. He told me I was being “ridiculous,” I should “get over it,” “It’s on the Internet: It isn’t real! I thought you understood that!”
These jackasses are no longer our friends, not just because of this but because of other things they did [to me] that were so terrible I can’t believe anybody would do that to a friend.
But then I should believe it, because I saw them do the same thing to another friend [Todd] two years previous, someone Richard had been friends with for *6 years.*
The three things that scare me:
1) Richard wants to be an Orthodox priest. He is a narcissist. He refuses to listen to the other point of view. He has no concept of what it takes to settle arguments and preserve friendships.
His wife is very abusive to her children, to Richard, and to many others. She would be the priest’s wife if he gets ordained and assigned to a parish.
2) Their sweet and beautiful little girls are growing up in this environment.
3) My church and their church are both in dire straits, and discussing merging for the survival of both. For months I have only seen them occasionally when one of them is driving past. But this would mean seeing them. Often.
I don’t know if Richard was always like this but presented me with a sweet, gentle, awesome front that made me think he was better than he really was.
Or if something happened over the last year of our “friendship” that changed him from my BFF to a horrible person who knew I’m very sensitive, yet allowed his wife to scream nasty accusations and horrible, filthy language at me over a *misunderstanding* over something that HE DID.
But I do know that I do not want him in my priesthood, and I do not want them to darken my door again, and I do not want them to be in my church again.
It was bad enough seeing him there at Christmastime and watching them take the Eucharist. It made me want to puke.
Online sexual harassment IS real. Narcissists are real and they can break you apart.
Sometimes the wrong people become priests, but they’re so charming that nobody realizes it until it’s too late.
I made this extra Facebook account so I could talk about these things among my closest friends without worrying that mutual friends of these jerks will see it. Because I needed to hide away.
My church board is supposed to be making the decision about the church’s future very soon, if they haven’t already. Let’s hope and pray they don’t decide on a merge. I’m beginning to wonder if I should write my godmother and ask her to change the vote I made in a parish poll taken several months ago.
Jeff is waiting to hear back about a position in M–. I told him that even though moving in this economy (we own a condo) would be a huge pain, it would mean I could get out of the city where these jerks live, and away from a church where they might one day start going every week.
I don’t have high hopes for this one anymore because we haven’t heard anything yet, but who knows.