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Mumsnet setting off my anxiety

(36 Posts)
Blueisthemagicnumber Tue 23-Aug-16 20:14:16

A few weeks ago I started a thread in AIBU (I know). The terminology I used was taken in the wrong context, and I was called all sorts of names. I tried defending myself and it got worse, and the thread was eventually deleted.

It caused all my anxiety to come flooding back, awful ocd thoughts. It was a genuine mistake on my part, and my reaction to feel totally worthless about myself, feel completely self doubt about my morals and values and how I see myself as a person.

I know those people don't know me. They just read a stupid comment that I didn't think about properly before I posted

I did really well with counselling over the past two years, until it finished for various reasons. I just wanted to speak to my counsellor so she could reassure me that I wasn't this person that the commenters attributed to me.

As an example, it was as if I had made an off the cuff comment about people being gay, and being accused of being homophobic. (It wasn't that, just don't want to out myself, quite happy for people to be any sexuality, as long as they are happy with mine)

I have been telling myself I am not that person they accused me of being, I have never been that person, I will never be that person. The negative thoughts of reading those 120 posters saying I was, is stronger though.

Thank you for reading, and please don't attack me for trying to reach out.

Mybugslife Tue 23-Aug-16 20:35:59

That's the problem on MN people are horrible. I've had people tell me I'm a murderer for ending my pregnancy at 21 weeks after finding out our son was extremely poorly and wouldn't have survived (bit more complicated than that but to long to post) People don't see the person behind the screen and I swear there's some people who just scroll through posts and comment just to be nasty. You know you aren't any of those things. You've said yourself these people don't know you. You made a mistake and something you said came out wrong it doesn't mean your any of those things these people have said.
I'm sorry strangers have made you feel this way X

dangermouseisace Tue 23-Aug-16 20:37:05

blue flowers I'm sorry this is has happened to you.

Many people are unnecessarily horrible on Mumsnet, or seem out to pick holes in whatever another person has written. It's difficult enough to communicate by typing alone. Usually when we are having a conversation there are all sorts of non verbal cues as well. Usually the insults that fly are well beyond what is necessary…someone can ask a simple question and then in replies get told they are 'pathetic' or something else. I hate it when people ask a question on AIBU, get told they are being unreasonable and why, and then accept fair enough I see why I am being unreasonable….but STILL troll-y people feel the need to give the OP a dressing down! AARGH!! Rant over.

If you are so racked with guilt over what you were interpreted as saying (not what you intended) then you need no more confirmation that you are not that person who was getting trolled. Chill…we all make mistakes…we learn…be kind to yourself you've done nothing wrong! All you've done is write something that people got the wrong end of the stick with wine chocolate flowers

TheWindInThePillows Tue 23-Aug-16 20:39:57

You were brave to start a thread, I never do that as I've also been on the receiving end of some really horrible comments concerning the contact my children have with their grandparents- like above, it's a complex situation in which I think we are doing quite well, but I was asked why I was allowing my children contact with an abuser even though I wouldn't have termed or thought of it in those terms at all (and of course I wouldn't allow that!)

This is a roundabout way of saying, don't take this stuff to heart. Honestly. It isn't even one tiny bit about you, as you can see from all the other threads. I hope you get some peace. Perhaps once this thread has run for a bit, just go off Mumsnet for a while, as although there is some kindness to be had, there's a lot of nastiness and bravado from posters and as you have found, you need to be incredibly robust (or even insensitive) to put up with it.

ClockMakerSue Tue 23-Aug-16 20:40:13

It's sad when people are keen to look for something to pounce on another about and assume the worst in someone. You know you didn't mean it how it was taken and it's frustrating you can't make people see that.

Hope you manage not to worry.

dangermouseisace Tue 23-Aug-16 20:42:53

bugslife I'm so sorry for your loss. That must have been a very difficult (words fail) decision to make. And then what happened on here was just awful. To have to be in that terrible situation in the first place, and then having people on here being completely unreasonable and unfairly judgemental instead of supportive is just vile sad

PurpleDaisies Tue 23-Aug-16 20:43:28

There are a few arseholes but most people on here are lovely. Sometimes threads take a really weird turn if the first few posters are nasty. Please don't take it personally.

JeepersMcoy Tue 23-Aug-16 20:52:57

Other posters (and I include myself in this) do not know you at all, all they know is words on a screen and themselves, They use their own experience, issues and hang ups to interpret the words they read. This is what they are talking to when they write. Sometimes you will read their replies and they will make you see something in a different way, sometimes they will tell you want you want or need to hear. Sometimes they won't seem to apply to you at all.

It can be really hard to read posts on mumsnet and not take them personally, but really you have to read them as if you were flicking through a book of random opinions and views. Take the ones that you find helpful, turn the page on the ones you don't.

I know this is sometimes impossible in reality. I find that even on threads that I haven't posted on, let alone started I can find posts trigger my anxiety.

There have been many periods where I have heavily restricted my MN use to a couple of threads or topics and times when I have just walked away from it completely for a while for the sake of my sanity. I still love it though smile

Hedgehog80 Tue 23-Aug-16 20:57:51

I've learnt (the hard way) that although MN appears to be an anonymous place to get advice/support it doesn't always end up that way.

I used to post a lot more than I do now, about personal stuff. Now I tend to try and stick to the more mundane things as a few months ago whilst in the middle of horrible PTSD i posted and although some posters were supportive a certain group were absolutely vile to me-'outing' me (I had name changed), dragging up every single thing relevant or not from advanced search and it really upset me.
My advice would be to try and find other support in RL, I have a wonderful counsellor I see and have happily resolved some of my bigger issues but I just don't post about it here anymore.

reikizen Tue 23-Aug-16 21:00:32

I have had a similar experience although not via an Aibu thread. In the past I have had to retreat from mn completely after becoming involved in childbirth related threads (I'm a midwife) triggered lots of anxiety for me. I have recently come off Facebook as that made me feel tense, irritable and anxious so best avoided! You live and learn what triggers stuff for you I guess, I tend to restrict myself to non controversial threads like style and beauty now! Don't let the bastards grind you down - in reality they are as lovely as you and I!

Blueisthemagicnumber Tue 23-Aug-16 21:02:22

Thank you for reading and replying. I did go for a bit, came back and changed my name. I know if I asked people in rl, they would tell me I am not that person at all, but I can't, just I case they do sad

Hate feeling fragile.

Usually stay away fro MH as I can find it really triggery. But thanks for support everyone.

Blueisthemagicnumber Tue 23-Aug-16 21:04:05

Yes off FB pretty much all the time, average once a month on there. I just replaced it with MN.

babynugget Tue 23-Aug-16 21:04:08

I love mumsnet but am getting so sick of people who think it is ok to be nasty and vile to someone. AIBU seems to be particularly bad for this. I am enraged that this has had such a horrid impact on you. My guess is half the people mouthing off and being vile are little mice in public and use mumsnet as an outlet for all the things they wish they could say to people in real life but haven't got the balls to do it.

What happened on your thread is more of a reflection on these people than on you. Look after yourself. flowers

iamtheurbanspacemanbaby Tue 23-Aug-16 21:06:30

I had similar when I started a thread and got attacked and accused of child abuse because I have a routine for my son. I have anxiety and was distraught for days. A majority of people on here are lovely but some are just horrible. There is no need to make others feel awful.

Bugslife that is absolutely deplorable. So sorry that happened to you. Horrific.

TwoLeftSocks Tue 23-Aug-16 21:09:18

I've not directly had any of the vileness from AIBU but just reading threads has been enough for me to hide the whole topic. Life is much, much nicer without it.

(it's under My Mumsnet and customise if you need it)

Hope you're okay.

Mybugslife Tue 23-Aug-16 21:11:02

Thankyou dangermouse. Xxxxx

TwoLeftSocks Tue 23-Aug-16 21:15:20

Sorry, Customise is in the drop down tab where it says talk when you're in the Active threads page.

Branleuse Tue 23-Aug-16 21:20:04

mumsnet can be a nest of vipers sometimes (often)


Titflaps Tue 23-Aug-16 21:29:36

There are lots of people who feel bigger and cleverer when they're sat on their phone or behind a keyboard, and there are also lots of real arseholes in the world most of them appear to be compelled to reply to aibu posts. On the other hand, there are some super great and lovely and helpful people on this forum who will go out of their way to provide advice and guidance to those of us who need it. Ignore the wankers, they don't know you, it's not personal even if it sometimes feels that way. Report them and leave the thread and brush it off. If all else fails come and find me and I'll put them straight for you wink

treetops104 Tue 23-Aug-16 21:30:11

The first time I ever commented on something -trying to help someone- I was called names and people said some really mean things. I felt so crap about it and told my sister and we ended up laughing about it- it took for her to point out to me these are strangers commenting and even tho it's so difficult you have to try and let it go over your head. I know your situation is a lot worse than mine was but the same logic applies. You've made so much progress with counselling etc, don't let strangers bring you down. Mumsnet CAN be a helpful tool and there are lovely people on here who want to help

Broken1Girl Wed 24-Aug-16 01:13:28

People can be so nasty on here, especially AIBU. Like babynugget's post, exactly, it's them, not you flowers

TheDowagerCuntess Wed 24-Aug-16 01:24:28


I'm very robust mentally, but I'd never start a thread in AIBU. In fact, I'd never start a thread on Mumsnet about anything except the most innocuous chat topic, or advice on an actual parenting issue (and I never go into the parenting forums!).

I've never really thought about that before, but it's not great, is it? I love Mumsnet, but only as a participant in other people's threads. Really, never as a thread-starter myself.

You know that the comments were made by people, and then instantly forgotten by them, as they went about their day, right?

There's a significant number of very, very angry people posting on here. Honest, straight talking is one thing - I do like that this isn't a fluffy, insincere, false, hunnish sort of place. But outright unkindness and vitriol is not needed.

BlueKarou Wed 24-Aug-16 01:31:07

It's not just MN; the Internet can be a wonderful place filled with supportive strangers, but it can equally be an awful place where people hide behind their perceived anonymity and say nasty things because they can't see the person they're talking to/about.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience with AIBU. I've had my share of unpleasant encounters, usually when I'm in the minority opinion-wise and my long-thought-out comment gets utterly trampled over by a tide of passionate voices who disagree with me. Hide AIBU for now and find another part of MN to dabble in. There are a lot of nice folk here, as well as a few not so nice folk, and many more regular humans who can be nice or nasty (intentionally or unintentionally) depending on their mood and the topic and a gazillion other things.

If possible, remind yourself that everything here is just words on a screen. You have the power to close the browser and walk away at any point. Never give more of yourself emotionally to a thread than you can afford.

heyday Wed 24-Aug-16 02:17:29

Hi, not sure if you have ever done cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)? I guess the gist of it is that we become what we think basically speaking. So, if, after reading all these negative, rude comments you start to believe what they have accused you of, then those negative thoughts start to become reality and they start to make you feel very down and anxious. You know what you meant by the comments you made and that no malice was ever intended. It's hard to articulate things sometimes. Please don't feel that you need to justify yourself to a group of random strangers who think they know you and can run you down. Get your positive thinking back on track. Be kind to yourself. I have read that AIBU threads tend to be very brutal so perhaps best to avoid them from now on. Onwards and upwards!!!

Blueisthemagicnumber Wed 24-Aug-16 09:44:27

Thanks again everybody.

Feeling lots more positive than I did when I started this thread.

Been mentally trying to apply CBT skills heyday , I will get there, just got to believe in myself.

Going to return to gardening, housekeeping and style and beauty topics only I think, with a bit of telly addicts with the start of Bake Off.

Going away for a few days too, so less reading and posting will help.

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