Monday, March 15, 2010

God Save The Queen

If I seem a little quiet lately, not as chatty, not posting on other people’s blogs as much as usual, it’s because March is a tough month. 27 years ago, March started out great with the birth of my daughter, then it quickly went down hill when my husband died 11 days later. Today’s his birthday, in fact. He’d have been 51.

It doesn’t help that right now I’m “Emily” and “Shawna” on bogus diet websites that use my before and after photos (and photos of my grandchildren!!) and a fabricated story that I used colon cleanses, resveritrol and acai berries to lose weight. You know and I know that isn’t true, but there are thousands of folks who see my before and after photos on those sites and think it’s really how I did it. And they’re getting ripped off because of it. Pardon my language, but this really pisses me off.

When I was a kid, I rarely stuck up for myself. I allowed people to say some pretty cruel things about me or my beliefs without me putting up much of a defense. I’d defend my friends, and when I had children, I was always their protector, but when it came to me, it was like I didn’t matter.

When I took on the task of losing weight, I never imagined so many inner demons would line up to fight to justify their existence in my life, and lately the more I meditate, the more I realize the ways I remain the queen of acquiescence.

The folks who stole my image to make a profit are no different than the boys who called me fat, the girls who threatened to not be my friend if I didn’t give them candy from my dad’s store, or even my ex-husband (not the one who died) who tossed me around a time or two. They are all bullies, and ignoring them – which was always the advice I got – didn’t make them go away.

It’s ironic that my weight is the crux of the issue with my cyber bullies, only the problem now is that it’s expensive to take on these bullies. Words – at least ones sent by me – aren’t enough. I had to hire an attorney to fight these jerks, but two of the sites are based in the UK and so my new BFF (or rather, bloke) will probably be an attorney in London who is an associate of my attorney in Pittsburgh. Helluva time to have gone to a cash-only budget, eh?

Most of us at some point have encountered bullies. I’m curious who yours are and how you handled them. Did your weight hold you back? Where do you find your confidence?

March sucks, and I’ll probably cry about this later tonight. I might even scream into my pillow. But know that I really appreciate you listening.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn,

I love your blog. I'm so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how much it hurts. On the other hand, the people ripping off your photo... you should fight them, but please know that someone else could easily do the same thing. It's the unfortunate reality of the web. Those of us who read your blog know the truth. It is NOT your fault if people buy junk from these scammers. Please don't add that to your burden. You are doing a lot of good for the world with your blog. The pirating of your images is not something you can control and thus how they are used is not your responsibility. You are wonderful and even if they borrowed your image to sell the "Air Diet" it wouldn't make you any less wonderful!

Cammy said...

My heart goes out to you. Anniversaries and special dates are tough, even in relatively stress-free times.

I'm not having much success in fighting my content thief through AdSense. I recently filed another complaint with them, but I'm not hopeful. :(

EmpowerMePhotoGuy said...

I'm really sorry to hear that you're having this trouble, you're so much stronger than these people and you with the support of all your readers and friends here I'm sure you'll be empowered to beat them! Keep your chin up and stay strong!

natalee said...

awwww. I dont have the words to say what I want to say to send comfort via the airwaves of the internet. But please know that I send peaceful thoughts your way. What is the saying---hope springs eternal.

Lori said...

I am just going to give you cyber hugs, as there isn't anything I can say to make you feel better.

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

Anonymous, thank you for what you wrote. I can't control who uses my images, and if people choose to buy those products, they would do that regardless whose photos were used.

I'm just feeling a little worn out. But you know what? This will pass, and I'll work it out.

Cammy, what you're going through is frustrating, too. I hate when people steal our words and make them their own. Probably nothing short of a class action suit will stop these jerks.

Thanks for the support. I really appreciate it.

Charity said...

Oh, that all does suck. I'm so sorry.

I worry that someone will use my pics for the same reason, but I don't know what anyone can do about that.

Sunny said...

you poor thing. I'm so sorry to learn about your first husband's death, and when it happened. I cannot imagine the hell you went through. :(

:: major hugs to you :: (cry all you want.)

Shelley said...

I'm here for you - cry, rant, whatever...at least you're feeling it, even if the feeling is sadness about your husband and anger about the diet thiefs. Many hugs to you, my friend.

Margie M. said...

Wow, what a story. Words aren't adequate to express my sadness for your loss. Thanks for sharing your story...it was brave of you.

Like other comments posted...those that read your blog and have learned a few things about you from it will know those ads are totally bogus. Don't lose any sleep over it. If you can beat them through legal channels, more power to you!

Margie M. writes at:
www.myhealthylivingthruweightcontrol.blogspot.com

debby said...

Aw Lynn. No words come. I'm so sorry. Love you, my friend.

Ruthann said...

Hi Lynn,
These dates that are anniversaries of loss are so hard. A friend once told me that those tears of sadness remind us that we loved well. You are so good at loving your girls, grandchildren and all of us who soak up inspiration and courage from your gift of expression and example.

I am very close to London, if there is something I can do for you I would be happy to. I love excuses to have to get in to the city.
Hope there is peace in your day today.

Rettakat said...

I'm sorry this is a tough time for you. I hope it will ease up soon for you.

{{{{hugs}}}}
Loretta
=^..^=

Kat said...

So sorry for your loss. That must have been devastating and super challenging.
Good for you for taking on those companies - they shouldn't be able to get away with that.

Vickie said...

so sorry - you and Shauna (DietGirl) both have such a hard time with this!

And I feel for you on your anniversary month.

hugs

Ali said...

I am sorry you are having to deal with this crappy month, Lynn. Everything you are going through sounds difficult.

I encountered bullies in grade school because I developed a feminine body quite young, and some kids made fun of me. And I still think about that even now almost 30 years later. I can't say I handled them all that well because obviously I get insecure about stuff like that even as an adult. And the one area where I always had confidence was in my intelligence. I always did well in school and got praise for being a smart and studious kid. And I also have confidence in knowing that I am a good friend and that people can talk to me about almost anything.

CrazyKwilter said...

as for your photos being used, the easiest way to PREVENT this from happening again is to watermark them in an obvious way. There are many tutorials out there on how to do it.

Makes me glad my photos are kinda bad!

Beth said...

Hi Lynn.

I'm still battling bullies (or the memories they left me with) after 20 years of hearing their mean fat-girl comments. They drove me to create a blog...lol.

But one of my dearest friends gave me the advice once that's stuck in my head: "Living well is the best revenge." I repeat that whenever I feel the anger and hurt coming back into my brain from all their callous words.

And if that doesn't work, I pick them apart in a blog post. To each her own :)

Keep up the good work and keep the faith :)

Debbie said...

I am so sorry for you loss. I also would be pissed about people using my pics without my permission. We bloggers know the truth so don't worry about it. I think you are doing great and really enjoy reading your blogs.

Annimal said...

I think all you can do is continue to reinforce that you do NOT endorse these methods. What people chose to buy or believe on the web is up to them. I think there is enough information out there, but like PT Barnum said--(something about fools-I can't quote it right now).
So sorry this is a bummer month. March sucks for reasons of it's own, plus your own personal tragedys.
I was bullied my whole life and dealt with it by doing the turtle. To this day I still don't know how to respond to bullies. I'm always so taken aback when it happens, that of course the perfect response comes hours later, and then I rue over the situation for weeks (sometimes years). What I do now, is trust that when someone is hurtful once, NEVER to trust them again. Period. No second chances with me.
I won't pet a snake more than once.

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

Thank you so much for all your comments. I'm sorry for the bullies you've experienced and for those anniversary dates that just suck. That you shared those things, though, has helped me feel less isolated. Like I'm some kind of odd man out feeling the way I do this time of year and in this stolen-identity cirumstance.

I've made a decision about how I'm going to pursue all this, and I'll post a blog in the next day or so with details. The grandkids are here (sleeping right now...first chance I've had to catch up!) and I'll have time later tomorrow to gather my thoughts.

Just wanted to say thank you so much. I know I say that a lot, but it's only because you all give so much. I've a very lucky blogger.

Nathalie said...

I'm sorry about March being a hard month for you. I wish I had words for you, but. . . well, I'm sorry, I don't. But I hope that things get better very soon for you.