Saturday, September 05, 2009

From Hero to Zero

A few days ago I wrote this post about how disappointed I was in a few of my "Literary Heroes". I am not going to name names, because I do not want to influence any one else's opinion on them.

A few of the commenter's on the last post asked me if it was a pagan writer than I was speaking of, and in two of the cases the answer is yes. The one that bothers me the most, and who inspired that last post, was someone who I really looked up to. Her life played out a lot like mine. She was Wiccan, and later decided that it was not the right path for her, so she became an Eclectic Witch, like myself. She is a not fat but fluffy gal, like me lol. The first book I read that was written from her really hooked me. It was a self-help book of sorts, and it dealt with body image with a Pagan mentality. She was funny and sarcastic and wrote in the same style I usually write in. She was  raped at a pagan festival, and this changed her whole outlook on life, and her body image and many other things. While mine was not at a festival, I was raped as well by two people I trusted, one was one of my oldest friend's father, and the other person was someone I had trusted for many years. She was in her early 20's, I was only 14. But like her, it changed my entire outlook on life. I have never been able to trust a man fully until I met my current husband, and it has taken him years to get to that point.

This author wrote some of the most inspiring words I have ever read. When I got through with the book, it was all I could think about for weeks. It brought such a positive change to my life, and she became an instant hero to me. Hero because she had been through what she had, the attack, the doubts, the fears, the crippling self image...and she had managed to overcome...or so I thought.

I looked up every bit of info I could find on her, and she is the one who even got me into the idea of writing a blog, because hers were so raw and wonderful. ( Obsessive much? Lol. But no one realizes just how much of an impact she had on my life..) I then became one of the people she allowed into her private blog...the uncensored, unedited, non politically correct journal. I was ECSTATIC! Everything was great at first, (other than I was a bit miffed that direct messages to her  go unanswered. Considering the small number of people that are on that personal blog, it is just rude to not address anyone who takes the time to comment, but maybe that is just me...after the second time she did not respond, and I saw that she seldom responded to anyone, yet posted 5 and 6 times a day, I just read from that point on) I got to see her in "real life" so to speak...and then I started reading her back entries.


I saw very quickly it was all fake. She had not come out the other side, on top and taking charge of her life. She was the total opposite! She is an emotional wreck, larger than ever, hating herself while preaching about loving herself. At first some of the entries made me cry, because some are so sad and heart wrenching, and because I have felt that same way. But as she posted more and more, I began to get angry. One of her blogs is her path to being a Vegan, and it is full of really great info, funny stories, and links to various places she likes to read and draws inspiration from. Fake. I get to read about the cheese and ice cream and meat and egg binges. Sitting in bed or on the couch on weekends stuffing her face with all the things she supposedly does not eat, and then runs around in a flurry cleaning up the evidence, and getting rid of it, even though she lives alone.

Now she is saying she is not sure if she is even Pagan anymore. She is unsure of what she is. It makes me so. damn. angry. and I feel betrayed. Then I feel guilty because she did let me into her "inner sanctum" of sorts, and here I am talking about it, but it tears me up that this person, who has written some of the most awesome things I have ever read, who is so uplifting and really just an emotional cripple. At first it made me respect her a tad bit more, because I was like " Wow, she is real just like me" but the more I read, the more I saw that it was just a made my whole foundation of self shake, and that made me very angry.

Angry because there are so many out there who I know have gotten something special from that book in particular, and from her others I am sure ( and yes I know that some will say " Well as long as you got something out of it, then all was not lost, which is true BUT: ) but it pisses me off when it is all a lie. Something I value above most other things is honestly and directness. If she had been upfront about it for the world to see, then it would have affected me differently. I know some may argue that it was to hard and personal to put out there, but if you can tell the world that you were raped and the things you have dealt with since then ( some were major ) then I fail to see how revealing that you still had moments where you backslid would be so hard to share. The fact that you back slide would help some who can relate and not feel like shit when they are upset and inhale a pint of Ben and Jerry's or something. But that was not the case. The image of " I beat this totally and you can too!" is what was portrayed, and that image is tarnished now.

One of the others is a case of " I woke up today and decided Paganism is evil" and I almost had a stroke I was so pissed off. This from one of the " In your face" types of Pagan authors. The other two were just people who turned out to be deplorable for a myriad of reasons, but none of them affected me in the way the first woman did. I know some will say I am over reacting, and I might be...but this person changed my life in a very good way...and other people as well...and now it just feels like a big lie, and I am so let down and disappointed.

She is still the funny, witty, and hilariously sarcastic writer she always was...but now I know the other side...and it sucks.

*Music of the Moment: Stolen Prayer by Alice Cooper*


Anonymous said...

I am sorry that two of your heros ended up disappointing you. I think I would have been myself. I don't even know these authors and I am disgusted by the one that is now saying "Paganism is evil". Why couldn't she just say that she has decided to take another path and that Paganism wasn't for her anymore. It makes me ill.

Anonymous said...

I don't think your overreacting. I was getting angry at this woman just by reading your post. People like that are just hypocrites who try to say everything is all right, even though it isn't. I'd be as angry as you if someone who impacted my life so profoundly had been just a fake.

Rue said...

I agree with you - if you can reveal something so personal about yourself - you should be able to be honest about the rest of your life. It starts to be like the 'girl who cried wolf' - if it's mostly lies...then what is the truth?

I'm not afraid at all to say I'm a clumsy, silly, mistake-making Pagan! I'm so far from perfect, I can't even see it! Too bad she couldn't be honest. At least you are, sweetie! Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone who just wanted to sell some books, chose something that would sell and wrote about it. I don't know much about it but it makes me wonder if any of the things she claims really happened to her or not. You can just never be sure with people. I've learned over the course of my life that people just can't be trusted. There are exceptions but they're few and far between.

I don't think you're being unreasonable at all, I think if I found out that something that helped me was all a lie, I'd be feeling the exact same way you are.

I'm sorry that you were let down.:(

Heather S-G said...

I know one thing you took away from your experience...A POWERFUL POST! I think when you feel so connected to someone, whether you personally know them or not...lies and misrepresentations become personal. If this person is putting something "out there" without conviction...apparently she doesn't realize she's hurting others AND herself. Sucky. I don't know who she is, but I'll stick with reading your words :) Smile lady.

Anonymous said...

Hello Bella Foxglove...
lovely name...
I have just read your VERY long post and I totally understand why you feel so let down.
Don't let all this get to you though...
I have been a witch since the early sixties,(I was born one) a vegetarian since the late sixties and a vegan since 1980...(strict vegan!)
I am so outraged by this woman, on so many levels...
Talk's cheap though, it looks as though she was just an attention seeker and chose something trendy to grab hold of.
I too was sexually abused...more than twice...not too seriously, but was by my this has really annoyed me! How could you lie about that!
I have been around long enough to have witnessed so many "Witchy" books come and go...believe me...most are utter dross, they're just jumping on the band wagon, and abuse, witchcraft and self help are all things for people to cash in on.
My only advice to you would be to completely forget the woman...she isn't worth your time or anger...put it to good use somewhere eating a lovely chocolate cake or singing under the moon...okay maybe not it's a bit cold in September!
I just wanted you to know that there are some "Real" vegan pagans out don't give in, chin-up gal, and take it like a real witch!

Nydia said...

In the end of the day, this woman is the one who needs to face her lies before sleeping. You were true to yourself and was eccited to find someone with similar, painful experiences. Now, after venting, I'd take a good deep breath, leave her on her proper place - the past - and fill your mind with better thoughts. Easire said than done, I know, but it' the only think I think it's better to do. I'm sorry for her being so chaotic in her beliefs and life, but you're not like that, that's what matter. Keep walking!

Kisses from Nydia.

AmyK. said...

I do not know the authors that you are speaking of, but I am angry just from reading your post and feelings!

There is a certain amount of trust one places in a writer who publishes for others on their same path...and your trust was broken!!

Wow...I guess that is why cynicism is so rampant. People can hide behind anything on the internet and say anything. Those of us that trust and are interested end up disillusioned at times. Unfair...

Unknown said...

Thank you all for the lovely comments, I appreciate them all.

I have been a practicing witch for 17 years, and I am certainly not a "noob" or just gets me that she has such a profound effect on people and is so fake.

The "forget her" advice is sound, and I intend to do just that, especially that I got it out of my system now lol. It is just a shame, she is an excellent writer.

Live and learn right?

Thanks to all of you for the comments, it made me feel so much better reading them all!!

Unknown said...

Wow....I understand your frustration. The woman I idolized in Wicca became an Anglican Minister (before that she jumped about from Buddhism, back to her family's roots to Judaism, and then to Scientology), became obsessed with losing weight and keeping it off, moved across the world for a man (something she said she would never do---she had her own career and family HERE), and many other things.

It saddens me when people aren't THEMSELVES.

*hugs* My dear.

It REALLY makes me wonder which authors these are. *thinking cap on*


Anonymous said...

It makes me wonder who they are too!
Awwh...go on...spill the beans!
Glad we all helped!
By the way your photo is it really you...?

Magaly Guerrero said...

Hey girly girl, I don't usually 'tell' people do as I do, but please do as I do: take the good and send the bad with its provider. I understand why this makes you feel bad, especially if her first mark the beginning to something important in your life. But you know, don't let her fall bring you down; trying embracing the good thing she once inspired and keep on running.

I feel sorry for the poor woman, for spreading lies can not lead to anything goo. I trust you are not the only person she disappointed, so I'm almost sure her life is being affected by all the negative energy her emanating from deceitful ways. Let's just pray that it doesn't end her.

Now, brush off the disapointment and the hurt and share all the good ;)

KrisMrsBBradley said...

I totally understand your anger and frustration, but I also sort of feel bad for this woman. She's obviously very damaged, and even as she knows the kind of person she'd LIKE to be, she cannot beat down her own demons to actually be that person. I think she's someone to be pitied.

You, on the other hand, have actually done the work to truly become the healed and inspirational person that she could only fake being. It might not have been truthful or the right thing to do, but in the end, she did help you get to this point. Sometimes the destination is more important than the journey, if you know what I mean.