12
Sep
11

Zoey Roberts: A rewrite

So, I had this big, huge blog post written to sorta kinda defend Zoey Roberts. I wanted to explain her perspective as I felt I had a great grasp of the situation and how it comes about what she does and why she does it. Not to justify it—mind you—but to EXPLAIN where Yomama’s comments are erroneous as well as other commenters and detractors of Zoey’s. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, feel free to skip this whole post! It’s a long story and if I start explaining, this post will be much longer than is currently intended. Suffice it to say that Zoey Roberts is a self-labeled Autism Advocate who uses FB primarily and her own blog to raise awareness about autism couched in terms of her own opinions and beliefs about autism. She also creates FB groups and joins FB groups and that has caused a lot of drama for some reason or another. Sometimes it’s her; sometimes it’s someone else provoking her. Sometimes it’s her reactions to misconceptions about a conversation where she just THINKS someone is attacking her but they aren’t. I have already left many of HER groups because I do not approve of the way she admins them. They are her group and she has the right to admin them any way she wants and I have every right not to participate in them. And we remained friends even after that. Which is why what happened today so shocking!

 

You see, I was going to point out how much of what Yomama is upset with is actually a common manifestation of autism for some autistics, especially adult autistics who did not receive beneficial early intervention in social situations and so forth.  I was going to point out that we need to help Zoey understand when she is wrong and that she just really isn’t getting it and we need patience.

 

But ya know what? I’m not going to. Instead, I am going to grab a soda and drink when Zoey says “Spy”.

So, I went to my estranged husband’s house today for a day of family fun, and upon return to my hotel room, signed onto FB. Several friends had sent me inboxes (private messages on FB)—some had heard Zoey was messaging others about me being a spy. Apparently those who Zoey had messaged with mentioned it to them as they were now scared about what is going on with Zoey or me. You see, Zoey had asked for my help in discovering who Yomama is. I’m not a private investigator. I’m not in law enforcement. I can’t hack into anybody’s computer. She suggested an IP tracker. I tried my best to explain that only works if Yomama were to comment on Zoey’s blog. Or someone Zoey knows who might have an IP tracker. But I cannot use an IP tracker to trace YoMama’s IP address on her or his own blog (at that time, Yomama had not said that he was a he). We spent more time speculating who it might be or might not be. I denied several of her top suspects because I just couldn’t see those people wasting their time doing a blog about Zoey. Sorry, Yomama, I think taking Zoey’s screenshots and creating a blog about them *is* a time waster (says the girl who wastes her time with FB games, so yeah).

And that was the extent of it because, quite frankly, I didn’t know how else to help her. I gave her a name of a guy who might be able to help her that is a mutual friend of ours. He’s a computer geek and maybe he might help her and in the meantime, I kept my eyes open and tried to see how this was going to play out. I had to put my original blog post on hold as I was leaving my husband’s house and had no clue at the time where I was going to land up—some things DO take precedence over FB 🙂

Here’s what happened. Zoey feels because I never found out who Yomama is, and therefore didn’t help her, I must be Yomama’s spy. *facepalm*

I erroneously made a mistake in thinking that Yomama was YoVillan (similar name!) from last year on another person’s blog. I mentioned that on Zoey’s FB wall. Once I discovered my mistake, I did inform Zoey on a different post that I was, as I had feared and mentioned I might be wrong when I made the original comment, in error and it’s a different screen name. Of course it COULD be the same person, but I wouldn’t know, would I? No, because I am not his or her spy.

I did read the blog, of course, at Zoey’s request. And I have continued to view the posts there to keep an eye on things. It’s quite… weird to me. Now, I know a lot of people have been hurt by Zoey’s words and I even understand why Zoey wouldn’t want her words used against her. But I do think this obsession to find out WHO Yomama is has gone terribly awry for Zoey. She has accused at least six people in the last three days off her friends’ list that I know about, including myself. She has since defriended ME. She is going to lose ALL of her friends at this rate.

I think Zoey fails to understand one main point about Yomama’s blog. This is it: Zoey, you are a public figure. You tell people you are a “name” in the autism community online and are an “autism advocate”. You have a published website under your control and have made guest appearances on other people’s blogs. That makes you a public figure. Anything you say or do online in the open, on an unlocked wall of a friend, on your own public wall, in a public group (it can be “closed” or even “secret” but it’s still considered public as it’s shared with multiple people), can be discussed by others. Even if Yomama types on his or her blog that you are a pink elephant who eats hot dogs for breakfast, you can’t sue her or him for libel because you are a public figure and it’s very hard to wage legal battle for that. My suggestion is this: if you don’t want to be talked about, take yourself out of the public, similar to what I did. I still help people in my own ways, in private. I don’t need to brag about it to do it and I still get the same sense of satisfaction knowing that one more person’s life has been positively affected by me.

I disbanded AAFA (Advocates Against Fraud in Advocacy) and I have a feeling Zoey didn’t know that and thought I’d do an “investigation” on this person. Even if AAFA was not disbanded, I still wouldn’t do it as an AAFA case as that was NOT the type of cases we were to handle. It was about FRAUD—specifically where money or goods changed hands for services that were to be provided but were not by an advocate. Not that someone took and posted my own words type of thing. So, if that was the problem, sorry, Zoey.

 

I don’t think I’d be comfortable hacking someone else’s computer in this case either, to be honest, even if I DID know how. It’s easy to ignore a blog you don’t like: you just don’t go to that site. Period. Now, if you feel something is affecting your reputation and earning power, I’d suggest you consult an attorney on how best to proceed and I can bet it doesn’t involve posting a link (free advertising) to said blog all over the internet. The advice would most likely be to print a record of the blog posts and IGNORE it while the attorney handles the legal end. And that goes for obtaining IP addresses as well—those can be subpoenaed. I most likely would NOT have given Zoey the IP address, even if I had it, unless Zoey had an actual legal case against this person as I wouldn’t know what Zoey would do with that type of information and I would not want to be liable for that!

 

I did mention to a friend of mine that I think Zoey is ashamed of her behavior and words and that is why she is working so tirelessly to find out who Yomama is and is starting to accuse her own “Zoeyites” as Yomama calls them and other innocent people.  This friend suggested it’s more the “out of context” nature of the posts that is probably the problem. Perhaps. But I know this: if she didn’t say those things, no one could use them against her. When a similar thing happened to me—someone used my words out of context, against me—I apologized for how it came across to them and tried MY level best to explain it. Of course, it went off the deep end at that point and so I very rarely bother to explain it anymore as it just creates more animosity and so on. Another long story.

Whatever the reason this bothers Zoey so much, I hope she gets it resolved one way or another because she is going to lose friends over this. Accusing people without proof of being a spy, or being this or that person, isn’t nice. It can cause a lot of hurt feelings and unsettledness. AND if Zoey DOES lose a lot of friends, she’ll only HERSELF to blame for that—no one else.

 

You can say you’re not perfect, you can say you have this or that diagnosis, you can SAY a lot of things, but what you DO after you say “I’m sorry” means a whole lot more. Saw a TV show recently where a boy said “I’m sorry” and his dad asked “What does I’m sorry mean?” and the boy replied “Never doing again.” I liked that a lot because that IS what it means. If you are sorry for your behavior, you stop doing it. Zoey—stop. It doesn’t matter who YoMama is or isn’t. It doesn’t matter who is or isn’t sending her or him screen shots (she or he could be taking them themselves). The point is this: ignore. If you’re an awesome autism advocate and know you are doing your best for the community in your way—you don’t have to worry about what others say—you just do what you do.

And all of what you have to say just EXPLAINS a thing, it doesn’t EXCUSE it. So, if you are embarrassed about a behavior, stop doing it. Change. If you need help in changing, get that help. Before you’re alone and without friends.

And for the record, if you have any other things you think I might be, please ask me directly. Don’t go to our mutual friends and try to start something that way. You didn’t come directly to me. You did a very passive aggressive thing in the group–NOT the venue for this type of thing given that it’s a bully-free zone and about being a refuge for people who are scared, sensitive and afraid of being bullied. We’re not dumb. We’re not blind. You’re scaring a lot of your friends away and I offer this post to you as a suggestion for further self improvement for yourself before it really starts costing you.

 

A screen shot of the way Zoey approached me to ask me if I was a spy– not a direct question–a passive aggressive thing.

zoey does not directly ask me if I am a spy

I'm a fair-minded person and is why I am an admin of many groups--I do not let personal squabbles get in the way. She could have just asked me directly.

 

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14 Responses to “Zoey Roberts: A rewrite”


  1. September 13, 2011 at 12:16 am

    I’d somehow managed to miss most of the context of this, although by now you could probably more or less guess what my response would have been and is, anyway. I do want to add, though, that when it comes to the whole sorry meaning you won’t do it again thing, that’s always been part of our belief, and something we’ve worked on teaching Ash. At his age he’s far from capable of enough self-control for anyone to claim that his being genuinely sorry and his doing something again are mutually exclusive — so we try to work the idea in there in less definitive terms….but we do work it in there. As he’s gotten older, his apologies have had to come to include an expression of WHAT he’s sorry for, and then also WHY he’s sorry about it. As he gets older, we work more of the initially-aforementioned concept into the exchange with him, too. For example, if he earns a time out after three strikes in relation to something, then we go through the sorry hug routine, and he IMMEDIATELY goes right back to doing what earned him the time out in the first place….he has to go directly back into time out, without the whole multiple-chance process. Why? Because if he’d been calm enough to be ready to apologize and think about what that means, not just play his part in a dialogue, he’d have been calm enough to try harder at not doing the same thing again. Etc.

    • September 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      Yes, I agree it is very hard to teach children certain, untangible, concepts. My Bboy, for isntance, is very much like your Ash. They have a LOT in common and apology is one of them. He knows to say sorry and sometimes I believe he even means it and gets it. But most of the time? He just so doesn’t have a clue why he upset someone in the first place, never mind being sorry for it.

      With Zoey? I think she knows full well what she’s doing most of the time. It’s completely different.

  2. September 13, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Part of the reason I quit ‘networking’ with people on FB is because of all the games that people want you to play. No, not the “Backyard Monsters” and “Battle Pirates” type games, but the personal “do you like me or that person more” type games. Personal attacks; against me, against you, against this friend or that friend. It became way too tedious to walk a fine edge between offending someone and telling how I feel.

    I have NO clue who YoMama is, or what they have said or done. To be honest, I don’t care, either. I know who Zoey is, but dropped her as a friend a little while ago when I was separating myself from “everyone” to get some breathing space. So I don’t know what all this is about, but it appears to be the same old same old.

    I, like you, was really fired up and excited about AAFA — and then it became a chore. NOT to do good in the Autism world, but to defend against personal attacks from cyberbullies and calls to investigate this individual or that individual NOT for fraud, as was its purpose, but for traffic tickets or 20 year old employment history. Relentless ignorance from relentlessly ignorant people. I do NOT regret walking away from the games.

    If Zoey Roberts has a problem with a cyberbully, my suggestion to her is to do what I did. Walk away and give it all the attention it deserves. Ignore. Period. Trying to fight it, trying to correct it — none of is is worth the trouble. You don’t “win” anything — you just get down in the gutter and roll around in the muck with them. It is all so pointless.

    I care what the people close to me, important to me, think of me. I even care what strangers think when they offer constructive criticism. I don’t give a rat’s ass what others think when their only goal is to attack me personally. It just shows how irrelevant and meaningless they are.

    I sincerely hope Zoey ends her obsession with this, and apologizes to her *friends*, who she is offending and hurting by her thrashing around looking for the “bad guys”.

    Good post, honey.

    JerryStephen

  3. September 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I havent checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last a number of posts are truly good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend.

  4. September 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm

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  6. March 15, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Howdy! I know this is kind of off-topic but I had to ask.
    Does running a well-established website like yours require a massive
    amount work? I am completely new to running a blog but I do write in my journal on a daily basis.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my own experience and thoughts online.
    Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers.
    Appreciate it!

    • March 28, 2014 at 7:49 am

      Hello,

      The best tip I have is to get started! And set a timeline for when you will post new posts i.e. publish a new post once a week on Wednesdays. The readership will build if you publish consistently.

  7. April 28, 2014 at 8:12 am

    When I originally commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment
    is added I receive four emails with the same comment.
    Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

    • May 11, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      You have to go to your wordpress area and manage the subscription to the comments. Or click the link in the emails in the fine print that says “unsubscribe”

  8. 12 YoMama
    November 29, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    I’m sorry you have this experience with Zoey. For those who care to know, or if there is any kind of lingering pain from anyone’s experience with this person, you may want to take the time to look up “malignant narcissism,” which is what I believe Zoey has. Looking over some posts about the blog I wrote, it seems it caused a larger uproar than I have thought it would–and when the pieces settled all those years ago, I hope they settled in a more peaceful and harmonious way. Ending her reign of terror and abuse was more than I was hoping for, but it seems I may have achieved it in some small way.

    Also, I always used a proxy or Tor or both. So really, she was never going to find me. I chose the site I used for the blog specifically because you could post anything and, no matter who complained, it would never be taken down. None of her efforts could harm me or stop me, and, ultimately, that is what aggravated her the most. She was used to being in control, but she could not control me.


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