Support Groups That Become Wolf Packs – an Exposé by Cg Brumby ©2012
Up until recently, I was part of a secret support group for abused women. I was introduced to the group at a time in my life when I needed people around me and people to talk to, people who could understand the grief and suffering I was going through. For the sake of making this post a little easier to understand, and without actually naming the group, let’s refer to the said group as DS.
I was part of the DS group and while I was in there, I thought the women were strong, supportive and true friends. We all shared personal information and private experiences with one another and supported each other as best as each individual in the group could.
This group began on Facebook, and according to the group administrator, ‘leader’ of the pack (who, for legal reasons, will remain nameless) said: “This group was my dream…to create a place for women to come and be safe…”
With that said, the group leader, founder, whatever she thinks of herself, turned out one rule or code for the group: CONFIDENTIALITY. What was spoken of in the group, stayed in the group and it was drummed into us on numerous occasions that there was to be no mention of this group’s existence to anyone who was not ‘in’ the group. The reasoning seemed legitimate, understandable even, considering the private nature of the material discussed. When I was invited to join (after a jury of votes) I felt I was in a ‘safe haven’, a circle of trust, friendship and loyal support. Hang onto that word support, because it will shock you by the end of this post.
People who know me and my story know I’ve literally been to hell and back with events that have happened in my life. Some of them, I’ve been pretty open about sharing with the public and you can read about them anywhere, but others I have been more private about. There are some things I kept to myself for a reason, but after what went down in the DS group, I might as well share with you a little more of my story, so you hear the truth from me and not a twisted version from someone else or an unofficial site.
I sought extensive counselling, had hours and hours of cognitive behavioural therapy to be able to cope after being abused over the years by various people I trusted, and even sought help from the victims of crime unit. I am not going to go into more detail than that. It’s part of my past and does not define who I am as a person, but coming through the trauma has made me a stronger person.
I was going through a very difficult period in my life back in 2005. I tried taking my own life, because I felt as though I had no way out, I felt unloved, unwanted, ashamed, and worst of all, my trust had been abused and shattered. I didn’t know who I could turn to or trust. My next door neighbour was experiencing his own hellish nightmare and where I failed, he succeeded in taking his own life. Looking back, our attempts were only a few weeks apart. He was the last person on earth anyone had ever thought would end his own life. He was a shining star, local radio host and a pretty good guy. The hardest part of facing my attempted-suicide-guilt-demons was when my neighbour’s girlfriend found him and called on me to try to revive him. It was very sobering to see how I would have ended up, had I gone through with my attempt a few weeks prior to his.
After having survived extremely traumatic experiences in my life like, suicide, bullying, sexual abuse, physical abuse/violence, car crashes, divorce, frequently moving house with nowhere to really call home, death of loved ones – I guess life has hardened me a little to continue being a survivor.
The hardest things to deal with in life are abuse, violence and shattered trust in someone. This is where I come back to the DS group on Facebook.
The women in this group trusted one another. They entrusted one another with their secrets, hopes, dreams and their nightmares, abuse stories and all the rest of the drama one can possibly imagine. They preached trust and the confidentiality code till they were all blue in the face because all of those women were hiding from their pasts, hiding from others on Facebook, even hiding from men who abused them. They were trying to pretend that they were warriors and could face their demons and slay them by being strong and standing together. I’ll get back to this in a little while.
Before today, I have not breathed a word about this group or the people who were in it, and while I’d love nothing more than to take revenge by naming the members in the group for the way they treated me, I won’t, because I’m sure many of you have seen first-hand how mob mentality works and I am not about to create one. I am simply trying to expose how foolish these women are when it comes to keeping matters confidential and how they know very little about ‘support’.
Now that I am no longer part of this group, I feel I no longer have any loyalty to it or its members and am free to write this exposé on the matter. I am entitled to my voice and opinion. Any sane individual on the planet knows what the word confidential means and how to use it. Unfortunately, the women in this group don’t have a clue and you’re about to see how stupid they really are.
While part of this group, as I mentioned earlier, there was a code of confidentiality among members and administration. Sadly though, there was a mole, a leak, someone within the group who had loose lips. Everyone was quick within the group to suspect one another. There were calls to remove the traitorous bitch/bitches from the group by quite a few ‘vocal’ members.
One upset member made a powerful statement saying: “YOU know who you are…..” and that, “Others will soon see through your bullshit…” over the confidentiality breach of conduct.
The level of support and hostility, suspicion and distrust grew like a disease that threatened the group’s very existence. It wasn’t until something out of the ordinary happened that the founder of the DS group stepped up with a post to close the group.
She stated: “I am sorry to be telling you all this but I can’t in good conscience keep this page open anymore…. THIS page was my dream, a place where we could all come and be “safe”…”
The administrator also continued to claim the breach of confidentiality came from an outside source – a man. She strongly went on to blame ‘him’ for the discord within the group – a group that allegedly had a very strict code of confidentiality.
In the administrator’s lengthy letter to the group, she continued to apologise and express remorse for her actions when she admitted: “I TOLD him how important it was…” and “The group is destroyed from what it was meant to be. To be honest, I feel at fault cause he never would have known it existed if not for me telling him….”
From an outsider’s point of view, reading something like this is an obvious admission of guilt on the part of administration. The statement clearly states that “she told him” (meaning an outside source) not only about the group’s existence, but also leaves room for doubt about other content that was leaked. The point is, the administrator of the group stood up and admitted her guilt. It’s little wonder that members outrage at the leaks and calls to have the traitor thrown out of the group went ignored. The administrator could hardly turf herself out of the group that she created.
The administrator of the group then went on to try and pass the blame for her loose lips by accusing the outsider (the ‘man’ in this sorry tale) by saying: “THIS PAGE MEANT THE WORLD to me and HE has ended it. He has put so much “distrust” between all of us, that this page cannot EVER do what it was originally meant for…” and again, she goes on attacking the outsider whom she admitted leaking inside info to by continuing her rant, saying: “IF he got someone in here to tell things then It is HIM who is at fault…”
Pardon me, and the rest of the mortal civilisation of mankind, but that last statement sounds like nothing more than a manoeuvre to ‘pass-the-buck’ and save her own ass. The whole point of creating a safe haven for abused women and creating a confidentiality clause should have meant that even she – the administrator of the group, should not have been above the law of her own group. Sadly this is what I see, ‘ One rule for you, and another rule for me.’
Kind of brings to mind the book called ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell, where there were seven commandments that concluded with, “All animals are equal…” but by the end of the book, all the animals dropped ‘animalism’ to adopt a new form of ‘humanism’. The commands changed and eventually became, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others…”
I made reference to that book because the same could be said of the mentality behind this so called ‘support‘ group for abused women. Sure it was started by a woman who needed a group of like-minded women around her to give her the illusion she was strong, but in the end proved she abused her position of power, hurt a lot of people in the group, incited them to hatred, then failed to take ownership of her said issues. The worst crime was that she broke the code of confidentiality and told another living soul about the group. Her erratic admission of guilt one minute was quickly passed to someone else with her very next breath. The, ‘sure, I did it, but he made me tell…’ is nothing short of pathetic.
In a perfect world, this kind of behaviour would be seen as unfair and a gross misuse of conduct by the administrator and the administrator would pay for her crimes against those she betrayed. If she was a doctor of psychology, she would have her licence revoked and have to pay heavy penalties, maybe even lose her job over breaching a confidentiality agreement. Alas, we do not live in a perfect world and thank the muses she is NOT a psychologist!
With friends like that, who needs enemies, right?
The thing that is really disappointing about this entire misuse of power is this administrator, a so-called abuse victim herself, is the one standing up and abusing someone else for the leak when by her own admission, she is the one who blabbed in the beginning. What’s the point of keeping a secret if you can’t keep your mouth shut? Where does the line get drawn between friendship and confidential matters? What does loyalty actually mean to some people?
I know there are a lot of you reading this who might be thinking that there might be underlying circumstances to this entire mess. Well, there might be, but they are not the point of this post. The point is clear; when you’re given the trust of someone, or a group of people, you keep matters you become aware of as confidential and that means you don’t tell another living soul – not even in confession to a priest!
When the administrator’s post was commented on by members of the group, not all comments were favourable. The administrator continued to pass the buck and ended up getting a few of her associates within the group to gang up on a member – remember that this was meant to be a support group for abused women – who didn’t see how the leak was the ‘man’s’ fault when the administrator of the group admitted to informing him of the group’s existence. The member was not only called an “insane witch” but the administrator tried to spin lies about how this man tried to take advantage of the member.
I know this member, this member was me. The administrator and her pack of associates within the group set out to attack me for defending the outsider, someone I didn’t even know at the time because he remained unnamed. The administrator then went on to publicly out ‘the man’ by sharing his pen name and real name to the entire group. The administrator then went on to claim that this ‘man’ was peddling my talents for free, and that he was only using me.
Well, that statement infuriated me beyond expression because it was false. I fought back – hard. I couldn’t believe what these women were telling me about the so called ‘man’ in this tale. I was shocked to know he was one of my friends too, because he is one of the kindest people I have ever met and have only ever had positive experiences with my friendship with him. Because these women lied to me, I refused to believe the things they were saying about him in this group. This did not make me very popular with this group of vipers.
This man showed himself to be a true friend when he helped me when no one else would. I was experimenting with new software programs and getting back into graphic design and needed the experience to brush up on some of my skills. He was such a dear friend, spreading the word among his friends that I’d design cover art for free. I asked him to do this for me, and he did so with my full knowledge and blessing.
The troll administrator then brought that up in the group and tried to use it against the outsider – the ‘man’ by claiming he used me and that I was under his ‘spell’.
I am my own person, and have never let anyone force me to do anything in my life that I didn’t want to do. This man never forced me into anything.
The administrator of the group has a personal gripe with this man and was simply trying to use the power of the abused women in the group to gang up on him or anyone who defended him.
I can appreciate the women in that group feeling hurt. Some of them spat allegations against this ‘man’ for seriously hurting them. I tried telling these women that no one can ‘hurt’ you unless you let them. You can fight. You can stand up for yourself and say NO and you don’t have to feel like a victim. You always have a choice and no one can make you feel like a victim without your permission, so don’t give it to them! None of them wanted to hear it or cared to clarify what I didn’t know. They kept their mouths shut there by not stating what this person actually did to individual members of the group. If they were so scared and everyone in the group know what the deal was with this guy, then they should have had the decency to at least clue me in, but instead, they decided to attack with their full force and malice. I was figuratively slaughtered by women who were supposed to be ‘supportive’ (there’s that word again) friends.
Mob mentality ruled the group and I was thrown out of the group for voicing my opinion. Words were spoken in anger and I called the administrator out for her lies, telling her flat out that she was “full of shit.” In the group, we were encouraged not to apologise for the things we said. Since that was not the nature of the group, I’m not going to apologise for saying anything here about this sodden group! I am a prodigy of their design and if they don’t like their own laws preached back at them or a dose of their own medicine – publicly – then they shouldn’t have kicked me out, spread lies, or leaked information to begin with!
One final shocking comment from an abused member over the ping-pong exchange of hostile words had to be the icing on the proverbial cake. In only a few short words she managed to reveal how warped and twisted the mentality is of these women really are, and how hypocritical the group was right from the start.
She figuratively beat her chest and took it upon herself to abuse me with the full weight of the group by stating: “… for real, whether you’re telling the truth or not, you have no support here and you won’t get it. Leave…”
Now, forgive me for understanding what the meaning of the word ‘confidentiality’ means among friends – up until now, no one heard a peep out of me about the existence of this group or the content or nature of some of the members within it, but the minute they threw me out with such an abusive, harsh comment, when I was not the traitor, has only served to strengthen by belief that Facebook groups are toxic. More bullying goes on in them, than what goes on in a school yard. The only difference is, the war on words reaches far beyond the playground and can lead to someone ending their own life.
Seriously? If you’re in a ‘support‘ group for abused women, and you know you’re telling the truth about the information you post – it’s not just hearsay, the last thing you need is to be accused of not telling the truth or hear from women who were your support that you, ‘have no support here and you won’t get it,’ is absolutely disgusting and an appalling thing to say to another human being.
If I may continue to be frank, the women associated in that group might have been abused in the past by someone, but that does not make it all right for them to turn and abuse other members who have been through hell and need the support of friends and understanding. Kicking them out for having a different opinion to the general mob is really low. I am not a man hater like the rest of them, and refuse to be forced into their pathetic illusion of strength or support.
They will forever be weak and never escape their victim-like mentality. They need to own their mistakes, own their identity and also take ownership of their responsibilities to keep their mouths shut. Don’t blab a secret to someone when you weren’t meant to blab it in the beginning and then try to pin the blame on the person you shouldn’t have blabbed to. That’s just plain stupidity.
Finding true friends or groups of friends who appreciate the meaning of friendship, loyalty, or confidentiality is very hard to find these days.
No one deserves to be abused, be they men, women or children. There are reputable support groups and agencies out there to help people – some services are available for free for low income families and individuals. You are not alone. You just have to look for qualified counsellors, doctors and psychologists to help you through tough times. No one needs the crap that goes on in so called self-help ‘support’ groups on Facebook. Don’t get involved with any of them. Most of them are completely toxic right from the start and only promote a mob or pack mentality.