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Unread 04-22-2017, 01:13 PM   #1
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Default How to liquidate a huge stamp room

I need some ideas about how to begin to liquidate my stamp room. I was deeply involved in stamping for 20 years (it was an addiction), was a SU demonstrator for 10, and have 2/3 of the PTI sets with dies, Taylored Expressions, Hero Arts, Verve, ODB, Catís Meow, Clearly Besotted, Wplus9, Waltzing house, Flourishes, CTMH, and every other stamp company that has ever existed. It was out of control, and a conservative guess on the value of my inventory would be around $50,000. Did I mention it was an addiction?!?!? I live in a medium size city and was involved in 4 different stamp groups. I was way past the point of making cards for myself, but enjoyed making them for fundraisers and other people. But the biggest reason I was in it was for the friendships.

One year ago this week I had two small strokes. My fine motor skills were affected a bit, but resolved quickly. The bigger problem was double vision but that was resolved by Fall. Physically, I am fine now. But one week after the strokes, one of my stamp groups (it was a high end group and one of my friends called it the Stamping Snobs) decided to replace me with a younger, home school Mom like themselves. They didnít give me a reason, but I know the strokes were a big part of it. I was devastated. Iím a 60-something single with no family. My stamping friends were my family. Over the summer and fall, through gossip and misunderstandings, the rejection/shunning spread to my other groups and I was either kicked out or, in one case, the group dissolved. The latter was a church group and has been, by far, the hardest loss. I am in therapy Ė trying to figure out how to rebuild my life at this age.

So Ö. my stamp room has sat, basically untouched, for a year. I get nauseous when I walk in there. I did have two garage sales last Fall and donated the proceeds to a local homeless shelter. I got rid of stuff that I knew I wouldnít use again. To walk in my stamp room, you wouldnít be able to tell that Iíd touched it. I still have one entire chest of drawers filled with ribbon. When I had the strokes, I decided not to make any big decisions for a year. I thought maybe Iíd want to pick it up again at some point, or maybe when I retire (about 5 years from now.) Now, a year later, I feel even more strongly that itís nothing I EVER want to do again. The loss of friendships has ruined a hobby I was passionate about. There are a few other stamp groups in town, but none that appeal to me. I miss my old friends and the talent was incredible. One friend, who is in SU founders circle, was in three of my groups. And there were a number of ladies that were as good (or better) than she is.

I get completely overwhelmed when I try to figure out how to liquidate my stuff. My card stock is fading and my ink pads are drying up. I have approximately $1000 worth of copics. Theyíre drying up too. Iíve thought of renting a huge community room at a local grocery store and putting everything out and ask people to make an offer or give a donation to their church or a local charity. My medical bills have been pretty crazy so Iíd love to sell my stuff but, in this size community, Iíd be lucky to sell 10% of it. And then I'd have to haul the rest of it back home. Not enough juice for the squeeze. Iím wondering if anyone has faced or heard of a situation anything like this and if so, how was it handled. I have heard of a couple cases where a woman has died and her husband had no idea what to do with her stamps. I saw a sign one time that said, ďMy greatest fear is that Iím going to die and my husband will sell my stamps for what I told him I paid for them!Ē

Sorry for this long diatribe. Iíve been dealing with major depression this year due to all of this and Iím ready to move on. I just want my stamps and associated supplies out of my house. How do I do that?
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Unread 04-22-2017, 01:49 PM   #2
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First off, I am sorry to hear of your medical problems, but am glad that you are recovering.

One thought I will put here is to hire a middleman to sell your items on ebay. Has anyone here had experience with that? Probably this would work just with the stamps, dies and so on. The inkpads might be better off donated to a classroom or the library unless they are totally dried out. In fact, a school or church may want your cardstock for crafts too.

Just an idea to throw out there.
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Unread 04-22-2017, 03:13 PM   #3
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If you don't have the energy or ability to sell your items yourself (like through a facebook buy/sell/trade page or the B/S/T here), you might want to hire an auction type company or one of those ebay listing companies. It sounds like you have an awful lot to liquidate, and you're right that you may not be able to get enough interest locally.

On a side note, sorry to hear that the hobby has suffered such a negative experience with your friends/groups. Illness and hardship tends to separate real friends from those who only pretended to care, and can even break up significant relationships. I hope that you find meaningful connections with whatever you decide to do next.
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Unread 04-22-2017, 05:41 PM   #4
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I'm so sorry to hear about your medical problems, and your friendships and groups that have dissolved. As for selling your items, I have no better advice than what has already been posted.

What I did want to tell you though is that just because someone doesn't live close, you can still become friends with them. In my years here on SCS I've developed some wonderful friendships. Some of the ladies I've been lucky enough to meet in real life, but many of them I haven't. There are so, so many sweet and caring people in the SCS community. If you ever decide to venture into your stamp room maybe you can join a swap or two. Heck, there have been certain swaps that even though I wasn't swapping I still popped in and chatted regularly. lol If nothing else, just browsing and reading through the threads might be enjoyable for you. Last, but not least, SCS even has a thread for people who suffer from depression.


Just found it. Here's the link: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/fo...n-t118094.html


My last little piece of advice (which I know is sometimes easier said than done) is try not to pay attention to what others say or think about you. Just be you. They can like it or lump it. I know I would drive myself crazy if I worried about stuff like that.
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Unread 04-22-2017, 06:09 PM   #5
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Thanks so much ladies. These are all good suggestions. One thing I've thought of doing (since there is no urgency to get rid of it all now) is to make kits - use a stamp set, cut up the cs and DP and include two samples with each set to give them all they need (except the ink) to make the cards themselves. I might try this next winter. This year I was just too broken to begin to tackle something like that.

I also like the idea of joining a swap here. I'm in an on line Bible study and have developed some close friends there, and the same thing could happen here.
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Unread 04-22-2017, 06:39 PM   #6
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Maybe there is a person in your area who does garage sales for people on commission. We have several people locally that do that. Let them do it all for you. It would be totally worth it to me to have someone else deal with set up, security, transactions, etc.! Maybe there are other things in your house, also, that no longer bring you joy that could go in the sale. After having strokes, I bet simplifying your life would be helpful. Don't even think about the money that everything cost you! It brought you joy at one time, served its purpose, and can move on to bring someone else joy now. And do NOT be there during the sale! Treat yourself to a spa day!

I'm so so sorry that others did not know how to deal with your strokes and for that loss of friendship that you had to grieve. Hope that you find new friends that fit with this life that you now have!
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Unread 04-23-2017, 02:38 AM   #7
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Beth, I'm so sorry for the pain you are/have experienced. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
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Unread 04-23-2017, 03:25 AM   #8
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Love how you have decided to make kits, it's marvellous you have got yourself back to the point that you can be with your craft stuff again. And who knows, that may even extend to actually enjoying them again. So sad to hear of your health issues, but you seem to be getting on top of them, and are clearly working to beat the depression, which has to make you feel good.
I just wondered, do you have any retirement homes/care homes close to you,that might appreciate someone going in with craft stuff to help the residents? Or maybe after school type classes? I don't know enough about what you may have to be able to call them by what you may know them as, sorry.
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Unread 04-23-2017, 06:42 AM   #9
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Beth, I have read some good ideas here. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time, and I will be praying for you. Since you're not in a hurry and are thinking of making kits, I think you should hold off for now - or take small steps. You could list some of your stuff, a little at a time, here on Splitcoast.

I have been a demo for ten years. I have sold off some of my retired stamp sets at a few stamp group sales, but I have an investment like yours. It has been an addiction for twenty years for me as well (I love lots of companies and have stuff from many other companies besides SU). I recently moved to a small coastal town in Oregon, and I gave away a lot to some friends who wanted some stuff and couldn't afford it - but I'll be in the same boat as you if I become ill one day and don't know what to do! I miss my stamp clubs and groups, but I'm just going to get involved in swaps here on Splitcoast for a while. I have done a lot of swaps here over the years, just not much in the last couple of years. You might think of doing something like that if you can venture into your room again. It's fun to receive stuff in the mail. And if you just would like some encouragement here, give us your address (or private message us on request) and we can send you some happy mail.

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Unread 04-23-2017, 09:03 AM   #10
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I can never quite wrap my head around people who are so...ignorant? when faced with a situation where someone who is supposedly their friend hits a hard time (illness, death, divorce, whatever) and they react so very badly. I'm so, so sorry that this was your experience!

Please know that everyone who has expressed their sympathies and enocuragement on this thread is absolutely sincere (including me), and that this is the most supportive, kind community I've ever been involved in - online or in person!

It's truly tragic that something that gave you so much joy for so long has become tainted. I can testify, though, that over time the negativity can pass and the joy can return. This has happened for me in several instances.

I think that the soundest advice is to wait a bit longer and see how you feel. If you're already thinking about making kits then perhaps you're already moving into a happier space concerning your crafty stuff...
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Unread 04-23-2017, 11:44 AM   #11
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Ok hold it. I have been thinking about you for 2 days now since I first read your post.

I thought I had heard of all the variations of the "younger model" story from work to divorce to even volunteering. But in a card group??? Come on. Talk about being being way out in left field.

I got nosy. I looked at your gallery. Then I looked at your blog.

Are you kidding??? I dont accept this answer.

You are a world traveler, a talented card maker and a loving mom to a couple of beautiful fur babies...you still have good friends although they may not be stamping folks. I am not sure if you are still working at that job you loved.

That kind of energy and warmth cant just get up and leave the table. Esp because of some unappreciative haters-I mean really...why couldnt you both be part of the group? I have not heard of a stamping group with a limited number of chairs. I think that is against the Carder's Constitution.

With the little bit I see-limited chairs and "snobs"....you are well out of it. That isnt anywhere near what I call stampers. Maybe I am spoiled by this site, but seriously-everyone I have met outside of here shine warmth too.

Do not let others define you.

Refocus-repurpose yourself. It is clear to me you have the ability to teach at least the basics and probably more. Where did you get treatment? At a stroke center? How about you teach them the basics? Who better to inspire them than someone who has been through it and "gets' it"? How about you start a new group for stroke survivors?

You can do it. With what you have already done in life, and I know will continue to do...you have the dynamic spark for that.

But if not...then think about making them cards to give to the people who are standing by them. To their PT people or whoever. Thank you cards.

Maybe teach kids in an afterschool program.

aka there are numerous positive ways to make use of your experience and enthusiam.

Do not get rid of what has to be a wonderful collection curated over 20 years with love. Do not stop using skills you have honed all that time. Do not walk away from something you are so passionate about (you still are or it would not hurt so much) b/c of other people! No no no!!!

Do the challenges here! There are several groups here you could join! There is NEVER a shortage of chairs at the tables here.

I have unused paper years old and it isnt fading, and my ink pads are not drying up either. Dont make excuses.

We have all been rejected at some point, in some way. It hurts like heck. But it does not mean you are worthless or some other negative thing. Rejection often says more about the person doing it than the recipient.

Just think about it ok?

This has been a tough love answer. Operating word: love. I dont need to know you personally to do this. You are a human being and therefore inherently have great worth. Like I said-I just got a snapshot of your life. I choose to fight to keep that flame inside you I can see from here, through a computer, lit. At times when I wanted to throw my big shot out the window b/c of life events, I got talked off the ledge by caring carders. I am passing that on to you now.

I say :P::::::::::::::::::::: to those people-their loss will be our gain if you join groups here. (((((((hugs)))))))
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Unread 04-23-2017, 12:16 PM   #12
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Wow Wavejumper.......your words are so comforting and inspiring at the same time! Love your post.
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Unread 04-23-2017, 01:11 PM   #13
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You are here in the right community for you! SCS is a warm, caring place.
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Unread 04-23-2017, 03:41 PM   #14
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People can be so cruel and I am so sorry that you have gone through this. If you haven't done so, I would discuss the depression and anxiety with your doctor.

Have you given any thought to starting a card ministry at your church? There are four of us that stamp at Church and we teamed up with the prayer team and make cards for them to send out to those they are praying for as well as sending congregational members birthday, thinking of you, get well, sympathy and Christmas cards. Also, at summer Bible school, we did craft classes with the kids making cards and they loved it. You could find kids in your Church that would like to learn to stamp and have classes for them at Church or your home. Focusing on others helps us to focus less on ourselves an sharing always brings joy. If you have a local scrapbook store, you could talk to them about staring a month card class. Before you do anything in your present state of mind, think beyond the box you have been in and think about other ways of enjoying your talent with others; don't waste it because of the actions of others.


Saundra

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Unread 04-23-2017, 03:46 PM   #15
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Dear Beth,Reading your post left me with such a mixture of thoughts and emotions that I found myself unable to type a coherent sentence. So for now, I'll just say that I'm sorry you don't live close enough to me to join my (in person) stamp group. You'd always be welcome at our table. Dea
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Unread 04-23-2017, 04:42 PM   #16
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I have to ask this...have you sat down and talked, individually, with any of those friends in those groups and expressed your frustration with feeling excluded? If not, I would recommend that you do that.

Why do I suggest this? Because my experience is that not everyone in the group may know the facts. They may be basing their actions on what someone else told them. Then they may feel uncomfortable bringing it up with you, or they may be unaware of the extent of your recovery. Any of a number of situations may be an influence.

So don't just let it all go without talking to them. It is better for you and better for them.
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Unread 04-23-2017, 04:52 PM   #17
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Thank you Jeanne. I was inspired b/c I am mad for her. I have been so encouraged and supported by stampers-I just cant wrap my brain around this.

I like Diane's suggestion too.
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Unread 04-23-2017, 08:10 PM   #18
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I am so sorry you have experienced rejection by several groups you thought were friends. It sounds like they just didn't know what to do concerning your situation, and so did nothing to help and include you.
Since you are in no rush to get rid of everything, I would just wait to see if , after you receive some healing in your heart, you get personally inspired to make a Birthday card and send some happy mail.
You don't have to be in a group to enjoy card-making. I have No group or club, and None of my friends are the least bit crafty (although they appreciate my cards I send).
Since you have an amazing collection, you might start thinking how you can bless someone else with a lovely Random Act of Kindness and sent them a card.
I am inspired by postings on Pinterest, and mostly those made with stamps I have already.
If it comes about that you decide not to create cards again, you can sell a little at a time on the forum here (please post photos!), or on Ebay, but that costs 10% for their fee. Of course, donating is always an option, but screen the receivers to see if they will really use the items, if it's a nursing home or kids daycare or school.
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Unread 04-24-2017, 06:00 AM   #19
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So many good suggestions. And I found your story very moving. Loss of so many people in your life. It's loss, and I don't doubt you are grieving. I lost a lot of people when I became ill. It shocked me. It was like I wasn't around, so I just vanished from their minds.

I had a thought when you talked about not even being able to be around your crafting stuff. There's a lot of association there, for sure. But perhaps you might consider not ridding yourself of everything, but paring way down to what you really love. Sell off the rest in whatever way you decide to, many good suggestions have been made. Then wait and see what happens. I know a year seems like it would be enough time to know, but it might not be enough for you. Grief and the life transitions they cause don't run on the same schedule for everyone. And I think we tend to underestimate how long we need to process big life changes.

Wavejumper, loved your post. Really inspiring.
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Unread 04-24-2017, 05:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shazsilverwolf View Post
Love how you have decided to make kits, it's marvellous you have got yourself back to the point that you can be with your craft stuff again. And who knows, that may even extend to actually enjoying them again. So sad to hear of your health issues, but you seem to be getting on top of them, and are clearly working to beat the depression, which has to make you feel good.
I just wondered, do you have any retirement homes/care homes close to you,that might appreciate someone going in with craft stuff to help the residents? Or maybe after school type classes? I don't know enough about what you may have to be able to call them by what you may know them as, sorry.
There are actually quite a few ladies who do these types of craft groups at retirement homes. I've donated a ton of stuff to them. But since I work during the day, the hours don't work for me. I DID do a stamp class at a local women's homeless shelter for a while. That's a story for another time! The skill level was under that of an average 10 year old for sure. They had fun with it for a while (I also provided stamped envelopes so they could mail their cards, and I kept them VERY simple) but the home eventually discontinued it. Unfortunately, time is something I don't have a lot of. I work almost full time (am on partial disability to cover my various therapies), have a house to maintain and two very active corgis. And, since the strokes, I just have required more rest. But making cards for fund raisers is something I would still enjoy doing if I could find just one person to come and stamp with me. I just can't be down in that room alone. I walk in and immediately burst into tears. Every stinkin' time! Ugh. So I have a ways to go yet.
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Unread 04-24-2017, 07:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess Dee View Post
There are actually quite a few ladies who do these types of craft groups at retirement homes. I've donated a ton of stuff to them. But since I work during the day, the hours don't work for me. I DID do a stamp class at a local women's homeless shelter for a while. That's a story for another time! The skill level was under that of an average 10 year old for sure. They had fun with it for a while (I also provided stamped envelopes so they could mail their cards, and I kept them VERY simple) but the home eventually discontinued it. Unfortunately, time is something I don't have a lot of. I work almost full time (am on partial disability to cover my various therapies), have a house to maintain and two very active corgis. And, since the strokes, I just have required more rest. But making cards for fund raisers is something I would still enjoy doing if I could find just one person to come and stamp with me. I just can't be down in that room alone. I walk in and immediately burst into tears. Every stinkin' time! Ugh. So I have a ways to go yet.
I'm sorry that it's still such a trigger. Do you have an LSS where you could post an invite for a stamping companion? Or would you be willing to be more specific here on Splitcoast about where in Minnesota you are and see if there's anyone here that would want to play? Amber (sprtchick) saw that I was in the Las Vegas area and invited me to come play with all of her wonderful toys! Great way to make new friends...
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Unread 04-24-2017, 07:38 PM   #22
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Oh my …. THANK YOU ladies for all of your encouragement, concern, ‘tough love’ and great ideas. You have given me some real hope tonight and I am truly grateful. This does seem to be a very safe place, and since none of my former stamping friends are active on SCS anymore, I am going to take a huge risk and give you a basic synopsis of a story that is truly surreal, as it will answer many of the questions you’ve raised. If this is TMI – please feel free to skim over it. There’s no short and easy way to explain what happened to me a year ago.

It was the first week of May when I was driving home from a funeral in northern Minnesota that I experienced double vision and some tingling in my right arm. It was diagnosed as a TIA (mini stroke) but because I have a rather complicated cardiac history, I was sent to the Heart Institute in Minneapolis (about 250 miles from home) for further testing. On my way TO the Cities (a friend was driving me) I had another episode that was diagnosed as a small frontal lobe stroke. (The frontal lobe controls personality and emotion, among other things). On my fourth day in the hospital, after a day of tests, I was brought back to my room and given something to eat. I opened my computer and there was an Email from the leader/founder of the closed group that I’d been a part of for many years. I had tried to drop out of this group earlier that year for several reasons, but of course, hoped to retain the friendships. However, this leader absolutely would not let me out (and by that I mean, she put enough pressure on me that I reconsidered my decision and relented.) Now, however, after the strokes, the group had met and decided to replace me. I was devastated. My occupational therapist was thrilled to hear that I was a stamper and thought this would be the perfect therapy for me. I did too. But I was kicked out and I panicked. I was alone (one brother in Scotland, the other in China), 250 miles from home, with a serious medical condition and my closest group of friends just decided they didn’t want me anymore. I might have been able to have retained at least a few of the friendships if I hadn’t panicked. But, in my panic, I wrote some Emails that contained strong emotion (no threats, but some anger and a LOT of pain and confusion). I also had, what was later explained to me as a psychogenic fugue – a period of three days where I was out of touch with the rest of the world. It's a type of amnesia that is triggered by extreme stress. (Like PTSD) Gas receipts showed me as having been in Illinois and I eventually found my way back to the Twin Cities, recovered my sense of self and a friend helped me get home. (I know – it sounds bizarre – and it was, but it was just 3 days and never happened again.) When I got home, I did two things. I made an appointment with a wonderful therapist, but they couldn’t get me in for SIX weeks! Then I sent the ladies a note, saying that if they were kicking me out, they needed to come and talk to me in person; I wasn't going to accept it by Email. They responded to THAT by hiring a lawyer!!!! I got a letter of ‘cease and desist’ which was basically, “Don’t try to contact these women in any way or they’ll get a restraining order against you.” I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. At that point I became very suicidal, was pulled off a bridge once and off an interstate overpass three times (one of them was a very close call as I was over the railing). So, since that time I have had quite a bit of involvement with local law enforcement. They know I have no family, and that I’ve lost many of my friends so they do check on me now and then. Most of them have been good to me. There is also a local crisis response team that I have utilized a few times. Eventually, I started therapy with Lori and she told me over and over, “This isn’t about you. It’s about them.” And later, “They are feeding on each other’s fears and working themselves up into a frenzy.” We worked on letting go of them and by the middle of the summer (about August 1st) I had mostly done that. There was one person in the group who broke my heart especially, as I had just walked with her through breast cancer for 18 months, helping them financially, with meals, and emotional support. I considered her one of my closest friends and she has not said a word to me since the day I got the Email, kicking me out. I really struggled with that. By this time, I had gotten in to see a psychiatrist too, and had a couple of brief hospitalizations when I’d been suicidal. He started me on Wellbutrin and it seemed to help for a while but within a few weeks, I couldn’t tell it was helping at all anymore. He explained that this was because I didn’t have ‘clinical depression’ but ‘reactive depression’ (also known as and adjustment disorder). I have a social work background so this was all somewhat familiar to me. That type of depression is due to trauma and is not very responsive to antidepressants. But I was doing well enough that Lori suggested that I get in touch with some of my friends from the stamp group at my church and just do some fun, normal things. So I asked my four closest friends to meet me for frozen yogurt one hot summer night. They initially accepted, and then changed their minds, due to my ‘alarming behavior’. When I asked what that meant, I got a variety of responses. One was offended by a Facebook post I had put up …. Something along the lines of “A true friend not only stands with you in the storm but holds the umbrella” - or something like that. One thought I had been too quiet at a birthday party in July and she interpreted that as me ‘not wanting to be friends anymore.’ Another one had to choose sides when I was accidentally copied on a VERY NASTY Email sent out by one of the ladies in the first group. Rather than support me, she chose the other gal. And the fourth thought that I was being less than honest when I took my corgis for a long weekend, camping on the North Shore, where I used to live. In her mind, if I was as depressed as I claimed to be, I shouldn’t have had the energy to go camping! In reality, I had JUST gotten all of my driving privileges back, had a new car and just wanted to experience ONE FUN WEEKEND alone with my dogs. But those were the reasons I was given. They spread their fear and paranoia to the rest of the church group, and decided to dissolve it (after 20 years) because of me. Carrying the weight of that decision threw me into a tailspin and THEN, to top it all off, they (along with their husbands and two of the pastors) met with a police officer to see if I could be banned from their church. The officer told them that I could not be, since I had not posed a threat of any kind, and had not even APPROACHED these ladies at church …. never called them, never went to their homes or stalked them in any way. But the officer agreed to call me and ask if I would voluntarily quit going there. I did. I was so distraught, however, that I once again sent a series of Emails to them – pleading with them to follow the guidelines set in Matthew 18 (where it talks about GOING TO a person you are in conflict with and talking to them in person). They wouldn’t even consider it. I visited a few other churches but honestly, there was at least one of my former stamping friends in almost every church in town. I have pretty much quit going – which has isolated me further. Thankfully, I’m an introvert so don’t need a LOT of contact with people – but I do need some. Work has been a haven for me. My co-workers have been caring and supportive, although I have told them I need work to be a ‘safe place’ where I can get away from my other problems. Sometimes when I’m having a rough day and can’t hold the tears back, I will leave for a time and call one of the many police officers I’ve gotten to know and just talking to someone for 10 minutes will help me quite a bit. I’ve also been learning to breathe through the pain, as I was passing out at times when I was crying so hard that I couldn’t get a breath. (Not good when you’re driving!!!!) My corgis are great companions and pretty good little therapists, and my best friend (from North Carolina) and my therapist have helped me through some of the roughest times. I also have many other good friends (non-stampers) here where I live and around the country. I DID have to go off Facebook though. Even though all of those women had long since unfriended me, I’d see their comments on other friends’ pages and it was just too painful. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back.

Losing my church and friends there has been unbearable. I cry all the time (and I never used to be a crier at all!) ….. it is just SO EXCRUCIATINGLY painful. I long to move away and start over – and yet, there are parts of my life here that I still love (my job, my home, my therapist, and the many good friends that I still have.) And I've found when you put "40 years of office management experience" on a resume - that spells OLD. These church friends (and my four best friends in particular) have worked themselves up into a frenzied paranoia that I cannot get my head wrapped around it. As I told my brother just last night, they weren’t afraid of the ‘unknown’. They are afraid of the ‘known’ for we have been close friends for YEARS without as much as a cross word exchanged between us. They loved me (or sure seemed to), always told me how much fun I was to be around, loved the cards I’d bring etc etc. And suddenly they are so afraid of me that they can’t quiet their hearts for one hour on Sunday morning to worship if I’m somewhere in the building?!?!? The real turning point for me came two weeks ago when I went and got copies of the police reports from their meetings with this officer. (There have been three meetings.) I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT I WAS READING – and it suddenly changed everything for me. There were eight pages of paranoia where they put the absolute worst spin on everything that they possibly could. A couple of examples: One Sunday I accidentally opened up my audio-Bible ap on my phone instead of my study Bible and, to my horror, a voice started reading this passage of scripture – quite loudly. I had the ringer on my phone OFF but it didn’t affect the app, and I COULD NOT figure out how to get it off except to shut down the phone completely. It was probably no more than 45 seconds but it felt like an eternity!!! So in this police report – they say that they think I INTENTIONALLY did that to disrupt the worship service. Another thing – unbeknownst to me – but in October my brother was in a serious accident and reflecting on life an such matters, he decided to write one of the church group ladies a very mild note (a PM on Facebook) – not chastising her in any way but just asking her to consider the kind of loyal friend she was throwing away. I didn’t even find out he had done that until several months later an I was NOT happy with him – even though I knew he had nothing but good intentions. But this incident, too, was reported to the police as something they believed I HAD DONE by setting up a fake Facebook account in my brother’s name. So I did have my brother call the pastor AND the police officer to clear that up. It was one thing after another, after another like that. Viewing me with total suspicion, portraying me as a conniving, manipulative, deceitful person. It has shattered m heart.

I try to keep going by setting things to look forward to. I went to my friends in North Carolina for Christmas, and to visit my brother in China in February. Nothing major on the calendar right now but we’ll (corgis and I) do some weekend camping this summer and then my NC friends are coming up in August to spend a week with us at our cabin in the UP of Michigan. I look forward to that.

After reading the police report, I lost ALL interest in reconciling with these women. They are far sicker than I have ever been, and unfortunately it was contagious. Four women from that church group have stayed solidly with me, a couple others are uncommitted, but the rest (about 10) were sucked into the paranoia. These were good friends. I miss them. I grieve for them. It breaks my heart to have lost them without ever being allowed to talk to them one time. But my focus has now shifted from pursuing reconciliation to healing. I heal best by spending time alone, reading, walking my dogs, doing yard work and having lunch or coffee with one or two friends at a time. Unfortunately, one of the women from my church group is my next door neighbor. She is one of the uncommitted ones but hasn’t said a word to me since July. That has been hard.

So that’s my story. It’s been a wild, surreal year. As a person of faith, I have to believe that God has allowed this in my life for a reason – much as he allowed Joseph’s brothers to sell him into slavery, only to rise to become a ruler. I don’t expect to rule anyone (except my corgis - and there are days I’m not even so sure of that!) but I do some writing, and have already had a number of people encourage me to share my story and the lessons learned from it. I certainly am not without fault in this – but really, the ONLY thing I did that was unwise was to write Emails, begging them to talk to me. I should have given up long before I did, but I was in so much pain, I kept trying.

Now I will see if SCS will even allow a post this long. It might be the longest post they’ve ever had. For any of you who made it to the end, THANK YOU. I was blown away to log on tonight and see 18 responses!!! You have no idea how much that means to me. And you’ve given me some great ideas. I am sure I’ll have at least a couple of garage sales this summer but will heed your advice to not get rid of too much – too quickly. God might be moving me into some new avenue with this hobby.

PS - My name is Beth, I live in Moorhead, MN and work at KFNW Radio (sister station to KTIS for any who life in the Twin Cities). I have a social work background but have been in radio for 29 years and love it.
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Unread 04-24-2017, 08:28 PM   #23
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Every post here has some valuable food for thought, but Rachel, yours resonated with me especially. I think you are very wise and what you said makes such good sense. Thank you.
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Unread 04-25-2017, 01:10 AM   #24
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Hi Beth, I've just sat and read through your story. I'm almost in tears, how can people be so cruel? To someone they had known and supposedly loved for so many years.Most of us could not be so cruel to those we don't know. It does prove, as I'm sure you are aware of from you social work, how the 'mob mentality' can spread like wildfire from one or two people, to a whole host of others.
Your therapist is quite right in that their behaviour says so much more about them that it does about you.
It must be so hard for you, to have suddenly been shown a side of friends, you were not aware they had?
Guilt and shame at ones behaviour can make it impossible to make the step to put things right. All groups have 'leaders & followers', and those that followed in the wave of bullying you, for that is precisely what it is,I would at least hope are so ashamed of their behaviour, that like your neighbour, do not have the balls, ( to put it bluntly), to step up and admit what they did was wrong. Which I'm sure is why they do not wish to speak to you- they know there are no excuses for their behaviour.
As for those that 'led' this action, I have no words for them. Not once did they consider the effect their actions might have, nor that they should make allowances and show some basic compassion for someone struck by illness.
They may all be happy to call themselves Christians, but to me, ( and I speak as a pagan), they have shown none of the Christian behaviour one would expect. And as for the Pastors-words fail me. Instead of speaking to their flock concerning their decidedly unChristian behaviour, they were a part of it.
I used to have a corgi when I was a child. Aren't they the most wonderful,loyal pets? My parents were always sure I was safe when I took him for walks, as he was fiercely protective of me. My Dad, once in fun just to test the dog, raised his hand near me, and my corgi dived straight in front of me and growled at him! My Dad never laid a hand on any of his children, he said if you could not raise your children without hitting them, you did not deserve them.
I am truly hoping that there will be some on here who live close enough to you to be able to reach out, and I know they will if at all possible.
The people on here are the most caring, loving crafters you can come across, and I'm speaking as a Brit, who has never met any in person, but I know this from the messages I get on here, and in PM's asking how my health is going- bowel cancer diagnosis a couple of years ago, surgery etc- all going good at the moment, latest CT scan this week, if all is still well, I shall start a phased return to work in June .
Our friends are the people who show us they care by their actions, and I know I have many friends at SCS.
And all of us will be here if you need to talk/vent/ask for advice or help. X
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Unread 04-25-2017, 03:49 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shazsilverwolf View Post
Hi Beth, I've just sat and read through your story. I'm almost in tears, how can people be so cruel? To someone they had known and supposedly loved for so many years.Most of us could not be so cruel to those we don't know. It does prove, as I'm sure you are aware of from you social work, how the 'mob mentality' can spread like wildfire from one or two people, to a whole host of others.
Your therapist is quite right in that their behaviour says so much more about them that it does about you.
It must be so hard for you, to have suddenly been shown a side of friends, you were not aware they had?
Guilt and shame at ones behaviour can make it impossible to make the step to put things right. All groups have 'leaders & followers', and those that followed in the wave of bullying you, for that is precisely what it is,I would at least hope are so ashamed of their behaviour, that like your neighbour, do not have the balls, ( to put it bluntly), to step up and admit what they did was wrong. Which I'm sure is why they do not wish to speak to you- they know there are no excuses for their behaviour.
As for those that 'led' this action, I have no words for them. Not once did they consider the effect their actions might have, nor that they should make allowances and show some basic compassion for someone struck by illness.
They may all be happy to call themselves Christians, but to me, ( and I speak as a pagan), they have shown none of the Christian behaviour one would expect. And as for the Pastors-words fail me. Instead of speaking to their flock concerning their decidedly unChristian behaviour, they were a part of it.
I used to have a corgi when I was a child. Aren't they the most wonderful,loyal pets? My parents were always sure I was safe when I took him for walks, as he was fiercely protective of me. My Dad, once in fun just to test the dog, raised his hand near me, and my corgi dived straight in front of me and growled at him! My Dad never laid a hand on any of his children, he said if you could not raise your children without hitting them, you did not deserve them.
I am truly hoping that there will be some on here who live close enough to you to be able to reach out, and I know they will if at all possible.
The people on here are the most caring, loving crafters you can come across, and I'm speaking as a Brit, who has never met any in person, but I know this from the messages I get on here, and in PM's asking how my health is going- bowel cancer diagnosis a couple of years ago, surgery etc- all going good at the moment, latest CT scan this week, if all is still well, I shall start a phased return to work in June .
Our friends are the people who show us they care by their actions, and I know I have many friends at SCS.
And all of us will be here if you need to talk/vent/ask for advice or help. X
Thank you - just for reading that incredibly long post shows a great deal of compassion! Yikes! I'm glad to hear that you are stable and starting to make plans to 'get your life back'. That is what I hope to do too - start rebuilding a new life because not one day will ever be the same.

My therapist and I have talked a LOT about two things you mentioned: mob mentality (yes, yes, yes ....it is real - even among women in their 50's and 60's) and bullying - also shocking to discover in women in that age group.

I found an EXCELLENT article last summer on 'shunning' that I have shared with many people. I felt it told my story EXACTLY. I will post it here when I have time. Anyway I have thought SO MUCH about that topic (and that article) that I had two Tshirts custom made a while back. One of them says "Shunning is Deadly" on the front and "Caring means Communicating" on the back. (I actually had that one made to be buried in when I was so suicidal .... thankfully, that has passed.) The other shirt says "Shunning is treating someone as if they don't exist" on the front and "Stop Bullying (Adults Too)" on the back. I hope to have the guts to wear them to Moxie Java some Saturday morning or Q'dobas on a Wednesday night (a place where we often gathered to 'talk stamping'). Now that I have no more interest in reconciling with them, I will have to be careful to not 'get nasty' because the temptation is there. God help me! (Oh, and BTW, you call yourself a 'pagan' and I want you to know that does not affect how I think of you in the least. I have a brother who is an atheist, a cousin who pastors a Unitarian church and a VERY dear friend who has written me some of the most loving, tender notes this year who also has no use for religion.)
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Unread 04-25-2017, 03:53 AM   #26
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This is the article I mentioned on shunning. It is REALLY GOOD. The ladies who needed to take it to heart found it offensive. That said a lot.
******************************************************************

One of the least discussed aspects of bullying and mobbing, and perhaps the most powerful and damaging, is the practice of shunning. Shunning is widely practiced among certain religions; the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Scientology, even the otherwise forgiving Amish have made shunning a religious tenet to control the conduct of its members. Families routinely shun other family members, whether through disinheritance and outright withdrawal of any contact or support, or the deafening “silent treatment” that some spouses and parents engage in as a form of punishment for real or perceived offenses.

To targets of shunning, the near instantaneous isolation almost always comes as a shock, and the intensifying silence that encircles them is indeed deadly. The impact of shunning is so severe that those who routinely employ it do so because they know just how effective a form of social control the practice can be, debilitating even the strongest people once it commences.

To shun a person isolates them at the very point when they most need support. It further erodes their self-esteem and their ability to withstand attack.

I understand the motivation to avoid those whose own dilemma may prove stigmatizing or discomforting. Yet I remain troubled by the failure of our species to extend compassion to those who need it the most. Our capacity to understand the complexity of social conflicts ought to suggest that whatever our human counterparts are suffering, chances are there is plenty of room for compassion — and patience — in how we approach them in their troubling times.
To survive as humans, we must rely on social support, and when we withdraw that support on the basis of unpopularity we might advance our own social survival, but we erode our own capacity for compassion and our own potential to be fully human and humane. Silence is not always golden, it is deadly when it extends to shunning, and once commenced, it is difficult to stop. But on individual levels it can stop, if each of us considers how and whom we shun. We routinely shun those who are pow erless or losing power, however good-hearted but imperfect they may be. And when we do shun, we rarely call it by name, and virtually always shift the blame to the target as having brought it on themselves, regardless of their suffering.We justify shunning through gossip, revising our opinions of those we once respected and in many cases loved, and by diffusing our responsibility as we note others are doing the same.

The longer we shun a person, the harder it is to break the silence and make peace. Might each of us consider those we have forgotten because, for whatever reason, we joined with others to avoid another person’s pain? You may give no greater gift than to reach out and un-shun someone whose social isolation you have helped create, however unintentionally. At most, you risk rejection. At best, you help to heal a heart, at the very least, your own.
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Unread 04-25-2017, 07:51 AM   #27
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That is, indeed, a well-written, thought-provoking article. All of us in the collective we call "humanity" can use reminders like this to look beyond and allow for compassion and caring and kindness. Thank you...
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Unread 04-25-2017, 09:27 AM   #28
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Beth, I am so sorry for all that you have been through. I wish I lived near you as I would visit and stamp together with you.
2 years ago we moved from The North to Alabama. Well I still cannot find anyone here that stamps. So I set up a table and shelves in the corner of my living room and I stamp here. Its right by the windows and I can watch TV or have Chihuahua's near me when I stamp.
At first I put it downstairs in the basement and I NEVER wanted to be down there. Would it help you if you brought some supplies up and stamped in your kitchen? A new place to stamp that you are comfortable in may bring you renewed joy.
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Unread 04-25-2017, 10:20 AM   #29
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I've often wished there was a support group on here for crafting. I know that we need support for the emotional/health/interpersonal issues that come up in our lives. They can be very distracting.

But crafting can offer a way to move away from those issues for a time, or transcend them, however briefly. We have all experienced the "flow" feeling of being caught up in what we are doing. It's very healing.

Unfortunately, crafting often gets swept into the general "badness" we feel. We associate, we go into our studios and focus on the wrong things (I've spent so much money on this stuff/I make cards even though I don't send many out/I'm not very good at this, etc.)

I am relating this in my mind to writing - something I have long done and am not doing at the moment because it got swept into the general "disaster mode" I've been living in for the past months.

And I'm thinking about an online writing website I belonged to, where you could be part of any number of online groups. I belonged to two of them, and one was simply an "accountability" group. Which sounds awful, but wasn't. It was a place to check in and say not only what you did manage to get done on whatever you were working on, but also to say that you were stuck, and get encouragement.

I know we can post anytime and say "I've lost my mojo and can't seem to find it." I've done that myself, and gotten a lot of helpful responses.

I've never stamped with anyone. No one around. I've never been to a LSS. If it isn't sold online, I don't own it. I was given a box of stamping supplies by a thoughtful sister and SIL six years ago, to help me when I was recovering from an illness. But they both lived far away. If it weren't for SCS, I wouldn't know most of what I know about crafting.

I guess this is a rambling post. I guess I'm just trying to say lean in, Beth, and lean on the folks here whenever you need to. They will never let you down. They have never let me down.
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Unread 04-25-2017, 12:14 PM   #30
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Hi Beth, really enjoyed the article about shunning. Totally get how isolating it can be, I guess we can all think back to schooldays, and fall outs with best friends, who then turned others against us, so we were in effect, shunned. I find it shocking that it can be an accepted part of some religions-and I'm afraid to me, those religions that would attempt to control people in that way fall in to the category of cults, rather than a genuine religious belief. That is cruel beyond belief, and something I am sure no God, whatever you conceive them to be, would ever espouse.
I have friends of many religious persuasions, and some none at all. I remember a few years ago, having a chat with a Jehovahs Witness, who had ceased practising. We had a long chat about Christian Principles, and Christian Practices, and how they can often not be the same thing at all. I don't care what peoples religious beliefs are,all I care about is that they are decent human beings, with morals & ethics that they not only believe, but practise too. Actions speaking louder than words and all that.
Love the quotes on your T-shirt! Don't know if you are familiar over there with the 'empowerment bracelets', sort of rubberised bracelet that carries a message, or promotes a charity? I wear a few, and one is from a charity called S.O.P.H.I.E. Sophie was a teenager who was kicked and beaten to death because she was dressed as a Goth. Pure hate crime. Her mother set up the charity using her daughters name, and they go into schools/youth clubs and so on, teaching about bullying, hate crime, about respecting peoples differences and so on. SOPHIE now stands for Stamp Out Prejudice,Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere.
And I want to second Robins final words- lean on the people here, they will never let you down.
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Unread 04-25-2017, 12:57 PM   #31
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Beth, thank you for sharing that unpleasant part of your life. That can be painful in itself. I hear the surprise, the betrayal, the pain in you. I hate betrayal. It is one of the worst to me. Not only are you hurt, but you feel like a dope for ever trusting the person.

I hope in time you will see it was just that-a Part, and not the whole. You had life before you met these people and you will now without them.

It does seem that is exactly what is going on-they are trying to shun you.

Is it possible that during the "missing 3 days"/fugue you may have contacted them and said some kind of crazy stuff that scared them? Or even just one or two who have told the others and now they all are scared-b/c I read this as fear in them more than purposely being nasty. ALTHOUGH...it sounds like the herd is getting driven-someone who does not like you for whatever reason (could be jealousy-maybe they wished they had your life and jumped on this opportunity to smear you). Mean girls often grow up into mean women regardless of whatever they claim to be. People who are scared enough can be terrified with just a look. Sad state to be in. Leave them to it.

I am no therapist but I am wondering if in your desperation to pull them back, you scared them more? The sucide stuff probably definitely threw them sideways. Many people are very frightened of that. If they read what you were saying as "you so upset me, I tried to kill myself"...then, yes, that is scary sounding honestly.

All I can tell you is that at this point in my life...if people dont want to be my friend, I am not lifting a finger to try to convince them to change their minds. I might try to clear my name of false accusations with the opener "I am not trying to make you be my friend but I want to clear falsehoods" and just state things in a very B&W factual way.... but in your case I would not bother because clearly imo, there is an "active" agent here who keeps fanning the flames.

I am going to try to be charitable and think the Pastors have been convinced somehow that you pose a viable threat of some kind to act that way. But they could have at least reached out to you and talked to you personally first.

My suggestion here is this: Go on with your life. Over time they will see you are totally normal and fine and they may or may not come around and approach you. What you might want to think about is how you will react to that if it happens. With anger or in calm and hear them out about what motivated them and then forgiveness?

Like with your neighbor-when you see her just smile and waive or say hello and leave it. STOP worrying about running into them. Go about your life and if you see them, either ignore them or smile, say good day and keep walking. If they see you reacting to them, it wont help. it looks like an admission of guilt. You said you have other friends...go to one of their churches and sit with them. If one of these others are there so what. Ignore them.

You said there are four church women hanging in with you....just have fun with them and over time they will tell others you are fine.

I had that same idea that Tina Marie did. You have bad associations to the room right now. Maybe the thing to do is take stuff to the dining table and work. Over time you hopefully will realize the collection is not the enemy.

FYI-there is a support forum here:
Need a Lift? - Splitcoaststampers

This would probably be the best place to talk out any residual issues you are having as you move through the process I always use that Beatle line-I get by with a little help from my friends.

Just slow it down. You will heal in time. In the meantime, enjoy all the other wonderful things in life...little, peaceful things like sitting with your face to the sun (with spf 40 lol) with your eyes closed just listening to the birds.

As you said, you have a great job (millions of us dont), you have a huge bunch of friends, loving siblings even at a distance...in many ways you have a good life. Focus on that part.

If only we could spend our lives just stamping and the fun parts of the rest-bday parties, graduations, births, travel.
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Unread 04-25-2017, 04:06 PM   #32
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You've all been so kind, so supportive and offered so many good suggestions. I can't speak to them all but I'll respond to a couple. I didn't realize that the EDIT button was only available for 10 minutes because I would really like to edit my long post and shorten it considerably. I may just delete it and re-write it in a shorter version. There was just so much going on all year - it escalated for months and months and so there's no short version of the story.

Re: bringing stamps upstairs to the kitchen. Yes, I have done that. In fact, I have some there now. Just not able to handle it yet. I have some SU kits that I bought just before the stroke - wanted to make them as gifts for people and STILL want to make them. I just can't do it yet. I'm crying now, just thinking about it. Clearly, I have a lot of healing to do. I think the first step for me will be stamping WITH someone. I had a friend who was going to come and make those kits with me last Fall, and then one of the stamp group ladies (her upline) got her ear, told her who-knows-what and she hasn't had anything to do with me since then. It hurts so much.

wavejumper, you raised a lot of very good, perceptive and fair questions. Yes, during the three day fugue, I wrote Emails. They were not threatening or scary, but I was pouring out pain and anger and didn't mince words. And there were quite a few of them. The ladies mailed them all to me when they learned I'd been in a fugue state. I wrote them a VERY HEARTFELT and CONTRITE letter of apology and got an absolutely cold response. "We forgive you but actions have consequences and we want nothing more to do with you - ever." So so so tough to get that. A dear friend reached out to them as well and they blew her off. When I was suicidal, I was already out of touch with those ladies (had received the lawyers letter by that time) so I don't think they ever even knew about it. There was certainly no manipulative communication to blame them for my death. I would never do something like that.

The group that was so much harder to lose was my church group. Only four of them ever got any of my Emails - and they weren't angry ones. They were pleading for just one chance to sit down and talk to them. But they wouldn't consider it for the reasons I stated in my earlier post ... I'd been too quiet at a birthday party, a Facebook post that one of them interpreted as a 'rant' (it wasn't), I went camping with my dogs when I was claiming to be depressed and one of them had to choose between me and the ringleader of the gossip in the first group. Anyway - those four ladies gave me lame excuses when I believe that - just as you said - they were afraid. My therapist said "They have been feeding on each other's fears" and that is VERY apparent. They put the worst possible spin on everything and couldn't extend me a smidgen of grace. When they cut me off, they NEVER spoke or communicate to me again in any way. Total shunning. I HAVE been suicidal because of those ladies and still struggle with it - but they haven't received any communication from me since the end of October so I doubt they know or care. But I am very sure they were and still are afraid. I don't know if anyone here has struggled with intense suicidal ideation that is relentless but it is horrible. If you talk about it - to anyone - you are quickly labeled a 'drama queen', a 'borderline personality' or a manipulator. Those labels break my heart because they are NOT who I am - and those ladies know it. So I have firmly resolved to never speak of it again TO ANYONE - including LE, crisis line counselors or even my therapist. It's just better to weather the storm alone and not run the risk of being misunderstood. It's getting better but it's still a struggle. I am not impulsive, I don't believe I have the right to take my life and I would never want to hurt those who love me. So I will never do it. But the temptation and struggle with those feelings are not easy to push away.

Thanks again for your support. I'm a bit uncomfortable being the focus here as I never intended this thread to become a support group for me. But you've all been so kind and I am truly grateful. I will try to keep you posted occasionally on how I'm doing but will discontinue writing these long posts.
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Unread 04-25-2017, 04:30 PM   #33
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I really, really hope you will not allow those "ladies" to take even your love of your craft from you. Maybe it would be fun to sit down with your favorite stamp set, your favorite ink colors and make a card just for you; to you and from you while your sweet dogs sit at your feet. Wish I could cheer you....
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Unread 04-25-2017, 04:35 PM   #34
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Beth - you have been so open - so hurt. I wish I knew the right words to say. I can also see your strong spirit through the posts - keep being strong ! Keep enjoying every day - keep doing what you love. !
As I was reading - I was noticing that the room is causing the emotions. Take 15 min (and a big laundry basket). And in that time - quickly fill with some supplies. - coloring stuff. Scissors - paper- stamps. Whatever you can fit into the basket quickly

Take that stuff to another room - set up a mini station. Now do something. Make SOMETHING- -ANYTHING! I don't care if it's crooked - doesn't match- ------just create for creating sake! Now - throw it away- (or take it to work/ your therapist- and leave it there) Then create something else.

Don't let those mean heartless people take your joy away. I usually create by myself. Most of us don't have "crafty" friends. I say forget those people. (In a kind way to you). Lots of hugs
If I lived near you - I would love to come and play in your room.

So- now I'm "giving you a mini deadline". I'm going to PM you in one week and see if you created something! Anything!
Lots of hugs
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Unread 04-25-2017, 04:56 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Copperkids View Post
Beth - you have been so open - so hurt. I wish I knew the right words to say. I can also see your strong spirit through the posts - keep being strong ! Keep enjoying every day - keep doing what you love. !
As I was reading - I was noticing that the room is causing the emotions. Take 15 min (and a big laundry basket). And in that time - quickly fill with some supplies. - coloring stuff. Scissors - paper- stamps. Whatever you can fit into the basket quickly

Take that stuff to another room - set up a mini station. Now do something. Make SOMETHING- -ANYTHING! I don't care if it's crooked - doesn't match- ------just create for creating sake! Now - throw it away- (or take it to work/ your therapist- and leave it there) Then create something else.

Don't let those mean heartless people take your joy away. I usually create by myself. Most of us don't have "crafty" friends. I say forget those people. (In a kind way to you). Lots of hugs
If I lived near you - I would love to come and play in your room.

So- now I'm "giving you a mini deadline". I'm going to PM you in one week and see if you created something! Anything!
Lots of hugs
My brother asked me to make him some sympathy cards if I could. I have kept him supplied for years and he likes the ones I make (masculine type). I've been trying to do it for three weeks. Maybe your 'push' will get me to make some this weekend. And also there are the kits. When I went to China in February, I took 250 cards along to give to the women in my brother's organization. These were ones i had from swaps and past events. Most of them were really nice, but they needed to have a liner sheet put in them and put with an envelope. You would not BELIEVE how hard it was for me to cut up those quarter sheets of paper and tape them inside an already-made card, and put them with an envelope. I cried and cried the whole time ... took a couple hours. So I will try to make something this weekend but I can't guarantee anything. I am pretty strong in some ways but extremely fragile and emotionally raw right now. I don't sleep well (that's another whole story .... ) and so if I can get one good night's sleep, the next day would be the day to try and make something.
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Unread 04-26-2017, 03:39 AM   #36
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If you have had and/or are having suicidal ideations you MUST speak to your therapist about them. No therapist worth seeing is going to label or judge you because of it. It doesn't matter if you feel you are not going to act on them. They are a critical part of the constellation of your current mental state, and should not be concealed from a therapist. The mindset that is causing you to conceal them is not a healthy one. Don't listen to it. Tell your therapist everything.

Please. I really can't emphazise this strongly enough.
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Unread 04-26-2017, 03:56 AM   #37
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If you have had and/or are having suicidal ideations you MUST speak to your therapist about them. No therapist worth seeing is going to label you as anything because of it. It doesn't matter if you feel you are not going to act on them. They are a critical part of the constellation of your current mental state, and should not be concealed from a therapist. The mindset that is causing you to conceal them is not healthy. Don't listen to it. Tell your therapist everything.

Please. I really can't emphazise this strongly enough.
I'm very open with my therapist and the suicidal ideation was more of a problem last summer. It's been persistent and Lori knows that, but we don't make it the focus because if you get stuck on just that, you never really deal with what is driving it. So we talk a lot about letting go, moving on, reclaiming my power and drawing strength from my past when I was stable and healthy and so I know I can, in time, get back there.

I don't want to make suicide a topic here either. It's not a huge issue right now and, as I said, I'm not impulsive, I don't want to hurt my friends and brothers, I don't believe I have the right to make that decision - so yes, I think about it at times, but that's about it. The day that I read the police report, I was a mess ..... couldn't work that day and did end up calling someone (anonymously from my car) and working through some of that pain. It was quite helpful.

I appreciate your concern and support so much. All of you! You've given me some hope and even though I don't see myself stamping anytime soon, I will not completely liquidate my stamp room just yet. I have about 5 years to retirement, at which time I will downsize everything (not just stamping) and hope to move back to Holland, MI where I am from. For now, I LOVED the suggestion to keep the sets that I love the most. That will be most of my PTI sets and Our Daily Bread and Taylored Expressions. I am ready to let EVERYTHING Stampin Up go - except maybe a handful of sets. Since I was a demo, and the women who hurt me the most are demos, I really do want it out of my house. Even if I just box it up and take it to the garage for a year, I want it out of sight. I LOVE my sets with coordinating dies and if and when I liquidate, my Rototrim and Big Shot will be the last two things that I sell.

I have sold on Ebay quite a bit. I've sold a ton of sets for the 'friend' who has been gossiping so much and taken no commission. I've done it for others too. Maybe I'm an idiot but I love to help my friends and so I've done that a lot. I've also sold some of my own stuff. This Christmas I was THRILLED to sell most of my SU Christmas sets on Ebay and most of them went for considerably more than I paid for them. Can't beat that!! Other sets don't go for that much but in some ways, it's easier than having a garage sale and certainly draws a wider audience. So I may start doing more of that, and then try some of the kits I mentioned. I will take it slow.

I also know I can continue to come back here and re-read your notes of encouragement and support - and believe me, I will do that!!! I've done it about 50 times already. If there are people who feel I'm dumping TMI, they can move on to another thread. (I try to tell myself that!) This place, right here, right now, is a balm that I can almost physically feel soothing me when I cry (which I do a lot!!) so thank you, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart. All of you!!!! You're a group of special, and precious ladies.

Right now I need to get moving and deal with the SNOW and ice in my driveway! Ugh! We've had three weeks of grey, cloudy and mostly cold weather with at least one more week of that ahead. I am SOOOOO ready to see the sun shine. My tulips are up and I'm anxious for the trees to bud and the sun to shine .... oh, and no more of this CRAZY wind, please! That will sure give me a lift. We'll get there - eventually.
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Unread 04-26-2017, 03:57 AM   #38
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I was going to make the same comment as Rachelrose.
Talking with your therapist is your safe place. She has to know how you are feeling in order to help you.
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Unread 04-26-2017, 05:15 AM   #39
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Beth, I am sad alongside you and as a pastor's wife especially sad that the church has let you down. I have not experienced anything like what you have, but did go through a sudden, out of nowhere implosion of the vendor booth shop where I had a card rack. The hurt of "friends" turning nasty and even calling the police too was hard to handle. I pulled down the rack and bagged up all my beautiful cards and grieved. I stopped making cards pretty much and my stamping room which had been such a joy to me was no longer a haven but rather a reminder of the hurt. My DH had bought me a Journaling Bible for my birthday but I hadn't picked it up and started yet so that's what has pulled me back into finding joy in my crafting. I haven't been able to go back to using my stamping room yet, but my neighbor was throwing out a piece of furniture that has drawers and shelves and I rescued it to hold some supplies upstairs and that has become my hub. I am finding it very healing to pour my creativity into worship. I have even been able to combine it with participating in challenges here which had been a big part of my life too. Eventually I hope to get back to joy in all of it but am content with where God has me for the moment. The hurt is still there....I have to drive past the shop all the time and fb keeps giving me memories from pictures I had posted for the store. Recently sone of the vendors have started up another smaller venture and no one contacted me which brought up the hurt again, but I didn't get into the same deep hurt as the last time. All this to say, perhaps you might enjoy getting started with Bible journaling. I haven't needed to buy much other than clear Gesso and the Bible but have been putting my stamping supplies back into use. I am in a fb group that gives me inspiration and encouragement and that has been good too. I will pray for you that God can restore joy in your life in some form and that you can find friendship and support in a new way.
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Unread 04-26-2017, 05:55 AM   #40
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Beth, I am sad alongside you and as a pastor's wife especially sad that the church has let you down. I have not experienced anything like what you have, but did go through a sudden, out of nowhere implosion of the vendor booth shop where I had a card rack. The hurt of "friends" turning nasty and even calling the police too was hard to handle. I pulled down the rack and bagged up all my beautiful cards and grieved. I stopped making cards pretty much and my stamping room which had been such a joy to me was no longer a haven but rather a reminder of the hurt. My DH had bought me a Journaling Bible for my birthday but I hadn't picked it up and started yet so that's what has pulled me back into finding joy in my crafting. I haven't been able to go back to using my stamping room yet, but my neighbor was throwing out a piece of furniture that has drawers and shelves and I rescued it to hold some supplies upstairs and that has become my hub. I am finding it very healing to pour my creativity into worship. I have even been able to combine it with participating in challenges here which had been a big part of my life too. Eventually I hope to get back to joy in all of it but am content with where God has me for the moment. The hurt is still there....I have to drive past the shop all the time and fb keeps giving me memories from pictures I had posted for the store. Recently sone of the vendors have started up another smaller venture and no one contacted me which brought up the hurt again, but I didn't get into the same deep hurt as the last time. All this to say, perhaps you might enjoy getting started with Bible journaling. I haven't needed to buy much other than clear Gesso and the Bible but have been putting my stamping supplies back into use. I am in a fb group that gives me inspiration and encouragement and that has been good too. I will pray for you that God can restore joy in your life in some form and that you can find friendship and support in a new way.
Wow - your story may not be as complicated as mine, but you've experienced all of the same betrayal, emotion, pain and slowly working your way back. You've given me hope. Thank you so much for sharing!!
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