I'm by no means a rocket surgeon (that's a joke, really), but I do know a few things. I'd like to take this time to teach my readers some things as well.
Why did I decide to be a teacher tonight? Because while interneting I received an email alerting me to a comment on an older post, a much older post, talking about my problems with my relatives. Let me copy & past this comment for you all, which was left on this post:
Do you know what slander is? You need to remove these comments about my family immediately or I will obtain a lawyer. I will not stand by and let you insult my family. Consider yourself warned. Stop using your loss as an excuse for you bad behavior in all of this.
Now first, I thought my official response would be to post a link so they could be RickRolled. But I decided to respond this way instead. Lessons.
That is almost as funny as the anonymous email I received on my private, family only email (read: only my dad, grandparents, & some of my husbands family has it) when we announced I was pregnant with Joel, telling me my husbands family all knew I was tricking him into getting me pregnant, that one day my children would hate me because they would see "the truth" about me, as would he & when he finally left me they'd all enjoy it greatly.
Yes, I really got that email. I deleted it...oh, no, wait, I forwarded it to Adam so I bet it's in my sent items. Let me retrieve it really fast. I know I could just delete this convo with myself, but why bother? This is how my mental processes work, people. Here is the email:
Date: Friday, September 26, 2008, 1:31 PM
This is just to let you know something that I think in the back of your head you already know. No one buys it. They all know what you are. And eventually he will, too. Ripping people apart always comes back on you, coming between others does as well. Using babies to trap someone won't get you very far in life either. So be aware that while people continue to be nice to you, everyone is just waiting for it to happen. Because it will. And once you're out of the picture you've created and seem to think you control, everything will be alright again. I guess you should just ask yourself, will you? Maybe in the short term you will, but eventually your son will figure it out as well, how he doesn't have a family because of you. And same goes for the next child that you've manipulated your way into having, they will figure it out as well. And they will look at you and see what everyone else sees. So enjoy your life now, because when it falls apart everyone else will enjoy that.
So obviously, I'm kinda use to anonymous crazy ass messages.
But I want to teach everyone some other things.
First & foremost, I'm not scared by some lame ass comments on the interwebz. I find that if you have to threaten me without using your name & via a public forum, you don't really have the ability to just go out & hire the lawyer you're threatening. It's called "all talk, no action." If you really mean business, I think you go & do it. But maybe that's just me, maybe I'm weird.
Something else...lawyers are really expensive. And this wouldn't be a case like if you slipped & fell into a pile of watermelons at the local grocery store because they didn't clean up a spill, leaving you with a bruise & now you want to sue for a million bucks. In those cases, lawyers know you'll win because everyone settles every lawsuit & because of that, they are OK with working for free until you get a settlement. Slander? Not so much. If you actually got someone to take a case for slander when no names or any actual identifying information is given (which I'll get to shortly), they are going to want a nice, large, retainer fee on top of any other fees that would get in process of the case. I doubt people making these threats have that much money to throw into the air. I don't either, but hell, with as much support we've gotten from people online & other friends, I bet I could set up a legal fund through paypal. I know alot of people would love to say they had a hand in taking on this situation as well. I could just go into court by myself & laugh right along with whatever judge this would come across as they dismissed it.
And to answer the question the good commenter...uh...commented, yes, I do know what slander is. Do you know what slander is? Because I don't think you do considering you think you can get a lawyer & sue me for it. Let's look up slander, shall we?
In the United States certain facts must be established for someone to be found guilty of slander. Assuming there is proof that the defendant uttered the alleged statement, the statement must be overheard by someone other than the subject or other “privileged” parties. Slander must also clearly identify the party, and the intent must be malicious.
See that bold part? That's where the slander problem comes up. I have never ever said any names in any of my "slander." I cannot slander an anonymous person. No one knows the names of any people I refer to, not even my best friends because they don't even care.
It also means...
A false and malicious statement or report about someone.
Prove anything I've said false. You may have a different view of it, but you can't look anyone in the face & say none of it happened.
My dear friend, Liz, looked up things & found this. I share it because I think it works wonderful with the situation. Just a FYI for anyone who wants to try to sue me for "slander":
Not all derogatory speech is defamatory, however, and not all lies that are posted on the internet are actionable. True statements and pure opinion that does not imply false fact are legitimate defenses to a defamation action. You should have an attorney review the complaints made to see if, first, you have any action and, second, if you do have an action, to see if the action is worth pursuing. Defamation lawsuits are expensive, especially when they involve anonymous posters on the internet, and you should have demonstrable reputational injury and a solid case before proceeding."
Again, that's just a FYI.
Personally, I think the contacts I've received fall under the category of harassment.
Criminal harassment is defined as "engag(ing) in intentional conduct which the actor [harasser] knows or has reason to know would cause the victim, under the circumstances, to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated; and causes this reaction on the part of the victim.
I think threatening to sue me causes me to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, AND intimidated!
OK, not really, but mine makes more sense than "slander." Plus, I'm not a big cry baby about the interwebz.
And as far as me "using" my dead son...I won't even dignity that one with a comment. I will say not to talk about my dead son though, he's been dead for almost 6 months now, no one cared when I was pregnant so I don't think his death means you have the right to talk about him or mention him in any way, shape, or form. Oh, how about this comment...stop using my dead son as some passive aggressive way to hurt me. It doesn't even work, it just makes me roll my eyes really.
OK, so I guess I did dignify that with a comment.
Finally, if you really want to spew your opinion, it's easy. Go here. Unlike a lawyer, it's free. Just don't slander me.
And oh, fuck it, click here while you're at it.
That Rick Astley, he's got red hair. OMG, that wasn't slanderous, was it?! Eek!
My best piece of advice is cheer up. If I can cheer up, anyone can. And use google to find out if your threats are possible before throwing them around.
Oh yeah, we're doing great, thanks for asking! Thanks for the congrats on the new baby, very nice of you. Jules is doing good as well. We're both in grad school so we're busy, plus we're planning a trip to Las Vegas after Thanksgiving. We're so busy! But, again, we're doing great & I thank you for asking. I know you didn't flat out ask, but I'm sure you just forgot in your frustrated sounding message to me. So I decided to just read between the lines. :)
Thanks for reading,
The Interwebz Lady