Thanks for your honest response, I appreciated it. I was mostly confused by your reply, as much of what I do in my everyday life and "job" is advocate for, and support, those with chronic illness and disabilities. Obviously this passion and drive comes from my own personal experiences with chronic health related conditions.
My reaction was as such that I did not take into consideration the fact that you likely knew very little, if anything, about Aidpage, and the older/regular member's more recent experiences with scammers. There was a series of rather dramatic and pretty darn extensive scams. Many of which used the stories of very traumatic disabilities, chronic illness, as well as children as their cover, and shocking to many of us, they were not truths. Not only did some people lose hundreds, and a few, thousands of dollars, but even more painful, the emotional factor was huge. I witnessed a large number of regular members leave, stop trusting others and reaching out, become cynical and unwilling to continue to listen to any people who claimed they were in need. One of the sad parts about all of this was that those who were/are truly suffering and in great need, are no longer considered for help by those who have something to give ... as a direct result of the heartbreaking series of scams. Just as people tend to get angry when someone uses a disability parking space when they're not truly disabled, this type of situation really got under my skin, but on a grander scale, as i saw all of those it hurt, along with the future losses for those who had yet to request help.
For all of us whom are disabled and endure any chronic illness, we already struggle enough in this life and have dealt some hands which seem so very unfair, and to be punished further seems so wrong, and maddens me deeply. When people utilize their children, or the "idea" of children, to induce sympathy and financial assistance, I am also extremely frustrated and saddened. Again, after witnessing a number of these type of scams here, and doing quite a bit of research on each person to prove it, I felt the need to say what I had been watching, and hopefully, open just one person's eyes to the deceit they were involved in.
I believe it's okay to speak about your personal disabilities and related medical/physical issues, while sometimes it can be counterproductive when the focus becomes entirely negative and not used in some positive way, all in all, I believe that speaking about such a subject that affects one's life so deeply is often very therapeutic and can actually create a more healthy emotional state, and therefore, a better physical state of being. If we sit in our "sh*t" so to speak, and constantly throw a pity party and use it as a crutch, very little good comes of our experiences and we only further burden ourselves and negatively alter our lives. But, I believe and feel that if we express our pain, frustration, triumphs, ... share it with others and actively seek out ways to find positive outlets, we can create a positive difference in our lives,and ultimately the world, with our given "disabilities." Such challenging a existence can become something very beautiful and purposeful. This is just my humble opinion and personal experience. And, after many years of internal battle, ups and downs (which are certainly normal for EVERYBODY, and definitely not limited to those with chronic health conditions), making mistakes and learning from them, has helped me to move forward and find a greater meaning in this life.
With all of that said, after reviewing all of the posts, both yours and mine, I believe that there was both some misunderstanding, as well as defensiveness from both parties as a result of those misunderstandings. Clearly you are very passionate about your beliefs, just as I am. And, because we are both disabled, and have experienced many things in relation to those respective said experiences, we have a great desire to speak up for those whom are often not "heard," and sometimes mistreated and misunderstood. Is this a fair statement?
While I no longer spend much time at all on Aidpage, I still have tremendous respect for those who remain on the site and work to help anyone seeking assistance. I'd like to think this is why the site was originally created, although I have had my doubts in the past year and have been greatly saddened by the rapid changes and loss of many wonderful contributors whom ultimately made this site what is was; a wonderfully supportive and helpful place to be. It seems as though you have come to this site with the intention and hope of helping others by way of using your own experiences, which is also conducive in healing any internal struggles one may be having themselves ... this has been my beautiful experience achieved through blogging here and other places. Hopefully that statement made some sense, as I am getting pretty tired and slap happy?
I would be interested to hear about your life experiences with chronic illness and disability, and would certainly be happy to share mine as well if you're interested. This is one of the reasons I blog online and have created my own blogs - so I may both connect with others, offer support and gain support (and hopefully gain more and more "healing"), share my stories and various experiences. Sometimes I help others, .. sometimes they help me ... and the best, we help one another. One thing I say over and over again (and I believe I said something along the same lines in one of the replies to you), is that while we can have empathy, compassion and relate to one another when we have similar experiences, is when it comes down to it, no matter how similar, we never know fully how someone else feels and what it's like to live in that person's body and life. Because of this fact, I try to stay away from any judgment in this realm, as I will never be able to put anyone else in my body to experience my pain and other struggles, just as I will never be able to literally feel another's experiences and pain, and therefore, can never say that one is worse, more dire, or less valuable than the other, period. Sometimes a conversation will begin through one of my blog sites, or through one of my pages on Facebook, or a related medical/health condition online support group, and both parties - myself included - will share their respective conditions, experiences and challenges. It makes me so sad when the other person decides in their own head that they are somehow not as worthy of empathy and compassion because their condition is somehow "less bad" ... By me sharing my story, this is never my intent. Rather, I do so to say, hey, I understand, I've been down a similar road and I am here to offer any support, even if it's just to be a person on the other side of the internet listening and truly "hearing," and therefore, validating your particular struggle. Yes, sometimes we hear about other's, and think my goodness, they have had it so much worse, how can I feel "bad" for myself. But, the thing is, our experience is just that, our own experience. No one else is in our body, and no one can dictate our pain and how we feel emotionally, physically, etc., And so, no one can put a title or score on your life experience and say one is worse or has been easier ... or that one is less valuable or real, period.
Anyway, I've completely gone off course with my post and so I'll finish it up for now. If you haven't noticed already, I tend to talk/write a lot, and so I do apologize for taking up so much of your time. I hope this message may further explain my reaction to your initial post, as well as better detailing the purpose for my first post about scammers. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this matter, and hopefully, it will only shine light upon both of our true intentions. Also, I don't share this last issue with you as an excuse, but rather, my hope is that it provides you a better sense of where I was coming from ... I have had a handful of experiences on Aidpage since joining in 2009, where I was literally verbally attacked by strangers for absolutely no apparent reason. I am a rather sensitive person and my intention is always to help others - it has been as far back as I can remember, as it pains me to see other suffer in any way, shape or form. While I new intellectually that these attacks were truly not about me per se, it didn't help telling myself so, as I was still deeply hurt that these people I never had previous contact with, nor had I ever spoken with afterwards, came after me for no reason and were so cruel. One of my repeated lessons in life has been about growing thicker skin, letting go of things that do not serve me - as they only further my general vulnerability towards illness, as I tend to manifest emotional things into physical - as well as not feeling guilty for both setting boundaries and standing up for myself. I must admit that sometimes my balance within this pursuit becomes off kilter at times and I go too far and become more defensive than I intend or desire. I hope that may bring more insight into my reactions to your posts as well.
Thanks again for taking the time to reply, and thank you for doing so in a respectful, honest and kind way. This shows great integrity and goodness .... something that seems less and less within this world as time passes.
Blessings to you, Cat