In early 2006, I learned of a local online forum and began to participate. It was fairly small, but many issues of interest to me were under discussion so I joined in. Just a simple act that millions do every day, ’round the world.
A woman I’ll refer to from here on as Medusa ran this forum. I am going to start my story at the time I began participating in her forum in order to give some important background information that you will see pop up in her comments over the course of the years. So please bear with me as I run through the circumstances that led into the cyber stalking and harassment that has yet to end.
I participated in Medusa’s forum anonymously for several months and began to learn more about goings-on within the city I reside. There were many concerns regarding issues we were facing, many of which came out of city hall. This eventually led to talk of a recall of the then-mayor. As time passed, talk was turned to action and a group was formed to proceed with a recall attempt. It is important to note that I was NOT a member of this group at this point in time. In addition, I was not politically savvy, nor radical by any stretch.
As I was just about to graduate from a 2 year course in web design and development, I offered to create a web site for the group if they wished to have one – at my own expense. I felt it would be a good experience for me to work with others on a project, plus I was eager to lend a helping hand to what I felt was a worthwhile cause.
I had been doing nothing but studying, working and attending weekly church services for many years. My focus was on building a new career for myself. While studying and hard work have their rewards, doing nothing but can also be quite isolating – I wanted to fix that. It was time to reach out and meet new people. Plus, my studies were finally coming to an end, which gave me the time to embark on this new journey.
My offer to create the web site was well-received. In fact, the enthusiasm fired me up to get going. I shut off the phones, dug in and in a few days had a nice rough draft for the site design. I registered the domain name and told everyone we were ready to go live whenever they gave me the content they wanted on the site.
It was time to divulge my identity. I began this process by confiding in a local talk radio host I felt I could trust. Naturally people were curious who this mystery gal was, and I certainly understood. Plus if we were to work together, we would need to be in touch with one another, so I knew it was important but wasn’t sure how to best go about “outing” myself. This talk show host, who’s first name is Nick, told me when the next meeting would be and, understanding my shyness, offered to attend with me.
I took Nick up on his offer, the night arrived and Nick introduced me as the web designer of the recall site. Everyone was so kind and so seemingly happy with my willingness to play this role that I left there feeling very humbled and very grateful to God for bringing me to that place, at that time, where I met what I thought to be some of the best people to have ever crossed my path in this crazy life.
We all worked splendidly together. There was group of about 6 that I worked the closest with. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses and immediately began to get enough content together for the web site so as to get it online.
On May 19th, 2006, we went live. And it drove a stranger nuts. This stranger is Medusa.