Drama and response triggers – how do you handle them?

I had a disturbing day yesterday, full of drama.

Being a part of an online community, all kinds of crazy things can happen. Most of them good, but every now and then, some “not so good” drama happens. Yesterday was one of those times.

As I said the other day, I started my own group to help bring other “over 50 year olds” together so we can get to know each other and grow our Instagram accounts. It took off immediately and I was overwhelmed with requests and questions.

I’ll admit I loved every minute of it. I’m okay with questions and helping and trying to figure out this crazy social media world. What I wasn’t prepared for was someone who didn’t like the way I was running things.

From day one, she was upset and no matter what I, or other members tried she was unhappy. I found myself spending hours everyday trying to fix it for her, only to have the same issue the next day.

Have you ever had to deal with an online troll? Or unwanted drama? How do you deal with it?

She finally got so irritated with me; she insulted me…publicly…on my group page. This was after eight days of banging my head against the wall. So I removed her from my group.

Little did I know that would only make things worse.

How we react to others, and to situations, is a direct reflection of ourselves. I must have triggered some fight response in her, and she sparked a response in me as well. So I spent the day trying to figure out what she triggered in me.

When I talked to John about it, he asked what I thought it was. My first response was: “I’m not good enough”. So here I sit at my computer, writing it out to see what’s revealed.

“I’m not good enough.”

What does that statement mean? My best guess is, coming from a poor family, I heard that more often than I care to remember.

“Get out of my store with your dirty feet, I know you don’t have any money”. That was shouted at me a few times while I was trying to go into the “Five and Dime” as a kid. We were also the family that received the donation baskets at Christmas time, instead of the ones giving.

But that’s not really a big deal, right? There has to be more to this.

I don’t remember any of my grade school teachers…not one. So they probably didn’t have much of an impact on me.

I do remember my kindergarten teacher though. Not her name, just that she spanked me and put me in time out in the tiny mudroom we hung our coats up in. Man did that make my Mom mad! She could spank me, but by golly no one else better.


Thinking back, I can recall other times I didn’t feel good enough. I felt like this in my first marriage. Probably why even after 18 years, it couldn’t last.

I feel this way with other people too. Like somehow, I don’t measure up to their expectations of me. I’m not sure why I even care.

I just know I do.

This person continued to gaslight me in other groups and I let it get to me more than I care to admit. I can’t change how she responds to me, only how I respond to her and the situation.

I also can’t take responsibility for how she handles her triggers….but that’s a ‘whole-nother’ thing I’m working on.

Reader Comments

  1. Candi Randolph

    Loretta, I’m so sorry this happened to you. I admire everything you’e done to create this group, and I also follow your blog. There is always going to be someone who doesn’t agree, who wants to stir the pot, and sometimes they get the best of us. But you know who you are and the value that you have. No one can take that from you.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you Candi. I believe she is a good person who somehow had her emotional triggers pulled. I would have preferred she reach out instead of lash out, but we all have the flight/fight/freeze triggers. I felt bad, most of the day, for her. Then I remembered I can’t fix anyone but myself. I appreciate your support and kindness.

  2. Diane

    Loretta-I can so relate to what you have been thru. I am very familiar with the term ‘white trash’. Growing up, I suffered almost every abuse there is–physically; mentally; verbally. I was married for 17 yrs to my high school sweetheart. His family let me know straight up verbally and with a beating that I was not good enough to marry him. 17 yrs later after trying so hard to prove that I was ‘good enough’ and working my rear off and losing my ‘spark’ and losing touch with my sweetheart, we were divorcing. He told me that one of the reasons why he left me was that I had bigger balls than he did-‘how do I compete w/that Diane’? I still have that same thought-I’m not good enough; smart enough; etc. You slammed it home for me! I need to work on this. Know that what you are doing is helping someone. But most of all it is helping you to grow and blossom. While you learn and grow, you take that and generously teach us who are receptive. Our hearts have to be open to receive what you have to give. Not everyone’s heart is open. Continue what you are doing Loretta and do not let anyone steal your sparkle. Hugs my friend.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Diane, thank you for such a heartfelt response. It choked me up…

      I believe unless you’ve been through some of what you and I have, it’s difficult to understand. But, I also believe there are many of us out there. And I’m glad by being vulnerable and sharing myself is helping someone. Thank you dear.

  3. Hilda Smith

    Ah Loretta..do not let this get to you. You are a wonderful person and so kind. What you have taken on is a huge workload, particularly when you have to help tech idiots like me. Did I say thank you? Thank you and hugs xx

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you Hilda. I so appreciate our friendship.

      And, you are welcome! I am here to help get us all going on this crazy social media ride.

  4. Dawn

    So sorry! There’s nothing wrong with having a good heart! Even at our age, we struggle with setting limits. It’s a lifelong process 💋💋dd

  5. Kerry LifeandLoves

    Oh Loretta I am so sorry that you had that from someone. You have it right, you cant control other people, only your response to them, but it can still make you feel rubbish. Two and a half years ago I had something happen to me that left me at rock bottom. It left me feeling worthless, that I had deserved it, that I was a bad person. It totally wrecked my self esteem and resulted in a mini breakdown. I have had a battle and a half to work through it, and I have mostly, but I still get that niggle of “Im not worthy” sometimes. All I can offer as advice is to remove anything that is toxic or negative from your life. It does not make you a bad person looking after you. Much love xxxx (sorry for the ramble, I just want you to know your fab)

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you dear Kerry. I love your blog and can tell your heart is always full of love and kindness. I can’t imagine anyone ever hurting you… 🙁

  6. Lisa Stowe

    This woman obviously resurrected things for you, but…she’s at fault here, not you. The only ‘good’ takeaway is that it’s having you look at things for your own personal growth, but that woman! Nothing you could have done would have been good enough, even if you were perfect. It’s all on her. You were right to send her on her way. She can go spread her trail of trolling and destruction elsewhere. Do what you need to move past this but remember, you are good enough. And when you learn how to believe that statement, let me know so I can figure it out, too! I don’t think any of us ever feel we are good enough. I think the issue is realizing how to be ‘good enough’ within ourselves, to find the happiness we want in life. If our measuring stick is the opinion of others, we’ll always come up short. And in the meantime, good riddance to bad rubbish as my grandmother used to say. I wonder if your group needs some sort of moderator guidelines that people need to agree to before joining.

  7. Christy B

    It’s tough online with all the personalities we come across… Most are positive but some really can get to us in a negative way – if we let them. Don’t give her that power ♥

  8. Wendy Allott

    That’s so hard, what happened to you. When it happens to me, I try to remind myself that it says more about them, than me. But that’s not always easy and that feeling of failure and disappointment can be stick. Take care of yourself and your good heart.

  9. Patti Karshis

    Loretta you are one of the strongest, toughest, non-whiniest persons I know!! You are good enough and so smart to have figured out how to even create and organize this group! Dang people can be so persnickety- like you said, their prob not yours ❤️

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you Patti. I appreciate that and getting to know you. We are here to support each other! (not tear each other down 🙁 )

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thanks Shelley. I do understand that, but isn’t it crazy how we can still let this kind of thing get to us?

  10. Synergy

    Loretta you’re beautiful….and the struggles you started at a young age have allowed you to mature into a fine woman, caring and companionate to others. So pleased to be in the InstagramOver50 group I’m sure we can all draw strengths from each other! Onwards and upwards <3

  11. Victoria

    It is hard to outgrow a bad childhood. I was also raised very poor and at one point I didn’t feel worthy but the older I have gotten the more I have moved away from that. We live in an entitled society nowadays and with the anonymity of the internet, people can be vicious. On the other hand, I have to say sometimes my buttons can be pushed for no real apparent reason but this is face to face I can’t imagine being rude to someone on their own page. I knew about the over 50 Instagram but I don’t use Instagram so didn’t check it out.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you Victoria, I so appreciate your response. I know very few people who were as poor as we were, and it’s hard for some to relate. I too have grown to understand my worthiness…but find it interesting that it can still be touched at times.

  12. Suzanne Smith

    It’s amazing how we carry our stories around with for so many years! I love that you were able to talk about this and recognize what happened. This kind of inner work is difficult, but so important. Thanks for sharing…you are helping others by doing so!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Suzanne, thank you kindly for this. I love reading and following along with your blog and SM platforms. You are always so kind and supportive. And REAL! Love that.

  13. Mary D.

    I was saddened to read this, Loretta. Having never really overcome the feeling of unworthiness, I enjoy reading about all your adventures and the self-confidence that prove you have overcome so much. Your willingness to share, including the ups and downs, and the acceptance that has followed you is a testament to the great strides you have made. I, too, can be flying high in what is going on in my life, feeling every bit a victor, just to have someone say something that takes me back to that poor, worthless child, a victim of one parent who was mentally ill and the other, an alcoholic who spent a few years in prison who I only saw a few times in my life. While I realize that I cannot control what others say or do that make me feel small, what I could control, if I knew how, is how negatively it effects me. At my age, I’m not sure the damage can be undone, but I will go to my grave knowing that I survived the best I knew how. We are survivors by just making it to where we are in our lives and we did it without what so many had and took for granted!!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Mary, thank you for this wonderful comment. So many of us have these feelings of unworthiness, and sharing it and talking about it, gives it less power and control over us.

      I love what you said….that you will go to your grave knowing that you survived … And may I add, thrived too. We are survivors, you and I.

  14. Dianna

    Wow Loretta! I am so sorry this happened to you. I think we have all at one time or another had to deal with the keyboard bullies. I think it helps to do as you have done and realize that you can’t control other people’s actions, only how you respond to them. I have told my kids that for years! It still hurts though. We want people to like us and we work toward that goal, but honestly, some people aren’t going to like us and we will never know the reason. We just have to remember that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank yo Dianna, well said. The main reason I started my blog was to figure out what makes us tick and think and do the things we do. It’s all a process, right?

  15. Brenda Noble

    I’m sorry you went through this Loretta. You became a victim in this and it conjured up other past situations where you were also a “victim and a survivor”. Your current situation borders on cyberbullying. Just as in other bullying situation, the bully gets worse when removed from the situation. You are empowered in this. It is your blog and you are in control of this…as well as your overall reactions. Don’t feel guilty for distancing yourself from someone who is negative, disrespectful, verbally abusive and who makes you feel emotionally upset and distraught. The fact that she went on to blast you on other sites validates your decision to remove her from your blog.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Brenda, thank you so much for this. So well said. I didn’t even think about the bullying aspect, but you are absolutely right.

      Thank you, thank you.

  16. Clare Hannant

    I was thinking it takes real compassion and empathy to recognise both your own triggered situation, and that of the other person… so many people would go into automatic defensive mode rather than step back to reflect on the experience. Children who are treated badly, made to feel ‘less than’ so often will do anything to try and make the situation OK, to behave in a way that’ll prevent them feeling the pain of being humiliated or hurt again- it doesnt work awfully well, but goes a long way to creating people pleasing behaviours that can hang around for a lifetime. Of course, I don’t know if that resonates with you, but what struck me here is that you gave this person eight whole days of your time and attention! You created this online, virtual meeting space, and you can invite people in, or ask them to leave. Strikes me this person was trampling over your personal boundaries, asking for more than was reasonable, and you’d have been entitled to tell her that she was not a good fit for the community you are building, wish her well in finding what she’s looking for, and move on. There are very many people who love what you’re doing, focus on them, and let go of what doesn’t serve you well- it’s really OK to do that!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Clare, what a wonderful well thought out comment. I so appreciate this. I still look back and think I could have handled it better. But, it’s done now and time to move on, as you say. Thank you again.

  17. Leslie Clingan

    Girl, look at all the love you’ve been surrounded by and shored up with! You are loved and this one particular person who caused your sadness loved you, too, or wouldn’t have wanted to be a part of your Instagram/FB group. She is probably just insecure herself and a little jealous of your success.

    Years later, after my 1990 divorce from my daughters’ father, I still replay some of the awful things he did and said. And that self-doubt creeps back in. Such a shame that hurt can stay with us so long. Hope you will tuck into your heart all of the love showered on you in these comments. XO

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you Leslie…you are always so encouraging and positive, and I so appreciate that.

      Isn’t it so true about that dang self-doubt ….

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