I want everyone to know something very important about myself and MySaline.com. I've been saddened and angered to see the behavior that has come out here in grown adults. Bickering, name-calling, lies and other childish and downright evil character has become
what many people think about when they hear the name "MySaline.com."
This website is something I've worked hard on for nearly five years. I've made it into something that people already know about before I can tell them. It's made me a local celebrity. People greet me all the time now and I have no idea who many of them are. This might sound cool and exciting, but as soon as someone speaks about what's happening on the site, it's all about...
I don't know if this is going to make sense to you, or if you'll even read this, given that you're either one of the people guilty of this behavior or you're one of the people avoiding the site because of that behavior... But here goes.
As alluded to above, MySaline is my baby. I've spent countless days and nights - and overnights - feeding it, teaching it to walk and talk and cleaning up after its messes. I got my baby to a point where I didn't have to watch her every second. She was able to feed and dress herself and be rather independent. I was the proud parent for some long time.
Now what's happened is comparable to a stranger coming in and pushing drugs on a child. The parent's efforts don't have the same effect on the child. The child pulls away and becomes engulfed in the new culture of poor decisions and regrettable consequences that come with her new habit. A terrible, sad and hurtful habit, both to herself, her parents, and to society in general.
You want to raise your child to be a healthy, positive contributor to society. You want her to be successful and beautiful in as many ways possible. When find that your child is on drugs, you feel that you've lost her. You feel you've failed her. You'll do whatever you can to bring her back. The damage is done and you can't undo it, but there is something a parent can do.
This is the hard part. You have to strip away the things that are harming her, but she's addicted to them. You have to separate the child from the drug and watch her scream and cry and shiver through detox. I will also compare this to having to make that painful incision in surgery in order to get the tumor out from under the skin. The tumor that's consuming your child's flesh.
I'm speaking in parallels because this is one of the more difficult things I've had to write. I need desperately for you to understand what's about to happen. Moreover, I need your help in deciding what should happen next. I've paused and breathed deep and walked away a couple times and come back to this writing since eight o'clock this morning. We don't always get to say exactly what we mean, but I'm putting my best into this.
You know that I have allowed anonymous members on MySaline.com because there are some things that must be said. Many times, the person who must say what must be said will become someone with something to lose after they have said it. This is the only reason I have allowed it. What's happened is that certain members have taken that freedom and run in a full-blown, no-holds-barred direction akin to dropping a piano on the sidewalk to kill a weed.
Last night, a longtime MySaline member that I call friend asked me a simple question: [paraphrased] "Has everyone on MySaline gone flat crazy?!" Next, another friend and member since forever expressed how awful it is on MySaline, particularly close to election time and she hasn't checked in for a while. Then, still another friend who's been a member from nearly the start said that he hasn't been on in a long time. He didn't say why, but I know. These remarks from good and trustworthy friends cut me. I felt at that moment like I wanted to delete every member who didn't put their name behind what they say. For a few minutes, this really was my decision. Luckily for you and for me, my very best friend called and interrupted my thought process.
So here's what's going to happen. I'm going through the site today - yes, on election day, of all days - and I'm deleting the troublemakers. You've seen me make several appeals over the months and years for members to read and take care to follow the site agreement. It's so very simple, and yet people don't do it. Some people even say they are following it - or after I've messaged them to talk about it they say they'll do better to follow it. They aren't. They just aren't. I say "they" because I'm assuming at this point that the troublemakers have stopped reading. So here goes.
I'm certain this move will provoke much fork-tongued backlash to show up in my inbox... From the people who never cared that this isn't just any website. It. Is. My. Baby. MySaline.com has got the heart of the close-knit community of Saline County in it. That's you and me. This site is no longer a hobby for me - I've quit my day job and benefits and regular paycheck to turn the crank on this ice cream maker until it no longer makes ice cream. Or until nobody is left that likes ice cream. The name "MySaline" is now synonymous with "Shelli Russell," my own name my parents gave me. I want my family to be proud of that name; proud to speak of what I do.
So if you're with me, I'll need your help. I'll need you to give me suggestions about what the site needs. I'll need folks who care to get together in person on a regular basis and discuss what's working, what isn't, and what's next for MySaline... your watering hole, your history book, your go-to for community questions and more. All these members aren't for nothing. Let's make MySaline.com fun, informational, easy, and hate-free.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're in for any of that last paragraph. I'll add you to the MySaline Army and after the election tonight and after the Freedom of Speech Rally June 1st, we'll rock the snot out of this bad boy.