a cautionary blogging tale: is ignorance really bliss?

If you haven’t already, be sure to read the intro first.

*UPDATED: I have commented on the response to this post here*


Once upon a time, there was a blogger (Fantine), who had built a nice little home in the blogging meadow. She’d been through a rough period in her life and blogging had given her a spot to sort through it and figure things out.

She met many amazing, supportive women online; women who, like her, were raising small children or had already done that, and were willing to share their wisdom.

The internet meadow was beautiful.

Rainbows, sparkles, confetti and sunshine abounded.

One day, from out of the blogging forest, a blogger named BackStreet emerged. She was funny, charming and smart. They quickly became friends.

One conversation lead to another and soon, they were brainstorming names  and ideas for an online women’s magazine that BackStreet was wanting to start. Many play-date meetings took place at BackStreet’s home while they both worked hard on the magazine, hopeful that it would be a success and they would be set up in beautiful palaces within the Land of the Internets.

They knew they’d found their golden ticket.

For over a year, just about every waking hour was spent committed to seeing this happen. At the same time babies were nursed, children were schooled, babies were born, families were moved, dinners were prepared, sleep was back-burnered.

Early on, the discussion came up about making their partnership legal. After all, both of them had their fingerprints all over the project.

BackStreet said she would have her attorney draft papers that made Fantine a 50/50 partner, not just in name, but legally. They were both broke at the time, but Fantine completely trusted BackStreet, and was fine with waiting until it was financially feasible to have the papers drawn.

At some point, the decision was made that they would try to start a blogging conference to go along with the magazine. Earlier in the year, Fantine had met Fairy Godmother; someone who had a background in “the business”, and she introduced her to BackStreet as someone who might be able to advise or help them.

Despite the fact that Fantine started noticing less talk from BackStreet about “we” or “us” and more talk about “me” and “I” (clue 1) she focused on the goal, pushing aside concerns. She’d invested so much of her time and they were so close to making it.

Besides, BackStreet was her friend. She’d never had a friend like BackStreet. Ever.

Eventually, the conference went off very well [BackStreet and Fairy Godmother were the shining stars. (clue 2])

With the success of their mini-trial conference, the official one was on track for the following February, with the help of Fairy Godmother.

But conversations were happening  and decisions were being made without Fantine. There was a total disconnect between the public and private personas. (clue 3)

At the same time, crazy demands were being placed on her, followed by her loyalty and commitment being called into question.  The “we”s were starting to refer to BackStreet and Fairy Godmother… not BackStreet and Fantine. (clues 4, 5 and 6)

And so it continued.

Fantine was increasingly pushed aside, being moved further and further out of the picture. Having already invested so much into the projects and being so close to the goal, she struggled with what to do.

Fantine wrote up her thoughts on the pros and cons of walking away, so that she could talk with BackStreet.

After all, they were friends.

The conversation never happened. There was a confrontation on another issue; Fantine expressed her grievances, offered to stay through the conference and in the end, was told that, due to the grievances she’d expressed, she could not be trusted and that all she had ever been was “just an employee”.

Their working relationship ended that day. So did their friendship.

In the end, Fantine was shown something that shook her to the core: an email from earlier on in the project in which BackStreet stated she didn’t have any intention of having legal documents signed.


So. There it is.

Even now, as I read this, I struggle with frustration. With anger. With jealousy.

All of this over a community whose mission statement was about empowering women. Helping them find their happiness.

I’ve struggled with the fact that from a business perspective, it happens every. flippin‘. day.

Every day, people make decisions that are “business, not personal”.

And this, apparently, was what my cautionary tale boiled down to from the outside.


So get over it.

But it’s not.

Because in the end, I think what I suffered with the most…

…even more than being stripped of something I’d invested an enormous amount of time and creativity into.

… even more than seeing the other person go on and get the praise, recognition and applause…

was the loss of so many other friendships.

People suddenly had no need for me. My twitter stream screamed with silence. My inbox sat nearly empty.

I experienced grief.


The very community that I was trying to help lift up and promote and empower turned their back on me for standing up for myself.

I made people uncomfortable just by my presence. So I was avoided.

No one wanted to reach out to me in public, for fear of ruining their own chances of success.

So, what the heck did I learn?

Where is the moral to all of this… my cautionary tale?

It’s this:

The moment you put your hopes and dreams into the hands of others, you screw yourself.

I gave all control over to someone else.

I take total ownership of that.

So much did I want this, that ultimately, I allowed my own dreams to become blended and co-opted by someone else. I helped make their dream come true while forsaking my own. I handed over control of my future and signed the check over to them.

I’m responsible for that.

Don’t do that to yourself.
Make your dreams your own.
Take charge of them.

Because honestly? I wouldn’t wish the last two years of trudging through this on anyone. Not even the other person involved. There is nothing pretty about it. No one likes a pity party. No one likes to be around someone who just sits in their own crap and misery.

So learn from me. Take my advice.

Do it your way. OWN IT.

*UPDATED: I have commented on the response to this post here*

(photo credit)


  1. Damn.

  2. And NOW you may go forth in peace. Xoxoxo

  3. Wow! Un-freaking-believable! Keep your head up Lady. You’re head and shoulders above those others. Damn.

  4. Keep doing your thing; now you’re a little wiser and won’t make that mistake again. People like that always show their true colors and will have judgement placed on them in time. True colors always shine through…

  5. I’m so glad you opened up and told this story. I broke ties long ago for my own reasons and am glad I did. Control freaks and liars are not my choice of company. I’d rather be an outcast than have to deal with backstabbing.

    I’m SO proud of you.

  6. I’m very proud of you. I know this was a hard post to publish. Now you can continue on to your bigger and brighter tomorrow.

  7. The blogging that speaks the most to me is that that is full of painful honesty. Thank you for writing this, Karla. I think more than anything else, the loss of a friend is what hurts the sharpest.

    I hate questioning why someone was even friends with me in the 1st place. Makes me think very poorly of them as a person. & the most insulting part of THAT is that it always makes me think less of myself, even though that’s not fair to me.

    How DARE you not expect the worst of people right off the bat? How awful of you. ;)

    Know that you are loved, near & far.

  8. Well, THAT has sucked mightily for a very long time, huh? I’m really very sorry that you had to go through all that.

    As I said before, I’ve never been precisely there, not playing that well with others, or so I’m told.

    However, I’ve seen the mentality of which you speak. Repeatedly. I’ve had some sad experience with it.

    Unfortunately even among Christians, and others who profess to be of good faith, and to be acting in good faith, the mentality of “looking out for number one” gets taken too far. I’ve been accused by closest family of being “generous to a fault” It was said as a compliment, but I clearly heard the admonition there to – “Look out for yourself, don’t be a chump”.

    I think your point & caution is entirely correct. I have played the chump too often. However, Now I do things a little differently. Now I give the extra intentionally, not through naivety, and I CHOOSE to whom, and how much I give, as you have learned to do. I’ve learned to put my Bull Shit detector on full scan more often.

    I think you & I both need to not give up on people in general(and I don’t think you have at all), even as we watch them and listen to them more closely than we used to, and with a sadly but necessarily more discerning eye & ear.

    Thank you very much for sharing this obviously painful and hard won post.

    May the Lord lift you up and keep you, make his countenance shine upon you, and give you Peace.

    Sincerely Your friend,
    john ross

  9. p.s. your time stamp is wonky. It’s 10:58 pacific time here, Thursday night.

  10. Perfect. I just had this conversation with a friend who is an established author. She is the only person I have met online (years ago) that I would ever, every trust with information about a project (see, I have to call it a project!) I am nearly finished with. She trusts me with news about her upcoming books. But we speak carefully…in code if it’s on a public forum….all because it’s a gnatty little world out there online. She’s the positive to all of the negative in a world where we have to watch our backs and, sadly, never share our big dreams until they have come to fruition for fear that someone might swipe them.

    I will never, ever partner with anyone on a project … or business. Legal documents mean nothing. People are not honorable so I will not take that risk. That may sound negative, but it’s clearly the truth.

    Those who pretend to adore you might want to swipe all you work so hard to achieve. Those who you lend a hand to often forget to say ‘thank you.’ I have many acquaintances and so very few true friends. I am completely content with that.

    Rock on, woman! This is a stellar piece. Trust is something we should not have to think twice about but in this age of people who pretend they are transparent but really aren’t, you need to look out for #1. You.

  11. Hi sweetie,
    I am so sorry for the journey you had to endure. It stinks, big time.
    People let us down, and it hurts like crazy, makes us wary of trusting again.

    Don’t let it hold you down. Please. You have too much to offer us. Me.

    You are a cherished member of my support staff.

    Never forget that :)


  12. http://Al_Pal says

    Sad. Great cautionary tale. Painful. “Make your own dreams happen” is a fabulous take-away.
    Thank you for speaking your truth.

  13. I’m really impressed that you wrote this. I know it had to be hard.

    I hope the truth does, in fact, set you free.

  14. I so admire you for this very painful and honest post. I know that it took guts. I’m glad you put it out there. I’ve experienced similar situations in my life and I know the hurt you were feeling. I wish you nothing but success and happiness in the future. :)

  15. Good for you, for finally writing this down. I know it wasn’t easy, but growing never is. Take a deep breath, step back, and relax.

  16. Whoa.

  17. http://Mary%20B says

    That was written so beautifully! Despite all the circumstances you have been through in your life you’ve always seemed to come through it with such dignity and perserverance.

  18. sadly the online world is a lot like the ‘greek’ societies on campus today, when you go against the grain you are blackballed. I big puffy heart that you were able to ‘tell the tale’ so to speak, yet I wonder if you’ll ever be able to let go until you confront the source of your sorrow and hurt. (read 12 steps, but its true). Ya know I love ya, big and indeed you have true friends who will stand by you..

  19. your honesty is amazing. i can’t imagine how hard this was to go through and how hard it was to write. however, there’s healing in transparency. things that are brought to the light are less scary than things that are kept in the dark. and i pray that you’ll see how not alone you are. you are wonderful, beautiful, smart, hilarious, and your kids have the coolest names on earth. :) i am blessed to call you a real life friend now. look forward to hanging with you more often – especially when i’m not on the “get to carpool” clock.

    i straight up adore you.

  20. Wow. I knew there was a mess behind it all, but I never really knew the story. No worries, girl. You’re loved by many!! :)

  21. Karla, I’m so glad you wrote this and shared your experience. I’ve been anxiously waiting for you to tell your heartbreaking story ever since seeing you post on FB that you were working on it. Keep your head up and be strong. (((Hugs)))

  22. Ugh. That’s just and absolutely awful, yet I’ve seen time and time again. Keep staying true to yourself, because that person will eventually reap what was sown. Besides, look at the partnership you have now! :-)

  23. i admire you so much for publishing this.

    i sincerely wish it brings you much needed closure and peace.

  24. I’m sorry you’ve been through this. :( I’m particularly sorrow that you were wronged ‘with intent,’ if that makes sense.

    I wonder what people who steal things (particularly intellectual property) tell themselves about it. Some people do that a lot. Me, I come from a long line of superstitious people. Even if I had that streak of “I’m entitled to whatever gets me to my goal,” which seems to have passed me by, I’d still be haunted by “I’d pay worse, in the long run.” So I tend to take evil wished upon me as “Oooh. Bad idea! That won’t work out the way you think.” And I invest my “credit” in the health of my family.

    Some blessings are pretty heavily disguised, aren’t they? Sux.

    Love coming from this wind’s quarter, honey.

  25. Karla, I know this must be a tough week for you, but I admire your honesty. It’s interesting to me how hard it is for my children to learn the tough lessons … but how much HARDER it is for me to learn new lessons as an adult. You don’t ever want your kids to be hurt, but on the other hand, it doesn’t get any easier to watch people go through painful trials, even when they’re older. I’m so sorry you had to go through all of this, but I am hopeful that there’s good to come out of it, even if it’s not completely obvious right this moment. Thinking of you!

  26. http://Darla says

    I’m so happy the chains of bondage are breaking free. I pray they continue to. We are brought to this world to be faithful; not necessarily successful. Now we see why…. cuz success is the easy part (like Dave Ramsey says, even a turkey can fly in a tornado :P ). Being faithful is quite an another.

  27. Glad you were finally able to share. I wondered why you disappeared from the scene so abruptly but didn’t feel like it was my place to ask what happened. I had a feeling it must have been painful when it seemed the friendship had ended when the partnership ended. I’m sorry.

    I parted ways with an online magazine much like you describe…I did a little writing for it. I provided them with free content – because I liked the women and I like to write. In return I received nothing and asked for nothing. It didn’t drive traffic to my personal blog but that wasn’t the point for me. Then I was told by this online magazine much like the one you describe that I wasn’t considered a full team member unless I put an ad on my blog for said online magazine. I didn’t want to. I don’t have ads on my blog. And I don’t discuss my marriage on my blog (my mother, my MIL, some of my husband’s coworkers, and I suspect my ex-husband read it – they don’t need to know about the details of my marriage) and marriage issues were what I was writing about. I didn’t hide the articles (they were published under my blog handle) but I didn’t make them easily found either. I didn’t want to make it a one click process for them to have that information. Those issues aside, I was providing them with FREE content and that were basically telling me it wasn’t valuable enough. My words, my articles weren’t valuable enough to consider me a full team member. Only if I provided them free advertising was I to be considered a full team member. In return for? Nothing. They tried to tell me it drove traffic to my blog. It didn’t – I track those things. But that wasn’t why I did it. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around why I should continue to give my time when it wasn’t appreciated and I was simply told I had to give more while still receiving nothing in return. So I walked away from the online magazine much like the one you’ve described.

    • Sounds slightly familiar. I was in from Day 1 with an online magazine which was turned into a huge site, first as a writer, then editor for the online mag. At one point I had asked about my editorial position and received no response. Next thing I knew, the mag was being published – completely without me. Yet no one ever contacted me in any way, shape, or form.

      I struggled with it for a time and wanted to blast the women who did it – or at least question them on it. But I decided that it really didn’t matter. They would be held accountable for their choice and I needed to move on. Bitterness would not benefit me. Forgiveness would.

      • Yikes…that is a pretty crappy thing to have happen!

        Fortunately, I’m not bitter or upset. I was surprised more than anything because of the empowering women bloggers theme. It was what it was. It wasn’t a situation I found fulfilling and the terms weren’t to my liking so I walked away. Apparently a lot of folks are happy with their situation with the online mag and cheers to them.

  28. karla,
    i knew you way back when/then and always loved checking in on you. i remember when all that was new and exciting for you based on your blog and i am so so sorry to hear that is what happened. unbelievable and shocking. it sounds like you have found some new wonderful happiness though.

  29. http://Kelly%20Springer says

    Any of us who have been around on the blogsphere KNOW who you are talking about. Am I allowed to say who it is? Oh crap- what do I care? It is Allison Worthington people. yeah. Blissdom my butt.

    Knowing that the origins of Blissdom were based on deceit kinda changes things doesn’t it? How another woman who claims to be an ethical ‘business woman’ could do this to a friend, and partner is beyond me. GREED and ARROGANCE come to mind.

  30. They don’t know what they missed, sister-friend. Maybe God spared you something rather than denied you something.

  31. You’ll never find me at Blissdom. Never.

  32. Oh Karla…I’m so so sorry. I understand completely the kind of grief that comes with pouring so much of “you” into something ministry related. Girl…I get it. I love your honesty and transparency. God will bless that. Just know that I love ya and so wish we could go eat and laugh and cry and hash it all out.

  33. Wow. Good for you for putting this out there ! Xoxo

  34. damn.
    i don’t know what magazine, what conference, i’m new here via @kimt205’s tweet, but i am sincerely sorry for the pain you experienced as a result of this so called friend. it truly sucks that you had to learn this lesson so painfully. that you had to learn it at all.
    sending peace and healing thoughts your way,

  35. and i was so upset at this post that i entered my email address wrong!

  36. Wow… just goes to show that there’s always two sides to every story.
    Glad you had the courage to post this.

  37. Ugh. Women really suck sometimes. I knew Alli way back when she started blogging(as in didn’t know WP from a hole in the ground) and she always seemed nice enough. Who knows, there are usually two sides to everything. That said, I REALLY feel for you over the hurt that comes with losing a friend. I went through a very nasty divorce, during which my online/offline supported me fully, right up until she decided that for whatever reason I wasn’t good enough to be her friend, and dropped me like a sack of potatoes. I had lost so much at that point that it was devastating, and I still am in shock that the same woman who took pictures of the bruises my ex gave me now doesn’t speak to me, but keeps contact with my ex. (She’s a mommy-blogger who professes her love of liquor and lives on an imaginary island, but recently took her blog offline, and that’s about as much as I need to say.)

    Women suck, but believe me you will come out stronger for it.

  38. I’m so sorry that this happened to you.

    I think similar things happen between women – online and offline – frequently. I’ve been on the receiving end more than once, and I felt the same way you did. It wasn’t the thing I lost that was so painful, but the loss of someone I thought was a friend. I hope that sharing your story brought you the closure and peace you needed, and that you’re able to move on from this to a bright future.

    Thank you for sharing your truth.

  39. I know your heart and I can only imagine how hard it was not only for you to go through this, but to summon up the courage to write about it. The online world can be a mean, cliquish world sometimes and you are very brave to share your truth in the midst of that.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you, but I think it speaks volumes about the person that you are that you are STILL coming out of it with a loving, positive heart and outlook and caring enough about other people to share a life lesson from it all.

    You are awesome and I am lucky to have you as my friend. <3

  40. http://@iGeekess says

    Fuck Blissdom. My gut always told me it was some shady business. You rock socks. Now, you move on and let it go. Easier said then done. This is not the end for you ma’am. No, it is not.

  41. Much love to you, Karla. :)

  42. Girl — this just breaks my heart. I understand deceit — not this type, but I do understand being used and manipulated, but don’t let it change WHO YOU ARE. This is the way I look at it, seems God knew this isn’t a good fit for you, for whatever reason and He removed you from it. I know it hurt and it’s painful… and it was just FLAT OUT WRONG, but He is still sovereign.

    I am glad I’ve connected with you — glad you’re here and I remember the first time I figured out you were in Bham — I was twittering about the Bham airport.

    I also know that God will use this story to help others — it’s just how He works things out.
    I think you’re wonderful!

  43. First, I want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry this happened to you. What a horrible experience.
    You completely did not deserve that.
    I was at the first Blissdom and kinda sat back and watched the dynamics go down and in the back of my head put the pieces together of, what ended up being, what the future held. It was easy to see for those not closely involved. And quite an interesting psychological case study. Unfortunately, the blogging world is full of these tales.
    Tales of the proverbial “mean girls”. Fame over friendship. It’s high school all over again.
    Hold your head high, Karla! You’re an amazing woman with incredible integrity and character.

  44. http://Michele says

    I remember that this story was told once to me in private, I’m as appalled now as I was then.

  45. Wow.
    That sucks so bad. I don’t know how I would handle that. I’m so sorry that you have to.

  46. I think you were incredibly brave to write this. I bet it feels like a ten thousand pound weight has been lifted from your shoulders.

    I got screwed over (on a much smaller scale) by someone too. And it sucks, especially when they act like they have no idea why you’re upset. It’s infuriating and drains your empowerment. I hope this gives you a little bit of that back. Onwards and upwards.

  47. Wow!

    I’m so sorry this happened to you Karla. I haven’t known you for a very long time, but I have known you long enough to know that you are an exceptional person and didn’t/don’t deserve being treated like this.

    What makes me even sadder is that this is not an unusual occurance. Women do this to one another constantly and I find that so heart breaking. Why must we tear each other down instead of helping to build each other up? Reading your post I was thinking back on situations I’ve gone through with friends that, although completely different in details, were completely the same in the emotion and hurt and betrayal…

    But you know what? I believe the bigger picture, for those of us who keep our head held high, take the high road, and take that pain and learn from it, is that in the end, we can’t lose. We may suffer, we may stumble along the way and hurt, but we can’t lose, because in the end, we know we didn’t purposely set out to hurt, screw over, deceive, and harm someone else. And Karma…well, she’s a vengeful and sneaky…well…you know…and they’ll get theirs, without any help from us.

    You’ve already risen above all this…even if it still hurts and angers you, and you’ve already come out the other side ON TOP of the world, LTLF. ;-)


  48. I read this last night just after you posted and wasn’t sure what to say. I knew something had happened when you were suddenly gone from the web site, but I had no idea. It took a lot of courage to post this and I hope that writing it all out will help you heal. It seems you have a lot of really great things in your future.

  49. I’m hopping over from Twitter because I’d gotten the gist that something was bothering you…I know, I get concerned for people I’ve never met and that’s weird but it’s who I am. ;o)

    Dreams, while sometimes fragile, have this amazing ability to morph, renew and transform into something beautiful and new. May this be so for you…maybe it’s already happened!

    Thank you for your honest words and advice that caused me to pause and think.

    Blessings to you, Karla.

  50. So sorry to hear that. God knows the truth though & I’m sure He has other great plans for the talents He’s given you. Bless you sweetheart.

  51. Hopefully getting this out will be enough to help you move on. Sometimes people and drama aren’t worth our thoughts, and IMHO, this is definitely one of those times.

  52. I’ve been acquainted with you for as long as most anyone else I follow on Twitter, Karla, and I’ve known a limited amount about the stuff you’ve been through — the good and the bad — over the past few years. However I never knew about this. I knew something had happened, but just not what it was about.

    Now that I do know, I’m really pissed.

    You are a wonderful, genuine person with a heart to match. Nobody should have to endure that kind of abuse. That you have, and consider yourself the stronger for it, is only more evidence of what you’re made of.

    Go forth and continue to be brilliant, Miz K. You are an inspiration.


  53. I just want to say that as hard as it is to know this happened, and as sorry as I am that you had to go through this, your perspective, at the end of it, is so affirming, hopeful. Own it. Do it for you. Heck yeah, woman. xo

  54. I just came across this blog from a friend. I just want to say how sorry I am. I have had smaller doses of this in communities with other women and it sucks. I never was in a partnership with them, but still…it sucks being jaded by other people. I can’t even imagine. I think its totally normal for you to be angry. I’m glad you are using your anger though to tell others about this. I think we all want to think that people are genuinely nice and care about us, but when it comes down to it, people are greedy and selfish. It’s in all of us to drift towards that nature. It’s kind of funny because I don’t tend to read blogs by other women as much. In fact, I drift towards men bloggers. I just often get screwed when I trust women with anything and men don’t seem to do that. They are pretty surfacy. That’s not to say I don’t read any women blogs because I do, but women can be downright nasty. Hang in there :)

  55. Words cannot begin to express how sorry I am that this happened to you, and I don’t even know you. A friend sent me here.

    I dealt w/ mean girls in elementary school, junior high, and high school, and after that I thought they’d disappear. But the truth is that mean girls never change. They will always be mean, even when they are adults.

    This sucks and I want to smack the bitches who did this—who took what was yours.

    I am glad you are sharing your story, though, and not keeping quiet about it.

    @erinmargolin on twitter

  56. So, reading between the lines, there was hard work involved in getting your “golden ticket”, and you really enjoyed all the popularity of being involved with organizing something empowering, but once the demands made on you were too much for you, you were removed from the equation and now you’re sad that nobody sends you tweets?

    I’ve seen firsthand how much hard work these conferences and endeavors take and “crazy demands” are usually being made on everyone. Those who shoulder the burden and work their butts off actually see their dreams come to fruition.

    If you were an actual partner, you would have taken your share of the responsibilities, right? But you gave up your control (and your responsibilities) and still wanted to reap the benefits and popularity?

    Give me a break.

    • Assholes will always be assholes.

      If Alli were a woman with integrity she’s wouldn’t have used and stepped on people for her benefit. Karla’s not the only one Alli stepped on.

      • Karla is DEFINITELY not the only one that Alli has stepped on. Some people care more about perceived fame than a relationship. The “air kiss” will only get her so far.

    • So, Avitable….your reputation precedes you.

      Let’s say that there were plenty of people involved and at the first conference that knew of the partnership. Some have even commented here and in private. Would that change your opinion?

      Let’s further say there was some sort of actual evidence from a third party that demonstrated that Karla was indeed considered a de facto partner, but the other person, despite having told her she was going to have papers drawn up putting the partnership on paper, but was hesitant to do so, because she wanted to maintain control or whatever. Would your opinion change then?

      Pass that on to those that requested you do their bidding. Perhaps it might change their mind.

      • Besides, the issue at hand is that the deceit destroyed a relationship, hurt someone called a friend.

        • Bravo, Scott. And a suggestion to Avitable: don’t try to read between the lines until you have an accurate read on said lines in the first place, aiiight?

      • Nobody requested that I do anything. I decided to respond of my own volition. And she fully admits that she gave up control, so you’re arguing a point that’s already conceded by Karla.

        Hurt by someone called a friend? What about this post? What are the emotional repercussions of that? Which is more hurtful – giving over control because of the demands being made, and no longer being involved in a business venture, or calling out a friend in an anonymous way that paints yourself as a victim?

        That sounds harsh as I write it – my goal isn’t to hurt Karla, because it sounds like she is hurt, but there are ways to talk about being hurt without villifying someone else. This post was poor form.

        • What about this post and its repercussions? That’s the point. Three years ago the so-called friend made her choice, and she chose the route of deceit she did over the friendship. That’s her choice to live with. The repercussions of this post? To bring it out in the open. As for vilifying, call it what you wish, but again, that’s a choice the other person made. If there’s hurt in that, perhaps it is deserved, though that’s not the point, I think.

        • http://Katy says

          Seriously? I’m pretty sure running a radio program called “clearly you’re retarded” is in bad form. And yet, you do it anyway. I don’t even know Karla, but I’m glad she spoke her truth– that’s what blogs are for.

          • Oh goodness, who has a program called “clearly your retarded”? Please tell me that is a terrible joke. If it is true, that person should be banned from human interaction and web privileges should be stripped.

            Cause that there is a dick move.

        • Just remember, Karla isn’t the only one she has ever wronged. Alli has been confronted on her AND her team’s behavior and no apologies have been made. Good for Karla for speaking up in a respectable way. If we’re all online claiming to be authentic and genuine then why aren’t more people being authentic and genuine? Don’t get down on Karla for doing what we all expect from one another!

          Some people have no energy to deal with people who are merely a personality. I for one have real money to be made doing what I do, genuinely helping people and it’s NOT by selling overpriced conference tickets.

    • Avitable. No matter how much you try to kiss up to Mom Bloggers by defending the WORST of them, they will never sleep with you.

    • http://Shannon says

      Right, when someone (Alli) takes all decision making ability away and confers upon a ”partner” the status of ”employee” for the crime of speaking up and saying, ”hey, I am doing my level best but there are some things that concern me” that is totally the same thing as Karla conceding she gave up control and somehow wimped out and failed to perform. For someone claiming to read between the lines it’s astonishing, to me, that you failed to notice that Alli never intended to make Karla a partner regardless of the level of commitment shown by Karla and her significant investment of time and resources. The e-mail she referenced far pre-dates the actual fracture of their relationship. She never intended to follow through and had no compunction about using Karla in meantime and continuing to mislead about her intentions.

      All of those frivolous facts aside, it amuses me greatly that when people you were formerly close to ended their relationship with Allison for similar reasons (exquisitely bad business practices), you joined right on that band wagon. You, personally, publicly mocked and derided Allison without hesitation. Since that time your former friendship has shifted and Allison (IN HER WORDS) met you at Blog Her long enough to, ”bat her lashes and lower her eyes for a few minutes” and suddenly, all was right in the world of Allison and Adam. Reading between the lines that says a lot about you and the worth of your friendship and loyalty. Whoever needs rescuing and whoever needs defending the most, in the moment, is worth your time. Failing that, jumping on the band wagon that gets you the most hits seems to work, as well. GROSS.

      That said, for anyone to imply or state that Karla was somehow in this to collect the glory without giving up the sweat equity is either a complete stranger to the facts or willingly obtuse. Or just an asshole vomiting up a contrary opinion to get a free pass to the next Blissdom Canada to keep up a conference record of creeping out the most women possible in the shortest period of time. Whatever works for you.

      • Preach it! Wonderfully succinct reply.

      • Shannon, you’re right. I did jump on a bandwagon of insulting Alli, defending a friend who is still a close friend and who had a bad experience with her.

        I’ve communicated with Alli more than that first meeting at BlogHer, but that was enough for me to give her a chance and see if maybe I was wrong about her. And I realize that I was. Nobody’s perfect, and people make errors in judgment, and business can make personal relationships difficult, but this implication that she’s some evil manipulative person is ridiculous, and it’s that issue with which I take umbrage. I’ve already said that based on this post, it seems like Karla is very hurt, and suffering emotionally, but her own words say that she gave up control willingly. So yes, I have a big issue with this bandwagon of attacking Alli.

        I’ve realized that jumping on any bandwagon is a stupid decision, and I’ve avoided them as much as I can. If I do falter, it’s to jump on a bandwagon of defending someone, and I’m okay with that.

        And for the record, I pay for every conference pass I get so that I can pay for the right to creep out the most women possible.

        • So when you keep saying she gave up control willingly are you saying that when she trusted Alli to have the papers drawn up, that was giving up control?

          Or was it later after Alli was showing signs she couldn’t be trusted and Karla was starting to clue in on the deception? Who wants to b e partners with someone who has no intent of being partners? I mean, at some point Alli decided she was going to use Karla and did so with full knowledge, all the while, misleading Karla to believe that a partnership was in the works.

          In either situation, Karla has every right to feel hurt. She was used and tossed out. That’s not only bad business practice, it’s also bad morally coming from a woman that bases her fake identity on empowering women.

        • Unfortunately, whatever issue you had with her, whatever issues Karla had with her, and whatever issues others coming out of the woodwork had with her…it shows not bad judgment alone, but a pattern of abuse, of using people, even those she called friends. Feel free to jump on a bandwagon of defending, but you will fail, because whatever justification is used, it will fail. The pattern is inexcusable, indefensible.

        • http://Shannon says

          So, telling Karla repeatedly, right up until she deemed her an ”employee” for speaking her mind, that she intended to make her a full partner while GLEEFULLY telling otherS (note the use of plural; this wan’t a one-time shot-off-in-anger e-mail) that she had no intention of following through is a result of mixing professional and business relationships and somehow not ridiculously manipulative? And inherently evil?

          I understand band-wagon jumping and the drive to defend someone you feel is being maligned. What I cannot understand is defending the indefensible. Bad business practices are one thing; intentionally screwing over a ”friend” for financial gain and increased ”internet celebrity” is inexcusable. Playing the victim about it when called out (YEARS later) is nothing less than what I would expect from her; the behavior of her ”defenders” is what truly confounds me.

          All that aside, let’s say this is all just a BIG FLUKE. A HUGE misunderstanding. One time is believable. Twice is even feasible; the internet is a big place and sometimes wires are crossed. The sheer volume of people with similar interactions who have mostly, until now, kept quiet about their experiences with Alli in an attempt to take the high road (read: not be accused of glorifying themselves at the expense of someone else, particularly someone like Alli so skilled at not answering questions and deflecting criticism) speaks to a noticeable, traceable pattern of behavior. Karla’s feelings being hurt or not doesn’t negate those facts.

    • http://Karla says

      @Avitable — just wanted to let you know that I responded to this entire thread in this comment below http://bit.ly/i60EuM

  57. Wow, Karla. I had no idea. Girl, we could exchange some emails because we both have been wronged by the Blissdom empire! And, I’ll just leave it at that (although I gotta love the sessions they had this year – they were some great recommendations maybe given to them last year ;)!

    In general though, I’ve lost some good friendships as a result of their perceived fame or threat or something. I have seen that when the almighty dollar hits the equation of blogging and mortgages are waged on that paycheck, people are different. For me, blogging has become no different than Corporate America in the sense that losses are cut and new blood can replace a former body. I wouldn’t treat my relationships that way because that’s not what I got into it for and it sure won’t be why I stay doing what I do.

  58. Karla, I am so sorry about all of this. Wow. I’m just floored and so disappointed to learn all of this. You have been through so much. I can only imagine how heavily all of this must have weighed on you. I’m proud of you for having the guts to publish this.

  59. Karla, you know I hope the best for you in your life, and I understand you’re hurt and frustrated, but taking down someone with your own story while promoting yourself through your victimization is wrong. Some things do not belong on blogs. I strongly believe this is one of them and I’m disappointed.

    • “Taking down someone with your own story while promoting yourself through your victimization…”
      really? REALLY? I’m pretty sure that this one posting will neither “take down someone” or
      “promote(Karla)through vitimization” . It’s venting, It’s getting an old wrong felt off of her(karla’s) chest. It’s a chance for karla’s friends to say “yeah, that really did suck, no wonder your feelings are hurt so badly, but we all love you anyhow, and you’ll be ok now we think”.

      Taking Down a/o promoting – I don’t think so. I think that’s just a lame spin on something you either didn’t want to hear, or didn’t want others to hear.

    • Funny, that those few comments about how Karla should write, feel, or do…completely ignore the actions of BackStreet (and yeah, we all now know who BS is, but I like to use this chosen name because, if for no other reason, the initials of BS). You made the bed, you lie in it. In this case, BS chose the course…and apparently has done repeatedly. If it was a one-off, maybe things might be a bit different, but that’s not the case. There’s a trend, a pattern…and it ought to be made known.

    • http://Shannon says

      Of course you’re disappointed. So are all the other people treated viciously by Alli over the years who have been convinced to keep their heads down and mouths closed so as to not, ”cause drama” or ”promote themselves through their victimization”. What does that even mean? Is it an admission that Karla (and so, so many others) was victimized by Alli? Or a cheap shot that she is using what actually happened to promote herself? Promote herself how, exactly? Years later, other than unburdening herself and telling her truth, how is Karla promoting herself? What gain are you measuring by Karla FINALLY telling this story and saying, hey, don’t let this happen to you?

      I am not negating your opinion based on your admiration of Alli or enjoyment of BlissDom. I am asking you to clarify, what is it you think Karla is gaining? How do you read this dreadful experience that Karla endured as a personal disappointment to you? Some people do think some things don’t belong on blogs. Why does this qualify? Because it’s the truth? Because it’s an invitation to ”drama” (catch-all in the blogosphere when anything close to conflict/less than sunshine and roses is discussed)? Because it speaks to a pattern of behavior many others have experienced but haven’t felt comfortable talking about for this very reason: The message is overlooked and the messenger is blamed?

    • http://Karla says

      Leslie – just wanted to let you know that I responded to this entire thread in this comment below http://bit.ly/i60EuM

  60. Ok, so some few folks seem to think that you, Karla, should be more concerned about what damage you may cause, what hurt you might inflict on poor “Alli” by publicly outing her bad behavior here than they think you have. They seem to think you should suck it up and get over it. I imagine them saying “Hey, it’s just business, you can’t fault her for that”

    know what? Bullshit. Apparently from a number of comments things like this are her normal operating style, in which case you absolutely should be telling it here, there and where ever else comes to mind.

    Good on ya Karla

    p.s. Adam is an ass!

  61. It’s a typical system of abuse. While it may not be physical abuse, it is in the realm of mental abuse. And when an abuser is finally called out, people get nervous. The abused is usually faulted by a number of people for unfounded reasons.

    I can spout off this stuff from personal experience, having suffered multiple abuses in my life, but I still don’t know why people love and stick up for the abuser. But it happens like clockwork.

  62. It seems to me that if there is any “jumping on” of any bandwagons, it is all being done in the comments. Karla’s not jumping on anyone else’s bandwagon she’s sharing her own story. I applaud her use of pseudonyms, an honorable attempt to avoid the Google bots out of respect (now null and void by all the uses of the conference name and the offenders name in all the comments but oh well.)

    Karla, unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad crap that happens in life. It sucks and sometimes the sting is hard to ease. And you’ve certainly had your share. Satan likes to remind you of it again and again so that you can’t heal from it. Let God have it, Karla. He can carry the burden and you can rest. Look how far he’s brought you and how he’s blessed you! #LTLF! He’s not done with you. He’s going to heal you of this, too. =) HUGS.

  63. http://Lisa@BlessedwithGrace says

    Karla, I always wondered what happened with your “partnership” with Alli. I am sad to read that what I thought occurred actually had.
    I applaud your honesty. I can only imagine how hard it was for you to write. I hope this will help you let go and move on.
    I have to be honest, In the past I wanted to attend a Blissdom conference. My reason was to finally have an opportunity to meet on line friends in real life. It seemed like a great chance to do this. I am saddened to know your pain is increased each time the conference rolls around. I still have not attended and wonder if I ever will. We shall see.
    Blessings to you.

  64. Wow, that’s tough. But a life lesson nevertheless.

    If you only remember only 2 things you will do well: (1)our Father knew everything that would happen and was right by you the whole time you stepped out in faith, and (2) your original desire is to empower women and help them find their happiness.

    What’s next?

  65. Oh my word. I had no idea about ANY of this and just watch things from a Twitter-distance, but with no real understanding of what’s going on.

    Maybe ignorance is… bliss? *groan*

    I am SO sorry this happened to you and hope you are able to find a better path from here forward.

  66. Wow. A lot of opinions out there. I’m here via Michelle Pendergrass’ blog. I’m so sorry that this happened to you. I had a much-less-severe, yet similar incident happen and it really does suck. Praying that you’ll be able to move forward and put this far behind you. I had a boss who used to always say, “Time wounds all heels.” Funny thing is that it came to epitomize her at one point.

  67. THANK YOU to everyone who responded to this post and its intro — whether via DM, text, email, comments. I am so appreciative of all of the dialogue.

    This stirred up a lot of positive discussion – here, and on Twitter and Facebook. I have been working on a follow up post and had thought (hoped) I’d be able to have it up yesterday… However, I am still sifting through the thoughts and comments made. In the meantime, I feel as though I’ve left everyone dangling and I didn’t want my lack of response to appear as non-communicative or fearful.

    So — I’ve decided to respond in comments for now and save my next post to actually be about what else I’ve learned since hitting “publish”.

    Feel free to keep discussing within the comments here.

    @Avitable I appreciate that you took the time to voice your thoughts.

    Let me reiterate that this post is not about real or fictional characters. It’s about holding onto your own dreams. Own your life.

    Any dream worth having is worth sacrificing something for – whether it be family time, clean laundry… friendships.. etc. When one realizes they are being strung along, what purpose is served in continuing to propel someone else’s dreams, at the withering of their own?

    In this tale, nothing was given up because it became too hard or difficult. It was ONLY when it became glaringly clear that there was only room for one, that control was relinquished. From that point on, no good comes from other, unintentional, victims being sacrificed (children, spouses, etc)

    As far as me jumping on a bandwagon: I’m too clumsy for that. I’m merely sharing something that I hope others learn from.

    It’s what makes blogging “awesome“.

    @Mrs. Flinger Thank you, as well, for voicing your opinion.

    Your comment had me thinking the most. You mention that my post topic (Making Your Dreams Your Own and Taking Charge of Them) was inappropriate for a blog.

    Given that names were not mentioned nor called, nor any fingers pointed in any direction other than towards myself, I’m unclear as to why it’s any more inappropriate than someone writing a cautionary tale about always making sure the toilet seat is lowered before sitting down.

    Blogs are meant for sharing journeys and experiences. Every day ordinary people get to tell about the extraordinary and dull and everything else in between that happens within their lives.

    Not agreeing with something does not make it inappropriate.

    There is no universal definition of an “awesome” blog post.


    Thank you to the following for jumping into the conversation as well:
    Backpacking Dad
    John Ross Barnes
    Michelle Pendergrass
    Scott Kuhn
    Cheryl Phillips (lots of wisdom in your comment!!)
    kelli @ living ingrace
    Miss Britt
    JenniferG – Hip As I Wanna Be
    Maggie, dammit
    Mary B
    robyn (3girlsmom)
    Marcy Massura
    nic @mybottlesup
    Katherine @ Grass Stains
    Michelle Smiles
    hello haha narf
    Sara O’Flaherty
    Tara @ Feels Like Home
    Rebecca (Ramblings by Reba)
    MaryR Snyder
    michelle@everyday celebrating
    dee perrin
    Anna K.
    Jacqueline Presley
    AJ in Nashville
    erin margolin
    Andrea @ Savings Lifestyle
    Amy in OHio
    Amber @ Classic Housewife

  68. So, when aren’t you an example of great poise? I’m a throw my middle finger up in the air kind of girl, myself…

    There’s only one family of blog entry that I have no time for: hate speech about a social group. I just don’t allow it in my house or my life, & I won’t read it. I won’t associate in any way with a blog that posts racist or bigoted rhetoric.

    Aside from that, if it’s a person’s inner truth being posted, I’m supportive. This was your truth. You pay for the bandwidth, you have to deal with the consequences, who gives a rat’s….tail…. if someone disagrees with what you said. Especially someone who wasn’t there.

    There was merit in what you wrote. I am still proud of you for writing it, since it was clearly painful for you to write & hit publish on. I hope your fire comes back 10 fold :) I am so glad to have met you.

  69. I want to be like you when I grow up. :-) xxoo

  70. You are so awesome. Hey I got an idea. Let’s create a conference together. We will call it Awesomedomher 2.0….. and the point will be to pretty much just…..oh screw it. How about we just all agree to meet in a specific bar for drinks one night. Like a flash-conference.

    Now I promise. To give you ALL THE FRICKIN CREDIT.

    I heart you Karla.

  71. And when did ‘dude’ go out? Never got that memo.

  72. Dude. Totally awesome! I heart Eryn and Marcy and want to be in on the middle finger flying drinking. And if you think I can’t do both, you are SO wrong! :)

  73. I think I’d join this new conference. Dude…it’d be totally gnarly.

  74. http://sara says

    So, is “Fairy Godmother” a certain blond, Canadian hipster mommyblogger?

  75. love you as always. thanks for sharing and opening the discussion. hugs.

  76. http://are%20you%20kidding%20me? says

    I’ve got a link to a post to someone who claims to have an inside track on all this Blissdom stuff. Apparently, she was at some of those early meetings, but she seems to have forgotten you, Karla, and gives full credit to Alli.

    Here is the post in case you want to read it: http://sarcasticmom.com/blissdom-it-started-with-her/

  77. Totally Late to this party, stumbled on this post accidentally from one posted on WDG, but you’re writing my life. It’s been 9 months and I’m still living the radio silence while trying to start fresh elsewhere on my own. Succeeding in business, but not so much in the life part. And it still hurts.


  78. http://Katherine says

    I knew something weird must have happened, but didn’t know it was this treacherous. I’m so sorry that happened to you, Karla. Wow.

  79. Your honesty is compelling. Such a sad, hard lesson to learn. I’m taking heed of what you say. Thank you for the cautionary tale.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Miss Britt and BackpackingDad, nic. nic said: RT @missbritt: At #blissdom? You should read this and know that THIS took courage to say. http://j.mp/hsMPH2 […]

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