Because unlike my sockpuppets, blogging friendships are anything but “imaginary”

image It started with an instant message from a blogger friend about another blogger who is trying to escape an abusive relationship. Her options? Stay where she is in the eye of the hurricane or take to the streets in hopes of finding somewhere to weather the storm.

Fortunately for this young woman, one of her friends isΒ Not a PunkRocker. And by that I don’t mean all her other friends are punkrockers and she’s lucky that one of them isn’t. Because we all know too many punkrockers spoil the broth. Or how many punkrockers it takes to screw in a lightbulb.

Or whatever.

What I DO know is that Jeanette at Not a Punkrocker… well, she rocks. She took it upon herself to not only spread the word about her friend’s need for help, she also opened up about her own experience as a victimβ€” and how the constant mental and physical manipulation slowly destroys you from the inside out. Often to the point that seeing a way out is next to impossible because the light needed to see your way has been extinguished.

Jeanette has never met her blogger friend (who I am keeping anonymous because her abuser follows blogs as well). The term “blogger friend” is sometimes looked upon the same way as “imaginary friend.” Or “sock puppet” with “pigtails that you spend too much time braiding” when “you should be finding a job” and “moving out of your mother’s basement.” But the truth is, as I’ve discovered during the ongoing “Performance of the Year” competition at The Public Blogger, there is nothing imaginary about the support we receive within our blogging community.

Jeanette is a perfect example. She took it upon herself to establish a Go-Fund-Me account in her own name for her friend, who is in dire need of has housing so that she can get out of the living situation with her abuser. News travels fast in the blog-sphere. So do stories about naughty time, but I digress. The point is, people are already beginning to help, and all of this is the result of blogger friends coming together to help each other.

There’s nothing imaginary about that.

But she still needs help to make this happen. You can donate by following the link below to the Go-Fund-Me account set up by Not a Punkrocker for her friend. If you can’t help with a donation,consider passing this along or reblogging it to helpspread the word. It’s pretty amazing what we can do when we put our imaginations together…

To help, please Click Here

Regardless, I’m proud to call all of you my friends. Imaginary or otherwise.


image(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation and a member of the writing team at Long Awkward Pause. This has been an excerpt from his first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, or Barnes & Noble.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

86 thoughts on “Because unlike my sockpuppets, blogging friendships are anything but “imaginary””

  1. Thank you, Ned… for once again helping someone in such a devastating place, for your ready support of your friends, and for noting that although avatars represent us, we are very much real people behind the words.

    I am so proud to be able to call you, friend.

    1. You are a true champion of a cause that is near to my heart, Robyn. I’m very appreciative knowing the person behind the words is the same one who stands in front of them πŸ˜‰

  2. This is a wonderful shout out and a great story.

    I never imagined such a supportive community existed online, and especially never guessed I would make real friends from blogging, but that’s exactly what’s happened. Not only people who support me online, who I consider friends, but even those who I’ve talked to over a glass of wine (or five).

    Thank you for being a part of my community πŸ™‚

                1. At 6’3″ and 250 pounds, at one point I used to deliver kegs of beer to bars- 145 pounds in each hand down into basements -for a living. Mind I’m only that strong in my mind now, but hey…

  3. Amen, my friend! I consider fellow bloggers friends the same way I would those I know in my day to day life. We all have common interests (writing/blogging being the obvious) and we all, in some way, look out for one another. It’s an amazing thing.

    Sending so much love out to you for your kindness and to the young lady who is need of help. She is in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. My daughter is always saying to me that blogger friends/twitter friends are imaginary, but I’ve met quite a few in person, even had one come and stay at my house for 3 weeks. There is a lot of support out there, and I do consider blogger friends to be real, and amazingly helpful when support is needed.

  5. Behind every blog is a real person who cares and has courage enough to write it. And thank goodness the anonymous blogger is embarking on the very difficult journey out of an abusive relationship. The support of friends like you, Not A Punk Rocker, and a caring blogosphere makes an enormous difference.

          1. That was my fault; I misinterpreted something Lizzi had posted about a friend in a similar situation looking for housing. It seems there’s a reason we established a Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Sadly…

  6. This is wonderful. They do often say that friends are family we choose. I’ll keep this post until I am able to donate. I have often wished I could create some sort of nonprofit to raise money for women in these situations, as I know personally I’d have left my situation a lot sooner if I had been financially able to do so.

    1. That’s a perfect way to look at it, Tara. Certainly, our blogger family is a chosen one. And I’m very appreciative to be among them. I’m so glad you were able to get out of that situation; and wish it had been sooner as well. No one should have to live like that.

  7. I have no doubt that you, or Lizzi, or Gibber, or whoever else got that message on that day, in that moment, would have done the same.

    Thank you for sharing this and for being you, Ned. ❀

  8. I shudder at the thought of what you do with your sock puppets when nobody else is around, but I agree about blogger friends. They are actually quite amazing, for the most part.

    1. It has, hasn’t it? On my bucket list is to host a giant gathering of bloggers. Or possibly a gathering of giant blogers. I can’t make up my mind… πŸ˜‰

  9. Thank you so very much for writing this post Ned. It saddens me how many live in fear and abuse. I heartily support anything we can do to change that. It is important that we make it clear that we are there for them. This issue is the big elephant under the table in our “free” society – domestic abuse and violence are of epidemic proportions. If it were a disease with the injury and fatality rate of abuse, we would be screaming from the roof tops for solutions. As it is, it is swept under the rug – primarily because those who hold the power are often the abusers.

    Thank you again from the bottom of my soul Ned. (And thank your imaginary sock puppets.)

  10. I met my best friend through blogging and she moved continents, coincidently to mine, so now we get to drink wine and give supportive hugs for real 😊

    We all blog for a reason and often it is a cry for help. I feel for the blogger trying to escape and hope she achieves what she needs to do

    And thanks for being a friend Ned!

    1. Lol! That’s terrific, C&S πŸ˜‰ I don’t know if you’re aware of The Sisterwives, but that’s a group of amazing ladies who are all bloggers who recently met in person for the first time. Yours and theirs are great examples of the kinds of friendships that can happen through words πŸ˜‰

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