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Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Special Message to My Beautiful Friends

Considering I am now 54 years old I am from the generation many of you are or close to it.  In my life time I've seen technology take over the world.  I remember being a child and my best friend, Rene, was all excited because they got a "color" TV.  She talked about things being in color and got me so excited about it I couldn't wait to see it.  I remember asking my Mom if I could go to Rene's house to watch this new color TV and got the ok, so Rene and I were off, we walked up the street, talking about everything and nothing at the same time.  We were all of 5 years old.  I couldn't wait.  We sat down in her living room turned it on and there I sat with my eyes full of excitement, only to see a black and white show on the screen.  Rene started changing channels, but not matter which channel she went to, the show was black and white.  I remember thinking, surely something is wrong with their new TV.  Her Mom was there so I said, "Mrs. Taylor, how do you make the shows color, everything is still in black in white".  She kind of chuckled and said, "the show has to have been recorded in color in order for it to appear in color".   Well that didn't make any sense to me at all, and I thought this thing is just a big waste of money.  Having no patience at all as 5 year olds are, Rene and I were out the door to do something fun.  I had declared at that time, color TVs were a waste of money in my young mind.

I grew up looking at technology through those same eyes all of my life.  I remember my first class I took at work about "the internet".  The class was a bomb and nothing worked as it was supposed to.   I sat there at the age of 35 remembering my 5 year old experience and thinking "internet is stupid, it does't even work".

Now here I am at 54 and my husband is making a living using technology and the internet.  But the most shocking has to be the world I created on the internet.  The 5 year old who thought color TV was a bust, has made hundreds of beautiful, real friendships on the internet. Who would have thought!, certainly not me.

I've always been very open with my virtual social world.  I'm a trusting soul who has believed their entire life, my life's experiences were not only real, but maybe more common then others let on.  I've always thought sharing would help me fit in and people would realize I was more like them then it appeared.  I thought sharing might help someone else feel they were not the only one.   So, sharing like I always have on social areas of the internet was nothing new for me, I've always shared, the internet just gave me more platforms to do it and the ability to reach a lot more people.

Through sharing and being real I connected with so many of you.  I think the part that surprised me the most has been the stories many of you have shared about how my sharing had a positive effect in one way or another on your life.  That definitely makes me feel my life had a purpose as ugly as it was at times.  Knowing it had a purpose changes everything about how I feel about my past.  If it had a purpose, then it was all worth it and sharing was the best thing I could have ever done with those experiences.  It inspires me to continue sharing.

As Mike has told you, I've not been well.  I know you have all reached out in every way you can to help and be TRUE friends.  I think some of you would have come through the computer to help if you could.  I have been going through a bad time, and I know many of you have wondered what has happened and you've only been left with a lot of speculation.  After I received so many beautiful cards and messages from many of you, I knew I needed to end the speculation and share with you all in my words what has happened.

I don't recall the exact day, but the day Mike shared I had suddenly become ill and he was taking over, the YT and FB were gone and basically so was I, was a really scary morning.  I have always struggled with stress.  Have you ever noticed in life, whatever your best quality is, is also your worst?  For me that's very true, and my best quality is my ability to get a million things done, keep all my commitments, and not let anyone down.  It's also my worst quality.  So that I can do my best quality, I never let my mind or body rest.  I never say, "it can wait until tomorrow".   So I had this going on.

Then there was all the social areas on the internet I was involved in.  Some of that was getting very difficult for me.  I put my heart and soul into everything I share and lay it on the table basically.  On YT I had to turn my "thumbs up/down" off because I had haters who actually waited for my videos to pop up and they would thumbs down them immediately.  I would always have a couple thumbs down within minutes.  Only I could see them, but that was the point.  And because my videos were different, I frequently had people who would go to older videos and criticize how I spoke, the backgroud noise, the stories I told, etc.  They would be really mean, and despite what anyone would say to the contrary about ignoring them - words hurt, and they stay in my mind, because that's just who I am.   So, I had this factor going on.  

Then there was the desperation we have for needing help in the store.  That's been something I never thought would be so hard.  First, I never thought the store would grow that large.  But it did, and help was and is necessary.  We tried local and long distance help, only to have it go south in every case.  I won't go into details but I will say in every case I made the mistake of taking what happened personally.  The problem for me is, if it happens again the future, I'm sure I will take it personally then too.  It's who I am.  So, there was this aspect of my life to deal with.

The store is an entity all it's own.  It's probably the most misunderstood I would imagine.  I can't tell you how many times I would hear, "I think your little store will be a success".  I won't get into numbers here, except for one.  The store grew very fast as many of you who have been there since the beginning know.  Mike was able to quit his job literally years before we ever expected, and we were able to live our dream by moving to the country years before we ever thought we would be able to.   The store is in the top 2% of all Shopify stores right now and from what we've learned is the size of a store that should have a staff of about 7-8 people running it.  It's doing well, so well Shopify also wants to run a feature story on the succes of it.   I always tried to make each and every customer feel they were the only one.  That was good, because I wanted people to feel as special as they really are to us, and it was bad because there were times people were asking for things they would never ask a bigger store to do, not realizing we had become a bigger store, and they would get angry with me if I explained to them we just were not staffed to meet their request (for example, I frequently had customers ask me to email them before ordering items from a company they liked, just to check if they needed anything, I would get asked to email customers when something they wanted would be coming in so they didn't have to watch for it on their own or watch the "what's in the store" videos.  People got angy with me when they would ask me to update their account information and I would instead explain they can do that on their own, or re-booting their computer because something wasn't working properly on their computer).  I was noticing more and more, that because I had been very responsive and one-on-one with each customer, if anything was a bit confusing, or they had the smallest amount of difficulty, rather then try to figure it out themselves first, they immediately emailed me.  With 1500+ customers it became impossible to please everyone.  It was very clear many people see the store as a small store with maybe 4-5 orders a day, and just hoping for more business.  When in reality the store does anywhere from  30-70 orders a day. Those that were not pleased did not hold back in letting me know they weren't.  When someone wants to be mean from the safety of behind a computer screen they can be very ugly.  We refuse to do business with those that behave this way, but again the words stick with you, and since I tried so hard to make sure everyone was taken care of the words stung. So this was going on.

I didn't just feel pulled in every direction, I was.  The store receives at least 60-100 emails a day alone. I also had people with a lot of unrealistic expectations giving me grief in misdirected ways and at abusive levels, clearly saying things they would never have been brave enough to say in person.  I had viewers on YT telling me what to make next, and HOW to make it.  They would see an older project I had done and ask me to do one like it, but in a specific theme they were requesting.  If I didn't craft for a few days because I was swammped in every other area of my life viewers would start writing saying "you need to craft more".  That would really anger Mike.  He saw how busy I was and couldn't believe the requests and demands people were making.  In every direction people were telling me all of "things I should be doing" to entertain them.  

The night before I became ill there was some challenges going on with someone who I had at one time thought was a good friend.  I was getting emails that had a threatening tone to them, and it was just the end for me.

I had not shared this with anyone, but I had begun having small panic attacks, they were manageable, but they had begun.  After that night with the unpleasant emails, it just all came together like a storm and I woke up about 7:00am unable to breath and had pain in my chest like I was having a heart attack.  Mike rushed me to the ER and fortunately it was not a heart attack, but it was by far the worst panic attack I have ever experienced.

That was it for Mike, and now I'm in the background.  I don't see any emails, the channel is gone, my world is now quiet and it feels really good.

The only thing I miss is blogging, because I do love to write.  I've never had any demands put on me here, no one has ever asked anything of me, or requested I do something else here for their entertainment, so I may continue this, I haven't decided for sure yet.  It's why I chose this format to share what's been going on, why things are as they are, and to say Thank you.

I want to Thank the many of you who have sincerely care about my well being.  Those that have taken the time to send me a card to share their concern, or to share a little story about what my sharing helped them get through something, or a time in their life.  All of this means more to me then you could ever image.  I want to thank those of you who have only cared if I got better.

I'm getting better, but it's a slow process.  I've been drained to complete emptiness and it will take a long time for me to recoup from that.  I need time to take care of myself. I don't trust even opening an email for fear of what it might say because I have no energy to deal with anything right now.  It will take a long time to come back from this place I'm currently in. It's not a good place, but it's my place right now and as dark as it is I know being out of the reach of demands is necessary.

As I mentioned I miss writing.  I don't think I'm up to writing often, and not sure if I'm up to sharing my past, but as I do get there, I will have Mike let you know in an email through the store.

Thank you again for supporting him in his efforts to run the store on his own.  He's done fabulous and and I'm so proud of him.  He's also been a protective and wonderful husband.  He's my rock right now that's for sure.

You all have a wonderful week. We are leaving tomorrow morning for our much needed vacation.  Mike loaded the store with all the product coming in this week and he told me he has a giveaway planned for his return.  So enjoy the store as well while we are gone.

Again, thank you for the cards, you just don't know how special they are to me.  My eyes about pop out of my head every time Mike brings them home from the Post office because there are so many!!!  My being gone doesn't mean I love any of you less, I need to be gone so I can love you all more in the future!

xxoo


32 comments :

  1. Best wishes on your road to being well. You are a wonderful person and I will miss your stories and crafting along with you, but not more than I understand your need to step away.

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  2. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful truth and I pray that the road you are now travelling will bring nothing but happiness. I know that everything we live through is either a lesson we need to learn or it helps us to teach others, this you do so beautifully. Take your time, live your life and keep smiling...
    With special love ~ Lady Anne xx

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  3. Jane, Thank you so much for sharing all these personal feelings. I've never had a panic attack but suffer from chronic pain and the bouts of depression that comes with that. I miss you terribly but what I want most is for you to recover and feel safe again. You are a gifted writer as I have told you many times. Mike is a wonderful man and you are both blessed to have each other. I will keep you both in my prayers....All my love, Bonnie

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  4. you are so open and honest and I hope a lot will learn from what you are saying. i do hope you get the rest you need and Mike also. have a nice time on vacation.

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  5. Dear Jane,
    I am really sad Reading this!! I can't understand why people do this to you!! I really miss you on you tube but i totally understand!! First you have to be better and second i also understand if you don't return on you tube but o i do miss your great art work!! I am not so good at Reading and writing english for me it is easier to listen to some one who speaks english but i think you understand this! An there will be lots of mistakes i know you don't mind!
    I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing vacation!! Plessers take care of your self!!!
    Big hug mildred

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your panic attacks. I also have the same problem and they are very scary. I understand why you have had to withdraw your presence from social media but I just wanted you to know that I did so enjoy your "stream of consciousness" videos and will miss watching you. Concentrate on getting well and remember we are all wishing you well & looking forward to keeping up with you on your blog. Hugs, Karla:-)

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  8. I hate to hear the pain in your writing! I pray every night for you and that you get well in whatever time frame that is. I have no words for the shock I feel at whAt has happened and had been happening to you. So just big hugs to you and mike. Marianne

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  9. Take care Jane! Hugs! from Carmen in Canada

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  10. Sweet Jane, I can truly say we are so much alike. I too have the same qualities as you have and they are also my down falls too. I have had health issues and know all about panic attacks. And I am only a year older than you. I haven't been around to watch your video's in a while, but not because I didn't want to, but because my husband (52) has been battling cancer for the past 2 years and now Hospice has been called in. It kills me the way other make demands on people like you/me. It kills me when people are just plain mean, I will never understand hatefulness even if I live to be 100. I have been abused verbally/mentally and physically and I can tell you it is the words that have hurt me the most. The hits, beatings all go away, but those words never go away. Like Dr. Phil says, it takes a lot of "att'a boy's" to make up for one hateful word, if it ever does. So you take all the time you need to heal and you know as well as I do, it won't come easy or fast. Thank God Mike is an awesome husband and put a stop to it all. Wish nothing but the best for you and your family as well as for the store. You and Mike have worked so hard to make the store what it is and your customer service is far by the best I've even experienced. Enjoy your vacation and get some R&R. Your friends, true friends will be right here waiting for if and when you want to come back. You and Mike have my support all the way!!! Sending big healing hugs, Brenda

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  11. Jane, I haven't been around for a while to read your posts and watch your videos because life has been happening here. God, bad and ugly but it is what it is! I am so sorry to hear that you have been having so many troubles! My heart goes out to you. I wish there was something I could do to help you out. I know it will be a hard road to take but you seem to have immense strength, heart and soul! Know that someone in a small town in Vermont is saying prayers and sending healing thoughts your way! If ever you need someone to talk to feel free to call me. I am going to email you my phone number so that if you need a friendly ear to vent to you can call me, day or night! Even at 3am because I don't sleep very much other than catnaps here and there! I know that sometimes being able to vent to someone who is in no way connected to any of the issues is the best way to heal. An offer of friendship like this has helped me immensely the last 10 years and even though my "friendly ear" passed away last year I will always remember her fondly.
    Hugs and good thoughts sent your way,
    Barb

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  12. My DEAR SWEET LOVING,FRIEND, Thank you for sharing this. I am thankful you are taking care of yourself. You do not owe your public, your public owes you! You have been kind and professional in all your doings! Take all the time you need. Those who love you for you will be here when you return. As for your story on here I do hope you continue. It has been a joy to read it. But if you can't it is understandable. Your health is more important!!! I am praying for your peace and well being. My husband had a panic attack such as you described and it took a long time, a career switch and loving patience to get him back to healthy. I know I am grateful for ALL you have done and for what ever you will do. Take care and know you are loved by many. HUGZ! Lynda

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  13. Jane, I just wanted to thank you for all you did.You are a wonderful person and it is sad that there are some people out there determined to bring good people down. I'm so sorry to hear of everything that has happened to you. Please get well and be happy. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to find your channel and been able to see and hear what you did. You take care of yourself and those of us who truly understand will always be there. God bless you and much success to you, Mike and Tupelo.

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  14. I just want to thank you and Mike for all you have done and are doing. Please take care of yourself and feel better soon.

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  15. I will pray for strength and peace to hold you tight!

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  16. Jane, As sad as I am that you are ill, I am so glad to hear from you. Yes, I worried, because I, like many others feel you have become a friend and I am blessed to have that friendship. I will keep you and Mike in my prayers, and as always...take care of you....

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  17. Dear Jane, Thanks for letting us know what happened. I was very worried, even though I am a stranger. I just wanted to say you have very much inspired me to try new crafts I've never done before. I have always gone to your YT channel first when I would sit down to watch videos and constantly be checking for new ones ! I really miss you but I understand that you do what you need to do to take care of you!! I don't know you except thru your videos & have gotten to care very much for you both . Both you & Mike have been an inspiration, you on your crafting & Mike on his successful store. That's how I found you & Mike.....I was stumbling around on YouTube !! You are missed my ''stranger friend'', BUT please get well, that's most important!! Take Care my friend !!

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  18. OMG, thank goodness you posted this. I was getting so worried about you. I started to email you but thought maybe I'd be intruding..
    You need to heal and I'm so sad that you were made to go through all of this crap mentally and physically, as we all know mental stress can affect your physical health. I will so miss your calming voice and amazing talent, but need to take care of you first.
    Be well my friend
    Huge HUGZ

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  19. Jane, I just read this.. I first want to say I am so so sorry for what you are going through.. You owe none of us an explanation or any kind of insight into your life.. This has been a gift to us, that you have shared yourself and your life.. You are so Blessed to have Mike by your side and understand that this is what you need.. What a wonderful man he seems to be.. I wish you all the best and hope you feel better soon.. Do what you need to do to get better and have a great life with the man that loves you.. Keeping you in our prayers and hoping for peace in your future..

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  20. Jane,
    Ian so sorry that you are going through this . I have not been onyoutube as I have been ill myself , but today I went looking through all the. Issued videos and I thought that is odd nothing fromj Jane. So I went looking and theyoutubechannell was gone. First I thought those crazy bitches are at it again. The I looked. For Facebook that was gone so then I Ipanicked. Checked out the bkog and ready this. Oh my Jane I feel horrible sweetie I really do. I have enjoyed each and every video and blog post and I can say I enjoyed the store . I wish there. Was something I could do help. I am sending you my address so that you can email your newer one to me all I have is your old one, I would love to send you a card maybe to cheer u up or put a smile on your face and to say thank you for everything you have inspired me so very much over the years and I really do think of you ass a friend that won't change. Here is my email lynette2@hotmail.com I hope you feel better soon, I have been in very dark places but you know you will see in colour again! You will see a light and you will feel like you again. Don't give up I am sending big big gigantic hugs, if I could reach out now I would give you the biggest hugs ever. Your friend always,

    Lynette

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  21. Beautifully written and wish I had seen this before today! Wishing you nothing but health and happiness. xxxx

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  22. My dear Jane, Please take the time to Heal!!! We are not aware of how draining Your life had become, nor are we totally aware of the stress and strain you were under.
    Yes, I miss seeing your tutorials and videos, and your almost daily updates on the store stock, but your health and welfare supersede mine so yes I will survive, and I want you too also.
    I will say that daily I can now look at MY stash of Glitter and I now have a piece of You in my Craft room. I will continue to pray for your continued healing and recovery. One day at a time My Crafty Sister.........XOX

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  23. Thank you for being so open, I wondered where your YT videos went and then in reading Mike's emails I understood and started praying for you both. Your first priority is to yourself. Only a healthy you will do! I miss your yt videos. But I can relate as I have my own health issues. People can be brutal and those who open up our lives are sitting ducks. But there are many who appreciate and value you. Rest and recuperate sweet lady.

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  24. Please make yourself Number One and let everything else take care of itself I to have suffered crippling panic attacks and it takes a lot of work and time. I got rid of a couple of long time so called friends because I felt they were toxic PLEASE do what you have to do for you. Big bouquets to Mike he sounds like an awesome guy.
    Cheers from an old fat Aussie chic with lots of hugs

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  25. Well dear Jane, I just wrote a long, supportive note that went away, so I will just say you are loved, appreciated and supported. Your store ships quicker than any I have dealt with, and I wish you and Mike all the success possible. I truly admire how supportive he is of you. I hate that there are cruel, cowardly people out there that get off on being evil. You don't deserve any of the negativity you have received. Do only that which makes you happy. You are whole, perfect and complete. What anyone else thinks is not who you are, including me, but I only see goodness and creativity. Be well Jane, and take care of yourself. You deserve happiness and peace. God bless you.....and Mike.

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  26. Hi Jane, I am so very sorry for all that you have endured. You certainly don't deserve such awful treatment by the social media "trolls" and demanding people who think of no one but themselves. I really feel like I can relate to you and your situation in so many ways. I am 55 years old and also run a business with my husband. I too have had anxiety attacks and had one that even made me pass out years ago. I take everything to heart just as you do so I am praying for your continued health and happiness! I think social media is going to be the ultimate undoing of our society. I know that sounds like a crazy, broad statement to make...but it just allows people to live in some kind of fantasy world where they can be the star of their own reality show and bully others behind the anonymity of a keyboard. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to escape too and just delete all my social media accounts! I don't blame you at all. It's just a shame though, because you are such a wonderful, nice, talented person who just wanted to help others. I am so glad I found you and am thankful for you! Hope you'll feel better soon and I'll be saying lots of prayers for you and sending you lots of virtual hugs! :)

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  27. Dee Hall October 14, 2015

    Hi Jane, you have just written my life story. I am 72 now and retired last year. The panic attacks are much less now and I find relaxing more has made my physical pain more bearable. You are married to a wonderful man (as I am) and I know we are both very lucky. You write beautifully and with as much love as you gave us in "our" talks across the craft table. You have taught me so much about crafting - something I never had time to do before. I am praying for you and know that it seems very dark right now, but there IS light at the end of the tunnel. Please know that I pray for you and wish you and Mike (and Tupelo) only the best in your new lives. You are a beautiful person that had some very bad things happen to them but I know you will pull through this and start enjoying life again. Health and Happiness to you both. Love, Dee.

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  28. Jane, I had no idea what had happened and I'm sorry you had to go through that. You have no idea how much I miss just hearing from you. I really enjoyed your vids and loved watching "what's new in the store". I'm a few yrs older than you and I've been through the anxiety and panic attacks. I know what you are dealing with. Just know that there are some people who truly appreciate your talent and sharing nature. The world is not all mean-ness and monsters. Let them roll off. We stand with you.

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  29. Oh my goodness Jane, I am so glad I found you! I have been so worried since finding out your channel was closed. And I didn't want to send a message to the store and ask if you were ok because I know how busy you and Mike get and answering messages takes up so much precious time. I am sorry to hear you have been so unwell. I hope with plenty of rest and time you start to feel a bit better. Sending you big hugs all the way from Northern Ireland. Lee xx

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  30. So sorry to read about your illness Jane, hope you get well soon, there are some horrible nasty people in this world and nothing better to do with their lives. Will miss you on youtube get well soon xxxx

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  31. Do what is right for you. Best wishes.

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  32. Oh Jane, I'm so so sorry you went through what you did. I had no idea, but then I was off YouTube for over a year due to not very nice people. I have started watching videos again, commenting rarely, and uploading none (so far) but I noticed I wasn't seeing anything from you. So I searched, and searched and finally found your new channel, thank Heavens. The email that I get for your blog I haven't been to since I was off YT, it only occurred to me now to check the blog. I hope you are doing better and getting well one day at a time. I'm off now to watch your other two videos. Take care of yourself.
    Debbie (Dewdrop Gables)

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