When I sit down to write, I’m often at a loss for what I want to say. There have been long, fallow stretches over these five years for that reason. Not this time. This week provided a fascinating microcosm for me of a situation I’ve been knocking around for a while. Time to air it out.
I’ve been in a pretty awful mood for the last few weeks. There’s been a lot of contributing factors. Stress at work. A missed therapy appointment. Lola being cranky. Most dominant has been a severe sleep deficit. I’m not someone you want to be around.
But thankfully I got that therapy appointment Tuesday. I got to vent in my safe space. We agreed that I needed to stand up for myself more. I had wonderful, healthy conversations with my dad and my wife that left me feeling stronger. I was ready to be bolder.
Then I saw something online that angered me. The (redacted) people raised 10K for their cause, a cause I find utterly asinine. I was outraged because that is, to me, a horrible waste of money. I said so. And was immediately slammed because it was pointed out they raised as much for (redacted), a cause I do support. I was shamed and I shut up.
However it didn’t sit right with me that this group had used charity as a shield from criticism for a cause. So I vented as much. And was slammed so hard I had to walk back everything I said. I had to take down things I truly felt because I was so scared of how badly they were coming after me. Even now, I’m so threatened by this group, I’ve removed all identifying characteristics because I want them to leave me alone.
This is an entry about that awful fact. The sad truth that you can be a 35 year old man afraid of bullies.
Because that’s the root of it. Why is it so hard for me to stand up for myself? My childhood. I wasn’t told it was ok to. My meltdowns were largely a cry for help and I got punished for them while my tormentors got away with their behavior. Under what circumstances would I think I would be respected for standing up for myself.
The hard truth is I’m weak. PTSD does that. It makes you struggle with putting feelings of inadequacy behind you. Right now as I work on this blog entry, I feel like shouting from the rooftops what horrible people this cult consists of. I can do that. I’m safe here in my little space.
What’s funny is how this highlights the odd semi-public nature of Twitter. On one hand yes, it’s incredibly public and anyone can see anything you write. I’ve made many friends that way.
But on the other hand, there’s a certain etiquette I wish people followed. Does someone say something directly to you that angers you? Ignore it. I overlook countless areas of the internet I dislike. Even when my friends hate something I love or vice versa, I hold my tongue. It’s not my place. Because going after someone for what they think? That’s bullying.
So where does my public decrying of this fundraiser fall? Did I deserve it because I did speak publicly? Or was it not their place to jump in? I don’t know. In theory it should be my right to speak and others right simply to pass me by. But as I’ve noted before, bullies run the world. They always have and always will. Nobody’s going to tell them no. And I will watch my words. It shouldn’t be this way but it is.
As always, this post is funded my the support of Paul Andolina and Chris Janisko. If you want more content like this, support me here.