this ends now.
I almost never ask for support. especially not in situations where asking people to believe you turns into taking sides, but I’m asking for it now. I’m asking you to read all of this, and I’m asking you not to take sides, but to fight this behavior in your every day lives and refuse to take part in it. refuse to be a party to it, and stand up to it when you see it happen.
Treating someone the way I’ve been treated is wrong. it’s manipulative, hurtful, divisive, and downright cruel.
How does one explain the anger, stress, confusion, and isolation that rumormongering creates? especially in a tight-knit online community where attention is either earned through creating quality content or personal relationships with other users. pushing someone to distrust their own friends for fear of who has their ear is emotionally taxing.
Having a sleepless nights every few weeks after getting alerted to some new way strangers on the internet are lying about your character just makes me want to leave tumblr altogether. but if I did so, they’d probably celebrate. they would win. and they would learn nothing.
Worse than the lies is the mystery and distrust. I could never be sure what insults were being laid against me and by who, as I had no way of tracking the influence of their leadership, and in every interaction I ever had with her, words were put into my mouth to twist new meaning into what I was saying. this is not only extremely frustrating, but it’s also an abuse tactic. Literally anything could be spread about me because those rumors didn’t have to be true and they didn’t have to have proof.
I composed an entire essay, just comparing the arguments that were being addressed against the ones I was actually making- this is not to mention the things I couldn’t know, but the gist of it:
- in seemingly-civil debate, my arguments were exaggerated until I nearly found myself disagreeing with the very argument that I was being told I was making.
- in private conversations, very reasonable and polite requests- to change a misquote of marked-out words I had worked hard to find, a small alteration to a post that made OP sound more homophobic than I assumed they were (this was actually meant to protect them before it was publicly argued by someone else), or just honesty about what they had been told to believe about a stranger- these were misconstrued into harassment or badgering.
- in private conversations initiated with my friends, my words were blatantly twisted in an attempt to draw a disagreement where one didn’t exist.
It doesn’t matter that I know my own intentions and I know what I’ve said and stand by it completely, my words have been twisted publicly, and I assume they’ve undergone much worse in private conversations between these people. people I had never even interacted with until given the suspicion that they were among the whispering- seemed to hold preconceived beliefs that I was abusive or racist or a misogynist. when I’ve attempted to privately talk to them and politely explain how their actions hurt me, I’ve been accused of harassment and blocked. I’ve had my one form of peaceable defense stripped from me because these people were unable to face the results of their own actions or even explain it to their victim (and believe me, I hate using that word) who was very willing to forgive and forget it. they continue to lie about it even now.
- I was accused of misogyny and laziness for struggling to write domestic characters. I should not have to explain my own personal aversion to family life to be treated with dignity and not insulted.
- I was then accused of taking things too personally- though the response I was primarily defending against addressed a personal perspective I gave to answer the OP’s question (this is called gaslighting btw)
- Rather than ‘getting in and getting out, letting go of the rope and not following up an undue amount,’ my posts were noticeably watched by parties interested in twisting my words without my knowledge until they inevitably restarted the open conflict. I facilitated that confrontation on a suspicion, but I was not wrong.
- I was accused of being uncritical of historical figures (hilarious, right?) for suggesting we disproportionately criticize a soldier’s fathering while he was fighting overseas.
- I was accused of racism and of denouncing all musical fics as problematic because I’ve been critical of fandom’s avoidance of history. not by the same person, and I had wanted to believe the collusion was coincidence. It apparently was not and therefore I assume the accusations were not.
- I was accused of sending a hateful anonymous message- which, first- is against every principal I have both in its anonymity and its cruelty, and second- wouldn’t strategically make sense to do since it would only give them a way to be victims.
- Overall, I’ve had to watch false insults, both vague and blatantly stated, and supported by people I’ve. never. met. who had no good way of reaching these beliefs on their own.
- and I’ve had to witness a blatant lying about the influence behind those beliefs.
- “I might talk about them with friends, but like. They usually already know about and feel the same way about those people so I’m generally not telling them anything new or changing any hearts or minds”
So respectfully, fuck off.
You don’t get to hide behind each other and pretend your actions are not evil and cruel and abusive. you don’t get to cry about it with each other as though you’re the ones who have been harassed. and most of all you don’t get to bully me.
So. I haven’t named names. I could. I could also provide screenshots of pretty much everything I listed up there (minus a few things that I was just too shocked or immediately distressed to document).
But- I don’t want to. I don’t want to care about it anymore. I don’t care about you. I don’t even care if one or more of these things wasn’t actually about me. the fact that you people have driven me to the paranoid belief that they are, is a testament to how fucked up you got my head. and worse- I feel like you’re all probably proud of that since you’ve all decided to hate me.
But, I hope you learn how to listen to what other people are saying when you’re arguing with them. I hope you learn how to argue without twisting a challenging debater’s words to make them your enemy. I hope you learn how to recognize manipulative friends and the value of loyalty to yourself and to what’s right. I hope you learn to truly accept responsibility for hurting others and I hope you learn how to actually grow from it instead of wallowing in pity for feeling like a mean person.
But mostly, I hope you take a long, honest and really really deep look at yourselves and reach a better place to be constructive to a better community. Because the one you’re creating for young people (yes, I’m younger than all you cowardly, lying little people) is toxic.