I really don't like bringing my personal bullshit to my blog or my writing haven, but something has been troubling me for a couple of days to the point that I've shut down. It's time to face the fact that I need to purge this crap from my system, and I have found that the best way for me to purge is to write.
As many of you know, someone I thought of as a dear friend passed away last Friday. I hadn't known him for long, but I felt a powerful connection to this person. I don't know if he felt the same way about me, but for me, he had touched my heart very deeply. In a short time, he made a greater impact on me than people I've known for years, and I truly felt he was a kindred spirit. Maybe it was that he and I both shared a deep love of music, or maybe it was that he was Native American and I hold a special fondness for Native Americans. Or maybe it was just that he was a powerfully magnetic soul with enough charisma to fill a football stadium. He was a bright light in an ocean of darkness. His name was Talon, and even now I cry that he's gone, and I tend not to get this emotional when someone dies. I think I'm so emotional over Talon's death because I know how many people were touched by this very special person, and now a big gaping hole has been left in their lives where Talon used to be. It tears me up.
But my fond memories of Talon have been tarnished and interrupted by a mass of hate and negativity, some of which has been aimed at me.
Apparently, and unbeknownst to me until Sunday, some jackass (who shall remain unnamed here because I refuse to give him any more power than others have already given him) made disparaging comments against Talon and his partner. Talon was gay and had a beautiful relationship with his partner (and he still does even in death). Jackass (JA) posted a spew of hate against Talon that anyone with half a brain would have poo-pooed away as nothing more than juvenile nonsense not worth their time and energy to address.
Apparently, JA has a history of spewing his hate venom in an effort to bully others. From what I've learned about him in the past week, he has a particular disdain against homosexuals and women who write M/M romance and erotica.
So what? The guy's a turd. And as any six-year-old has been taught, the best way to take away a bully's power is to ignore him and act as if he isn't there. But JA isn't just a bully. He's a master gameplayer. This is JA's game: to provoke and provoke until you react. The longer you ignore him, the more vicious his attacks become as he seeks to find your hot spot that will trigger a reaction, but eventually, if he is unable to get a reaction, he will move on to someone who will react. Talon's death was perfect fuel for JA. What better hot spot than to attack a person who was beloved by so many. And it worked. JA got the very reaction he was seeking. He won.
Being that I grew up with a master mindgame player (God rest my mother's soul), I feel I can speak with some expertise on this subject, because I was being taught about mind games and how to avoid them from about the age of eight. My dad didn't want me to turn out to be like my mom, so as he went through years of psychotherapy in an effort to save their marriage (and then to recover from the divorce), he became an expert on mindgames and taught what he learned to me.
So, when I say that with people like JA you just have to take the high road for as long as it takes to make them disappear, I'm not talking from ignorance. I'm talking from first-hand experience. No matter how angry he makes you, or how outrageously stupid his comments are, you just have. To. Ignore. Him.
At any rate, JA's comments against Talon sparked an immediate reaction, and not only did a large group of people strike back and speak out about his attack on Talon, they also addressed his long-standing animosity toward women who write M/M romance, along with everything else he has spewed over the course of his existence, thus confirming to JA that they had heard every word he's said for the months they were "ignoring" him and that they had been affected by it. Any traction these people had gained through months of "ignoring" him was lost in less than 24 hours.
Why do I care? you may be asking. How has this affected me to the point I have shut down and felt I needed to speak up about it? might be a better question.
The other day after seeing yet another several FB posts about JA and his senseless drivel, I posted on a thread and said that I couldn't help thinking that JA was sitting back watching the reaction he had stirred up and was laughing about it. That simple comment sparked what I can only call a gang mob attack on me. I tried to point out as the attack on me escalated that I felt these people had valid points and that this guy was, in fact, a jerk, but that if they truly wanted to hurt him, they would just ignore his insensitive comments. I also couldn't help but wonder what seeing all the rehashing of JA's comments was doing to Talon's partner, who was having to deal with enough emotional upheaval over losing his loved one. I simply couldn't see how this was doing him any good, helping him, or supporting him.
You would have thought I was the devil incarnate.
I received inboxes. My heart was questioned. It was insinuated that I had a cold heart and that my head was in the sand and that I was a bad person if I didn't take up arms against JA. Hurtful things were said to me. I was lectured and, yes, bullied. These people became the very thing they claimed to be fighting against, which left me wondering if they had lost sight of who the real enemy was. I felt as if I was being categorized with JA as one of the enemy. Some felt I needed to be "educated" about what's going on. No, I don't need to be educated. I'm quite aware, thank you.
One person, who I think of as a close friend, posted on her wall about "crabby interneters" who had made their way to her wall and she should feel sorry for them because "they have a handicap where they are unable to grasp the control to see something they don't like and just move the heck on. smh." The discussion in question was taking place on her wall, and I was the only one that I could see being referred to as the "crabby interneter." I sat back and thought, "Is she talking about me? Because if she is, I guess we aren't the friends I thought we were." But more than anything else, that last sentence she posted was what stuck out at me. She was saying that if you see something you don't like on FB, you should just move the heck on. In other words, ignore it. Which is what I'd been saying. Here's the kicker: When it comes to JA, nobody does that. They don't like what he says, but swarm like killer bees around him, anyway, working themselves into a frenzy over his shit-spew. When it came to my comments, they didn't like those, but came after me, anyway, instead of "moving the heck on." So, is that message for everybody, or just for everybody outside the inner circle? Or just me?
*heavy, emotional sigh*
These people claim the platform against JA is one against bullying, in general. There's nothing wrong with building a platform against bullying. If that's your plan, by all means, you have my full support. As a person who was bullied as a child to the point of physical shoving and pushing by people trying to hurt me, I'm vehemently against bullying. However, what has transpired in recent days doesn't come off as an anti-bullying campaign. It comes off as an anti-JA campaign. It comes off as a personal attack against him and looks like an open, personal war has been declared, and Facebook has become the battlefield. If I hadn't been told this was about bullying, in general, I never would have guessed that, because it looks like his camp is at war with their camp, and it's ugly. It's negative, black, and something I don't want to see or be a part of. At all. It's not that I agree with JA. I don't. But I don't agree with the mob mentality of going after him the way he goes after others, because it means the anti-JAers have sunk to his level.
JA has spies everywhere. I've been around on Facebook long enough to know that much, so I'm sure JA has been fully briefed about what is occurring all over Facebook about him, and he's preparing for his next attack. So, did this outcry against him really help or just add more fuel to his fire? My bet is that it only made it worse, so if the intent was to improve the situation: FAIL. What's more is that they all "know" JA is fake, and look at all the attention they give him, anyway. *shakes head* I don't get it.
One more thing that bothered me about this whole issue is the timing of the counter-attack on JA. At a time when emotions were already sky-high and off-the-charts, and when all of us should have been focusing on the tragic, horrible loss of Talon, and on supporting his partner through this difficult time, a group chose to wage war and diminish the beautiful message that was Talon's life and memory. I know I stick my foot in my mouth and suffer from bad timing syndrome on a regular basis, but the timing of this incident just blows my mind. Could these people not have waited a week or two? Did they have to react on emotion instead of logic and tarnish what should have been a time of reflection and support?
At any rate, the attack on me when I tried to point out that we were giving JA too much power and drawing more attention to him than he was worth was so awful, I don't feel I can talk to any of those involved, anymore, and I'm wondering if I can even keep them on my friends list. I'm still affected by things that were said to me, and it's been two days. I'm severely troubled by the incident and don't know entirely what to do about it because of the things that were said and the attitudes taken against me. I feel ostracized by people I thought of as friends, but now I'm not sure what they are.
One thing I do know is that I refuse to be subjected to the negative energy, anymore. Negative energy breeds negative energy. Love breeds love. You wouldn't see the Dalai Lama react to JA the way this group has, and the Dalai Lama is one of the most influential people in the world. If you want to influence people, you do so with love, not hate. So, from now on, if I see anything negative come down my Facebook newsfeed, especially where JA is concerned, I will be unfriending whoever posted it. I go to Facebook on my author account to be inspired, network, learn about writing, and to connect with my fans. I don't use my author account to wave banners, take up political causes, or goof off. That does not mean I don't care, or that I turn a blind eye, or that I have a cold heart. It means that I delineate what I do as an author from what I do as a person. For my person to be attacked through my author account tells me that from now on, my author account will strictly be used for author account purposes. Is that the effect this group wanted to have? Is this how they plan on convincing others to join them? Because all they did was alienate me.
I'm sorry I felt the need to expel my thoughts and feelings about this issue here, but even under my author persona, I am a human being with my own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. I can't always be in a good mood, and sometimes I have to keep it real. And this was all-too-real to me, but after this post, I will NEVER discuss this subject again. I'm done with it and am mentally wadding it up and burning it as I type this. This post is the last bit of energy I want to give this painful, horrible experience.
My final thought: Be careful how you show your beliefs to the world, because there's a fine line between condemning something with your words and condoning it through your actions. By speaking out against "bullying" the other day, some of the people involved became bullies, and their message was diminished as a result. Maybe they don't care that it's me who feels that way, and maybe if they see this post they will whisper among themselves about how idiotic that Donya bitch is. There's nothing I can do about that. I just hope that if they do that they have the decency to unfriend me first, because I don't need "friends" like that in my circle.
As for my friend, Talon, I only regret that this incident took me away from remembering him as I wanted to remember him, and I'm sorry that it made his partner feel as though I didn't support him, because there is nothing further from the truth than that.
Thank you for letting me purge myself. I promise my next post won't be such a downer. I'm planting a new seed today, and negativity is not part of the fertilizer for it.
As always, happy reading and writing.