This will be my one and only say on the issue. After this post it done with, I won’t be responding to nasty comments, nasty posts or any other kind of attack, here or anywhere else. It’s not worth the hassle. It’s pointless. I know this post will alter nothing, and some will be disagree that I’ve felt the need to say this much, but it’s a release for me. And that’s what this blog has always been about. If I change that, I might as well quit now.
Last night, I went to bed physically angry. A few weeks worth of anger I’d been bottling up, I think. My heart was beating faster. I was breathing heavier. And not in a good way. I’d waited for something to load an hour earlier, and couldn’t sit waiting for it. I’d paced into the kitchen and back again. Tense wasn’t the word.
I’ve dealt with bullies before. There’s only two ways I’ve ever found of dealing with them effectively; hit them hard, once, to let them know you won’t take it, or don’t let them bully you.
The physical violence bit I’ve tried to eschew. My attitude was always that they can only bully you if you let them. If they try and ostracize you? Walk away first. If they mock you, don’t respond. Don’t react. Stone face. You’re only a target if you stand still and take it. Walk away.
That was when I could turn around and look the bullies in the eye. And to be fair to those who bullied me (some of whom I’m still in loose contact with), I got an apology off most of them.
On the Internets, you can’t force someone to look you in the eye. You can walk away, but that doesn’t mean the attacks will stop. Flying under the radar up until now has leant me a certain protection – as has the fact that I’ve always attacked arguments on their relative merits, and not attacked people personally. I’ve had run-ins with those from both sides of the political divide, but it’s always been kept within the boundaries of decency.
Up until now. We all know why, and I’m just going to say this on why we didn’t hide it:
My attitude was that there would be those who would be watching closely enough to divine our relationship anyway, and that by not posting things we wanted to post, we would be losing something for no gain.
I refuse to hide in shadows because a select group of people will try and have cheap shots at Jeremy through me. But I will not be used as a weapon against him by responding and encouraging them. At the same time, although I left a comment or two on certain blogs when it first became clear I’d be used as a target, I’ve nipped that in the bud. I don’t gain anything by reading or commenting at sites determined to mock people I care about, and I certainly don’t get anything out of reading anonymous comments talking about my supposed sex life and supposed weight.
I’d take it personally if it wasn’t clear that these people are the lowest of the low. But they aren’t worth my time. My energy. I’m angry at myself that they’ve gotten this much, but I’m getting this down once and for all, and then I’m walking away from the nastiness. This is my detox.
Anonymity on the internet I’ve never craved. Even now, even when things are starting to get nasty for no other reason than who I am happy with, I don’t want to hide. Others might, but that’s not for me. I’ve got nothing to lose from this position: you know who I am, you know my name. I’m not hiding. I’m happy, we’re happy. So what? You want to have a crack because of who I’m with? Go ahead. But you won’t get anything from me. At the end of the day, I go home to someone I love and respect. And nothing anyone says or does on the Intertubes – no amount of anonymous high school bullying is going to change that.
But I’m not playing the mind games, either. You’ve got a problem with something I’ve said? Fine. Disagree? Dandy. Take it on. But I won’t engage with anyone who uses low-blows, trades insults from a position of anonymity or drags my personal life into discussions where it has no place. Especially if you’re using me as a way of getting to my partner.
And may I take this opportunity to remind you of my comments policy? Any comments using personal attacks on me or mine will be deleted. Same goes with any other commenter – if you attack them personally I’ll warn you once if you don’t know about the policy and then it gets binned: It’s my blog, my discretion. If you don’t like it, feel very free to fuck off.
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