Some of you already know that any time I whip out Lara Croft in a featured image for a post, there’s probably going to be blood. This might be a bloody post, so please proceed with caution. If you’re not in the mood, please feel free to bypass this one – I wouldn’t ever hold that against you.
I do intend for this to be my last post on this subject. I’m sorry that my writing about this may be getting a little monotonous, and I’m also sorry that it may be confusing to those who aren’t involved in this situation in any way. Please bear with me while I air my final thoughts and feelings. If you choose to skip this post, I wouldn’t blame you. From here on, I’ll be dropping this and resuming regularly-scheduled programming.
This post may also earn me a few more unfollowers/enemies on social media, namely Twitter. I have decided that that’s perfectly fine, because it will illuminate who my real friends are–and aren’t. And it will also reveal to me who my real friends were–and weren’t–all along. Those of you who truly know me are already well aware that I eschew drama, and that this post is not an attention-seeking or pot-stirring attempt; it will, however, serve as a decent litmus test. For anyone who gossips about this, I say let them. Meh.
The truth is, I do try to be positive and unifying. But when I see friends getting hurt, I’m going to take a stand. This post is my stand.
I want to make it crystal clear that under no circumstances am I criticizing Asperger’s/autism or any of its characteristics! Never would I do that. This post is directed at the sustained, horrible behaviors exhibited by a very specific and finite group of people.
It could also be applied to any bullying situation.
As toxic as it may seem, it’s simply a backlash against what’s already been heaped (by some people exhibiting very mean behavior) on some very cool people who are dear friends, and myself. This won’t equalize the playing field by matching what they’ve done, but it’s what I can do.
It’s also a simple clearing of residual debris and a reciprocal calling-out of childish and harmful behavior online. I started this with a few other posts (linked to at the bottom), and I’m going to finish it, with this one. I’m finally going to say what I’ve wanted to say.
In this post, by airing my own thoughts/feelings (as well as that of many others) and talking about this debacle (even though it’s in reference to a very specific debacle), I’m saying everything I’ve ever wanted to say to any other grotesque bully out there, and I’m standing side-by-side with everyone who has ever been victimized by one.
(Rated R for language)
(Literally rolling up my sleeves) Here goes…
Yes, this time, I’m talking to you directly. The other blog posts have been generalized to include multiple scenarios, but this one is what you’ve secretly wanted. This is not passive-aggression, nor is it even aggression. It’s defense, and subsequent offense. You may not be able to understand the difference between aggression and offense, but there is a subtle distinction. But you were never one for subtleties, now, were you?
Yes, I’m blogging as opposed to engaging with you on Twitter, because engagement was what you wanted until you realized that I wasn’t going to get your mud on me. I wanted people to be able to tell the difference, which is difficult if you’re both covered in the same mud. You can call it passive-aggressive if you want. I’m beyond caring. In fact, I plainly don’t give a shit.
Yes, I have a snarky Pissy Side of my own. And today, I’m feeling rather Pissy.
While I’m “flattered” to be the center of your attacks and hold a top position on your Enemy Hit List No. 1, shame the fuck on you. Because although I recovered from the attacks on me just fine, and very quickly thanks to the help of about 20 people who came forward, publicly or privately, to offer support, a lot of other people–good people–aren’t feeling so strong right now. They wound up being dragged against their will, unprovoked, into your shitstorms of hate and negativity, when they had absolutely nothing to do with the previous rounds of conflict.
And yes, “rounds” of conflict/attack. As in, you continue to perpetuate this behavior. Locusts like you swarm and descend, upon something or someone innocent, suck up and devour every ounce of strength that they/we have, until they’re/we’re barely hanging by a thread, fresh out of spoons and steam, with nothing left over to give to the other facets of our lives.
Because yes, the rest of us have other facets of life besides social media. Normal people like to spend time with their friends and families (given that the other people in those relationships aren’t toxic). Normal people have other interests in life besides seeking out every minute infraction on Twitter, taking phrases out of context (really–when have I ever linked Asperger’s/autism itself to cancer and viruses–really? If that’s how you read it, then you either need a serious Reality Check or you need to start copy-pasting quotes in whole to show me where I actually said that), enticing people into fights, and hammering various people relentlessly.
And, just like locusts, when you’ve tired of one target, you move on to the next, leaving torn people in your damage path.
Afterwards, we are indeed torn and damaged. You did that. You perpetrated that onto real people. People with feelings, heart rates, loved ones. (Speaking of loved ones, how many of you actually spend time with your children? Do you have your arm around your kids while you’re slugging us across the virtual face with vitriol? Just asking. You don’t need to answer. Your affairs are not my problem. But I hope, for their sake, that you’re engaging more with the people you love (and who depend on you) than with people you hate. Because if you didn’t–and I’m not saying one way or the other, but if this applies to you–then they’re suffering, and you’re a shitass.)
There’s another chapter to our story, though. We may be down, but we’re not out. The “down” only lasts for a while anyway. And then we do bounce back (sorry). Because we are indeed human beings, and we do eventually recharge and regain our energy and strength. We collect our thoughts, sort out our feelings, reorganize our lives, and detoxify our friends’ lists. Our lives go on, happier, stronger, and more peaceful in the end.
You didn’t win a damn thing. But thank you for doing us the favor. Through your tie-severing, we simplified our lives, cleansed our social media notifications, and returned to calmer states. We ended up feeling less stressed, more free, and generally lighter. Fat has been trimmed, empty wrappers have been recycled.
Because that’s how the relationships, for many of us, became: unwanted dead weight. We may have thought we wanted it and enjoyed it, kind of like keeping stuff around your house that you don’t really need and isn’t doing you any good, but you don’t have a good enough reason to part with it–we decide to keep it around, thinking that we enjoy having it in our lives. I thought that myself, up until two weeks ago, and last week I was surprised to discover that I actually felt lighter and more relieved after all! I hadn’t expected that, but hindsight is 20/20 and shit.
What you are doing goes beyond bullying. It’s harassment. It’s abuse. It’s not merely immature (by the way, the ages to which people have likened your behavior range from toddlerhood to early adolescence–as in, puberty onset); it’s sociopathic and sadistic. You derive joy from the suffering of others. You don’t care how anything affects them, even if the effect is only short-term. It was pointed out to you that your behavior contributes to emotional trauma, shutdowns, meltdowns, self-harm/self-injury, and even suicide, and yet you Epic Fucking Fail to care about anyone else, because the constant shit-stirring gets your rocks off for a few minutes. Congratulations. Take care of you, entertain yourself, and to hell with anybody else, right?
All logic has gone out the window in your camp. What started out as a sociological debate erupted into a literal McCarthy Era witch-hunt, in which people were virtually tarred and feathered based on assumed guilt by association. It became a polarized divide with an “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” mentality, devoid of logic and reason. Way to be open-minded and tolerant. And you pretend to be liberal and whatnot. Go you.
Mentality like this has repeated itself through history, on both the micro- and macrocosms. McCarthy is only one example. At its worst, this mentality and behavior reek of the forces that ultimately drove the Holocaust to its epic horrible proportions (no, I’m not comparing it to these atrocities; I’m saying that it’s this type of recruitment mentality and snowballing of power that have that potential). At first, the targets were limited to small populations, and the actions taken were debatably mild (in comparison to the end result, that is). But rolling snowballs have this tendency to pick up speed and grow in size as they roll further down the hill, and pretty soon, associates of associates become sucked into the vortex.
It’s a disturbingly immature power trip. Nothing more.
A passage from a previous post (remember that one?) now indeed applies to you (ah, what the hell – the entire post now applies to you):
I’m sorry that you feel like your life sucks. Join the club; a lot of peoples’ lives suck. Yours may or may not suck more than most. Regardless, it’s not our fault, it’s not our problem, and it’s not our responsibility. The fact that you feel your life sucks does not give you license to shit all over innocent people from behind the cowardly cloak of the internet. It is not we who caused your life to suck. We might, however, have been willing to provide an excellent avenue of support, encouragement, insight, perspective, and positivity, or even a simple listening ear….if you hadn’t just shit all over us, that is. It’s kind of hard to band together behind or beside you and lift your spirits to the proverbial stars if we’re wiping your rotten gunk off of us and trying to dodge additional gunk as it launches at us from your keyboard.
You call me a fence-sitter, but that’s only because logic knows there are multiple sides of an equation, and most people know there are different ways of perceiving a situation. What matches this behavioral pattern appears to be more of a blend of Borderline Personality (more so) and Antisocial (less so), although since I’m not a psychology specialist, I’ll stop there.
Speaking of specialists, you’ve induced several people to see theirs/ours to address and process the effects of your antics, and if you’re filled with this much polarizing hatred and attention-seeking, and that’s what you derive satisfaction and entertainment from, then you should also probably see yours.
What, exactly, did you hope to accomplish, anyway? Think real hard about that one. What’s your ultimate goal? Is there a line you won’t cross?
Did you intend to send people spiraling into meltdowns and shutdowns? Because you did. Yep, you did that. Feeling powerful now? Is that what you wanted?
Did you intend to trigger PTSD, depression, anxiety, shutdowns, and pain? Or did you just mercilessly not care? Look at that list again:
Not exactly the activity log of a decent person. Not exactly something I’d be proud of, personally. But you seem to have no standards. You sink to a new low every day.
I don’t know about you (nor do I care anymore), but making decent, innocent people feel like shit just because they’re friends with the wrong people (hello age nine!) is so not on my Bucket List.
Seriously, create a time/activity log. Log the time you spend on various activities. You know what I spent my weekend doing? Offering support to nice people. Wishing people well. Showing them I cared. Petting my cat. Talking with my partner. Doing research. Blogging a little. Responding to the lovelies on this blog. Catching up on some email. Offering support to more people, as the waves continued to crash in and ripple outward.
What else did you think would come of this? Was there any other outcome?
As for the people who’ve joined you (I used to be one of the people who generally supported you, by the way) – how long will it be before you run out of opponents to trash, get bored without chaos to churn up, and start turning on them? It happened; I’m a prime example, and so are several others. I watched it happen.
While I’m on a question-asking roll, who the hell thinks that calling out bullying behavior is a bullying behavior in itself? Bullying is a form of abuse. And the first step to stopping the various abuse epidemics is to tell someone about it. The longer the victims stay silent, the more the abuse is allowed to proceed unchecked, the more the victims will continue to be victimized, and the more society as a whole will suffer.
(Is that what you want? For people to be dissuaded from trying to be proactive against their feelings of powerlessness? Do you have the monopoly on power? I recall a few dictators who thought along similar lines, by the way.)
In fact, if I recall, your own timeline is littered with the calling-out of trolls and bullies. Are you just butthurt because you’re at the business end of the accusation this time?
Truth hurts, doesn’t it? It’s even more of a bitch when it’s a hard truth.
And yes, I speak the truth, at least the way I perceive it. Even if it’s from atop a perch on a fence. I don’t give a shit.
You don’t intimidate me.
You shouldn’t be trying to intimidate anyone else, either.
You don’t have that goddamn right.
So, to all who participated in this little shenanigan and jumped on the Bandwagon of Crap, fuck you. You can continue on with your little drawn-out public tantrum. Because that’s all this is. I won’t even give it the dignity of the “meltdown” term–what’s happening here is a petty childish tantrum. (By contrast, a true meltdown is totally different, and it usually passes within a shorter amount of time.). Howl if you want; the roaring wind resistance against you is only getting louder, and your own voice dimmer.
The rest of us are moving on. You mean jack shit to us.
And I say “us”, because there are a lot more of us than there are of you, and although I’ve said on this blog over and over again that I can only speak for myself, today, I’m speaking for many. There are many more of us who have become stronger and closer through this whole thing than there are people who left.
And if any other undiscovered Twitter-Twit wants to leave now after reading this, please do us all a favor and GTFO. Lock down your accounts and compile your little lists and profiles and salute your brainwashing leader. Mindlessly bow down to them; prostrate before their feet. Form your secret little club with your secret little handshakes and passwords. Have I said yet, that I don’t give a shit? And after their initial shock and pain of rejection wear off, neither will anybody else.
Update your databases regularly; snoop and scour other people, making sure you’re not following anyone that I’m following or that follows me. Sever ties with all of us; our Twitter experience will be much safer and more supportive. The rest of us are moving forward, with new and improved (online) lives.
~The Returning-To-Silent Wave
And with that, I’m off to find my inner peace, catch up with friends, and do constructive things with my life. I hope all my lovelies find themselves in a place where they can do the same. Heal your wounds, my pretties. I’m here to listen anytime, of course. ❤
Other posts related to this topic:
“The Great Divide” – March 4, 2017
“A Little Withdrawal Is Good For the Soul” – February 27, 2017
“Sometimes I’m Almost Afraid To Check Social Media” – February 22, 2o17
Posts the “gang” thought were related, but aren’t, but fit the situation anyway:
“Exclusion, Inclusion, and… the Autism Spectrum” – February 26, 2017
Other potentially-applicable posts:
“Knock It Off ~ An Open Letter To the Recent Twits (Twitter Trolls)” – January 3, 2017
“Asperger’s/autism vs Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)” – March 5, 2017 (not just the post itself, but also some excellent discussion in the comments section)