There is an internet forum dedicated to shit-talking me.
I didn’t find it on purpose. I found it because a particular link was sending hundreds of readers my way, and I was all, huh? Je ne understand pas. I don’t really track my blog traffic, because I think it’s too easy to get caught up in how many people are reading, over, say, just writing my truth and having people make of it what they may. That’s why I don’t have comments, either. Because I don’t want people’s perception of me to alter my perception of myself. I’m not in the game of humanness to be likeable.
I’m a fucking asshole, and exploring that is half the battle.
Getting caught up on the opinions of others is an easy thing to do - when it is bad, but also when it is good. Offline, where it counts, especially, but definitely online, where, even though it is as authentic a truth as I can make it, is still just a snapshot of a wider life. You know? I love writing online and the blog and all the social media that comes with it, I thrive on it, in fact, this is my JAM, but I’m not blind to the lies it can inadvertently tell – from both my end, and everyone else’s.
Anyway. The link came up on my dashboard when I logged in to write, and I couldn’t stop myself from reading because I am human and narcissistic and curious and dumb. And the comments on there were hurtful, and spiteful, and very specific. Which flabbergasted me. I am totally aghast that folks could dream up such vitriolic and malicious comments about anybody – let alone a stranger.
I love a good smack-talking session as much as the next person, behind closed doors with a bottle of prosecco, normally followed with oh, I don’t mean it! My blood sugar is just low. But these woman – and it is women – mean every word, and have deliberately constructed an outlet for curated negativity designed to harm.
One had gone through my Instagram archives and linked to something from seven months ago, citing it as an example of my pathetic-ness. (Weirdly, it was like, the least offense thing on there.) Another had combed my “about” page and declared me a “train wreck”. One said I celebrate “suffering” (inverted commas not my own), another that I am “try hard”, and another that for all the talk of self-love and nourishment and self-exploration I don’t half go on about being single.
“If any guy comes across this mess I am quite sure he would run a mile.”
The one that got me, though, said I thought very highly of myself for somebody who hasn’t done anything.
Hasn’t done anything?
Oh lady. No, no, no.
Hasn’t done anything? HASN’T DONE ANYTHING? Girl, I have tasted stars on his mouth and drunk down the bitter bile of being told, over and over again, that I am not the one for the job. I have weathered the internal battle of self-loathing and doubt, and replied to a hundred emails that tell me I am not alone. I worked through daddy issues and watched the sunrise over mountain villages and flown across oceans to say the words I needed to say before it was too late to say them. I have given my all and rejected the all of another, I have tried and failed and so picked myself up and tried again and again and again. I have lived. Not in spite of the suffering, but because of. Because life. Because beauty. Because the line between it all is oh so fine and that’s fine by me.
What I hear, on being told she hasn’t done anything is actually she doesn’t deserve a voice yet. Declaring my life not worthy of the space on the internet is telling me – and others like me – that there is a test to pass before we get to be heard. That there is a score to reach before we are valuable. That somebody else must deem us worthy of the narrative of our own lives, to be executed in a way somebody else decides.
Not on my fucking watch.
I am writing this post not to defend myself, because I know who I am and what is important to me and what I will let affect me in my heart and what I will write 884 words about before I forget.
I am writing this post because I will not be silenced.
This space is a space that says, you are enough. You are whole and perfect and worthy and every hurt and worry and hope you have is valid.
You cannot tell me otherwise.
If you don’t like me, don’t read me. But simply because you do not like me, doesn’t mean I am somehow not allowed to take up the space I implicitly know I deserve.
So pardon me whilst I construct yet another post on my hopes and dreams and desires and singleness. Because if I feel it? I will write it. It is my story to tell, and nobody – not least you, anonymous trolls – will stop me from telling it. I am the heroine of my own life. Not your victim.
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