Trigger warning: this post contains text from a twitter post that was a trigger point for me. Please be careful if you reading this.
My blog, my views, my thoughts, my ramblings, nobody else’s. I may upset some readers with my posts, and that’s okay because we are all entitled to our own opinions. However, nobody is entitled to force their opinion onto anybody else. Nobody is entitled to hurt others by using assumptions about that person. I saw this happening today on social media. It’s not the first time this has happened. It won’t be the last time. So, why am I writing about this now?
First I ask you to consider the following. Sometimes my posts are long so please make sure you read the whole post, in context, before making any assumptions (there’s that word again) or making any comments.
Social media, in this case Twitter, can be dark, ugly, deadly and in my case triggering. Social media can also be bright, beautiful, life uplifting and also in my case a place to find healing. I am always amazed that I can find healing in the place that cam bring me down.
I say social media in the paragraph above but it isn’t social media that has these characteristics. It can’t be. Social media is just a platform for people to use. And use it they do. For some reason people feel a need to attack others and bring them down.
I was following a thread today where a male twitter user felt it was his duty to attack a female sex worker and her chosen career online. And even though he said he didn’t use assumptions in his arguments he proceeded to make all sorts of assumptions about the lady that he could not know to be fact or otherwise.
Then came the two posts that had a profound triggering affect on me. He said that maybe the lady had a mental illnes and that was what was causing a number of her problems. Three posts later, and I quote, “Try not to cut to deep later when shaking off the rage you’re in.”
Sometimes there is no warning…
Yes I have a mental illness that I battle with every day. Yes I have had a problem with self harming. I thought I was coping with my past (and present) illnes. But bam, those posts just broadsided me. I had to stop reading and unfortunately I misread a post from another person that at the time of reading seemed to be agreeing with the original poster. I posted a reply. I am lucky that the person I replied to was level headed and reasonable and we sorted my misunderstanding out quickly; if you are willing it is possible and easy to have congenial and rigourous discussions without having to resort to insults.
I had thoughts all afternoon for the lady who was being assaulted by this man. I do not know how she reacted to the abuse, I hope she is okay. It is not acceptable for this to happen to anyone. I did report this person, as did others, to Twitter for this targetted abuse. It seems trivial but I can only hope that he may realise what he was doing and learn to be a better person.
What happened to me? I was disgusted and offended at the trivialisation of mental illness and self harming. These are things that destroy many lives every day, and all to often can lead to the end of life. This sent me into an episode I am lucky that I have many friends on twitter who actually care about other people. All it took for me was to post that I was not doing well and I had four friends who were online at the time checking on me, one who was willing to have a lengthy chat.
It has taken me a long time to be comfortable accepting help or asking for help. I encourage others who battle as I do to reach out to your friends. They care and they do not mind and they do not judge.
Today I found both darkness and healing using twitter.
A broken man,