I've been stewing, and hiding, and growing angrier and angrier over the past week since I cut myself off from LJ. These 5 bitcas, who don't even have the nerve to try pulling these stunts in public, have been letting me hold myself hostage in my fear. They sit back, and they judge my value as a person based solely on what I write here, and they take their cheap shots that find their way through the chinks in my armor, and I *hate* that. I hate that I've let myself get bullied into retreating from something that gave me pleasure. So what if I post pictures of myself on LJ? It's *my* journal; you don't like it, you can go elsewhere. It doesn't make me vain, and going to conventions---which is nobody's business but my own anyway---has absolutely no bearing on my aptitude as a mother. But still, your comments struck exactly where you knew they would, and it's gotten so bad over the past week that I'm not even opening e-mail from people I don't immediately know because I'm terrified you'll be using yet another e-mail address I don't recognize.
That's just ridiculous.
It's my own fault. I let myself take what they said personally. It *hurt* because it completely plays into all my fears regarding the fandom, and myself, and my family. I just want to hide away from the hurt and protect myself as much as possible from it happening again, hence my moratorium on personal posts. I don't want them having more ammunition to try and get to me.
There have been some wonderful people who've reached out in support, far too many to list here without accidentally forgetting someone, but one thing keeps getting clearer and clearer. This bile has absolutely nothing to do with me. This is *their* problem, and I'm only a willing target. This doesn't mean it doesn't hurt any less, but my anger at being treated so counters it more, so that I begin to feel empowered to stand up for myself for a change.
It's not something I do well. I like to blend into the woodwork. You don't get hurt when people don't see you. But it's a behavior I've been desperately fighting these past few years, especially having children now. I don't want Alicia or Alex to see their mommy afraid. It's why I took swimming lessons when Alicia was born. There was no way I was transferring my irrational fear of water to my kids. It's an uphill battle for me, and I very often slide backwards, but I'm still trying.
This is no different. Up to this morning, I was still fluxing back and forth on what to do, though my anger at myself has been building steadily. And then I read this motivational affirmation on my daily calendar:
I refuse to be an actor in your drama when I did not audition for the part.
The appropriateness of this kicked me in the gut. My reaction to their little drama is something I have complete control over. I selected to void something that gave me pleasure when in actuality, it's not about me. My head knows this, but my heart doesn't. And I've been in mourning for what I've lost ever since.
No more. This is *my* life, damn it. *My* journal. How I choose to spend my time, and where I choose to focus my energies, is *my* business and not anyone else's. Reading stories I offer, asking for nothing in return, does not give anyone the license to dictate to me what is and is not appropriate for me to do, and it certainly doesn't give them the right to demand--explicitly or otherwise---that I bend to their wishes. It also doesn't allow them to presume they know what's inside my head, how I feel or what I'm thinking, because the only person who can truly do that is me. And Craig.
I *love* writing. I love giving people stories, making them feel something, or making them smile. I also have a life. I have two children that mean the world to me, a husband who reminds me every day what a wonderful place this world can be, and a desire to make my time on this earth as rich as humanly possible. I have no room for people whose sole purpose is to leech as much as they possibly can, or seek out only the negative in order to bolster their own lacking. I'm not interested in the bitterness that jades so many others, especially when it's directed at me. There is already so much in this world that is negative; why on earth would anyone willingly contribute to it by deliberately hurting others?
As terrified as I am about getting hurt further, my anger is even greater. I don't like wasting this much energy when it's unnecessary. So, I'm going to try and step forward here. I'm going to hold my head up high, because I'm not the person certain people think I am. I'm better than that. I have to believe that.
Thank you for listening.