I'M SO TIRED OF BEING AFRAID
I need to make a stand, but I don't know how. I have allowed one of my followers here on Ello troll a woman, an amazing artist, whose post I have reposted to support her—a picture of her standing astride a motorcycle with a sign that read: IF YOU GRAB MY PUSSY, I WILL RIP OFF YOUR DICK. I have reposted it because I often told men face to face I will do exactly that if they tried putting their hands on me. I told it half-jokingly and half-seriously, that exact line, and they got it and backed off. So when I saw it, I was ecstatic. Here was a woman bold enough to say it. I felt we were sisters. And then I did everything wrong. I was sleeping in Moscow while that shitface of a troll started weaving his game. And when I woke up and checked the thread of comments, it exploded. So I thought, "I'll reason with him. I will be kind and give love. Trolls are the ones that need most love." What I didn't see was what my inaction was doing to the woman whose post I reposted. Not only did she have to suffer through his harassment because I didn't immediately block him, she ultimately had to delete it, and she felt used by me and demoralized, and she's right. I was helplessly watching the harassment evolve while doing nothing, afraid of somehow hurting the troll while he was hurting her and other people, and when I did finally block him, after many of you have asked me to do so, it was too late.
By then I wanted to drive my head into a wall. "What is wrong with me?" I thought. I could easily unleash what I'm carrying inside me—a woman who could kill if her children were in danger, a woman who could scare men with just a look (men told me this before), a woman who could use her words to rip that troll a new asshole. But I didn't do shit. I was afraid to.
My issue is, I'm afraid of hurting people.
I've been hurt so many times in my life, and I grew up being hurt daily by the very people who were supposed to love and protect me—my parents—that I get paralyzed when I need to act. And I end up hurting more people by my inaction. And after it's over, I want to either die (back to suicidal thoughts), or to run away (delete all my online accounts, move to some woods where no one will ever be able to reach me), or to curl up and cry (which I ultimately do, wallowing in pathetic self-pity), or to quit writing (which scares me enough to get me to do some kind of action).
My other battle is being groomed to be nice.