Colette,
Felicia C. Sullivan
31

Thank you, Felicia.

It is a high honor to think I made your day. If that’s true, I have just returned a favor you have offered me many times: making me grateful because of what you write.

I hope that I am not bringing up anything that may cause you pain or unpleasant memories. I ran across a conversation elsewhere regarding this same amazing piece of yours. It was ugly. Defensive. Privileged. And frankly, odd. As I read it, I couldn’t even connect it to your piece. Perhaps someone was projecting? And the response argued against science, argued with DNA. In “one drop” America, it made my silly White skin and DNA boil. I never did get the point, other than someone’s sad need to be “right” but I did get that it was an attack.

It took me a while to process the attack because it isn’t processable. I bring it up now for no other reason than to stand with you, to call foul. I am sorry it has taken me a couple of weeks.

Your story conveys a deeps vulnerability which is what makes it so beautiful. More than some self-serving regurgitation of facts which some call memoir, your piece processes deep feelings with breathtaking self honesty. You show how experiences long ago, and recent, have affected and changed you; changed how you see yourself and how you fit into the world. By extension, you changed the way I see myself, how I fit into my own space, place and world. That’s real memoir and raw talent. That’s why I read. And it goes much deeper than craft.

I felt hurt and angry when I read that someone actually argued that you are not entitled to your own feelings. Feelings are ours. No one can argue with them anymore than any educated person should argue with DNA. I am sad that the responder chose not to engage with your story because of what I learned from it: humanity, integrity, empathy and the importance of self reflection for personal growth. I am sorrier the responder was defensive, combative and totally dismissive of your feelings and those of another writer I follow and very much respect. She fought for your right to be heard, to be who you are so fought for us all. Thank you,Veronica. I wish I had seen it and stepped up because I want Medium to be the Medium I see in what you and others I follow write.

This uncalled for ugly response, prompted me to read all if that writer’s work. I found that you weren’t the only one attacked. I found a pattern. I found someone who seems a Dorian Gray, someone who has carefully, most of the time, created an imagine on Medium that is belied by an increasingly ugly portrait reflecting the true self.

Real people are consistent. Created images are not. It was eye-opening and sad.

I don’t “do” any other social media but Medium. Reading that attack caused me to change the way I use Medium. Now, just as in real life, I read everything someone writes before I engage. I get to know them. I follow fewer and read before I respond. But oh, those I follow bring me wonder and awe and make me laugh. I am grateful for them all.

I am sorry you bore an unwarranted tirade against something you never actually wrote. I am sorry someone deemed your feelings unworthy. It was wrong and unfair.

Both of you have showed me exactly who you are. I am always impressed with and humbled by your work. And again, I am grateful to read you.

More often than you know, you make my day.

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