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UPDATE… 20 Aug 2018

I fucked up.

I shouldn’t have written, “Cool.”

Because it’s not.

It was just me, giving up. Rolling over and playing dead… like I always do.

I’d picked a fight with @Shannon Ashley that I couldn’t finish. I posted “Cool,” and I blocked her instead, leading to the above standalone response, turned unintentional, one-word story that is, “Cool”.

I had my good reasons. They were:

  1. Shannon Ashley had it coming. She had lifted three of my stories, rewritten them in her own words without crediting or tagging me.
  2. She then wrote a dishonest piece, calling the women with whom she evidently feels in competition for male attention, “bitches”.

I’m one of those bitches, and I took her insult personally. So I wrote a tippy-toeing, dishonest reply. Instead of just calling her out on her bullshit, I sort of danced around the topic. Which made her defensive and indignant.

A couple of exchanges later and she responded with a defensive tirade about how her piece was honest and how real she is and, to summarize, “That’s not what I said!” — and nothing in there changed the fact that her piece wasn’t honest, despite that being her whole brand. Her original piece is still a shit show of abusive projection… a litany of trope written by a woman who has, as evidenced by her work, entrenched herself in lies, to the point of abject, bumbling blindness about both the source of her pitiable circumstances, and how the world really works. Circumstances that (and this is key) in no way grant her license to publicly abuse the people around her or to try to take them down a notch to salve her own insecurities.

But I got scared about people not liking me for calling that bullshit out…for “picking on” the self-described poor, fat (lets be clear…her own description), lonely, depressed, single mom who, if she’s going to have any chance of improving her circumstances, desperately needs someone to hold up a mirror to her and tell her the fucking truth… and all I could bring myself to write was, “Cool.”

I let her down and I let myself down.

My problem is that I have cultivated a habit of making myself small, both literally and figuratively . I do it, in large part, because I fear criticism and hate the idea of people not liking me. I value the opinion of others more than my own and that’s why I lay down in fights. I knew that as soon as I posted my honest response, that she and her followers would descend on me, en masse, telling me what a horrible person I am for daring to challenge the woman, regardless if my intention, as one commenter declared was “to be mean”, or if it was, as a different commenter suggested, “to challenge”. (The second one was correct.)

That’s why I hid from my ex in the courthouse bathroom at the hearing I requested to enforce his order of child support. That’s why I used to starve myself into thinking maybe someday I might just disappear.

Making myself small has been my security blanket for as long as I can remember.

Now I have to be done with my blankie…because I’m not a baby anymore.

It took reading The Courage to be Disliked for me to see how I’ve been hurting myself this whole time.

”Unless one is unconcerned by other people’s judgements, has no fear of being disliked by other people, and pays the cost that one might never be recognized, one will never be able to follow through with one’s own way of liviing. That is to say, one will not be able to be free.” — The Courage to be Disliked

Whether some readers thought I was right or wrong in my assessment of Shannon’s honesty was irrelevant. It doesn’t matter whether they thought I was “mean” or had a right to say anything at all, or whether the “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” crowd would’ve chased me with their pitchforks for having the the nerve to express a less than adulatorious opinion of her piece — For daring to speak up.

None of that should’ve mattered.

Because the opinion of the masses, for someone who is living their truth, doesn’t fucking… matter. And I’m here to write the truth, even when it’s dirty and ugly and a tough pill to swallow.

“Before being concerned with what others think of me, I want to follow through with my own being. That is to say, I want to live in freedom”. — The Courage to be Disliked