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Author Topic: Someone said something horrible again.
mizchastain
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I was on an art-and-fanfic site (I've never had problems there before) and someone posted a fic involving detailed child abuse scenes without an appropriate warning. I commented and told them to put a warning on it and they did so. Then someone commented on my comment and went on a rant about how I'm encouraging child molesters. I stupidly got involved and told them that there is evidence that unacceptable material in fiction does not encourage unacceptable behaviour in real life, and they went off at me, claimed they'd looked at my profile and accused me of "commissioning child rape". I've never done such a thing at all, in fact I've never commissioned ANYTHING on that site, but it upset me so much I went and combed through all my favourites list and gallery to see if there was anything which could be interpreted as such, and I couldn't find anything. (Some of the work I've created and faved does deal with themes of abuse or violence, but not graphically.) I know it's nonsense and it's my own fault for thinking I could reason with this person, but it really hurt. I've been getting better at not getting involved in arguments, but I slipped up this once.
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Heather
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So, what do you think you need in order to let this go?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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mizchastain
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I don't really know, it only happened a few minutes ago and right now I'm still in the "feeling like I'm going to throw up" stage. I probably shouldn't be so upset because they were a total stranger and I know they were wrong about this, but ... This is why I used to be so concerned about expressing my anti-censorship opinions, I was afraid people would think I wanted to see child abuse when I said that I don't think fictional portrayals of it are inherently harmful in every case (I know the jury's out on the actual results). I just kind of went too far the other way recently. I never grasp until too late that it's a bad idea to get involved, that's my problem, but I don't know how best to stop myself.
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Heather
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Well, you know, I also think it has seemed like you need to develop some kind of way of letting stuff like this go.

I mean, someone you don't know said something to you that hurt your feelings and offended you. Someone you can likely totally avoid again, very easily. So, then hurting you again is unlikely. It's also not in person, so you could just walk away.

So, this is over, if you just leave it. What do you think you need so you can do that and let it go?

And perhaps some of this also has to do with letting go of the fact that you can't control what someone might think of you, whether you say what you did or not?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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I often experience very similar results on YouTube; just with different subject matter. Sometimes, I'll post a very innocent comment and people will just jump on it. I've had some very insensitive comments thrown at me; and I sometimes answered back (depending on the level of the insult), or I'd just try and let it go. I told my brother about one really hurtful comment once (one where I actually responded in a very rude way, unfortunately), and he told me to just ignore the person and to let it go. It's easier said than done, I know; but remember that the person is hiding behind anonymity and a computer screen. Cyber bullying is often done like that because the "sender" feels more powerful over Facebook, email, text, or chat sites because they don't see you and can just type and hit "send" - often before thinking of the consequences, or never thinking of them at all.

I would just avoid this person, like Heather suggested. Or, what I sometimes think about doing on YouTube is just send something nice and funny like, "Thank you for reading my comment! [Smile] " and just leave it at that. That shows you responded; but you didn't stoop to their level. The "killing people with kindness" phrase applies here. But saying nothing at all just gives their words and insinuations no further ammunition. You know yourself that you do not advocate child abuse - you do not need to convince any random person of that.

I hope you feel better soon!

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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mizchastain
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The really sad thing is I really don't like graphic child abuse in fiction either, but couldn't help defending the person who wrote it because I have a kneejerk reaction to being told that writing something in fiction is a definite sign you actually want to do it. (I know it is in some cases, but since it also might not be, it's not really a good thing to go round accusing people of it.) I don't know if this is an unusual reaction, but it's definitely an extreme one, and I need to get that under control as well as clearing this from my head. Maybe I should go back to that young person's free cognitive-behavioural therapy organisation the student mental health advisor pointed me to. I graduate this summer so I can't keep seeing the student advisor, but I can ask her to direct me somewhere else.

May I ask how other people here learned not to put so much stock in what people think?

[ 05-24-2012, 12:35 PM: Message edited by: mizchastain ]

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Heather
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quote:
May I ask how other people here learned not to put so much stock in what people think?

To put it bluntly, I recognize that I simply do not have any control over what people think of me. I just don't. So, I could worry about it, but it'd be a total waste of my time and energy.

The best I can do is to just be myself, be as mindful of other people as I can while still being myself, and let the chips fall where they may.

I also remind myself, if I get in a pickle about other's opinions, that everyone has the right to think well or ill of me, and it wouldn't be respectful for me to control that even if I could, and besides, I also get the choice of how much I invest in the opinions of others about me.

lastly, I choose to put the most stock in what people think of me who actually know me well, just like I'd put less stock in someone talking about molecular biology who maybe read one article about it than someone who has worked in that filed for decades.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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mizchastain
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Thanks for the advice. My head's feeling a lot clearer now. I might still go talk to the mental health advisor so I can get some help not to react so badly ifwhen something like this happens again.
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mizchastain
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Was just checking an unfamiliar comm and ran into a link to one of the old fights I got into -I'm annoyed but I will be fine, I just need to focus on something else. It does help a little to tell myself that I trust Heather and everyone else here much more than random strangers. I will, however, go and ask the student mental health advisor for outside places to get help again, as this is my last week at uni (well, assuming I pass my exams, anyway - fingers crossed).

[ 05-26-2012, 06:59 PM: Message edited by: mizchastain ]

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