Rheumatoid Arthritis and the trolls and the bullies

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Before I shut this down, I have to say something about bullying.

Bullying is rife in the RA community.  I’ve seen it done to others.  I’ve had it done to me.  And it hurts.  And as long as I live I will never understand why a person, or group of persons, would possibly find pleasure in hurting someone else.

Some people like to ‘take you down a notch’ because you’ve become too big for your boots.

In their opinion, anyway.

Some people take joy in seeing someone else cry.  Or seeing despair in their posts online. Or watching them sink into depression, and then kicking them when they are down.

There are people like that.  And the kicker is, there are a few ‘advocates’ who preach love and kindness and compassion for all, and blog about it. BUT if they don’t like something I’ve written, no compassion for me. Loose the hounds!

Some people aren’t concerned by trolls.  Good for them.  I admire that. It’s strong.

Doesn’t change the fact that the trolls and bullies are cruel, evil people.  And they do upset me.  I have been very hurt by what some of my so-called online friends have done to me.  One went in for the kill.  And then when I reached out to another, I sent a message saying ‘I need help. Please.’, that person didn’t respond for 24 hours (to my crisis message).

I never send messages like that.  I had never sent a message to this person like that.  I don’t have many people I can go to for help.  It was a poor choice, obviously.  But I was desperate.  If you get a message like that from me, you know I’m in real trouble.  They knew this.

And then they unleashed their own attack.

I thought it was sadistic opportunism.  But it wasn’t.  This person had been angry at me for weeks over something I had posted, but they didn’t talk to me about it.  They thought it was about them. It wasn’t.

Here’s a tip.  Not everything is about YOU.  The unbelievable arrogance.  Then this person admitted that they had waited, been waiting, for weeks, for me to hit one of my down patches.  An opportunity. And then they struck.

Totally premeditated.  For maximum impact. Congratulations.  Most horrible person I have ever ‘met’.

And now blocked.

But damage done.  A mature adult would have just asked me about the post, and talked to me about it.  Nope.  Lie in wait and ambush me when I’m already hurting.  I really hope it was satisfying.

I don’t care how much pain you are in, or have been in, or what you’re teenage trauma is.  It is never Ok to take it out on someone else.  Never.  There is no excuse.

And if you slip because you’re only human, and make a mistake, the word is ‘sorry’.  It goes a long way.

But I digress.  The bullies.  The trolls.  Listen up:

The thing is, when you choose to attack someone, you don’t know where they are in their life.  You don’t know how bad their pain has been lately. You don’t know the degree of their disease.  Maybe they have liver damage, or their kidneys are failing.  Maybe they are losing their vision. Maybe they’ve just had another scary diagnosis. Maybe they’re about to have surgery, or a procedure. Maybe they’re scared.  Maybe they have no one to even take them to the hospital.  Or visit them. Or pick them up.  Maybe they’ve just had surgery.  Maybe it’s their third hospitalisation in 4 months.  Or maybe they have a post op infection, and can’t take their meds.  So they are at a constant 8+ on the pain scale, and really, really sick.  Maybe their husband just left them, or they’ve just found out he’s cheating, or maybe they just lost their best friend.  Maybe they don’t have any friends.  Maybe they are just surrounded by people who can’t see them.  Or maybe their kid is sick, or just been diagnosed with something terrible.  Or expelled from school, or violent to them.  Maybe they have problems with their extended family. Maybe they don’t have any extended family.  Maybe they don’t have anyone.  No one at all.  Maybe they can’t pay the bills.  Maybe their ex has stopped paying child support and now they’re in deep financial shit.  Because they are too sick to work.  Because they are too sick to stand up. Because they get infection after infection and can’t recover.  Maybe they’re going to lose their house.  You don’t know what challenges they are facing.  Life, bills, kids…and maybe they have NO ONE to lean on.

No one.

And you don’t know how close they are to the edge. 

And then YOU, the troll, comes along and decides to take out whatever childhood issues you have on them.  Because you being affronted over a blog post is so much more important than any of that other stuff.

So let me be really clear.

Don’t bully.  Don’t troll.

You see something you don’t like on a page or a group?  Keep scrolling.  You don’t like a blog post, or a facebook post, feel free to comment politely.  You have a right to your opinion.  You have a right to share it.  It can be done with civility.  Without hurting anyone.

If you think someone is a crap advocate.  If you think they are a lousy writer.  If you think someone is a terrible example for what it is to be sick.  If you think someone is not as sick as you, and therefore shouldn’t be in the position they are in.  If you think they are far too healthy to be that positive, to manage as well as they do…maybe they are just stronger than you, dear troll.

And if you’re offended…

Unlike the page.  Unjoin the group.

Just go.  Quietly.

Because you’re responsible for your actions.  And you’re responsible if you’re the last straw that pushes someone over the edge.

And if you are a troll, and you’ve already done this stuff to people.  Go get some help.  Figure out why you take pleasure in hurting others.  Cos that’s some serious problem you have there.

Just go.

Have some respect.  Some decency. And practice what you preach.  Or shut the fuck up.

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