As you can imagine, things haven't been really easy for me in the past few days. But I knew that when I wrote the post and published the follow up.
Oddly enough, I don't really care- it's something I'll deal with, or not, depending on my mood
at the time. Right now, I'm in a pretty good place. I did the right
thing. I made good on my promise that the NEXT time anyone came
to me for any kind of help or support, I would do my best to make up
for the way I handled a similar matter with someone else. I've kept my promise.
I really do hope Buddy
gets the help he needs and does have support in the future. And
someday, I hope to eventually be able to buy him that beer that I owe
him. But that's my wish. I think the reality is that he just won't be
able to forgive anyone.
I know how people in this community get their panties in a bunch
when someone disagrees. I know how they "read into" things using their
own filters. I know that most of the time that happens because there is no really good way for some people to disagree other than to just be disagreeable. And I knew that by putting my neck out, I'd
again be the target for the vitriol. I'm actually quite okay with that.
Mostly because I felt that by speaking my mind, even if others
couldn't, that people who were suffering from this entire mess could
take comfort in at least knowing that I was listening to them, that I understood, and that I tried in my own way to help. It is very easy for so many others to discuss consent theory, abuse, victimization, tone policing, etc. But it is unlikely they will ever know or feel the fear and the self-condemnation themselves.
I've been told that I am no longer respected "in the scene" for my opinions. I giggle at the very thought of that sweeping generalization. But I didn't write this for respect. I don't really care if anyone respects me especially when it's become clear that that respect is a right reserved for those who agree with you. And as for "the scene"- well, I think I've been pretty clear about what I think of that.
The most disappointing thing about this whole thing, I think, is the reaction of
so many people who have thrown around the phrase "victim blamer" so easily in the past but think that in this case, the person who caused the damage (either by willful disregard
for his own needs or from collateral damage) is the only one who needs their support. While Buddy may have every right to recovery and happiness and
may have medication and therapy and time to ease his problems, his collateral damage victims
have no such surcease. But they certainly have had their share of bullying to deal with.
So, to those people who have bashed me- I offer my sincere apologies. I was wrong.
You may now raise joyous banners and fist bump each other, write your "vindication!!" speeches, and take comfort in the fact that you've been proved right. You're absolutely correct when you say that victim blaming is rampant. That victims are silenced, shamed, and pushed away.
But was it really necessary to make your point by doing it yourselves?
I have truly never been more disappointed with so many people as I am today. To use this situation to settle old grudges, to foist untenable choices on friends, and to put the people who have been harmed once again in the position of being silenced is unconscionable.