This week is World Mental Health Week. Everywhere on social media people are posting their experiences, work, advice and support. This is a good thing, as, in my opinion as a mental health provider, we have reached an epidemic with the broken health of our minds, our bodies and our souls. I defy you to find one person who is not negatively effected by anxiety, self-harm, substance abuse, suicide ideation and hopelessness. I see it in the work that I do and in the people I love, and I see it in me.
I use social media a lot. I have a Facebook account, Instagram account, Twitter, SnapChat and obviously a little blog. I love social media for all the positives it has brought to my life. I have made lifetime friends, found love, found support and in the face of heartbreak found a community made up of strong, fierce, kick ass women who rallied around me and held me close when I could barely walk.
It has not all been unicorn and rainbows. Every so often a dark cloud came in the guise of a hateful message telling me what was wrong with everything about me. These messages are unwarranted and nasty and stayed with me for a while until I managed to wriggle free of their clutches. I chose to wish their senders good wishes, metaphorically speaking of course, and move on with being my fabulous self.
You get knocked down, you get back up again until you don’t.
This week I have been knocked clean and unceremoniously flat on my powerlifting ass. A man decided to take it upon himself on Mental Health Awareness Day to dump on me his abusive, misogynistic “opinion” of me, with cause, I only assume, to put me back firmly in my place.
He is offended by my Snapchatting, it seems. He is offended by my choice of social gatherings, the way I speak, the way I look, the way I parent. My very existence offends him so much that he wrapped his “opinion” of me in a World Mental Health Day bow and flung it straight in my face.
He was after all, “doing me a favour”. On World Mental Health Day no less.
I blocked him, as you do, but not before I took to my SnapChat account to say something kinda like this.
When you choose to attack personally someone that you do not know it says more about you than it does about me. When you take time out of your day to sit at your computer to hurl toxic abusive, misogynistic paragraphs at someone you may as well be looking in the mirror. The words you used to describe me? Let me break them down for you in a way that you may properly understand.
Self absorbed: This would describe someone who has such an inflated opinion of himself that he believes sending women messages telling them what is wrong with them is somehow doing them a favour.
Vain: See above.
Full of Myself: See above.
Also, FYI, the three things mean the same thing.
A bad parent: You told me you have two sons. Way to go, Dad for being the kind of role model that teaches boys how to abuse women.
Way. To. Go.
And last but not least your lovely sentiment of your love for all things mental health. Dude. If this is your idea of what positive mental health is and how you can contribute to it on WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY, then you are much more of an asshole that I gave you credit for.
Let me tell you something about me that you clearly missed all these months stalking me on SnapChat.
I am a fierce, confident, hella strong force to be reckoned with. I am this way because I have had to fight tooth and nail to dodge toxic assholes like you my entire life. Men who tell me I am weak because I have a period, that I don’t deserve equal pay because I needed maternity leave. Men who have sexually assaulted me, emotionally assaulted me and now SnapChat assaulted me. I have been sent dick pics and such bullshit sexual messages that I have lost count. Men who tell me they have equal say over my body and who would prefer I die in the name of all that they believe.
You weren’t the least bit original. Soz!
You won’t change me. You may knock me. I may stay down for a while waiting for my bruises to heal but you better believe that when they do I will rise stronger and fiercer than I was before because that is the difference between people like you and people like me. When you send messages to someone you don’t know telling them all you think is wrong with them you fall down a hole that is near impossible to climb out of.
The ironic thing is, only someone like me has the ability to drag you out of it when you finally realise that it’s always been about you and never about me.
Cosy up. I reckon you will be waiting down there a while.